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The following contains mild descriptions of sexual acts between young people. It is an original work of fiction and has no basis in reality.

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Perry and Jesse

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

Part V Truths and Lies

Chapter 35a: Noah's Arc Pt. 1

"Shit!" I gasped.

"Sorry, didn't mean to startle you," Jessica's older brother said quietly, a slight smirk on his long, expressive face.

"But-but-but..." I stuttered. I glanced at the door, which was closed but...Hadn't I locked it?

"It doesn't take much to open these kinds of doors," Noah remarked with a sheepish smile, seemingly reading my mind. He pulled a tiny screwdriver out of his shirt pocket. "Artie and I were forever sneaking into each other's rooms to spy or cause some sort of mischief," he noted nostalgically.

" broke into Jessica's bedroom?" I asked incredulously.

"It seemed like it might be worth the effort," he said with a casual shrug.

"Worth the effort...?"

"Jessica's sent me a couple of impressive pics of course, but you're much more striking in person."

"Striking...?" Gees, what was wrong with me, just mindlessly parroting his words?  I mean, what the fuck was this guy doing in here anyway? This room--Jessica's room--had been locked!

"Um...look, Noah," I finally managed to find my voice. "It was nice to meet you and all, but I really need to get dressed."

"Yes, I certainly lucked out in that department," he noted smugly.

I just looked at him in dumb shock, clutching the towel already wrapped around my waist.

"I'm sorry," he chuckled. Then he looked at me in more serious fashion, his brow knit as he squinted his eyes against some as yet unseen danger. "I suppose I should explain. Well, you see, Perry, I'm shall I put this?" He mocked a considering expression, then looked me levelly in the eyes. "Gay."

This couldn't be happening. Had I actually slipped in the shower stall and hit my head against the wall? Was I actually lying there right now, buck naked, blood pouring from my scalp, having some sort of demented dream? That somehow seemed more plausible than this. Jessica's brother--gay?

"What?!...You're joking, right?"

He shook his head resolutely, the slightly smug, but strained grin never leaving his face. "It's not the sort of thing that one normally jokes about, hmmm?"

"Does she know?" was the first question that popped out of my mouth for some reason.

"Actually, she doesn't," he replied with slight dismay, "and I'd like to keep it that way for now if you don't mind.  It was an arrangement I worked out with Mother and Father back when I came out to them."

"So Mr. and Mrs. Bainbridge know, but Jessica doesn't?"

"And Arthur--he knows."

"Okay, but why're you telling me this?"

"Have you looked in the mirror lately?"he asked.

"Well, actually, it's kinda steamed up and-"

He laughed loudly, and it was a wet, gravelly sound, undoubtedly due to his smoking habit.

"I'm just fourteen," I pointed out irritably.

"Yes, you had a birthday on December the fifth. Jessica told me all about it." He held up the friendship band I had carelessly slipped off my ankle and dropped on the floor before going in the shower. "Charming."

I blushed, even though I felt more anger than embarrassment at this blatant and deliberate invasion of my privacy.

"Look, Noah," I said in the toughest voice I could muster. "I don't know why you felt like you needed to tell me about...about yourself like this, but I do know the door was locked and you shouldn't be in here!"

"Okay, okay!" he said, getting to his feet. But there was still a sly grin on his face that indicated he wasn't taking my shocked effrontery as seriously as I was. "I'll leave you to get dressed, but I really just wanted to see you. You're a very good looking boy, Perry, age not withstanding. And I know it was wrong of me to pop in unannounced, but I didn't think you'd let me just see that, if I asked."

We just stared at each other for a few heartbeats.

"Would you?" he asked.

"Of course not!" Gees! Again, we just stared at each other. Even though he was five years older than me, I didn't feel particularly intimidated. It probably had something to do with that irritating half smile that refused to budge from his long face. I may have been way off base, but I didn't sense any physical threat here. He had gotten what he wanted--a cheap look at my stupid fourteen-year-old body, and it didn't seem to bother him much that I was pissed about it.

"Am I the first self-admitted gay person you've ever met?" he asked with genuine curiosity.

I hesitated, and then shook my head.

"No, that's right. You met Georgie, didn't you?"

At first, I didn't know who he was talking about, and then it hit me.

"George Rauch?" I heard myself whisper.

"He told me about meeting you over the Thanksgiving break.  Apparently, you made quite an impression and he seemed rather smitten.  I laughed at him, and told him it was patently absurd to be smitten by a little boy of course, and that it was all for naught anyway since my kid sister had already called dibs on you!" He laughed drily at his own joke.

My head was spinning.  Jessica's brother was gay. Jessica didn't know, but the rest of her family did. And Noah knew George Rauch....

"I told him he must be out of his mind--an eighth grader, for pity's sake.  But now that I've actually seen you for myself...."  His voice trailed off as he continued to stare at me. A few drops of water still dripped from my wildly uncombed hair onto my shoulders and back. "I've tossed a lot on the table all at once, haven't I?" he noted with a tinge of regret.  "We Bainbridges tend to be rather forthright about things. I'm sure you've experienced that with Jessy."

"Jesse?" I asked, momentarily confused. "Oh, Jessy...yeah."

"Look. I'll let you get dressed now, and if you want to talk more later, I look forward to it."

I wanted to scream at him that he was out of his fucking mind. What right did he have to break in here, hoping to catch a glimpse of my stupid body like some kind of perv? And yet, it didn't seem like a big deal to him, and maybe I was the one who was blowing things out of proportion. He was Jessica's brother, after all. He did know George Rauch, though in exactly what way, I wasn't quite sure. It had to be more than coincidence that both of them were about the same age, and that both of them were gay. "Yeah," I admitted reluctantly despite my irritation..."maybe I would."

"Very good then," he said with that meticulous pronunciation that made him sound British somehow, but without the accent. He walked to the door and put his hand on the knob. He took another long look at me, his eyes roving slowly from my head to my toes and back again.

"Would you like to do a little twirl?" he asked, making a small circle with his index finger pointed toward the floor.

I shook my head and defiantly held my position.  Again he gave me a thorough look over. Finally, our eyes met again and I did my best to look more annoyed than curious. "My sister's a very lucky girl," he said with a knowing wink, and then let himself out. 

If he only knew that Jessica meant practically nothing to me next to my beautiful blond angel. For what it was worth, I quickly went over and locked the door again. Damn! That had been embarrassing, confusing, and...and...what? It was too much to take in all at once. I felt a little shiver run down my spine that had nothing to do with the fact that I was still standing there with wet hair and no clothes on. I realized I could've just as easily sauntered out of the bathroom completely naked and gees, wouldn't that have made an interesting scene? Two Bainbridges in one day would've seen me in my birthday suit!

Still feeling more angry than anything else, I rummaged through my overnight bag and found the boxers my mom had packed.  For crap's sake--red silk with tiny embroidered Christmas trees!  Now I understood what she had meant about me being 'in the mood': the Christmas mood! Well, Bah Humbug! First, letting Jessica see me naked, and then confronting Jessica's obnoxious, and apparently gay, brother. Neither event made me feel much like decking the halls with boughs of holly, or anything else. But the sad truth was, I didn't want to put my disgustingly soiled cotton boxer back on, so I slid the ridiculous underwear on. I consoled myself with the thought that maybe later in the evening, I'd get Jesse alone somewhere and give him a little laugh.  And then I took the scenario one step further and figured that, after I'd loosened him up with a peek at my silly boxers, I'd inform him about my sexual encounter with Jessica. I'd also for sure tell him about Noah. socks too. I guessed I really was going to look Christmasy in spite of myself. Oh well, that was what I got for letting my mom pack for me. At least she had included one of my favorite fitted designer T-shirts instead of a plain undershirt. The fine cotton weave of mercerized, top quality Calvin Klein felt good against my skin and I figured I would still look okay without having to put my button down shirt on right away. After all, it was, after three thirty already! The afternoon was going by much quicker than I had imagined it would, and I was glad for that. Only two and a half hours before I'd see Jesse again. No doubt he'd look stunning in his dress-up clothes, his golden blond hair combed smooth and shiny and parted perfectly down the middle. Of course, he'd have Merissa Scott on his arm, and she'd probably be grinning like the cat that ate the canary, being the only 7th grader invited to the party, but more than likely, she and the other girls would cluster up, leaving me an opportunity to spend time with my one and only date for life.

I got my dark gray dress slacks out and put them on. My mom had also remembered to include the belt (Calvin Klein too!), which was much sleeker and nicer than my everyday school belt. I picked the friendship band up off the bed where Noah had dropped it, and dutifully slipped it on, sliding it down so that it was hidden under my sock. I hooked my crucifix back on and slipped it under my T-shirt. My square toed loafers didn't look very appealing, but I wasn't going to schlep around this huge house in my red socks, and I certainly wasn't going to follow Jessica's suggestion and go barefoot, so I stuffed my feet back into my comfortable Etnies. 

I looked around the room and the mess we had made, our school clothes tossed around haphazardly and the bedcovers pulled off and bunched up at the footboard. I took a few moments to straighten things out a bit, stuffing my things into my overnight bag.  I found the pillowcase with my dried spooge on it and started to toss it in the hamper next to the bathroom. Then I remembered how I had felt about Jesse's socks, and just laid the silky feeling bed linen on the floor. She could toss it in with the dirty laundry or not. I found Jessica's discarded ankle socks and gave them a tentative sniff.  There was a pretty strong smell there, doubtless from all the vigorous activity associated with the pep rally--boy's weren't the only ones who suffered from stinky feet, but even so, there was a hint of that light flowery fragrance that I assumed was some perfume or eau de toilet that Jessica used regularly.  I wondered for a moment if that was just her natural scent. It certainly went well with her physical beauty.

There was yet another mirror, this one an oval, full sized affair in an elegant wooden frame on the other side of Jessica's bed and I dared to glance at myself. It was a little disappointing after someone had just told me that I looked so attractive, to see those same big dumb eyes and those puffy lips, and that skinny body staring back at me.  Well, okay, maybe I wasn't that skinny anymore. My shoulders were broadening a bit, and that was giving my torso more of the 'v' shape that I associated with maturing young men. But was I a fit young man? Fit to be tied, Jesse and Morgan would say! Gosh, I just couldn't figure it out though. I was so relieved that Jessica hadn't been freaked out by seeing me naked, but I was also baffled as to why a nineteen year old college student would break into his kid sister's room just on the off chance that he might catch a glimpse of an ordinary, fourteen year old boy in some sort of state of undress. It was hard to believe the audacity of someone admitting to a total stranger that he was gay. Even though I didn't like the feel of the distasteful thought in my head, Noah Bainbridge sure seemed like an arrogant prick, and I wondered what relationship he could possibly have had with a sweet and warm hearted guy like George Rauch. Even though I really didn't feel good about him, I knew that I wanted to find out what Noah Bainbridge had to say about that gentle giant who had rescued me from those thugs, Hollister and Hernandez, at the mall the day after Thanksgiving.

I remembered that I needed to call Jesse about the later departure time so I got out my cell phone. I hesitated only for a moment, cringing at the thought of having to spill my guts to my loving but sensitive boyfriend.

"Hello?" I could hear the blaring sound of a cartoon show going on in the background, meaning that Miranda was probably in the  room, and that meant our conversation would have to be all business-at least on his end.

"Um...It's Perry."

"Hi, sweet baby!" Jesse said happily.

"Gees, isn't Miranda there?"  I asked worriedly.

"She's in the bathroom giving her dollies a bath, I think. How's everything at Jessica's?"

""  It was time to kill two birds with one stone. Why wait for a possible window of opportunity later tonight, when there was no time like the present? I knew I needed to tell him everything, but still the words stuck in my throat.

"Are you guys having fun over there without me?" he teased.

He sounded like he was in such a good mood, that I just hated to tell him what had happened.  "I'm sorry, Jesse," I apologized, suddenly feeling a wave of guilt and regret pour through me and fill my chest with an unpleasant tightness.

"For what?"

"For...for being with Jessica."

There was a long pause and I couldn't hear anything but the TV. It was definitely Fairly Odd Parents--I recognized the distinctively annoying voices. I got ready to apologize again when he spoke so softly, I could barely hear him over the chattering cartoon characters.

"Did you...make love?"

"No! Of course not. Gees, no. Gosh, Jesse, I'd never do that to you, I mean to her. I, nothing like that."

"Okay." I could hear the relief in his subdued but still raspy voice.

"We just-"

"That's all I need to know, Perry. Really, I'm happy for you. Jessica is one lucky chick."

"Not really. She probably thinks I love her or something."

"Do you?"

"No. But I do like her, and I do find her...attractive."

"Of course. That's only natural. You deserve to have the prettiest girl in school."

"No, I don't," I countered quickly. "I feel so bad-"

"Don't, okay?  I'm telling you, Perry. This is for the best. Best for us. The less people suspect that we' know, together, the better."

I wanted to tell him that I felt bad about using Jessica as our 'smokescreen,' but I didn't think this was the time for a long, drawn out discussion about that.

"Look, I'll see you tonight, and you can tell me whatever you want,"  Jesse said. "But I'll always love you, so don't think otherwise."

"That-that's hard to believe," I said, swallowing a lump in my throat. 

"It's true."

"Okay...." I tried to take in what he had said, tried to push the guilt back to a place where I could deal with it another time. "Okay...listen, the reason I called is because Jessica asked me to stay til eleven instead of ten."

"Oh? Isn't she getting a little greedy?" There was finally a hint of annoyance in his voice and I actually felt good about that.

"Well, yeah...maybe. But the thing is, my mom is going on a date."

"Really? That's cool! Is it with that architect guy?"

"Yeah...hehe. I guess she really likes him. So it's not like I wanna stick around here any longer than I have to, but I think it would be nice to give my mom a little more time. But I was hoping you could stay too."

"Yeah, I understand. That's cool. My mom'll probably be okay with it. She's in a pretty decent mood. She thinks I was good all week."

"So she doesn't suspect anything about Tuesday?"

"No...." There was a long pause. "God, Perry," he moaned, finally lowering his voice to a clandestine whisper. "I'm such a sick motherfucker, but dude, I so wish it'd been me on my knees sucking you off, instead of Morgan."

"Oh man, me too!" I blurted. I felt my eyes getting watery.

"Hey, you're not going to burst into tears over there, are ya?" he chided, but I could hear the quiver in his own voice as well.

" I'm not," I said, trying to convince myself with a deep, calming breath. There was a welcome pause in the conversation and I'm sure Jesse was also gathering his wits about him.

"I'll have to talk to Merissa. Even if her mom doesn't go for it, she can get a ride home with someone else, or even from her parents. It's no big deal. "

"Okay, good. I'm glad you'll be able to stay with me."

"I'll keep all those big bad girls off you, even if I have to beat up every one of 'em!"

"Hehe...I hope it doesn't come to that," I said, finding it more than a little difficult to stuff that guilt back where it wouldn't control my emotions.

"Please, please, Perry. Don't feel bad about...anything. Things'll work out, and I love you so much-"

"Is that your girlfriend?" I heard Miranda ask.

"Okay...gotta go," Jesse sighed wistfully. "I'll see ya later, okay?"

"Jesse loves Merissa; Jesse loves Merissa...." I heard Miranda chant teasingly.

"I love you; I love you so much," I whispered into my cell phone.

"Yeah. That's the best thing ever," he replied before hanging up.

  While it was undeniably thrilling to hear Jesse express his love for me, I felt frustrated at not being able to tell him what had happened. A debilitating weariness overcame me that was nothing like the satisfyingly drowsy feeling I experienced after having a great orgasm. The thing was, I really did enjoy being with Jessica, and it wasn't that hard for me to imagine going even further with her. I had the disquieting thought that, if Jesse wasn't going to make me stop, then I'd have to be the one to break it off with some point. But what was that point? I just couldn't think of that now, standing here in Jessica's bedroom, surrounded by her furniture, her keepsakes, her scent, the same room where she had just seen me naked and played with my over-excited boyhood. I sighed and stuffed the phone into my pants' pocket.

After carefully combing my hair with my own flat brush, I headed back down the long corridor. Once downstairs, I decided not to go through the kitchen and meet up with Barbie and Kendall again, so I continued on past the staircase into another elegantly decorated corridor. There were Christmas garlands and festive decorations everywhere. I could hear the strains of an instrumental version of Sleigh Ride coming from a discreetly hidden sound system. I passed a large room behind open French doors dominated by a pool table and an enormous overhanging Tiffany lamp, also festively decorated for the season. Several professional looking people were bustling around inside, setting up small round tables throughout the room. They must be with the catering company and apparently, this was where we were going to eat. I passed a few more doors before the corridor opened into what was obviously the great room. 

The first thing I noticed was the spectacular Christmas tree--it must've been at least fifteen feet tall and still didn't come close to touching the ceiling. It appeared to be fully decorated, and its wide evergreen branches were thick with glittering garlands, glass ornaments, big, colorful bows and ribbons, and twinkling white lights. An angel, dressed in extravagant, intricately embroidered robes, with open arms and wide spread wings was poised on top, but as gorgeous as it was, I knew my own sweet angel put that lavish ornament to shame.

There was a double wide staircase that swept down the middle of one end of the room, curving into two long balconies. Garlands, ribbons, and bows covered everything. In the middle of the high ceilinged room was a crystal chandelier that, with its rainbow glittering tear drop shards, needed no further decoration to blend in with the other holiday trappings. Tables and a large mantle were covered with miniature, lighted snow covered villages, one complete with a small train track and steam puffing engine.

"Perry! Doesn't he look handsome?!" Jessica announced to the room as she came trotting up. She leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. "Mmmmm...You smell so clean!" she crooned and then boldly kissed me on the lips. "You're wonderful!" It was a very odd feeling to stand here facing this ebullient young lady, both of us fully clothed, knowing that she had seen me naked less than an hour ago. I'm sure my cheeks turned a little red, but I wasn't really ashamed. It was nothing like the disturbed, confused feelings I had about my strange afternoon with Morgan. Jessica looked genuinely happy, and after the awkward  position I had put her in on Saturday, I was glad for that. She was just standing there, looking me up and down with something that looked like admiration, rocking slightly back and forth on her heels.

"Hey, I am wearing clothes ya know," I whispered from a tight throat, trying to make a joke.

"Really? I hadn't noticed!" she giggled. Leaning in closely, she whispered in my ear. "How do you keep all that...stuff packed away down there? Isn't it like...distracting?"

People must have been wondering why I suddenly turned redder than a holly berry, but I tried to keep the phony smile plastered to my face.

"Don't be embarrassed. All those parts I saw today are beautiful. Every part of you is beautiful."

"I'm not beautiful," I protested through a firm jaw, trying to let anger push away my embarrassment.

"Really? Well, I'm not the only one who thinks so!" she giggled, looking around. That's when I noticed everyone in the room was staring at us. There was Katy of course, standing just a few respectable yards back. While she was dressed casually in a simple, Enya T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, her hair was clearly done up for the party later in the evening.  Presumably, she would  change clothes along with Jessica at some point. Hanging a large wreath on one of the tall, double front doors, were Mrs. Bainbridge and Mrs. Mulroney. They made an interesting and contrasting duo, with Mrs. Bainbridge tall and thin as a twig, with a deep tan, high cheekbones, an intricate, trendy hairdo and a definite air of sophistication, while Mrs. Mulroney was short and stout, with bushy red hair that seemed to cling wildly to her large head. She was dressed in a crocheted white sweater covered with bold Christmas icons and green slacks.

"I do believe I need to get in line!" she declared, leaving the wreath adjustments to Jessica's mom.  She scampered over and stood patiently behind her daughter.

I wondered if I was having another one of those crazy 'girl' dreams when Jessica took a few steps out of the way and Katy shyly stepped in front of me, her normally rosy colored face flushed a bright red.  Glancing apprehensively at Jessica, she then turned to me and hesitantly puckered her lips.  Whoa! Was she going to kiss me right in front of her mother?

"Perry, don't be rude!" Jessica chided me, glancing at something over my head. That's when it finally dawned on me that I had unfortunately entered the room right under a sprig of mistletoe dangling from a shiny red and green ribbon.

"," I stammered, and then closed the small distance between Katy and me and started to kiss her on the cheek.  But she was fast, and with her lips already puckered, she was able to nail me before I could pull back.

"Why, Katherine Mulroney, you're brasher than your mother ever was!" her mom extolled in her light Irish brogue.

"As if!" Katy giggled. "Merry Christmas, Perry," she said sweetly and stepped out of the way.

Now Mrs. Mulroney herself came up, her chubby cheeks all aglow.

"Uh...Hi, Mrs. Mulroney...How've you-" Suddenly, my face was in her vise-like grip and her lips pressed against mine.  Of course, she didn't french me but there was still no question in my mind that she was giving me more than a modest holiday peck. I didn't dare kiss back though and was relieved when she finally broke our lock. She patted both my cheeks playfully.

"Just as I thought--a true Irishman at heart!" she laughed, and scampered off giggling like a school girl.

"Um...where's your brother?" I asked, trying to hide my discomfort.

"Oh, I suppose he's out by the pool smoking his damn ciggies!" Jessica said dismissively.

"Jessica--language!" her mom scolded from across the room.  It seemed like one of the prerequisites for motherhood was having exceptionally good hearing as well as that mysterious third eye in the back of the head.

Jessica cringed a little and gestured for Katy and me to move back further into the alcove through which I had just entered. She opened a door and stepped into what appeared to be a small and tidy office, dominated by a desk with a computer. There was also a couple of comfortable looking chairs, but no one sat down. She glanced up and down the hallway before closing the door behind us.

"I didn't tell Katy anything yet!" Jessica whispered conspiratorially.

"Tell me--please!" Katy moaned, putting one hand on Jessica and the other hand on my bare forearm as if it was the most natural thing to do. And I had to admit, I liked the way her soft hand felt on my skin.

"Gees, you guys are...are crazy or something!" I said, blushing furiously.

That prompted Katy to squeal in a barely subdued voice: "You did it?!"

Jessica giggled and then looked at me guiltily. "Hush, Katy Mulroney," Jessica scolded her friend lightly. "I'm sorry, Perry. I know you're shy. We honestly don't mean to embarrass you."

"Your cheeks are so red!" Katy pointed out helpfully, leaning over and flagrantly kissing one. "Jessy--I'm so jealous!"

What was she talking about? She had Morgan, for cryin' out loud! There was no way I could compete with Morgan from a purely physical point of view.

"You know that Katy likes you...a lot, right?" Jessica asked somberly.

"Well, I-"

"Of course I do!  I told you, you knucklehead!" Katy chided, reminding me more and more of her brazen mother.

Perry," Jessica said seriously. "I tell you what. When you see Jesse tonight, you just take him aside at some point and tell him everything, okay?"


"Oh, I know you two are like peas in a pod. I even feel a little jealous sometimes because I think you open up to him more than you do to me."

I was about to protest, but she cut me off by touching a finger to my lips. "And that's okay. I know boys are more comfortable talking to other boys. I'm not complaining--honestly. I'm just saying that you should share our...our experience with him, and I'll share with Katy. We'll each tell our best friend and we'll be even, okay?"

It bothered me that Jessica could sense the depth of my relationship with Jesse.  I wondered how much more she could see, and I wondered how much my own body language, or my big stupid eyes would give away in close quarters later this evening.  I also knew she was right, both about the closeness of our relationship and the fact that I needed to tell him everything.

"Better yet, you could just show me!"  Katy giggled.

"Um...I guess I'll go with Jessica's suggestion," I agreed reluctantly.

"I'm glad that's settled then," Jessica said in a business-like tone. "Let's go back out and help our moms. We have a lot to do and we still have to get ourselves ready."

"Is that what you're going to wear to the party?" Katy asked teasingly.

"I left the rest of my stuff upstairs," I explained, "but I thought it would be better not to get too dressed up, so I could be more helpful."

"Well, I think you're over dressed as it is," Katy declared with exaggerated frustration.

"I think he looks hot in that tight T,"  Jessica observed. "And they look great tucked into those belted dress slacks like that. I mean, look at his waist! Is that not totally hot or what?"

"These slacks do bring out the shape of his butt!" Katy added excitedly, shamelessly glancing behind me.

"What can I do to be helpful?" I asked rather loudly, shifting around so that my derriere was out of Katy's line of sight.

The girls exchanged more giggles over my obvious discomfort. So much for not trying to embarrass me! We stepped back into the hallway and I realized I was anxious to get back in range of Jessica's keen eared mom just as soon as possible.

"Actually Perry, would you be a dear?" Jessica asked. "We need two of the long tables brought right into the great room--where the Christmas tree is. We're going to set egg nog and punch and cookies and candies out right there, rather than in the kitchen. And my mom doesn't really want a bunch of kids traipsing through her precious dining room."

"Sure!" I replied both with enthusiasm and relief. My cheeks were going to burn right off my face if I stuck around these two much longer. And I wasn't too pleased with what was going on in my pants either. At least it wasn't pronounced enough to show...yet.

"Morgan said he'd try to come a little early," Katy noted helpfully.

"Yes, but we really need them now so we can put on the tablecloths and get everything laid out properly," Jessica reminded her. "They're in the pool house actually," she told me. "I'm sure Nobby is back there somewhere. He'll help you."

Oh, that was just perfect. I'm sure he'd just love to help me!

Jessica gave Katy a little nod of dismissal and Katy strolled back into the great room, turning once to give me a cheerful little wave. I waved back. As soon as she was out of sight, Jessica grabbed me around the waist and pulled me in, burying her face against my chest.

"Thank you, Perry," she said again in an emotional voice.

"For what?"

"For being the most beautiful boy I could ever imagine. It's too much to even think what the odds are--that you'd come to our tiny little school in tiny little Santa Corina, and that you'd be my boyfriend."

As if I'd had any choice in the matter! "So, you still think I'm okay, even after seeing know?"

"Of course, silly," she assured me, still holding me, but straightening out so she could look me in the eye. "I don't think I'll ever see, in my entire life, a boy as perfect and handsome as you."

"I think you're getting carried away," I cautioned her. "Really, I'm nothing special to look at...down there. I'm pretty normal." I was tempted to tell her to have a look at Morgan, but right now, all I could think of was how weird it was going to be hanging with him tonight, knowing that he had seen me in such an embarrassing, helpless state, and had given in to his own ravenous sexual urges at my expense. I hoped that somehow it had all been worth it. Didn't some fool once declare that God turned everything to good?

"All right. If you say so," Jessica said in a sing songy way that indicated she really didn't want to argue with me. "Next time, when we get together, I'll share as well," she promised.

It seemed pretty clear what she meant by that. I would get to see her naked, and I had to admit, my dick twitched at the thought, especially after seeing her rub herself in that special place. I wondered if that was the happy button that Melissa had mentioned.

"I think you'll like it," she whispered uncertainly.

I brushed her silky smooth cheek. "I know I will." We kissed briefly, our tongues gently brushing one against the other before we parted. She gave me careful instructions on how to get to the backyard, and I concentrated on not getting lost as I wound my way through the maze of hallways and alcoves. Finally, I was standing in a beautiful, open ceilinged room, all done up in a tropical theme with white painted beams, potted palms, wicker-style furniture and ceiling fans, a long, fully stocked teakwood wet bar and plantation shutters. There was a couple of round table sets that suggested this might be used as a glorified breakfast nook or morning room. I could see the spacious backyard through the long row of French doors.

In the quickly dimming light of a mid-December afternoon, I could make out another wide patio outside with several sets of outdoor tables and chairs, each one complete with its own umbrella and gas torch heater. Past that, down a wide, but short flight of stairs, was the huge oval pool, already brilliantly lit from scattered yard lights and dramatically from below by lights submerged beneath the surface. I didn't think Jessica intended to take the party outside on a chilly evening like this, but it would be a spectacular venue once the weather warmed up a little. The pool was much larger than ours, and was beautifully landscaped on the far side, continuing the tropical theme with palms, exotic flowers, and a waterfall that first cascaded into a raised jacuzzi before spilling into the pool itself. I wouldn't mind going for a swim with Jessica in that. I hesitated as I saw Noah, sitting there with his back to the house, legs dangling in the pool. Was there even a slight chance that he would try to hurt me in some way? I just couldn't see it. If he really was that horny, he would have made his move up in the privacy of Jessica's bedroom where he'd caught me wearing nothing but a towel.

I opened one of the French doors and stepped outside, enjoying the cool late afternoon breeze on my bare arms. I could now see that Noah was indeed smoking. There was a small ashtray next to where he sat, along with his flip flops. A puff of dingy gray smoke swirled into the air. He turned his head disinterestedly when he heard the door close. He gave me a nod and beckoned me over, a cigarette dangling from his lips.

"You look very sexy in that T-shirt, Perry, and tucked into your trousers like that...mmmm...very nice."

I resisted the urge to push him into the pool. "Jessica would like us to bring in a couple of folding tables from the pool house," I said, trying to cover my unease by sounding business-like.

"Why don't you take off your shoes and roll up your cuffs?" he offered instead. "The water is heated. It's really very soothing." He kicked his legs and splashed a little water.

" thanks. We should probably just take care of this. Unless you don't want to help, that is." I figured I'd offer him a way out, and just wait for Morgan to show up.

"By all means, let's do the deed," he said with that irritating smirk. He crushed the rest of his cigarette in the ashtray and picked himself up. His cargo pants were rolled up to his knees and his slender calves were pale and covered in light colored hair. He ignored his flip flops and left a trail of wet footprints as he led me along the pool's edge.

Past the south end of the pool was a good sized Mediterranean style building with spackled white walls and a terra cotta tiled roof. The french doors were curtained, as were several other smaller windows. Noah let us in and switched on the lights. The pool house was as impressive as the rest of the Bainbridge estate and consisted of a large, high ceilinged room with several skylights interspersed with ceiling fans. There was a set of wicker furniture and another well stocked bar. I could see, through an open door, another smaller room that looked like a simple changing room with a bench against the wall. At the other end of the big room was another door, probably leading into a bathroom with a shower, if it was like other pool houses I had seen. Stacked against the wall opposite the bar were the long folding tables Jessica had requested.

"Can I get you anything?" he asked, gesturing to what looked like yet another well stocked wet bar.

"No thanks," I said.

"I'm not much of a drinker myself," he noted. "Tends to lower my inhibitions more than I like."

That was hard to believe! Still, I ignored his comment and went right for the tables, the bright green indoor/outdoor carpet feeling stiff under my sneakered feet. I waited for Noah to join me and get the other end.  Instead, he plunked himself down in one of those round wicker chairs that was like a bean bag on a stand.

"Jessica is waiting for these tables," I reminded him.

He waved me off. "Come and have a seat, Perry. I think we have time for a little chat first."

"Well...I think she wanted them right away," I persisted.

"Why? Will the world come to a crashing halt if she doesn't get them immediately?" he asked with clear annoyance.  He made no motion to get up. "Please, Perry--sit."

Reluctantly, I sat on the wicker sofa furthest from where he was sitting.

"Afraid I'll bite, hmm?"

I shrugged.

"I do apologize again for...intruding on you the way I did. It was rather crass and certainly not a way to make a good first impression--or perhaps it was!" he chuckled. "I do think it was worth it though," he winked.

A cold shudder went down my spine. "If I were a girl and you did something like that, you'd be in big trouble," I pointed out.

He snickered. "You're right about that. And for that matter, you certainly could go to Jessy, or even Mother, and tell them what happened.  In that sense, you have me totally at a disadvantage."

"Well, I don't want to get you in trouble," I said.

"I know. I can see that you're not a mean or vengeful person by nature. But the truth is, you really do have me by the proverbial balls. Not only did I break into my kid sister's bedroom to catch a salacious glimpse of her fourteen year old boyfriend, but I also revealed something rather significant about myself that I haven't even shared with my own flesh and blood yet. So at the very least, I should hope you don't feel intimidated by me."

"Actually, I think I do," I admitted.

"Quite frankly, if I'd wanted to take advantage of you--sexually or otherwise--I would have done so by now. I do have a brownbelt in Tae Kwon Do, you know. It's practically de riguer for all us fags these days," he noted drily.

"I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"If I seemed uncaring about your...situation. I didn't mean it that way."

"That's very enlightened of you, Perry. Who would've expected an eighth grade jock to be more understanding than most of the faculty at your very own alma mater, hmm?" He sighed nostalgically. "Good old H.T. What a stir we created there, me and Georgie..."

"You mean, you and George Rauch...?"

"Yes, we were an item, I suppose you would say," he smiled a little more sheepishly this time.

"I really like George," I told him.

"I know. Georgie told me all about your little encounter at the mall. I understand you are involved in some sort of situation with Arnold Hollister, hmm?"

"Uh...yeah...sort of."

"Well, take it from me, he is someone to avoid. You don't ever want to be caught alone with him if you can help it."

"But why? What's wrong with him? I don't even understand why he wants to hurt me!"

"Well, I don't know the entire story either. But I understand it had something to do with a rather horny wrestler, hmm?"

"Yeah, Fred Goreski." I suddenly found myself giving him a Cliffs Notes version of the drama at the rummage sale, including how Gary had come to my rescue, and shortly after, how Jesse had come to his rescue.

"Your friend Jesse sounds like a remarkable young man," he remarked. "How fortunate you are to have a friend like that."

"He's totally cool," I assured him, I said, realizing I felt extremely uncomfortable talking about Jesse with Noah Bainbridge.

"So one of Goreski's crew actually turned on him? That must have cost the lad dearly. Come to think of it, I do have a vague recollection of this boy, Van Driesen. Tall basketball person, rather dark and shaggy, right?"

"Yeah, and he did get beat up some later," I noted sadly, "which I feel terrible about, but luckily for him, his girlfriend is Mario Hernandez's sister, so I think they went easy on him."

"So Freddie 'Ball Crusher' Goreski is the new king of idiots over there now, hmm? And he's gathered all the losers and wannabe's around him. Seems like there's always somebody like him to make life unpleasant."

I just nodded in agreement.

"I do have to say this for him though--he has great taste in young boys."

"That's gross."

"Hmmm? Yes, I suppose it is. And for what it's worth, I'm glad you resisted, and I'm glad you were spared that ordeal."  He gave me a careful look over. "Seeing you now, I can understand better why George felt so strongly about you. And for what it's worth, I truly hope that no harm befalls you, Perry.  And yet...." His voice trailed off.


"Is it not the way of things, that the innocents are corrupted by the vulgar?  That the vile trample the comely?"

"If you mean younger kids getting picked on by older kids, I guess it always happens--but these guys, they seem like more than just ordinary bullies."

"Yes, well, Arnold Hollister, he is indeed--what's the phrase?--a piece of work."

"Tell me. Tell me about you and George and Arnie Hollister," I pleaded anxiously.

"Well, it is a rather long and involved tale for the brief time we have now," Noah hedged. He gave me one of his odder stares. "I must admit, I find it very distracting to be in a room alone with you."

"Then we should just take the tables in," I suggested quickly.

"Well, I do give myself more credit than that. I shan't be jumping your bones or anything like that--at least not without your permission. I'm simply stupified by how incredibly attractive you are."

"You sure aren't afraid to say what's on your mind."

"No, I suppose I'm not!" he said, laughing through his nose. "And yet, ironically, amongst my own small cadre of intimates, I'm known more as the intellectual rationalist than as a horny romantic. In fact, I'm rather shy when approaching a"

"You don't seem very shy to me."

"No, I suppose not, from your point of view. But  the fact that it's unlikely that we will cross paths again anytime soon also has served to embolden me.  You are, after all, about to ship out for the east coast, hmmm?"

"New York."

"Yes, to stay with your father and his...mate."

"Yeah.  They're getting married," I said unenthusiastically.

"Well, if your father is anywhere near the looker you are-"

"I hate looking like my dad!" I spat, feeling such a surge of anger that I actually rose to my feet.

"That's very interesting," Noah commented calmly. "You blame your father for giving you your good looks?"

"He left us, you know--for this other woman. And he hurt my mom--alot! If you just knew her, and what a good person she is...and-and everytime she looks at me I remind her of him and it must be torture for her," I finished miserably, surprised at how suddenly all those powerful emotions had welled up.

"That is truly an unfortunate situation, Perry," Noah said, sounding a little like he actually cared. He pulled his legs up and sat Indian style on the wide chair. "Here I am, admiring your flawless adolescent beauty, assuming that your parents have bequeathed to you an incredible gift, and yet from your perspective, it's more of a curse."

Curse was right.

"So when people are attracted to you because of your physical appearance, you actually feel guilty because of the connection you make with your estranged parents."

"I guess...."

"You know, Perry...I could make you feel very good right now...if you let me."

"Are you hitting on me?"

Noah laughed that raspy, throaty cigarette laugh. "Yes, I suppose we must call a spade a spade. But I'm also offering you something of a gift, a few moments of ecstatic pleasure for your keeping mum about my little secret."

"Don't worry. I won't tell Jessica," I told him plainly. "But I think you should."

"You may be right," he said thoughtfully. "It's just that, when I first got up the nerve to come out to my parents, Jessy was barely twelve; she still seemed nothing more than a wide-eyed child.  Of course, she's blossomed magnificently since then, and even I can see the beauty that she's growing into. Thank God she takes after Mother's side of the family!" he laughed through his nose.

He sighed, and his smug little smile melted away. "I have to admit, it would be awkward at this point to make such a revelation.  I don't know how she'd take it."

"It's not right to keep it from her--especially when you've told your family--and everyone at Holy Trinity."

"I never said I told everyone at school about my sexual orientation. Believe it or not, Georgie and I did exercise some degree of discretion. We weren't total fools, although things did get rather complicated toward the end-"

"George Rauch! Tell me about George-please!" I begged, momentarily forgetting that this college guy had just been hitting on me.

Instead of answering me directly, that creepy little smile again appeared on his narrow face. "You know, there's no shame in having yourself serviced by a willing--a more than willing--male. In fact, being of the same gender gives me the advantage of knowing to a very intimate degree exactly what turns you--or any other boy--on."

"You just want to grab a cheap thrill for yourself," I pointed out irritably, thinking that Noah Bainbridge was one of the most selfishly arrogant people I had ever met, gay or otherwise.

"Again, we must call a spade a spade, but in my defense, it wouldn't be a cheap thrill. On the contrary, it would be a rare and exquisite experience for me, pleasuring such a beautiful young body. And additionally, you'd be amazed just how good I can make you feel."

"You're not getting in my pants!" I assured him more brazenly than I really felt, placing my hand threateningly over the pocket holding my cellphone.

"As I said, I wouldn't force myself on you...Still, there are things I could do for you that wouldn't necessarily involve my going into those dark and forbidden areas that everyone is so uptight about. There are other parts of the male anatomy that are nearly as sensitive as the ones we all know about from song and legend. The nipples, the tummy, the feet.  I could do wondrous things with those beautiful feet of yours, Perry Thompson."


"Please, Perry--sit.  Relax for a few moments."

"I don't want to relax--with you," I pointed out bluntly. "I wanna get those tables inside for Jessica.  She says there's lots to do yet and she still needs to get herself cleaned up and stuff before the party."

"My goodness, you have a one track mind."

"Me?  What about you?"

"Touche`!" he smiled self effacingly. "You're right.  I suppose we should get the job done, and I should give up any hope of indulging my illicit and immoral fantasies." He started to get up.

"Wait," I said, reluctantly sitting back down on the very edge of the sofa. "I do want to hear about George Rauch...and you."

"Yes, you must want it very badly if you're willing to put up with a flagrant cad like myself." He waited for me to respond, but I just stared at him with a neutral expression.  "Very well then," he said, clearing the phlegm from his throat in a very unpleasant manner. "We must first turn the clock back about ten years, when my parents first signed me up for soccer--the local branch of AYSO to be precise. I was somewhat reluctant about the whole endeavor. You may find this hard to believe, but at the time, I was rather more the indoors type," he noted drily.

I found his sarcasm grating, but then he quickly went on to describe how he and George Rauch had been assigned to the same team. Noah had been a complete novice while George already had developed substantial athletic prowess. They found themselves spending time practicing together and going to each other's houses and eventually, becoming close friends despite the significant differences in their personalities.

"My passion was for reading--granted, it wasn't all Tolstoi or Faulkner in the fourth grade. At that age, I was more into the fantastical works of Tolkien, Alexander, Asimov and so forth. And Georgie, well he was a born athlete I suppose, and I admired him for it.  Even when I first met him he was the tallest boy on the team and it seemed that he just kept growing and growing. Good Heavens, how tall is he now?  Six foot six, six foot seven?"

"I think so," I agreed.

"While he helped me hone my athletic skills, I frequently helped him out in the academic arena.  It was actually a good balance of reciprocity. After our first season together, we became such close friends, that Georgie, thanks partially to his improving grades, was actually able to persuade his parents to send him to St. Bonnie's, and that must have taken some doing since Mr. Rauch was even back then less than enamored with the Catholic Church."

That would explain why I rarely saw them at Mass, or even school functions. Still, I didn't say anything, just nodding my head to indicate that I was following along.

"Well, that was wonderful for us, and from the 4th grade on, we were inseparable. Now during that time, I don't think either one of us gave much consideration as to what our sexual orientation was going to be.  Of course we saw each other sans clothing on numerous occasions, whether in locker rooms, changing for a swim, getting ready for bed, or what have you.  Nonetheless, it was obvious that Georgie was fantastically well endowed--even as a youngster. Still, at that time, it was only a source of...envy, I suppose you'd say, and nothing more."

It still seemed hard to pair those two in my mind, even though it turned out they had grown up together as best friends. There had to be more to Noah Bainbridge than what I had so far witnessed. I couldn't imagine George Rauch doing anything as disgusting as what Noah had done today. I wondered if maybe I was seeing Jessica's brother at his worst.  I wanted to ask him how many other under age boys he had solicited lately, but realized that would make me sound as crass as he did.

"And yes, somewhere toward the end of our stint at St. Bonnie's, we both learned the glories of masturbation. How 'bout you, Perry?" he asked with a piercing gaze. " Do you do the wicked deed? Spank the monkey? Bop the baloney? Buff the banana?"

I felt myself turning red with embarrassment. "Gees...."

"I take that as a definite and colorful 'yes.' My God, what a vision that must be. I'd give anything-"

"Gees, Noah! Do you have to say things like that? I thought you were gonna tell me about you and George!" I snapped irritably, trying to cover my own discomfort at his brazen sexual insinuations. Buff the banana?

"Yes...well...eventually, we moved on to Holy Trinity, and by then, it was quite clear that I would never be half the athlete he was, no matter how much skill and effort he put into coaching me.  I was a decent swimmer but never seriously competed, and really, soccer always was my best game.  It was Arthur's too, incidentally. Georgie of course, could do it all, but ultimately, his passion proved to be football."

Noah paused, fidgeting around a bit in his chair.  "I'm regretting not finishing that last ciggie," he noted uncomfortably. "I know it's a dirty habit, but it has a very calming affect on me. Are you enjoying the story so far?"

"It's kinda hard to believe you and Georgie were best friends for so many years. I mean, you seem so different."

Noah laughed his throaty, smoke-colored laugh. "Yes, well, the truth is, we always were very different, cut from a different cloth. But when we were younger, it didn't seem to matter nearly as much as it did later on, and sadly, in the end, I suppose it did have something to do with our ultimate dissolution as a...couple."

Noah sighed and I could tell he was feeling the emotional weight of his own past. Almost as if to distract himself, he seemed to refocus on the present, and he started scanning me again in a way that I was getting all too familiar with.

"Um...if this is hard for you, maybe we should just forget about it. You could write me an email or something," I suggested uneasily.

"The internet is a wonderful invention for tossing words and ideas around the world, but it is painfully lacking in the important aspects of true communication--body language, inflection, nuance, eye contact. I think if I'm going to share this tale with you, it needs to be done in person."

"Okay," I concurred.

"May I ask you one small favor?" he asked, and his question sounded surprisingly sincere.

"Um, well, what is it?" I asked with a great deal of caution.

"Speaking of body language!" he laughed. "But I digress, both from the riveting story of my youth, and the small and innocuous request I wanted to make." He paused expectantly.

"Go on...." I felt myself stiffen, trying my best not to anticipate what he had in mind.

"I was wondering if you would do me the favor of removing your footwear?" he asked, and there was a hint of discomfort in his tone.


"Your shoes and socks," he clarified needlessly.

"What for?"

"Isn't it always preferable to leave the feet unshod when relaxing?"

"I'm not very relaxed," I informed him. "And why would you care, anyway?"

"Again, to call a spade a spade, I find your smooth, young feet, gracefully curving arches, and long straight toes highly erotic."

"So you want to get off, looking at my feet?"  I asked with obvious distaste.

He laughed uncomfortably. "I would indeed be getting a significant amount of sexual pleasure, but I would stop short of beating off in front of you." He smiled devilishly and it was a little disturbing how well that suited his features. "I do still have a modicum of dignity left, and my own bedroom, you know."

"You're really weird," I declared. "And creepy." I started to get up.

"It was the summer before our sophomore year that Georgie and I became lovers," he announced quietly.


Special Thanks to my editor-in-chief, AJ!

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