The contents of this story are fictional. Any resemblance of characters to living or lived persons is strictly coincidental. Certain characters engage in sexual acts which may or may not be legal in the state or country in which a reader may reside. Any reader with objections to graphic descriptions of sexual encounters between males who may not have reached the legal age of consent, or whose local, regional, state or national jurisprudence prohibits such descriptions, should not read further.
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"There's going to be a Millennium Moon tonight," my Mom said as she read the second section of the paper. I was finished breakfast, and getting my stuff ready for school in the family room. I had Chem Lab, then Drafting, then I went to work the lunch shift at Marlowe's Restaurant. After, I had Physics, then I was off. I figured on putting in a few hours at the library before coming home.
"Mmmppfff?" Dad was deep in the Business section.
"The Moon is as close to the Earth as it ever gets, and the Earth is closest to the Sun, and the moonlight tonight is supposed to be the brightest it will get for a thousand years," Mom said in a rush. She's always like that, just belts stuff out with out taking a breath. "It's the Moon that reunites lost lovers," she finished.
"Nice," said Dad. You could tell he was impressed -- he looked over the top of the paper at her. "Shall I bring home a bottle of Champagne?"
That was Dad's way of saying "shall we fuck tonight?" Mom inevitably blushed when he said that, even though she thought I didn't have the smarts to know exactly what they were talking about.
"That would be nice," she said. "David's staying over at Terry's tonight. Tomorrow night, too."
News to me. Terry's my Mom's sister -- my aunt. Oh, shit. I remembered Terry asking me a couple of weeks ago about something like that. Tonight? Tomorrow night? My mind is a sieve.
"How come?" Dad mumbled from behind the paper.
"Terry's got to go up to Seattle for the hearing tomorrow morning,' Mom said. She slurped some coffee. "Billy and Barry can't go, because of school, and Rob needs a little help keeping those two under control."
Billy and Barry are Rob's twin kid brothers, ten year old terrors. For some reason, Billy and Barry are scared to death of me. Maybe it's because I explained to them that it wouldn't bother me a bit to shove them both in an oven and cook them medium rare, then practice cannibalism, with a mustard cream sauce. Or maybe it's the ghost stories I told them when I babysat them, just to get them to go to bed in terror of what might be lurking outside the four walls of their house.
I babysat them when Rob was away for a few months at the Youth Authority. Eighteen months, actually. He got caught driving a car that didn't belong to him. He'd been back for only a couple of days, and I hadn't seen him yet.
"I don't want David hanging around Rob," Dad said, putting his paper down. "Boy's a bad influence."
"Now, Jeff, he just made a few mistakes," Mom said in her 'I can twist you around my little finger' voice.
"Mistakes!" Dad sputtered. "Stole one damned car and got caught, then stole another and drove all over town, got into a high-speed chase across the county line, and almost killed himself when he wrecked the car? Mistakes? Kid's bad, Clara! I don't want David infected."
Dad didn't like Rob, I guess because Michael was such a shit. Michael used to beat up on Terry something awful, until Terry finally ended up in the hospital last year with a fractured skull and a broken arm. Michael went to jail, and Terry had a restraint order for when he got out. Maybe Dad thought Rob could have stopped it.
Terry was divorcing Mike, and I guess that's what the hearing was all about.
"He's not bad, honey," Mom went on. "He just, well, he's a little lost."
"David!" Dad called into the family room where I obviously couldn't hear a thing unless he shouted. To be fair, CNN was on in the kitchen. I still heard every word.
"Yeah, Dad?" I hollered back.
"You okay staying over at Terry's tonight and Friday?"
I got up and went into the kitchen nook, all of twelve feet. "Okay, I guess," I said, grabbing my keys off the kitchen key-post.
"You get along okay with Rob?"
"I suppose," I said, not looking at Dad. "He's better since his Dad . . . since Michael stopped . . . " I didn't want to tell Dad about the things I knew, about the cigarette burns I saw on Rob's back that one time, or the real reason why Rob broke his arm, and it wasn't from falling down the front steps. How Rob never went swimming, because of the scars.
"See?" said Mom.
"You have any problem, you call me, hear?" Dad said. He said it gruffly, but he meant it soft, I could tell.
"Sure, Dad," I said as I opened the door. "Rob's gonna be okay. He's just not used to not hurting yet."
I was lying through my teeth. I had no idea at all how Rob was, because I hadn't really talked to him about things since before he got put away. I had no idea how right I was.
- - - - - - - - - - -
I thought about Rob as I drove to school. I'm a freshman engineering student, but I have to commute the first year, because we don't have the money for me to live on campus. I figure if I do good at Marlowe's, I might get an evening shift, where the tips are pretty good, and I could afford to live on campus, maybe.
Rob used to be my best friend, B.M. (Before Michael) He's almost the same age as me, born just two weeks after me. We had common birthday parties, started school together, learned how to swim together, everything. Then his Dad, my Uncle Gary, got cancer and died, and we got even closer, more like brothers than cousins. We even lived together for a while when Barry and Billy were real little, because Terry couldn’t cope without my Uncle Gary.
Then Michael and Terry got together, about three years and six months ago, and everything changed. Rob got distant, never seemed to laugh as much any more, stopped coming over to my house to play, even when I got some really cool Game Boy cartridges. Michael took him to school in the morning instead of letting him ride bikes with me, and he had to go right home after school. They moved out of the big place around the corner, into a smaller house on a big piece of bottom land near the River.
Rob dropped off the swim team, quit the Debate Society, and didn't even go to the Junior Prom. I confronted him a couple of times, because it hurt me that he didn't like me any more, and I wanted to know why, because I really missed him, but we never got far. The first time, he just snubbed me, like I wasn't even there. The second time, for some reason, we got into a fight, and after I let him hit me a couple of times, I just went mad and hit him back, and we both ended up with bloodied faces and sour feelings. We didn't talk at all after that.
I remembered when he just lost it in school, just stopped talking to anybody. Started smoking in the boys' room, got drunk behind the gym, and then dropped out, just like that.
A couple of days later, he got nabbed by the cops in a car he "found" at the Mall with the keys in it, and then two months later he did the high-speed chase caper that got him into the YA for a year and a half. He'd boosted the BMW of the wife of the Mayor's biggest backer, and that got him special treatment, I guess.
When he came back from YA, Tuesday, I called him on the telephone to tell him I was glad he was home. He seemed glad to hear from me, even asked if we could maybe get together this coming weekend. He sounded almost like the old Rob, but with a more older voice.
I wondered if he'd been okay at YA. I mean, there are all sorts of stories about how guys go to jail and get turned into criminals and drug pushers and stuff. I wondered if it was true that guys in jail had sex with each other, and I got mad at the thought of maybe Robbie . . . getting . . . hurt . . .
Then it was Chem, and I lost track of time until all of a sudden it was three-thirty, and I was out of Physics, my head reeling. I almost forgot about going over to Rob's, until I got home, went into the kitchen for a coke, and found Mom's note that told me to "take this tin of cookies over to Terry's house for the twins."
I groaned and went to my bedroom and threw a change of clothes into a backpack, along with my Chem and Physics books, my laptop, the Dopp kit and sleep shorts. I grabbed the tin box of cookies and drove over to Terry's house, on the other side of town, and got there around five.
Just as I got out of the pickup, the twins bolted out of the front door and attacked, shouting "Uncle David! Uncle David! Guess what?" at the same time that they leaped onto me like leeches, practically bowling me over.
"Tell me!" I laughed, turning Barry upside down and letting him hang from my arm by his legs, while Billy got the heave-ho over my shoulder.
"Robbie can cook!" squealed Billy. "He's making us dinner!"
I looked up at the front door, and Rob was leaning on the doorjamb looking down at us, and it was the Rob I used to know, but different. He was . . . more sure of himself. Poised, I guess you'd say. He wasn't a kid any more.
I hauled the twins up the stairs to the porch, and said "Hiya." I wasn't sure what Rob's reaction to seeing me was going to be.
"Hey," he said. "I've missed you."
"Hoo-boy," I said. "Me, too." I held out my hand to shake, and he took it in both hands. Time sort of froze there for a minute, and we just stared into each other. Rob was older, by a lot, than when I saw him last. He went from being a kid to being a man, from a little pudginess to lean, from five-seven to six-one, all since the last time I saw him, almost two years ago.
"You've . . . grown," he said to me. We were the same height for as long as I can remember, and we are still.
"You, too," I said. "Lookin' good."
"Lookin' fine," he said back, just like we'd done from when we were maybe twelve, and going through the ugly-duckling syndrome, building up each other's ego.
"You cook for real?" I asked, setting the twins down -- Barry in a handstand, Billy on his butt.
"Nothin' too fancy," he smiled at me. "Took chef courses at . . . ." He didn't finish.
"Cool," I said vacuously. I didn't know what to say.
"Coke?" he let my hand go and took the backpack out of Billy's hands. I couldn't remember how it got there. The plastic sack with the tin of cookies was in my left hand.
"Sure," I said, following him into the little living room. "Something smells pretty good."
"Bolognaise sauce," he threw over his shoulder. "The twins outvoted me -- spaghetti versus lasagna."
The twins followed us docily into the kitchen, watching Rob with big eyes that said "hero."
'They usually outvote me, too," I said. "Macaroni and Cheese."
"Zit-City," Rob said. "They'll understand about that in a couple of years." He grabbed a couple of cans from the fridge, and we began to talk. The twins went into the living room and played on the Play Station.
It was like we'd never been apart, never hurt all that time. I felt better than I had in years, my friend was there again. We stayed away from the YA, the boosted car. They weren't important, not in comparison, not yet. Dumb stuff, mostly. Back Street Boys, Ricky Martin, lying presidents, my engineering studies. He got a GED in school, his cooking courses.
We ate around the kitchen table, laughing and joking with the twins, and let them stay up a little later than usual, even though they had school in the morning. They were glued to the Play Station, except when we had ice cream and Mom's cookies at eight. I read a little in my Physics book while Rob did the dishes. When we got the twins to bed at nine, they fell asleep before we even left their bedroom.
Then Rob and I talked through the fight, the hurt, the bad times with Michael. When Michael beat up on Terry, Rob tried to stop it at first, and that's when he first got the shit kicked out of him; then it was the burns, then the broken arm, then . . . he got his spirit broke.
"I was so scared, Davey," he said at one point. "I thought it was my fault, and I should have been able to stop him, but he just wiped the floor with me."
"Why didn't the cops . . . " I started to ask.
"He said he'd kill us if the cops got called," Rob told me.
"There's a Millennium Moon tonight," I said out of nowhere.
"What's that?" he asked.
I parrotted what Mom had said to Dad that morning, about the perigee of both the Earth and the Moon, and how the moon would look a lot brighter.
"Let's see," he said, and we went out on the porch.
The Moon was huge, brighter than I ever remember it being. It cast stark shadows, and it shone on Robbie's face and made him look like that statue of Merkur.
"Remember when we'd lay on the grass behind the house and watch the stars for hours when we were supposed to be asleep?" I asked.
His hand went around mine, and he answered. "We'd wish for things as each star appeared, and you'd tell me stories about the astronauts and space travellers," he said. "I'd just lay there and let your voice wash over me, and I loved you so much I thought I'd . . . "
He broke away, let my hand drop, the sudden intimacy of what he'd just said hanging in the air between us.
"You never told me that," I said softly.
"I couldn't," he almost whispered into the night air. I could see his breath, see the moonlight glistening in his eye. "I thought you knew. I thought you didn't."
"I did," I said. "I never hurt so much as when you dropped me."
"He said I was a faggot. Said I was a little cocksucker. Told me he was going to fuck me in the ass if I ever gave him any more lip. Said he'd kill you, too."
"Why?" I moved up to him, put my hand back into his.
"Momma knew," Robbie said. "She knew I was in love with you, and when Michael beat her because he said I was probably doing it with her when he wasn't at home, she told him I couldn't do it with her, and he beat it out of her why."
"God, Robbie!" I thought of Michael, Big Mike, hitting on Terry and Robbie like that, and my stomach got all knotted up. Michael is six-four, maybe two-forty. Terry is five-six, maybe a hundred twenty. Rob was the same size, back then.
"I . . . " Rob started, turning towards me, and somehow, all I wanted to do was to take away that hurt somehow, make him not have that happen to him, stop that man from doing what he did. I just opened my arms to him, and Robbie just folded into me, his head on my chest, his arms around my body. His hair smelled just like I remembered, like hay and Ivory soap.
We stood like that for what must have been half an hour, and I felt the wet of his tears on my shirt, and his strong back quivered under my arms. My tears flowed, too, but they went on my shirt sleeve, so he wouldn't know. I needed to be strong for him.
I kissed his scalp again and again, and wished on the Millennium Moon for all the hurt to go away.
"I love you, Robbie," I said from somewhere way deep inside me. It surprised me to hear that. Surprised, too, that I was excited, my dick strangling in my shorts. I was afraid he might feel that, think I was trying to take advantage of him.
He told me how his virginity got taken from him, how he was afraid I would hate him for not keeping it for me. I said something dumb about how only his heart mattered to me, because it was something nobody could take, he could only give.
We ended up on the porch swing, watching the moon float through the sky, oblivious to the chill in the air, talking sometimes, mostly just touching, caressing, occasionally kissing, chastely. I saw a shooting star, faint against the Moon's brilliant light, and made a wish. I won’t tell what it was, because it came true, and I don't want it to stop. Rob saw it, too, and he won't tell me what his wish was either.
We went in around eleven, holding each other tightly, almost unwilling to let go even to get in the door.
"Will you sleep . . ." he started, but couldn't finish, because I answered too fast.
"Yes," I whispered into his ear as I kissed it, and we went into his bedroom, the one in which I'd never seen him.
Our clothes came off in one movement, and I saw his entire body for the first time since we were fourteen, and it had metamorphosed from the perfect boy into the perfect man, despite the tell-tale scars of past battle. His sex was the mirror of mine, his body infinitely more attractive, and I couldn't stop my eyes and lips from devouring every square inch.
I've never really thought about having sex with a man before. It just didn't register on my horizon. My beat-off fantasies were always vague images, of girls I knew, or the one girl I'd actually been able to get to gratify me with her hand, or of Rob beating off that time I saw him do it in his bedroom. I've never actually done it with a girl, and now I guess I never will.
When my body came into full skin contact with Robbie, there was nothing else I wanted than to make love to his body with mine. I wanted to be inside him, have him inside me, every possible way there was. We kissed deeply, our bodies responding too rapidly, too strongly, and I came on his stomach just as he arched in his climax to me.
That was nowhere near enough for us, it was only the beginning of a banquet for two, and we gave ourselves to each other with total abandon and complete devotion. I feasted on his manhood, felt it pulse his seed deep into my innards, and came inside him more times than I can remember, wanting him to have all the love I could produce in my body.
When, finally exhausted from the sheer physical effort, we lay in each others' arms whispering of love, I looked up through the window, and saw a slice of the Millennium Moon, now sliding towards the Western horizon, Rob looked up, too, and we saw yet another faint shooting star, just under the Moon, barely visible.
I fell into a cottony slumber in his arms, and the twins pounced on us at six-thirty, only a few seconds later, it seemed. They registered no surprise at all that we were together in Rob's bed. Rob made them get out before we would get up, because he said they shouldn't see us before we went to the toilet. The twins seemed to think that was funny, because they were already getting morning wood, and "knew" we had hardons as well. They were in the right church, but the wrong pew.
We only got off a quick deep kiss and a few "I love you's" before we were up and getting breakfast. I have no classes this morning, so I took the twins to school while Rob went into town to get the groceries for tonight. He has an interview at Marlowe's this afternoon. They're looking real hard for a second-tier chef, one who does all the regular lunches and dinners, but not the "gourmet" stuff on the "A La Carte" menu.
I started tapping this out when I got back, and I have the same question as I had at the start.
Was it the Millennium Moon?