- Fate and Fortune -

Part IV

by

Ruwen Rouhs

 

Hey Broder, do you remember the Giant Story/Mouse Tale? No? Think twice. You sure remember the picture book featuring the redhead giant Bartolo, sitting under a big tree in the wood during a thunderstorm with chattering teeth! No? Don't you remember the fearless field mouse with its yellow-brown coat and dark long stripe along the spine? The clumsy giant is about three-thousand-times bigger than the male mouse. When the tiny mouse approaches the giant fearlessly, looking for a friend, the timid giant panics. But in the end both trust each other, become friends and fall asleep peacefully, the small mouse cuddling in the big palm of the giant.

No Adam, I don't recall the tale. But it's a fairy tale and fairy tales will never come true in real life.

Broder, it can happen. It even happened in my school. Remember the super-jock, the ace of the soccer team, Pete? I told you about big Pete and I also told you about the cute midget Tru, acting as postie between the jocks and chicks?

Sure I do, Adam. I remembered, you told me about the two. You were enthusiastic about Pete's skill and powerful game as the midfielder of his team and you were tickled pink because of Tru's job as a Cupid.

Yes, Pete is the best soccer player. He is sure about his role in a match like soccer with its definite rules. But big Pete falters, as soon as a situation arises which can only be solve by developing rules by his own. In a situation like this he is like a timid giant. The midget Tru, on the other hand, attacks a new situation by his own means. He is like the fearless mouse.

Events remember by Adam, have the heading 'ADAM':.

Those remembered by Broder, are headed 'BRODER':.

 

Pete's secret

or

Pet+Tru+e

 

ADAM:

"Hey, is that you Vic?" Adam wondered. He was on tiptoes trying to fetch a book from the uppermost shelf of the book-rack in the darkest corner of school library, when two strong arms took hold of him from behind and lifted him up. The silent helper lifted Adam till he finally was able to read the faded golden letters on the he back of the small volume "William Shakespeare-The Complete Sonnets".

At last Adam was holding the book in his hand, Vic had told him about so enthusiastic. Turning around he was surprised, it wasn't Vic; it was Pete, in secret called Pete the Pest, who had helped him, to get the book.

Pete, the king of the jocks and the ace of the soccer team, was towering over Adam by nearly a head. He asked shyly, "Did I scare you? Sorry for that, I didn't intent to Adam. Since Monday I have wanted to talk to you alone. And now it's already Wednesday and I had to waylay you."

Adam looked up at Pete squinting nervously. Before he could stutter an answer, Pete went on, "I have to talk to you. Remember last Friday? I invited you to my birthday party this weekend? You still haven't accepted! I will be sixteen on Friday and this time I am allowed to invite fifteen guests. Twelve have accepted already, you are the thirteenth."

Adam sighted with relieve. "I accept!" then he went on in a formal, "I am honored by your invitation, Pete, but I will come only if Vic is invited too! Remember you asked me to bring along a friend!"

"Why in the world he----?" Pete looked surprised. "Do you know him well enough?"

"We are friends now! Do you object?" asked Adam surprised.

"No I don't, not exactly! But----" showing his uneasiness, Pete added "I had in mind to ask you to bring along someone else, someone special to me!" he looked as if all his hopes were deceived and immediately turned to leave.

Seizing Pete by the arm, "But Pete, Vic and I are number thirteen and fourteen on your guest list, thus invitation number fifteen still can be issued!" Winking at Pete Adam asked conspiratorially, "Who is she? I invite her to come along with me and Vic!"

Pete blushed and tried to wrestle free. But Adam didn't let him go and insisted. "Tell me Pete, don't be afraid, I will never blow it to her, I promise!" When Pete didn't answer, he asserted, "I will not tell her! I swear!"

Pete remained silent. His face mirrored a desperate fight. Staring at his toecaps he finally muttered with his crackling teen-voice, "It's not a girl, its Tru! I wanted to beg you to bring Trewin along! I do not dare to ask him myself!"

Adam stared at Pete in disbelief. Could he trust his ears? But Pete sounded serious! Pete, the big Pete, the ace of the soccer team, the super-jock, was he admiring Tru? Pete, the head of the jocks which always were talking about laying girls; which were always boasting about their successes with girls! Pete had asked him to bring along a boy? Not just any boy, Tru the cutest boy of the class. In Adams eyes, Tru was even the cutest kid of the Oakville High! He couldn't believe this news at the first moment. Then it sank in. To Adam's knowledge, Pete was the only jock who had never bragged about having made out with girls.

Studying Pete's face carefully, Adam said with firm voice "I will ask Tru to come along with me and Vic. Ok? Don't fret, I will not tell Tru, that you asked me to bring him along! I really like to bring him along! He is the nicest kid in school!"

Pete's chest heaved with a sight of relief. Shamefaced he hugged Adam and left the library head over heels.

*.*.*

 

BRODER:

Broder folded his grey business suit into the suitcase. He was waiting impatiently for Adam. HE and Vic were out to support Zach's soccer team at the town-tournament. It was half past ten already and dark outside. Not the falling night made him nervous; because he was sure three boys would be able to defend themselves when attacked. No, it was the fact that he had to leave Adam alone for three days after just one and a half week in his new home in a new town. Then there was the book he had found open on Adam's desk when he had looked for him after coming home from work. Broder wondered; how in heaven would a teen like Adam take an interest in Shakespeare's sonnets and especially in lines like these:

 

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; ...

 

Broder knew it was the most famous sonnet of Shakespeare. But what the hell tempted a boy to read poems suspected to be homoerotic?

There was time to brood longer about this question; because the street door burst open with a bang and Zach's high-pitched boy's voice filled the corridor, "Hey Broder! Believe me or not! Our team came off only second best in the soccer tournament! We were the top team! The referee cheated us! He denied us two goals! He always claimed Lilek had scored in offside position! Ask Adam and Vic!"

That was Zach! Typically Zach! The six-grader, soaked with sweat and dirty from head to toe, charged into Broder's room demanding attention and consolation. Adam, his arm across Vic shoulders, followed grinning, "I guess the referee wasn't that blind, Zach. Judging from my position, Lilek was offside!"

"You are stupid, Adam!" Zach accused Adam full of contempt, gave him one full in the stomach and left outraged for home.

"I better try to consol Zach." Vic grinned, "In a state like this he will likely play havoc and burn down the house!" He left, not without given Adam a peck on the cheek.

Adam blushed, looking at Broder he muttered "It is not the way you may guess! In our class anyone does it!"

"I am not guessing anything, but I like what I saw!"

This made Adam blush even more. Sitting down on Broder's bed beside the open bag, he complained, "You are a terrible father, you are leaving me just when I need your help!"

"You didn't complain when we talked about my trip yesterday and anyway, I am sure you know a nice way to spend the time." grinning maliciously, "Vic will sure watch over your sleep!"

Adam pouted, "It's not that! Didn't I tell you about Pete's birthday party! He asked me again today. I accepted to bring along Vic and Tru; remember Tru, the Cupid?"

"You know that is impossible, I can't drive you to Pete's father's farm on Friday. Since I am away till Sunday, I can't get you back before Sunday either! Couldn't Vic's father give you a ride?"

"Impossible, he is away already since three days! Please get us there, please Dad!" Adam tried hard to persuade Broder, "Please Dad, I promised Pete I would come, he will be heartbroken if we do not show up!"

Broder looked surprised. He had met Pete last year, when he supervised the installation of a system for groundwater extraction at the farm. This hunky boy looked like he was eighteen and sure not like a ninth grader. "Hey Adam, don't exaggerate. Pete? Getting heartbroken because of you, or Vic or Tru? Are you pulling a leg on me?"

"I'm not supposed to tell you! I promised Pete to bring Tru along and its not your business to know why!"

Broder was in a dilemma, he had to solve Adam's problem. His boy looked just too disappointed. He looked as if he would start crying. "I know Pete's father pretty well. I call him and ask if you three could stay there till I pick you up on Sunday. But you have to go to the farm by bus!"

A little later, "Hi Mr. Tyler, I am Broder Ryder. Do you remember me?"

Switching on the loudspeaker of the phone, Adam was able to follow the conversation: "Sure I do, your companies did a perfect job last year. The water well just runs perfect. Now we have ample drinking water for us and our animals, very clean and tasty. You want to give the system a check-up?"

"No, I am glad you are happy with our system. Today it's something personal! Your son Pete is giving birthday party on Friday, right?"

"Right, did that crazy boy invite you also? He has invited nearly all his school mates. For day's now he is jumpy like a virgin on her bridal night. I didn't expect he will invite the whole town!"

"No Mr. Tyler! But he has invited my son Adam and his friends Vic and Tru."

"I thought you are not married Broder! My wife told me last year: Such a nice man and not married. You know how women are! They just can't see a happy man. Now what's the problem?"

"I am out of town this weekend. The boys can take the afternoon-bus to come to you, but I can't pick up the boys after the party neither can the parents of the other boys. Can they stay in one of your cottages? I pay for it!"

"Ah, no problem, holiday season is over anyway and the cabins are not needed. They can stay here for nothing, till you can pick the boys up. They are welcome! Pete needs the company of boys of his age. He looks sort of distressed lately and his brothers are much older than he! On Friday afternoon, Johnny, my oldest son, will take care of the transport to the farm. He is in town anyway and can pick the boys up after school."

Broder got a big smile from Adam. And Adam surprised him once more. He picked up the second receiver before Broder was able to thank Pete's father, "Hi, I am, Adam Chas Ryder. Thanks Mr. Tyler. You are so generous. I am really happy to be Pete's guest and tell him I will bring two friends. I will bring along Vic and Tru! Tell Pete Tru has accepted."

*.*.*

 

ADAM:

On Friday Pete missed classes. His mother told the school office that Pete was sick and later called up his friends telling that the party would take place in any case. For Adam the message was, to wait with his friends at the bus stop for Pete's big brother Johnny.

Waiting impatiently with Adam and Vic, Tru asked "Adam, is it Johnny or Paul, who will pick us up?"

"Do you know Pete's brothers?" Adam asked back curiously, because he had, had such a hard time to convince Tru to come along. His behavior had suggested that he was afraid of meeting Pete at the farm. Only after telling him, I don't intend to bring you to the slaughter house like an innocent lamb, it just to Pete's and he really wants you around! Tru agreed to come. These last words broke the ice. Tru gave up his resistance and began to smile like a baby getting a lollipop.

"Well yes, I know all his five brothers. Three are at the college, but Johnny and Paul are at home and run the farm!"

Tru couldn't elaborate anymore, because a beat-up SUV stopped and a bear-like man opened the side door hollering happily, "Hi Trewin, where have you been all the time? Little Billy is asking for you nearly every day! Where is Tru, I want my big friend back! ... Why didn't you show up for several months, Trewin?" Loading their backpacks into the trunk, he asked, pointing at Vic, "And you are Adam I guess, the new guy in class?"

"Can't you remember me Johnny? I am Vic! And that's Adam! We met last year at Pete's birthday party."

After Tru had settled down on the front passenger seat, Johnny tousled his hairs and then hugged him, "Are you and Pete on brotherly terms again, Trewin? My little brother was grief-stricken because you avoided him!"

Huggling together in the back seat, Adam breathed into Vic ear, "What the hell happened between Pete and Tru? Do you know the story?"

Johnny stopped at the vacation cottages, a quarter of a mile from the farm. The five cabins were arranged in a half circle around a fireplace and faced a small creek. He unlocked the smallest cabin ordering, "Leave your backpack in the main-room. You can sleep in the backroom. Each of the two beds is wide enough to accommodate two boys of your size."

At the farm they were welcomed by little Billy, jumping excitedly at Tru and shouting, "Pete hurry up! Tru has arrived, my big friend Tru!" then taking Tru by the hand he dragged him to a small enclosure on the lawn, "Look! You haven't seen my bunnies! They have babies now! Nine babies! Look at the black one with the white ears. Do you like it? I give it to you, you can keep it!"

Meanwhile Pete came running. He did the high-five with Adam and Vic, after that looked slyly at Tru, "I have to show you something, Tru! Would you come along? Please!" Neglecting the protests of little Billy, Pete abducted Tru to the barn.

Pete and Tru were blushing up to their ears, when they finally came back to the enclosure with the bunnies, holding hands. Adam and Vic asked in unison, "Reconciled?" Neither of them did answer, not Pete nor Tru. But Adam and Vic were sure; everything was on a good way.

*.*.*

 

Little Billy, his parents, his brothers Johnny and Paul, and fifteen of his schoolmates had rallied around Pete and the table with the birthday cake. "One, two, three..." It rang out in the patio. Their voices rising more and more they counted on, "...ten, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen and gooooo!" and the birthday kid began to blow out the sixteen candles on the birthday cake with a single puff. With a reddened face, gasping for air, big Pete collapsed in the arms of four of his school mates, who now struggled to throw their heavy school mate up into the air. The others started to bawl the song "Happy Birthday, dear Pete! Happy Birthday to you!"

Then the gifts were presented. The four girls invited, kissed Pete first and then handed over a t-shirt with the emblem of Oakville High school and the CD "HOT FUSS" by the Killers, singing:

Somebody told me

You had a boyfriend

Who looked like a girlfriend

That I had in February of last year...

The jocks started to giggle, when Pete unpacked their gift, neatly wrapped in foil decorated with red roses. It was the favorite, but ill-famed teen-book "Doing it". In class it was passed only underhandedly. Pete turned red after reading the title and tried to hide it from his mother, but in vain, "Oh a book, what a proper present for a sixteen's birthday!" she exclaimed. Pete's and his friends were lucky. His mother hadn't read the furious review of it in the local parish magazine, The Holy Week.

Still another gift was passed underhand to Pete. "Don't show it to your parents. Open it later!" the giver whispered. When Pete opened it in presence of Tru later, he grinned crafty like a cartload of monkeys "Not one of my sport mates did guess my secret, bet! Hey look Tru, they endowed me with half a dozen of rubbers in different colors and a tube of lube. Do you think we need these? Bet not!"

Adam and Vic had, had a stormy discussion before deciding as a gift for "Funny Boy". Adam had asked Vic pointedly. "Do you really think he will like this book? It's a coming-out book!"

"I don't think he will hate us because of this present! I like it." Vic answered confidently.

In the end only two presents were not given, the one of his family and the one of Tru. When Pete looked expectantly to his parents, his father told him. "The big surprise is waiting at the playing ground down by the Holiday Cabins! But first cut the birthday cake, the mouths of your guests are already watering."

Proud to be sixteen, Pete took the knife to cut the cream cake. Little Billy claimed the first piece. "I want the first piece, please, please, please Uncle Petee!" he begged. But his granny protested, "Today the birthday kid will get the first wedge!"

But it was not Pete who allotted himself the first slice. Looking around in the circle, he handed Tru the first slice with a still bigger smile: "You are the smallest, you get the biggest!" No one played much attention to this gesture hinting a special kind of friendship, except Pete's big brother Johnny. But Johnny smiled in approval.

*.*.*

 

Pete arrived at the playing field amidst of his curious guests. He didn't believe his eyes. For months he had only two dreams. When Adam had asked Pete, what he would like best as a birthday present, he had told him: "I have two big wishes, but I am afraid neither of them will come true!"

Adam reflected over the answer some moments and then told Pete, "My wish for a long, long time was to find a person I could trust, a person, who loves me unconditionally. I never thought my wish would come true! And now, now I have Broder. He found me, a disheartened boy, dirt covered, in filthy clothes, close to dead after an accident. He accepted me like I was and he made me his son without setting a single condition." Then smiling up to Pete and punching him, "You wishes will come true! Believe me!"

Since his first talk with Tru in the barn, after his arrival, Pete's hope had risen tremendously. He was sure that his biggest wish could come true if he only would accept his fate full heartedly. He knew it was him who had to take his future in both hands.

The fulfillment of the second biggest wish did depend on his parents. And now, arriving at the sports ground, Pete realized that his parents had granted him this wish. At the sideline of the playing field on a high pole a bright yellow flag was flying in the evening breeze with the emblem of a fire-spitting dragon in blue and green. It was the image of a Varanus komodoensis, the awe-inspiring Komodo Dragon, the emblem of the team still to be founded, his Jugger Team, the Weird Varans.

A year ago Pete had attended the science fiction film "The Blood of Heroes" in an obscure movie theater. His mind was so stirred up by the post-apocalyptic saga of some rotten heroes fighting their deadly matches for bread and butter in a barren country in a forgotten time.

"I have to get a copy of that movie!" Pete tortured his big brothers for weeks and weeks. And after he got the movie by illegal means, he unnerved his parents by viewing it over and over again. Then happily enough he found out about a sport called Jugger, tailored according to the apocalyptic match and the existence of a Jugger-League. Since that time he harassed his parents "I want to create the first Jugger team of Dartsborough. Please, please buy me the equipment! Please Daddy, please Mommy!"

Pete's rubbed his eyes in disbelief. Not only was the banner was flying in the breeze, no, all the equipment needed for a team also, for his team, was piled up on the octagonal playground of roughly 20 to 40 m. Besides the flying banner a scoreboard was placed and at the opposite wide side of the field the big gong for counting the time, measured in stones. At the halfway-line a heap of dangerous objects were lined up, the weapons: a pair of long pole arms, a pair of long swords, the flails, two pairs short swords and the corresponding shields and a pair of long chains with a red ball on one end. The shields and the gong also were decorated with the emblem of the Weird Varans. In the center of the assembled weaponry there were two dog skulls, the Juggs. These were no real dogs skulls, dripping with blood like in the movie, just skulls made of rubber foam. These were the balls which had to be downed in the stakes close to end each narrow side of the field.

All his school mates on the soccer team had been afflicted by his obsession for Jugger. Now they saw the weapons the first time in reality. While Pete danced for joy in front of his parents, kissed his mother and even tried to lift her up in the air, classmates stormed the sports ground and scrambled for the weapon. They were taken by surprise, because the weapons were light-weight only, despite looking wrought of steel. Immediately the jocks began to fight each other for fun. The pole arms and swords were easy to handle, while using the chains was much more difficult. The girls used the sculls for a ball game.

Pete gave it a try to organize a game, "Stop it all! I have to explain the rules of the game." In vain, he couldn't stop the opponents, "Don't hit each other! You are only supposed to touch your opponent and then he has to freeze for five stones!" In vain again. The chaotic contest went on and he wasn't able to make his voice heard.

Luckily his brothers Johnny and Paul turned up on the sideline in the approaching dusk announcing at the top of his voice, "Barbecue is ready down at the cottages! Hurry up, if you want meat and not charcoal! Hurry up!" That did it. Twelve starved lads dropped the weapons and the sprinted to the fireplace to be the first to get a steak. The four girls ambled chitchatting down to the cottages also, outdoing each other in ridiculing their pimply class mates.

The wooden benches were arranged in a half-circle around the fireplace in front of the five cottages. The open side of the circle faced a swift creek hidden by willow trees. Between the cottages chains of lights glowing in red, yellow and blue were arranged. In the beginning dusk they separated the softly lit space around the fireplace from the dense, dark wood in the background.

Pete occupied the seat of honor framed by the jocks of the soccer team. Adam and Vic had their place far to the left while the four girls clucked together on the right. After the first rush for the steaks, burgers and sausages had subsided, Pete switched on the light illuminating a small dance platform in front of the cottages and dance tunes invited to shake a leg. At first only girls danced with girls. But now Tru's big time as Cupid started. He began to cruise the different groups conveying messages to and fro between the jocks and the chicks. Soon four boys and girls danced cheek by cheek. Other boys did the hip-hop and two even challenged each other by break dancing. When the night closed in, one couple after the other skived off into the dark, envied by the ones remaining single.

Around nine-thirty, the parents turn up one after the other, wishing Pete well for the next year of life and leaving with their offspring. Soon Adam and Vic were the only one's left back at the fireplace. They switched off the illumination of the dance floor and the string of lights between the cabins and cuddled silently under a warm quilt close to the extinguishing fire.

Pete and Tru joined them at the fireplace. Imitating the others, Pete picked up a blanket and invited Tru to slip under the cover with him. Held tight by Vic, the scarcely audible voices of the two reunited friends lulled Adam into a light sleep.

Adam woke up suddenly, missing the low voices. He aroused the crashed out Vic, "Pete and Tru are gone! Let's go to bed! I miss a soft mattress."

"Me too, my back is getting stiff already!" Vic answered with a yawn, "But let's put out the fire first."

Standing side by side they extinguished the fire by relieving their full bladders.

*.*.*

 

The bedding was cold and damp. Adam was first in bed and pulled the bed spread over his head. He curled up like a baby, but he still shivered. "Hey Vic! Why do you need that long? Come please, I am freezing!"

"I can't find my pajamas. I have to turn my backpack topsy-turvy again. Just a second more!"

"Forget about your pajamas, hurry up! I haven't got tem either!"

Slipping into the bed, Vic searched for Adam under the cover, "Hey, where do you hide.----Ha, I got you!." Pulling Adam in a hug, he muttered "You are really cold. Your back feels like ice and your butt too." Realizing that Adam was as naked as his mother bore him, Vic asked, "Are you sleeping in the nude?"

Turning around and taking Vic in a tight embrace, Adam whispered, "I thought you would like it. Don't you?"

Vic simple answer was to slip out of his boxers.

Holding Adam tight, he began to growl like a young dog, rubbed Adam's back and poked his nose in Adam's rough up mane. Then he sighted with pleasure. "You smell so great. I like the scent of smoke on your skin and in your hair."

Adam's only answer was kisses. He started at Vic's forehead, went to his eyes and finally tasted his lips. With his fingertips he traced Vic's spine down to the crack between the small cheeks. Then he cupped Vic's butt-cheeks with both hands and started humping. With hoarse voice he asked, "Do you like it? Do you mind it?" adding a deep sight, "It so great to hump you!" Vic just increased his growling and humped back like mad.

Middle of their necking, both froze, because the cabin door opened with a screech. Anxiously they listened for the noises penetrating the dark. They had expected Tru, but now two people had entered. Neither Adam nor Vic dared to breath. Then they relaxed.

Tru's asked with hardly audible voice, "Got a flashlight, Petee? They are already sleeping. Don't turn on the lights!"

"Hush, Buddy! I will light the candle on the table. That's enough light for us to undress and find the bed." Pete tried to breathe his words Tru, but was unable to dampen his husky vice. A lighter was flicked on and the light of a small candle seeped through the open door into the bedroom.

Padding feet approached and the candle's flame bathed the small room in soft light. Pete had entered the bedroom and placed the candle on the night stand. A moment later Tru materialized on tiptoes in front of Adam and Vic. "Don't fake" he whispered, "Your fluttering eyelids betray you. You are still awake!"

Then he addressed Pete, who tried to hide behind his small body, "Pete, you wanted to tell Adam and Vic something very important!" waiting some time in vain for a word, he turned around to face Pete who was at least taller by a head and persisted, "You promised to tell them our secret. Please try it! It's an exercise for tomorrow. It will be much harder to confess this to your parents!"

Pete still didn't speak up. Instead he put his arms around Tru from behind and breathed, "Please to do it for us, Tru. Please, tell our secret to Adam and Vic!"

These words made Adam and Vic wide awake. Wrapped up in the duvet up to their necks and cuddling tight, they eyed the pair in front of the bed full of expectance.

Reluctantly Tru turned to Adam and Vic, talking ten to the dozens. It seemed he had to relieve himself, "Pete has loved me for two years now. Since our first sleep over at his fourteenth birthday, he has loved me. He didn't tell me for over a year. Then at our last sleepover at Easter he confessed his love to me." Turning to Pete and searching his eyes, he continued, "I liked my Pete from the beginning, but I didn't dare to tell him. He was the big jock. He was always with the guys who were bragging how many girls they had laid. He was always with the jocks who scoffed about gays. I couldn't tell him! I was sure he would make fun of me, would despise me, beat me up and trample me to death. I thought he was homophobic."

Now it was for Pete to speak up. In his hoarse voice, he defended himself "Tru was wrong, he did me wrong. Tru thought a big guy like me, the crack of the soccer team, had to be straight, would enjoy to kick smaller kids in the ass, had to be homophobic. He did me wrong! Even before I was sure about my feelings towards Tru, I adored him, I offered him my friendship, I showed him my affection, always!"

"The day Pete finally told me about his love, I suspected he wanted to put me on, he wanted to unmask me and then throw me to the wolves." Tru seem to falter in the flickering candle light, but then accused himself, "I had no faith in him, I panicked, I was terrified to death! I demanded a terrible toll. I demanded his coming out. I had been out to my parents for a year. Knowing this, I issued an ultimatum to Pete: You have to tell your parents first. You have to come out to your school mates, to the whole school."

Pete smiled down to the smaller boy, tussling his hairs. "Everything is alright now Tru, my Tru! Don't cry, please!"

"No, I have to tell Adam and Vic how vain I was." Tru sobbed, "Pete was upset; he was desperate. He swore: I can't tell this to my parents! Never, never will they accept me being gay!"

"I was in panic! I didn't even become aware, when Trewin braced together and offered to expose himself too and told: I'll do it with you, Pete! We will come out together I love you!" Holding each other, Pete and Tru were standing in the dark quivering with emotion.

Then Pete addressed Adam in a solemn tone, "You are special Adam. Your performance in school, plucked up my courage. I became sure that Tru and I belong together when I realized how proudly you announced your new name, unafraid of the gossip about your adoption by celibate man. You rose in my esteem, when you showed your affection to Vic openly in school. Your self-confidence convinced me that my love for Tru is worth my coming out."

These words made Adam feel uncomfortable; he felt his blood rushing into the face. That can't be true, he thought, I am not self-confident at all.

Vic began to hug Adam more tightly. After a moment of silence he replied, "Yes, Adam is special, I agree," and changing the tone of his voice, "but Broder is too. And he is not Adams old man, nor is Adam his boy-toy. I know Broder well; he doesn't make out with boys."

Silence spread in the room. Then Adam asked Pete in the wavering light of the dieing candle, "When you came out to me and Vic tonight, was it your own decision, Pete?"

"Yes, it was my decision. Tru withdrew his ultimatum today. He was broken-hearted; he didn't want to live on, knowing he had hurt my feelings by his request."

Now Tru spoke up with hardly audible voice, "Already the day after issuing my request to Pete, I realized how deeply I had wounded him. But I was too ashamed to ask for his forgiveness. I thought he hated me. I was sure Pete would never want me as his friend again. At home I cried every night and in school I acted as if nothing had happened, I had to!."

The candle had died away. The moon had risen over the wood and his silvery rays seeped through the small window. "No need for crying anymore, my truelove. You never again shall cry out of pain, only out of joy. I will care for it. I promise!" Pete picked up Tru like a baby and carried him to their bed.

When Tru's uncontrollable sobbing had subsided, Vic called over, "Thanks for coming out to us first! Thanks for being so brave, both of you"

"It was the easiest part of our coming out. Thanks to you both, my thanks and Pete's!"

"I never came out to anyone!" Adam giggled, "Not even to Vic!"

"Aren't you gay?" Vic sniggered, "Are I am seducing you?"

"I don't care! I know I love you and you love me! That's all I need to know! I don't care if people call me gay or straight or bi! I don't care what people call me! I just know, I am as I am!" Adam replied.

Then trying to pierce the dark, Adam asked "Are you sure you want to come out to your parents tomorrow, Pete?"

Pete's voice hinted his insecurity "I have to, I have sworn to myself to see it through to the finish!"

"Are you sure they will accept your revelation without being shocked? Are you sure they will love you as unconditionally as they did before. Are you sure they will accept Tru as their son? Are you sure they will love Tru they way they like you?"

Silence spread through the room till Tru's soft voice pervaded the darkness, "Please don't do it Pete; please don't. I am not worth the breakup between you and your parents!"

"But you my Tru? Weren't you scared of coming out to your parents?"

"I was sure my parents wouldn't object! I was kind of out to my parent anyway, because of all the picture of you in my room. Already a year ago one evening my father asked me smiling: "Is this the photo of your boyfriend, you are using as a screensaver on your PC? His photos are everywhere in your room. Is this Pete, the captain of the soccer team? I like him!"

Silence filled the small room, till Vic addressed Pete, "Don't rush it, Pete. Your parents have to be ready for this new phase in your live and in their lives. You and they need accompany during this turn of live. You need a mediator!"

Silence hovered in the room again, till Adam stated, "I think I know the person who can act as a mediator, Pete. It's Johnny, your big brother, he loves you and he loves Tru also. You can trust Johnny. I am sure!"

*.*.*

 

For the next minutes Adam and Vic relaxed exhausted by the stirring events of the day. Cuddling each other, they soon got excited again and continued the exploration of each others bodies. When Adam listened to Vic's heartbeat by resting his head on the friend's chest, he witnessed Pete's sweets words, "Watch out Tru, my truelove! Watch out, making love to you this way will hurt you. I am much too heavy to be on top of you! You have to be on top of me. I love to rock you like a baby."

In the morning Adam couldn't remember how often he had made love to Vic, but his belly was sticky all over. When he tried to caress Vic's chest, his fingers nearly got stuck to the sticky skin. Buried halfway under Vic, Adam started to tickle him and breathed, "Wake up, Vic! Sun is out! I have to pee! Hurry or do you want me to wet the bed?"

Vic growled like a tired dog, stretched and crawled away. Soon he joined Adam in the shower. Tru showed up when they cleaned each other in the small shower using ample amounts of baby-shampoo to rinse off the traces of the nightly fun.

"Where is Pete, did he slip away secretly?" Tru asked bleary-eyed.

"Poor Tru," Vic teased him, "Did Pete desert you already after the bridal night? Poor Tru! Deflowered and thrown to the garbage!"

Tru pouted and stuck his tongue to Vic. Adam opened the shower-door and pulled Tru inside, "A bride needs to be clean when she is introduced to her parents in law! Come let Daddy clean you!"

Tru started laughing full heartedly, "You better ask Pete who's the bride and who's the groom. I didn't keep the account of the bottoms and tops, but I think we got even!"

In the kitchen of the farm, Tru showed them to a long table in the background, where about twelve place settings for the breakfast were arranged. Each consisted of a coffee mug, a small wooden cutting board and a knife. Choosing places side by side, Tru introduced Adam and Vic to the breakfast habits on the farm. The coffee was hot, bread fresh, the homemade jam delicious and the sausages fat and juicy.

"No wonder that Pete and his brothers are such hunks." Vic japed, "You better keep Pete on diet Tru; otherwise he will crush you to death one night!"

"You are just envious about me, Vic, because Adam is nothing but skin and bone!"

"I thought you checked me out in the shower this morning. Didn't you? Don't you remember my magic wand, Tru! Its pure meat! Ask Vic!"

They were still teasing each other when the kitchen door swung open and Johnny entered followed by Pete. Johnny was frowning and Pete smiled anxiously, "Come here by me, Trewin!" Johnny commanded sternly. Tru went pale, but obeyed. Pete big brother was suddenly all grins. He took the small teen in a bear hug and hollered, "A hearty welcome to you Tru, my little Brother. Pete confessed everything to me and I am glad he did." turning to Pete, "No need to be in low spirits anymore, big boy! The sun is shining again!" and integrating Adam and Vic in the circle of friendship, he affirmed "All problems will be solved in due time, I will take care of it."

Just then little Billy came in, shouting excitedly "Grandpa got a new colt this night! Have you seen it Uncle Pete?" jumping into Tru's arms, "Come with me to the stable, Tru, please! You will like it, its coal black!"

Wagging his finger at little Billy, Johnny told his son, "From now on, he's Uncle Tru to you Billy, remember! Tru belongs to the family now."

*.*.*

 

After the breakfast, the four teens went down to the cabins to clean up the place. Having collected all the rubbish from the birthday party yesterday, Adam and Vic went on to the creek to look for trout, while Pete and Tru stayed behind.

Relaxing lazily in the late September sun, Tru suddenly began to frantically search his pockets.

"Need a hanky dear?" Pete asked considerate.

"No!" Tru blushed, then pulled out a small box wrapped in red paper and tied up with a blue ribbon. With a slight bow he handed it Pete, "My birthday present for you, Pete! Yesterday I didn't dare to give it to you! But today I know you will not laugh at me!"

Pete removed the blue ribbon and the red wrapping, and then he opened the box. Inside, placed on a white cushion were two bracelets made from silvery beads and letters in two shades of blue. Both bracelets read be true, written in a very individual way:

Pet+Tru+e

*.*.*

 

Broder:

The congress "Men and Environment" was the biggest meeting of scientists and companies studying the human impact on the environment and devising solutions for problems threatening the health and welfare of mankind. Broder's company, the pSpW limited (pure Water pure Soil limited) belonged to the small, but ambitions group of privately owned enterprises developing innovative systems for ground water treatment and soil remediation. Broder's assignment at the congress was to present a novel, very complex system of treating polluted ground waters to a group of specialists. He had to give his presentation in one of the Friday afternoon sessions.

The whole Friday morning Broder was present at the company booth sporting the ambitious slogan -pSpW-your partner for a better world-. His assignment was to introduce interested visitors from communal authorities and industrial companies to pSpW's new systems.

In the afternoon he rehearsed his presentation, because he hated to talk in front of big audiences despite his expertise as an engineer. The presentation went well after he had overcome his initial stage fright. After the speech he had to answer many questions of he interested participants of the session. Back at the company booth, the CEO of pSpW congratulated Broder, "You did really great. It will be your merit, if the company flourishes." and after a slight pause he added with a grin, "You deserve an increase of your salary, but you will get it only if you stock up yours son's allowance, too. Living with Adam changed you a lot! You are a lot more communicative since you have adopted the kid."

The CEO had invited Broder to join him, his wife and some friends for a formal dinner in a first rate restaurant. Arriving too early at the reserved table, Broder tried to call up Adam on the cell phone. But the connection was dead and he left a message in the phone box. He wasn't alarmed at all, guessing correctly that at eight pm the birthday party was still in full swing.

Watching the arriving guests, he was startled up by a tap on the shoulder and an unknown voice, "Hey Broder, old boy! How are you, we haven't seen us for more than fifteen years now."

Turning around Broder's eyes fell upon a massive man with a balding forehead in flashy clothes.

"Don't you remember me? I am Earl, I was with you at pSpW!"

Now Broder remembered him. He was the nice looking, slender guy trying in vain to introduce him to the gay scene.

"Yea, sure I remember you now! You have changed a lot Earl!"

"You too! I have heard, your have been quite successful lately, not only in your profession, but also in your private matters!" Earl said with a smirk.

Broder stared at this former colleague in surprise, "I am afraid, I don't know what you are hinting at! Private matters?"

"The rumor is you got a nice little boy friend now, a boy-toy. Back then, I didn't know you are into boys!"

Broder rose angrily and was about to hit the insolent guy, when the soft voice of a woman said firmly, "Calm down Mr. Ryder and you, you shameless fellow better leave our table, quick."

Turning around, Broder faced a middle aged woman looking faintly familiar to him.

"My husband and I are guests of pSpW limited too. My husband is running the Earth-Tec. I am sure you know each other."

"Right, we did some projects together! But what do you know of my private life and of Adam? I do not remember having met you before!"

"You did! I met you and your nice son about ten days ago at his first-day-of-school-day dinner! My older sister and I shared a table with you! She still raves about that perfect father and son team. Don't care about a fellow like this, he is a disgrace for mankind!"

*.*.*

 

Adam called back but not until noon the next day. "It was a great party, Dad. I am so glad you arranged the sleep over with Pete's father." Adam was talking his head off, "Pete got the equipment for his own Jugger Team! You do not know Jugger-----"

Finally Broder was able to stop Adam, "And how about Tru and Pete, are they friends again?"

"More than that, they are boyfriends now and Pete's big brother Johnny appointed Tru as his honorary brother and little Billy's Uncle!"

"I may be able to pick you up around eleven, if I leave around seven in the morning Adam. Is this ok with you, son?"

"So soon? Can't you arrive later? Pete's mother asked us boys to attend Sunday service with the Tyler family and in the afternoon, there will be a Jugger match from two to four."

"I thought you were longing for home and now it looks as if I am uncalled for!"

"No Dad! I love you. I just promised Pete to make his parents happy by attending the morning service and join his team in the afternoon! Please attend the game, Dad!" after a moment, "Another thing Dad, dear Dad, I am invited to the turkey hunt at Thanksgiving, about four weeks from now. Can I attend?"

"Granted you pest, both wishes!" Broder laughed in the phone, "I will be at Tyler's farm early in the afternoon!"

*.*.*

 

The first Jugger match of Dartsborough was in full swing at Tyler's farm, when Broder arrived around half past two. The Weird Varans fought their first battle against a team set up from the other member of the soccer team. The invitation for the match had been spread by Pete and Tru by initiation of a telephone tree and most of his class mates decided spontaneously to join the happening.

Pete, Tru, Adam and Vic belonged to the team of the Weird Varans. The team was filled up by Brad, Sally and Mel. At his arrival at the sports field, Broder as well as most of the other parents, had noted with surprise that both teams were mixed. Becoming aware of the inquiring looks of the adults, Mel, the class representative, announced, "Pete asked all of us to join the teams, because Jugger is a match for girls and boys! And we girls joined gladly, because we advocate for equal rights!"

The Weird Varans did wear bright yellow t-shirts with the emblem of the dragon, while their opponents used simple white t-shirts. All the players looked dangerous, because they had painted their faces with different colours like Indian warriors.

The game was in the second of three terms, when Broder arrived. The score was 5 to 7 against the Weird Varans, because their opponents were all sturdy players of the soccer team. Tru was the qwik, the unarmed runner and was the only one allowed to touch the skull. The small teen was just sprinting for his life to sink the skull into the stake. He succeeded, because Pete, one of the three enforcers, defended him vigorously with the polearm. The other enforcers were Adam and Vic, while Brad was handling the chain. At nine stones to the end second third, Mel and Sally were waiting on the sideline as substitutes. The Weird Varans lost the second third. Therefore the teams were even, because the scores were 4 to 3 and 6 to 7. The winner had to be eked out in the third round.

In the break, Adam spotted Broder in standing alone at the sideline. He stormed to him, touched him with his sword and commanded "pinned". When Broder tried to push away the sword, Adam explained. "Pinned" means, you have to wait till I remove my weapon. Then Adam put down his sword, laughed, hugged Broder and gave him a peck on the cheek.

"I didn't recognize you! You are looking like a dangerous warrior!" Broder told Adam, "You are enjoying yourself, right!"

"It's a great fun! Pete, Vic, Tru and I, we are already are attuned well to playing Jugger because we practised yesterday, nearly all the afternoon. Brad, Mel and Sally joined us just today. They need training!"

Meanwhile Mel's mother joined the two, "Are you Adam's father, right? Broder Ryder? I am Mel's mother. I think we should know each other. Did you and your brother attend Oakville High more than 20 years back? Was his first name Gregg?"

"Yes, Gregg is my brother, he is five years my junior. And what's your first name."

"Melanie, like my daughter's! Mel told me about Adam. She likes him, she told me looks cute and I think she's rights! You got a nice son, Broder!"

She dragged him to where the other parents were chatting and introduced him. Broder felt awkward at first, but the welcome of the Tyler's and the other parents made Broder feel comfortable on the spot.

The last third finished 5 to 3 for the Weird Varans, mainly because Pete, as the strongest, took the chain and successfully cleared the way for the qwiks, at first for Mel and then for Tru.

*.*.*

 

Broder had arrived with his beloved but battered pick-up. This posed a problem, because he only could place two people in the passenger seat. When Broder discussed what to do with Mr. Tyler, Pete intervened, "Daddy, why can't Tru stay over till tomorrow? I want to spend another night with my truelo...!" turning red as a beat, he started again, "Daddy do you mind having Tru over for another night? Remember I missed school on Friday and Tru could show me what I have missed."

Riding home in the pick-up with Broder, Vic asked Adam, "Did you get that Pete told his father he wants to spend another night with his truelove?" Adam, not wanting to spill the news to Broder pretended to be deaf.

But Broder had listened to the conversation and asked, "Pete and Tru are friends again, aren't they?"

"Probably more than that, Dad, they decided to stay together for ever. But Dad, don't breathe it to the Tylers, please, they are not out yet. Only Vic, Johnny and I know their secret!"

At home Broder questioned Adam, "And you and Vic? Are you boyfriends also? You have only known each other for about a week!"

After a long period of silence, Adam asked back, "Would you mind if Vic and I are boyfriends?" When Broder didn't reply, Adam continued, after reflecting his feelings carefully, "I love Vic, and I know he loves me too. But we both know we are not old enough to decide for ever." and after deliberating the problem again, "Broder would you object to raising a gay son? Please, say you won't! I want to stay with you, I need you Dad!"

At bedtime Adam called Broder from his room, "You haven't answered my last question jet, Dad. Would you throw me out, if it turns out I am gay?"

"Don't you know Adam I need you as much as you need me! I will always love you! You are my son!"

Later in his bed, Broder couldn't get the chorus of a tune out of his mind, a tune he couldn't place at first:

Oh, it's such a perfect day
I'm glad I spend it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

Straining his head, he recalled it was Lou Reed's song about dope and addiction. At first he shook his head because he couldn't tell why he remembered the song just this evening. But suddenly the truth dawned upon him. He chuckled to himself, repeating over and over, "Adam is my dope! I got addicted to Adam the moment I found him! Oh, it's such a perfect life!"

*.*.*

AUTHOR NOTE

The Giant Story/Mouse tale referred to in the preface, are two "half-picture-books" by Annegret Fuchshuber bound back to back. The message of this unusual book is that seemingly irresolvable differences cannot come in the way of good friendships.

Information on the sport Jugger is given in Wikipedia and in www.jugger.org.au in English language and in www.Jugger.de in German. The Australian Jugger League defines this sport as: Jugging is game that has been described as 'Medieval Footbal' it is played by two teams of five players armed with an assortment of padded 'weapons'

I would like to express my special thanks to TSL for editing and valuable help with the manuscript.

Comments, reviews, questions and complaints are welcomed. Please send them to ruwenrouhs@hotmail.de.

And I would like to add, thanks for reading.

My other story on Nifty is Buzzards, Hawks and Ravens in the Historical section.

Copyright Notice - Copyright 2008

The author copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be duplicated in any form physical, electronic, audio, or otherwise without the author's expressed permission. All applikable Copyright laws apply.

Ruwen Rouhs