Chapter Ten: Walkin' the Walk

I sat alone on the rocky ledge, dangling my feet over the 150-foot drop off. It was rapidly approaching darkness, as I just stared out into the nothingness of space that hovered over the city below. Today had been one of those days when I felt like either my head or my heart was going to explode at some point, and I couldn't be sure which would go first. So much stuff has happened in the last few days (both good and bad...), that I finally just needed to get away from everything for a while and think about stuff. Sometimes this is the only way I can really process what I am feeling, and deal with it in some way. I just wanted a little time out from the rest of the world.

My thoughts wandered back, as I reviewed the events of this morning in my head, somewhat reluctantly.

I could feel my heart beating a hundred miles an hour, as I sat in the car watching the usual route unfold in front of me as I looked out the passenger window. My palms were sweating something fierce; I couldn't stop squirming in my seat because nothing I did felt comfortable. I felt like I was on the verge of a panic attack or something. My stomach was turning over and over, trying to decide whether or not to keep this mornings breakfast, or return it. I had tried so hard not to think about this moment for the last two days, and now it was here, hitting me like a 2" x 4" smack in the forehead. All of a sudden, I just didn't feel quite ready for this. But, I'm not sure I ever will.

Come on Rick, just relax and deal with it. Take a deep breath...

We pulled into the student parking lot, and walked into the school chatting away idly, as we had done before. Lance put his hand on my shoulder for a moment, but I shrugged it off as casually as I could, quickly apologizing with a panicked look. I was trying sooo desperately to keep myself calm.

You can do this Rick! Don't panic. One step at a time. Don't forget to breathe...

It was Monday morning; my first day back to school since it happened. I still wanted to make sure we weren't being too obvious, even though everyone surely knew we were boyfriends by now. I just wasn't sure if I could deal with all the knowing smirks, the dirty looks, the...Shit! I just couldn't give them the satisfaction. Not after all these years. I had ignored all the petty comments, the insults, and the other bullshit because in my heart I knew it wasn't true. But, this morning, I just had the overwhelming feeling that they were all looking at me, thinking to themselves, "You see? We were right about you all along!" At the moment, I felt like I was caught in a fishbowl, on display for everyone to ridicule and laugh at. It was a sickening feeling...I was fighting with every ounce of strength I had against the urge to just run away and hide. Forever. The rest of the time, I just wanted to puke my guts out.

"Ricky, are you gonna be ok here?" Lance asked, giving me a concerned look.

I'm sure the frightened and bewildered look in my eyes told him everything he needed to know at that moment. He put his hand on my shoulder, stopping me and turning me gently to face him, as he looked intently into my eyes to be sure he had captured my full attention.

"We already talked about this. I know you can do it, babe," he said softly. "Don't worry so much about what they might think. You can't control that. Just relax and be yourself, Ricky. You are who you are...and you're an awesome person! You don't need to hide from them anymore; there's nothing left to hide. Don't you see? You're free to just be yourself now. Don't let them get to you, babe. Just show them who this incredible guy, that I love more than anything in the world, really is. Hell, I reckon they'll all be jealous of me before too long," he said, flashing his trademark grin.

"Ya," I said with a weak smile, "I'm tryin'. But, I've known all these people since I was in kindergarten...they're just strangers to you. They look at me, and I can just tell they're thinking I'm some kind of total fuck up now. Those assholes have been calling me a fag all my life, and now I am one! How can I look them in the eye after that? It just feels so humiliating to admit they were right all along...every time I look at one of them it feels like I am re-living all the hurtful things they said to me over the years, because it was true after all...and I really did deserve all of it. It's like it totally justifies everything shitty they've done to me in the past. It just hurts, ok?" I said, fighting off a tear.

"Hey now," Lance replied, "I don't wanna hear you talk like that. Just forget about them! Don't you get it? What they think or say only matters if you let it. Just be yourself and don't feel guilty about it. I love you, ok?"

I walked along beside Lance in silence for a few minutes, just trying to gain some control over my emotions. I knew Lance was right, and I was determined not to let those assholes get to me any more. I was so lost in my inner thoughts; I wasn't really paying much attention to where we were going, or to anything that was happening around me. Needless to say, I was a caught off guard when Lance put his hand on my arm to stop me once again.

"G'day Brent," Lance said, in a very measured and neutral tone; catching me by surprise. For the first time in my life, I could see him visibly trying to restrain his own emotions and keep himself under control.

I looked up to see Brent and his usual posse of football goons standing directly in our path, glaring at us with a hateful look. My stomach sank instantly down into my shoes. This whole scene was feeling a little too familiar, all of a sudden.

I shuddered involuntarily as I sat there on the rocks, reliving that moment in my head. I'm just glad it's over now. At least I'll never have to do that again, I reminded myself. Thank god Lance was there to get me through those first few terrifying moments of my first day back: My first day `out' at school, and our first day as an `out' couple.

I think that I had such an awesome weekend, I was just totally unprepared mentally for that first Monday morning encounter. I had to smile to myself as I remembered back to yesterday (Sunday) morning. I felt a warm feeling wash over me, as I played it back in my mind. It felt really great how Lance's parents had completely adopted me as their de facto `son-in-law' so to speak. It was really cool to just experience a couple days of a warm, caring family environment. I think I could eventually get used to it, but it sure was a different feeling for me.

"Check," I said with a knowing smile, moving my queen into position. In one or two more moves, I knew I would win. Just a matter of time, now.

"Well, you sneaky little bugger, I believe you've done me in! Again!" said Lance's dad with his typical cheeky grin. "So, you can't bring yourself to find any pity for a feeble old man? No respect, kids these days. I see I'm gonna have to bring out my best game for you next time, Master Ricky."

"Please, Andrew," Karen said, walking past us. We were sitting at the dining table, as she was finishing up the lunch dishes. "Even if you didn't use your `A' game for the first match, you certainly haven't been holding back for the last four now. Two PhD's, and you can't beat a teenager at a game of chess? I'm shocked, Andrew. Simply shocked," she laughed.

He gave her a look, feigning his indignation.

Karen looked at me with a smile. "Don't mind him, Ricky. You played wonderfully. I can see you've got a good mind for must play quite a lot; you handled the old man here pretty easily. He was captain of the Chess team at Oxford, you know."

"Uh, well...ya, I play a little bit; mostly with my friend Jeff at lunch sometimes. I can't beat him yet, though. He just taught me how to play a couple years ago. I don't really know all the different strategies and stuff; I just play by feel. I can kinda see where things are going before they actually happen. I have good intuition, I guess."

Andrew looked at me with curiosity, and opened his mouth to say something clever, I'm sure. But, at that moment, Lance burst through the patio door breathing hard and dripping in sweat, having just returned from his morning run. I had sat cuddled into the warm armchair beside the window earlier this morning, watching him out on the back lawn. Before his run, he spent about a half hour doing his TaeKwon Do exercises and some other stretches and meditations and stuff. It is always so fascinating for me to watch him...I could never get tired of it. Everything he does has such fluid precision and effortless grace. I reminded myself that in a week or two, after I get my soft cast, Lance wants me to start running with him. Ya, right. Like I could run 5 miles without falling over dead. I don't think so...but, I could hike 15 miles without a break. I've never been a good distance runner; I have `exercise induced asthma' they tell me.

"Hey Ricky," Lance said with a smile, still breathing hard. "You took it easy on the old man there, I hope?"

"Not a bloody chance," Andrew replied. "Has no respect for his elders, does that boy. I think I've been hustled," he said with a laugh. "Good thing we were only playing for pride. I've got nothing left to lose."

"Well, I'm off to me shower," said Lance, giving me a meaningful look. I followed him into his bedroom like an obedient puppy. His sexy, sweat-soaked body was having such a powerful effect on me, I wasn't even sure if I was totally in control of my own feet at that point. As we entered his room and shut the door behind us, it became so strong I was visibly shaking.

"C...C...Can I help?" I asked shyly, lifting the bottom of his t-shirt. He just looked at me warmly, and smiled. He held out his arms as I helped him pull his damp t-shirt over his head, exposing his upper body. I shuddered as I stood there admiring his awesome chest. My hands just couldn't resist the opportunity to wander across his sexy torso for a moment. He kicked off his running shoes, and I got down on my knees to help pull off his socks. I reached out to the waistband of his running shorts, as I straightened myself back up. I looked up into his intensely warm eyes, to make sure everything was ok before I made the next move. I had to pull the elastic waistband of his shorts well away from his body to make it past the obscenely large protrusion in his jock strap. As he let his shorts fall to the floor, he stood before me in all his glory: wearing nothing but a smile, a jock strap, and an achingly hard erection.

"Now see what you've done?" he asked, taking my hand and pulling me back up to stand in front of him. "It has a mind of it's own, that thing, whenever it knows you're about. I believe it's quite fond of you, actually," he grinned.

"Ya, I like him too," I said with a smile, pulling the front of his jock strap over his massive bone. As it fell to the floor, my left hand wrapped around his thickness, my fingers unable to reach all the way around it's circumference. I tilted my head up and gave him a quick kiss. "Go take your shower, babe," I sighed. "I'm gonna lay down on the bed and rest for a minute." It was difficult to resist jumping in the shower with him, but I had showered only just this morning. My need for a short rest won out for the moment.

As he strode off to his bathroom, the lump in my pants gave a little twitch as I noticed his still full erection swaying slowly side to side in a big arc. I loved the way that it hung downwards a little bit from it's own sheer weight, but gracefully curved upwards at the end, seemingly to compensate. Kinda like a gently curving upside-down rainbow.

I lay back on the bed and closed my eyes to rest, and quickly drifted off into a rather erotic dream. At least, I think it was. Actually, I don't really remember the dream, but I do remember waking up to a pretty unusual sensation. Opening my eyes, I looked down towards my feet to see my freshly showered (and still naked) boyfriend nibbling and teething my painfully hard member through my pants. He giggled to himself when he looked up and noticed me watching him.

"God...keep doing that, Lancer," I groaned. "Don't you even dare think about stopping now." As I became more fully awake, my brain tossed out an interesting idea. "Babe," I said, "Turn around the other way so I can do you at the same time."

Lance maneuvered himself so that his knees were just behind my ears, and his heavy tool hung dripping over my face, as he once again descended on mine. I noticed his large, smooth balls hanging well down below him. As I slowly experimented on them with my tongue, Lance groaned in approval. After giving them all the attention I could offer for a while, I slid a little down the bed, and tilted my head back. With my one free hand, I guided Lance's huge snake down into my mouth and into my throat. I realized that if I just relaxed everything but my tongue, I could get almost all of him in. He helped out by beginning a long slow fucking motion, drawing himself almost out to the point where only his head remained in my mouth, and then slowly pushed back in as far as he could go as my tongue swirled all over his steel-hard shaft. Lance was doing the same to me by now, taking me slowly all the way into his mouth, and then slowly backing off again. After a while, I don't know who was moaning louder. I just hope his parents couldn't hear us!

That afternoon, I think we both quickly became lifetime fans of this whole `69' concept. I mean, it's one thing to imagine it, and quite another thing to actually do it. Wow. I came so hard in Lance's mouth, I needed to take another nap.

I could feel my dick aching in sympathy, as I sat on the ledge recalling that scene. The depth and intensity of our physical relationship still amazes me when I think about it. Shit, we've only been together a couple weeks; but, sometimes I literally ache for him...for his touch and his smell...when he's not around me. It felt so strange for me, having never really experienced that kind of physical attention before in my lifetime. Well...strange, but good!

Now, don't think for a minute that this is all just about sex. It's not like I just discovered myself sexually one day, and turned into some kind of sex-fiend over night. If I didn't love Lance with all my heart...if he didn't fill that huge void that had been lurking inside me all these years, I honestly don't think I would have such a deep physical need for him. I mean, there are lots of cute guys running around (not nearly as many who are gay, I'll grant you...) whom I can appreciate from a distance, but could never be intimate with. I totally don't understand this whole casual sex thing, really. I could never bring myself have sex with someone I didn't love. I don't think it would even be possible for me to get it up for that. It's like my desire for sex with Lance comes from my heart, not from my dick.

I sat for a long time thinking about how good he makes me feel, and how lucky I am to have him in my life. I know that's getting a little old by now, but I really have a hard time believing something that good has actually happened to me. I mean, I have fifteen years of experience to the contrary to draw on here. It feels like somebody just flipped a switch, and one day my life went from utter misery and sheer boredom to this totally awesome dream-world fantasy. Please, whatever you do, don't wake me up now...I'm just starting to get used to it!

I was beginning to see that Lance also seems to be a kind of catalyst for drawing other good people into my life. Before he showed up, I avoided people at all cost. I had never found anyone to really be worth the trouble, for the most part. I had plenty of good reasons to believe that sooner or later, they all let you down or hurt you somehow. But Lance has proved me wrong already, several times over. I had to smile, as I recalled the scene this morning that finally brought that point home for me.

Brent and his buddies just stood their ground, silently glaring at us. I guess nobody knew what to do next, because this little stare-down lasted a very long time as the tension between us grew steadily. I was starting to wonder what this little confrontation was going to lead to; but thankfully, we were all rescued from our fate.

"Hey guys," called out a familiar voice from behind us, with a laugh. "I see the welcoming committee has already found you."

Lance and I turned around to the Johnson twins, Greg and Brendan Wilson, and my best pal Jeff Carpenter standing there with big grins on their faces.

Totally disarmed at that point by David's silliness and everyone's stupid grins, Brent and his stooges stalked off silently. But, they made sure to give us all their best evil looks before they disappeared. The stupidity of the whole thing just struck me at that point, and I got a bad case of the giggles.

"Thanks guys," I said with a laugh, "I was feeling a little overwhelmed there for a minute, until you showed up. You made those guys look so stupid; it just made me realize how dumb this whole thing is. Fuck `em, I don't care any more. They can't touch us, now. It's a total waste of time to worry about them."

It struck me at that point everything Lance had been trying to tell me really was true (I know...but I'm just one of those people who has to figure everything out the hard way, ok?). I was free to just be myself. I really didn't have anything left to hide. It was an intoxicating feeling to just let go of all those old masks and disguises I had hidden behind all my life. It just didn't matter any more. I smiled to myself, as my mind instantly compared it to walking through the school naked (I dunno where my imagination comes up with these things, but it does make life more interesting sometimes...). Imagining the looks on all the faces of people, male and female, when they saw Lance and I parading around the school nude, made me laugh out loud. He could probably handle that quite easily with his usual good humor, but not me! I think I'll still keep him to myself, for now.

I took Lance's hand in mine. "Come on, babe," I said with a smile, "Let's get this over with." The beaming smile I got from him in return was all I needed to keep me going for the rest of the morning. Well, that and the show of support from the guys. I was really beginning to feel like we were bonding as a group, and it was totally cool. I've never been part of a `group' like that before, and I was enjoying the feeling. Watch out world, the gay posse at Temecula High has finally arrived!

I recalled to myself how it had really all started last night, at Lance's house. He had prepared a little surprise for me on my last night before going back to school. At Six o'clock, the doorbell had rung with a huge delivery of pizzas; followed shortly afterwards by all the guys showing up at the door. Lance even had the brilliant idea of inviting Jeff as well...convincing Greg and Brendan to pick him up on the way over.

We all gathered on the back patio to gorge ourselves on pizza and sodas the way only a half-dozen teenage boys can do. Everyone had a great time. Jimmy and David kept everyone laughing with their infectious brand of goofiness, and my own dry sense of humor even made itself known a few times as well. Lance's parents were good-natured hosts, and Andrew really seemed to hit it off with the Johnson twins. Their brand of silly and outrageous humor combined with Andrew's sharp wit proved to be a dangerous combination. We vowed to ourselves to avoid that combination in the future, to protect our own sanity... Fortunately, Karen and Andrew excused themselves after a bit, because they were going out to see a movie that evening. We had the place to ourselves for a few hours. But, I don't think they were too worried, because they knew Lance and I didn't drink or use any drugs as a matter of personal choice. That, and they were also pretty sure nobody would get pregnant if things got out of hand...

I sat back in my chair, just taking in the whole scene. I couldn't remember a time since my birthday party when I was in the first grade that I had a group of friends just hanging out, having fun being with me. I had to wipe away the beginnings of a tear in my eye, as I thought about it. This was real special to me. I have to remember to give Lance an appropriate thank you later.

There was only room for six of us to sit around the patio table, but there were seven of us present. I noticed Jeffy sitting just off to the side at the wet bar counter by himself. Hmmm...I looked across the table, and noticed Brendan glancing anxiously over at Jeff from time to time. After a moment, I managed to catch his attention with my eyes, and I nodded my head over in Jeff's direction and smiled. Brendan gave me an embarrassed look and an awkward smile, but he quietly slid his chair out and got up to join Jeff where he was sitting. Way to go Brendan!

While we all sat around bullshitting and eating for the next half-hour or so, I watched unnoticed while Brendan and Jeffy engaged in their own quiet, but animated conversation. I knew what I had seen in the hospital was no illusion. Those boys have some definite chemistry between them. I just hope that Brendan can work his way past Jeffy's natural shyness to see what a truly sweet and caring person he really is, not to mention his amazing intelligence. His incredible brainpower can be a little intimidating at times, as I have learned myself from experience. And, I'm sure Brendan can already see that he's pretty good looking, too.

I noticed Jeff going into the house to use the head, so I quickly got up and took his seat next to Brendan. "So, Bren," I began, "looks like you two are getting along pretty well..."

"Ya, Jeff's pretty cool once you get to know him," he said shyly.

"Look dude, I gotta be blunt here, `cuz he's gonna be back in a second," I said in a low voice, "so what I'm saying here is just between us, ok?"

Brendan nodded slowly, with his curiosity clearly evident in his eyes.

"Jeffy's totally hot for you, dude. I think you probably already know he's, I'm not telling you anything new there I hope. But, I wanna know how you feel about him. If you're not interested, that's fine...just don't hurt him, ok? He's a very special person to me, and he's my best bud in the whole world besides Lance. He's a little gotta take it easy with don't fuck with him, ok?" I asked, trying to let him know as clearly as I could that I wouldn't tolerate him doing anything to hurt Jeffy.

"So?" I asked.

Brendan thought for a second, and then looked up at me. "I don't know, Rick. I mean, I like Jeff and he's a real nice person and all, but I'm not really sure if I can handle that. I...I...I just don't wanna be gay, Rick." He said with a tear in his eyes.

I put my hand on his shoulder, and leaned in closer to talk softly in his ear. "Hey, Bren; you can't choose to be gay or not. It's in your heart, in your genetic program dude. I think some people can honestly like both guys and girls, too. That's cool. But what's important is that you be true to yourself, man. It took me a long time to realize that, and I'm just glad I did before I missed my one chance to finally be really happy in my life. Jeff is an awesome person; so don't miss out if you really do like him. You might regret it for the rest of your life."

I decided to give him the acid test, to see if he really might have some attraction to Jeff. "Tell me Brendan," I said with a grin, "Are you attracted to him at all? Like, do you have nasty thoughts when you look at his cute little butt? Do you see his face in your mind when you jerk off in bed at night? Does your dick get really, really hard when you imagine him totally naked and kissing you all over?"

"Jeez, Rick!" he said with an embarrassed flush on his face. But, the firm rise visible in his jeans told me all I needed to know. I gave him a knowing smile, and went back to my seat at the table. Lance gave me a curious look as I sat down, and I gave him quick nod. He smiled in return, as he understood my message.

I watched with great curiosity when Jeff returned from the head, and sat down beside Brendan once again. I glanced over periodically to keep an eye on them. I was pleased to see them inching a little closer together as they continued their conversation. Pretty soon, I noticed Brendan's hand reach out to Jeff's, as he was blushing like crazy under his curly strawberry blond mop. Next thing I know, I can just barely see their backsides disappearing, as they are walking off together—holding hands—into the expansive garden behind the McGann's house, heading towards the Orange grove (for a little privacy, I bet!). They make such a cute couple.

"Hey Lance, let's fire up the Jacuzzi!" suggested Jimmy.

"Ya, dude...time to party naked in the hot tub!" shouted David.

Lance laughed at the two, while shaking his head in mock disappointment; but stood and walked away to turn it on so it could have time to heat up.

Greg expressed his doubts. "Uh, guys...I don't know about that...I think maybe I'll pass on that scene. I mean, one straight guy in a hot tub full of gay boys? It could get ugly...real ugly," he laughed nervously.

"What about Brendan? He's he?...ooohhhh, I see..." said Jimmy quietly, as David elbowed him in the ribs. Greg grimaced to himself, as he realized he had let something slip out that he wasn't supposed to reveal.

"Where is Brendan anyway," said David, "And Jeff?"

"I think they went for a walk in the garden," I answered. "I'll go grab them and tell `em we're getting ready to go in the Jacuzzi." Everyone, including Lance, who had just returned to the table, looked at each other with raised eyebrows and knowing smiles.

"Brendan and Jeff?" asked Jimmy.

"Ya," I replied, "But they just really `got together' tonight, so go easy on them, ok?" I headed off into the garden to find them. I had a pretty good idea where to look first. Sure enough, they were sitting on the bench back in the Orange grove where I had expected to find them. Lance and I had only recently discovered that it was a great `make out' spot ourselves. Jeff was leaning against Brendan's chest, clinging tightly to him with his head buried into Brendan's shoulder. As I stood there silently watching for a moment, Jeff pulled his head back, and Brendan kissed him lightly on his lips while looking deeply into his eyes and stoking his curly hair.

"You are so beautiful, Jeff," Brendan told him quietly.

Ya, I realized to myself, Jeffy really was beautiful. Maybe it was because part of me didn't want to see it in someone I considered a good friend, lest I get the wrong thoughts about him in my own head. Perhaps, subconsciously, I was afraid that might alter our relationship, and send it off in the wrong direction. Somehow, deep down I always knew I loved Jeff very much...but more as the surrogate brother I always wanted, never in a sexual way.

But, to look at him now; I had to admit he was stunningly beautiful. Not handsome, not good-looking, but beautiful. From behind, with his soft round little butt, very slender waist, and long curly hair he even looked a little `girlish' (and very sexy!). His face was rapidly changing from the cute face of a boy, to a breathtaking vision with deep green eyes surrounded by that strawberry blond hair.

I made sure to make some noise as I finally approached them, so that they had ample warning of my presence. "Hey guys, come on back to the house. We're all gonna go in the Jacuzzi. Lance is heating it up right now."

"But, nobody brought any suits...did they?" Brendan asked.

"And the problem is...?" I smiled.

"Oh. Ok..." he said, giving Jeff an unsure glance.

As we walked back towards the house, I put an arm around both of them, pulling us together. "You know," I said, "You guys look so cute together. I'm really happy for both of you. If you guys ever need to talk, Lance and I are always here for you, ok?" They both smiled appreciatively at me, but remained silent. I think they were both pre-occupied with different thoughts.

We reached the patio just as the show was beginning. Jimmy and David had just finished stepping out of their clothes, and stood before us completely naked. It was interesting to see identical twins standing side by side in the nude. They were tall (about 6'- 4"), lanky, and milky white. Their dark, reddish-brown pubic hair was the only thing to break up the long expanse of white skin from their feet to the tops of their heads. Their dicks were just like the rest of them too: thin, long, milky white, and lanky. I bet they both might even be longer than Lance, but nowhere near as thick.

Speaking of which, Lance was now standing in front of them, naked in all his glory, and totally at ease, of course. "Shit Ricky!" said Jimmy, "You are one lucky boy. They sure know how to build `em down there. That's some very impressive equipment, dude."

Ya, I sighed to myself, my love was pretty awesome looking. I know I'll never get tired of looking at him. "You can look, but don't touch! That belongs to me, dude!" I laughed. Lance gave me one of his cute smiles, then he just shook his head while he snickered to himself, amused by Jimmy and David's comments. I looked at Jeff, who was standing beside me, looking at Lance with eyes wide and mouth hanging open...he seemed duly impressed with the view as well. He noticed I had caught him staring at Lance, and shrugged his shoulders, giving me an embarrassed smile.

As I pulled my own shirt over my head, I noticed Brendan was already nude by now as well. Now it was my turn to stare a little. Wow. If you wanted to put a picture in a textbook of the most perfect, most typically average, handsome 15-year-old male on the planet, Brendan would be it. Nothing about him was exceptional in it's own right, but all together he was just perfect. No flaws, no defects, no blemishes. His perfectly average sized dick, hung down over perfect walnut sized balls, topped by a small, neat patch of almost black hair. His chest and arms were nicely tanned, and defined enough to know he had all the right muscles in all the right places, but wasn't worked out or anything. His legs were also nicely muscled, and just lightly hairy. Even though he was only 2 inches taller than me, I bet he outweighed me by at least 30 pounds. But then, I'm a pretty skinny little runt, at about 120 lbs. dripping wet.

It was my turn to be caught staring, as I noticed Jeff watching me as I finished stripping. I had to blush a little at being caught, but I gave him a quick wink as I stepped into the Jacuzzi and quickly settled into Lance's lap, wrapping my right arm (with the cast) around his neck to keep it dry. Seeing me strip in front of everyone had obviously gotten Lance's attention, as I could easily detect his level of arousal beneath me.

Now, only Jeff remained out of the water, standing awkwardly in front of us with just his shirt off. I knew all too well the sense of unease he felt at getting naked in front of all of us. But, it hadn't taken me long to get used to it. Having Lance with me sure helped, though.

"Come on, Jeffy," I urged him. "Just do it and get it over with. I promise you they won't say anything," I said, looking over at Jimmy and David, who gave me completely innocent smiles. What? Us? Never...

Out of shyness, I think, Jeff turned his back to us to drop his pants. Unfortunately, he has such an incredibly sexy, girlish butt, almost everyone gasped quietly as it came into view while he wiggled his pants and briefs down. I'm sure every dick in the Jacuzzi snapped immediately to attention at that point. As Jeff turned to face as and step into the water, he was blushing furiously, and I could immediately see why. His 5" dick was as hard as steel, pointing up at a 45-degree angle, with an extremely dark red head partially hidden by his foreskin (Jeff's parents were aging hippies...he was one of the few `uncut' boys I had seen at school...), rising out of a now respectable patch of reddish blond hair.

"It's ok Jeffy," I said with a little smile, "After that little show you just put on, I think all of us are boned too..."

He slid shyly into Brendan's arms, and hid his head in Brendan's neck. Suddenly, he straightened up and his hand slipped quickly into the water beneath him. His eyes got real wide, and he looked at Brendan in surprise as he made a little adjustment underneath him where he was sitting in Brendan's lap. Satisfied with his new accommodations, he gave me an embarrassed smile, and hid his face again in Brendan's shoulder, wrapping both arms around his neck.

Now that all three couples were safely in the water (Greg had excused himself to go home, and Lance had promised we would drive Jeff and Brendan home later...), we got down to some serious kissing and snuggling. Nothing too outrageous, although I noticed the Johnson twins both had their hands under the water, as did Brendan. Lance and I were taking it pretty easy, as we wanted to save most of the action for after we went to bed later.

Brendan and Jeff were soon getting lost in their own little world of passion and hormones, kinda forgetting they weren't alone here. Lance and I watched together in amusement as their kissing got more passionate, fondly remembering our first really hot make-out session up on the ledge not that long ago. We giggled to ourselves as we watched Jeff throw his head back, eyes closed, mouth wide open and gasping loudly in pleasure as Brendan kissed his neck, while obviously working intently with his hands below water level. His body gave that little telltale uncontrolled wiggle, and he let out a high-pitched sound as he had his first orgasm at the hands of his new lover.

"Uuuuunnngghhhhhh... Uuuunngghhhh... Uuunngghhh...Oh god, Brendan..." he sighed. He opened his eyes slowly, but quickly hid his face again as he noticed us all watching him. I could hear him giggling to himself against Brendan's neck, however, so I knew he was ok. I looked at Brendan, and he gave me a shy smile. I think his doubts about being gay are shrinking fast.

After we were done in the Jacuzzi, the Johnson twins left quickly. I think they went home to take care of their own unfinished business. Lance had gone inside to change his clothes, and Brendan was in the head. As Jeff and I dressed slowly side-by-side, he looked at me and smiled. He really is beautiful when he smiles like that.

"God, I'm so happy Ricky. He's's perfect. I can't believe he really likes me. I wasn't sure he was even like us, you know? He just looks so normal..." he smiled to himself. "He seemed really interested in talking to me and stuff, but when I went to the bathroom, something in him changed. He started looking at me differently when I got back...and then I knew he was interested."

I tried to hold back a guilty smile. "Jeffy, he's still discovering about himself, and his feelings about take it slowly with him, ok? Give him some time to accept himself, and get used to the idea that he's gay, or bi, or whatever. Don't rush him; or it just might all blow up in your face. He's obviously very attracted to you; But, god Jeffy, you really are beautiful...inside and outside," I said with a sincere smile.

He smiled back at me gratefully. "Boy, I almost did rush things there, accidentally," he whispered. "When I first sat on his lap, he was so hard, he almost went right inside know...down there?" he blushed. "Oh man, not that I haven't dreamed about that for years..." he said wistfully. He leaned even closer to me and said so softly, I could barely hear him, "I've been preparing myself down there, you know, for that since I was eleven, Ricky. At first, I thought I was preparing myself for you," he said, giving me an embarrassed look. "But now, I just can't wait to feel Brendan inside me," he sighed. "If it feels half as good as I think it will, it's gonna be awesome. I have a little bit of an idea what it's like, since my mom and dad got me a vibrator last year. My mom was tired of all her candles disappearing," he added with a devilish grin (and I realized at that point that Jeff was obviously `out' to his parents...).

"Jeez, Jeff! TMI dude...way too much!" I laughed. "But, I know what you mean. I've been feeling the same thing about Lance. But he's know...uh, big down there, I'm just not sure..." I said blushing.

"Shit, Ricky...he's fucking huge!" Jeff said in awe. "But, from what I've read, you can do it. You just have to prepare yourself, and go slowly. Let the Jeffster get you set up. I've got a few years head start on you," he grinned.

Ok, now this was getting really strange. My best friend was offering to give me pointers on preparing myself for anal sex with my boyfriend. Did I really just say that? Oh, god...

I shook my head, still amazed to myself at the strangeness of that thought. It was getting pretty dark, so I got myself up and slowly wandered back to the trail down the plateau. I wasn't too concerned about the trip home; or rather, the trip back to Lance's house. There was a full moon coming up, and I was pretty familiar with the route. I smiled to myself, as I realized that Lance's bedroom was already becoming my home in my subconscious thoughts. I felt a little guilty about abandoning my Mom though, and I promised myself to talk to her tonight on the phone and discuss my living arrangements for the week coming up. I know I can't just move in with Lance, but I'm still not sure I can sleep at my house. Definitely not in my bedroom, I'm afraid. Looks like I'm gonna have to get used to that damn old couch again.

But, as I walked along the trail back, I reminded myself that I was pretty happy with the way things had gone today, all things considered. I had managed to get past my paranoia this morning with some much needed help from my new support group, and the love of my life. Things had gone ok during the rest of the school day, too. Nowhere near as bad as my imagination had me prepared for. Most people were simply content to just stare at us, and whisper quietly to themselves. That didn't really bother me after a while, and I'm sure it will disappear in a few days when the novelty wears off. A very few people did go out of their way to show us that they were open-minded enough to accept who we are, and made a point to let us know that they were still willing to be seen talking to us. We thanked them for their support and their courage to go against the unwritten rules of high school society. As for the vast majority, they did adhere strictly to those rules, avoiding any form of conversation or social contact with us. I don't think that most of them really care that much about us being gay, but they simply weren't ready to deal with the social stigma of being seen talking to the gay boys. My teachers were really cool about things. But, I already had a good relationship with all of them. I don't think any of them were bigots or homophobes, and they were being sincerely supportive of us, not just acting out of fear of being reprimanded for treating us poorly.

I didn't have many opportunities to see Lance during the school day, as usual; but when we could steal a few moments, it felt really good to hold his hand or give him a quick hug. Walking through the hallway holding his hand, I was surprised that I didn't feel at all ashamed or uncomfortable. It took me a minute to realize that I wasn't feeling any of those, I was feeling really proud that he was with ME! Being with him, or even thinking about being with him, gave me all the strength and courage I needed during the day. I was really relieved when I realized that this was gonna be easier than I thought.

Oh ya, the goon squad did their best to try and make us feel uncomfortable. But, they knew quite well what their limits were, and so did we. When they realized we weren't at all intimidated by their scowls and menacing glares, they began to give up on that whole scene. I knew everything was gonna be cool as long as we were inside the school. But, I still knew we still had to be really careful everywhere else. I just had this nagging feeling that we hadn't seen the last of that bullshit. I guess all we can do is be prepared and be careful.

The high point of our day actually came later, at the golf team practice. Brent was clearly as miserable as a he could be, playing on a team full of gay and gay-friendly golfers (not that any of the others were officially `out', but they were clearly supportive of us). It was the ultimate humiliation, in his mind, to be officially listed as our number two player behind Lance. To be a vaunted senior athlete, and to be demoted to the second best player on the team behind a junior, who was openly gay, just destroyed any chance Brent had of getting any respect from the other athletes and jocks at school.

Because Lance had not played on the day of the official team qualifier (last Monday...the day I went into the hospital), Coach had decided to just put Lance as number one anyway because he was clearly the best player. No one but Brent had any objections. We found out that Brent's parents had threatened to go to the school board and complain that Lance was being given preferential treatment. So, coach agreed that Brent and Lance could play a nine-hole match to decide who would start the season as our number one player (Coach could even change the ranking later in the season based on performance anyway...). The match had been planned for today. I think coach intentionally had waited until he knew I would be back at school. Thanks Coach C!

Because today was not a CIF/league competition, it was decided that I could caddy for Lance during the match (which is not allowed in league competition...). Coach C was a little reluctant to let me carry the bag, due to my recent hospital stay, but the look of determination and stubbornness on my face convinced him not to fight it. The gallery would consist of the entire varsity and junior varsity teams, as well as a few interested parents. It was obvious on the very first tee that everyone was rooting for Lance. Well, everyone except one JV player whose brother was captain of the football team. But, this was golf, the last sport where sportsmanship was truly expected and nobody harassed or criticized Brent. They politely (i.e. barely) acknowledged his good shots, and remained silent on his miscues. In contrast, they enthusiastically cheered Lance's good shots, which were many. They remained supportive and encouraging even after his few misses.

But, the crowd didn't decide the match by a long shot. My Aussie boy wonder took care of that. Emphatically. I could tell just by the look in his eye that he was gonna destroy Brent on the course before he even hit his first shot. When the game is really on, Lance just gets this look in his eyes that would scare the hell out of any competitor. A look of utter confidence, courage, strength, calmness, determination...and any other dozens of adjectives you might want to throw in...that resides just behind his warm friendly smile. But, you can see it there, especially when he wants you to. Lance is one of the rare players I've seen who knows so precisely what his capabilities and limitations are, that he always has utter confidence in every shot he hits. He never has a doubt in his head. He never even attempts a shot he doesn't believe he can execute perfectly almost every time, and there are very few he can't execute.

That's always been my biggest obstacle in golf...that nagging doubt in the back of my head. Sometimes, I think the only secret to playing well is just getting (mentally) out of your own way, and not letting those little doubts creep in unnoticed. Nobody does that better than Lance.

Needless to say, we had an awesome time. The match only lasted six holes. Lance won the first four holes in a row, making two birdies along the way. Brent managed to extend the match one hole by halving the fifth, but Lance made a solid par on the long and demanding par-four sixth to win four holes up, with three to play.

It was clear Brent was in trouble when Lance birdied the first hole, and the gallery went crazy. After that, Brent's frustration and anger clearly got the better of him. The angrier Brent got, the better Lance played, and the more the guys cheered him on. It was a little sad to see at the end, watching Brent crumble under his own self-imposed pressure and expectations. Lance really had nothing to lose but his pride (if that...). Even if he had had somehow lost (ya, right...not a bloody chance in hell, as Lance would say...), nobody would question that Lance was still the better player overall. But, for Brent there was clearly a lot at stake. And it showed. Not only did he lose the match, but also he lost what little respect he still had from all of the other players watching by how he carried himself. It was finally clear for everyone to see. Brent was really just a loser, period. It was kinda sad to watch, actually.

Lance, on the other hand, showed everyone how golf is supposed to be played. Despite his strong personal feelings against Brent, he never once showed it. He played with concentration, determination, and a sincerity and politeness that drove Brent crazy. He couldn't believe that Lance could give him a merciless ass kicking, and at the same time treat him with politeness and (grudging) respect. On more than one occasion, Lance himself was the only one to acknowledge what he felt was a good shot by Brent, even as he was winning the hole.

It was amazing for me to be witness to all this, getting an even deeper appreciation of my boyfriend in his ultimate arena. This was his stage, and it was clear that this was where he belonged. It almost seemed a waste of his talent to be playing high school golf, but he wanted to lead the team and win them their first title. Mostly, because I think he really likes the guys (Brent excepted, of course), and enjoys playing with them.

For me personally, it was fun to relive in real life that terrific dream I had in the hospital. I can remember it so vividly; I don't think I will ever forget it for the rest of my life. We just had so much fun on the course together. Even though it was serious business and hard work, we still managed to enjoy that feeling of closeness during the match. I think it's because Lance never feels stressed out on the course...he never loses his ability to relax and just enjoy any moment. And, as long as he's happy, it keeps my nerves under control. Otherwise, I think I would be a total wreck most of the time out there. I honestly think I'm more nervous watching him hit a shot, than he is actually hitting it. I think it's harder to watch somebody doing it, than it is to do it yourself because you feel so helpless to affect the outcome. All you can do is just watch. And hope. And cheer. And give him a big hug.