** The following tale is fiction and contains consenting sexual material involving teenaged boys.
If this kind of material is illegal where you are, if you are underaged, or if material of this sort offends you,
you are urged to turn back RIGHT NOW.  Otherwise please enjoy.

** As with all celebrity stories, this one is no different.  I do not know the members
of Dreamstreet, I've never met them, so this story is meant to imply nothing about their
sexual orientation.  This is FICTION, which means not real, so all you legal
types can mellow out and read.  That is why you're really here anyway, right? :)

** What the heck is this?  A seventh chapter after I'd already said the sixth one was the last?
It's a long story, but this is officially the final chapter in the DS series.  And this time I mean it :)

** And if you're in the mood, drop by my website, The Chamber

As always questions and comments are very welcome.  Please send them to: twisted_dreemz@yahoo.com

 Chapter Seven <Another Friday Night>

      I think I stood out in front of my house for like ten minutes after Chris and Frankie left wondering if I'd imagined the whole thing.  Maybe I was still partially asleep and everything that had happened was some type of a waking dream.  For a bit I almost had myself convinced that was the truth.  The alternative seemed farfetched and contrived. But as a sudden chilly breeze kicked up and I held myself to try and defend against the chill, it gave just enough motion for my shirt to throw out the scent of the cologne Chris had been wearing and put it into the air where I could smell it.  Cologne that could've only gotten on me if he'd really hugged me like I remembered.  I put my had to the cheek he'd kissed and could almost feel the sensation left in the area where his lips touched.  That's when I knew this wasn't a dream.  This was as real as real could be.  I had a boyfriend.  Me, the guy who was sure he'd have the hairiest palms in the world, and a heart of resent and hate because he was too scared to let his family and friends know what he was really all about.  That's not to say that I still wasn't scared at that moment because I was.  But I was way too happy to be held down by fear.

    Now I want you to put yourself in my shoes and tell me how you'd be feeling.  Me, I was somewhere above heaven for the rest of Thursday night and onto Friday.  My spirits were so high that it was affecting my friends at school and at work for the better. My mindset was in a whole other region I didn't think it was ever going to reach.  Because the reality of the situation, at least for me, was that I was never going to find a guy to be with.  I mean you read about gay people in stories, hear about the organizations, you see them on television, and maybe you even catch a quick glimpse of them when you're out and about.  But until you finally find someone of your own, it seems like all of it is somehow pretend.  You want to believe there are others out there like you, but you can't quite get yourself to do it.

     I wanted to tell my friends at school so bad what had happened in my life to make me "glow", as two of my girl friends put it, or make it look like I'd just scored in a million different ways, according to all my five guy friends I hung with.  All of them had gotten to the same conclusion that there had to be someone in my life because of my behavior earlier in the week and then my behavior currently.  To them it looked like I'd broken up with someone and then got back together with them.  I had to deny everything and tell them that their conclusion was wrong.  I told them I was just dealing with some family issues and they were settled and I was over it and happy with the outcome.  They didn't completely buy it, but they were cool enough to leave it at that.

     From Thursday night until I got out of school Friday afternoon, I was thinking of how I was going to be able to get to Great America.  There was no way I could pass this up if it was going to be the only time I would get to see Chris while they were in town.  It looked like I was going to have to, though.  I knew better than to try and mess with my father's pre-set plans.

    My only sign of hope was Frankie's saying that they were going to be there late.  How late, I didn't know, but hopefully later than how ever long my dad was planning for us to have our time together.

     Four messages were on the answering machine when I walked in from school on Friday.   I pressed the play button on my way into the kitchen to grab my usual after school snack.

    The first two messages were hang ups.  Telemarketers no doubt.  It was funny how it was all right for them to call you whenever it was least convenient, but they wouldn't leave their number or a message for you to call them back because it was inconvenient for them.  The third message started right as I was grabbing a bag of chips. My father's voice spoke,
"Hello, son, this is your father.  By the time you get this message I should be on my way home.  Elaine called in today because of some family issues, so I'll have to go back in at 7:00 and I won't be off until 11:00 when Richard comes in.  I figured we'd go out and grab something so don't eat anything.  If you already did, purge."

    Needless to say, the chips went right back to the cupboard, but I kept the soda.  Eating was one thing but thirst was another.
"Drake and the boys checked in last night and wanted me to let you know they're going to the Boardwalk after their practice and wanted to know if you wanted to go.  I told him you'd give him a call after me and you were done.  Okay, see you soon."

     The fourth message was a woman speaking in Spanish about something I'm sure was important, but I couldn't begin to make it out because she was talking at a hundred words per second.  The funny part was when the end of the message came and she said, in plain unbroken English mind you: "Okay, call me, Esmerelda.  Bye."  Obviously the people who she thought she was calling had the same greeting message as we did.

     No time to be EXTREMELY excited at the turn of events.  I possibly only had seconds to think up what I was going to tell my dad.  It had to be something good and something solid because he wouldn't stop until he was sure he'd gotten down to the raw core of the problem, and would be able to see through me like a piece of glass if I tried to lie or detour him.  Yes, I thought it was intrusive.  No, I didn't think it was any of his business.  Yes, I thought it was unfair of him to force it out of me like he was going to do.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

 *  *  *  *  *  *

     My dad made it home at 4:00, right when I was making sure my excuse for being the way I'd been earlier in the week was error proof.  My story was this: The weekend before Chris and the rest of the guys stayed at the Hotel, me and my friends had gone to a house party and I met a girl named Halle and we struck up a conversation.  There was this other guy there who she said she was talking to, but he'd left and hadn't come back for the past twenty minutes.  She was already drunk and was starting to think that he was trying to get her drunk so she would let him get some from her and she was scared that she was too drunk to stop him.  So me and her went upstairs and chilled out together until her girlfriends came looking for her so they could go home.  I got thank you's from her and her friends, once they found out why we'd done what we'd done.

    All I was going to do was take that truth and add the lie on to it.  I was going to tell my father that the guy who was trying to get Halle drunk at the party started a rumor around school that me and her got it on that night, but made it so it sounded like I started the rumor, and that Halle and her friends had gone off on me and wouldn't believe me when I tried to tell them the truth.  Then I was going to say that one of my girl friends overheard the guy telling his friends that he'd started the rumor to get back at me for messing up his game, and that she went to tell Halle, who sent her older brother in to confront the guy and get the truth.  Now me and Halle were cool again and that's why I was happy because we'd gotten to the bottom of it.

    That story held up and worked well to convince my father that it was the reason behind my attitude lately.  We ate at a restaurant called the Peppermill (which has really good food by the way) and I didn't start enjoying my food until I was sure he was believing my story.  He told me he was proud of me and that it was a very noble thing I did for Halle and that he hoped I wasn't out doing the same thing to girls as that guy had tried to do.  I promised him that I hadn't and wouldn't.  He also told me that he didn't want me to think he wasn't giving me my privacy or my space, it was just him doing his parental duty to get in my business when he felt something was wrong.  I told him that I did agree with thinking it was an intrusion, but that I couldn't be mad at him for being a good parent and being concerned.

    We got to the Peppermill at 4:30 and didn't leave until almost 6:00.  My dad told me to call Drake on our way home and let him know whether or not I wanted to accept his and the guys' invitation to the Boardwalk.  Being responsible, I asked him if he still needed me to come in since he wasn't going to have the night off like he'd planned.  He'd already given another one of the girls my shift and didn't want to change it because she really needed the hours.  I got the points for asking, though, and felt better about going to meet up with Chris and everyone.

    It seemed that nothing about Chris's and Frankie's visit the night before had been passed on to my father, or even to Drake for that matter.  It also was looking like Drake hadn't said anything to my father about me wanting to leave last weekend after me and Chris's little spat on the Observation Tower ride and me being pissed.  I still would've been able to use my alibi, only it would've been less error proof because I would've had to say that I got confronted by Halle while I was at Great America.

    Drake was glad to hear me say I would accept the invitation and told me that whatever happened was between me and the guys and that he wasn't going to try and jump in or anything anymore.  It was up to us to figure it out and that I was making the right step to do that.

    Scheduling conflicts at Great America caused the rehearsal time to be changed to take place from the morning hours until the evening hours, instead of evening until late.  The trip to the Boardwalk was going to be some cool down time for everybody, because they'd been working like dogs since last Sunday when they left town and went back home.  Drake told me to go ahead and come to Great America and to go through the back way like he'd done.  He was going to give me clearance and meet me there.  Then he changed his mind and told me he would just come to get me and that we would go to the Boardwalk from my house.  That way we wouldn't have to come back to Great America and get my car and all of that.

    Me and my father got home at 6:30, but I was the only one who went inside. He pulled back out of the driveway, told me to have a good time, and started on his way back to work.

    Drake made it to my house at 7:30.  He greeted me with his signature smile and the guy version of a hug (the handshake into a hug) before I made sure the house was secure and we left.  He told me about what the guys had been up to and how the second album was coming.  It was nearing completion and was scheduled for a November release.  To promote it they were going to be doing a US tour.  Not a full-blown supercharged one, just a set of concerts to get the word out.

     He asked me if I was still dancing and in order to keep him from even thinking about asking why I hadn't been, I told him yes.  This got a smile and a: "Good deal" out of him, but nothing much further.

     It took us about the same time to get to the Boardwalk that it did to get to Great America.  The Boardwalk, or the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, was better than Great America to me.  I'd wanted to go to it ever since I was a little kid and saw it in the movie The Lost Boys.  Unlike Great America the Boardwalk was free to enter and there were a good variety of rides to ride, and you could do it at a cheaper price.  There were the midway games and the arcades and, when the weather was right, there was the beach.  So going to the Boardwalk was like going to a bunch of places at once.

    Drake got on the phone when we arrived and asked where everyone else was parked.  They had been there about fifteen minutes waiting for me and him to arrive.  We found them easily and parked.

     My heart was beating at a million miles per hour as soon as the car stopped to park.  Excited doesn't begin to define what I was.  It was harder than all the other times to keep myself in check as we got out and joined the others.

     Claudia and Alyssa were there along with a couple of security guys, and a few other people I hadn't seen before.  They were standing nearby the cars.  Chris and the guys were nearby doing their own thing and hadn't noticed we'd arrived yet.
"Hey, Brenden.  Glad you decided to join us tonight." Claudia greeted me.
"Thanks for inviting me." I said, smiling.
"Not a problem.  It's our pleasure to have you."
"You all will be flying solo tonight.  Our security will be nearby incase something happens, and Boardwalk security is out in force and knows the situation.  And we'll be nearby as well.  The Boardwalk closes at 12:30 so, like we told the boys, be back here by 12:45." Alyssa explained.

     I nodded.
"So get gone then and have fun." Drake sent me on my way.  "The boys have money for all seven of you."
"Okay." I said again, starting to walk toward them before something occurred to me.

    Did Drake just say seven?  I counted to myself just to make sure that I wasn't messing up.  Chris.  Frankie.  Greg.  Matt.  Jesse.  Me.  That was six.  So who was number seven?  The closer I got, the more I began to wonder.  All of them were still facing away from me but I did count out six bodies.  Before I could really select the new person and find out who they were, Greg turned around and noticed me.
"Brenden!" he exclaimed.

     He rushed me so fast that before I knew it he had wrapped his arms around my waist in a powerful hug and lifted me up off the ground like I only weighed 2lbs.
"Looks like someone's glad to see me." I said.

     The other guys turned to me, allowing me to recognize them all.
"You better get him off you before he starts humping your leg next." Matt cracked, making all of us laugh.

     Greg put me down and went at Matt, who dodged out of the way and went into a boxing stance.
"Why Greg, right here in front of everyone?  I thought you'd be afraid to let everyone see me kick your butt."
"Ha!  Only in your dreams." Greg told him, deciding not to pursue the mock fight any further.

     Jesse came up to me smiling that charming smile that perfectly fits only his face.
"Thought we might not see you again.  I'm glad you're here."
"Me too, on both things." I said.

     Chris, Frankie, and the new person came up to me next, reminding me that I still hadn't had a look at the new addition.  It was another male and he was the same color as me.  He was taller than Frankie and Chris, I guessed 5'9" or higher since Frankie was 5'8".  He had a healthy slim build, blonde hair that came down to his eyebrows in the front and past his ears, but way above his shoulders, around the back.  His eyes had to be either brown or hazel.  It was too dark to really tell.

    It only took one look and a second after that look for me to realize who the sixth person was.
"Brenden, this is the other person who's gonna hang with us tonight.  He's the guest performer for the concert tomorrow."  Frankie started the introduction.

     The "other person" smiled a bit of his own trademark smile and extended his hand.
"Hi, I'm Aaron."
"Uh..." I forgot who I was for a moment.  "Brenden.  Nice to meet you."  I shook his hand.
 "Nice to meet you too.  The guys have been telling me about you.  Said you're pretty cool."
"Yeah.  They tend to give me a big reputation to live up to."
 Chris came to my side and put his arm around my shoulder.
"Yeah, well.  It's because we like you."
"Okay, the night is getting older and we're not getting any younger.  Can we please go ride something?" Greg said impatiently.
"Yeah, let's go." Jesse agreed.

     Frankie and Aaron turned to leave.  Chris gave a quick glance back over his shoulder and then leaned closer to my ear and whispered an addition to his earlier comment.
"Or maybe it's just me that likes you."

     I put my arm around him and we started walking.
"It's not just you." I said.

     I looked back over my shoulder and saw Drake, Claudia, and Alyssa all making sure the cars were locked up.  To them it must've looked like Chris and me got over whatever it was that went on between us and were cool again.  Our arms over each other's shoulders looked like two teenaged guys who were having a bonding moment.  Not two teenaged guys who were having a bonding moment.

     Greg, Jesse, and the others had started running instead of walking.  Chris took his arm from around me.
"Come on."  he said, smiling.  "We better catch up."

 *  *  *  *  *  *

     It's cool when a person has the right amount of celebrity status that they get noticed in public, but can still go out to regular places and not get noticed right off the back if they don't want too.  That's how it was for Chris, Aaron, and the guys.  People, especially the girls, would stop and stare for a moment but seemed to pass it off like they thought it was impossible than any of them would be out in a wide open space like the Boardwalk like regular people.

     We decided to hit a few of the basic rides first in order to warm up for the big ones.  After that, Greg suggested that we go on the one and only water ride in the park to start us off on the big rides.  That required standing in line for about twenty minutes and enduring a LOT of stares as people tried to figure out if they were seeing who they thought they were seeing.

     Each boat had enough space to seat six people comfortably, but of course teenaged guys are going to want to sit that close to one another in front of other people.  The boat had a small divider in its center, separating the front of the boat from the back.  Greg sat in the front.  He'd made it clear to us that he was going to sit in the front about thirty times while we were in line.  Frankie sat behind him.  Chris sat behind the divider and I sat behind him.   Matt, being the oldest on the second boat took the back all to himself and told Aaron and Jesse this was going to be the only time he'd get his own space and he wasn't sharing.  They argued, but didn't seem to really mind.  Jesse took the front.  Aaron sat behind him.

    I wasn't sure if Greg or any of the other guys knew about me and Chris.  Frankie didn't make it sound like they didn't (and it would make sense if they did know) but he didn't make it sound like they did.  Not knowing made me think that the most action me and Chris were going to get with each other was when we put our arms around each other.  Not that I had a problem with that.  I mean I wasn't mister-out-of-the-closet myself.  I did want some interaction though.

    Whenever you get a bunch of guys together, there's an overabundance of testosterone and I think it takes the maturity level down by at least few years.  The rules said don't rock the boat.  We rocked the boat.  The rules said don't stand.  We waited until we were at a part where we couldn't be seen and stood, pretending we were surfing.  Aaron, Jesse, and Matt were too far behind us to be seen, and with it being dark out they probably couldn't see us.  I was sure they could hear us though.  People three cars back probably heard us laughing and just being loud.

     We settled down once we got close to the first small drop.  It took place in a dimly lit tunnel area, set up to look like a logging mill, so standing was definitely not recommended.

     Two seconds after we'd settled down my attention returned to the person in front of me and temptation went to work.  I started thinking of something I could do while I still had the chance.

     There was holding hands.  Yeah!  That's was perfect.  It was something we could do and Greg wouldn't see because our hands were inside the boat and he'd have to look down and somehow see through Frankie to notice.

     Now there was executing the move, the easier said than done part.  I was nervous and my stomach was packed to capacity with butterflies.  I took my hand out of my lap and slid it along my leg, fighting against the will to pull it back.  The further my hand got down my leg and the closer it got to Chris, I started wondering if he'd think I was trying to make another kind of move on him.  His hands were also situated in his lap.  So that's where my hand was going to have to go if it wanted his.

     That thought parked my hand right at the top of my kneecap and I began to reconsider my move.  The drop came and Greg, Frankie, and Chris held up their hands.  I decided to as well.  All the drop did was make the butterflies in my stomach angry.  Now they were really in motion.

     I was starting to think that maybe this wasn't the right ride to make my move on, that I should wait until we were sitting side by side to make it, when Chris leaned back and rested his upper body against mine.  His head put itself on the upper right side of my chest.

     I froze.  My body literally locked up like a prison and the sudden contact.  Chris must've sensed it because he lifted up a little and looked back at me, asking me with his facial expression and eyes if he'd gone too far.  Instantly I mellowed out and smiled at him to let him know I was cool with it.  That got him to smile and he leaned back against me again, making my entire body tingle where his made contact with mine.

     I wasn't scared at all to move my hands now.  I moved them around toward Chris and sat them on his legs, kind of in a psuedo hug.  He locked his hands on top of mine and let them rest where they were.

     It felt to me like a nicotine rush to a smoker having that first cigarette of the day to have Chris leaning back against me.  To be so close to him that I could feel the heat from his body, smell his cologne and the scent of the gel that he put in his hair.   To feel his strong, slender arms against mine and the gentle movement they made as he inhaled and exhaled.  And the feeling of his fingers locked in between mine.  This was like the perfect drug and I was addicted.

     With that going on I forgot Frankie and Greg were even in the same boat as me and Chris were.  That is until,
"Aw, look, Frankie.  They're cuddling."

     I returned to reality and saw that Frankie was turning to look back at me and Chris.  Greg was already looking at us with that big mischievous as always smile on his face.

     So it looked like Greg did know the truth and didn't seem put off by it at all.  Still it made me a little bit uncomfortable to be suddenly put on display.  Chris didn't make an effort to straighten up or anything and said,
"Do I detect a hint of jealousy in your tone of voice, Greg?"

     Greg rolled his eyes
"Ha!  Yeah, right!"

     Chris turned to look up at me.
"He's just mad `cause my feelings are for you instead of him."
"What!?"  Greg's voice went up a couple of octaves in pitch for that word.  "Now you know that if, if I was gay you'd be all over these nuts."

     Chris situated himself with his head resting against me again.
"You mean you're not?  I thought you were just playing the straight roll because you know there's no guy out there who wants you."

     Greg turned back to face forward.
"Psssh!  Whatever!"

     Frankie, who'd been giggling at the exchange of words shook his head and patted Greg on the left shoulder.
"I don't know.  There was that one night at the hotel during the Winter Party Tour when he looked like he might turn over a new leaf."

     Greg turned back around and held up his hands and put on a defensive look.
"Hey, that was not my fault.  I was really drunk, and I was really tried, and you were all seductive and smooth, and what guy in his right mind is gonna turn down a free blow job?"

     We all had to laugh.  It was the look on Greg's face and his tone of voice that made it sound so convincing.
"Seriously though, I'm glad to see you found somebody, Chris.  And I don't think you could've picked a better guy and a better guy couldn't have picked you." Greg said.
"Thanks, Greg.  That really means a lot." I could tell Chris was smiling just from the sound of his voice.

     I don't think he knew just how much it meant.  It made me feel like I was less of the freak society though I was and more like the human being I really was.  Like me and Chris showing our affection for one another was just as normal as a girl and a guy showing their affection for one another.
"Yeah.  It really does." I added.

     He accepted our gratitude and turned his attention to Frankie.
"Now, the hard part is getting Frankie here situated.  That's a job that could take us forever."

     Frankie shifted around and socked him lightly in the side.
"Screw you."
"Well...maybe if I get drunk enough again..."

     That got us laughing again and the maturity level sunk back down into the depths as we returned into the loud, completely insane people we were minutes before.  We settled down when we reached the big grand finale drop that signaled the end of the ride.  All of us held our hands up and were cheering as loud as we could.  The drop wasn't enough to get that powerful of a tickle in my stomach and only a few drops of water got on me.  The park operators must've had them turn down the water supply because last time I was there the drop used to leave you drenched.
"Damn you guys were loud.  We could hear you guys all the way back in our boat." Matt said after we'd gotten off the ride and were talking about which one we were going to do next.
"What were you guys doing, havin' an orgy or something?" Jesse added.
"Hell yeah!  Check out these nipples!" Greg said, turning to walk backward so he could face us all and lifted up his shirt revealing his chest and his nipples, which for some reason were rock hard.

    He only flashed us for a couple of seconds before he put his shirt down and it was so unexpected and juvenile that we all started cracking up.
"Only you, Greg." Matt said through giggles.
"Well I could've showed you something else, but my zipper is stuck." Greg kept the joke going, making us laugh again and repel away from him like we were suddenly disgusted.
"Okay, back to the subject.  Which ride are we going on next?" Frankie asked.

     Sure that I was the one who was most familiar with the Boardwalk I took the initiative to throw out suggestions.
"Do you guys want to do a fast roller coaster, a regular roller coaster, bumper cars, or one of the fair style rides?" I asked.
"How many roller coasters are here?" Aaron inquired.
"Uh, three I think.  Two are really fast.  The other one is a slower wooden roller coaster."
"Why don't we save those for last and do all the smaller rides first?" he suggested to everyone else.
"That's cool, but how `bout we do a couple of small rides, hit up a coaster, do a few more small rides, do another coaster, finish up the small rides and end with the last coaster?"  Chris threw in his idea.
"I can work with that." Jesse agreed.
"Yeah, that sounds okay." Aaron agreed too.

     Matt, Greg, and Frankie went with that plan too, so we stopped where we were and went to where the nearest small ride was.  It wasn't that they were small like little kid rides.  They were the kind of rides that you would find at a fair or a carnival.  You know, stuff like that silver space ship that you get inside of and it spins so fast that you can stick to the walls.  There were more of those than the big rides, so it would even out things to go by Chris's plan than to do all the big rides or the roller coasters at once and then have nothing but the little rides to look forward to.

     We hit up every ride there.  From the hyper drive space ship to the three roller coasters.  One of the roller coasters was a lot more toned down that I originally remembered  it.  Before it had so many sharp twists and turns that everybody who got off the ride left with a free case of whiplash.  They should've named the ride that to give everyone a warning.

     The majority of the little rides had us out in an open environment where there were other people around, so me and Chris didn't really get to do much with each other short of sitting or standing next to each other.  So we talked and just enjoyed the fact that we were there with each other.  The bumper cars were the only small ride we didn't sit next to each other on.  We all wanted to have our own cars for that one.

     On the three roller coasters we sat by each other, but they were roller coasters so there was screaming and holding our hands up and getting that rush you get just before you make that first big drop and the fluttering feeling in your stomach that hits you the moment you drop how ever many stories down.

    After we did all the rides we decided to play some of the games and grab something to eat.  All of us played something but Greg, Frankie, Aaron, and Matt and me won stuffed animals from playing the basketball game.  A Tweety, a Taz, and a Bugs Bunny stuffed animal.  I won two stuffed animals, a Taz and a Bugs, and gave my Taz to Chris.  He couldn't really do much then, and told me he'd thank me later.  Jesse would've been the only one left out, so Aaron was nice enough to play again and win him a Taz.

    While we were eating Jesse and Aaron got into a french fry fight and one of the misguided fries hit Frankie, and the next thing we knew fries were flying everywhere.  The janitors were probably going to be real pissed at having to clean up the mess we made, or they could've just left it.  The seagulls would sure appreciate it in the morning.

    Sitting there being somewhat stationary and out in the open only drew more stares in for Chris, Aaron, and the guys.  I was sure some of the girls, and parents, and guys who were looking knew who all six of the people were that they were staring at.  They were nice enough to play it cool though and either just smiled and walked away or waited until one or more of the guys were looking in their direction and waved.  Being nice, they would wave back and that would send the girls into a fit of giggles or just make them smile bright enough to light up the whole beach.

     Only a group of four teenaged girls managed to gather up enough courage to approach our table and confirm if the guys were really Dreamstreet and if Aaron was really Aaron.  Once they found out the truth, all their attention turned to me to try and find out who I was.  Chris and Greg started messing around with them and told them I was a new member of Dreamstreet.  Jesse, Matt, Frankie, and even Aaron jumped in to back that up.  Right when we had them believing, we told them I was just a friend and wasn't even in the entertainment industry.

    The girls asked if they could have autographs so Chris and the guys autographed four napkins (with a pen that one of the girls supplied) with all their signatures on them.  Aaron supplied his on the back of the napkin.  One of the girls went a step further and asked if they could have a picture with them.  They thought it was cool and stood up to do it.  The girls told me they want me in the picture too, so I had to stand up and get into the picture.  We were trying to figure out who was going to take the picture when a male and female Boardwalk security guard walked up to us.  The female took four different pictures and then both of them said the girls had to move on.  There were still too many people out on the Boardwalk  and they were trying to keep things as mellow as possible.  The girls complied and got hugs from all of us before they went on their way.

    It was 11:04 when we got through eating.  That gave us about an hour to kill before we had to be back at the meeting spot.  We spent a few minutes picking up what fries we could and throwing them away, which got us happy nods from a few of the food concession attendants, before Greg and Frankie suggested we head over to the beach and see what was going on down there.

    During summer nights the beach still would've had action going on at this time of night.  There would've been people sitting on blankets in the sand either socializing, chilling out, listening to music, and stuff like that.  People would've been walking along the end of the beach where the water rolled up to meet the sand, and there might have been some people crazy enough to actually be in the water or skidding along the wet sand with those little boards.

    Since it wasn't quite summer yet everything was still low key.  There were a few couples out walking along the edge of the beach and a few joggers.  Other than that, there wasn't much going on.

    None of us cared about a towel.  We just picked a spot that looked clean and dry and took seats on the sand.  We sat there talking about the usual guy stuff, until Jesse said something smart about Aaron and they started wrestling.  The rest of us turned it into a WWE event and started placing fake wagers on who we thought was going to win and even gave Jesse and Aaron wrestling names.  Jesse was the Mean Green Hulk, because he had green eyes, and Aaron was The Great White Giant, because he was tall.  Yes, I know, I know.  You don't even have to say it.

    Jesse was faster and more agile than Aaron, but Aaron had strength and sturdiness on his side.  It took more effort for Jesse to get him off the ground and pin him than it did for Aaron.  They went at it for five minutes, not caring that they were getting covered in sand, until Aaron finally pinned Jesse long enough to get a three count from the referee, Frankie.  Jesse was a little annoyed at loosing and made a few excuses as to why he'd lost.

    Aaron suggested they go play wave tag to even the score, and Greg and Matt, decided they wanted to get in on that too.  Chris and me weren't really up for it and Frankie didn't seem to be either, but changed his mind and said that he was.  Aaron and Greg tried to get me and Chris into the spirit, but we told them somebody had to stay back and watch the stuffed animals and the shoes unless they planned on wearing them to play tag in.  They left it alone after that and ditched their shoes, leaving them in a pile next to us with their socks inside, along with their stuffed animals, and took off for the water.

    Chris and me sat there for a moment, watching the moonlight reflect off the rippling, black looking water like the world's biggest mirror.  I looked over at Chris and he looked over at me and we both smiled.
"Alone at last." he said, making both of us smile wider.
"Yeah." I agreed. "Thought they'd never leave."

     He picked his Taz up off the top of the stuffed animals group.
"Thanks for him.  That was real cool and sweet of you."
 The heat rushed into my cheeks and I suddenly felt like a little kid who'd just given the cutest girl (in my case boy) in school a valentine and he'd accepted.
"I wasn't going to at first.  Didn't know if you'd think it was cheesy or not."

     He held it up before him and looked it over slowly.
"Well, yeah it is."

     His smile told me he was kidding, but still I slugged him lightly in his shoulder.
"Hey, I didn't see you trying to win me anything."
"That's because I suck at those kind of games.  Especially because they warp the hoop so you have to get the ball to fall in perfectly or else it'll bounce out."

     I rolled my eyes and pretended to be unconvinced.
"Excuses, excuses."
"I know you're not over there talking mess."

     I shrugged.
"So what if I am?" Then I turned to look at him. "What're you gonna do about it?"

     He stood up and walked in front of me and put on his best menacing look and stance.
"Please do not make me introduce you to this sand tonight."

     I stood up, smiling arrogantly.
"Bring it on electro-socket hair boy!"

     Match two of the fake WWE was in session.  For some reason I had this idea that taking Chris down would be like trying to best a five year old.  Five seconds into the match I found out I was more closer to being that five year old than he was.  He was a LOT stronger and faster than he looked.  I was on the defensive end of the fight, having to ditch and dodge and duck his attacks and never getting much of a chance to mount an offensive.

    My opening came when he lost his footing in the sand in the sand and stumbled.  I grabbed him around the waist and hurled him to the ground, ready to introduce him to the sand first.  Psych!  Right when I thought he was going down, he planted his hands on the sand and put all his weight into them and used his legs to reach out and wrap around mine.  He pulled them toward him, which made me completely loose my footing and start falling backward.  He broke free of my grip and twisted around and before I knew it I was the one landing back first onto the sand with him straddling me and his hand around my neck.
"One!  Two!  Three!  He's out!" he counted.

    I didn't even make a move.  Didn't realize I was pinned until after he'd passed the three count.  I just laid there against the cool dirt in defeat as Chris made a crowd cheering noise and then chanted: "Go Chris!" for a few moments.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Whatever." I rolled my eyes, pretending to be annoyed.

    He took his hand off my neck and put it down next to my body along with his other hand on the other side of my body.
"That's right.  And there's plenty more where that come from if you ever wanna go there again." he informed me.

     We were silent for a beat or two, nothing but the sound of our harsh breathing as we tried to get our breaths back to regular after our match.  Chris's eyes fell onto mine and I was instantly lost in them.  Damn he was so beautiful.  I loved him so much.  There wasn't anybody else in the world that had ever and could ever make me feel like this.  Forget heaven.  I was back in the place that was beyond that.

    The same thing that was happening with me was happening for Chris.  I could set it in his eyes.  I could tell by the way the wide smile left his lips to become and more warm and caring one.
"I...I really wanna kiss you right now." he said to me, his voice dipping between a whisper and a few tones above a whisper as he spoke.

     He was just as nervous and as under the control of his emotions as I suddenly was.  I tried to swallowed it down and told him,
"I really want you to kiss me right now."

     And the moment I'd been waiting for, had dreamed of since the moment I saw him perform on that talk show that day happened.  He leaned in slowly closer and I moved up to meet him the rest of the way.  Our lips touched, parted, our eyes closed, and our first kiss took place.

     For me to try and sit here and explain what it felt like to kiss Chris is impossible.  I had kissed my so called girlfriends before, but never got the same thing out of it that they did.  Now I knew what it felt like.

    I feel kind of nasty describing the way our tongues left their home territory and ventured out to new grounds.  Touching and rubbing sensually against one another like they were things separate from us and were expressing their love for one another.  It was magic.  Pure magic.

     Both of us ended the kiss at the same time.  He lifted back up completely with a bewildered look on his face.  The same was on mine.
"Wow!" we both gasped, and then giggled at our twin expression.
"Was that your first time?" I asked.

     He smiled.
"With someone I really care about."

    I smiled too.
"Me too."

     We looked into each other's eyes again, and everything started all over.
"Wanna do it again?" I asked.

     He nodded.
"Yes, please."

     The second kiss was even better than the first.  How long it lasted, I don't think either of us could tell you.  All I know is that eventually we stopped and were reminded that we were in a very public and open place.
"We better get up before someone sees us." I suggested.
"I'm almost tempted to let them see." Chris said, as he lifted up and off me and sat beside me.
"I wouldn't argue with that at all."

     By this time, Frankie, Greg, Aaron, Jesse, and Matt were on their way back up toward us from their game of wave tag.  Frankie, Greg, and Matt were all walking together a little bit ahead of Aaron and Jesse chuckling about something.  Once all of them were close enough to see, the reason why was obvious.  Jesse and Aaron were drenched from head to toe.  Their shirts were clinging to their bodies in certain areas like they were trying to be extra skin and their pants looked heavy a soggy.
"What happened to you two?" Chris asked.

     Jesse shot a glare over at Aaron.
"This idiot over here ran into me and we both tripped and got hit by the wave we were running from." he told us.
"You guys should've been down there!  Both of them fall, and they're almost on top of each other and Aaron is the one on top of Jesse.  Both of them see the wave coming and Aaron tries to get up, but his hands slip because the sand is slick.  Jesse is panicking like crazy and by the time Aaron gets his grip back and is about to get up, the wave comes and tackles them both." Frankie gave us the whole story.
"All you could hear was Jesse screaming like a bitch when the wave hit `em." Matt added, making me and Chris laugh along with him, Frankie, and Greg as they recalled the event.  Even Aaron laughed a little.  Jesse wasn't at all amused.
"I'm sure you punks would've screamed the same way if you felt how cold that water was.  Even my nuts feel numb." he complained, tugging at the crotch of his soaked jeans a few times.
"We better start heading back." Greg suggested, going toward the stuffed animal and shoe pile.
"I just hope we don't get yelled at for being wet." Aaron said.
"Yeah, for your sake." Jesse grumbled.

     Aaron just smiled and told Jesse matter of factly,
"Get over it, Jess.  It's done.  We can't do nothing about it now.  I said I was sorry, so stop stressin' out."

     It was obvious Jesse wasn't really as mad as he was making himself out to be.  He tried not to smile, but he caved and did so a little.  He lurched at Aaron, making him jump back on the defensive.
"If we do get in trouble, it's your ass I'm kicking."

     After shoes and stuffed animals were gathered we all started heading toward the Boardwalk again.  Everybody had their own conversations going, so me and Chris were able to hang back a little without being missed.  When I started thinking about how the evening had gone and all the things we got to do together, something dawned on me for the very first time that night.
"Dude, was this our first date?" I asked Chris.

     The look on his face said the same thing was dawning on him and he looked at me and nodded,
"Yeah.  I think it was."
"Man.  It went by so fast."
"I know.  But I loved every second of it."
"So did I."
"Next time it'll have to be just me and you."
"Yeah.  But when will that be?  You guys probably won't be back here for awhile, and there's no way I can just up and go to New York."

     He shrugged and turned his head back forward.
"I dunno.

     His tone of voice was like he was contradicting me.  Was something else going on that I didn't know about?  Another concert?
"What do you mean?  Why'd you say it like that?" I inquired.
"Let's just say a little birdie told me things might take a different turn." he replied.
"Who?  What?"

     He glanced at me with a questioning look on his face.
"What, what?"
"Who told you things might take a different turn?"

     He shrugged, looking confused.
"I didn't say nothing."
"You did too."

    I just stopped right there.  Whatever it was he knew he wasn't going to tell me.  Even though I really wanted to know what he knew, I just assumed skip it.  He'd tell me when the time was right.
"Nevermind." I said.

     He gave me a sideways grin, indicating he knew I'd gotten the point.  I put my arm around his neck and pulled him toward me, squeezing lightly like I was trying to put him into a headlock.  He put his hands on my chest and back for support to keep from loosing his balance temporarily.  He stayed in that position although I wasn't forcing him to, and kept walking.

     Up ahead, Aaron glanced back at us to see what we were up to.  Because I was aware of the hidden intimacy in the contact me and Chris were having, I automatically assumed he knew and got a little concerned.  I was fine with Matt, Jesse, Frankie, and Greg knowing the truth.  But I barely knew Aaron and I just suddenly didn't feel right.

    I don't know if he was able to figure it out or not.  All he did was smile that authentic smile of his and signal for us to come up there and join him.  Chris let go of me and started walking normal again and we sped up to join him and the rest of the guys

    *  *  *  *  *  *