Tough Question

By Kit

This is a story about a gay male and may involve sexual activity between males, so if this is likely to offend you, or is illegal where you live then do not read any further.  All the events and characters in this story are fictional and any resemblances to real people are purely coincidental.

The story is copyright of the author and may not be distributed or placed on any web sites without written permission from the author.

I would like to thank my editor, Richard Lyon, for his encouragement and moral support while this story was being written and for his hard work in seeking out errors after it was written.

If you enjoy this story or have any comments about it, please feel free to send me an email .  


Chapter 2

Gradually, over a period of months, the hurt of being rejected by Simon faded a little, along with my fear that he might expose me for being 'sick'. Although I was angry at him, I was more angry at myself and although I tried to hate him I couldn't really even stop loving him. The best I could manage was to use the hurt to build a wall around that love. One side effect of isolating myself from the painful effects of love was that it also isolated me from my other emotions. So although my life carried on much as it had before I got involved with Simon, now it felt as if I were observing my life from outside. Still, I thought to myself, that detachment was a small price to pay for the freedom from pain and worry.

Just after Christmas, about seven months after my last ever conversation with Simon, I began to emerge a little from my shell and decided that I needed more hobbies and interests. I wasn't really becoming more sociable, and in fact the idea of looking for new interests was initially planted in my mind by our Careers Advisor. During one of his talks he mentioned that given two candidates with equal exam grades, those responsible for university admissions would take into account the non-academic interests and abilities of the candidates. Apparently participation in team sports was regarded as a 'plus' point, but as I had neither aptitude nor interest for such things, I looked around for alternatives.

One such alternative to team sports appeared to be the school Outdoor Club. The club membership was made up almost exclusively of boys aged sixteen or over, although as far as I knew there was no actual rule or regulation about that. At the club meetings, which were on Wednesday lunch times, discussions were held about suggested future trips and detailed plans were made for trips already decided upon. Some of those discussions became surprisingly agitated, especially when some of the club members had been to those places before and had either enjoyed or hated their previous experiences.

The first meeting I attended was one of those that developed into a series of heated verbal exchanges. As a new member and an outsider I just stood at the back of the room and looked on with mild amusement and, if truth be told, with a faint feeling of superiority.

"Are they always like this?"

The voice came from just behind me and although it was quiet it startled me, mainly because I hadn't known that anyone was standing there. Turning my head sharply, I saw a boy who was in my year but who didn't share many of my classes. Also, he was one of the sporty crowd so I hardly knew him and it took a couple of seconds for me to put a name to the face. It was Frank Lewis.

"Dunno," I said curtly, "This is the first time I've been here."

For some reason, possibly because he'd startled me, I felt a little irritated and wondered if he'd noticed it in my tone. As he'd almost never spoken to me in the past, I also wondered why he'd chosen to speak to me then.

"Me too," he responded and gave me a friendly smile, apparently not noticing the coolness of my response.

Unable to think of anything else to say, I returned my gaze to the heated debate on the other side of the room, where one fair-haired boy from the year above me was trying to convince the others that Snowdonia was not a very desirable place to visit in February. I wasn't particularly interested in the boy's arguments, but he was mildly attractive in a skinny-geeky sort of way so I continued to watch him while I wondered if I really wanted to join this club.

"Looks like we're the only new people here," Frank observed.

That plain statement of the obvious didn't seem to require any reply, so I remained silent and didn't even glance at him. However, my lack of response didn't  deter Frank.

"Still," he said brightly, "I s'pose that most of this year's new members will have joined last term."

"Yeah, I guess so," I replied, beginning to feel a little guilty about my unsociable behaviour toward him.

"The only reason I'm here now," he said, "is because Mum won't let me play rugger anymore, at least until Dad and me can persuade her to change her mind. Anyway, I need some way of getting out of the house at weekends. I can't stand being stuck indoors."

We'd never exchanged more than a dozen words before in our whole lives, so I was somewhat surprised by his apparent desire to chat with me. Mainly for the sake of politeness but also out of mild curiosity, I turned to face him.

"Why won't she let you play rugby?" I asked.

"Broke my collar bone in a scrum last term."

I couldn't see a sling or other any sign of injury, though I supposed doubtfully that there might be something hidden under his dark blue school blazer. Seeing the look I gave him, he raised and lowered his right shoulder then grinned.

"It's better now," he said, "Well almost... just a bit stiff and sore sometimes."

"So you'll be playing rugby again soon?"

"Well, I'd like to," he replied with a wry smile, "but just after I got hurt Mum saw on the news that some guy in Wales broke his neck when a scrum collapsed. She started going on about what if that had happened to me and what if I got paralysed. I told her that freak accidents can happen whatever I do, even just crossing the road."

"That's true," I commented sympathetically.

Although I didn't have much empathy with his desire to play rugby, I did follow the logic of his argument and I knew what it felt like to have to submit to the apparently unreasonable decisions of parents. He rewarded my moral support with a beaming smile which quickly faded as he continued his tale.

"Anyway," he added, "she said that I couldn't avoid using the roads but I could avoid rugby. But I'll keep working on her."

"What about soccer instead?"

His immediate response to my suggestion was a facial expression that indicated his pity for me and for my obvious naivety.

"Soccer?" he said disdainfully. "Soccer's for wimps!"

For years he'd been just another kid around school, one of the sporty crowd to which I paid very little attention, but now his words prompted me to look at him closely for the first time. He was right, in a way, because compared to Frank soccer players like Simon did indeed seem rather wimpy. In fact, apart from being similar in height, Frank appeared to be physically the complete opposite of Simon.

Frank's hair was jet-black and cut very short, his eyes were deep, soft brown, and his ruddy-cheeked face was almost round. Above all, his whole body was very sturdily built and almost chunky when compared with Simon. At the time, dressed for winter and fully covered by his school uniform, I couldn't tell how much of the extra weight was fat and how much was muscle, but later I was to find that it was almost totally muscle. Although Frank wasn't totally unattractive, he wasn't the type who usually featured in my erotic fantasies and in my eyes he certainly wasn't in the same league as Simon. Indeed, probably because of his bulk and his association with the sporty crowd, I found him a little intimidating.

Then I realised that I must have been looking at him, though not quite staring at him, for several seconds and that he appeared to be a little uncomfortable under my gaze. I quickly looked away toward the front of the room where the club's 'mentor' teacher was winding up the meeting. I had no idea what decision, if any, had been made about the proposed trip to Snowdonia. For some reason I was reluctant to turn around and face Frank, but when I eventually did so, intending to ask if he'd be attending any further meetings, he wasn't there. On finding that he'd already gone, my emotion was mainly one of relief, though there was also an inexplicable tinge of regret.


By the following Wednesday I'd almost decided not to go to any more meetings of the Outdoor Club. Although I enjoyed being out in the countryside I didn't look forward to being out there with any of the club members I'd seen. However, bearing in mind the advice of our Careers Advisor, I couldn't think of any other school clubs that I'd prefer to join. Also, to be totally honest I was a little curious to see if Frank would turn up again, so despite my reservations I went along.  

As it turned out, when I arrived at the meeting Frank was already there and was chatting to the fair-haired boy who at the previous meeting had been arguing against a trip to Snowdonia. As before, I stayed at the back of the room and scanned the club notices on the board there.

"You're back again."

Frank's voice behind me took me by surprise and startled me enough to make me jump. For such a comparatively large guy he seemed to have an uncanny ability to get up close without being detected. The tone of his voice gave no indication as to whether or not he was pleased at my presence and my response was just as neutral.

"Yeah. I didn't have anything better to do."

The fair-haired boy came over to join us and Frank introduced us, informing me that his name was Graham.

"You going to be joining us rebels, then?" Graham asked me without any further preamble.

 "Rebels?" I asked with a puzzled frown.

"Yeah, most of the others want to go camping Snowdonia at half term," Graham replied and after a brief pause he added, "Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great area, but camping there in winter is just bloody stupid... unless you like freezing your ass off in the snow."

"But don't you have to go where Mr Carter agrees to take you?" I asked, referring to the teacher who was the main club mentor.

"Well Old Cart-horse likes to be popular and usually goes along with the majority," Graham admitted, "But if it's outside of school time and we don't use club equipment then no one can stop a group of us..."

"The rebels," Frank added conspiratorially.

"...going somewhere together," Graham concluded with a grin.

"Parents might stop us," I added cautiously, though I was rapidly warming to the idea of being a 'rebel'.

"Mine won't," Graham said with certainty.

"And mine won't, either," Frank added with only a little less conviction.

"But won't it be too cold to camp out anywhere at all in February?" I asked.

I was hoping that the answer to my question would be 'yes' because although I enjoyed hiking and other outdoor pursuits I was a little apprehensive about camping out regardless of the weather. The main reason for my nervousness was because I'd never been camping before and was concerned that others might notice my inexperience and mock my probable ineptitude at erecting tents, making camp fires and suchlike activities.

"Who said anything about camping?" Graham asked, giving me a superior smile, "We can find a nice cosy youth hostel, preferably not too far from an even cosier local pub. In fact I know a couple of such places, and if you join us you get to help decide where we go."

They both looked at me expectantly, obviously waiting for my answer. To be honest, I was beginning to feel an enthusiasm that I hadn't felt since I'd been dumped by Simon, so I didn't need much time to think about my answer.

"Yeah," I said, nodding my head, "I'll talk to my parents about it tonight."

"Great!" Graham responded happily, "that makes four of us so far. That's a nice critical mass, and if we can get a couple more to join us we'll have an ideal number."

With that he went off toward a small group of lads at the front of the room, clearly intending to recruit some more 'rebels'.

So it was that at mid-term five of us ended up spending a very pleasant long weekend in a youth hostel near Scarborough. The hostel, though not as 'cosy' as I'd imagined or hoped for, was certainly warmer than a tent . As an added bonus the local pub, though a considerable distance from the hostel, was definitely cosy enough to make the walk worth while. Furthermore, the local coastline was impressive and the surrounding countryside had a stark wintry beauty.

Surprisingly, I got on well with all four of my companions, especially Frank and Graham, though the latter's rebellious and argumentative nature sometimes wore me down a little. Frank was a much nicer person and had a much more gentle character than I'd expected. He particularly impressed me with his very positive attitude to life. Everything seemed to be an adventure for him, no task was too tough for him to attempt and it seemed that he was prepared try anything at least once. When one of us got into difficulties, like the time I got stuck up to my thighs in a freezing peat bog, he was the first to come to the rescue.

In the course of one of our rambling conversations in the pub I found out that Frank lived not far from me but that he hadn't attended the same primary school because he was just outside the catchment area. I also discovered that he had two older sisters and a younger sister and that his family owned and ran a small bakery. It was only then that I made the mental connection between Frank Lewis and Lewis's Bakery Shop, where my mother often went to buy cakes and speciality breads.

During our stay at the youth hostel there were three other things about Frank that I couldn't help noticing. He was very muscular, he had a lot of chest hair for someone who was still only sixteen, and he was circumcised. As I'd been accessing computer porn for almost a year I had, of course, seen plenty of pictures of 'cut' dicks, but Frank's was the first one I'd seen in real life. 


Between the time I joined and the following Easter the Outdoor Club organised five day trips, usually on Sundays, and I went on three of those trips. Our group of rebels almost always went along with the rest of the club, but even then we usually clustered together a little apart from the others as we made our way through the countryside. Also, under the combined influence of Frank and Graham, our little group often branched off to take the toughest and most interesting paths up the mountainsides.

Shortly before Easter I went to a club meeting and as soon as I entered the room I was immediately accosted by Frank.

"Why haven't you put your name up yet?" he asked without any initial greeting.

"Put my name up for what?" I responded, taken aback by the abruptness of his question.

"For the Easter camping trip to the Lake District, of course," he said, apparently surprised that I'd needed to ask.

"Oh, yeah, that," I said without enthusiasm.

"What's the matter? I thought you were looking forward to the Easter trip?"

Indeed, I had been looking forward to it before I discovered that it would require me to spend a week sleeping in a tent. The more I'd thought about that prospect the less I liked it for several reasons, not the least of which was that it seemed that I would be the only one who'd never been camping before. Apart from the potential embarrassment of exposing my lack of appropriate skills there was another factor putting me off. I'd seen the club's tents and most of them seemed rather old, smelled a little unpleasant and I wasn't confident of the ability of some of them to keep out the rain. Also, I had no doubt that the older, long-term club members would immediately requisition the few really good tents.

The most important factor, however, in my decision not to sign up for the trip was the fact that the they were all two- or three-person tents and I didn't know who I'd end up sharing with. After all, I didn't really know any of the club members well enough to be comfortable sharing a cramped tent with them. Frank was the person I got on with best but although we were quite friendly we were not quite friends. Actually, that description could be accurately applied even my closest acquaintances because at that time there was no one at all whom I considered to be a close friend.

Anyway, although I might have considered sharing a tent with Frank, he was such a popular person that he'd be able to share with anyone he chose. So if I went on the trip I expected to be stuck for a week in a tiny, smelly, leaky tent with an almost total stranger. Knowing my luck, I'd be trapped for six nights with someone I disliked and who would probably keep me awake with a horrific combination of snoring and flatulence. Thus I'd decided not to go on the trip, but how could say all that to Frank without me seeming to be a complete wimp?

"Oh, I'm not sure I can get away for the whole week," I lied.

"Why not? I thought you had the week free," he said, then paused briefly, chewing on his lower lip before continuing. "Is there a problem with your parents?"

The look of disappointment on his face took me completely by surprise and I felt guilty about my lie, so I tried to extract myself from the uncomfortable situation without bending the truth too much.

"No, it's okay with my parents but I have a lot planned for the holidays..."

He frowned and gave me a doubting look, so I decided to continue with something a little closer to the truth.

"I mean, I might have found time if we were going hostelling, but I'm not really keen on camping."

Even to me that sounded pretty pathetic, and I could tell that Frank thought so too but he was clearly too polite to say so directly.

"Why not?" he asked, "It's fun. I love camping."

"Have you seen the club's tents?" I asked with a hint of sarcasm.

"Yeah, but I've got a nice new one. It was a present for my last birthday," he said with a grin, then before I could think of a response he added, "It's a two-man tent... you can share with me if you want."

Over the previous few weeks Frank had already shown himself to be a kind and considerate person, so his gracious offer wasn't too surprising. However, ever since our trip to Scarborough with the rebels I'd had the impression that he might have been a little more friendly to me than he was to other members of the club, and on more than one occasion I wondered why that might be. In any case, there was no way I could refuse without seeming churlish or a wimp or both.

"Okay," I said uncertainly, then with considerably more enthusiasm I added, "Thanks very much!"


On the Saturday of the weekend after Easter I found myself sitting next to Frank in the school minibus on our way to the Lake District. Apart from Mr Carter, who was driving, there was another teacher, Mr Edwards, and a total of thirteen boys including Frank, Graham and myself. By early afternoon on that cold, grey but thankfully dry day, we'd arrived at Tarn Fell Farm and had pitched our tents at the campsite there. Although the signs that we'd followed from the farm entrance had indeed directed us to the 'Campsite', it seemed to me that the word was used very loosely and didn't fit into my preconceived idea of what a campsite should be.

In fact what we found was just a large field on a slight slope, with areas of shorter grass where I presumed we were intended to pitch the tents. Perhaps these areas were supposed to have fewer rocks or flatter ground than the rest of the field, but if that were indeed so then the differences were too subtle for me to detect. At the higher end of the field was what appeared to be a space set aside for camp fires and at the lower end was a low brick building with three toilets and three washbasins which had only cold water taps.

While inwardly bemoaning the lack of hot water, I did note with some relief that the facilities were at least clean and apparently hygienic. I also noted a sign inside the building informing us that showers with hot water were available in a separate building just outside the farm house. I later discovered that the showers were about ten minutes walk from the campsite and that a meter had to be fed with coins in order to provide electricity to heat up the water. All in all, I thought to myself, it wasn't a very propitious start to the trip. However, I didn't convey that thought to any other members of the group, and especially not to Frank, who appeared to be not only content but in fact downright happy and full of the joys of spring.

As everyone looked around for what they thought might be the best locations for their tents I just stood by and let Frank make the decision for both of us. While most of the others were still unloading tents from the minibus, Frank quickly picked out an area and began setting up his tent. Of course I assisted him but it was clear that my assistance wasn't really needed. The area he'd chosen was slightly larger and a little set aside from the main group of camping spaces, and from the frown on Mr Carter's face I got the idea that he might have preferred that spot for himself and Mr Edwards.

The two teachers were sharing a large tent which I guessed could have easily accommodated four people. Graham had managed to get himself into the newest of the club's three-man tents and the others had opted for two-man tents. When I went  inside Frank's tent I could smell the newness of it but while it was clearly intended for two people it wasn't as spacious as I'd hoped. I doubted that  two average size people could ever be more than six inches apart even if they tried hard, and Frank had a somewhat bigger than average build.

By the time we were all settled in and had quickly explored our immediate surroundings it was getting dark and so the two teachers organised everyone to make a couple of fires and prepare food. Even before we'd finished eating, it began to rain so we all beat a hasty retreat to our respective tents. With not much else to do we undressed down to our underwear and got inside the sleeping bags. Doing that in such a cramped space and in just the faint light from Frank's torch meant that there was no way we could avoid occasional skin-to-skin contact but neither of us acknowledged it when it happened.

For a while after we got into the sleeping bags we chatted quietly, mainly about our plans for the following day. I was beginning to regret my decision to go on the trip and my negative feelings were not improved by the prospect that the night's rain might continue for the next few days. However, I tried not to communicate my forebodings to Frank, who was his usual upbeat self. In fact he seemed even happier than I'd ever seen him, so I presumed that he really did enjoy camping as much as he'd said.

After a few minutes he turned off his torch and the conversation petered out. Shortly after that I thought I could hear the faintest hint of snoring from him, but I couldn't be entirely sure because of the sound of the rain on the roof of the tent . Certainly if he was snoring I didn't find it at all disturbing. On the contrary, the combined sounds were rather relaxing and made me feel snug and cosy in my sleeping bag. Also, because of Frank's foresight in bringing a roll of foam padding for the floor of the tent I was comfortable enough to drift off to sleep.


Fortunately the rain had stopped by the time we got up the next day and after a quick breakfast we headed for the high ground to begin our day's hiking. Technically we were supposed to stay in sight of one of the teachers at all times, but our little group of four 'rebels' pushed that rule to the limit and as we were all over sixteen neither teacher made a big deal of it if we drifted out of sight for a few minutes. Overall, it was an enjoyable, though exhausting day and as no one felt like cooking so we had a cheap evening meal in a local pub.

On returning to the campsite we four rebels decided to wander up to the showers, where for the first time we got a look inside. The tiny space was divided into two approximately equal areas, one for changing and one for showering. As the shower area had two shower heads it was clearly designed for two people to use it at a time, but with such a small space the two people would have no privacy and avoiding physical contact would certainly not be easy. On the plus side, I was happy to note that the whole place was clean, the water was indeed hot and the little building was nice and warm, though I couldn't see any obvious source of the heat.

Not being a great fan of group showers or exposing my private bits to public view, my first reaction was to go back to the tent and wait until everyone else was finished, then return alone. However, the others were scornful of my intention, calling me a prude, so I ended up changing and showering with Frank, though I went through the ordeal as quickly as possible and was already dressed in clean clothes before Frank had finished his shower. Graham and the other boy were already undressing while I was still putting on my shoes.

When we returned to the campsite we could tell that no one had been bothered to light a fire and most people had retired for the night. As soon as we got inside our tent we were both so tired that we immediately got into our sleeping bags and I fell asleep almost as soon as I got my head down. Sometime during the night the temperature must have plummeted because I woke up in the darkness feeling chilled despite my thick sleeping bag. Then I noticed that my back was considerably warmer than the rest of my body and it didn't take long for me to realise that Frank was snuggled up against me. Even if there had been space enough for me to move  away from him, I wouldn't have done so because I was more than happy for him to be adding to the insulation on my back. When I awoke the next morning Frank was already up and helping to prepare breakfast so I had no idea how long we slept cuddled up together or whether that closeness had been accidental.


That day the hiking was less strenuous, not least because many of the group, especially the teachers, were somewhat stiff and aching from the previous day's exertions. The weather was bright and dry, but cold so in the evening some of us built up a couple of large fires while the others prepared a nice hot, high-calorie meal. Mr Carter even made us all some delicious hot chocolate before we all began drifting away to our tents. Being reluctant to leave the warmth of the fires I was one of the last to retire and Frank, seeming a little quieter and more thoughtful than usual, went with me, leaving Graham and his two tent-mates alone to put out the fires.

As I undressed before getting into my sleeping bag I wondered, only half seriously, if Frank would be keeping my back warm again that night, but decided that in any case it would be a good idea to wear a sweatshirt inside the sleeping bag. Frank had been silent for several minutes, so I assumed he was asleep and was just beginning doze off myself when I heard him whisper.

"Ian... You awake?"

His voice was so quiet and hesitant that it almost seemed as if he were hoping that I wouldn't answer. Indeed, his tone was so tentative and so unlike his normal confident self that it confused my half-asleep mind, so I didn't respond immediately.

"Ian?" he whispered again.

How a single, barely audible word could convey both disappointment and relief I don't know, but that was certainly the impression I had from it.

"Hmm?" I responded eventually.

"Er, sorry, did I wake you?" he asked, sounding slightly guilty.

"No... well not really," I mumbled.

My answer might have been a little more gracious and more considerate if I'd been thinking more clearly. As it was it seemed that my response inhibited him from saying any more and there was a long silence. By now I was more alert and my curiosity was aroused so I spoke again in a more conciliatory tone.

"I'm awake now," I said quietly.

"I couldn't sleep," he said, "and I was just wondering..."

Again he sounded hesitant and not at all his usual self, so when he left that sentence hanging I wondered if he was going to continue at all.

"Well, I don't want to pry..." he said, just as I was about to prompt him for more, "But I noticed that last year you spent a lot of time hanging around with Simon Stratford."

"Oh?" I responded as neutrally as I could manage.

At first my heart sank and I wondered if Simon had mentioned something about me being queer. Then, thinking more carefully about Frank's actual words, it seemed that whatever he was talking about was related more to his own observations rather than anything Simon might have said. Besides, I thought to myself hopefully, Frank wasn't one of Simon's friends and I'd never seen the two of them even talking together. Which led me to wonder why he should have bothered to notice who was or wasn't 'hanging around' with Simon.

There was plenty of time for me to have all these thoughts because Frank had lapsed back into silence. Perhaps he'd taken my deliberately cool response as a sign that I wanted to discourage further discussion. Actually, that was partly true, but now that this topic had been raised and my curiosity aroused I couldn't just leave the matter hanging.

"Yeah, well we used to be friends," I said, "So why do you mention it?"

"You aren't friends any more then? Why not?"

Instead of answering my question he'd just countered with two of his own so, perhaps childishly, I didn't reply.

"Did you drop him or did he drop you?" he asked when he realised I wasn't going to answer his earlier questions.

Although his voice was sympathetic and his tone was placatory, I still maintained a stubborn silence.

"Simon used to be my friend, too," he said eventually, "Once I even thought he was my best friend."

That piece of unexpected information certainly succeeded in eliciting a response from me.

"Oh? I never knew that," I said, unable to hide my surprise, "When?"

"When we were eleven we were in the soccer team together and became really good friends. Then a year later he just dropped me... that's one reason I took up rugby. Did he do the same to you?"

The possible parallels with my own situation didn't escape me and my mind was filled with questions, most of which I didn't dare to ask aloud.

"Yeah... er... well, sort of," I said, then feeling just a little brave I added, "So, why did he drop you?"

"Well, as you probably found out for yourself, he can be a real bastard sometimes."

That, of course, didn't really answer my question but the way he said it indicated that he didn't want to discuss it any more that night. This was confirmed by his next words.

"Anyway," he said and sighed, "I'm really tired now. G'night."

I heard him moving and although I couldn't see anything in the darkness, from the sounds I guessed that he was turning on his side and facing away from me.

"G'night," I said, knowing that my sleep would not come easily.


Bearing in mind that I'm not a morning person and usually sleep in as long as I can, the fact that  Frank was already up and out of the tent when I awoke the next morning didn't strike me as being significant. However, during the course of the day it became clear to me that he wasn't his usual cheerful self. During that day's hike although he was still very friendly toward me, he seemed a little reserved, almost as if he were embarrassed about something. That night he said goodnight and went back to the tent as soon as he finished eating, leaving me chatting to Graham, who was plotting to sneak some beer into the campsite for the following evening.

When I crawled into the dark tent about half an hour later I could just about see by the dim light from the campfires that he was already deep inside his sleeping bag with his face turned away from me. I doubted that he could have gone to sleep so quickly, but just in case he had I tried my best not to disturb him as I undressed. However, in the cramped space I couldn't avoid nudging him as I climbed into my sleeping bag and he turned to lie on his back.

"Sorry," I said, then as I snuggled down I added, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," he replied, "Just really tired."

"I don't think I've ever seen you tired before," I said lightly, "You always have so much more energy than me... and today's hike wasn't too tough."

"Yeah, well I didn't get much sleep last night."

Although I suspected what he really meant, I attempted to take the easy option in my response.

"Weren't you feeling well?  Too many burgers for dinner?" I said jokingly.

"Ha-ha! Very funny," he said humourlessly, then after a brief pause he added, "No, I was just thinking... well, wondering really... about why Simon should dump a nice person like you."

Fortunately the darkness hid my blushing, which was caused not just by the compliment but also by memories of why Simon had indeed dumped me.

"I wondered the same about you," I said, indirectly returning the compliment and attempting to divert the conversation away from myself.

As the subsequent silence lengthened and it seemed the conversation was over I felt mainly relief but also a tiny hint of regret that my curiosity wasn't going to be sated. Then, just as I was beginning to relax in my warming sleeping bag, he spoke again.

"It's personal... and a bit silly and childish really, but I'm sure you can be trusted, so I'll tell you if you tell me about why he dumped you."

His offer stunned me, partly because of his trust but mainly because there was no way I could ever tell him the truth about me and Simon. Of course I was eager to find out more about his interactions with Simon and I'm ashamed to admit that briefly I considered making up some lie to exchange for his truth. However, Frank was the closest thing to a friend that I had and my ethical sense quickly squashed that temptation. I sighed.

"I'd really like to know about you," I said, "but I can't promise to tell you anything in return."

"Oh," he said, the hurt clear in his voice, "so you don't really trust me?"

For a long time I lay there, not knowing how to respond. Of course, I didn't want to hurt his feelings and maybe damage our developing friendship, but on the other hand I didn't want to lie. Well, to be honest, maybe I would have lied if I could have thought of something plausible. It seemed that I was caught between a rock and a hard place, because if I didn't say anything at all it would be the same as admitting that I didn't trust him. No doubt as the silence lengthened he was indeed reaching that conclusion.

Hearing the sound of movement I turned my head and in the not quite total darkness I could make out the darker bulk of his body as he turned his back to me.

"It's not you. It's not that I don't trust you personally," I said, more plaintively than I intended, "But there are things... private things... that I can't trust to anyone."

Suddenly I was appalled by my own words and I immediately regretted them. Surely I had already given away too much and he must now be speculating about what shameful things I was hiding. While I was still trying desperately to think of a way to salvage the situation he turned back toward me and spoke. Although I couldn't see the expression on his face, the tone of his voice told me everything.

"That's okay. I understand," he said with gentle compassion, then after a brief pause he added, "Maybe someday..."

The situation thus defused, I felt a wave of relief wash through me as I began to relax again. Having rejected his offer of exchanging confidences, his next words both surprised and pleased me.

"Well, I s'pose I could tell you anyway," he said thoughtfully and almost as f he were talking just to himself, "After all, I can't expect you to trust me if I don't show I trust you."

"But you know I can't promise?" I said, fearful that he might expect more than I could give.

"Yeah, I know," he said and I thought I heard a small sigh.

There was a long pause before Frank resumed speaking.

"Like I told you," Frank said, "I was in the soccer team with Simon when we were eleven. We became friends and when we found out we lived quite near one another we started spending a lot of time together outside of school. We made a good combination. Even though he's a few months older than me and he's always been a bit taller, ever since I've known him I've had more muscle and been stronger, so if we got into any aggro with other lads I was the one who got us out of trouble."

There was no mistaking the pride in his voice when he said that and I guessed that he had one or more specific incidents in mind. However, before I had could speculate any further on that he continued with his tale.

"On the other hand he's fast and agile, so he was a much better soccer player than me and it felt good to be best friends with the star of the team," he said with a hint of wistfulness, then he paused briefly before continuing, "Another difference between us was that I was, er, developing faster than him... actually, faster than anyone else in our year."

"Developing?" I asked.

Although I had a pretty good idea what he meant, I just wanted to be sure we were both on the same wavelength.

"Yeah, you know, down there... in the wedding tackle department."

If it hadn't been so dark I suspect that I would have seen him blushing at that point.

"Ah, right," I said and waited for him to carry on with his story.

"Anyway," he said after a longish silence, "being in the soccer team we all got to see one another in the showers and changing rooms and some of the lads teased me a bit, but I was relieved that Simon never did. In fact, he didn't even seem to notice. Then one day when we were in his room he asked if I could cum yet."

"What?" I asked, surprised even though I knew how forward Simon could be, "He asked that out of the blue, just like that?"

"Well, I suppose it wasn't completely out of the blue," Frank responded, "It was the Saturday after we had that 'birds and bees' talk in the first year. Remember that?"

"Ah yeah," I said, recalling my embarrassment as our biology teacher had given us a brief talk as part of what passed for a sex education course in our school.

"Anyway," he continued, "I told him I could and he said that he could too, even though he didn't have as much hair 'down there' as I did. Then a couple of minutes later he suggested that it would be interesting to compare our tackle... He tried to pretend that it was, like, just vague interest but from his voice and expression I had the impression that it was more than just idle curiosity."

"And did you?" I asked, a little breathless with excitement, "Did you compare?"

"Well, I wanted to, but I didn't want to seem too eager, so I said he should go first. We argued about that for a bit then decided to do it at the same time, so we undid our jeans and started to pull down our underpants."

At that point he paused, and I wondered if it was just for dramatic effect, but as the silence lengthened I couldn't contain myself any longer.

"And?" I prompted, "What happened then?"

"Then," he said and sighed, "Then Robert burst into the room."

"Oh, shit!" I exclaimed without thought.

"Oh, shit, indeed," he responded with wry humour, then his tone became sad as he continued, "Unfortunately I'd got further than Simon in pushing down my pants and I was in a more direct line of sight from the doorway. Simon quickly fastened his jeans but I was so shocked and scared that I just froze, so Robert just stared at me... I don't know if he'd even had a chance to notice that Simon's bits had also been hanging out."

There was a brief pause as Frank allowed me to absorb the horror of the situation, then he continued.

"Anyway, Robert went crazy, started calling me all sort of horrible names, then he grabbed me, dragged me out of the room, punched me in the stomach and almost threw me downstairs..."

"But you're probably almost as strong as Robert," I said, "Why didn't you defend yourself?"

"I guess I was in shock, and I was still trying to fasten my jeans, and... and I s'pose I felt guilty, like maybe I deserved it..."

"Of course you didn't deserve it!" I protested, "You hadn't been doing anything that deserved being attacked like that."

"Robert obviously didn't agree with you on that," he said with a wry sadness, "because as he pushed me out of the house he called me a disgusting pervert and said if he ever saw me anywhere near his brother again then he'd kill me."

"And that's why you stopped being friends with Simon."

"No!" he responded, "Once I got over the shock I realised that I wasn't afraid of Robert, at least not physically. I was worried he might spread rumours about me but even that wouldn't have been enough to stop me being friends with Simon. He was my best friend and if Robert said anything we would both just deny it. After all, Simon's very popular and it would've been Robert's word against ours."  

"So what happened then..." I asked, "with you and Simon?"

"When I got back to school on the Monday Simon just ignored me all day. When school ended I managed to get him alone and told him that as far as I was concerned we were still friends, despite what his brother said. He wouldn't look me in the eyes and just started to walk away from me. As I followed him I told him that if he was afraid of Robert then we could get together when his brother couldn't find out. But he just carried on walking and ignored me... and he's never spoken to me since."

He couldn't hide the sadness and hurt in his voice, which cracked slightly during the very last part of his tale. We obviously had more in common than I'd thought and my heart reached out to him, though my body didn't move. I felt that his story and show of trust deserved some sort of comment, but I couldn't think of anything particularly appropriate to say. Eventually, I settled for what might be regarded as a somewhat trite comment.

"Seems to me that you're a much better friend than Simon," I said.

Of course I was aware that there was more than one way that might be interpreted, but I wasn't concerned about possible ambiguity because my true feelings were contained within any of its meanings.


There was a long silence, during which I could hear Frank moving a little, as if he were trying to find a more comfortable position. Turning my head, I could make out his darker form moving against the slightly lighter background of the tent, but after a few seconds he became still and I settled down deeper into my sleeping bag. While Frank had been speaking the noise of the other campers I'd left around the camp fire had gradually faded and from the silence outside I guessed that everyone had retired to their own tents.

For awhile I tried to sleep, but Frank's tale and its parallels with my own experiences kept going round and round in my head. From his small, almost imperceptible sounds and movements I deduced that Frank also wasn't sleeping. Indeed, I had the distinct impression that he was waiting for something, though I couldn't pin down any particular reason for that feeling. Then it occurred to me that he was waiting to see if I would return his trust and tell him about myself and Simon. Although I'd been careful not to promise anything, I began to feel guilty  and I knew that the feeling of guilt would grow if I didn't share my own story with him.

"Frank, are you awake?" I whispered, though I already knew the answer.

"Yes," he responded quickly, almost before I'd finished the question.

So I told him all about me and Simon. In fact once I'd started it all seemed to pour out of me and I surprised myself not only by how open I was with him but also how easy it was to confide in him. When I'd finished I felt almost dizzy with the sense of relief that washed over me, as if a weight had been suddenly lifted from me. The only part that I missed out was the reason Simon stopped being my friend. I merely told him that Simon had suddenly ended the friendship and allowed Frank to draw his own conclusions.

I never mentioned my confession of love to Simon in case Frank might think I was queer, and although I did trust Frank, that trust was not yet total or unconditional. Whether or not he suspected or even cared that something had been missed out I don't know, but I was grateful that he didn't ask me any questions about it.

"Thanks, Ian," was his only comment, then a few seconds later he added, "G'night."


For several minutes I lay still and in the quiet darkness I could just about hear his breathing as it became slower and deeper. As there had been no detectable movement from him for some time, I presumed that he was asleep. I, on the other hand, wasn't feeling at all sleepy and in fact I was feeling incredibly horny. Because of the severe limits on my privacy, in the  four days since the start of the camping trip I'd had the opportunity for only one wank, late at night in the toilets. Also, after exchange of stories with Frank my head was filled with images of Frank with Simon as well as with memories of my own adventures with Simon.

Lying on my back, my right hand played gently with my already stiff dick which was poking through the fly of my boxer shorts. Then with my left hand I pushed up my tee shirt and stroked my stomach. Although I was pretty sure that Frank was asleep, I did my best to minimise the extent and speed of my movements as I slowly moved my left hand down toward my balls.

"Need a hand with that?"

Although the voice was so quiet as to be barely audible, it startled me and caused my whole body to twitch before it froze completely. Embarrassed at being caught in the act, I remained still and silent, desperately trying to suppress my breathing. After what seemed like ages but was probably just a few seconds, Frank spoke again, still so quietly that I could just make out the words.

"Sorry to disturb you, but you did say that you and Simon... well, er, did stuff..." he began nervously and hesitantly, but then seemed to gather courage and continued a little more quickly,  "I'm sure it's much better than doing it on your own., so I'd be happy to give you a, erm, helping hand."

As he spoke the last few words I could detect a hint of humour in his voice and my tensely frozen muscles began to relax a little. Of course I wanted to accept his offer, but I didn't want to seem too eager so I didn't answer immediately. Frank waited, patiently motionless until I eventually spoke.

"Okay," I said rather lamely.

It appeared that was all the permission that he needed because he immediately unzipped his sleeping bag and quickly moved over to me. Then, with him lying on his left side and me still on my back, he unzipped the top half of my sleeping bag. The feeling of the cold air on my torso was quickly followed by the touch of his warm right hand on my stomach. His hand rested there briefly before it began a gentle, circular stroking movement.

Without any intermediate contact below my belly button, his hand immediately moved to my dick with an uncanny accuracy bearing in mind that I must have appeared to him as he did to me, a vague darker shape in the darkness. I moved my own hand away, allowing him free access to my dick, whereupon he grabbed it tightly just below the head and began to jerk it quite roughly.

"Ouch!  Be more gentle!" I hissed.

"Sorry!" he whispered contritely as he complied with my request.

Reaching my right hand sideways, after a brief fumbling I managed to get it inside Frank's sleeping bag, at which point I discovered he was wearing nothing below his waist. When I made contact with his dick I thought that he'd already cum because it and everything near it was very wet. However, it turned out that it was just precum which seemed to pour out in prodigious amounts, unlike mine which merely dribbled. This was the first time I'd touched a circumcised dick, and of course I'd only ever touched my own and Simon's, so Frank's was an extra novelty.

He gave a quite moan as I smeared his precum around the head of his dick, then when I began stroking he moaned a little louder. After less than a dozen strokes he made a cute little sound which was half way between a groan and a whimper and his dick throbbed. The feeling of his semen gushing over my hand triggered my own ejaculation, which was both quieter and slightly less copious.

We both lay there motionless and silent for a couple of minutes until Frank pulled his hand away and I both heard and felt him moving around. A couple of seconds later his hand returned with a handful of paper tissues and I was touched to note that he cleaned me up before attending to himself. Because I'd been lying on my back my sleeping bag was relatively dry, but Frank's was soaked and it took him some time to dry himself off.

Eventually, when he was satisfied that it was the best he could do, he discarded the tissues and snuggled up to closer to me. I was still lying on my back and he was again on his left side facing me. The still-open top halves our bags were almost touching. but we both kept our arms and hands inside our respective bags. Then he spoke for the first time since our orgasms.

"That was great," he said quietly, "Really great."

"Yeah," I agreed, "I really needed that."

"Ya know..." he said hesitantly, "ya know I wouldn't have offered... or done anything if you hadn't told me about you and Simon. You know that, don't you?"

"Yeah, I know," I said, "But it doesn't really matter cos I prob'ly would've let you to do it even if I hadn't told you."

"I've never done anything like that before," he said, then gave a little laugh and continued, "Well, not with anyone else... though I've done it quite a bit on my own!"

"Well, it is more fun with someone else," I commented.

"Have you, erm... have you ever done it with anyone besides Simon... maybe with a girl?"

"No, just Simon... now you."

As soon as I said that I felt his body relax against me, though I don't know if that relaxation was related in any way to my answer. There was a long silence and I was beginning to doze off before he spoke again.

"It's cold," he said, and although the words were a very simple statement, there was a strange questioning, almost pleading tone to it.

I realised that I too was getting cold so my first thought was to zip up my bag and suggest that he do the same. However, instinct took over. I turned to face him, put my arm over him and pulled us together until we were touching, with my head on his chest, just below his chin. Had I thought about it first, I certainly wouldn't have done that, fearing that he might flinch away and call me queer or something. But I didn't think, he didn't pull away and instead just relaxed into my embrace.

"Feeling a bit warmer?" I mumbled into his chest.

"Mmmmm," he responded, and we both drifted off to sleep.


The next thing I remember was waking up in the early hours of the morning, the dim light indicating that it was not long after dawn. I was lying on my back with Frank's right arm thrown over my chest and a much of my upper body exposed. I pulled my sleeping bag closed around me, partially dislodging his arm but apparently not disturbing his sleep. Even after wrapping myself in my bag, I felt a particularly unpleasant combination of cold a and stickiness that prevented my returning to sleep, so I decided that a shower might warm me up as well as removing any residual bodily fluids.

Although my previous movements hadn't woken him, Frank did wake up when I started putting on some dirty clothes and getting out clean clothes for after my shower. In response to his mumbled query I told him what I was doing and he decided to join me. Neither of us had mentioned the events of the previous night, though we cast sheepish glances at one another. Maybe he, like me, was waiting to see who would bring up the subject first and how the other would react in the cold light of day.

The campsite was quiet under the dull grey sky and everyone else was obviously still asleep as we made our way in silence to the deserted showers, pausing briefly at the toilets to relieve our bladders. Without comment, Frank joined me under the same shower head and for a minute or so we just luxuriated in the warmth. Although we had seen one another naked before, we looked at one another more closely now, for the first time making no attempt to hide our interest in what we saw. Both of us were sporting semi-erections.

"I never knew hot water could feel so good," he said, then proceeded to rub soap on my back.

"I never knew having my back soaped could feel so good," I responded.

He moved closer behind me until he was pressed against my back and I could feel his now fully-hard dick pressing against the base of my spine. Then he ran his soapy hands over my chest and stomach before grabbing my dick.

"Not here!" I hissed, pulling away in semi-panic and turning to face him, "You never know if someone else will come in!"

"Oh, yeah. Sorry," he said, looking contrite, "I didn't think."

He avoided looking at me for the next couple of minutes as we showered in silence,  then he spoke again.

"You don't regret it, do you?" he asked with concern in his voice, "What happened last night?"

"Of course not!" I replied with a grin, "It was great fun."

"Good," he said, his worried look dissolving into a smile of relief, "Cos I was hoping we might do it again sometime."

"So was I," I said, my grin getting wider.

We had rinsed off and were just starting to get dressed in our clean clothes when he spoke again.

"Ya know... wanking one another was really great," he said, then paused and averted his gaze before he continued, "but I bet a blow job is even better."

"Yes, it is!" I said, "And maybe you'll find out tonight... if you're a good boy all day today."

"Oh, I'll be good!" he said, looking as happy as a child who'd been told there would be a whole week of Christmases, "You can bet on that!"

By the time we got back to the tent there were some slight stirrings of life around the campsite, but the only person who appeared to be doing anything purposeful was Mr Carter. He was just starting to gather together the breakfast things and seemed rather surprised to see us returning from the showers so early. Not wishing to disturb anyone still sleeping, we didn't call out to him but merely gave him a cheerful wave.

When we got to our tent Frank went in first and then as I crouched down to enter I put my left hand on the ground to steady myself. I cried out as I felt a sharp pain in the ball of my thumb, and looking at the source of the pain I saw the top of a beer bottle partially embedded there.

"What's the matter?" Frank asked as his head appeared in the entrance to the tent.

I mutely showed him my damaged hand as I gingerly removed the bottle top.

"Ouch!" Frank said in sympathy, "Better let Mr Carter take a look at it. Remember he said we should report any accidents to a teacher."

Blood was beginning to ooze out of the small wound and there was a small throb which was more ache than pain. However, it seemed too trivial to take to a teacher and I didn't want anyone, especially Frank, to think I was a wimp.

"Nah," I said, "It's only a little cut and the bottle top looks new and relatively clean. It just needs cleaning and covering."

"Okay..." he replied a little doubtfully, taking the bottle top from me and examining it closely before continuing, "Just wait there a sec."

He disappeared back inside the tent and quickly returned with a bottle of water and a handful of paper tissues.

"Hold out your hand," he said as he opened the bottle.

When I complied with his instruction he poured some of the water over the wound.

"Bloody hell!" I swore, "that hurts!"

There was a mixed expression of mild surprise and barely suppressed amusement on his face as he looked at the bottle in his hand.

"Maybe it's cos it's fizzy water?" he said, "Maybe still water wouldn't hurt so much, but this is all we've got."

With that he poured some more of it over the cut, but this time I was prepared and suppressed my urge to cry out. Then he dabbed my hand with some of the tissues, poured the rest of the contents of the bottle over the wound and dabbed again with the remaining tissues until my hand was dry.

"Come inside," he said.

When I followed him into the tent I saw him on his knees, opening up the small first aid box which he'd brought on the trip. As I knelt down, sitting on my ankles, he turned, putting the box down between us and I held out my hand, still oozing blood, toward him. Then his expression changed from one of mild concern to that of someone who's just had an idea, and instead of taking the disinfectant and adhesive dressings out of the box as I had expected, he took his small Swiss Army knife from his pocket, and put some disinfectant on one of the blades.

"Er, what're ya doing?" I asked worriedly, quickly withdrawing my hand, then trying to make a joke of it I added, "It doesn't need surgery!"

"I know that," he said with an enigmatic smile.

Then to my amazement he made a small cut just below the thumb on his own left hand, as if he were trying to give himself an injury identical to mine.

"Give me your hand," he said as his own blood began to well up out of the cut.

Somewhat tentatively I complied, whereupon he pressed our wounds together.

"Now we're blood brothers," he said with a satisfied smile.

Then he looked at me with a slightly embarrassed expression, as if having second thoughts or maybe apprehensive about my reaction. Although I thought that his behaviour was rather eccentric, I must admit that I was touched by his gesture.

"Blood brothers," I echoed.

Then in silence he applied disinfectant and dressing to my wound and I did the same for him.


That day the weather was cloudy and cool but there was no rain, so it was almost ideal for our moderately hard hill walking. Although Frank and I had known one another for some weeks, that day we were more at ease together than we'd ever been before. Later, when we were around the camp fire eating a late evening meal with the others, Frank , who was sitting next to me, whispered in my ear.

"Have I been good?" he asked light-heartedly.

Although I'd been thinking for most of the day about my promise to show him how good a blow job was, at first I didn't connect that promise with his question so I looked at him blankly for a moment before I remembered our conversation in the shower.

"Mmmm," I replied quietly as if pondering the matter, "Yeah, I think you were just about good enough."


He said that just loudly enough to attract the attention of those sitting nearby, a couple of whom looked at us curiously. Fortunately the firelight helped to obscure my blush of embarrassment, which was more acute as some of our companions, including Graham, had already commented on the almost identical dressings on our hands.

"I'd better go for a shower then," Frank said as soon as we finished eating, then as he stood up he added, "You coming?"

Graham, who was sitting closest to us must have heard that last part because he looked up and gave me a questioning look. Maybe I was just being paranoid, but I wondered if he was remembering that in the past I'd always tried to avoid showering when others were around. While attempting not to attract any more attention I grabbed Frank's sleeve and pulled him back down to my level.

"Shhh!" I whispered, "Not so loud!  If the others see us going to the showers together they might get suspicious."

"Why should anybody get suspicious of anything?" he asked quietly, giving me a strange frowning look, "A shower is just a shower."

Unable to think of a suitable answer, I just shrugged.

"I'll shower later," I said after a brief glance around to make sure no one had paid any attention to our interaction.

With a nod and a smile Frank stood up and disappeared from the firelight so I went over to chat with Graham and the others from his tent. A little over half an hour later I went back to our tent to find it empty, so I grabbed a towel and my torch and went up toward the showers. About half way there I met up with Frank who was on his way back to the tent. From his big grin and his request that I hurry it was obvious that he was eager for me to keep my promise.

When I returned to the tent I could see in the torch light that Frank was already bedded down. Then I did a quick double-take because he appeared to be under my blue sleeping bag and I couldn't see his black bag.  

"Trying to do stuff through the zips was a bit uncomfortable last night," he said, his sheepish look exaggerated by the fact that the light from my torch was making him blink.

"I tried to zip our two bags together so we'd be warmer, but the zips don't fit," he continued, speaking quickly and sounding a little nervous, "So I just opened them up and thought maybe we could lie on mine and use yours to cover us."

He looked at me with his big brown eyes, clearly seeking my approval.

"Right," I said, feeling a little nervous myself, "Seems like a good idea."

As quickly as possible in that cramped space I stripped down to my tee-shirt and boxers, switched off the torch and crawled under the covering bag. He immediately cuddled up to me and the first thing I noticed was that his body was much warmer than mine. Just a second or so after that the next thing I noticed was that he was completely naked and that his stiff dick was pressing against my right thigh.

I remained lying on my back as his right hand moved from my chest to my stomach.

"Brrr, you're cold!" he whispered, though he didn't move away.

"Sorry," I said in an unapologetic tone.

"Never mind, I'm sure you'll soon warm up. Then you can take these off," he said and his hand plucked at my tee-shirt where it overlapped my boxers.  

We lay together like that in silence for a few minutes as I warmed up and relaxed into his embrace. My spine tingled every time I felt his hot breath on my shoulder and then I felt an even greater thrill as his lips gently touched my neck and began to nuzzled there. His lips moved slowly, butterfly-kissing up to my ear then on to my cheek. Automatically, without conscious thought, I turned my head until our lips met and after a couple of seconds this turned into a full kiss as our tongues danced together.

"Phew!" he breathed a few minutes later when we paused for breath, "That was amazing."

"Yeah," I agreed, lost for further words.

His dick was still pressing against my thigh, and I reached down to hold it but could hardly keep a grip as it was so slippery with his precum and was throbbing so hard with his heartbeat. That side of my boxers was soaked so I began to push them down and immediately Frank moved to help. When that task was accomplished he also helped me to remove my tee-shirt and we snuggled and cuddled together, our totally naked bodies touching for the first time and our dicks gently pushing against one another.

"Ya know, you may think this is weird, considering my age," he said after a couple of minutes, sounding a little embarrassed, "But I've never kissed anyone before... well, not with tongues, anyway."

"Neither have I," I admitted.

"But you and Simon?"

"Simon wouldn't do it," I said simply, omitting the fact that Simon had said it would be 'queer'.

"Oh," he said after a moment's thought, "That seems strange... I mean not kissing but, like, putting your dick in his mouth."

"Yeah, I s'pose it is," I replied, "And speaking of dicks and mouths..."

Instead of finishing my sentence with words, I moved down to keep my promise. Then he returned the favour, proving that he was a very quick learner. Every night for the rest of the camping trip we slept together like that, naked between our two sleeping bags. Every night, no matter how tired we were, we sucked one another off before we fell asleep.

There are some things in life, certain foods, drinks or sounds, which have the ability to soothe and relax us. This may be due to some property inherent in those particular things or it may be the result of an association connected with those things. For example, I've no idea why I find cheesy mashed potato to be a comfort food or why hot chocolate is my favourite comfort drink. However, I do know how and when the sound of rain, especially when I'm lying in bed, became so soothing for me. On the last night of our trip, as we were cuddled up together and beginning to fall asleep, it began to rain heavily and persistently. When the rain began drumming on the tent Frank held me a little tighter in his arms and as I fell asleep I felt completely snug, warm and safe.

By the end of the camping trip we'd become not just friends and not just sexual partners but also best friends. No matter how much I'd been in love with Simon I'd never felt as close to him as I did to Frank  During the period when I'd been socialising frequently with Simon I had honestly considered him to be my best friend but in retrospect I realised that as a friend he wasn't even in the same league as Frank.


Author's Note:

If you enjoy this story you might like to take a look at my other stories,
 "Tapping" (nifty/gay/highschool/tapping/)
 "Not Always Easy" (nifty/gay/highschool/not-always-easy/)
 "Just Visiting"  (nifty/gay/college/just-visiting.html)
 "The Road Not Taken" (nifty/gay/highschool/the-road-not-taken.html)
 "Timing" (nifty/gay/college/timing.html) .