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 4 Morgan's Visit Part II
So there I was, wearing nothing but my boxers, with Morgan sitting on the futon next to me, naked except for a handtowel carelessly laid over his genitals. "Uh...you know...this was great and all..." I stammered, "but I don't think..."
"Perry," Morgan said with some exasperation, "I've got to do you--I mean shit, you did me--you did me fuckin' awesome! Let me return the favor, please?" He was seriously pleading, the thin smile on his face now looking more forced than ever.
I would've thought a straight guy like Morgan would be happy just to have his own dick wanked, and gladly skip the reciprocal portion of the proceedings. But it seemed like he really wanted to do this. For my part, I had just pretty much decided that I didn't want to do it, or more correctly, didn't want to have it done to me!
"That's okay..." I said, starting to get up. "Maybe..."
Morgan grabbed my ankle, almost causing me to fall back against the TV.
"C'mon, Perry. Don't be shy!" he said in an uncharacteristically edgy voice.
"No, I think I'll just..."
Morgan tugged harder on my bare ankle, causing me to stumble forward onto the futon, my head landing right on top of his feet.
"Cut it out!" I said, trying to sound lighthearted even though I was starting to get scared. Morgan had been rough and I didn't like that creepy sound in his voice.
I was laying on my belly sprawled across the futon near one end. Morgan slid back and grabbed me by the waist. He started tugging my boxers down, and I instinctively grabbed them, clutching onto the waistband as if my life depended on it.
"What's wrong with you?" Morgan asked in a confused and frustrated voice that suddenly reminded me of Fred Goreski. Now my heart was really starting to pound in my chest.
"I don't want to do this...you're acting weird!" I protested, struggling to keep my boxers up while Morgan tried to pull them down, half exposing the top of my ass.
Suddenly, he grabbed my waist and turned me over. He was definitely much stronger than me and it hurt where his hands gripped my hips. He quickly got on top of me, straddling me and pinning my arms to the mattress, his legs clamped tightly against my thighs. I felt the bony knobs of his ankles poking into my calves. He was still naked, and his flaccid penis actually brushed the front of my boxers.
"Just hold still, Perry--you're gonna love this!" Morgan insisted through gritted teeth, the wild gleam in his eyes an unmistakable sign of some pent up sexual urge that I had only been partially aware of before this.
"Morgan--stop!" I screamed.
He let go of my arms and started tugging at the front of my boxers again. I somewhat accidentally hit him in the face with a wildly flailing fist, and was totally shocked when Morgan slapped me back--hard! Much harder than Goreski had slapped me in the church hall john.
I was too stunned to struggle anymore, and I felt the burning sting of his blow spread across my face from my right cheek. He had hit me so hard it even hurt my jaw, and I felt like he had rattled all my teeth out of their sockets. I just lay there, expecting to feel my boxers being pulled down, but nothing happened.
I opened my eyes and there were sparks and black dots flying everywhere. I blinked several times, groaning with the full realization of the pain of Morgan's harsh blow. When my vision cleared enough for me to start seeing real objects again, I saw Morgan still sitting on top of me, his mouth hanging open and his eyes wide with shock.
"Oh, oh, oh..." he whimpered like a little boy, his voice oddly strained and high pitched. "Oh, dear God, Perry...oh shit oh shit oh shit...!"
I watched through bleary eyes as tears pooled in Morgan's dark green eyes, and then spilled onto his face. I felt some of his hot teardrops splash onto my bare chest.
He started to reach a tentative hand out towards where he had slapped me. Undoubtedly, the skin must be glaringly red there. I instinctively tried to pull back, although there was really no place I could go with a hundred and fifty pound guy sitting on top of me. I whimpered, as much from fear as from pain, as his finger made the slightest contact with my burning cheek. He pulled his arm back quickly and buried his face in his hands.
He began sobbing, and I saw the tears spill out between his fingers, running down his hands and arms. I felt every shudder of his body as remorse and shame overwhelmed him.
"Morgan..." I groaned. "Morgan..."
He tried to stifle his sobs long enough to look shamefaced down at me.
"Please...get...off..." I groaned.
"Oh shit! I'm so sorry! Oh God what have I done-- stupid, stupid asshole..." he cursed to himself as he weakly climbed off of me. Apparently he was too distraught to get to his feet, so he just slid over a little and leaned his bare back against the side of my bed, pulling his knees up to his chin. I just lay there, wishing the pain that was burning the side of my face and my whole jaw would start to diminish a little. Until then, I just couldn't even think straight.
I didn't feel like I was in any more danger from Morgan. Whatever had possessed him had departed as quickly as it had made it's appearance. Still, his forceful slap had been intensely painful, and I couldn't prevent the tears from welling up in my own eyes. I delicately touched the tender spot on my cheek where he had struck me and winced at the pain.
Morgan apparently saw me do this, because I heard him take in a breath at the same time I gasped in pain.
"Perry--God, I'm so SO sorry! I can't believe I did that...you're my best friend...my best friend in the whole world and..." He choked on his words as more sobs shook his body.
I tried getting to my feet, but succeeded only in grabbing the side of the bed for support. My head still felt like it was spinning and it was starting to make me sick to my stomach.
"What can I do--how can I help you?" Morgan asked breathlessly, his voice full of panicked fear and concern.
I shook my head, just trying to clear the fog away. I managed to pick myself up and stagger into the bathroom. Morgan got up and followed, but remained at more than arm's length. I looked in the mirror, and it didn't look too bad--just a big red splotch on my right cheek. I almost laughed seeing my own stunned, wide-eyed reflection. That helped clear my head a little. I got a glass of water from the sink and drank it, gagging a little from trying to swallow it too quickly.
I then stumbled back to my bed and sat down hard. Morgan came up and just stood there, not knowing what to do.
"Perry, are you okay?" he asked timidly. "I'm so sorry..."
I nodded my head, not wanting to hear him apologize again. The pain and fog were starting to dissipate somewhat, and I looked up at him, still not able to keep the tears from pooling in my eyes, but managing not to cry anymore.
"I'm...I'm okay," I said quietly. I tried to smile, but my jaw hurt and my cheek wavered somewhere between burning and throbbing numbness.
"Should I get some ice?" he asked.
I shook my head. Then I looked at him again. "You should put some clothes on," I suggested.
Morgan looked down at himself and realized that he was still naked. He found his boxer briefs and quickly stepped into them. Tentatively, he came and sat by me. I sniffled, and he immediately reached out and embraced me in his strong sinewy arms.
"God, Perry. You don't know how sorry I am. I don't know what got into me--you're my best friend..." He started babbling again.
"Hey, I hit you first," I reminded him weakly.
Morgan shook his head emphatically. "You were just trying to push me off. You didn't do anything wrong. It was totally me...totally..."
As much as I had been frightened by Morgan's suddenly violent behavior, and as hard and painful as his slap had been, it scared me even more to see him fall apart like this. It made his angry display the other night at the game look like a moderately compelling debate club performance in comparison.
Even though I could feel his heart pounding fiercely in his chest, it actually felt good to have those long, strong arms wrapped around me. I was content to just sit there like that for a while, letting my head clear.
"Shit, your shivering bud," Morgan observed, his voice still strained and higher pitched than normal. He got up and grabbed the sweatshirt off the dresser that I had planned to put on before he got all hot and horny. He came and actually put it on over my head, holding it until I put my arms through the sleeves and then tugging it down for me like he was dressing a little child.
Now he sat there, apparently waiting for me to say something. What I wanted more than anything right now was for Morgan to go back to being his normal self. I didn't like seeing him crazy and violent... so not in control of himself.
"I'm okay--really," I assured him, giving him the best smile I could manage under the circumstances.
Morgan grabbed me even tighter, and I could feel his heavy breath on my bare shoulder. "Perry, I...I just care about you so much...I'm so sorry...I don't expect you to forgive me..."
I pulled away and gave him a disdainful look. "You shouldn't have had all that wine," I scolded him. "That's what made you all...goofy..." I suggested, trying to think of the right words.
Morgan sat looking at me pensively. "No, Perry. You know it was more than that..." he insisted.
I didn't want to have this conversation right now. I still didn't think Morgan was anything but entirely straight, but a combination of the wine, his confusion and concern about his brother, and his feelings of friendship for me had gotten him all fucked up some how. I wanted to talk about it with him, but not now. I wasn't feeling too good--a combination of my struggle with Morgan and the bacon cheeseburger I had greedily wolfed down in the kitchen.
"Look, maybe we should just let this go..." I began.
"Let it go?!" Morgan asked, his voice strained and raspy. "How can you say that? After the horrible things I did to you...Who would do something like that to...to anybody, let alone their best friend in the whole damn world?"
I was touched that Morgan had such strong feelings about our friendship. "You know I think you're a great guy, Morgan," I explained softly, "and I don't want that to change..." I guess that was what I really wanted to say to him and I was glad I found the words.
Morgan sat next to me looking distraught and intensely worried. He started to protest, but then fell silent. He stared at his bare knees for a while before he spoke again.
"It's already changed..." he said in an almost inaudible voice.
"I told you I'm okay..." I insisted.
"Not that," he said quietly, slowly shaking his head, but not looking up. "That was totally fucked, and I hate myself for doing that to you and I'll never forgive myself for it..."
"Then what are you talking about?" I asked, truly puzzled.
There was a long pause. "Jesse," he said simply.
That name always got my full attention.
"What...?" I asked hesitantly.
"Jesse's your best friend now..." he said, and it was a statement, not a question.
Well, now the other shoe had really dropped, and it was a big ol' steel-toed workboot! I sighed heavily. Even though I had it pretty well worked out in my own mind--Morgan was my best friend and Jesse was my soulmate--all very straight forward and logical, I hadn't considered that Morgan's perspective might be somewhat different.
I was extremely tired of deceiving all the people I loved and cared for. Beyond the silly story I had fabricated about having a girlfriend I was trying to stay faithful to back in La Jolla, was the very serious deception involving the true nature of my relationship with Jesse. I decided to be as honest as I could without crossing that line...
"Does it bother you that Jesse and I are...close?" I asked hesitantly.
Morgan kept looking at me with that horrified, wide-eyed look and I wished he would knock it off. I was sure that it had been the wine and his overwrought emotional state that had caused our little struggle earlier. I wasn't angry with him for it, and I didn't want him to keep feeling bad about it.
"It just...took me by surprise I guess," he answered hesitantly, looking at me as if he was afraid my jaw was going to suddenly drop off or something.
"Me too," I admitted with a little laugh.
"I guess I'm a little jealous..." Morgan conceded. "I mean, Jesse's such a cool guy, kinda mysterious, and really smart and now this blackbelt shit..." He shrugged his bare shoulders. "I guess I feel like I sorta got blown outta the water..."
"There's lots of room in the pool," I said with a warm smile.
Morgan nodded, but I didn't think he was entirely convinced. "Yeah, I guess..." he said awkwardly.
"I mean, is there something about our friendship you don't like?" I asked, my jaw still throbbing near the spot where he had hit me. I forced myself not to reach up and touch it. I was afraid that would get Morgan all bent out of shape again, and that wouldn't accomplish anything.
He shook his head. "You're the best, Perry. No one could ask for a better friend!" He certainly looked sincere when he said that.
I tried to imagine what great things I had done to deserve such an accolade, but I drew a blank.
"I feel the same way about you," I insisted. I thought about reaching over to touch his arm, but decided to just keep my hands in my lap.
"I was thinking a long time about...doing that with you," he admitted, blushing fiercely.
"Oh..." I answered unsuredly.
"Is that like...all fucked up or what?" he asked.
Who was I to talk about what was fucked up and what wasn't? "You said you read about it on the internet; that all the guys were doing it," I reminded him.
"Yeah, all the horny guys that weren't in serious relationships."
"Maybe that's what you should focus on," I suggested, trying to shift the focus away from my crotch.
"What do you mean?" he asked, sitting their looking so timid and humble.
"I mean, maybe you should focus more on your relationship with Katy, and less on the...you know...the physical parts."
Morgan nodded slowly, a look of partial understanding on his distraught face.
"Do nice things for her; go for walks; buy her some little gifts--show her you really care about her as a person--that is, if you want to," I said, sounding like a thirteen year old marriage counselor.
Morgan nodded more enthusiastically now. "I do like Katy--I like her a lot but..." Morgan smiled strangely and shook his head. "The person she'd really like to be with is..." And he looked at me and nodded.
If this had been a dream, this would have all been fantastic. I had two great guys vying for title of Perry's Bestest Friend In The Whole Wide World (Tom and Morgan that is--Jesse was way beyond all that), and two (at least) of the prettiest girls in my class wanting to jump my bones. Why was it that in reality, it just seemed to become a bigger and bigger mess? And why was everyone so interested in getting in my pants? Sure, Jesse loved me to the bottom of my soul, so I could understand the physical attraction to some extent, but Tom, Katy, Jessica, even Morgan? What was that about?
"I don't know about that, " I said uncomfortably. "Sometimes people think they're gonna like someone when they only see that person from far away--you know?"
He nodded in patient understanding, his whole demeanor starting to relax slightly to my great relief.
"But then, when they actually get to know that person, it's like, totally not what they were expecting." The truth was, I just didn't feel worthy of all the attention these wonderful people were giving, or trying to give me. "I just don't know what I have to offer to such beautiful, classy gals like Jessica and Katy. I think if they got to know me a little better, they'd be real disappointed."
Morgan just shook his head, and he was actually smiling--thank God! "Perry, dude, you are so..." He shrugged, unable to come up with the word he was searching for. "So...Perry!" he laughed.
"Yeah, well...It's all I got," I admitted sheepishly. Without thinking, I rubbed my sore cheek and Morgan's eyes bugged out again.
I actually scowled at him. "Look, dude," I said as forcefully as I could, "it's not like I'm made of glass or anything. Quit looking at me like that...please?" I begged him, trying my best to look stern.
That certainly didn't get the reaction I was hoping for, because Morgan suddenly fell back crossways on the bed, his feet still on the floor. He stared at the ceiling and sighed. His eyes became moist with tears again. Now what had I done?
"Morgan...really...I'm not hurt," I assured him, and I dared to reach out and touch his bare knee.
To my surprise, he quickly pulled his leg away from my hand.
"Don't, Perry," he said, his voice choked with powerful emotions, "don't feel sorry for me, okay?" The tears were now spilling out of the sides of his eyes and he brought his arm up. I thought he was going to wipe the tears away, but he just covered his face with his bare arm.
"This isn't the first time I...hit somebody," he managed to say with some difficulty.
"Guys hit each other sometimes," I observed, and as strange as that sounded, I meant it to be comforting.
Morgan wiped his tears away with the palms of both hands, but there was still a lot of stuff oozing out of his nose, so I got up, feeling less dizzy but still somewhat nauseous, and went to the bathroom to get him some tissues.
I came back and he took them from me gratefully, but remained lying on his back. I hardly recognized the red eyed, drawn face glancing up at me as I again sat on the edge of the bed next to him. He dabbed his eyes and wiped his nose. He looked back up to the ceiling as if the answer he was seeking was there somewhere. He breathed heavily, and I realized he was trying to calm himself down. I just waited patiently.
"About a year ago, I caught Derek messing around on my computer," he started in a quiet, hoarse voice. "We both have one in our rooms and we both have our own internet accounts..." The look of sadness and regret on his face made it seem even longer than it actually was. "I'll admit, I had some shit on there--porno downloads--that I didn't want him to see--not because I was trying to protect him from those nasty things or anything like that--I just didn't want him telling my dad..."
The way he said that made me shiver. I had only met Morgan's dad a couple of times before I saw him take Morgan home the other night. He was a vary tall and husky man, his brown hair cut short and greying at the temples, his handsomely rugged face distinguished by a bushy mustache and prominent chin. He owned his own construction company and had an office in what passed for downtown Santa Corina. He drove a Land Rover. Morgan's mom actually worked for him part time as a book keeper or something. I got the sense from the tone of Morgan's voice, that his father could be a frightening figure if he was brought to anger.
"Anyway, you can probably guess what happened next. I flipped out, just completely lost it. I grabbed him and pulled him out of the chair and shook him, cursing and screaming at him like a maniac. The little bastard was scared out of his mind and he started struggling. That's when I stepped back and just swung at him." Tears spilled out of his eyes again and he made some small whimpering sounds as he relived what was obviously a traumatic event for him.
"I hit him in the face with the back of my hand--hard!" he emphasized. "And Derek fell back against my desk and hurt his back."
I didn't know how to react to that. Derek was a slight, small boy even for his age. Morgan was a tall athletic type. If he had hit Derek as hard as he had hit me...
"What happened...?" I dared to ask.
Morgan covered his eyes with his hand. It was strange to see him lying crossways on my bed, wearing nothing but his boxer briefs, knowing now what that huge lump in front represented. "I got scared of course. I think I was more afraid of what my dad would do to me than I was concerned for Derek--ain't I a fuckin' asshole?" He dropped his hand to look at me expectantly.
"You weren't...drinking or anything, were you?" I asked hesitantly.
Morgan shook his head wearily from side to side. "No, but that was a fair question. I don't drink that much, Perry--honest. I mean, I do drink beer with my dad sometimes, but he never lets me have more than one at a time. I think I kinda over did it today..."
"I'll say!" We both laughed a little, and that felt like it eased the tension in the room slightly.
"Anyway, Derek was pretty cool about it--I guess cuz I caught him red handed going through my stuff--so we just made up a story about a little wrestling match getting outta hand. I got grounded for a weekend because I should've known better than to be so rough with him, but..." Morgan shrugged and propped himself up on his shoulders.
"A little after that is when Derek started taking Tae Kwon Do," he noted.
"Oh, was Tom already there when he started?" I asked, hoping the question wouldn't sound too out of left field.
Morgan thought for a moment. "No, I think Derek was the one who got Tom into it."
I nodded, suddenly feeling the weariness that often followed one of these intensely emotional conversations I seemed to be having so many of lately. Morgan picked himself up and sat on the edge of the bed next to me. He was staring at my cheek.
"It don't look good, dude," he said, fear and concern returning to his voice. Hesitantly, he reached over and brushed my cheek with his fingers.
It hurt a little, but I did my best not to wince.
"It's feeling a lot better," I assured him. "Just one of those crazy wrestling matches that got a little outta hand, right?"
I was startled when Morgan grabbed me in a big bear hug again, my head pressing on his bony shoulder, his chin resting on top of my head. He was squeezing pretty hard but I didn't want to push him away.
"You're so cool, Perry...I mean it. I'm so sorry for what I did. I promise nothing like that will ever happen again."
"You mean, you're not going to return the favor?" I asked, intending the question to be facetious.
Morgan pulled back and looked at me intensely. "You want me to?" he asked, a hint of excitment in his voice.
"That's okay, I really don't feel like it." Phew! That was close!
"I know why," Morgan said confidently.
Did Morgan suspect that Jesse and I were more than just really good friends? My heart started pounding forcefully in my chest and I was glad he had let me out of his embrace.
"It's because you're in love," he said with a warm smile.
I swallowed the lump in my throat and just stared at him, not knowing what to say.
He gave me a slightly puzzled look. "Your girlfirend...in La Jolla?" he reminded me.
Duh--the big fat lie! I had momentarily forgotten about it. I nodded carefully.
"She's giving you everything you want, isn't she?"
Oh yeah, Jesse was giving me everything I wanted--and then some! I nodded carefully.
Morgan looked at me enviously. "That's so great," he said.
"I'm just lucky, I guess."
Morgan shook his head. "It's not luck--you deserve it, Perry. You totally deserve it. She must be some hot babe--I'd love to meet her sometime. Any chance she'll be paying a visit?"
Okay, time for more lies...Think, Perry, think...
"Actually, it's been kinda hard for us to get together lately. My mom doesn't really like going back to La Jolla because it reminds her of my dad and stuff..." Okay, enough lies--they sounded weird coming out of my mouth.
"Besides, I've been thinking a lot about Jessica lately." That was true and I didn't see any reason to keep it from Morgan.
He just nodded understandingly. "I think Jessica would do what ever you wanted her to," he said.
Boy, Morgan sure had a one track mind...Is that how all straight guys thought?
I felt myself blushing.
"Hey, that looks good," Morgan teased. "Now both your cheeks are red!"
I gave him a playful shove which seemed to surprise him. I guess he expected me to be afraid of him, but I wasn't.
"How about if we put on some pants and play some video games?" I suggested, getting to my feet.
Morgan looked up at me for quite a long time, and I couldn't tell what was going through his mind. I figured he must be as mentally exhausted as I was.
"I should probably go home..." he offered, but I could tell that wasn't really what he wanted to do.
"I'd really like you to stay," I said, wanting him to understand that I wasn't harboring any bad feelings about him. There was something that was bugging me though, some little voice way in the back of my mind that wanted some attention, but I couldn't bring it up front, and it soon disappeared into the overload of information and intense emotions I had experienced with Morgan this afternoon. Maybe I'd be able to sort it out a bit later.
Morgan got to his feet and stood close to me. We were both pantsless and barefoot. The top of my head came up to his eye level. I braced myself for another hug, but he just smiled like a little kid who had gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar only to have his mother say, 'Just one dear, or it'll ruin your dinner.'
"I'll hang out 'til your mom gets back. I don't want you to have to make excuses for me," he said.
"You mean, you're going to tell her the truth?" I asked hopefully.
The smile disappeared from Morgan's face. "Can't do that, bud. I just meant that I'd rather give her the bullshit than leaving you to do it for me."
I nodded, trying not to show my disappointment. I went to get my jeans off the dresser and Morgan went to get his from the bathroom.
"You know what you were saying before," Morgan said from the bathroom, "about being disappointed when you found out what a person was really like?"
"Yeah..." I said, quickly slipping my jeans on. I leaned against the dresser and put on my socks as well.
Morgan came out with his jeans on. They looked a little drier but were
probably still a bit damp. He picked up his sweatshirt and put it on.
He looked strangely relieved when he saw that I was fully dressed.
"I was just thinking that, you really got to know me today," Morgan said quietly, sitting on the edge of my bed, "and you must be thinkin' what a basket case I am."
I thought about how to respond. Morgan was definitely feeling sorry for himself, and maybe the wine was still having some sort of effect, making him more emotionally vulnerable than he would normally be. Then it occurred to me what had been bugging me.
"Morgan, you'd never get angry with...Katy would you?" I asked.
He knew what I meant and his face turned red. "After today, after that blow out on Thursday...I can see that I've got a problem," Morgan admitted. "But I can deal with it--I know I can!" he said confidently. "I'd never hurt Katy, and I'll never hurt Derek, or..." his voice choked up with emotion, "...or you, Perry, ever again," he said quietly.
"It's funny," he said, looking uncomfortable and glancing at me only occasionally as he spoke. "In some ways, I...I feel closer to you than I do to Katy." He flinched when he said that, and I realized it was difficult for him to share this with me.
"You said before, it was a lot easier to relate to guys than to girls," I reminded him. It was from a casual conversation we had back before Katy's party.
There was that look that suggested lust in his eyes again, and that made me uncomfortable. "Yeah, that's so true," he agreed with a heavy sigh. "But now I'm so...mixed up. I mean, I'm worried about Derek being some kind of fag, and yet I totally loved it when you jacked me off--it was just fuckin' unbelievable!"
"I'm...I'm glad you liked it..." I said hesitantly.
"I freaked you out, huh?" he asked with concern.
I shrugged, not knowing how I felt about everything that had just happened. "Morgan, you need to talk to Jesse about those pictures, and then maybe to Derek," I said, wanting to change the subject.
He was listening intently, like a student listening to a respected teacher. Of course, I had no font of wisdom from which to draw from, only my genuine concern for the people I considered my friends. I didn't want to see anyone get hurt, especially because they might be mixed up about their own sexual identity.
"And if it turns out Derek is gay--or just confused about...what he likes, I think you need to be very patient and tolerant."
Morgan nodded intently, but his expression hardened.
"It's hard, Perry. If you knew my dad--he hates fags--just hates them! If he thinks one of his clients is...is gay or something, he'll just tell the guy to take his business elsewhere, and then come home and complain about how the queers are trying to take over the world."
"I think everyone is just looking for love, Morgan. And some people find it in different places than others. It doesn't seem like a bad or dangerous thing to me--just...different."
He nodded again, looking like he was trying very hard to accept the concept of tolerance I was trying to get across.
"You love your brother, don't you?" I asked.
At first, he gave me one of those reflexive teenage sneers that indicated that Derek was not worthy of his care or concern, but his expression quickly softened.
"Yeah...I guess I do love the little midget," he admitted.
"Then you need to help him--support him in what he's going through."
Morgan nodded again and bowed his head.
"You're totally right, Perry," he said quietly, his hands folded tightly in between his legs. "And you know...you know I...uh... love you too, right?" he asked in a trembling voice, looking up at me with moist eyes.
I felt a surge of emotion nearly overwhelm me. I had to put my hand to my mouth to keep strange nosies from coming out. I felt my own eyes tear up.
"Yeah...and you know I'll always be here for you, Morgan," I promised in a shaky voice.
Well, things actually returned to something close to normal after that. I guess it was a guy thing. We had our emotional moment and then we moved on. It wasn't like it didn't happen, more like we had done that and there was no point in dwelling on it any longer than we had to. We leaned against the bed and played NBA All Stars for nearly an hour. The only thing that was outwardly different was the unusually long silences. Instead of the usual chit chat about sports, movies, and girls, there was just the occasional 'I kicked your ass, dude!' or 'One more time!' or the classic, 'That one didn't count.' I guess we had already had enough conversation to last us a few weeks.
I couldn't help but cringe inwardly when I thought about Morgan hitting me. The idea that he had struck me in anger bothered me more than the actual pain the blow had caused. I was worried that he was going to get himself in serious trouble someday, maybe on the basketball court, or in the pool, or the classroom, or the mall or somewhere. But I had no idea how someone was supposed to deal with a problem like that. I was seriously wondering if I should tell my mom about my concerns...
I nearly jumped out of my skin when my cellphone rang. It was my mom calling to say she had just left the supermarket, so we hurriedly wrapped up the game. I got up and stuffed my feet into my black Sketchers.
"I need to go help my mom bring the groceries in," I explained, standing in the doorway of my room. "But you can just hang here until I get back."
Morgan got up off the floor, stretching to his full five foot ten inch height. "I'll come with you," he said.
When we got back to the kitchen, Morgan picked up the phone from its cradle on the wall near the fridge.
"I'll just call my mom to come pick me up," he said.
"You don't have to leave," I assured him. I didn't want him to think that I was still upset with him, even though I was really concerned for him.
"Yeah, I gotta go, Perry. You've been more than a great friend to me--I'll never forget...any of this. But you need to think seriously about what happened today, and whether you even want to hang with me any more..."
I started to protest, but he shook his head to stop me. "You can't feel sorry for me or any of that shit," he insisted. "Whatever you decide, I promise I'll go with it," he said, his lower lip trembling with renewed emotion.
"Morgan, I don't want it to be like this between us," I pleaded.
Morgan nodded, but he was determined to berate himself. "I know you didn't ask for any of this," he said. "It was all me. I screwed up big time and I've got to pay the price. You can't pretend today didn't happen--you can't ignore it and hope it'll go away."
I nodded reluctantly. "Okay, I'll think about it, Morgan, honest. Just...don't beat yourself up about it, please?" I said, cringing at my inadvertent pun.
"Why not--I've beaten up just about everyone else!" he sneered, trying to make a lame joke. After carefully stowing the manila envelope with the pictures of Jesse into his backpack, he pulled his sneakers back onto his bare feet and started calling his mom. I heard the garage door opener kick in and I ran the short distance from the kitchen door to the side door of the garage. It was definitely raining, but very lightly, and it was getting colder too.
I waited for the Lexus to pull in, and for the garage door to slide closed. My mom popped the trunk and I started scooping up brown bags full of groceries. It seemed like a lot of stuff for just two people, but maybe some of it was for the Thanksgiving lunch she was putting together later in the week.
"I see Morgan's still here," she commented, noting the bike still parked off to one side. "Did you boys have fun?"
"We just hung out and played video games," I said. As I started to open the side door, Morgan came in.
"Hi, Mrs. Thompson. Need an extra hand?" He didn't wait for an answer, but scooped the remaining bags out of the trunk and slammed it shut.
We all went inside. Morgan and I exchanged nervous glances. He had left the empty wine bottle in plain sight on the counter. My mom spotted it right away as she set a bag of groceries down next to it.
"What's this?" she asked, more puzzled than alarmed.
"That was my fault," Morgan answered quickly. "See, Perry was offering me something to drink, and I asked what he had, and I saw some Sunny D way in the back and reached for it and..." He scooped his socks up off the floor where he had left them, showing my mom the wine stains. "I kinda made a mess..."
"But we cleaned it all up," I added quickly, setting my groceries down.
My mom looked at each of us carefully, and then started looking around for something.
"Where's the cork?" she asked. "I could have sworn I put the cork back in..."
"Oh, I threw it out," Morgan explained casually. "Didn't see much use for it anymore..."
My mom nodded. She looked at the stained socks in Morgan's hand.
"You're mother will need to use a lot of bleach to get those stains out," she said with trepidation.
"Oh, these?" Morgan said, holding the socks up. "They're not worth it." He slid open the trash compactor, where I had already put in a new liner, and tossed them in.
My mom gave him a questioning look, and then sighed. "Are you staying for dinner, Morgan dear?" she asked, as she started to unpack her groceries.
Morgan looked at me and I breathed that proverbial sigh of relief. It seemed like his elaborate deception had worked, although I felt no elation at deceiving my mother like that. "No, ma'am," Morgan answered politely. "I already called my mom. She'll be here any minute..."
"I'd be glad to take you home, dear," my mom offered.
"That's okay. It's a lot easier to load the bike into the minivan than into the trunk of your Lexus," he pointed out.
She nodded, acknowledging the logic of Morgan's explanation. She turned to say something to me, and her face tightened in sudden concern. She came closer.
"What's this?" she asked, gesturing to, but not touching my cheek.
"Wh..what?" I asked stupidly.
"That's my fault again, Mrs. T," Morgan chimed in. "We got a little restless playing video games, and started wrestling around--it got a little outta control I guess--and Perry bumped his face against the TV cabinet." Morgan was giving my mom his best 'phony sincere' look, and it was pretty convincing.
"Does it hurt?" she asked, brushing the pads of her fingers across my cheek.
Fortunately, it only hurt a little, and I shook my head resolutely ignoring the little jolts of pain that accompanied her touch.
"Did you put some ice on it?" she asked.
"Mom, don't treat me like a baby!" I insisted, protesting a bit more aggressively than I should have.
I saw her wince slightly at my harsh retort.
"Sorry..." I mumbled.
"It's okay. You boys are getting too big for all that horseplay," she chastised us mildly.
We both looked appropriately humble and contrite. Morgan put his warm-up jacket back on and picked up his backpack.
"You...ah...wanna come out to the garage with me?" Morgan asked.
I first made sure my mom didn't need any more help with the groceries, and then followed him out. Even with a sweatshirt on, it felt chilly in the garage. Morgan went ahead and started the garage opener. We watched as the drizzle poured off the opening garage door, revealing the dismal grey scene outside.
"Perry, I know you need to tell Jesse about this," he said uncomfortably.
It stung me that Morgan felt jealous of Jesse. To me, there was no territory to fight over. They both occupied important, but different places in my life.
"I guess I don't have to..." I said, knowing that I was speaking a lie.
"No, you do. You need to," Morgan insisted. "And if Jesse feels like he has to...you know...beat me up or something? I understand...It would probably be a good thing for me to get my ass kicked!" He was totally serious when he said that, and the idea of Morgan and Jesse battling it out turned my stomach.
"Morgan, you're talking so...so foolishly!" I said, using a word that wasn't a normal part of a teenager's vocabulary. But I didn't want to use 'bullshit' or 'crap' or any of those harsh sounding words because he meant what he had said and I didn't want to belittle him.
Morgan smiled a little, maybe at my choice of words, or maybe at my seemingly mild reaction. He shrugged helplessly. "Assuming he decides to spare me, do you think maybe the three of us could get together to...you know, talk about the pictures?" he asked humbly.
"Are you sure you want me there?" I asked.
"Definitely. Even if I'm not your best friend anymore, you're still mine..."
Before I could respond, we saw Mrs. Kipner pull into the driveway in the minivan.
When I went back inside, I started helping my mom put away the groceries.
"Are you sure you're okay?" she asked again, reaching out towards my injured cheek.
I flinched away. "Yeah, it's fine!" I insisted.
"Is everything okay with Morgan?" she asked.
"Yeah...well, I guess he's been having some family problems lately and he was kinda stressed out at the game," I explained as vaguely as I could.
"He certainly was--and it didn't seem like he was quite himself today, either," she added cryptically.
I got the distinct sense that she hadn't completely fallen for Morgan's explanation of the empty wine bottle, but I didn't say anything.
"Yeah, I knew about the pictures," Jesse said, as I told him over the phone about Morgan's visit.
"You did?" I asked with surprise.
He sighed. "I didn't think there was any harm in it--just a kid playing with a clever little toy...But I didn't know he was printing them up," he added.
"Morgan wants to talk to you about it--and he wants me to be there too," I told him.
"I'm not sure what there is to talk about--but sure, whatever," Jesse said resignedly.
It was an appropriately gloomy conversation to end a gloomy day. I didn't want to have these kinds of conversations with Jesse. I wanted to joke, and talk dirty, and think about how we could get together...
"Is there something else?" Jesse asked.
"What do you mean?" I asked uneasily.
"It doesn't seem like a few of dumb pictures would get you this upset," he observed.
"First of all, they weren't dumb pictures--they were totally hot!" I said, trying to lighten the mood a bit.
"Perry, if there's something you don't want to tell me, that's fine. Don't feel guilty about it."
"I do want to tell you...everything," I replied earnestly.
"Only tell me if you think it involves me somehow. If it's something private between you and Morgan, I don't need to know," Jesse assured me.
"He drank some wine that my mom had left in the fridge," I explained quickly, "and after he showed me the pictures, I think he started getting a little drunk or something. He started telling me about...well...that the girls weren't putting out for him, I guess."
"Uh huh..." Jesse said, just to let me know he was following along.
"And then he said that he read some stuff on the internet about guys jacking each other off..."
"Oh no! Someone else trying to get into your pants?!" Jesse giggled. "Gees, I'm gonna have to get you a chastity belt or something!"
It was strange to me that Jesse didn't take this stuff as seriously as I did. I really would have been perfectly happy to never let another person touch me besides him. Jesse on the other hand, apparently thought there was enough of me to go around, and didn't seem to mind 'sharing'...It was a difficult concept for me to grasp.
"Well, actually, it's more like I got into his pants," I explained sheepishly.
"I wish you had a webcam set up in your room, Perry--I'd love to see all this stuff, hehehe!"
"It was pretty weird," I told him seriously. "Like I said, Morgan wasn't really himself, and he insisted we jack each other off. And he took off all his clothes and he was really hard and..."
"Perry, you're killing me here!" Jesse giggled. "You don't have to go into graphic detail...at least, not until we're together!"
"Fine," I said, finding myself smiling slightly despite the serious nature of what I had to say. "Suffice it to say that Morgan is pretty well endowed, and he knew what he wanted..."
"Okay, okay..." he giggled, as if I was giving him too much information, "...and then he did you?" Jesse asked with innocent curiosity.
"That's where things went bad," I said quietly. "It was kinda weird doing him--I didn't really like it or dislike it, I guess, but then...I didn't want him to touch me--the way he was acting from the wine--you know?"
"Yeah..." Jesse said in a more subdued voice, and I could tell he was bracing himself for what was coming.
"I told him he didn't have to do me, but he insisted..." I explained nervously, fear starting to creep into my mind as I revisited that strange scene in my mind. "He kinda grabbed me and tripped me, and then he tried to pull down my boxers, and I was flopping around yelling at him to stop, but he wouldn't...He wouldn't, Jesse..." I said, my throat tightening with emotion.
"Tell me what happened," Jesse said, his tone now serious and demanding.
"I guess I panicked. I kinda hit him in the face by accident, just cuz I was sort of flopping around trying to get away, you know?" I hesitated, knowing that what I was about to tell Jesse was something that would have a profound impact on all of us. It would change how Jesse perceived Morgan, and maybe even ruin any chance there was of a deeper friendship developing between them. "And then he slapped me..." I whispered.
"Like Goreski?" Jesse asked tentatively.
There was a long silence after that, and I could only imagine the things that were going through Jesse's mind.
"Morgan wasn't himself," I reminded him, my voice choked with emotion. "As soon as he did it, he started apologizing...He was so sorry, you should've seen him..." As my voice trailed off, I waited anxiously for Jesse to respond, to tell me it was okay...
Then, very quietly..."He...he hurt you..." It was a statement and not a question.
"And he was really, really sorry," I reminded him quickly.
There was no response.
"Jesse? It's okay--It doesn't even hurt anymore--Morgan was really sorry, and everything's going to be okay...Jesse...?"
The sound of the dialtone sent a shiver down my spine.
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