Blackberry Winter
Chapter 4
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.

They ran back into the cabin, again wrapped in only their towels, and did a bit of quick organizing. Dan stoked the fire and Steve locked up and placed the oil lamp on the bedside table, turning it as low as possible. Then they removed their towels from around their waists and, standing naked on opposite sides of the bed, they finished drying themselves off.

Still naked, Dan turned down his side of the bed and, following his example, Steve did the same.

"Are you getting in bed like that?" Steve asked, looking across the expanse of white sheets and folded blankets at Dan's naked form.

"Is that all right?"

"I guess."

"I usually sleep naked at home," Dan stated.

"Really?" Steve said, learning something new about his best friend. "I didn't know that."

"Yeah, I only wore underwear when I was with you because that's what you did."

"You should have told me."

"I didn't want to make you uncomfortable."

"Well, yeah . . ."

"Will it?"

"Getting in bed with you naked?"

"Yeah, will you freak?"

"I don't know," Steve admitted, "but let's try it."

"Okay, buddy," Dan smiled as they both got under the covers, then, under his breath uttered one word, "shit!"


"We forgot the chocolate bars."

"Oh, they can wait," Steve laughed, rolling over against Dan so their bodies just touched.
They lay there, sides and hips and legs barely in contact, but otherwise not touching, hushed.
It was Steve who finally broke the silence.

"Have you been hoping we might do some of that stuff you did with Terry?"

"Sort of, but only if you want to, only if it won't freak you out."

"Stop worrying about me freaking," Steve whispered, but not at all sure he'd not.

They continued to lie there, their bodies touching, sharing warmth, liking the feeling of closeness, both partially aroused.

"Why sort of? You do or you don't."

"No, really, Steve, just sort of. I'd love it if you wanted it and were okay with it, but if it scares you, or if you'd feel awful afterward, I don't want anything to happen."

"Feel awful?"

"Yeah, you now, guilty, dirty."


"Hey, man," Dan whispered, rolling onto his side so he could see Steve's face, "we're friends, right?"

"Sure," Steve said, his voice low and serious. "Best friends."

"You know I really care about you, man. That comes first."

Then, on a impulse, he leaned down and kissed Steve's bare shoulder. It was a soft kiss, quick, really just a peck, the way you'd kiss your grandmother or an elderly aunt.

Steve rolled over a little further and looked into Dan's dark eyes. "Thank you," he whispered.

"I love you, man," Dan said, and a lump caught in his throat. When Steve said nothing, and Dan had regained his poise, he grinned and added, "brotherly love, Steveo, no funny business."

"Yeah," Steve smiled back. "I love you, too."

They were silent again, just lying there on their sides, looking into each other's eyes.

"Dan," Steve eventually whispered, "how far have you ever gone with a girl?"



"Well, just some kissing and a little making out."

"With Jennifer Barlow?" Steve asked. She was the girl Dan had dated most often.

"No, with Sarah Rollinson, actually." Sarah was a year older than Dan and Steve, and she had a rather wobbly reputation.

Steve wasn't too surprised by Dan's admission.

"Did you enjoy it?"

"Yeah," Dan said with a sly smile.

"I don't think I'm a very good kisser," Steve stated, seemingly out of the blue. "I haven't done it much and I just can't seem to get the hang of it."

"I wasn't very good either, 'till I got a few lessons from Sarah."


"Yeah, she said guys all seem to just go for the lips, 'crush and probe,' she called it."

"Isn't that what it's all about?"

"Not according to Sarah," Dan said. "She said girls like a slow approach, like kissing her on the neck or on her ears, maybe a few little pecks on the cheeks and even on the eyes. Chicks get off on eyes."


"Yeah, they think it's really romantic."

"No kidding?"

"No kidding," Dan said. "I think it gets their motor running. Once they start responding, maybe kissing you back, maybe just hugging you so you know they aren't resisting, then you can move to their lips, but slowly. Kiss the corner of their mouth first, but do it like you intended to kiss them there, not like you were aiming for a kiss square in the lips and missed. You do all that with a girl and you'll get a reputation for being one hot lover."


"Yeah," Dan said, letting his hand stray for the first time to Steve's hip, just touching him lightly. "Another thing Sarah said was that the guy should be the first to stop. Don't keep going until the girl gets uncomfortable and starts pushing you off."

"You mean just stop, dead in the water?"

"No, do it gradually, go back to kissing her cheek, whisper something about how much you're enjoying being with her, but how you respect her and don't want to go further than she wants to go."

"But if you're really wound up, that's hard," Steve said, questioning the whole approach.

"Yeah," Dan grinned, "probably hard in more ways than one."

Steve laughed and gave Dan a little poke on the side.

"You're playing for the long haul, man. You know, strategy. You sure aren't expecting it to go much further with girls our age anyway. Stop it before they stop you and you'll have a chance of a return engagement. Besides, you can bet she'll tell her girlfriends how great you are and what a gentleman you are and a reputation like that can't hurt."

After another long silence, as the two boys lay there looking into each other's eyes, with Dan's hand resting lightly on Steve's hip, he just moved forward a fraction of an inch and whispered, "want to try it?"

"Us? Kissing?" Steve whispered back. He'd been thinking the same thing, telling himself it would just be for practice, not serious, certainly not queer.

"Yeah, us kissing," Dan said.

"Yeah, okay, I guess . . . just a little, for practice." Steve rolled onto his back and looked up at the dark outlines of the roof beams overhead.

"Right." Dan lowered his lips to Steve's bare shoulder and gently kissed him there. As he did so, the boys never broke eye contact. The kiss only lasted as second or two, and then he lifted his face a little and smiled. "Okay?"

"Yeah," Steve smiled. "See, I didn't freak."

"Good," Dan whispered, moving over a little and placing an equally soft kiss on Steve's neck, just where it met his shoulder. From there he moved up to his buddy's ear, brushing the lobe with his lips and then, oh so gently, circling the entire edge of the ear with his damp tongue.

Steve shivered.


"No, nervous."

Dan retreated a little, lying back with is head on his pillow. "Your turn," he said.


"Here," Dan whispered, pointing to the curve of his shoulder.

Steve lowered his lips to the spot and pressed them softly against Dan's warm skin.

"Um," Steve hummed when it ended.

"Was that okay?"

"Yeah, now try it with your lips parted a bit. Let me feel the tip of your tongue."

Steve did as Dan has suggested, tasting the clean, soapy saltiness of his skin.

"How was that?" Steve whispered when he raised his head.

"Nice. Now do it again on my neck and then on my ear."

"Like you did?"


Steve followed Dan's example, kissing the base of his neck and then moving slowly up with a series of soft pecks until he reached his ear, which he kissed softly and then gently licked.

"I like that," Steve admitted when he stopped.

"Me to," Dan sighed. "My turn."

Steve lay back on his pillow and waited.

Dan again placed his hand lightly on Steve's hip. He was aroused and knew Steve was too, but he was careful to avoid touching his cock. That might really spook him, he figured.

He lowered his slightly parted lips to Steve's cheek and kissed him there a couple of times, then moved up to his temple and then over to his eyes, first one and then the other, giving him a series of delicate little butterfly kisses; soft, darting, gone as quickly as he touched them.

Steve sighed. "Okay?"


Dan repositioned himself slightly and then kissed the near corner of Steve's mouth. It lasted a second and then he moved on, kissing his chin, and then, finally, squarely on his lips. He withdrew quickly and kissed his chin again.

Catching Steve off guard, Dan returned to his lips again and then back to the side of his mouth. Steve's lips parted slightly and Dan caught the opportunity to kiss him again fully on the mouth, his own lips slightly parted as well. He was tempted to use his tongue to gently caress Steve's lips, but thought better of it. Later, he told himself, breathing out softly so his breath filled Steve's mouth and caused him to give a little sigh.

As Dan rolled over further the back of his hand inadvertently brushed against Steve's cock. It was rigid, standing straight up, tenting the bedcovers.

"Sorry," he whispered.

"Are you hard, too?"

"Yeah," Dan admitted. As he moved over closer Steve felt Dan's hard cock press against his thigh, confirming his friend's arousal.

He lowered his lips to Steve again and kissed him firmly. Dan let his lips part just a little. The tip of his tongue moved slowly, gently over Steve's lips, making no attempt to probe deeper.

Slowly, as the kiss continued, longer this time, Steve began to respond. His own lips parted and his own tongue moved in with Dan's.

When Dan ended it, Steve moaned.

Dan kissed his friend's cheek and then his eyes, little fluttering kisses again.

"We'd probably better stop," Dan whispered.

"Why?" Steve whispered back.

"Because if we go much further you may really regret it later."

"Feel guilty, you mean?"

"Yeah," Dan whispered, giving Steve's lips one more quick, gentle kiss.

"No, Dan," Steve sighed. "I won't."

"You're sure?"

"No, but I don't want us to stop."

"Let's stop. If you want to go further another time, after you think about it, we can, but not now." It was one of the hardest things he'd ever done, but Dan knew he'd made the right decision. He rolled over onto his back and took Steve's hand, holding it softly. Their hands were pressed together between their warm thighs.

Both boys sighed and it was a long time before either slept.

To be continued.