A N.I.C.E. Boy, by Ganymede

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!

A N.I.C.E. Boy, Part 7

New Approach to a Difficult Problem

New York Journal, October 16th 2004

A deserted barn outside Anniston, Alabama, was the location for the first press conference with the newly appointed directors of the National Institute for Sexual Health. NISH was created by the Natural Intervention to Curb Evil Act that was passed by the House and Senate and sighed into law by President Denton only three weeks ago as part of the Administration's plan to crack down on pedophiles. The location and time of the announcement holds particular significance for the barn was the site of the recent horrendous murder of eleven young boys, and it was one year to the day after the last body was exhumed.

Speaking on behalf of the Tribunal that will be responsible for operating NISH, Martin Eckleston announced that a new far-reaching approach has been taken to eliminate the distasteful problem of pedophilia. "Throughout history, pedophilia has been the most repulsive crime against society. It is evil, an evil that is happening ever day. Wherever you look there are children being sexually abused. There is a pedophile under every rock. The people of this great nation have decided that something must be done to bring this plague of depravity and perversion to an end," Eckleston said in his introduction. "NISH has that responsibility. Working together, we can eradicate pedophiles and make the world a better place."

Scientific discoveries as recent as a year or two ago have opened the door to using genetic techniques to prevent pedophiles from attacking children. The da Vinci gene, proven to be the primary cause of the type of pedophilia that attracts men to young boys, can now be easily identified. The da Vinci gene is carried on the male's 23rd chromosome and can be revealed using a simple protein staining technique. Researchers are working towards a cure by gene therapy that can be applied to the fetus, but until that is achieved, Eckleston and his associates are leading the country in taking preventative steps. NISH has been operating unofficially since the end of July of this year, and have already developed treatment options and a marketing program to encourage parents of affected boys and the boys themselves to do their part in eliminating pedophilia.

"The problem is that as many as 140,000 males in the U.S. carry the gene in their DNA," said Doctor Wright, also a member of the NISH Tribunal and a leading expert in behavior modification. "Even if we can eliminate the gene before a baby is born, or in the future when we can use gene therapy to correct nature's mistakes, it will be many generations, perhaps as long as a hundred years from now before the evil is completely eliminated, and then only if everyone cooperates. This still leaves a lot of pedophiles on the streets where our children play. We need to take aggressive, forward thinking steps today in order to make it safe for our boys and girls to go to play."

"The first step is to identify those men and boys who carry the da Vinci gene," Eckleston said. "We are working with the newly created National Genetic Database to do that as quickly as possible. In so far as it is possible, the information will be keep confidential. However, since pedophiles pose such an enormous risk, it is essential than those people who are in situations where children are found, be identified immediately and the information made publicly available. It goes without saying that we will do everything we possibly can to help these unfortunate people, both men and boys, but the safety of our children comes first. The fact is that there is only one effective treatment for pedophiles. We must permanently remove their ability to have sex and prevent them from passing the gene on to future generations. Historically, sterilization has been achieved by surgical means, but we are hopeful that today's technology will allow us to offer other equally effective methods that are equally effective. All pedophiles, both young and old, should be strongly encouraged to avail themselves of these methods before they cause harm to our children."

The NICE Act established opportunities for treatment and provided incentives for males of all ages to voluntarily undergo permanent emasculation. Emasculation removes the ability to reproduce and effectively controls the libido. If it is done to boys prior to puberty it also eliminates the ability to engage in any injurious sexual activity such as might occur during penetration since the genitals will not attain adult size. One of the most important benefits to pedophiles if they are registered and treated will be that the so called `Two Strikes' Law that came into effect in 2002 will not apply to them. The Two Strikes Law was passed by Congress to prevent repeat sexual offenders from receiving light sentences. With two convictions for sexual offenses against children, a pedophile automatically receives life imprisonment. Once treated in accordance with NISH guidelines, a pedophile who continues to abuse children will be remanded for counseling and provided with the opportunity for aversion therapy.

"The fact is that we are seeing younger offenders than ever before," Eckleston said. "Some pedophiles aren't even in their teens. They are downloading pornography from the Internet, meeting in chat-rooms, and then going out and raping their little brothers and sisters. These kids are getting away with murder because most of them are too young to be charged as adults. Putting them in prison for life when they are older is not the answer. NICE gives some of them, the lucky ones you might say, a way out. When you think about it, losing one's testicles is a small price to pay for one's freedom."

While emasculation might appear to be severe to some people, "there is no other way of eliminating the problem," said Wright. "I wish there was. It would be nice if we could give a pedophile an injection and he would be cured forever. However, that simply is not possible. As long as the gene is passed on from father to son, all children are at risk. With the government targeting pedophiles for prosecution, this is the desirable way to go. It's quick and effective, with very few health consequences that supplementary drugs cannot prevent."

When asked whether the proposed treatment was extreme and analogous to what was done to Jews and Gypsies in Nazi Germany, Eckleston said, "I agree that some people might say it's extreme, but extreme measures are called for when you are dealing with an evil like pedophilia. I have made hunting down pedophiles my life's work. I know these people, I know the terrible harm they do to our children. I know what needs to be done and I am ready to do it. This evil is going to take many years to stop. It's not like we're going to be able to sterilize every da Vinci male during the next year or two, not when there are estimated to be as many as 140,000 of them. Initially, we are targeting those males who have the gene as a dominant trait since they pose the greatest threat but we will be offering treatment to all males who have the gene. Because da Vinci boys who have not reached puberty can realize the greatest benefits from treatment, they will receive our immediate attention."

Research has shown that about one percent of males carry the gene, but for most of them the gene is recessive, triggering very few, if any other genes on the chromosome at the time of conception. The gene is dominant in about ten percent of cases. "When the da Vinci gene is dominant, pedophilia is 100 percent guaranteed," Dr. Wright said without further elaboration. Research has shown that the dominant gene also causes exceptionally high intelligence and creativity. The gene's name was derived from Leonardo da Vinci, the brilliant Renaissance artist, scientist, and inventor, who was also a pedophile. "Eliminating the gene when it is dominant in such a small number of cases will rapidly remove it from the gene pool. It won't take more than a few generations and the problem will be gone for good," Wright said. "It's true that we're asking these boys to make a sacrifice, but it's really for their own good."

Of the three to four thousand da Vinci boys who are born each year in the U.S., only a few hundred will have a dominant gene, however it is expected that treatment will be made available to all da Vinci boys regardless of whether the gene is dominant or not since it is the only way to completely eradicate pedophilia.

Chapter 7. Lane's Bookstop, Liberty Street, Champain. October 21st, 2004

The boy who walked up the half-dozen steps and entered Lane's Bookstop, tilted his head in suddenly aroused curiosity even before the glass door closed behind him. He was still hungry to learn, still consumed by a tireless need to understand, still filled with a boy's wonder as he looked around. Few things ever held his attention for more than a few seconds, yet he took everything in with startling familiarity. The feeling of being there before, of being comfortable in that scholarly place was very strong. What had seemed shabby and untidy from outside, was replete with haphazard stacks of books, well-worn leather armchairs placed around a large fireplace, a Persian rug that was threadbare in spots. The smell, faintly musty from old books was soon put aside in favor of coffee.

"Can I help you find something?"

The boy jumped at the voice that seemed to have come out of nowhere. He spun around, quickly glancing down the nearest aisle of shelves, then back to the armchairs without seeing anyone. He abruptly took a step backwards, towards the door behind him. Only then did he look up the staircase. Close to the top of a long run of polished wood stairs, he saw feet, actually shoes, large brown suede shoes. Obeying his instinctive inquisitiveness, he crouched down so that his view was not obscured. There was a man standing high on the stairs in the dim light that was afforded by the fanlight over the front door. The boy stood up quickly, shaking his head.

"No. No, I'm just, er, I'm browsing I guess. If that's okay?"

The man nodded. "Browse away, young bookworm. I'm afraid I don't have much of a kid's section."

He sounded apologetic. There was no reason why there should have been a children's section in the store. Most of the store's customers were professors who preferred to buy rather than borrow their books from the library, or one of those unusual college students who enjoyed reading beyond the handouts and textbooks assigned in class and wanted books of their own.

The man began to descend the stairs, taking his time almost as if he realized that by moving faster he might scare away his only customer of the afternoon. Some of the stairs creaked, reassuring the boy that at least the man was not an apparition.

He smiled shyly. "I'm not looking for kid's books."

"Oh? You're hiding from bullies, perhaps? I'm not even certain I have a copy of Never- Ending Story."

That prompted the boy to quickly survey the room again. His smile widened for there were some similarities in what he saw to what he remembered of the story.

"No, not that? A customer, at last!" the man said with exaggerated enthusiasm. "Welcome to my library."

The boy hesitated, waiting until the man reached the bottom of the stairs. They regarded each other.

"Do you work here?"

"Actually, I'm Lane, of Lane's Bookstop," Lane explained.

"Oh!.... Shouldn't it be Bookshop?"

Lane slapped the side of his head. "I knew it. They told me there was a mistake when I had the sign made. Bookshop. Bookstop. How could I be so dumb? Who might you be? Unless you'd prefer I called you `bookworm'?"

The boy giggled. "I'm Daniele Webster."

"I love your dictionary," Lane jested.

"It's Daniele, not Daniel," the boy laughingly corrected. "I have an extra `e' in my name."

"Oh! Then you don't have a dictionary named after you? Pity."

Daniele laughed again. "Do you treat all your customers like this?"

"Only the ones who laugh at my jokes." Lane winked. "Seriously, may I help you find something, Mr. Webster?"

Quickly, Daniele shook his heads. "I'm browsing, remember?"

Lane gestured to the rows of shelves behind him. "Then you'll find the sciences over there. If you're interested, I have a good collection in medical books that more or less came with the store. Sciences goes all the way to the back by the way. You'll find each row is identified with what's in it. Then comes the humanities, only you'll have to go through there," he added as he pointed to an arched doorway that opened onto another long aisle of book shelves. There's many more upstairs. Mostly arts. If you're looking for fiction, you're in the wrong place."

Daniele nodded thoughtfully. "If I wanted something in psychology,... it would be in humanities,... or sciences?"

"Ah, an interesting question, and quite a complex situation to be in," Lane mused as he started to lead the way down the aisle. "I had something of a dilemma when I was arranging the store." He paused and turned to look at Daniele. "Now, there are some people would say psychology is a humanity. And there are those who would put it in science, but they're probably confusing it with psychiatry. Of course, sometimes it might even be considered an art form in itself."

Daniele looked at him with growing amusement, yet thinking he would better off if he browsed the aisles until he found what he was looking for. The last thing he wanted was for the man to ask him what in particular he was looking for. He was unsure of what he would do if he actually found the book he wanted.

Lane stopped in front of a long row of tall shelves. "Psych is down there," he explained. "About halfway."

"So it's a science then," Daniele observed smugly. "I thought so."

"Well, it is in my library," Lane joked. "Actually, there are some more books in humanities that might be called psychology, but they are more about sociology and culture."

"Like what?"

"Oh, like alternative lifestyles,....homosexuality,.... That sort of thing," Lane replied.

Daniele blanched as a sudden shiver ran through him. That word despised by every boy in the fifth grade! Quickly, he looked down to stare at his scuffed sneakers.

"If you don't find what you're looking for, just come and find me," Lane offered gratuitously. "I'll be up front catching up on my reading. That's the only reason to own a bookstore."


"I get to read all the books for free."

"But you could do that at a library," Daniele suggested.

"Hm. I never thought of that," Lane remarked. "You mean I could have bought an ice- cream store instead of this?"

Daniele laughed again, shaking his head in pretended disbelief. He headed off down the narrow passageway that was left between two walls of books, scanning the rows as he went.

"I found it," he called over his shoulder.

He caught of glimpse of the proprietor as he moved towards the front of the store. He quickly discovered that the psychology section occupied most of one side of the aisle. All of the books were used and very few of the had dust jackets. In a lot of cases he had to get close to see the titles and authors' names. For a few minutes he began to think that there was very little organization. Most of the books were not arranged by alphabetical order, or rather they had been arranged that way but over time the books had been replaced in the wrong locations. There was a section, perhaps forty or fifty books on child psychology. He went through them slowly, pulling some out of their assigned slots to look inside. The table of contents offered little information, or at least not the information that he was looking for. One book was titled `The Sexuality of Children: Birth to Adolescence'. His hand trembled as he extracted it from amongst its companion volumes. He licked his lips, not daring to open it until he made certain that no one could see what he was looking at. He listened, hearing the proprietor moving around at the front of the store. In his serious world, the man seemed to have a joke for everything.

"Finding what you want?"

"Uh, yeah,..." Daniele muttered before he realized that the man probably could not hear him. "Yes! I'm fine. Thank you," he called out in a louder voice.

"No need to shout," Lane shouted back. "You wouldn't do that in a library would you?"

Daniele laughed. "IT'S NOT A LIBRARY! It's a bookshop."

"That's bookstop by the way. With a 'T', not an 'H', I'll thank you to remember."

Silence descended again after the laughter ended. Daniele's hand shook as he lifted back the cover and the first few pages until he found the table of contents. Despite the promising title, there was little on the page to suggest it contained any of the information he wanted.

"Damn," he swore to himself.

He turned the book over and opened it at the index. He began by looking for `B', then following the list scanning for 'boy', but under that generic subject there was nothing even remotely close to what he wanted. Some time ago he had reasoned that being sexually attracted to boys was the same thing as being gay. He looked at `G' just to be certain. There was nothing under 'gay'. Without little hope he then turned on to `H'. This time, there were a dozen references under `homosexuality'. Hurriedly, Daniele began to look for the first one, page 105. He kept his finger inserted between the pages of the index to mark the place. He started skimming the lines of text for the right words. 'Boy', 'boys', anything to do with boys, but especially before puberty. His heart pounded in his narrow chest. His face when flushed when he had finished the two paragraphs at the bottom of page 105. Whoever had written those two paragraphs about innocent sex play between boys, could have written it about him and Grey. The book was clear on one thing, child sex play had no relationship to future sexual orientation. In fact, according to the author, i was not uncommon for boys to engage in sex play with their friends. It did little to reassure him. He remembered being frightened and excited at the same time, recollecting that the other boy's body was surely the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

He was barely able to return to the index to find the next reference. It was ten pages further on and it made a brief recommendation about dealing with allegations of sex abuse. He went to the next reference, finding it of even less use in explaining his quandary. One more fruitless yet franticly read paragraph convinced him that he had the wrong book. The rest of the books in the `Child Sexuality' section were even less informative.

And so it went as he slowly moved along the aisle to find a few rows dedicated to homosexuality. He worked from book to book, not missing a single title. He was very aware that the proprietor might return at any moment, yet the threat of discovery seemed to add to his excitement. There was something delightfully illicit about looking at the books. Some of the titles, while innocuous, were intensely thrilling in their implications to a ten-year-old boy, but in a perverse way because under ordinary circumstances they were restricted to adult readers. Finally, Daniele had the chance to understand something that every other boy found abhorrent.

He had so many questions, but one question was foremost. Why did he find other boys, young boys in particular, so,.... interesting? He also had questions about what he felt inside, about why he was so afraid, whether being attracted to boys meant that he would be attracted to men when he was older. He read very quickly, moving from the contents to the sections that looked the most promising. The only problem was that none of the books he looked at had anything to do with what he wanted to know. Most of the books were scholarly, filled with charts and graphs, and copious footnotes as befitted scientific publications. He rejected one after the other in growing frustration that was tormented by his anticipation of finding the mother lode among the books that were left. There was so much that he had to learn. There was no one he could ask, or cared to ask, or trusted enough to know what was on his mind. At least he had found some answers to other questions and what he was discovering as he hastily turned the pages filled him with excitement.

And so it was that Lane found him, so deep in his thoughts that he was unaware of the man's approach. Indeed, Lane even coughed, not once but twice to communicate his presence to the unwary boy. He knew that small section, the middle three rows of aisle ten was popular among some boys, but they had always been older. It was the only reason why young teenagers came into the store. It certainly wasn't because they derived any great pleasure from books or reading. They came to satisfy their prurient needs.

He coughed again when he was only a few paces away. This time Daniele looked up, his expression startled. The book, a thick tome with a white cover, dropped from his hand and clattered to the dusty floor. Immediately, Daniele bent to pick it up, noticing as he did so that the cover had separated from the pages and was hanging by a few white threads.

"I'm sorry," he mumbled awkwardly. "Really. I didn't mean to drop it."

Suddenly, he realized that the black-printed title was facing outward, that the man could, would see it if he happened to glance at it.

"Actually, it's my fault," Lane interjected. "I'm sorry I disturbed you. I came to see if you needed help finding what you want."

He managed to restrain a smirk when he recognized the book. `The Joy of Gay Sex,' a first or second edition, although it had little additional value because of that. Millions were printed and most of them were still around. It had been part of the homosexual revolution of the late 1970s. It was a popular browsing book, seldom purchased because it was embarrassing to carry it to the front counter. How often had other boys looked at the same drawings and tried to learn from pictures what experience and proper sex education denied to them?

Daniele slowly moved his hand back, endeavoring to conceal the title.

"It's okay. Uh, I was just browsing," he added hastily.

"Found anything interesting to read?" Lane asked.

Even as the words came from his mouth he tried to stop himself, but to no avail. Just looking at the boy took away his good sense. He was not at all blond-headed like the boys Lane had always preferred. He was handsome to a fault, striking in every way. It was as if every human feature that could be considered beautiful had been concentrated in a single person. His eyes were dark and intense, and above all, reflected a deep intelligence. What bare skin Lane could see, was absolutely flawless, so sleek smooth that he thought first of a newborn baby. It was without even the tiniest hair, as if that alone could spoil perfection. He was naturally almond-colored, but he was also delightfully tanned, not bronzed like some sun-worshipping boy-god, but with the hue of burnished and aged gold, and equally precious to his silent admirer.

Daniele shook his head abruptly, wishing that the man would stop looking at him, go away and leave him in peace. That way he could dispose of the book and effect a quick departure from the shop. The last thing he wanted to do was talk, not to this man, not to anyone. He hated the thoughts that were increasingly in his mind. Even worse was the fact that he could not stop himself from staring at every young boy who crossed his path. There was a word to describe people like himself and he sickened whenever he thought of it.

"I'm er,.... I guess I'm still looking," he replied nervously.

Lane nodded reassuringly. "That one's in the wrong section, I believe," he observed.

The boy swallowed, his face glowing. Momentarily, Lane tried to avert his eyes, but not to save the boy from guilt. He had been staring, feasting his eyes with what could only be called shameful satisfaction for only gay boys looked at that book. How many times had he promised himself that he would never succumb again. He had one strike against him by pleading guilty and accepting a suspended sentence for his punishment. But another mistake, just one more strike, and he would spend the rest of his life in prison. He turned and endeavored to examine some nearby titles as he tried to quell his rising excitement. It was always the same when he was confronted by a desirable boy. He had difficulty in controlling his actions.


"It's supposed to be in the humanities area," Lane muttered as he turned back. "But it's one of those books that does tend to move about a lot."

Awkwardly, Daniele glanced down at the book in his hand. His hand shook, his fingers clenching the book so tightly that his knuckles were white. He could no longer conceal what was obvious to both of them.

"Ah,.... I,... I'm sorry,...."

Lane was startled by the boy's fearful voice, so close to tears. The last thing he wanted was for the boy to be ashamed.

"Don't worry about the cover, bookworm. Those old paperbacks fall apart all the time. A bit of glue will fix it right up," Lane said. "If you've finished with it, I'll fix it now," he suggested.

Daniele reddened even more. How could he possibly hand the book over knowing what was inside? The last drawing he had looked at had showed, in shocking hand rendering with minimal coloring, the intimate details of anal sex. For the first time, Daniele realized that a man's penis could go almost halfway inside another man's anus. He knew they were men because they weren't boys. They had hair, a lot of hair, hair everywhere, so the picture really had not excited him. However, suddenly a lot of things made a lot more sense. There was a reason why he found other boys' bottoms so enticing.

"Don't be embarrassed,.... It's Daniele right?" Lane said in a heartening voice.

He hesitated as the boy's face became a shade redder. Crimson. Perhaps it would be better if he left the boy alone. All he was achieving by his presence was humiliating the boy. Daniele shifted his stance almost as if he was preparing to bolt. He had never been so ashamed.

"I expect a lot of boys have looked at that book over the years," Lane continued. "That's probably why it's so worn that the cover fell off," he added, trying to be funny but without much success.

Of course, the boy had to be gay, or beginning to feel urges that disturbed him enough to want to find out more. There was no other reason why he would be looking at the book. Yet, it was inconceivable that such a young boy would be sexually attracted to anyone, male or female. Lane put the thought aside until the boy's nervousness left no room for doubt. Neither of them spoke for a long time.

"Uh,..." Daniele swallowed. His throat was very dry.

"You can take it with you, if you want," Lane offered generously.

"You m-m-mean buy it?" Daniele asked guiltily. He had never stammered until then.

"Of course you can buy it if you wanted. I am in the business of selling books, although I don't sell very many. Or you could just borrow it too," Lane offered

"You'd let me do that?"

"Yes." He smiled slightly, hopefully reassuringly. The boy was as scared as a rabbit. "I would have liked the opportunity to read a book like that when I was your age.' Lane paused. Had he spoken too openly, even if he was only being honest? "However, I would have been worried sick about my parents finding it," he added quickly.

After a moment's thought, Daniele nodded awkwardly. "Yeah, I guess so."

Lane stepped back, giving the boy more space. He glanced over his shoulder. As far as he knew the store was empty. "Or you could read it here standing up,... if you liked."

"I kinda of was," Daniele admitted with a weak smile.

"You wouldn't be the first boy to do so. Sometimes I think of this place as a library more than a shop," Lane reflected. "You know what a library really is?" he asked absently.

Daniele shrugged dismissively. "A place to keep books."

"Well, of course it is. But it's more than that. If you were trying to sound erudite, well, sophisticated, you might say,..." he explained.

"I know what erudite means," Daniele interjected blandly.

"I expect you do. Anyway, you might say also that it's a place to store information or to record knowledge, but it's more than that. I like to think of a library as a place to keep our ideas. All sorts of ideas. Mostly we keep the ideas that we all agree on, but not always because there some ideas, perhaps only a few that most people disagree about," Lane expounded.

Daniele considered that. "But they are still worth keeping as ideas because to someone they might be important. If not now then maybe in the future," he added.

"That's very true. See, it's the different ideas that are really important."

Daniele nodded uncertainly. "Why?"

"Well, if we only had the ideas that everyone liked, it would be a very tedious world. I think it's the different ideas that allow society to evolve."

Although he preferred the man when he was being funny, Daniele liked being talked to as an equal. It did not happen very often. Mostly, people talked to him as a kid, as a ten-year-old boy who had no opinions of his own. They used words that ten-year-old boys would know, and they always wanted to talk about baseball or football. He resented that he was categorized as a dumb kid. Yet, this man was talking with him like he wasn't a kid. In fact, he even agreed with what the man had just said. How often had he found himself in disagreement with the people around him because his ideas were different? He saw a different world compared to his parents, his brother, his teachers, the other kids at school.

"There's a fire up front,... I don't mean the place is on fire."

Daniele laughed with relief.

"I've always found a fire and a comfortable chair to be very conducive to reading," Lane offered sincerely.

The boy glanced at him uneasily, feeling the weight of the book in his hand. there was nothing he would like to do more than read it. He was being offered the opportunity to spend time studying it until his questions were answered.

"And I promise I won't bother you if you won't bother me," Lane offered quietly.

He backed away, making one final eye contact with the boy, yet not in a threatening way. It was as if the man was signaling that he could be trusted, that he understood, that he could help solve the problems of Daniele's world. With that silent shared gaze, Daniele wavered. There was so much he needed to learn. Before he could answer the man departed, walking back to the front of the store, his shoes clicking on the wood floor. After a minute of deliberation that left him more confused than ever, Daniele followed with the book.

"Take a seat and put your feet up," Lane suggested with a broad gesture to the other chair that was adjacent to the fireplace.

He had stirred the embers and added a log which was smoldering in the heat. Daniele moved towards the chair and nervously eased down. It was comfortable, soft and cocoon-like as he sank into its leather embrace.

"Like I said, there's nothing like a good book, a comfy seat, and a fire," Lane observed. "You're probably too young for a glass of brandy. Make yourself comfortable and don't mind me, Bookworm," he added.

Daniele smiled slightly and curled up in the seat after making sure that his shoes were well away from the leather. He cautiously opened the book again. It parted at the page he had been looking at. He shivered, feeling a thrill surge through him. It was strange looking at the drawing. It did not seem possible that an anus could open far enough. It looked as if the man's penis was stuck halfway, unable to go in further, unable to withdraw. Absently, he licked his lips. Compared to his little penis, the man's organ was enormous. It looked more like a wooden stake than human flesh. Yet, there it was in all its masculine power, halfway inside another man's bottom. The idea was very different to anything he had ever known and it excited him beyond his wildest imagination.

Feeling less threatened, he began to read. The section was titled, `Losing your Virginity'. His eyes followed the lines of words. His mind tried to make sense of the words. It was all too implausible. Why would someone want to do that? To put a huge stake inside his butt? It would have to be very painful, yet the words suggested otherwise. There were instructions on how to loosen the muscle, how one needed to be patient, why it was important to be very careful. He turned the page, his eyes literally glued to the book for in his mind he had replaced the men with boys and he was one of them, the one behind. He reasoned that it would be even easier with another boy because his penis was so much smaller.

He began to create fantasies as he continued to turn the pages, inventing boys who had a remarkable similarity to his friends at school. But always he thought of Grey and that wrinkled dot between the little boy's buttocks. So tiny, yet so powerful that it gripped his finger like a vise and would not let go. he remembered how Grey had seemed to struggle, then said that it felt better when his finger was deeper inside. He wondered how his penis would feel if it had gone inside. It was certainly possible because his finger and penis were about the same size.


"Is everything okay?"

Daniele sat up again. Suddenly, he realized that it was much darker outside and he was close to the end of the book. How long had he been reading? An hour? Longer? The fire had died down again. He remembered that it had been blazing for a long while as Mr. Lane fed it a steady supply of logs.

"Yeah," he replied. "I'm doing fine."

"Good. You're not going to be late getting home, are you? It's nearly dark outside."

On cue, Daniele yawned. "I guess I'd better go."

He rose and stretched his legs, then realized that there was a small yet noticeable bump in the front of his jeans. Without thinking, he attempted to cover it with his hand, then with the book, but Lane turned away. He used the refilling of his coffee cup as a pretext for standing up. Halfway across the room to the sales counter area, he turned and watched Daniele's self conscious efforts to hide that part of his body. Lane smiled and shrugged as if an erection was an everyday occurrence.

"It looks like there's nothing wrong with your blood pressure, bookworm."

"Huh?" Daniele shuffled his feet and risked a downwards glance to confirm what he already knew.

"Every boy gets them," Lane said calmly.

"Gets what?"

Lane smirked. It was impossible to do otherwise because Daniele had moved the book a few inches to the side and away from his crotch. His erection pointed outward into his jeans, just large enough to distort the denim into a semblance of a bulge.

"Those," Lane chuckled.

"Oh,..." Daniele was visibly embarrassed for he promptly moved the book back a few inches, yet no matter the circumstances his mind always searched for greater understanding. "Why did you say there's nothing wrong with my blood pressure?" he added curiously.

"Because it's blood that makes it stick out like that," Lane explained. "Ergo, blood pressure,..."

"Yeah, I remember reading something like that in the encyclopedia. Is that why yours is sticking out?" Daniele asked as he smirked back at the man.

Lane glanced down. It had not been there when he went through the motions of getting a cup of coffee. He could remember getting an erection so quickly only once. It was an occasion he would never forget, and not because it had been within the last year. It had happened with a boy who he knew only as Jeff. It happened within seconds of laying eyes on him for the first time. The bulge was impossible to overlook. It was gigantic compared to the compact swelling behind Daniele's jeans.

"More or less," he agreed with amusement. "Only I didn't get mine from reading a book like you did."

He regretted saying that the instant the words left his mouth. He had not intended to make the boy more self-conscious about the book than he already was. It was the last thing he wanted to do. However, instead of upsetting Daniele, he continued to stare without saying anything until Lane was almost about to apologize.

"Why do you have one then?" the boy suddenly asked. He looked up slyly.

"Me?" Lane swallowed. "Um, well,.... Sometimes it just happens."

Daniele thought about that and slowly nodded, accepting the explanation. He still held the book, uncertain of what to do with it.

"I'll keep that for you," Lane offered. "If you want that is. It'll be here for you the next time you visit."

"What makes you think I'll come back?"

"Hm,... Perhaps you won't,...."

Lane studied the boy. He was impressed by the youngster's wit. There was no question that the boy was highly intelligent. He had devoured the book. He possessed the same intensity, the same concentrated curiosity that Lane had. There were even hints of other characteristics that they shared. Looking at Daniele was like looking at himself thirty years earlier.

"Did the book help?" Lane asked softly.

Daniele shrugged. "Yeah, I guess so. It did answer a few things for me."

His neck undulated as he swallowed, blood vessels swelling just beneath skin that was nearly translucent. His eyes flickered. He hovered on the brink of unleashing his anxiety, of running away from the truth that he was being forced to confront. The book had helped in one way, but not in the way he wanted. He had supplemented adult fact with juvenile imagination and analogy. It was a particularly useful analogy as far as he was concerned, but he still wanted to know more.

Daniele let out a long sigh, shaking his head slightly.

"You still have questions?" Lane suggested.

"Lots," Daniele admitted. Wryly he rotated the book so that Lane could easily see the title. "Please don't make fun of me."

"I would never do that. You might be interested to know that I've read The Joy of Gay Sex before," Lane acknowledged in a moment of truth. It was an awkward admission.

"You mean you're gay?" Daniele blurted out.

"Um, I suppose that's one way of putting it."

"You're not sure?" Daniele asked, with a characteristic tilt of his head. He wasn't sure if he was gay either, although he was more than bright enough to realize that he probably was.

"I wouldn't say that exactly. I'm sure."

"Huh? You're,... ah,.... What is it, um, when you like both sexes,... bi then?"

"Not at all."

"I don't get it."

"Neither do I," Lane replied. "I like males, but not like the ones in that book." He felt his brow getting hotter. Already he had said far too much.

Daniele considered that. "Why not?"

"Um,... it's difficult to explain. Do you?" Lane asked awkwardly.

He was very aware that the conversation had moved in a direction that was extremely dangerous for him. Still, he had not said anything that could be problematic, so far. There was no low against telling a boy that you were gay, at least not yet, and as far as he knew it was perfectly legal to show a copy of The Joy of Gay Sex to an underaged boy.

"Do I what?"

"Like what's in the book?" Lane confided.

Daniele tensed. He gazed down at the book. His thoughts were a long way away. He was increasingly frightened by the thoughts that pervaded his mind. For as far back as he could remember, not a single day passed without at least one news story about pedophiles. They were constantly subjected to media attention. They were discussed at length at school. Even his friends made jokes about them, offering crude comments about what they did to boys, making allegations about men to be avoided. He loathed the very idea of being a pedophile. Pedophiles had sex with boys. Pedophiles did the same things that he had done with Grey, like he wanted to do with other boys.

"I,..." Daniele needed to talk to someone. Absently, he licked his lips. "They,... they all, you know,... they have hair everywhere."

"And you'd rather they didn't?"

Daniele nodded slightly. "They're old,... I mean,... well grown up and,..."

"You'd like them to be younger?"

Daniele nodded again, a little more confidently.

"You'd like them to be boys?"

Daniele winced. "Yeah, I guess."

"I understand," Lane said simply. "You're very brave."

"Are you um,... I mean,... are you,... like that,... or something?"

"If you mean do I like boys, ah,.... well, yes... I guess I do."

"Why?" Daniele asked questioningly.

"Why do I like boys?" Lane posed. "Probably for the same reasons that you do. I find that they're more interesting to me."

Daniele shivered. `Interesting' conveyed a lot. Boys were a lot more `interesting' than girls. He nodded slowly. `Interesting' was a good way of putting it. It said a lot without being unnecessarily specific about what in particular was `interesting'. The book in his hand showed in graphic detail what was `interesting' to gay men. It was the same for boys, only smaller, smoother, and to Daniele, infinitely more desirable.

"I think I like boys too," Daniele finally admitted in as brave a voice as he could manage.

He hurried out of the store and ran most of the way down Liberty Street. He stopped running only when he was a block away from where he lived.