This story is a work of erotic fiction involving teenage boys. All the usual rules apply. If you shouldn't be reading this now then don't continue on.

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A New Life Chapter 26

Every Which Way

With my house key ready I made it to the front door before Keith. Turning the knob and finding the door unlocked we barreled into the house. Ready to start stripping off my clothes and making a mad dash for the bedroom I skidded to a halt, surprised to find Mrs. Hundser, John and Kim sitting in the living room. Dagnabit! I shouted to myself. Don't they know it's Sunday and they're all supposed to be out somewhere? They're all out every other Sunday. But noooo! Not this Sunday!

Startled by our rapid entrance Mrs. Hundser exclaimed, "Hey, what's the hurry? Is everything alright?"

"Just fine mom," Keith laughed as he guided me towards our room, "we were just racing to the door since we're a little late... to umm..."

" Mike and Derrick at Doug's." I said finishing the sentence for him. Walking backwards as I spoke with Keith still leading me slowly towards the bedroom I started to laugh at Keith's absent-mindedness. Yes my love, think of what we're going to do after we wreck the bedroom!

Keith's mom said, "I thought you just spent the night at Mike's? Slow down a little please, you scared the daylights out of me for a second there."

Answering his mother but looking deep into my eyes Keith hollered, "Sorry mom, we will," then he seductively whispered to me, "We'll take it real slow... almost methodically."

With that said, my legs became wobbly and I swooned, pulling him into the bedroom with me before I collapsed. Draping myself over him and nibbling the nape of his neck, Keith held me up and closed the door with his foot. Although we were in a bit of a hurry, we slowly helped each other undress; enjoying the time it took for each area of bare skin to be revealed. Being undressed by your lover is such an intense experience. Each time it's a little different, not because of the clothes that need to be removed but because of the circumstances that lead up to the event. This time we were both in a playful mood, smiling insanely as we worked and talked.

Slowly unbuttoning his shirt, with absolutely no intentions of rushing I said, "We really should try to hurry."

He kissed me, removed my shirt and, flashing me his mischievous grin, Keith answered, "I know, Mike's gonna have a fit if we're late."

I nodded and kissed him back as I dropped my arms from his shoulders to lazily unbuckle his belt. Breaking the kiss, I caressed his throbbing bone through his pants before concentrating on unzipping them. "And the family's home, so we kinda need to be quiet," I whispered.

Keith's hands moved in slow motion as he unbuckled and unzipped my pants. He spent a great deal of time copping some feels in between loosening my belt and unzipping my fly; as if what waited beneath my clothes was a mysterious treasure. Savoring the moment, he held my pants up, kissed me then asked, "We could meet in the shower?" Not until I nodded my head and returned the kiss did he let my pants fall to the floor. Our arms wrapped around each other in a tight embrace and my little kiss turned into a major lip lock. As we stood tasting and exploring each other's mouths he pressed his groin against mine. The sensation made my woozy. I had missed feeling his erection pressed against me the last two weeks. Keith broke our kiss, leaned back and dreamily stared at me for a moment then sighed. "I'll get the water warmed up for ya," he said wrapping a towel around his waist and stepping out of the room. I grabbed my own towel and just as I was getting ready t! o open the door Keith returned saying, "We need a plan B, Drew's in the bathroom."

Taking his hand as I sat on the corner of the bed I suggested, "We could wait a few till he's done."

Sitting next to me Keith said disgruntled, "Yeah well, it might take more than a few minutes." Pausing for only a moment he faced me then said, "I don't think he's alone in there."

Surprised that Drew would be so bold I said, "Really? If it's true, you know it was Corey that got him to do it."

"I know it and I'm gonna have a talk with the little shit for wrecking my plans too!"

I giggled and said, "Aww, it's okay. Don't scare the kid. We'll do fine in here then go get cleaned up."

Pouting a little Keith said, "I really, really wanted to slip and slide around in the shower though."

It only took me a moment to figure out what needed to be done. Taking his hand I stood up and brought him with me. After a quick kiss I asked him to close his eyes, which he quickly did.

In our night table we had KY, which worked really well for most everything, but the Vaseline and mineral oil we had tried before that were just sitting there collecting dust because they didn't work so well for one reason or another. The mineral oil would work just fine for exterior slipping and sliding though.

Walking back to him, I poured a large amount of oil into my hand then started slowly massaging his shoulders and arms. His eyes popped open and he looked behind me then said, "Now why didn't I think of that?"

Only because your heart was set on the shower, I thought but only smiled knowingly.

Keith reached behind me and grabbed the oil from the dresser. Pouring out a handful he then began rubbing it into my sides, chest and stomach with one hand. I took the bottle and rubbed another handful into his other arm and shoulder. We went back and forth sharing the bottle, dowsing each other in oil until all that remained were our twitching hard cocks and balls. We took care of them simultaneously then Keith pulled me in close and started grinding into my hip. Thank goodness he's feeling better, I thought as I held him tight and nibbled on his earlobe. I guess we spent a little too much time getting each other slippery because Keith started panting and moaning very soon thereafter so I knew he was close. Even though I was real close too I didn't know what to do; to let him have his orgasm then follow with my own, finishing our fun all too soon or, to break his rhythm so it would last a little longer. Choosing the later I squeezed the cheeks of his fine ass hard, holding! him still. Unfortunately, that wasn't the right thing to do. That was the last straw for Keith. He whimpered, held me tight and unloaded forcefully between us. His body shivered then went limp in my arms. I held him up while thrusting my cock against his hip. There was a knock at the door just as I had only a few more strokes to go before I lost it.

"The bathroom's yours bro." Drew said from beyond the door.

Keith didn't reply but instead whispered in my ear, "Shoot for me baby."

Trying for a few more moments while he held me tight. I groaned in frustration, "I can't, that kinda shocked me."

"It's okay, I'll finish ya off in the shower." He said breathlessly then kissed me tenderly, sliding his tongue around my parted lips. Breaking our embrace we wrapped ourselves in towels then padded across the hall hand in hand to the bathroom. Keith turned the shower water on and stepped in under cold water.

To this day I don't know how he does that! Cold water is for lakes, pools and the ocean on warm summer days, not for showers on rainy winter days.

I waited for the water to warm up then stepped in with him. The second the shower door was closed my sexy boyfriend knelt down and started mouthing the underside of my cock, bringing it right back to full attention in a matter of seconds. Sliding his hand up the entire length of my left leg into my crotch he then started pressing firmly, teasing my prostate from the outside. I saw stars and stuttered, "Uh, Keith... so good babe, ungh! Gonna... oh hell yeah." Keith got the message and slid his mouth over the head of my throbber a millisecond before I came. I held onto his strong shoulders as volley after mind melting volley shot from my cock. Even after I was done shooting, as Keith slid up and held me tight, my deflating cock still felt like I was cumming. It took me a while to recover and every time Keith tried to reach for the soap I held him firmly in place.

In to my ear he giggled, "Super dooper power shooter, are you ok?"

I couldn't help but laugh. Leaning backwards a little to look in his eyes I nodded. There was something new in his eyes that beckoned me. As I leaned forward again Keith's head tilted and I kissed him deeply. We broke another record that day, forgetting all about actually washing but standing there holding that kiss until the water began to get cold. Quickly, I rinsed my armpits and crotch, wet my hair and escaped the chilly water with Keith right behind me.

Both Keith and I had been feeling somewhat different about each other on and off most of the week. We couldn't identify how or why exactly but, since it wasn't causing either of us a problem, we didn't spend much time trying to figure it out either. He always thanked me for the little things I did while he recovered and he'd blush so much when I took one of the used piss jugs out of the room. Did he think after all he's done for me and how strongly I care for him that I would turn my back on him? For me it was no effort whatsoever.

As we watched each other brush our teeth in the foggy bathroom mirror I could feel we both knew that even this common daily activity also felt different, as if we had just met and never done it before. But we had known each other intimately for quite some time; we lived together, ate together, slept together, every moment we could share we did. It seemed to me that the only boring hours was when Keith wasn't in the immediate area, a holler across the house away. There's a feeling of being disjointed in school and work that I have. I need to concentrate hard on what I have to do to get past it. Once we finished in the bathroom, we walked back to our room and helped each other pick out clothes then got dressed. I could feel him sneaking peaks at me as I dropped the towel and starting putting on clothes. For a while there it was getting to be routine, but the last few days were just like the last days of June. Everything seemed the same as usual; we looked the same, the room w! as back to normal, little brothers, parents and friends all the same as before. Things just had extra pizzazz when we were within a few feet of each other.

Walking out to the kitchen I explained to mom where we were going for the day and she asked, "Should I expect you back for dinner?"

"I think so," Keith answered, "but if we're a little late we'll pig out on the leftovers." then we kissed her cheek and left for Brian and Doug's place. As we pulled the car out of the driveway I looked at my watch and chuckled, "It's quarter to two!"

Keith nodded and said, "That's not too bad considering we had lots to do and were delayed getting into the bathroom in the first place. Mike will just have to get over it."

"Now he'll have something else to tease us about. Not that I mind, I'll just find a way to tease him back."

Reaching for my hand Keith glanced over and mouthed the words, "love you." My heart skipped two beats then raced to catch up. What in the world did I do or say to deserve that, I wondered. Squeezing his hand in mine was all the reply he needed. We must've flown to Agoura Hills because the next thing I knew we were parking in front of Brian and Doug's house.

The sound of drums was just barely audible as we walked hand in hand up to the front door. On the door was a note saying it was open and to come in. We did so and I took the note down before closing the door behind me.

"I'm looking forward to jamming with Jess today." I commented as we walked towards Brian and Doug's playroom. From the end of the hall we could here what sounded like a ballad but I couldn't identify the tune.

"I wish I had met her before today," Keith said, "it would make things a little easier, ya know."

"I know babe, but it's not a problem. She's not the stuffy, prim or proper type. We had a good time with her during lunch a few days this week. Just be yourself and have fun."

Keith grabbed the doorknob and yelled over the sound of music, "I'm just a little nervous, I'll chill out." Then he opened the door. Doug was playing a really fine looking bass, a model I'd never seen before with natural Koa wood finish. Jessy was behind the keyboards; Mike was playing one of the Les Paul's. Still I didn't recognize the song so I guessed it was just something they were making up as they went along. Brian was sitting at the computer workstation, his back turned to us. Keith and I walked over to see what he was doing and say hello. It was plenty loud in the room, while not deafening, it was loud enough where we had to yell as we spoke.

"Hey! I'm glad you guys made it." Brian shouted, "We started without ya but the vocal tracks haven't even started yet."

"I don't recognize the song." I hollered.

"Me neither." Keith said.

Brain said, "We rearranged an oldie by the Everly Brothers, All I have To Do Is Dream. It hardly sounds thirty years old, huh?"

"It sounds excellent!" Keith agreed.

"You're recording it?" I asked and Brian nodded. "Aren't we messing up by talking and yelling?"

"It's not a problem," Brian answered, "we'll just have Derrick re-do the drum tracks with you on bass. This is only the second take, Jess or Mike might want to add or change something anyway."

"This is amazing, you can record and mix stuff from different parts and stuff?" Keith said while looking around at the various parts of the display.

"There's a line running from the amps and keys right into the board," Brian answered, "Derrick's got a few mics on the drums. Here's the lyrics." And he handed a piece of paper to Keith. Then he added, "The idea we had is to make a demo tape of a few songs so you guys can use them to play parties and such."

Keith looked shocked and shouted, "Argh! It's gotta be Mike's idea, right?" I giggled and wrapped my arm around Keith's waist, pulling him close to me.

Brian nodded then turned his attention back to the computer and started adjusting settings. A few seconds later, the song ended and Mike looked at Keith as if he were disgusted. I could almost make out the unspoken words between them.

"Late again, bitch!"

"Eat me! There was very little time for recreational activities and we hurried right over. Tell me you and D didn't take a few extra minutes." Then they both started giggling.

Doug put down his bass and walked over to us saying, "Howdy, glad ya crawled out of your crypt to join us. I was beginning to wonder if I needed to redecorate or somethin'."

"God forbid!" Derrick laughed.

Jessy giggled and said, "Never, ever give a gay man an excuse to redecorate or move the furniture around!"

Derrick and I cracked up then Brian said, "Don't even mention redecorating, the last time we had to stay in a hotel for a week!"

"We were replacing the roof!" Doug argued playfully.

"And the kitchen counters and building the new master bathroom." Brian added.

Shrugging his shoulders Doug said, "Things must be done, they get to lookin' unfit for sentient life and shit."

"What did you dudes think of the tune?" Derrick asked excitedly while twirling his sticks around his fingers.

"It's cool, ya found another ballad for us too." I said then walked over to check out that ultra fine bass Doug was playing. Looking at it closely, I noticed it was indeed real Koa and that it was a fretless bass as well. Koa is a very expensive Hawaiian hardwood that has made some truly superb sounding guitars, basses and other instruments. Turning back to Doug I asked if I could try it out.

Quickly he said, "Help yourself," then joined Brian at the computer. I picked up the bass and turned the volume all the way down while I puttered around. Man, that bass felt so good in my hands. I could feel the vibrations of the strings through the Koa on my belly.

"Hey Red, wassup?" Jessy asked me. She started calling me 'Red' the day we met earlier in the week. I'd rather her call me Red than be formal and call me Preston. It's getting to the point that I'll answer to "hey you" though!

"Nada," I replied, "enjoying the weekend. Did you play at church this morning?"

Glaring at Mike and Derrick she joked, "Yep, while some people slept in till noon I was up at six and playing by seven."

"You know we're gonna have to corrupt you and teach you how to procrastinate properly." Mike said as he walked around the drums, taking his usual place behind Derrick.

"Do you also procrastinate introductions?" Jessy asked.

"Oh shit!" I exclaimed. The bass had tripped me out so much I totally forgot! "Jessica Roberts, this is Keith Hundser." I said proudly, pointing to my boyfriend. From behind the drums both Mike and Derrick shook their heads at me.

Keith reached his hand over the keyboards and Jessy shook it saying, "I'm glad to finally meet you. Your homies never stop talking about ya, 'specially Red." Now I was blushing hard! Jessy laughed heartily at my blushing face.

Grinning madly at me Keith said, "Oh yeah? We'll have to talk about what they said to correct all the lies and exaggerations."

"It's good to see you're upwardly mobile again. They say you've got one hell of a voice." She said.

Making a crooked face, Keith looked over at me then chuckled. Holding one finger up to his mouth, Keith softly shushed her and said, "They're all delusional, just play along and you'll be safe."

Jessy looked at him oddly then said, "I see. And you're not delusional? Maybe I won't hang with ya then."

"He's plenty delusional," Mike said, "we just have to pound him around some every now and then."

"How many lumps would you like with that?" Doug asked Brian.

"Three please." Brian answered and Doug reached for a little rubber squeaky mallet then quickly crowned him three times.

"Ah, perfect! Gather 'round, its soup!" Brian said and, pressing a key replayed the song they had just recorded. The monitors filled the room and it sounded very much like the live performance just slightly less loud.

Brian explained during the last moments of the song, "The idea we had was to add more texture than the original recording has. We're not changing the tempo much, actually slowing it down a little bit. Mike and Jessy had some fun changing the background harmonies around to give it that Pink Floyd dreamscape effect."

Pulling Brian up with him, Doug stood and suggested, "Why don't you guys get to know each other better, show off a little etceteras, while Brian and I grab us all some drinks."

"Coolness, thanks dudes." Derrick said.

Jessy said, "Red, why don't ya play something? We've been talking at school all week but I haven't heard you play yet."

Turning the volume up on the bass I obliged her, playing a jazzy walking bass line then moving into some funky slap bass. After a minute or two I shouted over to Mike and Derrick, "If your not too busy?" As Mike walked back to his guitar Derrick joined me with an appropriate syncopated drum beat. I was mildly shocked when Mike started playing a clean rhythm guitar part with very little flash. It left a fair amount of room for Jessy to join in with an improvised melody on the keyboards. Keith sat down, watching and listening as we jammed out a short tune. I gave Derrick the signal that this would be the last section. Mike and Jessy caught right on and we finished our best sounding jam yet. It flowed together, built up and ended just perfectly, sending a shiver down my spine. As I looked around the room it became apparent that I wasn't the only one impressed.

"That was sweet!" Keith said excitedly.

"What tunes have you dudes been workin' on?" Jessy asked, "Why don't you play and I'll come in where I need to or whatever?"

"We made a list last night, kinda forgot to bring it with though." Derrick chuckled.

For the next hour or so we each listed a few songs and played, starting with La Grange. Then Mike suggested that we play The Road with Jessy strumming an acoustic guitar, learning the song as she went. Afterwards Jessy said, "Keith, we gotta find something for you to do dude. You just can't like, sit there because someone else is singing lead vocals. There's a tambourine and some percussion stuff over there."

Mike suggested, "Why don't you just stand up and join us bro, you name the tunes and we'll play 'em?"

"Cool," Keith said as he stood, "I was just getting psyched and more nervous sitting here. How about Bringin' On The Heartbreak?"

"Done deal," Derrick said.

"It's in the key of A major Jessy." I said, "Ya know, standard pentatonic rock."

She replied, "Gotchya, I think I remember the song."

Derrick counted out and Mike started playing and, much to my surprise, Jessy was right on, filling in the voids and adding dimension to the song. One second she was playing low bass then the keys started playing arpeggios, sounding like a clean electric guitar. Mike adjusted what he was playing appropriately and I could see Keith's face light up as he stood in front of the microphone. On queue, he turned and started belting out the lyrics. It was a magical moment hearing the five of us together for the first time and sounding really good. If the truth must be known, I was the only one that tripped up just before the guitar solo when Keith was singing the no-no's. He bent over forward screaming, "No!" and all I thought as my fingers fumbled was, ah fuck he strained himself and it's back to bed for another week! Turning towards me while Mike wailed the guitar solo I saw he was okay though, just getting into the lyrics and giving it some emotion.

Some folks make a big deal out of building teamwork but frankly, I don't understand why. We each have a job to do. It's just a matter of doing your job in sequence with others. There's a delicate balance between boredom and challenge that needs to be found; or else someone starts doing something unexpected, their brain either way off in outer space, unchallenged or baffled with way too much to do. Our sound began meshing together immediately, Derrick's timing and my solid driving bass. Mike and Jessy both adding harmonies to the rhythm along with Keith's strong voice.

During Heartbreak a few cans of Pepsi magically appeared on the table by the door and we helped ourselves. Jessy started playing various pieces of a few Journey songs. The rest of us listened for a few minutes while she played until she happened across the beginning to Separate Ways. She sounded exactly like the record and without delay Mike, Derrick and I came in. Then Keith turned and faced the mic, his tight ass bouncing in those loose jeans just a few feet in front of me as he started singing.

I swear it is heaven on earth.. With only a small amount of effort all the things I dreamed of doing while I vegetated alone in my room all those years began taking shape. Derrick and I hit it off and started jamming. Mike joined us, bringing his own ideas and the songs he and Derrick played before I showed up. We started with maybe ten songs then Keith joined with his own ideas of what lyrics were cool and a voice that would demand attention. Now we have a professionally trained keyboard player. Although we only just met, she seemed to be a fun girl and she bound us together even more. All I ever had to do was let myself do things instead of dreaming them it seems. "Give it a whirl Preston," my mom would say, "no one can fault you for trying." I am mom and it's pretty easy too, I answered silently.

Bringing Separate Way to a sudden, climatic and loud end, each of us began looking around the room, smiling at each other nodding slowly. "That's what that song needed," Keith shouted triumphantly, "it was good before but now it's great!"

"You sing really well," Jessy said to him, "we play it good but without the right voice it would sound like crap-ola."

"Thanks, Jess." Keith said humbly.

"We've started working on some ballads too," Mike said as he lifted the electric guitar off his shoulder. Picking up the Guild acoustic he added, "I played Dee for ya last week but the other day Keith and I worked on More Than Words by Extreme."

"That's a pretty song." Jessy commented.

"Break time!" Derrick said as he stood up and headed for the door.

"I'll take a break too," I said and put down the bass, following Derrick out into the hall.

Closing the door behind us I said, "I can't sit and listen to that song without being affected ever again."

"I know dude. I left before I popped a serious rod." Derrick said. We heard the opening of the song and Mike started singing. Derrick stopped at the bathroom and said, "Think I need another shower, I'm just gonna clean up a bit."

I nodded and said, "Just don't make another mess bud."

Derrick giggled, "No dude," then he pointed in the bathroom, "not with Bugs and Tweety watchin'."

At the end of the hallway, I turned into the living room and saw Doug lying down with his head on Brian's lap. Please God, I prayed, let Keith and I make it together and be just like that one day.

With a Scottish accent Doug said, "Mr. O'Brian have ya sorted things out yonder?"

I giggled and wondered just what it was that I was sorting out but answered, "Yeah, how did it sound from out here?"

"Just grand mate," Brian answered with his own thick Scottish accent, "but that, I fear, is only one thing that weighs heavy on your shoulders.

Now I was really confused. They were acting goofy again. "Huh? Not here, every thing's just fine, unless you can help me turn a possible B in trigonometry into an A."

Looking up at Brian, Doug asked, "Do you see the color grey?"

"Aye," Brian responded, "and murky browns."

"Confusion buries itself so deep sometimes." Doug sighed.

Brian said, "There's bright white and sparkling gold beneath the murky colors."

I chuckled and sat on the recliner across from them. "You dude's are trippin'. You've been into the bong again, haven't ya?" I joked.

Doug sat up straight, shook his head no and said to Brian, "The lad speaks but skirts around communication, perhaps in an effort to compromise?"

From behind me Derrick came into the room and said, "Hey dudes, wassup?"

"You too," Brian said, "murky brown and grey, it's gotta change."

"There's at least one problem I think," Doug said, "maybe each of you has multiple problems but, what ever they are, the time has come to be honest."

"I don't know what you mean?" I said softly.

"Me neither." Derrick admitted.

Brian said, "We know you've both been through some extraordinary times recently. We'd like to be sure you make it through the next series just as well."

"Like what kind of times?" I asked, "bad times?"

Brian corrected, "Not necessarily bad, just trying. Duality, ya can't have the light without a little dark."

"All four of you have the same worries, each in his own measure, but they are the same." Doug said then, sounding slightly agitated he added, "Don't you know that what you fear will be brought upon you? It's a certainty. The only way to destroy fears is to bring them out into the light."

"First, you need to admit it to yourself. Then talk about it with everyone you care about, especially anyone directly involved. Take away its power to mess with you." Brian advised.

"Remember why we were introduced?" Doug asked, and then he answered himself, "To act as mentors, if you will; to answer questions and advise."

"Our advice is now and will probably always be, follow your heart. Your mouth needs to learn how to speak for your heart." Brian said

Derrick and I looked at each other stunned for a few moments. There was no problem or fear between Keith and I that I could think of. There was nothing hovering between Derrick and I, or Mike, or any of the Hundser's. This whole past week has been excellent. I always try to make my mouth speak for my heart; sometimes it's not so easy though.

"Just think on it gents," Doug said, returning to his Scottish accent. He stood and offered a hand to help Brian get up.

"Hey," Mike yelled from the hallway, "break time is over." He walked around the corner and said, "We could use a bass and some drums, some leadership wouldn't be a bad thing either. Or shall we just learn new tunes by osmoses!"

"Leadership?" Doug asked. Then both he and Brian marched towards the room singing in a German accent, "Ven ze Feurer says ve is da masta race, Zeig Hiel! Thbtbt! Thbtbt! Zeig Hiel! Right in ze Feurer's face!"

Derrick and I hung back and took our time walking down the hall. "That was way weird." I whispered.

"This is the way it's always been dude," Derrick said softly, "from that first visit when Doug took me aside. They have something they feel they need to say and just say it, no holes barred, point blank."

"Mmm, surrounded by comic book antics though. I thought I changed moods fast, these guys are gonna strip their gears!" I said and giggled.

"It's cool dude. Last week Doug had a feeling there was something wrong. So did Mike and me." I looked at him curiously and he said, "We stopped by the house to pick you up. Come on dude, I told you that in school."

"Oh yeah, sorry bud, spaced it." I said, making an excuse for my short memory. There was one question that I had to ask Doug and Brian. And I asked it as nicely as I could when we entered the playroom. As Derrick walked back behind his drums I walked over to where Doug and Brian were sitting. Mike was hanging out behind them watching them adjust settings. I squatted down behind Doug and Brian and said, "Can I ask you guys something?"

"Sure," Brian said, not turning from his work.

"I don't mean to sound disrespectful or ungrateful but... why are you doing all this for us?"

"Prez! Come on dude!" Mike said excitedly.

"No, it's alright." Doug said.

Brian asked, "Why do otherwise good kids get fucked up on drugs?"

"Or simply wander aimlessly, without direction; falling into step with the next fad as it shows up?" Doug added.

"Why do kids strike out against other kids, shooting up schools and playgrounds?" Brian said softly. "We remember what it's like. When your feeling good your on top of the world but on the other extreme you sink ten times more deeply and begin to loose self worth."

"If putting aside a few hours now and again will make an impact with anyone of the five of you then it will effect someone else you know. Maybe you can help catch somebody before they fall." Doug answered and pointed something out on the computer monitor for Brian. "Schools teach you how to remember, we're hoping to teach you how to think for yourselves."

I looked around the room at my friends listening to these two men. Brian continued, "Every thing's intertwined; every one of us, every life form and collection of molecules making up the simplest matter. Kill an ant purposefully with anger and stub your toe before the end of the day. Every action has a reaction, you get what you deserve, etceteras."

"It's really no effort, we'd be doing much the same things if you were here or not." Doug said indifferently.

"Sorry, I didn't mean..."

"Don't be sorry," Doug chuckled, "the only stupid question is?"

"The question that was never asked." I said as I stood.

"Right! Mastery of one sort put aside for the musical sort." Doug said as he stood. "Impress me." He dared and we all started laughing and giggling. I didn't see his face when I was squatting behind him listening. Every word he spoke was while wearing Groucho glasses! "I'm not kidding," he said disappointedly and we all roared for quite a few minutes.

"Can I play with the synth-drums, purdy please?" Derrick asked, as we all started moving back towards our instruments.

Doug checked his watch and said, "Sure, then we'll move on and start working on those vocals." While Derrick pounded out the drum solo to Tank, Brian came over and handed us each a few pages of sheet music.

Keith chuckled, "Pretty dots but umm..."

Doug said, "Not to worry, it's not all that hard. Just follow me, my young Jedi."

I put my bass down and followed Doug and Keith out to the living room. Sometimes when we're practicing, I wondered if maybe I'm not paying enough attention to Keith. He must know that the only time he's not in the forefront of my mind is when there's a bass in my hands and a song to play. Was this what Brian and Doug were talking about? Maybe Keith and I should talk about it? I mused.

Keith said, "I know most of the songs from the radio but this one, Silent Running, I don't think I know that one."

Doug picked up his acoustic guitar and explained, "We'll work on that one then and in a few minutes you'll be all set. Like most things, it's a matter of timing." Doug taught Keith a little about rhythms and built on that by playing the melody on his acoustic guitar so Keith could hear the changes in pitch. Then Doug strummed out the guitar changes and sang while Keith sang along, occasionally stopping to ask a question. Then Doug put on the CD and we went through the whole song again with Doug on guitar and me singing along with Keith.

When we finished up that song Keith shuffled through the pages to the song Something So Strong and asked, "How'd you know I love this song?"

"A little bird named Mike told me." Doug said.

"Well we don't need to work on that one, I must've sang it 20 times this past week." Keith joked.

"And the others, do you feel comfy now babe?" I asked.

"Yeah, just fine. Can we do this one first so I don't forget it?" Keith asked and stood up.

Doug got up saying, "Sure thing."

I wrapped my arm around Keith's shoulder and walked with him back to the room.

When we returned Derrick was finished, reading through the pages and wiping sweat from his brow while Brian worked with Mike. The room was almost completely quiet. Returning to the computer Doug said, "Silent Running first please."

During the remainder of the late afternoon and early evening we recorded Silent Running, Something So Strong and Everybody Wants To Rule The World then Keith and Mike sang the vocal tracks for All I Have To Do Is Dream. It was half past eight when we packed it up for the day. Brian and Doug would work on the recordings and have tapes made for us by the end of the week.

"Adios boys, I'll see ya all in school." Jessy said as she got in her car.

As she drove off Mike sighed and said, "Damn, she still hasn't said whether she'll join us or not."

"I thought that was a given." Keith said, "She sure seems to fit in real well."

"I think she will," Derrick said as he unlocked his car. "We'll ask her tomorrow."

"I'll get down on my knees and beg if I have to." Mike said as he got in the 442.

Laughing I said, "I'll bring a camera," and Mike made a goofy face at me.

"Who's driving tomorrow morning?" Keith asked.

"You are." Derrick and Mike said in unison. Then they started the car, waved and drove off.

Reaching for Keith's hand as we walked toward our car I took the keys and said, "I'll drive us home."

"Cool," Keith said, "why don't we take the scenic route?"

"Down Kanan and PCH?" I asked as we let our hands slide apart.

"Yep, and back up Malibu Canyon."

Getting in the car I giggled, "You just want to get me down by the beach."

"I cannot tell a lie," Keith answered as he got in and closed the car door, "I intend to seduce you. Got a problem with that?"

I looked at him for a long few moments, leaned over and kissed him then put the car in gear. As we turned onto Kanan Road I asked, "Do you think I ignore you or anything babe?"

"Huh?" Keith said excitedly, "Never. Why do you ask?"

"Oh I was just wondering. Ya know, when we get to jamming and stuff I thought maybe that I wasn't paying enough attention to you. If I'm not I'll try to do better, k?"

He reached for my hand and said, "You're right there with me baby. As a matter of fact, I probably wouldn't be singing at all if it weren't for you. What made you ask?"

Relieved, I thought for a few moments then told Keith about what Doug and Brian had said earlier in the day. "What bothered me the most is the implication that I'm not communicating," I admitted. "I know I say a lot and I do listen but... I don't know it just worried me."

"The part about fears is what's worrying me." Keith said.

"Why? What's your biggest fear?"

"I'm not sure, guess there's two."

"My only fear is that someday you'll loose interest in me." I said softly.

He squeezed my hand and said, "Put that one right out of your mind 'cause it ain't gonna happen unless you loose interest in me first, which is one of my fears."

"And the other one?"

"That somehow we'll be discovered, outted at school or someplace publicly. If that happens I honestly don't know how I'll react. I hope I'll be strong and just blow off the bullshit but I don't know, it's scary to even think about."

"Same here. But I know even that wouldn't put as much of a strain on us..."

Keith waited for me to finish but I didn't. "As much of as strain as what?" he asked but again I didn't answer right away. I didn't mean to word my statement as I had but now that I slipped he needed an answer. We were coming down the mountain towards Pacific Coast Highway where I knew several places were we could park and talk. My nerves were rattled because suddenly my own failure to communicate became apparent completely by accident and now I could see Keith was getting nervous too.

"Let me park and we'll talk." I said.

"Okay" he said with a little bit of a quiver in his voice.

Time stopped during those few minutes it took to get down Kanan and on to PCH as I tried to put words to my feelings. Every thought flashed through my mind all at once. Now that I really wanted to hear my mom's voice in my mind, giving me some comforting words, there was total silence. Frantically, I searched for something she would say to make me less nervous but the only thing that came to mind was, "cover your ass Preston," and that only added to my paranoia. Turning onto PCH, I caught the double meaning of her phrase. Once it meant only to be careful and not leave anyone the chance to hurt me but now I chuckled at the innuendo there. Squeezing Keith's hand tightly I reassured him, "It's okay babe, I just gotta air out the cobwebs in my mind."

I pulled the car into the Malibu beach parking lot and turned off the engine. Turning towards him I asked, "Remember that first week we met and the promise we made?" He nodded but I waited for him to say it.

"We promised to stay together, not to fool around with other guys."

"That's the one." I said happily then looked at the ocean, took a deep breath and asked, "Has that changed?"

"Hell no!" he shouted. "Especially after this past week, more so now than ever. You're like the gauge I compare everyone else to."

"Even Mike and Derrick?" I asked.

"Yep, even them."

Softly, so my questions wouldn't be misunderstood I asked, "Why are we even talking about a four way with them then? Are we gonna let the little heads start dictating to the big ones?"

Surprised, Keith said, "You've been stressing that? Prez, they're our friends. We're not gonna hurt each other or share any diseases."

"I'm not the least bit worried about diseases and there's no doubt any of us would intentionally hurt each other but think about it for a minute. Can you picture me French kissing either one?"

"No," he giggled, "but I see what ya mean. If I can't see that happening then everything and anything else is totally outrageous."

"Exactly. Don't ya see we gotta be totally sure it's for fun, with just enough love and caring so none of us gets jealous or hurt in any way." Pausing for a moment I continued to explain, "My blood starts to boil when I imagine you and Mike together, even though I know you're best friends and I know it's just for fun. Imagine it, anyone of us could get jealous and then everything would go to hell in a hurry. There are some things we could share, but the only way I see that happening is if we all start talking about it together. So far you've been talking with Mike and I've been talking with Derrick. We have to talk about this together, as couples and all four of us at once." In the interest of honestly I added, "You said I'm your gauge, well you're mine. I've already considered Mike and there's no way it could work out with him. I've considered Derrick and there's something missing there too. I can't imagine living with either of them. Every cute boy I've seen, and let me t! ell you, compared to Sherman, Texas there's a bunch, I've put them beside you and not one of 'em even comes close."

Keith sat there quietly for a long few moments then said, "If all four of us can't sit and talk through this open and honest then it would be sure to cause a problem somehow."

Thankful that he understood, I started the car and said, "This is just the tip of the iceberg. We have to know exactly what makes us curious, talk about attributes and stuff."

Keith chuckled and said, "This should be a barrel of laughs."

"It could be but the important thing is this, after we're done comparing mental notes on various people it's you that I'm sleeping next to."

"I wouldn't have it any other way." Keith said and turned on the radio then reached for my hand. "So tell me about all these other dudes I've been compared to."

I giggled, "Where should I start?"

"Start with Mike."

"That's easy. Mike's good looking and really funny sometimes and you know I like him a lot but there's times when he seems to not be serious about things when I'd think he would be."

"He has his moments. What else?"

"Honestly, the only thing I'm curious about is his wang." I said laughing. "I've seen him soft and it just boggles my mind that he could be as big as I hear."

"Mike's gonna love to hear that!" Keith laughed.

"Your turn."

"There's really nothing about Mike or Derrick that's news to me."

I insisted, "It may not be news but there must be something that interests you or you would've told Mike, no way to this whole deal." Keith giggled then starting laughing. "Come on, I can tell there's something." I pressed, "If you can't tell me then how are you gonna talk about it with them?"

"Okay, but it's silly really." Keith said as he regained his composure.

"It's all silly," I agreed, "dick size, perfect hair, broader shoulders, rounder butt, even personality traits."

"Your right, what's inside matters way more when you live with somebody every day."

"Exactly, so who and what attribute are you curious about."

"Fuck! I can't believe I'm gonna say this to you. It's Derrick."

"What? The blond hair that he can finger comb to perfection?"

Keith let go of my hand, covered his face and laughed heartily then said, half-chuckling, "No, it's foreskin! I can't help it! I think it's so cool! When I hear how sensitive it is, I wonder if we've been missing something. He's got a nice butt too, not as nice as yours but close."

I cracked up, struggling to keep my eyes on the road instead of looking at the rare blush on Keith's face. For the rest of the ride home we talked about our friends, a few other cute boys we've seen and every attribute conceivable from hair color to personality traits. Hearing what Keith likes about others and telling him what I like really made me feel good about our relationship. We could be completely honest with each other, even when we talked about other boys, including our best friends, which we really hadn't ever done before in such detail. Even though it was embarrassing at times it was still one of the most enjoyable conversations we've ever had. It was a lot like the first conversations we had when I was still admitting to myself that I was gay. None of that was a major shock to me but still I had Keith to talk with about it.

Still giggling, we walked into the house, said hello to Keith's mom and dad then went to the kitchen to attack the leftovers. We helped ourselves, heated up our plates and sat at the dining room table alone with the chandelier lights dimmed slightly. As soon as I sat down beside him, Keith started playing footsies with me under the table! He was silent, smiling widely as he chewed his food and watching me like a hawk. I knew that look well; it said plainly, "Hurry up and eat, I want to continue our conversation and have a little private play time." We ate fast, then a little faster. Soon we were dribbling soda and food all over ourselves as we wolfed down our dinner.

In a flash the plates and silverware were rinsed and put in the dishwasher. We walked back to our room and found Drew sitting on the floor at the foot of the bed watching TV.

Drew looked up at us, appearing sad and said, "Hey."

"What's wrong bro?" Keith asked.

"You look frazzled dude." I said.

Drew sighed and said, "We're in trouble."

"With who? The rents said nothing." Keith said.

"They said we need to work this out ourselves."

I asked, "Work what out man?"

Drew explained, "Earlier today, ya know, when I was in the bathroom and then you guys went in... well John and Kim saw the whole thing. So now Kim kinda knows for sure about us. Then Corey and I had a fight and he went home early and John's all pissy and won't even talk to me and well, I've been sitting here waiting for you dudes for hours. What are we gonna do?"

Keith and I looked at each other with trepidation. It was obvious our conversation and playtime would need to wait a while. "Well he's gonna have to talk. Where is he now?" Keith asked.

"Locked in our bedroom." Drew said softly.

"Damn!" Keith said, "Well what did you and Corey fight about?"

"About Kim finding out, what else?"

"Is Kim mad at John?" I asked.

"No, don't think so. She stayed here even after you guys left and Corey left. She stayed for dinner and everything. I barely ate at all, what with her sitting there looking at me weird and all."

"She was probably just a little surprised Drew," I offered.

"Yeah, well so was I! It really wasn't in my plans to have some sixth grade girl find out I'm foolin' around with another boy!"

"Did you talk with her at all?" Keith asked then he said, "Maybe she'll be cool about it bro."

"Goin' by John's mood all night I'd say it's not too cool a deal."

"We're all playing guessing games now." I said then looked at Keith and asked, "Babe, why don't you see if you can get John out of his room?"

Keith nodded and went down the hall. Drew and I heard him knock on the door and John shouted, "Go away!"

"Come on bro, let's talk about this." Keith hollered back.

"No!" John yelled, "you dudes embarrassed me."

Drew said, "See, he's been like that since Kim left for home," then he put his arms around his knees, lowered his head and started to cry.

"Yeah, well we're embarrassed too, okay!" Keith said loudly.

"Don't cry Drew," I said trying to reassure him, "its not all that bad and we'll get it worked out."

"I'm not crying" Drew said in a weak, shaky voice.

Not wanting to force him to admit anything while he was obviously shook up I sat on the bed beside him and said, "Well don't start ok? 'Cause if ya do then I'll start, then Keith and we'll all be thoroughly tweaked."

"I won't." Drew said and sniffled.

Mrs. Hundser came in our room and said, "Family meeting time," while Mr. Hundser continued down the hall. Drew and I got up and followed her to the living room.

"John," Mr. Hundser said in a normal tone of voice, "let's go kiddo, it's time to talk this out."

John yelled defiantly, "Do I have to?"

"No, you could stay in there for say, the next two weeks instead." Mr. Hundser said.

I sat on the sofa next to Mrs. Hundser and Drew took his favorite spot, sitting Indian style on the floor. Keith came in the room and sat down next to me.

John opened his door saying, "I didn't do anything wrong."

"Not earlier today, but hiding out and pouting in your room is pretty childish for someone that says he's old enough to have a girl friend." Mr. Hundser informed him. John took a seat on the floor, opposite all of us and beside his father.

Mrs. Hundser started, "What we have here is a lack of understanding and patience. You've all been a little inconsiderate today."

Surprised, John asked, "How have I been inconsiderate?"

"By not talking with your brothers." Mr. Hundser said, "They have a right to know what Kim thought about what she saw."

John looked at each of us then said; "Ya wanna know what she saw? Okay, first she sees Corey go into the bathroom. Then a minute later Drew goes in and she said to me, that was weird, I never saw Corey leave. So I tell her, well he must've. Then Keith comes out of his room wearing only a towel, knocks on the bathroom door and goes back to his room. A little while later Corey comes out of the bathroom, seconds later Drew comes out of the bathroom then Keith and Prez both go into the bathroom! I could've killed yas all!"

"Now tell your brothers why you're angry." Mrs. Hundser prompted.

"First of all because you put me on the spot." John said angrily, "How was I supposed to explain all that? Secondly 'cause her dad is real old fashioned and if he ever finds out about stuff like that she won't ever be able to see me ever again!"

"That's probably true," Mr. Hundser said, "from what I can guess after meeting him, he's very protective of his whole family, especially his daughters. Kim can only come here under supervision and John can only be there supervised."

What could we say? One by one we each apologized to John. My mind was racing though. Without even saying a word, by actions alone we had each outted ourselves.

"Is Kim upset with you?" Keith asked John.

He answered, "No, she's cool but damn."

Drew asked, "Do you think she'll tell?"

John shook his head saying, "Probably not. She doesn't want her dad finding out either I'll bet."

Mr. Hundser said, "Any one could've been here today, sitting in the living room and seen that little show just by looking down the hall."

"It seems to me you boys need to make a decision and act accordingly." Mrs. Hundser said.

"How's it going to be? Immediate family and close friends only or are you going to open up and be honest?" Mr. Hundser asked us then he said, "However you want it, you know we'll support you. Remember that each of you live here though. We want you all to be comfortable bringing your friends here so be considerate of each other."

We all got up and wandered back to our rooms. Keith closed the door and shook his head saying, "That was totally unexpected. I can't believe we did that! We saw her sitting there."

I sat at the desk and thought about the day for a long few moments. Softly I said, "Keith? Didn't I give you a hug at Doug's today? Didn't Mike stand behind Derrick, massaging his shoulders just like always? And wasn't Jessy sitting right there behind her keyboards watching?"

The more I said the wider Keith's eyes got. "Shit! I didn't even... oh dude what are we doin'?" He exclaimed.

"I don't know but we're not even aware of it when it's happening."

Keith sat on the corner of the bed across from me and said, "I wanted that hug. The thought never crossed my mind to stop it."

"We can't hide this any more babe. I love you. Sometimes I can't help but show it just a little."

"I know and I definitely don't want you to stop."

"Ya know those trips to the science wing boys room?" I asked. Keith grinned and nodded. "It's twice as exciting because of where we're at. I hear every sound from you and from the hall." I admitted.

"Every touch is magnified ten times too. I get hard as rock just walking there. By the time I finally touch you I'm on fire."

"You know what this means?"

He nodded and sighed, "It's happening."

"Lots of teachers and kids know I'm living here. No one's ever asked where I sleep."

"I was asked once. All I said was, in a bed, where'd ya think?" Keith chuckled.

"We gotta talk with Mike and Derrick. It's not too late to call."

"Guess we need to talk with Jessy too."

"We'll talk with her in school tomorrow. I don't know when it's cool to call there and it is almost ten."

"Ok. Fuck dude, I'm nervous. My stomach feels like its gonna break through my ribs and fly right outta my gut."

"We knew it was gonna happen eventually and ya know what?" I said feeling equally as agitated as Keith. "I don't care. Let them make their comments. Bet ya half those dudes have never had a girlfriend, never mind ever gotten laid. Even if they have, they've not gotten enough emotionally or physically. They prove it by acting like they do."

Keith nodded and said, "As long as no one gets physically abusive I don't give a shit either."

I sighed, "God I hate fighting."

"Did ya ever?"

"Once. Tried like crazy to talk him and myself out of it. You?"

"Nope. Came close a couple of times but no ones ever swung at me."

"Ya know that same adrenaline rush we get in the bathroom? It's the same kind of thing, heightened awareness, fight or flight. I barely remember it, like I blacked out."

"He knocked you out?"

Looking away so he wouldn't see the sadness and fear in my eyes I said, "No, I went ballistic when I saw his fist flying towards me. Completely on instinct, I kicked his ass and left him crying on the ground. On the way home I heaved my guts up behind a hedge. It scares me just to remember it."

"It's not gonna happen Prez."

"I hope not." I said softly. That was when I was thirteen over the accidental spilling of this guy's lunch tray. The dude made a mountain out of a molehill over a two-dollar inedible lunch and met me after school. What scared me most were the additional inches and fifty or so pounds I've gained. Hundred pound kid fights hurt enough. I knew the additional mass could only cause serious damage to one or both participants.

"It's not gonna happen Prez." Keith repeated as he stood, "If any one can talk their way out of a fight, it's you."

Standing, I nodded because I completely agreed but still, there is a dark side and the grapevine is vast in a big city. God only knows what kind of mess we could get ourselves into simply by being ourselves.

Keith went to the kitchen to call Mike and I went to the living room to talk with the Hundser's.

"We just talked about some things. Keith's calling Mike." I informed them.

"And?" Mrs. Hundser prompted.

"We certainly don't want the whole town knowing our personal affairs but at the same time we can't hide the way we feel. Earlier we had done some things in front of Jessy and more people are going to learn the truth. It can't be helped." I explained and they only smiled!

Returning to the living room with the phone against his ear Keith said, "Yeah dude, it's a lot to talk about," then he chuckled and said, "cool, cya in the mornin' bro," and sat down next to me then hung up.

Looking at Keith and grinning Mr. Hundser asked, "Every thing okay babe?"

Mrs. Hundser giggled and looked at me asking, "How 'bout you baby?"

Surprised, Keith chuckled loudly, "We don't!"

Mrs. Hundser said "Every chance you get." and covered her mouth, laughing heartily.

"And everywhere you go, without even realizing it!" Mr. Hundser said through muffled hysterics.

Shocked, Keith and I looked at each other. Quickly my mind went through a list of every little trip we made somewhere and what we called each other while in the mall or the supermarket or the Auto Mall or Guitar Center. Not a single time in recent memory could I recall calling him bud or dude or man; he's either Keith or babe and I'm Prez, baby or, on rare instances, Preston. We couldn't even control our pet names any more!

"For how long has this been going on?" I asked.

Mrs. Hundser answered, "Since about Thanksgiving."

"Everywhere?" Keith asked.

"Everywhere we've been with the both of you and always around the house. Even on New Year's Eve." Mr. Hundser chuckled.

"Since then I think Kim's dad already had suspicions. It's okay, I think John just learned today that Kim knows, she may have had some idea since the party. That's what ruffled his feathers." Mrs. Hundser added.

"Another person we need to have a chat with." I said.

"That would be a good idea." Mrs. Hundser agreed.

Keith asked, "Why not John?" then quickly smiled and followed with," never mind, answered my own question." Not for anything, but I didn't want John explaining to Kim about us. I wanted her to see first hand that we're completely comfortable with our sexuality. We could only hope that she'd be cool about it and not treat John or us any differently.

"When you do be sure to do it in such a way that she doesn't feel surrounded or threatened. You don't want to scare the poor girl." Mr. Hundser warned.

"Good point, we don't want to do that with Jessy either." Keith said.

I suggested, "We should probably tell John what we intend to do."

"Shit, we need an appointment book!" Keith chuckled.

I hope you enjoyed the story. Please come visit me at The Glass Onion. There's a message board, mailing list and the complete Audio/Video Gallery, including over 100 songs and a few dozen desktop wallpapers.
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