As one of the longest running series on the website, it's been a bittersweet experience, finishing up the last few chapters in the "Class" saga! But it couldn't last forever, right? Only a handful chapters left to go, folks! I hope you'll love the finished project when it's all said and done. Thank you so much for years of continuous feedback and support! I hope it will have been worth the ride once it's all said and done! Feel free to let me know what you think of this new chapter at or stop by the website at" and say hello! (Mailing List Available! Get all the new updates first!)

And keep an eye out for my new eBook stories at the COMICALITY EBOOK SECTION link!!! More ebooks being posted every month!

(How do you give and receive simultaneously? DONATE to Nifty at, and help to keep the Nifty Archives free!)

"A Class By Himself 26"

You know, if I thought that I could find a clever way to get Tanner to spend the night with me that night, I would have worked something out. Tanner and I exchanged a few looks that basically told me that he was thinking the same thing. I had to stop picturing him naked, because it was making me so horny that I was liable to do something foolish and ruin a perfect evening. But we were both thinking it. Definitely. Unfortunately, while my mom was all misty eyed and goofy over her son having a really sweet boyfriend that loved him with all of his heart...I don't think she was ready to start tuning out the sound of my headboard banging up against the wall all night just yet. And to be honest, I wasn't ready to really fill her in on that part of our relationship either.

Deep down, we both knew that Tanner and I were beyond milkshakes and holding hands in the park. But there remained this unspoken agreement that the sexual details of what we did together when she wasn't looking were to I'm cool with that. It was already embarrassing having her know that Tanner and I have been...'intimate'. Really...REALLY...intimate. She avoided the subject, and so did I. It wasn't shame that I felt. know...she's my 'mommy'. Some things need to stay off the record when it comes to that sort of thing.

I sat outside with Tanner on the front step as we waited for his ride to show up. My mom gave him a thousand hugs before letting us go, and he was grateful enough to accept every last one of them. I thought that he was just being polite at first, but...I think he actually enjoys the motherly affection. Come to think of it, his parents weren't the most 'cuddly' people in the world. Not by a longshot. So I guess his thrill over being spoiled by my mom's overzealous fawning made perfect sense.

If he could, I'm willing to bet that Tanner would move in with us tomorrow. Hehehe, all of those riches and high priced gadgets...big swimming pool and high tech video games...and all Tanner wanted was my love. Something that never ran out, never needed maintenance, and could be given to him absolutely free of charge for the rest of his natural life. The source of it was infinite. All he ever had to do was smile at me, and I'd give him the world. Mind, body, and soul. As I watched him stare up at the evening stars, I realized that he didn't even have to do that much.

Is it obsessive of me to want to kiss him again. He's just sitting there, looking beautiful. He's driving me CRAZY and he's not even doing anything!

"What are you thinking about?" I asked. Tanner had this adorable little smirk on his face, and I reached out to put my hand on his leg. The touch only made the urge for me to kiss him stronger. So I leaned over and gave him a light peck on the cheek. I guess that's my idea of 'self control' for tonight.

"Huh? Oh...sorry." He said. He looked at me with a gentle sigh, "I was just amazing would it be if I could tell my mom and dad that we were together too. You know? Hang out at the house...hold hands at my mom's dinner parties...maybe even take you on vacation with us when we go some place awesome. Your mom could totally come too if she wanted. We would have so much fun." He chuckled to himself, but it was tainted with a hint of sadness. I could see it in his eyes.

"I see." That was all I could come up with on the spot like that. I wasn't sure that I wanted to encourage that move just yet. Everything's going so great, and...well, I hate to say it...but Tanner's mom has a way of ruining stuff.

"Derrick...I know that my family hasn't been all that nice to you in the past, and you have NO reason to think that this will make things any better. But I promise you...there's nothing that they could ever say or do to keep us apart. You know that, right?" I looked up at the sky to avoid his eyes, but he was determined. "I want to show you off, Derrick. I want the whole world to know that I've got the most beautiful boy in the world on my arm, so they can be jealous of how happy we are."

"Somehow, I highly doubt they'll be jealous."

"Are you kidding me? They'll be SO jealous! I've got something to make me happy. Truly happy. The kind of passion that they wish they had in their life of numbers and spreadsheets and midday martinis. Who I choose to give my heart to is one of the few things they can't calculate or directly control. It'll drive 'em nuts." He giggled. He was so cute when he giggled and tried to talk at the same time.

I raised an eyebrow. "You're not just doing this to piss your parents off, are you?"

"That's a fun bonus, but no. I'm doing this because I already know all of the worst possible things that they can do to me...and I'm not afraid of a single one of them. Like, at all. Anybody who can outweigh that paralyzing fear with love and kisses and flank steak and hot hot sex...hehehe, well that person's worth fighting for. You're not just my boyfriend, Derrick. You're my future. And I'd rather spend my future focused on loving you than being afraid of them. You know?"

Blushing, I told him, "You just want me to be your little blond trophy. That's all. Hehehe!"

"Yes! That's exactly what it is! Come be my trophy!" He grinned. "What can I say? I just have too much love in my heart for me to carry alone." Then he leaned over and gave me a kiss. "I've never been more in love, Derrick. It's a surreal experience...knowing that the boy of my dreams actually exists in the world, and we found each other. Despite the odds. Something about that just..." He looked back up at the sky with another sigh. "...It makes the stars shine a little bit brighter, you know? You make everything make sense."

Looking at the subtle grace of his smooth, unblemished, profile...I felt my heart expand to twice its size in my chest. "Kiss me." I said.

"What? No. I just did. Don't be greedy. Hehehe!"

But before he could stop me, I was lunging forward and smashing my lips on the side of his face while he giggled madly and tried to fight me off. The two of us wrestled around for a minute until I was almost lying on top of him on the front step...and that's when his ride slowed down and turned into my driveway.

There was an instinct that told us both to straighten up and act right, but we held it back long enough to share one last lingering kiss on the lips. Just one. I can't believe how addicted I am to those lips, even after all this time. It's insane. I never got enough.

"I love you. K?" He moaned.

"I love you too."

Tanner and I got up and brushed ourselves off, just as I heard the front door of the house open behind me. My mom stepped out and waved to Tanner with a smile. "Bye, Tanner. Get home safe, hon."

"Thanks, Mrs. Liddle! I will! Thanks for dinner!" He said as he headed to the car.

I should have gotten another kiss. Or two. Or ten. I have to wait until I see him again. God, he's actually right there in my line of sight...and yet, I miss him already.

I actually felt a growing lump in the back of my throat as I saw Tanner shuffle his pretty little butt into the backseat of that car. The windows were tinted, but I knew that he was watching me out of the back. My heart was crying out for him to stay, but I didn't say anything out loud. Instead, I watched the car pull out of my driveway and begin to turn. I think I took a few involuntary steps forward as the distance quickly grew between us.

Come back, baby. Come back....

I stood on the pavement for a moment or two before turning around to see my mom with her arms folded, waiting patiently for me to get myself together and come back inside.

I know, I know. I'm probably going to talk to Tanner again before the night is over, and I might even see him again as early as tomorrow. But...something about tonight made our connection even more helplessly addictive than it was before. I just wish that I never had to spend any time apart from him at all.

Not ever.

I wandered back into the house in a daze, light on my feet, living a waking dream. My mom asked me, "Well...???" Really? Was she actually worried?

"Well, what?"

"HOW WAS IT?!?! The dinner? The steak? The...ugh! Can you not be such a 'BOY' about this??? Give your poor old mom some details here!" She pleaded.

Staring off into space, I just sighed to myself and mumbled, "It was perfect. Everything about tonight was absolutely perfect...." It didn't seem like anything overly poetic as far as 'details' go, but to was a harsh yank on her heartstrings. "I think I need to lay down for a little bit..."

Teary eyed, and with a shaky voice, she fidgeted for a moment. "Are you sure, honey? Just...I mean..." She stopped herself and bit her tongue on the situation. "Ok. If you're...if you're tired, I guess..." I marched up to my room in an infatuated haze. It's hard to explain it all, but it was still really hard for me to admit that this dinner tonight was so easy for us to pull off. I flopped down on my bed with my legs hanging over the side...just staring at...well, whatever there was above me to stare at. I don't know what I was feeling at that moment. Was I...happy? You'd think that happiness would be an easy emotion recognize once you felt it in your heart. But, I don't know. I don't think I've ever encountered a feeling so complete before. It's a lot more mellow than I thought it would be. It's not like getting everything you want for on Christmas morning. It's not like the first time Tanner and I shared that first orgasm with one another, or like the last ring of the bell in school when you're getting out for the Summer. No...this was different. It was more like the gradual warming of a hot tub while the bubbles massage you all over in the process. It was like the warmth of the sun on a perfect day at the beach. Like the texture of an old blanket rubbing against your bare skin while staying at your grandmother's house for the weekend. Comfort that goes beyond comfort. Bliss beyond bliss.

That's what my heart felt as I looked up at the ceiling that night. I was amazed by the fact that something so subtle, so simple, could give me such a profound sense of meaning and purpose.

And to think...all Tanner had to do was come to dinner.

I think I dozed off for a little while. I'm glad that some of my 'stuffing' from dinner had digested a bit. I felt like I packed on another ten pounds from tonight alone. Looking over at my clock, I saw that it was almost one o'clock in the morning. Normally, I'd just get undressed, roll over and go to sleep...but I left my bedroom door open when I came in and could now faintly hear the TV playing downstairs. I figured my mom was probably passed out on the couch somewhere after putting so much energy into dinner, but was surprised to see her wide awake and looking through a few old photo albums.


She turned to look over her shoulder, "Oh hi, honey. What's the matter? Can't sleep?"

"I slept for a little bit. I'm not tired anymore, though." I said. "What are you doing?"

She scooted over as I came around to sit on the couch next to her. "I was just looking at some old pics, making room for new ones. We've got to adjust to make for your new sweetheart so he can be a part of the family, don't we?"

"Don't. It would be weird." I smirked.

"What's weird about it? Don't you think he belongs there?"

"Of course, I do. Just...I don't know, Mom. It just feels weird, that's all."

She bumped me slightly with her shoulder, and said, "Probably because you've grown up in a world where everybody goes around telling you that it's weird. Luckily for you, this house is a sovereign nation, and there are no such rules under this roof. Got it?" She kissed me on the forehead. "Besides, if you were in India, they might think eating a cheeseburger is weird. I doubt it would stop you from longing for one."

"Ugh, please don't talk about food. I'm still stuffed from dinner." I said. Then I looked down at the page the photo album was open to...and I saw a picture of my father standing there at the beach, with a smaller version of 'me' sitting proudly on his shoulders. I remember thinking that my dad was sooooo tall. Dark blond hair, thin rimmed glasses. Sometimes, I swear I can still hear him laughing. It made me smile...but the sensation I felt was a sad one. "I miss him." I said softly. Almost involuntarily. "I really wish he could have been here tonight to a part of all this."

"I do too, kiddo. I'm sure he would have been just as impressed with Tanner as I am. That boy really loves you, Derrick. I can see it in the way he looks at you. And he looks at you a lot." She said. I kind of rolled my eyes, but she insisted, "It's true. His eyes glaze over and he gets all gooey in the middle whenever I so much as mention your name. It's adorable. I would have thought you'd be too young to experience that level of affection, but...when I see you two together...I know it's real. It just feels right."

I grinned. "Yeah. Feels right to me too."

She said, "I used to look at your father like that. You know? He was the biggest clown when he wanted to get attention from me, look at his smile, and I was done. Completely helpless. I can still see traces of him every time you smile. Tanner always makes you smile." She lightly stroked my hair, almost misty eyed from the memory. "You only come across a union like this once or twice in a lifetime. I'm happy to say that I had my shot...and I went for it. I don't regret a single moment of it. I hope you'll do the same."

"'re saying that you think Tanner and I might be sitting on a couch somewhere, decades from now, old and grey, looking at a photo album like this one and reminiscing over the good old days we shared?" I asked with a smirk.

"Only if you take the shot, kiddo. Only if you take the shot."

Turning a page or two, I saw my mom take out a few pictures here and there. Nothing major or anything carrying a certain level of sentimental value. Mostly pictures that were so much alike that they were practically double prints. And that's when I saw a pic of my mom holding up a small trophy for our neighborhood 'Burger Wars' cook off. Hehehe! Joel and I were standing on either side of her, giggling madly as she held up the trophy in victory. It was only a block party, I know...but...the smile on her face was genuine. She was happy. Much happier than I've ever seen her coming home from some greasy diner in the middle of the night, worn out from cheap customers and demanding slave drivers in the kitchen. I saw joy in her eyes. I saw pride.

Thinking about it a bit more, I said, "You know...Tanner really did like your cooking tonight." It made her smile, but I don't think she took the compliment as strongly as I wanted her to. "I'm serious, Mom. He said it was one of the best meals that he's ever had."

She laughed. "Awwww...Tanner's such a little sweetheart."

"I don't think he was exaggerating this time."

She scoffed at the idea. "Oh please. I'm sure that he's got an entire squad of chefs that could cook circles around me any day of the week." Then she added, "Look, I'm flattered. I really am. I'm just not looking to get my own cooking show on TV just yet." She sort of laughed it off, made me sit up and look her in the eye.

"He says that he's had a lot of food from professional caterers and stuff that don't even come close to what you whipped up in just over an hour tonight. I mean, what if...what if he's telling the truth? What if you had a chance to cook all the awesome things that you wanted to cook, for people who were willing to give you the credit and pay you the money that you deserve?"

She gave me the strangest look, a silly grin on her face. "Derrick...hehehe, what's gotten into you?"

"I'm serious, Mom. What if? Ya know?"

"How do you expect me to pull off something like that and still keep my job at the diner?" She asked.

"Well, you'd quit working at the diner, Mom. Duh!"

She felt my forehead. "You know, a lack of sleep can cause this kind of hysteria in the young..."

"I'm TOTALLY being honest with you right now." I said, brushing her hand away. Even though I kind of turned my nose up at Tanner's idea earlier myself, I felt these playful little bubbles of excitement building up within me as my thoughts began to quickly snowball over the possibility. "Think about it, Mom! Think about all of those times that the diner was flooded with customers, and you had to help out in the kitchen. Or those times when you had to impress one of the patrons coming in for a visit. Think about this picture right here in this photo album, when you had the best burgers in the whole neighborhood."

She laughed. "Honey, that was a 'neighborhood function'. That doesn't make me a master chef..."

"Why not?" I asked. "You can't possibly know until you test your stuff up against some other asshole who thinks his are better."

"Language..." She told me.

"Look...there's a new restaurant opening up around here soon. A big one. A fancy one. I hear that they're looking for new chefs to run the kitchen. Why don't you go for it? Mom, that would be so AWESOME!" Still feeling awkward, my mother gave me a weird chuckle and asked me the name of the place. When I told her...her laugh got even louder. "What? What's so funny?"

"Aww, babe...that's sweet, but..." She sighed to herself slightly, dismissing the idea entirely. "Derrick, you don't just walk into a place like that and ask for an application. You have to know people just to get your foot in the door..."

"What if you did know somebody?" I asked.

"I don't."

"But, what if you did?" I grinned.

She said, "I suppose you're going to tell me that Tanner is big in the restaurant industry, now?"

"No. I didn't say that. You let me worry about the details. Just...would you go for it? Would ya?"

"Hehehe, Derrick..."

"WHAT? I'm serious. Come on! That would be a dream job for you! Wouldn't that beat working at some greasy diner for pocket change until you're so tired that you can barely keep your eyes open when you come home?"

"That 'greasy diner' keeps a roof over our head, you know?" She said.

"Yeah...and nothing else." I hope that didn't sound insulting. My mom does what she can, and I can't say that I'm unhappy with the things we have. I can appreciate that. But...we deserve more. Bigger. Better. "Wouldn't it be awesome to have a little bit of luxury in our lives? Or at least a chance to live comfortably, without having to worry about whether or not we've got food in the fridge? Can you imagine running your own kitchen? You'd kick ASS!"


"You'd kick butt!" I said.

‟You're going to sit there and tell me that I have an honest shot at something that big?‟ She smirked.

‟Only if you take the shot, Mom. Only if you take the shot.‟

‟Where did you learn to be such a smart ass?‟ She chuckled.

‟Where do ya think?‟ Then I teased her a bit more, "C'mon. Dream job. Say it with me. Dream job! Hehehe! Say it!"

My mom reached for the remote and turned off the TV. She gave me a warm smile, but told me, "Dream jobs have their place. In my dreams. But if that particular opportunity decides to come knocking at our door, I won't turn it down. Promise." She said it, but she didn't mean it. At least, I don't think she did. "Now, off to bed with you. Go on. You need your rest."

We both left the living room, with her putting the photo album back on the shelf. Maybe she thinks this is all a joke. Or perhaps some empty goal that can't possibly pan out over time. But even if my mom doesn't get to run her own kitchen in a high class restaurant, she could be doing MUCH more than just cooking for a couple of giddy gay teenagers on the weekends. MUCH more!

I know that I'm hardly in any position to ask Chris for any favors, especially concerning his dad...since they don't seem to be too close to one another...but something about Tanner's idea stuck with me. My mom is a total badass when it comes to cooking just about anything. And if she gets the chance to show the big shots what she's made of, the same way I got to win an award at school...I just know that she'd knock it out of the park. Which could mean a better life for us both. It couldn't hurt to try, right?

She's got my vote!

When I woke up on Monday morning, she had just enough time to whip up some eggs, sausage patties, and toast, for breakfast. Then it was off I go. No shuffling around. She had to get to work too. I wasn't planning on giving up on this. Every time I found an opportunity, I'd give her a sly smirk and whisper, "Dream job..."

"STOP that! Get ready for school! Go. It's almost time for your bus." She grinned. She'll cave eventually. I know she will.

I always find myself sitting up straight and re-fixing my hair whenever I see the bus approaching Tanner's stop. I never feel sexy enough to have his tender gaze land upon me...and yet, he gets on the bus, day by day...and the first thing he does is look for me. Then...the smile. That divine smile. As much as I try to prepare for it, I'm always caught off guard. I've seen it a million times, but I swear that he changes it every school day morning, just to throw me off. Hehehe, God, I'm SO in love!

He used his cute little booty to scoot me over in my bus seat, but he made sure to sit close enough to me to keep our legs and shoulders touching the entire time. "What's up? I kept the phone next to me last night, expecting you to call me." He smiled.

"Oh. Yeah, I totally passed out after dinner. By the time I got up and had my wits about me, it was too late."

"Whatever. Doesn't matter. Did you talk to your mom? You know, about the cooking thing?"

"Yeah. Well...sort of. I don't think she's going for it, though." I said.

"What is there to go for? She's already got a win in the bag, dude! All she has to do is show up." He grinned.

"Yeah. I know. Try telling her that."

"I will. When can I come over again? And what's she gonna cook this time? Hehehe!" That boyish smile is too contagious to be offered so freely.

"We're not going to make a habit of you chowing down every weekend, you know?"

"Hehehe, yes you are. I can't wait!" Tanner giggled. "Dude, I'm gonna get sooooo fat! It'll be awesome! When you and I get married..."

"Married???" I snickered.

"YES! Married! When we get married, I'm gonna gain, like, 500 pounds from your mom's cooking. And we're gonna have to adjust our household budget for worn out mattresses and broken furniture. And I can scratch my back with a big ol' stick. It's going to be epic!"

Seeing him laugh right there beside me like that, I felt my eyes glaze over...and I wondered if this is what my mom was talking about. That look. That loving look. I told him, "Something tells me that you'd still be the hottest boy on the block."

Was he surprised? He looked surprised. Whoah...he's blushing now. Yep, he was surprised.

We both fidgeted for a moment or two, then our eyes met. Extended visual contact. His bright, hazel, eyes...glowing with all the splendor that the morning sun could provide.

He smiled.

I smiled.

The pull on my heart was sooooo strong. I think he could see it in the softness of my expression.

I had to do something. I had to. My whole body was locked in a state of total confusion, and the only way to relieve some of the tension was to softly whisper, "I love you, Tanner."

A nervous giggle escaped his girlish lips, and he said, "What? Why? What did I do now? Hehehe!"

"Nothing. Just...I do." He saw the look I was giving him. Wanting to kiss him so badly, I could taste it.

That's when he said, "Unh unh..."


" know what. Hehehe!" Then he straightened up a bit, pushing his hair back slightly. "I dare you."

"You dare me?"

"I totally dare you." He smiled.

My hesitation was a brief moment of time. The length of two infatuated breaths at most. And before he could laugh off his little challenge...I quickly leaned forward and kissed him on the lips.

Well...maybe it was more like on the side of his lips...but give me a break. It was a rushed and spontaneous moment of teen romance. Hehehe, I'm sure he got the point.

I didn't really think about the fact that we were on a public bus until after I had already done it. Now it was time for my face to blush until it matched the sweet beauty of my boyfriend's color. Naturally, we looked all around us to see if anybody saw that. If they were watching and now whispering about the two 'fag' boys they witnessed smooching on the school bus this morning.

Strangely enough...I don't think anybody cared. I doubt they even noticed, to be honest. Heh...the public response was so underwhelming that I was almost tempted to do it again. My heart was still thumping like crazy in my chest, after all.

Luckily, Tanner had the sense to stifle his boy giggles long enough to point forward and alert me to the fact that the bus was approaching the school parking lot. Hehehe, not that it mattered much to me. I was addicted to the feel of his lips against mine. Addicted, I tell you!

Still aware of the lingering traces of romance in my stare, Tanner giggled in the cutest way and said, "You behave yourself. At least for now."

"Yes, sir..." I said. "Behave. Got it."

I'm going to seriously have to get rid of this mega crush that I've got on my boyfriend if I plan to have any hopes of talking to Chris about getting my mom audition, I guess. I'm not going to wiggle my butt and bat my eyes at him or anything. That would be cruel. But if any of his lasting feelings for me can help, without me taking advantage of them, then I'd be lucky. Truly lucky.

I just hope that I can appeal to his more graceful side. Because his other side is...well, a bit more difficult to deal with.

Thanks soooo much for reading, and for all of your feedback and support! And be sure to grab a copy of the new eBooks at the COMICALITY EBOOK SECTION link!!! More ebooks being posted every month! So keep an eye out!