Toby sat on the grass in the park, head swimming with what had just happened. He knew that he wasn't gay but it seemed that his new friend was, or at least was having those kind of thoughts. As his thoughts cleared, his instincts kicked in and he knew that he needed to find Scott and make sure he was OK. The kid could do something stupid in the state he was in.
Luckily he knew the park like the back of his hand, mainly from years of scouting out the best places to hide from the authorities while scoring a smoke or two. He found Scott behind the cafe, slumped against the wall with his knees drawn up to his chest and his head bowed and shaking. It was obvious that he was in a lot of emotional pain and could probably do with some help.
"Hey man, you OK?" Stupid question! Toby mentally slapped his forehead for being such a dunce.
Scott lifted his head and peered at him with tear-filled eyes.
"I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry. I didn't mean to. Honest, I never would. Please don't hurt me!"
Toby's heart melted as he knelt down and grabbed his new friend's hands.
"Listen mate, that don't matter. I'm not mad at you, it was just a bit ... unexpected, ya know? And to be honest, I don't think I could hurt you if I tried! I .. like you Scott"
"But not in that way though?"
Toby smiled gently and squeezed his companion's hands.
"Sorry man, I ain't built that way! But .. well, you are I guess?"
Scott just nodded and looked like he was about to cry again so Toby let go and sat down next to him, draping an arm over his slumped shoulders.
"Hey man, it's cool. I mean, listen, I got no problem with that. In fact, I kinda had a hunch anyway"
Now this made Scott snap his head up in surprise, a mixture of confusion and embarrassment on his face. Was it that obvious, he thought? He'd known that he was gay for a couple of years, at least in his own head. He'd never really thought of girls as being much more than annoying and sometimes he and his best friend had fooled around with each other's dicks, just for a laugh. At least his friend had thought it was just a laugh. Scott liked it. A lot. And would have loved to have kept doing it but somehow it just didn't work out that way.
It was only when his school had given a vague "sex ed" lesson that Scott could finally put a name to his feelings. Even then it wasn't really a matter of questioning whether or not he was that way, it just seemed to tie up a few loose ends. More of a "oh, well in that case, that's what I am" sort of scenario. But he never felt comfortable with telling anyone else, for fear of being publicly humiliated. The few bullies at his school had enough ammunition as it was, without adding to the list.
So he'd tried to hide his feelings and cover it up as much as possible, in an effort to save his own skin. But his heart was dying to find a mate and stop the loneliness from being eternal. His fear of rejection and shame meant that Scott constantly worried about developing inappropriate feelings for his friends and so ended up pushing away those that he did have. And here he was, having made the first attempt in his life to reach out and touch someone, and it had all gone wrong. Trust him to have picked a straight guy!
Wait a minute, didn't Toby say that he was OK with it all? Alright so it meant that he couldn't explore his feelings with his new friend, but at least it didn't look like he was going to suffer as much as he had thought he would, all those times when he'd played out similar scenarios in his head while crying himself to sleep at night. Maybe it wouldn't be all bad.
At that point, he turned a corner in his mind and decided to open up. Hell, it couldn't get any worse, could it?
"Toby, I .. I'm sorry..."
"I know, I know I said that already, but I am. Honest I am. I wouldn't have done that if I hadn't thought you were so .. hot." he confessed, hanging his head.
Toby laughed and shook his friend gently.
"Well, compliment taken, man. But maybe you shouldn't smoke no more!"
Scott smiled weakly as he agreed and the other boy spoke up again
"I guess I was right when I saw you at the beach. It looked like you needed a friend, or at least someone to talk to. OK, so I was bored out of my head too but hey, every little helps! Which is why I thought you could do with a smoke. I always find that it helps me to, you know, loosen up."
"Well it did that alright, at least most of the time" said Scott, glancing at his lap.
Toby caught his meaning and giggled.
"OK, maybe I asked for that! But still, if I can make you bone up, I must be hot!"
Scott looked mortified so Toby sought to reassure him
"Just kidding with you. It don't matter if that happens, hell I do it all the time! Teenage hormones an all that. Seriously man, it's no big deal. Just cos I don't swing your way doesn't mean my dick don't work overtime!"
The two boys laughed together and in that moment, a lifelong friendship had been forged. In time, Scott would learn to open up and discuss his feelings, fears and hopes with his new friend. But not that day, that was reserved for more fun, and no more smoking!
Since that day, the two were almost inseparable. It seemed that each had his own strengths and own set of problems, but together they could face all that the world could throw at them. Scott would still sneak the odd glance at his mate, especially in the "topless season" and Toby would even play up to it, shaking his firm little butt and teasing Scott until they both couldn't breathe from laughing too much!
Four years had passed since then and they had certainly been through a lot in the intervening years. Scott had suffered when he eventually came out to his parents and peers and Toby had been there for him. Toby, whose relationship with his own parents had never been all that great anyway, had Scott to lean on when times were tough. Eventually they had run away together, escaping from the misery of the effects of other people's actions.
So that was how they had found themselves in Brighton, perhaps the most cosmopolitan city in England. A city where it seemed that almost anything was accepted, at least most of the time. Initially they shared digs, bunking together in a single room with barely enough money to afford the rent and the electricity for the heating. Sometimes even that wasn't enough and the heating would lose out. On nights like those, the two would cuddle up in bed together to keep warm, safe in the knowledge that their friendship was strong and that even the occasional accidental poke in the back during the night couldn't destroy what they had.
Things were rough-going and for a while they seemed to sink into a never-ending circle of freeloading and partying, always ready to go with the supply and demand of the less savoury aspects of town life. They both did things that they would later regret but hey, `that which does not kill you makes you stronger', right?
In due course, Toby hooked up with a girl and seemed to spend all of his time with her. Not that Scott begrudged him a partner, but it just made the void in his life seem so much bigger. Eventually Toby moved out and deeper into the social maelstrom. So Scott was left to find a room of his own, moving from place to place as his ill-gotten money allowed. He tried to keep in constant contact with Toby but instead found himself sucked into a cycle of scraping out a living and then partying into the night to blot out the pain of his everyday existence.
Without his best friend by his side, Scott's judgment failed completely and he made a series of bad decisions, culminating in a near-death experience, and this jolted him back into life. How he wished he could have gone to his friend for help but he somehow felt ashamed that he couldn't make it on his own and besides, he didn't want to intrude on the cosy existence that Toby and his girl, Amanda, had gotten into.
Slowly but surely, Scott built himself up again, laying off the narcotics and cleaning himself up. After searching for a better place to stay, he ended up in rented accommodation near the West Pier. By then he'd got himself a job shifting furniture around in one of the great big hotels on the seafront. Enough to pay for his room and to feed him, with a little left over for luxuries. But living so close to the breadline meant that he couldn't really afford to go out all that much and his nights were spent in quiet reflection on all that he'd learned in his short life.
So it was quite a pleasant surprise when he ran into Amanda on the street one day and she invited him to a party at her and Toby's house that Friday. He promised to be there and when he and Amanda had gone their separate ways, Scott felt better than he'd done in a long while. The paranoia and self-deprecation was still there though and the days between then and the party were filled with questions. Would Toby have changed? Would they have anything to say to each other? And above all, could they still be friends?
Finally, Friday night came round and it was make-or-break time. After hours of soul-searching and worrying - and several costume changes - Scott slipped on a pair of blue boot-cut jeans and a lightly patterned white t-shirt and strode out into the night. He walked the streets until he found the address that Amanda had given him. Impressive!
Set in an area to the west of town, all of the buildings stretched four or five stories into the sky. In some small need of repair but still far from shoddy, these were mostly all converted into apartment-style living spaces and if he hadn't already known that Toby lived here, he could tell by the slightly muffled sound of music and the multi-coloured lights streaming from the barely-covered windows. It seemed that the whole building had joined together to form one huge house party!
With his heart beating wildly in anticipation, Scott stepped up to the front door and rang the bell...
******* and that's all for another chapter. Sorry there's no sex yet but I wanted to build up the characters a bit. Some of the guys' history and adventures will come out at later points in the story but I wanted to get back to the present, so here we are. Now that the intro's over, the next chapters should be longer..honest! As always, please mail with any comments. *******