STANDARD WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to individuals, living or dead, is pure coincidence. Do not read this story if you are offended by man-to-man romance or sex. Do not read if you are underage according to the laws in the country, state/province, county, city/town/village or township where you live. There is sex between males. You have been warned!

Copyright 2003 by Nick Archer. Permission is granted to Nifty Archives to post one copy. No part may be copied, reproduced, republished, or reposted on another website without written permission from the author.

Thicker Than Water

Chapter 9

Just as Brian and Robb started dancing behind the scenery in the St. Irenaeus gym, a face peered behind the flats.

"Ohhh! I’m telling!"

Jake and Mike parted nervously. Robb had a truly worried look on his face. He glanced down at his Doc Martens and shuffled his feet.

Only Brian had the presence of mind to confront Ryan. Ryan smirked triumphantly. He liked Brian but even more than that, he had dirt that he could use to sully Brian’s reputation.

Brian grabbed his bicep and dragged the younger, thinner boy behind the back of the stage and out the open door. The two double doors in the northwest corner of the gym and had been propped open to the outdoors to allow cool air to flow in.

"Sit down there," Brian hissed at Ryan. Still grinning, Ryan sat on a low brick wall. The air outside the gym was cooler by at least ten degrees and the perspiration chilled on their skin.

"I’m telling Matt you guys were dancing and kissing," Ryan announces as he wriggled his hips. He was enjoying the threat of blackmail.

"What are you going to do?" Ryan appeared cool and cocky.

Jake’s hands balled into fists. "I’ll gonna kill you…" He started toward Ryan. Ryan’s smile transformed into a nervous one.

"No, Jake." Mike held him back.

"You’re not going to tell Matt," Brian said evenly to Ryan.

"And how are you going to stop me?"

"I’ll tell him you were jacking off."

This revelation didn’t faze him in the least. He shrugged his shoulders. "So?"

"I’ll tell him you were out past curfew last week."

"He already knows," Ryan chirped in a sing-song voice. He was loving the situation. He liked Brian, Jake and Mike, but he was also jealous. He wanted a man in his life - no, he needed a man in his life. His mom, Marilyn, had finished her rehab program for alcoholism. She was due to pick him up the next morning. Patrick, Tim’s father, was a friend of Marilyn’s and Ryan liked him enormously. Tony had been his Big Brother. But two events had ended the paternal relationships Ryan had with the two men. First Patrick and Tony had gotten together as a couple and Tony had moved into Patrick’s condominium in Tinley Park. And when Ryan had been placed in Park Forest, it was too far for Tony to commute to work and still spend time with Ryan so they had put their relationship on hold.

Brian gazed directly into Ryan’s cool blue eyes. A devilish grin spread across his face and he raised one eyebrow. "I saw you," Brian said.

Ryan blanched. "You did?"

"Uh-huh. And if you tell Matt about us, I’ll tell him what I saw. And you’ll never be able to come back to visit. Ever."

"When did you see it?" Ryan challenged.

"The last time you did it." He stared directly into Ryan’s eyes. "I don’t need to tell you what will happen to you."

Ryan directed his eyes guiltily down at his knees. Within seconds, he was gulping for air as tears dripped onto his khakis.

Mike gave Brian a puzzled look that said what the hell are you talking about? Jake, who rarely displayed any compassion for anyone, sat beside Ryan and draped an arm around his shoulders.

"Hey, dude, it’s OK," Jake said to him softly. Wordlessly, Mike sat on the other side of Ryan and gently took his hand. Ryan continued to cry.

Robb stood off to one side, a little confused and a bit concerned.

Finally, Brian hunkered down on one knee in front of the sobbing boy. "Hey," he said gently, "You’ll understand someday."

"Understand what?"

"What it’s like to.." Brian stopped himself. He was going to say what it’s like to be in love, but he wasn’t sure if he was in love or not. "What it’s like to go out with someone."

"You’re so lucky. You and Tommy and Jake. You have Matt and Tim. You have boyfriends. I’ll never have one. I’ll be single for the rest of my life."

Brian had just a little knowledge in this area. He had once thought the same thing. He had also overheard Matt and Tim talk to Marty before Marty met Vince. His dads had soothed and counseled Marty who had said nearly the same thing.

Brian put a hand on his knee. "You won’t. Trust me."

"How do you know?" Ryan asked a bit petulantly.

"I thought the same thing, Ryan. I know. Besides you’re cute, and you’re a lot of fun to be with. You’ve got a great sense of humor. And any guy that turns you down for a date, well, I’ll just have to hunt him down and beat the shit out of him."

Ryan laughed a single explosive guffaw through his tears.

"See," Brian continued, "Now you’ve got three brothers to watch out for you. And Jake here - well, nobody’s going to fuck with Jake." Brian put his index under Ryan’s chin and raised it.

Overwhelmed by the show of affection, Ryan started to cry anew. "I’m going to miss you," he blubbered as he flung his arms around Brian. Jake pulled closer and Mike rubbed his back.

"I’ll get him some water," Robb volunteered.

"I didn’t want to tell Matt and Tim, anyway," Brian confessed. "I want you to visit. Besides, who else is going to be able to act out the part of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music?"

They all laughed. Brian released Ryan who wiped his face with his palms. Robb handed him a plastic cup of water with ice and a wedge of lemon. Ryan took a gulp and hiccupped.

"We’d better get back in. They’re going to be wondering where we went," Mike suggested.

Jake left his arm draped over Ryan’s shoulder as they went back into the building while Robb, Brian and Mike followed a few yards behind.

"What did you see that made him so upset?" Mike asked Brian quietly.

"Nothing," Brian confessed.

"You mean you made it all up?" Mike was incredulous.

Brian simply smiled and nodded.

Not long after, Matt’s announcement that they were leaving was greeted with a chorus of groans. "I have to work in the morning," Matt reminded them.

"But, Tim can stay with us." "Tim can bring us home." "Pleeeese, Dad?"

Matt glanced at his watch. "It’s 10:30 and the DJ stops at eleven anyway. Come on, boys. You remember our agreement."

Father Grimes noticed Matt and Tim standing and urging their brood toward the door. He appeared at Matt’s elbow.

"Darling, thanks for coming." He shook Matt’s hand, although Matt knew that if they were in private, the priest would have kissed him and Tim.

"It was wonderful, Father. You did a fantastic job."

"I really liked it, too," Ryan added. "I’ve never seen Godspell before."

Although he didn’t embrace the two men, Father Grimes did gather Ryan in his arms. "God bless, Ryan. Come back and visit."

"I will, Father."

Grimes released the boy.

Brian and Tommy were already on their way out the door to the Jeep. "Hey! Wait up for me!" Ryan yelled over the thumping music.

Grimes turned to Matt and Tim. "Such a fitting play he chose."

Matt wrinkled his forehead. "What do you mean?"

"Well, it’s a kind of metaphor for Ryan’s stay. He’s been Mr. Sunshine the whole time. And now that his stay is over, the ending becomes more poignant. Just like in Godspell. There’s quite a bit of humor in the play until the end, when it turns serious. "

"Good analogy, Father," Tim replied.

"Well, boys, take care. I want to say goodbye to Marty and Leah."

"Thanks, Father," Matt said.

"Great job tonight, Father," Tim added.

Saturday mornings, Matt usually left the house about nine in order to open the store by 10. This morning, he awoke a half hour earlier, took his shower and dressed. Matt had tried to get the day off but Anna, his assistant manager, was on vacation.

About 8:30, he tiptoed into Brian’s room, carefully sidestepping the piles of clothes on the floor. Matt sighed inwardly. When Brian had the room to himself, he was fairly meticulous about housekeeping. But when he shared the room with someone, first Jake and now Ryan, his housekeeping skills seemed to go down the toilet. Both boys were fast asleep with Brian on the lower bunk and Ryan on top. Matt and Tim usually let the boys sleep in on weekends, within reason.

Matt gently shook Ryan awake. "Hey," he whispered to Ryan. "I wanted to say goodbye."

Ryan rubbed his face and sat up. His hair was flattened on one side from the pillow. He scooted to the edge of the bed.

"I hope you enjoyed your stay here. You are always welcome to come and visit. We’ll miss you."

"Could we start again, please?" Ryan quietly sang a line from Jesus Christ Superstar. His voice was still raspy from sleep.

Matt chuckled. "I think you have the wrong Jesus musical. Here," Matt handed him a square, thin object wrapped with plain blue wrapping paper. The size and shape was a dead giveaway as to the contents. It was a CD.

"Should I open it now?"

Matt smiled and nodded. It was the soundtrack from Godspell.

Ryan wrapped his arms around Matt’s neck. "Thanks, Matt. I love you."

"I love you, too, Ryan. We’ll see each other again. Be happy, son."

Several times during the day, Matt thought about Ryan. He knew Bill and Marilyn were coming to pick him up at noon.

He wondered if the other boys would cry. He wondered if the dramatic Ryan would make a scene. Or, he wondered if Ryan’s stay would be over as easily as it began. Ryan was happy to be going home. But he had learned a lot while living at the townhouse. We’ve learned a lot, too, Matt mused.

The September Saturday was sunny and warm, and Chicagoans knew to take advantage of the weather. Some did yard work, or worked on the exterior of their homes. Others flocked to parks and forest preserves. In any event, they were not shopping at malls, at least not at Oak Ridge Mall. Despite being the Back To School season, business was very slow that day. Back To School is not really a big time for bookstores. Shoppers mainly needed clothes and school supplies, neither of which Matt’s bookstore carried.

Matt and his favorite part-timer Martha spent a large part of the afternoon creating a display of dictionaries. Matt caught up on paperwork and cleaned out a file. Matt had meant to call Tim and find out how Ryan’s departure went, but he forgot. Before he knew it his shift was over.

Just as Matt unlocked his Saturn in the Mall parking lot, he remembered that Tommy had a soccer game that he had promised to attend.

"Shit," he muttered under his breath. All he wanted to do was go home, get a bite to eat and stretch out on the couch and relax. But he had promised Tommy and since he had missed most games this summer, he had to keep his word.

The traffic on southbound Harlem Avenue was heavier than usual. As he approached the bridge over the Cal Sag Channel, he remembered why. One lane was closed for construction.

"Double shit," he muttered to himself. By the time he got to Park Forest, the game would be over. He sighed and resigned himself to the traffic.

Matt didn’t mind commuting. Many people complained about their daily trip to work, but Matt thought of it as one of the few times he was ever really alone. It gave him time to think about Tim, about the boys, and about work.

His mind wandered back to Ryan. How different his stay had been compared to the other boys. Of course, they had known from the beginning that Ryan would only be there temporarily. That was the nature of foster parenting. They all had held just a little back emotionally from him because of this reason.

Still, he found the whole fostering experience somewhat strange. It reminded him of an old MASH episode where a baby girl was left at the 4077. She was of mixed parentage and so could not stay in Korea because mixed children weren’t accepted at that time. Hawkeye, BJ and the crew tried several different routes to get her out of Korea to the United States to no avail. Finally, they followed Father Mulcahy’s advice and left her at a monastery.

At the end of the episode, they left the baby in a revolving cradle. The revolving was a barrel-like shape with one side removed to receive the baby. It was built into a wall of the monastery and pivoted so that the monks would have no contact with the outside world. After saying a touching goodbye to the baby, they rang a bell to signal to the monks that another baby had been placed in their care. BJ made a comment that it was like making a deposit at a bank.

That’s how Matt felt about his first experience at foster parenting. Fostering Ryan was like being on the receiving end of the revolving cradle. Bill called and within a few days, Ryan was in their care. Within two weeks of his arrival at St. Luke’s, the staff there had determined that the tough environment of the all boys’ school would be a bit too much for the effeminate non-athlete. So Matt and Tim provided an alternative.

Like the revolving cradle in MASH, Bill called late one day in May and Ryan was simply there the next. And he would be gone when Matt arrived home - after Tommy’s soccer game.

Matt began thinking about Tommy’s participation in sports. Matt had never been much of an athlete. In fact, he had hated PE all through school and loathed football. He could be enticed to see a baseball game, but seldom watched it, or any other sport, on TV.

Tommy’s participation in soccer had changed his perspective. Matt came to appreciate the lessons of sport. Sports taught teamwork and cooperation. Sports taught fairness and playing by the rules. Participation taught sportsmanship and the importance of keeping wins and losses in perspective. Sports helped kids work together to achieve a common goal.

Perhaps most importantly, it gave participants and fans alike a sense of identity. Cheering for the same team gave a sense of belonging. Matt had read somewhere that boys needed a "tribe" to belong to. That "tribe" most often took the form of a sports team, but it could also be Scouting, band, chorus, or youth groups.

Finally free of the backup, Matt made good time through the Palos area. He knew he had to watch his speed on this stretch of road. The stretch from 127th Street to 141st was a notorious speed trap. South of 141st Matt knew he could make up lost time by speeding through the Forest Preserves north of Tinley Park.

He switched on the radio and tried to relax. Melissa Etheridge was singing Come To My Window. Matt liked her, not only because she was a lesbian, but he also found her voice smoky and compelling. A hip-hop song followed. Matt grimaced and hit the scan button on the radio. He was surprised to hear the voice of Steve Dahl.

Except for gaps when he had gone away to college, Matt had listened to Steve Dahl since high school. Steve had kept him, and many other listeners in the Chicago area, entertained with his characters, his acute observations and his honest, frank and often hilarious discussions about his home life. Steve was one of the inventors of shockradio; although he would vehemently deny it. Steve had recently broken up with his longtime on air partner Garry Meier, and had started a solo show on another station. Steve seemed to be struggling on his own, however. The Saturday show was recorded and presented as a ‘Best of Steve Dahl’ show.

As Matt passed through the Tinley Park area, Steve was chatting with his newsman and traffic reporter about classic Chicago TV. Matt roared with laughter. Steve was originally from Detroit and the traffic reporter and newsman were trying to describe such homegrown kids shows as The Ray Rayner Show and Garfield Goose. Matt roared. Memories of those shows flooded back.

He shook his head when they finally took a breather to play some commercials. He thought about telling Tim about the funny radio exchange. Tim liked Steve Dahl, too, but he wouldn’t remember Ray Rayner and Garfield Goose. He was too young. The shows were gone by the time Tim was a kid; cancelled and replaced by It was frustrating to Matt to have to translate things like this for him. The difference in their ages had never been a big problem, just an annoyance.

He stopped at the 7-11 and purchased some bottled water. Bottled water had become the newest trend. Matt balked at paying the price for water, but it was chilled and Tommy was always thirsty after a game.

It was almost 6:30 by the time he reached the playing fields in Somonauk Park. His hair was windblown and he hastily ran his fingers through his hair in the rearview mirror.

The scent of freshly mowed grass, insect repellant and the voices of boys wafted across the fields as Matt walked from his parking space. One of the first people he spotted was Mary Ellen Rafferty. She sat in a lawn chair with a bottle of Lipton iced tea. Her chair was positioned at one corner of the playing field. She spotted Matt.

"Hi! Have you recovered from last night?"

He bent at the waist and gave her an air kiss. "Had to. I had to work today."

"We’re down by one goal. This team from The Heights is playing pretty rough. Have a seat," she offered an empty lawn chair next to hers. "There’s some iced tea in the cooler," she offered.

"Thanks, but I have some water."

Matt sat and squinted across the field. He spotted his son wearing his blue jersey with white lettering. Tommy was Number 33.

"Do you see Tommy?" Mary Ellen asked him.

"All I have to do is look for the bright red hair."

At the other end of the field, some cheering captured their attention. The Park Forest Flyers had just scored a goal!

Although he had not scored the goal, Tommy was so excited, he ran behind Lucas, wrapped his arms around his waist, hugged him from behind and lifted him off the ground.

"Get off me!" Lucas shouted at him.

Tommy set him on the ground gingerly.

Lucas spun around and shoved Tommy’s shoulder. "Faggot!" he spat out at Tommy.

The exuberant grin on Tommy’s face faded like a cut flower in a waterless vase. It was that word. Tommy wasn’t expecting it, just like he wasn’t expecting to be shoved by Lucas.


"Keep your fucking hands off me." Then to see Tommy’s reaction, he added again, "Faggot!"

Coach Williamson blew his whistle and pointed in their direction. "What seems to be the problem over there?"

"Nothing," Lucas called to the adult. His eyes shot daggers at the redhead.

The ball was in play again and the players were running toward the other end of the field.

Across the field, the two parents observed the exchange. They couldn’t hear what was being said, but could tell there was something wrong by their actions and body language.

"Wonder what that was about?" Mary Ellen mused.

Matt raised his eyebrows and shrugged.

For the rest of the game, Lucas ignored Tommy. The game ended just minutes later, and the two boys crossed the field toward the two adults. Mary Ellen and Matt stood and folded their chairs.

"Hi, Tommy," Matt tried to sound as cheerful as possible even though he was hungry and tired, and aware that something had gone wrong between his son and Lucas. Matt was convinced that one of the most challenging tasks of parenting was putting on a good show.

Tommy grunted as he peeled off the protective shrink-wrapped plastic off the cap of the bottled water. After a long drink, he wiped his lips with the back of his hand, but said not a word to Matt. His eyes averted Matt’s.

"Do you need help carrying that stuff?" Matt asked Mary Ellen.

"No, Lucas can handle it. Bye, Matt. See you, Tommy," she added almost a little too cheerfully.

"Bye," he grumbled.

On the way to Matt’s parking place, Matt asked him, "Are you OK?"


"Are you upset about losing?"


"What, then?"

Tommy walked a few paces ahead of Matt. He flounced in the passenger seat once Matt unlocked the car.

"You’re late," Tommy finally blurted.

"I told you I was coming right from work, Tommy," Matt reminded him reasonably.

Tommy glowered out the open passenger window. Matt knew there was another issue, but Tommy wasn’t ready to discuss it.

At the four-way stop on Indianwood and Orchard, Matt tried once again to explain. "Traffic was heavy and there was construction…"

Tommy rudely interrupted him. "All the other moms were there on time."

Matt flashed him a dirty look. It was a skill he developed as a teacher and still served him well. The remainder of the trip was silent.

"Tommy was sure quiet tonight," Tim commented during a commercial. Matt was seated on the couch with Tim’s head in his lap. Tim had grilled chicken and Matt and Tommy microwaved the leftovers when they arrived home.

"It’s starting to get dark so early these days," Matt’s voice trailed off.

Tim pressed his lips together in a thin line of a smile. His dimples appeared. "I think Tommy’s upset about Ryan’s leaving."

"I don’t think so. I think it has something to do with Lucas."

"What happened?"

"I’m not sure," Matt answered honestly. "I was sitting with Mary Ellen on the sidelines. The Flyers scored and Tommy got carried away and grabbed Lucas. Lucas didn’t look any too happy about it. They were at the opposite end of the field so we couldn’t hear what they were talking about."

Tim considered this. "Well, Tommy is a very touchy-feely kid."

"I think ‘tactile’ is a better word," Matt interrupted.

"Whatever." Tim rolled his eyes good-naturedly at him.

"And you’re right. But not everybody wants a redheaded adolescent boy hanging on them." Matt grinned and repeated the line Tommy had said about being on time.

Tim laughed in a short burst. "Are you going to talk to him?"

"When he’s ready. I don’t know what his problem is."

"I do. At least I think I do."

"And are you going to clue me in, or am I going to have to call the Psychic Friends Network?"

"I think Tommy’s in love."

"You really think so?"

"Watch Tommy with Lucas next time they’re together."

"Just what we need," Matt chuckled.

"It’s strange, though. Considering Tommy’s history I would have thought that we would have seen a lot more sexual acting out from him."

"I disagree. Out of the three boys, Tommy is the only one not in a hurry to grow up. Jake and Brian would move out tomorrow if they could. But not Tommy. I think he’s perfectly content to be a kid. Once he realized he was safe and secure and all his needs were going to be met, he just settled back for the ride. He was the only one of the three who wanted toys remember? Both Bill and Leah said a little regression probably was healthy for him. For all the boys, really."

Tim considered this and nodded.

"I know Tommy will talk when he’s good and ready. He probably needs a little time to sort things out for himself. Where is he, by the way?"

"He went right up to his room."

Matt raised his eyebrows. That was unlike Tommy, who always wanted to be where the action was. If Jake and Brian were watching TV, there was Tommy. If Matt and Tim were trying to have a serious discussion, Tommy was usually trying to listen. "Where are Jake and Brian?"

"Jake is next door, and Brian went for a bike ride."

"Good Lord, Jake is such a player. I just hope he doesn’t hurt Mike. He’s such a sweet kid."

"And cute as a button."

"He’s not the only one." Matt’s voice rumbled as he slipped a hand under Tim’s wife-beater and allowed his palm to glide over his belly. The skin was warm and taut over his muscles. His fingertips found Tim’s navel.

"Oh! That tickles!" Tim giggled as he squirmed.

With a sly grin, Matt slipped his fingers under the waistbands of both his shorts and his underwear until his fingertips met Tim’s hardening cock.

"You’re going to get us in trouble."

"Moi?" Matt asked innocently.

"Don’t start anything you can’t finish."

"Oh, I intend on finishing it, Mr. McGraw."

Tim sat up and then rose off the couch. He held a hand out to Matt. "Then let’s go."

They held hands on their way to the bed they shared.

The two men were seated on the middle of the bed facing one another. Matt’s thighs were draped over Tim’s. They masturbated each other as they kissed. They had only engaged in mutual masturbation once before so the activity was still fresh. Their lips seldom parted as they jacked each other off.

Matt’s right arm began to cramp but he kept working Tim’s cock. Every so often the tips of their cocks touched and the effect was like an electric jolt. Moaning sounds vibrated in Tim’s throat.

"I’m close, Matt. God, you’re so good. Ahh! Yes, baby. I love you, Matt." And with that, he released his load all over Matt’s hand. Some jism also reached his own hand that was still pumping Matt’s dick.

Tim broke his rhythm as he released his load. But once he finished, he resumed jacking Matt with renewed vigor. Matt inserted his tongue into Tim’s mouth and the younger man sucked on it gently. It pushed Matt over the edge.

"Oh, yes, Tim," Matt moaned as he broke their lip lock. "Yeah, my sweet man. Oh, yes!"

They were quick to clean off the cum that had landed on the bedspread for fear it would stain. They cleaned each other up and then cuddled.

Skin against skin and warmth upon warmth they both dozed in the afterglow of their love. Words were unnecessary. Matt spooned Tim, who pushed his back against Matt’s hairy chest. Matt kissed his shoulders and allowed his hands to explore Tim’s chest. He could feel the thumping of his heart.

They lay there holding each other for along while. Eventually, the windows darkened and the streetlights came on. Streetlights signaled curfew for the boys. Spring, summer and fall, the boys had to be in the house when the streetlights came on, or they had to call and report their whereabouts. They had trained the kids well, and so far, Brian, Jake and Tommy hadn’t challenged their authority.

They heard the back door slam once. Someone had picked up the remote and was surfing through TV channels.

Moments later, they heard the back door slam again and then Jake’s voice, "Hello? Where is everybody?"

Brian’s voice answered him. "I dunno."

Matt sighed as he sat up and pulled on a pair of shorts. He also slipped on a polo shirt.

"I never wanted it to end," Tim commented.

"Me neither." He bent over to kiss Tim once again. "Better put some clothes on. I’ll check on the kids."

Brian was watching an old movie on AMC. "Hey, kiddo."

Brian raised his eyebrows at Matt. "What have you been up to?"

"What do you mean?"

Brian signaled ‘come here’ with his index finger. "Your shirt collar is all messed up," he grinned as he straightened the collar of the polo shirt Matt has hastily pulled on.

"They were probably boinking again," he heard Jake’s voice from the kitchen.

Brian raised his fingertips to his lips and giggled.

"Jake, please don’t stand with the refrigerator door open," Matt commanded. He was tempted to ask if Jake and Mike had been boinking next door. But, Matt thought, Leah is home. She would keep an eye out. Plus, I’m not really sure I want to know.

"There’s nothing to eat," Jake whined.

"Tim just went shopping this morning. And there’s leftovers from dinner. Keep it to a dull roar. And in bed by midnight. Both of you."

They groaned in unison and tried to protest. "I mean it," Matt warned as he ascended the stairs.

Matt stood at Tommy’s door, which was ajar. He was sprawled on his bed reading a Goosebumps book.

"Hey," Matt called quietly from the hall. "Are you OK?"

"Uh huh," Tommy grunted without taking his eyes off the book.

"Do you want to talk?"


"OK," Matt backed away from the door. "If you do, you know where to find us."


Tommy turned off the light at about 11 that night. He tossed and turned as sleep eluded him. Visions of Lucas flickered through his brain like an old silent movie.

The scenes kept replaying themselves. Tommy could see Lucas at the dinner table last night at St. Irenaeus looking handsome in his tie. In the next scene he was dancing with Lucas. Actually he wasn’t dancing alone with Lucas, his brothers and Lucas’ sisters were there, too. But Tommy only had eyes for Lucas as they bounced and shook under the flashing colored lights. The next scene was on the soccer field this afternoon. Lucas had been so friendly to him. Tommy admired his thighs in his soccer shorts. Lucas even started growing some hair on his lower legs! He smiled at Tommy often, and like a good teammate, always shared the ball with him when it was in play.

Then something went horribly wrong. Tommy had observed how other players congratulated each other when they made an especially good play or scored a point. They patted each other on the rump, even hugged each other.

So, when Brett scored a goal, Tommy thought nothing of grabbing Lucas from behind and hugging him.

But Lucas had called him that word. The F word. It echoed in his mind: "Faggot, faggot, FAGGOT!"

It hurt Tommy like a thorn in his side. He had wanted to burst into tears at the time but he held it in. He resolved to release his tears once he was alone, but that didn’t happen. He felt drained, confused, traumatized.

He wanted to explain to Lucas. Tommy had seen other players touch him, pat him, even hug him. He was just excited. He didn’t mean anything by it. He just wanted to be friends.

But Lucas’ face darkened with anger, and maybe just a touch of fear.

Oh, Lucas, why? Why did you have to say that? Did you really mean it? I only wanted to be friends, and now I’ve fucked it all up.


I’m sorry Lucas. Please, give me another chance.

Tommy sighed and rolled over. Would he ever be able to get to sleep? He had enough trouble getting up in the morning and he promised Matt he would try to get to sleep earlier.

What does it all mean? I like girls, too. So why am I thinking about a boy? I’m so confused. Does this mean I’m gay? I don’t want to be gay. I don’t want to be a faggot.

They were alone in the gym except for the DJ. The lights were still swirling overhead, but everyone had gone.

"Come here," Lucas whispered.

He pulled Tommy close. Tommy felt his hand reach down toward his crotch…..

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome at Criticism is welcome, too, as long as you can point out specifics and make suggestions for improvement. And don’t forget to visit my website New chapters are always posted there earlier than here.

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