This is a work of fiction. No one was exploited in the creation of this fable. In some locales, even reading about fictional teenagers having imaginary sex is prohibited. Local laws apply.

This story explicitly depicts young men forming erotic bonds with each other. Generally they are between the ages of 14 to 17, and they "generally" agree that peer relationships are best. However, among this particular group of youths, there are some who consider scoring some hot older fellow a coup, while there are others who remain enchanted by younger lads. These liaisons appear as dangerous edges, and the author has attempted to depict such outlawish trysts in a realistic way. Also, some of the fellows depicted here do other "bad boy" things like experiment with drugs and get in terrible fights. Last, being sexually versatile, as jocks typically are, they occasionally even have sex with girls. Ultimately, many are the spirits of the young who, in these pages, simply say, "Fuck the rules."

There is plenty of raunchy sex in this tale, but if all you are looking for is pure fapping material utterly devoted to some precise specialty, you might want to look elsewhere. In publisher's lingo, this is a "Coming of Age" novel.

Author's Note: Do not be fooled. Nicky is not the "manic, pixie, dream boy" he first appears to be.

Challenges, Challenges

Ricky — so bursting with happiness he found himself leaping in the air and humming loudly as he walked — gave Nicky a brief tour of his cabins and their large lots.

He couldn't believe his luck! Ricky wondered at it over and over for the first hour after they jumped into hot action with each other. This guy was as horny as he was. He was an any-action guy — a versatile — and he was completely unabashed!

"What is that song you sing to yourself, Ricky?"

"It is from a Mozart clarinet concerto."

"Oh, my mother will love you, Ricky!"

Ecstatic to have such a great, new friend, Ricky first took Nicky up on the deck of his mom's family's cabin — the McLaren cabin — and not to the Boone cabin because Ricky had a stash of old clothes in a trunk on the second story deck. He wanted to outfit Nicky in some cut-offs. Going down the river could really bang your butt. Nicky needed armor. He had explained all this to Nicky. In fact, he was excitedly chattering about everything and often repeating himself.

Nicky always managed to stay close, and he constantly touched Ricky directly or grazed against him indirectly. On the upper deck, while he rummaged in the trunk, Nicky lightly traced his fingers against Ricky's spine. When Ricky pulled out his old shorts and held them out to Nicky, he rested a hand on Ricky's shoulder while he examined the worn old cut-offs appreciatively.

Nicky was an affectionate guy!

Ricky was feeling horny again already. He moved to Nicky to gather him in his arms for a kiss, but Nicky, ever vigilant, called out, "Oh no! There are girls coming up here!"

Ricky looked out over the lot and down the gravel road to the bend. Sure enough, there were his cousins Jackie and Susie just turning the corner.

Quickly then, Nicky dressed. He put on Ricky's old shorts over his Speedo.

"This is so sexy!" he commented, caressing his penis in the shorts. "I am in your pants!"

Ricky laughed. Nicky, it seemed, talked with exclamation marks on every sentence. And that accent: "REE-kee," with the "R" trilled; "vwant", instead of "want". Intoxicating! Big, round vowels, drawn out long, and all soft consonants.

Ricky decided, just to make them match, that he would wear his Speedo under his shorts too. They dashed downstairs before his cousins arrived. Ricky grabbed two inner tubes and showed how to wear them over one's shoulders so they covered up their erections.

Just in time!

Ricky introduced Nicky to Jackie and Susie.

Jackie was friendly, but Susie, still smarting from Collin's snub and irrationally blaming Ricky, said, in that sniping way of hers, "Gee Ricky. It sure doesn't take you long to get a new boyfriend."

Ricky had to resist the urge to call her a vindictive cunt. He was utterly astonished that she could be so viciously rude before a perfect stranger. Instead, he said, "Leave it to you to make a nice kid feel unwelcome for no reason at all! Are you ever going to join the human race, Susie? Why do you have to be so incessantly cruel?"

Jackie laughed out loud.

Nicky remained silent.

Susie simply sneered; rather, she tried to sneer. Ricky could tell that his remarks had stung.

Ricky then said, "C'mon, Nicky. I'll show you my place!"

At the gazebo, Ricky changed into his sky blue Speedo and put his shorts on over that. "We match now!"

Nicky clapped his hands! "I like this contest!" He said it with that accent of his. This agówn is "Who is the most beautifully adorned?"

This Nicky was an interesting young man! So playful! He asked him, as he loaded his pockets with a few necessary items, "Speaking of 'beautifully adorned,' I must ask you if there is a story to your ankle bracelet?"

"Yes. It was given to me by the son of a sailor who made it for me. This is sailing line!" Nicky, as he said that last, he stood on one leg and lifted his decorated ankle and held his heel in his hand, smiling as he looked down at it, lost in the memory, for some moments.

Then, satisfied with his musings, he added, "It was a gift to keep me safe on my journey to America, and it has worked!"

And then, in the manner that Ricky was learning he had, he changed topics in a way that had no obvious connection. Fingering his earring, he informed Ricky, "But did you know that in Sicily and on many islands that if you have an earring in your left ear, you are single, while the right ear is for married men. Men who have lost their wives and not remarried, may wear rings in both ears!"

"I did not know that. In the U.S., a ring in the right ear means you are gay." Then Ricky figured out the connection. Nicky was on the topic of "explaining adornments."

Nicky snorted, "Americans. You are so uncultured! And you think you are the best! Skatá!"

Nicky's joyfulness was so refreshing! He chuckled at Nicky's passion. Ricky moved off, picking up his tube along the way. Nicky followed in the same manner, actually skipping!

Along the tree lined road in the dappled light, they talked and talked.

Ricky told him, "Nicky! I find your joy of life to be wonderful! I am glad I met you!"

To this Nicky said, "Ah. Thank you! For me it is the same! But did you know that in French, it is called 'joie de vivre,' 'joy of living'. My mother taught me that; she speaks French. I do not, but I do speak Italian! And Greek, of course!"

"I have a great yearning to learn Italian, Nicky. I have studied Latin in school."

"Did you go to a Catholic school? Are you Catholic? Did they teach you Latin? My mother is Roman Catholic, but my father says 'God can go fuck himself!' I was baptized in the Greek church — which is the church of my father.

Ricky did not pursue the contrariness of the remarks, for Nicky was rushing on with, "Did you know that we make the sign of the cross different than Catholics and we say, 'the holy ghost, father, and son? Not the Catholic way? Did you know that?"

Ricky laughed at Nicky's way of introducing such large topics so cheerfully. But he only answered Nicky's first question, for he did know that Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholicism had differences they regarded as extremely significant. "No, it was a college class. I had special permission, for I am a good student."

"Ah. You are smart! You will like my mother! She is so smart she makes me angry sometimes!"

"And you are wise, my little Nicky!"

"That is what my mother says too!" Nicky resumed his skipping, but it was difficult because he kept dropping his inner tube and laughing as he chased it.

They chatted happily in this way as they walked up the road to their first stop — the ferocious rapids they called, "Thorson's," after the the family whose cabin lay directly most near.

Nicky suddenly changed tone, his mood became somber. "But I must ask, and forgive me if this is forward, why does this cousin of yours, this 'Susie,' hold such darkness in her heart?"

Ricky looked at Nicky. His speech had become formal, his vocabulary poetic. Interesting!

"It's a long story, and honestly? I don't understand her, but," to match Nicky's poetry, he said, "let us unfold each other gradually, over time!"

"Yes! I like this! It is an agówn! You understand! Perhaps you were Greek in a previous life?"

Ricky shrugged, "Perhaps. But must an agówn always have victors and losers?"

"Of course; except, there will always be another game. You see? One day you lose, the next day you win. And losing only makes one stronger, for one learns, so losing it not so bad, and winning is not so great, for nothing is forever, and one arouses envy. You get it?"

Ricky pondered this. He did not like the idea that all contests must have a winner and a loser. He thought it more complicated than that. He would talk about this again, later, but he did ponder Nicky's idea that 'winner' and 'loser' were relative terms and not absolutes.

Once by the rapids, the roar made casual talk impossible. Ricky only provided Nicky with minimal inner-tubing instruction, for he sensed that Nicky needed little explanation. Mainly, he wanted to make sure Nicky chose the best path through the water. The wave shape of Thorson's rapids was such that if one went to either side of the "the line," one would be instantly flipped, and the shallow water to either side hid deadly rocks.

However, he need not have been concerned, for never in his life had Ricky seen anyone so adept in the water!

Nicky's ability to grasp the technique of river running was supernatural. His first impression was redeemed. Nicky was, indeed, the "Otter Boy."

First Ricky showed him how to run the rapid in a tube the standard way, feet downstream laying on one's back in the tube, but Nicky just laughed and cried out, "I understand!" He went down on his knees, spinning himself around by reaching through the center of the tube and swirling his hand in the water!

He was much better than Ricky on his very first try! And Ricky had been practicing his whole life.

Nicky adored the sport and thanked Ricky profusely for teaching him.

Ricky showed Nicky the scar on his back just above his hip where he had banged it on a rock in that very rapids only two years before.

Nicky nodded, touching the scar. "Yes, the River? He tries to hide His secrets, but He is not good with secrets. See? You found one so easily?"

Nicky said this so intently, staring into Ricky's blue eyes with his deep, dark, beautiful eyes. At once laughing and at the same instant, mysterious. Yes, despite his outward simplicity and apparently childish manner, Nicky was as deep as the ocean.

Ricky saw that Nicky's hair, then fairly dry, tended to lay next to his cheek on one side but flip up on the other. He had a few stray hairs between his lush eyebrows too. It was an extremely butch look. Ricky was falling in love.

Then, leaning close, Nicky whispered, "Let us now go and have the gayest sex!"


Along the way, they continued to chat happily about the outlines of their lives. By the time the got to The Spot, Ricky knew where Nicky had lived in their house in Athens, that he loved to sail in his little boat in the Aegean around the island where his grandfather had a hotel and restaurant, and that Nicky spent his summers there just like Ricky spent his summers here. Nicky, to Ricky's delight, also like math puzzles!

Ricky tested him. "Here is a math problem. I have this friend Ryan. He told me that 'society,' whatever that is, considers that it is not appropriate to have sex with anyone who is less that half your age plus seven years. Right?"

"Wrong. What a stupid rule! Half your age is eight. Plus seven is fifteen, so you and me are OK! But listen! Half my age plus seven is fifteen and a half, and I think twelve year olds are just right for learning the first things. That's when I started fucking; except I did other stuff before that!"

Ricky laughed at that piece of information but did not pursue it. "Well, anyways, the question is: If it were between a fourteen year old and a sixteen year old, how long must they wait before 'society' agrees they can be an 'appropriately aged couple?'"

"Two years," Nicky answered instantly. "Half of eighteen plus seven is sixteen."

"How did you do that so fast?"

"It is a calculus problem. I used 'Newton's Method.' You make a guess. This gives you a number higher or lower. You go halfway between, then halfway again. Usually you are very close on the third pass. This was an easy problem, so my first guess was right. You make me lucky!"

"Hunh." Ricky was impressed. It had taken him several minutes to solve the same problem. He used a piece of paper and made a graph. He said, "I thought it was a linear equation. You say 'calculus?'"

"You can use calculus on linear equations!"

Ricky did not actually know what calculus even was. He had only studied algebra in school. He asked, "Do they teach calculus to kids in Greece?"

"I do not know. My father taught me it. Ship's officers must know mathematics. Ship's watches are often tedious, so math is a good way to occupy one's mind. It is part of navigation. One is always going faster and faster and slower and slower, so one needs calculus, but you can make shortcuts by estimating averages over intervals, but anyway, with the problem you posed, the arithmetic breaks when your starting point is less than fourteen. Did you notice that?"

"Yes. Half of twelve is six. Six plus seven is thirteen. Thirteen is greater than twelve."

Then, to Ricky's further amazement, Nicky told him he had memorized vast passages from ancient Greek epic poems, and he sang them in a lovely lilting accent. He confessed, "I do not know what all the words mean. Ancient Greek is complicated!"

All the while, he was hop-skipping happily and noticing every detail of everything on the path, asking incessant questions about everything, but especially Ricky.

Other than Nicky's enigmatic hint about much, early experience, they did not talk about sex. Only later, Ricky would notice this. By some silent accord, they both chose to let that be a mystery that might "unfold" over time.

The rush of talk, far from over, ended when they made it to "The Spot." They dropped their tubes on the sand. Nicky looked around and declared, "This is a perfect spot for gay sex!"

He made Ricky laugh. With Nicky, it was never "sex," but "gay sex." He had to have the adjective. He was so fucking cute!

He was carrying on, "It is hidden in trees. There is a nice log to lean against, and the sand is clean, dry, and soft! How many comely lads have you drawn here with whom to frolic, Ricky?"

All this was said with his lovely singing intonation. It was like Nicky was always singing. And his language! Sometimes simple and childlike, other times with sophisticated grammar and unusually choice words.

Ricky did not, however, answer the question. Without a word, they moved together for a long, sweet, gentle caress, hands running up and down each other's backs with their middles pressed together. They kissed lovingly.

Then, the sweet caress was over, and they were in a hurry. Within seconds, they were in their speedos, and bouncing on one of the inner tubes, they did what Ricky like to call "bump and grind." It was his phrase for "frottage."

Ricky loves the way Nicky's belly muscles flex. He adores his younger friend's small, hard, dark nipples. They are like little bronze rivets set in peened metal. He notices that Nicky, is just covered in very fine, light hair. It is almost fur! But the fine hairs are downy soft and almost transparent. Around his nipples and on his lower belly, his hair is longer. He suspects his lover will age into an elegant man with nice chest hair. This excites Ricky very much. He sees a future Nicky. He feels a future with him!

Nicky also has lovely, dark moles here and there, scattered on his body, and he is seeing then, really big, strong hands. Actually oversized hands. They are not exactly calloused, but they are masculine and a bit beat up, like his own. This is a guy who uses his hands, and he is using his hands on Ricky much, gripping him strongly with every touch.

He has finally found a boy who likes rough, tough, butch, bump and grind as much as he does! They bounce around on the inner tubes rather than roll around in the sand. Nicky is an exuberant lover, laughing loudly, even screeching like a little kid. Ricky has to warn him to keep the noise down. The Spot is hard to find, but noises might make people curious. Still, Ricky knows even then that sex with his Nicky is always to be a thing of laughter. This too excites Ricky very much.

Immersed in his Nicky, then, too, there is the density of Nicky's body. He appears small, but he is heavy! All bone and muscle. No fat. A tough little dude! The cords of his strong neck are so powerful under his fingers, and the way his shoulder muscles joined the neck! Beautiful!

Arrrgh! Every inch of him is fantastic! I love him! I just love him!

He nuzzles Nicky's neck behind his ear and breathes deep his scent. Nicky is all fresh ground white pepper and lemon rinds. He tastes salty at his hairline. Ricky laughs loudly.

"Why do you laugh that way?" Nicky asks as he uses his hands to turn Ricky's head to face him.

"You smell like the seasoning I use on fish! Like lemon, pepper, and salt!"

Nicky, by his raucous laughter, thinks this is extremely funny, and laughing also, he said, "And you taste like the wind smells, and pine needles! You are my nature boy! I have been looking for you!"

Ricky has to warn his lover, sprawled across the inner tube with his legs spread, once again to keep the noise down. He pushes himself up so that he is on his knees between Nicky's sculpted thighs, and looks him over once again.

They had to get naked.

Their Speedos had been sexy for a minute, but now it was time to rid themselves of any barriers between their bodies. Ricky reached up and pulled down Nicky's Speedo, making Nicky's cock flip up to slap against his undulating belly. He had such a beautiful pattern to his pubic hair! It did not grow much around his balls. Instead, it began with a tuft above his penis then fanned out above it. Elegant!

Panting, Nicky commanded, "All right! You must fuck me now! You won the agówn! Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me!"

Ricky grinned at him. He would fuck him, of course, and soon, but he had other ideas. "I need to kiss your pretty bottom, Nicky, and lick your boy pussy, do they call it that in Greek too? Also, I need to suck your dick."

As Ricky went down, snuffling Nicky's hard, tight, virtually hairless balls, Nicky leaned forward, leaning on his arms. He laughed along with Ricky and said, "Yes, we say, 'kólpos'. It means 'sheathe.' It is also a word for 'vagina.' Oh! You do that well, my Ricky Lover!"

Ricky did not mention that the Latin word, "vagina" also merely meant "sheathe." He was busy running his tongue around the head of Nicky's penis while stroking his foreskin up and down. Nicky did not have the extra skin that Roan had. There were, Ricky surmised, many styles of foreskin! Nicky's cock, when hard, which it very much was, seemed almost like a circumcised one, but it lacked what Ricky had figured out was the scar of circumcision. He loved Nicky's penis. It was just right. Long enough and thick enough to feel like man meat in his hands while not being perfectly easy to swallow whole, which he did, just then, looking up at Nicky, who stared back at him and bucked his hips.

He paused then to take a few moments to pull on Nicky's dark, pubic hair with his lips. It was not that Nicky needed to be heated up before Ricky fucked him; it was simply that Ricky enjoyed cock sucking so very much.

Nicky petted Ricky's hair with one hand and quietly asked, "So you are going to lick my kólpos or not?"

This made Ricky chuckle, but he did lift up Nicky's legs and dive his head down further. There were only a few sparse hairs on Nicky's big ridge of a taint, and around his pretty pink hole, a few more. It puckered up as Ricky gave it a few tentative licks and sniffs. It was clean enough.

Soon, he had Nicky's ring slippery wet and pulsing. His friend was ready to be fucked.

Pausing and leaning back, Ricky looked around for his cast-off shorts. They were near. He reached to the side, grabbed them, and fished out a rubber and the small tube of lube. He stood up to remove his swim trunks.

Nicky, still spread-legged on the edge of the tube, watched all this silently with his big, dark, pretty eyes. Ricky knelt down again, popped on a condom, lubed it up, and stuck it in. He was expecting some resistance, but it surprisingly easy to slip his cock into Nicky's boy pussy. Holding Nicky's hips, he pushed it further in, and in it went, almost all the way before Nicky gasped.

He paused then and fell over on top of his lovely lover to kiss him sweetly and roll his hips around, getting Nicky warmed up.

His lover, meanwhile, wrapped his arms around Ricky's back and made quiet moans, rocking his hips in time to Ricky's motion. At that time, Ricky had no notion of how many lovers Nicky had had, but Ricky knew that he was very far from a virgin. He knew how to use his ass!

It feels like a rabbit skin glove!

His ass feels so perfect! It is tight enough to feel really great, but loose enough to fuck hard! They do it face to face with Nicky on his back, kissing like mad. This is a boy who had been fucked many times! He knows how to bottom!

"I like this position, Ricky," Nicky almost whispers it. "It is how gay boys like us like to fuck."

Ricky panted, "Me too! This way we can kiss, and we can stare into each other's eyes!"

"It is very gay, this position!"

"Yes! I have a friend who calls this 'sissy fucking!'"

"I like 'sissy fucking,' Ricky!"

It only takes a minute or so before Nicky has completely loosened up and Ricky can fuck him good.

He tries to make it last, but Nicky's writhing muscularity, laughing eyes, sensuous moans, and lascivious kisses combine with the younger boy's ravishing rectum to bring Ricky to an orgasm much sooner than he wants.

Ricky sighs.

Nicky commented, "I make you very horny, do I not?"

"You do. I needed that!"

"I understand!" Nicky agreed, laughing, even as they continued to hump each other. "I have an idea! Another contest!"


"Let us flip flop fuck! You know that?"

"Oh yes!"

"We go until one cries, 'I am done!' The winner then may challenge!"


"Yes. He may proclaim a target, a goal, and the other then must fulfill it or he loses!"

Suspicious, and still inside Nicky as they talked, "But what if he cannot, or he will not!"

"Then he loses!" Nicky repeated.

"This involves a penalty?"

"I have not thought of that part," Nicky admitted. "The idea is not to lose!"

"Fine! Fuck me!"


They moved off the inner tube and onto the sand. Ricky slipped a rubber on Nicky and straddled him, showing him his "ass jacking" technique. Nicky's cock felt great in his hole. He could fuck that cock with his ass for hours! His dick is slightly narrower than Collin's. It is a bit easier to handle. It does not give him an ache.

Nicky, staring at Ricky's bouncing hard cock, flopping against his hard belly, obviously loved it! He wasted no time in having another orgasm, arching up into Ricky and thrashing around with his eyes squinted shut and his lips... snarling?


"Are you done?" Ricky asks.

"I am not! And you?"

"Far from it!"

Ricky gives Nicky another good ass pounding then.

He starts with Nicky on his back and he on top again, but this time, Ricky enters him slowly, holding himself up on his elbows, holding Nicky's head in his hands, and kissing Nicky's pretty red lips very gently.

Nicky obviously likes this, for he sighs deeply and wiggles his hips. He wraps his arms and legs around Ricky, and moaning quietly and sweetly.

Ricky is as much possessed as possessing.

He fucks Nicky's perfect boy hole with long, slow strokes, pulling almost all the way out, then coming forward until they are pressed hard together. He can feel Nicky's stiff penis and solid, heavy balls pressed against his belly. He loves the feel of the back of Nicky's strong neck. His fingers play with the delicate whorls of dark hair. He drinks in the musky scent of a male, enchanted by sex.

When he looks at Nicky, which he does the whole time, Nicky simply stares back at him with those deep, dark, bewitching eyes.

After strongly dominating Nicky in that position for a good long while, he raised up on his arms to fuck Nicky harder and faster, still long-cocking him. Feeling himself about to come again, Ricky varied that by driving deep, holding it in, and simply rocking his hips. Nicky was able to get in a little counter-rotation as well.

Then, feeling Nicky's desire to please him, still in him, he lifted Nicky up by his strong waist, and placed the boy on his own thighs as he kneeled. Nicky could then hop up and down, happily, with his hands on Ricky's shoulders, staring at him.

They had not said a word.

Nicky then, taking a little more control, pushes Ricky back. They have a little awkward, giggling, moment as Ricky pops out while trying to straighten his legs, but then Nicky is straddling him again, bouncing up and down with astonishing speed and depth to his rhythm.

Nicky giggles. "You can see all the good stuff in this position, huh Ricky?"

Ricky watches Nicky's charming cock and balls bounce around below Nicky's pulsing and pumping belly muscles.

He has to agree.

Nicky then spins around on Ricky's ferociously hard cock and looks back over his shoulder cutely. He raises himself and held himself there so Ricky can fuck up into him.

Feeling himself about to come again, he pushes Nicky forward onto his hands and knees and fucks him roughly. Nicky, shaking a little, collapses, but Ricky continues to pound him as Nicky lay in the sand, face down, whimpering.

Ricky comes then. He almost faints with the intensity. It is actually painful!

He collapsed on Nicky and sighed. "You win. I am done."

This made Nicky laugh. "You made the funniest sound when you came, Ricky! I thought someone zapped you with lightning!"

"Unh," was all Ricky could grunt.

"You are, how do you say in English? Ah! A 'good sport!'"

"And the challenge?"

"I have not thought of that, but I want to fuck you again, right now, to prove that I am not done."

"Do it!"

Nicky has him sit on the log and spread his legs. He looks into Ricky's eyes as he entered his slippery ass. He sighed. "I love your gay ass Ricky!"

Looking a little feral then, he fucks Ricky with a fast, staccato style, varying the strokes from short to deep. Ricky's cock grows hard again.

"Ah hah! I see you are not done! You let me win! That was really gay of you, Ricky. You like getting fucked, huh?"

"I like getting fucked by you, Nicky."

"Good!" Nicky pulls out and yanks on Ricky's arm, tossing him onto all fours on the sand. He fucks him powerfully then, holding his hips at first, then grabbing Ricky around his chest and bringing his hand up on the back of Ricky's neck. It is a wrestler's move. It made Ricky feel pinned. Dominated! Nicky's fast pumping cock feels great in his ass, and Nicky is soon pumping sperm into his tight, hot, hole.

Somewhere along the way, they have forgotten about using condoms. Ricky sighs as he notices this.

Gasping, they fell on the sand and lay entwined in each others sweaty bodies. They rested this way for a few minutes, petting and kissing each other. Ricky had finally found a lover who did not merely like what he liked, but was also as naturally cuddly and affectionate.

Ricky had an idea. "This 'challenge' you speak of?"

"Yes?" Nicky breathed, reaching to him to circle one of Ricky's nipples idly with a finger.

"How about this? If we challenge each other, and the other guy can't do it? Then the challenger loses!"

Nicky laughed. "I like this way of playing! This makes it more sporting. I am reminded of the French style of sword play. It is up to the loser to say, 'Touché!' A game between friends! So if I say, 'You must explain to your cousin Susie that showing rude, inhospitable behavior to a new person, a visitor, is very bad luck, for she will incur the wrath of the Sky Father, who protects the traveler,' and if you cannot do this, the I lose, so I must carefully consider what you are capable of, right? Like that?"

Ricky studied his Nicky once again, amazed by his capacity for casual eloquence. And he looked so peaceful and pretty, laying so indifferently nude in the dappled light on the sand. "Yes, Nicky. Exactly. And you have won the first challenge."

Nicky nodded, "But you must try. You cannot cheat to purposely make me lose! This style of agówn is the way of friends, not enemies."

"Yes. You see, I am trying to find exceptions to 'winners and losers.'"

"There are no exceptions, Ricky. The meaning of the words are bounded by this. If there is no winner and loser, then it is something else, and there must be another word for it."

"Hmmm. OK. So I say to you, 'Nicky! You must help me shave around my anus,' and if you do not, we both lose, and there is no winner, but if you do it, then we both win, and there is no loser."

"Well, you could just ask me that! That is no challenge. Do you want me to?"

"Yes, actually. It seems I either miss hairs or I scratch myself, and then it itches and itches."

"Oh, well, I know how to do that. I can help you. You can do me too. And then we can lick each other!"

He made Ricky laugh. He told Nicky, "Even so, as an example, either we both win or we both lose. So? You see, there can be many 'agównai' with either winners or losers, but not both."

Nicky looked at him for a few seconds before answering, "Hngh, You could be right! Still, I think the rule holds because the outcome is uncertain! Anyhow, this sort of agówn can be a long one. I will tell you when I think of what you must do. But let us now ride the wild river and meet my mother! We can play more at my house. We can play all night if you want. But first you must meet my mother, and you must spend some time with her. She is modern, but she is old fashioned. You must show her respect!"

"I understand completely. I will be most courteous to your mother."

"But do not tell her we are having gay sex!"

"Sure," Ricky kidded, "If you say so."

Nicky nodded solemnly, not getting the joke as a joke. Ricky said, "Let's tube back. You can meet my dad. I will change into nice clothes out of respect for your mother. I will bring... Hmmm... Have you and her ever eaten squirrel meat?"

"I heard it tastes like rats. I've eaten mice. They are good! There is this small kind you can eat bones and all! They are called 'dormice.' Do you know why they call them that? Hint, it has nothing to do with 'doors.'"

Like Roan, Nicky still had "kid humor." It was cute. He answered, "Yes, I know. It comes from the Latin, "dormio," for "sleep" because they sleep during the day."

Nicky frowned like he was not expecting Ricky yo know that, "Yes. In Italian, it is 'dormire.'"

He was almost surly, the way he said it. Interesting. Nicky was very competitive.

Well, so am I!

Ricky explained, "That is the infinitive in Latin. So Italian retains that, but anyway, I've never had rat or mice, and squirrels taste different depending on what they eat. These ones eat acorns. They are delicious! Would your mom be pleased if I brought some meat, you know, as a guest's gift for the table?"

"She thinks most Americans are crude and rude. She says you wear the clothes you sleep in to go to the grocery store! She would not think that of you if you did that. She would be happy. Yes. That would be perfect!"

After that magical river ride, so wonderful in so many ways, they did as planned. Ricky changed, grabbed his overnight kit and guitar, and, with enough squirrel meat for a good feed, walked to Nicky's cabin on the far side of the river.

Nicky, serious again, as he could be, had something on his mind. He grew quiet. Ricky sensed he had something on his mind. They walked along in silence. Finally, Nicky said, "I must say this this one thing now before events overcome us, Ricky?"


"You are perfect for me. You are grand. And strong. You make my heart pound in my chest. The way you master me, and the way you yield! It is like I meet my other half. You are a dream come true! The Lion King! Now! What say you?"

"What are you asking, Nicky?"

"I am asking how you feel about me!"

Ricky looked at him, walking along in that skipping way of his, always the bounce, always the exclamation marks at the end of sentences.

Ricky, always the thinker, always the questioner of all things, introspective, careful, and suspicious, did not need to ponder this question at all. He knew the answer, and he spared his beloved any pain by responding from his heart rather than his mind, "It was love at first sight, Nicky."

Nicky nodded and smiled. If anything, his skipping step was even faster and higher. There was nothing more to say. It was understood. The trumpets had blared. They had entered the arena hand in hand.

Questions? Comments? Critiques? Don't be shy. Let me know. All feedback is useful. Your letters have been helpful and encouraging. Heck, I'll even write you back. I like to do that.

Cheers, Dorian

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