The following story is about the development of a fully consensual and loving relationship between a man and a pre-adolescent boy. At some point through the story's progression, there will be a graphic display of sexual acts between the man and the boy meant to show the natural progression and development of an intimate and caring relationship. If the topic of man/boy sex offends you, or if this material is illegal in your place or residence, or if you are under legal age, please leave now.
Any similarities between the characters in this story and any persons living and/or dead is purely a coincidence.
This story is protected under the nifty archives license agreement, and the author (me!) releases the right for nifty and nifty alone to post it on the internet. Please do not post this story anywhere else without my consent or knowledge.
So, it turned out that writing chapter 4 turned out a lot harder than I thought it would be. I really struggled with this one. I had to rewrite it four times before I was finally happy with it. But as a consequence, I think I learned a great deal about writing, even though it took me several tries to get it right.
That's the problem with posting as I write forward, for both you the reader, and me the writer. It's very hard to get it right the first time, and therefore takes longer between posts. So, in advance, I apologize. I hope it doesn't become too troublesome for you to reread my story every time I post a chapter.
I am also compelled to thank Owen Again for helping me out with this so much. This story wouldn't be what it is without you Owen, thank you SO much for all your help.
As always, I truly enjoy hearing what you think, and what thoughts this story provokes within you. Please let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven was in what appeared to be a shower room. He could hear the sound of water rushing. Steam, billowing and thick, obscured his vision, so much that even the glistening white tiles were hard to see. Then the steam began to clear, and he could begin to make out the outline of a small form beside him. The form of a boy. The boy's eyes were tightly closed as water sprayed down on his little round face. He was using his small hands to draw back his cropped sandy blond hair flat against his head. Steven's eyes traced the water patterns down the smooth arcs of his back, around the small firm globes of his pert little butt, down his boyish white thighs, until they trailed down his legs and dispersed around his small feet. Steven's hungry eyes soaked in almost every detail, absorbing every facet, his excitement growing with each delicate feature of the boy he took in.
It was right when the boy turned and his gorgeous blue eyes grew wide as saucers at the sight of Steven's lower parts that an alarm began to sound. Or, at least it sounded like an alarm at first, but as Steven realized he must have been dreaming, it became more and more apparent that it was not his alarm that was ringing.
Steven awoke drenched in sweat, his covers plastered to his body. After stumbling over his slippers before putting them on, he ran over to the closet to get his robe, and then proceeded down the stairs to answer the door bell. Who in the world could be ringing his bell so early on a Saturday morning? When he drew aside the curtain to see who it was, his thoughts whirred through his mind. Oh, no... it's NOT a good time for this. For standing outside the door, fidgeting from foot to foot, was the very same boy who had been the object of his dreams. When Josh saw Steven's head poke out of the curtains, he smiled widely and waved. Helplessly, Steven waved back. It is definitely not a good time for this. Now Steven was left with no choice but to open the door.
"HI! Oh... I'm sorry; I didn't realize you were still sleeping. I'll come back later," Josh said, looking at Steven's robe and his disheveled hair. He averted his eyes shamefully.
Josh continued to fidget from foot to foot, waiting for Steven to reply. When he could offer up no quick response, the boy took a few steps backwards and began to turn.
"No no, don't go! I need to wake up anyways." Steven said hastily, his stomach dropping to his feet when he saw the boy turn to go. "So, what brings you around so early on a Saturday morning?"
Josh was caught in mid-step. Now he kicked at the heel of his foot with the toe of his other. "I just kinda thought that I could maybe practice some. My mom usually works on Saturdays, and I just stick around the house. But I'm sick of my mom's piano and... So I asked my mom if it was okay if I came over, and she said yes, but not to stay for too long, and not to argue if you said no. So, is it okay?"
Seeing Josh stand there, so adorable, with his puppy dog eyes looking straight up at him, any discomfort he had about the boy being the object of his dreams only a few minutes earlier suddenly ceased to matter. And at that moment, his discomfort quickly took a back seat to his overwhelming desire. If Josh wanted to play his piano, who was he to refuse?
"Of course it's okay. Please come in." Steven practically stumbled over himself in his haste to step out of the way so Josh could enter. Quietly, he led the boy to the studio, and opened the large grand piano for him.
"If you need anything at all, please let me know, okay? I'm going to go upstairs to shower and get dressed," Steven said, pulling out the piano bench, grabbing the set of blankets Josh usually sat on so the boy would be at the right height to play the keys.
As quickly as he could, Steven ran upstairs to shower and freshen up; skipping over several of the things he normally did on a Saturday morning. When he came back downstairs, he tried to slow his pace, brewing a pot of coffee before taking a seat at the dining room table, across from the piano, so he could watch Josh.
The boy was now playing through Mozart's Minuet, landing the music's trills and grace notes expertly. Steven marveled at the level of control the boy had over the music. He was captivated by the way the boy dipped and bowed his head as he played, closing his eyes in certain parts, and opening them to strike his ending chords. Steven lost track of time as he listened to Josh play, playing through the Fantasy, the Minuet, the Blue Danube, and several of his church songs almost perfectly. For a very long while, Steven's eyes remained glued to the boy behind the piano, completely enthralled, not only by his music, but also by every bodily motion he made. Every time to boy dipped, Steven held his breath, waiting for his head to become visible again above the music stand. More and more, Steven found himself scooting around the table, just so he could get a better view of the boy. Finally, Steven succumbed to temptation, and walked around the piano and pulled up a chair behind the boy. If Josh had noticed, it didn't show in his playing, so deeply was he concentration on his song.
The very essence of the boy and the power of his music were beginning to stir powerful feelings inside of him. It only stood to reason that a creature so beautiful was able to make such beautiful music. The way his hands danced across the piano keys, his little fingers tickling the notes with just the right amount of emphasis. The way, his small body dipped and swayed with the melody of the music, lithe arms dropping just at the right times to add bold staccatos. More than once, Steven had to fight back the urge to reach out and touch him, wanting to, no... needing to find out if the boy in front of him was real, or if he was just as imagined as the boy that had been occupying his dreams, and his most secret desires
Though his dreams had started out small and scattered, with the boy only making scattered appearances in them, they had slowly began to become more and more frequent, and more and more vivid. Until this morning's dream, where his deepest, most repressed desires were beginning to become immediately apparent. Now here he was, sitting at his Steinway, playing the 2nd movement of the Pathetique Sonata so beautifully, and his mind refused to believe he was real, when every sense at his command was telling him otherwise. That the object of all of his longings could be sitting right in front of him simply seemed too good to be true.
Poised there, at the edge of his seat, Steven continued to watch Josh play, not daring to disturb the almost magical aura that surrounded him. He stayed there like that for an unknown length of time, completely enchanted, until the spell was finally broken by the chiming of his clock in the living room right when the boy had taken a pause. When Steven glanced down at his watch, he was in complete disbelief of how much time had passed, for it was only an hour until noontime.
A tinge of worry entered Steven's mind. What were they going to do about lunch? Once again trying his best not to disturb Josh, Steven got up to retrieve his phonebook, sitting atop the refrigerator. He opened the book at the table inside the kitchen and started looking for a restaurant.
Since he had only taken Josh out once, he started searing for the nicer restaurants. It had to be something Josh would really like, something a boy would really like. But as Steven scanned though the entries, like the fancy seafood and steak places, his search began to deteriorate. He didn't think a ten-year-old would much like places like "Piscos" or "The Chophouse". Emitting a small inward growl of frustration, Steven slammed the phonebook shut. Maybe he could simply make something here.
Then it just clicked, and Steven knew the perfect thing. Still trying to keep reasonably quiet, Steven pulled out a bowl, a pan, a dough roller, and all the necessary ingredients. Not wanting to offend the boy's taste buds, he kept the recipe simple, whipping up and rolling out the batter for the pizza crust, grating and spreading the fresh mozzarella cheese, and topping it off with a generous application of pepperoni. Unsure of whether or not Josh liked the crust at the end, Steven decided to make it small, so the boy would enjoy the maximum about of pepperoni and cheese. A few minutes later, it was in the oven, on its way to becoming something Steven really hoped Josh would like.
Steven waited until the last possible moment he could to interrupt Josh, already having the table set and a coke set out next to the boy's plate when the buzzer for the oven rang.
"Hey Josh, give the poor piano a rest, okay? I figured you'd be hungry about now, since it's almost noon." Steven called out from the kitchen. Hot air from the open oven door blasted into Stevens's face as he pulled the pizza out and drooped it on the stove, barely keeping from burning himself.
"Just a minute," Josh called from the other room, the music not pausing for a second.
Steven, deciding it would be best for the pizza to cool down for a bit anyways, went to stand in the passageway between the dining room and the kitchen. Though Josh had been working on the same song for a while now, it was definitely getting better. Just as Josh played though the final notes of the Reverie, Steven put his hands together, giving Josh the healthiest round of applause he could muster.
"Very good, you're really coming along with that one. I didn't think you would be able to get through all of it. I don't think I have ever heard you play the Reverie so well!" Even from the other end of the room, Steven could see Josh's face turn red.
"You really think it's getting better?"
"Of course I do. I wouldn't have said so, otherwise." Steven smiled back at Josh.
"Thank you," Josh said in his mouse-like voice.
"Now come on, I got lunch ready for you. I hope you like pepperoni pizza."
"That's fine with me!" Josh said, closing up the piano and following Steven into the kitchen. "Oh, it smells good!" Once Josh saw the pizza waiting for him, he ran to the table and attacked it. He was still able to show a little bit of restraint however, and sat down before picking up a slice off his plate. Steven, smiling widely, sat around the other side of the table and began eating his own helping.
"Your playing is coming along quite nicely. You aren't making nearly as many uncontrolled stops. It's much smoother."
Steven's compliment earned a smile and a "thank you" as Josh pulled the pizza away from his face, unable to keep the cheese trailing from his mouth. Steven couldn't help but smile and stare at the boy as he ate. By the time he was done with the first piece, there were almost a dozen strings of cheese trailing from his mouth. Steven tried his best, but failed to suppress a snicker.
"What?" Josh asked so innocently.
All Steven had to do to get the point across was draw his fingers over his chin. When Josh did the same, and his fingers caught on the cheese, his cheeks flushed. Seeing Josh's slight embarrassment, Steven's suppressed giggle became full blown laughter, and a few seconds later his mirth had spread to Josh.
The rest of lunch continued quietly, Josh eating two more slices before his preadolescent hunger was sated. Steven had to remind himself to eat, so taken was he by every little motion the boy across the table from him made. At several points, he thought Josh had caught him staring, but if Josh had shown any outward signs of discomfort or annoyance, Steven surely didn't notice.
Then, as if Josh's phone had known precisely when he was done eating, it started ringing out the notes to Fur Elise. Josh jumped nearly out of his chair as if he had been bitten by a snake, then he quickly grabbed at the phone clipped onto his belt and flicked it open.
"Hello?" Josh said into the phone.
Josh shifted in his seat. "No mom, I'm still at St... I mean Mr. McNealy's house."
"Yeah, he said it was okay," Josh said, looking up at Steven. "Um, I practiced for a while, and now we're having pizza."
Then Josh put the phone down, giving Steven a little smile. "She said to say thank you."
"You're welcome." Steven nodded.
Josh brought the phone back up to his ear. "I said thank you." Josh paused for a second. "Well, actually... do you think maybe I could stay longer? I don't know. I'll ask."
Josh brought the phone away from his head again. "Um Steven, do you think it's alright if I stayed longer? Mom doesn't get home until five, and I don't really wanna go home." This time, instead of using his puppy dog eyes, Josh looked genuinely downcast, as if the possibility of staying home alone would completely spoil his day.
An incredible surge of excitement rushed through Steven's body. To think that all he had to do was agree that Josh could stay, in which there was nothing he wanted more in the whole world, was all he had to do to make Josh's sadness wash away gave him a thrill that reverberated throughout every fiber of his being. Seeing Josh sitting there, expectedly waiting for an answer, Steven didn't hesitate. "Of course it's okay. You can stay as long as you like."
"Really? Thanks!" Excitedly, Josh shoved the phone against the side of his face. "He said it was okay!"
If Josh had looked tired and defeated before, no trace of it remained. "Okay mom, I will. Okay. I love you too, goodbye."
"She said I could stay until five. Or at least until close till five." Josh hopped off his chair, taking his plate to the sink. "So, what are we gunna do now? I'm kinda practiced out for the day, I think."
Steven smiled and nodded his head. "Phew, that's good. If I had to hear the Reverie again, I think I was going to go nuts."
"HEY! I thought you said I was getting better." Josh said, pouting. This time though, Steven could tell he was faking it.
"You ARE getting better. That still doesn't mean you don't sound like a broken record."
Josh gave a little growl, then came over and pushed Steven on the shoulder. Acting on impulse, Steven got up out of his seat and proceeded to tickle Josh right on the stomach. Josh yelped in surprise, trying, unsuccessfully, to escape Steven's clutches. Steven flipped him around and clamped on tightly, hefting him up by his back. Giggling the entire way, Josh begged Steven to put him down, but that only spurred Steven to tickle the boy even more. He carried Josh out to the living room, his small legs kicking out in random directions, and then tossed him casually onto his overstuffed couch. Figuring Josh had had enough fun, he finally let him go. Josh immediately whirled into a sitting position and gave Steven a look that rather resembled that of a bulldog, but on a boy, it just looked outrageously funny.
Then, taking Steven completely by surprise, Josh leapt off the couch and latched his arms and legs around him. Even though he could have held his own against the small ten year old trying to bring him down, he relented, letting himself fall backwards onto the couch. Josh cried out in triumph as they toppled, ending up sprawled atop him. Steven could feel Josh's light breath on his neck, and the boy's heart beating as rapidly as a hummingbird's wings. He could smell the sweet scent of the boy, his own natural perspiration mixed with peaches and cream. After a few scarce moments, Josh pulled himself up a little, bracing against Steven's shoulders with his hands. As Steven gazed into the boy's beautiful blue eyes, visions of his morning dream paraded across his mind, visions of Josh in the shower, without a trace of clothing covering his boyish form. Was there even a small possibility Steven could make a small part of that dream a reality? If there was only a way, just to look, just to catch a glimpse.
Then an idea came, an idea so beautifully simple that he didn't know why he hadn't thought of it sooner. Even if it could go no further, he would at least get a chance to see what he so desperately wanted to see, and he knew he could do it in a way would not alarm and upset Josh.
It was a slight movement from the boy that shook Steven out of his temporary stupor. Suddenly, he became aware of how awkward his position was. Josh, who was atop his stomach with his legs straddling either side of him, was readjusting himself, each movement bringing the boy closer toward Steven's crotch. If he slipped down any further, he would certainly feel it, and he would have to know immediately what it meant, and everything would be over... everything. Steven quickly lifted the boy from atop him, and sat him on the end of the couch, trying as unobtrusively as possible to readjust the front of his pants as he sat back down at the other end.
Unfortunately, decreasing the proximity between himself and the boy did not serve to temper his storm of emotions. Seeing Josh sitting there, with his oversized light blue polo shirt all disheveled, parts of its tail having become un-tucked from his beige khaki shorts, his lust overcame him, and he let the question he had formulated in his mind slip off of his tongue, muting the warning clamoring in the back of his mind.
"How would you feel about doing something else, something outside the house? How would you like to go swimming?" He asked, trying to keep his voice from cracking. Josh's eyes lit up. "Yeah, I haven't gone swimming since summer! Do you know of any places to go?"
Steven took a deep breath. "Have you ever been to the rec center on Kipling?"
Josh shook his head. "No, mom only lets me swim in the apartment pools."
"Oh, you're in for quite a treat then, this pool is really big, and they have a water slide there."
"Waterslide? COOL! Can we go right now?" Josh hopped off of the couch, coaxing Steven to his feet.
"I thought you might like that idea," Steven said, letting himself get dragged out of the living room.
After they had both retrieved their shoes from the front door, Steven asked Josh to wait while he ran upstairs to fetch his swim trunks, a towel, and a pair of goggles. Josh, waiting anxiously at the bottom of the stairs, fell in quickly behind him as Steven led the way out to the car. Though Josh still tried to be careful around his car, he could tell that Josh was becoming more comfortable with it, especially since the boy was now riding home with him from school to practice so often.
"We are going to have to stop back at your place, you know, unless you want to swim in what you are wearing now."
"Yeah, mom would probably get real mad if I did, huh?" Josh giggled
The drive to Josh's being only a few blocks away, ended sharply as Steven nudged Josh out the door. "Just go in and grab your things real quick, we'll change when we get there, okay?" Josh nodded his head real quick and ran up to the door.
For several minutes, Steven's eyes lingered at the passageway, waiting as patiently as he could for the boy to come out. Steven took several more deep breaths. Was it actually going to happen? Was he actually going to get a chance to see the boy change clothes? With his mind being completely preoccupied with the events that might be unfolding in only a few short minutes, Steven completely lost track of the present. When he finally began to realize that a much greater amount of time had passed than was necessary for Josh to simply grab a pair of swim trunks and a towel, the boy came bounding back out the front door.
When Steven saw what the boy was wearing, his shoulders slumped. The reason for Josh's extended length of time inside was immediately explained by his change of attire. Josh was now wearing red and black swimming trunks, and a white tee shirt. The trunks were the kind that hung all the way down to the knee, and his shirt was at least two sizes too large. Josh popped the passenger side door open and bounced inside.
"Why did you change in the apartment?" Steven asked, trying his best to hide his disappointment.
Josh shrugged his shoulders. "I figured it would be faster that way, so you won't have to worry about my clothes when we're there."
Steven could tell the boy had become slightly uncomfortable, squirming in his seat when he had asked him that, so he thought better of it and nodded his head, putting the car into first. Luckily, the boy's discomfort was temporary, and after only a minute or so on the road, he was chattering happily, asking things like if Steven had ever been where they were going before, when he had learned how to swim, and how good he was. Steven replied as truthfully as possible, explaining that he didn't swim often, but he had had lessons when he was a kid.
"I didn't take lessons for very long though. I wasn't really interested in becoming a good swimmer. I was much more interested in other things, like music."
Josh nodded. "Yeah, I'm the same. I only took a few lessons, just so mom would know for sure that I wouldn't drown."
"And are you sure? That you won't drown that is?" Steven asked with mock seriousness.
Josh tried his best to stifle a giggle. "Yeah. I'm not that worried. I jumped off of a twenty foot diving board once, so I'm not afraid of the deep end," He said, puffing out his chest a little. Steven truly had to admire the boy's gusto.
They talked about several more of Josh's swimming endeavors, and swimming bloopers. Both of them laughed aloud when Josh told him about the time he took a dive and when he'd come back up, his trunks hadn't.
"I was like SO scared someone would see me!" Josh said, recovering from his laughter. "But luckily they came up right beside me a few seconds later, so I grabbed them real quick and slipped them back on. I don't think anyone noticed anything because I remember the lifeguard jumping in the water just then to break up a fight."
"Guess you lucked out then, huh?" Steven asked, keeping his eyes strictly locked onto Josh's face, knowing if he looked lower this time, more than just his mental state would be affected.
"Uh huh. So from then on, I made sure to have my trunk strings tied extra tight." Josh said, looking down at his waist band, tugging at the bow-tie knot he had made.
Unable to resist watching Josh pull up his shirt, exposing the taught skin of his tummy, revealing his `innie' while readjusting the waistband of his swim trunks, images swirled though Steven's mind. Images of the boy's trunks having accidentally fallen off after pushing off the wall, or having taken a nose dive too quickly. Images of Steven holding the boy's trunks above his head, Josh having to jump out of the water trying to grab them. Though Steven figured it wouldn't come down that way, maybe, just maybe, he would get a chance to see a little bit of what those oversized trunks covered.
Forcing himself to nod and smile, Steven made the turn into the rec center, focusing his attention on finding a parking space. As soon as he stopped, Josh hopped out of the car, barely containing his boyish exuberance while waiting for Steven to get himself and his stuff out. All the way to the front door of the facility, Josh was like a yo-yo, waiting for Steven to catch up, and then running ahead. But once Josh got to the door, he kindly stopped and held it open until Steven passed through.
Surprisingly, Josh remained very patient as Steven paid the fee and got a locker key, but his patience wore out fast after they put their towels and shoes into one of the many open lockers in the locker room. Josh took off his white tee shirt faster than Steven could blink and threw it into the locker, right along with his towel and sandals. His goggles went on next. He strapped them onto his forehead for convenience, and before Steven had even had a chance to take off his socks, Josh was completely ready.
"Can I jump in the pool now?" Josh asked.
Now it wasn't just a boy asking him if he could go swimming, it was a bare chested boy who was asking him if he could go swimming. Knowing that nothing positive would be gained by making Josh wait around for him to get undressed and get his own trunks on, Steven nodded his head and waved his hand.
"Yeah, that's fine. Go have fun. I'm going to get changed," Steven said.
"Woo hoo!" And Josh was off like a bullet.
Even though he sorely missed Josh's presence the moment the boy was gone, he was glad for the reprieve. His heart was beating a thousand miles a minute, and there was nothing he could do to slow it down. Just a quick peak at the boy's bare chest had been enough to bring him up to the level of excitement he had reached this morning. That, coupled with the very real possibility that he might get to see more was about to send him straight over the top. Just the mere possibility that he might get to see even a little bit of the boy's tender flesh under his swim trunks was enough to drive him crazy.
Trying his best to arrange his swim trunks so that his arousal wouldn't be so apparent, he quickly put his clothes inside the locker, next to Joshes. After taking several deep long breaths to calm himself down first, Steven headed out of the changing room to go find Josh.
The rec center had two large pool areas. The first room had a smaller wading pool, next to the pool that the water slide fell into. Behind that was the pool meant for the smaller children, made apparent by several large plastic ducks mounted on springs. A few boys and a girl were playing around in the wading pool, throwing soggy Nurf balls at each other, laughing in their high-pitched sopranos. Their parents, or at least the people Steven assumed to be their parents, were in the hot tub in the far corer of the room, talking amongst themselves. All of that scenery however, melted into the background when he heard a high pitched yell come from the water slide, spiraling downwards, until finally a boy appeared, shooting like an arrow down the tube, plummeting into the water legs first.
If seeing Josh dry had had an effect on Steven, that effect was tripled when he saw him wet. Once again, he had to adjust his trunks. When Josh popped out of the water and ran up towards him, Steven put on the most benign smile he could, and waved.
"You GOTTA try this! It's SO cool!" Josh said, taking Steven's hand and dragging him over to the stairway to climb to the top of the slide. "And the best part is, there's no line, so you can go down as many times as you want!"
Helplessly, Steven was pulled along, following the dripping wet boy up the spiraling staircase to the top of the slide. Once at the top, Josh stood by the slide and smiled up at Steven. "It might not be as good as Water World, but it's still really fun. And you can go pretty fast too, if you keep your arms and legs straight. Here, you try," Josh said, pulling at Steven, trying to get him closer to the slide.
Almost feeling like a little boy himself, Steven walked up to the slide and carefully stuck his feet in, right above the powerful jet of rushing water. The water was cold to the touch, sending shivers up his legs. Just as he was about to get in, he looked back at Josh.
"Hey Josh? Do you want to ride together? It might be more fun that way, you think?" Steven tried to ask as casually as possible.
Josh smiled widely at the suggestion. "Yeah! I didn't think of that. I bet that'd be really cool!"
Steven took a deep breath, then nodded. "Okay, let me get in first," Steven said, hoping that the cold water would help cool the lower parts of him down before Josh was up against him.
Josh wasted no time and got in right after him, scooting himself backwards right between Steven's legs. "Alright, let's go!" Josh hooted, grabbing onto the sides of Steven's swim trunks.
Unlike Josh's sure grip, Steven's own hands were having trouble finding a final resting place. First he closed his hands over Josh's fists, then placed them on his stomach, then he grabbed Josh's hands again, then finally let them rest back on his stomach. Though the trip though the slide probably only lasted less than a minute, to Steven, it seemed much longer. With his hands solidly on the boy's firm little belly, and the boy's back firmly pressed up against his groin, Steven's mind was racing faster than they were going down the slide. His hand only had to move down a few more inches, and he would reach uncharted territory. His hands yearned to caress the tender skin of the boy's belly, and draw them up to the boy's dime-sized nipples. Just as he began to imagine easing his hands under the waistband of Josh's swim trunks, they splashed heavily into the chilly water at the bottom of the slide.
"Again, again!" The boy shouted, practically jumping onto Steven's back as they waded out of the pool.
Steven obliged the boy, and just about when he thought his willpower wouldn't be able to cope with taking another ride down the slide with out some small amount of return, Josh paused and looked around.
"Actually, I kinda want to go into the bigger pool now, is that okay?"
Steven shrugged helplessly. "Anything is fine with me. Whatever you want to do."
With Steven trailing behind the over-exuberant boy, Josh led the way over to the larger pool, just on the other side of the large glass wall. It was Olympic sized, with a diving board and several jumping pedestals along the deep end. The two furthest lanes were sectioned off with floats, strung from one end to the other. Currently, the whole pool was empty. Running over to the middle, Josh pressed on his goggles and leaped into the pool, tucking his arms and legs into a cannon ball, making a splash that almost reached Steven. By the time Steven made it to the ladder by the shallow end, Josh had already swum over.
"So, you feel like doing some laps?" Steven asked, putting his own goggles on.
"Laps? What kinda laps?" Josh asked, following Steven over to where the lanes where.
The formation of a plan began to take shape in Steven's mind. "Well, when I'm here, I usually do about twenty breaststroke, twenty freestyle, and ten butterflies. Do you know how to do any of those?"
Josh nodded his head. "I know the breaststroke and freestyle."
"Then how about five laps of each? You think you can handle that?"
Josh looked to the deep end and back. A tinge of worry appeared on his face. "I'm not sure. I've never been in a pool so big before."
"Eh, I'm sure you can handle it. Besides, a young whipper-snapper like you should be able to do a lot better then an old codger like me." Steven joked.
"Alright..." Josh said, still not sounding sure of himself.
Then Steven came a little bit closer to Josh and put his hand on his shoulder. "Hey, I'll tell you what. If you get too tired, we'll take a break, but we should still try to finish. How does that sound?"
Josh nodded his head, a little less reluctant this time.
"Lets start with the breaststroke first, then we'll finish up with the freestyle," Steven said. Once Josh was in position, Steven signaled the go.
All the way down to the deep end, Steven kept an eye on Josh underwater, making sure to stay a little bit behind him. The way Josh had pushed off the wall, and how he used both his arms and legs to swoop himself forward, Steven could tell the boy had had swimming lesions. The boy's form was very controlled, and in Steven's eyes, no one would have been able to swim more elegantly. When they reached the other end, Josh grabbed onto the wall to catch his breath.
"Don't stop Josh, you got to keep going. Come on." Steven urged the boy on.
For the first several laps, Steven stayed behind Josh, keeping an easy pace, making sure the boy would be okay. Using the full strength of his arms and legs, Steven surged ahead of Josh, testing what his reaction would be. Just as he expected, the boy rose up to the challenge, and the race was on.
Though Steven knew he could easily leave the boy in his wake, he kept the pace right at where he thought Josh could handle. Josh was stubborn, trying his hardest to gain the lead, and several times, Steven relinquished his position, only to steal it back right before the touched the next wall.
By the time they had completed the 2nd lap of freestyle, Steven could tell the boy was really beginning to tire, so he slowed his pace considerably, though he made it look like he himself was wearing down. Steven's intentions weren't to completely exhaust Josh, just to... loosen him up a little, hoping that a little exercise would cause his guard on his modesty to slip... just a bit.
As they pushed off the wall of the deep end for the final lap, Steven let Josh close the gap between them. Right up to the last few strokes, Steven kept the race head to head, only letting Josh surge past him ten feet from the finish. When the race was over, Josh had won by several hand spans.
"You did it! And Josh Chambers is the winner! Three cheers for Josh!" Steven shouted, raising his fists into the air.
Though Josh had a smile on his face, he was still shaking his head. "You LET me win, didn't you?"
"What makes you say that?" Steven asked, appearing offended.
"Because you kept letting me pass you," Josh said, eyeing Steven skeptically.
"I certainly was not! You were doing pretty good there Josh, I was having a hard time keeping up with you."
"Uh huh. Yeah sure, whatever!" Josh said, rolling his eyes.
"So, you don't believe me, huh?" Steven said, putting up his arms.
Josh shook his head, not backing down for a second. "Nope!"
Ceasing onto the opportunity with both hands, Steven began to create the beginnings of a massive water wave. "Well, I'm just going to have to MAKE you believe me then!"
Though Josh hadn't been prepared for the first wave, he was more than ready for the ones that followed, meeting Steven's barrage with counters of his own. But Steven did not relent, forcing Josh to back under the bobbing lane ropes so they would have more breathing space. Finally, when Steven decided he had had enough water thrown into his face, he shot forward and grabbed hold of Josh's arms. Josh, being far smaller than Steven, didn't have a chance as Steven twisted him around so that Josh's back was against his chest. Not letting up on the boy for one second, he began ticking the boy on the stomach viciously, dunking him in the water several times.
"Do you believe me now, huh?" Steven asked, temporarily letting up on the tickling.
"No way!" the boy protested.
Giving the boy a few more tickles for good measure, he easily flipped the boy upside down, grabbing the boy's thighs, right above his knee caps. Josh squiggled and squirmed all he could, but his efforts proved futile, and Steven's grin broadened.
"This is your last chance boy. All you have to do is admit I'm right."
"Never!" Josh said courageously.
Steven let out a sigh of mock pity. "There's no helping it then." Then he proceeded to dunk the boy, head first, into the water.
Josh squirmed with all his might, causing the legs of his swim trunks to ride further and further up his thighs. And Steven kept it up, until the nylon material had slipped as far as it could go. It bunched up into his groin, spreading itself thinly along the base of his thighs, and into the crack of his firm little bottom. Very little was hidden now, only the boy's groin, and what was in between the boy's little globes. Steven's eyes were super-glued to the boy, his mind in shock that he was actually getting to see what he had wanted to see so badly. In that one single moment, he felt more excited, more sexually charged, than he had ever felt in his entire adult life.
It wasn't when the boy squirmed more, but when his movement began to diminish that reality began to sink in and he began to realize that something was wrong, something was very wrong. In the next split second, Steven realized that he had been holding Josh's head underwater almost the entire time he had been gawking. Panic and fear quickly erased any other feeling when he realized that the boy was one mere step away from drowning. Pushing all thoughts aside, Steven reacted, pulling Josh out of the water as hastily as he could, flipping him back over and standing him up on shaky legs. Josh was madly retching, choking on all the water he had swallowed. Steven did what he could; patting the boy on his back, trying to get Josh to cough it all out.
"Are you okay Josh? I'm SO sorry. I didn't mean to make you choke like that. I'm SO SO sorry!" Steven said, and after the boy stopped coughing, he took a few backwards steps, his eyes going blurry.
Once Josh's head was cleared and he had shaken the water out of his ears, the boy managed a smile. "That's okay. I just think you held me underwater little bit too long at the end, that's all." But Josh's smile faded when he saw Steven's face. "It's no big deal, really. I'm okay."
Steven only backed further away from the boy. "No. No, it's not okay. I could have really hurt you. I don't know what I was thinking. I shouldn't have done that."
Josh gave him a perplexed look. "Done what? We were only joking around, right?"
There was a long period of silence. The aura of playfulness between them was now completely dispersed. Josh's eyes cast about at Steven and the rest of the pool, his look becoming more and more forlorn, until Steven finally broke the silence.
"I think I better take you home now." Steven said, his eyes completely unable to look in Josh's direction, the terrible reality of what had just happened now fully setting in.
"Why? We haven't been here that long, have we?"
"No, but... I think it's probably for the best if I just take you home," Steven said, fighting to keep his lips from trembling.
"NO, I don't want to go home," Josh protested loudly. Then his voice got real quiet. "I want to stay with you."
A look unlike anything Steven had ever seen appeared on Josh's face. It was hard for Steven to characterize it, but it seemed like a look of almost pure desperation. Then, before he could blink an eye, the look was gone.
Though he felt the most dreadful ache in his heart, Steven still shook his head. "I'm sorry Josh, I just can't swim anymore."
"But why? Did I accidentally hurt you?"
Steven almost wanted to laugh at the irony of Josh's statement, but he could only let his face sink into a deeper frown. "No Josh. You didn't do anything wrong. I guess... I guess I'm just not feeling very well."
Josh's shoulders sagged a little, his face now clouding up with concern. Giving up on any further protests, Josh quietly followed Steven out of the pool and into the locker room. Even now, there was still that part of him that wanted to ask Josh to remove his trunks so they could wash the chlorine off, he buried it away deep deep down where it belonged and locked it up tight.
Silently, Josh helped him open up the locker and pulled out their towels. When Josh had finished drying and had his shirt and sandals back on, and saw that Steven was still wet, his face became more worried.
"Are you okay? What's wrong?"
Only for the briefest moment did Steven look Josh's way, and instantly he regretted it. He could plainly see how concerned for him the boy was, a concern for his well-being that he had absolutely NO privilege to. The most incredible feeling of guilt washed over him, almost immediately filled with the deepest sense of self hatred. The longer Josh stood there watching him, the deeper he slid into despair. But he still owed Josh some sort of explanation.
Fighting hard to work up the courage to speak, Steven responded to Josh's concern. "I just have a little stomach ache, that's all. Don't worry, I'll be okay. I just don't think I can swim anymore."
Josh seemed to take this in and think seriously about it for a few moments. "Are you sure you will be okay?"
Steven nodded his head. "Yeah, I'll be fine. Why don't you go wait for me out in the lobby, I'll be out in a few minutes, okay?"
Josh gave Steven a long look, trying his best to decipher whether it was okay to leave. Finally Josh nodded his head, then turned and walked out of the locker room, looking back several more times before he was out of sight.
Once Josh was gone, Steven felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders, allowing him to go about undressing, then over to the showers. His thoughts began to stream out the same time as the water. He didn't know whether to feel really depressed, or really mad at himself. Why did he set himself up in a situation like this in the first place? How could he have let his desperation drive him so far? Was his need so bad that he didn't have any control at all? That he could have put Josh in such danger like that? Were his feelings so repressed that he would do anything to get what he wanted? Standing there, in the shower, completely alone, with real instead of imagined water rushing over him; he greatly regretted every single lustful thought he had had for the entire day.
"NO," Steven thought to himself, "I won't let it happen. I wouldn't ever take advantage of Josh. And I won't ever put him in a situation where I might be tempted like this again. I'll continue to help him as best I can, I'll continue to be his teacher, and his mentor, and I'll... I... I won't ever cross the line with him, no matter how badly I want it. Not Ever!"