ATTENTION: This story may depict incidents that could be disturbing or offensive to some people, including sex-same attraction and inter-generational relations. Do not read further if it is illegal for you to do so in your jurisdiction or if this will offend you. The author of this work does not advocate or condone the violation of any laws and he does not condone sexual relations between adults and minors. This story is fiction. It is fantasy, which is not yet illegal in the United States.

Please let me know what you think about the story at eromenos at, and thank you so much for reading my story. I hope you will enjoy it. 

The Prince of Knaves
by Eromenos

Chapter Three


I was warm and comfortable and... I felt so good, so very, very good. I knew I was in bed and I was being held. Yes, that was it. My brother was holding me. Matt. My big brother Matt. We were spooning and he was holding me and.. breathing softly on my neck. Oh, it felt so good. It was dark, so we were in bed and asleep, only we weren’t asleep. Why did I feel so good?

And, then I opened my eyes. Oh, yes. Matt’s right hand had reached around me and was slowly rubbing my pee-pee, my dick, as he called it, and I was getting close to the Big Feeling. Oh, yeah. It felt so good. His hand was so soft and warm. He was rubbing my dick with a slow, even stroke and I could feel the feelings building slowly, growing stronger and more intense.

There was a hardness behind me, Matt’s hard dick was pressing against my butt and lower back. My butt was starting to squirm and I knew I wanted something back there, but I wasn’t sure what. I needed something, something important, but what?

My head was resting on Matt’s left arm and it was bent at the elbow so that his hand was caressing my chest as his right hand slowly worked my dick. I moaned softly as his left hand swept over my titties and sent electric shocks through my body. Matt began to kiss the side of my neck, licking it and sending chills through me.

I had no idea anyone could do these things. The thoughts had never occurred to me. How wonderful, how delightful! My brother was doing the most wonderful things to me and I was in Heaven.

Chrissy,” he whispered softly in my ear. “Are you awake?”

I couldn’t speak. I simply moaned softly and nodded my head. I felt as if I had been completely enveloped by my big brother. Matt was wrapped all around me and he was protecting me and loving me and taking care of me. I was delirious.

I love you, Chrissy,” he whispered in my ear, his breath tickling me as he spoke. “I love you.”

I could only moan in response, thinking that this was the way it was always going to be. I would always have my big brother to love me at night and protect me and make me feel good, so awfully, wonderfully good.

The feelings in my dick were growing stronger and stronger, more and more intense. It was feeling even better than the first time Matt had loved me, before I had drifted off to sleep. I couldn’t believe it could feel this good. It was impossible that anything could feel better. But, as he kept rubbing and stroking my dick with that slow, even pace, it did get better and better.

I tried to straighten my legs. I needed to writhe around, twist around. It was too good to remain curled up. Matt straightened his body, freeing me to do the same. I was half-lying on him now, his arms wrapped around me, one hand stroking my rigid dick, the other playing with my titties and making them feel almost as good as my dick. I was babbling nonsensically, insanely, not knowing what I was saying, just reacting to the good, good feelings.

And, then, my body went stiff as the feelings suddenly peaked and I could take no more. I cried out and then it hit, over and over, spasm after spasm, as I twisted and squirmed atop my big brother until it was over.

All the while, Matt had been kissing my neck and whispering to me how much he loved me, how much he treasured me. If this was love, I didn’t want to ever experience anything else. This was all I ever wanted to do, from now on, feeling my wonderful Matt holding me and loving me.

And, I drifted, exhausted again, off to sleep.

The next time I awoke, there was light streaming through a space in the curtains over the window of the motel room and Matt was stroking me again. I don’t know how long our third (or was it our fourth) bout of lovemaking lasted, but when it was over, Matt whispered to me, “Oh, man, Chrissy, I just can’t keep my hands off you.”

I giggled and replied, “Good, because I don’t want you to keep  your hands off me!”

Matt kissed my neck again and then rolled me over on my back as he crawled half on me. His weight atop me was thrilling. I loved feeling him on me, as if I couldn’t move. I loved it. I gazed into his eyes and...

Oh, Shit!”

He startled me as he glanced at the clock.

It’s eight-forty-five,” he exclaimed. “We have to be at Mr. Haley’s office at nine-thirty!”

He quickly crawled out of bed, though I would have been perfectly content to remain there forever. He walked naked toward the bathroom, his still hard dick pointing outward and swinging back and forth. He looked so slim and pretty as he walked and I just couldn’t believe that this was my big brother, the person who loved me and was going to take care of me.

From inside the bathroom, Matt called, “Come on, Sleepy Head! We need to take a shower together so we can save time and not be late!”

I grinned and felt my little dick twitch with excitement as I crawled from the bed and replied excitedly, “All right!”

With my dick pointing outward and upward, I ran to the bathroom, where I found the shower already running as Matt testing the temperature. He grinned back at me and said, “Now remember, we have to be at the lawyer’s office in less than forty-five minutes! We can’t get sidetracked in here.”

I simply grinned and reached up, wrapping my hands around his dick and balls and fondling them.

Oh, God,” Matt whimpered as his head fell backwards and his eyes closed.

Suddenly, he seemed to wake up and he commanded, with a grin, “Stop it, Brat! We need a shower!”

With that, he climbed in and I followed. We both quickly soaped up our bodies and washed each other, though the need to play with each other was just too great. After I exploded again and Matt grabbed his dick and made himself explode all over me again, we rinsed off and climbed out. As we toweled ourselves dry, Matt grinned and said, “I think we may need to do that again when we have more time!”

I nodded with a big grin and replied, “That was fun!”

Matt put on a coat and tie, while I put on the same clothes I had worn the day before. He looked so handsome and cool with his conservative clothes and his damp, long curly hair. If it wasn’t for the long hair, he would almost have looked like Daddy. That was when I knew he was my brother.

We stopped for a quick bowl of cereal at the coffee shop and then hurried downtown to Mr. Haley’s office, walking in just at nine-twenty-nine. My stepmother glared as we entered the reception room and sneered, “Glad you could make it.”

Mr. Haley emerged from his office, with a brief case and a smile, and declared, “They’re right on time! I’m sure Matt and Chris have had a wonderful time getting to know each other!”

I grinned and Matt simply smiled and said, “Yes. I have a little brother and I couldn’t be happier.”

Betty rolled her eyes as she stood up and declared, “God, let’s get this over with.”

Mr. Haley seemed to ignore her as he led us out the door.

The courthouse, an old and imposing building, like numerous county courthouses in Missouri, was ponderous and old, with Greek columns in the front and a tall, steeple-like dome, or dome-like steeple on top. When we entered, old photographs of mustachioed judges from decades past lined the walls, with wooden benches and brass spittoons in the hallway. We entered a courtroom and took our places in the back as Mr. Haley went to court clerk and spoke quietly with her. The judge was already hearing another case and nodded at Mr. Haley. The lawyer nodded back and returned to sit with us.

A few minutes later, the judge pounded his gavel and that case seemed to be over. Mr. Haley rose and when the clerk called my name, Mr. Haley announced present and led us to the front of the courtroom. The whole matter took only a few minutes. The judge asked Betty if she agreed. He asked Matt if he agreed. He asked me if I agreed and I replied in a strong and certain voice, “I do, Your Honor!”

The judge smiled and nodded and banged his gavel. And, that was that. We stood at the clerk’s desk as first Betty, then Matt signed some documents and then Mr. Haley smiled and shook Matt’s hand.

Congratulations, you’ve got custody of a kid who, very soon, is going to be a teenager. God help you.”

Yeah,” Matt said. “Of course, I’m still technically a teenager and I know all the tricks, so I’m not scared.”

He winked at me and said, “Besides, I don’t think Chrissy’s going to give me much trouble.”

Betty snorted and we walked out of the courtroom together.

Well, let’s go get your things packed,” Matt declared as we stood on the steps of the courthouse. He shook Mr. Haley’s hand before I did and the lawyer gave me a look and a smile that seemed to convey a message that I wasn’t understanding.

Christopher, I hope you and your big brother are happy and have a wonderful life. You both are very fortunate.”

I know,” I replied with a big grin at my brother.

Matt nodded and replied, “Yes, we are very fortunate.”

Betty had not waited for any pleasantries. She left immediately. Matt and I returned to his car and drove through town to the house where I had spent most of my nine years. We parked in the driveway behind my father’s, err- Betty’s, Mercury and went inside. Betty already had cardboard boxes ready in my room. She wasn’t wasting any time in expediting my departure.

Well, we don’t need to worry about clothes,” Matt said as we stood in the middle of my room, “because we can always buy you new clothes there. Besides, you’ll outgrow these soon anyway, plus you don’t have to worry about winter in LA. It hardly ever freezes in the city.”

I nodded, though I felt sorry to leave most of my clothes. He looked around at the model ships on the shelf, and at the books and records and my record player. We began by loading my records.

You have a lot of forty-fives,” Matt remarked as he picked up the rack. “Man, you have some good stuff. A lot of early Beatles and Stones, Herman’s Hermits, The Byrds. Cool.”

I like all kinds of music, “ I explained.

Then Matt looked at my albums and whistled.

Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart, Handel, Hayden, Bach, Prokofieff.”

Daddy started out giving me Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker. Then he gave me The Magic Flute and Tales from the Vienna Woods and it just went from there. I really like Beethoven’s Seventh.”

Matt smiled and said, “You’re amazing, Chrissy. You really are. I mean you like all kinds of stuff.”

As we packed my books and records, Matt looked up at the model ships I had, the Bounty, the Cutty Sark, the Constitution. I also had some World War Two planes, like a P-51 and a B-17.  Matt held the Bounty and smiled as he looked at me.

Daddy and I used to work on models on Saturday nights,” I explained. “We’d sit down in the garage at his work bench and build them.”

I stopped and looked down, suddenly feeling the loss of my father very much. I looked up at Matt with tears in my eyes. He sat down on the floor beside me and wrapped his arms around me as I started to cry.

You’re very lucky,” Matt said. “You got to live with the coolest dad in the world. All my Mom’s husband ever did was give me money and suck my dick. You got to do stuff with a real father. I wish so much that I had been here to experience it, too.”

I nodded and said between sobs, “I wish you could have, too. Daddy was the best.”

Matt nodded and said, “I should let you read all the letters he wrote to me. I’ve saved ever one of them. Dad was a better parent to me just writing letters than my mother and her husband combined.”

After a moment, once my crying subsided, I looked at my brother and asked, “Why do you call your stepfather your mother’s husband?”

Well, he wasn’t my real father, though at first it was his name on my birth certificate. We changed that later. And, I guess stepfather wasn’t accurate at first when his name was listed and, well, he never really acted like a father to me. He just wanted the appearance of a family so people wouldn’t assume he was a homo. All he ever really did for me was turn me into a sex maniac, so I refuse to use the word father in any sense when talking about him.”

I nodded and said, “That makes sense. So, what do you call him?”

Ken or my mother’s husband.”

Matt looked at me and said, “Really, the only thing we have connecting us was sex. I mean, otherwise, there really wasn’t anything else. But, the sex was great.”

He looked off into space and muttered, “God, sex with him was so good.”

He glanced down at me and got a strange look on his face.

He’d really like you.”

I felt a throb in my dick and Matt suddenly took a deep breath and released me as he turned back to packing and said, “You’ll meet him. We have to go by the house on the way to LA to get my stuff.”

Is he mean?” I asked nervously.

Oh, no,” Matt replied derisively. “He’s just an old, drunk, horny fag.”

I didn’t think I wanted to meet him, yet if he was the man who had had sex with Matt since he was a little boy, maybe he would like to have sex with me. However, I quickly dismissed that thought. It was wrong for me to think like that. That was just me being a pervert again. Besides, why would I want to have sex with the man who had molested Matt for years? I thought about it and concluded, it was for the same reason I liked doing stuff with Granddad. He scared me sometimes and was often mean to me, but it felt so good and I loved it.

I was hard as I started wrapping one of my ships in newspaper. Matt wasn’t saying anything as he packed my books. He had a frown on his face, but I could see from the front of his slacks, (he had removed his coat and tie earlier), that he, too, was hard. Maybe he was remembering doing it with his mother’s husband, though he didn’t look happy about it.

We were almost finished when Matt looked at his watch and said, “You know, Chrissy. Why don’t we wait to leave until tomorrow. It’s a long, long drive to LA from here. Halfway across the country. We’re not in any real hurry and we can basically do whatever we want. Let’s spend tonight here at the motel and, well, get to know each other better...” he grinned at me and I grinned back, “...then we can drive to The City tomorrow, which is Friday, and get my things.”

Suddenly, his voice got strange and he wouldn’t look at me as he added, “If you like, I can show you around Oklahoma City and we can spend the night there.”

At your house?” I asked.

Yeah,” he answered carefully.

With... your mother’s husband?”

Well, he’ll probably  be out with his friends,” Matt replied, still not looking at me.

Okay,” I said breathlessly, feeling like I used to when we’d drive to The City to see Granddad and I would lie on the couch at night wondering if Granddad was going to come in that night.

Then, Saturday,” Matt continued in a more normal voice, “we can drive to Albuquerque and Sunday to LA. How’s that?”

Trying to sound normal, I replied, “Sure. Okay. Sounds fine,” though on the inside, I felt a shameful hope that we could do “stuff” with the man he had grown up with.

Matt was strangely quiet until we finished packing. I watched as Matt carried the boxes down to the car. As I stood in the living room, looking around the house for the last time, Betty entered the room. She had an uncomfortable look on her face as she said, “I know things were strained between us, Christopher, but I hope for the best for you.”

Thank you,” I replied, surprised at her uncharacteristic kindness to me.

There’s a box I’ve prepared over there,” she said, pointing to a box in the corner of the living room, with some things of your father’s I know he would want you to have. If there is ever anything else of his you would like in the future, let me know.”

I could barely speak as I replied, “Thank you.”

She took a deep breath and added, “I know I’ve called you names, some terrible names, but I want you to know that I know why you’re the way you are and... well... good luck.” With that she turned and left the room.

Matt was standing in the front door and had witnessed it. He smiled at me and nodded, picked up the box of my father’s things and softly said, “Let’s go.”

I followed him out to the car. He had packed my boxes in the trunk of the car and as he slammed it shut, I stood by the passenger door, gazing at the house in which I had lived since the age of three. I saw my father mowing the lawn and playing catch with me, grilling steaks and hamburgers in the back, putting up Christmas lights around the front of the house, sitting at his workbench in the garage, coming home from the office in the evening. Tears were flowing down my cheeks as Matt came up to me and squeezed my shoulders.

I’m sorry I cry so much,” I said. “I’m trying not to be a sissy.”

You’re not a sissy. You grew up here. You’re leaving it. You have lots of wonderful memories here. Of course, you’re going to cry.”

I turned around and hugged my big brother. He kissed the top of my head and opened the car door for me. I climbed in and looked up at my bedroom window as he walked around. As he usually did, he jumped over the door into his seat and started the engine. We paused a moment and then pulled out of the driveway. I looked away, unable to look at the house anymore, as we drove away.

You know,” Matt remarked as we drove along the street of large, old houses with their giant trees, “if this town wasn’t so backward, it wouldn’t be a bad place to live. It almost looks like a set for some George Cukor movie. I feel like Jimmy Stewart or Mickey Rooney should be walking down the sidewalk.”

I nodded wistfully and said, “Yeah, it’s a nice place. I kind of wanted to move to Oklahoma City or Tulsa or Kansas City, but Daddy said his job was here and it was probably more wholesome to raise me here than anywhere else.”

Matt nodded and I added, “Besides, I don’t think Daddy wanted to go back to Oklahoma City. He didn’t want to live near Granddad.”

I don’t blame him,” Matt said. “I feel the same way about Ken. Well, maybe not the same way, but I know what you mean.”

We were coming up on Main Street and the library was on the right. Suddenly, I said, “Stop here, Matt. I want to show you something!”

Matt nodded and pulled into a parking space in the front. We climbed out of the car and Matt put a nickel in the meter as I hurried up the stairs to the front doors of the library. Matt followed me in as we crossed the lobby, old Mrs. Harding glared me with her hawk-beak nose and started to say something when I declared in a strong voice, ignoring the rules about quiet in the library, “This is my big brother, Matt. I’m going to live with him Los Angeles and you’re never, ever going to see me again!”

The old bitty looked at with outrage, but said nothing as Matt followed me a look of amusement on his face.

So, what was that all about?” he asked as we walked past the long oak tables to the shelf with my special book.

She hates me,” I replied as I turned, “and I hate her.”

Matt giggled (it sounded so cute to me to hear my pretty, almost grown-up brother giggling) and said, “Well, all right.”

I pulled the Maxfield Parrish book from the shelf and we walked over to the nearest table. As I set it down, I whispered, “I love this room. This is where I come when I want to get away from everyone.”

Matt looked around at the dark paneling on the walls, the heavy wood and leather furniture, the heavy drapes, the large and ancient globe and said, “I can see why you’d come here. It’s looks like an old gentleman’s club in London or New  York.”

I mean, think of all the books and knowledge and everything,” I said as I swept my arm around.

Matt smiled and nodded as he looked down at the book. He asked, “Are you going to show me your Knave of Hearts?”

I nodded and opened the book to the picture of the Knave sitting on the wall outside the castle. Matt’s eyes grew wide as he gazed at the slim figure with the delicate face and the long, dark curls.

My God,” he muttered. “That’s me.”

I know,” I said as I turned to another picture, this one of the Knave standing over the Lady Violetta as she looked in the oven.

I don’t believe this,” he whispered.

Then I turned to the picture of the Knave sitting lazily in the meadow with the bridge behind him.

This is my favorite picture of him,” I said.

It’s me,” he said in utter amazement. “I don’t believe it. It’s me.”

I then grinned as I turned to the picture of the naked guy on the swing in the Dinky Bird picture and announced, “This was you last night.”

Matt pretended to slap me as he gazed at the slim legs and torso, the slender arms, and the look of ecstasy on the pretty face.

He used his wife as the model for all his young men,” I explained. “That’s why they all look andro... anthro...”

Androgynous,” Matt intervened.

I nodded and Matt said, “Great. I look like Maxfield Parrish’s wife.”

No, you look like the most beautiful guy in the world.”

Then I looked back up at my brother and said, “Actually, Maxfield Parrish’s wife looks like you, the most beautiful man in the world.”

Matt smiled down at me and whispered, “If we weren’t in the middle of the library, I’d throw you down on the table right here and made mad, passionate love to you!”

I giggled and closed the book. As I carried it back to its shelf, Matt followed, but when I had slipped it into its place and turned around, Matt blocked the way. He had a slightly maniacal look on his face as he made me back up to the wall.

What are you doing?” I whispered.

Matt looked behind us and then whispered, “There’s almost no one in here.”

He towered over me and then I gasped as I felt his right hand solidly grip the front of my pants. I was already hard and he held my crotch and grinned down at me. Slowly, as he massaged my dick through my pants, he leaned down and kissed me, first on the lips , then pressing his tongue into my mouth.

It felt so wrong and so dangerous to do this in the library, but I loved Matt so much and I was so suddenly excited that I couldn’t help myself. At first, I tried to stop him, but he was too strong for me to resist. I gave in and let him take charge, which felt just the way it should be.

It was so weird to me. Matt was so pretty, so... androgynous... so almost feminine or lady-like, yet he was also a man and older and bigger than me. He was strong and pretty, feminine and masculine, and he turned me on so hard.

Matt’s tongue pushed deep into my mouth. It’s wasn’t like he was going to be gentle and sweet beforehand. He just grabbed my crotch and shoved his tongue into my mouth, and it turned me on so hard.

His hand rubbed up and down on the front of my pants, making my dick feel so good inside and making it almost impossible for me to breathe. He was kissing me so hard that I thought he was climbing to my mouth, and it turned me on hard.

I don’t know how long it took, probably not long at all, though my perception of time at that moment was totally skewed, but I began to whimper and suddenly, my whole body went stiff before I began to twist and buck and squirm around as the Big Feeling hit me... and hit me hard.

When it was over, Matt pulled away from my mouth and looked down at me. I could say nothing, I could only look up at him breathlessly as a smile slowly formed on his lips.

I guess you liked that,” he whispered.

I nodded and he kissed me atop my head.

I think we need to get something to eat,” he whispered to me, “and, then we need to go back to the room and get naked and naughty! We need to see what you can do to my Dinky Bird!”

I giggled and Matt led me out of the library.

As we drove along Main Street in the mid-afternoon warmth, I gazed at my big brother and wondered what had just happened. It didn’t quite seem in character with what I had seen and learned of my big brother. He was delicate, yet strong, pretty yet masculine. Was this another seeming contradiction? He had almost forced me against the wall. It was as if he wanted to do it and I just wasn’t going to stop him. And, it turned me on so hard. So, did that say more about Matt or me? It was very confusing, and yet I knew I loved my big brother, my Knave of Hearts even more than before, even more than I had before.

He looked over at me and smiled knowingly.

I’m glad you think I’m so good looking,” he said. “I like being good-looking. I like being pretty. I like when men look at me. I like when boys look at me.”

He reached over and touched my face.

When we arrived at the hotel, we parked in front of the room. I wanted to go into the room immediately and “get naked and naughty.” However, Matt simply smiled down at me and said, “Patience, Little Brother. Sometimes you have to wait for the best joys.”

Instead, he led me down to the coffee shop in the front of the hotel, explaining, “I have a feeling that it may be a while before we emerge from the room again!”

Really?” I asked with growing excitement.

Well, maybe later, we can go out for a late burger or something, but we haven’t had lunch yet and I think we’ll need the nourishment and the vitamins!”

I giggled and he grinned down at me, adding, “I just can’t believe that I have such a wonderful and pretty and sexy little brother.”

I was surprise that he said that and exclaimed, “I’m not pretty or sexy. I look like a goof and a weirdo.”

Who told you that?” Matt demanded.

Everyone says so,” I replied. “I have red hair and everyone says red hair is ugly. In the movies, the red haired guy is always the villain. I mean, look at David Copperfield. Uriah Heep had red hair.”

Oh, crap,” Matt declared as we stopped at the coffee shop door. “I happen to think red haired guys are the hottest. Haven’t you ever heard that redheads have fiery personalities? And redheads are the horniest people, too! Redheads are sexy. Don’t ever put yourself down because you’re a redhead!”

I couldn’t believe Matt was saying this. No one, absolutely no one had ever said anything nice about my red hair. Now, my beloved Matt was telling me it made me sexy. I was now his devoted servant. I would do anything Matt told me to do.

And,” he added in a softer, sweeter voice, “ you are pretty. You are pretty. You have such a sensitive and sensuous face. When you look off and get thoughtful, you are so pretty. You’re eyes are... so expressive. You’re eyes are beautiful, Chrissy. Don’t ever, ever think you aren’t attractive. You are.”

I wanted to cry. Matt smiled down at me and then opened the door to the coffee shop.

We sat at the window, where we could watch the traffic on the highway. The waitress came over and smiled flirtatiously at Matt, who reciprocated, to my surprise. We ordered a cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate milk shake for me and a chef salad and tea for Matt. The waitress was a little surprised at Matt’s order, but as she went away, he whispered to me, “I think she likes me.”

It’s because you’re pretty,” I said.

He shrugged and replied, “Actually, I think it’s because I look exotic and she never gets to see someone like me here in Shelbyville.”

I smiled at him and he examined me for a moment before commenting, “You think I’m exotic, too, don’t you?”

I felt funny, as if I wasn’t really ready to answer that question. I cocked my head slightly as I looked at him and then said, “I’ve never seen anyone like you before.”

Like what?” he asked.

Well, a guy who looks pretty. I’ve never guy who looks pretty. I mean, you don’t look like a girl, but... your pretty.”

Matt smiled and nodded, replying, “Okay. What else?”

I frowned and responded, “Well, you have long hair. I mean, everyone stares at you because you have long hair. You look kind of like a hippy.”

My hair’s not that long.”

Well, it’s longer than anyone else in Shelbyville, Missouri.”

Matt shrugged and nodded, replying, “Okay, I’ll give you that.”

But, like I said. You’re pretty. Guys aren’t pretty, but you are.”

Matt smiled and looked off as he said, “Yeah. That got me into trouble when I played football. I had to be better than any other quarterback and, in the end, even that wasn’t enough. It got me into trouble in the Navy, too. I had to fight a lot because of it. Finally, I got kicked out. It wasn’t really fair. An officer came onto me, but I was the one who got punished, just like in football.”

He looked out the window and added, “But, you know, now I don’t give a fuck about the others. I’m pretty and I like it and anyone who doesn’t like it can fuck themselves.”

I was shocked. I looked at Matt with an open mouth and wide eyes as I exclaimed, “Matt! You said... you said the Bad Word!”

Matt nodded, looking at me seriously, and said, “Yeah, I did. That’s the way things are, now. I don’t follow everyone else’s rules. And, if anyone doesn’t like it, they can fuck themselves.”

I stared, speechless. Matt looked back at me with the same serious expression and added, “And, if you know what’s good for you, Chrissy, you’ll start thinking the same way because if you give in to their rules and their ways of thinking and their opinions and standards, well, you’re going to be miserable, because you and I, we’re different and we don’t fit into their world. We have to fit into our own world and our own framework and way of thinking. We make our own rules.”

The waitress brought Matt’s tea and my milk shake. Matt smiled at her and as she left, he resumed his previous attitude, as he said, “And, my first rule is, don’t hurt other people unless they ask for it. And, my second it, I love my little brother and I’ll kill to protect you.”

We stared into each other’s eyes for a long, very long moment before Matt suddenly smiled and said, “Well, that was heavy.”

He looked away and said, “Enough of that. You know how I think now and that I will do anything, and I mean anything, for my little brother. Now, let’s eat and then we’ll have some fun!”

I smiled, grateful for the turn in the conversation. We made jokes about the cars that passed on the highway, creating tall tales about the occupants and where they were going and why, until the waitress brought our orders. I poured tons of ketchup on my French fries and Matt raised an eyebrow and said, “My God, you’re going to have a massive coronary before you even get to puberty.”

Yeah?” I responded, “Well, I’m a growing boy and I need my protein!”

Oh, you don’t have to worry about protein, Little Brother. I’ll make sure I keep you well lubricated with protein!”

I knew Matt was making a joke, but I didn’t want to appear stupid to my big brother, so I laughed and took a big bite of my cheeseburger. He watched me as he ate his chef salad and I began to grow embarrassed because he was looking at me so much. Finally, he grinned and then I giggled and he giggled and I laughed and he laughed and we both broke up. It was so cool. I had never even had a friend before, so I didn’t know what it was like to be around someone who accepted me for what I was and who liked me.

There had been no one else in the coffee shop, but a couple of rough looking men in jeans and leather and denim came in. They had shaved heads and beards and looked to be in their forties. They walked slowly over to a booth, their boots making loud sounds as they walked, as they glanced over at us. One of them had taken a toothpick as he walked past the register and was chewing on it as he gave Matt the eye. The waitress watched nervously from behind the counter and then approached the booth. Matt seemed completely unaware of the men, though I could sense a something about him, something alert that I hadn’t noticed before. I became frightened because I knew what people in Shelbyville thought about “sissies.”

A Missouri State Trooper also pulled up outside at that moment and I relaxed. Matt, however, seemed to become tenser, though he continued to eat his chef salad as if he hadn’t a care in the world. The Trooper came in and sat at the counter, giving us a suspicious look. Matt had his back partially to him, but somehow, I knew that he knew where the Trooper was.

The waitress gave the Trooper a cup of coffee as the truckers watched us. One of them narrowed his eyes as he looked at Matt and said, “You know who I ran into the other day at that rest stop in Joplin on 44, just before the state line?”

Who?” the other trucker asked.

A faggot.”

Yeah? What about him?”

He was this skinny-ass faggot and he had a button on his leather vest that said, ‘Make love, not war.’ And, you know what I said?”

No, what?”

I told him that I didn’t think his faggot ass could make either love or war.”

The other trucker laughed as the waitress approached with two cups and a pot of coffee. She set the cups down and then proceeded to pour steaming hot coffee on the first trucker’s crotch. He cursed loudly and she apologized profusely before the two angrily stood up and, glaring first at the waitress and then at Matt and me, stormed out of the coffee shop.

The waitress smiled sheepishly at Matt and me and Matt grinned and winked. The State Trooper, however, glowered at Matt and rose. He sauntered over to our table and stood with his hands on his hips, ready to draw his gun as he inspected Matt.

You got any I.D. on ya, boy?”

I haven’t done anything,” Matt replied. “We’re just sitting here, eating our lunch.”

I said, you got any I.D. on ya!”

Matt frowned and pulled out his wallet. He handed his driver’s license the Trooper, who raised an eyebrow as he examined it.

Oklahoma,” he said suspiciously. “What are you doing in Shelbyville?”

What are you doing in Shelbyville?”

The Trooper glared at him and then grabbed him by the arm and yanked him up, knocking his chair back and upsetting the table. Our lunches flew against the window as I watched in horror.

Leave him alone!” I cried. “He hasn’t done anything!”

The trooper threw Matt against the window and handcuffed him.

You wanna get that smart mouth of yours under control, Queer-boy and tell me what you’re doing in Shelbyville with this boy?”

I saw the hatred and fury on Matt’s face and it shocked me, not that he didn’t have reason to feel so, but I wasn’t expecting such intensity from him. He was breathing hard as he carefully said, “He’s my little brother. Our father died and I came up here to take custody of my brother.”

You? You’re taking custody of him?”

Yes,” Matt replied through clenched teeth.

I was standing before them with my hands clenched in a panic. The trooper looked down at me and demanded, “Don’t piss your pants, little sissy.”

Matt looked back at the trooper and started to speak before the man yanked his arms upward and said, “Come on, boy,” as he shoved Matt forward, using his body as a ram to force open the door.

Where are you taking him?” I cried.

Call Mr. Haley!” Matt yelled at me as the Trooper forced him outside. He shoved Matt into the back seat of his car and climbed into the front. I watched from the doorway as he started speaking on the radio and then I turned to the horrified waitress and begged, “Call Mr. Haley, the lawyer!”

She did and when she handed me the receiver I was barely able to speak coherently. Calmly, he told me not to panic and that he would be here as soon as possible. I handed the received back to the waitress and stood outside in front of the trooper’s car, trembling with fear and rage. Matt stared at me from the backseat. He tried to smile reassuringly at me as the trooper spoke on his radio microphone. I simply stood there, knowing that something would have to ruin the wonderful turn my life had taken and fearing for my wonderful brother. Why was the trooper being so mean? For the same reason all the kids at school were so mean to me? Was it just because they hated people who were different?

The trooper was waiting and soon a Shelbyville police car pulled into the parking lot and I felt a floor of relief when I saw not only Mr. Haley emerge from the backseat but the judge who had presided over our hearing that morning get out of the front! The Shelbyville cop looked none too happy, it seemed to me, to be in the middle of this, but not as unhappy as the trooper, who raised an eyebrow and waited a few seconds before complying with the judge’s order that he lower his window.

What’s the trouble, Officer?” the judge demanded.

I’m running a check on this punk’s license,” he replied belligerently.

Why?” the judge asked.

Because he was acting suspiciously,” the trooper replied.

In what way?” the judge demanded.

The trooper paused a moment to think before he replied, “He’s acting like a queer and I was thinking he was molesting this boy.”

The judge seemed to grow two sizes as he stood back and glared at the trooper.

Release him. Now.”

I haven’t gotten a response on my check, yet,” the trooper complained.

Release him now, or I’m going to see to it that your badge and gun are shoved so far up your ass you’ll have to shit for a week before you see either one. Do we have to review the rules of probable cause with you, Trooper Dumbshit?”

You don’t have any authority over me!” the trooper yelled.

You let me make a few phone calls and you’ll see what kind of authority I have. I swear to God, if you don’t release that boy right now, I’ll have the wrath of God and the State of Missouri come crashing down on your sorry redneck ass. Now, do it!”

I had never seen such rage and hatred in any man’s eyes as I saw in the trooper’s at that moment. He slowly opened his door as he stared at the judge and took his time walking around the car to the backseat door. He sighed heavily as he opened the door and yanked Matt out.

Trooper!” the judge warned menacingly.

The trooper unlocked the cuffs and Matt hurried over to me. We hugged each other desperately as the trooper looked on with contempt and disgust.

Mr. Haley walked over and asked, “Weren’t you heading to Oklahoma City this afternoon?”

We decided to stay one more night and then head out tomorrow morning,” Matt replied.

Well, maybe you should go ahead and leave now,” Mr. Haley suggested as he looked back at the trooper. “Are your turn signals working? Everything in order?”

Matt nodded.

Then go ahead and leave. Do not exceed the speed limit, do not drive erratically. Do nothing to draw attention yourselves. Stay on this road until you get to I-44 and then do not get off the Interstate until you cross the state line. Do you understand?”

Matt nodded and Mr. Haley turned to the judge who said to the trooper, “Don’t call ahead to have any of your buddies waiting for them, Trooper. There will be no retribution against them for your stupidity. Do you understand?

The trooper glared and the judge said, “If these boys make it to Oklahoma without harassment from any law enforcement, I may be persuaded not to speak with the Commissioner about you.”

The trooper huffed and the judge said, “Pray that nothing happens to them.”

Yes... sir.”

Matt looked at the judge and Mr. Haley and said fervently, “Thank you.”

The judge smiled and Mr. Haley patted him on the back as he remarked, “Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing you run into in rural areas of states like Missouri. I’m afraid Oklahoma’s as bad, if not worse. California’s not perfect, but it’s better than this. I wish to God I was going with you, but I’m trapped here in this Godforsaken place. Good luck and let me know how the two of you get along there.”

Thank you for everything, Mr. Haley,” Matt said.

We turned and walked back to our room and wordlessly moved our suitcases and things to the car. The men were still outside the coffee shop as we slowly and carefully drove out of the parking lot and away from both Shelbyville and my old life.

Well, it’s over,” Matt said with a sigh. “We’re free now. We’re free.”

I reached across the hump between our bucket seats and took my brother’s hand.