Legal Notice:

The following contains mild descriptions of sexual acts between young people. 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 © 2004 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 31: The Prince Of Bonifar

I still had my blue and gold wristbands on, even though I was now alone in my room, logging onto the internet. I quickly launched my IM server and waited anxiously for Jesse to respond. Even after a long, long shower, my wrists still hurt a little and were starting to itch. For that matter, every muscle and joint in my body was sore to some degree, most notably my shoulders and pits.

My mom was already home and making dinner by the time I got dried off and dressed in my sleeping clothes: a plain undershirt, sweatpants, and socks. My wrists still looked red where the ropes had pressed in. She didn’t question why I was wearing my wristbands at dinner, so I figured that was a good thing. If she asked, I would tell her that it was a team spirit thing leading up to the last game of the season. Morgan had already promised me he would wear his tomorrow (the ones I had worn when he tied me up) as well. Despite this simple ruse, I couldn’t completely hide from her the fact that I had been through something intense, painful and humiliating this afternoon, and I covered by telling her I was nervous about the upcoming game. When she didn’t look convinced, I told her that I was really having mixed feelings about my impending trip to New York--which was certainly true. She said she understood and wasn’t looking forward to it either and that was the end of that discussion. After dinner, I had no trouble convincing her that I was feeling tired and wanted to turn in early. I told her I was going to spend the evening in my room doing some homework and then go to bed. She nodded in understanding.

An interminable fifteen minutes went by before Jesse responded.

Jerrinheimer: i’m so sorry for what happened today. things got out of hand. it was all my fault.

bbplayer125: no. u were just trying to help morgan.

Jerrinheimer: i guess that backfired!

bbplayer125: i don’t know what to think. i’m so confused. what about your mom? what did u tell her?

Jerrinheimer: just that morgan stripped you and tied you up...nothing about the bj.

bbplayer125: lol! seriously, i mean, about going to morgan’s house.

Jerrinheimer: i just told her morgan invited me over to shoot hoops. it was no big deal.

bbplayer125: she wasn’t worried that we might get together?

Jerrinheimer: it’s not like she knows about all the stuff we do! lol

bbplayer125: lol

Jerrinheimer: i thought it better if u didn’t know before. i’m sorry. things got out of hand.

bbplayer125: what about your tutoring?

Jerrinheimer: derek had an orthodontist appointment.

bbplayer125: o yeah. i forgot.

Jerrinheimer: and harriet sorta graduated i guess. she doesn’t need any more tutoring this semester. mr. c said i should be getting 1 or 2 new students after the xmas break.

bbplayer125: kewl

Jerrinheimer: i’m so sorry, perry. i feel like I hurt u myself.

bbplayer125: it was morgan.

Jerrinheimer: yes, but i stood by and watched. i knew what he was going to do...well, mostly.

bbplayer125: i can’t believe morgan tied me up! that must’ve been your idea.

Jerrinheimer: no. morgan actually suggested that. he said it was part of one of his fantasies.

bbplayer125: y is he having fantasies about me?

Jerrinheimer: cuz u’re totally hot and he’s turned on by u.

bbplayer125: please, jesse, don’t tease me. i really need u now.

Jerrinheimer: i know, baby. i’m here. i just feel so bad for what happened.

bbplayer125: at least u were there!

Jerrinheimer: morgan thought it would be a good idea that I be present when u and he met.

bbplayer125: for the jack off session.

Jerrinheimer: yeah. and he actually brought up the idea of making it into a fantasy. he had a pretty elaborate idea about u being a prince and him kidnapping u and all kinds of shit.

bbplayer125: kidnapping?!

Jerrinheimer: yeah, it was a whole thing he had worked up in his head. but i told him that was too elaborate and i suggested the idea of making it like a therapy session.

bbplayer125: yeah, u were making those jokes at school last week.

Jerrinheimer: before deanna attacked you!

bbplayer125: i don’t want to talk about that, or think about those people, ok?

Jerrinheimer: i understand, sweet baby.

bbplayer125: but morgan’s my friend and i do care about him. i don’t like to see him like all messed up and stuff--especially about me!

Jerrinheimer: i could see that u were really struggling with yourself. That u didn’t like what was happening.

bbplayer125: i had to do it for morgan.

Jerrinheimer: u didn’t HAVE to.

bbplayer125: yeah. i did. he’s my friend. our friend.

Jerrinheimer: yeah

bbplayer125: u seemed okay at first, but later, u looked upset too.

Jerrinheimer: yes. It was hard to watch u suffer like that.

bbplayer125: it wasn’t so bad. my wrists hurt a little and I’m kinda sore, but it’ll go away.

Jerrinheimer: i think it was worse than that. *sigh* i’m ashamed of myself. i couldn’t bring myself to stop him. U should’ve stopped him.

bbplayer125: kingcarver?

Jerrinheimer: yeah. i kept expecting u to say it, hoping u’d say it, but u didn’t.

bbplayer125: well, things were ok until he started getting into that other fantasy.

Jerrinheimer: it was his idea to have a fantasy within a fantasy--pretty clever, actually. and that’s where the bondage thing came in. but he was really scared about it too. he was so afraid of hurting u and freaking u out.

bbplayer125: it was a lot more than i expected. did u like it?

Jerrinheimer: we shouldn’t talk about that now.

bbplayer125: please jesse. it’s important to me.

Jerrinheimer: hmmm...well...yes, i liked it. alot. u know u’re the hottest, sexiest, most beautiful boy i’ve ever seen!

bbplayer125: jesse’s in LOVE! lol lol lol!

Jerrinheimer: yes. very much so. but even though i was worried about u and felt so guilty for getting u into that awful situation... i liked it too. isn’t that sick?

bbplayer125: no. i know u’re into that bondage stuff.

Jerrinheimer: i’m not sure about that anymore.

bbplayer125: it would be fun if it was just the 2 of us.

Jerrinheimer: maybe, but i don’t know anymore. it was really hard to see morgan do that to u.

bbplayer125: u seemed pretty calm at first. almost disinterested.

Jerrinheimer: lol. i was trying to stay in character, but it didn’t work out too well. i creamed myself 2x!

bbplayer125: no way!

Jerrinheimer: WAY!

bbplayer125: If that’s true, your pants would’ve been drenched.

Jerrinheimer: i had that covered thanks to a little pre-planning on my part.

bbplayer125: ?

Jerrinheimer: hehehe...when I changed into my doctor’s outfit in morgan’s bathroom, i also slipped an athletic cup into my briefs.

bbplayer125: eew! morgan’s?

Jerrinheimer: mine, silly. it worked pretty well--kept me from touching myself for one thing! but it felt really gross later.

bbplayer125: that’s why u were so anxious to go and change!

Jerrinheimer: yeah, there was probably a gallon in there.

bbplayer125: u wore briefs?!

Jerrinheimer: yeah. to hold the cup.

bbplayer125: lol! man, i wish i coulda seen that! i didn’t even notice you doing cumming and stuff.

Jerrinheimer: well, i started getting hard just thinking about what was going to happen. when u took off your shirt, i knew it was just a matter of time. *sigh* u’re so beautiful and sexy, perry. u just have no idea what it does to me.

bbplayer125: u’re a healthy, horny teenager! too healthy--lol!

Jerrinheimer: horny for U. the first time i creamed myself was when u took off your shoes and socks.

bbplayer125: haha! u like my big stinky feet!

Jerrinheimer: i do. i love all your stinky parts.

bbplayer125: gross. but kinda romantic i guess.

Jerrinheimer: then when morgan tied u up and hung u from that exercise bar and u were just in your boxers and all stretched out--#2 !

bbplayer125: it was just like in your story, about parker!

Jerrinheimer: yeah--weird. i have to admit, morgan’s got a pretty good imagination for a jock.

bbplayer125: so, what about when he took off my boxers?

Jerrinheimer: that was unexpected. i knew morgan really wanted to see u naked, but i reminded him of how shy u are. plus, i told him--don’t get angry--that i really didn’t want to see another boy’s ding dongs hanging out in the air. unfortunately, he decided to improvise!

bbplayer125: i was so embarrassed to have EVERYTHING just hanging out like that. i could hardly breathe. but when i looked over at the desk, u seemed ok.

Jerrinheimer: that’s good. i didn’t want morgan to know that i was pumping out cum like a busted fire hydrant. and i feel so bad that i didn’t stop him from taking off your boxers.

bbplayer125: well, technically, he didn’t take them off.

Jerrinheimer: true. i have to admit, they sure looked great wrapped around your ankles--u should wear them like that all the time!

bbplayer125: lol! you’re silly.

Jerrinheimer: not silly. sick.

bbplayer125: stop saying that.

Jerrinheimer: what i did was wrong. when he did that, i shoulda stopped everything.

bbplayer125: stop saying that! i coulda said kingcarver, but i wanted to help morgan. and if u were enjoying it, then that was a good thing too.

Jerrinheimer: i started to get angry when morgan was feeling u up. i didn’t like seeing him do that to you.

bbplayer125: i wish he’d stopped there.

Jerrinheimer: me too. i was really surprised when he started sucking u off.

bbplayer125: improvising again!

Jerrinheimer: that’s for sure, and i just let him do it. i was so confused...totally wasted. i was in major shock seeing what he was doing to u.

bbplayer125: me too. i’m glad he choked on it, ya know? but then i thought he was fuck me. i was so scared.

Jerrinheimer: gosh, i’m so sorry, perry. i saw what he was doing. i saw the fear in your eyes. and still, i didn’t do anything.

bbplayer125: but i know you woulda stopped him from doing that.

Jerrinheimer: i couldn’t let that happen to you.

bbplayer125: i know. that’s why i didn’t use the safe word.

Jerrinheimer: thank god morgan didn’t go through with it.

bbplayer125: do you think he wanted to do that?

Jerrinheimer: i dunno. yeah, maybe he did. i’m so sorry about all that.

bbplayer125: don’t apologize. morgan knew when to stop. he knew it was just a game.

Jerrinheimer: just a game.

bbplayer125: yeah. and i’m glad u had so much fun. that makes me feel better.

Jerrinheimer: not fun, exactly but...yeah, it was something i’ll never forget.

bbplayer125: good.

Jerrinheimer: you’re very sweet. but no surprise there. i’m so ashamed.

bbplayer125: DON’T be! i’d do anything to make u happy.

Jerrinheimer: u don’t really have to. god told me to stay with u.

bbplayer125: even if i’m a dick.

Jerrinheimer: especially cuz of your dick!

bbplayer125: lol but what happens now? is morgan really bi?

Jerrinheimer: *sigh* i don’t know. i mean, i don’t know if he’s bi or what comes next. it seems like he’s really

bbplayer125: fucked up somehow.

Jerrinheimer: yeah.

bbplayer125: i don’t want to feel like morgan’s always trying to get in my pants.

Jerrinheimer: well, he’s had his turn and now he just needs to go to the back of the line again.

bbplayer125: ?

Jerrinheimer: nothing. but it might take a while for him to get over u. to get through this phase or whatever it is.

bbplayer125: *sigh* ok. as long as u’re there, i guess i can deal with it somehow. it feels so awful when someone sees u naked, ya know? they’re just staring at u and i feel so stupid and ugly.

Jerrinheimer: that’s ok. that’s just your modesty. but u are beautiful--every inch of u. so u’re not seeing it is really just in your head.

bbplayer125: but i don’t see anything like that when i look in the mirror.

Jerrinheimer: well, your eyes are in your HEAD, aren’t they?

bbplayer125: o yeah.

Jerrinheimer: so u’re not mad at me?

bbplayer125: no. u tried to do something good for morgan, and u had fun with all the bondage shit.

Jerrinheimer: and the seeing perry naked shit and the perry getting masturbated shit and the

bbplayer125: lol! OK! geesh!

Jerrinheimer: i’ll never let anything like that happen to u again.

bbplayer125: unless we’re alone.

Jerrinheimer: even then.

bbplayer125: don’t say that. it might still be fun. besides, who knows when we’ll ever get a chance to be together again? it seems like we never have time alone.

Jerrinheimer: i know. i just lay in bed every night jacking off, thinking about the amazing times we’ve had together.

bbplayer125: like when u tied me to your bed!

Jerrinheimer: yeah, that was crazy. wtf was i thinking?

bbplayer125: it was really clever. u took me completely by surprise.

Jerrinheimer: i guess we both got taken by surprise today. U were so brave.

bbplayer125: i don’t know about that. i was scared shitless at the time. and i don’t know what it’s gonna be like to face morgan tomorrow.

Jerrinheimer: u’re going to have to be very patient with him for a while, so he can really work through all this. everything happened very fast today. he’s got a lot to think about.

bbplayer125: we all do. ok. i’ll try to be patient.

Jerrinheimer: and this is really important perry. u need to be very careful around morgan. he’s kinda unstable right now.

There was a knock at the door.

“Yeah, mom?”


bbplayer125: shit! it’s morgan!!!

Jerrinheimer: on the phone?

bbplayer125: at my house!!!!!!

Jerrinheimer: ! hmmmm...try to be supportive of him. but BE careful.

bbplayer125: what do you mean BE careful?

Jerrinheimer: try not to be alone with him if u can help it.

bbplayer125: Y?????????



bbplayer125: shit. alright. gtg

I quickly logged off and went to the door, which was closed but not locked. Morgan was standing there, all five feet ten--or should I say eleven--of him? He had definitely grown since the beginning of the school year. He was dressed in gray sweat pants much like the ones I was wearing, along with a YMCA hoodie and his scuffed up Airwalks, the same ones I had had the pleasure of kissing this afternoon. Cleverly, he was also wearing his blue and gold wrist bands. I thought I would be totally freaked, seeing Morgan again so soon after all that had happened between us, but the look on his face suggested that maybe he was in worse shape than me.

“Sorry to just pop by like this, but...ah...I’d really like to...just talk to you about...stuff,” he finished awkwardly. He nodded his head back toward the stairs. “I told your mom I wanted to go over some last minute strategies with you before the game tomorrow.” He shrugged. I could hear the television on downstairs so I knew where my mom was.

“ long as I don’t have to kiss your feet or anything!” I joked clumsily.

A brief smile flashed across his face and disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. “I can’t believe that you can just joke about that shit.”

I shrugged, gesturing for him to come in. He went and sat in the swivel chair that I had just vacated.

“It was all pretty silly,” I said, trying to sound like I wasn’t as disturbed as I really felt. I knew my cheeks were glowing red with embarrassment as I went and sat on the edge of my bed, pulling my legs up to sit Indian-style.

“It wasn’t though,” Morgan said seriously. “I was so selfish, I can hardly believe it.”

“I agreed to come over for...that,” I reminded him.

“I guess you got a little more than you bargained for,” he noted drily. He glanced nervously at my wrists and even though they were covered, I saw the look of fear return to his long, expressive face.

I nodded. “Really, it was okay. Everyone needs a little adventure in their life now and then.”

“Okay, Per. I get it that you’re trying to be supportive and all that, and believe me, I really, really appreciate it. I totally don’t deserve to have you as a friend.”

I started to protest but he quickly cut me off.

“But I’m gonna accept that for now--that we’re still friends. You can always change your mind any time you want, and I’ll totally understand.”

We just half stared and half avoided each other for a good long minute.

“The thing is, what can I do for you?” Morgan finally asked. “How can I make things good between us?”

“What I want is for things to go back to the way they used to be,” I told him, a bit of sadness creeping into my voice despite my best effort to put on a happy face.

Morgan sighed. “I don’t think it can--at least, not completely. Too many things’ve happened. The fact is, I’m not the same person I was.”

“You’re not?”

“I was as convinced as you were-- or everybody else for that matter, that I was an all-American jock--straight as a fuckin’ arrow. But I’m tellin’ ya, it just got to be too much for me to handle,” he confessed, his voice starting to rise in pitch. He paused, trying to rein in his emotions. “I think when it first really started to click was after I found those pics Derek had snapped of Jesse.”

“I don’t get it,” I said naively.

“Well, you gotta admit that Jesse is a good looking guy by anyone’s standards: the long blond hair, those bright blue eyes, that smooth, teenybopper face.”

Please, Morgan, don’t make me hard! I tried not to picture the most beautiful boy in the world, the one that I loved and who loved me in return like no other.

“Not everyone likes long hair,” I pointed out stupidly.

“True, but I’m not talking about fashion points. Everyone recognizes a good looking person when they walk in the room, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re straight or gay, or a guy or a chick or whatever. They’re just magnetic, and it’s like, you get all those feelings--like you’re envious and jealous at the same time, and you wonder what it would be like to wake up every morning looking so good, and you wonder what it would be like to hang with that person.”

That was so true! It was exactly the sort of thing that went through my mind the day Jesse had first skulked bashfully into our homeroom.

“The thing is, I just made this connection for some reason. That Derek was taking secret pics of Jesse because my brother had the hots for our buddy from Illinois. I mean, it never even occurred to me before, that someone I knew, let alone my own kid brother, could” His voice dropped to a near whisper when he said that last, powerful word.

“Is that what you think?” I asked cautiously.

“Fuck, who knows? Like I said, he’s not telling me. Maybe Tom knows. They’re always hangin’ out together.... What about Jesse? Has he ever had a really good talk with Derek?”

“Not that I know of. Just the time that he...well...told Derek that he wasn’t like that.”

“Yeah, that letter you mentioned. I guess he said some stuff that made Jesse think he was a fag, huh?”

I cringed at the word but nodded. “And all Jesse could do was tell Derek that he wasn’t like that and couldn’t do the things he wanted to do.... And Derek just lost it.” I sadly recalled the day I had discovered Jesse and poor little Derek, crying his eyes out, behind the school, and also the fortuitous arrival of Father Marlen, who handled the situation with such grace and gentility. I remembered Derek walking to the office leaning on Morgan’s shoulder. “But you didn’t yell at him or anything, did you?” I asked worriedly.

Morgan shook his head. “No. I mean, I know I can be a bully sometimes. But that’s how it is when you have a kid brother,” he said with a guilty shrug. “Somehow though, I knew it had something to do with those pictures I’d found, but I didn’t say anything. He was really messed up, poor kid.”

“Yeah, Jesse said he was just really mixed up--you know, the way kids get sometimes around that age.”

“Or our age,” Morgan pointed out sagely. I nodded in silent agreement. “Like I said, that was when things really started to click for me. I started to realize that I was attracted to you--to another boy--in a way that wasn’t...well, just wasn’t straight, ya know?”

“So you just left Derek alone?”

Morgan shrugged. “I already felt bad about that one time I smacked him, and wouldn’t I be a major dick to rag on my own brother when I had the same feelings myself?”

“I guess. But I agree with Jesse. Derek was just confused.”

“Yeah...maybe,” Morgan suddenly grinned in a sardonically knowing way. “Check it out. Last week he seemed in a really pissy mood after school and I asked him what was buggin’ him, and he said that Jesse had asked Merissa to Jessica’s Christmas party.”

“Oh yeah. Jesse was pretty brave, just going up to her like that.”

“Cool. Not quite as bashful as when he first showed up, huh?”

“So Derek was a little jealous?” I asked, remembering that Derek had mentioned that Merissa was number two on his ‘hottest kids in school’ list.

“Seemed that way. It was kinda cute.” Morgan smiled, but the grin quickly vanished. “So you think I’m confused too?”

I shrugged, and then reluctantly nodded.

“Well, you’re wrong,” he stated defiantly. “I was confused. But not anymore. You see, I’ve been having fantasies about you since...I guess since we came back from summer vacation. I mean, I hadn’t seen you in like two and a half months, and I couldn’t believe how you’d changed.”

“I grew an inch and a half and most of my freckles disappeared,” I noted with some pride.

“Yeah, the freckles...I’m sure that was it!” Morgan laughed dryly. “Think of it like, if you don’t see a chick for a long time. Like, you know her when she’s just this flat chested, giggly, gangly little stick of a thing, and then you see her again after awhile and she’s like--whoa--a total babe, ya know? Like all filled out in all the right places.”

“But my boobs didn’t get any bigger!” I assured him with a silly grin. Then I frowned. “But why me, Morgan? I mean, if you think Jesse’s hot, then why don’t you have those kinds of feelings about him?”

“Besides the fact that he’d probably break my ribs if I even suggested such a thing?” he snorted humorlessly. “Seriously...I don’t know,” he admitted with what sounded like genuine bemusement. “I guess there’s more to it than just good looks.”

“Jesse’s a great guy,” I quickly pointed out.

“Yeah, he sure is. An unbelievably great guy. But you know, at first, he was kinda quiet, and...I don’t know...a little spooky I guess. Like he was hiding a lot of stuff or something. And you know I started feeling jealous when I saw the two of you were getting close.”

If Morgan only knew the heartache my sweet angel carried with him each and every day. I wished so badly that I could hold Jesse every night before he went to bed. And it wasn’t just about the great feeling of having his slender, sinewy body pressed against mine. I just wanted so badly to comfort him, to reasure him that everything was going to be okay and that I was always going to be there for him.

“But I wanted to be your friend from the first day you showed up,” he reminded me. “I didn’t think at the time it was because of your looks, but now....”

“You were just being nice to the pathetic, geeky new kid.”

“Geeky?” Morgan laughed. “You were never geeky, Per. Maybe a little scrawny, but you’ve definitely filled out in all the right places, dude.”

He noticed my look of discomfort and hesitated. “Per, I need you to be okay with this. I mean, if we’re really gonna keep on being friends, I need to know that if I really am gay, or bi or whatever, that you’re okay with it.”

“I still want to be your friend,” I stated with false conviction.

“That’s cool,” he said with some relief, but then looked at me with that despairing look again. “It’s just that I feel so guilty...especially about hurting you. I mean, fuck, why do I keep doing that? First slapping you for no reason, and then tying you up. And I know how shy you are, and yet look what I did to you today. I could see you were super embarrassed to be naked--especially in front of Jesse. That was so fuckin’ mean of me too. We’d talked about that, and Jesse said not to take off your boxers. I’m really, really sorry for that.”

“If you have nightmares about my stupid body, it’s all your fault.”

“Yeah, your stupid body,” Morgan repeated sarcastically. ‘Your stupid, hot, sexy body.”

“I don’t like it when you talk like that,” I noted disconcertedly.

“Sure, cuz I sound like a fag,” he said offhandedly. “And I totally get that. A few months ago, if I’d thought my brother--or anyone I knew was a fag, I’d probably just pound them into the ground just outta instinct. Shit...My dad hates ’em! So I guess I just hated ’em too.” He smiled sardonically. “But now that I think I might be one of those...people, I still think I might hate ’em.”

“Are you saying you don’t like yourself because of the feelings you’re having?” I asked worriedly.

“How would you feel?” he asked dismally. “I mean, if you woke up in the middle of the night with a raging hardon, and realized you’d just been dreaming about...say... Jesse, all naked and sweaty and rubbing up against you--”

“Don’t, Morgan,” I cautioned him. He really was going to make me hard, and I wasn’t wearing any underwear! He looked so sad sitting there, his long legs stretched out in front of him, his ankles crossed, his hands clasped tightly in his lap. I wondered again if it would just be easier to tell Morgan the truth--that I really did like boys, and one in particular.

“Okay, but you can sorta see why I’m not jumping with fuckin’ joy about all this.”

“I guess. The thing is, I think maybe the reason you hurt me is cuz you’re frustrated with your feelings, so I sorta get that--I don’t like it, but I get it.”

Morgan nodded in understanding.

“But the other thing, about you maybe liking boys and stuff, I really do think I can handle it cuz...” I hesitated, wondering if I was making a big mistake by revealing some very personal information, “I already know someone who’s gay,” I blurted out. “At least, I’m pretty sure....”

Morgan’s eyes opened wide. “Really? Fuck,” he whispered. “Can you like...tell me?” he asked cautiously.

“Well, at Thanksgiving, my Aunt Rosemary--she’s not married or anything, brought another woman with her to our house. And, if you saw them together, I guess you’d think the same thing.”

“No shit?” Morgan asked in wonderment. “Your mom’s sister?”

I nodded. “I’m pretty sure,” I repeated. “But I don’t know if I should’ve said anything, cuz it’s like a private family thing, ya know?”

“I understand, Per. Thanks for sharing that. I swear I won’t say anything to anybody.... So that’s why you aren’t totally freaking out over this.”

“Well, it’s not like I saw my aunt and her friend smooching or anything. But it seemed like they were really happy devoted to each other, and that didn’t seem like a bad me, anyway.”

“Yeah, I mean, you’re right. There’s so much bad shit in this world. If two people really like each other, and want to be together, then yeah, why wouldn’t that be a good thing?" He sighed heavily. "And now, Per, I know that I like you...the same way I like Katy.”

“I’m not gonna wear a dress!” I warned him.

“I know, but I bet you’d look hot in one of those tight leather things like Dana wears sometimes.”


“Sorry, I can’t help it. I think you’re hot, Per. It’s how I feel.”

“Okay...” I admitted with an air of defeat.

“I mean, you’re totally great as a friend--you always have been, and I do sometimes wish we could go back to the way things were. But now that I know I’m really attracted to you physically, it’s sort of a relief--a big relief.” He paused and looked at me carefully. “Of course, I know it like really complicates things. It means there’s all this other shit between us now. It’s something we both have to deal with somehow.”

“Yeah, I guess. “

“So, are you sure you can be okay with it?” he asked again, his close-set eyes pleading with me.

“Well, as long as you’re still my friend first, I guess I’m okay with it. And if you’re my friend and you like me in that other way, then I guess I have to be okay with that too.”

“You don’t have to be okay with it,” he reminded me.

“Well, I don’t know if I’d ever want to do something like what we did today, but I do still want to be your friend, that I know for sure.”

Morgan made a little mewling sound and his eyes were watery. His tightly pursed lips quivered. But in a way, he almost looked happy despite all the signs to the contrary.

He sighed heavily. “Alright, like I said, I’ll go with that,” he said through a tight throat. “I mean, what else can I do?”

I waited for him to get his emotions under control. “But you’re not gonna like...fantasize about me anymore, are you?” I asked uneasily.

“Of course I am!” he said with a helpless shrug. “Now that I’ve seen you, and touched you and...tasted you, I’ve got my whole Christmas break covered!”


“I should explain to you about that fantasy stuff. I mean, all that shit I did to you today, even tying you up, that was all part of a story I made up.”

“Yeah, I know. Like those games we played when we were kids.”

“Well, there was more to it than that--a lot more.” He paused for a second, apparently not wanting to go there just yet. “You know, I made a special trip to Home Depot to buy that rope. There were like dozens of different kinds, and I just stood there, trying to decide which would be the strongest and the smoothest. And then I laughed out loud cuz there I was, standing in the fuckin’ hardware store, trying to choose which rope would be best for tying up my best friend!”

“Gees, Morgan,” I said, feeling more than a little queasy. “You don’t have to tell me any more about that.”

“But I want to,” he said urgently. “I mean...if you’ll let me,” he pleaded softly.

I shrugged. “Sure...whatever.” I was blushing for some reason and I put my hands in my lap, again feeling extremely self-conscious that Morgan had seen my dick and balls.

“What’s the matter?” Morgan asked, noting my disconcerted expression.

“Gees, Morgan, you saw me naked and you put my....” I swallowed the lump in my throat. “You sucked me off!”

“Okay, Per. Please don’t freak out,” he said soothingly. “If you could somehow just...just not feel bad about that. I mean, it did feel good for you, didn’t it? You did cum, so you musta felt something.”

Thanks for reminding me! “I couldn’t help it,” I admitted shamefully.

“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. When someone’s playing with your equipment like that, feeling you up, I mean, how could you not get worked up? It’s just impossible not to.”

“But you’re a guy....”

“Yeah, but when someone’s actually touching you like that, you know--pushin’ all your buttons, I don’t think it matters.”

“I guess not,” I conceded.

“I mean, who knows better than a guy, what turns on another guy, right?”

I didn’t answer, but let my gaze fall to my lap.

“Please don’t be upset, Per. Would it help if you knew that I liked it--like really, really liked it?”

I buried my face in my hands.

“Okay, that wasn’t a good way to put it,” he apologized quickly. “See, it’s just that...that you were the Prince of Bonifar.”

“What?” I asked, uncovering my face and looking at him. He had a slightly skewed smile on his long face and his eyebrows were raised in a beseeching way that looked kind of comical.

“Yeah, you were the fuckin’ Prince of the mighty kingdom of Bonifar.”

“That was your fantasy?”

Morgan grinned sheepishly. “Yeah, and I was like the Royal Stable Master, your equestrian teacher--you know, teaching you how to ride.”

“A horse?”

“Yeah. But see, in the story, you’re like this young, super handsome prince, and all the princesses from all the other kingdoms are just dying to marry you, but you haven’t picked anyone out yet. I mean, shit, you’re only fourteen.”

I bet Jessica was right up there, first in line, probably secretly poisoning all the other princesses. “Are you older than me?”


“I mean, in your fantasy, is the Stable Master older than the Prince?”

“Yeah...I guess he is. He’s like a grown-up, maybe in his early twenties.”

“That’s a little scary.”

“Fuck yeah, it’s scary,” he concurred. “I’m not proud of what I was thinkin’,” he admitted. “It’s just that after doing all that stuff I did to you, I feel like I need to at least tell you where that was all coming from.”

“Well...okay,” I agreed reluctantly.

“So I take you out for your riding lessons like every day, and of course, I develop this crush on you. I mean, I have it bad--it’s like an obsession.”

That’s what Prozac’s for, I thought sarcastically.

“So the problem is, I can never get you alone, know, be with you. You always have this bunch of people around you.”

“Like bodyguards?”

“Yeah, like that. And you always dress in these really fancy clothes. Supposedly, no one except your personal servants has ever seen you bathe or get ready for bed.”

“That’s good!”

“It’s funny that someone as good looking as you would be so uptight about their body,” Morgan mused out loud.

“It doesn’t seem that way to me--I mean, about the good looking part.”

“Don’t you see yourself in the mirror, and the way everyone looks at you? The way all the girls at school drool over you--even Katy?”

“I look a lot like my dad--when he was a kid,” I noted dully.

“Well, what’s wrong with that?”

“He left us...” I pointed out, feeling a bit irritated that Morgan wouldn’t realize something so obvious.

“Oh...and so you think your dad did a bad thing, huh?”

“Of course he did,” I answered testily. “My mom is like the best, nicest person in the world and she didn’t deserve to be treated like that!”

“Okay, Per. Look, I didn’t mean to get you pissed--more pissed. Just try to let it go. I mean, fuck, we’re all just born the way we are, right? I mean, look at me, fer cryin’ out loud!” He shrugged helplessly. “Not much we can do about it.”

“Extreme makeover!” I snorted half facetiously.

“I don’t think they’d take you,” Morgan said with half a grin. “Anyway, be happy you didn’t get stuck with my ugly mug!”

“You’re not ugly,” I told him earnestly.

Morgan shrugged, apparently not willing to accept that statement, and of course, in this case, I could sympathize with where he was coming from so I didn’t press the point.

“Anyway...I wanted to tell you about my fantasy.”

“Okay...” I said, trying to push the anger and resentment aside. Both my parents had hinted that there was more to their separation than what I already knew. Still, for a guy who was as supposedly loyal and dedicated as my dad, to just pack up and leave his family for a hot lookin’ lawyer chick, that seemed pretty low no matter what the explanation was. At least, with Mr. Vandermach, my mom now had the potential to find some happiness in her life, and I was grateful for that.

“So, what happens--in this fantasy--is that I develop this secret crush on you, and of course, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’d get my head chopped off--or maybe my dick!--if anyone knew, especially your mom, the Queen.”

“Cool. My mom’s the Queen,” I noted approvingly.

Morgan nodded but his face was serious as he continued sharing his secret fantasy. “But I keep seeing you day after day, week after week and you’re so hot and sexy and you have this sweet smile and those eyes that seem like you could look into them forever, and I can’t help but wonder what you look like without--”

“Hey! The story!”

“Oh yeah, I plan to kidnap you. One day when we’re having your riding lesson, I secretly feed some magic beans or something to your horse to make him go crazy and dash off into the woods and I have the only horse fast enough to catch up to you, and pretty soon, we’ve left all the bodyguards and servants behind. Then I just overpower you, tie your hands, and throw you across the back of my horse.”

“With my ass sticking in the air?”

“Oh yeah!” he grinned.

“When did you think of all this?”

“Well, it just sorta built up over a long time. It wasn’t like I just sat down and came up with the story overnight. I just imagined it was like some of that sword and sorcery shit, like Conan The Barbarian and Everquest. I was like a brigand! So I whisk you off to my secret cave and then I....”

Morgan paused and it seemed like he had forgotten what he was going to say.

“Um...what happened in the cave?” I prompted him.

“Well, at first, I-I was pretty angry--frustrated, ya know, from all the time I couldn’t get near you? I was sorta rough, knocking you around and stuff,” he admitted shamefully. “You said your mom--the Queen--would pay any ransom I wanted, but I told you I didn’t want treasure or any of that shit--that you were gonna be my slave.”

“That’s why you made me kiss your feet?”

“Yeah. Imagine, having a real Prince under your power and forcing him to bow to you. God, what a power trip that would be!” Morgan’s eyes lit up. Then his vision seemed to falter and he glanced at me sheepishly. “So that’s when I strip you and tie you up like I did today.”

“That’s a pretty violent fantasy,” I pointed out uneasily.

Morgan looked at me with something that was closer to shame than to simple embarrassment. “Actually, it gets even worse. I didn’t even tell Jesse this, but shit, I’ve gotta tell you you can really understand. You don’t have to be my friend anymore,” he repeated quickly.

“Okay, I understand.”

“So yeah.... After I tie you up and hang you from the ceiling of the cave, I...whip you, like with my riding crop.”

“Oh.” my voice suddenly sounded very small and I suddenly remembered Jesse’s warning about not being alone with Morgan.

“Don’t freak, Perry, please!” he exclaimed quickly as he saw my reaction. “I’m not gonna do that.... Really, honestly. You have to believe me. What happened was too much and I feel terrible and....” He seemed to crumple up on himself and I saw him shake with silent sobs.

I went over to him and cautiously put a hand on his bony shoulder. I could see the tendons in his neck sticking out of his T-shirt. Not looking up, he reached a hand up and covered mine.

“What kind of fucked up perv am I?” he sniffled.

“Everyone’s got fantasies,” I pointed out gently, trying to forget the feeling of terror I experienced when I thought Morgan was going to rape me.

“Maybe, but not like this...not where you want to hurt your best friend.”

“It’s okay,” I said as convincingly as I could.

“, it’s not.” He shook his head despondently.

I suspected he was probably right about that and I seriously thought about just bolting out of there and down the stairs. Morgan wouldn’t try to hurt me in front of my mom...would he?

But I somehow managed not to panic. This was Morgan after all, my first and best friend in Santa Corina. Still, when he looked up and suddenly got to his feet, my eyes opened wide with instant fear. But his gaze was unfocused as he came and fell to his knees in front of me in a strange reversal of what had happened earlier in the day.

“Please, Perry,” he begged his voice straining with emotion as he looked up at me, his fists clenched helplessly in front of his legs. “Please tell me you understand that just because someone has a fantasy, it doesn’t mean they’re gonna really do that thing--or even want to do that thing!”

“But you just said...” I stammered, backing up a few steps until I felt my legs bump against the side of my bed.

“Okay, okay,” Morgan said quickly, not moving from his spot on the floor. “I’ll get up and leave right now, Per. I’ll leave school. Fuck, I’ll leave Santa Corina if you want. You just have to tell me how far away I need to be for you to feel safe!”

I realized that Morgan hadn’t totally lost it. It was just that he had been keeping all these feelings about liking boys bottled up inside, and unlike Tom, who had somehow been able to accept that aspect of himself, Morgan had fought it tooth and nail. Plus, like me, he seemed to be attracted to both boys and girls, which was confusing enough in itself. But then there had been that one Sunday afternoon, and the unfortunate combination of those pent-up feelings and half a bottle of wine had suddenly made him look at himself in a different light. With Jesse’s help, he had been able to come to some sort of uneasy truce with himself. He wasn’t gay--he was bisexual, and for now, his attraction for boys focused only on me. And that made some sort of sense, because we were close; we were best friends and teammates. We shared common interests and spent a lot of time together. It was, in a slightly twisted way, not unlike Gary’s relationship with his friend Shane, and that’s when the danger first really dawned on me. What if Morgan thought I was afraid of him, that I disliked or even hated him because of the feelings and fantasies that he had? What would he do? I already knew he wasn’t adverse to imbibing on occasion and had no problem swigging down that Chardonnay that Sunday afternoon in my kitchen. What else was he capable of?

“N-no, Morgan,” I stammered uselessly. Still, I didn’t think he was really going to attack me here in my bedroom with my mom downstairs. I took a step back and sat on the edge of the bed.

Morgan just knelt there, sort of crumpled in a ball of long arms and legs, his head buried in his arms. “Perry?” he asked, his voice muffled.


“There’s something I’ve never told anybody before. And I swore to myself that I wouldn’t....”

Whatever blood was left in my face drained even deeper into my flesh as I wondered what horrifying secret Morgan was about to reveal. Only a week after my precious angel’s confession, I didn’t think I could take any more sad stories. I mean, fine, Gary Van Driesen was attracted to me but obviously had enough sense to control his urges. He was a brave, sweet, slightly befuddled guy with a wounded past and I was glad he wanted to be my friend. Jessica thought that she loved me but I was pretty sure it didn’t mean the same thing as what I had with Jesse--we just hadn’t gotten close enough yet to make that deep of a connection. I was still reeling from the fact that Morgan had not only seen me naked, but had taken my swollen dick into his mouth, drank my cum until he’d gagged on it, and almost fucked me. Now he was telling me that in his fantasy, he had also whipped me. What more could there be?

I slowly shook my head, indicating my reluctance to hear Morgan’s latest confession, but his face was still buried in his arms. Whatever it was, he didn’t want to be looking at me when he revealed it.

“It was my Uncle Brian--my dad’s youngest brother,” he said.

“Morgan, please--”

“This was like the summer vacation before sixth grade. I’d just turned twelve.”

I just knew I was going to be hearing something sad and awful. Did I dare stop him, tell him that it was too much for me to take? Should I just cover my ears and let him think that he was confessing while I hummed the gallant theme to The Lord Of The Rings to myself? But Morgan was oblivious to my inner turmoil as he continued his story.

“He lived up in L.A. and we didn’t see him very much, except holidays and stuff.” Morgan finally lifted his head and looked at me, and recognized my expression.

“Yeah, this is one of those shitty stories,” he acknowledged. “And you might even feel sorry for me when it’s done, but I don’t want you to,” he implored. “I just want to tell you this--share it with you, and then, I really will leave, okay?”

“I’m your friend--remember?” I said in a less than convincing tone, sitting on the edge of my bed, my hands clasped tightly around my knees.

“I remember he came for a visit--an overnight visit. It was the first time I ever remembered him staying at our house. I always got the impression he and Dad didn’t get along that well. Not too surprising because they were pretty different. I mean, my dad’s like a total NRA hunting fanatic, watches ESPN, drives a giant SUV, and smokes stoogies. My Uncle Brian...well, he was kinda quiet and gentle, but I always thought he was a good guy--like really smart and well read and stuff and we used to talk about books and he’d suggest things--like the Lloyd Alexander books, Edgar Rice Burroughs, or the Madeleine L’Engle stuff. He didn’t make fun of all the comic books I used to read--he was”

I was feeling so tense right now, that I just knew the roof was going to come crashing in on our heads at any moment.

“So he stayed overnight--I guess he had some business in San Diego and it saved him a long drive through traffic to go from here instead of up in L.A. And in the morning, I was swimming laps as usual. My parents were at work, Ally was at camp, and Derek was at a sleepover.”

“So you were alone with your uncle...?” And then something Bad happened.

“Yeah, so Uncle Brian comes out to the pool, wearing a robe and slippers. He’s tall, but thin, clean shaven. Actually, I look more like him than like my dad,” Morgan recalled, talking as if this had all happened much more than two years ago. “He watched me do my laps for a bit and said I was looking good and I asked him why he didn’t jump in. He said he hadn’t brought his suit, and I don’t know why, but I just sort of casually said, ‘Oh, you don’t need a suit. I swim in the buff all the time when no one’s around.’ He asked me if I was sure it was okay and I said, sure, we were both guys! Then he said, ‘Well, Morgan, I’d feel a lot better if we were both dressed the same,’ and for some reason, I thought that made perfect sense, so I tossed my swim trunks out of the pool. He took off his robe and it was a little shocking at first to see a grown man naked like that.”

“How old is he, was he?”

“He was like thirty-two at the time.”

“Did he hurt you?” I blurted out.

Morgan looked at me for a long time, but I knew he wasn’t really seeing me, but was actually sifting through things in his own mind. “No, he didn’t, Per. He was a nice guy, but.... Somehow, we got to goofing around in the pool and I was like, really fascinated with his cock--it looked so huge to a twelve year old! I got kinda bold and grabbed it under water. I let go really fast, like super embarrassed and I started to apologize, but he just grinned and grabbed hold of mine! I was totally shocked, but he just kept smiling and took my hand and put it back on his. So there we were in the pool, stroking each other!”

I was starting to feel a little less apprehensive now. It didn’t sound like this was going to be one of those horrible stories where the uncle rapes his nephew and then terrifies him into not mentioning it to anyone, but still, it wasn’t right for a grown man to touch a kid like that, and I knew for sure that I’d give Morgan’s Uncle Brian a wide berth if we ever found ourselves in the same room together.

“And it was fun. It was the first time I’d ever cum in the pool and it felt awesome! Of course, it didn’t take very long for me, but he insisted that I keep stroking him until he blew his load too. I couldn’t believe all the juice shooting out of his fat cock into the water. It sorta turned all cloudly for a while before it floated away. Of course, after the initial thrill of it, I started to feel pretty embarrassed, but he told me there was nothing to be ashamed of, and that it’d been fun for both of us.” Morgan paused. “He did say we shouldn’t mention it to anyone, and I knew he was right about that,” he added thoughtfully.

“Is your uncle gay?” I asked.

“Well, it never really came up, but now...yeah, I’m sure he was.”


Morgan nodded. “He died last July.”

“Oh no....”

Morgan nodded, tears forming in his already reddened eyes. “He got really bad pneumonia, and we visited him in the hospital in L.A. like about a week before....”

“I’m so sorry.”

“Yeah, it was sad. He was so thin and wasted looking. But it was weird cuz my dad didn’t seem really...into it somehow.”

“What do you mean?”

“It was like, he didn’t seem really sad that his own brother was dying--more like he was angry.”

“Well, I think your dad is the kinda guy that doesn’t like to show a lot of emotion,” I conjectured.

“That’s true, although when he gets pissed...” Morgan let his voice trail off in a way that made it clear that his dad had a serious temper. “But I do remember Uncle Brian’s friend, a guy named Alex. We met him at the hospital for the first time even though it turned out they’d been roommates for a long time by then. I could tell he was just taking it real hard. He looked almost as bad as Uncle Brian, and my mom wanted him to go get something to eat and he wouldn’t. He just wanted to stay there. And my dad didn’t really talk to him. It was all pretty weird and intense.”

Morgan sighed and made himself more comfortable on the floor, looking up at me with moist eyes and a red nose. “It wasn’t until we went to the funeral that I found out that Uncle Brian actually died of complications from HIV. It really blew my mind and--”

“That’s so sad!”

He nodded. “But the thing was, I got so pissed at him when I realized he must’ve been gay and Alex must’ve been more than just his roommate. I didn’t want to see that guy or any of Uncle Brian’s friends. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I was so fuckin’ angry that Uncle Brian had...had touched me in the pool and I didn’t even know that....” I saw his shoulders rise as he took in a deep, calming breath. “So, I guess I understand why my dad hates fags so much. Look what they did to his brother.”

“Well, you don’t know how he got AIDS,” I pointed out.

“Not AIDS,” he explained quickly. “This was HIV. That’s the virus that can turn into AIDS after a long time. But HIV is bad by itself. It makes it hard for the body to fight other kinds of sicknesses. So it would be super easy for something like a cold or a little flu to turn into something totally bad like pneumonia.”

“Oh...sorry,” I apologized sheepishly for my ignornance.

“But yeah, I did figure he caught it from some...some other guy. I don’t really know for sure.... But what does it matter?” He shook his head and looked away. “Anyway, it was easy to just hate those kind of people. When my dad would sometimes come home grumbling about having to deal with queers at the office, I just shared his disgust, I guess.” Morgan stopped talking and seemed to be staring at my knees. “But now, now that I have those kinds of feelings...I just miss him so much, Per. I wish I could talk to him about...about all this stuff.... Poor Uncle Brian. God, what a fucked up world this is!” I thought for sure he’d start crying, but only a couple of tears trickled out of his close-set eyes.

“Morgan, whatever I can do for you, I will,” I told him in a trembling voice. I got off the bed and wiped the tears from my own eyes. I came and knelt by him, putting my hand once again on his shoulder.

“I like having sex with you,” he reminded me in an almost inaudible whisper thick with shame and guilt.

“It’s okay,” I said as convincingly as I could. “You can’t help the way you feel--”

“I tried, Per. I really did. I fought it and fought it and let all that shit build up inside. I thought I was gonna explode. That game against St. Luke’s. I was so wired...I just wanted to kill that fucker!” he confessed, his jaw rigid with anger and frustration.

“You can’t keep thinking about that,” I warned him.

“Remember that Sunday afternoon? I loved it when you were pumping my dick. I loved it. This gorgeous, hot, sexy...dude was jacking my meat.... But then I hit you, Per. I...I love you, and I hurt you. How fucked up was that?” A few more tears ran down his pale cheeks but he kept staring at the bed in front of him.

“When you really care about people, it seems like it makes your emotions stronger,” I observed, recalling with a shiver how I had cursed like a sailor and nearly hit Jesse when he had shamefully admitted his darkest secrets to me.

“No shit,” he grunted even as he whirled and grabbed me forcefully by the shoulders. I looked at him fearfully, but all he did was embrace me. He began stroking my hair as we knelt on the floor, the only sounds coming from his quiet sobs.

“Help me, Per. Help me get through this,” he begged.

I had to admit, Morgan’s weird feelings and attraction for me made me angry. It just felt so wrong. He was the captain of the basketball team. He was a swimmer and a hunter. He had scaled that climbing wall at the ESPN Zone the way an average kid would climb a step ladder. He had encouraged both Tom and Jesse to perform against that karate machine at their peek abilities despite their own reticence, and had done the same for me with basketball. He had a girlfriend--a really nice girlfriend, one that I had secretly hoped to pursue in that distant-seeming time before Jesse Taylor had entered my life.

Today I had discovered that he had been fantasizing about me, putting me in the middle of a twisted fairy tale where he had kidnapped me, stripped me, and tortured me. What kind of person would think things like that about one of his closest friends? My mind was still grappling with this afternoon’s events. Morgan had seen me naked, tied me up, fondled me, sucked my dick, and spooged my back. I had every right to be pissed. What he had done today went way beyond what should be required of any friend.

And yet, I was truly moved by the story of his Uncle Brian. I didn’t think that it was right for a man to take advantage of a twelve year old boy the way he had, but I also realized that it was a simple and spontaneous gesture, something intended to be harmless and of the moment. Morgan had been a willing participant and had enjoyed the experience. But to die in such a horrible way, to be shunned by your own brother....

I took Morgan’s tear-soaked face in my hands and turned his head so we were looking eye to eye, close enough to feel each other’s breath on our sweat-coated faces. “Don’t ever think that you’re alone in this, okay?” I told him in the most intense and sincere manner I could muster. “I am your friend, Morgan, and I know now that being friends doesn’t just mean enjoying the fun stuff together. It also means helping each other out when it’s...when there’s darkness in your life.”

“Yeah, darkness...” he repeated almost hypnotically.

I had this sudden chilling sense that Morgan could be headed to an awful place, that unrelentingly black place where not one ray of light could get in, that place where you felt totally alone, totally worthless, totally without hope or redemption. Maybe it was just something that had been on my mind of late, because of Shane and Jesse, but I could sense Morgan’s vulnerability. He was a strong person, as his leadership skills and athletic prowess had demonstrated time and time again, but everyone had a breaking point.

“But Per...I feel like I’m asking too much of you...especially after this afternoon. Maybe it would be best if I really left, really got out of your life, and Jesse’s, and Katy’s and...and everyone’s.” He wasn’t crying or even sobbing now. In fact, his voice was calmer than it had been in a while and that made me shiver for some reason.

I set my jaw defiantly. “No, Morgan. You can’t run away! That’s so unlike weak!”

“Do you think it would be easy to leave all you guys?” he asked in a pained voice. He shook his head as he answered his own question. “Of course it would be hard, but it would be for everyone’s good. I can’t just take and take.... I took everything from you today, Per. I took advantage of your friendship. I-I molested you--”

“No, it wasn’t like that!” I told him, my voice dry and harsh. “Remember, Jesse set it up so I could end it at any time--”

“But you didn’t!”

I shook my head.

“Why didn’t you?” he asked, shaking my shoulders, a strained, pleading quality finally disrupting the disturbingly calm tone of his voice. “Why?”

“I already told you. You’re my friend, and I’m gonna help you any way I can.”

Morgan sighed defeatedly. He wearily picked himself up and then offered a hand to pull me to my feet.

“Okay, Per, okay. You win. I can’t run away. I can’t turn my back on an incredible friend like you--”

“And Jesse,” I added.

He nodded. “He must think I’m a fuckin’ pervert.”

“No, he just wants to help too,” I assured him. “Besides,” I said with a slight grin, “he liked seeing me tied up--the bastard!”

Morgan tried to smile, and it formed momentarily on his tired features and then vanished again as his lips trembled. “Yeah, there’s something about tying someone up that’s so....” He shook his head, not able to put his thoughts into words.

“It’s funny. When we’re kids we play make-believe games where people get captured and tied up in forts or jails or the bad guy’s lair,” I reminisced. “And then, grown-ups do the same thing, with all that bondage shit--cuffs, and chains....”

“And whips, and gags,” Morgan added. He shrugged his shoulders. “I guess it’s some secret part in us that wants to have control--”

“Or be controlled,” I pointed out.

“Do you want to be controlled?” Morgan asked me seriously.

Did I? I hadn’t really thought about it before. I remembered the time I had gone to Jesse’s apartment and one of the first things he had done was to tie me to his bed. That should have scared the shit out of me, caused me to run screaming out the front door and into the streets (if I could).... But I had enjoyed it on some level. There was something very arousing about being helpless, not being able to instigate or reciprocate. But it had been Jesse, and I already knew that I loved and trusted him like no one I had ever met before. And the time he had tied my hands with his blackbelt, that had been one of the most powerful sexual experiences of my life. The truth was, especially after that frightening Sunday afternoon, that I really didn’t fully trust Morgan. I had come to realize that even inherently good people could do crazy things under the right circumstances.

I just shrugged noncomittally. “It hurt being tied up like that,” I reminded him quietly.

He nodded in understanding.

“I wasn’t gonna do it, ya know,” he said with quiet conviction.


“Like when I was behind you. I’d never do...that to you...I mean, like that, without your permission.”

“I-I knew that,” I told him lamely.

He looked at me skeptically and then looked like he was going to start crying again. “I’d never do that to you,” he repeated in a more determined whisper.

Now we stood there in the middle of my bedroom, both of us physically and emotionally exhausted. I knew Morgan was thinking the same thing as me: Where did we go from here?

“You know, it’s possible that this is just a...a phase I’m going through or something,” Morgan said unconvincingly. “I mean, maybe it’s just something that I need to explore for a while, and then things will go back know, normal.”

“You mean, you won’t like boys anymore?”

He shrugged and smiled joylessly. “I don’t know. I mean, right now, I do feel...strongly about you, Per. But I also know that I’ve seen dozens of guys naked before and I don’t have those feelings for them. There are other good looking guys in our class, and I haven’t been fantasizing about them, so....”

I was starting to feel a ray of hope. Maybe this was something we would be able to put behind us. Maybe we’d even laugh about it someday.

“But right now, I’m seriously crushing on you,” he reminded me.

“Oh...” I said softly, not quite able to look him in the eye.

“You’re okay with that?” he asked, still not fully convinced of my sincerity.

I shrugged and then nodded, and managed to lock gazes with him. “Sure, whatever,” I said, even though the words sounded like they were coming out of someone else’s mouth.

“That’s so awesome.” He put his arms on my shoulders, as if we were heading off the court after a good practice. “ maybe want a blow job or something before you go to bed?” he asked.

I looked at Morgan, not sure if he was joking or not. The look on his long and sad-looking face made it clear.

I felt an icy cold shiver course down my spine. “That’s okay....”

“I mean, don’t you usually jack off before you sleep?” he asked a little more urgently. I carefully squirmed out of his grip.

“ not tonight.” And that was no lie. Normally, I liked nothing more than to lay in bed and picture my beautiful blond angel, feel the warmth of his cheek, the pressure of his red lips against mine, or the thrill of his naked body spooned into mine. Yeah, that got the job done for sure! But not tonight. I really wanted to just curl up in the dark, and get this day as far behind me as I could.

“I mean, you’d really like it, and...I’d really like it,” he said, and then snorted. “Fuck it!” he said with a strained grin. “I gotta have some self-control, some discipline. If I don’t have that, I don’t have anything. I can’t just be a drooling perv--even if you are the hottest eighth grader I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“So, you’re saying, you don’t want to have sex with me?” I asked with open relief.

Tonight,” he emphasized. “See, because the Christmas break is coming up in just a few days, and you’ll be in New York and I’ll be in Tahoe, we’ll have time to really think about all this. I mean, I’ve had time to think about it, but you haven’t, not really, and I have to work things out about today. There was way too much bad shit, and that’s not what I want our relationship to be about.”

“You mean our friendship,” I corrected him carefully.

“Yeah...sure,” he replied uncertainly. “Maybe when we get back, after school starts, maybe we can like get together again.”

“But you might be over...this phase by then?” I asked hopefully.

He shrugged. “I honestly don’t know. I don’t even know if I wanna get over it to tell you the truth. Think about it, Per. Being with another guy, it’s just so much easier. You sorta already know how other guys think--how they’re wired, and for sure you know what turns them on physically. Girls are so...complicated.”

“That’s for sure!”

“But I don’t feel attracted to any guy but you and you’re not gay...and I don’t wanna be gay, Per. My dad....” He let his voice trail off ominously.

“Either way, you’re still my friend,” I reminded him. “Next year, at H.T., I’m really gonna need you to help me get on the team and stuff.”

“You don’t need my help for that!” he said with a bemused smile.

“Well, it’ll be scary, going to high school, and I’d feel a lot better knowing you were there to...lean on if I need to.”

“That’s what I’m all about, Per. We’ll be the best freshmen players they ever saw! I bet we could get on the Varsity team if we wanted to. Shit, with a good word from your buddy Van Driesen, we’d be shoo-ins!”

“But maybe it’d be better to start in JV,” I said, thinking of Gene’s suggestion.

“Yeah, you might be right. We don’t hafta decide right now. We just hafta make St. Joe’s look like a bunch of preschoolers on Thursday. Think we can?”

“With you and Eric, that won’t be a problem.”

“And you, Per. You’re a crucial member of the team and don’t ever forget that. It has nothing to do with our friendship or...or anything--we just couldn’t do it without you, okay?”

He asked that in such an intense way that I had to nod my agreement.

“Cool.” He suddenly seemed to lapse back into his nervous and insecure persona again.


“I was wondering.... Since we aren’t gonna anything tonight?” He looked at me like a little kid who’d accidently flushed his mom’s diamond earrings down the toilet. “I was wondering if...ah...if I could like, tuck you in.”


“Well, you’re already dressed for bed, right?”

I nodded hesitantly.

“So, it’s like, I just wanna put you to bed, make sure you’re snug and safe,” he said gently.

I looked at him, trying to determine if this was some weird joke, but there was no mistaking the sincerity in that tired, emotionally drained face. “Oh.”

But Morgan was already pulling the covers down and smoothing out the sheets.

“You-you’re gonna tuck me in?”

“Yeah, it’ll be...really cool, really nice,” he assured me with a tentative smile.

“Well, I need to wash up and uh...brush my teeth first.”

“That’s cool. Go and do that,” he urged.

“Okay.” I walked to the bathroom and started to close the door.

“Could you leave it open so I could you?” he asked hopefully, still standing by my bed.

“Well, dude. I mean, I gotta pee”

“Alright,” he said disappointedly. “I’m sorry. I’m such a dumb fuck.”

“No. It’s okay,” I assured him again, hoping my words weren’t sounding as hollow as they felt to me. “I’ll right back.” I closed and locked the door and went about my business. Even with the door closed, I could still feel Morgan’s eyes on me. I removed the wristbands and was relieved to see that the reddish impressions on my flesh were already fading away. They did itch a little, and I rubbed a little sports balm into them. While it wasn’t part of my usual bedtime routine, I even brushed my hair before I came back out. Morgan was still standing there, nervously playing with his fingers.

“Hey, you look so...good!” he noted with a smile. “I mean, shit, Per. You could be on TV or something.”

“That’ll never happen!” I blurted out petulantly, remembering Ms. Lorington and her designer purse, and fancy PDA and expensive digital camera.

“I know,” he said in a patient tone. “You’re too shy. I was just saying.... Anyway, come on. It’s way past your bedtime, little dude!” he grinned.

Actually, it was only a quarter to ten, and while I had been totally exhausted before Morgan’s surprise visit, now I was feeling tense and jittery. I stood awkwardly in front of my own bed, looking at it as if I’d never seen it before. I unstrapped my watch and set it on the night table where I always put it.

“,” Morgan groaned quietly as he saw the red marks on my wrists for the first time this evening. I just ignored him as I sat down slowly on the edge of the mattress and began to swing my legs up.

“Hey, aren’t you gonna take off your socks?”

“Um...sure.” I leaned down and peeled off my cotton crews, leaving the two crumpled lumps laying on the floor.

“Cool,” Morgan said with quiet approval.

I swung my legs up and lay stiffly on the bed, slipping my feet quickly under the bunched up covers. Morgan looked me up and down carefully before bringing the sheet and comforter up to my shoulders. Then he came and sat on the edge of the bed and reached over and stroked my hair.

“Sweet boy,” he whispered, looking at me with a tenderness that frightened me with its sincerity. It was hard to believe this was the same person who had done all those crazy things to me this afternoon. Had he really had his raging boner jammed up against my bare ass? It was already starting to seem unreal. Now, it seemed more like he was a loving brother, or even like my own dad from happier days, certainly much more than a friend or classmate. He leaned in and kissed my forehead, a tender, dry, non-sexual kiss. He started to pull away, but then held his face close enough to mine that I could feel his breath on my nose. His reddened eyes began to pool with moisture and I thought he was going to cry. But he got up, the mattress groaning as it adjusted to having less weight on it.

“Goodnight, Per,” he said from a tight throat, slowly backing off. “And don’t worry. I’ll just tell your mom that you were really tired and just wanted to turn in, okay?”

“Sure. Goodnight, Morgan.”

“Everything’s gonna be cool, okay?” he said, grasping the doorknob.


He flicked off the room lights, which were in the ceiling fan in the middle of the room. “ Prince,” he whispered as he let himself out and closed the door behind him.


This chapter edited by Blue.

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