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!
Ever since President Denton's initiative to put all pedophiles behind bars for life began late in 2003, the nation's prisons have been complaining of overcrowding. Over 15,000 pedophiles have been arrested in the last six months alone, which when added to those men who are already serving life sentences under the Two Strikes Law, brings to the total to over 67,000. While that number is high enough, the greater problem is that over 34,000 men are either awaiting trials or sentencing for crimes of pedophilia because of the crack down. Based on recent conviction levels, it is expected that more than 30,000 of them will receive life sentences.
Officials of the U.S. Department of Justice (which manages the Federal prison system) and representatives of more than forty states met in Dallas, Texas for three days to discuss possible solutions to the looming crisis. Some of the options explored included using privately managed jails and expanding the capacity of already overcrowded prisons. It was decided that the federal goverment would examine ways to quickly construct a large number of facilities, sharing the expense with the states. It is estimated that as many as 50,000 new cells are needed at a cost of $80 billion, based on the existing standards for prisons. However, one of the recommendations that was to be studied involved building lolw-cost prisons in out-of-the-way locations where land is cheaper.
"The traditional prison farm is something that most people have tended to overlook as a cost effective means of housing a large number of prisoners. It's been my experience that this type of prison can become self-sufficient over time. They are generally cheap to build and operate. Most of our pedo-prisoners are rated at low to medium security and are ideal for prison farms. They are usually willing to work after they've had treatment," said Brett Gerber, warden at Canterfield Farm, part of the Missouri prison system. he was referring to Missouri's requirement that all prisoners who carry the da Vinci gene are sterilized if their sentences exceed ten years.
On the way home, filled with increasing tension and unsettling trepidation, Daniele used his fingernail to slit the plastic covering that enclosed the kit. From the outside it was harmless, featuring the picture of a smiling boy in a white t-shirt and shorts. Daniele thought he could not have been more than eight years old. He was good-looking, a bit like Grey in some ways. All boy. His arms and legs were stretched out, replacing the man in Leonardo da Vinci's diagram of the man inscribed within a circle and square. The label was innocuous at first glance. A bold blue logo on the side announced: 'NICE' with the 'I' and 'E' used as the basis for two other letters, 'L' and 'V', above and below the letter 'C' respectively. The same logo was on the front of the boy's t-shirt. Daniele could not determine whether the letters were supposed to say 'LIVE', or 'EVIL'. It was designed to fit within a pink circle, a somewhat dynamic circle for an oblique line angled back to the boy, almost as if it pointed to his groin. Underneath was 'Neutra-CUP', and 'Size 10, volume up to 1 cc'. Only the small print revealed anything about its true nature: 'Approved by the National Institute of Sexual Health', 'Caution, radioactive material inside' and 'Not to be used by children under 6'.
It was a family rule that the kids always sat in the back seat of the car, because it was safer there. He would have much preferred to be sitting in the front seat, but for once, he appreciated the privacy afforded by the back of his mother's seat. His hands trembled as he opened the cardboard box and separated the parts, a silver-foil packet that contained the cup, a booklet, a tube of ointment, a pink rubber band about 1/2 inch thick and of the same diameter, a plastic bottle labeled 'Hydrogen Peroxide'. He felt a strange fascination when be began to read the instructions that came with the kit.
The function of the 'Neutra-CUP' was explained in the first paragraph: "The 'Neutra-CUP' is a Contained Unmanning Procedure (CUP) device that if properly used, can quickly and effectively achieve sterilization by testicular attenuation. It has been developed to fulfil the requirements of the Natural Intervention to Curb Evil Act; in particular the completeness, permanence, and verifiability of the elimination of testicular function in prepubertal males. The first two requirements are fulfilled within 48 hours of installation. Radiation-induced DNA damage quickly results in cessation of cell development, preventing all testicular functions from occurring in later years. Continued use causes anything contained within the device to contract and diminish in size. Verifiability is possible within ten days to two weeks after the device disengages from the scrotum."
The words struck home, unsettling him even more than anything that the doctor had said during the examination. Unemotional, technically precise, leaving nothing to the imagination. He would be completely, permanently, and verifiably unmanned when it disengaged. He knew what the words meant, even `testicular attenuation'. His balls would shrink. It was that simple. The doctor said the cup dropped off after the process was completed. She had called it being neutered and she had talked about his being unable to father children and pass the gene to them, but the changes it wrought were much worse. What it meant was that he would never grow up to be a man like his father or Mr. Lane. He closed his eyes and willed himself not to lose control and cry.
"Passive resistance", he murmured softly.
As he read, Daniele felt around the hemispherical halves of plastic cup. It was small, each half of the size-ten cup when joined would form a sphere smaller than a ping-pong ball. It was safely sealed in a foil bag, but he could easily insert his finger into the concavities by depressing the foil. The void that would be formed inside the cup when it was closed did not seem large enough to hold even one of his testicles. Neither did it seem threatening. His finger circled slowly as if trying to find something inside the little hemisphere that could harm him. It felt smooth with just the slightest hint of a protruding lip where the two halves came together.
His face still felt hot even though the window was wound halfway down. He returned to reading, to thinking. Breathing took effort, almost sighing when he exhaled. He had a thousand questions, things he wanted to say, but he sat in silence. His mother was quiet as well. That bothered him. Normally, she was talkative when they were alone. It was one of the reasons why he liked being with her. Every few minutes, whenever he looked up from reading, he noticed her eyes reflected in the rear vision mirror. She was watching him. He tried to concentrate. The pictures in the booklet did not help. Well, they did and they didn't. It was strange looking at photographs of another boy's genitals although under different circumstances he would have been entranced. He wondered if the genitals belonged to the boy on the front of the package. There was no way of telling, but what he observed somehow looked artificial. The penis was circumcised and limp, perhaps as long as two inches. It could easily belong to a boy as young as eight, but none of the pictures inside the booklet showed his face.
The pictures were all about before, installing, and after, when the little ball finally dropped off. Afterwards was unsettling. The boy's penis was still the same as far as Daniele could determine, but unlike the beforehand picture which showed a pink smooth pouch with loose, almost translucent folds of delicate skin that revealed the mounds of two testicles, in the afterwards picture there was very little to see underneath the boy's penis. It looked as if the boy's scrotum had shrivelled up. Daniele felt squeamish. Yet, even as he wanted to put the booklet down and look out the window as they drove through the city, he kept looking at the images. In a few weeks, he would be like that. With nothing there. Neutered. That was what they called the treatment. Nothing left. He choked with despair, muffling his sob with his hand until it passed and he had to look again.
Even though Daniele had looked at plenty of photographs of naked boys that he found on the Internet, it was strange how the images in the booklet affected him. There was the same curious interest, the same satisfying awareness that always came when he saw small hairless genitals like his own. Except when he was with Mr. Lane, he kept his interest hidden, a shameful secret, furtively scanning to feed his hunger, vaguely realizing what it meant, but still too young to appreciate the full meaning of it beyond the need to keep it hidden. Pictures of young boys always had that effect on him. If they were older, with hair on them, he quickly lost interest. However, he liked what he saw in the booklet. He felt the same glow of excitement, the nervous shiver that made his heart beat faster. It was like looking at Grey or Nicky again. He could not stop looking, even though he made several efforts not to look. Again and again, he was drawn back to them. One of pictures in particular was magnetic. He studied the photograph of the boy's genitals before the little blue ball had been placed. Blue was size 15. The boy was several years younger than he was and his testicles were noticeably bigger. They hung lower too at the bottom of the pouch, not clinging to the underneath of his penis like Daniele's did. It was disheartening to say the least, but what he saw was also thrilling. Once the plastic cup was installed it looked weird, yet strangely exotic.
Finally, he put the booklet down. He had read enough. He had seen enough. The thrill was gone. The very thought of what happened to his body once it was on depressed him. Having it on would be strange, but it was far worse when it had dropped off. Then, all that was left was a slightly darker, wrinkled fold of skin hanging under the boy's penis. It was pitiful, but also reassuring in that it appeared unhurt. However, somehow, some undefined way, the boy had been transformed. Manhood had disappeared. The pink, loose skin that encased the two small egg-shapes that could be seen in the before-photograph had vanished. But how? Nothing had been taken out or cut off. It was simply gone, leaving a streamlined look that was not unattractive in its own way. But, despite what the doctor had said, and how convinced she had been at the time, he knew that it had to hurt for that to happen.
"Yeah, Mom?" He sat up and closed the booklet so he would not be distracted.
"I was very proud of you today."
"Huh? Yeah, me too." He tried to sound brave.
"Are you worried?" She glanced back at the mirror. "You're worried, aren't you Dani?"
Daniele shrugged. He was not about to reveal how he felt. He was not even sure himself. His hand moved. He tried to resist the urge to comfort himself. Mr. Lane said it was like that, a hunger that was always there, a beast that needed to be fed, and it never went away. Never.
"Mom, I don't want to be a bad person," he said simply.
The urge to open the book and look intensified. His hand pulled back guiltily away that if he opened the book he would be doing what pedophiles did.
"You aren't a bad person," she said consolingly.
"I don't want to spend the rest my life worrying about,..."
"I know, Dani. I don't want you to go to jail either when you're older."
"Maybe I can control it, Mom?"
For a moment he felt better, hopeful. His eyes flickered down to the booklet again. He did not want to open it. He needed to open it and look. He told himself that if he did, he would turn to the photograph of the little boy who had been 'raped'. He could feel the boy's pain. There were tears on his six-year-old face. The booklet said he was lucky to be alive after the pedophile had finished with him. The booklet did not say exactly what had happened to him. However, Daniele knew. A boy was 'raped' when a man's penis was forced into his anus. He felt miserable. Other than killing himself, there was no other way. Supposedly, some NISH scientists were working on a cure, but it might take years. Until then, this was the only option.
"Mom?" he asked curiously.
"There's one thing I don't understand."
He thought for a moment. He had read half a dozen books about genetics that Mr. Lane had loaned him. They were difficult to read, at least until he understood what all the words meant. Now, he understood more than most college graduates. The subject of genetics was not as complex as it seemed.
"If I have the gene, why doesn't Joel?" he asked. His mother did not answer. "Or Dad for that matter?"
He did not expound. His father was an enigma as far as Daniele was concerned. His father was not like his friends' fathers. He never wrestled or rough-housed with his father. Joel did sometimes, but it stopped as soon as Daniele wanted to join in. It was almost as if his father did not want to touch him.
"I don't understand what you mean, Dear. What are you asking?"
It sounded to Daniele as if she was asking him to explain.
"Mom, this is what I know about it." Daniele thought for a few seconds, arranging his thoughts. "The da Vinci gene is carried by the father. It's on his Y chromosome so only boys get it, okay? That's why there aren't girl pedophiles."
"So the father must have it when he passes it to his son. I have it so the only way I could get it is from Dad. That means that Joel has to have it as well. But he doesn't, Mom. His DNA test came back negative for da Vinci. It's not even recessive for him."
"What are you getting at, Dani?" his mother asked. She sounded nervous.
"It doesn't make any sense, see? For me to have it and not Joel. Mom?"
"Yes, Dani.... I'm thinking."
"Mom," he said petulantly.
"Dani," she began nervously. She inhaled hesitantly. "This is difficult enough, Dani. Just be patient,...."
"Dad's not my real father, is he?"
It was equally likely, or should have been, that Joel was not his real brother. Yet, instinctively, Daniele had put his finger on the truth. He had that ability, a remarkable ability to make sense from a very complex situation.
"Uh, um, well, Dani,... you're right. He's not your father. It's hard for me to explain, Dani." There was a long pause. "Your father,.... when we wanted to have you,... he couldn't,.... for some reason. Some men are like that. His sperm were messed up in some way so I couldn't conceive. Maybe he used some chemicals in the shop. We don't know. There was a special program at the University, at the fertility clinic there. I had what's called artificial insemination."
"Oh!" Daniele considered it, his curiosity tempered momentarily. "Who's my real father then?"
"I don't know." She sighed. "I know that sounds terrible. They wouldn't say who it was. It could have been, well anyone, I suppose."
Strangely, he felt as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. It was so very obvious, or should have been.
"What about Joel?" Daniele asked abruptly.
"When Joel was conceived your father was able to,... We wanted another baby so badly."
"And you ended up with me," Daniele said miserably. "Because of some anonymous sperm donor."
"Dani! It isn't like that at all."
"Yes it is. It explains a lot of things."
"Why Dad loves him more. Try to tell me that Dad doesn't like him best! I'm not blind, Mom."
"Dani! Dani, please,.... Don't be like this. I love you."
"I know Mom." he closed his eyes and shook head in frustration. "I love you too. I can't help being angry, that's all."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Daniele did not answer right away. Part of him did not feel like talking. However, it was easy to talk to his mother. She did not always understand what he was talking about, but she listened.
"Mom, do you know what I read a few days ago? It was about the Y chromosome. This scientist said at first glance it was largely landfill! He said it looked like a dinky chromosome with a paltry number of genes, until you studied it in detail. It has sixty million building blocks, but only a few dozen gene families on it compared to like 2,000 on the X that I got from you. Did you know that? Eventually it might even go away all together. There's only one master gene on it and it's called SRY and it makes boys instead of girls. And out of a couple of dozen other genes that are mostly doing nothing important, there's one gene, the da Vinci one that goes around triggering all sorts of things on the Y chromosome, and probably on the X as well. And I got fucked because of it!"
"Dani!" Had she heard correctly? Daniele almost never used bad words, not like his brother and father.
"Well, I'm sorry, Mom, but I did. I didn't mean to cuss. Me and 3,000 other boys my age got screwed because we've got the da Vinci gene and some of us might end up as pedophiles. Do you know how they can test for it so easily? Because there are so few genes on the boy chromosome. They just stain it and it shows up as a blue stripe. I get a blue stripe and they want to cut my balls off because of it."
"You're not going to be castrated," his mother sighed. "I would never let that happen."
"Well neutered then! It's almost the same thing. I won't have balls after it's done. Well, none worth having, anyway."
"I'm sorry Dani."
"It's not your fault."
He relented. It was not her fault. It was not his fault either. It was no one's fault but God's and there was no point blaming him.
"Yes it is...." She paused. Finally, she sighed. "It was me who wanted another child. Not your,..." She hesitated to say father, not now, not after what she had just told him. "Dad." She barely managed to get the word out.
Daniele heard her voice crack. She didn't look up into the mirror again, but he saw her hand lift to her face. He bit his tongue. His mother was crying. He breathed out, realizing that the sooner it was done the sooner it would be over. He was tired of banal platitudes and being angry. There was nothing that he could do to stop himself. The booklet was very clear on that. In a few years his hormones would begin to flow and his urges would overpower him. He had already screwed up with Grey and Nicky, and if that was not bad enough, there was always Carter. He could not even stop himself from looking at pictures of boys. As if to prove the point, he looked at the pictures in the booklet once again, relishing what he saw, feasting his eyes on the little boy's penis and pink scrotum. He could lick it,... taste its sweet softness, feel the little hard stalk dancing on his tongue. It was all he could do not to lift the booklet up and press the image to his lips. He had to do it. It was either that, or spend his life in jail. He knew he would be better afterwards. He could live and be nice, or live and be evil. It should not have been a difficult choice.
A few minutes later, the car pulled into the driveway and stopped. Daniele gathered together the few items that came with the kit, and the plastic packaging. He followed his mother into the house, a small two-story wood-frame house on a fifty-foot-wide lot. The house needed painting. The front garden was mostly roses and stunted evergreen shrubs. It had that overgrown look that most of the houses in the neighborhood tended to have. There were nicer homes a few blocks closer to the University and the shopping area where Mr. Lane's bookstop was.
He went up to his bedroom and closed the door. The last thing he wanted to see was his older brother, half-brother really, he thought wryly. Joel knew where they were going, that Daniele and his mother would probably be home late. He tensed. It was difficult not to be resentful. He kept thinking 'why me?' even as he spread the items out on his bed.
There was no going back. His hand shook as he picked up the foil packet. The warning was repeated in bold black and red. 'Contains RADIOACTIVE Material. Handle With Care.' There were instructions underneath in smaller lettering. It was hard to read. He had to go back twice. His eyes watered. He blinked. Damn, he was crying. He shook his head, muttering under his breath, 'passive resistance.'
It was easy to open the foil packet. It was almost as if it wanted to be opened. The red plastic object slid out and into his hand. Daniele breathed out. It looked harmless, just like a child's toy, except for the silvery plastic film that lined the inside of each cup. According to the booklet, that was the last thing to be removed.
Daniele stood up. He swallowed, still thinking about what Mr. Lane said two days earlier. His life would still go on. He could always find happiness if he wanted. But no matter what he had to retain his self respect. He could do that by `passive resistance.'
His hand moved to his waist and he momentarily fumbled with the metal button of his jeans. It was always difficult to open. It didn't help that his hand was trembling. He looked down and made a deliberate effort, finally levering the button through the hole. He pulled the zipper down. Then, with his hands on either side, he pushed his jeans down to his knees. He stood there, despondent, regarding the small bulge in his white briefs. He had seen enough of his friends on the swim team or at sleep-overs to know that his was not very large. Most boys were a lot bigger, even at ten years old. He had never felt inferior until then.
He shrugged and pushed his briefs down to join his jeans. Abruptly, he sat back down on his bed. Perhaps he should have locked his door. The last thing he wanted was someone to come in. However, he didn't get up. He reached down and shoved his jeans and briefs down to his ankles. His bare legs were long, firmly muscled as only muscles can be when they swim for an hour and a half every day. He straightened up. He breathed out.
"This is it," he said aloud, but to himself. "Passive resistance, Dani. You have to do this, but you don't have to accept it, and you don't have to like it, and,...."
He took a deep breath. He was seconds away from bursting into tears. It was easy to say be brave, but it was hard to be brave when the time came. It was time to put it on. He sighed.
"Just do it and get it over."
He picked up the instruction book and opened it to the section on installing the cup. Unlike the first page, it was written in easily understood terms, as a series of steps. If there was any doubt about what needed to be done, the photographs removed it. This time he looked at the pictures in a different way. He placed his knees wide apart and picked up the rubber band. This was the easy part the book said. He positioned it and carefully spread his fingers to stretch it out. He leaned forward, looking down intently as he brought his hand up from underneath, his fingers moving around his rounded taut scrotum until the band was positioned.
His heart skipped a beat as the band slipped from his fingers and around his scrotum. He dared to looked down. It was tight enough that it pulled into his pouch, making a dumb-bell shape of his scrotum, but not so tight that it pinched or hurt. It felt strange, almost,.... almost enjoyable he allowed himself to think. There was excitement too. The book didn't talk about that, but it there nonetheless. He could feel it, his adrenaline surging, making his heart rate increase, increasing his excitement, stimulating his senses. The thrill kept getting stronger as he looked downward. The booklet mentioned that erections were usual. That it was nothing to be worried about, and certainly no cause for embarrassment. Daniele's penis hardened quickly. He watched it grow, extending outward, lifting up, thickening ever so slightly. Finally, fully hard, it stuck straight out, all boy and quivering with a life of its own. Under any other circumstances, he would have touched it, played with it, pulled it down between his legs and let it go so that it slapped against his lower belly. But not this time. He regarded it, the symbol of virility and maleness with dispassionate disinterest. He licked his lips and made himself take a deep long breath to settle down.
He glanced back to the booklet to make certain that he did not skip any of the steps.
"Make sure that both testicles are inside the band," he read aloud. "The rubber band provides a cushion and prevents injury to the skin."
He felt carefully. What the booklet said next about what to do if they were not inside the band, did not apply. He moved on to the next step, picking up the small tube of ointment. He unscrewed the cap and, following the instructions carefully, squeezed out a long bead of white cream onto his finger. He started to apply it to his scrotum. It felt cool at first. By the time he had applied the second bead and rubbed it into his scrotum, he could feel a pleasant warmth beginning. The photograph showed the boy's scrotum was almost white with ointment so Daniele added more, applying it liberally. When the skin was completely covered he wiped the excess from his finger with one of the paper towelettes that came in the kit. His knees trembled. It was even warmer than it had been a minute earlier. There was a tingling sensation, not itchy, but reassuringly pleasurable. He wondered vaguely what chemicals were in the cream. It smelled a little like the lotion his father used when his muscles were sore.
How long was five minutes? Daniele glanced at the cartoon character clock on the wall. He could not stop himself from looking down, from seeing what was happening. Nothing really. His scrotum appeared to be loosening, sagging the same way it did when he was hot or lying in the bathtub. He looked away, his eyes wandering around familiar territory. A lot of the books he saw belonged to Mr. Lane's bookstore. On loan. He had to return them eventually, but there was no rush. There were not many toys, just a few. He noticed Mervin Muddle, the teddy bear. He could not remember why he had called the teddy bear that. Mervin was old and bedraggled, but his. He had owned Mervin for as long as he could remember. Mervin always sat next to his bed. Next to Mervin was the trophy from the State Swimming Championships. Fourth place wasn't bad, not really when he thought about how hard he had tried. He was going to miss practice. He looked down again.
The ointment had worked its magic. Daniele stared. He had never seen his scrotum soft like that. It was fully relaxed, the skin hanging in loose folds after it emerged from underneath the rubber band. It was streaked with white cream. Now, Daniele was able to locate and pull each testicle individually. They felt tiny, like jellybeans that jiggled around and tried to escape his fingers until he managed to get hold of them. The slippery delicate skin was so warm it was almost glowing.
"Remove the protective plastic from the inside surface of each cup," Daniele read aloud.
He put the booklet back on the bed and picked up the red cups. They were hinged together because they could be closed, but there was no sign of the hinging mechanism unless he looked very closely. With his fingernail, he picked off one of the tabs and carefully pulled away the plastic, wondering what radioactive material would look like. There was nothing to be seen. Invisible, insidious, injurious, nothing there. Inside was red plastic, exactly like the outside. He shrugged. It was difficult to believe that it could harm him. Perhaps it was inside the plastic. He leaned over to read the booklet, going over Step 7 again. This was the crucial step.
"Step 7. Place the cup on the scrotum. This is done by holding the right cup in the right hand against the right side of the scrotum. Using the fingers of your left hand, gently press the scrotum and both testicles into the right cup. Then bring the left cup across and underneath, making sure that both of the testicles remain within the cups. Slightly rotate the cups to settle the scrotum until it is comfortable. The rim of the cups should be over the rubber band. Close the cups together until it latches. You will hear a click when the connection is made."
He placed the red cup against his thigh, awkwardly moving it toward his scrotum. It touched. With his left forefinger he lifted his scrotum, pushing it into the cup. His heart was pounding. The rubber band seemed to be too high so he wriggled it down, lower until it became tighter and his testicles were forced into a ball. He could almost hear Mr. Lane saying that this was his moment of truth. He was going to be brave. Passive resistance, like Mr. Lane suggested. Don't do it willingly but because he had to, because they made him do it. He would do it because there was no other choice. He stopped for a moment and made certain that it was placed correctly. Carefully, he brought the left cup up to meet its opposite half. They had to be locked together to make a whole. It was actually quite simple. A child could do it.
"Ouch! Fucking hell!" Daniele squealed.
He jerked the cups away, anything to get rid of the sharp pain. The cup had pinched his skin enough to leave a small red mark.
He tried again, being even more careful, trying to make sure that both testicles were contained so that the slippery loosened skin would not be caught. The greasy ointment made it almost impossible. He tried to reposition the rubber band. He almost had it closed. At the last second, just before it clicked, he stopped. A tiny furrow of skin was caught. He tried to rotate the cup but succeeded only in allowing one of his testicles to escape.
After three more attempts, he stopped and re-read the instructions to make sure he was doing it correctly. In the photographs, it looked very easy and the instructions were no different. It should have gone on without any difficulty. He had pinched his scrotum twice. Obviously, despite what the doctor had claimed, it was a two-person job. It was simply impossible for him to hold it in place, get his scrotum settled properly, and close it with two hands. It was as if his scrotum was too large to fit inside even though it was the correct size for his testicles.
Daniele never gave up easily. He tried for thirty minutes before he stopped.
"Okay, Mom, I guess it's up to you," he groaned to himself.
He stood up, lifting his briefs and jeans at the same time. He was frustrated. His excitement had ebbed. he went downstairs, carrying the tube of ointment and the plastic cup. His mother was in the kitchen, preparing caesar salad for dinner. No one in the family liked salad as much as he did. It was intended to be a special treat. He watched her for a moment, until she noticed him. She smiled, a smile that was anticipating, hopeful, alert to his mood.
"I can't get it on," Daniele said huffily. "I tried dozens of time."
"Why not? It's the right size. The doctor said it was. Are you sure you're doing it properly?"
"Yeah. I followed the instructions exactly, Mom. I almost get it on, and then it pinches. It hurts like hell."
Mrs. Webster nodded sympathetically. "Perhaps you'll have to go back to the clinic."
Daniele grimaced. "I don't want her,..." He sighed. "I don't like her touching me, Mom,..."
"Well, then just what do you have in mind?"
He swallowed, feeling the heat flush into his face. His mother was not a prude. Neither was he. Still, he could not remember when she had last seen him naked. It must have been years earlier when she used to give him baths, before he started taking showers by himself.
"I thought maybe you could,..." he suggested.
He gave way to a shy smile, a smile that slowly changed until it was confident, surprisingly so. He had nothing to be afraid with his own mother. She had always loved him, and she would go on loving him despite what was happening to him.
"Me?" She sighed. "I,... Dani,.... I don't think,.... I couldn't, Dani. Please don't ask me to."
"Because,..." She sighed loudly, wondering why he did not understand. Dani, because if you must know, I feel bad enough as it is."
She had been crying. Only then did Daniele notice her reddened eyes, the way she blinked, how she tried to avoid looking at him.
"I can't do it myself!" he said desultorily.
"When your father,... when he comes home from work. I can ask him, if you don't want to." She saw the look on her youngest son's face. "I'm sorry, Dani. I really am. I wish,... well, there's no point in saying it. You know as well as I do. What happened in the past is not something that can be changed."
"I don't want him. He wouldn't care if he hurt me."
"Oh Dani! You know that isn't true."
The expression on Daniele's face said otherwise. His fear was irrational, but that did not mean it was less real. They waited in silence, except for the drone of the television in the living room. The last thing Daniele wanted was for Joel to come into the kitchen, although he suspected that his mother had warned him to stay out of his brother's way.
"Mom?" Daniele began quietly. He felt subdued, resigned to trying to do it himself despite the pain, again becoming the stoic that Mr. Lane sometimes said he was.
"Dani, I can't, okay!"
"Please Mom?" he implored.
"Dani, if I'd known about this sooner.... We could have had it done when you were younger,... It's not fair." She sighed, dabbing at her eyes before the tears became visible. "If you can't do it yourself, then you'll just have to go back to Doctor Sutton on Monday. I'm sure it will take her only a few seconds to put it on."
"I'd rather Dad did it!" Daniele said angrily.
The words had venom in them. He could be like that sometimes. Capricious. Seething with emotions that he could not understand. Sometimes it frightened him. It made him hate himself, sometimes enough to think about alternatives, and one alternative in particular. He wished he had gone under the bus. It would be messy but it would be over quickly. He had always been impetuous by nature. His teachers called him high-strung and moody. His father called him `a bad-tempered son-of-a-bitch'. Mr. Lane had never called him anything even remotely like that. Impulsive and spontaneous, even rash and reckless, but he never used words that hurt. For some reason, Mr. Lane could always see the good side of him.
"Dani?" Mrs. Webster began in a soft calming voice.
"Yeah." His resolve weakened.
"I understand, honey. I know what you're going through."
That was all that she said for a long while. She went back to cutting up the salad, getting the last of the water off the lettuce, knowing that Daniele was still standing a few feet away, still watching her, still holding the things in his hand because he did not know what to do with them.
"Dani,... you like Mr. Lane a lot, don't you?"
Daniele nodded slightly, then realizing that she could not see him, murmured, "Uh huh."
For some reason he found it difficult to talk about Mr. Lane even though it was very easy to talk with him. Why was that, he wondered in the silence that followed? Part of it was a secret, the secret that he shared with Mr. Lane. They both loved boys, but it was more than that. Why did he feel unconstrained every time he visited the bookstore? It was like he had been set free. He was a different person. Sometimes they just sat and talked. They talked about kooky, zany, screwball things. Like if you pulled the wings off one side of a fly, would it always fly in circles. And the time they talked about 'dicks', about what if 'dicks' had personalities and could talk. His would be unruly and whimsical, and always ready with a wisecrack. Mr. Lane's would be predictable and determined, and always faithful.
That was the time that he had summoned up all his courage and demanded that Mr. Lane show him, because it was only fair after all. He was nervous, but so was Mr. Lane. It was like embarking on a great adventure. It was not the first time that he had seen a man's penis. He had seen lots of them in the showers at the swim club. Big ugly hair-covered ones. Men's penises were very different to boys' penises, even the ones who had started getting hair around the base. Yet, he was not repulsed. It looked a little like his own penis, only it was huge. It was also darker, almost red in color at the end. That was why he called Mr. Lane's dick, 'Rusty Cox'. They had not discovered the right name for Daniele's yet, although 'Randy Weiner' was a hot favorite. It seemed to be perpetually hard, at least it was whenever he was in the store. He could not help smiling when he remembered some of the other suggestions for penis names. Some names were obscene, of course, but most were hilarious. Mr. Lane's sense of humor was of the things Daniele liked best about him. They made up other names for each other constantly.
"Yeah?" Daniele murmured.
"I know,... you're,... you're close to him,... You told him about why you were going to see the Doctor today. You did, didn't you?"
She waited until he acknowledged that he had heard with anther muffled murmur. He sounded different.
"And you heard what Doctor Sutton said, didn't you? About the home schooling, and,... er,... well,... about the other things,... when you get back from camp?"
"Yes," he replied carelessly. "I heard."
His mind was on something else, but even if he had been pressed, he would have been unable to identify exactly what it was. It was not unusual for his anger to dissipate quickly. He had felt empty until his mother mentioned Mr. Lane. He thought about sitting in front of the fire, reading, curled up in the armchair. Winter had been a happy season for him. Except for the incident with Nicky, Spring had been fun as well. Until now.
"Do you want Mr. Lane, Dani? For the home schooling I mean. I could try, but it would be difficult find the time, especially with my job."
They both knew what she intended. It was more than home schooling. The doctor had talked about a mentorship program, although he did not understand what was involved. Daniele swallowed, still reluctant to admit how much Mr. Lane meant to him
She smiled enough to show that she understood. "Do you want to be with him?" she asked quietly.
She did not elaborate and Daniele did not respond. He stared down at the floor, at his sock- covered feet. Mr. Lane had told him once that to a boy lover, even a boy's feet were sexy. Every part of a boy's body was a switched that `turned on' a man's desire. It seemed a strange thing to say at the time. Then, a few days later he had seen his next door neighbor's bare feet, five-year-old Bobby, and he realized what he missed. Pink wriggly toes, perfect tiny toenails, endlessly ticklish. It made him hard.
"I think maybe he's the person you need to see, Dani."
"About what?" Daniele's head lifted up.
"Well, for one thing, about putting that thing, that cup thing on you. It's probably okay if he,..." She hesitated. "If he puts his hands on your,... body." She breathed out. It was not as difficult to say as she expected. "No one else would have to know," she added.
"You think I should go see him now?" Excitement crept into his voice. He wanted to see Mr. Lane just to let him know that he had done his best.
"I won't have dinner ready until your father gets home. It's at least another hour. You could ride down to the store on your bike, Dani. If you wanted to?" she added hastily.
Daniele smiled happily. Even if he only stayed a few minutes, it would be good to see Mr. Lane again. It was funny how he felt like that. Anxious and eager all at the same time. Mr. Lane said it was because he was a devoted friend, but inside they both realized it was more than that. Over the last few weeks something had changed between them. Part of it was what they shared as boy-lovers, and some of it was explained by what they did together, but they had been friends ever since Daniele had wandered into the bookstore on his way home from school. Knowing that he was going to see him again was enough to make him very nervous.
He said good-bye and hurried out to the garage, inserting the tube of ointment and the little plastic cups under his shirt and tucking it under the waist of his jeans so they would not fall out. As he pedalled down the driveway towards the street, he glimpsed his older brother watching him through the side window. They didn't wave at each other. He hated Joel for being normal.