More Than Friends: Chapter 4

This is a story revolving around the life of a gay man. If this offends you... well, you offend me, so go away. Also, if you're looking for a story to jack-off to, you might want to look elsewhere; this is a love story, not a sex story.

I pulled up to Ethan's house later that night to find him waiting for me on the front steps. He gave me a sheepish grin as he slip into the passenger seat; "My mother kicked me out because I was fidgeting too much; making her nervous. She also didn't want my father to see me acting like that while waiting for a guy…"

"So he doesn't know yet?"

Ethan shook his head. "Nope. I can't remember if I told you or not, but I want you to be there with me when I do."

I reached for his hand and squeezed it lightly. "Of course I'll be there. I'll need your support when I tell my mother."

"Of course." He leaned over and gave me a peck on the cheek as I pulled out of his driveway. "Wait, just your mother? You're not going to tell your Father?"

I shook my head slowly. "My father hasn't taken much of an interest in me at all. He can find out the way every other stranger will; by watching us in love." My attempt at uplifting the mood didn't seem to work, and the car was filled with silence for a moment that seemed to take forever.

"So, maybe you should tell me a bit about this girl we're meeting," Ethan finally said, changing the subject. "I don't know anything about her."

"She's… well," I began, "She's a weird one. She dresses kinda Goth, but has a very uninhibited personality."

"Oh, don't tell me she's one of those people," he groaned in response. "But, if you say that she's okay, then I suppose I'll have to take your word for it."

"Well, she dresses the part, but doesn't really act it; all broody and self-pitying. And somehow, she manages to rope in the chicks." I finished with a chuckle.

"Broody? Self-pitying? I highly doubt that you'd be around her much if she was!" Ethan commented. "I'm sure she's sweet and wholesome, the kind of girl that you'd bring home to mom... Well, unless you happen to be gay," he flashed a sly grin.

I snorted. "Wholesome and Jace are two words I've never heard used together. She's a self-proclaimed 'player'; seems to have a new girl in her bed every week. But this new girl, the way she talked, I think she might actually be interested in more than sex.."

"Really?" Ethan's eyes were staring out of the car's front windshield as I made another turn on the road. "Perhaps that means that she's wanting a mature relationship. Anyway," he added, "this should be a fairly interesting evening."

I slowed the car as I began to search for a parking spot right in front of the restaurant's entrance. Our timing was perfect, as a red mustang convertible pulled from it's spot and barreled down the street. I hoped that the rest of the evening would prove to be as lucky. "Ready?" I asked, smiling at Ethan.

Ethan smiled at me weakly. "Yep, I don't know why I'm so nervous though." We got out of the car and headed into the restaurant. As I opened the door, Ethan leaned close and whispered: "By the way, do you have any idea how to use chopsticks?"

I laughed. "Not really, but Jace can show you, she's an expert."

"Well, at least I can rest assure not being the only fool at dinner tonight." He elbowed me in the ribs lightly to add emphasis. "Do you see them anywhere, or are we the first to get here?"

I glanced around the dining room, looking for Jacinda's hair. The last time I'd seen her, it had been bright purple, and as far as I knew, she hadn't changed it.

Jacinda had easily spotted me before I had her; even with the violet hair. "There she is," I said under my breath to Ethan, indicating the woman standing at the table. When he didn't reply, I pulled my eyes from Jace and glanced at him. "Are you all right?" I asked, giving his hand a gentle squeeze.

"Hmm? Just a little nervous."

"I'll warn you now that if she isn't amused with you in the first few moments, that you probably won't make it out of here alive," I added jokingly. However, it was obvious in Ethan's eyes that he took me a little too seriously. "Don't worry about it." I glanced back to Jacinda, who was achieving the classic impatient-look. "Don't wake the beast," I kidded once more as we wove our way through the dining area to the table.

"So nice of you to finally join us, Ben!" she remarked, a sarcastic, yet friendly tone behind her words. She approached and gave me a friendly hug, which I returned.

"Jace, I'd like you to meet Ethan. Ethan, this is one of my good friends, Jace." I took a step back, allowing Ethan to approach her. It was she who approached him, though.

"I've heard a lot about you. It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Ethan," Jacinda said, extending her hand to shake his.

I had to blink; not once, nor twice, but three times. Jace? Polite? "I've already prepared him for the worst, Jace. You can cut the angelic act!" I laughed.

"It doesn't suit me?" she asked, battering her eyes in a manner that would cause most girls to appear purely innocent, but only ended up making her seem devious.

"I'm afraid not," Ethan piped in, smiling. "The purple hair and devil horns gave it away, I think."

"Damn; I tried to cover them. Don't worry though; despite what Ben has told you, I don't bite." Jace motioned to the petite girl who sat in a chair and had so far said nothing. "Right, Andrea?"

"Not hard, anyway," she replied, and then blushed quickly. It seemed that she was the type who didn't want to talk about her sexual life while in the presence of others. Boy, what they say about opposites attracting must really be true.

As we all took our seats, I extended my hand and shook Andrea's. "Hi, I'm Ben. This is Ethan."

Andrea smiled shyly. "You don't strike me as the type of people Jacinda would be friends with; you're too normal."

I grinned, "That's exactly what I want you to believe. In fact, I'm actually an escapee from the local insane asylum."

Andrea glanced at Jacinda, then back at me. "Ok, I take that back. You're defiantly not normal."

"Good, I wouldn't have it any other way," I informed her.

"And I wouldn't have anything to do with him if he was," Jacinda chimed in.

As we talked, I glanced at Ethan, who was clumsily trying to get the hang of chopsticks. When he noticed me watching him, he smiled sheepishly and lifted his hand. "Would any of you happen to have any idea how to use these things?"

Jacinda rolled her eyes and I laughed. "Here, let me show you." I took the stick, and demonstrated from Ethan the correct way to hold them. He watched me with a skeptical look on his face. "And if you don't get the hang of this, we can always get you traditional silverware, but realize now that we'll tease you mercilessly about it," I added at the end of my lesson.

"Better than having to wear a bib with these things!" he retorted jokingly. Finally satisfied with his attempt, Ethan set aside the chopsticks. I couldn't help but smile.

"So Jace," I began, turning my attention back to Jacinda, "how did you two lovebirds meet?" Again, I noticed Andrea blush. Boy, from what I had seen so far, she and Jace were as different as night and day.

"Well, I was at the Animals club down on 64th Avenue. You remember, that place that Tina used to take me to? I tried getting you to go once, I think..." Jace stopped to ponder the moment before continuing. "Anyway, I was getting myself a drink at the bar when I noticed Andrea come in through the door. She took one look around and her mouth must have dropped to the floor!" she giggled. "Andrea looked like she had taken a wrong turn at some point and was expecting to waltz into a Bingo hall!"

"I didn't take a wrong turn," Andrea piped in, as if defending herself against a hidden accusation from Jacinda. "I just didn't know that Animals was a strip club."

"Sure you didn't," Jace grinned, and slid her hand under the table, and doing something to cause Andrea to squirm uncomfortably. Jacinda always struck me as an exhibitionist; she thrived when she called attention to herself. "So," she continued, "I approached her and suggested that we talk somewhere less distracting. And so we ended up at my pla-"

"We ended up at her place having coffee. And here we are now," Andrea finished, obviously not wanting a table of strangers to hear about her sexual activities.

I glanced over towards Ethan, whose eyes were set on Jace. It was all too clear to see that Jacinda did not appreciate being interrupted.... by anyone. We were all spared, however, seeing as she didn't decide to take Andrea's head off at the moment.

It was as though Ethan could read my thoughts. Leaning into my ear, he whispered, "Talk about an odd relationship." I bit my tongue to keep from bursting out with laughter, and nodded in agreement.

The ever-sharp Jacinda noticed Ethan whispering in my ear. "Hey, no secrets! Anything you have to say, you can share with the class."

"Oh, Ethan was just saying that you make a beautiful couple. Weren't you Ethan?"

Ethan smiled and nodded, trying to hold back his laughter. Jacinda nodded, glaring at us through squinted eyes. "Sure you were."

I gave her the most innocent look I could muster, but I could tell she wasn't buying it. Thankfully, Andrea came to my rescue. "So, you know how we met, how about you two?"

"Well, we have a class together, and I ended up sitting next to him the first day," I started. "We talked a bit, became friends, but I had a massive crush on him, and it was driving me crazy," I glanced at Ethan, who was blushing slightly. "So I told him that I'm gay. It seemed to me that he didn't take it very well, but we sorted everything out the next week, and well, here we are. God, that was yesterday! It seems like it's been longer than that."

Ethan slipped his hand into mine and smiled, "Yeah, like forever."

Leave it to Jacinda to break a mood. She started making gagging sounds and grasped her throat. "Gawd, you people are sickening."

It was my turn to give an evil squint. "Jace, you've never been one to express your feelings!"

In a mocking gawk, Jacinda's jaw dropped and her hand flew to her chest protectively. "Me? Not express myself!" She burst out in deliberate laughter, but suddenly stopped, only to seize Andrea by the temples and kiss her fully, and deeply, on the mouth. Finally satisfied at the spectacle she had made, Jace sat back and smiled, wiping the corner of her mouth with her finger. "How's that for expression!" she commented loudly.

At this point, I was fully expecting Andrea to blush once again. She didn't fail to deliver, either.

Ethan raised our clasped hands to make a point. "Some people prefer to express their feelings in ways that aren't as attention-grabbing. It can mean just the same; sometimes even more." I felt his hand squeeze mine tenderly, causing a warm smile to appear on my lips.

Just then, the waiter approached, and we all sobered for the moment. Ethan and I allowed the ladies to place their orders first. Andrea, of course, had difficulty deciding. Jacinda sighed and seized the menu from her date and handed it to the waiter before explaining to him what Andrea would have. From the way she sat, I was almost positive that Andrea didn't mind. Come to think of it, she had an extremely passive personality. Jacinda could have directed her to drive her car off of a cliff and Andrea wouldn't have objected.

Again, my hand was squeezed, and I turned my gaze to meet with Ethan's brilliant blue eyes. I pulled our hands down from the table and set them to rest on his thigh. "What do you think so far?" I asked as I leaned into his ear.

"Well," he began, as if choosing his words carefully. "It's very interesting. I like Jace, but her date seems quite different." I nodded in agreement before he chose to continue. "Although, from the looks of things, this night is going to get even more entertaining." Ethan tilted his head in the direction of the remainder of our dinner group. My eyes followed, only to tune into a conversation where Jace was explaining to the waiter how she got her hair to be the vibrant purple that it was. If I didn't know better, I would have said that he was flirting with her. Jace didn't have any romantic interest in the male gender, and yet she seemed to love the attention nonetheless. I had to clear my throat to get his attention so that Ethan and I could order.

"You can order for me," Ben whispered as I looked at the menu in a thoughtful manner, then turned my attention to the waiter. "I will have the Mu Shoo Cat, and my friend here will have the Cream of Sum Yung Gui."

"Ben!" Ethan hissed. Jacinda nearly choked on a sip of water, and Andrea just blushed. The waiter did not look amused.

"On second thought, we'll both have the Buffet, if it's not too much trouble."

The waiter rolled his eyes, and snatched my menu out of my hand. I couldn't help but laugh out loud, especially when Ethan leaned over and whispered: "I don't think he likes you," in my ear.

"Well, unless he gets real snotty, I'll leave him a nice tip to make up for putting up with us, that'll make him happy,"

The rest of the dinner went by smoothly for the most part. Of course Jacinda was able to make it an interesting time. But by 10pm, the management was ready to throw us out. After promising to call Jacinda the next day, we made our exit.

"Well, that certainly was interesting. I can see why you'd be friends with her," Ethan commented as we got into my car.

"Yeah, Jace is great. She always knows how to make me laugh. I'm just surprised she's dating someone as timid as Andrea. She doesn't seem to be Jacinda's type."

"I agree. She seems very wholesome."

When I didn't say anything, Ethan touched my leg affectionately. "Is something wrong?"

His touch made my heart swell, and I knew my decision was the right one. "Ethan, spend the night with me."

"WHAT?? Ben, you know--"

"That's not what I meant," I cut him off. "In the time we've been together, I feel like we've gotten closer in a way I've never been with anyone. I don't want to have sex if it could ruin things between us, but I want to be close. You could stay at my house… like a sleepover."

After a few moments, Ethan smiled. "I'd love to."

Around the age of 15, my mother helped me do a massive overhaul of my bedroom. I'd been sitting on my bed one day reading, when I looked up and realized that there wasn't anything in it to show that it was a teenager who lived in it, rather than a toddler; hell, my pre-school diploma was still hanging on the wall. The only saving grace was a Show Girls poster that hung on the opposite side of the room (This, of course, was long before I had any idea I was gay). When we finished the redecoration, you wouldn't know it was the same room. The baby blue that previously had coated the walls was covered with a more manly color, and now the toys that once filled the shelves were replaced with a new stereo set and other assorted audio/visual equipment. The Show Girls poster has since been 'misplaced.'

As we entered, I could feel butterflies fluttering around in my stomach. This was the first time I'd had anyone in as anything more than a friend. With Ethan leading the way, we climbed the steps to the second floor of the house. I couldn't help but notice his behind, which was right in my face. I shuttered involuntarily as I watched the muscles flew through his jeans with each step.


"Huh?" I shook myself out of my trance and noticed that we'd made it to the top of the stairs.

"Which one is yours?" Ethan asked of the row of doors.

"Oh, it's none of these. We have one more flight; over the garage." I pointed to the end of the hall to another set of stairs that leads to the left. I darted up the stairs before Ethan, making sure I hadn't left any dirty clothes on the floor.

"Wow!" Ethan exclaimed as he made it to the top, "This is great!"

"Thanks," I said quietly.

The two of us stood in the center of the room for a few minutes, our eyes glancing at anything but each other. "I.. uh.. I guess we should get ready for bed," Ethan said finally. "I'm pretty tired…"

"Yeah, so am I… um.. So how do you want to do this?"

"Huh? Oh, well, since there's only one bed in here, I guess we'll have to share," Ethan laughed, sounding slightly nervous.

"I could always get the cot to sleep on if you don't want too…"

"NO! I mean, I want to…um.. sleep with you…in the bed I mean."

I smiled, but was unable to look Ethan in the eye. "I want to also… both meanings of the phrase, actually," I stuttered, trying to make a joke. "But only when you're ready." I added quickly.

"Me too," Ethan responded, sitting next to me on the bed. "But I don't think your parents would appreciate us moaning and groaning all night."

I looked at him for a moment and shrugged, "Ah, they won't mind." I jumped at him, pinning him back against the bed, tickling him mercilessly.

"All right! All right! They won't mind!" he cried between giggle fits.

"Damn right they won't," I said laughing. While I still had him pinned down, I leaned in and gave him a kiss on the forehead. "You're a great guy, you know that?"

"Of course I am," Ethan said smugly. "You ever doubted this?"

"Wrong answer, Bucko," I said, starting up the tickle barrage again.

"Ok, ok! I give!" Ethan gasped. "That's not what I meant to say!"

"And what is it you meant to say?" I asked, letting up on the tickling for a moment.

"That you're a great guy too, and I'm lucky to have found you." He leaned up and kissed me gently on the lips. I sighed as he broke away, a stupid grin plastered on my face.

"You know what? We're both lucky." I rolled off of Ethan and lay next to him on the bed. "I'm lucky because I haven't been very happy lately. Not depressed or anything, just… lonely I guess; despite my great friends. I guess there was just something missing. Or should I say someone?" I reached over and took Ethan's hand in mine, giving it a squeeze.

"We lay in silence for a moment, until Ethan spoke up. "Um.. Ben. I just thought of something… I usually sleep naked… I can't stand wearing anything when I sleep.. Will that be a problem?"

I didn't answer right away. It really wasn't a problem with me; I had no objections to having a gorgeous naked man in my bed, but I didn't know if Ethan would be comfortable that way, and I told him so.

"You're too sweet, you know that." He responded. "I bet most guys would say hell with it and then take advantage of me. But here you are, worried about whether or not I'd be comfortable."

I wrapped my arm around his shoulders and squeezed gently. "How do you know this isn't my diabolical plan to do just that? I could be plotting to get into your pants at this moment."

"I bet you are, but you're too sweet to take advantage of me." He kissed me on the mouth for the second time that night. "See? Sweet as sugar."

I rolled my eyes. "Ok, now that was sickening. I can feel my teeth rot as we speak."

Ethan punched me lightly in the arm. "Ass, you killed the moment!"

"Yeah, sorry. But I want you to know that I truly don't want you to sleep here if you think you'll be uncomfortable-"

Ethan put a finger over my lips. "I won't be uncomfortable. I know that you won't try anything unless I want to. And you know what? I want to."

My eyes bulged. "Ethan!"

"Shhh…" He stood in front of me, and ran his hands down the front of his shirt until they reached his waist. Slowly he pulled the shirt off, revealing his bare torso. I closed my eyes for a second and shuttered; he looked so incredible. His chest stood out from his body just enough so you knew he worked out, above his belly button was just a hint of abdominal definition. (As I write this now, it sounds so analytical, but at the time, all I could think of was how beautiful he was.)

"Ethan…" I whispered.

"Shh…" He said again as he took a step toward me and pushed me back against the bed. "No more talking."

I've gotten a few emails asking me why I'm submiting this story to Nifty if I don't plan on having graphic sex scenes. Well here is my answer: Nifty is an EROTIC story archive, not a PORN story archive. There is definatly a difference. Eroticism can rang from sex, to simply the way someone looks at you. Being in love, in my opinion, is definalty erotic. Anyway, if you don't like the fact that there isn't any graphic sex, there are plently of stories that do.

On another note, my friend Stef, who has been helping me with the editing, and also some writing, liked the character Jacinda so much that she decided to write a story focused on her. I'm sure most of you aren't interested in lesbian stories, but since she isn't including graphic sex either, you might want to give it a look. At the very least, you'll find out more about an improtant supporting character in this story, as well as Ben. The story is called Doors of Life and part one will be submited within the next few days.

Finally, if anyone wants to be notified when a new chapter is submitted, let me know.