Even for Summer in Arizona, the heat was stultifying. Michael Callahan reached over and cranked up the air conditioning control to maximum. The indicator blinked Cold, but it still felt hotter than hell. Useless.
"Shit," he muttered. "You'd think for $60,000, this fucking Lexus air-conditioning would hold up worth a damn."
He glanced down at the external temperature readout: 112 degrees. "But at least it's a dry heat," he said, gritting his teeth as he recalled the words of his boss two years ago.
Taking this job seemed like a disaster back then. He and his wife Polly had fought bitterly over the transfer, forcing them to uproot for the third time in ten years. But luck and good timing -- plus the fickle finger of fate -- were on his side, thanks to his presentation last year that had finally convinced the board of directors to diversify, and put him in charge of the new strategy. In the months that followed, their stock had skyrocketed. And an hour ago, he'd been named co-president of the LA office, a promotion that once seemed beyond his wildest dreams.
The heat was beyond oppressive, beyond cruel. Most of the lawns on either side of the street were parched and brown. A dead bird lay by the side of White Oak Drive as he eased the silver LS-400 around the corner. Callahan nervously glanced up and half-wondered if he'd glimpse any vultures circling above. He chuckled at the thought, then began idly thinking about what it'd be like to die in heat like this. Even the concentration camp victims probably had it better, he mused to himself, as he adjusted the flow of one of the vents directly into his face.
The sweat rolled down his neck, and he mopped his brow with the sleeve of his custom-fitted silk Yves St. Laurents shirt, which was now badly wrinkled and patched with sweat. Callahan glanced out the window at the rows of neat ranch-style luxury houses with identical brown lawns, then winced and shook his head. He was going to be glad to be out of this sweltering hell-hole; he just hoped his wife and 13 year-old son would feel the same way he did about their new-found success.
* * * * *
"God DAMN it!"
Dylan Callahan was thoroughly pissed-off. He stared angrily at the monitor in his bedroom. By any standards, it was luxuriously equipped, particularly for a 13 year-old boy's room. A lavish stereo system was housed in a cabinet in front of his bed. Every recent-vintage Playstation and Nintendo game was stacked neatly on the shelf; a cabinet held over two hundred of his favorite CDs, and his desk had the latest top-of-the-line Macintosh computer, a Christmas gift from his father the year before.
"Fuck!" he said, slapping the monitor. The game had bombed again, for the third time in a row. "Macs are just as stupid as PCs," he muttered.
He shook his head. For some reason, he wasn't quite the computer genius his father was. The elder Callahan somehow had a knack with electronics that always evaded him, and it just made the experience all the more frustrating. Any time Dylan went to his father with a problem, the reaction would always be the same: a roll of the eyes, a sigh, and a look that told him he had failed again.
It was the same way with sports. Dylan had tried out for the local Little League, but after coming home each week a laughing-stock, striking out every time, the boy had eventually given up. His father was clearly disappointed, but at least he hadn't been there to hear the crowd laugh and yell "no-hit Callahan!" every time he came up to bat.
He glared again at the bomb icon on the monitor. He'd show the computer who was boss. He reached to the back and yanked the AC plug out of the wall, then triumphantly waved it at the computer screen.
"Now you're terminated, asshole," he muttered with a faux German accent, slamming the cable down on the monitor.
Dylan jumped out of his chair, then walked over and idly scanned the CD titles on the shelf. Same old shit. Maybe he'd hit the mall and pick up a couple of new ones. He turned and glanced at his bed and shook his head and sighed. It'd happened again last night -- he'd wet the bed, for the second time this week. Thankfully, the maid had already taken away the damp sheets, before they had time to stink up the room. Shit, he was a teenager, yet he still felt like he should be wearing diapers.
He trudged to his door, then glanced at his reflection in the full-length mirror by his closet. Dylan frowned. Everything about him was a mess. The glasses, the pimples, his stupid hair... Even worse, he'd shot up several inches in the last year, forcing him to get all-new clothes, which his mother insisted on picking out for him. Unfortunately, neither his mom or dad ever quite got a handle on life out West, and continued to dress him as if they were still living in Connecticut.
Dylan's eyes took in his full frame from his feet all the way to his head. He winced. He was already almost as tall as his father, but had a gawky, gangly kind of body that made him almost ashamed to be seen by anybody. He was as skinny as a rail, and didn't believe his mother when she promised his body would fill in over the next few years. In school, he'd made every effort to hide in the back of the class and blend in with the wallpaper. Except for two or three casual friends -- most of whom were every bit as geeky as himself -- Dylan had almost succeeded in becoming invisible, which was probably the best he could hope for.
After one last glance, he let out a hopeless sigh, shook his head, and dashed out the door and down the hall.
"Deelin! Deelin! I tol' you mother, you no go outside until Señor Callahan come home!" yelled a female voice from the living room.
"Sorry Rosa!" he yelled, as he scurried to the front door. "I'll be back by sundown, I promise!"
The elderly Spanish woman shook her head. That one is a problem, she thought to herself. A good boy, but much too strong-headed. Like his father. She turned the vacuum cleaner back on and glanced out the window, just in time to see Dylan leap on his Trek 9000 mountain bike and zoom down the driveway and take a sharp left on the sidewalk.
* * * * *
After riding around the neighborhood for more than hour, Dylan was exhausted. His t-shirt was soaking wet with perspiration, and his hands were practically slipping off the handlebars. He pulled his bike to a stop at the street corner and glanced up at the Western Security Bank sign, which conveniently informed him that interest was down to 9.25% for refinancing, that the current temperature was 109, and the time was 5:21PM. Shit! He had only half an hour to make it back home.
He looked around. If he took the long way, down South Hampton Parkway, he'd be able to hit the 7-11 on the way home and grab a Big Gulp. He checked his pants pocket, and breathed a sigh of relief when he found the $20 bill his mother had given him the week before.
"Excellent," he said, and kicked off from the curb and turned south, towards Harmon Park.
Within minutes, the welcome convenient-mart sign was within view. "Oh, thank heaven," he chuckled, remembering the radio jingle.
Suddenly, a blur shot out from the right, and he hurtled over his handlebars and came crashing down on the sidewalk, flat on his back. Hard.
"FUCK!" he yelled.
"Fuck YOURSELF!" said a voice to his right.
He rolled over on the sidewalk and turned to see a black-haired kid about his own age trying to sit up on the asphalt. The face looked familiar. It was Corey Green, one of the boys from his 8th grade group at Deer Valley Middle School. He vaguely remembered him from his 5th period PE class.
The boy stared at him. "Hey! You're Callahan, right? Dylan?"
He nodded. "Yeah." He rubbed his head and picked up his glasses, which lay next to him on the sidewalk.
The other boy laughed as he got to his feet. "I guess you ride a bike about as good as you play baseball."
Dylan gritted his teeth. Now he remembered: Corey was one of the usual gang snickering at him on the field every week at Phys Ed.
"I was on the street, asshole!" he spat. "You're the one who ran into me! You ever heard of right-of-way?"
Corey laughed, then stuck out his hand. "Sorry, dude. Truce?"
The two solemnly shook hands, while Dylan eyed the other boy warily.
Corey took off his Arizona Diamondbacks baseball cap and wiped his forehead. "Where ya headed?"
Dylan pointed towards the 7-11. "I'm about dead from thirst. You wanna Big Gulp?"
Minutes later, they were both sitting on the curb in front of the convenience store, sipping their ice-cold concoctions through long straws. A hot breeze blew in from the north.
"I can see why they call these the `thirsty-two ouncers,'" giggled Corey.
Dylan sighed as the automatic door behind him opened and let a welcome blast of ice-cold air hit their backs from inside the store.
"Yeah," he nodded.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, savoring every drop of their ice-cold Big Gulps - cherry for Dylan, cola for the other boy.
"I think my bike's really fucked," mused Corey, nodding over to the two-wheeler, which lay next to them on the curb.
Dylan glanced over. "Naaa," he said. "You just knocked the tire off the rim. We can just snap it back on and fill it up with air across the street at the Shell station."
"Mind helpin' me?"
Corey giggled again. "Looks like we both got plenty of sweat, if you ask me."
Ten minutes later, Corey's 10-speed Mongoose was as good as new. He bounced the front tire up and down on the sidewalk.
"Looks good to me," said Dylan, eyeing the bike carefully.
Corey got down on his knees and examined the frame.
"Shit," he said, ruefully. "My Dad's gonna kick my ass if he sees these scratches."
At least your dad would notice, thought Dylan to himself. "I got some touch-up paint at home," he said.
Dylan examined the frame thoughtfully, then stood up. "Piece o' cake. Nobody'll even notice, unless they get up real close."
The black-haired boy stood up next to him and smiled. "Hey, that'd be really cool, Dylan."
Dylan gulped and sucked in his breath. Corey was a dazzlingly good-looking boy, probably the handsomest kid in his class, and was easily among the most popular kids there. His stylish hair was jet-black, and went down to his shoulders, and his eyes were bright green. Corey's face was flawless, except for a tiny mole above the left side of his mouth. What the boy lacked in brains, he more than made up for in looks and attitude. And at Deer Valley, that was all you needed to rule the school.
Corey hopped on his bike and flipped back the kickstand with his heel. "So what're we waiting for? Let's rock! Where to?"
Dylan nodded. "It's about two miles south, then left on Pima Street."
"Lead the way!"
* * * * *
Polly Callahan bit her lip and took another sip of her vodka. She hated this town, this house, her life. She probably should call her sister and cry on her shoulder again, but it was already close to 10 o'clock back in Connecticut. Mike had promised her on the phone that he had some big news for her.
Great, she thought wearily. Another promotion. Another transfer, another city, another new neighborhood. She took a long swig from her glass and reached for the bottle of Absolut.
She looked up. "Yes, Rosa, what is it?" she said, in an irritated voice.
"I theenk Deelin... he should be home by now. Your husband... he say he got a surprise for both of you. I theenk it's important."
The woman took another sip and frowned.
Rosa took a tentative step forward. She liked the Callahans, but knew to maintain her distance, especially from the mother.
"I theenk maybe eet good news," she said hopefully.
Mrs. Callahan nodded absent-mindedly. "Yes, Rosa. I'm sure it will be."
* * * * *
"Wow, that looks great, man!"
Dylan grinned as both boys examined his handiwork inside the garage. A couple of strokes of red paint and a little detailing had done the job.
Corey was relieved. "Shit, Dylan, I really owe you one for this, man. Thanks, bud!"
He threw his arms around the other boy and hugged him.
Dylan was momentarily taken aback. His parents weren't exactly "touchy-feely," and he usually hated contact like this, especially from strangers. But maybe Corey wasn't exactly a stranger.
He grinned. "Okay," he laughed, "in that case, I'll take a blow job."
Corey laughed uproariously. "You first!"
"Dylan!" barked an electronic voice behind them. "Dylan, are you in the house?"
He rolled his eyes. "That's my mom," he sighed. "Gimme a second." He walked over to a wall panel in the garage and clicked a button. "Yeah, Mom. I'm out here in the garage."
After a few moments, the back door opened and his mother stuck her head out.
"There you are!" she said. "Dylan, you know your father'll be home any minute now." She turned and her face brightened. "Hello. I'm Mrs. Callahan. Are you one of Dylan's little friends?"
Dylan shot her a glance.
"Sure," he said, grinning. "I'm Corey Green. Me and Dylan both go to Deer Valley."
"Nice to meet you," she said. "Dylan, does your friend want to stay for dinner?"
Corey shrugged his shoulders. "Sure, I guess."
"Alright, you two come inside and get cleaned up," she said, checking her watch. "Rosa's just getting dinner on the table."
At that moment, the roll-up garage door motor activated and a car pulled up the driveway and into house. The radiator spit and hissed, and the horn honked softly.
"Let's get inside," whispered Dylan, grabbing Corey by the shoulder and walking him through the back door.
"Don't you wanna say hello to your dad?" he asked.
Dylan kept walking. "Fuck him. We'll see him at dinner anyway."
The two trudged down the soft white padded carpet and through the kitchen.
"Deelin! You should wipe you feet!" scolded Rosa, as she took a towel and mopped the dirt stains on the marble floor.
"Yeah, yeah," muttered Dylan, motioning to Corey. "It's through here."
"Wow," said the black-haired teen as he stared out of the hallway into the extravagant interior. "This is a really cool place. I think I could fit my entire house in your living room!"
They reached his room and closed his door. Corey took a glance around and whistled. To him, it looked like the inside of a small audio/video store, crammed to the ceiling with the latest electronic gear and gizmos, along with hundreds of CDs and videotapes.
"Too hip! Man, that's a great-lookin' stereo! You into Aerosmith?"
Dylan glanced up at the poster of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on his wall. "Yeah, I guess. It was free with the CD." He started to add that he actually preferred The Backstreet Boys, but was too embarrassed to admit it.
Corey walked over to the CD shelf, and pulled out one. "Wow, dude! This is my favorite! Put this on."
Dylan glanced down. Backstreet's Back. He grinned. "Yeah. Maybe it's kinda, y' know, `homo,' but I like it."
As the opening bass chords hit the speakers, Corey started singing along. "Every-BAH-dy... yeaaaah... loves your BAH-dy...' Dude, crank it up!"
Dylan grinned and reached for the volume control.
"GREAT SOUNDS MAN!" Corey yelled. "AWESOME BASS!"
"YEAH," Dylan yelled back over the music. "MY DAD'S REALLY INTO THIS SHIT." He reached over and turned it down, half-bracing himself for the inevitable yelling match from his folks. Right on cue, there was a knock at the door.
"DYLAN? Jesus H. Christ, can you please keep it down to a mild roar?"
The door opened and a middle-aged man stuck his head in. "Son, I've told you before, would you please... oh, excuse me. I didn't know we had guests."
The black-haired boy stood up. "Hi! I'm Corey! Me and Dylan go to Deer Valley."
Dylan's father eyed his son cautiously. This was odd. The boy had never brought home any friends before. Hmmmph, he thought. Maybe Dylan was finally learning to be a little more sociable. And it's about time.
"Hello, Corey. Dylan, wash up for dinner. Family meeting."
Dylan rolled his eyes. "Is it okay if Corey stays for dinner?"
"Sure, as long as he clears it with his folks."
"Got good news for you, kiddo," said his father over his shoulder, as he walked away down the hall. "Trust me, it'll blow you away."
"Asshole," the teen muttered under his breath.
Corey lightly punched him in the arm. "Hey, man! He doesn't seem that bad to me. That stereo must've cost a coupla grand! Your dad can't be that much of an asshole." He shook his head incredulously.
Dylan sighed. "Forget about it. Hey, if you need to take a whiz, you can use my bathroom," he said, indicating a door to the left.
"Wow, your own bathroom and everything!" Corey marveled. "I gotta share my bedroom with my asshole little brother, and we got two bathrooms for five people! It totally sucks."
Dylan nodded. Every house they'd lived in for the last few years had gotten better and better, and he had to admit: this place was palatial, at least by Phoenix standards.
"Is it okay if I take a quick shower? I'm like, sweaty and sticky and shit," the boy called from the bathroom.
"Sure. Towels are on the hook."
The door closed, and Dylan unexpectedly felt his heart surge. Jesus, the best-looking kid in school was gonna be nude, ten feet away from him, on the other side of the door. He dimly remembered what Corey had looked like in gym class, but he'd usually tried to avoid looking at any of the naked kids in the shower. The few times he had, he'd wound up with an instant boner.
Shit. He didn't want to be gay. Every time he looked around, some asshole was yelling "faggot" at somebody else in school. So far, he'd been lucky enough to escape, except for that miserable two-week stint in Little League. The last time Dylan struck out at bat, Jenkins had called him a fag and had laughed so hard, he'd fallen down in hysterics in the dugout. Dylan trembled with rage and fear, and was ready to smash the boy's head in with the bat. Instead, he threw it down on the ground and stormed off the field, never to return. He'd fought bitterly with his dad about it for three days, but Dylan was adamant: no way would he go back to Little League - not ever, not for any amount of money.
Dylan looked up again at the mirror and was surprised to see a tear rolling down the right side of his face. His hair was matted with sweat, and he could see right through his T-shirt at his scrawny body. Fuck, he thought, as he hurriedly wiped the tear off his face. Now Corey will think I'm a fag for sure. A crybaby-fag, at that.
Just at that moment, he heard the shower turn off and the door open. "Dude," called Corey. "Shower's all yours."
Dylan jumped as his new friend sauntered into the room, stark-naked, idly toweling off his face and arms. He sucked in his breath as his eyes darted down to the other boy's groin.
"Thanks for the shower, man," Corey said, casually.
Dylan nervously tried to avert his eyes. "Y-yeah. Uh, if you want a clean T-shirt, there's one in the second drawer, over there."
Dylan glanced up. Corey was a natural athlete, and already had muscles everywhere. The boy whipped the towel around his waist and confidently strode over to the mirror, then struck a bodybuilder's pose.
"Pretty good, huh?" he said, eyeing his reflection.
Dylan stared. "Uh, yeah. You... you work out?"
Corey grinned. "Yep. Between the football and baseball team, I have to. My dad got me a weight-lifting set for Christmas, and I been pumpin' iron for the last six months. C'mon, feel my bicep!"
He held his arm out and squeezed his fist up. Dylan reached over and put his hand over the other teen's upper arm. His groin twinged as he felt the muscle bulge in his hand. It felt almost... almost alive, he thought.
"You oughta work out too, man," said Corey. "You'd have the girls climbin' all over ya, if you did."
Yeah, right, thought Dylan, trying to concentrate on keeping his erection from throbbing in his shorts. "Maybe I'll start doin' that. Gimme a minute to jump in the shower."
As he walked into the bathroom, he glanced back just in time to see Corey let the towel drop, as he flexed and posed nude in front of the mirror. Dylan's heart raced, and his brain took a mental snapshot. He shook his head and continued into the bathroom, then closed the door and sighed.
Fuck, he thought. I'm gonna have to jerk off right now, or I'll have a hard-on throughout dinner. He quickly kicked off his shoes and socks, then removed his shorts and T-shirt, reached into the stall, turned on the faucets, and jumped into the shower. He closed the glass door and turned the tap on full blast. The lukewarm water felt soothing as it splashed down his face. He stood there for several seconds, leaning against the wall as the rivulets rolled down his back. After a moment, Dylan looked down to see his arousal still at full attention.
Better make this fast, he thought, as he quickly grabbed the soap and made a handful of suds. The moment he reached for his groin, he knew it wouldn't last too long. The vision of Corey, naked in front of his mirror, made his heart race. He remembered every curve of his body, the dark curls in his groin, the bulging adolescent muscles in his chest and arms. Dylan began panting as his fist began stroking faster. Getting closer now, he thought. Just a few more seconds...
"DUDE!" yelled a voice from just outside the shower. "Hurry up, man! Your parents are waiting in the kitchen!"
He froze. Shit! How long had Corey been standing there? Had he seen him?
"Gimme just a minute, man!" he said, turning his back to the glass door.
"Okay, just don't waste all the water! There's a shortage goin' on, ya know!" He cackled and closed the door.
Dylan turned up the tap and washed off the soap from his now-dwindling groin. Fuck. I'll just have to take care of this later.
He got out of the shower and reached for a towel. Just as he finished drying off his hair, the door opened again. He looked up to see Corey's face grinning at him from the doorway.
"Hey," he said, softly. "Sorry to, uh, interrupt anything in there."
Dylan's face reddened as he pulled the towel to his waist.
Corey giggled and stood up. "Hey, it's not like I haven't seen one of those before. ForGET about it, man. C'mon, let's eat." He walked towards the door.
Dylan winced embarrassedly and meekly nodded, then followed him down the hallway.
* * * * *
As usual, his father monopolized the entire conversation at the dinner table. It was as he expected: another transfer, another city. They'd be gone from Phoenix in less than a month.
"But this time, it's different, son," his father explained patiently. "I'm gonna be the boss. Numero uno. I'm vice-chairman of the entire organization on the West coast, second only to Gerry DeMille himself in New York! Don't you get it?"
"Hey, that's cool, Mr. Callahan," said Corey, as he reached for another helping of roast beef. "We read about DeMille Communications in class. They're into cable TV and stuff, right?"
Mr. Callahan beamed. "Fiber optics, global satellites, cable systems... the works. Fourth-largest in the world. We hit $11 billion just in the last quarter. Once we merge with McAllister in three months, we'll be number two..."
He paused, noticing the confused look on the teenagers' faces, then quickly added, "...but forget I said that! I'd have to indict you both for insider trading." He chuckled nervously.
Dylan rolled his eyes. Another move? Why did this always have to happen? "But I don't wanna live in LA, Dad!" he whined.
"Dylan, I'm sorry. I swear, if we didn't have to move, we wouldn't. But this is the last one, I promise. This has been our goal from day one. LA's a great place -- believe me, you'll love it."
Corey nodded. "Dude, LA is really cool. Chicks, cars, music... hey, it's Hollywood, right?"
Mrs. Callahan laughed. "Los Angeles is really a lot of different cities. It's a big place, but we'll do fine. At least it didn't happen in the middle of the school year, like last time."
Dylan sulked and continued eating. He shot an angry glare at his father. I wish you would just fucking drop dead, asshole.
His father sighed. He wasn't sure when it was that the problems had started with Dylan. He was positive his son could do so much more with his life... but right now, he seemed destined to be a grease monkey, dropping out of school at 16 and pumping gas for the rest of his life. That is, unless his father could straighten him out first.
"Son, just you wait. It'll be different in LA."
Dylan stared at his plate, chewing his peas. "You said that when we moved from Chicago."
"But this is different!" his father said, exasperated. "When you hear about the raise and the stock options I'm getting..."
"Fuck that," Dylan muttered under his breath.
"What was that?" his father said, sharply.
Just then, the phone rang. Rosa entered, holding a wireless receiver in one hand. "Meesus Callahan! Eet's for Deelin's friend!"
Corey leaped up and took the phone out of the room. Dylan's father leaned across the table.
"Son, I know you don't give a crap about the money, but listen to me: I'm getting three million dollars a year for this job! That's more than double what we gross now, plus all kinds of incentives. There are kings that don't make this kind of money!"
The boy rolled his eyes. "Cool. I guess then you can double my allowance, okay?"
Corey slid breathlessly back into the kitchen. "Hey, dude, is it alright if I spend the night? My folks are gonna be out late, and they said it'd be OK."
Dylan hesitated. It was risky. If he wet the bed again, it'd sure to be an embarrassing experience. He shuddered at the memory of what happened the previous summer with the Boy Scouts. That was the first and last time he'd ever gone to camp.
Corey stared at him expectantly.
The smaller boy finally nodded. "Yeah. Whatever." He'd set the alarm clock a couple of times to make sure he got up and went to the bathroom during the night, guaranteeing no accidents would occur. Dylan stood up and pushed his chair back. "Let's go back to my room."
As both boys disappeared down the hall, Dylan's mother eyed them curiously. "Mike, I feel so bad for Dylan. This is the first friend he's had in a long time, and now... well, just put yourself in his place."
The weary executive nodded. He understood. His own father had been a workaholic electrical-supply salesman in New Jersey, and hadn't been home most of his childhood. He'd finally made peace with the old man after he graduated from college, but they'd had an empty relationship for many years. He vowed it'd be different with Dylan.
"Don't worry, Polly," he said. "Once Dylan sees the kind of life we'll have in California, he'll fall in love with the place. You'll see."
She sighed and took another drink. "But Dr. Winters was concerned about his attitude last week during their session. His temper-tantrums are getting worse."
He rolled his eyes. He'd been against his son seeing a shrink from the very beginning. "What does she know? She's not his parents! We are. Who knows what's best for Dylan than we do?"
Polly pursed her lips. She started to interrupt, but knew even the subject of bed-wetting could bring another tirade from her husband. Maybe things would be better in a new place after all. She silently stared at him, then nodded.
* * * * *
The two boys spent the next few hours toying with Dylan's computer. Their school had a fully-equipped computer lab, and Corey knew enough to get the thing booting again.
"Dude -- check this out!" he giggled as he pointed at the screen.
Dylan's eyes widened. Naked images filled the monitor! "How'd you do that?" he asked, gaping. "My dad put in some kinda X-rated filter -- `Net Nanny.'"
Corey snorted. "Screw that. Any moron can get around that shit! It's totally Mickey Mouse. That was the first thing I removed when I rebuilt your system. C'mon, lemme show you a site I hacked into. I got a free password, and you can see QuickTime porno movies and everything!"
He tapped a few keys, then confidently hit the enter button. Within seconds, another window popped up on the screen, and soft moans started emanating from the computer's built-in speaker.
Dylan's heart pounded when he saw the on-screen images. Judging by their faces and relative lack of body hair, the two participants didn't look much older than either of them.
"Holy shit!" he whispered.
The other boy chuckled. "This site's got everything, man. Straight, gay, lesbos, kids... shit, they even got stuff with midgets!"
Dylan leaned closer to get a better look. Fuck, he thought. That was two guys on the screen, doing...
Both teens jumped as Mr. Callahan stuck his head in the door. Corey quickly hit a button on the computer, and the screen instantly morphed to Yahoo.
"It's almost 11 o'clock," he said. "Time for bed. Since it's not a school night, you two can stay up for another few minutes and watch some TV, but keep it down real low, OK?"
"Yeah. We will, Dad."
His father walked over to the desk and smiled with surprise. "Hey, you got the machine up and running! See, I knew you could do it!"
Dylan permitted himself a small grin. "Actually, Corey did."
Corey quickly interrupted. "I think his system file got munged, Mr. Callahan. All I did was do a quick reinstall, and he was back up in like five seconds. No big deal. Dylan did most of it by himself."
The man nodded distractedly. "That's great. Anyway, guys, just remember to hold it down. Your mother and I have a lot to talk about. We've got real estate agents to call, movers to schedule... it's gonna be a busy month! Get some sleep, Dylan."
The door closed, and Corey made an exaggerated expression of wiping imaginary sweat off his forehead. "Whew! That was close, huh?"
They both giggled.
Corey leaned over. "Looks like you kinda liked the movie." He poked him lightly in his shorts, which had a slight bulge.
"Hey!" Dylan said, taking a step back. "Watch it!"
"C'mon, man," Corey said, laughing. "Like I said, you don't have anything I haven't seen before. You wanna do it?"
Dylan's heart froze. "D-d...do what?"
The black-haired boy pulled his shirt off over his head and grinned. "I dunno. Whatever you wanna do."
Corey tossed his shirt on the table, then reached over and closed the bedroom door, then locked it.
"I mean... it's just us guys, right? We've seen each other naked in the locker room plenty of times. What's the big deal?"
Dylan nodded. He'd never seen anybody aroused before, except for his cousin Chris back in Westport. Chris was the one who'd taught him how to jack-off, two years before, but they'd only done it twice.
Corey looked over at the other teen, who grinned. "So what're we waitin' for? I gotta cum really bad, dude."
They both slid down their short pants. Corey immediately guffawed and pointed. "Dude! You still wearin' those tighty-whities? Those're for total losers!"
Dylan looked down and his face reddened. That was the last time he ever let his mom buy clothes for him.
"Get with it, dude. All the guys at school are wearin' boxers, man. Shit, don't you know anything?" Corey slipped his underwear fully down, letting his erection spring free. "I'm ready for action. You got any porno?"
Dylan nervously pulled off his Hanes and let them fall to the floor. He looked down and was immediately relieved to see that he and his friend were almost the exact same size. His own erection was so intense, he could practically see the blood pumping through the veins.
Corey walked over and gave Dylan's penis a gentle flick. Dylan jumped.
"Hey," Corey said, softly. "Nice one."
Dylan nodded nervously. "So... so you wanna go first?"
Corey leaped on the bed, leaned back, and put his hands behind his head, his erection proudly sticking straight up towards his belly-button. "It don't matter to me. But let's get some visual entertainment, first!"
Dylan nodded. "I've got a Playboy centerfold tape from last year. And I dubbed this `Motorcycle Virgin' tape from my dad's stash in the den. He doesn't know I have it."
The other teen giggled. "Excellent! Stick it in, then. The tape, that is!"
They both laughed. Dylan walked over, his groin bouncing obscenely as he crossed the room and rummaged around in his closet. He found his secret hiding place, behind a stack of shoeboxes. There it was. His massive porno collection -- two whole tapes.
He slid in the cassette, and the Sony monitor automatically immediately lit up as the tape started playing. It was his favorite scene, one where two guys were going at it with a girl dressed in leather. For some reason, Dylan had found this to be the best part of the movie. It was only recently that he'd realized that maybe it was because he liked to watch the two guys as much as he did the girl.
Corey nodded in approval. "Excellent. Man, that's a huge screen! What is that -- a 25-inch?"
"Naw. It's a 32-inch Sony XBR. Dad gave me his old one after he and Mom got the projector."
"I'm up with that!" Corey patted the bed next to him. "C'mon, man. Let's beat the meat!"
Dylan felt embarrassed. He turned off the overhead light and slid up on his bed. It seemed strange. He'd masturbated hundreds of times in here since he'd moved to Phoenix eighteen months ago, but this was the first time he'd ever had anyone else in the room with him. But Corey was so friendly and cool, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to do. He forced himself to relax, but his mouth was totally dry, and his heart pounded in his ears.
Corey's eyes were glued to the monitor. "Man, that chick is hot!" he said, breathlessly. He fondled his erection and began stroking it idly.
So is the blond guy next to her, thought Dylan. "Yeah," he whispered. "Really hot." He grabbed his own member and started the familiar movement.
After a few moments, he shot a glance over at Corey. Their naked bodies were illuminated on the bed by the large monitor, and his erection cast a long shadow all the way up to his chest. His friend turned to him and smiled. "This is cool, isn't it?" he whispered.
Dylan nodded and continued stroking. He felt like he could burst at any second.
Corey started to say something, then stopped.
"Somethin' wrong?" Dylan whispered.
"Naw. But just thinkin' about you earlier..."
Dylan's face reddened again, and he froze.
Corey giggled, then sat up. "You want a little helpin' hand?"
He reached out with his right hand and gently grabbed Dylan's bulging member. Dylan moaned immediately at the sensation of the cool fingers around his erection. Jesus H. Christ, he thought. I've died and gone to heaven.
Corey moved closer, then kneeled next to the other boy. "Here. You do me, and I'll do you, `kay?"
Dylan nervously nodded, then reached out his left hand.
Corey immediately moaned and nodded. "That's it," he whispered. "Go slow. Man, that chick is too hot. Look at those tits!"
Dylan was oblivious. He felt every inch of his friend's penis, identical and yet completely different from his own. It felt white-hot. He marveled at the touch, both velvety-smooth and hard as steel at the same time. His hands trembled as he slowly traced the line around its purple head, then tickled the back side as his friend moaned.
Their breaths started coming faster. He looked down and watched as Corey's fingers effortlessly stroked his own erection. Gosh, he thought to himself. We both do it almost exactly the same way. His friend seemed almost hypnotized by the TV, completely absorbed with the porno stars' antics.
Corey softly moaned again. "Dude, that feels great. I'm gonna shoot any minute. Lemme finish myself off."
Dylan reluctantly returned his hand to his own member, and they increased the intensity of their strokes. He looked over at his friend's muscular chest. A trickle of sweat rolled across one nipple and down to his armpit. His face felt flush. They both panted, and their hands became a blur. Suddenly, he felt a low rumble begin to surge from his thighs.
"Oh, god..." he moaned.
"I'm right behind ya, dude..." whispered Corey.
Within seconds, each boy exploded with several shots. Corey thrust out his hips twice, then fell back, exhausted. Dylan took his hand back and milked the last few drops from his own dwindling member onto his stomach, then stretched back on the pillow and let out a long sigh of satisfaction.
Neither boy said anything for a few seconds. Dylan closed his eyes and immediately felt a wave of shame and embarrassment wash over him. Fuck, he thought. I must really be a fag. Corey was totally into the chick in the porno, and all I could think about was him.
Corey sighed again. "That was fuckin' great, man," he sighed. "Thanks. Uh, you got any tissues or somethin'? This is kinda messy."
Dylan jumped up and reached for a box on his desk. "Here," he said.
They silently wiped themselves off, then tossed the tissues in the trashcan. Dylan hit the stop button on the VCR, and MTV popped up on the display. He sat back down on the bed, too embarrassed to look his friend in the eye.
"Hey," whispered Corey behind him. "You okay?" He gently put his hand on Dylan's bare shoulder.
Dylan momentarily flinched, then sighed with relief as Corey's hand sent a flood of warmth through his body.
The black-haired boy grinned. "Man, I was so fuckin' horny today. Thanks for helpin' me out. You're real cool, Dylan."
He grinned and looked at his friend. "Yeah. You, too. Thanks, Corey."
* * * * *
After an hour or two of bouncing back and forth between MTV and VH-1, they decided to call it a night. Dylan hit the remote and the room was plunged into pitch darkness.
"Hey, Dylan," whispered his friend, from the other side of the bed.
Corey was silent for a moment. "Uh, is it... is it okay with you if I sleep naked? `Cause that's what I do at home."
Dylan grinned, even though he knew Corey couldn't see him in the dark. "Sure, dude. I do, too. Just don't try to butt-fuck me in my sleep."
Corey laughed so hard, the bed started shaking.
"Corey!" Dylan hissed. "Shut up, man! My dad'll kill both of us!"
"Okay, okay. G'night, dude."
An hour later, Dylan was still wide awake. His eyes had adjusted to the pitch-blackness of his room. He silently rolled over and stared at the teenaged boy next to him in his bed. The moon outside shined just enough light through the drapes that he could just barely make out the outline of Corey's naked body under the sheets. He looked so handsome lying there, almost... almost beautiful.
He felt a surge again between his legs. No, he thought. Not now. I gotta sleep.
Dylan bit his lower lip and rolled away from his friend, then double-checked the alarm clock. He was sure if it woke him up by 3AM, that'd be more than enough time to ward off the threat of a wet bed. His groin still throbbed. He desperately concentrated on doing multiplication tables in his head. Counting sheep never worked for him, but math problems usually did the trick. Within a few minutes, he finally began to drift away.
* * * * *
The face he saw was beautiful, almost angelic. "Come here," it seemed to say. "I'll give you everything you ever wanted."
He couldn't tell if it was male or female. But what he did know was that it was the embodiment of everything wonderful on earth. And it loved him.
Whatever it was glowed with an almost-unearthly light, and held him in its arms. "I love you, Dylan," it said. "I just want to make you happy."
They embraced and kissed. He felt a tongue sink deep into his mouth, and he felt a surge of desire. A hand reached down and began stroking him. He moaned as a rush of pleasure surged to his groin.
Suddenly, Dylan awoke with a start. He was lying on his right side, and the clock radio was playing softly nearby. There was a warm body behind him, breathing softly. An arm had reached around his waist, and he felt his back pressed tight up against a warm chest. He could feel a thin sheen of perspiration between them. The memory hit him like a thunderbolt: Corey. Corey was here with him in the bedroom.
With a shock, he realized that a hand was idly stroking his dick. Someone else's hand.
"C...C...Corey?" he whispered.
He was still asleep. Dylan gingerly reached down below the sheets and carefully pried his friend's fingers off his throbbing erection. Corey snorted, then rolled over and exhaled softly. Judging by the boy's breathing, he wasn't faking it.
Dylan waited for his heart to stop hammering in his chest. A blue glow from the right told him it was only 2:45. He felt around him on the bed. Thank god, the sheets were still dry. He killed the alarm, then silently slid out from under the covers, grabbed his glasses from the nightstand, and padded softly across the room to the bathroom. He slowly closed the door, turned on the light, then emptied his bladder in the toilet. He reached for the flush handle, then remembered the summer water-rationing instructions the Phoenix mayor had given out the month before. "Flush for solid waste only." He laughed when he remembered the TV commercials; it would've been funnier if they'd just said "shit," which is what they really meant.
He turned and stared at himself in the mirror. He still looked the same, but he somehow felt... different. Jesus. His skinny body sucked. Corey was so much more athletic than he was. He took a good look at his face. I guess I'm not that ugly, he thought. Lose the glasses, get better hair. Maybe boxers, too. And I gotta start working out.
"Yo, Dude!" said a weary voice, as Corey burst into the bathroom. Both boys were naked, and Dylan immediately felt awkward and self-conscious.
Corey yawned and turned to the toilet. "Gotta take a leak. You doin' OK?"
Dylan nodded and tried not to watch him. "Yeah. Shit, new pimples. Look at this!" he said, leaning his face into the mirror.
Corey shook off the last few drops, flushed, then walked over and grinned. "Maybe you need to jerk off more often. Nothin' better to help lose the zits."
"Better than Clearasil?" asked Dylan, smiling.
Both boys giggled.
Dylan glanced down at his friend in the harsh light of the bathroom. Close-up, he could see a forest of black hairs on Corey's upper thighs, increasing as they reached his groin. The two boys might be the same age, but Corey was definitely a little further along down the path of manhood than he was.
"C'mon, let's get back to bed," said the other boy, stifling another yawn and idly scratching his groin, which stirred at the touch. "Man, I'm still horny as hell. You up for another round?"
The latest installments of Jagged Angel can be found on Archerland.net, and submitted sometime thereafter to Nifty.com, ASSGM.com, and GayWritersGuild.org, along with the alt.sex.stories.gay.moderated newsgroup. Feedback can be sent to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.