This story is about how a gay teen male and some of his friends experience
different types of friendship and different sorts of love. Some of those
experiences involve sexual activity between males - if this is likely to
offend you, or is illegal where you live then do not read this story. This
story is completely fictional and any resemblances to real people are purely
This is the first story I've ever written so comments, especially nice ones, and constructive criticisms are always welcome. Thanks to Galacticflute (authors of Will & Tyler) and to D.Z. (author of the David & Tristan stories) for their encouragement and advice. I highly recommend their stories.
The story is copyright of the author and may not be distributed or placed on any web sites without written permission from the author.
Whether you like the story or not PLEASE let me know - the only way I know if anyone is reading this story is if you tell me!
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I love to get emails and will respond to all comments, except flames.
Chapter 4 - My Brother, My Friend
My heart skipped a beat then seemed to speed up dramatically. My mind just seized up and went blank. I sat on my bed in silence.
"Paul. Did you hear me? Haven't you heard the rumours in school that Rob's gay?" John repeated his question and for a few seconds I still couldn't speak. I think John was just about to repeat the question when I responded.
"No, I've not heard any rumours about Rob." This was complete truth. "What are the rumours?"
"Well, nothing specific, but lot's of people at school just assume he's gay cos he's so... erm... delicate." John was using the word 'delicate' in the way that our grandma often used to describe effeminate or camp behaviour on TV. Rob had just told me he didn't have many friends; I wondered if that was related to the rumours.
Actually I hadn't noticed anything effeminate or camp about Rob in the short time I'd known him, so I didn't understand what might have given rise to these rumours. Rob was certainly gentle, quiet, shy and not at all aggressive, which may be feminine traits, but that didn't make him effeminate. From my limited experience, he did seem to cry very easily, but surely that wouldn't generate rumours about his sexuality. Had he been caught staring at boys in the changing rooms? But then every boy I knew at school had shown a passing interest in other boys' 'tackle'... whose got hair yet... whose got big balls... whose got the biggest cock...
While these thoughts were going through my head, John seemed to be getting restless waiting for me to respond in some way.
"Well, what do you think? Is he gay?" John asked, lowering his voice.
"Would it make much difference if he was?" I stalled, trying to get more time to think how I should handle the situation. I hoped Mike would call and give me an excuse for postponing the conversation, but such hopes proved to be in vain. Meanwhile John was giving a little thought to my question.
"No, I don't think it would matter to me..." John replied, "...but he's your friend - would it make any difference to you?"
Ooooh, I thought, tricky question. Truthfully it did matter, but it mattered to me in exactly the opposite way to the one that John meant. In fact, had Rob not been gay I would probably have never even noticed his existence, and certainly knowing that I was not the only gay boy in school made a very big difference to me.
My thoughts were in turmoil as I tried to find an answer to John's question - preferably without lying. After living together and growing up together for almost 15 years, John knew me well, and I could tell that he was getting suspicious of the long delays in responding to his questions.
"You don't want to talk about this do you?" His words took me by surprise. He gave me an understanding and sympathetic smile, and continued: "I just thought I should mention it cos if some lads from school see you with him, they might start rumours about you as well." Saying that, he looked as if he was about to leave my room. He was offering me an easy way out.
Suddenly I remembered our conversation in the park ... was it only two days before? So much had happened it seemed like a lifetime ago. He was my brother, and apart from Mike, he was still my closest friend, so if I couldn't trust him then I couldn't trust anyone. He was very mature, even though it would be another couple of months till he was 15. Coming to me and telling me about the rumours clearly embarrassed him, but John did it anyway; he was looking out for my best interests. He deserved my trust, and if I ever discussed my sexuality with our parents, he could be a good ally.
"John, don't go.... Please shut the door . Come and sit down." He did as I asked and, unexpectedly, the look on his face was one of relief and pleasure, as if I'd done something to make him happy. "Look, John, on Friday you said that you felt we weren't as close as we used to be." John nodded agreement, and I continued: "Well, I think we've always been good friends, but if you want us to be even closer friends then I want that too." He gave me a huge grin, and I had the impression that if we weren't sitting on different beds he would have hugged me.
"I'd like to trust you with a secret but I need you to promise that you'll never, ever, tell anyone. Is that OK?" I said.
"Aaaww, Paul, of course I promise. I won't tell a soul - but I bet Mike knows already, doesn't he?"
"Yes, Mike knows, but you will only be the second person that I've told... You see... I'm gay..." I looked into his eyes and waited for a response.
For several seconds there was no response at all; several expressions flitted across his face so quickly that I couldn't read them. While he was assimilating my words, John's eyes never left my own, and we both held a steady gaze. After what seemed like hours, but was probably less than a minute, he heaved a big sigh.
"Phew!! I don't know what secret I was expecting, but that wasn't it." He took a deep breath. "But I guess that's why you never had a girlfriend..."
"Neither have you." My attempt to lighten the mood failed - he just frowned.
"But I'm still only 14, and James is the only 14-year-old I know who has a steady girlfriend. Anyway, I'm not gay." The last sentence he said quietly, but with a hint of defiance.
"Never said you were - I was just trying to say that not having girlfriends doesn't give much of a clue about sexuality. So... how do feel about me being gay?"
"Doesn't make any difference to me. But you'd better be careful no-one at school suspects or life could be unpleasant - for both of us... Sorry, does that sound selfish? Really, I didn't mean it to come out that way."
"No, it doesn't sound selfish - you're right to remind me of the implications this has for other people. As it happens, I've no intention of letting anyone at school know about it. And I'm going to make sure they don't even suspect."
"Ya know, I'm really glad you trusted me and told me, but.... Would you have told me if I hadn't asked you about Rob?" John asked.
"Yeah... of course! I was just waiting for a good time - it's only a few weeks since I was certain myself and it's not been long since I told Mike. You'd have been the very next person I told." John seemed pleased with my response.
"What about mum and dad?" John asked.
"Dunno - I thought I might tell them after I go to Uni.... Still, at least they have one son to give them some grandchildren." I smiled - again trying to lighten the mood. This time the attempt was more successful, and John smiled.
"Not for a long time yet!" He paused, as if something had just occurred to him, then continued: "One problem with you being gay..."
"Yes?" I said, a bit concerned.
"Well, when I first got hairs 'down there' you were the one who I asked about it. Then when I had my first wet dream you told me about wanking and how you did it. So when I get a girlfriend I was relying on you to give me advice about girls and sex and stuff... now what will I do?" John grinned as he said this, but I still decided to give him a serious answer.
"There's always Mike - he's almost a brother to both of us."
"Yeah, of course, Mike. He's spending so much time with Sue now that he's bound to be able to answer any questions I might think of."
We were both silent for a few moment, and I could tell that John wanted to say something else, so I just waited until he was ready.
"Errmmm... is Rob your boyfriend?" John asked, his face and body language showing a mixture of embarrassment and excitement.
"You're presuming he's gay? I never said that."
"Yeah, with what you just told me and the rumours at school, that would be the most likely way that you got to be friends. So he is gay, isn't he?"
"That's not for me to say..."
"Anyway, I bet he is - but is he your boyfriend?"
"Do you have a boyfriend?" He was like a puppy playing with a cuddly toy.
"What is this? an interrogation?" I smiled.
"I'm just curious, that's all. You know I don't have a girlfriend, so it's not exactly a State Secret, is it... Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Have you ever had a boyfriend?" John continued.
"Not really?" Oops!! That slipped out before I considered the implications.
"Not really - what's that mean?" John picked that up immediately.
"Depends on what exactly you mean by boyfriend and whether I just thought he was my boyfriend."
"Oh..." John looked confused, then he had an idea. "You mean you had SEX?"
"Hey, now you're getting a bit too personal... have you had sex?"
"No." John said without hesitation.
"Would you tell me if you had?"
"Yes... well, erm... probably." John was trying to be honest.
"Well, think about it for a bit - if you can come to me and tell me truthfully that you'd tell me about your sex life, then maybe we can talk about this some more. Until then, I expect you to let me have the same sort of privacy that you'd expect me to give to you."
"OK," John replied, a little sheepishly.
"Now are you going to let me phone Mike now?" I asked.
"Yeah. OK.... don't be too long on the phone, though cos it's almost time to eat. See ya later." John said as he hot up to leave the room.
Heaving a big sigh of relief, I phoned Mike.
"Hello you." I said as soon as he answered.
"Hello you, too." came the standard response. "Forgot to switch on your phone today?"
"Yeah - it's been one of those days. Look, I've got loads to tell you but don't have much time before dinner and I prefer not to talk about it on the phone - can you come over later?" I asked.
"OK, sure. Now you've got me all intrigued - see you about seven?"
"That's great - by the way.... did you have a good time with Sue last night?"
"Yeah, but not as good as we would've liked - her parents stayed home and so did my mum, so we didn't have anywhere for private stuff, if you see what I mean."
"I think I know very well what you mean, you dirty little boy!" I laughed.
"Anyway, can't wait to hear all the news you can't tell me on the phone."
"Well you'll hear everything in a couple of hours - I'd better go now as I want to grab a shower before eat. See ya later!"
When Mike came round we were still clearing the table after our meal, so he spent a few minutes socialising with my parents and John, even though I could see that he was dying to get me alone and hear my news. When we at last got to my room and closed the door, I told him all about Rob, the party, bringing him back here and sharing a bed - Mike expressed surprise that nothing 'naughty' had happened. When I described my talk with John, Mike's first comment was 'Holy shit!' followed shortly by 'That's how I would expect him to react.'.
Mike told me about his Saturday evening, the first part of which was spent at Sue's house. They had hoped Sue's parents would be going out, but the hope was in vain and after a an uncomfortable hour trying to make conversation with her family he and Sue decided to go to a movie. Having got into town they couldn't actually find a movie they wanted to see, so they went to the park and 'cuddled' till they got too cold, then went back to Mike's house and made out for a bit after his mum had gone to bed. Mike said he felt a bit frustrated that they couldn't get up to much with his mum in the house and thought I was lucky being able to just have Rob in my bedroom. The other man's grass is always greener!
All the time Mike was speaking, I could tell his feelings for Sue were very strong, so I asked if either of them had used the word 'love' yet. He told me he told Sue he loved her several times and each time she'd said she loved him as well, so I was happy that all seemed well with them. Apparently his mum gets on well with Sue, and had invited her to dinner on Monday. Then I mentioned to Mike some of the questions which had been going through my mind. How did the rumours about Rob get started? Should I ask Rob about that? Should I tell John how I really met Rob? Should I tell Rob about my previous encounter with Ben?
Of course Mike couldn't answer these questions any more than I could, but he did say that it would be polite to consult Rob if I was intending to reveal everything to John. We were discussing these points when Mike mentioned he wanted to be home by 10.00 pm as he wanted to spend some time with his mum. He'd been so busy recently with Sue and spending time at our house that, though she hadn't said anything, he felt his mum might be feeling a bit lonely in the house alone. Of course I was a little disappointed as I had hoped he'd stay overnight, especially as we were on holiday and there was no school the following day, but I understood how he felt. After he left, I decided to go to bed early and try to catch up on lost sleep.
Grateful we were on holiday, I slept in late on Monday morning and even after waking, luxuriated in my cosy bed, think random thoughts till almost noon. By the time I got up and had my shower I was feeling totally refreshed, and even decided to shave before breakfast. At that time I only been shaving for about 6 months and still only needed to shave about once per week or in preparation for special occasions. By the time I got downstairs John was preparing his lunch, and of course my parents had long ago gone to work.
"Hey, lazybones. Thought you were going to stay in your pit all day!" was the greeting I received from John as I entered the kitchen.
"Just taking advantage of my first weekday of the holiday - why, what time did you get up?" I retorted.
"In time to say bye to mum and dad."
"Pervert!" I said in my most disgusted voice. John raised an eyebrow at me and smiled.
"If anyone's a perve, it's not me!" he said, good humouredly. I was glad that he'd taken the revelation about my sexuality so well and that he felt comfortable enough to treat it just as part of our usual banter. However, I did want to make sure he would be cautious when other people were around.
"You will be careful not to give away any clues to my little secret,
won't you?" I reminded him.
"Of course! Don't be so paranoid - I'm not stupid ya know!"
"OK. I trust ya.... any plans for today?"
Just as were discussing what to do, the doorbell rang; it was Mike.
Normally he phoned before coming over.
"Hi guys!" he said, then looking at me, "Is your phone off again? I tried calling you a couple of times this morning."
"Oh shit... I forgot... with all the confusion recently my mind is going. Why didn't you call the house phone?"
"Tried a couple of times but it was busy." I looked at John, accusingly.
"Oh, well I was on-line for a bit." John said. From the way he blushed, I wondered what places he was 'visiting' on the net. Still, at least my parents had Surftime 24/7 so it didn't cost anything.
When John had finished lunch and I had finished breakfast, the three of us discussed what to do. As it was a lovely spring day, we decided to spend the afternoon wandering around the town centre and just revelling in the start of our holidays. During the general chatting, it emerged that none of us was looking forward to the next weekend, which was the Easter weekend. Mike was spending the weekend with his father near Birmingham and John and I would be expected to help mum and dad play host to a series of family visitors.
After we arrived back to our house, Mike went straight home to start getting ready for dinner with his mum and Sue. He didn't look exactly ecstatic at the prospect, and was expecting an uncomfortable evening. My thoughts were with Mike while I ate dinner with my family, and soon after eating I was in my room when my phone rang.
"Hi Paul, it's Rob."
"Hi Rob. What's up?"
"It's OK for me to phone isn't it? I'm not interrupting anything?" He sounded very hesitant and nervous.
"No problem - I wasn't doing anything. How are you?"
"I'm fine. My family got back late on Sunday - as far as they know I enjoyed the party and got back by midnight."
"Have you recovered from the trauma yet?" I asked.
"Yeah, I think so. Thanks to you."
"Hey! That's what friends are for..."
"Am I really your friend, then?" Rob's voice trembled a little.
"Of course you are!"
"So can we get together again soon?"
Apart from just meeting as friends, I wanted to talk to him about the rumours and also to let him know what I'd told Mike and what John suspected - well, more than just suspected - about Rob. As Mike, John and I had already arranged to get together the next day (Tuesday), I arranged to meet Rob in the town centre after dinner that Wednesday night.
When I picked Rob up he looked as if he'd dressed to impress in what appeared to be brand new clothes - dark blue loose trousers with a white polo shirt under a grey jacket. I felt positively under-dressed in my jeans and sweatshirt. As he got into the car I could smell a subtle and masculine aftershave, which I didn't recognise, but which I guessed would be expensive. Because I wanted privacy for our talk, I drove us into the hills that surrounded the town on three sides, and parked in a quiet lay-by from where we had a good view over the town. We sat for a few moments as the sky darkened, watching the lights come in the town below.
"With us becoming friends so quickly, there's a lot we still don't know about one another, but I'm looking forward to getting to know you better." With this sentence I broke our comfortable silence. It sounded clumsy to my own ears, but then I'd been rehearsing all day how I might start off this discussion.
"Yeah. Me too," Rob responded, with a strange look.
"Did you wonder why I gave ya my number at the GLYG meeting?"
"Cos I'm the only other gay guy ya know at school..." Rob hesitated, looked at his feet, and continued: "...and maybe ya fancied me?"
"Well, I guess a little of both those reasons, but the main reason was I thought ya might need a friend... ya see, I knew that ya might get hurt by Ben." As I finished saying this, he looked up at me, and I could see the light of understanding beginning to dawn in his eyes.
"So you already knew Ben and that's how you knew where he lived?"
"Yes," I replied.
"And is that why you had the 'premonition' to leave your phone switched on Saturday night?"
"Couldn't you have just told me... warned me about Ben?" He frowned at me.
"What could I say? Before Ben's party you hardly knew me but had been chatting to Ben for ages... If I'd told you Ben had just used me for sex then dumped me when I wouldn't give him what he wanted... Even if you believed me, what would you have done?"
"Dunno." Rob looked thoughtful. "Probly I'd still have gone to the party."
"So... are we still friends?" I asked, tentatively.
"Yes, of course we're still friends! Why wouldn't we be?" Rob looked startled.
"Well, maybe you think I should've done more to warn you about Ben?"
"Nah! You did as much as you could, considering I was practically a stranger. And more important, you were there for me when I really needed someone."
"There's something else I think you should know..." I said, and proceeded to tell him about my discussions with John and the rumours at school.
I told him that I hadn't confirmed what John said about Rob's sexuality, but John seemed to believe the rumours without my confirmation. Also, I pointed out that John seemed comfortable with me being gay and I trusted John not to tell anyone else. As I told him all this I thought Rob was blushing, but couldn't be totally sure as it was almost dark apart from the small amount of yellowish light from a distant street lamp. What I could see for sure was that his shoulders sagged and his eyes were cast downward, staring at his hands, which hung limply in his lap.
After I finished there was a long silence, then I could hear him quietly sobbing. I turned in my seat, placed my left arm over his shoulders, which shook as he cried, and I with my right hand I reached over to hold his right hand. His hand was warm and moist; after a few moments I began to feel an occasional tear drop onto the back of my hand.
"I'm sorry, Robbie, I didn't mean to upset you. I just thought you ought to know everything." I squeezed his hand and hugged his shoulders. I waited for him to calm down, or react or anything - because I had no idea why he was so upset or what I could say or do to make him feel better. He tried to speak, but all that came out was a wail of pain, which tugged at my heart and almost made me start to cry. When he eventually spoke his voice unsteady, and interrupted by sobs.
"Oh, Paul, I didn't know the rumours had spread so far - I thought it was just a few snide comments from people in my class. I don't know what to dooooo!" This last word became a heartbreaking wail.
"Hey, Robbie, I'm here for you. You know what our school's like for gossip; some kids will say anything just to relieve the boredom. Your friends won't care about the rumours."
"What friends?" Rob said with bitterness in his voice. "I lost what few friends I had last year when the rumours started. And now you know, I bet you won't want to be seen in public with me, either."
"Well, if friends deserted you because of some gossip, then they weren't real friends anyway... and I'm still your friend, no matter what."
"You mean.... you mean that you'll still be my friend?" His crying was beginning to slow down.
"Of course I'm still your friend!" I reached over to the glove box, took out some paper tissues, and handed them to him. He dabbed his eyes then blew his nose.
"I bet you want to know how the rumours started, don't you?"
"Well, of course I'm curious... you don't seem effeminate or 'camp'... but you don't have to tell me anything unless you really want to." I said, squeezing his shoulder gently.
"Yeah. I want to... I want to clear everything up so then you'll know everything and see if you still want to be friends. You know I'm not exactly butch and tough now, and I can't help crying a lot. Well, I used to be even more of a softy than I am now, and I was teased for that ever since I started school." He paused.
"But something special happened last year?" I asked.
"Mm... it's really embarrassing... but I think you should know..."
After another pause and a huge sigh, Rob told me about the incident which sparked off the rumours.
One day, shortly after Rob's 15th birthday, he was walking home from school with a boy in his class who at the time was Rob's closest friend. As they walked through a small park they chatted about girls, sex, etc. Rob had accepted himself as gay for some time and, for some reason he himself never understood, suddenly decided to come out to his friend. Apparently, the friend took it quite well, told Rob that they were still friends, and promised that he'd not tell anyone else. Rob was so happy with this response that he hugged his friend and quickly kissed him on the cheek. The friend blushed and pushed him away, but they carried on walking home, chatting as if nothing unusual had happened.
All might have been well, and Rob's friend might have kept his promise - except that another boy fin the year below theirs at school, had seen the hug and the kiss. The next day at school, both Rob and his friend were taunted with the accusation of being 'queer'. At our school this was the worst thing that anyone could be accused of. Rob's friend was confronted by classmates asking him if it was true that he'd been seen hugging and kissing Rob. Probably because of fear and an instinct for self-preservation, Rob's friend told his inquisitors that Rob had hugged and kissed him against his will and that Rob was the queer one. Rob's 'friend' maintained that he himself was totally straight and from that day on refused even to speak to Rob.
During this sad tale Rob sometimes gave a sob or dabbed his eyes, but I made no comment, merely making occasional comforting noises. I couldn't think of anything to say. Occasionally I squeezed his hand with my right hand or stroked the back of his head with my other hand. After awhile Rob began squeezing my hand, then after a few more minutes of silence, he looked up at me.
"We are still friends, aren't we?" he asked.
"Of course we are - how many times do I need to say it?"
"Thanks," he said. Then suddenly he giggled, and went into a fit of laughter which was almost hysterical. I guess it was some sort of emotional reaction. Anyway, it was quite painful for me - he was squeezing my hand really hard!
"Ow!! What!?" I yelped.
"Oh, sorry," he said, loosening his grip on my crushed hand, "I was just about to say thanks for a wonderful night, but with all the crying it seemed, well.... a stupid thing to say." He stopped laughing and became totally serious. "Then I thought, it *was* a wonderful night - not pleasant, but still wonderful.... I've never had anyone to share that with before. For a whole year I've had no friends at all and even before that I've never had anyone I felt was as close to me as you are. You're my best friend ever. Ya know, to make a friend like you, it was even worth being thrown out by Ben."
"Aw, Robbie..." I said through the lump in my throat, "What a lovely thing to say. I'm really, really glad we're friends."
"Anyway, thanks again," Rob said. He looked at the dashboard clock, now glowing pale green in the darkness. "All this has tired me out... and it's getting late."
"Want me to take you home then?"
We drove home in silence, but it wasn't uncomfortable; in a way I think we were just feeling a little burned out. As we travelled Rob had his hand on my knee, and occasionally gave me a friendly squeeze. When we arrived at his house I turned the car around in his driveway, and then Rob leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. He was clearly the sort of person who was comfortable being physically affectionate and it was a pity that what should be a positive trait should have sparked off those rumours and caused him so much trouble.
"Thanks again," Rob said, and smiled.
"You're very welcome."
"What are you doing this weekend?"
"Lots of family stuff - it's Easter weekend." Rob's smile fell away.
"When can I see you again?" Rob asked.
"Anytime from Monday onwards... and you can phone whenever you like."
"Monday night, then?" Rob asked, hopefully.
"Yeah, great!" I grinned.
"OK - Bye!" he said, then got out of the car.
As I drove off he stood in his doorway and waved at me. I could still smell his delicate and probably expensive aftershave in the car, and thought to myself that I should ask him what it was. On my way home other thoughts began to crowd my mind. My emotions were a little confused and some of my thoughts may have been rather silly, but I could separate the silly thoughts from the significant questions.
Rob said I was his best friend, but Mike was my best friend. Could Rob continue to think of me as his best friend if I thought of him as an 'ordinary' friend? Certainly I felt a strong connection to Rob, but it was different from the intense soul-brother connection I felt with Mike.
Physically, Rob was not the type of person that would be high on my list of 'cuties', but there was something so open and vulnerable about him that I did feel attracted me to him in a sexual way. Mike was the most gorgeous person I knew but I very rarely thought about him in a sexual way. Could Rob become more than just a friend to me... maybe even a boyfriend? Later that night these new and slightly disturbing thoughts were still turning over in my mind when I was in bed and as I fell asleep.