by Tim Mead
The next morning Todd drove Justin home in time for him to clean up and go to church with his mother. Although he wasn't sure why, he'd been going every Sunday since his father died.
That morning, as they shook hands with the priest after the service, Father Hugo said, "Justin, I don't think I know what your college plans are."
"Oh, I'm going to Colby State, Father."
"Wonderful! It will be good to have you around."
The number of people lined up to say good morning to the priest made further conversation between the Quinns and Father Hugo impossible, so they moved on.
Justin was at loose ends that afternoon. He and Todd had made no plans, saying only that they'd see each other at work the next day.
He helped his mother fix their Sunday dinner, which, according to their family tradition, they ate about 1:30. It was understood that on Sunday evenings they'd have soup and a sandwich or perhaps waffles or pancakes and sausage.
Moira excused herself after the meal, saying that she had work to do on her computer.
After writing an email to Gary, checking to see what was new on his favorite online story site, and finally playing some games, he shut off the computer and flopped across his bed. He and Todd had had hot sex the night before. He'd lost his virginity both ways, a fact of which he was reminded as he sat in the pew earlier. He wondered if he should be ashamed to sit there in church and pray for forgiveness for his sins when he wasn't sorry about what he and Todd had done. No, he decided, a god worth believing in wouldn't punish his creatures for doing something that felt so good and seemed so right.
There was the promiscuity angle, though. Was it right to have sex with anyone he found attractive? He'd sucked and been sucked by several guys when he was at St. Anselm's, before coming to Higgins. He and Gary had done that and a lot of kissing and other stuff all the time. As soon as Gary was out of town, he'd taken up with Todd, and they'd been hot for each other from the get-go. Was that wrong? How was he supposed to know? Was he a slut? He couldn't talk with his mother about it. Fuck, he couldn't even have talked about something like that with his dad.
He toed off his shoes. He and Todd hadn't gotten much sleep. They'd fooled around until late and then had to get up ridiculously early to get him home so he could go to church. There wasn't anything else to do. A nap couldn't hurt.
`Am I a slut? Brody . . .'
When he woke up, he was hard. He didn't have to go, so it was a legitimate woody, not just a piss-hard. After pulling off his shirt, jeans, and boxers, he turned on the PC, went to My Pictures, and clicked on a thumbnail. Instantly the screen was filled with a naked Brody, with the picture Brody had used to pay their bet about whether or not Dave was gay. Brody stood there wearing only his dog tags and his Marine dress white hat, his cock pointing toward the ceiling. He looked distinctly embarrassed. One day Justin had asked if it was Dave who took the picture and he'd been told yes. Dave grinned and said that in fact he'd taken several.
"Cool, can I have copies?"
"No, Jus, I promised Brody that those would remain in my private collection. You'll have to make do with the one he sent you. You can perv on that all you want." Dave grinned and gave Justin's face something between a pat and a slap.
And Justin had "perved" on Brody's picture. He carried a print of it in his wallet, though he'd never shown that to anyone except Gary. But he had maximized it to fill the screen of his pc, and that he used often, as he was about to do now, to look at and dream about while masturbating.
`Why couldn't he be a little younger? Or me be a little older? He's so cool! And so hot!'
After spreading a bath towel on the bed, he took the lube from the bedside table and worked some into his rectum. Then he coated his middle finger, lay on his stomach, and worked the finger in. He'd been unable to find his prostate the last time he'd tried, and his fingers were shorter than Todd's. But now that he knew where it was, he found it. So he lay there, head back, eyes closed, mouth open, finger-fucking himself. He caught himself groaning and quickly closed his mouth, not wanting his mother to hear.
Soon he was so aroused that he turned onto his back to wank with one hand while he continued to stroke his prostate with the other. His mind went back to being fucked by Todd and fucking Todd, of their 69 session that very morning, but then as the feelings became even more intense, he thought of Brody. He visualized himself lying just as he was with Brody's cock inside him, with that incredible face smiling down at him, filling him with what during the last year he had longed for.
"Brody," he muttered. And then he came.
As he lay there, chest and abs spattered with thick white globs, there was a light tap on the door.
"Sweetie, I'm going to have a glass of wine and some pate. I thought we could have sandwiches left over from the roast. I'll get that ready in about half an hour. Do you want something now?"
"Uh, no, Mom, thanks. I'm good. I'll be down in a few minutes."
After their supper of hot roast pork sandwiches and gravy, Justin watched a Tigers game on the plasma television in the family room. He wondered what Brody and Dave were doing. That thought made something way up inside him twitch. He wiggled.
When the game was over, he went to his mother, who was at her computer again.
"You're workin' late, Mom."
"Yes, I want to have all my ducks in a row when I see Dave Cromer tomorrow."
"Well, don't work too late. Gotta get your beauty sleep."
His mother giggled and stood up. She put her arms around him and kissed him on the cheek. "I love you, Justin. And I'm so proud of you."
He grinned. "Of course you are."
Without letting go, she said, "It's your modesty that I love most."
Chuckling, he gave her another squeeze and said goodnight.
He showered and then turned on his pc. There was an email from Gary, going on about what a good time he was having and mentioning very casually that there was a guy, a French horn player, he was hanging with. Justin was pretty sure he could read between the lines. Gary had made a new friend, and very probably a new fuck buddy, though he had no idea how much privacy the two of them would have at Interlochen.
He went to bed early because the next day was Monday, a work day. He thought about Todd and wondered what devilment he'd instigate. Again, he felt his cock begin to harden. He also felt that twitchy, empty, yearning feeling deep inside.
"Damn, I've gotta talk with Brody."
The next morning Justin and Todd arrived in the Cromer parking lot at the same time. They locked their vehicles, grinned at each other, and went inside, where they were surprised to see their boss. Not Ed, but Dave Cromer.
When all the guys on the lawn care crews had arrived, Dave told them about Justin and Todd's suggestion to provide two walk-behind mowers for each crew. He said that as of that morning, all trucks would have two mowers, and he thanked Justin and Todd for their constructive idea.
"Now guys, it's important to make sure that both of your mowers are set to the same height. You're gonna have to look at what you're doing as well as set the mowing height, to make sure that you're doing a neat job." He looked around at the group of young men. "Now, I understand some of you are worried. You should be able to get through your scheduled yards quicker using this method. If you finish early, don't worry. So long as there are no complaints, I'll see that you're paid for the full eight hours, even if it doesn't take you that long. We'll probably get new clients as the summer goes on, though. If that happens, Ed will spread them out, so everybody's got about the same amount of work to do. And I'll expect you to take on new yards without paying you extra so long as you can finish within eight hours. Is that fair?"
Several of the young men present nodded their heads, and there were a few "Yeahs."
One day later that week, Todd pointed out that their last scheduled job that day was the Fugates'.
"They're the ones with the pool."
In-ground backyard pools were fairly rare in that area. The homeowners' association of nearly every new development in Colby County had a large pool. But the Fugates lived in a development with wooded lots about an acre in size. Many of the residents there had private pools.
As Todd and Justin had discovered, the Fugates' back yard not only had a pool, but it was very secluded. No neighbors were near enough to see what was going on there, and the back of the property was bordered by a sizeable stand of trees.
When the two sweaty boys had finished mowing, edging, and cleaning up the Fugate property, it was only 3:30.
"Let's have a dip. There's nobody home. Both the husband and the wife work, so nobody will be any the wiser."
Justin grinned. "You mean skinny dip?"
Todd was already pulling off his green Cromer Landscaping tee shirt. "Last one in's a cocksucker."
As he hurriedly shucked off his shorts, Justin said, "Man, we're both cocksuckers."
They frolicked and splashed around the pool for a while, enjoying cooling off and getting the sweat washed off. Then they began to play grabass and progressed to tugging on each other's dicks. Soon Justin was sitting on the side of the pool while Todd stood between his legs and was sucking on his cock.
Justin found it especially exciting to think that they were outdoors, that the risk of being caught, though slight, was there. As he sucked, Todd looked up at him with his dancing blue eyes, clearly enjoying the moment. Justin's cock twitched in Todd's mouth as he smiled down at that handsome, devilish face. For a while he just stared into Todd's blue eyes, the connection between them electric.
Then Todd closed his eyes as he took Justin's cock all the way. Justin was beginning to zone out from Todd's expert work when he heard a deep voice ask, "You guys having fun?"
Todd pulled off and looked beyond Justin, who had his back to the house. "Um, er, yeah."
Justin jumped into the pool and turned to see who the voice belonged to. He saw a big young guy, 6'3", with dark brown hair and brown eyes and muscles to spare. As the newcomer walked toward them, both boys noticed the large stiffie just barely contained by the guy's blue speedos.
"You must be the guys from Cromer's."
"Yeah," Todd said, "that's us. But look man, we're sorry. We didn't think anyone was at home. Please don't tell our boss."
The big guy sat on the edge of the pool, his legs dangling in the water.
"I'm Colt Fugate. You can relax. The folks are at work, and I'm not upset. A little surprised, maybe. I didn't expect to come home and find a couple of studs like you back here. You guys are really cute."
"You must be gay," Justin said, breathing easily for the first time since Colt had appeared.
Todd grinned. "You're really hot. Wanna join us?" He glanced at Justin. "We could do a three-way."
Colt laughed. "I don't think so. Would you guys like some pop? Or a beer?"
"We're not legal for beer, and we wouldn't want to get you in trouble," Justin said. "But a coke or something would be great."
"Be right back."
A few minutes later the three of them were sitting naked on loungers chatting.
"If you're gay, Colt," Todd asked, "what's wrong with us? Sure you don't want to get it on?" He gave his host a sultry look. Justin snorted and Colt laughed.
"Like I said, you guys are really cute. But I have a lover. He's at home in Boston right now. We're going to Europe next week. And we're in an exclusive relationship. No hard feelings, huh?"
"No way," Justin said. "I wish I had somebody like that."
Todd gave Justin a strange look and then said to Colt, "So, are you in college, big guy?"
"Yeah, I'll be a senior next year at MIT. How about you guys?"
"We just graduated from high school," Justin said. "Todd's going to Kenyon this fall, and I'm going to Colby State."
They talked until 4:30, when it occurred to Justin and Todd that they needed to get the truck and equipment back and check out. They thanked Colt for the cokes and the swim.
"Look, I'll tell the folks you guys are gonna swim after you do the grass each week. They won't care. But you might want to bring some swim shorts along in case Mom gets home early."
"You're a cool guy, Colt. Thanks. And thank your folks for us. We'll see that your yard gets the special deluxe treatment," Todd said.
As they drove back to the Cromer facility Todd commented that what could have been an embarrassing situation for them and for their boss had turned out great.
Justin shook his head. "Todd, one of these days, you're gonna get us both in a shitload of trouble."
Putting his hand on Justin's package and rubbing it, Todd said, "Relax, Quinn. I'll take care of you."
Ed wanted to know where they'd been. They told him the Fugate's lawn had taken more time than usual. He looked as if he didn't believe that, but one of the other crews had a question for him, allowing Justin and Todd to slip away.
That weekend Justin and Todd went to the mall and had lunch at the food court.
"Dude," Todd said, "I can't help thinking about that Cody Fugate."
Justin grinned. "Yeah, he was a nice guy."
"Hot, too. Did you see all those muscles? And the muscle between his legs. Fuck!"
Justin, who was munching on his burger, nodded enthusiastically.
"But that's not what I was thinking about."
Justin swallowed and took a sip of his Dr. Pepper. "Oh, of course not. You aren't interested in things like that."
Ignoring the comment, Todd said, "What I had in mind was that he's got a partner already. He's—what—twenty one, probably. Can you imagine how many studly guys there must be at MIT? And he's not a player? With looks like that, he could have anybody he wanted -- of either sex. I just don't understand."
Justin was looking across the food court with unfocused eyes. "I think I do."
"Un huh. I think it would be great to have a steady partner."
Todd grinned. "Well, I hope you understand that you're just a summer fling."
Grinning in return, Justin said "Yup. And you're just a convenient piece of ass."
Two guys who looked as if they might be collegiate wrestlers or football players overheard Justin's comment as they walked past.
Todd turned around and said "Yeah, baby!"
One of the guys stuck his hand behind his back and gave them the finger, but they kept on walking.
Todd turned back to Justin and began to sing quietly, "We are beautiful, no matter what they say, yes, words won't bring us down."
As they walked down the mall toward the Cineplex, the two of them sang together the words of Christina's "Beautiful." Even though they were singing softly, they got a lot of strange looks. By the time they got there they were giggling too hard to sing.
* * *
Although Todd didn't agree, there wasn't much he could do when Justin refused to swim any more in the Fugate's pool.
"Look, Todd, I know Colt said it was okay for us to swim there, but we don't know what his folks said when he told them about us. And we don't want to do anything to embarrass Dave. There are plenty of places around where we can swim."
"Yeah, but those places won't let me fuck you poolside."
Chuckling, Justin said, "Well, I guess we'll have to separate those two activities. We can fuck in my room or yours, and if it's fresh air you like, we might look for a deserted country road on the way back from that job in Gilmore sometime and do it in the bed of the truck."
"Cool! Let's make sure we have an old blanket or something with us. I've always got a condom or two and some lube packs with me."
"A real boy scout, huh?"
"Yeah, you do everything `hardly'."
Todd grabbed his package and moved it up and down. "You're right about that!"
* * *
Todd had brought his baseball mitt back from Cincinnati as Justin requested. He was a welcome addition to the summer league Higgins Hammers, taking Justin's spot as a utility player, filling in for anyone who happened to be absent. When on occasion he played second base, the Hammers had a gay infield, since Brody played first, Dave played third, and Justin was the speedy shortstop. No one on the team had anything negative to say about their "fab four," either.
The Hammers won more games than they lost, and since they were all playing for the fun of it, no one was unhappy.
* * *
One evening after a game Brody caught Justin while Todd was talking to someone else.
"Except for these games, I never see you any more. Since neither one of us is working at the shop, we just don't connect. And I miss you."
Justin was touched, but, as usual, covered up his emotion. "Yeah, I miss you, too."
"Well, look, I know you and the Nielsen kid are pretty tight these days, but I was wondering if you'd come over for dinner Friday night. Dave's doing something with his dad. We could send out for pizza or maybe I'll fix something. And we could get caught up. Just you and me. How does that sound?"
"I'm not sure about you cooking, but I'll risk it. Or I could just stop somewhere and pick up the pizza. But I'd like to have some one-on-one time with you." He smirked. "Maybe we could even get it on."
Brody smacked him upside the head. "Smartass. You know Dave is my man. Besides, from what I hear, you and Todd are pretty tight."
Justin looked Brody straight in the eye. "It's a summer fling, Jarhead. With you, it's something else. And you know that."
Brody looked sad. "Yeah, I guess I do, and I'm sorry. But Dave's my guy. That's just the way it is."
Justin grinned. "Yeah, yeah. So you say. Some day, you're gonna be sorry you turned me down. Now, do you want me to get some pizza or not?"
"No, I think I'm gonna punish you by cooking something. Just be there at 6:00, okay?"
"Yeah, I'll look forward to it. Now, I see Todd coming this way. I guess I'd better explain why he'll have to do without my company Friday night."
"I'd say bring him along, but I really want to have some time with you."
"Me, too. Hump Big Dave for me!" He waved and went to meet Todd.
Brody's "cooking" on Friday night amounted to cole slaw and potato salad from the deli and thick T-bones he grilled on the patio. For dessert he'd cut up fresh nectarines on vanilla ice cream.
Making sure he'd scraped the last out of his bowl, Justin said, "Man, that was great. You can fix me a meal any time! Ole Dave must be teaching you to cook."
"Thanks, Justin. Now, let's carry the dishes inside, and we can talk a while."
When Justin stood up, Brody said, "Man, I think you've grown some since last winter!"
"Let's find out."
So, after they had the dishes rinsed and put into the dishwasher, Brody had Justin stand up against the door frame. He marked the place where the top of Justin's head came and got the tape measure.
"Five ten and a half."
"Wow! You sure? That's an inch and a half taller than I thought I was! Maybe I won't be such a shrimp by the time I get to Colby State this fall."
"Jus, you've never been a shrimp. And height doesn't matter. It's an accident of your genes. You should have known my buddy Jim Hawkins. He was about 5'6" and weighed about 140. But he was one of the toughest Marines in our company. I wonder what happened to him. Haven't heard from him since I got out."
"Thanks, Sarge. But it's nice to know I'm taller."
Since it was a mild summer night, they went back to the patio. Brody turned on an electric bug zapper atop a pole and they sat.
"How are things with you, honestly?"
Justin stuck his chin out. "Oh, they're cool."
"Come on, twerp, don't shit me!"
"No, I'm not complaining."
"I don't think you're the type to complain, Jus. But I don't think you're being entirely straight with me."
Justin grinned. "I won't make a joke about being straight."
"Come on. Quit dancing around. This is Brody here. Talk to me!"
"What makes you think something's wrong?"
"I don't necessarily think that. But you did lose your dad not long ago. You're out of high school, coming to State in the fall. I want to know where you are with all that."
Justin sighed. "You really do?"
"You know I do, lil dude."
"Sorry. Now, if you don't talk to me, I'm gonna put some hurt on ya."
Justin took a deep breath.
"Okay, I miss Dad a lot. Like, he was always there when I had a problem. And he always seemed to know when I had problems before I did. Besides, we were running together every morning, and that was cool."
Brody remained quiet.
"So it's like there's this big empty spot in my life." He tried hard to suppress them, but tears came to his eyes. "Mom's being such a trooper." His voice broke. "And I've got to be the man in the family now. But I miss him so fuckin' much!" Justin desperately wanted to hold it together with Brody there, but he couldn't help himself, and the tears began to flow.
Brody reached out a hand. "Come here, little bro."
Justin stood, straddled the lounger Brody' was sitting in, and sat down on Brody's thighs. He leaned forward. Brody wrapped him in his arms.
He cried, his head on Brody's chest. After a while he snuffled and said, "I'm such a wuss."
"No you're not! Of course you miss Larry. I can imagine how much. Well, imagine is all I can do since I've never lost a parent. And I'm not close with my dad the way you and Larry were. But it's okay, baby. Don't worry about showing some emotion. Just let it out."
Justin left his head on Brody's chest, comforted by those strong arms around him. He was embarrassed to have broken down with the big ex-Marine, but Brody's acceptance and understanding made everything less painful.
"Look, Jus, I know I can't begin to take your dad's place, but if you ever need to talk, even if it's just to vent, you know I'm here. Right?"
"Yeah, I know. And I love you, man, for even saying that."
They remained that way for a few minutes, neither saying anything. Then Brody kissed the top of Justin's head and released him. With a sigh Justin stood and resumed his seat in the lounger next to Brody's.
"How's your mother doing?"
"She seems okay, but sometimes I wonder. I think she's throwing herself into her work to makeup for Dad not being there. But she is excited that she got the contract for the new Y."
"Yeah, and she's thrown the contract for the landscaping to Dave. That's really great of her!"
"She wouldn't have done it if she hadn't thought Dave was the best for the job."
"Good. Dave wouldn't want it any other way. You know he got the contract to do the landscaping for the new county office building, don't you?"
"No, I didn't. That's cool. If he's doing that and the Y, he's gonna get a rep for being the main guy in landscaping in Colby County."
"That's what we're hoping." Brody stared up at the stars for a few minutes. The crickets were loud. "The last time we talked you weren't sure what you were going to major in. Have you decided about that? Not that there's any rush."
"Yeah. I'm gonna be an architect."
"Hey, lil brother, that's cool. I'm majoring in landscape design and minoring in business. Dave wants me to work with him full time as soon as I graduate."
"Wouldn't it be cool if I was in Mom's firm and we could work together sometime?"
They listened to the crickets for a few minutes, just enjoying being together. Then Brody said casually, "So, you wanna tell me about Todd Nielsen?"
"Isn't that a little nosy?"
"Well, don't tell me anything really personal. I just meant, you and he seem to be getting on well. Dave was impressed with the suggestion you two came up with to improve efficiency. But I think you guys are doing more than just working together. What about Gary?"
"If anybody else asked me that, I'd be pissed. But since it's you . . . Gary seems to be perfectly happy at Interlochen. He pretty well dumped me when he left here. He said we were going to different colleges and he thought we should both be free to make new friends. And by that I think he meant fuck buddies. We still email once in a while, but it's over."
"And what about Todd?"
"Oh, shit! We're fucking like bunnies, okay? Is that what you wanted me to say? We can't keep our hands off each other, and we have sex every chance we get."
"Wow! For a horny stud like you that should be pretty great. Isn't it?"
Justin put his head back and looked up at the stars as the crickets continued their chorus.
"I'm not sure how to say this."
"Relax. I didn't mean to put you on the spot."
"No, now that you've brought it up, I'm glad to get the chance to tell you about it. It's just that I'm confused. Todd's hot. I love the sex we're having. Todd keeps me fired up most of the time. In fact I get really antsy if we don't do it every day or so."
"But . . . ?"
"Yeah, that's just it. But!"
Brody didn't say anything.
"But when he goes to Kenyon this fall and I go to State, we both know that'll be the end of it."
"Just a summer thing then?"
"And is that so bad?"
"If you'd asked me that six months ago, I'd have said yes, because I had Gary as my boyfriend and we were good together. It wasn't just about sex. And if you'd asked me a year ago, well, I'd have said I wanted to be with you forever."
"Jus, I'm sorry, babe."
"No, Sarge, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have mentioned it. Didn't mean to make you feel bad. I know we're like brothers, and that's not just cool, that's awesome. What I'm trying to say, though, is that as much as I need all the hot sex with Todd, it's not enough. I want more."
"And more would be . . . ?"
Justin was quiet for a while. "More would be finding a guy I could really love. Then the sex would mean something."
"Jus . . . "
"I know, I know. You're gonna tell me I'm only 18 and there's plenty of time for that."
"Yeah, well, sort of. You're right. I was gonna say you can start looking for a guy like that, but you do have lots of time. But I was also gonna say that you're right. Sex is the best when it's part of what you share with a guy you really love. And it's not too early to realize that. Then maybe you'll not be jumping into bed with every hot guy you meet at State. Maybe you'll be looking for some guy you can really have a, well, as trite as it sounds, a meaningful relationship with."
Justin reached over and took Brody's hand. "Thanks, Sarge. I sure hope you're right."
If you liked this chapter, I'd love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to put the name of the story in the subject line so I'll know it isn't spam. Thanks. --Tim