Blackberry Winter
Chapter 2
By John Yager
Copyright 2004

Usual stipulations apply. All my stories can be found in the NIFTY Prolific Net Authors section.  I also maintain a notification list.  If you'd like to be on it let me know at the e-mail address below.

As always, many thanks to Andrew for proofing.

When Steve woke the next morning Dan was already up and dressed. Steve noticed, however, that Dan was wearing only jeans and a T-shirt and on his feet he wore only a pair of white socks. To Steve's surprise the little cabin was comfortably warm when he threw back the bed covers.

"Hey, buddy," Dan greeted him from the stove. "Breakfast is almost ready, but take a look outside."

Steve stumbled to the window, still wearing only his jockeys and T-shirt, and looked out at a world of white.

"I figure we got a foot of snow overnight," Dan said.


"Yeah, and it also looks like you need to take care of business."

"What you mean?" Steve grumbled, still more asleep than awake.

"Good morning, Sunshine," Dan laughed, pointing at Steve's crotch.

Steve looked down at himself in horror as his face turned bright red. His cock was fully erect, jutting out and up, its head struggling to reveal itself above the stretched elastic band of his shorts.

"Oh, shit," he groaned.

"Just nature's wake-up call," Dan laughed.

Steve hurried to retrieve his jeans, tucking himself in as best as he could before pulling on socks and shoes.

Still red faced, he returned to stand by Dan at the stove, tending a skillet. Dried eggs, which he'd mixed with a little too much water, and dehydrated bacon, simmered away, nearly ready for consumption. It wouldn't be the most appealing breakfast they'd ever had, but they were both hungry enough to eat anything.

"It looks good," Steve said.

"I thought so," Dan laughed, which caused Steve to blush again.

"Go to hell, Parsons," Steve groused, but couldn't help laughing. "There you go talking queer again."

"Me, queer? You're the one with a hard-on this time."

"Yeah, but you're the one calling attention to it."

"Hard to miss, so to speak," Dan teased. The bulge in Steve's jeans was still evident.

"Fairy," Steve laughed.

"Well, get a couple of plates and let's eat breakfast, Miss Oliver."

"Oh, shut up," Steve whined, not able to think of anything more witty to say.

While Dan dished up, Steve poured reconstituted milk which they both agreed tasted as bad as it sounded.

They ate in silence for a while, their youthful appetites overcoming any objection to the food.
"It looks like we'll be staying inside today," Dan eventually said as they finished their breakfast.

"Do you think we'll be able to get back to the trail head tomorrow?"

"We'd better," Dan said. "We only have enough food for three days."

"Gee, Dan," Steve said, suddenly realizing the seriousness of their situation, "we could be in trouble."

"I don't think so," Dan said reassuringly. "The weather forecasts were for some cooler and wetter weather today, but warmer tomorrow. These spring storms never last long and, anyway, we'll be going down and it may have only rained at lower elevations."

"Yeah, I guess," Steve said, not entirely convinced.

"Blackberry Winter," Dan said, looking across the table at Steve.


"'Blackberry Winter,' that's what my grandma calls these spring cold snaps."

They washed up and made the bed, cleared a path to the privy and the woodpile and got in more wood. They built up the fire until the temperature in the little cabin felt almost tropical. Then there was little left to do.

The sun came out and the views from the windows were amazing. The distant hills were white and the pine trees were bent under the weight of the wet, heavy snow.

They sat around for a while, talking about their projects and what would be left to finish once they got home. By mid-morning, a little bored, their conversation lagged.

Steve wanted to ask Dan about the thoughts which had been buzzing around in his head since the night before, but he was hesitant to ask such delicate and self-revealing questions. Finally, though, he decided that if he could talk about such issues with anyone, it was Dan, and he just launched into it.

"Dan, last night," he managed to say, and then lost his nerve.

After several moments, when Steve didn't go on, Dan said, "yeah, last night?"

"Well, you said it was natural to get a hard-on from being massaged by another guy."

"Sure," Dan admitted, not knowing where the conversation as going.

Steve got up and went to the table, looking out for a moment at the snow covered landscape. "So you don't think it's queer?"

"I wish you'd stop using that word, Bro," then added, "no, it's perfectly normal."

"Do you think it's normal for a guy to have . . ."


"Well, you know . . . special feelings for another guy."

"Heck no, Steve," Dan said, getting up and joining his buddy at the window. Putting his hand on Steve's shoulder, he went on, "you're my best friend and I sure have some special feelings for you."

Another long silence followed, during which Steve admitted to himself that he cared for Dan. He also admitted that the feeling of Dan's warm hand on his shoulder felt nice through the fabric of his T-shirt.

Finally, Steve whispered, "yeah, we're best friends but I sure don't want to be . . ."

"Queer?" Dan laughed.

"My dad hates . . . homosexuals."

"So you don't want to be one."

"No, Dan, no way. They're sick, you know that."

"I think what you're regarding as sick is the way a few queens mince around at school."

"Well, sure, but it's wrong the way they behave."

"Did you ever consider, Steve," Dan responded in a slow, reasonable way, "that those guys may be wanting sex with other guys but the chances are they're all talk and not much action."

"You don't think they're . . . you know, doing stuff together?"

"Oh, maybe they are, but there are a lot of jocks doing more."

"You mean normal guys like us?"

"Yeah, dummy," Dan teased, "guys you and I know, guys who don't look or act any different than us."

"But most of the jocks date girls."


Steve was silent. He stood for a minute or more, looking out at the white landscape, very conscious of Dan's warm hand slowly massaging his shoulder.

"You really think they mess around, guys like us?" Steve finally said, his voice little more than a whisper.


"How do you know, Dan? How can you be so sure?"

That question silenced Dan for a moment, but in the end he decided he should just tell the truth.

"Remember my cousin Terry Wright?"

"Yeah," Steve responded. "He played varsity quarterback last year."

"Yeah, and now he's a freshman at State, on a football scholarship."

"He was going steady with Lisa Vashon," Steve remembered.

"Still is."

"So are you saying Terry messed around with guys?"


"No way, Dan. Anyway, how could you know that?"

"'Cause I'm one of the guys he's messed around with."

That truly silenced Steve. It was some time before he could respond.

"How come you never told me before?" he finally whispered. After all, he reasoned, Dan and he were best friends. Why hadn't Dan said anything about it when it happened?

"I didn't think you could handle it and I didn't want to lose you as a friend." When Steve said nothing, he added, "besides, I knew how your father felt and I figured you probably felt the same way."

"You knew how dad felt about guys doing stuff with other guys?"

"Sure, remember that time we were up at Tubb's Lake with your dad and your brother?"

"Oh, yeah," Steve said, it all coming back to him. His father had gone off on one of his familiar diatribes about 'fairies and queens.'

There was another long silence but after a while Steve got his nerve up and he asked the questions he'd pondered since Dan's admission.

"When did you and Terry start . . . you know . . .?"

"A couple of years go."

"Gees, Dan, you were just twelve!"

"Yeah, and he was sixteen. We were at a family reunion at Stillwell State Park. There were about thirty of us, the Wrights and Parsons, all my mom's side of the family. We had four cabins but there still weren't enough beds for everybody and Terry had a tent, so he suggested we sleep in it. I've got to admit, I was flattered. I mean, he's four years older then me, my stud jock cousin, and he was inviting me to sleep out in his tent with him."

"So it was like he seduced you?" Steve asked.

"Oh, hell no. I guess he started it, but I had no objection."

"Gees, Dan," Steve said, "you're kind of scaring me."

"Sorry, buddy, I was just answering your questions."

"Yeah," Steve responded, knowing Dan was right. He had asked and he still had further questions. Finally, after another pause, he whispered, "what did you two do?"

"Well, up at Stillwell, we just jacked off."


"Yeah, the first night Terry was sort of kidding me, asking me if I could come yet or not. The second night we sort of helped each other out."

"You mean you were stroking his cock and he was touching you?"


"Was that all?"

"Well, at Stillwell, that was all, but we've gotten together a few times since and I guess you could say it went further."

"Further than jacking each other off?"


Steve was silent again, not sure if he really wanted to know more.

"And you don't think that it was . . . you know?"



"Hey, Steve, I don't know. It's not like we don't like girls. I figure I'll end up married with a bunch of kids, just like Terry and Lisa probably will."

"But doing stuff with another guy, Dan? It just doesn't seem natural."

"Hell, Steve, I like Terry, he's my cousin, I've always looked up to him, and besides, it was great, really hot and really fun."

"So you did more than just the hand stuff."

"Yeah, not that first time, we hung out together when our family was together the next Christmas and then last summer, too."

"So what more did you do?"

Now it was Dan's turn to be hesitant. Did he really want to say more? He know he might really scare his beat buddy.

"Come on, Dan," Steve eventually said.

"It will probably freak you out and you'll really think I'm gay."

"Just tell me."

"Well," Dan said at last, "we kind of got into some oral stuff."


"Don't be an idiot, Steve, you know what I mean."

"You sucked his cock?" Steve muttered, not believing what his best friend had just said.

"Yeah, and he sucked mine."

"Oh, gees, Dan. That is so gross!"

"Well . . ." Dan said with a sort of half grin, feeling suddenly relaxed, suddenly emboldened, now that he'd admitted it. "I guess you just had to be there."

Both boys were silent, just staring out at the snow as Dan, still standing behind Steve, continued to knead his friends shoulder.

Finally, after what seemed like a very long time, Steve turned around to face Dan, and looked him squarely in the eyes. "I don't understand it, man," he said, "but I have to admit I enjoyed being close like we were last night."

"That was only because the bed was cold," Dan grinned.

"No," Steve whispered. "No, it was more than that."

Dan gave his buddy a quick hug. Being wise enough to realize the conversation had gone as far as possible, he smiled, turned and went over to fuel the fire. Maybe later, he thought. Maybe they'd get back to the issue later.

To be continued.