When Calvin made his way through the lunch line, I was dying to find out what had happened with him and Benny after Linda moved us into the building, but this was definitely not the place for such an interrogation. The long-haired blond was later than usual, and when he bypassed the stack of trays at the head of the line, I knew something was going on—he always got a full meal—especially when it was pizza day like today. Almost everybody liked the little round pepperoni pizzas we served, and the green beans were always popular...so for him to ask for a baloney sandwich and orange juice was almost unheard-of. I could tell from his voice that he was a little on edge, but nothing too serious as he told me he had to try to get his keys out of his car. I smiled back at him and wished him luck, saying I was glad I didn't have a car to worry about things like forgotten keys.

With the crowd thinning rapidly as everybody made their selections, I grabbed the tray Mamaw C had put together for me, and added an extra peanut-butter cookie. I was seriously addicted to those, because the recipe was one of the cook's rather than from some factory brand. I made my way over to our table where the guys were already sitting, and I'd barely scooted my chair in before all eyes turned to me and the cross-examination started. Of course it was all about Calvin and Benny—especially Benny. I wasn't trying to be mean, but I took a bite of my pizza and a sip of my milk before I even tried to say anything. I looked around the big room as I chewed, and the first thing that struck me was the absence of the big wrestler...all of them were seated together most days, but Ben stood out because he was one of the biggest on this year's team, and him not being there was conspicuous.

I let my eyes come back to my friends; Jay was almost bursting with his need to satisfy his curiosity, while Mikey was calmer—but still more animated than his usually reserved self. I gave my head a little shake and focused on my boyfriend—damn it felt good to finally be able to say that—even if it was just to myself. Denny looked amazingly hot today in a lavender short-sleeved shirt with twin pockets on the front. It had a wide collar that he wore with the first two buttons open—revealing his chest to a point just between his still-covered nipples. The smooth skin was lightly tanned and had me salivating like crazy. I could feel my dick move a bit as Denny's movements exposed a little more of his torso. This was the first time I'd seen him without a tee-shirt underneath and more than one button undone. With my grey school sweatshirt, I felt under-dressed, but Denny leaned forward a little so I could see his left pec and nipple—and the bastard gave me an evil grin and winked at me.

I swallowed my bite of pizza, and held up a hand to get the guys to shut up long enough for me to say something; so far they had been keeping their voices fairly low, but I was still afraid people would start paying more attention unless they calmed down. "Guys—I don't think this is a good time. We can talk about everything tonight when we have study group—we are still having it, right?"

Jay's face was showing his confusion more than the other two, and his words only confirmed that. "Of course—why wouldn't we? It's only Thursday." I saw Denny nod his agreement with that, and I wondered if boarding schools even had half-days for holidays—we had it only because it gave more travel time to those teachers who wanted to leave town. We'd all be back in classes on Monday morning so it didn't really make any sense to me. The one real blessing I guess was that most teachers gave less home-work the day before Good Friday, and none on the day itself.

Mikey smirked at his boyfriend and I saw Jay jerk slightly in his seat—his little 'OW' told me he must have gotten a kick in the shins. "Because it's Easter weekend you goof—haven't you noticed there's less home-work today? I don't think we really need to meet tonight..." I watched a look of panic cross Jay's face at that, and Denny and I both smiled at the shock on his face. It was clear to me at least, that being with Mikey was the high point of Jay's day. "...but I don't see any reason not to. If we finish early, we can sit around and talk, or see what sort of games Jay's family has to play—it's been ages since I played Scrabble or Monopoly." I didn't want to ruin Mikey's idea, but I hated playing that stupid real-estate game—Jeff always cheated and managed to drive me bankrupt before the game was half over.

"Maybe we could play a couple hands of cards instead? I think we all know that Mikey would win at Scrabble, what with him bein' so good at English an' all..." My exaggerated Southern drawl on that last phrase had everybody laughing, and Denny chimed in by saying Jay'd probably win at Monopoly since he was a math wiz. I saw Denny nod first, then Mikey...and Jay was the last after glancing at his boyfriend.

"I'm fine with cards...we used to play Euchre, Hearts and Gin Rummy all the time as kids. Maybe my parents will play too." With our evening planned out, we talked about the weekend, and what else we could do, and I was a bit disappointed when Jay said he and Mikey would probably be staying in Columbus tomorrow night with friends from their trip to the Mall last Saturday. Their story was just starting to get interesting with the description of the guys' van when I looked at the clock—I needed to start gathering trays, so I wolfed down the rest of my lunch, and gave one of my cookies to Denny. I let my fingers brush his for a minute before I got up and headed off to pick up empty trays and dump people's trash into the cans near the exits. That was the other good thing about pizza day—almost no leftovers.

I had gathered up all the trays and was starting on changing the trash bags when the guys left, so I gave them a wave as they went out the door. Denny was last out, and he looked at me as he left, giving me a warm smile which made my heart race a little faster. I was thinking how good it felt to have someone to love as I carried the bags out to the big dumpster by the kitchen's exit, and the warm sun and clear blue skies just made my mood float even higher—so I began to whistle during my multiple-trips outside. The old Lennon song Love was six years old, but it said everything I wanted it to—I didn't want to tell him yet, but I was practicing this song on guitar for Denny—it was simple and expressed everything I felt for him without being over-the-top like some of the more recent songs by people like Roberta Flack and Donna Summer...some of those Soul songs were almost pornographic, which wasn't the mood I wanted to share with Denny Watson at all.

On my last trip out the door, I threw the two bags I was carrying into the big red dumpster, and then pulled the lid down to prevent animals from getting inside. The custodians would have to pick any messes up if they happened, so I always looked around to see if there were any stray bits lying on the ground...and that's when I noticed that Benny's car wasn't where he'd parked it this morning, next to Calvin's. It wasn't anywhere in the student lot, and Calvin wasn't trying to get into his car either, like he'd said. I trotted over and saw his keys dangling from the ignition switch on the steering column, so he hadn't been successful. I was trying to put two and two together and come up with something other than five when I heard the bell go off ending lunch. I put my apron back in the kitchen, washed my hands at the big metal sink, then waved to Mamaw C as I ran to get my books.

I'd talk to Cal or Benny later on to find out what had happened between them...I really hoped they'd decided to be boyfriends—every bone in my body told me they were perfect for each other, just as I felt Denny Watson and I were. As luck would have it, I didn't see either of them the rest of the day, and I didn't have a class with either of them, just lunch. That meant I'd have to wait until tomorrow to find out what happened, unless I talked to Benny after studying at Jay's. I just knew the guys would pester me to tell them what I knew about Cal and Benny, but I wasn't going to say anything—just as I'd kept quiet about Jay and Mikey being gay. Every guy I'd talked to in my effort to find a boyfriend of my own—if they were gay like me—I'd sworn to keep their secret, and I'd never broken my promise. My grandpa had taught me, along with his music, that a man's word was his bond, and honor was the only thing in life which was truly valuable.

My hesitancy, and sheer dumb luck had cost me a relationship with Jay or Miles—they found out about one another by accident while I was working up the courage to ask Mikey out—so my conscience was clear on their account; the only time I'd come close to spilling the beans was in trying to get Benny and Calvin together—all I'd done there was tell them they ought to talk, explaining they had several interests in common. They didn't need to know the major thing they shared was a liking and longing for each other. Now that I had Dennis in my life, I told myself the wrestler and the blond would be my last attempt at match-making. I wasn't sure I could keep that promise, which is why I never voiced it out loud. Could I help it if I wanted other guys to find the same sort of happiness I felt with Denny, or like the one shared by Jay and Miles? I did make the resolution not to call any more guys.

The end result of all this was that I wouldn't say anything about how I knew Calvin and Benny would be right for each other—not unless either of them gave me permission. I was thinking so hard about keeping quiet that I missed seeing Denny catch up to me in the hall after last period. "You ready to go study? Got all the books you need?" I looked down at my math book and English notes, and nodded. It seemed there was always something in those two classes, even before Christmas break, so why should Easter be an exception? Not that I was religious, but I wondered if God had it in for kids because he'd lost his own—why else would he allow home-work for Easter and Christmas?

"Need to go home first, let your parents know where we're at?"

I knew Denny was still worried about me getting in trouble for not calling home before our first session with Jay and Mikey, but I gave him a smile and shook my head. "Nope—since they know what's going on, I just have to call from Jay's house to say I'm there, and that I'll be home on time." I got a big grin from him as we walked out to his maroon Corvair, and we stood around waiting for Jay to show up...a quick look to the back of the lot told me Benny's car was back...parked next to Calvin's...but there was still no sign of either of them.

A few minutes later, I saw Jay and Miles come out, heading for Jay's truck next to us. Denny unlocked his car and we tossed our books in the back seat, but Jay put a hand on my arm to keep me from climbing into the convertible. "We gotta wait for Linda, she needs a ride home—so that means you guys get the privilege."

When I tried to find out what was going on, all he said was "Benny told her he had plans." Linda came out next with a couple of her friends, then headed over to where the four of us were waiting. Our looks must have screamed our curiosity, but she told us that she didn't know anything more than what she'd told Jay. I had a feeling that those 'plans' were with Calvin, and I hoped I was right...he and Calvin deserved some happiness in their lives. If it meant giving Jay's sister a ride home, then it was a small price to pay for my two friends' future.

* * * * * * * * * *

I was a little disappointed because Jay and I wouldn't have any time to ourselves before studying tonight, not with Linda having to ride with Greg and Denny. They had started to delay showing up for an hour or so, then appear with snacks. I figured Benny and Calvin were just working things out, but I was still jealous of my 'Jay time'. Looking at his golden locks out of the corner of my eye, I felt bad for what I'd been thinking—Jay would never put his needs before a friend's, and here I was doing it myself. Since the only car on the one-lane road besides ours was Denny's Corvair, I leaned across the seat and gave my boy a soft kiss on the cheek. "I'm sorry, elskede," I whispered into his ear. When he looked puzzled, I told him why, and he chuckled before kissing me back.

"I'm not that much of an angel—sometimes I just wanna rip your clothes off and make out like crazed rabbits." I laughed at his comment as he pulled into his farm-yard, and put my hand on his temptingly full crotch. "I'll nibble on your carrot first chance I get, Jeepers." I got a big kiss on the lips when he stopped in front of the barn, and I let my hands explore his firm torso through his tee-shirt. Jay's arms wrapped around me and began rubbing my back, one headed toward my belt, the other up to tickle the nape of my neck. I squirmed in the seat, trying to get our lower bodies closer, but the damn gear-shift was in the way. "Why can't you drive an automatic," I groaned into his mouth. The tingly feelings coursing through my body drowned out my common sense, and I deepened our kiss as my hands moved down to Jay's belt...yeah, we'd already made love once today, but that was eight hours ago. The little foot-action under the lunch table had only served to whet our appetites for more once we got home.

With no warning whatsoever, Jay's door opened and he fell backward into open air, but he was caught by a pair of strong hands. In my surprise, I gripped hard onto him to keep him safe, and that pulled me partially on top of him on the truck's bench seat. "Jeez, Denny—go fetch the hose! There's a raging inferno in here!" From Jay's angle, he was seeing Greg's demented face upside down, while I had the full effect of his laughter right side up. Either way, I could feel and see our faces turning red enough to sub for a real fire. Two pairs of hands, mine and Greg's, helped Jay sit up, and we pulled ourselves apart with sheepish grins. After a few seconds to collect myself—and soften a little—I climbed out of the truck and saw Gulliver staring at us over his paddock fence.

He snorted through his white-muzzled brown face, then shook his head, making his white mane fly. I knew it couldn't be, but I could swear he was telling us to get a stall. A look at Denny and Greg made me think they were saying the same, but in their faces, I could see a look of envy—they had had almost no private time since they became a couple just days ago. I put my hand on Jay's shoulder and led him a bit farther away from our friends to tell him the idea I'd just had, inspired by what I though Gulliver had said. He laughed for a minute, then looked at the two bashful boys in question. When he turned back to me, I could tell he was thinking hard, and was a little embarrassed. I whispered into his ear again, giving it a little kiss, and he nodded. "Let me fix it—I have a slightly better idea!" Then he was off into the barn's cool dim interior.

Greg and Denny walked over to me, asking where Jay had gone to, and I said he was making a surprise for us, then gave them a wicked grin. Something over in Gulliver's paddock caught my eye, and we walked over to investigate. The three-year old pinto had been eyeing the thing off and on since we got back from school. We watched as he stepped close, then would jerk his head back, then repeat the process before trotting farther down the fence-line.

"What is it," I asked, hoping one of them knew the answer. We leaned over the board fence and stared at the contraption of metal, wooden poles, leather seat and big wooden wheels. Much to my surprise, it was Denny who answered.

"It looks like an old sulky—they're used in harness racing—but this one has to weigh at least twice what the modern ones do. Gulliver doesn't look like a racer, so they're probably going to use it to teach him to drive...that means 'to pull a wagon'." He looked a little embarrassed when Greg walked over and put an arm affectionately around his shoulders.

"How'd ya know all that, Den?" You could see the pride in his eyes and smile as he pulled the runner in for a quick hug, then let him go. I couldn't help but smile when I saw their adjoining hands sneak into an inconspicuous grip. "Riding was one of the few things at the Academy that I liked—so I took lessons—but my parents won't let me have my own horse until I figure out where I'm going to college. If it's too far away, then I can only have a horse if they can board it there; if I go to OSU or Denison, then I can get one next year and keep it at home."

Both Greg and I looked our confusion, so he went on. "My parents don't have time to care for a horse, so I'll have to do it...they don't think it's right to have one for just a short time, then have to sell it when I go to college..." The sigh he gave us then was long and well-used I gathered. "I guess they're right, and it's for my own good as well as the horse's." It was then, just as Greg bent his red-topped head to rest against Denny's sandy curls, that Jay returned and slapped them both on the shoulders.

"Come on guys—see what I made for us!" I followed him back into the barn, but I didn't see any sign of what I'd asked him to do; I glared at him and his mischievous smile flashed me as he pointed up toward the hay mow above our heads. The trap door was open, so we could see the sunlight filtering down through the two cupolas up there. I was still leery of the vertical board ladder built into one of the timber posts, as Jay motioned for me to go first, so he started up after me right away; his chest was pressed into my back to steady my nerves, I felt him brush his hand against my butt as we climbed. I let out a pleased gasp as I moved away from the trap-door.

The last time Jay and I were up here, the entire floor was covered with a mix of hay and straw, with the bulk of it in bales to either end of the huge open space...now, the central area had been cleared, and two half-walls of bales had been set up about six feet from the rest of their kin. Each was about seven bales long, and three high, blocking any view of the space between them and the looming stacks closer to the barn's end walls. That space on either side was now carpeted with all the loose hay and straw, and had been added to by opening another of the rectangular grassy bundles, so that it was now about a foot-and-a-half deep. A grayish blanket covered a good portion of the hidden areas, making a fairly soft mattress. On a small table sat a portable radio and two basins of water, and two washcloths. The radio—a multi-band receiver—was tuned to WCOL, one of the local FM stations, and we could all hear some old rock coming from the single speaker. The silver antenna stuck into the air about a foot, then was broken off. Greg and Denny stopped in their tracks when they got into the mow, and just stared open-mouthed.

I gave Jay a kiss and said, "You did good, kæreste..." before I moved to shut the door to the main level of the barn. It was now just the four of us, shut away in our own little world of soft light and cool, sweetly-scented air. I thought Greg and Denny would start asking what was going on once their shock wore off, but after seeing the set-up, it was fairly obvious what Jay had done...and what the spaces could be used for. Jay's excitement couldn't be contained any more—he gestured with one arm in a sweeping arc that took in the whole loft area, and he gave them a sheepish smile.

"Guys—me and Mikey are so lucky that we get to spend so much time together, and we know how rare that is—so we want you to have a place where you can get to know each other better, and strengthen your connection just like we have." He paused when our two friends looked at each other and their hands joined as they leaned in for a tender kiss, which they quickly broke as Jay went on—after I'd nudged him with my elbow. He was starting to blush a bit, making a nice mix with Greg's auburn hair.

"We don't know what you've done together so far—and we don't want to know 'cause that's privatebut up here you can do whatever you want...go as far as you feel good about...or just cuddle and talk. Mikey and I will take that side—" he pointed to the straw end of the barn. "It's more comfortable on the hay, so I thought you'd like it more." He grabbed one of the cloths and basins, then turned to me as I grinned. He was blushing slightly—my bold brash lover was still bashful—and my heart melted all over again when he ducked his head and went behind the wall of straw bales. Greg had a loving smile directed at Denny, and their eyes spoke volumes, but neither had made a move other than wrapping an arm around his partner's waist.

"It's okay, man...you don't have to do anything other than talk...I'll turn up the radio so nobody will hear what goes on, and the bales will keep us from seeing anything even if we stand up. Jay has about two hours before he needs to do chores, so don't worry about anyone coming up here." Two faces, one topped with fiery waves, the other by sandy curls, displayed hesitation in equal parts through their half-bitten lower lips.

I chuckled at them and put a hand on each of their shoulders. "Do you want me and Jay to go in the house...that will leave you alone?" Pale blue and silver-grey eyes locked for a minute, and Denny gave a slight nod, letting Greg know he should answer for them both. He licked his lips before he spoke in a soft whisper. "So far, we've only kissed—we haven't even had our shirts off, let alone get nekkid."

I got it now...they were excited about the prospect of doing something together at last, but they were also scared. I knew just how they felt! The first time Jay and I even kissed, I thought I'd die of fright...it was a big step from being a loner to letting someone into your defenses...and it still awed me how quickly Jay had worked his way into my heart and mind; there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for him, such was my faith in his love, and trust in his actions. All I knew about Greg and Denny was that this was their first relationship...I knew Greg wanted it to work out very badly...but I gathered that Denny had had some bad experiences, though Jay hadn't told me what they were.

With the hands still on their shoulders, I turned them to face one another. "Look into each others' eyes...don't say anything...just let yourself be open to what you sense from your partner..." They did as I asked, shyly at first, then with growing confidence in what they found reflected in their eyes. It was more than an old saw that 'the eyes were the windows to the soul'. Small smiles started to tug at the corners of their lips, and their clasped hands rose between them to be kissed by each of them in turn.

"Do you see anything but love in your partner's eyes?" Both shook their heads 'no'. I smiled wider, and my grip on their shoulders tightened a bit. "Do you see the trust mixed in with that love?" Greg nodded first, and after only a second's hesitation, Denny nodded, and kissed Greg's hands again. I went over to the table and put the last cloth into the basin and brought it back to the two boys, letting them decide whose hands would take it—Denny's were first around the cool enameled tin, and Greg reached up to run his palm across Denny's cheek.

"If you listen to your hearts, you'll never go wrong..." I was about to ask one more time if they wanted me and Jay to leave, but it was obvious they had lost any awareness of other people. I went over to the radio and turned the volume up so we'd have aural as well as visual privacy, whatever ended up happening this afternoon. When I got to the bales hiding Jay, I looked over my shoulder to see Greg and Denny had already vanished.

My dick was growing in my pants as I rounded the corner of the straw bale 'wall', and sprang to steely hardness as I saw Jay lying back on the blanket in only his red briefs and long white socks...his tee-shirt and pants were folded into a sort of pillow at the edge of the blanket. One hand had been idly rubbing his briefs if the small damp spot was any proof, and the other ran down between his defined but not over-done pecs. He sat up and his whole body seemed to glow in the light from the cupola ventilator above our heads. If there was such a thing as a molten sapphire, then I saw it in his eyes at that moment. A stray shaft of sun glinted off the silver Pegasus around his neck, and my throat choked up from the lump which grew there as he ran his hands down my calves to slowly remove my loafers and rub my socked feet. He then unbuckled my belt before taking a deep breath as he lowered my jeans. He put them next to his clothes, joining them with my shirt a moment later. I was now just like him, clad only in my socks and underwear, only both were purple. He pulled me down by the hand to lie next to him, trailing kisses up my stomach and chest as he did so...ending with my nose, then at last joining my lips in a soulful reunion. His hands put my glasses on a bale nearby and he caressed my hair in a gentle attempt to tame my unruly cowlick.

"You're an amazing man, Miles Stevenson...is it any wonder I love you?"

Two hours had never seemed so short...

* * * * * * * * * *

On the way back from Mrs. Schuyler's—no, Beth's—house, it was all I could do to take my eyes off Callie's face. He told me never to use that name anywhere others could hear it, but it was already firmly entrenched in my heart—no matter what we might say in public—he would forever be my Callie in private. With the kiss we shared at the end of his drive -way, I would always associate chocolate cake with him, and I made a promise to myself that any special occasions we had from this day on would have that dessert as part of the celebration.

When I'd asked about showing up right after school, he told me that Mr. Philips had reminded him of the half-day tomorrow, so he decided to finish up a photography project after school today. I was disappointed since that would delay my seeing him again, then he said there was no reason I couldn't stay to talk with him while he was working on it. I gripped his hand tighter when I agreed to meet him at the Vocational Arts darkroom once classes let out. He winced a little, and I immediately let go of his hand, giving him a heart-felt apology. "Benny, it's okay...I know you won't hurt me on purpose—god knows we wrestled around on the mats during practice enough—I'm not made of glass, so don't go acting like I'll break!"

Before I could apologize yet again, he took my hand this time. I felt a tear on my cheek when he raised my hand to his lips for a soft kiss. This moment was everything I'd hoped for—a connection with another boy's soul—a bond so deep that it would draw us together for all time. I though I had found that when Greg and I first started fooling around two years ago, but it took only a few weeks for both of us to realize all we had together was a sense of familiarity and mutual desire. Last semester when Calvin tried out for the wrestling team, it was our first meeting—you know, you see kids in the distance at school all the time, but you never talk to them or even put a name to match the face—unless some common interest brings you into a closer orbit.

That's the way it was for me when I first saw Cal that day...and when we actually talked...well, I was pretty sure he was the boy I wanted in my life. We had a lot of things in common regarding music, movies and books, and the feelings I had for him grew stronger—until the day he quit—and I screwed it all up by telling myself he felt like the other kids now that he'd been around me for a while. That's how it had always been right from 1st Grade, so why should it be different now? Only it was...it hurt more this time, and I couldn't get him out of my head—or my heart. Four wasted months of watching him across the lunch-room, wanting him to be my friend, maybe my boyfriend, because I was stupid; I didn't know him well enough to see that he'd cut himself off from everyone, not just me. I'd let it slide, and wallowed in my self-pity, until today.

Greg had told me more than once that Cal and I would be good for each other, but I thought I'd been rejected before things got started, so I put his words out of mind. The pain didn't go away, or the ache I had in my heart Cal had started to heal back in November...I could feel it building inside and the time would come when I had to let it out or explode. Today—this morning—was to be that crux, but I didn't know it when I woke up. In his polite way, Greg's most recent urging to bond with Cal—and my fucking brother's more direct insistence that I find a set of balls before Calvin could slip away was the last straw...so with Linda glaring at me, I walked over to Calvin's car—and the rest is history, as the saying goes. I had a good idea how close I'd come to having him kick me out of his life, and the only reason I can see for him not doing it was due to pure luck. I hoped that the memory of our good times last semester had something to do with his decision, but I wasn't going to take it for granted. Whatever Calvin Schuyler wanted, I'd do it for him.

I watched him as we got out of my car, and I especially watched as he retrieved his keys, presenting me with a great view of his butt. It could have been even better if he was wearing jeans instead of those baggy Army fatigues. I was so busy paying attention to the way his long mane rivaled the noon sun that I ran right into the door which led to the cafeteria. When I rubbed my forehead, I caught sight of my watch—1:00—we missed almost all of 6th Period. I had study hall then, so I wasn't worried...and gym was my last class of the day, so I could have missed that too. My books were still in my car since I didn't need them for Phys Ed; Mr. Burton would have most of us running out on the track since it was warm and sunny, but us wrestlers always had permission to use the weight room if we asked first.

Some of the guys in school—not always the wrestlers—used the weights to really pile on muscle like that old Charles Atlas guy, or the more recent Roger Callard, Lou Ferrigno or Arnie Schwarzenegger. I remembered seeing some of those guys in the bodybuilder magazines—I'd even jacked off to a copy from the library a few times—just for research you know—but in the back of my mind I was thinking all that muscle made their tools look tiny. I was happy with what I had, so why should I do anything to make it look small—and so much muscle had to be kept up with rigorous exercise or it turned to fat. No thank you! My body was the result of keeping busy and decent eating habits, and just enough weight training to keep it toned.

Okay...I really used the weight room to watch the other guys...it was safe because everybody wanted to check out the competition, and there were some exercises where you needed someone to 'spot' you so you wouldn't get hurt if your grip slipped on one of the free-weights or machines. That was my favorite part, because the spotter had to keep his hands close to the trainee's body, and often hold him steady for some of the sit-ups and stretches. That experience had made it easier to come out to Greg two years ago, and it had helped me last semester as I got to know Calvin. For exercising, we went alphabetically, so I often paired up with Cal...but in practice tourneys I was two weight classes higher—195 versus his 170. Normal practices weren't as strict, so we often got tested with different classes to challenge our performances. On the mats, I don't care what guys say—I know a lot of us got boners from the contact of body against body in trying to pin an opponent—a hand might 'slip' and get a feel once in a while, but officially—boners didn't happen.

Our uniforms were two-pieces, an athletic-cut sleeveless top, and short shorts, both fairly clingy in our school's colors of black and gold, and under the shorts, we wore tights. There was talk of adopting something called a 'singlet', a one-piece uniform showing various amounts of skin, without the tights. I guess some colleges had started using them, and maybe some high schools...but not ours. I'd seen pictures though, and the mere idea could get me hard and leaking—there was no way I could actually wrestle in one of those and not cum. I think I'd have to quit the squad next year if we adopted the new-style uniform, or beat off before every gym class or tournament meet.

I didn't work up much of a sweat in the weight room today, so my shower was pretty quick...the sooner I got done here, the more time I'd have with Cal. Mr. Burton would often look the other way if we finished a couple minutes early and left, so long as we'd put in a good effort for the day...so just as the final bell rang, I was turning the corner to go to the Vocational Arts class in the West Hall. Before I knew it, the way was jammed with kids rushing past me to escape their confinement. Locker doors began slamming all around as books were exchanged for home-work assignments, or just left there until tomorrow by those who weren't after a college degree like I was.

"Why if it isn't little Benny Ross!" The accompanying laugh made me grin at Mr. Philips' joke—he was one of the more entertaining and easy-going teachers in the whole school, and I'd had him for Wood Shop in 8th Grade. He shook my hand warmly and patted me on the back. "You doing okay, Ben?" His eyes searched mine for a second, and he must have liked what he saw because his smile broadened. He was one of the first to try to ease my worries about my size, including me in demonstrations and giving me praise whenever I did something right. When he'd heard I was going out for Wrestling this year, he'd come to visit me at home, and we talked about it with my parents. Once he understood it was by my own choice, he offered me his emotional support, but never treated me as the big hero when we won...I was still 'little Benny' to him, a former student and friend.

We were chatting and laughing when Cal came through the door, his face lit up the moment he saw me waiting for him. He put his books on one of the desks, then came up to join us. "I hope you don't mind, Mr. Philips...I asked Benny to help me with my project? I told him I'd show him how to do some photography stuff as a reward for taking me to get my keys."

"That was nice of him," the teacher said, and gave Benny an approving nod. Before I could say anything, Cal cut me off. "I thought so, since he's the guy who locked them in...we were talking in the lot, and he thought I had all my stuff and shut the door."

I watched as Cal and Mr. Philips laughed, and even though my face was turning red, I finally joined in. The balding teacher gestured to the doors on the far side of the room which led to the western parking lot. "All the doors are locked, and things are squared away, so I'm headed home. The janitors don't make their rounds until after 7p.m., try to be done by then...and make sure the inside door is locked when you leave. We won't be having class tomorrow, so have a nice Easter!"

"Will do, Mr. Philips...I know the drill." Calvin called as the teacher left, pulling the door to the hall shut behind him. Before long, the only noises we heard in the room and adjoining hall was the hum of the fluorescent lights over head. Most of the students left right away, a few would have club meetings for an hour or so, but most of those had decided to skip meeting tonight since Good Friday was a sort of holiday, with only morning classes. The teachers would organize their papers, do a little tidying of their rooms, then also head home as early as possible. I looked down at Cal's smiling face and grinned.

"You have your own key? Teacher's pet!" To show him I was joking, I ran my fingers along is cheek and pushed his hair back from his ear so I could give it a little kiss. He tilted his head to the side to allow me better access, and a soft moan escaped his lips. We stood there for a few seconds before Cal pulled away. "I really do have to do my project, Benny...shut off all the lights except the strip near the door while I get set up, okay?" Since we were only five feet from the room's entrance, I had the easy job, while my new boyfriend opened the door to a room a few feet to our right. He turned a single light on inside, and I saw a counter along two adjoining walls, the one in front of us ended with a sink at its left end, while three shallow trays sat next to it. The counter to our right held a large timer, a paper-cutter, and various tools such as tongs, squeegees and a thing that looked like a small safe. In the middle of all this was a bulbous cylinder on a stand with a flat surface at the base—a sort of bellows was aimed down toward that base; Cal told me this was the enlarger that would be used to make his pictures.

I watched him mix chemicals from brown plastic jugs on a shelf above the sink, then pour them into the trays. He pointed to each one, starting with the right-most one. "This is the developer, and it makes the image show up; the middle one is the 'stop-bath' which stops the developer from doing its thing, and the last tray holds the 'fixer' which makes the image permanent—if we didn't do that, the paper would turn black as daylight hits it." He was moving around as he explained things, setting tongs by each of the trays, taking a long strip of film from a line over the sink, and cut it into three equal-length strips. The room was only about ten feet square, and the counters took two feet off that on the front and right, so there wasn't a lot of room for me and Cal left over. When he was all set, he told me to close the door, which cut off all outside light.

"Now comes the fun part!" I turned off the light as he asked, and we were in total darkness for a few seconds. I felt hands on my chest, and they rubbed my stomach for a minute before sliding around my sides to stroke my back. "You're right, this is fun...I think I like photography." I felt Cal press into me for a second, then he swatted my butt. I squinted for a moment as a reddish light replaced the darkness. I sighed as he moved over to the big gray enlarger and made a few adjustments to the base where I assumed his prints would be made. When he finished, he turned the thing on, and a white-lighted rectangle showed on the base. He raised the enlarger a bit to make the light the right size, about 8x10 inches it looked like to me.

He squeezed by me to get to the 'safe', and pulled out a stiff white paper which he set below the enlarger, then put his three strips of negatives on top. When they were just right, he lowered a sheet of glass which I saw was hinged to the back of the little platform. "All set—this is a contact print—the light exposed the negatives directly onto the paper so we can see what the prints will look like. You can help me pick out ones for my assignment...then I just have to print three images, and we're done." He set the timer for about twenty seconds, then turned the enlarger back on. When the timer buzzed—a really annoying sound—he pulled the paper from where it lay and set the timer for ninety seconds, placing it in the developer tray. I moved up behind him to peek over his shoulder as he agitated the tray. It was like magic watching the white paper start to darken, and the tiny images on his three pieces of film started to appear. I leaned into him as he took a pair of tongs and put the wet paper into the middle tray, setting the timer for thirty seconds before he did so. While he was agitating the paper, he leaned his head back near mine, and whispered, "You smell nice, Benny."

I buried my nose in his blond hair and inhaled deeply. "I just got out of gym, what's your excuse..." I watched him lift his picture out with the second set of tongs, and he asked me to set the timer for two minutes as he put it in the last tray. I had to lean a little to reach the big hunk of metal to twist the knob, and that caused my front to slide across his back, and I felt a little tremor as he took a half-step to balance himself against me. More agitation.

"This part takes five minutes for a real print, but this one will only need two since it's only going to be used for a short time."

I settled in against his back so we were touching most of the way down to our knees, and I snaked my hands around his waist to rub his stomach through his shirt. I kissed his temple, then his cheek, and finally the side of his neck as we waited for the timer to go off. I think he was enjoying it because he made all the right noises and moved enough for us to 'fit' nicely...but I needed to be sure. "Cal...are you okay with this? If I'm moving too fast, you will tell me, right?" The timer interrupted his answer as he moved the print into the sink, where a tray of water waited to rinse it. A trickle of water from the faucet kept the water slowly overflowing its holder. Cal turned to face me, and our fronts connected for the first time. He was fully hard, and so was I.

His expression was serious as our eyes met, but I couldn't read them in the dim red light from the second ceiling-mounted fixture. "Damn Greg and his secrets! Until today, all I had heard was that we should talk and become friends...and it was the same for you. I guess it's the best way to keep our being queer a secret from the rest of the school, but this would have been a lot easier if he'd said more to us..."

I could tell he was upset, but his arms around my ribs told me it wasn't with me. "What do you mean...Callie?" My whisper was soft, but he glared at me for a second before relaxing. That name couldn't have been heard by anyone standing at the door six feet away even if it wasn't locked against accidental intrusions. He answered my question with one of his own, followed by a firm kiss to my lips.

"You know what I did when he called me last Summer? I cried—that obscene phone call told me that there was someone else out there who liked boys—I wasn't the only one in the world. After I cried, I thanked him for calling me...and we talked for a long time, and we even got off again. We talked some more in the weeks before school started, but we never met in person...I thought we'd get together and have sex at some point, but we didn't...now that I finally know he was trying to set me up with another friend of his—you—he could have been a little clearer and saved us a lot of confusion." Cal gave me the sweetest smile just as the timer went off, and he pulled the print out of the sink and dried it on a blotter before turning back to me again.

"Now we take it outside and see which prints I want to make." He unlocked the door and I followed him out into the main room, immediately noticing how much cooler it was out here than in the small darkroom we'd just left. "Why's it so hot in there?" I asked. At first I hadn't felt the warmth, and when I did, I put it down to the excitement Calvin was causing in my body's raging hormones. Apparently, there weren't any air vents in there which connected to the heating or air-conditioning—the currents would stir up too much dust to safely develop film, but especially prints. A real filter system would cost a lot more than the school was willing to invest in an elective course. I could feel the perspiration drying on my body as the cool air eddied around us.

I stared over his shoulder, again leaning into him, as we examined the black and white sheet of paper. Thirty-six tiny images were laid out in three rows, as we looked at each one in the bright light from over head. I didn't really know what to say about any of them, since I didn't know the assignment, so I was silent at first, just breathing on the back of his neck. He asked my opinion a couple times before I said it would help if I knew the requirements. Cal smacked his head and gave me a shy grin. "I need three pictures, each showing a different mood or emotion. It doesn't have to show a person, just capture a certain feeling...that's it."

Now that I knew the parameters, the task was easier...we soon had our three pictures chosen, with some minor disagreement over one of them. The easiest to pick would be 'Happiness', and it showed Cal's grandma in the door way of her kitchen, wearing an apron and eyes twinkling with unsuppressed laughter as she held a frosting bowl and a wooden spoon stretched out toward the viewer. You could see a finger-track in the spoon and a tiny smudge of frosting by her upper lip. For the second picture, he chose 'Loneliness'...and pointed to one. I put the magnifier over it, and saw it was a shot of a figure standing in the middle of a harvested field, partially snow-covered. The figure was standing slumped a bit, turned slightly toward the camera, with the face just emerging from shadow. In the distance was a stand of bare trees, and thick grey clouds lowered, about to drop more snow. With a start and a sharp intake of breath, I realized that the forlorn figure was Calvin.

The third picture we couldn't agree on—he wanted one showing his grandfather's dog sitting at the man's graveside, staring at the granite stone. I wanted one of a heron taking off from a pond. Cal thought the dog would represent 'Patience', but I thought it was an extension of the loneliness image of him in the field. "The bird taking wing could represent 'Freedom' or even 'Hope'..." I pulled him into me and stroked his hair and shoulders. "Don't you feel that things are going to be better, now that we're together?" I was still fearful of what his answer would be; this was all still so new that it seemed like a fragile dream. I felt a surge of blood to my loins when he turned his head and kissed my cheek, and he molded his back tighter to my chest. He emitted a long drawn-out sigh when my arms enfolded him and slipped inside his shirt.

"'Hope' it is, Ben." He took my hand and led me back into the darkroom, where we worked on his three pictures. He cut the negatives we wanted from their strips, and put it into a metal frame before sliding it into the enlarger, then asked me to turn off the lights. With only the red one on, he put a plain piece of paper on the little platform, then turned on the enlarger...the image appeared on the paper, and he used a thing a little like a microscope to get a close-up view; I watched as he turned a knob on the side of the bellows, which caused the image to focus and unfocus as needed. Cal took a one-inch wide strip of print paper from the safe, and laid it below the enlarger, exposing small sections at a time—the first was under the light for twenty-five seconds, and the last only five. "It's a test strip, so I can figure out how long to expose the final image...that will make it lighter or darker, depending on what I choose from this strip...then I just print it, and do the same for the other two we picked."

I stood beside him, setting the timer as he suggested while he moved the strip through the three trays...only giving it a quick rinse in the sink before he showed it to me. Through either chance or design, every time he moved, we'd find ourselves with some parts of our bodies in contact...usually our hips or crotches, as he'd turn to see if I was following what he demonstrated. "I think this one should be about fifteen seconds, don't you?" When he asked that, his right arm had slipped around to my back, where his fingers came to rest on my ass. Since he was doing the three little strips first, it involved switching out the negatives and doing another test for each one, until we were staring at three exposed but damp strips. All this time, the light from the enlarger had been on, and that sucker put out a fair amount of heat. I ran my hand across my brow and it came away wet with sweat.

Calvin saw my move as we examined the slips of paper, and chuckled. "It does get hot in here...when I'm by myself I usually take off my shirt." When I hesitated, he pulled back and frowned. He leaned against the sink edge, and looked at me for several seconds, obviously trying to decide what he should say. He took one of my hands and placed it on his chest, while his other one came to mine, caressing my pecs gently through my tee-shirt.

"Ben, I understand about your past, and how it's made you unsure of yourself in relating to others...but I have issue too—and mine leave me needing someone who will look after me; I need to feel safe, and loved...so I need you to be more confident, to take charge once in a while when I feel lost. If you can't do that, then I don't see how we can work out in the long run." He swallowed painfully, and it took a bit for him to go on.

"I know you can do it, Ben...you do it on the mats all the time...so I'm asking you to do the same when we're together. When you need it, I'll do the same for you; we have to be partners, Ben...each of us putting everything he can into it, not holding back because of needless fears or worries." His hand slipped under my shirt and he began to caress my pecs, and tweak my nipples occasionally. I lowered my lips to his and moaned, and began grinding my hips into his in a way that had both of us hard pretty damn quick. He ran both hands up under my shirt, then shoved it over my head to fall on the floor behind me. I mumbled something about 'rules' in wrestling, and he bit my bottom lip.

"You dummy, if you need a rule for us—then here it is: if you think I'll like it, then do it—I'll say no if it doesn't, and we stop and talk it over. Same goes for me...but now that I know you are a lot more experienced than me—you will have to start things more often, since my imagination can only do so much. Deal?" When I nodded, he pulled me tight against him, using my ass-cheeks as handles, and his tongue darted out to explore my mouth until I was dizzy from lack of oxygen. When we came up to catch our breath, he turned back to the bulky enlarger and began to make his three prints as he'd shown me before. A few seconds into it, he wiped his brow and said it was pretty warm in here, then glanced back at me with a grin.

I let my hands circle around to his chest and began unbuttoning his shirt, paying attention to his nipples as I went, then pulled the tails out of his pants. I took a half-step back so I could ease it from his body, then pressed myself back against him from shoulder to thigh. One by one, the prints went through the trays to the rinse sink, and at the same time, he'd move his butt against my groin and my hands went down to rub the bulge in his fatigues. I heard a scuffle and he became about an inch shorter. I looked down to see his shoes kicked under the counter, and he bent one leg so his foot could rub the inside of my calf.

"...hot in here..." he murmured, and moved one of my hands to his belt, which he helped me unfasten before thrusting my hand inside his pants. A rustling told me his were now on the floor, and he stepped out of them, now clad only in socks and briefs. I was still wearing mine, at least until he undid my belt and practically tore open the zipper. Calvin dropped to his knees and yanked off my sneakers, then pulled my jeans down and off to join my shoes God-knows-where. His hands rubbed up my legs slowly getting a feel of each muscle before he settled back on his haunches to stare at the dripping bulge in my shorts. The reddish light did weird things to the atmosphere in the room, making it seem even hotter than it was...and everything was in shades of that color rather than their natural ones.

I felt his fingers begin to rub my shaft through my underwear, and I moaned and thrust forward, hitting his nose with it as he'd leaned in for a closer look. I was gong to apologize when I felt something warm and wet—he was licking me, making my briefs seem even more transparent! I managed to gasp out my last coherent thought as he nibbled.

"What about the prints..." He pulled his lips off my briefs for just a second. "Twenty minutes to rinse. then they dry overnight..." He dove back onto my dick, but I pulled him back for a second to lower myself onto the floor next to him. I have to say that four months of frustrated longing took over, and I was licking, rubbing and practically biting everything I could find, and he was doing the same right back. Our moans grew in depth and frequency as we built toward relentless passion...head to toe, we were licking and sucking pre-cum from each other, first through our underwear, then finally directly from the source.

Cal's body was firm and toned, just the way I remembered from practice, but feeling his hardness in full bloom was a surprise...he was the same size as me, but thicker...almost half again as thick as me. It was a bit of a struggle to get it in my mouth, but the practicing I'd done with Greg helped a lot, and I eventually got him all in. Damn, Callie's a fast learner! Every move I made, he repeated, and it wasn't long before I was ready to cum—hard. I started to pull my hips back, and his hands grabbed my butt to hold me in place, and the way is fingers dug in, he had no intention of letting go. I cold feel his body tense up a bit, and he began to moan around the shaft of my dick...and that sent me over the top.

When I began to shoot, he jerked in my mouth and he swelled even more...then I was swallowing his load. I didn't have much to compare it to, but I thought it tasted sweeter than Greg's, and there was a lot of it. I gulped two or three times to get some air, and we separated until we worked our way around to holding each other, and we began to kiss, using tongues to clean up missed drops on our mouths, and to mix our juices together. The timer went off as we were calming down, and we laughed. One more kiss, then Cal sprang up and took his prints out of the sink, ran them through a squeegee to get off most of the water, then clipped them to the line over the sink to dry.

I was about to get up, when he turned around, already beginning to grow again. He knelt down and lay on top of me...and his weight felt just right. I ran my hands down his back, then up into his hair to gather it behind his head so I could see his face unobstructed. He was beautiful, even in this lurid light. "You were fantastic, Callie...I wish we had more time..."

He settled onto me and twisted his hips into mine. "Dinner's at six—that's two hours away yet...who says we're done?" As he grinned and gyrated, we both got stiff. "I'm game if you are Callie!"


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Original chapter with pictures are here: GayAuthors.org/Jay & Miles
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