Chapter 15

The following fictional narrative involves sexually-explicit erotic events between men.  If you shouldn't be reading this, please move on.

In the world of this story, the characters don't always use condoms.  In the real world, you should care enough about yourself and others to always practice safe sex.

The author retains all rights.  No reproductions or links to other sites are allowed without the author's consent.  

The town of Stafford, the Sunrise Arts Center, and all the characters in this story are fictitious.

Thanks Mickey and Drew, who have provided inspiration, advice, and encouragement throughout the writing of this series.


There are two things in my life I need to explain.  One is about my friend Beth.  I'd known Beth since seventh grade, and we were almost like best friends.  That's just when the other kids I knew were beginning to get interested in the opposite sex.  Beth only lived a few doors down the street from us, and in nice weather we used to spend a lot of time on the patio behind her house.  She liked to play badminton, and she taught me.  I was never as good at it as she was, could never control the bird the way she did, but we played a lot.  Then we started going to the movies together.  And that was cool because the guys at school said she was my girlfriend.

Well, even when I was pretty sure I was gay, Beth stayed my friend.  One Saturday noon over burgers at Wendy's, not long after Tom had moved away, she told me I was gay.  I tried to deny it, but she wouldn't hear my objections.  So, finally, I said I thought I was.  She was so cool.  She said we could still be friends.  She said whenever either of us needed a date, she'd be there for me if I'd be there for her.  She said at least I wouldn't be trying to get into her pants.  And once she let me feel her breasts.  I admit they were pretty nice, but I didn't get more than half hard.  Anyway, after Louis and I became boyfriends, I had to have a heart-to-heart talk with Beth.

She was cool.  She said she figured that would happen eventually.  She also said that she'd still be available for things like the prom if I wanted, but to be sure to ask early, because she was going to start looking for a guy who might be interested in her in ways I wasn't.  What could I say?  She was right.  And I wanted her to be happy.  So I gave her a peck on the lips when I dropped her at her house.  

"Louis is a hottie.  You're lucky, Judd.  But then, so is he.  Bye!"  And she went inside.  I felt pretty damned strange just then.  Lucky to have a friend like Beth, but wondering if maybe I'd let go of something really important.

The second thing is about how I didn't come out to my parents.  One day over the Thanksgiving weekend I was helping Mom load the dishwasher and get the kitchen straightened up.  When we were finished I was about to go down to my room.  She thanked me for helping and then asked me to sit down at the kitchen table for a minute.

"Sure, Mom.  What's up?"

"Judd, dear, you and Louis seem to be very good friends."

"Oh, yeah, we are."

"You're better friends with Louis than you've ever been with anybody else, even Beth, aren't you?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Even better friends than you were with Tommy?"

"Uh huh."

"You know your father and I love you, don't you?"

I guess I did.  They never came to my soccer matches, and they seemed content just to ignore me as long as I stayed out of trouble.  But they gave me a good home and enough spending money and were planning to pay most of my college expenses.  But they were both very busy with their jobs and their social lives, and they pretty much let me alone.  So, yeah, I knew they loved me.  We just weren't your typical warm, touchy-feely family.  

"Sure, Mom.  I know that."  I wondered where all this was going.

"You know we think Louis is a wonderful boy."

"He is, for sure.  I'm glad you think so, too."

"Now, Judd, I, uh, I'm just going to come right out and ask this."

I knew then what the question was going to be.


"Are you and Louis gay?"

"Yeah.  I think I love him."

She took a deep breath.

"Your father said that was the case.  I just wasn't sure whether to believe him."

"Are you upset with me?"

She put her hand out and touched mine.  I couldn't remember when she'd done that before.  "No, dear, of course not.  As I said, your dad and I love you very much.  We'll always love you, even though I'm afraid we haven't told you that as much as we should have."

"I know, Mom.  I love you guys, too.  But you aren't angry about not having grandkids?  You aren't worried what people will think when the word gets around?"

"Yes, I'm disappointed about grandchildren, but it's too early to be sure yet that there won't be any."

"Mom, this isn't just a phase I'm going through.  I don't think there will be any grandkids."

She smiled.  "When you find the right man and are ready to commit to him, maybe you two could adopt."

"Wow!  I hadn't thought of that.  Cool!"

"You said something about word getting around.  Is it because your teammates found out about you that they kept you from scoring at your last match?"

"Something like that."

"Are you generally out at school?"

"Well, I don't know for sure.  Louis and I have lunch together, but we don't hold hands or anything like that.  I think the guys on the soccer team aren't telling anybody because they are afraid of guilt by association.  But I'm not gonna hide who I am.  If anybody asked me, I wouldn't deny it.  Louis's my boyfriend, and I'm not gonna lie about that, either.  We're talking about going to the same university so we can room together next year."

She stood up, so I did, too.  Then she came around the table, and hugged me.  I kissed the top of her head.  

"Judd, you're a little young to have found the love of your life.  But if it's Louis, so be it.  You could do a lot worse.  Your dad and I have always been proud of you, and we still are.  Now, there's just one more question I've got to ask you."

She pushed away and looked up at my face.

"Are you and Louis having sex?"

I knew that was coming, but I still blushed.  What was I gonna tell her?  "Well, uh, mother, yeah.  We haven't done everything yet, but we've been experimenting."

"Is Louis the only person you've done anything with since Tommy left?"

"You knew about us?"

"Well, we were pretty sure."

"Geez.  I wonder if everyone has figured out I'm gay?"

"What do you mean?"

"Beth told me the other day she knew.  She said she'd known for a while.  I wonder who else knows."

"Just be yourself, Judd, but you don't need to advertise it either."  She smiled.  "Now, about my question . . . have you been, uh, sexually active with anyone else but Tommy and Louis?"

"No, ma'am."

"But do you know about his sexual history?"

"He's had some experience, more than I have, but I haven't asked him about it.  I figure if he wants to tell me he will."

"Since you don't know, Judd, you must be careful.  You are using condoms, aren't you?"

Jeez!  This wasn't a conversation I'd ever expected to have with my mother.  Of course Dad was in his office going over books or papers or something.  I suppose I should have known it would be Mom when the time came to have this talk.

"We haven't gone far enough to need condoms yet, Mom, but I promise you we both know about safe sex and will be careful."

"So long as being careful means using condoms when you need to, please."

"Does that mean you wouldn't mind if Louis stayed over once in a while?"

She hugged me again.  "I can't believe I'm saying this.  But, no, you know we are fond of Louis, and you've told me you think you love him.  It would be cruel if you couldn't be together once in a while."

I picked her up and whirled her around.  "Mom, you're amazing.  I love you!"

She giggled in a way that I'd never heard before.  Then she kissed me on the cheek while I was still holding her off the floor.

I went downstairs right away and called Louis.


Every time I thought of Judd I tingled.  He was so beautiful!  He was wearing his dark blond hair longer than he had during soccer season.  With his sapphire blue eyes and his incredible smile, he could just make me melt.  Sometimes he gave me a straight-faced, almost smoldering look, and then I got all hot and bothered.  I guess the boy just got to me whatever he did.

I was really disappointed when Judd said he wouldn't let me take any nude pictures of him.  I didn't mean like the slutty ones of me.  I'd just given those to him to see how he'd react.  But I guess I didn't explain what I wanted him to do.  What I hoped for was that he'd let me take some pics of him in artistic poses.  But I decided all that could wait until after Christmas.

The last week before Christmas was pretty hectic.  One of the things I had to do by myself was to shop for gifts for my parents and to pick up some cd's for Judd.  Our big present to each other wasn't going to be a surprise.  We'd decided to get each other the same thing.  We'd picked out matching silver neck chains with flat links.  We were going to have our own private gift exchange on Christmas night.

We were pretty much scheduled up until then.  I had to carry the cross at the late service at Holy Trinity on Christmas Eve, and Judd had said he wanted to come to see me do it.  The next morning both our families would have their gift exchange, and he was going to church with his family.  He'd invited me to come along, and my folks had said that would be okay.  Then we'd split up so each family could have its own early-afternoon Christmas dinner.

After that, though, I was going to slip away and go to his house for supper that evening and an overnight.    

Maybe I should explain that my folks had known I was gay since I was fourteen.  They were pretty upset at first, but then Father Gary helped them come to terms with it.  It was so great that Judd's folks had figured out he was gay and were accepting of that.  And accepting of me.  

So, Judd and I were planning a very private celebration on Christmas night.


By the time Christmas Eve arrived, I was a little less sanguine about being alone for the holiday.  I'd been with Kyle at Clearfield, and we'd always spent Christmas together.  I puttered in the studio in the morning, came in and fixed myself a sandwich at noon, checked my email after lunch, and was sitting in my favorite reading chair.  It was a contemporary Italian leather chair styled much like an Eames chair. I had positioned it near a south window, so it got good light.  

Whatever I was reading didn't hold my attention, apparently, for I must have dozed off.  I awoke to the doorbell ringing.  Looking at my watch, I discovered it was 4:10.  I couldn't imagine who'd be at my door at that hour on Christmas Eve.  I was embarrassed, too, because I looked scruffy even for me, since I always wear old raggedy clothes in the studio and hadn't cleaned up since.

On the doorstep was a teenager I didn't know.  He was holding something large and covered with green plastic.

"Dr. Pell?"


"Delivery from Carlton's Florists."

"Oh, thanks, uh, just a minute."  I went to the table in the foyer and got a tip for him.  When I handed it to him, he handed me his bundle.  

"Thank you, sir.  Merry Christmas!"

"Merry Christmas to you."

He grinned, waved, and went back to the van in my driveway.

When I removed the plastic covering, there was a bouquet of a dozen red roses with white baby's breath and fern.  It was in a cut glass vase that I recognized immediately as Waterford.  It was so unlikely that anyone I knew would send me flowers, much less such an obviously expensive gift, I was ready to call Carlton's and tell them they'd made a mistake.

Setting the vase down carefully on the dining table, I took the card out of its envelope.  It read, "Whitney, Merry Christmas!"

But there was no signature.  Who could have sent it?

I knew it wasn't from Kyle.  He wasn't exactly the romantic type, and besides, he and I were finished.  He was in Manchester with his new lover, Simon.  Could it have been Stuart?  No, I didn't think so.  He and I were becoming pretty good friends and sex partners. I was hoping we might grow even closer, but I didn't think he would have done something like that.  Besides, on a teacher's salary, I was pretty sure he couldn't have afforded a Waterford vase.  That made this a pretty expensive gift.  But if not Stuart, then who?

I wondered about that as I poured myself a drink and later as I prepared and ate my dinner.

I went to the late service that evening at Holy Trinity.  Jon had told me that both Christmas Eve Eucharistic services would pack the church, so I made a point of getting there early.  Judd Thomas was standing in the narthex when I got there.

"Dr. Pell.  Merry Christmas!"

"Merry Christmas, Judd, and it's Whitney, remember?"

"Oh, yes, sir.  Sorry."

"Do you go to Holy Trinity?  I don't think I've seen you here before."

"No, this is my first time at an Episcopal Church, but Louis is a crucifer tonight, and I wanted to be here."

"Would you like to sit with me?  Perhaps I can explain a little about what's going on since you're a newbie."

He grinned at the word.  "Thanks, I appreciate the offer, but Louis' folks are coming, and I'm supposed to sit with them."

"Oh, that's great.  Nice of them to ask you to do that."

He smiled with his angelic smile.  "Yeah, they're cool people."

Just about then the Lefevres came in.  They were both very handsome.  I could see where Louis got his looks.  Judd introduced us.  We all wished one another Merry Christmas, and they entered the nave.

As I was about to go in and find myself a place, Jon and Frank came in.  Both wore broad smiles, and they seemed excited. After we greeted one another, I asked them if there was more to their good spirits than just the holiday.  They glanced at each other, grinned, and then held up their left hands.  They were wearing identical rings.  

"Guys, does that mean what I think?"

Still smiling broadly, both nodded.  "Yep," Jon said, "we just gave them to each other this evening."  

I hugged and congratulated them both.  They asked me to sit with them, which I was happy to do.  We were lucky to find three places on the center aisle, though toward the back.

We all knelt and prayed as always before a service.  The organ was already playing something splendid which I didn't recognize.  Although some of the people were chatting quietly, the three of us sat silently and listened to the music.  I took the occasion to remind myself why I was there and what this was all about.  Before too long the bells in the tower began to ring.  Then the organ quit playing for a few minutes.  When it began to play again, the procession started.  It was led by Louis, looking absolutely magnificent in his red cassock and white cotta, carrying the main cross.  The procession included Fathers Glenn and Gary, a deacon, two lay readers, the priest's crucifer, a pair of torch bearers, and the choir.  

I shivered.  Not with cold.  With an inexpressible kind of happiness.  I never quite understood why I wept so often in church or why the centuries old pageantry moved me so.  I just knew it did.  I knew that, however it had come about, I was where I was supposed to be that night.

When the service was over and the procession had filed out of the sanctuary, the bells began to peal wildly.  On the steps outside Frank and Jon hugged me and wished me a happy Christmas.  I returned the wish, congratulated them again, and went home.

There on the table were the roses.  I wondered once more who'd sent them.  I also thought of Jerome, hoping that he was celebrating the very special time with people he loved.  I thought of the two friends I'd just sat with in church.  I knew they were going to have a very happy holiday.  

And then I wondered about Stuart.  He was with the parents of his wife and her twin, his former lover.  I hoped they could console one another for their enormous loss and that they'd find some sort of joy together.  And I wished he were there with me.

The next morning I did something I hadn't done since I was in college.  I went to church on Christmas morning.  Whereas the church had been packed on Christmas Eve, there were only about 40 people in attendance that morning.  Father Gary took the service.  The choir was about half the size of the grand chorus of the previous evening.  There was one lay reader, one sleepy-looking crucifer, and two equally sleepy torch bearers.

As we filed out of the church after the service, Gary asked me to wait for a few minutes while he said hello and got a handshake from those folk, mostly retirees it appeared, who'd come out on Christmas morning.  

"Ah, Whitney, come back to the sascristy with me while I get out of these things, if you aren't in a hurry to go anywhere."

"No, father, I've nowhere to go."

"Service is over, Dr. Pell, so it's Gary."

I grinned.  "Point taken."  I followed him back to the vesting room, where he took off his stole and alb and hung them in a closet.

"I gather you're alone, today, or you wouldn't be here by yourself this morning."

"That's right."

"Well, as it happens, I'm on my own, too.  I was wondering if you'd like to come back to my place and have something simple.  I can't promise an elaborate Christmas feast, but I can rustle us up something and at least we won't be alone."

"I can't believe you haven't had scads of invitations to Christmas dinner, Gary."

"Promise you won't tell?"  He grinned.

"Uh, huh."

"I got a couple, but they were from people I'd just rather not be with today.  Is that terrible?"

"I don't think so."

"Well, I'm feeling a little guilty.  But in both cases I would have been wedged in between someone's out of town cousin and a grandchild of eight or so, or something of the sort.  I should have taken the first offer, but I made up some excuse, and then I couldn't very well accept the second one either.  So, why don't we just have a comfortable meal together?  You just have to promise not to tell anyone in the parish."

I grinned.  "I think I can promise that."

He told me how to get to his place and said to show up whenever I was ready.  I went home, got out of my jacket and tie and changed into jeans and a pullover sweater.  I had some butch rough leather shoes with lugs instead of eyelets, and I wore those.  I wasn't out to seduce Gary, but I didn't see any reason not to dress in a way I thought he'd appreciate.

Lunch was very pleasant.  Gary served a salad and quiche and a fairly dry Rhine wine.  He made the usual joke about real men and quiche.

He told me that Father Glenn, the rector, and his wife, Helen, had left early that morning for Knoxville to have Christmas dinner with Helen's sister and her family.  He said they'd been very concerned that he was going to be alone, reminding him that he'd most certainly have been invited to their home for dinner if they were going to be there.

Later, Gary brought up the subject of Jerome just as I was wondering how to broach the topic.  

"Whitney, I want to thank you both for respecting Jerome's privacy and for encouraging me to talk with him.  We've had a couple of `dates,' I suppose you could call them.  He's a really sweet guy, as I'm sure you know. He has a marvelous sense of humor, too.  I really enjoy spending time with him.  I know you and he are more than just boss and employee.  I hope you don't feel that I've jumped in where I don't belong."

I had to think about that for a minute, so I took a forkful of salad.

"You're right.  I consider Jerome as much more than an employee.  We're friends.  I'm very fond of him.  And, as I think you'd agree, he's a very sexy man."

"Oh, yeah!"

I chuckled.  "Gary, you'll have to forgive me.  This conversation makes me a little nervous."

"Yeah, yeah, I know.  You are embarrassed discussing sexy men with a priest."


"Well, even priests are allowed to have their private lives, you know."

"Oh, of course.  And that brings up a question.  I know you're out to the congregation, but how much of a gay private life can you have here?"

"As you say, the vestry and congregation knew I was gay when they took me on here. But I think the less they know about my private life, the better they'll like it."

"So could you and Jerome become a couple without repercussions?"

"If we were discreet, I think we could from the parish point of view.  I'm not sure, though, how the folks at First Methodist would take it if he came out or was seen regularly with me.  He and I haven't talked about that yet."

"Well, it's a crying shame that two such good men can't be special friends, shall we say, without getting flack from the community.  I know Jerome is pretty lonely.  He throws himself into his work at Sunrise with great enthusiasm, and I know he's active in his church.  But he's confessed to me more than once that he would like to have a good man in his life.  I hope you two can find what you need in each other.  And I think I know you well enough to believe you wouldn't do anything to hurt Jerome."

"Thank you for that, Whitney.  I feel as if I have your blessing, and I'm grateful.  Of course I'll be discreet, and I would never want to do anything to hurt him."

After the quiche Gary, a native of New Jersey, served that most southern of desserts, ambrosia.  He told me that Helen, Father Glenn's wife, had given him the recipe.  We had it with our coffee.  

After I'd helped him do the dishes, we sat in the living room of his cozy apartment.  He had no further duties at Holy Trinity that day, and I was in no hurry to go home.  We talked about everything.  Growing up in North Carolina and New Jersey, what it was like growing up gay, university experiences, and former lovers.  

I came to feel that afternoon that Gary was someone I wanted as a good friend.  He didn't particularly attract me sexually, but I felt comfortable with him.  We found many things to talk about, and we shared many values.  It was getting dark when I stood to leave.  I thanked him for the meal and suggested he should come to my place for dinner soon.  He said he'd like to do that and, mentioning that he'd heard about my glass pieces, he asked if he could see my studio.  I assured him that was no problem.  We hugged, and I went home.  

The house seemed dark, cold, and empty when I got there.  I turned on several lights.  As I passed the dining table, I saw the splendid roses, the cut glass of the vase catching the light and sparkling.  It was too late to do anything in the studio, so I put "Messiah" on the stereo and read until I was sleepy.  Occasionally I wondered who had sent the roses.  And I wondered if Jerome and Stuart had had good Christmases.

Thinking of Stuart triggered a memory.  He had left me a present.  It was a small box, wrapped in silver paper.  He'd told me that I was to open it on Christmas Day.  I'd forgotten all about it until that very moment.  I hadn't put up a tree, so I went to the table in the entry way where I'd left it.  I took it back into my den and sat in my favorite chair to unwrap it

I was embarrassed because I hadn't given Stuart a separate Christmas gift.  I had given him the platter, which was properly a hospitality gift, but it was perhaps worth a bit more than that occasion called for.  

I was so touched when I opened that little box that tears came to my eyes.  He'd gotten me a set of ear studs.  He remembered, obviously, what I'd told him about the ones from Kyle I had quit wearing.  These were turquoise set in silver, I suspected Navajo.  They were of incredible workmanship, obviously made for a man.  I took them from the box and went to the closest bathroom to see what they looked like when I put them in.  As I stood there admiring them, I wondered:  does Stuart expect that there are strings attached to these?


For the first time since I'd come back to Stafford, I put up a tree.  It was the weekend before Christmas, and Frank helped me decorate it.  He'd come for dinner, we'd put Christmas music on the stereo, and there was a fire in the fireplace.  Both of us were excited that evening, knowing that on Christmas Eve we were going to have dinner, again at my place, go to the late service at church, and then actually consummate our relationship.  We'd never done anything more than lots of intense kissing and equally intense blow jobs to that point, so we were both primed for the early Christmas lovemaking.  And I knew it would be lovemaking.  By taking things slowly, I think we both were sure how we felt and were ready to commit to each other.  Very sure.  Oh, and the plan was to sleep late on Christmas morning and then get up and exchange our gifts.  

Things didn't quite work out that way.  When Frank arrived late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, he had a red and green striped gift bag, the kind with the handles, which seemed to have several wrapped presents in it.  He put the bag under the tree.  After our candlelit dinner we had a couple of hours to kill before leaving for church.  I couldn't wait.  I had several gifts for Frank, but there was one I wanted to give him then, no waiting around until the next morning.

We went into the living room.  There were no lights except those on the tree and the light that was coming from the fireplace.  

"Frank, please sit down."  He sat on the sofa, looking at me with curiosity written all over his face.

I went to the tree and picked up one small parcel, which I handed to him.  "I know we said we'd exchange our gifts tomorrow, but I want you to have this one now.  Please open it."  I sat next to him as he unwrapped the small box.

He looked at me.  There were tears in his eyes.  "Oh, God, Jon, is this what I think it is?  If it isn't, I'll . . . "

I put my finger on his lips.  "Shh, baby.  Just open it."

It was, of course, a ring.  One day when we were at the mall, we'd looked at rings in one of the shops.  This was one we'd admired.  We'd joked that we weren't actually ring shopping, but that maybe, someday, if everything worked out, we'd, well . . . "  

"My God, Jon!"  He hugged me, tears running down his cheeks.  "I can't believe this."

"I want to put it on your finger, Frank."

"No, wait a minute!"  He went to the bag under the tree and removed a small package.  It was pretty obviously a ring box, too.  When I unwrapped it, inside I found the twin of the ring I'd just given him.  I laughed.  I also cried.  

Tears streaming down both our faces, we put the rings on each other and then kissed.  

Later, leaning back in the sofa, holding hands and staring at the fire, we had been quiet for a while.  Then he turned, put his head on my shoulder, and said, "we're a couple of sentimental old birds, aren't we, Jon?"

I kissed the top of his head.  "And what's the matter with that?"

I'm sure I drove faster than usual to get back home after church.  Frank helped me lock the doors, turn off the lights, partially close the fireplace damper, and adjust the thermostat on the furnace.  We made the necessary trips to the bathroom, and soon we were snuggled under the duvet.  

"Jon, I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to this moment."

"And what, specifically, have you been looking forward to, my love?"

"To our making love, of course."

"That's a beautiful but imprecise euphemism, you know."

"Oh, God, I'm in bed with an English prof.  I should have known better!"  He heaved a very theatrical sigh.  "But I confess I'm not sure what the problem is, professor."

I began to stroke his hard penis, which was already beginning to leak.  

"Consider this, my dear.  In the activity you describe as `making love,' one of us has to do something to the other."

He moaned, though whether from what I'd said or what my hand was doing I'm not sure.  "Oh, I see what you're getting at."  He paused.  "Look at it this way.  We're going to be together for the rest of our lives, so it doesn't much matter to me who does what this first time.  Tomorrow we can reverse the procedure.  And after that, we can ad lib, unless of course, you are only a top.  Funny we've never discussed that."

"Frank, this has got to be the weirdest foreplay in history.  Will you just fuck me, please?  The stuff is in the night stand drawer."

He chuckled as he rolled over to get the lube.  "Funny, babe.  I'd have expected you would want to be the top, at least for the first time."

"Do you mind being top tonight?"

"No, of course not.  I just thought. . . "

"Quit thinking, Cummings.  Grab the lube and get busy, please."

"Yes, sir, professor.  Right away, professor."

"Shut up and fuck me."

Our facetious mood quickly changed, becoming first affectionate and then passionate.  It was a long night.  We slept late, had more lovely sex the next morning though this time with the roles changed had brunch, and finally got around to exchanging the rest of our gifts.


Maman fixed us a big breakfast on Christmas morning.  Then the three of us exchanged our gifts.  They were always very generous with me, and I got lots of nice things, including a really cool digital camcorder I'd been wanting.

Then I had to get cleaned up, put on my blazer and tie, and get to Judd's church.  Since we were each having the early afternoon meal with our families, I was to meet them there.  

I had never been to the Thomas's church before.  It was the United Church of Christ Congregational.  I'd read good things about it, though.  They made it known that everyone was welcome there.  And it was understood that "everyone" included people of all ethnicities, plus lesbians and gays.  

The Thomases were waiting for me in the narthex when I got there.  I was surprised when they both hugged me.  The organ was already playing, and I recognized the piece as something by Bach.  The interior of the church was very different from Holy Trinity.  The walls were white, the windows were of clear glass, and it was very light and bright.  There was no procession at the beginning.  When it was time for the service to start, the minister came in at the front of the sanctuary and sat facing the congregation.  The choir came in behind him and took their places, also facing the congregation.  

The main differences, to me at least, between that service and ours were that there was no liturgy and that the sermon was much longer than ours.  The minister was a very likable man, a dynamic speaker.  He talked, of course, about Jesus' coming into the world and what that meant.  He stressed that Jesus had brought us love, that he taught us to love one another.  And he stressed that Jesus' message was for all of us, everyone!

Sitting there next to Judd, I could certainly feel lots of love in my heart.  For Judd.  For my parents.  For his parents.  For my teachers.  For Whitney.  (I wondered where Whitney was.  I'd not had a chance to ask him what he was doing for Christmas.)

I can't remember much about the next few hours.  Mrs. Thomas told me they were having roast beef for dinner, and that supper would probably be sandwiches, but that they'd expect me to be there for that evening meal.  Then she said to come as soon as dinner at my house was finished if I wanted to.

Maman had fixed a roast of duck and all the trimmings.  It was all delicious, and I really felt happy being there with my parents.  Sure, I wanted to get to Judd because I knew we were gonna have an exciting evening, but I loved my folks.  They were fun to be with, they were, as I said, always generous and understanding, and I felt safe, felt as if it was okay to be me.  Whatever I was, they loved me.

We had just barely finished clearing the dinner table and loading the dishwasher when the doorbell rang.  It was the Brierleys from next door, the parents, Ron and Sheila, and their daughter, Carly.  They usually came over for a while on Christmas Day, but I'd forgotten that.  So I had to stick around and be sociable.  

Before long Sheila and Maman were in the kitchen, Papa and Ron were in Papa's study, which left Carly and me in the living room.  Carly went to some boarding school in Virginia and was just home for the holidays, so, since we'd lived next door to each other for years, we had a lot to catch up on.  I asked her about boyfriends, and she said there was this guy who went to a school near hers, and he was a basketball jock and really studly, and that they'd gone to some school functions, his and hers, together.  Then she asked if I had a boyfriend, so I had to tell her all about Judd.  

It was 4:00 by the time the Brierleys left.  Papa looked at me after he shut the door, smiled and said, "Louis, mon fils, it's my considered opinion as a physician that you're going to explode if you don't get to your Judd.  Va t'en!"

I ran upstairs and got my bag and came back down.  

"Did you pack pajamas, Louis?" my mother asked.

"Uh, no!"

"Well, for the sake of propriety, I think you should at least have some with you."  She winked at me.

I took the stairs two at a time, grabbed a pair of pj's (something I never wore at home) and quickly went back downstairs.  I shoved the pj's into my bag, gave both Maman and Papa a hug and a kiss, and went to the garage.  Of course, I'd forgotten the keys.  When I got back to the kitchen, Maman was standing there grinning with my keys in her hand.  I kissed her again, and tore back to the garage.

When I arrived at Judd's house, I was barely out of the car when he came out the front door.  He hugged and kissed me before I was even inside.

"Hi, babe.  The `rents want us in the family room for a while."

When we got into the family room, both his parents stood, came over to me, and hugged me.

"Louis, it's good to have you with us on Christmas.  And we appreciate your coming to church with us this morning."

"Well, ma'am," I said to Mrs. Thomas, "I was proud to have Judd at our church last night."

The two elder Thomases were having wine, and they poured a glass for each of us. There was a tray of cheese, crackers, and dips on the coffee table, which I declined after thanking them.  It didn't seem all that long since I'd had a big dinner at home.  

As we sipped our wine (I was used to that since my folks loved wine and often let me have some with them), they asked me about my art courses, about my photography, and about my plans for college the following year.  I told them that I hoped to go to either UNC or Duke, since they had the best visual arts programs in the state, but that more than anything I hoped Judd and I could go to the same university, and I'd go wherever he did so long as they had a good art program.

Mr. Thomas looked at Judd and said, "So far as I know, Judson, you don't have any idea what you'd major in in college, do you?"

"Well, sir, I didn't until recently."

"But you do now?" his dad said, smiling at him.

"I've had an idea.  I think I'd like to be a college professor."

That was news to me.  We'd never talked about it.  I knew he hoped to play soccer in college, but I didn't know he'd been thinking about being a prof.

"And what would you teach, darling?" his mother asked.

"Well, you know English has always been my best subject, and Mr. Cummings has suggested I'd be a good English major in college.  And this may surprise you, Louis, but I think I'd like to minor in art history.  I've really gotten into that stuff now that you and Dr. Pell have sort of opened the door."

"You mean Ms. Burleigh has?" I asked, grinning.

"No way, man.  I like that stuff despite her, not because of her."

"Judd," his father said, "I'm glad you have been giving all this some serious thought.  Do some research into college teaching as a career.  It would be nice if you could talk with a college professor."

"I do know someone," Judd said.  "At least Whitney, that is, Dr. Pell at Sunrise used to be an art history professor."

"Hey, Judd," I said, "Jonathan Baker used to be head of the English Department at the same university where Whitney used to teach.  You could talk to both of them."

"Good idea," Mr. Thomas said.  

After we'd finished our wine, we asked to be excused to go to Judd's room.  I took my bag down with me, for Judd and I hadn't given each other our presents yet.

Down in his room, I put the chain I'd got him around his neck, and he put mine on me.  Then we kissed each other, grinding our hard cocks together as we did.  Then we exchanged some other gifts.  He'd gotten me a Josh Groban cd I'd wanted, and I had a Beckham poster for him, plus some other little things each way.  

We were lying on his bed kissing and stroking each other's hard cocks through our jeans when his mother called us to come up for supper.

Despite everything Maman had prepared for dinner, I was still hungry, so I really enjoyed the salad and roast beef sandwiches Mrs. Thomas had fixed for us. She'd made a white cake with coconut icing and ambrosia to go with it for dessert.  It looked awfully good, but I asked if maybe we could have some of it later.  Judd seconded the idea, and Mrs. Thomas said we were to help ourselves whenever we were ready.

As we went down to his room, Judd shut and locked the door at the head of the stairs.  I was starting to take my shirt off by the time we got to his room.  I turned to him and said, "Ainchu gonna get nekkid?"

He chuckled but pulled me down next to him on his bed.  "Louis, what's the hurry?  We've got all night."

"Yeah, babe, but I've been waiting for this night for sooo long."

"Me, too.  But I think it's too important to rush into."

"Judd," I said, horny and impatient, "seems to me we've waited a long time.  Who's rushing?"

"Okay.  Just tell me this."

"Anything?  What?"

"Do you really love me?"

That's when I realized how right he was.  Of course.  We were going to go "all the way" that night, give ourselves totally to each other.  Along with the physical expression of our love, for sure we needed to say the words.

"Aw, Judd, I'm sorry.  I've just been so horny for you I forgot how important this evening is."  I slipped off the bed onto the floor.  On my knees, I took his hands and looked up into his face.  "Judd Thomas, I love you with all my heart.  People might think we're too young to say things like this, but I want to be with you for the rest of my life.  I can't imagine what my life would be like if you weren't in it.  I haven't told you this, but every night I get down on my knees and pray before I go to bed.  And every night I thank God for you."

I looked up to see tears running down his cheeks.

"Louis, my God, thank you man.  That's exactly the way I feel, but you've said it better than I could.  I guess I'm just a dumb jock, but I love you, too, babe.  How can we be too young to know we're in love?  I want you to know that I'm yours.  Now and forever."

I sat on the bed, put my arms around him, and then lay back, pulling him on top of me.  We kissed feverishly for a while.  Then he sat up, grinned, and said, "Okay, now let's get nekkid!"

After we were "nekkid," there was an awkward moment.  Since we'd become boyfriends, we'd been kissing, doing frottage, giving each other blowjobs, and sixty-nining.  But this was the night when we'd agreed, without much discussion, to go "all the way."  I'd been assuming the jock-boy would do me, so I was surprised when he handed me the lube and lay on his back with his legs up.

"Man oh man, you look good that way, lover," I said.  "But are you sure this is what you want?"

He grinned.  "Uh huh.  You're the one with the most experience."

"Not all that much, you know.  I'm no slut.  But I think I can remember what to do."

"Then, babe, quit talking and make love to me."

What followed was kind of a comedy of errors, me trying not to hurt him and him urging me to quit fooling around and get on with it.

I was determined to go slow though, and managed to get him lubed up and loosened up so that when I went in him he didn't seem to have too much pain.  I watched his cute face carefully and eased in when he seemed to be ready.  When I was balls deep in his tight white ass, he said, "Oh, Louis, I've wanted this.  This is a perfect feeling!  You make me feel whole, complete, lover.  Now take me to the moon!"

We achieved lift off and made a long, exciting journey to the moon and back.  When we were done, I collapsed on top of him and lay there panting until my cock popped out of his warm chute.  

A little while later, when I took off the very full rubber and carried it to the bathroom, he said, "Hey, you ready for some dessert?"

"Yeah."  We were growing boys, and sex takes a lot out of you, after all.  

We pulled on our jeans and tees and went up to the kitchen.  Judd's folks were in the family room watching television, so we cut big slices of cake, filled dessert bowls with ambrosia, and poured big glasses of milk.  Judd got out a tray, and we started for his room.

"Good night, boys.  Love you both!" his mother called to us.

"'Nite, guys," his dad said.

We both yelled goodnight to them and went downstairs.  

As we ate the cake and fruit and drank the milk, we browsed some gay porn sites.  Then we rinsed off the dishes in the sink in his bathroom, brushed our teeth, peed, and got back into bed.

This time we snuggled and snogged for a while.  (I like "snog."  I've seen it in several Nifty stories written by Brits.)  Soon our cocks were demanding more attention, so I grabbed the lube and handed it to him, along with the mandatory condom.  

"Louis, tell me what to do.  I don't want to hurt you."

"Remember what I did to you, babe?"

He grinned.  "Yeah, well, sort of."

"Okay, using your fingers, work as much of that lube as you can up my ass.  Then try stretching the ring of muscles.  I'll coach you while you're doing it."

He was a good pupil.  Soon he had me panting for his beautiful pink dick.  

"Put a little lube on your cock, Judd, and work it around before you put on the rubber.  Then put a lot on the rubber."

He did all that while I lay there, eager for him to come inside me.  

"Okay, done that."

"Well, stud, I think you can figure what next.  Just go slow, okay?"

For variety's sake, I was on my stomach, ass up, head down.  Soon I felt him pushing against my pucker.  I relaxed as much as I could, pushing back when he started pushing in, and with only a little pain, the head of his cock was inside me.  He was super careful, easing in very slowly because he was afraid he'd hurt me.  I kept encouraging him.  

He hadn't come while I was doing him, so I figured he might come right away after he got in me.  He was great, though.  Whenever he felt like he was about to come, he'd stop for a while, lean forward, and kiss my back.  For a while I lay flat on my stomach and he was sort of doing pushups in and out of me.  Then he pulled out.

I was afraid something had gone wrong.  And I felt a surprising emptiness.

"Judd, baby, what's wrong?"

He slapped my butt.  "Nothing, lover.  I just want you to turn over.  I need to see your face.  It's too, uh, impersonal doing it this way."

I didn't think having a guy's dick up my ass was impersonal, but I wasn't going to argue.  I rolled over and pulled my knees up next to my shoulders.  He was inside me before I knew what happened.

As he pumped in and out, he was looking down at me with the most wonderful expression on his face.  I knew it was love.  I'd never felt anything like it before.  My heart seemed to do some flip-flops in my chest as I stared steadily at my lover.

He must have remembered something he'd read, for soon he began to vary the angle of his thrusts.  And when he hit my prostate, I grunted and then smiled at him.  He knew what had happened.  After that, he brushed it with almost every stroke.  

A few minutes of that and I began to feel that sensation in my balls.  I'd come inside Judd already, and I felt as if I was going to come again.  What was with him?

My question was answered when he said, "Oh, jeez, Louis, I'm gonna come!

"Come for me, baby!"  

And just as I was spewing white jizz all over my abs and chest, he sort of growled, and I felt his cock pulsate inside of me.  I thought he was gonna spurt all night, he came so much.  Eventually, as I had on him, he collapsed.  It was as if he'd passed out for a couple of minutes.  Then we kissed. And kissed.  And kissed.

To be continued.