The following story, although drawn loosely from some my own experiences as bi teen, is a romantic fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to real persons is merely the result of Dame Fortune's random spin of the wheel of life.

The story contains explicit descriptions of sexual activities between consenting teens.  If that offends you, I guess it's your loss.

If you like the story, let me know and please come back for more.  It may be a long one.  If you don't like it, feel free to let me know that too, but watch out for the panther, heheh.

If you're looking for a story with more sex scenes, you might try my series No Boy Is an Island in this same Nifty archive.


Evan Hathaway


Chapter 4

"You don't have to be alone here."

"Huh....what ?" I had gasped, rousing from my stupor in the darkened room.  I looked around, wincing with the pain that still encased me after Trevor's beating.  The dancing shadows of the childish playthings on my shelves mocked me with their frivolous presence.  Rain from a vigorous spring storm pelted the window, adding a staccato counterpoint to the rhythmic clatter of overhanging oak branches on the gutters and the howling rush of wind through new leaves.  Jagged lightning crashed nearby, further electrifying my room and driving me deeper into the corner of my bed, where I cowered, overcome by the all-consuming fear and loneliness brought on by my afternoon encounter with Trev and its aftermath at home.

After my mother had found a spot where Nick could deposit my soiled and battered body without disrupting her decor, she had cleaned me up and assured herself that I had suffered no serious physical damage.  She wheedled at me, as she could so expertly do, to extract the story of Trevor's attack and then proceeded to interrogate me relentlessly about what I had done to bring on such behavior from a wonderful little boy like Trev.  She rattled on about how fortunate it was that a dull lad like Nick had found me as soon as he had, otherwise what might the neighbors have thought of her if they had seen me laying half naked by the street.  She opined that I had probably been making a pest of myself with Trevor and shouldn't be intruding on the older boys.  She lamented that she would probably have to call Aunt Jane, and risk appearing a busybody, to arrange for Trevor and I to apologize to each other and make up. On and on and on.

I couldn't endure another word.  I had to get away.  My mind retreated, reeling, deeper and deeper into my wounded soul.  Suddenly I stood alone, shivering with cold, at the center of a vast, treeless plain.  The crisp, clear air vibrated with the soothing undulation of a gentle wind rustling through the tall grasses, washing out all other sound.  Far in the distance, I could see my mother, surrounded by the aura of her consternation.  Her mouth moved.  Her brow knitted.  But not a word of her chatter reached me.  Her negative energy wafted away in the steady breeze, leaving me untouched.  I was at peace, immune to her words or thoughts, untouchable at the center of my own universe.

I shifted my focus from the pulsing heart of my pain and realized that, physically, I remained at home, with my mother leading me up to bed.  But by turning back to my wounds I could could transport myself once more to the numbing safety of the isolating landscape I had discovered inside of me.  When my father came up to my room later in the evening to tell me morosely how I had pained and disappointed him by not having had either the spunk to fight back harder or the quickness to run away sooner, I swiftly found my way back to that safe haven again.  I sat before him dutifully nodding my head as he lectured on and on; but I saw him as though looking through the wrong end of a telescope and his harsh words dissolved harmlessly in the vastness surrounding me.

When he finally tired of his harangue, or more likely my lack of response to it, he walked silently from the room, leaving me alone to ponder what had happened that day.  I lay curled on my bed in the middle of my once familiar surroundings and realized that everything in my life had changed.  Trust had died.  I knew without question that, if I ever again allowed myself to feel for a friend the way I had felt for Trevor or to rely on people with power over me for comfort or support the way I had relied upon my parents, I would come to unbearable, perhaps fatal, pain.  I also knew that, by embracing the sharp edge of the hurt that already dwelt within me, I could find safety in the aloneness of the empty, numbing space I had found inside.  So I resolved that I would be alone.  Upon doing so, a peaceful serenity and a profound sadness enveloped me.  Grieving my self imposed exile from the human race, I had eventually cried myself into the fitful sleep that was interrupted by the strange voice in my room.

"You don't have to be alone," it rasped again in a throaty whisper.

And suddenly I realized that I was not alone.  I blinked back my tears and confusion and there before me in my mind's eye a sleek black shape crouched on my bed.  Unreadable yellow eyes stared at me from the sharp angles of its massive head.  Its hulking form exuded a power I had never before experienced.

>"What...?   Who...?  Did you speak to me?" I managed to choke from my constricted throat.

"Yes, I spoke.  I am Panther.  I am here to be your companion," the beast responded evenly, its slitted eyes glimmering and its hot, moist breath steaming between us.

"But where did you come from?  How did you get here?  What are you?"

"Where and how do not matter.  I am your guardian."

"Why?  How?"

"I am here because you need me.  I will stay with you, if you will have me.  You will feed me your fear and let me drink your tears.  I will protect you.  I will share with you my power and my cunning and teach you to survive in the world you have chosen to inhabit."

And so began my alliance with Panther.  Still not sure if I was merely dreaming, but already uplifted by the pure majesty of the vibrant animal before me, I welcomed Panther into my soul.  He growled with satisfaction, stretched his sinewy back and limbs, tossed his head determinedly, and, rubbing his silken, ebony fur against my bruised psyche, curled into his new home around my heart.

I awoke the next morning, refreshed and alive, despite having slept little through the night.  My aches and pains had vanished and a cool calm pervaded me.  I bid farewell to the desperate little boy who had inhabited my room for the past seven years and headed downstairs to greet a new life.  After fending off my parents questions and comments about my well being with casual nonchalance, I went off to school.

That afternoon, as I packed away the silly toys and mementos that had accumulated around me during my now departed childhood, Trevor came to me.  He shuffled into my room, head down, hands clasped awkwardly behind his back.  Upon seeing him. I tensed, but Panther's soothing purr steadied me.

"Evan ... buddy," Trevor began, "I'm real sorry.  I don't know what happened.  I didn't mean to hurt you like that."

With cold, empty eyes, I studied my now-fallen idol, but did not reply.

"Evan ... really ... I just went crazy or sumpin.  I shouldn't have hit you like that.  You are my friend ... you've always been my friend.  Please forgive me."

Looking at him standing before me, uncharacteristically uncomfortable and unsure of himself, I saw, through Panther's piercing, wary eyes, a kid not that much different from me.  He bore his own fears.  He struggled with his own weaknesses.  But he also could hurt me horribly if I let him.

"Sure, Trev, whatever," I answered, shrugging indifferently and returning to cleaning up my useless stuff.

Trevor cocked his head, puzzled, and asked me uncertainly, "Are you ok, Evan?  Can I help you with what you're doin?"

"Yeah, I'm fine.  Help if you feel like it, I don't care."

So Trevor uneasily settled in beside me to help me sift through my things, oblivious to the gaping protective chasm I had created between us to spare me any further harm.  Over the next month, Trevor and I played together a few times.  One day he even dragged his bullying friends to me at school to clumsily apologize for their part in my humiliation.  I couldn't have cared less.  For me Trev and his buddies remained irrelevant stick figures, barely glimpsed on a distant horizon, safely distant from my life.

Then, at the end of the school year, we moved.  Embarking on what would be the first of several "geographics" for my father in his futile quest to run away from himself, we packed up our things to relocate in New Jersey.  I said goodbye to Trevor without any apparent regret. I did not see him again for over seven years.

My father's stumbling search for sobriety and salvation took us to Jersey for two years, Dallas for another two, and then to Denver for three more.  His vagabondage served me well in my own effort to avoid forging any real bonds of friendship with the people who danced briefly through my life in each of our brief stops.  By the time he decided to move us back to Indianapolis after I finished 8th grade, the five different school I had attended and the hundreds of classmates, teachers, and neighbors I had encountered had swirled together into an empty, uneventful, and uninteresting blur.  I had focused my energy on remaining detached from it all, relying on Panther to protect me from unwanted advances and letting him teach me the ways of the wily warrior he exemplified.  Always more intelligent than my peers, I developed my wit and sarcasm into stiletto sharpness and accuracy.  I learned to fawningly ingratiate myself with those who held power over me, the better to be able to plunge my blade should the need arise.  But emotional distance continued to be my armor.  I practiced at the art of deception, becoming an accomplished liar, weaving countless masks to disguise me and help me fit in when and where I wanted.

Despite all my artifice, however, I never managed to completely hide myself from me.  Somewhere inside, a voice cried out, begging me to tear down my walls and rejoin the human race.  My loneliness fought with my fear --"You have to reach out and touch someone, let them touch you."  "No, you don't dare, the pain will overwhelm you."  Paralyzed in the midst of the battle, I would dig deeper and deeper into my hollowed heart, clawing out more space to bury my turbulent feelings.  When I was 13, I discovered alcohol, the magic elixir.  It had the power to drown out that voice and numb me to the ravages of the war going on within.  Supported sometimes by a bottle, sometimes by Panther, I managed to trudge on through my empty life.

Unfortunately, however, I still experienced feelings.  Sometimes in my solitude, when a particularly powerful longing for true human contact arose.  I would think wistfully of Trevor, remembering our innocent years of fun and friendship, recalling fondly the unique emotional and physical closeness we shared.  Sure, I made some other friends along the way.  Especially during the last two years.  I had learned to make myself somewhat likable when I chose.  I was smart and funny, adept at playing the class clown.  The past two years of middle school in the Denver suburbs had provided a shared experience where I allowed myself to form a few friendships and have some fun.  But throughout all those times nothing came remotely close to the bond I had enjoyed with Trev.  I thought about him a lot, wondering what he was like now and what it would be like to spend time with him.  As I started developing sexually, I often fantasized us exploring each other as adolescents in the uncomplicated way we had as little boys.

When I learned that we were moving back to Indianapolis, the thought of being able to get to know Trevor again provided the one bright light in the otherwise dismal prospect of having to again navigate my way through the perilous waters of yet another geographical transition.  We arrived in early August and Trev and his family still  were away at their summer cottage in northern Michigan.  So I occupied the waning days of summer exploring my new neighborhood and meeting the dudes my age who lived there.  They seemed like a good bunch and I knew that making some friends would ease my entry into my new school.  But I counted the days until Trevor would return, steeling myself for the incompatibility or rejection I knew I would probably encounter, but nonetheless hanging on to a glimmer of hope that we might be able to be friends again -- friends this time on my terms, without me throwing myself shamelessly at his feet or losing myself in his shadow.  I knew better now.

Finally the awaited day arrived.  Trev had returned and my mother had arranged to drop me over at his house for a visit.  I had agonized over what to wear --eventually settling on my favorite, somewhat-worn khaki cargo shorts, a tattered Quicksilver sleeveless tee, nikes with no socks, and my interesting-young- rebel mask.  Arriving in front of the impressive colonial two story on a sedate tree-lined suburban street, I got out of the car and started up the front walk, desperately trying to subdue the civil war raging inside me between excitement and trepidation.  Before I reached the door, a strikingly handsome teen bounded from the house and ran to me.  Trev looked fantastic -- athletic build, about 5' 9", 160 pounds, tousled black hair, toothy grin, self-confident brown eyes.

"Evan!!  Hey, cuz! Its great to see ya, dewd!" shouted Trevor, wrapping his muscled arms around me in an exuberant bear hug and lifting me easily from the ground.

Surprised by the seeming genuineness of his enthusiastic welcome, I stiffened at first in his arms.  But then my mask slipped slightly and I relaxed, returning his hug, which drew an apprehensive growl from Panther, who had arrived fully alert, in super-vigilance mode.

"Trev!! Wow! You too, man," I managed to gasp from my tightly encircled lungs.

Trevor spun around with me in his arms, then set me down in front of him, and stepped back to look me over.  Apparently pleased with what he saw, his grin widened and his friendly eyes sparkled.

"Sheesh, Evan, you've grown up, dewd. You look great."

He was right.  Lots of swimming had given my upper body pretty good definition and bulk, while keeping me slender without being skinny.  I had inherited my fathers strong calves, so I managed to look somewhat athletic, although I didn't do any sports other than swim tem.  A summer in the sun had tamed my acne to a mild annoyance and I sported a rich, healthy looking tan and sun-streaked shaggy brown hair.  The tee I wore brought out a sparkling blue in my eyes and injected a devil-may-care humor into the rebel mask I had donned.

"Well you're the hulk, Trev.  Looks like you awta be playin linebacker or sumpin," I smiled back at him.

"I am, dewd, I am.  Practice starts next week.  Damn, I can't believe you're actually here.  It's been, like, seven years, dewd.  Come on in."

Trevor threw a friendly arm over my shoulder and walked me into his house.  We settled in the family room and started to catch up with each other.

"So, how was it livin in Denver, Ev?  Shit, I'd love livin in the mountains.  Skiing in Michigan sucks."

"Well, we actually were in Littleton, which is just another crappy suburb outside of Denver, and it's not really in the mountains.  The skiing is great , tho, I guess.  Actually I'm a boarder, myself."

"You board!! That rules," laughed Trevor.  "Fuckin little Evan a boarder.  I love it.  And I guess I shouldn't say that now.  You aint so little anymore, dewd."

"Well look at you, Cuz, playin linebacker.  That's way kewl, 'least till some big ass lineman breaks your butt.  What other sports you doin?"

"I wrestle in the spring ... on the team that is.  I wrestle the chicks year round whenever I can get my hands on them, heheh."

God, he was good.  I had been there maybe five minutes and already he had us joking and at ease with one another just like we had been as kids ten years ago.

"Yeah, I 'spect you hafta beat them offa you with a stick," I teased. "Or is it them beatin off your stick?"

"Naw, I save that just for the special ones.  Can't deplete my fountain of youth, ya know."

"Maybe you just need more cold show....."  My joke ground to a halt at the vision that appeared behind Trevor.

The most beautiful boy I had ever seen stood on the stairway.  Slightly built,  with warm, sensual facial features, a curly black mop of hair, milk chocolate skin, flashing black eyes, lips that screamed out "Kiss Me!!"  Those perfect lips broke into a smile when he saw me and he glided down the stairs to give me a hug.  His touch sent lightening bolts arching across the empty space of my usually trusty armor.  I fought to control the boner springing up between us.

"Evan!! Wow it's sure good to see you," he crooned in a sweet, silky voice, still holding me tight.

"Chase?  Is that really you, Chase?" I asked in disbelief, graceful trying to push him far enough away that he couldn't feel what was happening in my baggy shorts.  "Jeez,  you've grown up, little dewd.  I guess I forgot, you're what, 12 now?"

"Thirteen, two weeks ago," he laughed deliciously.

"Wow, so you'll be at Eastwood too this year, huh?' I asked hopefully, picturing how the possibility of seeing this walking dream every day in the hallways could make being at a new school much more than bearable.

"Naw, we're in the Westlane district.  I started there last year and I still got two more to go before high school," he sighed.

Trying to cover my disappointment, I commiserated,  "Bummer, that sucks.  I'm pissed that I don't get to start high school this year.  I already put in two years of middle school in Littleton.  If we hadn't a moved I'd be startin high school there this year.  Your stupid system keepin freshman with the twerps in seventh and eighth at junior high is so retarded."

I realized too late that what I had said was sort of a put down for Chase and I agonized at the whispering flash of hurt that crossed his face.  Trying to recover. I quickly joked, "But at least it means we won't hafta hang with dumb jocks like Trevor at Central."

"A blessing for sure," Chase hissed, with an obvious sneer at his brother.  "Anyway, Eastwood is o.k.  I've got some friends there, you'll get along fine there.  Look, I gotta fly.  I'm suppoda be at Josh's for practice.  Tell Mom I'll be home for dinner, 'k Trev?  It's really good to have you back here, Evan.  I'll be seein ya."

"Bye, Chase.  It's great to see ya."

"So long, Toad, don't trip over your dick on the way out," barked Trevor, who had silently watched our exchange from his seat on the couch, arms crossed, disdain clouding his previously cheerful face.

"Jeez, Chase sure has grown up." I offered, studying Trevor's stormy look.

" He hasn't grown up enough, he still thinks he's a fuckin fairy."

"Whaaa..t? Whadda you mean?" I asked, trying to keep my voice even.

"Oh shit, he thinks he's in love with his flamin faggot liddle buddy Josh.  They started playin music together last year and I think they got stuck on skin flute.  Now Chase can't stay away from Josh and he's actin all queer over him.  It's disgutin, makes me wanna puke every time I see them together."

"Chase is g.. gay?" I managed to respond.

"Naw, I'm sure it's just a phase he's goin thru.  He can't really be queer, he's my brother.  But all his lovey dovey stuff with Josh scares the shit outta me.  Fuckin Josh is queer, no doubt 'bout that.  I try to convince Chase to spend time with other dewds, or better yet with chicks, but he's kinda difficult right now.  I been tryin porn therapy on him to try 'n snap him outta it."

"Porn therapy?"

"Yep, on the puter.  I sit him down in front of the puter and make him watch while I surf the porn sites I have bookmarked, lettin him see how awwsum real sex is, talkin to him bout doin it with chicks, tryin to turn him around 'fore he sinks too deep into Josh's shit."

My head swam with the image of Trevor, the courageous de-programmer, valiantly fighting off gay demons swirling around his vulnerable little brother's pretty head. I cracked up.

"You really think that will work?" I choked out through my laughter.

"Damn straight it will," Trevor proclaimed confidently.  "I got sum burnin hot shit bookmarked.  It's guaranteed to make anyone wanna suck tit and plunge pussy.  You wanna see it?"

"Why?  You think I need porn therapy, too?" I pouted at him, half defiantly, half coyly .

Trevor eyed me with mock concern, rose from the sofa and walked around my chair, slowly, deliberately, looking me over carefully, pausing to shake his head and sort of cluck from time time.  As I turned my head to worriedly follow his appraisal, he doubled up and fell to the floor, laughing uproariously.

"No way, dewd," he finally spluttered out, "you just look like you could use a good lay, even if it's only a cyber one.  Come on, we gotta couple hours 'fore Mom and Josie get home.  You'll love this stuff!"

I did my best to join in Trev's laughter and followed him up to his room, both dragged along by his irresistible high spirits and propelled by my own curiosity, ignoring Panther's urgently growled warnings.

"You got a puter at home?" Trev asked over his shoulder as he sat at his desk to fire up his machine.

Sitting down on the edge of his bed, facing his big monitor, I answered, "No, my mom thinks they're instruments of the devil.  Won't allow one in the house."

"Mine too.  But me and Dad finally won her over with lotsa hype 'bout how much it would help with school work and shit.  So did you ever get to do any porn surfin back in Denver?"

"Littleton.  I lived in Littleton, not Denver," I corrected him,  buying time to decide how to answer.

"Littleton, Denver, ... whatever ... so, did you?"

"Yeah," I answered cautiously, "me and my friend Zack used to hang at his house and surf sum."

"Kewl, well then maybe you've already seen sum of this shit," said Trevor as images of copulating couples started to fill the screen.

"Maybe," I shrugged, figuring I didn't need to volunteer that not many boobs or cunts graced the sites that Zack and I had drooled over.

"Wow, is this hot or what?  I would love to get swallowed by that puss," panted Trev, coming to sit on the edge of the bed next to me.  He even had some sort of wireless mouse so that he could click to new sites from the bed -- the consummate porn surfer.

I feigned all the interest and excitement I could muster as we surfed for awhile, pausing to comment on the size of some obviously fake tits or brag about how we would fuck the socks off some particularly voluptuous blonde.  After a few minutes, Trevor stretched and pulled his shirt off over his head.

"Sheesh, this gets me horny.  I gotta jack or my balls are gonna blow up.  Do ya mind?" he asked, reaching down to undo the front of his shorts, which I saw were straining against a definite bulge at the crotch.

Somehow managing to find my reliable mask of indifference in my bag of deceiver's tricks. I donned it quickly and managed to shrug, casually, "No prob, mon.  A dewd hasta do what a dewd hasta do."

Trev pulled his shorts down and kicked them across the room. Arching his back and waggling his rigid cock in the air before him, he flopped back down on the bed, supporting himself on one elbow and using his free hand to lightly fondle at his meat.

"Sweet Jesus, I hafta be dreamin.  This can't really be happenin," my reeling mind screamed.  Talk about a fantasy come true.  The boy of my dreams, the one real friend I had ever known, was sprawled beside me on a bed, naked, playing with 6 inches of thick, delicious looking cock  I struggled to keep my eyes on the empty images on the monitor, at least most of the time, and to keep the drool from frothing out my mouth.  God, he was more awesome than I could ever have imagined from just looking at him clothed.  His solid torso, broad shoulders, and rippling abs cried out to be caressed.  His warm eyes glazed as he stared hungrily at the screen, licking his moist lips.  The mushroomed head of his cock bulged and purpled as he squeezed and stroked the turgid shaft.

"Whoa, look at the size a that cunt! I'd wanna wear a miner's light to go down on her," laughed Trevor.  " Hey, did you and errr, what was it .. Zack, ever jack together while you were surfin?"

"Huh?  Whaaa .." Trevor's calm question shook me from my daze.

"I said did you and your buddy Zack ever jack together?"

How the fuck was I going to answer that.  After having listened to Trevor rant about Chase earlier, I knew that if I told him even half of what Zack and I had done he would probably beat me up worse than he had seven years ago and throw me out of the house.  This was getting out of control.  Panther was wailing inside me, desperate for me to get away from here before this whole thing turned irretrievably ugly.  But Trevor's relaxed openness and his seemingly genuine interest in what my life was like drew me on.  My long-denied inner need for closeness, to just know some real emotional connection with a friend closed my ears to Panther's plaintive growls.

"Well, .. uhh ... sure, we did sum stuff like that."

"So come on then!  Whip it out and join me.  There's enuff pussy on that screen for both of us.  Liddle Willy's probably all stiff from sittin too long and could use some exercise.  I'll bet he's bulked up a lot since the last time I saw him, heheh."

Suddenly all my walls snapped up.  I couldn't do this.  The danger of it all overwhelmed my longing.  Panther prevailed, and I grabbed my dagger, coated my tongue with acid from the bile angrily churning in my throat, and lashed out.

"The last time you saw it was the afternoon you beat the shit out of me and your asshole friends stole my pants.  I doubt you got a very good look."

Trevor's head whipped around from the sexual gymnastics frozen on the screen.  Turning to face me on the bed, he let go of his bulging cock, and narrowed his eyes, studying mine intently.  I glared back at him.

"You're still pissed at me for what happened back in second grade, aren't you?" he asked with concern.

I had scored a hit and definitely gotten his attention. I could have stopped there and just answered him, given him a chance for another apology.  But now I was out of control.  The anger I had held inside for years now had me in it's grip.  It shook me with it's rage and I plunged the dagger again, deeper, with more bitter fury.

"You were in second grade, Trevor.  I was still in first.  You made me painfully aware of that."

Touche!! That one had touched his heart.  A pained wince flashed across his face.  Suddenly worried that I had cut him too deeply,  I started to speak but could find no words.  His eyes clouded, was it grief or rage?  I didn't know.  Would he strike back?  I didn't care.  Guilt and fear and anger fought wildly within me as I struggled to maintain my icy stare.

Drawing on some mother lode of inner strength that I wished I could have mined, Trevor managed to just sigh, slump a bit, and nod in sad surrender,  "Yup, you're still pissed."

I don't know if I hated him more right then for what he had done to me seven years ago or for his self restraint in the face of my attack.  Whatever its source, hatred burned out of control within me, a white-hot wildfire consuming everything it touched.  All the anger and pain inside me immolated in the crackling fire storm.  Panther fled in panic from its intensity.  The flames grabbed hungrily for more and more fuel.  I needed Trevor to say something, do something, give me another target for this blazing fury.  But he just sat there before me, naked, still.  His doleful eyes, moist with incipient tears, reached out across the flaming chasm between us, silently revealing to me his own scorched soul.  Nothing left to burn.  No point in trying to hurt him anymore. I started to tremble.  My shoulders shook.  I sat there and simply cried, letting the conflagration rage within.  Suddenly the fire was spent.  It had flared itself out and left me charred, empty.  Choking back my tears, I looked into the pained depths of Trevor's eyes.

"Can you blame me for still being pissed, Trev?" I whispered hoarsely.

So swiftly that I had no chance to pull away, Trevor reached out and encircled me with his arms, clutching me to his naked chest.  And then his dam burst.  Uncontrollable sobs coursed through him, rogue waves propelled upward from violent cross currents deep below the surface, building into monstrous crests, and then crashing down onto his defenseless body.  Violent tremors shook him.  Hot tears streamed down his face, soaking into the shoulder of my tee.  Pressing his burning face to my neck, I gently stroked the back of his head.  After a while the storm subsided.  The heaving of his chest slowed to shallow raspy breaths.  I held him close to me, the boy I once had loved with all my heart, now broken and naked in my arms.  Through cracked lips he finally spoke to me, haltingly, still choked with emotion.

"No, Evan, you should still be pissed.  I guess I had hoped that maybe you wouldn't be, that we could just pretend it had never happened and go back to bein friends, but I can't even forgive myself for what I did, there's no reason you should.  It was awful.  You were my best friend, Evan.  I knew how you loved me.  What I did was unforgivable.  All these years since then I've prayed for a way to call back my words, pull back my punches.  But I know there's no way to undo the horrible hurt.  I know you'll hate me for it forever."

"But why, Trev? What hurt me the most was not knowing why .. not knowing what I did that you were so angry at me"



"Nothing," Trevor sobbed, "you didn't do anything.  That's what's so awful about the way I hurt you.  You didn't do anything to deserve it 'cept always try to be my friend."

"Then why, Trevor, why were you so angry at me?"

"I was angry at myself, Evan, and scared ... and confused.  The afternoon before it happened, my dad had barged into my room and found Jimmy Preston kneeling in front of me, with my pants down, suckin on my prick.  Dad went berserk.  Started shoutin 'bout how what we were doin was wrong, wrong, wrong.  How only queers did that and no son of his was gonna grow up to be a queer.  Jimmy started bawlin, sayin I made him do it, he didn't want to but I had threatened to beat him up if he didn't suck me.  I called Jimmy a liar and my dad slapped me across the face, shoutin, "Stop!!  Whether you made him do it or he begged for it doesn't matter, its still wrong, and it will never, ever happen again while you are my son."  Jimmy ran out still bawlin and my dad looked at me with disgust and walked away."

"The next mornin, Dad still wouldn't talk to me.  I went to school scared shitless.  Terrified that Jimmy would tell somebody what had happened and all my friends would start callin me a queer.  Sick inside about the stuff you and I had had done together, and about how much I'd always liked it.  Scared it meant that I was a faggot and that my dad would find out and send me away.  I didn't know what to do.  Then after school you came runnin up to me like a lovin little puppy and I went crazy.  I had to drive you away, punish you for all the things we had done together that my dad said were so wrong, drown out every thing that threatened to turn me into a queer and tear me from my family.  I had to prove to my friends how tough and how straight I was.... That's why. ... Not that it makes any difference."

I was stunned.  What Trevor had just told me changed everything.  The beating he had inflicted on me wasn't about me, it was about him.  My mind reeled.  The world view I had built out of that one incident spun wildly out of control.  I lifted Trevor's head from my shoulder and looked into his weeping eyes.  Deep within them I saw the real Trevor for the first time -- a frightened child, bewildered, vulnerable, lashing out in fear and confusion at a world that threatened to tear him apart.  I continued to look and saw myself reflected there in Trev  -- twin sons of different mothers.  My heart opened to us both and a soothing balm of forgiveness flooded through me, bringing new life to the ashen landscape within.

My mind was a mad jumble, I couldn't speak but I had to tell Trevor that I understood.  I reached out and gently brushed a tear from his cheek.  Leaning forward, our eyes still locked together, I kissed him tenderly on the lips, breathing into him the forgiveness that filled me.

Trev smiled and his eyes shone with thanks.  We grabbed each other into a crushing hug of happiness and redemption.  The tune of a bittersweet song wafted through my head and I sang to him softly:

there's no one left to finger
there's no one here to blame
there's no one left to talk to honey
and there ain't no one to buy our innocence
'cause we are born innocent
believe me Trevor, we are still innocent
it's easy, we all falter
does it matter?

Trevor snuggled closer and sighed, "You have a sweet voice, Evan.  Thanks."

We sat, holding each other, for a few minutes and then Trevor asked me quietly, "Evan, remember how we played gladiator together?"

"Sure, I remember, Trev."

"And how when you would win, I would beg for mercy?"

"Uhh .. yeah," I answered cautiously, thinking of the infrequent times I would stand, naked and powerful, over a supplicant Trevor.

"Well, uhh .. would you let me ... uhh ...beg you for mercy ... uhh ... right now the way I used to?"

-- To be Continued --