Warning:  In this story, adult males love each other, and a teenage boy comes out and grows up.  If it is illegal for you to read such, or you are morally offended,  LEAVE!   All others, ENJOY.

APOLOGY:  Sorry it's been so long.   Didn't mean to leave you hanging, but I wanted to show  how things really began (Chaps. 1-4, soon to be re-posted).  Hope it was worth the wait.

Ralph, 2
The Bagboy, Chap. 9
by Bob Nelson


This chapter is told by Greg and Ralph, alternately.

"Ralph!!  Ralph, are you out here?? If you're still out here, please come back in!  I won't hurt you!  Ralph, you're scaring me.  I'm afraid you'll get hurt trying to get back to the mountains!  We want you safe, here, Ralph!"

I'd run all around the backyard, hollering until I started getting hoarse.  I sank down onto one of the low walls Dad had put around some ornamentals.  I felt an empty coldness inside, a terrible change from the warm feelings for Ralph that began on our first hug.  He had  trusted me to help him learn about our world down here, and about being gay.   In our second hug  we both got a hardon, or a "stiffie" as he called it.   It felt so good hugging him to feel his young manhood pressing against me that I just went with it.  Hell, I don't even know if it was wrong to let it happen!  Then we each got a hardon in the car, riding close together in the back seat.  Why then?? Who knows?  We didn't touch in any way or come on to each other, so why am I feeling guilty?

Half an hour ago in the kitchen, I leaned toward him and our faces got close.  Did he think I was going to kiss him?  He sure froze with that "deer in the headlights" panic look!  I was starting to say "Why don't we got to bed," but I doubt he believed it.   He bolted as soon as he found a way out!  His adrenaline choice was "flight or fight" and he's too noble to fight me so he ran off.  I wonder if he felt like I was coming on to him, even though my lover Bob is in Intensive Care!!   Oh, I was slightly aroused by Ralph, a little tingle in my little head. He's  a handsome young man who saved our lives!  But was it love or lust?  Enough to lead me astray?  No, it wasn't close to that, but I did respond to him!  I have to explain it to them both -- to Ralph, at least -- but where is he?

I murmured  "I need you, Cousin.  I love you , Ralph, but it's a whole different kind of love than that I have for Bob."  With more emphasis, I said,  "God, I wish we could start over and just be friends!   I need your help to get as strong and brave as you are."

Suddenly a hand gripped my shoulder.  I almost jumped over the eight foot fence behind me.  I tried to twist around but whoever it was gripped my shoulder tighter.  Burglar?  Ralph's "Daddy"???

"Cousin Greg, I ain't strong or brave!  But if you want me back, I'll stay.  But first we got to talk.  Please!"

"RALPH !!!  Oh, thank God you're still here!  I was afraid you'd run back to the mountains.  Yeah, we'll talk about  whatever you need to!  We need each other, and I need to apologize to you."

"Yeah, we surely do need to talk -- about our stiffies!  The one we got when we hugged in the hospital tore me up!   I ain't never done nothin' with another man nor boy -- not all the way like I seen some doin' it.   I want to,  but I'm scared  spitless!!   My mouth got so dry when we each had another one, getting out of the car,  that I couldn't have spit to put out my stiffie if it was on fire!  But what was a whole lot scarier was when you leaned toward me in the kitchen, like you were gonna kiss me!  That's when I ran."

I sagged with guilt, hearing that.   I'd been going round and round in my head this past half hour, trying to determine if it was lust or just a way to "reward" him for saving Bob and me!   After he ran away, I realized I did not want sex with him.  I was glad he ran away!  Especially now that I find he's a virgin!

"Ralph, we both had so much happen to us today.   We each found a friend to hug and hugs are good!   That first time in the woods was wonderful -- warm and friendly, nothing else.  The next time, in the hospital we each popped a stiffie -- maybe just our bodies reacting to the close comfort of a hug after a scary time.   That was natural, too, and felt good.  Nothing to be scared of and nothing else happened.  And nothing happened when we were getting out of the car -- I think we both figured we shouldn't hug after we'd each popped another stiffie.   But I feel something special for you, and maybe I did want to give you a friendly kiss there in our kitchen.   I don't know!    Mainly I was thankful you saved me and the man I love."

"Cousin Greg, what are you tryin' to say?  Would it have been good or bad?"

"Thank you, Ralph.  I'll quit talking all around it and say it.   Feeling and playing with each other's stiffies would have been really bad for both of us.  Kissing, too.  It would have just been sex, and not right for your first time. You were stronger and braver than me -- running away from whatever might have happened.  You make up your mind really fast, then do the right thing, like when Cain was doing his crazy stuff up in the mountains.  You did the right thing then and you did the right thing now to run off until we could talk.  Do you always work on your problems right away?   If you can't work one out do you ask for help?   I want to learn to do that."

"You ain't makin' fun of me, are you?   A man's gotta head straight on at any problem  -- especially the ones that really scare us.   Don't you do it that way?" he asked with a puzzled look.

"No, a lot of times I don't.  And I don't know many people who do.  For some reason, we've learned or been taught  to double think any problem and triple think all possible answers to it.   It's like no one wants to make a mistake or have people think they have!   Maybe that's it.  Most people I know want to talk a problem to death before they start to do anything about it!  I've heard some say it's better to do nothing than to do something wrong."

"Why's that, Cuz?   It ain't gonna get littler or go away if you just keep lookin' at it, or stirrin' it with a stick to look at the other side of it."

"Ralph, you already see us city folks so clearly and describe our actions so well that I should write down everything you say about us."

"WHAT in the world are you talkin' about, Cuz?"

"Never mind, I just did what I was talking about.  Instead of talking about stiffies and kissing, I started using all kinds of words to talk about  your way of looking at our world.  Shall we talk about sex, Ralph?"

"Is that what it's called?"

"One of the things.   Want to talk about stiffies, first?"

"Yeah.   Why does my thing get stiff at all the wrong times?"

"Tell me what you mean by 'wrong times.'  But don't tell me it's what your Daddy or a preacher man said is good or bad or a sin.   Just what some of the 'wrong times' were for you -- any before today?"

"Three times.  First was when I watched my cousins Lukie and Jake swim naked in the swimmin' hole.   I was about twelve, I guess.   I wanted to cool off so I headed to the swimmin' hole.   I was almost there when I heard laughin' and hollerin'.   I slowed down and stalked whoever was in there.   I can creep up on deer or bear when I really want to.   I slithered in the last twenty feet on my belly then lifted a branch and there they were.  Lukie and Jake, bare as the day they were born, just laughin', playin', splashin' each other!  Golly, they were sure havin' fun!  Then they got closer and closer and quieter.   When they got close enough, they grabbed each others' stiffies and started pullin' on 'em!   They didn't jump or splash but stood real close, lookin' down at the other guy's stiffie in their hand.   Then they looked each other in the eyes and smiled slow and wide and kinda tender like.  The more they pulled on each other, the bigger their stiffies got.  Then they looked all trembly and weak kneed and Jake laid his head on Lukie's shoulder at his neck.  Lukie kind of stiffened up straight, then looked down into Jake's eyes, leaned down and kissed him on the forehead.   All of a sudden Jake gave a little whimper, then a shout, and started squirtin' some white stuff out of his stiffie onto Lukie's leg.  Then Lukie did the same thing onto Jake's belly.  They each squirted four or five times while they were moanin' and shakin'.  I was scared that they were havin' fits!   But they dropped each other's stiffies an' grabbed each other in a big ol' hug, so I guess it warn't fits.  As they moved apart, Jake got a real big grin and punched Lukie on his arm -- not hard, kinda easy,  like they both felt good about it.  So Lukie did the same thing back and they busted out laughin'.  Then they scooped up some creek water to wash each other off.  They washed each other real good.  After all that white stuff was washed off, they climbed out of the stream.   They wiped the water off each other's bellies, legs and backs with their open hands,  then wiped their own arms off as best they could and got back into their pants.  Each guy put an arm over his cousin's shoulders and they walked away leanin' close, laughin' and talkin' real friendly."

"Cousin Greg, my first stiffie was so hard it hurt, and I hadn't even known I'd popped it!  After Lukie and Jake left I felt it pokin' into the dirt like it was tryin' to dig for night crawlers!   I rolled onto my back and flipped my pants open to give it some room and it jumped right out.   Golly, it had never got that big!  I reached out and touched it and I shivered it felt so good!  Then I put my thumb and two fingers around it and pulled up like Lukie and Jake did.  Man, that felt ten times better!   So I pulled it some more and it just kept feelin' better and better, till all of a sudden I felt like I had to pee so bad I was gonna pop but the good feelin' had got so good that I thought the top of my head was gonna come off or I'd go crazy or pass out.   I yanked my hand off my stiffie and shook for a while.  My stiffie was so hard it was twangin' like a knife that got throwed into a tree, just twangin' and shakin'.   Well, I sure wasn't gonna pull it any more if it made me feel like that!  So I let it get soft, put it back in my pants and went home."

"That really wasn't a wrong time, Ralph.  Your stiffie poked out because you watched Luke and Jake pleasure themselves.   It built a tingle in you and caused you to have that trembly, shaky, weak feeling they got.  We call it coming, or an orgasm.  But you didn't squirt out any white stuff, called cum.  You were too young to make it."

"Why, Cousin Greg?  I've always wanted to ask why my thing got so stiff, that first time, and why did it have all those other feelings?   It's the only thing that scared me that I couldn't work out.  So you see, I ain't so brave."

"Boys have to be older to produce cum.   Some can at twelve, others can't till later.  All boys feel that tingling, jolting, scary feeling, like after you jump off some place real high, in that minute before you hit the water. Only the feeling when you do it all the way lasts longer and it's stronger."

"Yeah, that's what it felt like.  I'm surely glad it wasn't that powerful all the other times, but it's still so strong that I shake.   The Preacher men who ride through the mountains all told us it's sinful to pleasure yourself or to pleasure anybody except your wife.   Shoot, some of them said it's a sin except for makin' babies!  They said unless you're tryin' to get your wife with child, or if she's carryin' one, you shouldn't put it in her.  Is that right?"

"No, that's just their way of looking at sex.  That's what pleasuring yourself or others is called by most people down here.  It's our way of saying 'pleasuring' yourself or someone else.   There is nothing sinful about pleasuring yourself when you get a stiffie.  A lot of folks say you shouldn't, and should not pleasure anyone else except your truly beloved mate.   They mean husband or wife, but I think we gay guys need to feel OK doing it with another guy, but only if he wants it and isn't married or promised to someone.   Do you know what I mean?"

"You mean it's all right for me to pleasure myself, or even another man, like Lukie and Jake did?" he asked, with an astonished look on his face.

"That's exactly what I mean, Ralph.  Some of us don't hanker after women or girls but get stiffies around men or boys, so those are the ones we're made to pleasure.   We don't decide it.  Our stiffies decide who they want.  We can go along for the ride and take that pleasure whenever we get stiff, or we can decide not to do it at that time or with that person."

"Like when we hugged and both got stiffies, you were thinkin' of doin' more?" he asked in an almost timorous voice -- the first time I'd ever heard him sound that way.

"Exactly right.  It felt so good holding you, hugging you and seeing your smile.   When you began to get a stiffie I got one, too.  That time it was purely natural, so it was all right.   What makes me feel so bad is that I liked the idea of pleasuring you -- wanted to play with you like Lukie and Jake  did -- so I acted happy when we got stiffies again, in the car.   I should have said "They sometimes pop up at the wrong times, but we don't have to do anything with them.  They'll go down."   They did when we started talking about food.  Trouble was, when I acted glad that you had another stiffie it was like leading you into a trap, one you didn't know was there.  Especially later, when I leaned in close -- like I wanted to kiss you!  Guess that's what scared you off."

"It surely did, Cousin Greg!   I was afraid that my first stiffie was leadin' you into a trap!     Yeah, I did think of Lukie and Jake and how good it would be for us to pleasure each other.   But I was scared to ask you.    If it felt good to you, and it's all right to pleasure a man, why didn't you ask me?"

"Because I knew deep inside that it would be wrong to pleasure you when Bob's up there in the hospital.  I just realized tonight that I love him and want us to be together always, to only pleasure each other.  I'd told him that I love him but hadn't quite worked that how much, so I let my stiffie rub against yours and it felt good.  I wanted you to feel mine hard,  too.   But when I was sitting out here, afraid you were gone, then realized what all that meant to you and Bob and me,  it just tore me up.   My stiffie for you wasn't love, it was what's called lust.  It was my body reacting to you, trying to signal your body to react to me.  In a way, it was my stiffie lying to my mind and lying to you.  I feel so bad that our stiffies and the almost-kiss scared you off, but I'm glad you ran away before either of us did something that we both would have been sorry about!"

"Well, I sure wish you'd told me how you felt, even if your feelings and your thinkin' didn't agree.   Greg, can I tell you something?"

"Sure.  Anything!  After what we've been through together, I don't think we should ever worry that the other guy won't listen or will get mad.  And keeping secrets about how we feel can mess us up really bad."

"When you were sittin' there in the dark, just a little while ago, you said you love me, but not the same as you love Bob.   Just hearing you say that made something inside my chest swell up and get all warm, then that feeling ran up to my head and made me lose my breath."  Ralph continued, in a softer voice, with increasingly worried tone and downcast eyes, "I wonder if that means that I love you?  I'm pretty sure I do."

"Ralph, thank you for telling me!   Don't ever be afraid to tell anyone that you love them, but be slow to tell them, as you were just now.  And try to understand what you're feeling, as you're trying to now.  Your love is the biggest gift  you could ever give me -- or any other guy!  You are a really, really special man, Ralph.  After sitting here thinking, realizing how close I came to messing you up -- messing us all up! --  I figured that I might be able to love you two guys at the same time, if, and only if  I love you each a different way.  Bob as my Lover, with all the pleasures of our bodies, and you as my cousin or brother, with just hugs -- ones that don't make us get stiffies!   I can't love you both as lovers; that would tear us all up.  I think total love has to be just between just two people.  Some day you'll meet a guy and something will spark between you.  The feeling may be like a tiny flame that starts when a breeze blows onto some old coals and might not grow very fast; or it may be like  a forest fire roaring through you.  If it's love, it'll become lots bigger and hotter than the warm feeling inside that we have for each other now.  If it  happens to both of you, you'll both feel the flames build the same way, either quick or slow.  My tender feelings for you are warm coals, but not fire.  They make me proud of you and I want to be near you.  Not just for saving us, but for being strong and telling me how you feel.   I love you in a special way and I'm really proud to call you my brother!   I always wanted a little brother!"

"Thanks, Greg," he said in a rush, as though he'd been holding his breath.  "I'm glad that you understand why I ran off, but glad I came back so we could have this talk.  The very best thing that's happened is that you claim me as your brother!  That's better and more special than Cousin!  I feel like that about you, too and I'm glad you explained about two different kinds of love.   I'd hate to cause any trouble between you and Bob.  I can be a friend to you both but love you like the brother I never had!  I love you, big brother!"

What a heck of a guy!  What a mature, considerate young man!  He was more concerned about me and Bob than about himself.   I pulled out my handkerchief and wiped my eyes and blew my nose.   Must be something in the air out here to make my eyes water -- yeah, a something called Ralph!   I put an arm over his shoulders and he put an arm behind my waist.  Companionable, not sexual.  We went into the house relieved and grinning.  Mom and Dad were still up, and popped into the kitchen when they heard the door.   Initial looks of pain and worry immediately changed to real joy as they came forward toward us.

"Look who I found out in the garden!   Sorry we didn't come back in right after I found him, but Ralph was pretty spooked by all that's happened in the last -- twelve hours!   Good grief, it's 3 A.M.!   Sorry, folks, but we had to talk so Ralph wouldn't run back to the mountains.   I think I've convinced him we really like him and want him to stay here -- as long as he wants."

"Oh, Ralph, we're so glad you didn't run away, get lost, or get hurt!   We were so worried about you, but you look so much more relaxed now.   Whatever you and Greg talked about must have been just what you needed.   Now why don't you both wash up some and get to bed.   Don't bother with baths or showers, tonight.   We're all totally tired from today's happenings, and we've only heard about the worst parts from you two!  You had to live through them!   Oh, do either of you want some cookies and milk before bed?"

That last remark was from Mom, of course.  They'd both been talking, filling in and ending each other's sentences for all the rest.  Guess it's a good marriage -- totally compatible and thinking alike after 48 years.
I'm a lucky guy to have these two encouraging, loving people as parents.

"Maybe two cookies and a medium sized glass of milk, each.  That OK, Ralph?"

"Yes'm, please.  Don't want you to go to any bother, though."

"Now you boys are no bother!   Milk's right here and glasses here, " (taking each from its place) "and cookies are there in the cookie jar.   Hope you like chocolate chip, Ralph?"

"Oh, yes'm, that'll be fine" he said while giving me a sidelong, quizzical glance.  He'd probably never had chocolate chip cookies, maybe no kind of cookies!!

"Thanks, Mom.  Just right."   I took a big bite of cookie and chewed till it was almost gone, then took a swallow of cold milk.   "AHhhh-h-h-h-h,  Yum!   Guess I was still hungry."

Ralph copied me up until he had chewed the first bite of his cookie twice, then, "Wow, I ain't -- haven't ever had anything this good to eat!  This is the best ever!  Could I maybe have one more?"

"Of course you can, dear boy."  She grabbed a baggie and loaded it.  "Here, take half a dozen back to Greg's bedroom.  I'm sure you boys will be able to eat them before bedtime," she said, smiling at his compliment.

All of a sudden a crushing fatigue hit me.  I looked at Ralph and saw that he was feeling the same thing.   I took him by the wrist, while giving him a questioning look "OK?"   He nodded and I said,

"Good night, folks.   Time for bed.  We're bushed!" and led Ralph back to my bedroom.

I led him down my hallway to our bedroom.  Thank God we'd worked it out, so that sex wouldn't create big problems!  As we entered we saw the air mattress and sleeping bag, or "pallet" as Ralph called it,  next to my bed.     We stepped into the adjoining bathroom, splashed some water on our hands, arms and faces, and dried off.  I fell into bed as Ralph dropped onto his pallet.   We were asleep almost before we hit.


Someone said  'We die from lack of love, not lack of sex.' Please tell me what you think of the whole story to this point, after you read rewritten chapters 1 - 3. Send comments, suggestions or criticism to me, Bob Nelson at  NailsB69@hotmail.com .  THANKS!