This story involves sexual contact and male/male relationships. If this is something that you find offensive, you have no business being here and need to leave now. If you are under the age of 18 or not of legal age in your area, GET OUT. If this content is illegal in your area LEAVE.

This story is property of the author and is not to be copied or posted elsewhere without written permission of the author. All characters and plot lines are fictional. Any resemblance is strictly coincidental and should be noted as such.

Author's Note: To my collaborator, my sweetie, my little brother and best friend... You have been the one who has held my hand, without you this story wouldn't be what it is. Thanks Davey.

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From Behind Those Eyes - Chapter 13

I couldn’t decide which I needed more at the moment, to continue to have his protective arms tirelessly trying to give me any amount of comfort or to look into his eyes to let him know that I was trying to deal with the loss of my mom in the best way I knew how. In his arms I felt safe, loved, less alone for the first time in a long time.

“I’m so sorry baby,” he whispered quietly against my neck.

I heard that all the time, every time, but it sounded different this time coming from Jesse. Somewhere in the background I heard some birds chirping in the warmth the golden sunlight provided them, the fall leaves rustling in the gentle breeze, the fragrant unmistakable smell of freshly cut grass, but that was all secondary as I inhaled the scent that was solely Jesse, my face nestled against his chest.

I sat back some facing him now as I placed the black book in between us on the soft grass. My fingertips traced the silver outline on the cover until I got the courage to look up, our eyes meeting once again. He was silently questioning me with his eyes, but he wasn’t going to push me, not at all, not ever. He would wait patiently, forever, if that’s what I needed from him, until I was ready to share my life with him. I think that’s one of the things that I appreciated most about him; that he never expected me to be something I wasn’t, never asked me to do something I wasn’t ready to do. No, instead he just walked beside me, with me, as I figured things out for myself. No pressure, no demands, just unconditional support and comfort.

“It’s nice here,” he commented, trying to take the pressure off me as I dealt with what was going to come next. “It’s really… peaceful.”

I nodded though my thoughts again were elsewhere. How do you explain to someone who’s never lost anyone, never been, every month for the last one hundred and nineteen months, to visit the resting place of someone they loved so dearly, what you feel when you have so much to say and no way to know if they can hear you; if they are looking down on you as you go through life missing them and all the ways their presence, their life, would have made yours different, changed in some way?

I figured that at some point I needed to explain to Jesse what this book was that I was still gliding my hand over and how I used it to fulfill not only my last promise to my mom, but to help myself cope with the harsh, painful reality that she was gone. Gone. I would never be with her again. Not ever.

It wasn’t all bad though, I had found a way to go on with my life and for the most part, be happy. When I thought about all I did have, all the people in my life I cared about, I knew I wasn’t as alone as I felt sometimes, but that doesn’t make it any easier or less burdensome to the person you are clinging to for comfort. The connection that I felt with Jesse was strong, deep. He knew things about me now that no one did, some without me even having to volunteer them, he just figured them out. His want to know as much as he could about me motivated his watchful eyes and perceptive heart.

I opened the book and read to him from the first page. “At school today Billy took my car at recess, you know, my favorite red one, but Jules pushed him down and got it back for me.” Jesse laughed gently, quietly, the way you do when something is more cute than funny. “Dad made me wear the yellow socks to practice today. You said I didn’t have to wear them if I didn’t want to, but he made me,” I continued. “I think those eggs we saw in the bird nest in Mr. Bakers’ tree are hatching! I want to see the baby birdies.”

It was funny to see the really awful lettering I had tried so hard to make look perfect for my mom to read again. I hadn’t really looked back through this book in years, but today I was going to share it with Jesse. Definitely not the whole thing, or we’d be here all day, but some things, important things.

“So you write stuff in here for your mom?” he asked trying to figure out the purpose of the book and the random things I was reading to him from it.

“When my mom left that day to go to my aunts, I was… scared I guess. She had never been away from me before, and I was crying, so she gave me the book and told me to write down everything I wanted to tell her while she was gone so that when she got home she wouldn’t have missed anything,” I explained.

“That’s cute,” he responded. “Your mom seems pretty cool from what I’ve heard so far.”

I nodded as I flipped further back through the pages watching as my lettering changed, evolved throughout the book. I paused when I came to the page I was looking for. The letters were now all capital and had gotten much smaller than they used to be as I looked the page over. The things I wrote for my mom had started out as small sentences, but as I got older they became more detailed, almost like stories. I would come here and read them to her, adding details as I remembered them.

“It’s my birthday, I’m sixteen today. Dad took the day off work and we spent the whole day together. It was cool. We went and had breakfast at that little place on Fern Street that makes those great pancakes and then he took me to get my drivers license. It was so awesome, I only missed one on the test and then Dad let me drive the rest of the afternoon. We went to the batting cages and then when we were driving home he told me to stop at Jules house so I did. When we got out of the car and went inside Linda had made me a birthday cake and they all sang me Happy Birthday. Then Jules and I walked down the street to hang out at our house and Dad said he would be home in a while after he finished talking with Linda and Frank. I guess they had been planning this for a while by the looks of things because there was a huge party already going on in our house and when I walked in with Jules they all yelled, ‘Surprise!’ right before I heard Happy Birthday being sung to me for the third time that day. By the time Dad walked in with Linda and Frank everyone was dancing and the music was pretty loud, but he turned it off and everyone got all quiet like we were in trouble or something. Dad asked everyone to come outside and parked in front of the house was a maroon truck with a huge bow on it. I just looked at Dad cause I couldn’t believe it and he hugged me and said, ‘Happy Birthday Son’. I love my new truck, it’s so cool, kinda like Dad. I miss you Mom.”

When I had finished reading, I looked up and saw mixed emotions playing across his face. He wanted to smile hearing about me and the way things were before he knew me, happy times, but he knew that as much as I was happy about things like getting a new truck, I would trade them all in a heartbeat for more time with my mom.

“I heard about that party,” he said, looking for something safe to say, something that would keep the tears from coming.

“Yeah, it was pretty cool,” I agreed as I flipped further back to another page.

“It was Homecoming tonight. I went with Jules like always. I guess its cool knowing I’ll always have a date if I want one. It was a masquerade ball and we wore masks and Jules and I won king and queen,” I paused, looking up at him briefly before I continued. He knew this part of my life, he was there, I guess it would be a little weird listening to me describe it now, but there were things, feelings, that I hadn’t ever shared with anyone about that night, at least not verbally.

“I saw this guy there, at the dance. I feel like I should know who he is, but I can’t figure it out. He had the most amazing blue eyes and I couldn’t stop staring at him, looking at his eyes.” I looked up and saw Jesse blush a little as a small smile allowed the corners of his mouth to curl upwards. “It was weird though, because when I got home he was sitting on the porch waiting for me so I figured he must have known who I was. We sort of danced together at the dance, not like a couple or anything, but it was a group dance and I just ended up as his partner. Maybe it was coincidence, maybe it was fate or destiny, I don’t know. Anyway, he just came to say thanks, but I’m not really sure what for, I mean, I didn’t do anything.”

“Yes you did,” he said genuinely, “you just didn’t know what you were doing at the time.”

It was strange sharing my thoughts with Jesse like this. I hadn’t really shown anyone what I write in my book, not in years. I mean my dad knew because he used to bring me here before I could drive myself, but since my sixteenth birthday I have always come alone, except once a year on her birthday we still come together. I decided that as vulnerable as I felt doing this, he wouldn’t hurt me, I was safe with him and I knew it. I turned the page.

“I have to do it. I’m telling Dad tomorrow after I get home from school. I’ve been feeling guilty about not being honest; not with myself, not with him, not with anyone. I’m gay Mom. I’ve known for a while now, but I’ve never told anyone, I never really had a reason to I guess, but now I do,” I looked up at Jesse who was watching me intently. “I know I had dreams to fulfill, your dreams for what my life should be, what you wanted me to achieve. I wish you were here. I used to think I couldn’t live without you, I know I never wanted to, but now I know I can. Sometimes I still feel hollow inside, empty, but not so much anymore. I used to think that you let me down, but I know it’s not your fault now. I know that if you could be here with me you would be. I’m scared. I know Dad loves me, but this is a big deal.”

“Wow,” he said. “It’s surprising to me that no matter what I imagine your feelings to be, really they are a million times stronger. I guess that’s because I’ve never really had to deal with this before,” he admitted.

Next page, my hands were shaking now. I know he could see it happening as he reached out and gently placed a comforting hand on my arm, rubbing it soothingly providing me with the reassurance I needed to go on.

“I did it, I told Dad… and everything went really well. I guess I should tell you that I have a boyfriend. His name is Jesse and he is the guy with the eyes, you know from the dance. He is the most amazing guy. He seems to know just what I’m feeling and what I need from him. He’s like a dream to me, the gentle words he offers protect me, shelter me, so I’m not afraid to say what’s in my heart, to try something new. I’ve been living in my own world for so long but he’s helped me realize that anything can happen when you take a chance. I know it’s different with him and I know that because I’ve never felt this way before. It’s like the world looks so much brighter with him by my side and I’m happier than I have been in a long time. Something has changed in my life and I know now that it’s Jesse that has made everything feel so right. It’s just so easy to be myself with him. It’s like when you’re in kindergarten, when all you need to do to become friends is to be yourself, and holding hands was innocent but it meant everything at the same time, like it would last forever.”

I closed the book and after a minute I realized that what I read him was the truth, it was what I really felt about him, minus one huge piece. I looked up at him again and his eyes told me he understood my feelings because he felt the same things, but there was definitely more to say.

“Jess, I have learned a lot from losing my mom, and one of those things is that time runs out. I don’t want to go another day without telling you this… I know you… and you know me, in ways that no one else does. You make me feel whole again inside, and…,” I was looking him directly in the eyes now. I don’t know where I got the courage to do it, I’m sure it was from him though, the way he had moved the book aside and had his knees pressed up against mine in an effort to get as close to me as possible as we sat across from each other on the grass. I looked down and took his hands in mine, like kindergarten, and I said, “I love you.”

I don’t know if I expected to feel a huge sense of relief from telling him how I felt about him, but I didn’t. In fact, the longer I sat there staring at his hands in mine, the harder it got for me to breathe. It felt more like I was being weighed down by his silence. I didn’t want him to say it back if he didn’t feel it, and I knew that if I looked in his eyes I would know if he was being honest or not, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that.

I had already shared so much with him today, more than I had ever shared with anyone before, and I think I had just reached my limit. I wasn’t going to push him into saying something he didn’t mean, and I certainly didn’t want a response out of guilt. I didn’t think he would do that, but people tend to cave when it comes to hurting some ones feelings. This wouldn’t be some little lie either, like when you tell Grandma that you love the awful sweater with the reindeer on the front that she gave you and then have to prove it by wearing it the next time you see her. No, this was so much bigger.

The shallow breaths I was taking only out of a necessity to continue life, were interrupted as I felt his hands squeeze mine. I was suddenly so terrified. I mean, what if he didn’t feel the same way? What if I was moving too fast, pushing too hard, for something he wasn’t ready for? I felt his fingers on the back of my neck where the subtle pressure they were applying there caused me to lean forward until my forehead rested gently against his. My eyes were closed and just the feeling of his hand on my neck, the contact between us helped me to relax a little, even though that only meant that I remembered to breathe again.

“You do?” he asked so quietly that it seemed like his words floated past me on the breeze. I nodded against his forehead but I couldn’t say anything, not until he told me how he felt in return. Good or bad, I just needed to know. I needed him to say something. Now.

“That night in my room, when you came over… I was so scared. I was so afraid that this was some joke, but then I knew, when I looked in your eyes, that you were just as afraid as I was. You are so much stronger than me, you have so much more courage than I will ever have,” he said, speaking quietly as though his thoughts and feelings were for me alone, that not even the butterfly gliding through the sunny afternoon should be privileged enough to hear them.

I didn’t feel strong or courageous at all right then. Instead I felt like my heart was about to explode and I was never going to make it through this. My fears had their own hiding place and until recently, they were staying quite happily buried beneath the surface, protected by my image and my ability to hide the truth from everyone, sometimes even myself. I think I had realized in the past few days that Jesse was way more than some vividly beautiful blond guy. I needed him in my life, more than that I wanted him, desperately.

I felt his fingertips as they gently sifted through the ends of my uneven hair that hung down over my collar, while his thumb pressed against my neck in an attempt to ease some of the tension I know he could feel. I was still holding his other hand with both of mine as I clung to him, scared and anxious. I think he realized this as his hand squeezed mine in response to the tightening grip I had on his.

“Stephen… I love you too baby,” he said right before his mouth covered mine. I didn’t know if he was trying to stop me from saying anything in response or if he just wanted to kiss me, but I decided I didn’t care all that much anymore as his other hand came up around me, pulling me over him until we were laying next to each other in the soft grass, arms around each other, trying our hardest to convey the strength of our feelings now.

As much as I loved kissing him, I decided that I needed to see his face, look into his eyes, which is why I reluctantly pulled my lips away from his. I met his eyes with mine, and what I saw when I looked into them was clear, pure, strong. He loved me, like I loved him. We were in love with each other and it was a sensation that I wouldn’t ever forget. To feel breathless and yet, more alive than ever. To feel like your head is in the clouds yet, everything is amazingly clear.

I blushed as he continued to look at me with loving eyes before I finally looked away, perhaps in an attempt to ground myself, remind myself of the reality I was living in, before his fingers guided my chin upwards once again till our eyes met.

“Don’t look away, don’t ever be embarrassed of how you feel baby,” he told me. “I want to remember how you look right now, this very moment, forever.”

His words were powerful, moving. We spent a long time there lying in the grass next to each other, seeing one another completely. We spoke softly at times, at other times there were no words needed between us.

“Thanks for coming with me today Jess,” I offered as I pulled him to his feet right before his arms firmly wrapped around me pulling me close to him.

“You know what?” he asked redundantly. “I wasn’t sure what was going to happen here today, and I can admit now that I was a little uncomfortable with the idea, but now, I’m so glad I came,” he admitted as his vibrant smile took its’ place across his beautiful face.

“Me too,” I agreed before I blushed again and he laughed, apparently finding the pink shade of my cheeks humorous. I shook my head in exasperation before I bent over to pick up my black book with the silver lining around the edges from where it still laid in the grass. “Ready?” I asked him.

“Almost,” he said right before he kissed me again. When he finally pulled away he looked right into my eyes, into my soul, and said, “I love you.”

I knew right then and there that I would never get tired of hearing him say that, but what was even better was that I knew, without a doubt, that he meant it. I nodded saying, “I know Jess. I love you too.” I grabbed his hand and we walked back down the small green hill that had become our haven for the last… three hours, I noticed as I glanced at my watch.

“Wow, we have been here for three hours,” I informed him, surprised at that fact myself.

“No way, really?” he questioned my statement before checking his own watch for clarification. “Damn, I guess we got a little distracted,” he teased.

“So what do you want to do now?” I asked him. “I guess since I have the afternoon off from practice we can do something if you want to.”

“Of course I want to,” he said as if the thought that he wouldn’t was absurd.

“Okay,” I laughed, “I believe you. So what do you want to do?”

“I don’t know,” he answered thinking about it. “Can we hang out at your house?” he asked.

“Well, yeah we can… but I should warn you, my dad is gonna give me ‘the talk’ anytime now,” I said rolling my eyes as he looked horrified.

“Oh shit,” he said so very eloquently.

I nodded in agreement. “Yeah, but it won’t be too bad I think, I mean since we already have decided how we feel, I can just tell him I know that I’m not ready and there’s nothing for him to worry about.”

“Yeah, besides, you can always remind him that neither of us can get pregnant,” he laughed and it was my turn to look horrified at the thought of actually repeating that sentiment to my dad.

“I’m hungry,” I volunteered, as if he was wondering.

“Yeah, I could eat,” he agreed.

“Do you want to go somewhere or just find something to eat at my house?” I asked. “That is if you’re still interested in coming over,” I added.

“I’m always interested,” he replied, the sexual innuendo quite obvious.

I looked over at him, half shocked and half questioningly, before I remembered I was driving and I better be paying attention to the road. “So, my house then?” I asked.

He nodded in agreement but said, “Yeah but let’s drive thru somewhere first and take it back to your house.”

It was decided then and I turned in the direction of Henry’s. It was our local hamburger place, privately owned, meaning it had really good food like most tiny little places do. We pulled up and ordered through my open window, before pulling around to pay and get our food. I was stopped in the driveway, waiting for traffic to clear so I could pull out onto the road when Sean’s car pulled into the same driveway with Jules in the passenger seat.

There was no mistake about the surprised look on her face as she turned her head in our direction as they drove past us, seeing that Jesse was with me. Sean, I don’t think noticed right away, but as I watched them in my rear view mirror getting out of his car they were both staring in our direction. I tried really hard not to look like the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, I mean it’s not like I was doing anything wrong, but it was definitely awkward as I decided I better at least wave or I would hear about that later for sure, from Jules.

I guess Jesse hadn’t noticed what was going on right away, but when he saw me wave he looked over to see that Jules and Sean were entering the restaurant and when I looked over at him he was trying to be sympathetic when he said, “We keep running into them, don’t we.”

“Yeah, and I think that Sean suspects something,” I admitted out loud, trying not to let my worries be too evident in my tone.

“Really?” he asked. “Why do you say that?”

I think the incredulous look I gave him as I pulled out of the driveway and headed toward my house surprised him since it was clear that I had been thinking about this far more than he had been. “You were at the same lunch table as I was on Friday right?” I asked trying to remind him how he ended up there in the first place.

“Well, yeah, so?” he answered almost naively.

“Dude, he saw me staring at you and before I realized he was gone, he was over there bringing you back to sit with us,” I reminded him like it should have been more obvious what had happened.

He took that opportunity to use my words against me. “You were staring at me?” he asked, the teasing tone in his voice clearly evident and while I was quite aware of it happening I couldn’t stop myself from blushing again, like he had found out my little secret.

“Well, I can’t help it,” I defended myself. “You’re hot and I love you, it’s impossible not to stare at you.” I was pouting now, playfully. Not because he knew that I had been staring or even because I had to admit that to him, but because I wanted him to know that it was the absolute truth. It was the truth too. Recently I realized that I had no conscious capabilities to control my behavior when he was involved, or anywhere near me.

By this time we had arrived at my house and I had parked out front like always. We were barely inside when he asked, “Still hungry?” as I felt his arms come around my waist from where he was standing behind me now, his words breathy against my ear as he pressed his body against mine.

“Hmm?” I murmured, not being able to comprehend his words as I felt a million sensations take over my body all at one time. His teeth gently grazing the side of my neck as his lips made their way down my neck from behind my ear down to the collar of the shirt I was wearing that was currently being shoved up out of the way as his hands went in search of every part of me they could feel.

I melted back against him even more as my head fell back to rest on his shoulder loving the way his hair was tickling the side of my face as it fell over his forehead. My hands managed to locate his as they roamed my stomach, my chest, and even my lower regions and my fingers slid between his as I grasped them tightly, perhaps in an attempt to remain upright since the way he pressing his unmistakable hardness against me was more than a little distracting, in a good way.

“How long until your dad gets home?” he asked making it clear that he wanted so much more than what was happening here in the entry way of my house.

“I don’t know,” I answered, and I didn’t. My dad worked as an architect, and the hours he worked were always different depending on what project he was overseeing. There were times he was designing, drawing things out, drafting plans for the next building, and then there were times he was actually on site answering questions and working with the foreman for the project to make sure the details were understood.

It didn’t matter though, that I didn’t know, because the sound of his key in the door unlocking it was enough to have us jumping apart. Partly so that we wouldn’t have to explain Jesse feeling me up and partly so that we wouldn’t be hit with the door he was currently swinging open, just as surprised to see us standing there as we were to see him home.

“Hi boys,” he greeted us. “Just on your way out?” he asked trying to figure out our close proximity to the door.

“Uh, no. Actually we just got here ourselves,” I answered hoping he wouldn’t jump to any conclusions about what we were just doing here alone.

“Oh, okay. So what are you guys up to?” he wondered aloud.

“We were about to eat since we skipped lunch,” Jesse offered since I was clearly still a bit out of sorts and I gave him a silent thank you as I smiled in his direction.

“Alright, sounds like a plan then,” he said as he headed up the stairs. “I’m just going to change my clothes and I’ll be back down,” he said as he disappeared into his room.

“So I guess we’re eating,” I said the disappointment evident in my voice since eating clearly wasn’t what I wanted to be doing right now. Jesse followed me, laughing sympathetically, as we sat down to eat. In no time my dad was back downstairs with us, watching us interact with each other, but trying not to be too obvious about it.

Finally when I guess it appeared to him that we weren’t about to rip each others clothes off, my dad said from his chair in the living room, “I think I’ll go over and talk to Frank a while.”

“Uh Dad,” I said obviously a bit worried about something from the way I was leaping out of my chair to stop him before he walked out the door, “wait!”

He was looking at me a little more than curiously as I grabbed him by his shoulders and turned him to face me. “What’s up Son?” he asked me looking for the reason behind my recent outburst.

“You didn’t say anything to Frank did you?” I demanded before I realized that he didn’t know what I was talking about as he looked at me, a confused expression spreading across his face. “I mean, you didn’t tell him about me… about us,” I said motioning in Jesse’s direction, “did you?”

“Oh,” he said quickly figuring out what I was talking about. “No, that’s not my business to tell Son,” he said before he winked at me.

“Okay, thanks Dad. I just want to be able to tell Jules myself,” I explained, “when I’m ready to,” I added.

He nodded, understanding why I was worried before he said, “Okay guys, I’ll be back soon,” in a way that was only mostly obvious and clearly meant that it could be anytime so we shouldn’t get too cozy.

Jesse and I finished eating at the kitchen counter. We hadn’t really decided on any plans yet for the rest of our night when Jesse asked, “So, you really think your dad is gonna want to talk… about sex, tonight?”

“I’m pretty sure since he said ‘we aren’t finished though, we will talk more tonight’,” I repeated in my best imitation of my dad, which wasn’t at all good.

“Oh, that’s rough,” he said and I wasn’t sure if he was referring to the possible subject matter or the really bad impression I had just done. “Do you want me to stay and we can talk to him together?” he offered genuinely, I mean what kind of kid wants to have that talk… ever?

“Nah, I mean I love that you would, but I think we all would be the most comfortable if it’s just he and I,” I said.

It was only about four-thirty when I asked Jesse what he wanted to do for the rest of the night. There were a few suggestions volunteered back and forth between us; a movie, the park, the batting cages, but in the end we decided that we would just take a walk where he had taken me before on our date. It was pretty secluded and quiet and we wouldn’t have to worry too much about anyone seeing us together.

I left my dad a note telling him that Jesse and I were just gonna hang out for a while and then I would take him home and I assured him that I would still be home in plenty of time for ‘our talk’. Ugh, I can’t wait.

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