By Lee Mariner

September 2003

 This is the continuing story about Troy, an adolescent boy entering puberty and Mike, his 33 year old gay neighbor. It will depict homosexual acts between men and boys. The story is intended for adult readers only. IF YOU ARE NOT OF LEGAL AGE IN YOUR LOCATION TO BE READING THIS STORY OR YOU FIND SUCH MATERIAL OBJECTIONABLE, PLEASE LEAVE. All of the characters in this story are fictional and in no way related to any person or persons living or deceased.


All stories I have written can be found in the Nifty Archives listing of Prolific Authors under the pen name of Lee Mariner.

This work has been edited by my friend Sean. Many thanks for you assistance Sean.


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Chapter #24

The clouds were darker and instead of merely threatening rain a soft drizzle had already begun. Troy ran for the empty back door of the house while I locked the garage door before following.  He stood laughing as he watched me trying to skip over a couple of puddles with little success. One in the kitchen, my feet slipped in the plaster dust covering the floor and I almost fell which only caused him to laugh harder.  Fortunately for me, Tony had not removed the kitchen counters and grabbing the edge of one I was able to steady myself. 

Troy was laughing so hard that he was hugging himself and at first I felt a pang of anger for him laughing at me. Then  I realized how silly I must have looked, so  I started laughing too; I was still laughing as he staggered towards me and fell into my arms.  We both were shaking with laughter and it was a few seconds before we stopped.  He breathed in really hard a couple of times before looking up at me with an impish grin on his face and a twinkle in his eyes.

"I didn't mean to laugh at you Mike but you looked so funny." He said still a little excited.

"I guess you would have gotten a real kick if I had fallen you young whelp."

He hesitated before answering and the expression in his eyes changed. "No, I wouldn't have laughed Mike.  I don't like to see anyone get hurt."  He said softly as he put his arms around my waist and laid his head against my chest.

"I know you wouldn't, I was just kidding with you."

He squeezed me tightly and pulling his arms from around me he placed them around my neck. Leaning his head back he looked deeply into my eyes and I saw compassion and sincerity in his.  He lifted up on his toes and kissed me whispering, "we better hurry Mike, Mom don't like holding up supper."

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The light drizzle had changed into a steady rain. I saw Troy's mother looking through a window watching as we sprinted across the lawn.  "Both of you are going to catch pneumonia." She said, meeting us at the backdoor with towels. "Troy, you go on up to your room and change out of those wet things." 

"Awww Mom, they aren't that wet." He whined from under the towel while drying his hair.

"You march yourself upstairs and change young man. I don't need you coming down sick." She said sternly.

Rolling his eyes Troy looked at me and scampered out of the room. We both heard him mumbling under his breath, "You'd think I was a little kid or something."

Judith grinned at me. "He thinks he is a grown man now that his father is gone."  She said, a melancholy note in her voice.

"I guess most boys feel that way Mrs. McNeal." I said taking the offered towel. "This rain is probably from the backside of the hurricane. It's a good thing it didn't hit us directly or there would have been a lot more damage. It took my men most of the day to clean up the debris." I said while  trying to comb my hair after drying it. 

"The Outer Banks were hit pretty hard. We were on standby at the hospital if they needed us since they only have a small clinic.  I'll make you a deal. If you will call me Judith, I'll call you Mike. From all Troy tells me I already feel like I know you fairly well. I hope you like meat loaf?"

"One of my favorite meals." I said. "I appreciate you inviting me, it saves me from eating in a restaurant of fixing something in my apartment and it gives us the opprotunity to become better acqainted. May I help you, set the table or something?"

"Thanks but that's Troy's job.  Would you like a cup of coffee? I don't keep anything stronger in the house."

"Coffee black will be fine." 

"David drank his coffee that way." She said while pouring. "Pull one of the chairs out and sit at the corner of the table, you won't be in Troy's way." 

"David was your husband?" I asked as I moved a chair and sat where she had indicated.

"Yes."  She answered softly. "In some ways you remind me of him except his hair was lighter than yours. Troy looks more like him every day."

"I'm sorry Judith." I said taking a sip from my cup. "I should have known better then too ask."

I sat silently embarrassed and she had hesitated for a few moments in her task of whipping the mashed potatoes. Memories of how I had hurt upon my parents' deaths flashed through my head and I should have known better than ask a question that would conjure up hurtful memories.  I was trying to think of something to say that wouldn't sound stupid when she put the potato masher in the sink and started spooning the fluffy white potatoes in to a bowl.

 "There's no need to apologize Mike." She said as she sat the bowl on the sink drain board. "I think of him everyday and I miss him but he gave me Troy.  He's my comfort." 

She and I had been talking and we didn't know Troy had come down the stairs from his bedroom until he spoke from the doorway.

"Who's your comfort Mom? Are you guys talking about Dad?"

"You have big ears Troy McNeal." She said, slightly irritated.  " I wish you would set the table, Mike must be starved."

I pulled my chair back from the table while Troy took dishes from one of the cabinets.  He glanced at his mother and gave me a quizzical look before starting to set the table. I gave him a negative nod of my head and pursed my lips signaling  he should be quiet. 

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The dinner was excellent and the conversation was mostly about Troy and his school work.  His mother surprised me when she said he was taking an academic course and maintaining a 3.4 grade average.  Troy looked across the table at me with an embarrassed look and complained.

"Jeepers Mom, you make it sound like I'm a big brain or something. You'll have Mike thinking I'm a nerd."

"Oh no squirt, don't put me in the middle." I exclaimed. "Being intelligent and making good grades does not make you a nerd.  Being intelligent and not doing your best makes you a stupid nerd. I've always regretted not finishing high school."

"You never finished high school Mike?" Judith said with a surprised look on her face.

"I wish I had.  I thought I  was too smart for school and  I wanted to join the navy and see the world.  I've done that but hindsight is twenty-twenty Troy. I wanted to get out of the small town where I lived but we never really know what we should have done until we look back at what we didn't do; then its too late.  Education opens up a lot of doors in the future." I said trying not to sound like I was preaching.

"Now you sound just like Mom." He said.

"Well young man, I'm glad your hearing it from someone other than me." She said. I could tell she was a little exasperated and Troy's face was fire-engine red.  

The room went silent and I could feel the vibes passing between Troy and his mother.  I felt almost as embarrassed as Troy and I knew it was time to get off that subject.  Draining the last of my coffee I leaned back in my chair and patted my stomach.  "I think I've put on about ten pounds Judith, dinner was great. I would like another cup of coffee if there is anymore."

"There is plenty in the pot Mike but wouldn't you rather have an after dinner drink?  I do have a bottle of Drambuie in the cabinet, it goes great with coffee."

"If you will have one with me Judith I'll wait on the coffee."

"No, go ahead and have your coffee on the side porch.  I'll join you as soon as Troy and I finish the dishes."

Troy must have felt like he was being left out and piped up, "can I have a Pepsi Mom?"

"You can have one while you are doing your homework."

"Awwwwww Mom." He pleaded. "I can do that later after Mike leaves."

"Later will be too late. I know you and that later bit.  After we finish the dishes you can say goodnight and get at your homework. By the time you are finished it will be bed time.  Mike is not going to disappear on you." Judith said sternly.

I could see Troy getting ready  to protest again and I said, "I'll see you tomorrow Squirt after school. I have a few things I want to talk over with the contractor after I get off of work. Okay?" 

"I guess so." He  said in a tone of reluctant resignation.

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While Troy and Judith were washing dishes and putting them away I took my coffee out onto the side porch just off of the kitchen.  It was very comfortable. Everywhere you could see the woman's touch.  There were two chairs and a double seated glider with cushions covered in a floral pattern.  There was a glass topped table between the two tables with a flower arrangement on it and two smaller inlaid tables at each end of the glider.  Coasters for drinks were on each table and there was an ashtray on the table between the two individual chairs.  A dark brown reed mat that matched the mauve, light green and orange flowers of the cushions covered the floor.  There was a large golden sunburst clock on the wall of the house between the door and window.  

I sat down in one of the chairs and after setting my cup on one of the coaster's I took my cigarettes out of my shirt pocket.  I started to light up but I hesitated and called out, "Do you mind if I smoke Judith?"

"Not at all, that's what the ashtray is for. Smoking is allowed on the porch but not in the house."

"Thanks, that's fair enough." I answered lighting up.

Troy and Judith made fast work of the dishes and just as I was extinguishing my cigarette Troy stuck his head around the door jamb.  "G'night Mike. See you tomorrow?"

"Good night Troy." I answered grinning at him.  "Hit the books and study hard. I'll see you later."

"Yeah, study." He said, rolling his eyes and grimacing.

"Especially the math young man." Judith said appearing in the door holding a small tray. "You've been slipping in Algebra lately."

We both heard him call out "Yes mother." As he went up the stairs to his room.

"Troy isn't lazy Mike but he will let things slip if you don't keep after him." She said as she sat the tray on the table. "Would you like for me to freshen your coffee?"

"No thanks Judith. I've had enough coffee for today. " I said, accepting the snifter of Drambuie. "Troy is not much different than most kids his age. We all have a tendency to slack up some when we are teenagers.  My dad stayed on me constantly  I only wish I had listened to him more than I did."

"Troy's father was my problem.  David spoiled him rotten but he didn't let him get away with anything. We both knew when Troy was playing the both of us against each other while trying to get his way. He can really be a devil at times .  I will say, however, that Troy never gave me any trouble when his father was away."

"I don't have any experience in that area but from some of the stories my men tell me it's always hardest on their wives when they are gone.  Kids try and get away with more at those times than when both parents are at home."

"Do you have any family Mike?"

"Not here.  Both of my parents are gone but I have a younger married brother back home.  No kids yet but I think they are trying. Bryce keeps telling me I should get married but the right one has never came along. Maybe someday."

"Some men are not suited for marriage but you are still young.  Sometimes I think David would rather have stayed single. He was such a free spirit and he loved flying.  Like most kids our age we went against our parents' advice and he and I married right after our first year in college. Troy popped up very shortly after that." She said as she sipped her drink. 

"Raising a new baby and going to school is pretty difficult from what I have heard." I said wishing the conversation would change.

"It can be for some but our parents helped us or we might not have made it.  David was in the NROTC and when we graduated he was sent to Pensacola for flight training.  Moving around was the hardest part after he was commissioned.  We hated taking Troy out of one school and re-enrolling him in another.  Being a nurse helped with the finances but moving Troy every couple of years was the big problem. I was about ready to go home when David was assigned to a squadron here at the naval air station. How long have you been stationed here? " 

"Just over a year. This is my last duty station and then I retire."

"Is that why you bought the house, you plan on living here after you retire?"

"Partly that." I said. "I can find a job here that I am trained for rather than going back home to a factory or maybe wind up being a used car salesman." 

"David would have retired in another seven years." She said wistfully. "I miss him but Troy really took it hard when his father died. I think he is getting over it better now though. He and Sherman down the street have become great friends and that has helped.  Mr. Altman takes both boys to ball games and things that men like." 

"I haven't met the Altmans but Sherman seems like a nice kid. I asked Troy and him  if they want a  job helping me clean out my garage.  The former owners left a lot of junk in it that I don't want.. I told him to ask you and Sherman's parents if it was all right."

"It won't hurt either one of them.  At least I'll know where Troy is when they change my shift at the hospital.  I hate leaving him alone but the money is better.  He is old enough to take care of himself but that's one reason I'm glad he has taken a fancy to you, he needs a man around."

"He's a good kid. I like him a lot." I said as I finished my drink and looked at her face at the same time.

"Just don't let him get underfoot Mike.  He's a good kid but I told you he can be a devil when he wants something." 

"I don't think I'll have much trouble with him Judith. I've had youngsters not much older than him working for me." 

"No Mike, I don't think you will." She said eyeing me and smiling. "I hate breaking this up but it is getting late for you and I still  have to fix Troy's lunch and then be getting into the hospital.  It's been fun though, I've enjoyed having someone to talk with."

"I've enjoyed it myself Judith.  Maybe, after the house is finished, you and Troy will have dinner with me.  I don't cook as well as you do but I'm not bad in the kitchen."

"I'll hold you to that." She said as she got up.

"Good night Judith, thanks again for the invitation." I said.

"Good night Mike, it was fun. You can use the screen door and go around the front of the house rather than the back."

Closing the screen door behind me I waved and she waved back.  I looked up at Troy's window as I rounded the front of the house to my car; no lights showed through it.

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The rain had almost stopped by the time I reached my apartment. All the time I was driving, the conversation I had with Troy's mother kept running through my head.  I had briefly spoke with her once before on the phone but not as much in depth as we had this time.  Some of her questions and comments bordered on being just a little more personal than I would have expected. It was almost as if she was feeling me out about my future plans and I couldn't help but wonder if she was hinting at being more than just neighbors.  I had women come on to me in bars but that was a lot different than a widowed mother who had a teenage son and missed her husband.  Knowing what a bar whore wanted was easy but the upfront frankness of a bar whore was much different than the subtleties of straight women. I'd have to play my cards close to the vest but the joker in the pack was Troy.  I knew deep within me that I loved Troy but as difficult as it would be for the both of us, his enthusiasm would need to be curbed. I was to close to my retirement to have anything happen that might upset his mother.

Judith seemed to be a devoted mother and while her questions and comments may have been innocent enough I wouldn't find out until later the real reason behind them.

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Traffic was back to its normal pace when I drove into work on the following morning.  I was thinking about both Troy and Gil as I drove and I realized that Rob had faded into the background of my thinking.  Without knowing it I had subconsciously  made my choice between him and Troy only to have Gil complicate matters.  I did know that I was dreading seeing Gil when I finished walking his leave request through. I did know one thing and that was he had more sense than I did, he was getting away for a few days. From what he had said about his abrupt leave request he needed to think things through.  Maybe I should do the same. I hadn't seen my brother and his family for quite awhile and he was upset that I had gone to Atlanta over the holidays instead of returning home.  There was no real reason I shouldn't take off since there was very little I needed to do while the house was being remodeled.  

"That's what I'll do." I thought as I pulled into my, wonder-of-wonders, empty parking space.

The duty petty officer looked up as I entered the barracks and grinned. "Good morning Boats, you're in a little early aren't you?"

"That's one of the hard parts about being the leading petty officer of the division Crawford. Are Commander Weidemeyer and Senior Chief Knickleman in yet?"

"They both came in about fifteen minutes ago." He answered quickly. 

"Good, you can go ahead and secure from your watch.  If you see Lawton when you go topside, tell him I'll have his leave papers at morning muster." I said as I entered my office.

Knickleman signed Lawton's leave request over my approval and I took it into the duty yeoman's office for typing of the formal leave authorization.  When I took it into the Commander's office he looked at it and then glanced up at me.

"Are you sure you won't need him so soon after the storm?" He asked.

"Yes sir.  Lawton worked pretty hard getting the admiral and captain's boats in shape like you wanted. The rest of the crew did a good job squaring things away so it shouldn't be any problem letting him off."

"Don't let him leave until after I have talked with the men." He said as he signed the authorization.

"Yes sir." I answered

When he said that I knew we were in for a long speech and I was right.  Gil looked at me questioningly when I called his name from the muster sheet and when I winked at him he grinned.   After I finished the roll call I turned around and handed the clipboard to Knickleman. 

"All present Senior Chief." I reported and he in turn reported all men present to the Commander.

The Commander congratulated everyone on their performance of their duties during the storm along with his usual speech about everyone acting in in the finest manner of the naval service, etc, etc.  Knickleman glanced over at me during the long harangue and rolled his bloodshot eyes.  I could tell he needed a drink.

After the pep talk was over the men were released with the usual "turn to."  I told Gil I would be in my office and he could pick up his leave papers when he was ready.  After I finished talking with the squad petty officers in my office and outlining a few tasks that needed to be done I poured myself a cup of coffee before sitting at my desk.  It never ceased to amaze me how much paper work could accumulate overnight.

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I had hardly started when the intercom on my desk buzzed. "Homan, I'd like to do an inspection of the docks. Chief Knickleman has a stomach virus or something and went to the clinic. I'll stop by your office in about an hour when I'm ready."

"Yes sir." I answered.

"Virus my foot." I thought to myself. "The sucker's suffering from a hangover and needs a shot of vitamin B."

I didn't know Gil was standing in the doorway as I answered the commander until he knocked.  He had changed into tight fitting dark blue Levi's with a white open-throat polo shirt and a matching blue windbreaker.  The pronounced bulge in his crotch caused me to swallow and he grinned when he saw where I was looking.

"Nice outfit Gil." I said trying to regain my composure. "Have a seat."

He sat down across my desk and sat his travel bag on the floor. "You never noticed it before Mike. I was wearing the same thing that day in the head. Remember?" He said quietly.

"I had other things on my mind Gil."

"I guess we both did.  Will you do me a favor?" He asked.

"If I can I will. What's on your mind?"

He looked around and out into the duty room before answering. "You know why I'm taking off for a few days Mike and it's not because of what happened the other night. That's a big part of it but I need to get my head and my feelings for you straightened out in my mind. I was wondering if I came back a couple of days early if you would mind if I stopped by your apartment and we could talk?"

"There is nothing wrong with that Gil. We both need to do some thinking and talking never hurts. You have my number at home don't you? Give me a call when you start back and I'll meet you at the airport."

He hung his head for a moment before looking at me with his strikingly blue eyes and saying, "I'm taking the bus Mike. I can't afford to fly."

"The bus, don't be silly.  Riding a bus to Wisconsin will take at least two days of your leave there and back." I exclaimed.

"I don't mind the bus.  It'll give me more time to think. Besides that, the nearest airport to where I live is in Green Bay."

"Bullshit Gil." I said as I pulled my wallet out. "You take my credit card and get a flight. If they question it at the airport tell them to call me here. "

"I can't do that Mike. I appreciate it but I'll be okay, really I will."

"The airport Gil and I won't take no for an answer." I said as I stood up. "You just be sure and call me."

For a moment his eyes went watery and I thought he was going to hug me as I pushed the credit card at him. Weidemeyer calling me as he came down the stairs stopped that from happening even though his hugging me would have felt good.

"Have a good leave Lawton." I said loudly for Weidemeyer's benefit.

"Are you ready Homan?  I want to make this quick." The commander said as Gil left my office.

"Yes sir. Just finished getting Lawton off on leave."  I answered.

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The inspection was quick.  We drove through the dock area and  the only place we stopped was at the boat shed where the admiral and captains' boats were docked.  I expected some type of criticism but the old man seemed genuinely pleased at the condition of the boats and told me to compliment Lawton when he returned from leave.

The rest of the day went by quickly and I didn't see Knickleman before I left.  Gil had been on my mind most of the day but I knew Troy would be waiting for me at the house.  I decided against going there and went to Mickey's instead for a few beers and some thinking of my own.

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