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A New Life Chapter 20

Winter Wonderland

Mr. and Mrs. Hundser left the house a little before noon. Each of them gave us directions, each warned us of driving on the snow and ice, each gave us cell phone and pager numbers; we practically had to push them out of the house! John decided to stay behind and drive up with us later that night saying he'd be bored and lonely the whole day otherwise. Shortly after the Hundser's left Keith and I made a quick run to Pep Boys to get tire chains in case we needed them for the trip up the mountain. When we returned home Derrick and Mike were jamming in the garage. The familiar sounds of Mike singing Purple Haze could be heard from the driveway before we even opened the car doors. Walking to the front door Keith remarked, "Fuck! The whole neighborhood can hear when I sing?"

I smiled and nodded saying, "That's right and ya know what? No one has ever complained. That tells me something."

"Yeah, that they're all tone deaf!" Keith said opening the door. I smiled, shaking my head at his humility.

His humility is one of the many things I love most about him. He treats everyone with kindness and respect. Never once have I seen him treat someone poorly in all the months I've known him. He honestly thinks he's just an average singer but he's way above average with a vocal range that would put lots of pros to shame. There's only one thing that he's not so modest about, his relationship with me.

We stepped inside and I said, "Either that or we're a pretty good band with one hell of a lead singer," then closed the door behind me. Keith turned and gave me `the look' and my heart began racing. He'd been giving me that sparkling look on and off all morning. There was hug waiting behind that sparkle and I got it the second the door was closed. We took our jackets off then went to the garage. Drew was sitting on the workbench listening but John was out of control, struttin' around and thrashing his head like I've never seen before. While Mike finished the final guitar solo he started laughing at John.

"That was too cool!" John shouted. "Did you make that up, Mike?" he asked.

"Nah, that was by Jimi Hendrix." Mike answered then turned to Keith saying, "Your little bro's a head-banger dude."

Keith just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Probably from watching too much Beavis and Butthead."

"Play some more like that!" John demanded.

"Maybe the bass player and lead singer would join us?" Derrick suggested.

Then Mike said, "And just maybe after we play a bit they would be good enough to straighten up the friggin' bedroom we'll be sleeping in! Sheesh! What a mess!"

We all busted up laughing and Drew doubled up almost falling off the work bench. My face must've turned the same color as my hair from that comment. It was rough for me to play it cool and not hint about the plan that Keith and I had been developing the previous day. Keith knows me better than anyone else in the world and I could tell that he knew what I was thinking but could Derrick and Mike read me that well?

Keith gave me a quick kiss then walked over to Mike and jokingly asked, "exactly what were you dudes doin' in our room?"

"Just putting our stuff in there dude," Mike said. "Taking the odd photo or two to post on the net, shit like that." I could almost see the picture of sheets and blankets flung all over with the mattress hanging slightly off the box spring and the text "P&K's idea of a good time" underneath.

Getting impatient John asked, "Are you guys gonna play or just goof on each other?"

I picked up my bass and while watching Keith closely I said, "I think we're doing those Def Leppard songs pretty good."

"Heartbreak could be bit tighter, how about it?" Derrick said and Keith nodded then leaned against the microphone waiting for us to start. Mike fiddled with his effects then nodded and a second later started the song. The song is one of Keith's favorites and he came in on queue after our introduction. I was pleasantly surprised that Keith didn't ask his brothers to sit behind him but I noticed his eyes were closed while he sang in front of his first audience. Since his eyes were closed Keith never saw his brothers high five each other moments after he started singing. When the guitar solo ended and Keith started singing "you got the best of me," he turned and looked right at me!

How in the world I'm ever going to be able to perform on stage like this I do not know. God help me my heart skips two beats and I turn to jelly every time he sings to me. We love each other so much. Everyday we show our love in everything we do, even sitting quietly studying or watching TV. There's something that defies definition happening between us. It's beyond the physical attraction and emotional bond, something unspoken and invisible.

Mike and I were singing into the same microphone while I tried to concentrate on the lyrics and what I was playing but was loosing my train of thought, improvising my way past two bass part fuck-ups. While rattling out the last few notes of Heartbreak on my bass Mike stepped up and said, "gunte-glieben-gounten-globen" and we went right into "Rock of Ages" perfectly. John started nodding his head as soon as the drums started, looking like a little cartoon Beavis sitting up on the workbench and Drew started bumping up against him. By the time Mike and I sang the first "long live rock and roll" backup vocal part they were determined to knock each other off the workbench! The chorus started and John tumbled off, pulling Drew down with him. Everything came together, we had a small audience; it was great! Keith kept his eyes closed but he wasn't completely immobile in front of the microphone. I thought, he's sooooo damn sexy! So much good is packed into my boyfriend. Whenever I told myself that he's mine the thought would humble me or build me up high, often times both in quick succession one after the other. Sometimes it was as if I could feel him hugging me but he wasn't even near or touching me. I had to growl to myself a few times. Once it came through over the microphone!

After finishing up the song Keith said, "I need a drink, my throat is sore from all that."

"I'll get ya something bro." Drew said hopping down off the workbench then he asked, "Anyone else need a drink?" He was answered with chorus of yes's and pleases. "Come on John," Drew said pulling on his brother's shirt, "I'll need some help." Then they walked out of the garage.

"Can we do like a ballad or something next?" Keith asked.

He looked hot and sweaty but I wasn't feeling that warm so I asked, "Are you feelin' okay, babe? You're not getting sick for the weekend are you?"

"I'm fine, Prez. Still uncomfortable, ya know?"

He meant singing and in front of people. I put my bass down and walked over to him and kissed him, as much to find out if he was feverish as for affection. He felt fine but a little damp. There were some clean old towels on the shelf usually used for cleaning cars so I went and got one in reasonably good condition. Drying off Keith's face and neck I asked Mike, "Did you find Change The World?"

"Not yet dude." Mike said while strumming away with the volume turned all the way down. "That disks hard to find but I ordered the British CD single."

Taking the towel from me Keith said, "We need some ballads to break up the sets of rockers bud."

Derrick stood up to stretch out a bit and said to Mike, "Play Dee dude."

Mike nodded and put down his electric guitar then got his acoustic out. He sat down Indian style on the concrete garage floor and played the song perfectly, looking up at us as much as he looked at his fret board. No one ever told Mike that he couldn't do something with a guitar so he just does it, flying up the learning curve and making it seem so easy. Since I started playing with them during the summer Mike learned a bit about key signatures and chords from me and the knowledge seems to make him improvise better. From Mike I learned to listen more closely and feel what I play.

Mike finished the solo then Keith and I both mumbled, "whoa!" at the same time and Derrick giggled quietly from behind his drums.

"I take it we have one ballad?" Mike said standing up.

"Yeah man, that sure qualifies." I said

"You dudes give him inspiration, I'll provide the incentive!" Derrick said and laughed louder.

"What else have we got?" Keith asked.

"Not much. I have some ideas but you guys are gonna laugh." I said. Mike always gave me a crooked smirk when I said stuff like that. "There's a few really old rock ballads that don't need keyboards we could change around a bit. They'd do the job."

"We need some stuff so folks can hang all over each other." Derrick said

"We could also try some instrumentals or maybe stuff that would make them just stand there with their chins on the floor, like with Dee." I said.

"Let's check it out then," Mike said and just then Drew and John returned with the sodas.

The six of us walked back to our bedroom, which was a complete disaster area with clothes and towels thrown about and the mattress really was hanging a bit off the mattress! Keith laughed and said, "Oops!" and started straightening stuff up while I dug through the CD collection looking for some of my mom's favorites.

I programmed the player then started to help Keith and End Of The World started playing. As expected Mike rolled with laughter crying out to us, "Please, don't make me!" Keith smiled at him then me but he hadn't heard the song before. I could tell the wheels were spinning though and that he liked the lyrics. Derrick would play just about anything so the decision was left up to John and Drew. We played the song again and Keith sang a little bit. Suddenly the song had real potential and Mike quickly agreed.

The next two songs, Your Song by Elton John and Faithfully by Journey, very much required keyboards but didn't get laughs and were immediately approved. The next song, Moonflower by Santana is an instrumental and started some debate on how we might rearrange it. The next few hours we spent talking, listening to various old rock and Motown ballads and getting opinions from John and Drew while we washed the bed sheets. Hours slipped by and we listened to a little bit of everything. Before we knew it the laundry was done, the sun was setting and it was time to go see if Corey could make the trip with us to Big Bear.

Drew was so quiet! You'd think he would've hurried us along a good hour before Corey got home but he didn't. The last hour or two he didn't say much of anything to any of us except when we asked him something about a song we were listening to. I knew that look on his face though having seen it a few times in my own mirror reflection. He was anxious to see his best friend but a little frightened. We loaded up the car then said goodbye to Mike and Derrick and drove over to Corey's. Climbing out of the car Drew asked if he looked all right. We said he looked fine but honestly he looked like he was shot to hell. Even his voice cracked when he spoke.

Mike and Derrick walked back in the house silently but with big grins on their faces.

Walking back to the kitchen Derrick said, "We've got the whole house to ourselves. Let's feed Rush and ourselves then we can get some real business taken care of."

"Better make it a quick dinner dude," Mike said, "if I don't get some relief soon my corks gonna pop!"

Turning to face his best bud Derrick stepped up close to him and wrapped his arms around him. Feeling the lump in Mike's jeans Derrick said, "Dude, you're already bulging!"

"Can't help it." Mike said wrapping his arms around Derrick's slim waist. "I've been looking forward to this for three days. We haven't had time alone like this in months." Sliding his hands into Derrick's back pockets he pulled Derrick against him and started grinding.

Derrick kissed Mike hard and deep, creating a vacuum seal between their open mouths. After several minutes of swapping spit and air Derrick pulled back. The soft, dazed expression on Mike's face made him smile slightly. It always amazed Derrick how both he and Mike could be strong, independent teenagers' one minute but the second they were alone making love they would become tender and pliable.

"I love you" Derrick whispered barely above a breath.

"I love you too dude." Mike whispered.

"I think dinner's gonna have to wait."

Pulling his hands out of Derrick's back pockets Mike said, "I'm gonna have a snack right here and now." Quickly Mike unbuckled and unzipped Derrick's jeans letting them fall to the linoleum floor.

Derrick looked around the kitchen half stunned, half expecting one of the Hundser's to walk in on them.

Mike knelt in front of Derrick and tugged his boxers down. For a few moments he took the time to worship his lovers private parts. Having been circumcised at birth, Mike found Derrick's foreskin wondrous and very attractive. It was remarkable to Mike how when flaccid the foreskin would completely encase the head but as his penis lengthened and hardened the skin would stretch and pull back, exposing most of the head. What never occurred to Mike was that the foreskin had nerves. Many months ago when he first started fondling it he was surprised to learn how much Derrick enjoyed the sensations. Equally surprising was that stretching the skin too far would hurt him. With Derrick's instructions Mike learned the limits and now he knew exactly what kinds of things to do to make Derrick ecstatic. Glancing down his seven-inch shaft Mike noted slightly darker blond hairs on his sack. They looked awesome and felt really good against his ass during intercourse. Holding on to Derrick's thighs and watching the erection twitch before him Mike said, "Have I ever told you I think you're beautiful?"

Derrick giggled and said, "Once or twice at least. You are too dude."

From the bedroom Rush barked and started scratching at the door. Mike sighed and said, "Let's take care of the pup real quick, k?"

Derrick nodded and said, "For three days there's gonna be three really happy puppies in this house."

Stroking Derrick's erection as he stood Mike smiled saying, "This here's my favorite puppy. Don't move a muscle. I'll be right back" Grabbing a quick kiss Mike then went to get Rush. When he returned to the kitchen Derrick had kicked off his pants, filled Rush's bowls and turned on the kitchen radio to an oldies rock station.

Rush ran straight for his filled bowls but upon entering the kitchen Mike came to a momentary halt seeing his boyfriend naked from the waist down. Derrick turned around and half-walked, half strutted to Mike. Without saying a word Derrick started unbuttoning Mike's shirt. Removing and tossing the shirt aside he then slid his hands up underneath the T-shirt. Both boys sighed loudly. Mike raised his arms and Derrick deftly removed the shirt. Derrick concentrated on removing Mike's jeans.

Mike giggled, "We got a lot of lost time to make up for."

"We will over the next few days and nights." Derrick said pushing Mike's jeans and boxers down to the floor. Seeing Mike's eight-inch hard-on scared him once upon a time. Now it just exhilarated him.

Finally both were naked, kissing and embracing in the middle of the Hundser's kitchen. Elton John's Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me started playing on the radio and both boys started chuckling between their kisses. Swaying to the music for a minute or so felt good but not good enough for either. At the same time they both said, "Go down on me," then smiling madly took their sweet time whispering, "Jinx!"

Derrick was slightly slower though and said, "I loose."

"Hmm… my choice then?" Mike said pushing Derrick back towards the counter. Patting the counter top he said, "Hop on up." Wasting no time Mike licked the length of Derrick's cock then engulfed the head, sucking hard and teasing the foreskin with his tongue. Seven inches was a mouthful but Mike took him deep into his throat now and then but concentrated on the head of his cock and the tasty precum flowing from it.

In only a few minutes Derrick encouraged him, "Oh man! Yeah, you're so good!" then warned, "Gettin' close dude."

Backing slowly off and letting the beautiful cock slip from his mouth Mike looked up and shook his head no, causing Derrick to whine.

Mike smiled and took his lovers hands then stepped back, leading him off the counter. Once Derrick was off the counter Mike whispered, "I need that special feeling," then leaned over the same counter with his legs spread.

Their lube was all the way in the bedroom and Derrick wasn't about to go get it so he built up some saliva and spit across his fingers then spread it around Mike's hole. Spitting once more he worked Mike over and slid one, then two fingers inside.

"Ooo yeah," Mike moaned, "take it slow and easy."

Derrick smiled and said, "No reason to hurry through it this time." His fingers twisted and searched around for a few moments then Mike gasped when they found his prostate. Derrick stretched Mike's twitching hole for only about a minute before stepping forwards and asking, "ready baby?"

"Yeah, gimme all you got lover." He answered.

Squeezing his cock for a little bit of extra precum Derrick smeared natures lubricant around Mike's bunghole then slowly pushed just the head inside. Feeling Mike tense up he waited then slid in a little bit more. Shifting closer Derrick finally had most of his cock inside his buddy. He knew Mike was ready for some pumping when he pushed backwards, grinding his ass against his hips. Shaking his head at the incredible feeling Derrick noticed Rush lying there watching them make love and started laughing. "We're teaching the puppy a new trick!" He said.

Mike could barely giggle between his gasps. Pushing himself up off the counter so he could stand and try to kiss Derrick sent a wave of pleasure surging through is body.

Gritting his teeth through a false alarm for a few seconds Derrick then said, "I don't think I'm gonna last too long."

"Me neither." Mike mumbled. Feeling Derrick's hands rub his shoulders and down his back to his hips made him groan softly. Then Derrick started pumping in and out, massaging his prostate. Slowly standing upright he leaned to Derrick's left side with his mouth open.

Derrick leaned forward and kissed from his neck to his mouth. Feeling Mike's warm body and tasting his hot panting breaths he quickened his thrusts. Rubbing Mike's chest and stomach while they kissed was all the additional stimulation he could take. He tried to slow down but his muscles forced him to go faster.

Mike's eyes were half closed but he could see the love and appreciation in Derrick's face. Between breaths Mike mumbled, "Shoot it, cum inside me, please do it now."

That was all Derrick could take. He would give Mike his arms, legs and every internal organ if he ever needed to. Almost standing on the tips of his toes Derrick slammed into Mike a few more times then emptied the seed of his loins deep inside him. Flushed and sweaty both boys promised each other their never-ending love. As the tingles of the afterglow faded and Derrick's erection softened they started to giggle.

"So much for making it last." Derrick said, then they both started to giggle.

"We'll just have to keep on keepin' on." Mike said wide-eyed feeling the softening cock slide out of his ass. Looking over at Rush made Mike point and both boys cracked up seeing the puppy licked his dick.

"We should go get cleaned up too." Derrick said taking Mike's hand.

Mike opened the back door to let the dog out and they walked hand in hand back to the bathroom.

To say that Corey was pleased to see us would be an understatement. He hugged Drew and never let him go while greeting the rest of us. Keith and I spoke with his parents. They were very tired from the long flight and, seeing how much Corey wanted to go with us, were in no condition to argue. After calling Mr. Hundser on his cell phone just to check that there would be adult supervision they gave the final okay. A few minutes later Corey grabbed his suitcase and a winter jacket then we hit the road again.

It had been raining lightly on and off most of the day and the roads were slick. Corey told us all about his trip back east but I honestly don't remember much of it. While the radio blasted and the three guys in the back seat chatted away Keith and I had our own virtually wordless conversation. Keith noticed me fidgeting around and looked over at me with a puzzled expression. My hand reached for his and he looked over at me again. I mouthed the words, "I'm really horny," and Keith's eyes lit up for me then he turned back towards the road and started to giggle. He squeezed my hand then his fingers started massaging the back of my hand so slowly it was barely perceivable. Within seconds my semi-erect dick was hard as steel and demanding release from the confines of my briefs and jeans. Letting go of his hand I quickly pulled the fabric out and my cock moved into a much more comfortable position then took his hand in mine again. I swear that I could feel way more than his hand and fingers. It was as if I could read his thoughts in his touch and the occasional glance my way. For days we had been looking forward to this trip even though our privacy would be limited.

A road sign warned us that we would need the chains on the roads above five thousand feet. The light rain changed to sleet as we drove higher up the mountain. Keith's a really good driver; he slowed down and used both hands on the wheel more often. I was getting a bit worried only because of the weather conditions and the winding mountain road. We pulled over to a rest area and put the chains on the tires where Keith talked me into driving for a little while. He assured me that the roads weren't that bad and that there would be turn off areas so he could take over again when I wanted to switch. So I drove for a few miles and at the third turnoff area I pulled over and got out. It really wasn't that bad but my nerves still get wrecked about driving in bad weather. By the time we got to the fourth turnoff area it was snowing. The tire chains stopped rattling against icy blacktop and started digging into snow. Posted signs warned that the speed limit was down to twenty-five miles per hour. We had another hour left to drive at that rate. I had a brief déjà vu episode and remembered that confusing dream I'd had. Moments later my little fear of bad weather driving became encompassing terror. Telling myself to relax, we're going to the place where we fell in love, I concentrated on the road with Keith. There were no street lights, only the lights of cars. It made me feel better thinking that one of us would surely see any hazards ahead but that nagging horror clung on. When we finally reached the cabins I couldn't wait to get out of the car, not knowing whether I should jump for joy or get down on my knees and kiss the ground. Thankfully it appeared as if I spent two thirds of the trip being melodramatic for nothing.

It was much colder than in the valley and everything was covered in snow. Christmas lights were over every cabin doorway. I took a deep pine scented breathe in through my nose then let it slowly out my mouth and relaxed completely. All five of us piled into the registration office. Keith asked where the Hundser's cabins were and was told that his folks went out for the night but left the keys for both cabins. While Keith got the keys and signed us in I called Mr. Hundser's cell phone to let them know we made it and he said they would be back in about two hours. Hanging up and turning around I saw only Keith at first then I saw Drew, Corey and John through the office windows out in the parking lot having a snowball fight. We walked outside then Keith shouted over the sounds of their laughter, "who's hungry?" Three shouts of "me" followed then we walked to the diner across the street.

Each table at the diner had one of those little jukebox units like they had back in the fifties and sixties. Drew and Corey flipped the mechanical pages but found nothing. All the songs listed were ones popular back then; lots of Sinatra, some Johnny Mathis, Bobby Darin and old stuff like that. I stuffed a quarter in the machine and played some Buddy Holly tunes remembering that my mom had at least one of his old records.

A waitress came and took our order. She was cute in an average way with medium length brown hair and brown eyes. At least she didn't try to cover her average looks with two tons of makeup. I noticed her looking at Keith and I a lot. For the first time I didn't feel too threatened by her smiles at Keith. Still, I must've shown some jealousy because as soon as she walked away from the table Keith started giggling and whispered, "You are soooo bad!" Corey thought that was about the funniest thing he had ever heard and cracked up while Drew smiled and slowly shook his head.

John looked at each of us then asked, "What? Did I miss something?" Drew whispered in his ear and a confused look came across his face. He shifted closer to the table and whispered, "I don't get it? I thought gay dudes didn't even look at girls."

"Sure we look," Corey said, "but I don't know, they just don't have any effect."

"It's just a matter of preference." Keith said then shushed everyone as the waitress came back with our sodas, tortilla chips and salsa. The poor girl must've felt naked and on display as all five male faces looked up at her.

She walked away again and John said, "She's not that pretty."

Keith took a chip from the bowl and said, "But she doesn't fake it with lots of makeup. That says she's confident and comfortable with her looks."

"I'll bet she's got a boyfriend. Someone gave her those rings on her fingers." I said.

"I still don't get it." John said shaking his head. "You look at girls but prefer guys? I mean, shit! We've all got dicks. Why would you want…" John was getting a little loud and to quiet him Keith held a finger up to his mouth.

"Anatomy is only half of it." I said, "I've always looked at both but always felt more comfortable talking and being with other guys."

"But you're gonna get goofed on and maybe beat up." John said looking quickly at all four of us.

"Easy bro," Keith said, "no one's mocked me. No one even knows except a very select few that I wanted or needed to tell."

"No one's gonna get beat up either." I said. "I'm almost always with Keith. And when we're not together then there's Mike and Derrick around. We're watching out for each other."

"We're watching out for you too bro." Keith said looking first at John and then at Drew. Through the whole conversation Drew only listened and quietly munched on chips. One by one we each looked at him and he didn't notice at first but then looked around and smiled.

"What?" Drew said with a crack in his voice and a mouthful of partially chewed chips. He swallowed and took a sip from his coke then whispered; "I'd just rather not talk about it here, okay?"

Corey lit up like a Christmas tree. Knowing that look I could almost hear his thoughts. Six months earlier I probably looked very much the same way just a few buildings down the street as I struggled not to shout, proclaiming my love for all to hear.

I heard one of the songs I had played on the jukebox and asked Keith what he thought of it. He listened for a minute or so then said, "Nice lyrics. Who is that?"

"Buddy Holly, one of the first rockers. This tune's called Words of Love." I answered. "There's a movie about him. Believe it or not this was considered extreme devil worship music back in the fifties."

Drew and Corey were whispering to each other. They saw me occasionally glancing their way while I continued to talk with Keith about the songs and whether Mike could be talked into playing them. Corey was sitting right next to Keith and, although we were talking about music, he was grinning at times so I got the clue that Drew was okay, he just chose to talk with Corey. Of course Drew's secrecy seemed to frustrate John to no end.

The waitress returned with our dinners. Having not eaten much the whole day Keith and I were starving. Corey, Drew and John ordered burgers while Keith and I ordered chicken dinners. As we finished up the waitress came back and asked if we wanted desert but we all declined since there was plenty of munchies back at the cabins. She left the check and started gathering the empty plates. I reached into my back pocket for my wallet to help pay the bill. Keith said, "Hold on bud. I got it covered," and pulled a credit card from his wallet. "You didn't think my dad would let us drive all the way here without emergency funding, did you?" He asked.

We headed back across the street towards the cabins when Drew told us he and Corey wanted to go for a walk. They headed down the street while Keith, John and I unloaded the car. Keith got the keys mixed up and we opened Mr. & Mrs. Hundser's cabin first. While we were in there we helped ourselves to some munchies and brought them over to the other cabin with us.

Walking down the street with Corey by his side Drew shivered and said, "I can't believe John sometimes."

"Never mind him. He'll catch on real soon." Corey said. He paused for a few seconds before asking; "Did you think she was pretty?"

Drew was tempted to pull his hands out of his jacket pocket to hide his blush but left them where they were and giggled, "Uh huh. Sure she was but she's too old."

Corey laughed then asked, "So, if she wasn't older you'd like to get in her pants, huh?"

Laughing so hard that he lost his footing in the snow Drew slipped but Corey caught him before he fell. "Heehee!" Corey giggled, "I take it that's a yes."

The smile across Drew's face withered away as they looked in each other's eyes. This is the first time Corey had saved him from physically falling on his ass but Corey had saved him in other emotional ways a few times before. "I'm scared Corey." Drew admitted as they started walking again. Corey was a bit confused wondering what Drew might be frightened of but before he could ask anything Drew said, "It was a good Christmas but it could've been even better. I missed you so much all week, even though I was dying to see you, I dunno…" Drew trailed off, his emotions so mixed up he couldn't even explain it right. Tears welled up in his eyes and the brisk mountain breeze stung his cheeks. Through suppressed sobs, with a shaky voice Drew said, "I was so lost without you. I wanted you there with me Christmas day. All week I've been a mess and I couldn't hide it no matter how hard I tried. My mom and dad saw it, so did Keith and Prez and John. Ask any of `em."

"I missed you too man." Corey said. Just a few yards ahead he saw a dark wooded area. He could tell Drew wasn't quite finished saying what was on his mind. Corey needed to know what it was. Was it good news or bad? When they reached the wooded area Corey pulled Drew off the street and a few yards into the woods then stopped and asked, "What are you scared of?"

Wiping the tears from his eyes Drew said, "Before this week I knew I really liked you a lot. It's different now though."

Here it comes, Corey thought to himself, he's gonna tell me he only wants to be friends and I'm gonna throw myself off this fucking mountain.

"Before I was saying I love you cause I do really care and I knew you wanted me to say it but now… jeez this is gonna sound bad." Drew then took a deep pine scented breath and while still looking at the tree behind Corey he said, "I really do love you, I can't stand being without you."

That was all Corey needed to hear. He threw his arms around Drew and covered him in kisses while tears of joy streamed down his face.

Drew giggled even though a few tears were running down his cheeks too. He held on to Corey tightly and could smell his hair over the pines. There was no shampoo or soapy smell, only the scent of Corey; the boy he was in love with. There was still lots more that he wanted to say but the hug felt too good to break away from.

Our cabin was freezing cold! They had the heat set to the lowest setting so it took some time before we took our jackets off. While we waited for the room to warm up John returned to his previous subject of sex, gays and girls. We barely understood it ourselves so explaining it was difficult. Keith and I talked about this during the early weeks of our relationship. Being gay doesn't mean that we don't look at girls or that we don't find some of them attractive. What it means to us is that we choose to spend the majority of our time with each other and other guys.

Mr. and Mrs. Hundser returned from their night out. They knocked, came in and asked where Drew and Corey were then what we were talking about. Even though I knew it would be okay to tell them the subject I waited for Keith and John to bring it out in their way. If it had been my dad he would've mocked me in some way or another but Mr. Hundser almost shone with pride for his sons' sexual awakening. I could see it, anyone could've. I bet it lit up the parking lot outside.

Mrs. Hundser's explanation was the highlight of the conversation. "Every person from puberty until death is a sexual being." She explained. "There's no denying the need to show affection, to love and have that love returned. Some people, like priests choose not to have physical love but still they love and are loved. What we look for is the bond not whether some one is male or female. I love you John and there's nothing remotely sexual about that."

"Yeah but you're my mom. We kinda have to love each other." John rebutted.

"In some ways that might be true but if you were an evil, spiteful boy that grew up to be worse as an adult I'd love you but I certainly wouldn't like you. It would break away pieces of our relationship and I'd not trust you. Then we couldn't talk to each other. Our relationship would be reduced to sharing a last name, one where we phoned each other only to say `I'm alive and well' but little else. Love, devotion and respect are things that can't be demanded. They're earned. I give them to you because you deserve it and you give it right back. If that weren't the case then I probably wouldn't be talking with you like this. But I am because I know your listening and trying to understand."

Nodding his head John seemed to understand.

Keith and I learned some things as well. She's an amazing woman.

Mom and dad said good night and reminded us that breakfast would be at nine in the morning so we shouldn't stay up all night talking and goofing around. As they were walking out Drew and Corey walked in – holding hands! Needless to say we stayed up late talking anyway. Even John seemed pleased with the fact that Drew and Corey had finally made a commitment. While Keith was showering John got tired but had some trouble unfolding the cot and locking the legs. I offered to help but he said it was cool. When he sat down on one end to get undressed it collapsed underneath him! The whole room busted up laughing.

"DAMN!" John shouted. "There's a bed in the other cabin but mom and dad might want to fool around, all you guys are gonna want to fool around and I'm stuck alone on this friggin' cot! I should just sleep in the truck."

"You'd freeze your ass off." I reminded him.

"And your dick would shrivel up to nothing." Drew laughed. "Kim would be really disappointed."

Shaking his head John mumbled, "Not likely but let's not go there, k?"

I got up and helped John with the cot while he playfully argued with Drew and Corey about the wonderful thing that happens to all guys when they're really cold. The foolishness didn't end there. When we turned out the lights Keith and I started whispering to each other about the next day. It would be my first time skiing and I was really looking forward to it. Then we heard whispering from Drew and Corey but not anything we could understand.

"Alright, everybody stop whispering." John giggled.

Of course we all had to whisper more with the occasional, "oh yeah," or "so good," with a few faked moans and whimpers thrown in for good measure. A minute or two after we had all finally gotten quiet we heard the springs of the cot squeaking. Another chorus of laughter and commentaries started and the squeaking got slightly faster. I reminded John that the cot might give way and collapse again. That quieted John and the cot. Finally around one in the morning we had laughed ourselves to exhaustion and fell asleep.

In the morning we all had breakfast together then went back to the cabins and got dressed for a day out in the cold. All Corey had was flannel boxer shorts but the rest of us had gotten long underwear specifically for this trip. I hate the way long underwear looks and they feel even worse; too confining from the waist to the ankles. But in north Texas the winters got plenty cold and I knew they'd keep me warm for the hours out in the snow. Keith looks good in long underwear and I told him so. He looks good in everything he wears, the rat! Layers of clothes later we finally all met at the Hundser's Suburban for the trip to the ski lodge.

We rented all the equipment we needed, got our lift tickets then split into three groups. Mom and dad went towards the more advanced slopes. Corey, Drew and John went to the intermediate one while Keith and I went to the beginner's area.

After about two hours of Keith teaching me how to turn and stop at the beginner's slope, which was mostly flat, we took a different lift to a slope that he said was only a little bit steeper. It was sill very crowded but a lot more fun. After only two trips down the hill we decided to take a break for lunch. Our leg muscles had tightened during lunch so we stretched them out for a while before getting on another different lift.

"You're doin' great so far Prez," Keith said as we hovered twenty or so feet above the ground on the lift.

"I'm lovin' it but this hill looks way steeper than the last two." I said noticing how fast people seemed to breezing by underneath us.

"It's not that bad. There are some steep parts but some flatter areas break them up. My brothers and Corey are around here somewhere."

"You think I'm ready for this?" I asked, worried that I might crash into somebody.

"Definitely." Keith said. "You can't say you've been skiing without falling on your ass at least once." He giggled then said, "Don't worry though, I'll be right there to pick you up and massage those sore spots later."

I laughed then said, "I'm pretty sore already. We could skip the additional punishment and go back to the cabin whenever you're ready."

Appearing thoughtful for a moment Keith smiled and said, "That sounds like an idea. It might be the only way we can be alone. I still owe you too, remember?"

Like I might've forgotten! I was horny in the car, I was hard as a rock when we went to sleep and still hard when we woke up. The anticipation was driving me crazy! As great as it was making him feel that good I almost longed for the days of quick, satisfying sex. If we hadn't been so close to the top of the lift ride I might've taken the chance and kissed him quickly but with so many people so close I just stared at him with all the love in my heart flowing through my eyes.

We hopped of the lift and waited for a clearing to make our descent. With a nod we started down hill. It was amazing to see little kids and very old people on the slope. The first section wasn't too steep but no sooner did I tell myself, this isn't too bad after all, it got steeper then even more so. There seemed to be thousands of people all around me as I whizzed down the mountain. Keith was a few yards in front of me with his knees bent, weaving from side to side slightly. Off to the side in my peripheral vision trees seemed to blur like I was doing sixty miles an hour but I was pretty sure I wasn't going that fast. I started to make little turns left and right to slow myself down. It was such a thrill! Better than most amusement park rides. Then we got to a less steep part. Up ahead I could hear Keith laughing his ass off. Friction started to slow me down and I looked ahead seeing another really steep section ahead. People were screaming and laughing all around as they started down hill again. Another déjà vu episode flashed in my mind making a chill run down my spine. Just in time I bent my knees as I flew over a little bump and started down hill again. Suddenly I started noticing some people falling down and I thought to myself, I'm gonna die! Seconds later the unthinkable happened. Some kids tumbled out of control and fell only a few yards ahead of Keith. "Watch out!" I shouted as I twisted to slow down and turn out of their way. Concentrating fully on avoiding hitting those kids I saw nothing but them and heard Keith yell, "Oh shit!" as he slid down, rolling several times just to the left of them.

Watching him come to a halt in a twisted lump I skied off to the side of him, broke out of my skis and ran over praying to God that he would be okay. "Keith!" I shouted, "oh, man are you okay?"

Dazed but conscious Keith answered, "Mostly, my leg hurts like hell though. What a wipe out!"

Looking down at his left leg I saw it twisted in an unnatural position. "Don't move babe," I said kneeling down next to him, "let me just check to see if anything's broke." Running my hands over the lower part of his leg I asked, "Where does it hurt?"

"The whole thing dude, from my hip to my toes." He answered.

Nothing felt like a compound fracture but he yelled as my hand traveled up over his knee and I looked up at his face. That's when I noticed the little red spot in the snow by his ear. "How's your head feel?" I asked becoming even more concerned.

"Heehee! Which one?" Keith giggled.

That's when I relaxed a little and knew he'd be all right. "The one between your shoulders, ya big dumb dope!"

He laughed and explained, "I can't help it. Not with you feeling up my legs."

Minutes later a snowmobile pulled up along side us. The paramedics immobilized Keith's leg and loaded him on to the back of the snowmobile. At the medical center I stayed with Keith while other more serious injuries were tended to. That pissed me off to no end. My boyfriend was lying there in obvious pain so I didn't care how many buckets other people were bleeding, he was much more important. I held my comments though and was just about to ask what the hold up was when they finally took him to be examined.

I called his father's cell phone but got no answer. Then I dialed his mom's pager number but didn't know what number to leave so I just left the 9-1-1 code.

Keith was diagnosed with a sprained left knee, torn ligaments and a concussion. The small cut behind his right ear was probably from the ski that flew off and didn't require any stitches. They put him in a room where we waited for his parents to come get us. His leg was completely immobilized with a canvas and steel brace, wrapped from his ankle to above his knee. Since he needed to be watched for a concussion, they wouldn't give him any painkillers, not even aspirin.

An hour or so later Mr. and Mrs. Hundser picked us up and took us back to the cabins. They were ready to cancel the remaining days of our trip but Keith wouldn't let them saying, "I can lay here in bed just as easy as at home."

"I'll stay with him." I offered and the Hundser's gave us both questioning looks. I laughed and said, "He's practically an invalid for goodness sakes. I won't start anything, I promise."

Keith pouted and I rolled my eyes. My boyfriend is perpetually horny!

Having little choice but to trust us the Hundser's left to go get Corey, Drew and John saying that they'd bring dinner back with them when they returned. The second the door closed Keith said, "Thanks Prez."

"For what babe?" I asked.

"For staying with me. I thought I messed myself up pretty bad and I was scared."

Lying beside him on his right side I said, "I'd never leave you Keith. Even though I hate hospitals if you needed to stay then I would've stayed the night. Don't ever doubt that I love you."

"I don't doubt it, it's just nice to be reminded." He said combing my hair back out of my face with his fingers. "Ya know something?"

"What's that?"

"I think you're face got a little sunburned."

"Really? Too bad I left the Aloe gel at home." It was fun joking around but once again I got that feeling that we had done this before and tears started to roll down my cheeks. Burying my face on his chest I sighed loudly.

"What's the matter baby? Please don't cry. I'm fine honest." He said softly while rubbing my back.

That's when I told him about my weird dream and the déjà vu episodes that I'd been having. Some how I couldn't help but think I might've prevented his injury. He said I was being silly, there was no way I could've known and even if I had told him during the drive up that things seemed a little weird there was still no way we could've turned around and gone back home. My logical mind knew he was right but I promised myself to pay more attention to my dreams.

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