Legal Notice:

The following contains descriptions of graphic sexual acts between consenting underage boys. It is a work of fiction and has no basis in reality.

Do not read this story if:

1) You're not 18 or over.
2) If it is illegal to read this type of material where you live.
3) If you don't want to read about gay/bisexual people in love or having sex.

The author retains copyright (2003) to this story.  Reproducing this story for distribution without the author's permission is a violation of that copyright.

Perry and Jesse:  The Incredibly Romantic (and slightly kinky) Adventures of Two Boys In Love   

Part IV  Brothers

Chapter 13 Secret Brothers

I woke up to the now familiar sound of clicking buttons.  A glance at the clock told me it was already seven thirty.  I propped myself up on one elbow and looked at Derrin, who was indeed sitting on the futon, cross legged, staring at the silent television screen, playing Kingcarver 2.  I was surprised to see he was already dressed, or at least partially dressed, in a red T-shirt and grey cargo pants.  He was still barefoot and his hair looked damp.  From the subtle smell of soap and shampoo that tickled my nose, I could tell that he had already taken a shower.  I was surprised that I had been able to sleep through that.

I sat up and swung my feet to the floor.  Derrin immediately turned and gave me a toothy morning grin.

"Hey, Perry--did you have a good sleep?" he asked cheerfully, pausing the game without even looking at the controller.

"Um...yeah..." I said, lifting my arms and stretching them over my head.

Derrin came over on his knees, smiling.  "Wasn't that fun, last night?" he asked expectantly.

Even though it had been kind of fun in a surreal, Twilight Zone-ish sort of way, I wasn't sure that was the message I wanted to convey to my impressionable young cousin.  My dick was actually still a little sore from Derrin squeezing it so hard.  It was such an odd feeling to realize that, not only had he seen me naked, not only had he touched me in the most intimate way possible, he had actually aroused me to the point of orgasm! 

"Well, I was really impressed with your vocabulary," I complimented him cautiously.

"We just finished a sex ed class with Mr.  Braunmiller,' he said off handedly.  "He's really good.  The girls had to go with Miss Anderson!"  He giggled at that observation for some reason.  "Also, I read a lot of stuff on the internet."

Now why didn't that surprise me?

"It was so cool to see you naked, Perry.  You're like totally good looking all over!  I knew you would be--I just knew it!"  He gave me a quick hug, grabbing my shoulders and pressing his cheek against mine.

"Well, I don't know what the big deal was about seeing, but that was like a one time thing, okay?"

Derrin's smile quickly disappeared.  "Oh no, Perry.  I want to do more stuff like that--it was so super bodaciously awesome!  I mean, if I move in with you, then we can do shit like that all the time!"

Gees, he really had that 'moving in' thing stuck in his head.  That could be a big problem if my Uncle Ron and Aunt Karen really did decide to split up.

"Look, Derrin.  You know you don't have to live with me for us to be secret brothers, right?"

"Well, I guess..." he admitted reluctantly, clearly not fully convinced.

"You know what I think?"  I asked, deciding that a more direct approach might be best after all.  "I think your mom and dad are going to work things out, and everything is going to go back to just the way it was before," I said with as much optimistic confidence as I could muster.

Derrin didn't seem too excited by my conviction.  "I told you," he said in a very deliberate tone, "I don't want Josh to be my brother any  more.  I want you!"  And the way he looked at me with those big blue grey eyes told me he was dead serious.

"But Josh is your brother.  I'm your cousin.  That's just how it is," I said, trying not to sound as frustrated as I was feeling.

"No--that's not fair!" he pouted, and suddenly he was sitting next to me on the bed, grabbing onto me as if his life depended on it.

He wasn't crying, but I could sense the powerful emotions that were gripping him at that moment.  Slowly, I wrapped my arms around his slender frame and let him lay his head on my shoulder.

"Your mom and dad love you so much, Derrin.  You have to trust that they'll do the best thing for your family.  Everything's going to be okay..."  I was just grasping at straws now, trying to sooth him in any way I could.

"No, that's not how it works," he told me quietly, his voice quivering slightly.  "You know my best friend, Tony?"

Actually, I didn't, but I just nodded vaguely, wanting to hear his story. 

"His parent's got divorced last year.  Now he has to live some of the time with his dad and some of the time with his mom.  His dad moved to San Bernardino, so I don't hardly get to see him any more, except at school...That sucks, Perry.  It really blows!"

Of course it did.  I thought about my own situation.  As soon as we were off for Christmas break, I'd have to hop on a plane to New York.  I had no desire to go.  I'd be away from Jesse for two weeks.  Until now, I had tried to block that thought out of my mind as much as possible, but Derrin's story brought it home with a vengeance.  I suddenly felt like crying.

"I'm so sorry, Derrin." I said with a tight throat.  "I know what it's like to have to leave your friends behind.  It's really hard.  It totally sucks that I have to go to New York  even when I don't want to."  I felt Derrin nod his head in silent agreement.  "But when I'm here, we'll get together more often--that is, if you want to, okay?"

In response, I felt his grip tighten around my torso.  "Okay, Perry...That's like the best we can do, huh?"  he asked, looking up at me hopefully with moist eyes.

"Yeah, it is," I agreed somberly.

Just then, there was knock on the door.  "Boys, are you up?"  my mom asked.

I had to swallow the big lump in my throat before I could respond.  "Almost, mom," I answered hoarsely.

"Hey," I said, trying to sound more upbeat as I held Derrin at arm's length.  "You said something about making pancakes, didn't you?"

Derrin nodded, his lower lip still trembling a little.

"Why don't you go down and get started on those.  My mom'll show you where stuff is.  I'll get washed up and dressed.  I'm really hungry!"

"Okay, I make great pancakes!" Derrin assured me, wiping the snot from his freckled nose with his bare arm.  He slowly got to his feet.

"Thanks for last night," he said sincerely.  "I know you really didn't want to do that stuff...that you just did it for me.  That was so totally cool of you, Perry.  I'll never forget!"

"It's okay," I said.  "But don't tell anyone what we did, okay?  They might think it's pretty weird!"

Derrin nodded.  "Yeah, I guess...I might want to tell Tony though, cuz he's my best friend."

How could I argue with that?  I shared everything with Jesse.  It would be incredibly hypocritical of me to ask Derrin not to share his experiences with his best friend.  Besides, I figured the chances of me ever running into Tony were almost nil.

"I guess that's okay," I said, reluctantly nodding my approval.

Derrin started heading for the door, and then stopped.  "Oh, can I borrow some socks?" he asked, "I didn't pack enough clean ones."

"Of course," I said, springing up and going to my dresser.

"Are you gonna put on your basketball uniform?" he asked with something more than idle curiosity.

"Yeah, I have to, or the coach'll be pissed," I told him.

"Cool!" he said, the expression on his face a little lighter than it had been a few minutes ago.  He took the balled up pair of crew socks I handed him and ran downstairs barefoot.

After washing up and brushing my teeth, I stripped off my sleeping clothes and first put on a pair of briefs.  Coach didn't require us to wear a jock strap for practice and that was fine with me, but I did like a little more support than boxers would have provided.  Then I slipped on my uniform shorts--sky blue with gold trim.  Because it would for sure be cold out this morning, I pulled on a speckled grey  T-shirt before slipping my jersey on over it.  I was number 12, probably because my name came towards the end of the alphabet.  Instead of crew socks, I pulled on a pair of tube socks because they were a little longer and they'd keep my legs a little warmer.  I combed my long, hopelessly tangled hair in the dresser mirror as best I could.   I stuffed my white  headband into the waist of my shorts.   My new basketball sneakers were next to the desk and I sat and slipped them on.  I laced them up tightly and then zipped the outer flaps closed.  They felt airy and bouncy as I came down the stairs and I was anxious to try them out on the court.

Something smelled good in the kitchen and I was anticipating the result of Derrin's culinary exploits.  If he did pancakes as well as he could lecture on human anatomy, there was gonna be some good eats this morning!  I was surprised to see my mom standing in front of the grill, flipping pancakes while Derrin sat at the counter with a glass of orange juice.

"You look awesome!" Derrin declared as I came into the kitchen.

I glanced at my mom, thinking that sounded kind of weird, but she just gave me a warm good morning smile.

"Why aren't you cooking?" I asked.

"I only know how to make the kind of pancakes that you cook in the microwave," Derrin explained sheepishly.

I saw my mom smile and shake her head.  Microwaved pancakes?  Gross!

"Perry, you can put some of that turkey bacon in the microwave if you want--just enough for the two of you.  I don't want any."

But Derrin was already on his feet.  I saw that he had put on my borrowed socks and his white Pony sneakers, which I remembered he had kicked off in the den last night while we were watching the Lakers.  "I'll do it, Aunt Trish!  I'll do it!"

He opened the freezer and started looking for bacon.  I showed him where the package was in the refrigerator side.  I got the microwave safe bacon platter out of the cabinet and waited while Derrin carefully and neatly laid out six strips of meat.  Then I had to show him how to work the microwave and how many minutes to set the timer at.   I went and poured myself a glass of o.j.

Finally, we all sat and had our breakfast.

"How's the bacon?" Derrin asked proudly, as if he had actually made it himself.

"Nice and crispy," I assured him.

"Sorry I woke you up last night, Aunt Trish," Derrin apologized meekly.

"That's all right, dear.  I guess I over reacted.  I still think of you as a little boy, but you're not any more," she explained.

"I'm a pretty big boy, now," Derrin assured her proudly, and he gave me a little wink in case I hadn't gotten his meaning.  Then the expression on his face turned more thoughtful.  "If my mom and dad split up, I should be able to decide where I want to live, don't you think?"

My mom glanced at me in puzzlement.

"Derrin's best friend's parents got divorced last year, and I guess they got joint custody..." I explained.

"I see.  And your friend has to go back and forth between his mother and father," my mom surmised.

"Yeah.  He still goes to my school in Arcadia, but on Fridays, his dad picks him up and takes him out to San Bernardino, which is kinda far away.  And when we have a vacation, he has to go out there too."

"Yes, it's really unfair for the children," my mom sympathized.  "And Perry is in much the same situation.  At least it's not practical for him to fly out to New York every weekend, thank God!"

That was the first time I had ever heard my mom actually comment on my custody arrangement so pointedly.  Obviously, she didn't like  having me be so far away.  I also realized how lonely it must be for her here in this big house all by herself--especially all summer.  Again I had to wonder why she didn't  get herself a boyfriend...

I think she saw the pain in my eyes when she mentioned New York, because she gave me a concerned look even though she didn't say anything.

"I want to live with you and Perry if my parents get divorced," Derrin revealed confidently.

I flinched, rather shocked that he would say that in front of my mom.

"Oh, Derrin, dear.  That's...that's..."  My mom was struggling to find the right words.  I knew she wanted to say that it was impossible, but she couldn't bring herself to crush his hopes like that.

"I told him that we could get together more often," I offered.

My mom smiled with relief.  "Yes, we could certainly arrange that.  But Derrin, dear,  I honestly think your parents are going to work things out.  It's a very complicated situation, and it's going to take some time..."

"But Perry's dad left!"  Derrin pointed out.

I was sure my mom hadn't been expecting such a rough breakfast conversation and I immediately saw the color leave her face.

"That's true..." she said uneasily, taking a long sip of her coffee.  "But there were some very different circumstances.  I think your parents still love each other very much, and they care very deeply about you and Josh.  They're going to do everything they can to make it work out so you can all be together."

Derrin just nodded and I couldn't tell if my mom's assurances were encouraging or disappointing to him.

Derrin brought his Gameboy along to the practice.  Normally, my mom would drop me off and go run some errands, but today she stayed, probably to keep an eye on my cousin.  It was nearly the end of November and quite cool.  Even though it was sunny, it didn't seem like it was going to warm up much this afternoon.  There were even a few occasional gusts of cold wind which seemed to blow right up my shorts.  There were a few other parents bundled up in the bleachers.  I noticed Morgan's mom was there and she and my mom ended up sitting and talking together.  I wished I could overhear their conversation.  I still wondered how Morgan had explained his angry outburst at the game last week.  And what could be going on with Derek?  He had gone home devastated and traumatized the day Jesse had told him that there could be no physical relationship between them.   What had he told his parents?  What had he told Morgan?  I was worried for all of them, even though Jesse had wisely cautioned me against becoming too emotionally involved in other people's problems.

 And thinking about Derek, I of course thought about Tom, who wanted to have a relationship with Derek, but had been patiently waiting for the right opportunity to come up.  He seemed so certain that, being spurned by Jesse, Derek would basically come running into his arms.  I wondered if anything like that had happened yet.  Tom was so dear, and had become even more precious since he revealed to me not only his biggest secret--that he liked boys-- but that he had some sort of feelings for me.

Derrin sat a little away from the rest of the spectators.  I thought he would just keep his face buried in his Gameboy like a couple of the other younger siblings that had been dragged to the practice by their parents, but he actually seemed interested in watching everything that happened on the court.  He was a pretty good basketball player himself, as he had demonstrated on Thanksgiving Day when he played with Josh, Jesse and me.  I didn't even know if he played basketball for his school.  It was strange that there were so many things about my cousin that I didn't know, even though we had essentially grown up together.  And it was even stranger to think that he had seen me naked and even jacked me off.  So far, Jesse was the only other person to manage either of those things.  It made my head spin to realize how vastly different those experiences were.

Of course, I was more than a little curious to find out how Derek was doing, but during the practice, Morgan was all business.  He set a brutal pace in all our drills and insisted we go over plays even after Coach Riegert seemed satisfied with our performance.  But Morgan wasn't a bully.  He set a high bar with his amazing athletic skills, and was the fastest dribbler and most accurate thrower on the team.

I was annoyed to find myself occasionally staring at Reggie Colbert , who, even though it was the end of November still had a killer golden brown tan.  While I didn't exactly lust for him, he did make my dick twitch whenever he flashed those bright white teeth of his.  One time he caught me looking at him, and he gave me a bashful little wave, as if he couldn't believe that an eighth grader might actually be paying any attention to him.

About an hour in, I noticed Tom sitting in the bleachers.  When the coach gave us our ten minute break, I went over to say 'hi.'  Tom smiled when he saw me coming over.

"Hey," I said, giving him a high five.  "You must really like basketball!" I commented.

"I like watching you play basketball," he answered coyly.

I wasn't sure how to respond to that.  "Have you talked to Derek, yet?"

I could see the disappointed look on his face before he even spoke.  "I talked to him a little yesterday.  He said he still wasn't feeling good, and I said, I think I know what's making you sick, and then he said, it was better to just leave him alone for a few days, and then I said, I wish I could help you, and then he said he was really tired and stuff and he was going to lie down and then..."  His voice trailed off as he took a deep breath and shrugged frustratedly.

I noticed Derrin coming our way, so I didn't respond to Tom's story.

"Tom, this is my cousin, Derrin.  He's been staying at my house the last  couple of days.  Derrin, this is one of my very best friends, Tom."

The two boys instinctively exchanged daps with a quick bump of their knuckles.

"You're Perry's cousin, huh?" Tom asked, looking the younger boy over in more than a casual way.  "That's cool--you look a little bit like him."

"Georgie said we're both good lookin'!" Derrin told him proudly.

I cringed.  I didn't think it would be right to tell Tom about Gene's brother being gay.  It wasn't really our business to spread information like that.  It was one thing to meet George Rauch and be charmed by his incredibly affable and warm personality, but to just say that he was gay, completely out of context, seemed like it could give people the wrong idea.

"George is Gene's brother," I explained quickly, in case Tom didn't know.  "We met them at the mall, yesterday."  I gave Derrin a meaningful glance that I hoped he was intelligent enough to pick up on.

"Aw man!  You were at the mall, yesterday?" Tom moaned disappointedly.

"Yeah, we almost got to level fifteen on Kingcarver 2!" Derrin bragged.

"Shit, I wish I could've been there!" he said despondently.   Then his face brightened up a little.  "You guys wanna go back this afternoon?"

"We have to drive Derrin back home.  It's way up in Arcadia and that's like a four hour round trip," I told him.

"Are you good?" Derrin asked my friend.

"Derek and I had the high score once, when we beat level fifteen.  But then someone else got to level sixteen--I don't even know who it was!"

"Kewl!  Next time I come over, I'll play ya!" Derrin challenged Tom.  They almost seemed like kindred spirits with their passion for video games.

"What're you playing?" Tom asked, gesturing to Derrin's Gameboy.

Before I could find out, the coach was blowing his whistle, indicating break time was over.  I raced over to my mom to chug down some bottled water, and hurried to join the team.  We still had two more regularly scheduled games.  Even though we had already clinched a spot in the playoffs, we were hoping to have an undefeated season.  But with Morgan benched for the next game, it clearly diminished our chances.  Morgan was pretty intense, but I didn't sense the belligerence he had displayed at our last game.  Still, when Harvey Kalbert and Artim started making a joke about the kid from St. Luke's who Morgan claimed had tripped over his own feet,  he quickly cut them off.

We had a scrimmage for the rest of the practice, with Morgan and Eric being the captains.  I was on Eric's team along with Reggie Colbert, and even though we gave the other side a good run for their money, we ended up losing by six points.  No one on the team could go up against Morgan one on one.  He was just too good.  I wondered if he still thought about last Sunday afternoon when I had jacked him off.  He seemed to enjoy it and I never imagined that someone could shoot his load as far as Morgan did.  I had to smile thinking that Derrin would have been really impressed to see that!

I wanted to talk to Morgan privately, but as soon as the practice was over, Derrin and Tom came down to join us.  I introduced Derrin to Morgan, who was pretty tired and sweaty from working so hard.  Still, he managed a warm smile and gave my five foot tall cousin a firm high five.

"Cousin, huh?  Cool!"  Morgan said.  "Are you staying at Perry's house?"

"He was since Thanksgiving, but we have to take him home this afternoon," I explained.

"I live in Arcadia, but maybe I'll be moving soon!" Derrin said.

I hoped Morgan and Tom wouldn't ask what that was about.  Instead, Morgan was looking questioningly at Tom.

Tom responded to Morgan's inquisitive look with a shrug.  I sensed that neither one of them had gotten much out of Derek yet.  Boy, that was scary.  It had been Tuesday when Jesse had tried to let Derek down easy, and Wednesday morning when we had our emotional scene behind the school.  If Derek was still mopping, it couldn't be a good sign.  I  actually started to question whether Jesse had done the right thing or not.  Of course,  he had never said that he felt very confident about how he was handling the situation.  At least it seemed like the door was  open for Tom to pursue his relationship with Derek the way he wanted to, so I was hopeful about that.

"I need a shower," Morgan said tiredly, wiping the perspiration from his high forehead with a bare arm.  "Well, it was cool meeting ya, Derrin," he said, actually taking my cousin's  hand and giving it a firm shake.

He started to move off and then turned like he wanted to say something more to me, but then I guess he decided not to.  "I'll see you guys at school on Monday!" he said with a quick wave, before joining his mom.

"Well, I guess we should be going too," I said to Tom.

"Whatcha doin' tomorrow?" Tom asked.  He was trying to sound casual but there was a hint of nervous anticipation in his tone.

"Just church in the morning," I shurgged.

"You wanna meet at the arcade in the afternoon?" he asked hopefully.

Going back to the mall was not high on my list of fun things to do.  In fact, the way I felt at the moment, the only way I was going back there was with George Rauch as my personal bodyguard.

"Um...I'm kinda malled out," I said.

"We met this really scary clown looking guy," Derrin interjected before I could stop him.  "I think he wanted to hurt Perry.  It was lucky that Georgie came along when he did!"

I flinched, both from being reminded of that frightening event, and at Derrin bringing it up in front of Tom.

"Are you kidding?  Somebody tried to hurt Perry?" Tom asked, wide eyed with concern.

I shook my head and even managed a thin smile.  "Nah, it was no big deal," I said, trying to dismiss the whole thing as casually as possible.  "Just a little misunderstanding."  I shrugged.

Tom didn't look convinced, and I gave Derrin a rather intense look making it clear that I didn't want him saying any more about it.

"It was nothing..." I insisted.

"So uh...Jesse's still up at Big Bear?" Tom asked, reluctantly changing the subject

I nodded.  Gees, thanks for reminding me!

"Perry dear, are you almost ready to go?" my mom called.  She was just waving good bye to Mrs. Kipner and Morgan.

"Do you wanna come over to my house tomorrow--after church?" Tom asked, and there was a look of  hopeful optimism in his big brown eyes.

"Well, I'll have to check  it out with my mom," I said a little hesitantly.  After the last time he had come over, I had some misgivings about getting together again with Tom.  Still, if his family was there, it would probably keep things from getting out of control.  Besides, I still felt bad that I hadn't gone to his sleep over way back in March!  "She has an extra choir rehearsal..."

"I could get my sister to pick you up from church!" Tom offered quickly.

I nodded.  That could work.  "But I'd really like to change out of my church clothes," I said.

"Well, you could bring your other clothes to church with you, or we could stop by your house first," Tom suggested.

That made sense, but I didn't know what his sister would think about chauffeuring two thirteen year old boys around Santa Corina on a Sunday afternoon.

"Let me talk to my mom about it.  I'll call ya later, okay?"

Tom gave me a big smile full of small white teeth.  I loved seeing Tom smile.  It made him look sweet and boyish.

"Thanks, Perry!  See ya!"  Tom waved and got his bike out from behind the bleachers.  He strapped on his helmet and pedaled off, through the parking lot and down the street.  I knew he lived somewhere between the school and Jesse's apartment, so it probably wasn't too bad of a bike ride.

"All your friends seem nice," Derrin said as we followed my mom out to the parking lot.  "Except Morgan, he looked kinda angry sometimes."

"He's the captain of the team, and he takes it really seriously."

"That's cool then," Derrin said approvingly.

It was eleven thirty by the time we got back to the house.  I could tell that my mom was still disturbed by some of the things Derrin had said at breakfast and she kept her conversation to a minimum.  She asked us what we wanted for lunch and remarkably, Derrin and I both said, "Fuddrucker's!" at the same time, which was pretty funny.  Derrin probably thought of it because they had a small arcade.  I thought of it because it was in Escondido which was where we had to catch the I-15 north to head up towards Arcadia and they had really good hamburgers.

I told Derrin that I was going to take a shower, hoping he would stay downstairs.  Instead, he followed me up.  He turned on the Gamecube and the TV and started playing NBA All-stars.  I felt awkward about undressing in front of him after what had happened the last couple of nights.  It seemed like last year, no one I knew had even thought about sex.  Now everywhere I turned, everyone I talked to, and everyone I hung out with, only seemed interested in that one topic.  While I had always been shy about undressing in front of others, it was now compounded by all the (mostly confused) sexual feelings everyone seemed to be having--even my twelve year old cousin!

Despite the cold weather, the intense practice had left me hot and sweaty.  I sat at my desk chair and pulled off my sneakers and peeled off my socks.  Then I stood up and pulled off my jersey and my T-shirt.  While I started rummaging through my dresser for some clean clothes to put on for the trip to Arcadia, I suddenly realized that Derrin had paused the game and was staring at me.

"Hey, what about those All-stars?" I asked self-consciously as I quickly pulled out a pair of plaid boxers.

"It's okay--I'd rather watch you," he answered plainly.

"I don't get it, Derrin," I admitted, standing there dressed in nothing but my basketball shorts.  "The last time I saw you in Ventura, you were all into girls and boob squeezing.  Now you seem interested in...well...other stuff."

Derrin shrugged, apparently not finding my question or the fact that he was staring at my half naked body the least bit out of the ordinary.

"Yeah, I really wanted to squeeze Jenny Creemore's boobs!" he said with a boyish smile.


"Well, I did like you told me; I was nice to her, and paid attention to all her yapping and stuff, and then when we were in a private spot where no one could see us, I asked if it would be okay if I squeezed her boobs..."

"Derrin!  That wasn't right!" I chastised him.

He shrugged.  "How much goofin' around could I do?  I mean, sheesh--it's not like she's some royal princess or anything.  She's just a dumb, skinny sixth grader with braces," Derrin complained.  "And she said ' Derrin Waldman, I'm not that kind of girl,'" he said mockingly, rocking his head back and forth and using a silly, childish kind of voice to imitate the way Jenny talked.

"So now you're not interested in girls anymore?" I asked concernedly.

"I still have a girlfriend," he insisted.

"Really?  Isn't Jenny pissed at you?"

"She's not my girlfriend," he said impatiently, as if I should have already figured that out somehow.  "She's just a girl in my class."

"Then who is?" I asked curiously.

"Oh, that's Barbie Gallagher--she's in seventh grade.  She's really cool!  She's always chewing gum in class and the teachers tell her to get rid of it but she just pretends to and really just hides it under her tongue and then starts chewing it again when the teachers aren't looking!"   Derrin apparently thought this was outrageously hilarious because he laughed loudly.

I was starting to get a funny feeling about this.  "Does she know she's your girlfriend?"

"Of course.  And she knows I'm her boyfriend.  It's just that she says we can't really do stuff together until I'm in seventh grade--so we just trade secret notes and stuff."

"But when you're in seventh, she'll be in eighth grade," I pointed out.

This seemed to stump my cousin for a moment, and he scratched absently at his freckled nose.  "Well...I think that'll be okay," he answered uncertainly.

"So you don't really like this Jenny Creemore?" I asked.

Derrin shrugged.  "She's okay...for a sixth grader I guess."

"Are you gonna try to squeeze her boobs again?" I asked.

"Nah, she's not into that," Derrin said disdainfully.

This conversation didn't seem to be going anywhere, and I was still feeling grimy and sweaty.  "All right, I'm hopping in the shower now," I said, gathering up my clean boxers, jeans, and T-shirt.

"Hey Perry, after you're out of the shower, can we jack off together?" Derrin asked hopefully.

"I don't think so..." I said a little worriedly.   I had mixed feelings about what we did last night, and I didn't want to encourage him anymore in that direction.

"Now would be okay too--I kinda like it that you're all hot and sweaty and stuff!" he said enthusiastically.

"Look Derrin, I know you're just twelve, and you just had your first ejaculation a couple nights ago, but..."

"You said 'ejaculation!'" Derrin pointed out with a childish giggle.

There was something strangely cute and innocent about my young cousin's sudden fascination with his own sexuality.  I was no expert, but I didn't really think there was anything wrong with it.  The only thing was, I didn't think I was the person he should be doing this stuff with.

"Maybe you should wait and ask your friend Tony to do this kind of stuff with you," I suggested.

"We already do!" Derrin said with a self-conscious smile.

"Oh..."  That was a bit of a surprise.  "Well then...What do you need me for?" I asked confusedly.

Derrin's narrow shoulders rose and fell as he sighed with heavy exaggeration.  He put his controller down and got up and walked over until he was standing a couple of feet from me.  "I always thought you were really super smart," he said with a hint of frustration is his voice,  "but it's like you didn't hear anything I told you before."

"About what?"

"About you being so good looking and how people want to be with good looking people and stuff--don't you remember?"


"And remember I said you were the finest piece of ass in the solar system?"

He said that with such deadly earnest that it made me snicker.  That had been when he was talking to his 'Martian' colleagues!  "I can't believe you were looking at my bare butt!" I giggled childishly.

Derrin scowled at me.  "God, Perry.  That was like one of the coolest things I've ever done in my life and it meant a lot to me that you would let me see you naked and touch you and do all those things, and now you're making fun of me..." he pouted.

"Oh, shit...Derrin...I wasn't making fun of you--not at all!" I assured him hurriedly.  I always felt like the whole troubling business about his parents was lurking just below the surface, and the slightest emotional upset could trigger an avalanche of pent up emotions like it had at the mall yesterday.  "It's just that there's nothing special about me.  I'm sure you're going to see guys with a lot better...uh...packages than me, and then you'll understand why the whole thing seems kinda...strange to me."

Derrin stood there with his lower lip sticking out and trembling a little.  I thought for sure he was going to burst into tears at any second.  I realized I'd never make a good therapist or psychologist because I always started feeling what the other person was feeling, and when that person was feeling bad, then I'd feel sorry for that person, and just want to do whatever it'd take to make that person feel better.

"Are you okay?" I asked cautiously.

"Go and take your stupid shower--I'll be fine!" he said in a pathetically miserable tone.

"Aw, Derrin..don't do this.  I did have fun last night.  You know, I usually don't even like other people to see me with no clothes on, let alone touch me like that.  So that was really special for me too.  It's just that...Well, it's better you do that stuff with kids your own age, don't ya think?"

 Derrin shrugged.  "Tony's pretty hot for a twelve year old--he's Italian ya know!"

I wasn't sure what the significance of that was, but I just nodded understandingly.  "Yeah well...that's great.  So you guys can goof around and explore and play Martians and all that stuff as much as you want, right?"

"I hardly get to see him," Derrin reminded me.

"Yeah, that's tough.  I'm sure he feels frustrated too.  I'm not looking forward to leaving my friends at Christmas time either," I reminded him.  The only person I was thinking about of course was Jesse.

Derrin nodded in sympathy and sighed.  "There's a lot of sad stuff in life, isn't there Perry?" he asked me with those big grey blue eyes looking at me with such oepn sincerity, that I could hardly stand it.

I suddenly felt really weak, like I couldn't support my own weight.  I leaned against the wall next to the bathroom door, still clutching my clean clothes in my arms.  "Yeah, that's true," I had to admit.  But even as I thought about the weeks that I would be away from my beautiful sweet angel, I also thought about how lucky I was to have found him at all, and how much unexpected joy he had brought into my life, and I felt a little better.  "There are good things, too," I assured him, "and good people.  When you get to be really close to someone special, they'll help make the sad things go away."

Derrin nodded understandingly and offered me a thin smile.

"Are we okay?"  I asked.

Derrin nodded slowly.  "It's true.  You're someone special and you do make the sad things go away...well, mostly."

"You'll meet people who're more special than me," I assured him.

Derrin shrugged noncommittally.  "Maybe...So...I guess I'm gonna jack off by myself while you're in the shower, okay?"

Why not?  His brother had apparently done the same thing in here yesterday.  "Just lock the door," I advised him, "and here..."  I handed him a hand towel from the bathroom.  "Don't mess up your clothes--you probably don't have anything else left to wear!"

Derrin smiled and was already toeing off his sneakers and unbuttoning his shirt as I  went into the bathroom and closed the door.  I didn't lock it, because I thought that somehow Derrin might think that I didn't trust him or something.

"I'm gonna think about you!" Derrin's muffled voice informed me through the closed door before I turned on the water.

When I came out, he was fully dressed and back into his video games.  I didn't really like getting into my clothes when I was still a little damp, but I guess it wasn't any different from when I overslept and was running late for school.  Derrin only glanced at me briefly as I came out, stared at my bare feet for a little bit and gave me a look of boyish satisfaction before returning his attention to his game.  I sort of understood now that video games were his refuge from the sad things in his life.  I wasn't sure how healthy that was, but I didn't really have any practical alternatives.  I would just be the best 'secret brother' I could for him.

Lunch at Fuddrucker's was great.  I was always starving after a practice so I ordered the half pounder.  I was a little skeptical when Derrin insisted on the same size burger, but I was duly impressed by the way he wolfed it down and still managed to get through four levels of Terrorist Tower on just two quarters.  We spent most of the trip in the back seat, with our two Gameboys hooked up, playing racing games mostly, and even a little Pokemon towards the end.

There was a lot of traffic as we entered Los Angeles County on the I-10, so it was after four when we finally arrived at my Uncle Ron's house.  It was a beautiful ranch style, real long and only one story, with a big wide yard of neatly trimmed grass, flowering bushes and a small stand of birch trees.  Derrin had a look of trepidation on his freckled face as we pulled into the long driveway, which was flanked by two tall palm trees.  He glanced nervously at me and I tried to return a look of confidence to him.  My Uncle Ron came out almost immediately to greet us.  He even opened the door for my mom.

I shook my uncle's hand and we waited as Derrin took his own sweet time getting out of the car and walking over.  I felt so sorry for him just then, that I really wished I could be his brother and give him the loving attention that he so craved from Josh but wasn't getting.  When he got close, his dad went up to him and gave him a warm hug.  It took a while, but eventually Derrin also wrapped his skinny arms around his dad's waist.

I hoped I didn't look too surprised when my Aunt Karen came out, dressed casually in a blouse and jeans, her hair quickly put up in a loose bun.  She stood a little hesitantly near the house, watching her husband and her youngest son embrace.  When Derrin finally looked up and saw her, his eyes widened and a big smile spread across his face.  He ran the short distance  between them and grabbed her in an emotional hug.  I saw that it was taking all she had for my Aunt Karen not to burst into tears right there.  I looked at my mom and smiled, and she looked back at me with an expression of mixed hope and concern.

A few minutes later, Josh came out, looking really hot in a white sleeveless T-shirt and baggy jeans.  I wondered briefly if I had been a little too hasty in rejecting my older cousin's offer to jack off together in my bedroom yesterday.

"Hey, Per.  Hope Derrin  didn't drive you crazy last night!"

"No, we had a great time," I said, giving the younger boy a reassuring smile.

 "Wanna shoot some hoops?" Josh asked.

"Uh, yeah, in a bit, but I'm kinda thirsty and a little stiff right now..."

With that, we all went inside.  Eventually us three boys did go out to play some basketball.  Uncle Ron and Aunt Karen insisted we stay for dinner, which consisted of barbecued tri-tip, roasted sweet corn, and baked potatoes with sour cream and butter.  It was nearly seven and of course, already dark, when my mom insisted that we had to get going soon.

Derrin gestured quietly for me to follow him, and he led me down a long hallway to his bedroom.  It was just a little smaller than mine, but had all the usual amenities including a  fancy computer with a flat screen monitor, several video game systems, tons of games organized in large plastic containers, a big TV, a fancy stereo set-up, and a lot of movie posters.  I smiled when I saw the one from Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!

"What's up?" I asked, figuring he wanted to show me something.

Derrin closed the door, a serious look on his face.  I hoped he wasn't going to start crying.

He smiled hesitantly.  "My mom said she wants to stay with us but that she and dad have a lot of things to work out," he said with obvious relief in his thin boyish voice.

"That's great news!"  I said.  I felt like giving my cousin a hug and approached him with that intention.

"Wait," he said, his smile turning slightly mischievous.  "We didn't finish our game from last night."

"Really?  But I thought..."

"There's just a little more," he insisted.

"But Derrin, I have to get going and..."

He put a finger to his lips and shook his head, the smile still playing across his face.  "This won't take long."   He locked the door and walked further into the room and gestured for me to follow him to a spot near the foot of his full size bed.

"Take off your shoes," he requested.

I started to protest, but then he added, "So then we can just pretend you're naked!" he whispered.

I had to admit that was a reasonable compromise so I slipped off my black Vans.

He pointed at the place where he wanted me to be and I went and stood there in my sock feet, not knowing what to expect.

"Just look straight ahead.  The Hall of Alien Research is filled to capacity.  The Martians have three eyes and mouths that look like suction cups," he explained quickly.

Now Derrin resumed his professorial character from last night.  He had a very smug look on his face as he slowly paced around me, scrutinizing me up and down.

"Now gentleman, allow me to review.  We have noted in some detail the development of the human male at this crucial stage of development.  I have pointed out the broadening of the shoulders and chest, the vestigial nipples, and the umbilical scar commonly known as a belly button or navel.  Recall that the hands and feet each have only five digits, and that only the hands have opposable thumbs suitable to handling complex physical tasks."  He stooped and lightly brushed the tops of my sock feet.  "Remember that I demonstrated the sensitivity of the soles of the feet, and that the more tender the soles, the more ticklish they are--and this specimen was massively ticklish!"

Boy, he wasn't kidding about that!

Now he got back up and stood slightly to my side as if we really were in a large auditorium in front of a substantial and attentive audience.  "Recall that I pointed out the early growth of pubic hair here," Derrin said, gesturing first to each of my armpits and then to my groin.  I couldn't help but blush.  "This region here," he made a small circle around the front of my jeans, "will continue to thicken and expand into what is commonly referred to as the pubic bush.  In this region lies all of the male genitalia, including the penis and the testicles, which generate sperm from within the soft ballsac that drops away from the body in early pubescence in order to maintain more comfortable temperatures for the  sperm--which incidentally look like wiggly little tadpoles."

I hoped that no one walking past Derrin's bedroom would overhear my cousin's salacious oration.  Fortunately, he kept his voice low, both in pitch and in volume.

Derrin now got down on one knee and continued gesturing at my groin, all the while droning on in his low, pedantic voice.  "Recall how the specimen's penis, an amazingly  flawless example of beauty and proportion, was easily stimulated through direct manual manipulation.  This stimulation caused the increase of blood flow to the penis, engorging it to it's fully erect proportions, making it fully suitable for insertion into the female vagina."  Derrin paused to catch his breath.  It was like he was spewing out this complicated scientific jargon by rote. 

"As you may remember from earlier in our presentation, this specimen produced gallons and gallons of hot creamy spunk, which incidentally can be digested as part of sexual interplay without any harmful side effects."  He gave me a pointed look indicating that he was still somewhat  disgruntled by my refusal to let him taste my cum.

He got to his feet once again and clasped his hands thoughtfully behind his back.  "Now gentlemen," he said in a slightly more hesitant voice, "I must humble myself before you and admit that I have also learned something very important from my observation of this specimen.  What I learned is that the most important organ in the sexual process of human beings is not anything that we have so far observed or discussed.  Instead, it is something quite mysterious known for some strange reason, as the heart." 

Derrin held up a hand as if calming his perturbed audience down.  "I refer not to the fist sized cardiac muscle found on the left side of the chest that pumps blood throughout the body and looks like a slimy red water balloon, but to the more intangible application of that term. While no one has ever actually seen or photographed this vital organ, many say that it looks like the picture you see at the beginning of I Love Lucy.  Even though the heart I'm talking about is invisible to the eye, it's not really spooky or anything.  It's actually quite a remarkable thing, and can only be observed indirectly, by the actions and behavior of the specimen in question.  There is much debate as to the actual size of this intangible organ.  It seems that the hearts of some are so small as to be nearly nonexistent, while others it seems, are larger than seems possible and yet continue to grow  on an almost daily basis."  Derrin paused and slowly walked around me before coming once again to my side.  The look of concentration on his face told me that he was totally wrapped up in his little fantasy world.

"I must share with you gentlemen, my amazing discovery.   While there is no question that the specimen you see before you is physically ideal in every way, it is the heart of this beautiful male adolescent  that is really the key to understanding human sexuality.  The heart of this specimen is the most caring, most loving, most thoughtful and warm heart that I have ever observed in a human being of any age or gender.  If it was your pleasure, as it has been mine, to get to know this specimen over a period of some years, you would learn for yourself that there is nothing this heart is not capable of in terms of giving,  in terms of sharing, and in terms of depth of feeling."  There was a pause as Derrin tried to gather his concluding thoughts together.  It seemed that he had run out of scientific jargon, and was now making all this stuff up as he went.  "Gentlemen..." he said in a shaky voice, sounding much more like a twelve year old boy again, "gentlemen..." he repeated quietly, "if you were only capable of comprehending the power of such a...a...large and...and caring..."  Derrin was really crying now, tears streaming freely down his freckled cheeks and dripping silently onto the bedroom carpet.

He looked at me with glistening blue-grey eyes, sniffling and sobbing a little.  Finally, we had our hug, and it was a good one.    

I was pretty tired on the way home, but I checked the messages on my cell phone and noted that both Morgan and Tom had called.  I didn't see how, riding shotgun as my mom drove, I'd be able to discuss with Morgan any of the difficult and complex issues that needed to be addressed, but his message asked simply if I would like to join him at the Saturday evening Mass, so I called to apologize for not being able to make it since the Mass started at seven, and we wouldn't be home until close to nine thirty.    

"Yeah, I understand," he said disappointedly, "but next week, since we're going to Disneyland on Sunday, maybe we could all go on Saturday night."

That sounded like a great idea and I ran it by my mom.

"Yeah, that'd be totally awesome!" I told him.  "We'll do that for sure: you, me, Tom, and Jesse!"

Then I called Tom, and he asked again about me coming over tomorrow.  As much as I cared for Tom, the last few days with Derrin had been very emotionally draining.  It was more than unfortunate that he was going through such a difficult time with his family just as he was starting to become aware of his own sexuality, and perhaps even of some of his own sexual preferences.  I wasn't worried that Derrin was gay just because he was curious about my private parts.  It seemed perfectly natural that, given the opportunity,  he'd want to explore those things with someone who was a few years older than him.  And somehow, thanks in no small part to those insatiably curious, three eyed, suction-mouthed Martians, we had formed a much stronger bond that went beyond the normal boundaries of family ties.

Hearing the barely contained desperation in my friend's voice, I asked my mom about going to Tom's house, and she said she'd be able to drop me off at home so I could change.  Tom then assured me that he and his sister could pick me up from there if I gave them a call when I was ready.  He also said that I could have lunch at his house, so that sounded like it could be fun.  Even though Tom's mom wasn't Mexican, I knew that his family took their Hispanic roots very seriously. Everyone spoke Spanish--even Mrs. Espinoza--and according to Tom, she made great Mexican food!  I only hoped that it wouldn't be too spicy, since that sometimes upset my stomach.

So we had a plan and Tom sounded thrilled.  The next thing I knew, we were pulling into our own driveway.  It felt like the middle of the night, but a glance at my watch told me it was only  a little after nine thirty.  Gees, was I tired!

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