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A New Life Chapter 40 Part D

Winding Turns

Thursday after school, our finals were over, our lockers were emptied and each of us was carrying what little remained. As we walked across the parking lot to my car, Mike said, "Shaun's coming to the beach with us."

Nodding, I said, "Very cool."

Mike added, "He'll let Gil know and then come over my place so we can all go together."

I thought aloud, "We won't all fit in my car."

Prez reminded, "We could all fit in my truck. I still need to fill up the tank though."

Then Derrick suggested, "We could all fit in my car?"

Mike turned to him and grinned, "We'll sit Shaun between Keith and Prez."

In a very think Texas accent, Prez chuckled, "Like hell, you will! I'm driving."

Derrick whined, "Come on, dudes! You never let me drive anymore!"

Prez grinned, "You got to drive yourself to work Tuesday night."

As if he were amazed and thrilled beyond words, Derrick whispered, "Oh, wow!"

I unlocked the car, turned to Derrick and chuckled, "If it's that important to you, we could meet you there?"

Derrick shrugged and we all got in the car. I started the engine. Then Derrick said, "We could take two cars, I guess. It really is kinda silly to waste the gas though, isn't it? We're going to the same place."

Mike joked, "Everybody can drive their own cars. I'll hitch."

Prez turned slightly and smiled, "We'll take your car then, D. But I'm sitting next to Keith!" He reached to turn on the stereo then let his hand drop to the armrest between our seats; in position and waiting for me to take hold of it. I smiled at him, checked the mirrors and looked back as I put the car in reverse and backed out. Once I finished and had put the car in drive, Prez turned to me and grinned, "I really would like to put gas in my truck someday soon."

Taking his hand and remembering his weak joke that morning, I snickered, "Nah, just trade it in."

Squeezing my hand briefly, Prez chuckled, "I've only filled it up four times since I got it!"

I nodded, "That'll change soon. During dinner tonight, I'm gonna mention camping trips to my folks." In the back seat, Mike and Derrick softly chattered about possibly going camping.

Prez asked, "Do you think they'll be cool?"

After thinking about it for a few moments, I shrugged, "I dunno. I guess the location would matter to them."

Prez asked, "Where are we going?"

Maneuvering out of the parking lot, I answered, "There are two places I'd like to take you this summer. Mammoth Mountain is really pretty."

He turned and asked, "And where else?" Wanting to surprise him, I smiled and exposed the tip of my tongue slightly but didn't answer. Facing forward again, Prez softly chuckled, "Tease!"

I giggled and had to stop for a light. Then I turned and asked, "You've never been camping before?"

Prez shook his head and reminded, "Just backyard campouts."

Mike then leaned forward and said, "You'll love it, Prez. There's nothing like sleeping under the stars. It's amazing how bright they are when you're away from city lights."

Turning slightly, Prez asked, "You've been camping?"

Mike nodded, "With Keith and his dad."

Moving gaily forward with traffic again, I reminded, "Drew was there too. John was too young."

Mike said, "It was the summer after my dad died, wasn't it?"

I nodded and said, "Yep, at Mammoth Lake."

Turning to Derrick, Mike excitedly overflowed, "Wait till you see Rainbow Falls, dude. It's like going back in time thousands of years, it's so beautiful!"

Glancing briefly at Prez, I said, "There's some really great mountain biking trails there too. Pros train and compete there."

He smiled and excitedly asked, "When would you want to go?"

I grinned, "Hopefully, when we're off work next week. We'll see what the 'rents say later."

Prez smiled and softly groaned, "Oh, I hope that they're cool. I'd hate to throw a tantrum at the dining room table." Mike, Derrick and I cracked up.

Pulling in front of Mike's house, I stopped and Derrick said, "See ya in about an hour?" I nodded and he slid out. Grinning mischievously, Mike flashed the lickity-split signal then said, "Later!" and hurried out of the car.

The moment I pulled away again, Prez giggled, "I'm so unbelievably horny."

Briefly turning to him, I grinned and asked, "Ya wanna give up already?"

He loudly laughed, "It's only been a day!"

I chuckled, "We'll play with our toys then?"

Shaking his head sadly, Prez giggled, "We're gonna have to do something!" Then he pulled my hand over onto his lap. He wasn't just slightly excited - he was completely hard! I gave his hard dick a firm squeeze. Smiling widely, Prez groaned. His head fell back and his hand slipped away from mine. Grinning insanely, I continued playing with my lover's bone, watched the other traffic and drove us home. Stopping at the last light before our neighborhood, I glanced over at him. His legs were fully extended and his cock was throbbing. He was breathing short and fast. Prez turned to me, his eyes barely open and softly said, "Squeeze." I did as I was told. Slamming his eyes closed, he gasped, held his breath and pushed hard against the floor of the car for a few moments and then relaxed again.

I giggled, "Did you?"

He panted, "No but that was damn close!"

Again, I giggled, "Ya want me to stop?"

He turned and laughed, "I gave it to you a year ago! The day I tell you to stop, you can have me locked up somewhere!"

Laughing, I noticed the light turned green and crossed the intersection into our neighborhood. Once we were past the main road, Prez's right hand dropped and a second later, he was laying flat in the passenger's seat beside me. While I slowly continued squeezing and stroking his bone through his clothes, he softly chanted, "God, Keith, you are so great!"

Making the final turn and slowing the car, I excitedly said, "I love you too, baby."

I pulled up in front of our house and stopped the car but my hand was still moving against the bulge in my lover's shorts. Then I stopped and squeezed his shaft.

Turning towards me, he opened his eyes and groaned, "We're home?"

I smiled and nodded.

Then Prez sat up and pulled the seat lever, causing the back of the seat to bounce up and stop against him. Resting his right hand upon mine, he smiled, "You are so good to me." Then he lifted our hands and kissed mine before letting go. We got out of the car. Instead of starting towards the house, Prez met me and wrapped an arm around my waist. As we started for the house, he giggled, "You were touching me."

I shrugged and chuckled, "Only through your clothes."

He said, "I get to do the same to you then."

I grinned and nodded but, as if it were a great inconvenience, I sighed, "If you must."

Abruptly, he stopped and turned. Before I could react, he quickly reached for my package! I jumped a little and laughed because I had gotten rock hard playing with his dick in the car. My erection had gone down a little bit but I knew he could feel the remaining chubby. Smiling, he hummed suspiciously and stepped onto the porch then unlocked the front door. From our bedroom, Rush started growling and whining like crazy.

I followed Prez into the house. Prez hollered, "I'm gettin' there hound dog!" and went down the hall. Before Prez even opened our bedroom door completely, Rush barged out and danced around at Prez's feet. Then he ran to me and circled my legs as I walked to the back door.

I smiled at our wired mutt and firmly said, "Rush, sit." Fairly quickly, Rush sat down and panted. At nine months old, Rush was at least seventy-five pounds and could easily knock the sliding door off its railing so we had to teach him to wait until the door was completely open. Holding my palm inches in front of the dog's nose, I said, "Stay," and then unlocked the back door. I slid it open but Rush didn't move. I said, "Good boy. Okay, go out," and Rush bolted past the open door. He ran across the lawn to the Cyprus trees along the back fence.

Stepping up behind me and wrapping his arms around my waist, Prez smiled, "He still goes behind the trees, like when he was a puppy."

I chuckled, "We just wanted him to do his business by the trees, not behind them!"

Letting go of me and reaching to close the door, Prez seductively whispered, "Now I get to finish my business with you."

Taking him in my arms, I whispered, "Lately every moment with you is like making love."

Prez kissed me and then grinned, bouncing his eyebrows and asked, "If you'd rather not, we might be able to wait?"

I shook my head and then leaned forward to snack on his tasty earlobes.

With our arms wrapped around each other we began carefully moving towards our bedroom.

If you've never tried walking around with your lover attached to you, let me just say, it takes a while! Sure, we could've let go of each other and made the trip in a quarter of the time. But since these hugs were all the physical contact we were trying to allow ourselves, what the hell? Besides, his leg was grinding somewhat against my crotch and my leg was doing the same to him while we waddled.

When we finally made it to our bedroom, we took our shirts off and then coupled again. The moment our bodies touched, I sighed and Prez softly groaned. Then Prez reached down with one hand and moved my chubby into a more comfortable, upright position. Inching closer, he then pressed himself against his hand and held on to my lower back. I reached down for his ass and started grinding. For about five minutes we dry humped each other, becoming increasingly desperate for a little release. Then Prez pulled his hand out from between us and wrapped it around my upper back. Things were feeling really fine before but with his hand out of the way, we really went at it, grinding and humping and panting as we reached fever pitch.

Feeling that familiar pressure building in my cock, I whispered, "So close."

He hoarsely panted, "Way close."

All I needed was for him to cum and I would lose it too. "Go for it, baby," I softly encouraged, "Shoot in your shorts."

He huffed and ground against me harder. I pulled myself against him and dove for his neck. Prez moaned and whimpered then held his breath for a few moments. Suddenly his whole body became rigid and quaked in my arms. I could feel his cock throbbing through our clothes and against my own painfully hard dick. Prez let out a tremendous grunt and went limp in my arms as he lost it. For a second or two, I stopped and felt only his ejaculating bone against me. Hovering on the edge myself, I soon started kissing his neck and grinding away like mad again until I let loose in my boxers too. Drained, we held onto each other and swayed slowly, grabbing the occasional kiss as we came back to Earth.

Nuzzling my neck, Prez softly giggled, "These clothes are dirty now."

I nodded, "Time for a quick shower."

He suggested, "After we finish, we need to go right out - for gas and sun bock. We might as well pick up those other things we'll need for tomorrow night too."

Stepping back from him, I grinned, "My mom will give you no end of grief if you come home flaming red again."

Reaching for his belt buckle, Prez paused and smiled "Flaming?"

Beginning to remove my own clothes, I giggled, "You know what I meant!"

Pushing his soiled CK's and shorts to the floor, he chuckled.

I smirked and reached for his sensitive dick but he quickly jumped back out of my reach. Smiling and looking deep into his eyes, I beckoned him to me with my index finger.

Smiling widely and never loosing eye contact with me, Prez stepped towards me and reached for my hand.

"I'm your prom king."

"And I'm yours."

"I wanna be your every thing."

"You always have been the best part of me."

"I love you more today than ever before."

"And I'll always love you."

We kissed. Then Prez sat on the bed to take his sneakers and socks off. I kicked my sandals off and started across the hall. Following me, Prez said, "I don't think we broke the rules. Do you?"

Turning and smiling at him, I agreed, "We've never done that before!"

Moving past me and in front of the bowl, he giggled, "Not with clothes on!"

I took my place beside him and aimed my dick at the bowl. It takes a few moments after an orgasm to successfully urinate, especially when you're standing next to your partner. While we were waiting, I grinned and asked, "Speedo's?"

Prez shrugged, "I'd really like to rent a board today."

I smiled and nodded, "Just kinda half-hoping."

He shook his head and giggled, "Might as well surf in the buff!"

I grinned, "No, that sounds a little too risky!"

Prez finally started to relieve himself and sighed contentedly. Then he smiled at me and asked, "Why is there an urge to pee after an orgasm?"

I giggled, "I dunno."

He ranted, "I mean - I just took a leak about two hours ago. And it's not like I've been drinking quarts of fluids all day."

Shrugging, I asked, "Why is there an urge to shit after intercourse?"

Nodding and giggling, he agreed, "That's bizarre too. The muscles must get confused or something." Finished leaking, Prez shook his dick then stepped back from the bowl. Then he turned around and leaned over into the tub to turn the water on. Noticing his awesome back and bubble butt, I started feeling that pleasant tingle in my dick and turned away. I thought, at this rate, I might spend the rest of the afternoon in front of the bowl! Turning and glancing at me curiously for a moment, Prez then grinned and stepped into the tub, sliding the door closed behind him.

Over the sound of the shower, I hollered, "Ya know, at another place and time, this could be really embarrassing!"

Prez loudly giggled, "In a public restroom or worse, in the boy's room at school."

Disappointed with my bladder, I yelled, "Just standing around with my dick in my hand!" Since my dick and bladder obviously weren't cooperating, I considered joining Prez in the shower. But then the floodgates opened, I sighed and finally began to relieve myself.

Moments later, I was standing under the shower with Prez. Grabbing the soap, I said, "Better here than waiting and winding up in one of those stinky public beach toilets."

He grinned, "They're grosser than the toilets along the Interstate freeways."

Turning to rinse my front, I said, "The rest stops along I5 and I10 are pretty clean."

Prez reached around and took the soap to wash my back. Then he said, "The worst ones are in the desert."

Suddenly I realized that he was remembering the trip to California and turned to see his expression.

He loudly said, "I barely touched you!" but then he caught my meaning in my eyes and softly said, "I'm fine, babe," before turning me around again. While my lover washed my back I waited patiently. Then he said, "I can remember some things clear as day. I can't really remember many details of the first few days after the accident though."

Fearing the statement but speaking anyway, I said, "Anything you want to know, when ever you're ready, baby."

Moments passed and he finished washing my back then turned me around to rinse off. Prez stepped closer and kissed me then said, "Just tell me that I wasn't a complete asshole, barking or crying all the time."

I could see in his eyes that he wasn't kidding. I kissed him back then assured, "You were quiet and thoughtful, Prez. You never barked or shouted at anyone. I almost wish you had. To me, the scariest thing was how quiet you were. Besides, I was the one following you around every time you moved."

He forced a grin and said, "It was a no-win situation. Being here and wanting to be with you but wanting to remember her too."

I turned the water off then sighed and nodded, "You're allowed, Prez."

He nodded and grinned, "Be prepared, I'm gonna be asking about those first few days a lot."

Opening the shower door, I asked, "Ya wanna start now?"

Following me out of the tub, he said, "Yeah. I'll let you know when it's time to take a break. You need to let me know if you need a break too, okay?"

Nodding, I handed him a towel then got one for myself and asked, "Where would you want me to start?"

Drying himself off, he smiled, "At the beginning, that Friday."

I sighed and started, "You never showed up for our second period English class. I was worried and went to the office before lunch. They told me you left for a family emergency. I wondered what could've happened. Was it something with your mom or someone back in Texas? Not until I got home and heard the messages you left did I know what was going on."

Pausing for a moment, Prez asked, "I called here?"

I nodded, "Twice. The first call was little after ten that morning, probably right after you got to the hospital."

Hanging his towel to dry, Prez said, "I don't remember that." I hung my towel and followed him back to the bedroom. He reached in the dresser drawer and handed me my swimming trunks. Reaching for his own trunks, he asked, "Then what?"

Thinking back and trying to remember all the details from my parents, I answered, "Around lunch time, my dad called home and picked up the answering machine messages. Then he tried calling my mom but she was already with you. They were both with you when I showed up at the hospital around three-thirty that afternoon."

He stepped closer to me and softly asked, "How was I?"

I stared at him for at least five seconds. His eyes were clear. No tears were being shed and I sure didn't want to start any. I shook my head and answered, "You were tweaked, Prez - totally and completely wrecked, just like anyone else would be."

Stroking my arm gently, he looked down ashamedly and asked, "Am I hurting you now?"

I vigorously shook my head then asked, "Are you feeling sad?"

Prez paused for a second then grinned sheepishly; "A little but not a lot. I want to learn more." Then he went to the dresser and grabbed his keys and wallet.

Stepping up to him and taking his keys, I grinned, "If this is what we're gonna be talking about, I'll drive."

He snickered, "Fine," and then asked, "What happened next?"

I grabbed my wallet and started out of our room saying, "She was in intensive care. No more than two people were allowed in the area at any time. You were in there with my mom when I showed up. My dad and I talked for a while - mostly about you and me - our relationship. Then you saw me waiting in the hall through the glass."

We stopped briefly for beach towels and to let Rush back in. Prez followed me out of the house and said, "I ran to you, I'll bet."

I didn't want to burst his bubble. Yes, he did come quickly to me but he was totally destroyed and my mom had to help him get up from the chair. I nodded, "Yep, as quickly as you could."

We got in Prez's 4-Runner and I started the engine. Once we pulled away, Prez asked, "Then what?"

I shrugged, "You took me into the ICU. You held her hand and with your other hand, you held mine. And you were eerily quiet. Every now and then you'd say, 'This can't be happening.'" Remembering the almost empty fuel tank, I turned, headed for the gas station and continued. "My mom asked you if there was anyone that needed to know what happened. You told her, your Aunt and your dad. Then my mom went back to the apartment to call them. Your Aunt showed up with your Uncle around six that night, I guess. After my mom returned, my dad checked on Drew and John then came back to the hospital. While your Aunt visited your mom, we went down to the cafeteria to eat. But you didn't eat a thing. You had a few sips of water, at best. After only ten or so minutes, you stood and said that you were going back upstairs." Remembering that night, I smirked, "We all asked you to wait but you didn't hear a word and just kept on walking. I told my folks that I would get you. And I did catch up to you but you said that you weren't hungry and kept going your way."

Prez squeezed my hand and sincerely said, "I'm sorry, Keith."

Sternly but softly, I said, "Don't you dare say that! Anyone that experienced anything remotely similar would be as fazed and dazed as you were. Do you think Mike was any different? Do you think I would've been any different? Think again, baby. You have nothing to be sorry about. When we got upstairs, you walked directly into the ICU. Your Uncle came out and introduced himself to me. When I looked over again, you and your Aunt were hugging each other."

Prez excitedly asked, "We were?"

Pulling into the gas station, I nodded, "That's what I mean, Prez. When your Aunt stepped out of the room, I noticed just how fazed and dazed she was." Stopping along side the pumps, I turned off the engine. Then I turned to Prez and said, "You were both in shock, baby. We all were to some extent or another."

Prez nodded and smirked slightly. Then he sighed and got out of the truck. I followed on my side to keep an eye on him. I watched Prez press a few buttons then stuff a twenty-dollar bill into the automated pump. It turned on and I picked up the handle. Prez opened the tank cap for me and I stuffed the nozzle in the hole. While we waited, he softly said, "She didn't deserve it, Keith."

I nodded, "You're absolutely right. But think of it this way. She was unconscious the second her head hit the steering wheel. From that instant, she felt no pain. The worst part - for me, anyhow - was how it affected you. You didn't deserve it either."

Prez sighed, "Every new car has to have airbags now, thank goodness. I wish she had spent some money on a newer car with air bags."

Reaching for his hand and looking in his eyes, I stopped him from saying any more. It would only make him sadder and I couldn't bare that. I softly said, "Hind site is twenty-twenty, Prez. You can't help but wonder what if this or that was different. Don't dwell on it though baby. It doesn't fix anything."

Passing nineteen dollars on the meter, the pump began to slow. It approached twenty dollars and then crawled the last few pennies before stopping. Returning the nozzle to its holder, I noticed Prez shaking his head. Before I could ask, he softly complained, "Fucked up oil companies always raising and lowering prices on a whim. I'll bet that's only three-quarters of a tank!"

We got back in the truck and, while buckling up, I said, "There's nothing to feel guilty about. You dealt with it your way, baby." I started the engine and watched the fuel gauge rise to about seven-eighths full. Putting the truck in first gear and releasing the brake, I said, "Saturday was a full day of the same stuff at the hospital."

Prez asked, "What was I like at night, when it was time to leave the hospital?"

Damn! I wanted to sneak past that. After I pulled out onto the street, I sighed, "You were afraid to leave her; that something might happen when you weren't there."

Prez nodded, "There's a vague recollection of me crying and yelling - don't know which day it was or if it really happened like that."

"It wasn't quite as bad as you make it sound," I said, and then turned the corner. Pulling into a shopping center parking lot, I said, "It was Friday night. Like I said, you were afraid to leave her and wanted to be there every possible moment, even if it meant sleeping in a chair. It took all of us to convince you to leave with us. But it was your Aunt that finally changed your mind."

I parked in front of Long's Drugs, turned off the engine and looked at him carefully. His expression was blank but he wasn't shedding any tears. He forced a grin then we got out of the truck. Most of the way across the parking lot we were silent. I didn't want to feed him too much information and then have him break down crying. So I waited. Just before we stepped into the drug store, Prez said, "You say there's no need but I feel like I have to apologize, Keith."

Entering the store behind him, I reached for his shoulders, squeezed them firmly and whispered, "There's no need to, Prez. That first night, you couldn't sleep, do remember?"

He smirked, "No," and then looked up at the aisle signs.

Following him, I said, "We stayed up watching TV until about four in the morning. You were exhausted. How you stayed awake, I don't know. Neither of us asked the question, what's going to happen to us now? It was the first time something remained unspoken between us, I think. Then you finally passed out but I stayed awake another half an hour or so, just to make sure you didn't wake again. And even when I did let myself sleep, I did my best to make it a light sleep. Around seven Saturday morning you woke up and tried to slip away from me. I asked you what was the matter.

"The look you gave me that morning spoke volumes. In a flash, everything you had ever told me about your life in Texas ran through my brain. And then, all the horror of the previous day and the big question - would your mom die that day? But all you said was, 'Visiting hours start at nine.' I let go of you and followed you out of the bedroom."

Seeing a few hair clipping kits on display, Prez stopped and smiled widely at me. I snickered. Thankfully, Prez was just listening and absorbing what I was saying. He quickly did a price-feature comparison and picked up a kit. Noticing it was almost thirty bucks; I leaned closer and softly asked, "You don't have all your money on you, do you?"

He grinned, rapidly shook his head and whispered, "A hundred. We need this, some Nair, an enema kit, sun-block, some more Aloe and another rope toy or something for Rush."

I nodded and started calculating the items he was picking up. Further down the same aisle, Prez found Nair For Men, grinned devilishly at me, and picked up a bottle. The next aisle over, we found the sun-block. Prez picked up a tube of SPF30. Then we started scanning for Aloe. It was over by the baby lotions and other skin care products. In the back of the store, near the pharmacy, Prez asked me to grab an enema kit and pointed at the one he wanted. Turning bright pink, he softly snickered, "That's the only thing I'm a little embarrassed about getting!"

Trying to force a frown, I chuckled, "So naturally, you ask me to pick it up and carry it!"

Heading towards the front of the store, he laughed, "My hands are full! It just worked out that way, honest!"

After all those sad recollections, Prez was joking around. This was my lover. He was almost one hundred percent the same person I fell for the previous summer - able to quickly move from serious to silly in only a few moments. It was my job to answer his questions carefully to relieve the lingering doubts he had.

We stopped once more and picked up a huge rope toy for Rush. There was a picture of a Great Dane on the cardboard label! Turning to me, he grinned, "That should keep those jaws of steel happy for a long time." Prez paid for everything, handing the checkout girl five twenty dollar bills and got back less than ten dollars in change.

Stepping out of the store, I suggested, "Ya wanna share a soda?"

Abruptly stopping, he loudly asked, "Why didn't you say something in there?"

I grinned and answered, "So I could get us something."

Slouching, he huffed and then groaned, "I'm sorry babe..."

But I quickly interrupted, "These are the coolest kinds of things you could get for us, Prez." We started across the parking lot and I continued, "I can't keep up yet but some day soon, I'll be working with you and I'll be able to get us some nice things too. For now, let me get us an extra large Diet Coke at Mickey-Dee's."

He nodded and said, "I've got to learn to at least ask if you want to chip in, don't I?"

Unlocking the truck, I nodded and said, "That would be cool. We'll probably need lube next week. That's for me to get, okay?" Nodding, Prez tossed our sack of goodies into the back seat. We got in, buckled up and I started the engine.

After I backed out and started forward again, Prez asked, "So Friday and Saturday, I was pretty much totally out of it?"

I nodded, "After we got home Friday night, I called Mike and told him what was going on. He and Derrick were at the hospital for a while Saturday. Mike was completely destroyed; reliving his last hospital visit with his dad. While Mike and Derrick were with you, I called Black Angus and Blockbuster to tell them we wouldn't be in."

Prez nodded, "I remember them being there. I also remember a priest. How did he know to come?"

I answered, "Your Aunt did that," and dropped it right there. The truth of the matter was that Prez didn't want a priest there. He was hoping and praying his mom might somehow recover. Having a priest there to deliver the last rites only proved how slim her chances really were.

Humming thoughtfully for a few moments, Prez waited until I made a turn and then said, "My Aunt did a lot - stuff I would've completely forgotten about."

Pulling into McDonald's, I hummed affirmatively and told him, "She helped you with every decision you had to make... even at the funeral home."

Prez said, "She told me that she wanted to help with the apartment too."

Mildly surprised, I said, "I didn't know that," and pulled forward to place my soda order.

"My aunt said that she offered but I refused."

Moving forward more, I paid for the drink and shrugged, "It wouldn't surprise me in the least." Driving to the next window, I stopped and got our big cup of soda. I took a sip then handed the cup to Prez and began maneuvering out of the parking lot.

After a few moments silence, Prez softly asked, "Why do you say that?"

I grinned, "That's you, Prez - as independent and responsible as they come. All those things your father did? As frustrating as they were, they helped make you the person I love. You and your Aunt took care of everything. She co-signed everything too."

Thinking carefully for a few moments, I then softly said, "Even with all you were going through, the only time you ever mouthed off to me was one time, when I was putting away clean laundry and another time, when you were cleaning the shower."

Prez smirked, "I remember the shower incident. I apologized too, didn't I?"

Rapidly nodding, I said, "Yep. And with the clothes, I told you that you could help. So you got up and helped me." Remembering that day, I grinned, "We were accidentally bumping into each other at first, ya know, at the closet and dresser? Then we started purposefully bumping and hip-checking each other! When the job was done, you tackled me to the bed and started laughing. Five seconds later, you were holding on tight and crying again."

Smirking but slowly shaking his head, Prez sighed, "Those first few smiles and laughs really hurt."

I nodded and reached for his hand saying, "I know, baby."

He asked, "It hurt you too, didn't it?"

Not wanting to compare what I went through to his much deeper problem, I shrugged, "What I felt wasn't near what you were dealing with. I'd call it a learning experience. The only times I was totally lost was when you disappeared for a while. But I completely understand, Prez. Those times you were alone gave me time to talk with my folks. I made a few late night calls to Mike too."

He turned to me and repeated, "Late night calls?"

Humming affirmatively, I explained, "Back then, I was really upset too. My first instinct was to treat you carefully. But that's really hard to do with a boyfriend that now lives with you. Now and then I'd take a chance and try to make you think of something else usually some joke or something silly I heard. Those first few times you laughed and then started crying, I wondered if I was helping or not. So I forced myself to be more careful." Remembering the way he stared deep into my eyes and poked my chest as he demanded to be treated normally, I giggled, "You did not appreciate that at all! So I called Mike a few times."

For a few moments, Prez giggled. Then he said, "Mike was really great the other night. No one else could've said what he did. It very much needed to be said though. I recognized that as soon as he said it."

Turning onto Mike's street, I smiled, "He's a true whack-attack. Somewhere under that heavy metal exterior is the same kid that I met in second grade."

Prez nodded, "While we were working on tunes Tuesday night, I told him to try and wear something other than black once in a while this summer. He's always wearing something black! It's a treat when he puts on his camouflage cargo pants."

Stopping in front of Mike's house, I chuckled, "Once upon a time, he wore blue jeans, like everyone else. He's been dressing in black since we started high school. At least that T-shirt his sister got him is white."

Prez checked his watch and said, "Three-thirty-six, we made good time."

I smirked, "He'll still bitch about the six minutes."

Opening his door but still looking at me, Prez giggled, "No doubt - just to get you going!"

Seeing Derrick open the front door of the house and step out with Shaun, I grabbed Prez's arm, stopping him from getting out of the truck. Derrick held up the lickity-split signal and Prez quickly did the same, just in time for Mike to see.

Shaun watched and smiled, silently wondering what was going on. As they approached, I could hear Derrick explaining our little signal and Shaun giggling hysterically. Mike caught up and hollered, "Late again!"

I grinned, "We stopped for a little petrol on the way!"

Opening the back passenger side door, Shaun then slid in the backseat. Mike followed and, picking up our sack of goodies, loudly asked, "What's this?"

Reaching into the back seat, Prez chuckled, "Gimme that!"

Swiftly, Mike pulled the sack close to him and smiled widely. Derrick slid in next to Mike and closed the door behind him. Then Mike opened the sack and peeked inside. Blushing and giggling his ass off, Prez faced forward. From the rearview window, I saw Mike pull out the huge rope toy for Rush. I pulled away from the curb and Mike shook the rope toy under Derrick's chin saying, "I suppose this could have several ticklish uses." Derrick and Shaun chuckled and Mike tossed the rope toy over his shoulder into the rear cargo area. Next, Mike pulled out the sun-block and passed it forward saying, "This is for you, obviously." Pulling the enema box out of the bag, Mike chuckled evilly, "What do we have here?" Then he innocently asked, "Is someone feeling irregular?" We all cracked up laughing. Shaking his head sadly but laughing loudly, Prez started dowsing himself with sun block lotion. Then Mike pulled the Aloe out and hummed thoughtfully.

Derrick said, "Something tasty for those late-night nibbling sessions?" Mike hummed and tossed it in the back.

Then Mike roared, "And clippers and Nair! They went fetish shopping!" and we all about died laughing. I turned onto the northbound 101 and chuckled while Derrick, Mike and Shaun teased us endlessly. So Mike would drop the subject, I flipped to KLOS and turned up the volume.

Amid much loud music, cackling and commentary, we blazed our trail up the 101 and onto Malibu Canyon before Mike, Derrick and Shaun finally lost interest and started singing along with the radio. Once I was done layering sun-block on my neck, legs and arms, I leaned back and glanced at Keith.

What a combination my lover is! But I was going to have to insist on driving us back home. We turned onto the Pacific Coast Highway towards Malibu.

Mike hollered, "Russ's surf shop is the other way, bro."

Keith yelled back, "Oh! Well it's too late now!"

I said, "Let's just check the parking lot real quick," and Keith nodded. Moments later, we were driving slowly through one of the lots. I happily said, "No problem getting a parking space today!"

Glancing back in the mirror, Keith asked, "Where's Russ's new digs?"

Over the music, Derrick loudly answered, "About halfway between here and Zuma, on the beach side."

Mike added, "It's a really small place, so keep your peepers peeled."

Derrick snickered, "I ain't peelin' my peeper! Its fine just the way it is!"

When I didn't hear a rebuttal from Mike, I glanced back. He and Derrick were kissing deeply.

Shaun grinned, "So much for three being a crowd!"

I hollered, "No back seat orgies!"

Mike turned and smiled, "Why not? We've got more than we need right here!"

Facing front again, I chuckled, "You'll never let me live this down."

Derrick said, "Eventually."

But Mike quickly hollered, "Not any time soon though!"

Derrick giggled, "Maybe we could steal their clothes again."

And Mike quickly chuckled, "Just to see if they still have pubes!"

Shaun loudly laughed, "You stole their clothes?" Mike and Derrick then began telling Shaun about Monday's joke.

Keith chuckled, "They're not to be trusted, Shaun."

And Mike hollered, "On the left Keith. See it?"

Veering left into the center turn lane and slowing, Keith nodded, "Yep!"

Russ's new surf shop was really just a large shed, like you might find at any Home Depot. But he had detailed it with paintings of large Palm tree leaves so it looked like a hut or a shack. We turned across the road and stopped in front of the shop. While we were all climbing out, Russ stepped out with a customer already holding a long board under his arm.

Waving, Mike loudly said, "Hey, Russ. How's the new biz?"

Russ smiled and said, "Location is everything. I might have a winner this time."

Glancing around at the various boards displayed against the front of the hut, Derrick nudged me and pointed at the white board with the surf conditions written out on it. All I saw was a bunch of letters and numbers and shrugged. Derrick explained, "SW mean out the southwest. Three and five mean three to five foot swells."

I smiled and nodded, "It sounds like a long board day for me."

Coming over by us and obviously overhearing me, Russ said, "Try a short board today, dude. It's really mellow. The five footers are few and far between."

Turning to Russ, Keith asked, "How much per hour, dude?"

Russ smiled, "For you, how's five?"

Mike excitedly giggled, "Awesome!" and reached into his pocket.

Slipping his hand into his shorts, Derrick grinned, "We'll only be an hour or so."

I reached into my pocket, pulled out a five-dollar bill and asked, "You really think I should try a short board? It's my first chance this season."

Taking my money with a smile, Russ shrugged, "Just give yourself extra space at first. And remember, it's better to bail then hurt yourself or anyone else." Nodding towards the hut, he grinned, "There are long boards in there too, if you change your mind."

Keith handed Russ a five and followed me into the hut. He softly asked, "Ya wanna get a long board?"

I shrugged and whispered, "I just don't want to make a fool of myself or hurt any one in the process."

Smiling understandingly, Keith nodded, "I'll get a short board. You get a long one." He paused and his eyes got wide as he softly chuckled, "And we can switch off!"

I giggled, leaned close and whispered, "More switching off later!"

Keith snickered and then we started browsing through the collection of boards. Minutes later, we were outside and laying our boards on top of my 4-Runner. We wrapped bungee cords around them, said goodbye to Russ and drove slowly down to the beach.

From the passenger's side front seat I could see the surf and the beach. Near the shore it was a beautiful day - probably around eighty degrees. A single wispy cloud was barely visible much further south. Breathing in deeply, I turned to Keith. He smiled and squeezed my hand briefly. In the back seat, Derrick was patting his knees in time to the music. In the center sat Mike and Shaun sat behind Keith. I guess I spent a few seconds too long looking back and they all began smiling wider at me then began making goofy faces.

I giggled and turned down the radio. Turning slightly and looking back again, I made eye contact with Mike and asked, "Did you notice Gil during lunch?"

Mike loudly giggled, "What do ya mean? Course I did! He was sitting right there!"

I grinned, "He's way jealous of you, dude." Mike's brow furled and he smirked disbelievingly then turned to Shaun.

Looking at me, Shaun cackled, "You're good."

Stunned, Mike snapped his neck turning to look at Shaun and I. Derrick began giggling and Mike shouted, "I have not hit on Shaun once! I swear! Not even once!"

Shaun giggled and nodded at me then turned to Mike saying, "Gil just doesn't understand yet. When you're teaching me, we get closer and Gil doesn't like that."

Mike hollered, "That don't mean anything! Its just music!"

Grinning, Shaun explained, "Still, he thinks that you're after me, dude."

Twice as loud, Mike screamed, "I'm after your guitar playing!"

Derrick, Keith and I busted up laughing. Shaun nodded, "I know that and it seems we all know that... except for Gil."

Slowing, Keith pulled into the Malibu parking lot. Mike slouched and huffed, "What are we gonna do?"

Grinning and blushing, Shaun giggled, "I'm under strict orders to not be left alone with you. Someone else always has to be there, preferably Derrick but anyone else would do."

Smacking himself in the forehead, Mike groaned, "Omigod!" Grabbing his stomach, Derrick doubled up and roared laughing. Keith, Shaun and I chuckled insanely while Mike grimaced and pondered the situation. Then Mike loudly said, "I'll just have to show Gil a little extra attention somehow."

Barely holding back his laughter, Derrick hummed jealously.

Shaun suggested, "He's really into chess and strategy games."

Mike sighed, "That figures. I suck at chess."

Maneuvering into a parking space and stopping, Keith giggled, "Good. It'll be easy for him to whip yer ass." Then he leaned forward and stowed his wallet in the glove compartment, reminding me to do the same.

Mike complained, "You're no help at all," and we all got out of the truck.

While we were removing bungees, Derrick asked, "Does Gil like games like Risk?"

Shaun nodded, "His top closet shelf is full of board games. I think that's up there."

Mike grumbled, "How am I supposed to show you chords without reaching for your hand and fingers once in a while? Jeez, I didn't reach for your butt or nothin'."

Hearing that, Shaun leaned against the truck and cracked up.

We each grabbed a board and started for the water. With every inhaled breath, I became more intoxicated by the fresh salt air. The sand was hot against the soles of my bare feet but not so hot that I felt pain or any need to hurry. About halfway down the beach, I turned to Shaun and asked, "So, how long have you been checking out Gil's bedroom closet?"

Shaun giggled, "A couple of weeks."

Smiling at me but continuing the conversation with Shaun, Keith asked, "Found anything incriminating yet?"

Shaun laughed loudly and stumbled briefly before answering, "He'd pound the shit out of me if I told you about it though."

Derrick shrugged, "Ain't nothin' new under the sun, dude. Maybe a few things we haven't tried..." He then stopped about twenty yards from the water line and suggested, "Here?" We all stopped, dropped our towels and pulled our shirts off. Then we picked up our boards and started for the water, paddling out past where the waves were breaking. Once we were lined up and waiting for a ride, Keith turned to Shaun and asked, "Ya wanna hear what Prez found in my closet?"

Shaun threw his head back and waved his hands laughing, "It's really not necessary!"

I turned to Keith and smiled, "There really wasn't much of interest in your closet. But let's discuss the night table drawer!"

Leaning forward on his board, Derrick giggled, "Let's go dude." He started paddling with Mike along side. Moments later, I saw them bounce up and stand on their boards.

Dagnabit! They make it look so easy! One slightly misplaced foot though and I'm leaning to one side, destined to fall into the drink!

Shaun asked, "How long have you two been together?"

While I studied Mike and Derrick, Keith answered, "A year this month, on the twenty-fourth."

I smiled at my lover and said, "We'll be celebrating for at least a week."

Keith nodded enthusiastically and Shaun smiled, "That's great! I hope Gil and I can make it last too."

Keith nodded understandingly and asked, "Still feels chancy, huh?"

Shaun nodded, "He's tough to read sometimes."

I assured, "It gets easier as you spend more time together."

Laying flat and paddling like mad, Shaun shouted, "I like taking chances!" then caught the next wave, leaving Keith and I alone.

It had been a very long time since Keith and I were alone, sitting on surfboards and waiting for a ride. Remembering that my mom was still alive back then, I got a chill down my spine and glanced to my right. Keith looked so fine with his wet hair slicked back and little water droplets sparkling on his body. It felt like my mom was watching me again. She had never really seen me at the beach with my friends. Of course, I had never invited her either but somehow, I felt she was seeing us right then.

In the distance, Mike and Derrick were paddling back out again. Keith and I moved closer together. I said, "Shaun's a great guy."

Keith nodded, "He's got himself a real challenge with Gil."

I grinned, "More of a challenge than you have with me?"

Keith giggled, "You're not too much of a challenge. All I have to do now is get you standing on your board for a whole ride!"

Determined, I smiled, "Say when."

"When!" Keith grinned, and immediately started paddling. I started after him and soon felt the water lifting the rear of my board slightly. Pushing up, my feet slid into a position. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly the right position. I was leaning too far to the left and, in trying to regain balance, overcompensated. As I dove off the right side of the board, I heard Keith laughing.

Attached to my left ankle, my board was trying to race to shore. As the surf tugged and bent my body every which way like a rag doll, I struggled up for air. My hand hit my board and I grabbed onto it, eventually sliding back on and beginning to paddle out. I looked around to get my bearings and saw Mike to my left and Derrick to my right, paddling into the next wave. Mike loudly laughed, "Like this dude!" and bounced up. He moved each foot only slightly then planted them. Only his knees bent with the force of the water against the board.

From behind and closer to shore, I heard Keith yell for me. Once we were past the breakers, Keith asked, "Remember last summer when we went to Raging Waters?" That's a water park in LA where Keith took me to learn to surf last summer. Of course, we absolutely had to try Neptune's Fury a few times but most of the day we spent on little surfboards in simulated waves. I nodded and Keith reminded, "You easily dealt with that. Shift your feet in fractions of an inch."

I smiled, "I knew I overcompensated the second it happened. Let's try again."

Moments later we were paddling into another wave. Mike and Derrick were returning and giving me extra room to maneuver. Again I pushed up off the board and started to stand. This time I found my center of gravity but it felt like I would loose it if I stood completely. So I remained slightly hunched over but controlled my board all the way to the shore, where I stepped off into shallow water. Coming in beside me, Keith shouted, "Let's switch boards, Prez."

I hollered, "If you're sure you want to."

Stepping off his board in knee-deep water, Keith nodded, "You seem to be fighting the board. I think the long board might be too much."

Lifting my leg and loosening the Velcro strap, I smiled, "Did it take you more than one season to learn?"

Keith laughed, "This is only my third season! Before that, only boogie boards." We swapped boards and Keith said, "Humor me. I know you can do it."

As we started to paddle out again, I glanced over and joked, "Maybe I need a few years of boogie board practice then?"

"It's the same thing," Keith smiled, "only the ride lasts much longer this way."

The next wave was the smallest of the day, barely three feet. But I did stand up! Keith shouted congratulations then said, "Cut across diagonally. Follow me," and began to move away, across the front of the wave. I leaned to my right slightly, like I would on a skateboard or a bicycle. But the board moved too far and I tried to redirect it but instead, hollered and went splashing into the water again! I grabbed my board and thought - that ride lasted all of fifteen seconds! At least I didn't have so far to paddle to try again though. I waited until Keith returned. Once he was close enough, he laughed loudly, "I think you enjoy falling off as much as the rides!"

I giggled, "I do not!" but wondered if maybe he was right.

Sitting upright on his board beside me, Keith eyed me suspiciously. He asked, "Was it easier for you to control the board?"

I nodded, "Much easier." Then I grinned and admitted, "I do like feeling the power of the waves pushing my body around."

He smiled, "Be careful, baby," and then lifted his left leg, the one that was closest to me. There was a big nasty scrape from his knee and halfway down his leg!

I shouted, "Oh shit! That must've hurt!"

Keith shrugged, "Not so bad then. It's stinging like crazy now though."

Exaggerating a frown, I asked, "Ya wanna hit the beach?"

He shook his head and said, "Nah, we've only got time for a few more rides."

I nodded and grinned; "Guess I get to play doctor tonight!"

Keith laughed and signaled me to follow then lay down on his board, paddling into the next wave. During those last minutes, I actually stood and controlled my board through two entire rides! Not wanting to press my luck, I called it quits and waited on the sand for my friends.

Barely a minute later, Keith returned wearing a big smile. Wordlessly, he dropped his board, came to me and hugged me. He whispered, "I knew you could do it!" and squeezed me tight.

Hugging him back, I asked, "How's your leg?"

"Numb now," he replied, and then let go of me adding, "by tomorrow morning it'll be all tight and feel like alligator scales."

Rolling my eyes, I smiled, "You might get an infection. I'll have to take your temp as soon as we get home."

He laughed briefly then asked, "Orally?"

Grinning widely, I shook my head.

Seeing Mike returning, Keith softly giggled, "We're not gonna make it till tomorrow, are we?"

I leered, "We'll see."

Minutes later, we were all back in my 4-Runner. Keith drove us to Russ's to return the surfboards. Then we switched seats and I drove the remainder of the trip over the mountain. As I started up the mountain on Kana-Dume, KLOS began playing Free Fallin' by Tom Petty.

Shaun loudly said, "I know this tune," then turned to Mike and asked, "Do you dudes play any Petty?"

I didn't hear an answer for several seconds but then Derrick began singing along. Moments later, Derrick began drumming against the back of my seat. It was obvious that he was familiar with the drum part. Then he loudly sang the chorus. His voice was perfect for the song too! Shaun, Mike and I began singing the backup vocals. Keith reached for my hand and we smiled at each other briefly. Derrick sang the second verse and then the remaining four of us added background vocals during the chorus. Realizing how easily we were reproducing the record, a shiver raced down my spine. When the song ended I lowered the radio and turned to say, "That song's perfect for you, Derrick. We're gonna work on some Petty tunes this summer."

Mike added, "Hopefully we'll start making up new tunes this summer."

And Derrick said, "Mike's made up a few really catchy rhythms and riffs. The hook is everything, dude."

Glancing in the rearview mirror, I chuckled, "You've been holding back on us."

Mike smiled, "We've been so busy learning cover tunes that there just hasn't been time. That'll change the day after tomorrow though! More jams faster!"

Beside me in the passenger seat, Keith slouched and giggled, "I don't suppose anyone has thought of making up a list of tunes for tomorrow afternoon?"

I turned to Keith smiling and shaking my head. Behind me, Derrick asked, "Ya wanna make up a set list or just sorta wing it?"

Keith grinned, "I'd really like a clue of what lyrics I'll be singing."

Quickly, Mike said, "We'll start with School's Out."

Tuning to Shaun, Derrick asked, "You wanna join us tomorrow, dude?"

Shaun giggled and asked, "Do you think I'm ready?"

Derrick and Mike both began chuckling and encouraging Shaun. Mike then said, "We'll do Hold My Hand. And how about Take It Easy?"

Derrick grunted and said, "Desperado sounded really good too."

As we started going through the first of the three tunnels in the mountain, Mike smiled, "We'll do that one too then! You can join us for those three, at least. And I'll give you a tape of the tunes we cover later too."

Hearing no reply from Shaun, I figured he nodded and suggested, "How about one or two Crowded House tunes? And some Journey?"

Mike nodded, "It's Only Natural, Don't Dream It's Over, Separate Ways and umm... How about Don't Stop Believin'?

Keith asked, "Ya wanna start up rockin' and end with a few ballads this time?"

Mike replied, "Yeah, that's cool."

Shaun suggested, "You dudes do a good version of Weird. You've gotta do that one."

And Derrick nudged my seat saying, "And some of the ZZ tunes?"

Then Keith turned slightly in his seat and suggested, "How about a few Queen tunes? We Will Rock You sounds really good with Jessy's synth drums added."

And I added, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love too."

Keith giggled, "You dudes have to learn Bohemian Rhapsody. I love that tune!" Then he loudly sang, "Mamma-mia, Figaro!" and giggled at himself.

He'd never suggested it before. I beamed at him and felt my dick stirring in my trunks. Then Mike hollered, "Could you have picked a more difficult song?" and we all cracked up laughing.

Over our combined laughter, Keith scanned each of our faces and loudly asked, "Is it that hard to learn?"

Giggling, I nodded and then answered, "Tight vocal harmonies, at least two time signature changes and two key changes. It's pretty rough."

Settling back in his seat, Keith sighed and smiled, "Well, I wanna try it some day."

Not so mysteriously, we all stopped laughing and got really quiet for a long few moments. It would be great if we could somehow manage to pull off a good cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, I thought. Then Mike giggled, "Well it sure as hell won't be ready by tomorrow afternoon!" We all broke out of our trances and Mike suggested, "We'll do Living On A Prayer and Dreams."

Derrick added, "How about some Def Leppard and Hendrix? And for another ballad, how about As Tears Go By?"

Squeezing my hand in his, Keith giggled, "That's about two hours worth, I think. Are we stopping for dinner?"

Mike loudly said, "Definitely! We're asking my mom about moving out tomorrow night." Then he turned to Shaun and asked, "Ya wanna come to GC with us later?"

Shaun shrugged and softly said, "Gil's probably coming over my place after work. Would you pick up some strings for me?"

I stopped at the intersection with the 101 freeway and Mike gladly answered, "Sure dude. Tell me what brand and slip me a few bucks when we get back to my house."

Derrick then suggested, "If you and Gil came with us, maybe he'd chill out some?"

Shaun hummed thoughtfully then said, "Let me build his confidence privately first."

Wide-eyed, Keith and I smiled at each other then the light turned green. In heavy traffic, I slowly drove forward onto the 101 onramp. Mike giggled, "Private confidence building? Is that anything like growth spurts?"

Shaun laughed loudly and, since I had to stop again for the freeway meter, I glanced in the rearview mirror. Shaun's face was bright pink. Before beginning to drive forward again, I chuckled, "You're embarrassing him, Mike."

"I can deal," Shaun chuckled. Then he explained, "Before I divulge any information, I just gotta get Gil more secure."

Derrick turned to Shaun and smiled, "Gil's a big dude, built pretty solid."

And Mike nodded, "He's got a huge chest." Keith and I started snickering and Mike hollered, "What? I've never had P.E. with him so I have no clue what he's packin'!" Turning to Shaun, Mike added, "Saturday night was the first time I saw him with his shirt off."

Glancing in the mirror again, I saw Shaun smile widely and nodded, "About thirty-eight inches, he says."

Derrick then asked, "How much does he weigh?"

Shaun grinned, "About a hundred-and-seventy pounds - three quarters of it heart."

Mike wondered aloud, "Is he shy because he was hurt?"

Quickly, Shaun said, "No, it's not like that. Gil definitely knows where his interests are. He's just used to hiding it, like he said. Even though the situation couldn't have been any cooler, I practically had to drag him into the pool house last Saturday night. It took some convincing to get him to stay too. "

Derrick sighed then, a moment later said, "He's got some classic features."

Nodding, Mike then asked, "Is Gil your first?"

Shaun smiled, "My first real attempt at a relationship, yeah."

Mike snickered, "You know what I meant!" and Shaun giggled.

Then Derrick offered, "My first time was when I was twelve. It's not like we really did a whole hell of a lot either. The dude seemed totally into it but then afterwards, he just avoided me, like it was a one-way street and entirely my fault. That showed me just what kind of a friend he really was."

Shaun groaned, "That sucks, dude."

Derrick nodded and smiled, "So Gil was your first time?"

Shaun grinned, "I didn't say that."

Mike sighed and prodded, "How old were you?"

Shaun answered, "Fourteen," but didn't elaborate in any way.

Derrick chuckled, "Why are you being so secretive?"

Shaun giggled, "I don't kiss and tell."

Taking the Topanga Canyon exit off the 101, I said, "Good for you, dude."

Keith grinned, "They're just pervs, Shaun."

That's all Mike and Derrick needed to hear. After a brief uproar, they went off yelling at Keith and me, calling us Misters Sweet and Innocent! Turning his attention back to Shaun, Mike confessed, "My first time was when I was thirteen with Keith," and Keith nodded. But then Mike exaggerated, "It was fantastic! We did it all - in every room of the house!"

Derrick and Shaun howled. Turning again, Keith argued, "We did not go all the way! We just jacked each other off, in the middle of the night, in your bedroom!"

Mike giggled, "That's the way you remember it!"

Leaning forward, Shaun tapped my shoulder and chuckled, "You knew about this already?"

I nodded and giggled, "I know Keith's side of the story. Mike's version sounds much more interesting though!" Mike, Shaun and Derrick cracked up.

Keith turned, wide-eyed and flashed me a devilishly mischievous grin. With the others still laughing, Keith loudly groaned, "Ooo, you're gonna have to explain that one later!" but he never let go of my hand. Derrick, Mike and Shaun howled.

Turning on my directional, I checked my mirrors, glanced to my right and giggled, "I'm being bad?"

Nodding and squeezing my hand, Keith giggled, "Very bad."

Watching traffic as I exited the freeway at Topanga Canyon, I excitedly asked, "Will I have to be punished?"

That got Mike and Derrick laughing loudly at us again but Shaun hollered, "No kink!" before falling back hysterical. Derrick tickled Mike. Then Mike made buzzing noises and ran imaginary clippers over Derrick's trunks!

Only a minute or so later, I stopped in front of Mike's house.

Keith turned to Mike and threatened, "You'd best have a set list made up soon."

Mike nodded and sighed, "I know, I know," then turned to me and suggested, "GC around seven?"

I nodded, "Cool," then we said our goodbyes and the back seat emptied out.

As I started to pull away from the curb, I giggled, "He took everything out of the Long's sack and tossed it in the back!"

Keith nodded and chuckled, "Not before commenting on each and every item though!" Then he turned to me and grinned, "Speaking of comments - you don't really believe Mike's little bullshit story, do you?"

Reaching for his hand and squeezing it, I answered, "Course not, I was just playing."

Squeezing back, Keith said, "Good." He reached to change the radio station then took my hand again and said, "I was thinking, Friday officially starts at midnight."

I giggled, "One more day of school, babe. We've got a big afternoon planned too."

Keith nodded, "And then after dinner, the 'rents will probably go grocery shopping."

Grinning widely, I nodded, "I'll bet Drew will go over Corey's. Hopefully John will go out for a while too."

He turned and asked, "Should we do it in the bedroom or bathroom?"

I thought for a moment or two then answered, "It depends on where John is. If he's home, we'll do as much as we can in the bedroom, I think. We'll need a bowl of hot water, towels and some washcloths. Then we'll cross the hall for the rest."

Keith nodded but then remained quiet for the reminder of the trip home.

There's no doubt that we were thinking the same thoughts - making plans for our Friday night and visualizing how we thought it might proceed. I know that I was thinking some pretty wicked thoughts. But when I realized that Keith might be thinking of things to do for me, I began wondering what he would do!

As I made the final turn into our neighborhood, I had to move both my legs to press the clutch and brake pedals. That's when I realized I had gotten another erection. Since we would be getting out of the car soon, I was thankful that it was feeling comfortable against my left thigh and not demanding to be pointed skyward.

Pulling in front of the house, we noticed that both his parents' cars were in the driveway. It was quarter-to-six. Thanks to Mike, we had to gather all our goodies and put them back in the sack before heading inside. And since we were covered in sand, we had to take a quick shower before dinner too.

Closing the back gate of the 4-Runner, I giggled, "Got a chubby still."

Keith nodded and grinned, "Me too."

Stopping on the porch, we each brushed the sand off our feet then hurried inside. I went to the kitchen to say hello to everyone, creating a distraction while Keith went directly to our room with the sack of goodies. Crossing the living room, I said hello to Keith's dad and John. They were watching baseball on TV. Then I went to the kitchen and told Keith's mom about our trip to the beach. Since she was busy preparing dinner, she briefly scanned me and said, "You don't look too sun burnt. I'm glad you remembered to get some sun-block." I hovered near the stove, checked each pot and asked what was for dinner. Keith's mom answered, "Beef stroganoff."

I hummed hungrily and said, "I'm starved."

Keith returned with Rush's new rope toy. He smiled at me then stepped outside yelling, "Look what I got, Rush!" I watched from the kitchen window.

Momentarily stunned, Rush saw the new toy and froze for at least five seconds! Then he galloped at top speed towards Keith. Holding the toy high in the air, Keith repeatedly asked, "Is this yours? Do you really want it?" and then tossed the rope. Rush tore after his new toy and Keith stepped back inside saying, "I think he likes it."

Smiling and nodding, I said, "I hope he likes it enough to keep away from our clothes and bedspreads."

Mrs. Hundser assured, "He'll learn."

Then Keith beckoned me and started for the bathroom. As I followed I noticed an extra plate at the table and quickly asked, "Is Corey here?"

And Mrs. Hundser replied, "Not yet, they're on there way home. Dinner will be ready in about twenty minutes."

Stepping into the bathroom after Keith, I closed the door. Still wearing our trunks, we stepped into the tub. We untied the drawstrings then pushed our trunks down. Enough sand fell out to make noise!

Keith once told me that his mom had a fit after cleaning sand in every room of the house. That's why we leave our trunks on going into the shower.

Since we had both already showered several times that day, we quickly rinsed ourselves and our trunks. Then we hung our trunks to dry and grabbed towels. Minutes later, our hair was brushed, deodorant applied and we padded across the hall with towels wrapped around our waists.

While we dressed, I was quiet, remembering how things used to be in the apartment and back in Texas. We both went to the dresser to get T-shirts. Keith smiled and tilted his head curiously. I said, "I was just remembering how I used to get completely dressed in the bathroom after a bath or a shower."

Quickly pulling a shirt over his head, Keith then fixed his hair and nodded, "After your first couple of nights here, you just started doing what my brothers and I do."

Pulling a shirt on, I sighed, "I've always felt so comfortable here." My head popped through the collar and I smiled, "The next time I go into a time warp, I'm not going to let myself get sad."

Keith hugged me and whispered, "Feel whatever you need to, Prez. Just let me know about it somehow, ok?"

I squeezed him tightly and then whispered, "I only really feel two things anymore. Cheated is probably tops."

"Course ya do, baby. Anyone would."

I confessed, "When we were all together, out beyond the breakers before, I felt like she was watching. Almost the whole time we were there, I felt she was there, seeing me do what she never really got to see before."

After a few moments, Keith asked, "Was it a good feeling?"

I nodded, "Mostly. Just the cheated feelings again - that she could've and should've really been there. But then I wondered, when would I ever ask my mom to join us at the beach?" Keith chuckled and I continued, "In some ways its better. She can be where ever I need with just a thought. But thinking its better hurts too, ya know?"

He tightened his grip briefly then softly said, "As long as we remember her, she'll always be around. I remember how she used to smile when she caught us holding hands or hugging, like we are now."

I nodded and smiled, "It always made me feel good."

He kissed my cheek and said, "Me too," then pulled back a little to give me a really awesome kiss that left me weakened. After kissing, Keith started to step back but I held on tight, resting my head on his shoulder and moaned contentedly. Oh man, he felt so good in my arms. I didn't want to ever let go. Keith rubbed my back and we started to sway. The whole house seemed so quiet and peaceful for a few minutes. Then we heard the front door open and, moments later, we heard Drew and Corey laughing with John and Keith's dad. We continued holding each other and swaying another minute or two. Then I sighed, "I need to feed the hound but don't really want to stop."

Keith giggled, "I feel great too. A little surprised neither of us got hard."

Pulling back from him, I snickered, "They'll wait until we're eating or at Guitar Center - when we can't do a damn thing about it!"

Keith nodded and chuckled evilly then stepped back. I turned around to open the door and Keith took hold of my shoulders, following me out of our room. Mr. Hundser, John, Drew and Corey watched as we walked down the hall like a two-man train.

John smiled and teased, "Don't let go of each other!"

Keith giggled, "Not until it's absolutely necessary!" and I snickered insanely. If they only knew just how often we were touching each other! We could sleep on opposite sides of the bed but only if some part of us was touching. And the last day made it obvious that we couldn't completely stop touching each other either.

Minutes later, Rush was fed and watered and we were all gathering around the table. Picking up the bowl of noodles, Mr. Hundser said, "One more day of school," and we began to serve ourselves. Conversation quickly moved from school to summer vacation and the trip to Big Bear. That perked up my interest!

Keith seemed a little less enthusiastic than I expected though. Rarely saying a word about it, he seemed more thoughtful to me. Keith then told his parents, "I'd like to go camping alone with Prez this summer."

Momentarily, Mrs. Hundser stopped chewing, appearing very uncertain.

Mr. Hundser said, "We'd feel much more comfortable if Mike and Derrick went along. There's safety in numbers."

Mrs. Hundser swallowed and asked, "Where would you like to go?"

Keith shrugged and answered, "Mammoth Mountain is near the top of the list."

Concerned, she looked across the table at her husband and said, "It would take an entire day to get there." Turning to Keith, she asked, "Isn't there someplace closer you could go?"

Keith shrugged, "I guess. I just want Prez to see Rainbow Falls."

Drew nodded and smiled, "That place is awesome, Prez." Turning to Corey for a second, Drew then asked, "Could Corey and I go too?"

Mrs. Hundser inhaled deeply and let her breath out very slowly.

Glancing around the table, I asked, "Where is Mammoth?"

Mr. Hundser then answered, "North, close to the Oregon border." After another moment's thought, he suggested, "How about starting someplace close. The next trip could be slightly further away and so on."

Keith turned and grinned at me, silently transmitting, "Did I call it, or what?"

I smiled and then asked, "Is the Angeles Forest close enough? Can we camp there?"

Mrs. Hundser nodded and smiled.

Before dinner ended, I took a chance and asked the Hundser's if we could stay in the garage instead of moving everything out to the backyard and then back again. I explained, "We would only have to turn our stuff around, facing out towards the driveway." Not only did they say yes, they asked if any of our friends were staying for dinner. Of course, Mrs. Hundser reminded us to be mindful of our neighbors.

After dinner, while we were on our way to pick up Mike and Derrick, I said, "You didn't seem too thrilled about going to Big Bear."

Keith shrugged, "It could be fun. We could go if you really want. But I was thinking that we could make this summer slightly different than last summer."

I asked, "For my benefit?" and Keith nodded. Then I asked, "Do you want to go?"

"I want to be with you, baby. Remember, we would have to take time off work to go. But what if we asked to stay home that weekend? We'd have the house to ourselves for at least three whole days."

Understanding, I groaned provocatively then said, "I'm really going to have to think about this now. Staying home would definitely be fun but Big Bear has a special place near my heart."

Keith nodded and smiled, "Whichever you want, Prez. Either way, we're still going camping a few times."

Remembering those days at Big Bear last summer, I hummed thoughtfully and made the final turn onto Mike's street. As soon as I pulled up to the curb, the front door opened. Mike and Derrick stepped out and crossed the lawn flashing our lickity-split signal. I laughed out loud and Keith shook his head, chuckling softly. Mike had his electric with him and I popped the rear gate for him. After stowing his guitar, Mike slid in the backseat and, as if he were imitating milk commercials, innocently asked, "Got pubes?"

Briefly, I wondered what I was thinking when I tossed the sack of goodies into the back seat.

While Derrick got in the car, I giggled and Keith chuckled, "Ye-es! There's still one more day of school!"

As I pulled away, Derrick grinned devilishly and asked, "So are you just trimming or going bald?"

Keith laughed so hard that he couldn't answer and I chuckled, "We'll see how it goes."

Mike hummed then said, "They're so secretive. I'll bet they've already done it."

In the rearview mirror I saw Derrick nod.

Since neither Keith nor I said anything, Mike soon broke the silence and asked that we change the radio station to, "at least classic rock". The radio station was still set to Keith's favorite soft hits station.

Keith let go of my hand and reached for the radio but I stopped him and said, "Get the tape case please, babe." Keith leaned forward to grab my tapes from under his seat and I loudly asked, "Have you two been practicing a lot of Tom Petty tunes?"

Derrick answered, "Some but not a lot."

And Mike added, "We've worked on Breakdown, Free Fallin', and You Got Lucky."

Turning onto Ventura Boulevard, I loudly asked, "Why haven't you said anything before?"

Derrick shrugged and answered, "They're not very difficult."

Mike agreed, "Kinda boring actually."

"But they're cool tunes," I said, and then reminded, "most of We Will Rock You is boring for everyone but Mike." Keith glanced my way and we briefly smiled at each other.

Popping the tape into the player, Keith commented, "They're songs folks will definitely recognize. And I get to take a break while Derrick sings!"

Mike and Derrick started teasing Keith and, for the first time, I was ready to really yell for them to back off. But Keith was smiling and shaking his head through most of their rant. Then he turned around and said, "It's your dream, not mine. As long as Prez is into it, I'll be into it. But it's for him and for you two. Its time you dudes stepped up to the plate, don't you think?" Keith faced forward and I glanced in the mirror again. Mike and Derrick were looking at each other.

After a few moments uncomfortable silence, Mike softly said, "So cranky! Prez, something needs to be done here. Jeez!"

Keith smiled at me then continued, "I like the ballads a lot; even some of the faster rockers. But I've been singing lead on three-quarters of the songs. You dudes need to show off what you can do too. It's like, one of you may go off on a tune and you all start playing. Most times it all comes together. The only times it's gone off track is when Jessy starts playing that off-beat jazz stuff she plays." Then Keith turned around and teased, "And even that goes okay until the guitar solo!" One by one, Derrick, Mike and I cracked up.

Leaning forward a bit, Mike tapped my shoulder and asked, "Are you finding most things we play really easy lately?"

I nodded, "Variations on a theme. Once I commit the progression and changes to memory, it's done. Anything I play beyond that is just improvisation."

Mike then prodded, "But can you see the fretboard when you hear a song? Lately I can see what's being played in my mind. Only the faster, more difficult leads take some time to learn."

I nodded excitedly and answered, "Yeah. The more I concentrate the clearer it gets."

Derrick then commented, "It's all just various forms of the blues."

Nodding, I agreed and said, "Even jazz is blues based. It's just the syncopated swing beat that makes all the difference."

Mike huffed, "They use all those weird chords though. It's not enough to play dominant or major sevenths - they gotta use all those augmented and diminished chords. I'm working on it though. They're just new fingerings and my fingers aren't cooperating fully yet."

Keith then said, "It's not the rhythm part, Mike; it's the solos."

Repeating what my junior high band teacher had said, I suggested, "Play like a horn player, Mike- like you need to take breaths between phrases."

As if he were confused, Mike softly repeated, "Breaths? Like a horn player?"

Derrick then said, "Like you're singing, dude. The best solos are melodic and rhythmic. Inhale then play while you're exhaling, like a sax or trumpet player."

I pulled into the Guitar Center parking lot, found a space and parked. Mike and Derrick quickly got out and headed into the store. Smiling insanely, I turned to Keith. He had finally told Mike and Derrick some of what he had told me and I was very proud of him. Leaning over and pulling Keith towards me, I planted a big, wet one right on his mouth.

He often gets a wondrous look after I kiss him, like he doesn't know what he did or why I kissed him! Naturally, he had to kiss me back before we got out of the car. Keith waited for me and we walked into the store. Having been there so many times, I automatically knew where the bass effects were and we headed in that direction.

Using a Fender Jazz bass much like my own, I tried the Line6 Bass Pod out for about fifteen minutes. In some settings, I couldn't really hear a difference. I explained the problem to Keith and without saying another word he got up and waved a salesman over.

The salesman retrieved another cable and soon I was playing through two amps. The Bass Pod had some really cool settings but what bothered me most was the lack of a pedal for volume or wah effects. I asked the salesman if there were any units with an expression pedal, like Mike's GT-3. He said that I might like a DOD unit and wandered off to get one for me. A few minutes later, I was playing through a DOD Bass30 and two Behringer amps. For another fifteen or twenty minutes, I played and tried each of the effects unit's preprogrammed settings when Mike and Derrick returned.

Holding a stand and a very odd looking drum, Derrick loudly said, "It sounds awesome, dude!" Mike was holding a small cymbal and a cymbal stand but looking down at the effects unit on the floor.

I nodded and stopped playing then said, "Yeah, I think this one will work." Then I turned to Keith and said, "I just saved about a hundred bucks."

Shocked, Keith loudly said, "That other unit was four hundred bones?" Turning off the amps, I nodded. Keith grinned, "I'm glad you like this one better then."

Mike said, "DOD makes excellent guitar effects. This one should last a while."

Noticing the salesman coming our way, I nodded and smiled, "I hope so. Are you dudes red-eye?"

Mike nodded and giggled, "Not yet but lets check out and do that."

I looked at Derrick. He smiled and started whistling then patted the pocket of his shorts. Rolling my eyes, I giggled insanely.

The salesman returned and asked, "What do you think?"

Slightly distracted, I answered, "It's great. I'll take one and an extra cable too please."

Derrick then interjected, "Might as well ring us all up together."

We started for the checkout counter and I noticed a small black case in Mike's hand. I asked, "What's in the case, Mike?"

He looked back and answered, "With part of my birthday money, I thought I'd get a cordless microphone."

I glanced at Keith and chuckled, "Excellent! We'll each have our own mic now!"

Keith then tapped the drum Derrick was carrying and asked, "What's this called, dude?"

Derrick answered, "It's a Djembe. I'll use it as a bass drum at the beach."

Mike nodded and said, "It fits perfect with bongos."

We piled our stuff on the counter and waited anxiously for the salesman to announce the grand total. Moments later, he said, "Eight twenty seven." Keith's eyes about jumped out of their sockets!

I dug into my pocket and Mike did the same. Turning to Derrick, Mike asked, "Ya got seven bucks?" Then Mike put five one hundred dollar bills on the counter with my three hundred and twenty. Derrick dug two fives from his pocket and added them to the pile. Gathering our cash the salesmen then rang us up, returning moments later with our receipt.

Keith smiled insanely as we walked from the store. The moment we stepped outside, he loudly chuckled, "What exactly did you all just spend almost a grand on?"

I giggled, "Bass effects and a chord."

And Derrick added, "A Djembe drum, a splash cymbal and stand."

Finally, Mike grinned, "A Shure wireless mic, pop-screen, a mic stand and strings for Shaun."

Glancing at me and Mike, Derrick grinned, "We still got a hell of a discount - about a hundred bucks worth."

As I unlocked the back of the 4-Runner, Keith howled, "Was it good for you?"

Mike, Derrick and I grinned at each other for only a second. Simultaneously, we all agreed that only sex was better than getting new stuff for our band and Keith cracked up.

We hurried home to try out our new toys for a few minutes. During the drive, Derrick sang Tom Petty tunes from the back seat. Everything but Derrick's new drum was brought into the garage. We lined up three microphone stands and hollered for Drew to join us in the garage. While we waited for Drew, I set up my new effects unit and plugged into both amps. I tinkered with the amps for a while to get a good mix that wasn't overbearing then got my new bass.

At first, Derrick setup his new splash cymbal to the far left, above the high-hat. Since that felt uncomfortable, he moved it to the far right, over the floor toms. After a small adjustment, he was satisfied and doing light drum rolls, ending with a splash.

Drew finally came in the garage and helped us set the PA volume balance for the new microphone. Of course, we had to try a quick tune. Glancing at his watch, Keith suggested, "It's getting late. Make it something light."

Derrick nodded and said, "I wanna hear some bass too though. How about Every Breath You Take?" Keith and Mike nodded then Derrick began tapping his sticks and counting out the beat. On the count of four, Derrick hit his snare and we began playing. As I played, I realized that the song was written for a fretless bass and really got into the song. Mike's lead arpeggios sounded perfect and Keith's vocals were equally impressive.

Without any warning, as we started the first bridge, I felt my mom watching and got a shiver down my spine. Struggling to concentrate, I looked up and saw Keith's parents standing in the doorway. Mrs. Hundser was swaying gently and they were both smiling.

Noticing his parents, Keith turned to me and sang, "Since you've gone, I been lost without a trace. I dream at night, I can only see your face. I look around but it's you I can't replace. I feel so cold and I long for your embrace. I keep cryin', baby, baby, please."

Briefly, my eyes filled with tears but I continued playing. It wasn't only Keith's singing that caused me to get misty-eyed. It was the Hundser's interest in our band. My mom always encouraged me but my dad never did. It would've taken far too much effort for him to show a little interest. Of course, it hurt to know that my only surviving parent didn't give a shit about me. But Keith's parents were not only tolerant but interested in our band, very much like my mom was.

Even without Jessy's keyboard parts, everyone played on queue and we sounded really good. Moments later, Mike and Derrick started singing background vocals and I snapped out of my self-induced trance to join them.

Later, when we had finished the song to applause, Keith turned and clapped at each of us excitedly saying, "You are all so much better than you were last winter!"

Drew nodded and smiled, "Way, way better."

Still clapping, Mr. and Mrs. Hundser entered the garage.

Mrs. Hundser hugged Keith and pulled him over by me, smiling so proudly and wrapping her arms around us.

Mr. Hundser went over to Mike and Derrick. After congratulating them, he said, "I'm a bit surprised, Mike."

Mike grinned, "About?"

Mr. Hundser smiled and said, "I thought every guitar player knew Stairway To Heaven but I've never heard you play it once."

Shaking his head and giggling, Mike turned up his guitar and started playing the tune perfectly. Mike smiled, "It's pretty easy and well... it's just played too much," and stopped playing, letting the final chord ring out.

Mrs. Hundser then prompted, "Play the whole song, please."

Keith turned to his mom and giggled, "I don't know the words!"

Smiling widely at us, Mr. Hundser challenged, "A real band would at least try," and Keith cracked up.

Glancing around at each of us, Derrick chuckled, "The gauntlet has been tossed! I'll give it a shot."

Nodding, Mike giggled and started over from the beginning.

Having never played the song, I quickly asked, "What key, Mike?"

Without pausing, he stepped up to his new mic and answered, "A minor," then hummed the flute part. Then Derrick began singing the lead vocals. I listened, waited and watched with Keith and his parents. Derrick's voice wasn't near as high as Robert Plant's but he was remembering the lyrics and holding the tune pretty easily. A minute or so later, Mike stepped on his GT-3, switching from an acoustic guitar sound to a clean electric with lots of reverb. Derrick sang the third verse and I came in with a totally improvised melodic bass part. Moments later, Derrick came in with his drums. Then Mike switched from clean to raunchy and played the solo note-for-note. Up to this point everything sounded pretty good.

But then Derrick started screaming the final verse.

There's no two ways about it - it sounded bad. I grinned and Keith turned away, giggling his ass off. Obviously, Mrs. Hundser was somewhere between amused and repulsed! Drew covered his mouth and turned candy-apple red. In the middle of the third line of the final verse, Derrick started giggling at himself while he drummed and screamed! Then, to add insult to injury, Mike helped "sing" the last few lines. By this point, Drew and Keith were hysterical but Mike, Derrick and I held on to the bitter end and finished the song.

Taking off his guitar and scanning the room, Mike asked, "Well, what do ya think? Gold or platinum?" Chuckling, I took off my bass.

Drew softly offered, "Keith could've sung it."

Spinning around, Keith glared at his brother and smirked, "Or you could sing it for me?"

Drew blushed and said, "The music was really good. Even Derrick's vocals were good." Looking at Derrick, he paused and giggled, "Until the very end."

Derrick grinned, "If any one of us were that good, we wouldn't be here."

Mr. Hundser grinned, "That was pretty good. There aren't many that would've even tried." Then he chuckled, "I'm glad you don't take yourselves too seriously."

Smiling or chuckling, we all turned to Mrs. Hundser. She noticed us waiting for her opinion and turned to her husband saying, "It reminded me of the live version in that movie we saw."

Mike's eyes bulged and he yelled, "You saw The Song Remains The Same? I don't believe it!"

Nodding, Mrs. Hundser grimaced, "Believe me, its one of my least favorite movies." Mike and Derrick laughed.

Mr. Hundser agreed, "It makes me glad I never paid for concert tickets."

Derrick loudly laughed, "Omigod!"

Shaking his head sadly, Mike chuckled, "I'd love to see Zeppelin live!" Then he sighed, "It'll prolly never happen though."

Putting away my bass, I grinned and said, "Maybe if Page and Plant could get it together again?"

Standing and stretching, Derrick said, "It's too bad we missed the last tour."

Mike began to put his gear away and agreed, "If they do it again, we're there, dude." Keith's parents started to leave the garage and minutes later we followed. Stopping in the living room, Mr. Hundser asked, "Will the party be over by the time I get home from work?"

Mike nodded and said, "Definitely. We need to talk with my mom tomorrow night."

Keith's mom grinned, "Be flexible, Michael. She'll give some if you give some."

Mike huffed, "I'll try," and then whined, "I want this so bad though." The Hundser's both nodded and smiled.

On our way out the front door, Mike glanced at Keith and said, "I'll have a set list put together by morning."

Keith nodded, "I'll bring the lyrics notebook. It'll give me something to do at school."

We started towards Mike's house, talking about music and our band the entire way. Over the last few days, Mike and Derrick had made it clear that they wanted to concentrate on jamming this summer. This day was no different. Derrick and Mike had both had short conversations with Jess and knew that she would be equally enthused.

Learning cover tunes and reproducing them is only one part of being musician. The greatest thrill is in the creativity - building a song from the ground up. For example, most of the songs we cover fade out near the end. Of course, playing live, fade outs aren't possible. So we have to create appropriate endings using some part of the song's main theme. Sometimes the band might repeat a section and end suddenly or, other times, we might tag a standard progression on the end and hold the final chord. And we all love to jam around blues variations.

When we got back home, Rush came running to me with his new rope toy. I praised him and sat down on the floor to play tug with him. Rush was so happy that his whole body wagged while he fought to pull the rope away from me. We watched each other intently. I could tell that Rush was preparing to pull with all his strength and when he did, I let go of the rope, sending him staggering back. With the rope still hanging out of his mouth, he immediately returned to me and growled as if to say, "Very funny! Now let's play!"

From the loveseat, Keith talked with his parents about our camping trips. Keith's mom insisted that Keith's dad joined us for the first trip, just to ensure that we would know how to setup the tent and would build safe campfires. The problem was our work schedules. Mr. Hundser had weekends off but Keith and I would be working those days. I then suggested an overnighter on a Friday evening. The Hundser's agreed. Then Keith suggested that we plan on a camping trip the next week.

By this point, I was holding the rope with both hands and Rush was practically pulling me over. Mrs. Hundser gave me "the look". I got the hint, let go of the rope and smiled, "Wanna go out, Rush?"

With his toy hanging out of his mouth, the dog quickly trotted to the back door and sat down. I got up and Mrs. Hundser smiled, "Thank you."

Before leaving the room, I turned to Keith and he smiled, "I'll be out in a few minutes, baby." Heading towards the backdoor, I realized that Keith called me "baby" in front of his parents again and smiled. While outside playing with Rush, I wondered what Keith was talking to his parents about. It was probably our afternoon conversations about my mom's accident. I didn't have long to wait before Keith stepped outside.

Tossing the rope for Rush to chase, I turned and asked, "Is everything okay?"

Tilting his head curiously, Keith smiled, "Course. Why wouldn't it be?"

Rush returned with the toy and dropped it in front of me. I leaned over and tossed it again then asked, "What were you talking with your folks about?" Across the lawn, Rush was vigorously shaking his head from side-to-side, to kill the already lifeless rope.

Keith answered, "I asked if we could stay home this summer instead of going with them to Big Bear. They already figured I would ask that."

Rush was laying down, still pawing at the rope. I said, "Oh. I thought maybe it was the chat we had earlier - about my mom's accident."

Keith smiled, "Nope. I'm pretty sure they'll let us stay home but they're thinking about it." But his smiled waned quickly as he spoke and he started across the lawn. I followed and Keith bent over Rush. Then Keith said, "What's the matter boy?" Squatting down and looking at the dog, I soon saw that Rush was really struggling to get the rope out of his mouth. Keith huffed and whispered, "Shit. The rope must be stuck on a loose tooth."

Noticing a few red splotches on the new white rope, I got a little concerned and said, "He's bleeding a little too," then tried to hold the dog's paws still. But Rush wouldn't have it and whimpered briefly.

I straddled the dog and Keith knelt down saying, "It looks like only a few strings."

Rush looked up at me, obviously sad and frustrated. I could almost hear him say, "I'm going to have this thing attached to me the rest of my days. All the other neighborhood dogs will laugh and point."

We both looked inside the dog's mouth. A hunk of strings were caught between two loose teeth. Keith tried to break the strings but the dog cried out and he quickly stopped. Shaking his head, Keith smiled, "Let me just get scissors and a flashlight. I'll be right back." Then he hopped up and hurried into the house. I looked down at Rush and reassured him until Keith came back only moments later. While Keith snipped strings, I held Rush still.

Minutes later, the rope was removed and the strings pulled out of the dog's teeth. The moment I got off him, Rush bounced up and danced happily around us while we chuckled at a very grateful hound-dog. Then I tossed the rope across the yard. Rush wouldn't even chase it! He looked up at me and then ran to the back door.

We started for the house and Keith giggled, "You didn't really expect him to fetch it, did you?"

I smiled, "I was hoping."

Keith snickered, "Maybe tomorrow but definitely not tonight," then opened the door.

As we walked in, Mrs. Hundser was shuffling towards her bedroom. She waved and yawned, "Nighty-night," then went in her room and closed the door.

Opening the fridge and peeking inside, Keith said, "I'm a little hungry. Do you want anything, Prez?"

Stepping over by him, I leaned close and whispered, "I'm hungry all right."

Keith snickered, closed the refrigerator door and whispered, "Before or after midnight?"

Taking him in my arms, I softly said, "You've been so great in so many ways the last few days. I think both - before and after midnight."

He hugged me tight and tenderly kissed me. Then we got ourselves two glasses of water and I called Rush. We said goodnight to Keith's dad and returned to our room with Rush tagging along.

Stepping up to the entertainment center and turning on the receiver, Keith wrapped his arms around me and whispered, "Was this a good day?"

I nodded, "A really good day," changed to his favorite station and lowered the volume then turned to face him.

We started swaying slowly. Keith softly asked, "Nothing I said this afternoon upset you?"

"Nothing," I whispered.

"Can I ask why you're interested in all that?"

I sighed, "Only because of these time warps, ya know? I really don't enjoy feeling like its last year, like I don't really live here. I want to get past it. This just seemed like a way to accomplish that." Nodding, Keith hugged me tightly for a few moments. I then asked, "It bothers you?"

He shrugged, "I'm only scared that it will bother you maybe make you restless at night."

I offered, "I could talk with Mike about that stuff, if you'd rather."

Keith shook his head and suggested, "Why don't we just wait and see if you toss and turn tonight?"

Hugging him back, I softly admitted, "I hope I don't wake you. I really want to talk with you about it. Derrick won't let me go there he'll take a tangent and we wind up talking about something else."

Keith asked, "Like?"

"He'll ask me something and make me tell him something about her. Or he'll compare my family to his."

Keith nodded, "Looking for the positive stuff instead of focusing on the negative. Like while we were at the beach. You said it was good that she was there with just a thought. But thinking it was good made you feel bad."

Barely choking back my tears, I nodded and whispered, "Guilty of liking some things better now." Keith began rubbing my back and within seconds, I was sobbing. He tried to reassure me but I held onto him and softly cried, "I miss her so much. But I'm so tired of it, Keith. I'm holding back the sadness and doing an okay job of it, I think." Keith hummed affirmatively then I continued, "But then I'll have another flashback another little shadow that reminds me she's gone. When I'm busy I have a fighting chance but if I'm not busy..."

Keith softly hushed me, reminding me of all the things my mom taught me and the things he loves about me. Then he whispered, "This day and all the days ahead will be better. She promised you that."

Composing myself, I nodded and wearily sighed.

In the most soothing tone, Keith reassured, "Now it's my job to keep you happy."

Stepping back but not letting him go, I smiled, "You do a great job of it."

Keith nodded and smiled, "You care for me. I care for you. Next day, same thing."

Leaning forward, I kissed him and then whispered, "I love you, Keith." He kissed me back and, in a few moments, we melted together.

When we finally went to sleep, I was spooned up behind him. When the radio woke us up, our positions were reversed. Like many other days, Prez yawned, "G'mornin', babe," and kissed my neck, sending shivers down my spine.

Before my eyes have even opened, my lover has empowered me with his trust and confidence. He gently wakes me with hugs and kisses. Becoming conscious again, I feel his morning wood against my butt then stretch and rollover for our morning grind. Prez was really playful that morning as we rolled and humped away; reminding me that it was our last day of school, assuring me that I would sing well that afternoon and reminding me of how much sex we were going to have all summer long. Minutes later, while we were in the shower, he began finger-combing my pubes, bouncing his eyebrows and giggling.

On our way to pick-up Mike and Derrick that Friday morning, I asked, "You slept alright?"

Behind the wheel, Prez smiled and rapidly nodded, "I dreamt of her but they were all good dreams." He then asked, "You?"

"Like a log," I answered.

Prez asked, "Have you invited anyone over this afternoon?"

I nodded and said, "Yep. Will, Zack and Alex."

Prez nodded and giggled, "Cool. I invited Rebecca, her friend and Greg Kovac."

I glanced his way and he briefly looked in my eyes. He didn't say it but I clearly heard him chuckle, "Hornball Zack, sneakin' peaks."

I laughed, "Zack does not have the hots for me!" Prez cracked up and I playfully insisted, "Bi ain't good enough. They're thinking of hiring us for dances anyway. Besides, Zack's too thin for my liking."

Prez chortled, "You know, statistically speaking, most skinny dudes are really hung."

I laughed, "You've been looking?"

Prez bellowed, "Not me!"

"You're completely innocent!"


Pulling into Mike's neighborhood, I felt the need to remind Prez of something and quickly said, "That dildo was pretty big."

Prez turned and smiled, "It sure set you off fast."

That was an understatement! I nodded, "And later, when you entered me, what did I say?"

Blushing, Prez softly said, "That I felt as big."

"Every bit as big," I corrected, and then grinned, "You got me off twice again." Omigod, it was great! After sucking him off, I climbed on top of him and soon was able to slide his once again hard dick inside me. After I shot my first load, I was still feeling great and begged Prez to finish inside me. We changed positions; putting me on my back and Prez drove it home, setting me off a second time.

Slowing down and stopping in front of Mike's house, Prez nodded, "I had to make up for the awesome blowjob." Then he tugged on the front of his shorts and softly complained, "The damned thing's getting hard again!"

I noticed the front door opening and quickly said, "Okay, be cool, don't let them know we did anything last night."

Throwing his head back and grabbing his stomach, Prez roared.

Carrying the Tinky Winky stuffed doll and Mike's gig bag, Derrick stepped out the front door, followed seconds later by Mike. Prez popped the rear gate and Mike quickly stowed his guitars. Derrick slid in the back seat saying, "G'mornin'."

Looking in the rearview mirror, Prez asked, "Did you find some Velcro?"

Mike slid in the backseat and Derrick nodded, "It's only a two inch strip. We'll see if it's enough to hold Tinky upright."

Handing me two copies of the set list for this afternoon, Mike said, "We're out of duct tape too, dudes."

Prez huffed, "Aw shit!" and pulled away from the curb.

I glanced over the set list and said, "While you dudes move stuff around, I'll run back out and get a roll."

Mike said, "Cool."

And Prez smiled, "Thanks, babe."

Derrick snickered, "What kind of roll are you getting exactly?" Mike and Prez giggled.

Slamming my eyes shut for an instant, I then turned around and hollered, "A roll of duct tape, you perv! I was going to offer to get some Velcro too!" Prez cracked up.

Mike heckled, "Such a cranky bitch."

After we crossed the Topanga Canyon intersection, Derrick asked, "You dudes skipped another night?"

Smiling, Prez and I both nodded.

Leaning over and resting his head on Derrick's lap, Mike yawned and wondered, "I don't know what you dudes are trying to prove lately."

After a few moments wordless exchange with Mike, Derrick then admitted, "We quickly got to the point where jacking off alone at night just got to be ridiculous." He paused and giggled, "I mean, we're gonna do it anyway so why not together?" After glancing down at Mike, he then added, "Even if all we share are kisses through a handjob, it's important."

Mike enthusiastically admitted, "For me, it's an awful lot."

There was the unmistakable sound of smacking lips then Derrick softly said, "For me too."

Prez smiled, "So you admit that you do something at least once a day?"

Mike nodded, "Almost every day."

Derrick explained, "Sometimes we snuggle and just drop off to sleep. You dudes must know." Prez and I nodded.

While we waited to make the final turn into the student parking lot, Prez quickly turned and silently asked, "Should we tell them?"

Smiling widely, I transmitted, "Nah! Maybe in a few days," and Prez snickered then pretended that he was coughing as he drove gaily forward and parked the 4-Runner.

Most of my last day of school was spent reading lyrics, remembering the songs and psyching myself up for another show. The seniors seemed to be roaming the school at will, getting their yearbooks signed. It surprised me that lots of juniors also bought yearbooks. Will and Zack had bought copies. They asked me to sign their yearbooks so I wrote short memories about the frolics, gave them my home phone number with hopes that we'd get together over the summer and scribbled my name. Prez had brought a Bass Player magazine and read that during second period English.

At lunch time, we all decided to stay at school but ate outside. Finished eating, Mike smiled and handed Jessy the tattered Black Angus gift certificate we had won at the frolics. Of course, he insisted that his mom washed his jeans while Prez and I laughed hysterically at him. But then Derrick pulled out a new gift certificate and cheerfully told Jessy that "she was glue that really pulled the band together." Prez and I readily agreed and told her to take Nelson out for a good dinner. Jessy was very happy and gave each of us a big hug.

At the end of the day and the school year, we gathered and hurried across the parking lot to Prez's 4-Runner.

Prez asked, "You okay babe?"

I smiled and answered, "A few butterflies but they're not so bad this time."

Mike shook his head and snickered, "You'll be fine, dude. It's gonna be fun, wait and see."

Prez assured, "It'll be mostly friends we invited."

Derrick said, "Don't sweat it, dude. We'll start moving the gear around while you run to the store and get duct tape, okay?"

I nodded and grinned, "No problem." Another opportunity to surprise Prez had presented itself! While Prez drove us home, he chatted with Derrick and Mike about the songs they would be playing, reminding each other of various cues. That gave me the opportunity to dream about my night alone with Prez.

With a little luck, I could get the entire house emptied out for about two hours tonight. That would be enough time for Prez and I to play and be somewhat mellow when folks came back home, I figured. But I wondered if there might be something I could get for Prez - maybe something to add to our play time - but what? I couldn't waste too much time while I was away though. They would need the duct tape to secure all the wires and cables before they could start playing.

Prez pulled in front of our house, turned off the truck and leaned over to kiss me. The back door opened and Derrick got out. Then Prez softly said, "Thanks again for doing this, babe."

I kissed him back. From the backseat, Mike coughed, "'Scuse me," then stuffed a ten dollar bill in my hand and said, "Hurry back, dude," before climbing out.

I nodded then turned to Prez and said, "See ya later, lover."

Prez giggled, "I don't know what's got me more jazzed - this little concert or what we're doing later."

I laughed, "What we're doing later; might as well admit it."

Mike yelled, "Come on, Prez! We got shit to do!"

Prez shook his head and smiled, "Be careful and hurry back."

I nodded and said, "You'll hardly know I'm gone," then hurried out of the 4-Runner and into my Camry. While I drove I thought of the stores near Sav-On. There was a Ralph's supermarket, Mail Boxes Etc., a health and fitness club virtually nothing that might be useful.

After parking, I saw a woman walking out of Ralph's with helium party balloons and thought, they might be cool. After we shaved each other and made love, we could inhale the helium and speak with high, squeaky voices!

I went into Sav-On and quickly found the duct tape then raced up and down the aisles. Finding nothing and prepared to get balloons, I paid for the tape and headed for Ralph's.

While I was waiting in line though, something really funny happened. A little boy, about ten, I guess, was helping his mom out of the store and carrying a small round cake. Well, the kid tripped, the cake went flying and the kid landed in it face first! He got up, looking so pitiful, his face covered with white icing. Stunned, his mother yelled, "Oh, Brent!" then smiled and in a flash, just cracked up laughing.

The little kid hollered, "This is not funny! Our desert is ruined!"

Getting out of line, I snickered all the way to the back of the store and scanned the dairy shelf. It caught my eye in a flash and I grabbed two, paid the cashier then hurried out of the store.

By the time I got home, Drew and Corey were there already and helping set things up. Nelson and Jessy were there also. So were Rebecca and another girl. It looked like all the equipment was moved into the new positions facing out into the street. All the amps and the drums were lined up even with the front of the garage. Three microphone stands were setup about six feet in front of that. The mixer was in the middle of the driveway. Drew hollered, "Get the tape, Cor."

Turning on a dime, Corey ran to me. I reached in the plastic sack for the tape then tossed it to him and hurried into the house. Moments later, my stash was hidden on the bottom shelf in the back of the fridge. In case Prez decided to come in or ask what I was doing, I swiftly got six large cups, filled them with ice water, grabbed two and headed for the garage.

Hovering over his amp and Tinky Winky, Mike looked up and frowned, "It took you long enough. Did you get any Velcro?"

Smiling and shaking my head, I handed Mike a cup and said, "The tape alone was eight bucks."

He huffed and said, "Where's my change?"

Rolling my eyes, I snickered, "Shipping and handling."

Mike hollered, "I'll give you handling!" Off in the distance, Prez giggled.

Noticing Prez on his knees, taping down cables by the microphones, I moved closer to Mike, smiled and whispered, "I got some stuff for me and Prez for later. I'll pay you back - if you just stop yelling."

Turning briefly to see where Prez was, Mike then faced me again and softly snickered, "Shaving cream?"

Heading back in the house, I giggled, "Close but not quite!"

A minute or so later, after I had brought the remaining cups of water outside, I noticed Jessy, Mike and Derrick in position, ready to start. A few steps away from the mixer, Prez was talking with Gil and Shaun. Beyond them, loitering on the front lawn and further down the driveway were John, Tommy, Kim, Jerry, Mack, Greg, Will, Alex, Zach and at least a dozen more neighborhood kids.

Climbing over amps, I asked, "Are we ready?"

Jessy said, "Whenever you are, Keith."

Mike stepped up to his mic and loudly said, "We're ready, Prez. We need to do a quick sound check." Moments later, Prez was putting his new bass over his shoulders. I picked up my tambourine then Mike said, "Drew, a little more reverb on my mic for the first song."

Drew looked down then hollered, "Try again, dude."

Starting out softly and getting louder, Mike said, "test, Test, TEST," and then chuckled, "Kewl!" Turning around, Mike said, "Let's try a medium blues shuffle, in D minor," and Derrick began tapping his sticks together then began laying down the beat. Shaking and beating my tambourine, I tried to keep up. Prez began playing and then Mike, followed immediately by Jessy. I noticed Jerry and Mack talking with Will and Zack but of course, couldn't hear a word. Then Jerry tapped Drew on the shoulder. Moments later, Drew ran to one of the bass amps and turned it up. Jerry pointed at the other amp and Drew went over to turn it up a notch. Prez noticed all this and began giggling hysterically as Drew hurried back to the mixer. Derrick began changing his drumming pattern slightly and I looked over at him. He noticed and nodded, signaling me to keep slamming my tambourine. Mike went over to Jessy and they fed off each other during the middle-eight. Just before returning to the main theme, Mike turned and strutted towards Prez. Noticing Mike's challenge, Prez grinned and shook his tight little ass over to Mike. Then they turned away but leaned against each other, back-to-back, while Mike played a short solo. When he finished, Jessy took a turn on her synthesizer but I swear, it sounded like a real sax player. We returned to the middle-eight progression again then afterwards, Jessy, Prez and Mike all turned to face Derrick and me. With three thunderous beats, they ended the jam and I stuffed my tambourine between my knees to keep the bitch quiet for a few seconds. My hands were already raw by this point. But our audience seemed a little larger and they were all clapping.

After quickly playing the old `shave and a haircut, two bits' phrase on his bass, Prez stepped up to his mic and happily said, "Howdy, we're Old Habits. Can anyone tell me what day this is?"

A few kids glanced around and muttered, "The last day of school."

Prez teased, "That's real enthusiastic."

A little more loudly, John and some of his friends said, "It's the last day of school."

Prez chuckled, "I still can't hear you!"

Way louder, kids shouted, "It's the last day of school!" but Drew, Corey, Greg, Rebecca, Jerry and Mack seemed the loudest, probably because they were closest to us.

Mike started bouncing and Derrick tapped his sticks then they began playing School's Out. Putting down my tambourine, I picked up my cowbell. Prez and Jessy soon began playing. Mike sang lead vocals and the rest of us backed him up.

Out by the street, I noticed John greeting some more of his friends. Kicked back on the lawn were Nelson and two of his friends. Parked cars were lined up in front of the house and across the street. Needing to only keep a simple beat on the cowbell, I found myself counting heads in the audience. By the time Mike finished the first song, I had reached thirty, stopped counting and told Derrick.

Smiling widely and throwing his head back, Derrick began pounding out We Will Rock You. Jessy joined with synthesized drums while Mike and Prez stomped their feet and clapped. I put down the cowbell and stepped up to the mic then started singing. The amazing part was while we were singing the chorus' and instigating the crowd to join along; they actually did as they were told! Then Mike played the guitar solo and I watched our audience while I stomped my feet and clapped along. A few were sitting on the lawn but most were standing in the driveway and street, some playing air guitar along with Mike. It was a kick to see!

With little more than a few seconds pause, Derrick began tapping his sticks. Quickly remembering the next song in the list, I picked up my cowbell again then moved over by Prez. Jessy picked up Mike's acoustic guitar and moments later, she and Mike began playing. Then Mike shouted, "Come on!" prompting Prez and Derrick to join in playing The Road.

After the intro, Derrick and Mike sang:

"Every day I get up from off the floor
I keep on coming back for more and more
So many times I get it in the face
I keep on running ' til my dying day

"Rain on the roadway, thunder in the sky
The light of day disappears from sight

"As the road opens up in front of my eyes
These wheels are burning up the miles
As the road opens up in front of my eyes
The only limitation is in my mind

"I drive awake my eyes are on full beam
The wind is screaming into my slipstream
Something keeps pulling me back from sleep
Whatever it is I want to see

"These wheels are burning up the road tonight
The fuel is pumping into my mind

"As the road opens up in front of my eyes
These wheels are burning up the miles
As the road opens up in front of my eyes
The only limitation is in my mind

"I'll be there when it all comes down
I'll be there
I'll be there when it all comes down
I'll be there
When it all comes down"

Hopping back away from the microphone, Mike played the solo perfectly then he stepped back up to sing the last chorus'.

"As the road opens up in front of my eyes
These wheels are burning up the miles
As the road opens up in front of my eyes
The only limitation is in my mind
The road
Fuel is pumping gasoline into my mind
As the road opens up in front of my eyes
The only limitation is in my mind
The road"

After the song ended and while the audience applauded, Jessy put the acoustic guitar back in its stand then returned to her keys. Derrick paused for a quick drink then began tapping his sticks. Mike started playing the opening to Give Me One Reason and a few moments later, Jessy began singing. Strutting around with Prez, I slapped the tambourine and shook maracas. Nelson got up and his friends followed, moving close to the mixer, dancing in place right in front of us during the whole song.

Glancing around the driveway, front lawn and street and wondered how many people were here watching us. It seemed like a lot more to me. After Jessy finished, everyone clapped but Nelson and his buds whistled and hollered loudly. I leaned close to Prez and said, "Lots of people showed up."

Prez nodded and giggled, "Way more than we invited!"

Mike called, "Shaun, come join us for the next two, dude." The audience clapped as Shaun got up from the lawn and walked along the driveway.

I asked Prez, "What's the next one?"

Pushing his bass away from his body, Prez looked down at the set list he had taped there and softly said, "Hold My Hand."

I nodded and asked, "Why aren't you playing your new bass?"

He snickered, "I'm not ready yet," and then we went to the center microphone. Moments later, Shaun started strumming the opening guitar part. Then Prez and I began singing.

Last January, when we added the song to our list, I was originally going to sing the song alone. They tried the song in several different keys for me but we didn't like the way it sounded. So we started playing it in the original key with Prez singing lead vocals. Since he started the song singing weakly but eventually got stronger, I stepped up to the same mic and sang along, instigating him to sing it like we knew he could. That made all the difference in the world. And Prez's voice is really perfect for the tune.

The song really sounded so much fuller with Shaun's rhythm guitar in the mix. The audience obviously agreed and clapped loudly.

While Shaun was still with us, we played Take It Easy, with Shaun doing a really enthusiastic lead vocal. With three guitars bass, drums and my percussion, we backed him up.

When we finished the song to loud applause, Shaun took off his guitar and waved then went back to the crowd. Prez stepped up to the mic and explained, "Shaun's learning the tunes we cover but will be joining us more often."

Mike menacingly growled, "Soon, right? Right!" and Shaun nodded, laughing hysterically while more applause traveled around the crowd.

Corey ran towards us and went to Prez. Prez leaned over and started laughing hysterically. Corey grinned impishly then hurried back to the mixer and Drew.

I smiled curiously at Prez but then Jessy started playing the opening keyboards to Separate Ways (Worlds Apart). Prez, Mike and Derrick then joined. Recalling the lyrics, I got myself psyched; felt the anger of lovers separated and started singing. When the song was finished, I went over to Prez and asked, "What was so funny before?"

He giggled, "There's sixty-two people here, not counting the other people across the street and at the houses close by!" My eyes shot so far out of their sockets that my hands automatically moved up to catch them!

Mike started playing the opening riffs to La Grange and Prez, still snickering, bopped over to the mic. Since I didn't really need to participate in this song, I stealthily wandered away from the stage area to take a look around. While Prez sang, I noticed Rebecca and her friend get up and begin dancing. Greg Kovac noticed and quickly got up to dance with them.

I went to Jerry and loudly asked, "How many people do you think are here?"

Jerry smiled and looked around then leaned over slightly to answer, "About a hundred, give or take."

Shaking my head, I laughed, "I'm surprised the cops aren't here!"

Mack smiled, "They're driving around the neighborhood, dude."

"Oh shit!" I groaned and half giggled.

"Don't worry about it," Jerry grinned. "Look around. Everyone's either dancing or just kickin' it. Let the vultures hover. Nobody's breaking any laws."

"Chill dude," Mack said, and then chuckled, "Check out your boyfriend." I turned around to see Prez and Mike having a guitar duel, both of them smiling and getting into it. Mack then tapped my shoulder and said, "It sounds great too."

Jerry smiled and agreed, "Way better than in the auditorium."

Mack looked up at Jerry and said, "Prez can really shake the ground."

Jerry nodded, "We could barely hear him at the frolics and thought... well, that he sucked." I smiled and shook my head.

"He's switching between guitar parts and bass parts," Mack noticed, "Just watch his fingers, dude. They're all over the place!"

I grinned and said, "Inside the closed garage, the sound of his bass bounces around a lot." Glancing at them, I giggled, "I won't even mention any of the other things he can do with his fingers!" Shoving me, Mack and Jerry cracked up.

A minute or so later, I was back with the band. Prez and I sang It's Only Natural. Then we played Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Living On A Prayer, Dreams, Don't Dream It's Over, Rock Of Ages, Something So Strong, The Joker, Don't Stop Believin', and Every Breath You Take. Shaun joined us again for Desperado. Derrick then sang As Tears Go By followed by Jessy and Mike on Wonderful Tonight. Finally we played Weird then thanked our friends and everyone else that showed up.

For a little more than an hour and a half, we played for our friends and neighbors, stopping about quarter-to-five. A few of our friends had to leave before we finished but most stayed, helping us breakdown the gear and move it all back into the garage. By the time my dad got home about half past five, everything was put away. I introduced Mack and Jerry to my dad. Wordlessly, my dad pointed out a few small messes on the front lawn, mostly plastic bottles and wrappers that we still had to cleanup though. With eight of us to accomplish the task, we were done in no time. Mike and Derrick then caught a ride home with Jerry and Mack.

On our way back in the house, Drew asked, "Can I get a ride over Corey's?"

"Sure," Prez replied, and then asked, "How long till you're ready?"

Drew said, "I just need to grab a few things. I'll be ready in five minutes." Prez and I nodded then Drew and Corey hurried into the house.

My dad was in the kitchen, hovering in front of the fridge, already changed out of his suit, wearing shorts and a polo shirt but barefoot.

I asked, "What's for dinner?"

"Nothing's been taken out of the freezer," my dad replied, "I guess its barbequed burgers and hot dogs. Let's see what your mom wants before we start anything though."

At that, Prez turned to me with that wicked little perverted grin on his face. Smiling widely, I transmitted, "Yes lover, right after dinner." Noticing my dad curiously watching us, I asked, "Are you and mom going grocery shopping tonight?"

"Probably so," my dad answered. He then asked, "Are you two going anywhere?"

Prez smiled, "After our little show, I'm pretty tuckered out."

Turning to my dad, I said, "Guess we're staying home tonight."

Facing Prez, he asked, "How was your afternoon?

Prez happily answered, "It was really good. There were a few little flubs but not anything major that caused us to stop."

Surprised, I turned to him and asked, "What flubs?"

"Derrick broke a stick during La Grange," Prez recalled. "During Dreams, Mike had to bend a little further because he started on the wrong fret and I slid further than I should've during The Joker but compensated."

Shaking my head, I told him, "I didn't notice and doubt anyone else did."

Shrugging, Prez giggled, "I said they weren't major."

My dad smiled, "I'm glad it went well," and then asked, "Where's John?"

I answered, "He's walking Kim home and should be back any minute."

Carrying his backpack, Drew came in the kitchen with Corey a step behind. Drew asked, "Can I go over Corey's for dinner, dad?"

My dad smiled, "You're spending the night?"

Drew blushed, smiled and nodded. Then he turned to me and asked, "Are we playing tennis tomorrow morning?"

As we walked to the door, Prez softly reminded, "We might be helping Mike and Derrick move."

I told Drew, "If that's not happening, then sure, we'll play."

Corey grinned, "We'll call about eight."

"Eight!" I hollered incredulously. Drew and Corey snickered. I then grinned, "How about nine?"

John walked into the house as we walked outside.

"Its cooler earlier," Drew briefly explained.

Unlocking the truck, Prez teased, "Or maybe you're just looking for an advantage?"

Drew nodded and smiled then Corey giggled, "We'll take any breaks we can get!" We all got in the 4-Runner but somehow, I didn't think he was talking about tennis anymore. After climbing in the front passenger seat, I quickly turned and looked at Drew. He was smiling still but not blushing. On the other side of the backseat, Corey was still grinning impishly though.

After we pulled away, Drew said, "You guys were really good this afternoon. A lot more relaxed."

Prez nodded, "We were playing for our friends."

"And half the neighborhood!" Corey chuckled.

After turning onto Topanga Canyon, Prez asked, "How was the mix though, Drew?"

Glancing back, I saw Drew shrug and answer, "Good, I guess."

"You don't seem too certain," I said.

Again, Drew shrugged, "When we went to Guitar Center and I talked with that salesman about sound systems, I learned a little bit."

Surprised, Prez asked, "You were checking out sound systems?"

Wishing that Drew hadn't mentioned it, I sighed and closed my eyes.

Drew answered, "Uh huh. The dude said that everything needs to plug into the PA; not just the microphones - amps too. That's the best way to control the mix."

Prez nodded, "I know. But we're not ready to invest in something that could do all that. We need to get paying gigs first." Prez concentrated on traffic a few moments then said, "To play bigger gigs, there's a lot of other equipment we would need more speakers, compressors, graphics equalizers, bigger power amps and mixers. The trick is figuring out when to make those investments."

Without even thinking, I suggested, "Talk to Doug and Brian about it."

"Mike and Derrick already have," Prez said.

Drew then said, "Zack was saying that the band would play some dances next year."

Prez said, "Yeah. We'll probably need to rent some equipment for those."

"Like what?" I asked.

"It depends on what we get over the summer," Prez answered, and pulled in front of Corey's house. "If Derrick gets another small PA system for his drums, we might not need too much."

Corey said, "Thanks, Prez," and got out of the back seat.

"I'll call around eight tomorrow morning," Drew smiled, and began shuffling out.

I hollered, "Nine!" and Prez snickered.

Drew snickered, "We'll play at nine. I'll wake you up around eight," and then turned to follow Corey. Still snickering, Prez pulled away from the curb.

"You're enjoying this."

Prez shrugged, "We can wake up by eight. We'll wear each other out and crash before midnight."

I shrugged and asked, "Ya wanna grab a flick from Blockbuster?"

Stopping at a light, Prez asked, "Is there something you want to see?"

"Men In Black," I lied.

"We saw that last summer at Big Bear."

"And this summer, we'll watch it in the privacy of our bedroom."

Thinking silently, Prez then grinned, "That works for me."

Minutes later, we were at Blockbuster. While I went to pick up MIB, Prez browsed. We met at the checkout counter a few minutes later. Prez had picked up `Twister' and explained, "It's got great special effects and Van Halen on the soundtrack." I handed the two boxes to Sherry, one of my co-workers and an assistant manager. Prez reached into his pocket for cash and I glared menacingly at him. His head tilted curiously then he smiled, "Ooo! I'm being bad again?"

Glancing at Sherry briefly, I then turned to Prez and whispered, "No supper for you!"

Leaving me at the checkout counter and starting out of the store, he softly chuckled, "Off to bed without dinner!"

Smiling widely, Sherry said, "He's cute."

I always thought so. Paying for the tapes, I grinned, "He thinks so," but became suspicious of her interest in Prez.

While she rang up our tapes, Sherry asked, "Have you checked the schedule?"

"Not yet. When am I due here?"

"I know you wanted longer days but we really won't need you until one."

"Oh! That actually works out okay," I said, and walked around the counter to retrieve the tapes. "I'm here till nine?"

Sherry shook her head and said, "Ten, with an hour break at five. The same hours on Sunday."

Immediately, I thought that I would miss seeing Prez before he took off for work. Then I thought, at least we would get home about the same time, smiled and said, "Thanks. See you tomorrow," and then stepped outside.

Prez was waiting in the 4Runner and singing along with the radio. Opening the passenger side door and sliding in beside him, I told him what hours I would be working the next two days.

"That's not too bad," he said, and then looked around before slowly backing out.

Once we were moving forward again, I disappointedly huffed, "I wanted to see you before you went to work."

Taking my hand and squeezing firmly, he said, "It'll be alright."

The six o'clock news break began on the radio. After the traffic, weather and stock market reports, they mentioned a train derailment in Germany where a hundred people were killed. Prez gasped and loudly said, "That's horrible!" then quickly flipped to my favorite station.

Turning and watching him carefully for a few moments, I gently squeezed his hand and asked, "Are you okay?"

He nodded but then let go of my hand to wipe his eyes. "Why can't they tell us good news once in a while?" he asked.

Shaking my head, I sighed, "I don't know, Prez." But then I thought of the little boy at Ralph's and told him about it.

Driving into our neighborhood, Prez snickered, "Aw, the poor kid probably thought he fucked up."

I grinned, "His mother didn't yell at him, she was the first to start laughing. And you had to see his face, covered with icing."

Prez giggled the rest of the drive to our house. When we got home, my mom and dad were waiting for us in the living room.

"Sorry we're late," I said, "We stopped for videos."

My mom said, "We thought we'd go out for dinner tonight. Would you like to join us?"

"Where?" I asked.

My mom smiled, "Benihana's."

Prez asked, "Where's John?"

My dad answered, "He's in his room, getting ready."

Sitting down on the loveseat, Prez and I shared a brief wordless conversation. I then faced my parents and asked, "Would it be alright if we stayed home?"

My parents glanced at one another then my dad grinned, "If you'd like to be alone, just say so."

Simultaneously, Prez and I snickered, "We'd like to be alone."

Standing, my mom giggled, "I thought so," and then started walking down the bedroom hallway.

"There are burgers and hot dogs in the freezer," my dad reminded.

Prez nodded and promised, "We'll keep the mess to a minimum."

Knocking on Drew and John's bedroom door, my mom asked, "Are you ready, John?"

Seconds later, the door opened. John stepped out of his room and followed my mom into the living room. John asked, "You're not coming?" Prez and I shook our heads. John said, "Too bad for you!" and starting imitating the Benihana chefs; flipping imaginary knives complete with sound effects.

Chuckling at John, my dad stood and crossed the living room. Taking John by the shoulder, he said, "We'll probably be home between eight-thirty and nine," and led my family out of the house.

The moment the door closed, Prez hopped off the loveseat and smiled, "We've got almost three hours!"

Chuckling at his enthusiasm, I admitted, "I was hoping for two! Let's go!"

We made a beeline for the bedroom and quickly shed our clothes. I reached behind the desk for our sack of goodies. Prez turned on the radio in the bathroom and changed the station to light jazz. Taking my lover in my arms, I excited giggled, "You know what this means to me?" He shook his head and I softly said, "It means we're comfortable doing anything with each other. That we totally trust each other and we're committed to each other."

Smiling, Prez shivered in my arms then leaned in for a quick tasty kiss. Resting his head on my shoulder, he sighed, "I want to see you bald and then watch it grow back. I want to see your chest hair thicken and get like your dad's. And thirty or so years from now, I want to watch it turn grey."

Squeezing him tightly, I glanced up and whispered, "You're my proof that there really is something good guiding the universe." We kissed again, hard and long.

When we separated, Prez grinned, "You want me to shave you first?"

I nodded, looked down at his perfect pubes and mostly erect dick. "God, I love your pubes!" I excitedly giggled.

Prez picked up the bottle of Nair For Men and grinned, "They'll grow back the same." He read the instructions on the back of the bottle aloud. "Shake well before each use. Squeeze lotion onto palm and gently apply to desired areas in a thick even layer. Do not rub in. Wash hands immediately and thoroughly after application. After four minutes, test a small area first. If hair removes easily, rinse off lotion with lukewarm water using a washcloth. Do not rub. Do not use soap. Pat dry. If hair does not remove easily, leave on another few minutes. But not exceeding ten minutes. Wait twenty-four hours before reapplication."

I grinned, "I doubt either of us has enough hair to worry about reapplication."

Prez nodded and said, "Warning. Test product on small area. Irritation or allergic reaction may occur even after prior use without adverse effects. Not for use on face or head. Do not use on nipples, perianal or genital areas." He stopped, looked at me and grimaced, "That means we have to use clippers and the razor around those areas."

Pointing at the light hairs beginning to thicken around my navel, I said, "I want this gone too."

Slightly stunned, Prez asked, "You do?" and I nodded. Nodding slowly, Prez ran a finger from the top of my pubic mound to my navel and said, "I'd like these to stay though. You've always had a great treasure trail."

Running my index finger from the top of his pubes all the way up his chest, I said, "Just this one time, let's remove all our belly and chest hair."

Prez smiled, "If you're sure."

I nodded and asked, "Are we doing armpits too?"

He smirked, "I wasn't planning on."

Agreeing, I said, "This one bottle should last a long time then."

Putting the bottle down on the vanity counter, Prez said, "Let me just get my watch." Naked, he padded across the hall and soon returned saying, "How about we test this stuff on the top of our thighs, away from the genitals?"

"Sounds good," I said, and then grinned, "If its gonna cause any rash, I'd rather be scratching my leg than scratching my ass."

Prez giggled, put his watch down then picked up the bottle of lotion and shook it vigorously for about a minute. Then he popped the top and squirted out a small amount. Handing the bottle to me, he said, "Ready? It's gonna be cold." Bracing myself, I nodded and he quickly applied the lotion to my upper left thigh.

Squirting out a small amount, I quickly applied some to a hairy area of his upper thigh then picked up his watch. "Its six-twenty-two," I said, "Counting down."

His erection had deflated somewhat be he still had a chubby going. My own dick was in a similar condition.

While we washed our hands, Prez giggled, "We can't let Mike or Derrick see us naked for a few weeks."

I grinned, "No skinny dipping in Mike's pool or in the ocean."

Prez grinned and sighed, "I really like doing that too."

I chuckled, "It feels great, don't it?"

He nodded enthusiastically then checked the watch. "It's like waiting for water to boil," he huffed, "three minutes to go."

"Maybe if we kept occupied," I suggested, and then went across the hall to our room, returning with a deck of cards. "Blackjack," I said, and then shuffled and dealt the cards.

Checking his cards, Prez grinned, "I'll stick with these."

I checked my cards and gave myself another one. Of course, it had to be a face card. I went over and smirked, "You win."

Turning over his card, I saw he had a pair of eights. Prez smirked, "It figures. Now that we're not playing for anything, I'll win every hand." Then he checked the watch and said, "Another minute, babe."

I dealt another hand and Prez won again. Prez turned on the hot water and I got a washcloth. He reminded, "Don't rub it off," and I giggled. "You know what I meant!" he laughed. "There will be plenty of rubbing later."

Nodding but still giggling, I gently wiped the lotion off my thigh, revealing a hairless area of white skin and handed the washcloth to Prez. He wiped himself then hummed thoughtfully. "There's still some hair there, don't you think?" Leaning over and looking closely, I agreed, "Stubborn follicles. We'll wait five minutes when I do you."

Prez nodded, began shaking the bottle again and said, "Turn around babe." I did as he instructed, leaned over the vanity and waited patiently while my lover applied the lotion all around my ass. Prez then checked his watch, announced the time and began washing his hands. While he was cleaning up, I applied lotion to his bubble butt. There are really fine hairs on the cheeks of his ass. I'd doubt anyone besides me could even see them. Once his hands were washed and dried, Prez dealt the cards and waited while I finished cleaning up. After another two hands of Blackjack, I leaned over and Prez gently wiped the lotion off me, rinsing the washcloth often with warm water.

We played another quick hand of cards before I wiped the lotion off of Prez. While rinsing the washcloth, I commented, "Your ass is so white now it practically glows!"

He smirked, "So is yours!"

Next we applied Nair to our bellies and chests, carefully avoiding the nipples. It was almost seven by the time we were finished with the hair removal lotion. Prez began opening the clipper kit and said, "I'm wondering how we can do this without making a big mess."

I sure didn't want to waste any of our private time vacuuming the bathroom floor either. After a few moments thought, I lifted the toilet seat then straddled the bowl, facing forward and said, "This should help. Hair will fall right into the toidy."

Prez smiled and nodded then plugged the clippers into the wall socket. He then applied a drop of oil and snapped on a small plastic guide. Prez knelt down in front of me and, out of habit; I rested my hands on his shoulders. Turning the clippers on, Prez looked up and smiled, "Don't get hard. Think of Barbara Bush and Margaret Thatcher having sex."

"Omigod!" I laughed, "It may never get hard again!"

Carefully, Prez began removing my bush. Within a minute, there was only stubble above my dick. Methodically, he then clipped the hairs where my crotch and thighs met. Then he looked up and said, "Pull your dick and scrotum up please, babe. And don't move!"

Wide-eyed, I loudly said, "I wouldn't dare!" and did as he said.

Concentrating on the task at hand, Prez softly said, "If I hurt you, I'll never forgive myself."

Tapping him on the head, Prez looked up and I softly affirmed, "I trust you, baby."

Taking a deep breath, he then started lightly running the clippers over my sack. I could feel the clippers tugging hairs slightly and gritted my teeth but he never slipped. Soon, he turned the clippers off and stood up grinning.

"Nothing left but stubble," he proudly announced. Setting the clippers down on the counter, he then opened the medicine cabinet and grabbed the shaving cream and a new disposable razor. Prez reached for me and, as I went to him, he softly said, "I'll do the area above your dick but there are a few hairs really close to the base of your dick."

I nodded and smiled, "I'll take care of those when you're done."

"Thanks," he grinned, "my nerves are about shot to hell."

Squirting shaving cream onto his palm, Prez then spread it around my pubic mound and started shaving me. Applying small amounts of shaving cream to my nips, he quickly ran the razor around each then wiped me clean. When the front was done, he then asked me to turn around, lean over the counter and spread my ass cheeks. He then shaved the hair in the crack of my ass. When he was finished with that section and had wiped me off, he reached between my legs, tickling the area between my sack and hole saying, "That's the only area left that I can get for you. There's only one way to get at it."

Lying down on the floor, I raised my legs till my knees were resting near my shoulders. Prez spread more shaving cream around down there and removed the last of my pubes. He stood and offered me a hand to help me up. Feeling the relief of an orgasm but not actually having one, I bounced up, hugged and kissed him then whispered, "You were so gentle. I hope I can do you the same way."

"I know you will," Prez softly said, and then kissed me back.

Picking up the razor, I then went after those few hairs near the base of my dick. Pulling the skin on my dick taught, I lightly shaved them off. When I finished, I smiled at Prez and commented, "I haven't looked like this in a long, long time."

He asked, "When did you start growing pubes?"

I hummed thoughtfully then answered, "Right after my twelfth birthday, I think."

Straddling the toilet, he nodded, "The summer before I turned thirteen. My voice changed first."

Picking up the clippers, I remembered, "Mike started before me but there were other kids in junior high that didn't start until well after they turned thirteen."

Prez giggled, "You were looking around?"

Kneeling before him, I looked up, nodded and grinned, "Everyone wonders how normal they are. At least I wasn't the last in my class to reach puberty."

Starting at the base of his dick, I ran the clippers upwards, removing most of his pubes. Without me asking, Prez pulled his dick and sack up so I could get the area behind his nads. Finished, I stood up and frowned.

Prez grinned, "Aw, babe. They'll grow back the same I promise."

"I sure hope so."

"Even if they do grow back a little different, now we can keep each other trimmed," Prez reminded. He then ran his fingers along the very top of my right thigh, where it meets the crotch and warmly smiled, "You know I like to lick and kiss you there?" I nodded and he playfully bounced his eyebrows saying, "No more pausing to pull pubes from my teeth."

Putting the clippers down, I giggled, "You are so twisted sometimes!"

Moving away from the toilet, Prez grinned, "You love it too!"

I couldn't argue.

He then leaned over the counter and spread his cheeks for me. Most of the hair wasn't between his cheeks but was at the top of his crack. It took virtually no time to shave the remaining hair off his ass. I wiped his bum off then Prez stood, picked up the razor and carefully shaved the last remaining signs of adulthood from his dick and sack. While he did, I read the instructions on the enema box aloud.

Prez waited for me to finish then said, "I wasn't expecting to have to lie down on the bed."

I shrugged, "It says to lie on our sides. We could put a towel underneath?"

He sighed, "It would be lots easier if we did it all in here. It's only two steps from the vanity counter to the toilet."

Opening the box and removing the contents, I nodded, "I don't want to risk making a mess either. Let's do it here."

Prez said, "Me first this time."

Everything needed was included in the kit a mild soap, about a yard of rubber tubing, two anal tips and a really large rubber bag. Also, there were extremely detailed instructions that I started to read aloud. Those chubbies we had been sporting for most of the last hour quickly began to get erect and very hard as I continued reading. Suddenly, Prez loudly giggled, "Okay! That's enough!" I stopped reading and smiled at him. "It says we're supposed to be relaxed!" he chuckled. Glancing down at our erect cocks for a moment, he then looked up at me and giggled, "Another word and I'm gonna say, the hell with the enema, just fuck me now!"

I cracked up, put the instructions down and reached for his hand.

"I'm sure that I wouldn't do this with anyone else, Keith."

"Same here, baby. Are you ready?"

He nodded and leaned over the counter then turned on the hot water. Picking up the small tube of lube that came with the kit, I opened it and applied some to my fingers. With my other hand, I spread his cheeks and gently loosened his hole as I had many times before. This was no longer a task or a medical procedure; I was making love to him. He sighed at my touch. His now hairless sphincter winked at me, opening and closing, begging to be filled. It took all my self control to not do just that. But I had to do something.

Letting go of his cheek but still massaging his hole I leaned over him and began licking his back. Prez whimpered and began preparing the enema bag, attaching the tube, adding soap and filling it with water. I continued licking; drenching his muscular back with my saliva. After minutes of this, Prez softly said, "Please, babe," and held up the already filled bag.

Taking it from him, I then gently guided the tip of the tube into his anus. Before allowing the water to flow, I softly said, "Ready, lover?"

He nodded, "Uh huh."

"Let me know when you're full," I instructed.

"Okay," he whispered. I slowly twisted the nozzle open. Seconds passed. It took longer than I expected for Prez to finally say, "That's enough." Quickly, I twisted the nozzle closed then gently pulled the tube out of him and got out of his way so he could go directly the toilet. Beginning to straighten up, he grunted then hunched over again before waddling backwards to the toilet and sitting down on it. His bowels emptied with a long splash and Prez's eyes opened wide with surprise.

The filled rubber enema bag could hold about two liters. I'm sure that Prez took most of it and then expelled it. Over the last year, I had been in the bathroom with Prez dozens of times, maybe even a hundred - and never has he made a noise quite like that! Never in all my life have I made a sound that could even compare! Beginning to panic, I loudly asked, "Are you alright?"

Still sitting on the bowl, he nodded and grinned, "Maybe I need to check and see if any important organs dropped out too!"

Groaning loudly and smirking slightly, I put the enema bag down. Then I went to him and asked, "Did it hurt?"

Shaking his head, Prez quickly said, "No babe, nothing hurt at all really. Just some lower abdominal cramps when I tried to stand upright but they went away as soon as I leaned over again." He reached for toilet paper, wrapped a really big wad of it around his hand then wiped himself saying, "A learning experience. Don't stand upright when I do you," and then flushed the toilet. Appearing confused for a moment, Prez then stood and hugged me. "That really scared you - didn't it?" he whispered.

I nodded and asked, "How'd you know?"

He stepped back but held onto my hands and looked down at my completely flaccid dick. "A window to the soul," Prez smiled. I hadn't even noticed. Sounding much like a Civil War Confederate general, Prez devilishly grinned, "Never fear - the south shall rise again."

Looking down at my dick, Keith smiled, "It didn't affect you much, I see."

It hadn't. My dick wasn't completely hard but chubby and pointing directly away from me.

But since Keith's nerves were momentarily rattled, I took him in my arms for a few minutes. In between kisses and nibbles, I told him how wonderful he was. The time he took rubbing lube over my hole, kissing and licking my back made all the difference in the world. He turned a clinical process into one of the most intimate sexual experiences of our lives. Beginning to feel that I was getting a rise out of him, I began grinding slowly and promised that I would go just as slowly with him.

He hoarsely panted, "I trust you, Prez." Then he tenderly kissed me.

After another tight hug, he stepped away from me and then leaned over the counter. I emptied the bag then began running the hot and cold water together. Keith and I agreed when the water temperature seemed just right. While I added the soap and water, Keith switched the tip at the opposite end of the tube.

My intention was to spend at least as much time loosening and lubing his hole as he did on me. But he soon began moving his hips and gyrating his ass. In the mirror I caught his expression. He was enjoying it, at least as much as I had, whimpering and giggling at himself. I whispered, "Say when, babe."

"When," he nodded.

Taking the tube in my left hand, I didn't bother spreading his cheeks but let my fingertip guide the way. On target, I slid the tip inside him. Breathing deep and fast, he grinned, "Not nearly as much as I was hoping for."

"Soon, babe," I softly promised.

Keith turned the nozzle on the bag and closed his eyes, his smiled fading. After about a minute, he grunted and swiftly turned it off. Carefully moving back a step, he handed me the bag. "Omigod!" he grunted as he waddled backwards, "I hope I didn't over do it."

Having just learned for myself what really full bowels felt like, I nodded and grinned. He sat and relieved himself.

Fill an old two-liter bottle with water then put a small hole in the bottom of the bottle and turn it upside down into your toilet. Let one and a half liters out .Even if you only wait for one liter to empty out, that's still a really long time to be dumping!

I knew then why he was worried when I was on the toidy. Finally, he stopped and slouched on the porcelain thrown then grinned and blushed. Wrinkling his nose, Keith snarled, "Spray some air-freshener please, baby." Snickering, I grabbed the can from under the vanity and he suggested, "Out in hall too or the `rents will think we're sick or somethin'."

While I was out in the hall, the toilet flushed. Turning around, I found Keith bent over the tub. Smiling at his awesome form, I put the air-freshener away and joined him in the tub saying, "I took four showers yesterday and this is my third today."

Wetting down, Keith grinned and nodded, "Me too."

Picking up the soap and working up lather, I waited until he raised his hands above his head. Telling him to, "stay like that," I then washed his armpits, down his sides and front then slowly and gently around his hairless dick and balls. Occasionally, my gaze had to move from his eyes to watch what I was doing but every time I looked up, there were his chocolate chips, watching me intently. Neither of us needed to say I word. He turned and I washed his back, paying special attention to his buns and crack, knowing that in a few minutes my face would be there.

He rinsed and grinned mischievously, took the soap from me then kissed me as we swapped places in the tub. Water could not dowse the inferno building within me. The more my lover caressed and washed me, the more my cock ached and my mind spun, delirious with passion. Watching him through dime-slot eyes, my thoughts wandered.

This was the boy I lived with, I reminded myself. He was the boy that introduced me to my new home. A place I took an immediate liking to as soon as I saw how close we would be to the ocean. Why he chose me, I'll never really understand. He's been my lucky charm since I arrived in the state. But even my lucky charm and all our love couldn't prevent my mom's accident.

It sucks so bad that my mom didn't get to see what our relationship became.

I asked myself, would we still be together if she had lived and immediately answered, yes, of course. Events may not have been exactly the same but the major things, I think would've all been the same if she had lived; the main difference being, where I slept.

Finished washing me, Keith turned me around. Immediately taking hold of each other and kissing, I then whispered in his ear; "Everything would be the same if she had lived Keith. She should see us, how we are now. It's a jip."

"A couple more days, Prez. Share it with your aunt. Judging by what you've said about your phone call, I think you're both ready." Pulling back to look in my eyes, Keith smiled, "I think you're eager to ser her."

I smiled and nodded. He was right on target.

Keith reached around me to turn the water off and we got out of the tub. Minutes later, we were dried and the bathroom was clean. We purposefully avoided deodorant, certain that we wouldn't be leaving the house. After we hid all our stuff in our room, I noticed Rush's crate and loudly remembered, "I forgot to feed Rush!"

Keith huffed then smirked, "Let's take care of that real quick."

I glanced at the clock and saw it was seven thirty. Quickly, Keith and I put cotton sport shorts on and went to the kitchen. I went outside and Rush came galloping across the yard. Kneeling down, I apologized to him real quick. He only seemed happy to see me, licking every part of me. I asked him if he was hungry and Rush became perfectly still for a second, glaring at me. Then he ran to the door and I brought him inside.

Waiting impatiently to be fed, Rush paced the dining room. Shaking my head, I asked Keith, "Do you think I'm a bad dog owner?

Filling the dog's bowl with kibble, Keith then turned and grinned, "Come on, Prez. He spends his days in our room. He deserves to have plenty of yard time." Keith then put the dog's dish down on the floor. Rush went to his dish. Noticing that I was still unconvinced, Keith said, "It's too hot during the summer to keep him out all the time but we've got a refillable water dish out there for him. He's cool and safe inside during the hottest part of day. He needs to be out playing for a few hours. Then he's inside for the night. The dog is happy, baby."

I smiled and remembered, "Only a happy hound rubs his face in the carpet after he eats. Still, I'll try to give him extra attention this summer."

Leaning against the counter beside me, Keith snickered, "Imagine Rush on the beach."

"I wonder if he'd like the ocean."

Keith shrugged but smiled, "Maybe. But imagine him with the gulls."

I nodded and grinned, "Rush was born to chase birds and hunt. He's made that clear every time we took him to the park; chasing birds, rabbits and other little critters around."

He smiled and whispered, "If it moves, he'll sniff it out."

Going to him and giggling, I playfully repeated, "Sniff it out?"

He nodded and grinned, "I know how your mind works. I said that on purpose."

I tickled him and he jumped away from me, into the dining room. We circled the table twice.

Finished eating, Rush growled and chased us both back to our bedroom. Keith and I jumped onto the bed, huddled together against the wall, pretending we were frightened of the dog. Knowing better but doing it anyway, Rush circled the bed then quickly jumped up and back off again. But I was so close to Keith that I could smell him. And damn, he smelled so tasty! Then Keith noticed my smile waning and kissed me. Rush continued circling the bed for a while but we were too busy to care.

We only broke away from each other long enough to remove our shorts, close the bedroom door and turn on the TV then met in the center of the bed.

Across town, Lindsay Gibbons went upstairs to watch the TV in her room, leaving Mike, Derrick and Mrs. Gibbons alone.

"Ma," Mike began, "we need to talk about a great opportunity."

Suspiciously, Mrs. Gibbons smiled and wondered what her son was talking about. Was it something to do with the band? She hoped that he didn't want money from his trust fund again. What sort of `great opportunity' was it? But she didn't ask those questions and merely said, "Really?"

Mike carefully asked, "You liked Brian and Doug, right?"

Mrs. Gibbons nodded, "They're very nice." She had only met them the night of Mike's birthday dinner but had been hearing about them on and off for months.

The two boys glanced at each other briefly. Then Derrick said, "They're taking a vacation this summer, all of July."

Sternly turning to her son, Mrs. Gibbons mind was a whirlwind of possibilities but she waited patiently for the bottom line.

Mike smiled widely and helplessly chuckled, "They want us to watch their house while they're away."

Pressing the mute button on the TV remote, Mrs. Gibbons sighed, "That's a lot of responsibility, boys."

"We can do it, easy," Derrick assured.

Mike enthusiastically said, "It'll be fun!"

Derrick added, "And a great opportunity to see what it's like to do for ourselves."

"Do you realize what that means?" Mrs. Gibbons began, "It means cooking and cleaning up afterwards."

"We know," the boys chimed.

She continued, "Doing all your own laundry, mopping floors, vacuuming, cleaning toilets."

"We know."

"You don't do any of that here?" Mrs. Gibbons reminded.

"Derrick washes clothes and he even taught me how. And we try to cook!" Mike laughed. "They even taught us a little over Memorial Day. They'll teach us more if you just give us a chance."

Mrs. Gibbons wondered, "How will they teach you more if they'll be on vacation?"

Again, the two boys glanced at each other. Then Mike said, "We can move in anytime we want. Once we get permission."

Hearing that, Mrs. Gibbons turned to Derrick and reminded, "You'll need to ask your mother."

Derrick nodded, "I know, it won't be a problem."

She sighed, "They're grown men."

Mike smiled, "Who else should we learn from?"

Mrs. Gibbons mumbled, "It's what you might learn from them that scares me."

"That's easy," Mike giggled.

"Music, how to cook," Derrick offered.

Mike added, "How to be independent."

Sheepishly, Derrick softly reminded, "How to be a gay couple in a world that frowns upon us."

Mrs. Hundser admitted, "It's that part that frightens me."

Mike shook his head to realign his thoughts and asked, "How does that bother you? They've been a couple since 1980."

Mrs. Gibbons didn't know that fact. She and Mike's father married in 1977, only three years earlier. She asked the first question that came to mind. "How old are they?"

Mike answered, "Brian was born in 1960."

Derrick said, "Doug was born in 1961."

The two men were only four or five years younger than she was. "What else do you know about them?" Mrs. Gibbons asked.

After a brief wordless collaboration, Derrick said, "They were in the Air Force when the met."

"Doug taught Brian how to play guitar," Mike offered.

Derrick said, "Brian was and still is a really good artist."

Mike told his mom, "Mostly cartoons but he draws with charcoals too."

Mrs. Gibbons was mildly impressed and asked, "Anything else?"

"Like what?" Mike asked, and then said, "They asked us if we could watch their house. They trust us, mom."

Sensing her son's defensiveness, Mrs. Gibbons offered, "This is big. I think we all need to sit down, Doug and Brian too, and discuss this."

Mike said, "Doug had to work tonight but Brian's home."

"They thought you might want to chat about it," Derrick smiled.

Mrs. Gibbons then asked, "Is your mother home, Derrick?"

Nodding, Derrick got up and left the room to use the phone.

Mrs. Gibbons and Mike watched each other intently. Looking down, Mike softly asked, "Please tell me it's not because they're gay."

Moments passed. Mrs. Gibbons didn't want to admit it but sexuality was part of her concern. When his mom didn't answer, Mike huffed, "I knew it." Another few silent and tense moments passed.

Derrick finished on the phone. His mom and Brian were on the way over. As he returned to the living room, he heard Mike softly say; "It's the way I am. And Derrick and Keith and Prez and Shaun and about a dozen other dudes I now know. Are we all automatically untrustworthy because we like dick?" Derrick tender footed back two steps, into the kitchen and listened.

Mrs. Gibbons huffed, "Its not that I want to be this way, Michael. I just... I really don't know any better. It's even hard for me to understand how you're gay."

Slouching back in his seat, Mike smirked, "You know you and dad had nothing to do with it. If you don't know it, you really need to."

Mrs. Gibbons began shedding tears. Seeing this, Mike also became more upset. After clearing her throat, Mrs. Gibbons softly sobbed, "I can't see you like other gay men, Michael. I'm afraid of the things you're doing and will do in the future."

"What things?" Mike softly sobbed.

Unable to actually describe her feelings, Mrs. Gibbons said nothing.

More loudly, Mike cried, "What?" Standing up, Mike hollered, "Do you think I'll become some strung out leather queen?"

Mrs. Gibbons vigorously shook her head but managed to reply, "Every mother is afraid of drugs."

"They don't do drugs," Mike loudly said, and sat back down. He huffed, "They fucked around in there twenties and got burned," Mike reluctantly said, "It almost broke them up too. It took a year for them to get past all that." Another few moments passed. Shaking his head, and feeling antsy, Mike stood again and hollered, "D, where the hell are you?"

Jumping slightly, Derrick then walked into the living room.

The moment his boyfriend entered the room, Mike asked, "You heard all that?" Derrick nodded and Mike said, "She's afraid of us." Derrick went to Mike and their hands clasped briefly before Derrick moved behind Mike. Effortlessly, Derrick's hands slid around Mike's waist and Mike took hold of them. Feeling more balanced, Mike sadly explained; "I'm starting to feel really uncomfortable here, ma. We need to show affection but can only do it if there's nobody watching. So we go out to the Hundser's or over Doug and Brian's, where we can be more comfortable."

Still shedding tears, Mrs. Gibbons, hoarsely said, "I don't want it to be this way." She composed herself and tried to explain, "All my life, gays were considered dirty. But you're my son and I know you at least as well as you know yourself. Neither of you are dirty. You're built like a brick shithouse and so handsome. Both of you are. If you were straight, I wouldn't worry half as much. The thought of you two - out there - all those men looking at you, wanting you, offering you the moon just to get in your pants. I worry about you two as much as I do Lindsay. Now that I think of it, since you are already going out more often than she is, I probably worry more."

Stunned for a few moments, Mike and Derrick both remained still, looking at Mrs. Gibbons sadly. Then Mike looked back at Derrick and they smiled.

Mike reminded, "And the fight back in April?"

"Oh, that made my day and some very interesting nightmares," Mrs. Gibbons groaned. "I wondered, was that the first of many bashings? Every day I wonder what condition you'll be in when I get home. When you're late, my imagination runs wild. With every second that passes, I wonder if you'll ever make it home again."

Derrick meekly offered, "We have to defend ourselves."

Breaking away from Derrick, Mike moved closer to his mother and softly said, "Don't make us feel like we need to defend ourselves here at home."

Derrick moved closer too and said, "We thought moving out for the summer would be good for all of us."

Looking up at them, Mrs. Gibbons pleaded, "Call me every day," and sniffed.

Mike giggled, "Agoura Hills is only a few miles away, not across the country, ma."

Derrick smiled and reminded, "You think we won't be coming over to use the pool or beg a decent meal?" Then he assured, "Doug and Brian won't turn us into deviants."

Glancing quickly at Derrick then grinning devilishly at his mom, Mike mumbled, "Can't improve on perfection."

Quickly reaching forward, Mrs. Gibbons swung hard but Mike bounced away and cracked up.

The doorbell rang. Mrs. Gibbons got up and hugged Derrick then her son. "Let me just freshen up," she said as she left for the bathroom.

Heading for the door, Derrick said, "My turn."

Mike slouched and softly griped, "Not again."

Planting a smile on his face and getting Mike to force a smile, Derrick opened the door.

Once Rush was content and gnawing on a rawhide, Keith and I began making out. After a few minutes of humping, I whispered, "This requires pubes." Keith giggled and kissed me hard. Then he began moving into a sixty-nine position. We remained in that position for a while; long enough to get our cocks, balls and holes drenched with spit. Then Keith stopped and said, "It's time."

Suddenly, I got the impression he was going to sit on my cock again, like he had the previous night. But, after a quick kiss, Keith got off the bed and said, "Close your eyes."

He walked across the room to the door and I wondered, "Where are you going?"

Pausing at the open doorway, he grinned, "Close your eyes. I promise, you'll love it," and waited until I did as he said. The moment my eyes closed, he took off. I giggled when Rush growled and opened my eyes as the dog chased after him. Lying there, I heard a cupboard door slam and then the refrigerator door. Grasping my bone at the base, I pointed it at the ceiling and quickly closed my eyes before Keith returned.

Our bedroom door closed. Keith said, "Not now, Rush. Go be good."

I giggled with anticipation as Keith climbed back on the bed saying, "Keep `em closed, Prez."

"I will," I nervously chuckled.

Keith straddled me, began fondling my dick and then I heard a click. He leaned over to mouth my cock, I thought. But then I heard and felt something cold and wet being sprayed on me. Opening my eyes wide but only seeing Keith's hairless white ass, I loudly laughed, "What is that?"

He giggled and then began licking the stuff off me, humming hungrily as he munched my privates. Minutes passed, during which I laughed hysterically, continuously asking what he was spraying on me every few moments.

Then Keith swung around and off me, his face covered with splotches of whipped cream and proudly held up two cans. Licking his lips provocatively, he giggled, "Want some?" We had teased and provoked each other with talk of adding whipped cream to our play time but never actually done it until that night.

Sitting up and grabbing a can from him, I loudly laughed, "You bet your lily white ass, I do!" He kissed me softly, running his tasty vanilla flavored tongue around my mouth. While still kissing, I waited until we had stopped giggling then raised my can and squirted some whipped cream between our open mouths.

Keith then pointed up and behind him. Breaking our kiss, I looked up and saw a rainbow colored balloon. He softly smiled, "We'll play with helium later."

Beaming all my love through my eyes, I gently pushed him down. Once he was flat on the bed, I made myself a bannana-nut sundae.

I hope you enjoyed the story. Comments and constructive critisisms are always welcome.
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