Author's Notes:

Before I get into the Legal stuff, I want to say thanks first to my Editor, Pete. He always does a wonderful job. Second, I want to thank my Readers. You guys are the best. Okay, these characters are not meant to resemble any living or dead persons. I make no apology to anyone who is offended by anything in this story. If you do not agree with the idea of guys being in love, then find something else to read. Let me know what you think of the story by emailing me at

Hnstskr4@aol.com

Copyright 2008-2013 by Chuck B.

 

The Journey Begins

Camping

Chapter 19

 

Jason and Shaun have been discussing taking Eric and Steve camping. Shaun is gathering up their supplies while, Jason calls over to Eric's house.

"Hello?"

Jason forgot that Sarah wouldn't recognize the new cell phone number. She usually has a bit more personality.

"Hey, Sarah, it's Jason. We thought that Mark and you might want some time alone, so do you think Eric would like to go camping with us?"

Sarah loves her brother, but with the baby due in just a few days, she wouldn't mind a chance to have Mark all to herself.

"Hold on; I'll call for him."

She sets the phone down.

"Eric, pick up the phone."

It didn't take long for him to answer the phone.

"Hello, can I help you?"

"Hey, Eric, it's Jason. We're going camping and Steve and you are going with us. You have two hours to get ready. Any questions?"

"How many nights are we going, Jason?"

"We're only staying one night, but you need to be ready when we get to your house."

I'm excited. I haven't been camping since I came out.

"Don't worry, we'll be ready."

"You can bring fishing poles or whatever else you want. Just use common sense."

Steve needs to be called right away.

"Don't worry, Jason, I'll talk to you later. Thanks!"

"Bye Eric."

We ended our call and I got ready to call Steve. I scroll through my phone list till I come to Steve's number. I push my boyfriend's speed dial and wait for the call to connect.

"Hey, Babe, what's going on with you?"

"Jason and Shaun are taking us camping. Are you game?"

I cross my fingers hoping for the right answer.

"I have nothing going on this weekend, so yes, I'm game."

"Cool, we have two hours to get ready."

"Sounds good!" Steve couldn't wait to spend time with his guy.

"I better go. I love you! Bye Steve."

One of my old habits from my Boy Scout days is to keep all my camping stuff in my backpack so that I could go camping at the drop of a dime. I may need to borrow a few things. We'll see when I'm done gathering up my stuff. I grab my backpack and my sleeping bag and then head downstairs. I set my gear by the front door. Just as I set it down, Mark comes in.

"Eric, you going camping?"

"Yay, I am. Jason and Shaun invited Steve and me."

"Cool! Don't do anything that will land you in trouble."

Mark is worried, but I'm not. Mark just doesn't want us doing anything that we might regret.

"I'm not worried. Steve knows how I feel and he won't do anything to break my trust. Oh, can I borrow your tent."

"Sure, it's up in the in the garage's attic."

"Thanks, Bro."

"You're welcome."

I run out to the garage and grab the tent. While I was in the garage, a car pulled up to the house. I can hear voices coming from the front porch. It wasn't until I left the garage that I realized whose voices I heard. It's Steve and Sarah. I can see Steve's car in the driveway and I know that Sarah is the only woman in the house. Steve and Sarah enter the house at the same time that I reach the porch. I set the tent in the living room and then sit down in and wait for Steve to show up. He must be up in my room. Nope, he just came out of the dining room with Mark.

"Hey, Cutie!" I said as I looked at my man coming towards me.

"I had to borrow a sleeping bag from Mark. Are you ready to go camping?"

"Yes, I am."

We embrace and kiss. I figured that we would have a chance to talk before the guys showed up.

We just started talking when a car pulls up. Not long after that, someone is knocking at the door. I know who's knocking, so I grab my stuff and open the door.

"Guess I don't have to ask if you're ready."

Jason must have sent Shaun up to get us. Steve is practically pushing me out the door.

"We're all ready."

"Awesome, Jason is in the car waiting on us."

Steve sets the tent down and turns back into the house. Shaun just looks at me.

"I have no idea where he's going."

He pops up again with Sarah and Mark.

"Did you need us?"

Sarah and Mark stand there waiting for me to say something.

"Ummm... we're headed to wherever Jason is taking us."

Sarah looks at Shaun and gets this dead serious expression on her face.

"Shaun, you tell Jason that my boys better be safe and sound till they come back.

"I'll tell him, but we really need to get going."

We said our goodbyes and walked to the car. Jason already has the doors and the trunk open. Shaun enters the front passenger door while Steve and I put our stuff into the trunk. Closing the trunk, we get in the car, close the doors, and put on our seat belts. As soon as our seat belts are fastened, Jason takes off towards our camping destination.

"Steve, do you go camping much?"

Shaun is looking back at Steve waiting for an answer.

"A couple times growing up, but that is it."

"Eric, you've gone a few times right, because of Scouts?"

Shaun's looking at me now.

"Yeah... I've gone camping a few times, about three or four times a year, plus a week of camping in the summer."

Jason perked up when he heard that, I think he was worried that we had never been camping before.

"What about you, Jason, have you been camping?"

Jason smiled.

"The spot we're going to sits on my dad's family's land. My family has been camping there for years."

"Cool!" It's awesome that Jason's family has a designated campsite. My family camped on occasion, but for the most part my camping was done in the Scouts. Steve is staring out the window.

'I would give anything to know what he is thinking about right now. You know I was fine with the idea of Steve and me sleeping in the same tent... until Mark's question about being tempted. I don't even know why it's bugging me. Do I lack faith in my boyfriend? He knows where I stand on sex, and he said that he would never push me into having sex. This camping trip is the first time that Steve and I will be alone together for any length of time. We'll be sleeping close to Jason and Shaun, but we might as well be sleeping in the same bed. I want to hold off from having sex, but I also want to make Steve happy.'

I look over at Steve and all that worry just melts away.

"You okay, Eric?"

Steve stares at me with a concerned look on his face, and his voice has a worried tone to it. Maybe he should be worried, but I don't want to discuss that around anyone else but him, so for now I am going to lie.

"Nothing is wrong. I was just thinking." Steve isn't buying what I'm saying, and he's really quiet.

`I love him so much that it's not even funny.'

He looks me in the eye and I know that he knows that I'm lying. I'm sure that I'll hear about this sooner or later.

"You guys have your fishing licenses?"

"Yes, and we even have our poles."

Twenty minutes later the scenery has gone from suburban to rural. We are now surrounded by cornfields and the occasional farm animal. Jason pulled onto a dirt road and followed it until we came to a stop about two hundred yards from a river. On one side there is a forest and a river and on the other side is a field planted with corn. I'm not really all that impressed with the view of the fields, but the forest and river are incredible.

Steve, Shaun, and I are all taking in the views of nature.

"This is the Kankakee River. It's the one you always hear about flooding in the spring time."

Jason is doing his best to tell us about the beauty around us.

"If you want to, you can look for arrowheads along the bank and here in camp. They're not very common, but if you look carefully, you might find one or two."

Shaun's face lit up a little when Jason mentioned arrowheads, and to be honest, he had my attention too.

"This land has been in my family for a very long time."

Steve's attention is on the river. I think he could live here but for me this would be a major change.

"Okay guys, time to unpack the car and set up camp."

Jason and Shaun unpacked and handed us stuff to place around the campsite.

= = =

Jason asks Steve and me to lay out the camp according to his instructions. Once that was finished, and with everything out of the car, we turned our attention to setting up the tents. Jason and Shaun are making short work of their tent. Steve and I, on the other hand, are having a few hiccups. In large part because Steve has not had the camping experience that I've had. It really isn't all that bad. He seems to be picking up the whole tent setup thing pretty quickly. We really had a great time setting up our tent. Jason and Shaun have been busy setting up the rest of the camp. We are sitting while they are busy setting up the fire ring. I want to cuddle with Steve, but I'm a bit nervous today for some reason. Steve taps me on the shoulder and points to Jason. He's getting his fishing pole ready.

Jason and Shaun both are getting their poles and their bait ready and signal for us to get our poles as well.

"Okay guys, this is strictly catch-and-release, so if you need help getting a fish off of a hook, speak up."

I have no problem removing fish from any hook, and I'm pretty sure that Steve can do it too. We grab our poles, put our bait on the pole, and then find our spot along the river bank. Steve must be getting warm because he removed his shirt after casting out his line. Jason and Shaun remove their shirts as well. Since everyone else is removing their shirts, I might as well take mine off too. All of the sudden, I am finding it really hard to concentrate with Jason, Shaun, and Steve all shirtless. Why am I getting aroused around Jason and Shaun? Steve is my one true love; I shouldn't be getting hard around them. Fishing; my mind has to stay on fishing. Everyone so far has managed not to get snagged on anything, so that's good. Each of us managed to land at least one or two fish. It's always hard for me to release a fish off of my hook because I love to eat fish. I am dying to spend a few minutes alone with my man. After we put up our fishing gear, I walk up to Steve.

"Do you want to take a walk along the river?"

"Sure!" He is eager to spend time with me. We grab each other's hand and start walking. There is so much to see. Wildlife is everywhere. Most of the wildlife consists of birds, frogs, snakes, and squirrels.

As we were walking, a great blue heron was stalking a fish. We watched for ten minutes until the bird caught and ate the fish. Suddenly, it hit me. I could live out here with no problem whatsoever. Steve also likes it out here, and I don't blame him at all.

"It's peaceful out here."

Steve is right. You can almost feel the peace. Maybe it's all an illusion, but for now it's magical.

"I wonder what this place looked like before the white man came here."

"I don't know, but I bet it was amazing."

Steve lets out a sigh. I've never really thought of him as an environmentalist. Steve starts to walk along the river again. We hardly open our mouths for the rest of our walk. We are simply enjoying our hike. Not wanting to get lost, we turn around and head back to camp.

= = =

When we arrive back at the camp, it appears to be deserted. The car is here, but things are just way too quiet. Steve doesn't seem upset, but I'm not happy. I don't know why it's bugging me that the guys aren't around the camp. Steve goes to the tent and grabs a book. While he's in the tent, Jason comes out of their tent, followed by Shaun.

The guys head over to the food chest.

"Okay, guys, we're going to spilt up the jobs. Shaun said he is starting up the fire and I'm cooking, so who do you want to work with, Shaun or me?"

"I'll work with Shaun," I say.

I have practice from my time in scouting with fire starting, so it's sort of a no brainer. I also want the chance to get to know Shaun a little bit more. I expect Shaun to be upset, but he gave me a fist pump, so I'm guessing he's not.

Jason looks at my boyfriend and says, "Okay, Steve, let's get to it."

Jason is getting out the utensils and the food. Shaun and I are unloading the firewood. Actually, Shaun is unloading the firewood and I am stacking it.

"We need to get the fire going."

Shaun stands near the fire pit with a bag of lint and the matches. My Scout troop had a couple of pyros in it and they taught me some of their skills. In a few minutes, we had the fire going and the wood beginning to burn. Jason and Steve are preparing the foil dinners. The foil is already cut into large squares. The potatoes are peeled, the carrots are peeled, and the onions are ready to be cut up. Jason is shaping the hamburger into patties. Steve is now slicing the potatoes, the carrots and the onions. As Jason shapes the hamburger, Steve puts the onions on the top of the foil. Then the patties are laid on top of them. Next, Steve puts the carrots and the potatoes around the patties and then sprinkles salt and pepper over them. One by one the dinners are wrapped and put into the fire, where they'll sit for 25 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, we all gather around the fire to talk while everything cooks.

= = =

"Hey, Shaun, what was your church experience?" I ask.

Jason and Shaun have talked about his church experience, but never fully. Maybe, I'll get something out of it and hopefully Steve will learn a little bit more.

"I guess overall it was your basic Mormon experience. I had my time in primary, my time in Cub Scouts, and my time in priesthood and Boy Scouts. When my parent's divorced, church attendance became spotty at best. Sometimes Dad would attend and sometimes he wouldn't. He did his best to see that his kids got to church. Mom, however, insisted that we attend. On the days that Dad didn't attend, he would sometimes take us to church to make my Mom happy... and to keep her off his back. As I became aware of my sexuality, my own attendance started to become a little spotty. It really depended on my mood. I didn't serve a mission because there wasn't room in the church for a gay missionary."

"Wow!" It's amazing how Shaun and I have that much in common. Maybe it's to be expected since we're both LDS and gay.

"Did anyone at church know about you?"

I'm curious to see if he had people at church turn away from him.

"No, I didn't risk losing my family and friends. You all know about my brother Trent and how our mother reacted. He now lives with my dad because she went ballistic when she found out."

Steve seems to be absorbing everything that Shaun is saying.

`It's cool how Eric's life and Shaun's life have similarities like that.'

"Shaun, have you been excommunicated?"

"Eric, I've not been excommunicated, but I'm no longer a member. Although, I'm sure that I would be excommunicated if the church found out about me."

During our talk, Steve and I learned a lot about Shaun and his world.

Thirty minutes later, Jason pulled out the dinners with a pair of tongs. He carefully unwrapped the foil from the meals and checked the patties and the veggies. I can feel my stomach starting to rumble. Steve is practically drooling. Shaun grabs the hand sanitizer and passes it around so everyone can get their hands clean.

= = =

It's time for dinner compliments for Jason and Steve. Steve passes out the plates, cups and silverware. Jason quickly mixes up some lemonade.

"Grab whichever dinner you want to eat. They're all the same, so don't be choosy."

Everyone grabs a dinner and begins to dig in. The dinners look and smell delish. Steve seems excited to dig in and get his first taste. It looks like Steve likes his dinner. His first bite is gone.

"Jason, Shaun, has anything changed since you've been married?"

They have food in their mouths so they put off answering till the food was gone.

"Honestly, nothing has really changed. We were already living together prior to our wedding, as you know, so no big surprises as far as that goes. I love telling people that this guy is my husband. I love him."

Jason leans in and kisses Shaun. I turn my attention to Steve. He's the one I want to marry. He smiles at me and I'm reminded of why I love him.

= = =

Everyone is done eating, so it must be time to clean up. We were paired up just like we were for preparing dinner. Shaun and I are going to wash dishes, while Jason and Steve make sure that the camp is cleaned up. It doesn't take long to do the dishes. Steve and Jason are also done picking up the camp. With the dishes done and the camp cleaned up, we can relax. Everyone gathers back around the campfire.

= = =

The campfire is strangely inviting. It's always been like this, even in my teen years. As we sit around the fire, a pair of headlights approaches the campsite. Jason seems a bit concerned. I see him relax a little when the car comes to stop. I think he knows the driver. When the driver steps out of the shadows, I instantly recognize him. It's Jason's dad.

"Hey guys, I thought you might want to roast some marshmallows."

Steve's eyes just grew large.

"Jason, grab the sticks from the car. Boys, how goes the evening so far."

"It's going great," Steve says.

"I'm glad that Jason and Shaun invited us because it's been a long time since I've been camping," I answer.

"I'm glad that you are all having a good time, now let's roast some marshmallows."

As we roast our marshmallows, I look across the fire. I can see the spark between Jason and Shaun. It's what I want for Steve and me, but I'm scared at the same time. We're still young and people change. Right now if someone asked me if we'll be together forever, I'm not sure what my answer would be. I do know when I look at him that all I see is love. Maybe we will last. While Jason and Shaun have their heads turned, talking to Mr. Williams, I steal a kiss from Steve. All the doubt I felt a second ago just left me. Steve looks at me and smiles and he leans in to kiss me. Jason and Shaun have had their fair share of marshmallows, and so have Steve and I. Mr. Williams gets up and says goodnight and we all thank him for the marshmallows before he drives off. And now it's time to turn in for the night.

= = =

We are all feeling a bit worn down. Jason turned on the lanterns and moved to the fire pit.

"Dang it, I forgot to fill up my fire bucket."

He grabs the bucket and goes down to the river to fill it. Once filled, he comes back up to the fire and pours the water out over it. He repeats his trip back and forth three more times. He wants to make sure that the fire is totally extinguished before we call it a night. Using a stick, he makes certain that there aren't any glowing embers left in the pit. He seems pretty confident that the fire is totally out.

"Okay, I'm off to bed."

Shaun and Jason unzip their tent and climb in for the night. I unzip our tent and climb inside. Steve follows closely behind me. We begin to strip down to our underwear. As we get ready to crawl into our sleeping bags, I take in an eyeful of Steve's butt as he stuffs his dirty clothes into his laundry bag. Steve moves over to his backpack and digs out his mini electric lantern and turns it on.

"I'm so glad that we got invited to go camping."

"Are you enjoying yourself?"

I really didn't need to ask; I could see it on his face.

"Yeah, I loved having the chance to go fishing."

`Hmmm... no mention of the guys being shirtless. Is my boyfriend alive?'

Even though I love my man, I still don't mind checking out another hot guy, but I would never touch him or meet another guy without Steve being there. Wait, I wouldn't touch another guy even with Steve present.

`I wonder if he noticed that I was shirtless.'

Steve looks over at me. He smiles and is practically lying on top of me.

"Hi, babe!" He smiles as he leans in for his kiss.

"You make me feel so good."

Wow, Steve is really making me feel good. My boyfriend is basically naked and laying on top of me.

"Anything on your mind?"

Again, he smiles as he looks into my eyes.

"Yes, did you notice the shirtless guys while we were fishing?"

He gave me a sly smile as he looks me in the eyes.

"Yeah, I noticed one very hot shirtless guy, and a couple other guys who were not worth my time."

"You are the sweetest guy, you know that, Steve?"

"Oh, I know."

He leans in and gives me yet another kiss. I can't get over how affectionate he's being. I'm not complaining at all. I just hope this behavior isn't leading somewhere that's going to get us in trouble. He kisses me again, but this time he breaks off the kiss and turns away from me, and crawls into his sleeping bag. Is it me? Did I do something to get him angry? "Night, babe!" I wanted to cuddle a little bit longer, but my voice may have sounded a bit disappointed. For the rest of the night, I tossed and turned because I'm worried about Steve's reaction. I want a fresh start... a do-over.

= = =

I wake up to find Steve still fast asleep. I open the tent flap and head out to take a walk along the river. All around me, I can hear birds chirping and nature seems to be awake everywhere I look. As I walk along the river, I start hearing voices from somewhere along the river. When I got to the spot where we were fishing, I came across Jason and Shaun, who are half dressed. They were kissing, heavily kissing. I saw Jason grabbing at Shaun's ass and crotch. Then it happened, Jason and Shaun dropped their clothes. Their junk is clearly visible, and I couldn't take my eyes off of them. Luckily, they can't see me. As I watch, Jason gets down on his knees. Instantly, my own penis starts to grow and with it a whole lot of guilt is starting to build up in me. Steve is the one who should be causing my erection, not our friends. I... I can't be doing this; they don't deserve to have me spying on them. This scene isn't an easy one to walk away from, but I have to for the sake of my relationship with Steve and my friendship with them.

= = =

Leaving Jason and Shaun making out was not easy, but it had to be done. How can I face my boyfriend with this boner going on in my pants? I can't... I can't tell him what caused my boner. He would freak big time. Looks like the safest place for me right now is the picnic table, so I guess I'll sit down. My eyes have started to tear up a little bit. I've never watched porn before, so seeing that intimate moment between my friends has really messed with my head. I feel like I cheated on Steve. He doesn't deserve me.

Jason and Shaun come up from the river and go into their tent.

= = =

Someone has come up behind me and is just standing there. If it's Steve, he certainly doesn't need to see me like this, and I'm not going to tell him what's going on either. Steve sits down next to me and I get up and go into the tent. I crawl into my sleeping bag and begin to cry quietly. Steve comes into the tent and all I can hear is his breathing. Steve places his hand on my back.

"Eric, tell me what's wrong. Tell me what happened. I know that you're crying."

It's Steve, but I can't get myself to talk to him; my body and my brain are keeping me from moving."

"Eric, you need to tell me what's going on in that head of yours."

He pauses for a second before speaking again.

"If you not going to tell me what's wrong, then I'm going to leave the tent."

He won't leave me. Steve knows that something is eating me alive. I feel his hand lift from me. I hear him moving about in the tent and then there is silence. I guess he did leave me after all. I hate it, but there is nothing I can do about it. I wonder what's he's doing out there.

= = =

As Steve leaves the tent, he ponders his next move...

'I couldn't stand it in the tent. Eric is refusing to tell me what's going on and I know something is wrong. It's not like him to be quiet. I also know that he's crying. Right now, I need some advice.' Steve walks over to Jason and Shaun's tent.

"Jason, Shaun; are you guys in there?"

"Yeah, Steve, be out in a minute."

If I had to guess, they are inside messing around. Finally after a minute or two, they emerge from the tent. They both have a certain glow about them. They also look very, very happy. They move over to the picnic table. I waste no time in getting over there. They have to know what's going on with Eric, or at least I hope they do.

"Do you guys have any idea what is wrong with Eric?"

Both of them look at me and I can tell by the expression on their faces that they have no idea what is wrong.

"How do you know that something is wrong?" Shaun asks.

Shaun hasn't seen Eric this morning apparently. If he did then he'd have no need to ask that question.

"He's in the tent all curled up inside his sleeping bag; he won't answer my questions when I tried to find out what was wrong, and I'm pretty sure he's in there crying."

Suddenly, the mood at the table shifted. They have a looks on their faces that just scream worry.

"He was fine last night, right?"

Jason must be trying to figure out what might be wrong.

"Yeah, he was fine. Things got a little interesting before we called it a night."

"Do you mean there were some sparks between you and Eric?"

"Yes, you could say that, we were talking and kissing, so I have no idea why he's acting so weird."

Jason gets up and heads towards the tent.

= = =

We rejoin Eric in his tent just before Jason enters...

'I can't get the image out of my head. Jason and Shaun are burned in my brain and it's tearing me apart. Someone's at the door of the tent again.'

"Eric, you better be decent in there because I'm coming into your tent, like it or not."

'As much as I don't want to face Steve, I don't want to face Jason because he was a part of my big problem. If he sees me get hard again, I'll have to explain that one too.'

Jason unzips the tent, enters, and then zips it back up. He doesn't say a thing. In fact, he doesn't speak for almost two full minutes. Then, breaking his silence, he says, "Eric, you need to talk to me and you need to do it now, so get out of the sleeping bag."

'How can I leave the sleeping bag with him in here?'

"Eric, out, now!"

"Fine!"

Ever so slowly, I exited my sleeping bag. Now that I'm out of the bag, Jason is just staring at me with an upset look on his face.

"Now that I can see you, we are going to have one huge talk."

"What are you talking about, Jason?"

His face said it all, but I shouldn't be expected to know what he wants.

"You honestly have no idea what I'm talking about, huh?"

"Maybe, but why don't you tell me?"

Jason isn't happy and neither am I, so this may not end well.

"Look, you can lose that shitty attitude or this little trip ends right here, right now."

Defeat sucks, you know? It really, really sucks.

"Okay, so let's talk, do you have a subject you want to talk about, because I'm at a loss?"

"Eric, I want to know what's up between you and Steve. Why did he come to my tent all upset?"

`Why did Steve go to them about it? Why didn't he just force it out of me?'

I started to tear up. I guess the pressure that I'm feeling is getting to me.

"You... you want to know what's going on? I'll tell you."

I need to pause; I need to gather my thoughts. Jason is quietly sitting in my tent while he waits for me to speak again.

"I went for a walk this morning, but ended up not going very far."

My heart can't take it anymore. I erupt into tears caused by guilt. Jason is still there, waiting for me to continue. Apparently, Jason wasn't going to talk until I've said whatever I need to say. His face is more sympathetic than it was when he first came into my tent.

"Eric, I didn't mean to upset you, but you have a very worried boyfriend out there, and two very close friends who are worried about you, so take a deep breath and talk to me."

If Jason is worried about me, then I can only imagine what Steve must be going through. How do I tell Jason that I caught Shaun and him messing around and then got aroused from it? I... have to tell him; I've got to make this right.

"I... I... came across you and Shaun making out and... you were both naked. But that is... isn't the worst part. I watched you guys... I... I... got aroused. I-I-I'm sorry. I'm sorry!"

'Jason is pissed, but he has to understand that I'm sorry. I'm going to lose them. I'm... I'm going to lose Steve. He'll leave me. He'll hate me.'

"Eric, what the hell? You should have walked away. You had no right to spy on us, but I understand it, but, Eric, as impossible as it sounds, I forgive you. I forgive you as long as this never, ever happens again."

Looking down at the ground, I worry what will happen if I get hard around Shaun and Jason.

"Jason, how do I keep myself from getting an erection around you guys?"

Jason's eyes grew a little bigger, but I couldn't get myself to look him in the eyes. He sat their quietly for a few seconds.

"Look, you have to find something else to occupy your mind when you feel yourself starting to get stiff."

I don't know if it will work, but it's worth a try. I hope Steve and Shaun are as understanding as Jason.

= = =

While this is going on in the tent, we return to Steve, who is outside with Shaun...

When Jason entered the tent to talk with Eric, Shaun began to dig out materials for breakfast.

"What's for breakfast?" I ask.

'I'm really, really hoping for pancakes.'

"We're having French toast and bacon."

"Cool!" I wonder how I'm helping. Hopefully, it's something quick and easy.

"Why don't you prep the egg mix? Here's the ingredients list."

"Okay, I'll have it done quickly."

In no time, I had the eggs cracked and in the bowl, the milk added, and the cinnamon and nutmeg sprinkled into the bowl. I grab a fork and start beating the mixture. Shaun already has the bread slices out and ready for dipping. He's not wasting any time in starting the stove. Soon the girdle is on the stove warming up as Shaun gets the bacon out and ready for the griddle.

"We really need another pan," I muse.

Shaun just smiles, which tells me he agrees with me. My stomach rumbles a little bit as I look at the bacon and the French toast. Shaun places two pieces of bread and two strips of bacon on the hot griddle. My eyes move to the tent while my mind begins to stray from cooking to my boyfriend.

"Worried about Eric?" Shaun asks.

"Yeah, I am."

I'm sure, he wouldn't want me to worry, but I can't help myself.

"Eric is going to be fine. Jason is taking good care of him."

I guess it helps knowing that he's talking to Jason.

"I know. I just want to know what's going on in his head."

Shaun's cooking and talking to me at the same time and the food is beginning to pile up on the serving plate.

"Do you think that I have a reason to be worried?"

"Honestly, I don't know, but I know Jason can defuse any situation, so relax."

`I'm trying to relax.'

I don't really know how Shaun expects me to relax when I don't know what's wrong. Breakfast is ready. Shaun moves towards the tent.

= = =

Inside the tent, Eric notices motion at the tent flap...

'Someone is messing around with the front of the tent again, whoever it is now is unzipping the door.'

"Hey guys, breakfast is ready."

Shaun's announcement seems to have started my stomach rumbling. Jason looks at me and asks, "Before we leave the tent, are you okay?"

I feel better. I'm just not sure that I want to announce anything from the top of the mountains.

"I'm good," I reply.

Jason steps out of the tent and I'm quick to follow. Steve came right up to me and kisses me on the lips. His kisses always make me feel so alive. We grab our food and then sit around the table and eat. Things are quiet for the most part as we eat. After breakfast, we sit around the camp and just relax.

I grab one of my collapsible camp chairs and sit down by the river. Steve comes down by me with a chair in his hands. He sets it up and then sits. Reaching across the gap, he takes my hand. I want to tell him what was bugging me, but I don't want to ruin this moment.

"I love you, you know that, right?"

Words are not forming on my tongue. Since, I can't get the words to come out; I simply kiss him on the lips.

"Are we good?"

I'm going to have to use words to respond. A smile erupts on my face.

"We are good."

I squeeze his hands for added effect.

"So what's eating at you?"

He had to bring it up. I don't want to discuss it with him, or anything related to it. Steve seems to be growing a bit impatient, which isn't helping me feel very comfortable.

"Maybe, we just need to discuss our relationship because it seems that you don't trust me very much."

"No, I trust you."

It doesn't look like Steve believes me.

"You say that you trust me, but you won't tell me what happened to make you upset. If you don't trust me, what's the point of us being together? This is a big mistake."

Steve releases my hand and stands up.

"Steve..."

I reach up to take his hand, and then he pulls away from me.

"Okay, I'll tell you."

He looks at me with a blank expression on his face. He just stands there looking at me waiting for me to speak.

"This morning, I got up before you and decided to go for a walk. The river seemed like a nice place to walk along, so I walked along the bank... when I accidently came across Jason and Shaun. They... they were making out and naked. I wanted to walk away, but I couldn't. I knew that I should turn away, but I couldn't. When I gathered my strength to turn away, I had an erection, but worse than that, I felt sick to my stomach. I betrayed your trust, and Jason and Shaun's trust as well."

Steve may have a smile on his face, but he wasn't providing any comfort. Steve leans in till his forehead is planted on my forehead.

"Babe, I forgive you. Now please just kiss me."

How can I not kiss him? We kiss and the world feels so right. After our kiss, Jason and Shaun come to the river with fishing poles in hand. They showed up with four fishing poles.

"Anyone up for fishing?" Jason asked with a laugh.

Maybe, fishing will help me relax a little. I'm still a little tense from earlier.

"Sure, maybe I'll catch a big one."

Steve snickers a little as he looks at Shaun and Jason. My boyfriend isn't helping me one bit. His snickering wasn't all that funny. Steve looks at me and shakes his head. Everything was fine until I glanced over at Jason and Shaun to see if they had caught anything yet. As I tuned my head back towards my pole, I felt my penis getting hard again. My first thought was to set the pole down and retreat to the tent. If I could do that then I would be removing myself from the situation and my problem would deflate. On the other hand, if I leave, Steve will know that something is going on with me. Things could get really ugly. Out of the corner of my eyes, I catch Steve looking at me. Normally, I would be happy to have my boyfriend checking me out, but right now is not the best time for it.

`If he puts two and two together, he'll figure out what's going on and then he will be mad.'

It's too late.

Steve drops his pole and runs for the tent.

'I... I don't want to lose him, so I better run after him.'

Shaun and Jason are saying something to me, but my mind is on Steve, so I ignore them. When I get into the tent, Steve is on his side looking like he might cry. Seeing him like this is killing me, and it's my fault.

"Steve, I'm sorry... I'm sorry."

"You're sorry, that's the problem. You are always sorry. Is there something wrong with me? Why are you popping wood around Shaun all the time? Are you crushing on him? If I'm in the way, just tell me... just fucking tell me."

"There is nothing wrong with you and you know that, so stop it. I don't know why I'm getting hard around Shaun. Maybe it's the size of his penis or the image of them having sex stuck in my head, but none of that matters..."

Steve is crying and when this campout is over, he'll never want to see me again. Right now, maybe silence is golden. His tears might as well be knives to my heart. I want this fixed, but I don't know how to make it right.

"...so tell me, what do you want me to do, and..."

"I... I just want you to..."

Just as Steve was about to tell me what he wanted, Jason and Shaun pop their heads into the tent. They need to disappear.

"Is everything okay?"

Jason is worried and so is Shaun, but he's remaining quiet. Steve's tears are still coming down his face as he pushes his way past me and the guys and takes off running. I'm not about to just sit here while my boyfriend is running to who knows where.

"I better go after him."

"You want us to do anything?"

"No... just wait here."

Since Shaun seems to be fueling this anger, it's best that he keeps his distance. I don't need a fight, not that Shaun would hit Steve, but I'm worried that Steve might hit Shaun. Luckily, Shaun is pretty level headed. I take off at full speed.

"Steve, wait up!" I yell to my boyfriend, but it does me no good because Steve just ignores me.

"Go the hell away!" He lashes out at me.

"I'm not going anywhere, so don't tell me to go away."

He's slowing down, which is a good thing. I start slowing down and trying to get my breath back. Steve stops and waits for me to get close to him.

"Why did you run after me?"

Why wouldn't I run after him? I do love him.

"Duh, I love you."

He doesn't look like he believes me. In his angry state, I shouldn't be surprised. I'm sure he's not feeling a lot of love for me right now. The tears start up again.

"I... I... I'm sorry... but I... just don't know... I don't know."

He doesn't know what? I guess this is it, he wants to break up. Steve isn't saying it but the feeling is in the air. I turn to walk away from him.

"Where are you going? You chased me out here and now you are leaving. Do you love me?"

Turning around, my eyes meet his gaze and because he's crying, I start to cry too. Why doesn't he get it? I love him. I loved him when Dale was bugging me, I loved him when my mom and dad kicked me out, and I love him now. Nothing has changed.

I threw his question back at him. "Do you love me?"

Before he could answer, Jason and Shaun appear along with Jason's dad.

Jason's dad walks right up to us. I'm worried that Steve will run again. Luckily, he doesn't take off.

"Can we talk?"

Steve and I look at Mr. Williams, then we both stare at each other. Turning back to Mr. Williams we say, "Yes."

"Let's go back to camp, and talk about whatever is going on here."

Did Jason call his dad to come over and talk to us? He must have called his dad to help sort things out between Steve and I and Jason and Shaun. We sit at the picnic table. I don't know about Steve, but I'm nervous. Steve is irritated. Whatever this talk is about, Steve does not want to take part in it. I'm willing to at least listen to what he has to say.

"Jason called me to talk to the two of you about whatever is going on between you. Who wants to start?"

It should be me, since I'm the one who started this mess in the first place.

"I'll go first, but I'm giving the condensed version."

Mr. Williams looks at me, waiting for me to say something. Steve isn't looking all that happy.

"Okay, so this morning I got up before Steve and I decided to go for a walk. I came across Jason and Shaun and they were naked. I wanted to turn away, but I felt frozen in place. Finally, I broke myself away from staring at them. I felt horrid about it and I hate myself for it."

Steve is visibly upset. Will he ever forgive me? Is this talk going to do us any good? I hope so, because the ball is in Steve's court right now.

"Steve, did Eric tell you about him seeing my son and Shaun naked?"

Steve didn't answer. Looking at his face, I'd guess that hearing this again is not helping my cause.

"Yeah he told me. That and I saw his boner."

"How did seeing his erection make you feel?"

I don't want to hear his answer.

"I felt like dirt. He was getting hard from seeing Jason and Shaun making out and seeing their hardons. Does he want me or them?"

I... I can't believe he said all of that, I apologized to him and I meant what I said to him, so why is he bringing it back up? Mr. Williams looks at me as if he's waiting for an answer.

When I don't, he asks, "Eric, would you like to respond?"

"I told you that I love and I will always love you."

My emotions are starting to get the best of me.

"If you love me then why are you looking at Shaun and Jason again and getting aroused by them?"

Why can't I answer him without sounding like a pervert? Now that I've seen it, their bodies are burned into my brain.

"It was... something new. I couldn't turn away at first because I was curious about their bodies, but I didn't imagine myself with them at all. I turned away from them and came back to camp."

"Steve, has Eric's story changed at all?"

Steve looks down at his feet. I don't need to hear his answer. His actions say it all. "No," Steve mutters without lifting up his head.

"Well, it seems to me that Eric is truly sorry for what happened, and I know he loves you. So what is going to happen now?"

He's putting the ball back into our court. I like it, because it gives us the power to fix things. Steve's head lifts back from staring at the ground and a smile is spreading across his face.

"I get the impression that all is well, so I'll just go and talk to my son."

Steve and I are not paying him much attention. Instead, we are glued to each other's faces. I've already apologized to Steve and I didn't want to apologize again, but I think it's the right thing to do. I take his hands and gaze into his eyes.

"Babe, I'm sorry for hurting you; please forgive me."

Steve returns his gaze to the ground and as he thinks, he slowly brings it back up again. He looks me in the eyes and smiles a tiny bit.

"Eric, I... I'm sorry for being an ass and not listening to you."

I look deeply into Steve's eyes as I say, "I have the nicest, sexiest, and smartest boyfriend in the entire world."

"Thanks!" Steve says, as I pull him in for another kiss.

A big question just popped into my mind. I hope it won't offend Steve.

"Steve, do you still want to wait to have sex till we're married?"

Steve is quiet as he thinks about my question. I am pretty sure that he would follow me to the ends of the earth. I'm just not sure that waiting is the right thing to do. I'll do whatever Steve wants me to do.

"Honestly, I'm not sure, but I know you're worth waiting for, so yeah, I think we should wait."

I didn't expect him to feel that way, but I'm glad he does. What would he say if he found out that I'm unsure about this whole waiting thing. I wonder if he would be upset or okay with it. We are already headed down this path of celibacy until marriage, so I better not push any buttons.

"I love you; you know that?"

He just stares at me with a goofy look on his face. "Duh!" he says as he crosses his eyes. He pulls me in close to him. I thought he was going to kiss me.

"I love you and this is going to be yours someday."

As he speaks, he places my hand on his crotch. I feel his penis beneath his jeans. His actions aren't helping me right now. I want to act like it never happened.

"Eric, do you still want to wait till we get married?"

"I do, but lately it's harder to envision us on that track, especially when I have such a hot boyfriend."

Steve smiles as he flexes his member. I just laughed and we kissed each other again. Steve heads down to the river and I go inside our tent so I can write.

= = =

Let's listen in on Steve's thoughts as he walks along the river...

'After talking with Eric, I need a chance to think.'

I fully intended to sit and think, but as I get closer to the river, I find Shaun peeing in the water.

"I'm blind!" I say as I turn my head away, but then the sound of flowing urine has started my own body feeling like it needs a release. I have no shame, so I unzip my zipper and lower my jeans and briefs. Once my penis is out, my bladder doesn't hold back. A good steady stream of urine empties from my body. My bladder is empty now, so I get everything back where it belongs and I'm ready to walk away, when Shaun taps me on the shoulder.

"Can we talk?"

"Sure!" Why not talk with the guy who was just peeing beside me?

"Steve, I'm sorry for the way things went this morning. We didn't mean to cause any issues between you and Eric. Hopefully things are better between you and him."

I smile because I don't know what else to do.

"No problems, Shaun, it's all good. We are all good. Jason's dad helped to knock some sense into us."

A wave of relief seems to have washed over Shaun's face. It's just one more sign that these guys really do care about Eric and me. Now do I tell Eric that I saw Shaun's dong?

= = =

Back at the camp, Eric has finished writing and is putting his journal away. Let's listen in...

I'm sitting inside the tent when Steve enters with a smile on his face. He comes right at me and tackles me carefully, but he still gets me on my back.

"Hey babe, I love you so much."

My first thought is 'What got into him?' He seems to have a lot of energy.

"Guess what I saw?"

`Oh no, not this again.'

I put a little bit of attitude behind my thoughts. I roll my eyes.

"Okay, I won't tell you."

"No you can't do that; you can't just ask me to guess something and then not tell me."

He smiles as he tries to not to laugh. Whatever he has to tell me must be good... just look at how he's acting. My guy is acting like a five year old. Maybe all this extra energy is simply something that is on his mind.

"Okay, spill it!"

He's still grinning, so I'm guess whatever he needs to tell me borders somewhere between mature and immature stuff.

"I saw Shaun's willy."

What a letdown, considering that I've seen both Shaun's and Jason's penises.

"Was it hard?"

I'm trying to fake any excitement. Maybe there isn't room for faking in a this relationship.

"No, he was limp, but it is still pretty huge."

"Now we're even."

He's giving me a sly little smile.

"Not quite, you caught them messing around and stuff, and all I saw one limp penis."

"Whatever!"

He holds me down and climbs on top of my chest and holds my arms down and then gives me seven kisses on my face. No need to really struggle, I don't want to get away.

"Lunch is on guys."

Jason is calling us to eat. We get out of our tent and head over the picnic table. Lunch consists of bratwurst, hash browns, and onions on rolls. Steve is still flirting with me. He's making it very hard to keep myself calm. Oh well, I guess that is why I love him. After lunch, Jason and I did the dishes and then he announced that it was time to clean up camp and pack up.

= = =

Once our gear was loaded up, we all get into the car and head out.

"Are we all okay?" Jason asks, as he looks at back at Steve and me. Where is this coming from? I thought we already cleared this up.

"We're fine, right Steve?"

Steve just looked up at me with an evil grin across his face. I know him enough to know that he's okay.

"Yes babe, we are fine."

It's good that he agrees with me. I'd hate to open my mouth and then be wrong about our situation. Man, do I love him! I wonder how many times that thought has come to me during this trip. The ride home will hopefully be very relaxed.

= = =

In fact, it was. Shaun slept for most of the trip. Jason listened to a CD of music that he compiled, as did everyone else. I'm not complaining either. The music was pretty cool. The rest of the time Steve and I divided up between reading and talking. Our time reading was so much fun. I never realized how romantic it could be to sit back and do nothing but read and enjoy the silence. Something about this silence just feels right. Steve is so sexy when he's quiet. When we get to my house, Steve helped me to unload my gear and helped me get it into the house.

= = =

Once we get it into the house, I look around for signs of life. I can hear Sarah in the kitchen doing something.

"Is that you, Mark?"

"No, it's Steve and me."

She doesn't respond right away. I head into the kitchen to check on her. Yes, little brother is worried about his older sister.

"How are you doing?"

She turns to me and smiles.

"I'm okay. The little guy has been kicking a bit."

She is rubbing her belly as she talks.

"Is he moving now?"

She laughs a little.

"No, he's not moving at the moment."

"So is it okay if Steve and I hang out?"

She looks at me and rolls her eyes.

"Of course, why are you even asking me?"

Sarah is giving me quiet the glare, but her point is clear. Steve and I head up to my room to just relax and enjoy each other's company. After that trip, one might think that we're through with each other, but nope, that isn't the case at all.

==================================================================

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