WARNING: This story contains graphic descriptions of sexual acts between men and MINOR boys. It is not true! The story is not intended to promote illegal acts against minors. I do not condone child abuse, however the love of boys is a different matter. Despite the prevalent attitudes of western society, men have loved boys throughout recorded history. It is my goal to help readers appreciate that love can exist between men and boys. If the subject of man/boy love offends you, if this material is illegal in your place of residence, or if you are under the legal age for such material, do not read further!
By downloading this story: "... you implicitly declare and affirm under penalties of perjury that you are not a minor or in the company of a minor and are entitled to have access to material intended for mature, responsible members of society capable of making decisions about the content of documents they wish to read...."
Any similarity to individuals, living or dead, is entirely accidental. The sexual acts described in the story are the result of my imagination. I have not performed these acts, and I do not encourage others to perform them with minors.
The story is copyrighted under the pseudonym, Ganymede. Copies have been placed in the Nifty archives for your enjoyment. The story cannot be used to derive monetary gain. The story cannot be placed in archives that require payment for access, or printed and distributed in any form that requires payment either directly or indirectly.
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FINAL WARNING: If you are under the age of 18, if this material is illegal in your place of residence, or if man-boy relationships aren't your thing, then exit now and save yourself from a life of sin!
David Peter Benson, aged 11, died in the Emergency Room of Calvary Children's Hospital on April 25th, 2004. He was the eldest son of Trevor and Alicia Benson. He is survived by his seven-year-old brother Adam and six-year-old sister, Tania. He was found by his mother in the bathroom on the second floor of the family home with an almost severed penis. He was already unconscious. He survived a twenty-minute mercy flight to the hospital and died on the operating table as surgeons frantically tried to save his life.
David, a star soccer player and an A-student at King Primary School, was extremely popular with other students. His home room teacher, Ms. Patricia Andrews, said that he was "an exceptionally bright and very funny boy who was always in a cheerful mood." She was shocked that he committed suicide. Only a week earlier, David had won the coveted, Murphy Art Prize which is awarded for the most outstanding art work in the primary schools in the state.
There will be no police investigation, according to a senior detective. A diary, discovered later in the evening, described David's feelings over the last few days and that the belief that his only recourse was to take his own life. His mother said that upon hearing the results of her son's DNA sample that had only just arrived in the mail that afternoon, he immediately withdrew to his room. David was d-V positive, meaning that he had the da Vinci gene as a dominant gene in his DNA. The da Vinci gene has been linked to pedophilia. It is currently being targeted by the National Institute of Sexual Health as part of the Natural Intervention to Curb Evil Act.
Mr. Martin Eckleston, well-known for his lifetime commitment to hunting down predators who prey upon children, and one of the three directors of the Institute was unavailable for comment. Mrs. Janet Frieland, the mother of one of the boys who was murdered and sexually abused by Jacob Jeffries, the infamous Anniston, Alabama pedophile, and also a director of the Institute, said that she deeply regretted the boy's death. "We are doing our very best to help these boys. We have instituted special programs and we are starting camps where they receive counseling. Pedophilia is a horrible evil and it's likely to cause deep depression to anyone who has it. We are encouraging every family who has a son with the da Vinci gene to come to one of our ten regional centers for treatment. It's very likely that this boy's depression was brought on by guilt and shame from indulging in some sort of illicit sexual activity. The test results merely confirmed what he had been worried about for some time."
David Benson is the fifteenth suicide this year of pre-teen boys who have been identified as having the da Vinci gene. The spate of suicides is only to be expected, according to Dr. Jarvis Wright. Wright, a child psychologist is the third member of the tribunal and has played a leading role in setting up the treatment programs required under NICE. "Boys at this age are very susceptible to peer pressure. Once they find out that they are included among those people who are guilty of society's most despicable crimes, they need to receive prompt medical and psychological attention."
Thursday, 5.30 p.m., like clockwork, Lane had heard him enter, the momentary hesitation before closing the door behind him. Daniele did not like to be in the shop if anyone else was there, the sole exception being Cal Brewster who was rapidly becoming his friend as well as Lane's. He easily recognized the now familiar and always cheerful soprano-pitched `hiya' from his workroom at the back of the store. He smiled fondly, realizing that unless he was mistaken, Daniele would soon find something to occupy himself with.
It had been very quiet in the book store for nearly half an hour when Lane finally went in search of Daniele. With his book-keeping completed, he intended to reward himself with the boy's company for as long as he stayed. Unfortunately, it would not be long before Daniele had to leave, but any time together was far better than spending the day alone.
He expected to find Daniele in what was graciously termed the `salon' for want of a better name. It was there, curled up in one of the armchairs where he was usually to be found, usually reading the book. The Book. The book that he had almost finished after only a few visits. It was the book that held the secret to his future, so he read it again and again as if committing it to memory. The Joy of Gay Sex, first edition, was probably worth something, if not a lot. Rarity was hardly a factor in value, Lane mused, making a mental to check the prices for first editions. If not the salon, then the next most likely place was in the mainstream psychology section, and in particular where the books on alternative sexualites were kept.
He was surprised to find no sign of him and he wondered whether Daniele had gone home without saying good bye. That would have been out of character, yet he also realized that the boy was going through a difficult stage, just as he had gone through what his parents called a `difficult stage'. Little did they know what was going through their son's mind. For a boy to grow up with the shameful secret that he loved boys and not the girls that he was supposed to love, was surely the most difficult thing possible. It was far easier to be gay, to love men even if it meant being subject to continuous torment at school.
Instead of girls, he loved boys. Boys, Lane pondered with wry amusement. Boys who were among, if not the most wonderful of all creations. Boys who overflowed with the joy of life, who reflected at least for Lane, perfect human beauty before it was marred by the onset of puberty. Why did it have to be so terribly wrong to love them, when mostly of them were crying out for affection and attention? Why did society in its infinite wisdom deny what was surely the most natural of attractions, that pure and absolute love that poets throughout the ages had sought words to express their awe?
He found Daniele where he least expected him, but where he should have anticipated his travels through the store would eventually take him. `Art-Photography' was a small yet carefully selected section on the second floor of the annex, between the much larger Art-Painting and Art-Printmaking sections. The previous owner of the store had collected widely on Art, with numerous acquisitions in the history of photography, primary folio editions that were, with current prices, worth considerably more than their original cost. Lane was surprised to find Daniele sitting cross-legged in the narrow aisle, his back against the wall. There was an enormous yellow-sleeved book open in his lap. He was studying the black and white images with a connoisseur's appreciation. His concentration was so intense that he did not notice that he was being watched. Yet, his distraction was caused by something other than, or at least in addition to the photograph of several naked boys standing in classical poses around a stone-edged pool. One hand, his left hand, was concealed beneath the book, leaving no doubt in Lane's mind that Daniele was playing with himself, if not actually masturbating. Even as he recognized the book, a thirty-year-old treasure of National Geographic photographs, he put aside any thought of its market value. It was enough that it had found another use. It was incongruous that particular book served to give Daniele pleasure for Lane had only recently entertained an offer for its purchase from Cal Brewster who had insisted on playing what it was worth. He wanted it for the same reason that Daniele enjoyed it, for the handful of Von Gloeden photographs, startlingly erotic images to a boy-lover that had been taken in Taormina, Sicily, before prudery became commonplace.
"Hi," Lane said softly.
Daniele looked up, clearly not expecting any interruption. Expressions flashed across his face. Startled first, then the guilty look of someone who has been discovered doing something shameful, then recognition that Lane was smiling in approval. He grinned.
"Sorry to disturb you, Bookworm," Lane said with a knowing nod that was intended to communicate acceptance, as well as a veiled warning that he should be more careful in the future.
Daniele continued to grin. He could tell that the man liked him. Besides, they both knew that there were never any customers until later in the afternoon.
"You're early," Lane commented.
"No practice," Daniele elucidated. "I swam this morning. Actually, I have to go in awhile. I have to help a friend with Math."
His explanation finished, his eyes wandered back down to the open pages. The dark- skinned Mediterranean boys depicted in the rustic yet ancient setting excited him. It reminded him of Arcadia, the virtual world of boy love that he had entered with Lane. Unlike the idealized computer-created perfection of Tybee, the boys' bodies were lean and work-hardened, muscles forged from long days spent in the fields. While teenagers predominated, the boys ranged in age from five or six up to their twenties. The younger boys interested Daniele the most.
Lane approached closer and then squatted down on his haunches.
"You got a favorite?" he asked reassuringly.
Daniele giggled and pointed. "Him."
"Ah, yes, he's the cutest one," Lane agreed.
The boy in question paled beside Daniele, yet Lane was not about to point that out.
"He has a big dick," Daniele observed. "They all do."
Lane laughed at the envious tone. "Yes, well bigger isn't necessarily better, you know. Small ones can look much nicer on some people."
"You don't think it makes him look,.... sexy?" Daniele asked absently.
"I guess it depends on what you like. I like my boys to look like boys, not young men," he said pointedly.
"Yeah, I see what you mean." Daniele hesitated. He looked up at Lane, pushing the book away so that it was balanced against his legs. "It's nice, you know," he reflected.
Lane glanced down into the gap that had been formed. It was a warm day, and not surprisingly Daniele was wearing black loose-legged soccer shorts instead of his usual jeans or sweat pants. The left leg had been pushed higher where his hand had been.
"You know, to be able to talk about it."
`It' was their shared love of young boys. "You like to talk about it?" Lane teased. He knew he was staring. He could see the little bulge, the thin nylon drawn over a spike of unyielding boy- flesh, so hard that it seemed there was a bone inside it
Daniele grinned. "Yeah. So do you."
"I see England, I see France, I see someone's underpants," Lane chortled.
Daniele glanced down instantly. He had not intended to show himself, what he had been doing, yet instinctively he sensed tolerance for what came as a natural part of being a boy-lover. And after the virtual reality game, he could see no harm in Lane seeing that part of his body again. He flexed his abdominal muscles, tightened his sphincter, made his erect penis jerk under his shorts. It was straight and stiff. It bobbed again, enough to make Lane laugh.
"If you want some privacy,..."
"Nah." Daniele inclined his head. "It's okay. You're a boy lover and I'm a boy,... so it's only natural. You like looking at me, huh?"
Lane nodded uncertainly, wondering where Daniele was headed.
"Last time, when we were playing the game,..." He stopped. He was uncertain of how to ask the question that loomed in his mind. For a moment he sucked on his bottom lip and looked down at the open book. "Did I, um,... you know,... did I like, um,... turn you on?"
"You or Lachlan Troy?" Lane joked. He knew where Daniele was headed.
"Um,... me? I know Tybee got all excited."
Lane smiled back at him. "If you must know,... Yes."
Daniele glanced up quickly. "Really?"
"Yes, really. What do you think? Do you think I can watch the most beautiful boy I've ever seen, masturbating right in front of me, and not get turned on?"
Daniele smiled shyly. "I didn't mean to...."
"You're an incredibly sexy boy, Daniele. What happened last time was natural for both of us. Don't be embarrassed because of it. It's happened often enough before and I hope it will happen again. A lot more times."
Daniele thought about that for a while. There was only one explanation for how he felt, for the things he constantly thought about.
"I have it, don't I?" he asked with visible trepidation.
"The da Vinci gene?" Lane ascertained needlessly. "Haven't you gotten your test results back yet?"
The results would only confirm what was obvious, but a positive reading on the 23rd chromosome would provide incontrovertible evidence. The consequences were singularly depressing.
"We got a letter a while back. Last week or something. There's some kind of backlog in processing the tests."
"If I do have it,...." Daniele began nervously. "I guess I'll have to have treatment right away so I don't turn into a pedophile when I grow up. I don't want to spend the rest of my life in prison."
Lane was stunned by the boy's apparent acceptance, but he should not have been. After the episode with Nicky at the ice-cream parlor, Daniele had exhibited increasing abhorrence for what he had done. It was almost as if the decision for him to be sterilized had already been made. The unsettling thing was it almost seemed to be justifiable. Lane wanted to say that it did not have to be that way, that there were other options, that controlling one's actions was always possible, yet he did not. He had not been able to control himself and there was no reason to expect more from Daniele. Instead, he thought about what he had seen in the ice-cream parlor. He shuddered inside as he imagined what might have happened had Daniele been sexually mature, or if he had waited just a little longer before he went to find them.
Daniele closed the book and handed it to Lane as he stood up. He stretched his legs, straightening from the cramped position and restoring the circulation. He was still aroused and his small erection protruded aggressively into his shorts. He saw Lane's unfaltering interest and he grinned shamelessly. It fascinated him that he was able to have that effect. A mere boy could capture a man's affection enough that he would risk imprisonment for the rest of his life.
"I bet you'd like to do sex stuff with me?" Daniele asked curiously.
"Hm,... Actually, that would depend,..." Lane said calmly.
Lane smiled. It was as good a time as any for a lesson in the otherwise difficult topic of why both parties had to consent before anything sexual happened.
"It depends on what you'd like me to do."
"Well, it's no secret that I'm a boy-lover, but you've already figured out that you don't have to worry being around me. Now why is that?"
Daniele shrugged ambivalently. He was reluctant to say what he thought.
"The reason is very simple, Dani. You know I'm not going to sexually abuse you. You're as safe with me as you are with your mom."
Lane chuckled. "See, I'm basically a nice guy who likes boys more than girls. Despite what you hear people say about pedophiles, I don't go around raping boys."
"So you won't do sex stuff with me then?" He sounded just a little bit disappointed.
"I didn't say that," Lane clarified. "I said it depends on what you want. See, I have this basic rule that says the boy either has to initiate whatever it is that he wants to do, or he had to consent to whatever the man wants to do, and without any pressure from him."
"Well, for one thing, I'm a lot older than you," Lane explained. "I have a lot more experience, so while I could teach you a lot, I could also lead you astray. I could easily take advantage of you."
"Like I took advantage of Nicky?"
Lane nodded slightly, but it was enough. "And sometimes kids think they have to do everything that grown-ups want."
"I guess. So, um,... It's up to me then." Daniele smirked knowingly. "So,... Do you want to see it?" he asked deliberately emphasizing the words so there was no doubt that he was initiating.
His eyes met Lane's and they looked downward together. His penis was erect again although it had softened only slightly in the interval. Perhaps it was even harder than it had been when he was by himself. All it had taken was a moment to become fully erect. The idea of Mr. Lane seeing his private parts was curiously satisfying, almost as satisfying as the idea of showing himself to the man. And yet, it paled beside the thrill of doing the same thing with another boy, especially a younger boy. He recognized the surge inside him, the desire growing stronger as they waited in that lingering, hushed interlude. It had been the same with Grey, and Nicky too. He was beginning to understand the mystery that he shared with the man before him, that undeniable unrelenting force that attracted Mr. Lane, a grown man, to a slightly built, ten- year-old boy. He warmed to the thought that men could make love to boys, becoming increasingly aroused by that and the thrill of doing something that he was not supposed to do.
However, instead of the excited reaction that Daniele expected, Lane merely shrugged.
"Huh?" Daniele murmured with unsettling concern.
If Mr. Lane was a boy-lover the way he said he was, then he was supposed to be sexually interested in boys, but he wasn't. At that moment, as if by some quirk of nature, there was no sign of the way that Daniele felt when he looked at other boys. He was fascinated by any boy, but for some of them, especially younger boys like Grey and Nicky, he became infatuated at first glance. Not that his urge extended only to boys who were five or six years old. There were older boys, boys who were within a year or two of his age, who sometimes excited him. These boys were always very good-looking with that indefinable something that made them interesting. They were always boys who like his best friend on the swim team, Carter Browning. Carter, who had cast a spell over him, until he could think of nothing except what it would be like to do more than merely be friends. Daniele had seen him in the nude when they showered together after practice, and it was only with the greatest difficulty that he had been able to avert his eyes. It was certain disaster to be caught staring at another boy in the shower, yet he feasted his eyes on Carter's lean body at every opportunity. Carter was circumcised, like almost every other boy who Daniele had seen.
And increasingly, but especially after the unfortunate incident with Nicky, it was Carter who entered his fantasies as he lay awake at night. It was Carter, whose penis he made himself imagine gingerly taking hold of and placing within his mouth to perform that act of homage between males. He dreamed of other things as well, using his imagination to create vivid visions of what it would be like to make love to a boy. If Carter had offered even the slightest prospect of something other than friendship, he would have been overjoyed.Why wasn't it same for Mr. Lane?
"Well,..."Lane paused. He smiled sardonically. "I've seen it all before, haven't I Buckwheat?"
It took a few seconds before Daniele caught on. It had happened with him as well. Merely looking wasn't enough, not now, not after Mr. Lane had seen his penis. That was why he had referred to it as `feeding the beast'. Because once a person, man or boy, started feeding the desire, it was impossible for him to stop. That was the way it had been with Grey, then Nicky. He had wanted to do more almost immediately. With Nicky it would have been so easily to take the other boy's penis all the way inside his mouth. It was a game to Nicky and all he needed to do was convince the little boy that it was part of the game. However, wrong that might have been, he would have done it had he not been interrupted. He could not help worrying about the boy who came next. Even worse, he dwelled on the nagging thought of what would eventuate if the boy was as eager as Grey had been for it had been Grey who had taken the lead with him.
And so, despite what should have been socially ingrained unwillingness to expose himself, despite what he knew to be immoral and depraved, Daniele's hands moved his hips. His fingers peeled beneath the elasticized waist, and then he stopped. He stood there, waiting, hoping for some sign that Mr. Lane wanted to see the parts of his body that were supposed to be private. He smiled shyly, realizing the falsehood for they were parts that were really intended to be shared in the most intimate way possible. Finally, Mr. Lane turned his head and looked directly at him. With instant relief, Daniele smirked with what could only be called uncharacteristic boldness and Lane began to laugh.
"Okay, I suppose you'd better show me what you've got down there, Bookworm," Lane said, still pretending to be disinterested.
Daniele grinned. By that point, his penis was sticking straight out like a little horizontal lever, or one of Cupid's arrows that was about to be sent flying through the air. His fingers toyed with the waist of his shorts, teasing, then aware that he had Lane's devoted attention, he suddenly levered the elastic away and down until it was below his sex organs and he was revealed in shameless splendor. Lane gazed in silent awe. It made no difference that he had seen it before. That first sight would always have the same effect.
"So is this what boy lovers like most about boys?" Daniele asked. "That we have hairless little dicks?" he added mockingly.
Lane smiled back at him. "I think you answered your own question. It gives a whole new meaning to Bookworm," he replied.
Daniele giggled. He had always known that Lane's nickname for him had contained a hidden meaning. His worm was less worm than it was a proud indicator of his gender.
"Do you think I'm sexy?" he asked in a soft voice that was as sensuous as any ten-year-old boy had ever been.
"So,... I turn you on,... I do, don't I?"
"Honestly, I'd be lying if I said that part of being a boy lover is not about sex, Daniele. There's nothing sexier in my opinion than a young boy with a hard little prong, especially if it's beautiful like yours."
Daniele grinned, flexing the muscles inside his lower belly so that his penis jerked slightly.
"So then, I guess you must like my dick most of all, Mr. Lane?" he teased.
Lane nodded. "Of course your dick is important." He searched for the words. "But you need to remember that being sexually attracted to you is only part of being a boy-lover. The other part of it is about you being a boy in the first place."
"Hm,... How to put this? Uh, see it's hard to explain, Daniele. A boy is, well he's a bundle of energy for one thing, especially you. It's like you're interested in everything you see."
The words tumbled out in no particular order. He needed to explain what it was that he felt for Daniele, for any boy.
"You're forgiving and trusting, and you're always fun to be with even when you're in a bad mood. You make me laugh all the time, and we can talk for hours about almost anything. Sometimes,...: Lane stopped. He was going to say that Daniele challenged him intellectually. Somehow, it seemed patronizing. "The French call it joie de vivre. It means joy of living. You have that, lots of it. Boys are enthusiastic, they're vital, they radiate life. Not all boys, though. Some aren't like that. Boys like you give me a reason for living. It's also about aesthetics," Lane added as an afterthought.
"Meaning you think boys are beautiful?"
Lane nodded slightly. He regarded Daniele. "What do you think? Why do you like them?"
Daniele swallowed. He blushed noticeably, which for his almond-hued skin would have been bright crimson for any other boy. He was no longer ashamed to be standing half-naked before Mr. Lane, his penis straight and hard, but he was still easily embarrassed when it came to talking about his attraction to boys.
"Um,.... Everything you said, I suppose. When I look at a boy,... um,... see, I get this feeling inside. What you said just then, it's like that too for me. I mean it's not every boy, just some boys,.... I don't know what it is exactly. Like with Nicky,... when we were at the ice-cream parlor. Something came over me,... I don't know what,... but it was so strong, so strong that I couldn't stop.... When he smiled at me, it was like something connected between us. It happens with other boys too. I can't help it,... but I want to be close to them. It's like they have an aura that I have to share. I want to touch them," Daniele added awkwardly. He glanced at Lane for support.
"It sounds like you need to find yourself a boyfriend, Bookworm," Lane teased. "So they can take care of your worm."
Daniele did not respond as quickly as he normally did. He pondered the dilemma that was quickly becoming his life. He was both surrounded by boys, boys at school, boys on the swim team, boys who lived in his neighborhood. There were boys everywhere he went, but always he was confronted by the sad state of affairs that he dared not act on his impulses.
"Only it has to be someone my own age, right?" Daniele sucked his bottom lip, barely aware that his erection was slowly fading. "I can't help it, Mr. Lane. I know I should be interested in girls, but I'm not. All I think about,..." Daniele quaked, struggling with the unfortunate hand that nature had dealt him. "It's all because of the fucking gene. It's,... it's unnatural."
"Is it?" Lane asked gently. He did not like to hear Daniele curse. It happened very seldom. Indeed, he could think of only one or two instances when Daniele had resorted to using such words.
"That's what everyone says. That's why they called it the Natural Intervention to Curb Evil. Because nature made a mistake with pedophiles, and it's got to be fixed or we'll always abuse children. Like I did with Nicky. I knew it was wrong at the time and I still did it."
"And we both know that you won't do it again" Lane acknowledged with unrealistic hope, because he knew otherwise, that it was just a matter of time. "However, that's certainly the party line, Daniele."
"They want us to believe that loving boys is evil, hence the rush to eliminate the gene despite its other aspects. However, it's possible to think of the da Vinci gene in a different way."
"Well, for one thing, let's not think of it as an aberration like some random genetic deficiency that causes birth defects," Lane began thoughtfully. It was a reprise of a conversation that he had with Cal Brewster. "Maybe it's an important part of the male chromosome that is sandwiched amongst other largely unused genetic material."
Daniele nodded. "I read that in an article. It's mostly unnecessary stuff that doesn't do anything. That's why it can be eliminated without hurting the human species."
"Hm, well I wouldn't say that exactly. For example, it might have been essential when man began walking upright and had to survive in an environment that is very different to today, or it might be there to enable us to adapt to future conditions. No one really knows why it's there or what it does, only that the da Vinci gene triggers some of it into action."
"So?" Daniele said cynically. "Like any of it matters. I'm still going to be a pedophile." He shuddered. "I don't want to be like that, Mr. Lane, but there's nothing I can do to stop it from happening. Everyone knows that's what happens if you have the gene. I don't want to be a pervert. I don't want people to hate me. And I certainly don't want to be in jail for the rest of my life. After what happened at the ice-cream parlor with Nicky you said I was lucky, but I knew what you meant. I know what they would have done to me if I'd been caught. They would have cut my balls off and put me in some camp for bad kids until I turned eighteen."
The words stung, not because they were said in anger, but because they were true.
"You might not be as old as me, but you're just as smart, Dani," Lane said flatly. "Most people have forgotten by now, but the da Vinci gene was first identified when a scientist discovered that it caused a certain type of very high intelligence that is related to unusual levels of creativity."
"That's why they named the gene after da Vinci in the first place," Daniele finished condescendingly. "I know all that. So what?"
"Okay. Now, think about it the same way that Charles Darwin would if he was still alive. On that very same chromosome, which has evolved over millions of years and is responsible for the very best of human minds, is a tiny sequence in the gene that triggers other DNA to make a man sexually attracted to boys. Do you really think it's a mistake? Or is it part of some greater plan?" Lane suggested.
Daniele shrugged dismally, yet his mind made the necessary connections. "Maybe you're right. You should be telling someone who can do something about it," he added sarcastically.
"But you agree?" Lane persisted.
Daniele sighed. "I agree, okay. Maybe it's not a mistake, Mr. Lane. It wouldn't make any sense if it was. Nature doesn't make mistakes like that."
"I'm sure Darwin would agree with you. Of course, Darwin would say that what is an excellent adaptation to one environment, might be a hazard if the environment changes slightly."
"Like now?" Daniele asked curiously.
"Like now," Lane agreed. "It's a pity we aren't living in Ancient Greece. From what I've read, it was the zenith of boy love. Most of the famous artists and philosophers in the fifth century BC were boy lovers."
Daniele smiled weakly. "And now we're the lowest from of life."
"Something like that," Lane commiserated. "We haven't had enough time to evolve to a society that denies a child's sexuality. As you said, nature doesn't make mistakes, but sometimes it takes a little longer for evolution to work than we might like."
"Kind of like the appendix," Daniele mused, thinking of Carter Browning and the time when he had complained of a pain in his belly. "My friend Carter had his appendix taken out a while back," he added. "It's in everyone, but no one needs it. They don't even know why it's there in the first place."
"But is it unnecessary?" Lane proposed. "Or is it something whose function we either don't understand, or haven't put to use recently?"
"So if it's really unnecessary, then eventually that part of the gene will go away by itself," Daniele suggested. He took a moment to complete the analogy. "It's just a pity they can't fix me the same way they fixed Carter's appendicitis."
"Maybe that's what they are trying to do with the NICE programs," Lane said cynically. "They've convinced themselves that removing an appendix is not a lot different to removing a guy's balls. But what they haven't figured out yet is that it's not a mistake of nature or something that is unnecessary. It would be different if everyone had it."
They smiled at each other.
"Just a few losers like us. At least we're friends so we have each other," Daniele said awkwardly.
The meaning of their relationship resounded through the boy for the first time, just as his acknowledgment of it affected Lane. It was strange how neither of them had realized the reality of what it meant for them to be friends before. From Lane's frustrated perspective they were a boy and a boy-lover who were not in love despite how much one of them desired it. While their friendship was very different from Daniele's outlook, at least they had something in common and they could have good times in each other's company.
Yet even then, the boy's superior intellect was engaged in making order from the confusion that had been part of him since the event in the ice-cream parlor. For the moment, he put aside the demanding urge that had lived inside him for as long as he could remember. There was no question that he could continue to go though through life being attracted to little boys. He wanted so much to love them, but it was incomprehensible that they would be able to return that love. With that knowledge came relief, for within the last few minutes he had realized that he was not alone, that while he could never satisfy his desire, at least he was desired by someone, a man who he liked very much.
For the first time he felt a strong affection towards Lane, even more intensified now that he was aware of how much the man desired him. Their relationship had, as nature always intended, finally become something more. For the first time, Daniele looked upon Lane as a sexual being, experiencing the innate need of all of nature's creations to reproduce, although reproduction was the farthest thing from his mind. It seemed so simple, the mechanics of homosexual intercourse so easy to accomplish, without the inherent complication of pregnancy, yet having sex had always been the dilemma in any man-boy relationship.
And so, feeling the first stirings of passion for an older male deep within him, Daniele Webster smiled coyly.
He was ten years old, but he was as ready as he would ever be to have sex, not with another boy but with a man who was old enough to be his father. It seemed both strange and appropriate, almost as if his entire life seemed to have been leading up to that grand finale. He had learned to masturbate, to touch his body in ways that made him feel good, but a person couldn't have sex by himself no matter how often he masturbated. He needed to be with someone else, someone who could share the joy of being alive. He did not understand the rush of adrenaline that came, the fear and apprehension that he would be rejected or somehow found insufficient. Nor did he realize that his buoyant happiness existed simply because he possessed the ability to make someone else inordinately happy.
His penis had softened slightly so that it no longer jutted out. Instead, it had adopted a graceful, slightly extended, downward curve. Yet, as he smiled teasingly at Lane, blood began to rush back into it. Before their eyes the short thin shaft became straight and hard again, lifting up to its elevated angle within a the space of a few seconds. It was almost instantaneous. If Lane had any reservations that Daniele was not at least just a little bit excited, they were promptly dispelled. Daniele glanced up and shared a knowing look with the man. He was clearly no stranger to erections and why they existed in the first place.
"You can,... if you want," he offered graciously, albeit nervously. "You know....touch it,... um,... if you to that is."
His voice, shy and full of the hesitation that came with inexperience and the persistent fear of what he had done with Nicky, yet still trembling with the thrill of what he was doing, aroused Lane in a way that he had never experienced. Jeff had been anything but meek. He was certainly no innocent virgin, but Daniele was, at least in the ways that counted, and it showed. His eyes flickered, rapid fire blinking. He licked his lips as if he was hungry, unaware of the effect that simple act had on Lane, not appreciating that a boy, even a young boy could emanate such blatant eroticism. Lane was overcome by desire. It was as if a powerful hand had taken his hand in its grasp, and irrespective of the consequences, leading it closer and closer to Daniele's exposed groin.
There was a noise downstairs that both of them heard, but neither of them paid much attention to. More than likely it was the cat, Oedipus, an antiquated feline that always had been part of the bookstore. It was a fitting name for that cat, Lane mused as his finger tips brushed lightly against Daniele's lower belly. `Oedipus', the original "motherfucker", if only because the cat ate heartily and was never absent at mealtimes, yet it never seemed to catch any of the mice that scurried down the long aisles of books.
It was like touching the finest silk, Lane thought as his fingers caressed Daniele's belly, only smoother, softer, and so deliciously warm that his fingertips glowed from the contact. He felt Daniele's belly moving ever so slightly, rising and falling with each gentle breath. Not for the first time did he consider the poetry of contrasts between a man and boy. That they were so alike in some ways was only to be expected since they were of the same gender, but the years that separated them were the years of maturity and immaturity. There was a trail of short dark hairs from Lane's navel to his wire-haired crotch, but nothing marred that purest of all skin on Daniele. For an instant Lane's fingers retreated, grazing the tiny ridge of skin that scalloped Daniele's navel. Then, with a force far greater than that of gravity, Lane obeyed his instincts as he would always seek to satisfy that shameful desire of a boy lover. To the ancient Greeks, it was the highest form of love, for the love of men for boys transcended ordinary love. The pleasures to be obtained also surpassed those from normal intercourse, simply because being of the same gender they understood exactly what was needed by the other to achieve ecstasy. The tips of Lane's fingers finally brushed lightly against the base of Daniele's penis. He quivered at the intimate caress, then exhaled as Lane's fingers continued on the predestined journey, following an abrupt change of direction to ascend along the short rigid stalk. Lane was certain that Daniele sighed, but he could also have been mistaken. His heart pounded in his ears. His hand trembled. He had not been nearly so anxious with Jeff. Then, everything seemed so ordinary. From the very first meeting to the fulfillment of their mutual lust, everything was as it was supposed to be, but then Jeff had seduced him, at least in part if not entirely.
It was only when Lane's fingers had traveled halfway up Daniele's short penis that he realized that he had never felt anything so soft before, and that in all likelihood, he never would again. That softness more than anything else made Lane aware that Daniele was still very much a child. He had a mind with few equals yet, he was still a boy. His eleventh birthday was quickly approaching, so he would soon have the enhanced status of a preteen, but he was a child nonetheless. Lane paused, aware that Daniele's penis was pulsing beneath his fingers, stiffening and relaxing, if subsiding slightly from full erection could be called relaxing. Within that sheath of glabrous skin was a rigid core that was almost unbendable, throbbing with every beat of Daniele's heart. Still a child, despite his obvious arousal. Lane held it for a moment longer under duress, until sober reality set in and the consequences became so daunting that he shook his head with agitation.
Lane smarted at the boy's innocence, at his expectation that nothing could possibly be amiss, that it was normal for a man to fondle his erect penis. He sighed, appreciating the condundrum of his destiny. At the same time he was filled with longing, an overpowering desire to keep touching, while regretting that he had touched Daniele in that most private of places.
"You probably should be doing this with one of your friends," Lane muttered. "Someone your own age?" he suggested feebly, trying to avoid remembering what he had witnessed in the bathroom of the ice-cream parlor.
"Isn't there someone? Some boy you like a lot?"
Daniele reddened. He didn't answer until Lane smiled encouragingly.
"If you can't tell me, who can you tell," he prompted.
Daniele smiled bashfully. "Um, yeah, well,... kinda. There is a guy I like."
"Ah hah," Lane chuckled. "Is he a friend or a boyfriend."
Daniele's brow furrowed. "Ah,... A friend,.... Mostly, I just like him a lot....He's on the swim team."
Lane reviewed what he had been told of the boys who were on Daniele's team. There was one boy whose name he was now uncertain of, but when Daniele talked about him, he seemed remote, as if he was thinking of something else.
"Hm,... Yes, now I remember you talking about someone. At least I think I do. Now what was his name. Something Brown?"
"His name is Carter Browning," Daniele admitted cheerfully.
"Yes that's him. I was close but no cigar. Is he nice?"
"Yeah, he's nice," Daniele agreed blandly.
"Is he a good swimmer?"
"He's,..." Daniele smiled slightly.
Carter Browning always finished a few lengths behind him every time they swam a lap of the 25 yard pool. He had developed a technique to slow down his flip-turns so that Carter could stay with him. That way they could talk between sets.
"He's okay. He tries really hard. He swims mostly AA times."
"Maybe you should be doing this with him, Dani," Lane suggested guiltily.
"Yeah, right," Daniele said dismissively, although the idea certainly had not been dismissed from the realm of desirable possibilities.
"Okay, so tell me about Mr. Browning," Lane teased.
Daniele gave him a `you can't be serious' look even as he considered what he was going to say. It was exciting, being able to talk with someone about a boy who he had secretly admired for more than a year.
"Um,... well he's my age almost exactly," Daniele said. "And we're nearly the same height, but he weighs more than I do."
Lane nodded receptively. "Blond? Blue eyes? Right or left-handed."
"He's a Methodist," Daniele offered. How could he even begin to describe the most handsome boy in the world.
"That's very good," Lane said with emphasis so that Daniele giggled. Not content with one giggle, he added, "I wouldn't like to see you dating one of those fundamentalists."
"Dating?" Daniele repeated. He blushed again, restoring the color that had only just faded. "Are you crazy, Mr. Lane?"
"I'm crazy in love with you," Lane sang with a unidentifiable accent that made Daniele laugh. "You wouldn't like to go on a date with him?"
"Date?" Daniele repeated yet again. He thought about it for a few seconds and slowly smirked. "You're weird. A boy can't date another boy."
"He can't? I suppose you're going to tell me that boys can fall in love as well."
"With other boys?" Daniele clarified.
"Well, don't forget that all boy lovers were boys once themselves," Lane reminded him. "Even me."
"You?.... You dated a boy, Mr. Lane?" Daniele asked uncertainly.
Lane silently wished that Daniele would stop calling him Mr. Lane. "Yes, as a matter of fact. They weren't exactly dates, but we went places together. But right now we're not talking about me. Remind me to tell you about Alan Middleton one day."
"Okay." Daniele smiled gleefully. Already, he felt better. It always helped to be able to talk about what he was feeling. "He's got dark brown hair that curls a lot, especially at the back. And he has green-brown eyes. Oh, and he's right handed, at least I think he is. We don't have class together so I've never seen him write or anything."
Daniele did not have to explain why they were in different classes. However, Lane was certain he knew why. Daniele was placed in classes for advanced students ever since he started school.
"Okay, so the basics are dark brown hair, brown eyes, Methodist,.... Let's get to the good stuff."
"Well, his dick for one thing. You must have seen it if you're on the swim team with him."
Daniele nodded. How often had he looked furtively at the other boys. He had committed every detail of Carter Browning's body to memory. He had an innie navel, which was a matter of fascination if only because Daniele's was not. He glanced at Lane, who raised his eyebrows suggestively and waited.
"His dick is way different to mine," Daniele giggled. "The head part is sort of funny, because it's like a big round knob on the end. It's fat and it sticks out a lot further when he gets a stiffie. And he's circumcised too," he added.
"Bigger or smaller than yours?"
"Bigger,... of course." He sounded petulant. "Hell, every boy's dick is bigger than mine."
"Really?" Lane said in a tone of disbelief, although a simple downward peek would have been more than enough to confirm what Daniele said. "Who cares? I read somewhere that big dicks are actually less sensitive."
Daniele rolled his eyes. He could have easily described Carter's scrotum and testicles as well, but he was jealous. The other boy had in abundance what was depressingly lacking from beneath Daniele's penis. After he finished swimming a two-hour practice his was so shriveled that it seemed as if there was nothing there. By contrast, Carter was left with a wrinkled walnut-sized hemisphere.
"He has a cute butt," Daniele added after what seemed to be a very long pause.
"Good, that's very important," Lane laughed. "I'm sure you know why."
Daniele smirked back at him.
"His is, well,... it's like my brother's butt. It's kind of plump so it looks a bit like two balloons have been squashed together," he explained with a giggle. "It's not like mine at all."
"Oh, so we're talking boy-bubble-butt. How incredibly sexy," Lane joked.
Daniele returned a look of exasperation. Yet, inside, where his desires were feeding rapaciously on every thought and memory of Carter Browning, an intense thrill ran through him. It struck him that `bubble-butt' was a very accurate description.
"He's really sexy," Daniele agreed cheerfully.
"So,..." Lane hesitated. The tone was that of an infatuated boy, and he was envious of the object of Daniele's affections. "It sounds like you have a crush on him. You do, don't you?"
"Ah,..." Daniele stalled.
"I'll take that for a yes," Lane continued. "So the big question is,.... would you like to?"
"Have sex with him?" Daniele finished in a rush. "Yeah, I guess. I mean who wouldn't? He's so good-looking," he added without a break.
"But you haven't yet?" Lane asked.
Even though he knew the answer, or thought that he did, because part of him wanted Daniele to have sex with a boy close to his own age. He felt a passing sense of relief, more hope than reality that perhaps Daniele might be able to redirect his desire from little boys.
The boy's head moved slightly in denial. "I don't think he's interested in guys."
"Does he have a girl friend?"
"I don't think so."
"Okay,... Do you remember anything that suggests he likes girls more than boys?"
"How can I tell?" Daniele rebuked. "He talks about girls sometimes and I've noticed that girls look at him a lot."
"I bet they look at you too. They do, don't they?" Lane teased, although he wished that Daniele never looked back. Some boys were like that, attracting a coterie of girls who were more than happy to be seen in their company. And while he wanted it not to be true, he was confident that Daniele Webster had a much larger set of female admirers than Carter Browning. Most girls knew a good thing when they saw it.
"No!" Daniele snapped. "Don't be crazy.".
Lane laughed. "Then, dear boy, if you're right I'd have to say that they're the crazy ones, not me."
"You're a boy lover so go figure," Daniele scoffed. "Anyway, they've probably figured out I'm a weirdo."
"Do you spend a lot of time with him?" Lane asked, intending to redirect the topic back to Carter Browning, who clearly interested Daniele far more than he was letting on. He wanted to move away from the one topic that was guaranteed to upset his friend.
"You mean other than in the pool? Nope, at least not so far."
Daniele smiled and slowly lifted his shorts up, covering his genitals. His penis still in that half-erect stage that implied arousal was in limbo. Like most young boys, Daniele tended to get an erection in the proverbial `wink of an eye' and keep it for `perpetuity'.
"Meaning I'm already late," he answered coolly. Suddenly, he was tired of being teased.
Lane regarded him for a few moments before his intuition provided the logical explanation. "Carter isn't doing too good at school isn't he?"
Daniele shrugged knowingly.
"Yeah," Daniele answered abruptly.
Lane rubbed his chin. "You know, the law isn't all that different for boys having sex together. Even though a lot of psychologists would agree that it's normal for boys your age to engage in sex play as a way of finding out how their bodies work, it's illegal nowadays. If you do anything with him, just make sure he wants to as well. There's less chance of him telling that way."
"No way is that going to happen," Daniele said adamantly.
He smiled at Lane. He had enjoyed being touched even though it was not what he really wanted. He possessed something that Mr. Lane wanted and for some reason that he did not quite understand, he liked making the man feel good. He tried to decide what he would do if the opportunity arose with Carter. They studied each other in silence. Their friendship had become much stronger that afternoon, but it could never be more than that.
Then, having rearranged his clothes and replaced the book in its rightful place on the shelves, Daniele said good bye. Lane watched him leave, bouncing happily down the front steps to the sidewalk where he unchained his bicycle. Daniele turned and grinned, waved farewell, and rode in the opposite direction to the one he usually took to go home. He rode away from the University and towards a neighborhood of large houses almost all of which were a hundred years old.