Legal Notice:

The following contains descriptions of graphic sexual acts between consenting underage boys. It is an original 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 V  Truths and Lies

Chapter 3  The Package

 "Expecting company?" Jesse asked curiously.

I looked at him in confused astonishment and slowly shook my head.  The doorbell rang again, this time accompanied by a light knocking.

Jesse immediately dashed off into the foyer to investigate, probably taking a look through the peephole.  I reluctantly slipped my throbbing dick back into my boxers, climbed down the stairs and stuffed my legs back into my Dockers.  Jesse, still beautifully shirtless,  came back into the living room a little breathless as I finished pulling my shirt back on.

"It's some old Indian guy!" he reported in a loud whisper.

"That would be Mr. Chandigar--our next door neighbor," I said with some puzzlement.  He rarely came to the house, even though he and his wife were friendly enough.  I padded barefoot to the front door and opened it just enough to poke my head out.

"Hello, Mr. Perry Thompson!" he said in his delightfully lilting Indian accent.  He was a short man, maybe Tom's height, and very thin, with a high forehead, silver-white hair, and a thick, bushy mustache.  He somehow managed to balance delicate wire frame glasses on the very edge of his rather bulbous nose.  "The Fed-ex man, he says this is for your neighbors but I cannot leave it unattended.  I say I would be most glad to see to it that it was properly delivered and he says that is very, very good and thus he left it in my care."

I reached out a hand to take the box from him.  Since it wasn't very heavy, I assumed it just had some documents in it.  I gave the form taped on the front a cursory glance.  It was addressed to my mom, and was from a law office in New York judging from the long string of names.  Well, that wasn't too surprising considering that my mom was a paralegal.

"Gee, thanks, Mr. Chandigar.  That was really nice of you!" I said, getting ready to close the door.

"It was no problem..."  he said, and stood there with a tight lipped smile on his brown face, and I sensed he was waiting for something...Did he want a tip?

"Uh...Is there something I can do for you?" I asked cautiously, feeling my raging hardon pressing mightily against the fabric of my pants.

"I see that you are growing into a very handsome young man now, very handsome indeed..."

I hoped he was talking in a general way and hadn't seen anything...inappropriate!  I made sure that the lower part of my body was well concealed behind the door before breathing a sigh of relief.  It seemed to be some sort of Indian custom to be inordinately polite and always beat around the bush when you wanted something.  Normally, it wouldn't have bothered me, but knowing that the most beautiful boy in the world was waiting for me in my living room, shirtless, ready to suck me off, was making me really anxious to wrap this up.

"Thanks, Mr. Chandigar.  I'll be sure to give this to my mom as soon as she gets home..."

"Yes, I have no doubt that you will.  You're a very, very good boy, Perry, very good, indeed."

Gees!  What did this guy want?  Spill it already!!!!!

"And Perry, Mrs. Chandigar and myself, well, we are getting old you know...not as spry as we used to be..."

"You both look great to me," I said.  "I saw Mrs. Chandigar pruning the hedges in your front yard the other day."

"Yes, but it's the arthritis, don't you know?"  he said, vaguely waving his hands at me.  "Very difficult to work with tools, to stand for long periods of time..."

Hurry up and spill it, Mr. Chandigar, or I'm gonna cream my pants right here and now!

"Gees, I'm sorry to hear that," I said, squirming around a bit.

"Anyhow, we were wondering, Mrs. Chandigar and myself, if perhaps you could find the time in your busy and youthful schedule, to perhaps tend to our yard on a weekly basis?  We would be glad to pay you a most  reasonable compensation for said duties."

Finally, it was out!  I didn't know why'd they'd be asking me, though.  They obviously had money, or they wouldn't be living in this neighborhood, and there were always plenty of people who were in this country illegally who were willing to do yard work very inexpensively.   We actually paid a little more and had a professional service come by once a week and take care of the yard and (theoretically) the pool.  I had no interest in their money and I didn't relish the idea of getting all hot and sweaty trimming their hedges and mowing their lawn.  Still, they had asked me...

"Well, I'll have to talk to my mom about it first..." I answered cautiously.

"Of course, of course!" Mr. Chandigar said, rocking back and forth a little on his sandaled feet.  "You do that.  You think of a good price and we will come to a fair agreement, I'm sure."

"I'm sure," I repeated with a rather forced smile.

Still, he stood there with that little grin on his face.

"Uh...well...if that's all, I really need to get back to my homework..."

"Yes, you are working with your schoolmate, are you not?" he observed.  "The boy with the lovely blond hair, yes?"

Oooh, there was nothing worse than a nosy neighbor!

"Uh...yeah...that's my friend, Jesse.  We're working on project and it's due tomorrow and..."

"I understand, I understand.  Say no more!" Mr. Chandigar laughed.  "Perhaps your schoolmate would also like to come and work in our yard for us.  Yes, it would be less labor for you, and you would have a companion to pass the time.  Yes, that would be a wonderful idea.  Do you think he would perhaps be interested in such a proposal?"

Now there was an idea!  Jesse and I working together!  I could give him my half of the money.  We could work in the morning and then he could come over and go swimming or we could hang out afterwards and do whatever came naturally.  Suddenly, the vision of Jesse mowing the lawn on a hot Saturday morning, popped into my head.  He was wearing a tight, sleeveless T-shirt and cut-off denim shorts.  I watched the muscles of his sinewy smooth arms bulge as he pushed the mower across the lawn.  I saw him stop and wipe the sweat that was pouring down his face, causing his beautiful blond hair to cling to the sides of his forehead.  And then he pulled off his shirt...

Suddenly, I remembered that I already had Jesse here with me now, with his shirt off, all hot and bothered!  What was I doing chit-chatting with Mr. Chandigar when I had important business to attend to?

"Actually, that sounds like a great idea.  I think he'd really be into it.  I won't be here all summer, so maybe he could even do it by himself!" I responded quickly.

"Yes, perhaps!  If he is such a kind and trustworthy boy as yourself," Mr. Chandigar answered somewhat hesitatingly.

"He's a very good boy--I mean, very trustworthy...But like I said, we'll have to check with our moms first, and then we'll get back to you, okay?"  I proposed anxiously, hoping this would be the end of the conversation at last.

"Very good then, very good.  You are a smart and wonderful boy, Perry, and very handsome, very handsome indeed.  Please give that package to your mother in a prompt and efficient manner and Mrs. Chandigar and myself will most anxiously await your decision!"

"Sure, uh...okay...We'll talk soon,"  I said.  "Thanks for bringing the package over!"  I gave him a little wave and closed the door before I was even a hundred percent certain that we were actually done.

I rushed back into the living room and then into the kitchen, my bare feet slapping on the cold tiles as I left the Fed-ex box on the kitchen counter where my mom would be sure to see it when she came in.  Then I rushed back wondering what had become of Jesse, when he suddenly grabbed me in his arms!

I was completely taken by surprise!  He quickly wrapped his  arms around me and pulled me towards him, even spinning us around a couple of times like they did in the movies.  It only took a few seconds before we were passionately frenching again, this time with our hands vigorously rubbing all over each other's bodies from shoulders to buttocks.  Unfortunately, he had put his shirt back on (as well as his shoes) and I was ready to rip it right off his back!

"You put your shirt back on!"  I pouted.

"Well...When I heard you guys talking about me..."

"Eavesdropping, eh?"  I teased.

"Super horny is more like it,"  he admitted.  "Wanna go upstairs?" Jesse asked breathlessly.

"Does this mean we're done taking pictures?" I asked with mock disappointment.

"For now..."  He looked at me with those intense, light blue eyes of his and I could see the love and lust pouring out of him like water gushing out of a fire hose.

This was almost too wonderful to be true, and I kept thinking to myself how much I loved this boy and how lucky I was to have this time with him as we raced up the stairs.  We entered my room and Jesse again grabbed me and pulled me close.

"This has to be a dream..." he said, echoing our conversation from the other day.  "It's too good to be true..."

"If it is a dream, I think it's gonna be a wet one!" I replied, rubbing my hand vigorously against his crotch, feeling the hardness of his dick pressed against his school pants.

Somehow, we ended up on our knees on the floor, pulling each other's shirts off.  I rubbed every part of Jesse's smooth torso and back and then began sucking on one of his nipples.  I felt it stiffen as I rolled my tongue around it and Jesse gasped.  My tongue slid down his lean torso, along the slight depression between his abs until I reached his belly button.  I pushed my tongue in and Jesse began laughing hysterically, finally pushing me off.  We just stared at each other for a minute, both of us shirtless, both of us breathless.

Impulsively, I tackled him, pulling him down onto his back.  He didn't resist, but reached up and ran his fingers through my shaggy, dishevelled hair.  I straddled him and began humping him through my pants.  I so desperately needed relief!  I felt his hips pushing into mine as he obviously felt the same sense of urgency.  I unceremoniously unbuckled his belt, unbuttoned his Dockers and pulled down the fly, exposing his plaid boxers.  Boldly, I slipped my fingers under the elastic waistband of his underwear and quickly began shimmying both his pants and boxers down his thighs simultaneously.  He helped by lifting his butt off the floor.

While I noted the appearance of his sparse, lightly colored pubes and his proudly erect penis that stood out almost at a ninety degree angle from his body, I continued my mission, taking his clothes down his legs until I got to his feet.  There, I quickly tugged his black  sneakers off with the laces still tied and peeled down his socks.  I breathed deeply of the glorious scent of his amazing feet as I finished stripping off his pants and underwear, leaving my beautiful blond angel completely naked on the bedroom floor.

The look in his eyes and the stiffness of his tool clearly indicated how worked up he really was.  I pulled my own pants and boxers down to my knees and then quickly fumbled out of them.  Then I laid my naked body on top of Jesse's and ground into him like a madman.  Our lips met in a passionate kiss, and as our tongues swirled around each other's moist hot mouths, our hips thrusting our rock hard erections forcefully against each other.  We were both making odd little cooing noises and gasping when one of us touched an especially stimulating place on other.  Soon, I began moving in a more forceful manner, the friction of our rubbing bringing me right to the edge of orgasm.

Just as I felt that we were both about to shoot our loads, Jesse pressed his hands tightly against my cheeks and pulled our lips apart.  There were unspilled tears in his eyes.  "God help me, Perry--I don't deserve this and I don't deserve you--but I love you so...much..."  And with that, I felt him stiffen as his hot cream squirted between our bodies.  I held him tightly as his body shook with powerful orgasmic spasms. 

"If you love me half as much as I love you, than I'm the luckiest kid in the whole world!" I assured him, feeling emotion starting to overwhelm the urgent needs of my groin.

Jesse must have sensed my slight deflation, because he quickly rolled me over so that he was now on top of the situation.  His mouth went immediately around my dick and his tongue began exploring my shaft and head.  He had only begun a light sucking when I stiffened, lifting my hips off the carpet as I began to ejaculate.  Jesse drank thirstily, never spilling a drop while spurt after spurt of thick and gooey boyjuice shot from my burning loins.  Even after my orgasm was complete, and my dick was beginning to soften, Jesse still held me lightly in his mouth.  It felt so good, so warm and moist and secure.  I could feel his heavy breath tickling my pubic bush and his smooth hard legs pressing against mine.  I didn't move, but just relished the moment, having this beautiful, naked boy straddling me, leaning over me so that his silky hair tickled my skin while my flaccid dick rested soothingly in his mouth.

He let his lips slide slowly up and down my shrinking shaft before letting my thoroughly moistened organ slip out of his mouth.  He lifted his head and gave me a sweet smile of satisfaction, and even though there was still tears in his eyes, I knew that I had made him happy.

Of course, we were a mess.  Jesse's cum was smeared all over both our bellies.  Jesse was the first one to spring up and get the hand towels.  I smiled with pure delight as I watched his tight, bubbled ass disappear momentarily into the bathroom.  I had barely sat up when he returned, tossing me a towel while he cleaned off his own belly and groin.

"Do you know what I'd like to do that we haven't done yet?" he asked, standing there in my room, naked and unashamed, a grin of anticipation lighting up his face.

I felt a sudden wave of panic and uncertainty course through my mind.  Did Jesse want to fuck me, right here and now?  It had been the one thing I truly feared when I first realized that I was physically attracted to this most beautiful of all boys.  It was only in the last few weeks that I had come to the realization that I would someday want to enter my sweet angel.  But what if he wanted to enter me, to express his physical love for me in the most intense way possible?  Was I really ready for that?  Could I deny him?

"Stop..." Jesse crooned soothingly, kneeling beside me and brushing stray locks of sweat matted hair from my face.  "That's not what I meant..."

How did he know what I was thinking?  Were we now bound so closely together that he could actually read my thoughts, or was it just the sudden look of fear in my big stupid eyes that told him what he needed to know?

"I...I thought maybe you wanted to..." I stammered.

"I want to snuggle with your bed, Perry.   That's what I want to do," he explained gently.

I couldn't help but breath a sigh of relief.  It wasn't that I didn't want to be joined with him.  I knew now that I did want that, but I wanted us both to be ready; I wanted it to be special...

"Oh..." was all I managed to say, feeling an odd mixture of relief and disappointment. 

Jesse stood up in all his naked glory and extended his hand.  I took it and he lifted me with a sinewy strength that his slender form belied.

"I'm...sorry..." I muttered, leaning my head against his bare shoulder.  I suddenly felt so ashamed of myself. 

"I know what you were thinking," Jesse said, lightly stroking my hair, "but it's not time for that yet.  Don't ever think that I would do anything to hurt you or force myself on you," he assured me.

"I...I know that..." I whispered.  "Please forgive me..." I pleaded, not daring to look him in the eye.

"There's nothing to forgive," he whispered.  "Please?" he asked, gently pulling me towards my fully made bed.

Slowly, my eyes met his, and all I saw there was love and warmth.  There was no disappointment, no judgement there.

"My beautiful, precious Perry..." he whispered in a quivering voice, his throat tight with emotion.

Together, we pulled the bedclothes down.  He climbed in first and then scooted over, leaning on his elbow as he waited for me.  I soon joined him, and he pulled the sheet and blanket up over our sweating bodies.   The cool sheets felt good, but not as good as the smooth hot skin of my teenage lover.

We snuggled up facing each other, our arms wrapped around each other's torsos, our naked bodies covered with the blanket and sheet. We looked into each other's eyes, and I saw that look of guilt starting to appear in Jesse's crystal blue orbs.  Why he thought he didn't deserve me, I couldn't imagine, although I sensed that the moment of revelation was drawing near.

Jesse took a slight breath and parted his lips, no doubt ready to tell me how inadequate and undeserving he was, but I touched my finger to his lips and gently shook my head.  I could see that he wanted to say whatever was on his mind, but I just smiled the warmest smile I could, trying to send the love that was in my heart into him.  Finally, the look of guilt left his eyes, and a peaceful and contented smile spread across his angelic face.  I turned on my side so that I could feel Jesse's boyhood pressed against my butt.  Jesse wrapped his arms all the way around me, and pressed his cheek into my shoulder.  I felt that ocean  swelling up inside me, but now it was a cleansing spray washing all my worries and concerns away, leaving only Jesse and me clinging to each other, protected from all the dark and stormy seas by our love. 

"Hold me tight..."  I whispered, and I felt his lean arms press even more tightly around my  chest.  It felt so good, so right, being naked in my bed with Jesse Taylor.  This was what it was all about.  It was clear to me that I was the most blessed person in the world right now.  I knew that God loved me because He was granting me this incredible miracle...To be embraced by this amazing boy, to feel his heartbeat against my back,  his hot breath on my neck...

"Is something wrong?"  he asked with tender concern.

"What...?"  I asked blearily, realizing with a start that tears were pouring out of my eyes.  I quickly dabbed them away and sniffled.  "No...Everything is right...Everything is so right..."

" sweet baby..."  Jesse whispered as he lightly stroked my hair...

I was startled from a dreamless sleep by Jesse poking me in the arm.  He was standing next to the bed pulling his boxers up.

"Perry, wake up!" he urged in a loud whisper.

"Wh...what...?" I asked blearily.

"Boys, are you up there?"

It was my MOM!!!

I was suddenly wide awake.  I pushed the bed covers off as Jesse tossed me my shirt and pants.  We both scrambled to get dressed.

"Yeah, we're up here, Mrs. Thompson," Jesse answered in a raspy, and slightly breathless voice.

"Oh...what's the camera doing down here?" I heard my mom ask.  "Were you boys taking pictures?" she asked innocently from the bottom of the stairs.

Jesse's eyes opened wide with the realization that we had left the camera downstairs!  With the pictures of me sitting on the stairs with my proud little joystick popping out of my boxers!  While I fumbled nervously with my belt, Jesse quickly stuffed his feet into his sneakers, foregoing his socks for the moment, and headed out the open door.

"We were just messing around...being silly..." Jesse explained from the top of the stairs, and I didn't know if my mom could pick up on it, but I definitely heard a tinge of panic in his raspy voice.

"Well, you both take such a lovely picture, I'll just have to see how these came out..."

I heard the pounding of Jesse's sneakered feet on the stairs as he rushed down.  I finally got my belt buckled and stumbled out.  When I got to the top of the stairs, I saw Jesse and my mom down at the bottom.  She was clearly getting ready to review the pics, while Jesse stood by helplessly.

I bounded down the stairs barefoot, my shoes and socks still in the den, and unsurreptitiously grabbed the camera out of my mom's hands.

"Perry!" my mom exclaimed in astonishment.

"We were just goofing around," I told her breathlessly.  "The...they're...really silly..."  I stuttered.

My mom scowled at me for a moment, obviously offended by my blatantly rude behavior.

"They are pretty stupid," Jesse conceded sheepishly.

This seemed to calm my mom down a little, and I saw the expression on her face relax.  Still, there was something of an awkward silence until I suddenly remembered...

"Oh, there's a Fed-Ex package for you on the kitchen counter!" I said, running into the kitchen to get it.  "Mr. Chandigar brought it over, and he offered Jesse and me a job taking care of their yard and stuff, if we want...if you guys say it's okay...I mean, you and Mrs. Taylor," I stammered, my heart beating wildly as I held the camera and its damning evidence tightly in one hand while handing my mom the nearly weightless box with the other.

"It's from your father's firm," she noted with a frown.

That sent a chill down my spine for some reason.  I hadn't even noticed his name on the box, although I knew it was part of the long litany of partners of that particular law office.  My mom stood there just looking at the package in a way that clearly showed she wasn't anxious to find out what it contained.

"'s go download those pictures!" Jesse said, trying mightily to sound nonchalant.

"Oh...uh...okay," I said, now feeling very uncomfortable about that package.

"'re welcome to stay for dinner--your mother as well..." my mom said, but she already sounded strangely disconnected, like she was also dreading what might be in the box.

"No thanks, Mrs. Thompson.  I really do need to get home and take care of that homework!" he repeated.

My mom nodded vacantly and disappeared into the kitchen.

"Phew!" Jesse murmured as we went back upstairs.  "That was careless of me!" he added as we returned to my room.

I immediately started making the bed and Jesse quickly joined in.  "I was just as careless," I reminded him, not wanting him to take the blame.

We were both quiet for a time, both of us thanking our lucky stars that we hadn't been caught.  Not only was there the damning evidence in the camera, but the fact that we had been in bed together--naked.  If Jesse had fallen asleep, and my mom had come up the stairs looking for us...

I suddenly sat heavily on the edge of the now made up bed, feeling weak and light-headed.

"What is it?" Jesse asked, sitting next to me, immediately sensing my sudden change of mood.

"It's just that...that was so close..." I muttered, looking down at my knees.  "If you had been sleeping..."

"Hehe...actually, I did doze off, just a little after you.  But I guess all those years of waiting for my dad to come sneaking into the house in the middle of the night stinking drunk or high or whatever, really paid off!"

I shuddered when he said that, wondering what it was that Jesse had feared.  Had Mr. Taylor been abusive when he was drunk?  Was that what had driven Jesse to learn the martial arts?  Had it been a matter of protecting himself--and perhaps his mom and Miranda--from his dad's drunken wrath?  I couldn't bring myself to ask, but instead, held him close.

Jesse, feeling me tremble slightly, gently stroked my hair.  "Hey, I didn't mean to freak you out," he crooned soothingly.  "I'm so over all that--I don't know why I even mentioned it."  There was a slight quiver in his voice that told me he wasn't as over it as he claimed, but I didn't say anything.  That would just make things worse. 

"Let's see those pictures!" he said after a few quiet moments.

It took me a few beats to even remember what he was talking about.  I slowly got up and moved to the computer.  While it was booting up, I hooked up the camera.

"These are going to be so hot...!" Jesse whispered excitedly, hovering so close behind me that I could feel his warm breath on my neck.  He put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed it tightly in anticipation.

As the hard drive directory came into view, the window popped up asking if I wanted to download the pictures.  I started to click the return button for 'yes,' and then hesitated. 

"What's wrong?" Jesse asked.

How could I explain?  It was so fucking weird.  It wasn't so much that I didn't want him seeing me in those ridiculous half naked poses, or even with my erection sticking out of my boxers--it was me!  I didn't want to see them.  I was very uncomfortable looking at myself, whether it was in a photograph, a video, or even the mirror.  Tom's drawing hadn't been so bad because he had obviously enhanced it, somehow adding his own feelings and perceptions of me to the otherwise plain and uninteresting form that made up Perry Thompson.  But these would be crystal clear, high resolution digital photos and I cringed thinking how silly I had been and how ridiculous I must look in them.

"I...uh..."  I stammered stupidly, trying to think of a graceful way to say that I had no idea what he saw in me that he found so attractive and that personally, I couldn't stand to look at myself.

Suddenly, Jesse stood up and lightly patted my shoulder.  "Don't sweat it, dude," he said reassuringly.  "I can wait.  Promise me you'll send me one every day when you're in New York."

I moved my hand away from the keyboard and slowly swiveled my desk chair around to face the boy I loved.  "Jesse...?" I asked quietly, staring blankly at the front of his shirt.

"Yeah, Perry, what is it?"

" won' know...lose your mind when I'm gone, will you?"  For some reason, the idea of Jesse going mad seemed very real to me.  Maybe it was because I had never met anyone like him before, someone who had lived--no--endured, the kind of life he had.  I knew he was carrying around an assortment of guilty feelings: anger, resentment, and even despair.  And many of those feelings he directed right back at himself.  It was almost like he was holding a loaded gun to his head,  and the only reason he wasn't pulling the trigger was because of...

"As long as I know you're coming me," Jesse responded just as quietly, just as seriously.

I felt a hot tear trickle down my face.  Jesse knelt in front of me, his crystal blue eyes glistening with moisture.  He took my hands in his and we just stared at each other for what seemed like a moment suspended in time.  I jumped as I heard the doorbell ring.

"That'll be my mom," Jesse noted, getting back to his feet but still holding both my hands with both of his.

I was afraid if I opened my mouth, I'd burst into tears.  I swallowed the lump in my throat and gave him the best, tight lipped smile that I could manage.

"Yeah...we'll make it," he said, a tentative smile forming on his own sweet face.  He started heading out of the room. 

I felt a powerful ache in my heart, knowing that our brief time together was over.  "I can't believe we wasted our precious time together like that," I moaned quietly.

Jesse turned to me, a look of puzzlement on his face.

"I mean, we just went at each other animals and then...then we just fell asleep.  We have so few chances to be together and..."

"It wasn't wasted," Jesse assured me with a smile.  "It was incredible.  And did you notice--I didn't sneeze once.  I think we stumbled on the cure for the common cold!"

I continued looking at him with a mixed expression of skepticism and dismay.

His expression turned more thoughtful.  "We'll do this again soon, okay?  I promise," he said.

I nodded reluctantly and sluggishly got up to follow him, the weight of all the intense emotions I was feeling physically holding me down. 

Jesse stopped in the doorway and turned to me.  "Just chill, Perry.  I'll see you tomorrow, 'kay?"

I weakly sat back down and just nodded my stupid head.  I listened to the thumping of Jesse's sneakers on the stairs and heard my mom greeting Mrs. Taylor.  I heard her ask for me and I was about to head down, when Jesse spoke in a voice loud enough for me to hear clearly.

"Perry's still downloading stuff for our assignment," he explained quickly.  "And...uh...sorry, Mrs. Thompson, but I messed up with those pictures.  Guess I had it on the wrong setting...There wasn't anything there..."

I got up and moved quietly to the bedroom doorway to hear the rest of the conversation.

"Oh...that's okay...Jesse, dear..." my mom said distractedly, and there was a strangeness to her voice, like her mind was having trouble forming the words.

"You look tired, Tricia," I heard Mrs. Taylor comment.  "I hope Jesse wasn't a problem..."

"Of course not," my mom answered more quickly.  "We love having him here...really...Perry said something about our neighbors offering the boys a job..."

"Cutting the lawn and trimming the hedges!" Jesse chimed in quickly.

"Well, hmmm...We'll have to discuss that, but I really think we need to let Mrs. Thompson rest," Mrs. Taylor noted.

"Sure," Jesse said.  "Thanks for bringing me over, Mrs. Thompson...Bye, Perry! Don't work too hard!" I heard him call out.

I swallowed the lump in my throat and resisted the urge to call back, 'I love you, Jesse Taylor.  I love you with all my heart!'  I stood silently and waited until I heard the front door close.  Then I turned, intending to  go ahead and download those silly pictures, when I stopped in my tracks.  There in the middle of the floor were two crumpled balls of white cotton--Jesse's socks!  He hadn't taken the time to put them back on before, knowing that my mom had the camera down there, and then he must have forgotten all about them in the midst of my foolish emotional display.

I bent down and picked them up.  I brought them immediately to my nose and breathed deeply, enjoying the vinegary odor of Jesse's sweat and the distinctive scent that  I knew so well belonged to him alone.  I shuddered.   Jesse's feet...Jesse's smell...Jesse...I realized that any more of this would take me back over the edge, and I didn't think this was a good time, with my mom more than likely to come trudging up the stairs at any moment.  If she really was tired, she would want to take a nap before dinner.  We'd probably order Chinese delivery for dinner.

I stuffed the socks under my pillow for later, and then hurriedly finished downloading the pictures.  I barely glanced at them as they flashed on the screen one by one.  When the transfer was done, I placed the photos in a well hidden file.  Picking up the camera, I quickly accessed the menu and pressed the 'delete all' button, finally breathing a sigh of relief that it was over with.  Still, I couldn't help but smile, thinking that these pictures would be showing up on Jesse's computer at Christmas time!  We just had to make sure that it was going to be safe for him to do so.  After all, both his mom and Miranda had access to the same computer. I wondered if his mom knew his AOL password?

I noticed there was a new email from Gary, and strangely, it was sent at 6:05 this morning!

Dear Perry,

yeah it's six fucking o'clock in the a.m. but I just had to write and tell you about this freaky dream I had.  Guess it was a nightmare actually--lol!--sure seemed real though.  It was the day of the rummage sale again, and I was waiting outside the john, well, you know, waiting for my turn, and then I heard your voice calling me--by name!--and I rushed in.  I was so scared of Goreski and yet I knew I had to help you.  I knew which stall you were in and I went right to it.  You called my name again like you were in serious trouble and I called out to you.  I knew your name too--it was weird!  I began pounding on the door of the stall, screaming at Goreski to let me the fuck in, but he didn't answer.  I finally tried to force open the door myself, and you know, it shouldn'ta been that hard, but it was like--shit--like it was two feet thick or something.  I climbed up and hung onto the top and pulled with all my weight and all the time you're screaming for me to help you.  I'm like getting hysterical and finally pull the damn door right off it's hinges and then...there's no one there!  I was so confused.  I was sure you and Goreski were in there.  And then I heard your voice again, all quiet and calm.  You said, "Are you looking for me?"  and it was coming from behind me so I turned around and...fuck man...there you were, with your face all bruised up and blood coming out of your nose and mouth and...I just freaked and woke up soaked in sweat!  Man, what a fucking nightmare!

And the weirdest thing was, when I woke up, I just had this feeling like you were in danger or something.  I don't know man...I only had a couple of beers last night I swear! lol!  It seems like writing this out is helping a little.  But anyway, it would be great to hear from you.  I know I'm just overreacting, dude, but still...It was so real and intense!

Okay, well, take care dude.  And hey to Jesse.  I'm hanging out with T. later so maybe I'll have some news for you.  Hopefully not!! lol!

Peace and Love,


Gees, that was creepy!  Poor Gary.  I guessed he was still feeling guilty about that whole rummage sale incident.  Recalling how my little nightmare about Derek had turned out to be completely unfounded, I dismissed Gary's hysterics without too much concern.  It didn't really surprise me that he'd have a dream about me getting beat up.  After all, that's apparently what Goreski and his buddies wanted to do to me.  I did wonder briefly if Gary himself had been the victim of any violence or intimidation since the rummage sale incident.  Goreski was undoubtedly pissed at him, maybe even more than he was at me.  So it wouldn't be that far fetched to imagine that Gary himself might be in as much, if not more, danger than Jesse and me.

I decided to write back, telling him not to worry about the dream and that I was fine.  I didn't mention running into Mario and Arnie at the mall, since nothing serious happened anyway.  I asked him if he had experienced any problems since the rummage sale incident and even mentioned that it might be cool to get together sometime.  I really did want to be his friend, and I wanted to convince Jesse that Gary was the good person I felt in my heart that he was.

It was nearly seven and I was getting seriously hungry.  I hadn't eaten anything except Jesse since I got home and my stomach was complaining.  I was surprised my mom hadn't come upstairs by now, especially if she was as tired as Mrs.  Taylor had seemed to think.  My feet were getting cold by now so I tugged on a fresh pair of socks before making my way downstairs.

The living room and den were empty, so I went into the kitchen.  My mom was sitting on one of the high stools, her hands resting rather limply on her lap, staring blankly at some papers on the counter.  Next to them was the opened Fed-Ex box.

"Mom...?  I asked hesitantly, padding silently into the kitchen in my sock feet.

I saw her start at my voice, even though I had spoken softly.  She looked at me strangely, like she didn't recognize me for a moment, and I knew that there was something in those papers that had upset her.

"What was in the Fed-Ex box?" I asked apprehensively.

She looked at me blankly again, which caused a shiver to go down my spine.  Then her mind seemed to come back from where ever it had gone, and she gave me a tight lipped smile.  But there was no joy in that expression.

"Perry..." she said, as if the name were new to her.  "Honey..." she said distractedly.  "Are you hungry, dear?  You must be...It's getting late.  I meant to call the Noodle Palace, but somehow it slipped my mind..."  All of this she said like she was reading the words in a script for the first time.

"What was in the box, mom?" I asked, coming up next to her so I could see for myself what was lying on the counter.

They were obviously legal documents, and obviously from my dad's law firm:  Gustovenson, Paternasky, McNichol, Gustovenson, and Thompson.  The first Gustovenson referred to Staci's dad, the one who had given his daughter a job and subsequently offered a partnership to my dad.  The printing was small and filled with dense legal jargon that for the most part I didn't understand.  Just as I was starting to get a glimmer of what this was all about, my mom informed me in an emotionless voice:  "It seems that your father...and...Ms. Gustovenson are getting married."

"Oh," I said,  climbing on to the stool next to where my mom sat.

She nodded absently.  "Yes, it's to take place after midnight on the first of next year  Isn't that...precious?"

"I thought you guys were already divorced.  What're those papers for?" 

"Oh these?" she asked with a weird half smile.  She picked up the small stack of papers and then let them fall limply back on the counter.  "They're just legal mumbo jumbo really...just documents that clarify the divorce settlement and acknowledge his right to get remarried and so forth...Mumbo jumbo really..." she repeated.

I thought of the word 'shell shocked.'  While I had never seen a soldier in such a condition, it seemed to aptly describe my mom's state at the moment.

"But what's the big deal?" I asked bluntly, not understanding my mom's  intense reaction to the news.  "We already knew that he and Staci were together.  They left here together and they live together in Manhattan and..."

My mom's face suddenly contorted into a look of extreme anguish.  She brought her hands up and covered first her mouth and then her eyes.  She slowly shook her head.

"It's nothing, Perry.  Really...I'm just being silly...that's all..."  Her words and her facial expression were at completely opposite ends of the spectrum.  I could see her struggling not to burst into tears, but the sobs just came out and shook her while I sat there in stunned silence.

I hadn't seen my mom break down like this for over a year now.  After my father moved out, and all through the divorce proceedings, she had only rarely cried like this.   I had always admired her ability to maintain a stiff upper lip even though I knew she was hurting inside.  When she did lose control, it always seemed to me to be at unusual times--like late at night, or in the middle of a meal, or just grocery shopping.  Suddenly the tears would start pouring out and she'd just have to stop what she was doing, or if she was in a public place, she'd slip quickly off to the ladies room, and I would sit patiently by myself, waiting for her to pull herself together.

But why was she so upset by this news?  We already knew they were living together and had undoubtedly had sex together, probably even while he was still married.  But that was all water under the bridge now.  By getting married, at least they were legitimizing their relationship.  I didn't understand my mom's emotional reaction.

Then I thought about Jesse and me.  What if we broke up?  It seemed unimaginable, but still...Would it be over some other guy...or gal?  That seemed inconceivable.  The only other person I felt any real attraction to was Jessica, but I wasn't in love with her.   But if Jesse fell in love with someone else, I'd be crushed, and not only that, I'd hate the person who took him from me...just hate them strong and pure!

"I'm sorry, mom," I said, getting up and wrapping my arms around her slender waist.

"'s nothing..." she insisted in a shaky voice.  "I don't know why I'm overreacting..."

"Because you loved him, that's why," I offered.  She dabbed her eyes with a napkin and managed to calm herself down a little. 

She seemed to pull herself together a little and released a heavy sigh.  "I think once you've loved somebody, you'll always love them deep down inside, no matter what happens."  She put a gentle hand on my shoulder and I nodded in silent understanding.

After a quiet meal of Kung Pao Chicken and fried rice, I gave my mom another long hug and then trudged upstairs.  I fell into bed and grabbed my pillow.  I loved the cool feeling of the soft fabric against my face.  That's when I felt the socks--Jesse's socks!  I had forgotten that I had stuffed them there earlier in the evening.  I pulled them out and held them to my face, enjoying the now distant scent of my beautiful angel, and feeling the slightly course cottony material against my cheek.  Tears came quickly and when I closed my eyes, I just imagined that Jesse was there with me, holding me close, touching my cheek, caressing my hair, comforting me.  'Everything will be okay, Perry.  I love you...I love you so much...'


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