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 33

Memorial Day

On the way back home from the mall, I kept quiet, looking back over the last few weeks and months. I realized that Keith probably had very good reasons to be jealous. First and foremost, it had only been a week or so since I told Keith about my parking lot encounter with Derrick. Then I go and suggest kissing them! Even though we'd talked about kissing them before, I had to wonder, what the fuck I was thinking? I simply didn't see the two situations as related but maybe Keith did. When he told me all that he had been fretting over, I could've kicked myself! With the prom only a week away, we all had lots to think about without worrying about our fantasies. Sometimes my timing really sucks.

My challenge was to help get Keith's emotions back on track. He was definitely more worried than I was about coming out at the prom. Since I wasn't born and raised in Woodland Hills, I was much less concerned about old school acquaintances than Keith. At that particular point, the last thing he needed was to be questioning my loyalty or him self or our relationship. It seemed odd to me that Derrick, who had also moved to Woodland Hills only a few years prior, had some of the same reservations as Keith. But Derrick has a bolder streak running through him, probably from being a drummer, I assumed. On the other hand, as best as I could tell, Mike and I felt very much the same about it - we just didn't care about the homophobes; it was much more important to be open and honest about our relationships.

Generally speaking, coming out to our parents only made our lives easier. I hoped that coming out to our classmates might also make our lives easier at school. Sometimes I let my imagination run free; picturing Keith and I holding hands or hugging or kissing in school, without anyone saying a word about it. Often enough, I wondered if I was being vain, naïve or foolish. I wanted to be seen with him! Our life together had worked out great and I was proud of it. The idea of going to the prom with him, all dressed up and looking snazzy, gave me Goosebumps.

When we were finally alone that Thursday night, I spent all my time verbally reviewing our relationship from the beginning. For hours we talked about every little thing from the Nintendo fiasco, through the summer, the accident and the Christmas holidays, all the way to the kisses with Mike and Derrick. Before falling asleep, I promised him that I would never do anything as despicable as cheating on him. From my perspective, it seemed that the whole orgy thing was a way for each of us to show affection without cheating. I could only assume that the problems existed because the current situation was different than their last encounter. Last year they were three friends just experimenting and playing sexual games. Keith didn't know that they were already a couple. Now we were two couples and we all knew where our loyalties were.

I sat quietly thinking and holding Keith's hand. Frankly, being called a fag by my boyfriend shocked and even annoyed me. I didn't let on though because I knew he said it as a joke. Still, it hurt a little.

In the deep, dark recesses of my mind, I probably knew something was bothering him for a long time. With Keith, it's little things that he covers with a joke or silly remark. He probably didn't recognize his concerns or simply chose to ignore them. I couldn't be certain but it seemed Keith expected that one day I would leave him for a girl, marriage and family. It struck me odd because I don't think that I ever held back my affections.

In my mind, I was already married. The ceremony means very little to me. Lots of folks have a ceremony and still split up, I reasoned. Even after my mom's accident, I still slept beside him. I was just too emotionally and physically drained to have sex for a while there.

Our first sexual experience wasn't jacking each other's cocks, which I would've been completely satisfied with. No, we dove in and engulfed what we wanted. I wasn't frightened of his ejaculating cock for more than a second or two - more like thrilled really. Since then, I knew I would never have any sexual interest in girls.

Several times I'd compared homosexual and heterosexual love. They were exactly the same in my mind. Developing the friendship and holding on to it is the rough part for both gays and straights; only the sex part is slightly different. Perhaps I'd said that I wasn't gay, just in love with another boy, too many times? But loving someone is way more than sexual contact. Almost every day we gladly spend hours together, whether at home or out with friends. To me, every moment with him was precious. We didn't need to be doing anything together, or even talking much for that matter; all we needed was to be in close proximity of the other. My task was to reinforce our love, to somehow show him that, although I didn't like the labels, I was definitely homosexual. How do I accomplish that, I mused?

Only a few blocks from home, the radio station paused for a newsbreak. Filled with our own thoughts, neither Keith nor I bothered to change the station. Then we heard about a girl from Sherman Oaks who had been missing for a week and was presumed dead. We looked at each other; worried that maybe it wasn't such a good idea leaving Cathy and Maria at the mall alone. Neither of us said anything though. As we made the final turn and got closer to our house, we noticed a lot of cars parked in the driveway and in the street. Apparently, Keith's parents decided to have a few friends over.

"Damn," Keith softly said.

I sighed and said, "It doesn't look like we'll have a chance to be alone."

Keith drove past the house and started taking the back way out of our neighborhood. "I guess we could go back to the mall and wait," he said.

"That news report kind of struck a nerve," I commented. Keith hummed his agreement but I could tell he was disappointed. We sat silently for the rest of the ride back to the mall. Keith parked in the same general area as before so our dates could easily find the car.

Turning in my seat to face him, I softly asked, "How could you think I wasn't gay?"

"Its not that I didn't know it," Keith explained. Then he questioned himself, "More like partly denying it, I guess?" I looked at him curiously and he continued, "Prez, you told me that you didn't know what you wanted. Yeah, you also told me most of your fantasies were about dudes but somehow I thought I just got lucky." He paused and shrugged as if he didn't want to consider something. Then he softly said, "Maybe, deep down, I've always been jealous of everyone that takes your attention away from me. Rebecca's interest in you causes a knee-jerk reaction too."

That pretty much confirmed my suspicions. "Do you think that's why you teased me, calling me a straight boy?" I asked.

Keith shrugged and said, "It could be. All I know is it hurt seeing you kiss Derrick. Picturing you kiss somebody in my mind was not the same as actually seeing it. And then my imagination went off the deep end. When I asked myself why I was so freaked out, I couldn't say that I mistrusted you or him, so it must be the way I'm seeing things. Mike called you butch? That's exactly the way you are, masculine in every way. Even when you're on bottom, you don't really soften up too much, in appearance that is. Please don't consider that a criticism because it's definitely not. I can tell that you really enjoy it too. For me, it's all more perfect now, our public appearances and our bedroom games. The way you pointed out that video," Keith snickered, "you've never done anything like that before! It was like a swift kick in the ass, reminding me that you're not just along for the ride but that you are really gay - that you like looking at other dudes every bit as much as I do." More seriously and softly, he then said, "And, even after checking out those other dudes, that you still want to be with me."

We sat silently for a few minutes, my hand resting on his. His last words were so sincere and so romantic! I wondered though, maybe what they said about me seeming butch was right. But if that's the case, then all my friends can have the same said about them. I never imagined a girl when I was making love to Keith! Watching him, his expressions, his chest heaving, his cock and balls jiggling around, is sometimes more than I can handle! The only difference I recognized was that Mike and Keith could get serious cases of whiplash from watching eye candy, while Derrick and I were more discrete about it.

To prove that I was paying attention at the mall, I said, "Did you catch the UCLA guy at the bookstore?" The guy was at least two years older than we were, slim and trim, short light brown hair and hypnotizing hazel eyes, wearing a UCLA sweat shirt and running shorts. Every visible portion of him was worth watching! When I first saw him, I remember thinking; there are hot, gorgeous guys everywhere! This is going to be one hell of a summer!

Keith laughed out loud and said, "Of course!"

That was the response I hoped for. For a short while I teased him about every cute looking boy we had seen while wandering around the mall. Inevitably, we compared mental notes. I then reminded Keith of a guy outside The Warehouse. He didn't know it but I caught him watching too closely! This dude really wasn't all that attractive but he was very well endowed! Everyone that looked could see at least ten inches hanging limp under his black spandex! To me, that's just plain scary! When I gave the dude the once over, his unshaven face and abundance of tattoos immediately turned me off.

After we stopped giggling and teasing each other, Keith squeezed my hand and whispered, "For a while there, I thought I was losing you."

After such a shock to his perceptions, I could easily understand how he might need reassurance. By taking the time to do that, I began feeling better about things that were worrying me too. I really wondered if I was pushing too hard. The fact that he got jealous reminded me, he really did have fun doing things with me.

I sighed and squeezed his hand and reminded him of our promises then said, "You won't loose me, not for something like a misunderstanding."

"We thought it would take us longer before we had sex though," Keith chuckled.

"You didn't tell me how much you wanted to," I recalled.

"My hand works just fine," Keith chuckled. "Besides, you hid a few things that night too!"

"I didn't want to scare you!" I said, holding back my giggles.

Keith chortled, "If you had been more honest, maybe we would've done it on the beach!"

We cracked up laughing! Then I asked, "Any regrets?"

"Only this last day or so," he answered softly.

"Let it go Keith, you were hurting. Don't you think I felt a little twang while watching you kiss Derrick?"

Keith shrugged then frowned and said, "He's always been cute. If there's any justice in this world, he won't grow old gracefully!"

I chuckled then asked, "Why didn't you get more upset last week?"

Keith thought for a few moments then answered, "Because it was wrestling, not a real hug. Even if it was a real hug, I've seen that before and it didn't wreck me like the kiss did."

He lowered his face a little but I lifted his chin and looked directly in his eyes before saying, "You're all I want babe, honest."

It was true. While Derrick was handsome and a good friend, I remembered the queasy feeling I had as we looked at each other nervously across the parking lot. My stomach never twisted like that with Keith or for any other guy I've ever seen. In my mind and heart, Derrick wasn't the one I wanted to be with most. By the time I'd first met Derrick my heart was already set on Keith. I would've followed Keith anywhere just for the pleasure of his company. When I tried to picture Derrick and I together, like Keith obviously had, it would make me nauseous or laugh uncontrollably! A friend is all Derrick would ever be. I needed to prove that to Keith though or he'd always feel a little threatened by Derrick.

"Fantasies say a lot, don't you think?" I asked. Keith nodded then I said, "My only dreams of Derrick are with me playing bass guitar and him playing his drums - period. That's the only kind of fantasy I've ever had of him. I won't ever let my dick tell me who I need to be with any way. Heart, mind, dick and all, I know I'm where I'm cared for and appreciated. It's with you."

For a few seconds, Keith searched my face, looking deep into my eyes. I didn't turn away. Slowly a smile emerged on his handsome face, he sighed and wiped his eyes. Even in the dark car, by the parking lot lights, I could see his happy tears and shed a few my self. If we weren't careful, we'd make another wasted trip home! Instead, I scanned the stations on the radio. Always And Forever was playing on one station. Keith whimpered and I stopped there. When the song ended, he softly said, "I don't ever want to feel that miserable again."

I sighed and said, "All we had to do was talk about it. If it ever happens again, don't wander off alone wondering what the fuck is happening. Just get my attention and we'll go some place to talk. You know, if the situation is ever reversed, I'll sure have plenty to say about it!"

Keith chuckled and nodded at that then began gently stroking my hand with his fingers. Quickly, before we made eye contact, I turned and looked forward. Keith's gentle stroking felt great but there was something confusing me. More precisely, it was some one confusing me.

I recalled that everyday this past week; Zach had been hanging around a lot. It might've been my imagination, but there's something about the way he looks at Keith. If it wasn't for his girlfriend Alex, I'd swear the dude was making goo-goo eyes at my boyfriend! I told myself, Zach's a politician and he's only trying to score points. That's why I hadn't said anything to Keith or to Zach. Since things were shaky enough already, I decided to hold back any comments about Zach. I'd been watching and noticing a few things though.

There was one other thing I absolutely had to say to Keith but it took me a while to figure out how to say it. Soon, he noticed me trembling and fidgeting around.

"What's wrong baby?" he asked. "Its all the cheese and spices you put on the baked ziti, isn't it?" he joked.

I chuckled but shook my head. Looking in his eyes I saw his playful, mischievous side shining through. It was good to see again. I didn't want to upset him though. So I slid my hand out of his and proceeded to playfully slide it up his thigh, all the while softly saying, "I like things spicy. I also like looking at boys and men. I especially love being with you." Then I swiftly grabbed my boyfriend's crotch, not hard enough to hurt but enough to make him jump in his seat. Loudly I said, "But I don't like being called a fag! Not even as a joke. Got it?"

"Yes!" Keith squealed. Wide-eyed and nervously trying to shift away from my grip on his privates, he shouted, "I'll never say it again, I swear! I'm sorry!"

Grinning insanely, I loosened my grip but left my hand there and began gently rubbing. Leaning over, I kissed him deeply, exploring his mouth and sucking on his lips. He exhaled and closed his eyes. Soon I felt some swelling in his pants. After a minute or two, I broke our kiss, took a quick look around the almost deserted parking lot and whispered; "Shall I prove just how gay I am?"

I lowered his zipper and Keith whimpered, "Omigod!" I couldn't see how Keith reacted but I'm sure he nervously looked around and held on to the steering wheel for dear life! For me, it was a risk sure, but it was late and the parking lot was empty so I went for it. He never warned me about anything other than his impending climax.

I felt better, he obviously felt way better, mission accomplished, I silently grinned.

We waited for only about another twenty minutes before Cathy and Maria returned to the car. Glancing at my watch, I realized how lucky we were that we returned.

Maria slid in the back seat. Cathy followed and said, "I could've sworn the car was parked over there," pointing a few rows in front of us.

Keith turned and smiled devilishly, not offering any information.

I chuckled, "We grabbed a bite to eat, did some shopping then came out here to talk."

"Uh huh," Maria said suspiciously. We pulled out of the mall parking lot and Maria said, "My dad's probably asleep. You won't have to worry about any of his shit."

"It's alright," I said. Thinking of prom night, I asked, "What about next Friday?"

"My mom wants to take pictures before we leave for the prom," Maria answered. Then she giggled, "She might have to sedate my father but that's okay."

Cathy added, "Maybe she'll sedate him with a baseball bat?"

"We should be so lucky," Maria added, sounding very disgusted.

After we dropped Cathy and Maria off at home, we found Keith's parents sitting in the living room watching TV.

"How was your date?" Mrs. Hundser asked as we walked into the room.

I knelt down on the floor to say hello to Rush and answered, "Pretty good."

"There was nothing at the movies we really wanted to see so we did some window shopping at the mall," Keith added. "Lots of nice stuff, very little money though."

Turning to Keith, I said, "Maybe we'll go back sometime this weekend and get a few pair of those boxer briefs. The undies drawer seems to empty real fast lately and they look comfortable." Keith nodded and slid off the loveseat onto the floor with me. Receiving attention from both of us, Rush rolled over on his back and smiled.

Only a few quiet moments passed before Mr. Hundser asked, "Did you two work out whatever problems you were having?"

Curiously, Keith and I looked at each other and then over at them. Were we that obvious? Did they know about the kisses? Did they know our night out included the girls?

"Did you think we hadn't noticed?" Mrs. Hundser asked.

"There really wasn't too much of a problem to work out," Keith offered.

It's that tattletale little birdie, I suspected. When I get old enough, I'll fill his tail with buckshot!

Mr. Hundser hummed suspiciously and said, "Last night it seemed pretty serious. And last week Preston had that migraine."

"I wonder if maybe the prom has something to do with these little issues?" Mrs. Hundser asked.

I sighed and said, "There's definitely some concerns about it. We're all going to have a chat with Doug and Brian, probably Sunday afternoon."

"No band rehearsal this week?" Mr. Hundser asked.

I shook my head and said, "It's a holiday weekend. Maybe Sunday if we go over Doug's."

"We thought we could use a break anyway," Keith said.

After a few moments, during a commercial break on TV, Keith turned to his mom and asked, "Did you have a party earlier tonight?"

She answered, "Not really a party. Mike and Derrick's mothers and a few other people came over. Given some of the recent events, we thought it would be good to show our support. We've joined a PFLAG group."

"Omigod!" Keith said loudly and slouched back in his seat. "I don't believe it!"

"Is there something wrong?" Mrs. Hundser asked.

I looked over at Keith and saw him wipe his eyes.

"Not really, I guess." Keith softly said with a slight quiver in his voice.

"You didn't really think that we'd just sit back and do nothing after that fight at school, did you?" Mrs. Hundser asked.

I pulled myself closer to Keith, hugged him and answered, "I guess not."

Moving the subject along because he noticed Keith getting emotional, Mr. Hundser said, "Doug and Brian were invited. They had other plans but asked that they be kept informed and included."

Another few minutes of quiet passed. The last few minutes of Star Wars was on regular TV. During the closing credits, ABC announced they showing the first three movies, one each for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The World War two movies would be on all day Monday. Thankfully we were planning on being out most of the day!

I got up to get Keith and I something to drink, assuming that we would head back to our room for the night. But Mrs. Hundser followed me to the kitchen. As I was pouring the Cokes, she whispered, "Is everything all right Preston?"

Without looking at her, I nodded and said, "Fine. There was a small problem that I pretty much created but there's nothing to worry about. We talked it out."

She then asked, "Keith's still not too thrilled about the prom, is he?"

"He's kind of worried about it," I answered. "We all are I think, just for slightly different reasons."

"How do you feel about it?" she asked.

"Excited... anxious too I guess."

"You're not worried?"

"Only a little," I answered truthfully. She waited, looking at me and through me like only a mother can. If I slipped and said a word about the girls or the kisses, a whole new can of worms would be opened!

I put the bottle of soda back in the fridge then whispered; "There's been a few cretins at school calling us names. That's really not so much a problem for me but I think it really frustrates Keith. He's known some of those people all his life." I paused, not really wanting to continue but she kept looking right through me. "Last week when I wasn't feeling so good, I wondered if Keith would go through with it... you know, go to the prom just because I want to. Sometimes I think it's really not enough of a reason; that if he had his druthers, he'd just as soon not go. That makes me feel bad, like I'm forcing him to do something again."

She nodded and smiled then stepped closer and hugged me. "His dad is talking to him right now," she whispered. "Maybe he can find some additional incentive to help Keith realize this is the right thing and the right time." Then she let go of me, stepped back and smiled, saying, "The dog needs to go out."

I got the hint, smiled and called Rush as Mrs. Hundser picked up a glass of Coke and went back to the living room.

As soon as Prez and my mom left the room, my dad moved closer and softly asked, "You'd rather not go to the prom, would you?"

"Its scary," I whispered so Prez wouldn't hear. "What if it gets ugly? What if someone gets hurt?"

"You can't hold yourself or Preston responsible for that. I don't think that's the whole problem though."

I waited for my dad to continue but he was waiting for me to say something. With all my strength, I gathered some composure and softly said, "Whose business is it who I sleep with? They make it seem like that's all I'm capable of, like all I'm ever gonna do is hit on dudes and sleep with as many dudes as I can. But that's not what I want. I want to spend as much time doing as many things as possible with him - and not just in the bedroom! Everything that he likes, I'm learning to like and he's doing the same. Do I seem flamboyantly gay? Does Prez?"

"No," my dad quickly said. "That has nothing to do with it. I'd still treat you as my son if you wore makeup. Wearing a skirt wouldn't get you out of any chores either."

Hearing him say that really blew me away. I started wondering and questioning my own perceptions. Could it be that I'm just as bad as the homophobes? More often lately, I'd been questioning my own perceptions. Temporarily dismissing the idea, I asked, "What is it then?" I asked.

"Pride in yourself and pride in your boyfriend," my dad quickly answered. "It has to do with the knowledge that neither of you are flamboyantly gay, as you put it. Even if one or both of you were, then be proud of who you are as individuals and as a couple. You're obviously happy with him and most every other condition surrounding you both. No one else on the planet is like either of you. No one else puts as much effort into considering all the pluses and minuses. No one else beats the shit out of themselves as much either."

"I can't help it sometimes. Before I met Prez..." I said but stopped when I heard Prez call the dog and go out side.

My dad said, "I know all about what it was like before Preston." Then my dad shook his head slowly saying; "I don't know how you got so humble. We taught you to not be snotty but it is ok to be proud of yourself. You have many good reasons to."

Acknowledging that he was right, I nodded. Then my mom returned and handed me a glass of Coke.

My dad grinned and said, "Don't think we're singling you out. Your mom was talking with Preston too."

"We try not to interfere but this time we thought it would be for the best if we at least talked about it. You've both been doing so well for so long. We'd hate for things to change because it would, inevitably effect the whole family," my mom explained.

"Can you go through with it?" my dad asked.

After a few seconds consideration, I nodded and answered, "I'm pretty sure I can. I'll just have butterflies in my stomach."

My mom said, "He knows that you're frightened and believes that he's making you do something you'd rather not."

I took a sip from the glass then said, "I know, he told me. But I can't lie to him. He'll notice something's wrong. Shit, he notices things are whacked before I do most of the time."

My dad turned to my mom and said; "I'll get Preston," then stood and left the room.

Only a few minutes had passed before Mr. Hundser came to the back door and asked me to come in.

I sat on the loveseat next to Keith and Mrs. Hundser said, "Before Keith was born, when we first bought this house, it was hard to make ends meet. Financial concerns kept your father and I from communicating effectively. We talked about money and that occupied too much time. There were petty arguments that led to one big one and it was all because we skirted around the other issues in our life. It seems to us that the same sort of thing may be happening to you."

"We've talked about the prom," Keith said.

"Talking about it doesn't always solve the problem," Mr. Hundser said. "You both seem to understand each other, just like we did. But the stress and worries keep on building. Dealing with one situation can overpower or block out all the others. Otherwise minor incidents get distorted in your minds. The next thing you know, there's misunderstandings, sleeping in different rooms and days of bad feelings. All we're asking is that you slow down, maybe take a few less risks with each other for the next week."

"It's because of Drew and John that we're talking about this," Mrs. Hundser explained. "It wouldn't be good for them to see you two bickering."

"Don't worry mom," Keith said sincerely.

"It's my job to worry," she said. "We're joining PFLAG, you're starting a gay-straight alliance at school, all so there's less to worry about."

"Drew will be going to high school in the fall," Mr. Hundser reminded, "and so will Corey. What we're doing and what you're doing will be a great thing for them, for any young man or young lady that questions their sexuality."

"By going to the prom and starting the alliance, you're teaching Drew just what it takes to be an adult, to be a unique individual," Mrs. Hundser said.

"You can't know what it's like for us as parents," Mr. Hundser said. "Twenty-some-odd years ago, sure, there were fights at school. Weapons of any sort were very rare though. But lately school kids all over are arming themselves and shooting up the schools! It frightens us. This didn't happen when we went to school and we sure don't want it happening to our children."

Keith asked, "Are you saying that stuff happens because of homosexuals?"

Mr. Hundser answered, "No, definitely not. But didn't one boy say that he shot his classmates to make an impression on his ex-girlfriend? It's not just homosexuals. It's the whole social learning curve. Some kids feel so different and left out by their peers that they just lash out indiscriminately."

"Let's consider the parents," Mrs. Hundser said. "Every day, many times a day, I see people being rude to each other. Tempers flare and why? Because there's barriers - cultural, language, race or sexuality barriers. People have been building these walls for generations. Some people have this need to prove their superiority and mock others. Conceivably, it may be a conscious choice to simply be intolerant or anti-social. Whatever the reasons, if adults can't control themselves in public places, how can we expect our kids to do it?"

"That's why you should go to the prom," Mr. Hundser said. "Because you want to and it's the right thing to do. Its time to bring things out of the dark and shed a little light on the taboo topics."

Mrs. Hundser sighed and said, "God knows we don't want any harm to come to either of you. I wish I could personally chaperone but I checked with the PTA. They've already got volunteers plus the employees of the restaurant. I'm certain you'll have a wonderful time and come home safe and sound."

Mr. Hundser looked right at Keith and said, "And by helping yourselves you're helping many others. Not the least of which are Drew and Corey."

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could go to their junior prom and not have worry?" Mrs. Hundser asked.

"Have you talked to Drew about the prom or the alliance?" Mr. Hundser asked. Both Keith and I shook our heads. We hadn't talked with Drew about the prom at all and very little about the alliance. "He's watching you, so is John," he said with a gleam in his eyes.

"You've been good role models too," Mrs. Hundser said proudly, bringing a tear to my eye. Keith nodded, smiled widely and wiped his eyes.

Mr. Hundser said, "We'd like to keep it that way so please, don't take any unnecessary chances and pay a little extra attention to each other the next week or so." Then Keith's parents stood and said goodnight then walked back to their bedroom. Rush got up and followed them but soon returned to the living room.

We looked at each other for a few moments. Keith shook his head and asked, "Have you ever heard a word about PFLAG?"

"Nope," I answered and stood to turn off the light.

Frustrated, Keith loudly asked, "How do they always do this shit?"

"If I had to guess, Doug might've said something to your dad. Or maybe your mom just checked into it from her office?"

As we walked back to our bedroom, Keith said, "It really makes me feel stupid, ya know? For even considering..."

"You're way beyond that now babe," I interrupted as we entered the room. It was good that he now knew his thoughts of suicide were silly but there was no reason to talk about it any further.

That first night on the beach, when Keith explained his feelings about being gay, he opened my heart and mind to ideas I had only briefly thought of. He wasn't and didn't want to become promiscuous; he never had a lisp or limp wrist. All of what he was shown and told was not the way he was. He just finds the male body more exciting than a female's and enjoys being around other guys. I don't think anyone ever opened my eyes so wide before.

His reaction to learning about PFLAG was totally expected. For some reason, he's always surprised when someone does something nice for him. And if it's something really nice, happy tears will flow. Maybe lots of people are like that but I understand why he is like that.

Keith softly said, "What was all that about risks and taking chances? Its like they know."

Having been wondering about that myself, I thought aloud, "They know I've had a few rough days and so have you. Mike and Derrick wouldn't say anything. I'm absolutely certain you said nothing and I sure didn't. It would've been nice if they had talked to us sooner. Maybe we might've avoided..."

Gently placing his hand over my mouth, Keith interrupted, "Its over and done with Prez. I want tomorrow to be a brand new start for us. Can we do that?"

I smiled, took him in my arms and said, "Sure thang, you sexy hunk!" Keith chuckled and wrapped his arms around me. Immediately we began gently swaying and we didn't stop for a long while.

Keith softly said, "My mom talked to the PTA too. That means someone already knows that we're going."

"That's not a bad thing, is it?"

"I guess not. Maybe it'll be a good thing," he replied.

After a few moments, Keith whispered, "I wish I could just be more positive about it."

Tears welled up in my eyes and I got choked up for a few seconds. When I got my voice back I said, "All my faith is in you and us. That's all we ever needed, to believe in each other."

"Do you want to dance there?" he asked.

"Fast dancing maybe, if it seems okay. We'll save the slow dancing for home and privacy."


Another few minutes passed. We were both getting erections but ignoring them. I smiled when I thought, yeah, we have to save the slow dancing for home!

"Do you think I'm prejudiced?" Keith asked.

Shocked, I leaned back and looked at his face. He really was wondering! Shaking my head, I said, "No. What makes you think that?"

"The whole reason I denied being gay was what I was being taught, not from my parents but from just about everywhere else. What I don't like about being gay is people assuming I'm going to act that feminine way. I've gotten to the point where I pretty much despise even seeing it any more."

I had to show him he wasn't being a bigot. "I never noticed you treating Nelson or Jessy any differently," I said.

"No, it's only effeminate dudes that trip my switch," he said. Then he grinned, "God forbid I ever said something nasty to a person of any race while my mom was around! I would've never met you. I would have been locked away in my room that day!"

I laughed at that then said; "I've never seen you around any one effeminate that I can remember."

"Once, before I met you, in Nordtrum's," Keith started. Recalling the situation he said, "We were Christmas shopping, I had just turned fifteen. I was just realizing I was gay and everything was turning upside down in my life, fifty million questions and no answers. This really effeminate dude just had to be the one that waited on my mom and me. Omigod! He was so... girlish! When he knocked on the dressing room door while I was changing, I almost climbed the walls looking for an escape!"

"What did he want?" I laughed.

"He handed some more clothes over the door," Keith smiled.

"Was he cute?"

"I don't remember that," Keith giggled.

Uh huh, sure, I thought and pressed the issue. "He was!" I teased.

Keith laughed, "I honestly don't remember. Probably `cause I was so freaked out by the whole thing."

I laughed with him then reminded; "Just because he acted a certain way doesn't make him gay."

"That much I know," Keith admitted, "but it's the TV, the talk shows, the news, even on MTV. Only the effeminate ones seem to be gay to every one else." He sighed and said, "It's weird."

I gave him a quick squeeze and said, "If and when we meet an effeminate guy, I'll let you know how you acted."

Keith whispered, "Cool," A minute or two later, while still in my arms, he asked, "What are you getting Mike for his birthday?"

"I'm not sure yet." I answered then asked, "Will you be with Derrick for a while on Monday?"

"I don't see why not."

"Isn't it a risk?"

"I don't think so. I've gotta bring this thing with him full circle, the quicker the better."

I had no problem with that and said, "Then I'll take Mike over to Guitar Center and let him pick a gift."

Keith giggled, "Leave the checkbook at home baby."

I laughed and said, "I intend to! But I'll watch what toys he plays with and go back to get something after school Wednesday."

"There should be time. Derrick's got something planned for him that night anyway," Keith said. Then he let go of me, stepped back and took his shirt off. "You won't go over board, will you?" he asked. I smiled and shook my head. Keith smiled, kissed my cheek and whispered; "I'm bushed. Let's sack out."

We got undressed and slipped under the covers. Keith yawned and rolled over to snuggle behind me. I was still wide-awake and feeling playful though. Feeling his breath on my neck was having the usual effect. "Omigod!" I whispered in my best valley accent.

"What? Did you remember something?" Keith whispered.

"I think so," I answered, and slid his hand down to my swelling cock.

Keith hummed and purred, "Is that for me?"

Barely holding back my laughter, I asked as sincerely as possible, "Are you a fag?"

Stunned, he shot up, hovered over me and started laughing like crazy! "You're so bad!" Keith laughed. Rolling me flat, he then said, "I'm not a little girlie-boy. But right now I'm gonna get you back for the parking lot!" and flung back the covers.

Since we didn't stay awake until dawn's early light having sex, we actually woke up, watched some cartoons then showered and had breakfast with the rest of the family. Mrs. Hundser only had grapefruit and coffee then excused herself and went to the office. Corey was at the table too. He hadn't spent the night but had rousted Drew out of bed around eight. Judging by the racket, I'd say Drew was not thrilled about it, at first any way! That day, Drew and Corey had their last little league game. Their team had done well, winning over half their games. Mr. Hundser had finished breakfast and was verbally nudging them to get a move on. With the season all but over, Drew and Corey were looking forward to playing tennis during the summer.

Just as we were finishing up breakfast, Keith turned to me and asked, "How about we play some tennis too?"

"Sure," I answered, knowing full well that Keith was more interested in spending some time with his brother than anything else. Then Mr. Hundser herded his sons and Corey out of the house.

Suddenly Keith seemed to remember something and chugged his juice. "I gotta call Doug," he said, then got up and picked up the phone. Barely a minute later, it seemed, Keith returned with a wicked grin on his face.

"Guess who had a party last night?" he asked me. Then he giggled, "I called a little too early. Doug's majorly hung over. Mike and Derrick are crashed out on the living room floor!" We both laughed then Keith said, "We can go over tomorrow around noon but we should go over now just to agitate them!"

I laughed and commented, "It sounds like we missed the opening party for Memorial Day weekend," then finished the last of my juice. Picking up our plates, I said, "How about we make a trip back to the mall?"


From the kitchen I answered, "Yep, there's only two pair left in the drawer."

While we were at the mall, again we browsed around Suncoast Video. I noticed Keith looking at the expanding selection of DVD's available. Over the previous few days, I'd already decided to reinvest half of the money in my money market account, even though I teased Keith endlessly about buying him trips around the world! I'd decided that for the next few months, I'd show my appreciation with some really decent Christmas and birthday presents. But that day in Suncoast is when I decided on Keith's birthday present. He'd really enjoy a DVD player and a few good titles, I thought. After leaving the mall, we made an additional stop at Circuit City so I could get a better idea of how much DVD players' cost.

On the way home, Keith mentioned, "We've been really lazy lately. How about we work out for a little while?" I nodded thinking, sure, and then I'll get you in the shower and make you smile the whole time you're at work! Pulling up to the house, we noticed there was a car in the driveway neither of us recognized. Imagine my surprise when I saw Zach sitting on the living room sofa, Drew and Corey sitting beside him.

Crossing the living room, Keith loudly said, "Dude, what are you doing here?"

Zach stood and answered, "I told you that I coached little league. Since I was driving my two protégés home, I thought I'd stop and say hi."

Keith shook Zach's hand and Drew asked, "Why didn't you tell me you knew Zach?"

"I didn't know you knew Zach," Keith answered, then turned around and sat on the recliner.

I smiled and waved. Zach said, "Hey Prez," then I turned and took the bag with our new underwear to the bedroom.

Great, I thought, he knows where we live. I didn't know that Zach coached little league! Rush galloped beside me wagging his tail, demanding attention. In our room, I leaned over, pet my dog and whispered, "Who is that Rush? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?" Rush's ears perked up but that was the extent of his reply. I quickly tossed the bag on to the bed and returned to keep an eye on Zach.

Zach was talking about their game, giving a play-by-play recall of some of the more exciting moments with Drew and Corey adding additional comments. I sat on the loveseat, watched and listened. Baseball's okay, it's just not my cup of tea. Last summer, Mr. Hundser took his sons and me to a Dodger game. That was more fun than I expected, probably because I was there with Keith.

At the end of their story, Drew got up and said, "I'm gonna shower and get changed." He then turned to Zach and said, "Thanks for the ride dude." Smiling impishly, Corey looked at me then Keith and then got up, following Drew back to his bedroom.

I couldn't believe it! Neither could Keith! Nervously, we looked at each other across the room. What to say, what to say? Nice weather we're having, isn't it?

"They're great kids," Zach said. "You can hardly rip them apart, huh?"

"Not hardly," Keith answered. Then he snickered, but stifled it, leaning back in the chair with that wild eyed, mischievous grin painted on his face.

"If only we kept all our friends from when we were younger," Zach commented.

Uncertainly, I asked, "Did you and Keith know each other?"

"Nope," Zach answered. It seemed he was blushing. "I was only referring to... how close they are," he explained cautiously. "Like they never argue." Then he chuckled and said, "The way Corey looks at Drew sometimes..."

A few moments passed uncomfortably. I wondered, what's wrong with the way Corey looks at Drew? I know damn well that I make my own version of the very same expression for Keith quite often. I had to know if the guy was friend or foe. Looking at Zach, I smiled casually and said, "You were going to say?"

Turning redder, Zach said, "Nothin'. It don't matter anyway."

"Is there a problem with it?" Keith softly asked. Only I could tell by the look in Keith's eyes that Zach's next sentence might get him led to the door.

"I'm sorry," Zach started, "I said it doesn't matter and I mean that. Those are two great kids, that's all that matters."

Keith looked at me briefly and I shrugged my shoulders indifferently. I wondered what Keith would do next.

Keith inhaled deeply and, as he stood, wearily exhaled. He walked over to me and, with a nod of his head I got up off the loveseat.

"I've said something wrong obviously," Zach said as he stood.

Keith turned around and said, "Not necessarily. I'd just like to show you something," then he turned and started towards our bedroom! I followed close behind, my mind racing with possibilities. Keith and I waited a few seconds for Zach to catch up. As soon as Zach walked into the room Keith said, "This is our room, mine and Prez's." He then reached for my hand. I could feel him shaking. Naturally, I was doing some serious quaking of my own! Keith softly asked, "Do you have a problem with that?"

Stunned silent, Zach looked at me then Keith then around the room before he said, "No problem here dude."

"You're sure?" I asked.

Zach grinned and said, "Absolutely!"

"Cool," Keith smiled, "Ya know those few questions I've been asking you? About the student counsel, organizing meetings, public speaking and such?" Zach nodded. "We want to start a gay-straight alliance in the fall. We could really use some help."

My jaw hit the ground and bounced repeatedly!

Zach thought for only a second or two before nodding. He then said, "A while back I heard about a fight and someone getting knifed. Was that you dudes?"

Nodding, Keith sadly said, "Yeah." I lifted my shirt to show Zach the scar.

Zach looked at my wound briefly and snarled then said, "Definitely, yes. Show me what you've got so far."

I went over to the PC and turned it on. Then I turned around and said, "Thanks for being so cool about this."

Zach laughed nervously, took a seat on the edge of the bed and said, "For a second there, I thought you might kick my ass!"

Keith and I both cracked up! Then Keith shook his head saying, "I would've shown you the door and warned my brother though."

Zach mumbled, "I thought so."

"He's bisexual," Keith quickly said.

Looking at the floor as if something fascinating were there, Zach nodded and mumbled again.

This time, Keith and I were caught off guard!

"Did you just say, me too?" Keith asked.

Zach looked up at him briefly and said, "Yeah," then went back to looking at the floor. "You two, my girlfriend and the one guy I was with are the only ones that know."

So I wasn't imagining things after all, I thought. "Alex knows?" I asked and started my browser.

Zach nodded and explained, "We've known each other since seventh grade. We've been dating since we were freshmen. She may be the one. We'll see, after college."

Leaning against the desk next to me, Keith said, "That's very cool."

"It wasn't at first," Zach said. "The first year Alex and I were dating, I was still spending time with that dude. Then I got closer to Alex and he had a fit. It was rough for all three of us for a while there."

"Do you see him anymore?" I asked.

Zach answered, "At school, every day. It's too bad he won't talk to me. I tried for a long time but no dice."

Keith glanced my way. "I wonder who it is?" was written all over his face. Then he turned back to Zach and said, "You seem sad about it."

"Course," Zach said, "no one likes to loose a friend, especially the first one, ya know?"

"He was your first time?" I asked.

"Yeah," Zach answered. "When I look back on it, I wonder if I could've done things a little differently so he would still talk to me. I couldn't think of a way though. Alex's feelings eventually became more important to me."

Just as I pulled up my e-mail on the PC, the bathroom door opened. Out walked Drew and Corey, down the hall past our room, wearing only smiles and towels. Zach saw them and they saw Zach sitting in our room. Loosing their smiles, they both hurried down the hallway and into Drew's room.

Keith hummed thoughtfully. It was easy to figure out what he was thinking. Drew would not take this well at all.

Zach sighed, "Stopping in may not have been such a good idea after all. I obviously wasn't supposed to see that." Suddenly Zach stood and said, "I'm gonna go talk with them. All these years it's been a well-guarded secret. Do you think I should tell them?"

"Definitely," I said.

"Drew will avoid you like the plague if he doesn't know for sure it's cool," Keith said.

Zach nodded and started to leave the room.

"I better go too," Keith said.

I got up and followed saying, "In case Corey needs moral support."

Seeing Keith and I in tow, Zach stopped at the bedroom door and waited for us. Zach then knocked and said, "Dudes?"

From behind the door, Drew hissed, "He knows! I told you!"

Hearing that, Keith reached for the knob and opened the door. Caught dressing, wearing only boxers, Drew yelled, "I didn't say come in yet!"

"Sorry but it couldn't wait," Keith said. Pulling Zach by the shirt, Keith looked at his younger brother and said, "He does know, about me and Prez too. It's cool so don't go bitchin' at Corey!"

Drew turned pale then turned towards Zach and turned red.

They looked at the floor. Then, cautiously, they looked at each other. Zach smiled weakly and said, "It's okay, really."

"Don't tell okay?" Corey said, "We're not ready yet."

Seeing Corey and Drew standing there in only boxers, I wondered, when exactly did they develop chests and broad shoulders? At Big Bear they didn't look that way! Sometime during the winter, some major changes occurred to both of them! And they were getting undeniably hot! It also struck me odd that Corey said, "We're not ready yet." Then I realized he was talking for Drew more than himself. I thought that was super-great and smiled at him. He was preoccupied with Drew though and I don't think he noticed me or anything else.

"You got it," Zach smiled.

Looking at his big brother, Drew asked, "You really told?"

Keith shrugged and said, "I showed him our room and told him." Then he turned to Zach and said, "I had a feeling it would be all right."

Zach chuckled and said, "When I came over here I guess I wanted to clear the air. I was probably subconsciously looking for it."

With all this truth flooding the room, I stood in front of Keith and leaned back, forcing him to hold me up. Then I looked at Zach and said, "I could tell you were looking for something!" Zach turned purple and I grinned knowingly.

Right then I realized something though. When I get jealous, I make a stand and let it be known. Keith, on the other hand, held it in for a little while. It was something I thought worthy of noting in case we ever got into that situation again.

Wide eyed, Keith chuckled, "Omigod! Prez! Let's not go through that again!"

I looked back at Keith saying, "He looks at you like you're his best friend but you've only known each other a week!"

"Don't worry Prez," Zach said quickly, "I can't help but look." After a short pause he shrugged, "So I'm a little more on the straight side of bisexual, sue me."

I smiled then looked over my shoulder. Seeing Keith's bright pink face, I started laughing again. He obviously hadn't noticed Zach acting any different towards him at all. It figures.

Drew shouted, "You're bisexual too?"

Zach laughed at Drew's stunned expression, raised his right hand and said, "Guilty as charged."

Simultaneously, Drew and Corey softly said, "Omigod!" Keith and I giggled uncontrollably.

After a few moments, Zach looked at Drew and Corey and repeated, "Everything's cool." He then said, "We'll talk more about this, I'm sure. For now, you keep my secret and I'll keep yours. Guess you can finish getting dressed now." Looking at Keith and I, he then said, "Let's check out this gay-straight alliance," then left the room.

For the next hour or so, until Keith had to leave for work, we went through all my GSA e-mails. In that time, I realized I wouldn't have to sic my hound dog on Zach after all. We got along okay and he had some good suggestions. Once in a while, he'd take the keyboard and start typing up some notes as he explained things. When Keith started to get changed for work, Zach's eyes started to wander and he was most obviously preoccupied! Lightly, I nudged Zach. When he turned back and noticed me staring at him, he turned bright red! Chuckling, I resolved that sometime I'd have to have a private chat with Zach. I still needed to keep an eye on this guy!

Hearing both of us chuckling, Keith turned and asked, "Did I miss something?"

"Not a thing," Zach giggled and turned back to typing.

Keith hummed thoughtfully then said, "I gotta jet."

I got up saying, "Okay babe." Realizing that I had called him `babe', I looked at Zach. He didn't seem to notice or care.

"Don't work too hard. I'll see you at school," Zach said, "We'll be done here in just a few minutes."

I walked over and kissed Keith goodbye then he turned and left.

As I took my seat next to Zach, he kept on typing and said, "It's nice, isn't it?"

"What's nice?" I asked.

"Having someone to kiss goodbye, to talk with, ya know?"

I nodded and said, "Is it that way for you and Alex?"

"Most of the time," he replied. "She'll stop by just for ten or fifteen minutes before work or I'll stop by her place during just about any trip out. When I'm done here that's where I'm headed. We aren't living together though. I'd like to know how that would work."

I sat there silently for a few moments then asked, "Are you asking me how it works for us?"

"Not in detail," he said. "You really seem to care a lot for each other."

"We've been together almost a year," I explained. "It was really great before my mom died. Afterwards, there was a lot for me to tackle all at once. If it weren't for this family, I don't know where I'd be now." I paused for a few moments then continued, "The day of the accident, after being at the hospital all day, I came back here. They didn't ask - they just did it, as if it were required. The day she died it was the same. When you have people like that, and one person in particular wrapping you in so much love, no problem is ever insurmountable. These are really special people. I'd do anything and everything for Keith. Sometimes we mess up though. He never mentioned anything about talking to you. And I didn't mention anything about you either, until today. The timing wasn't right, too much other shit was going on." I chuckled at that and said, "At least I recognized that much!"

Zach stopped typing and said, "Sounds like you missed a signal or two somewhere."

Since I didn't know him too well, I avoided going into details, shrugged and said, "It happens. But we try not to go to bed angry. We talk a lot. Just yesterday we were totally wiped at school because we needed to talk about stuff the night before. I'm completely devoted to him though. He seems pretty devoted to me too. So we work our way past the trouble and move on."

"You make it sound easy," Zach said as he stood. I could tell by his expression that he knew maintaining a relationship wasn't always easy.

"I don't mean to," I grinned and shrugged, "that's just the way it is. It works for us."

As we walked towards the front door, Zach said, "Well, maybe with the alliance, we can make it work for a few more people."

"I sure hope so. Thanks for all the help man," I said with a smile.

Zach stopped at the front door and said, "Maybe we can all hook up this summer? Alex is really cool too. You dudes would like her."

"I'd like that," I said and shook his hand. He bent down and said goodbye to Rush then I opened the door. He waved and said, "See ya at school," then walked to his car.

I waved back and closed the door then went back to get changed for work. We had straightened the covers on the bed after waking up but I thought, since we were going to Doug's the next day, I'd better wash the sheets today. At half past three, I called Mike's house to see if Derrick wanted a ride to work. Mrs. Gibbons answered the phone and told me that Mike and Derrick hadn't returned home from Doug's yet. Hearing that I smiled and said, "Well, I guess he can get himself to work, if he's going to work at all." Then I said goodbye to Mike's mom and laughed my ass off on the way to my truck thinking, they've gotten so wasted they can't make it to work! As I suspected, Derrick had called off sick that night.

Something strange happened while I was at work that left me confused and a little worried. Around nine that night, while I was busy clearing tables, for no apparent reason, Mike and Derrick popped into my head. It wasn't like I was thinking about them or the band. Up to that point, I had been thinking about Keith and a little about that horn ball Zach coppin' peeks! A cold chill ran up my back. I couldn't be certain but I got the distinct impression that something was different. Regardless of what I was doing or whom I was talking to, those impressions stayed with me for the rest of my time at Black Angus. It didn't make much sense and on the way home, I promised myself to ask Mike or Derrick about it the next time I saw them.

When I got home and we got back to our room, Keith told me about his few conversations with Zach while we made the bed. They had history class together. He noticed the guy going all out, being super friendly but didn't notice any of the long, lingering gazes. All Keith was interested in was getting some helpful ideas to start the GSA club.

"Oh stop!" Keith laughed.

Smiling at his reaction, I said, "I swear! It's like he's undressing you with his eyes."

"You're imagining things. He seems to be real happy with Alex."

I nodded and said, "Have you noticed that even his girl friend's nickname is a boys name?"

"It's just coincidence," he giggled.

Grinning at the likelihood, I said, "Maybe so. I'm just happy that he's not actively seeking or hoping for anything."

"He wouldn't have a chance," Keith said. Grabbing me tightly around the waist and pulling me to him, his eyes scanned my face. Pushing me back onto the bed and crawling over me, he said, "There's good looking and then there's down right sexy, like you!"

I melted.

That night, Prez and I made love like it would be our last chance to ever do it. After coming out to Zach earlier in the day, we were both pretty pleased with ourselves and needed to show a great deal of affection. Orgasms were completely coincidental and no reason to stop. Making each other feel good for as long as possible was the goal. We teased and fooled around with each other for the longest time. Lying on our sides, we started making out, jacking each other slowly. Then we moved into a sixty-nine. Suddenly, he stopped just as I was about to loose it! Prez pushed me off him then went to the dresser and took out a fresh candle from the box I bought for him last summer. His eyebrows bounced playfully as he approached the bed. Lifting my legs, Prez then positioned him self, lubed the candle and my hole. He then started bobbing on my cock while he teased my hole, sending huge waves of pleasure up my spine. This time he didn't stop. I warned him but he didn't back away. As soon as he seemed finished with the candle and adequately pleased with my reactions, I signaled I was more than ready for the real thing. Prez scooted over, lubed us both up and entered me. We must've tried every position at least once! I moved from my back to my side then onto my stomach and ended up on my knees. Once I realized that I had two orgasms compared to Prez's one, I got more aggressive and got him caught up! We had a lot of fun that night!

Needless to say, we didn't wake up early enough to have breakfast with the rest of the family. The bright sunlight against my eyelids woke me. Around eleven thirty in the morning, Prez rolled over and, seeing the time, got out of bed. I was already semi-conscious but was too lazy and too comfortable snuggled up next to him to move.

Prez put on a pair of shorts saying, "Come on babe, we've got somewhere to be soon," then went to take the dog out. I rolled over then sat up and wished we didn't have plans for the day. My burning eyes told me that I hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep. Five hours was nowhere near enough! We would probably be tired the whole day, I thought. Then I remembered it was likely that Mike and Derrick were still at Doug's. I was looking forward to seeing them and showing them that I had pulled my shit together. As I stood and walked across the hall to the bathroom, I wondered what Doug and Brian would say about the prom. I really like them both, even though they get weird once in a while.

I took a whiz, brushed my teeth then started the shower. As I was leaning over, testing the water temperature, Prez walked into the bathroom and stepped up close behind me. Turning around to give him a proper good morning kiss, I was surprised to find him already naked and with a growing stiffie. My little good morning kiss turned into a breath swapper.

Wanting to play in the shower, I took his hand and stepped backwards into the tub. But Prez giggled, "I have to use the toidy first."

I glanced down at his bone then chuckled, "Good luck," and let go of him.

Standing under the water, suddenly there was thunderous explosion and I started giggling. From beyond the shower doors, Prez loudly chuckled, "Whew! `Scuse me!"

Oh no! The spicy food he ate Friday night finally caught up with him! It would be only a matter of seconds before the noxious fumes drifted into the shower. At that moment, I wished that I could grow gills and breathe water! Thank goodness for the bathroom exhaust fan! Holding my breath, I quickly washed my face, armpits and crotch. I heard the toilet flush and the window open. Grinning and blushing, Prez stepped into the shower with me. By then I was probably turning blue!

"I guess I shouldn't have had onion soup at work last night," Prez giggled.

I laughed, "No kidding!" then started to shampoo.

Prez took the soap, began washing himself and said, "It might've been worse." I looked at him curiously and he said, "What if that happened while we were having sex last night?"

I groaned loudly then laughed hysterically. He can be so twisted sometimes! I love it!

Always the opportunist, Prez started soaping me up again, stroking my hardening bone while I was rinsing shampoo out of my hair and my eyes were closed. "We'll try to cut the jam time short so we can do other things tonight," Prez softly promised.

I thought carefully what we might do with the rest of the evening. Chuckling, I teased, "If you let another one rip at Doug's, he might throw us both out of the house! Then we'll have the whole day!"

Prez tried to force a frown but I could see through it to the wide grin underneath and giggled. I finished rinsing off then stepped out of the shower. Grabbing a towel, I then went back to our bedroom to dry off and get dressed. Just as I was pulling a T-shirt over my head, Prez came in.

"Is anyone else home today?" I asked.

"Just your mom and dad. They're out back on the patio." He answered.

"I'll tell them where we're going," I said, then grabbed my keys off the dresser and asked, "I'll drive?"

"Okey doke," he said and pulled up a new pair of white Calvin Klein boxer briefs. They hugged his buns real well and I almost forgot what the hell I was going to do for a moment there!

I went outside and Rush followed me. Standing by the patio table, I said, "We're going over Doug's for a few hours." My mom stood, nodded and smiled then went inside. When my mom's quiet and disappears like that, I've learned that it means my dad has something to say.

My dad nodded and said, "Is everything really alright?"

I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Sure. What makes you think there's still a problem?"

Grinning, my dad said, "It's none of our business but we've been noticing it's awful quiet lately, at night, if you get my drift."

I blushed and chuckled, "You noticed the bed on the floor too, haven't you?" My dad nodded then I said, "I guess it's having the desired effect."

Smiling widely and returning to his newspaper, my dad said, "It's been so quiet we thought maybe whatever problems you were having were getting really bad."

Shaking my head, I said, "Everything's fine." I turned to go back in the house but then an idea crossed my mind. "Is that why you had that little chat with us the other night?" I asked.

"Partly, yes," he answered, "we thought it was just... unnatural is the only way I can say it."

I had to laugh! So my parents thought we weren't having sex the whole last week. If we had gone a full week with no sex at all, I'd be wondering too! I said, "We're gonna talk with Doug and Brian about the prom. Tell mom to stop worrying."

"I will," he said, "Will you be home for dinner? Remember your aunt and uncle will be here. They'd like to see you, I'm sure."

"We'll be home, hopefully way before dinner time." I said then went back in the house.

Prez was on the phone and my mom was nowhere in sight. Eavesdropping, I figured that Prez was on the phone with Doug or Brian. I grabbed two granola bars from the pantry while I waited for Prez to finish on the phone. Once he hung up, I handed him one and we headed outside.

Prez explained, "I called to let them know we were on our way. Mike and Derrick went home earlier this morning,"

Surprised, I loudly said, "What? Don't they want to talk with Doug and Brian too?"

"They already have. Thursday night, after they left here."

I thought; they sure know how to jump from the frying pan right into the fire! First the kisses and all that upheaval then they talked about the prom with Doug and Brian. Shaking my head, I opened up my car; we got in and drove off.

Prez sighed, "I guess there'll be no jamming today. I can't remember the last time I touched my bass."

I told Prez about the barbeque and my family visiting tonight then suggested, "Later tonight, you can practice and I'll be your audience."

"You'll sing and I'll play," he countered.

"How about if I play with you while you're playing your bass?" I teased, and Prez snickered. "By the way," I said, "I had a talk with my dad. Putting the bed on the floor was the best idea yet." Prez looked at me curiously and I said, "We've been so quiet that they thought there was something really wrong with us."

Prez laughed then said, "No one's sick, dying or dead! How could they think that?"

Barely seven months after his mom's funeral, I couldn't believe he said that! Grinning, I said, "Maybe later we could make a bit more noise, just for their benefit?"

Prez blew a loud raspberry into his hand and we both cracked up laughing.

"That's not the kind of noise I meant!" I giggled.

Taking the Kanan Road exit, we were soon at Doug's. When we went to the door, we could just barely hear guitar playing and singing. Prez pressed the doorbell but there was no ringing sound so I knocked on the door. A few seconds later, Brian walked around from the back yard and, at virtually the same time, Doug opened the door.

Doug smiled and said, "Everyone came home at once!" Then he proceeded to greet all three of us! Of course, Brian's greeting was considerably friendlier than ours! Before coming in though, Brian pressed the doorbell and, strangely, it rang. Doug sighed, shook his head then went back to press the doorbell. It rang again for him! Prez and I just watched them and looked at each other curiously.

We sat down in the living room and Prez said, "Tell us about the party we missed."

"You sounded really bad on the phone yesterday," I chuckled.

Doug grinned, "We stayed up playing Risk until about nine in the morning."

"Did Mike and Derrick get wasted?" Prez asked gleefully.

Brian shook his head saying, "Nope, compared to other parties, this one was relatively tame."

Doug looked at Brian as if he were insane and effeminately said; "Any party with Uncle Ed is not tame girlfriend!"

Laughing at Doug's flamboyancy, Brian said; "Your cousin was his usual extroverted self!"

Nodding, Doug laughed, "He's just a big tease."

"It sounds like we missed a good party," I said.

"It would've been great if you dudes were there too," Brian said, "but we hear you went out with girls. How'd that go?"

"Pretty good," Prez answered. "One girl's father was a bit of a jerk. I nicely told him it was good I wasn't dating him!"

Brian and Doug laughed and I grinned. I'm glad Prez handled it okay but I'm not too sure I would've been able to.

"Tell us about the prom," Brian said.

Doug said, "It's understandable that you'd have the jitters."

"There's no way either of our parents would have even let us go with another guy. All you dudes are really lucky." Brian said.

"Honestly," I said, "I don't feel very lucky."

Prez nodded, "There's just enough guys calling us names to make us real anxious and wonder what might happen."

I said, "It's not just the prom that's worrying me. It's how we'll be treated the last week of school and next year too."

Prez turned to me saying, "You fretted and fussed about coming out to your family too but that turned out alright."

I nodded saying, "Yeah, and not too much later, I met you. Still, since the fight, there's been plenty of name-calling. That's as bad as I ever want it to get. But what if some gigantic dude decides he wants a piece of one of us while we're changing for PE? The next thing ya know, someone's on the receiving end of a gang bang."

"You've got to stop expanding on your fears like that," Doug advised. "The things that you dwell upon often come to pass. It's a karmic law. The fact that such a situation isn't welcome doesn't matter. You reap what you sow."

What he said made perfect sense so I nodded. The question that lingered was - how do I stop worrying?

"Tell us what you'd like to see happen after the prom," Brian queried.

Prez quickly replied, "We want to be able to show some affection now and then." I nodded and Prez continued, "As much if not more than that, I just want everyone to know, he's mine and I'm his."

"I want those things too," I said. "It would be great if everyone would just let us hold hands without creating a big stink about it."

"That's what you need to keep firmly implanted in your mind Keith," Doug advised. "Push aside the unpleasant ideas for the more pleasant ones."

"It really bugs me how people get these impressions of what its like to be gay," I said and paused, not wanting to say a lot but needing to. I could say these things to my dad but he could only imagine. I figured these two guys had first hand knowledge of what it was like.

Doug and Brian waited patiently. Then I said, "All they think about is the sex. Like we're not capable of being friends or having any other side to our lives. They'll picture one guy really masculine and one more effeminate. But it's not that way, for us any way. The roles and even our other needs change over time. When Prez needed me strong, I tried to be strong. When I have a problem, he's more than willing to listen." I wanted to say out loud, these last few days proved that, but held it in. Instead, I turned to Prez and saw him appearing eager for me to let it all out, so I did. "Lately I've been wondering about my own impressions of things too. I get angry when I see the gay dudes in movies acting all effeminate. But, the other day my dad said it wouldn't matter to him if I was!"

"Effeminate gay dudes are just people," Brian said. "Classifying and categorizing is what leads to prejudices. Don't you see that a part of you is doing the same thing you dislike about other people?"

I nodded but said nothing. That's what was bugging me!

Prez tapped my arm, I turned and he softly said, "My dad used to call people all kinds of names. Chicano, nigger, wop, kraut, rag head, you name it, he said it. It was my mom that showed her disapproval of that talk. She'd call him a stupid Irish Mick whenever he went off. That's why I don't say that shit. But sometimes I have to fight back the urge, especially if I'm angry."

"It's time for a paradigm shift," Doug said. "A few minutes ago you heard me talking effeminately. How'd that make you feel?"

I shrugged and said, "I was smiling so happy I guess. But I know you were play acting."

Doug said, "I was impersonating a friend of ours. Mike and Derrick met him. He's a wild, fun loving, extremely intelligent, caring person. He's been alone for over ten years since his lover died of AIDS. Ed has been HIV positive for the longest time."

Feeling like a fool, I apologized.

Leaning forward, Brian said, "They're people, no less deserving of a little respect than any one else. As the saying goes, try walking a mile in the other guy's shoes before you make judgments."

"I'll do that," I said, smiling weakly.

Then Prez asked, "What's a paradigm?"

"It's like a typical example or a model of something," I answered.

Brian said, "In this instance, Keith's been fighting his preconceived notions of what it is to be gay. Doug acting effeminate was funny at first. Then you learned a little about the person he was imitating. It took some of the humor away." Turning to me he said, "That's just the first step. You have to want to change. So find an effeminate dude and get to know him! Diversity makes the world go round! Imagine how boring things would be if the whole world was always in the same mood, thinking the same way, acting the same way."

Prez and I nodded but said nothing. I wondered where I was going to find an effeminate dude.

"So, " Doug said loudly, "you're at the prom and sitting at the table. Four guys and their girlfriends walk over and say, `what are you doing here? Your kind doesn't belong here.' What do you do?"

There was no way he could've known but he was describing one of my worst fears. Equal numbers of guys and girls in both groups and faced off.

Prez and I glanced at each other briefly. Then Prez leaned back, grinned and calmly said; "It's too bad you feel that way. We're not leaving."

"Didn't you hear me?" Brian yelled. I wanted to jump and run for the door he was so loud! "We don't want you low-lifes here. This is for couples - normal male and female couples. Just go and do whatever it is you people do."

My leg was bouncing. I was getting more scared and angry by the second!

Nervously, I looked over at Prez. He was still grinning but shaking his head sadly. Then he said, "First of all, show me where it says, for normal male and female couples only. The fact that we're here says we're allowed to be here. Secondly, what exactly is it that you think people like us do?" Then Prez leaned forward, red eyebrows bouncing and gleefully asked, "You naughty boy, what have you been fantasizing about?"

Brian and Doug both fell back into the sofa laughing. "That's perfect!" Doug yelled.

"Just the right tone of voice, the right body language, no sign of any aggression whatsoever!" Brian added. Then he leaned forward, looked directly at me and said, "You're gonna burn in hell for all eternity."

Having gotten the idea, I tried to relax. I coughed to clear my throat and said, "I don't believe in hell. If there is a life after death, I'm sure it's pretty much the same as this one. But I'm not going to make my every move to please bible thumpers like you."

Brian giggled, "Pretty good. Loosen up a bit and don't let any one know how you feel."

"Your voice was shaking too," Doug added and grinned playfully, "It's just us! And they're only people. Let them be the ones to get aggressive and get shown the door."

"But then what?" I asked, "What about school the next week?"

Brian said, "They only want to dominate you Keith. They want to prove how high and mighty they are. All you have to do is chill and hold your ground. When you present a calm collected front, they won't mess with you."

"Anything they tried would be prosecutable anyway," Doug added.

"That's a small consolation after a trip to the hospital," Prez said.

"Would you rather be a slave to someone else's whims or stand up for your rights?" Doug asked sorrowfully. "All the people that have died because the Reagan administration wouldn't even say AIDS, never mind put funding towards research. Straight hemophiliacs died too, but they're only two percent of the population." Pausing, Doug then waved his hand and snapped his fingers saying, "They're not important either. All gone!" Then he shook his head sadly and said, "History will look back on that time with horror and disbelief, there's no doubt about it."

"Anyone could get hurt or die at any time but, while we're alive, we have to stand up for our principles. The only alternative is to give up any chance for real, long lasting happiness. Look at the world and what history has taught us," Brian said. Both of them started reminding us of various oppressions throughout history. The list of examples seemed to go on forever and no race or nationality was immune. Then Brian asked. "Do you remember that comedian, Don Rickles?" Prez and I both shook our heads. "He made his living mocking other people. To the best of my knowledge he's still alive. Most people don't find those derogatory remarks funny any more so he's drifted into the outer limits."

"You remember Andrew Dice Clay?" Doug asked. Both Prez and I nodded. Doug said, "The same thing happened to him." Then Doug switched into a heavy New York accent and imitated the comic, using all the slurs and curses in the book, the whole while telling us about various turf wars in and around New York City during the late sixties and seventies. There was nothing funny about anything he said. After a while, even the accent and cursing wasn't funny either.

"But how do you keep things from getting ugly like that?" I asked.

"It takes two to tango," Brian grinned. "When you remain calm, focusing on the debate and presenting rational arguments, they loose interest most of the time. Some people, obviously aggravated, storm away. Rarely will they enforce their beliefs physically. Play defensively, let them ruin their evening."

Prez asked, "Is it really that easy?"

"There's nothing easy about listening to things you don't want to hear," Doug said.

"What about the next week?" I asked. "Is there anything we need to expect?"

"The future isn't written, you know that," Brian said. "People change their mind more often than their socks. Those psychic phone friends are full of shit because they forget that little tid-bit."

Unable to help myself, I yawned. Then Prez yawned and giggled, "Sorry."

I explained, "It's not that we're bored. We really want to talk about this. We just stayed awake to watch the sun rise."

In the most soothing voice, Brian whispered, "Relax dudes. Lean back and close your eyes. We'll talk, you listen." It made me yawn again.

Prez nodded, smiled and shuffled closer to me. I reached for his hand, got comfy, closed my eyes and listened. The two men began saying the coolest things to us. Some things we had always known but had some how missed part of the meaning. Other things that they told us, we had no idea we could do. But it all seemed so perfect... so true! Their voices drifted over us and, to me at least, sounded far away - like they were whispering across the Grand Canyon. They led us on an imaginary journey. For a while, it seemed so peaceful. Then it got dramatic, even a little scary at times before returning to being peaceful again. It was wild! The last thing I remember, they had reminded us to use the techniques they taught as often as we needed them.

The next thing I knew, there was soft music playing. I opened my eyes and saw Doug, sitting on the couch, playing his guitar. Next to him, Brian was paging through a magazine. Noticing me watching him, Doug smiled, winked and continued to play. We had obviously fallen asleep! I was so embarrassed! Letting go of Prez's hand, I then gently shook his leg.

Taking a deep breath, Prez then smiled and opened his eyes. Recognizing where we were, his smile quickly faded and he turned to look at Doug and Brian. Blushing, he giggled, "I'm... we're so sorry!"

"It's a holiday," Brian chuckled. Then he waved his hand saying, "No harm done. How do you feel?"

I thought for a second or two then chuckled, "Totally embarrassed and silly but otherwise, awesome."

Prez nodded and said, "Me too." Then he looked at his watch and reminded, "We need to go babe."

"I got the impression you might like to stay and jam for awhile," Doug said.

Watching Prez's face light up at the possibility, I smiled and quickly said, "We could stay for a little while longer."

"What about your aunt and uncle?" Prez asked.

I looked at my watch then said, "It's only a little after two. If we're home by three-thirty or four, it'll be okay."

Prez smiled widely. He looked different, glowing like he had been in the sun all day. I smiled back at him. Standing there in Doug and Brian's living room, it felt like I really had to kiss Prez right away. Like if I didn't, we'd both wind up sad. So I stepped closer and he kissed me, lightly running his hands up and down my sides. It felt magical, making me tingle all over.

Somewhere off in the distance, Brian said, "We'll be in the studio waiting."

"Take your time," Doug chuckled.

As if I might hurry away from my baby's sweet lips!

When we finally did pull back, I took hold of his hands and started swinging them from side to side. "What did you think of all they said?" I asked.

"It was different, something I'd never heard of or tried before. But I feel really great!"

"We'll have to try that stuff when we're alone," I suggested and started to move in the direction of the studio.

But Prez held me back. I turned and he grinned, "Is that all we're going to try when we're alone from now on?"

Wide-eyed, I smiled and kissed him again then said, "I really wish you didn't mentioned that. Now I need to sit in a tub of ice cubes!"

Prez giggled, "Me too! That's how good I feel." Then he seemed thoughtful and said, "We could stay here and play or, if you really want, we could go home and play?"

Hearing my crazy, over-sexed boyfriend enticing me, in someone else's house, I giggled. Judging by my dizziness and the crowded feeling in my shorts, it was working too! Leading him back towards the studio, I reminded, "There's too many people around at home. And it wouldn't be too cool to disappear for a quickie here since we just fell asleep on their couch! I can wait."

"I can wait too. I was just checking." Prez said.

We walked silently the next few steps down the hall. It didn't take a brain surgeon to know what he was thinking. "I'll sing anything I know the words to," I said, and then reached for the doorknob.

Behind the drums, Doug tapped lightly away. At the keyboards, Brian played an unfamiliar song and said, "We thought you changed your minds."

The words, "changed your minds," seemed to rattle around my skull for a while.

Shaking my head to let that idea go for the moment, I then glanced at Prez. He picked up the bass guitar, grinned playfully at me then looked at Brian and asked, "Did you guys hypnotize us?"

"Never!" Brian answered.

"All we did was show you a few ways to release some of those fears and worries," Doug said.

"That stuff clogs your mind," Brian said. "We learned it when we were in our twenties. The only thing magical or mystical about it is how good it makes you feel afterwards."

Knowing that he had them, Prez giggled, "I was just joshin'!" and I cracked up!

Blushing and shaking his head, Doug smirked, "I guess it worked then!"

I nodded my agreement and said, "Feeling this good is way too rare."

Brian giggled, "How good do you feel?" and started playing loudly. After a few seconds, I recognized the song Jump! by Van Halen.

Thanks to Mike, the song was permanently burned into my brain!

Prez and Doug started playing. Then Doug and I started singing. I was surprised to hear the extra voice and turned towards him. About halfway through the song, we started trying to out-squeal each other with our David Lee Roth imitations! I had the advantage though and could jump around the room, causing us all to fall apart in fits of laughter and totally wreck the end of the song!

Picking up an electric guitar, Brian then started strumming chords to another very familiar tune, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, by Queen. They've rapidly become one of my favorite bands since I met Prez. Once I learned Freddie Mercury was gay and died of AIDS, then saw some old Queen videos on VH-1, I was sold. Most of the lyrics, I knew and thankfully Doug came in singing to save the parts I had forgotten. Two things I thought were really amazing. First, how Doug knew I was loosing the lyrics and second, how well Prez played both songs. I don't recall ever seeing him practicing those tunes.

What was really great to see was Prez teaching Doug and Brian how to play Weird, by Hanson. We played that tune next. I'll never forget that night Doug put a headset on me in that pub! To get him back, I was constantly teasing him and trying to get him to sing more like a younger dude, really high -- falsetto they called it. In any case, we all had a really good time. And Prez was happy that he got to play for a little while.

We were getting ready to leave and Brian asked, "What's going on at the homestead?"

"Family coming over for a barbecue," I answered. Then an idea popped into my head. "Would you dudes like to come over?"

Doug said, "Thank you. That's nice but maybe its best..."

"Don't be ridiculous!" Prez interrupted. "You guys have helped us too many times. We can at least offer you some charred cheeseburgers!"

I went into their kitchen, helped myself to the phone and dialed home.

After a few rings, my mom picked up the phone. I said hello then asked her if it would be all right for Doug and Brian to come over. Of course, she happily said yes and that she would put on extra burgers, chicken and sausages. Then I told her we were on our way home and said good-bye.

Through all this, Doug grinned and Brian giggled.

"We're set!" I said. Then I asked, "What's so funny?"

"Nothin'," Brian laughed.

"You made a decision and, regardless of our excuse, went ahead and did what you needed to do," Doug explained. He then said, "That was easy! Maybe a pattern is emerging here?" and chuckled while he began putting on a pair of sandals.

They're so strange, I thought.

"We didn't mean to be so authoritative. You don't have to come over," Prez said, "We'd like it if you did though."

"Thanks," Brian said.

"We'll be just a few minutes behind you," Doug added.

I grinned, "Cool, see ya in a few," then guided Prez out the front door.

On the way home, I asked, "How did you know how to play those tunes?"

"Once Brain told me what key they were in, the rest was pretty easy," he said, as if it was simple and I knew what he meant! I started giggling!

"What?" Prez giggled.

"I don't know dude," I chuckled. "I don't understand any of what you just said."

"Would you like to?"

Glancing his way briefly, I then looked forward at the road saying, "Yeah, I would!"

Prez excitedly asked, "Really?"

I nodded and chuckled, "At least enough so I'm not totally clueless."

Prez inhaled deeply and seemed to melt in his seat for a few seconds. Then he softly said, "I love you so much Keith."

My heart swelled and I said, "Good, `cause I love you too," then squeezed his hand.

As if I didn't feel good enough after our little nap, I think I got a little lightheaded during the remainder of the trip home. We kept glancing at each other, smiling widely but saying nothing. To the tunes on the radio, Prez tapped out rhythms on the back of my hand and it felt amazing!

Pulling onto our street, I noticed a few extra cars in front of my house. I recognized my aunt and uncles car and, just in front of that, was Derrick's 442.

Walking towards the back gate, Prez asked, "Are you ready?" I looked at him curiously and he said, "To see Mike and Derrick, I mean."

"I was expecting to see them at Doug's." I told him, and then smiled, "I'm looking forward to it." No sooner did the last words leave my mouth; Prez pushed me between two shrubs, against the side of my house and kissed me hard.

Did I say something deserving a reward? Who cares! Within seconds we were breathing hard and grinding against each other! I didn't want to ever stop! There was no reason to stop either, so for a few extra minutes we kept on kissing, occasionally swapping breaths. Then I took his hand in mine and we went into the backyard, a little dizzy but otherwise feeling great!

My aunt was the first to notice us. Her smile seemed to get even wider when she saw Prez and me holding hands. Then she stood and ran over to me like she hadn't seen me the night of the frolics just a few weeks earlier! I let go of Prez and she ran into my arms. "I missed you!" she whispered, hugging me tightly. Before I could reply, she let go of me and hugged Prez. "You both look great!" she excitedly said. Moving between us, she wrapped her arms around our backs and led us to the table.

Everything and everybody seemed different. Looking at the faces of my family, I saw complete happiness. I never realized it before but my mom and dad treated my aunt and uncle more like old school friends than family. Mrs. Gibbons and Mike's little sister Lindsay were there too. Mike and Derrick looked like they were overflowing with good things to talk about! Even the yard and lawn furniture seemed somehow newer and perfectly appropriate for the people using it. Nothing, besides my perceptions had changed, of course. I was really glad Doug and Brian accepted our invitation. For teaching us that little trick, I wanted to show them some appreciation.

Prez and I walked around to say hello to my uncle then sat down between him and my aunt. We made small talk, told them where we had been and what we were doing. Then I asked them how long it had been since they arrived. It had only been about an hour so we didn't miss much.

Excusing myself, I went inside to get Prez and I something to drink. While I was pouring two sodas, Derrick came in. He walked around the counter and I asked, "What's up dude? Thirsty?"

Shaking his head but grinning, he said, "Nope, we're set."

Smiling back at him, I then returned the bottle to the fridge. As I turned around again, I was enveloped in a rib-cracking embrace!

Derrick softly said, "Everything's all right now, I can tell. Still, I wanted to apologize."

Wrapping my arms around him and squeezing tightly I said, "There's nothing for you to be sorry about. I just freaked and let my imagination run wild."

Pulling back, Derrick smiled devilishly. I thought; he's been hanging around Mike way too long! Then Derrick said, "Ya know, after Mike's birthday last year, we wound up talking for a few days about the way he kissed you."

"I didn't know that," I said. Standing so close to him, I noticed his eyes seemed brown instead of hazel but thought I was imagining things.

"I know how you must've felt. I'm sorry I caused you and Prez..."

"You didn't cause anything," I interrupted. "Apology accepted."

Quickly, before I saw it coming, Derrick kissed me! It was a short kiss, nothing to write home about, but I still considered it a nice gesture. Smiling, he stepped back and we let go of each other.

Shaking my head, I chuckled, "Dude, you must really like living on the edge! Prez would kill us both if he knew!"

Then Derrick pointed at the kitchen window and began laughing.

I spun around. On the other side of the window stood Mike and Prez! Thankfully, they were both smiling but my nerves were about shot to hell! Then Prez brushed one finger over another and mouthed, "Shame on you!"

Not to be out done, I nodded at Prez and silently mouthed, "Tomorrow?" He got my message, nodded and started giggling. I stepped closer to Derrick, glancing at the window to make sure Prez and Mike were watching. With me advancing, Derrick backed right into the refrigerator, giggling insanely! I put my arms on both sides of the fridge and trapped him there then asked, "Would you go out with me tomorrow?"

Stunned, Derrick stopped giggling but slowly smiled and eventually chuckled, "Yeah, where to?"

I turned around to look out the window. Prez was resting his hands on Mike's shoulders. I read his lips as he asked Mike out. Only momentarily surprised, Mike then bellowed laughing and nodded.

Moments later, we were all hanging around the kitchen. We started talking about our visits with Doug and Brian, learning that the two men had basically said and done the same things for all of us. Mike was really tripping on the empty coffee table drawer. The TV suddenly flipping channels and the way the electricity went out was what Derrick was flipping out over. Even though our naps could easily be explained by being over-tired, Mike and Derrick were convinced that Doug and Brian put us to sleep! They said they woke up earlier this morning feeling awesome too. Somehow, I got the impression they were holding something back though. I figured they just had sex and didn't ask about it. Prez and I chuckled at their stories and silently wondered how much was true.

As if they somehow heard us talking about them, Doug and Brian walked in the kitchen with my mom right behind them.

Seeing Mike and Derrick, Doug giggled, "You two again!"

"You'll have to do a better job of acting surprised!" Mike laughed.

Brian exaggerated speechlessness, pointing at himself and Doug as if they were completely surprised and innocent! Prez and I laughed hysterically at the four of them.

Totally bewildered once again, my mom came over and whispered in my ear, reminding me that my aunt and uncle were outside. I nodded, slid my hand into Prez's back pocket then followed my mom back outside. The other four maniacs goofed around and teased each other. They didn't even seem to notice that we were leaving them!

At the patio table, my dad was talking about our big fight at school and how things were progressing legally. All Prez and I cared about was that Jake wouldn't get off easy. The four of us had easily decided to press charges. None of us wanted to ever see the dude again. My dad's legal firm was representing all four of us. Having threatened to murder all of us, my dad's firm ensured that Jake's bail was high enough to guarantee he would be stuck in jail.

The trial was scheduled for the last week of June, after school let out. All four of us would have to take the stand.

Jake was a total idiot in so many ways! After he was read his rights, he yelled out threats and slurs in front of every cop and lots of witnesses standing around our high school office! He was looking at five to ten years for attempted murder. Jake's defense team tried to get the charge reduced to aggravated assault but they failed miserably. As far as we were concerned, it was all over. I said exactly that to my aunt and uncle.

Hearing my self say it though, I thought of two trials, the one in a courthouse and one in a restaurant. The courtroom would be relatively simple in comparison to the prom. But I wasn't so worried about either of them any more either, more like anxious.

Once again, events reminded me who was important in my life. It was the people around me in the backyard that mattered. Strangers in a courtroom wouldn't matter. The kids that knew me would most likely be cool at the prom. A very short list of those who might create a scene at the prom was writing itself in my mind. I could practically see myself doing these things and wanted to get them done. More importantly, I could see myself doing them with Prez, right there beside me.

I hope you enjoyed the story.
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