Author's Introductory Notes:

As usual, I retain all rights, but am more than glad for anyone wishing to offer this story to others at no charge to do so with my gratitude and permission. Josh.


CHAPTER 13a -- Out

I came back from California, troubled. I was excited about Carlson-Bentolli, of course. But I was also concerned about Davey and me.

The new haircut made Davey look older, and even more handsome. His voice was deepening, and his features were maturing. Even though he and I were virtually the same height and build, I felt as though he had begun to outclass me, and I wasn’t sure how well I could continue to compete for his interest. I saw how people looked at him, both guys and girls. And I knew Davey. He just might want to say ‘yes’ to every one of them, without ever considering how I’d feel about it, or what it might do to ‘us’.

There was something else troubling me after California, and I was afraid that sooner or later it would affect how Davey felt about me. My attack of nerves at Blair’s house had embarrassed me, and it continued to bother me whenever I thought about it. Davey wouldn’t put up with a wimp forever. I was tired of my nerves failing me, and I was determined to beat them.

But first things first. There was so much to do for Carlson-Bentolli. Every day after swim practice throughout July, I poured myself into our software projects, working late most nights. Working so much had an impact on our sex life, but Davey handled it OK. In fact, there were a couple of times it was almost hard to get him in the mood.

I decided that when we were farther along on the software projects, Davey and I were going to screw like bunnies.

My visits to Amy immediately dropped to about once a week. Davey still went there a lot, and the last Friday in July, I went with him. As we walked up the sidewalk, I saw that Larice was there with Amy, sitting on the front porch. The weather was much too hot for a girl in Amy’s condition to be outside for long, so we insisted she go back inside almost as soon as we got there, and Davey went with her, leaving only Larice and me on the porch.

Larice settled regally into a high-backed wicker chair under one of the porch ceiling fans. She smiled, and the white of her teeth was dazzling against her dark skin. In the bright ambient light, and dressed in a colorful cotton blouse, she somehow looked almost Caribbean. I half-expected her to order a planters punch, but she quickly spoiled the mood by bringing up school.

“It’s looking grim for the debate team, Michael,” she said, frowning. “There’s absolutely no one I like for a teammate. But you would be a perfect debate partner. I mean, you’re smart, hard-headed, well-read, and just disdainful enough to come across as being right, even when you’re not.”

I had settled into a chair that matched hers and scowled at her as I looked across the little round table that sat between us. “I am not disdainful.”

“See!” She said, triumphantly. “That’s just what we need.”

I grinned. “No.”

“Come on Michael, it isn’t that much extra work. And it’s fun! You’ll get to travel; see the world… or at least other high schools. Besides, you have no extra-curricular activities and you need those for scholarships — these days, schools don’t just look at grades. You’ll do it, right?”

“Sorry, Larice. My social calendar is full.”

“With what?” She demanded. “You and Davey just sit around after school. Do you really help him study that much?”

I crossed my arms and leaned back. “Yeah, Larice. I help him a lot. And it’s not easy. Sometimes he gets tired of trying so hard to understand things, and I get tired of trying so hard to explain them.”

Larice’s look softened. “I guess I should’ve known.”

I uncrossed my arms, and like Larice, rested them on the arms of the chair. “Dr. Kazan, Davey’s specialist, has helped me figure out ways to explain things to Davey, but it still takes time.” Then I frowned at her. “What do you mean, we just sit around? I’ll have you know, we don’t just study! We run, we work out with our weight set… all kinds of stuff.”

Larice raised an eyebrow.

“Not that kind of stuff.” I quickly added. “Well, yes… But, no — I mean…”

I’d been thinking about taking Larice into our confidence anyway, so I took a deep breath. “There’s something else you don’t know about us, Larice.”

She raised both eyebrows. “I’m almost afraid to ask,” she said quietly.

“I swear, it’s nothing like that,” I said. “But it is a secret. And you need to promise not to tell anyone.”

She crossed her legs and gave me an amused smile. “Well, if I can keep a big secret, I can certainly handle a small one.”

“That’s exactly why I trust you, but it’s not such a small secret,” I said, smiling. “Davey and I have gone into business.”

She smiled indulgently. “Lawn mowing?”

“Designing and selling software, Larice,” I said. And then, leaning closer, I told her all about Carlson-Bentolli, and watched as her mouth silently opened and shut a few times in amazement. I was pleased — it was rare to render Larice speechless.

“So, you can see why we’ve kept it quiet,” I explained.

She continued to gape at me, eyes unblinking.

“Gee,” I said, laughing. “I think you handled our being gay better.”

“I’m…” She paused and let her eyes focus. “I’m just blown away,” she said.

I looked out to the yard. The grass was turning gold in the late afternoon sun, but it was still hot and I wiped sweat off my forehead. “Sometimes, Larice, I still feel blown away myself.”

She nodded and we sat there in silence.

“And there’s something else I haven’t told anybody,” I continued. “Something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently.”

She looked at me expectantly.

I leaned forward in my chair. “I figured out that I really like developing software! I like designing it with Davey. I like coding it. And I like business and all the things I’m learning. It’s like I’ve discovered what I was made for, Larice. And, well…” I lowered my voice. “I’ve even thought about dropping out of school to go to work full time.”

She frowned and started to speak, but I held up my hand to stop her.

“Relax!” I said. “I’m not dropping out. I promised Davey and his mom that I would help get him all the way through high school — and I will. And I’m not crazy. The software company might not work out. But you know what’s the main thing that’s going to keep me in school?”

She shook her head.

I laughed and pointed at her. “As cool as it would be to run our own company, it’s going to give me ‘immense satisfaction’ to beat your ass for valedictorian.”

She laughed, and then her eyes went wide. “You aren’t going to tell me you’re thinking about skipping college, are you?”

“Yeah,” I nodded. “I am.” I stood up from the chair to stretch my legs and leaned back on the front rail of the porch. “The software company in California, NBase, offered Davey and me jobs.” I bent forward and lowered my voice. “Carlson-Bentolli is already going to make over half a million dollars in three years on our software. Davey and I are good, Larice — very good.”

I chuckled when her jaw dropped again. “Hold on, hold on!” she demanded. “Did you say half a million dollars?”

I needed to walk, to pace, and pushed off the rail to do just that. “What are they going to teach me in college, Larice? Programming? Not to sound arrogant, but I could teach that myself.”

“There’s a lot more to learn than programming,” she insisted. “There’s liberal arts, business skills — you might learn about accounting. Maybe you could learn computer engineering.”

“I don’t think I have six years to learn what I need to know about business. There are other ways to learn.” I stopped in front of her. “In a couple of years, Larice, I could already be writing software and making more money than most college grads dream about.”

She looked at me skeptically. “If Davey was going to college, would you go then?”

I smiled. “But Davey’s not going to college.” I knelt down in front of her and took her hands in mine. “Larice, this can work! Davey and I can make good money at it.” I squeezed her hands. “I dream about it at night. I dream about settling down with… well, with my high school sweetheart.” I grinned. “It could happen.”

Larice patted my hand and smiled. “You just might do it, Michael. I hope you do.” She stood up and moved to the railing.

“What about you?” I asked, getting up to join her. “Have you decided where you want to go to college? What do you want to major in?”

Larice shrugged. “My mom thinks that I can have my pick of any school. My dad wants me to do law, or politics. But you know what I’d really like?” she turned to face me.


Larice scooted closer on the railing. “You know I come from a large family, right? I have two older brothers and five younger sisters and brothers. Well, I’ve been thinking about it lately.” She fumbled nervously with one of her braids. “I like kids. No… I don’t just like them. I love kids! They’re incredible to be around, and to work with. It’s fascinating to see their minds develop and to see how they learn.”

Her face showed a fervor that was surprising for Larice. “It’s a miracle, Michael — how the human mind develops… how kids learn, how they process things.”

I chuckled and Larice frowned at me. “What’s so funny about that?”

“No, no,” I said. “It’s just that with all the learning development you’re talking about, I’ve had a sudden insight into why you like Davey so much.”

Larice leaned back against the railing and considered it. A small smile played over her mouth. “Yeah. I hadn’t thought of it that way.” She nodded, and then looked back at me. “But there’s a lot more to it than what you were thinking; I like Davey because of… well, because of Davey.”

“And because he’s the cutest guy in school,” I pointed out, grinning.

“He’s not cute; he’s drop-dead gorgeous and you know it.” Her eyes traveled off into space and I wondered what she was thinking.

“Larice,” I said, “back when you and Davey were dating, how come you two never… you know?”

She shrugged. “It wasn’t because Davey didn’t want to. He may think he’s gay, but he has an easy ‘on’ button. You better watch that boy.”

“Gee, thanks, Larice,” I said sarcastically. “I really needed that.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Problems?”

I looked away, ignoring the question. “Really,” I asked, “why didn’t you and Davey get it on?”

She shuffled her feet. “Some things are too important to play around with, Michael. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you automatically jump into bed with them.” She glanced at me. “Besides which, I’ve got plans. The last thing I need is to get pregnant. No offense.”

“None taken,” I said and sliding next to her on the railing, I put an arm over her shoulders. “So, Larice… what are you going to major in?”

She sat taller. “Early childhood development. I’d like to get a Ph.D. Then I want to start a school.” Larice took my hand and then stared off into space, as if she were about to take me into her dream. “I have ideas; ideas about how to teach kids. And…” She patted my thigh. “Somewhere along the line, I do want to have a big family of my own, with lots of kids.”

“You’re really something, Larice,” I said fondly and hugged her shoulder to me. “I can see you with kids. I bet that Mama’s always going to be in charge at your house.”

She smiled.

“You need to meet Davey’s specialist, Dr. Kazan,” I told her. “He works with cognitive disorders and knows all about learning styles and stuff. I bet he’d really get you going.”

Just then, Davey came back onto the porch, looked at my arm around Larice and glanced at me quizzically.

“Just friends, Davey,” I said, laughing. “I’m not trying to steal one of your girlfriends.”

Davey grinned. But Larice moved away and I wondered if I’d hurt her feelings.

Then she turned and held out a hand to each of us. She was quiet for a moment, looking mainly at Davey. “Baby,” she said, “there’s something I need to tell you — I’ve met a boy. I really like him and he wants to go steady.”

For the briefest moment, a flash of disappointment showed in Davey’s face. But he forced a smile and gave Larice a hug. When he did, she kissed him, on the lips.

It was a lingering kiss and when she let him go, she sighed. “It’ll take me a while to get over you, though,” she said and smoothed back his hair. “If you ever go straight, you’ll tell me, right?”

He smiled and hugged her again. “We’ll always be… best friends, Larice.”

A sudden chill went down my spine. I hoped I’d never get a hug like that from Davey.

* * * * *

The beginning of August saw the end of summer swim team and the delivery of the C-B sort to NBase. At last, it was time to relax and take our trip to South Padre.

Before we left for the beach, I took Davey up to North Star Mall. We both needed clothes, and I had something special I wanted to buy him.

As we walked into the Mall, Davey moved closer. “Do gays… cruise here?” He asked, smiling.

“At least two will be today,” I said grinning. Then I switched to my best military voice. “Activate the gaydar, corporal.”

Davey made a humming noise, then clasped his hands on the sides of his face and slowly rotated his head. After a moment, he pinged. “Contact at twelve o’clock, captain.”

I looked ahead and saw a guy of about twenty with great-looking buns. But he was also holding hands with a tall blond female. “Better recalibrate, corporal. That’s a false, repeat false, reading.” I leaned closer. “He’s holding hands with a girl, you doofus.”

“His sister,” Davey said.

“Yeah, right! We need to get you new gaydar.”

There were plenty of girls at the mall that day with working ‘guydar’. Everywhere we went girls smiled at us, and frequently tried to start conversations. Some of them were really cute, and at times like that, I always had to shake off a little feeling of guilt. I’d never completely convinced myself that I hadn’t turned Davey gay.

But after awhile, I started enjoying myself, and Davey and I had fun just observing the guys. We sat down on a bench in the middle of the mall and watched potential gay candidates go by.

“Think he’s one?” I asked with a nod.

“No… how about him?”

“Maybe. How about those two.”

After a few minutes, a middle-aged guy walked over from one of the tabletop vendor stands. He was tall and extremely thin, with dirty-looking hair slicked back into a ponytail. “You guys horny or what?”

We both stared back at him.

“The way you guys look at anyone going by in pants is pretty obvious.”

I could feel myself turning red.

He laughed. “If you want to cruise, you should go out to Crossroads Mall. Of course,” he said quietly, “I could help you out in the john right now if you want.”

Before I could say anything, Davey put his arm over my shoulder. “My friend’s… horny.”

I gasped and gave Davey a deadly look. His eyes danced and a devilish smile played at the corners of his mouth.

“Thanks,” I said. “But I’m late for an execution.” Standing up, I jerked a thumb back towards Davey. “His!”

With that, I dragged him away, and I glanced over my shoulder to see the pony-tailed guy grinning at us in the distance.

The ‘special thing’ I wanted to get for Davey was at the bookstore, though now I was tempted not to buy it. Nevertheless, I took him by B. Dalton’s.

I found what I wanted, books on landscaping. Davey’s eyes went wide, and he began pulling out book after book to look at. Most were colorful and interesting, and I got into them myself. We settled on two books, and later, found a large pad of grid paper for Davey to draw out his landscaping plans for our houses.

He would take his two landscaping books and grid pad to the beach. I would take a few books myself, even though I didn’t expect to read much. In my mind, I had planned to lie on the beach all day and make love to Davey all night. The reality was to be a little different.

The night before we left, Davey and I were rummaging through the garage. It was late and Mom had already gone to bed, but she wanted to take some roll-up straw mats we had and I’d promised that I’d look for them. As I was reaching for the top shelf, Davey hugged me from behind.

I tried to reach higher, and he hugged me even more tightly.

“You’re in a good mood,” I said.

“Just rememberin’,” he said, squeezing my waist.

“Yeah,” I said, coming down off my toes. I guess I could take time out for one of Davey’s behind-hugs. “We haven’t made love out here for a while… Come to think of it, we haven’t made love for a while.”

Davey pressed his crotch to my butt and I felt his erection.

“Whoa,” I said, laughing. “Ready for the beach?”

He kissed the back of my neck and reached into the front of my shorts. I sighed and spread my legs. There was no stopping Davey when he was this horny.

His breath was hot on my neck and his hands insistent in my shorts. “Oh, damn,” I said, moaning. “That feels so good.”

He pushed my shorts down to my thighs and pressed the front of his shorts to my bare ass, as his hands continued to work on my front. I leaned forward and rested my hands on the garage workbench.

“Davey? Ummm… I want to ask you something,” I said, moving my butt against his crotch.

“What?” he asked, leaning forward to kiss the back of my neck.

“You know how California was going to be a special time for you and me?”


“And how we wound up getting it on with Tyler and Blair and all? Well, I was thinking. This time, can we keep it to just us? You know… just me and you?”

He nibbled the back of my ear. “OK, Old Man,” he said. “But no sleeping — nothing but sex.”

I chuckled. “I’d wear you out!”

“Mmmm,” Davey said. “Just try!” Then he pushed his shorts down and laid his cock on my butt.

“Seriously, Davey,” I said as he pushed my shorts farther down and I let them drop to the floor. “Can it just be us?”

He wrapped his arms tightly around me. “I want that, too, Mickey.” Then he squeezed harder. “Umm… I love your butt,” he whispered.

* * * * *

Ed had reserved a three bedroom condo for us on the top floor of Sun Chaser Hotel/Condominiums, a fairly luxurious place right on the beach. When we walked out onto the balcony, we saw that the rooms overlooked the condo pool directly below, and beyond that, the sand and the gulf. Out on the horizon, two shrimp boats were returning to port.

Our moms took a bedroom each, while Davey and I shared the third bedroom, which had two twin beds. There was a kitchen and a dining room/den. Both moms’ rooms and the den had sliding glass doors that led onto a balcony.

The first day, we made it onto the beach about mid-afternoon. There was a line of umbrellas across the sand, running parallel to the water. Each umbrella had two wooden lounge chairs set up beneath. An attendant approached us to see if we wanted to rent an umbrella. We did, and set up the straw mats under it. Our moms took the chairs and Davey and I sat on the mats.

In the shade of the umbrella, the breeze off the gulf was almost cool. There was perhaps fifty yards of sand between us and the water, across which paraded all shapes and sizes of people — mostly young ones. We all watched the parade.

Mom started in right away, pointing out all the girls our age. And there were bunches of them: one group of four had settled two umbrellas down from us and appeared to be staying at our condos. They looked to be only a year or two younger than Davey and me. And they were all slender and cute, with rounded curves nicely shown off in bikinis. One girl wore a string bikini — the kind of bikini that just begged to have its string pulled.

Mom seemed willing to overlook what she usually considered to be immodest swimsuits, as long as Davey or I would just give the girls a nice healthy leer. Actually, I was inclined to; I genuinely did like looking at girls. But the last thing I wanted to do was to encourage mom. In fact, I was beginning to recognize how unfair it was to let her continue thinking I was straight. But I didn’t think a beach trip vacation was the appropriate time to come out to her.

It didn’t help that the girls showed definite interest. They made eyes at us and walked by repeatedly. The apparent ringleader was the girl with the string bikini; a petite brunet with short hair and budding breasts who finally walked over and introduced herself as Ellie.

She grinned at Davey. “I love your ear stud,” she said. “I think it is sooo sexy.”

I glanced at Mom. She’d been fussing about our jewelry since we returned from California. She frowned at me. I wriggled my eyebrows and mouthed the word, “Sexy.”

A busty blond, who looked too young to be one of their moms, walked up to their umbrella carrying an ice chest. As she went past, she boldly studied Davey and me, especially our speedos. Ellie returned to their umbrella when the blond began passing out sodas. As Ellie walked away, I watched the waistline of her bikini bottom sway up and down like a seesaw.

Then Davey and I returned to watching guys pass by. Most wore baggy swimsuits, but several were really good-looking. It was hard to do much watching though, with our moms right there, along with Ellie and friends stealing looks in our direction. In fact, it looked like the whole flock of four might be getting ready to descend on us.

I leaned close to Davey. “Let’s go swim — get away from all the attention.”

However, when Davey and I headed out for the first sandbar, we became fair game for the girls. The four of them followed us out, stationing themselves only feet away. Ellie worked her way towards us, or more exactly, towards Davey. “Have you ever tried body surfing?” she yelled out over the noise of the surf.

Within minutes the other three girls had joined us, with introductions all around. Over the next hour, the girls taught us how to body surf and even tried to get us into a little friendly wrestling. Two of the girls, both with dark blond hair, attached themselves to me. They climbed over my back, tickled me, and rolled their bodies suggestively against mine. But that was nothing compared to what Ellie and the other girl were up to with Davey. It was obvious that they were copping feels and enjoying it immensely.

I’m not sure how far it would have gone if we hadn’t been interrupted. “Ellie!” called one of the girls, pointing back to the beach. “Your mom!” The bold blonde we’d seen earlier was waving the girls back in.

After they left, I paddled over to Davey. “Tomorrow, swim trunks, no speedos,” I said. “That lady couldn’t take her eyes off my crotch.”

Davey nodded. “And her daughter kept… feeling me up.”

I laughed and stepped next to him in the chest deep water. “Did they get you hard?”

“Oh, yeah,” he smiled.

“Let me see,” I said, grabbing him and plunging my hand into the front of his swimsuit.

We wrestled in the waves until Maggie waded out to us. Davey and I showed her what we’d learned about body surfing, but she never seemed to quite get the hang of it. Mom stayed under the beach umbrella, reading. But at least she looked content, and she seemed happy that we were happy, and together.

That night, like every night we would be there, we dined out. And afterwards, we played cards.

Actually, we were all good at cards; especially Davey. We played hearts and spades, and found out quickly that Davey was a card counter — remembering exactly what had been played and working out which cards were left unplayed. He was also damned good at sticking me with the queen of spades.

I was pretty good at counting cards too, and at guessing which cards each player might have. Hmmm, I thought. I wonder how we’d do in Las Vegas? I made a mental note to remember that, once we were old enough to gamble.

There was one more thing we did that night that we would enjoy every night — spreading on the sunburn cream. That first night, it was the sexiest thing Davey and I did. We were too sunburned to touch each other much, and too exhausted to want to.

“You can rest your butt,” I said. “I’ll wear you out tomorrow night.”

Davey groaned. “But that’s the only place I didn’t… burn.”

I laughed and blew a kiss from my bed to his.

* * * * *

Early the next morning, Maggie, Davey, and I drove over to one of the small marinas. There, Capt. Reggie Hinojosa took us bay fishing. His boat, like the others used by professional guides, had an extremely small draft for red fishing in the shallows.

Reggie looked to be in his thirties, though from his face you would think he was older. There were squint lines around his eyes, and his skin was already leathery from years spent fishing on the quiet waters of the Laguna Madre. We were to be out from 7:00 AM until noon and he brought sodas, sweet rolls, and snacks for the morning, for which all of us were grateful.

The bay was smooth and clear as we raced north along the shore. Davey and I sat side by side on a seat in front of the pilot’s console. Maggie sat directly behind me, next to Reggie. She had worn a wide straw hat and held it clutched to the top of her head as the wind threatened to blow it away. When I turned back she was grinning broadly and winked at me.

Once we passed north of the buildings on the island, the bay all looked the same to me, but Reggie seemed to know exactly where he was going.

When he found the spot, he showed us each how to cast and reel in, spending extra time with Maggie. I think Maggie caught on just as fast as we did; Reggie just wanted to spend extra time with her.

After only a few minutes of not catching anything, Reggie had us reel in and headed to his next spot. Once there, no sooner had Maggie’s line hit the water than it went taut, bending her pole.

“Set the hook,” Reggie called, moving next to her. “That’s it! Now, reel in the way I showed you.”

Suddenly, Davey let out a yell. His pole bent way down, and we had fish on two lines! I reeled in quickly and followed Reggie’s instructions for netting the fish as they came alongside. The thing with reds however, is that they fight. It took several minutes before the two fish were landed.

Then Davey cast his line out again and hooked a second red while we were still landing Maggie’s.

“No fair!” I protested. “I’m workin’ here.”

“Get your line in the water, son,” Reggie yelled at me. “I’ll help Mrs. Carlson. I hurried to oblige.

While Davey was still landing his, I had my first hit. It felt like a whale on the other end. I pulled up the pole and reeled down like Reggie had told us to, but the fish was stronger than the drag, pulling more line out. I was afraid of losing it, and so played the fish in slowly. It took twenty minutes for me to land our biggest red yet.

After Reggie removed the hook, he released the fish back into the water.

“Hey! Why’d you do that?” I asked.

“Over the limit,” Reggie explained.

“There’s an upper limit?” I asked, surprised.

“Yeah, we have to release the big ones back in case they’re brooding females.”

“Damn,” I fussed, and immediately cast again. I wanted a keeper.

Maggie was on her second red by then and whooped it up as the fish fought hard. It was never more obvious as to where Davey had inherited his smile. She grinned from ear to ear. Davey let out a yell as he hooked his third red.

The whole morning went like that. Reggie kept warning us that his expeditions hardly ever went so well. But by lunchtime, when we headed back, the three of us were hooked on fishing… for life. Unfortunately, Ed had only scheduled us to fish on two days.

Back at the dock, we took several pictures. Then I called Ed while Reggie cleaned our catch.

“Ed,” I said, glad to have caught him before he made it out for lunch. “Thanks for setting up the fishing.”

“Did you have a good time?”

“You wouldn’t believe…” I started a rundown of the entire morning, but Ed stopped me after the third fish.

He was laughing. “I’m glad you had a good time. Why don’t you tell me the rest when you get back.”

“Well, there is a reason I called,” I said.


“Would it be too expensive to fish every day that we’re here, and not just the two days?”

“Michael,” he said. “That’s not a problem. Just do it.”

“Well Reggie says he’s booked for the rest of the week, but thinks he knows another boat captain who can take us.”

“You like Reggie?”

“Hell, yes! I mean… yes, sir. He took us to all the right spots today. Some of the other boats didn’t do nearly as well.”

“Let me talk to him,” Ed said. “Maybe I can make him a deal he can’t refuse.”

Reggie came in to take the phone, so I walked back out to Davey and Maggie. They were watching crabs in the water under the fish cleaning tables eat the excess scraps and offal from our catch. The two of them were bubbling like kids. This was going to be a great vacation.

I don’t know what arrangements Ed made, but when they were done, Reggie was ours for the rest of the week.

We took our catch, put most of it in the freezer at the hotel, and then took the rest, along with Mom, to Bayside Bar and Grill. Bayside cooked up fishermen’s catches for a small fee, and there we literally feasted on our catch of reds, trout, and flounder.

After that, we all wanted to rest. So while Mom and Maggie took naps in their rooms, Davey lay on his stomach in the living room, working on landscaping plans. I lay on my back, using the hollow under his butt for the back of my head while I read… until I fell asleep.

In the afternoon, Ellie and company had thankfully latched on to a couple of other guys and I thought that we’d have some peace. But out in the waves, a blond ten year-old boy and his chubby little brother made friends and followed us around as if they were attached to us by a lifeline.

Late in the afternoon, Davey and I finally found a little peace and quiet at the condo pool — that is, until Ellie’s crew found us. This time Ellie decided to give me her personal attention.

She climbed on my back first, and when she wrapped her legs around me under water, her heels came to rest on my crotch. I gently moved them and pretended not to notice. As we talked, she worked her way around my side to my front so that we were face to face.

“So, does Davey have a girlfriend?” she asked, wrapping her legs around my waist and her arms around my neck.

“Yeah, he has a… kind of a special friend,” I told her, supporting her butt with my hands.

She grinned and wiggled her butt in my hands. “What’s she like?”

“Tall, black-haired beauty,” I said, walking backwards in the water.

“Do you have a girlfriend back in San Antonio?” she asked, wrapping a strand of my hair around her finger.

“Sure… uh, I have a special friend, too.”

“What’s she like?” Ellie asked, tracing the crease between my pecs with a fingertip.

“Sorry, Ellie,” I said, trying not to laugh. “But I don’t think you’d stand a chance.”

She pouted and pushed away from me. Then she swam over to Davey and wrapped herself around him, like an octopus enveloping a new victim.

I was grateful when Mom finally came out and called us for supper. As I walked past Ellie’s mom, she gave me a leering smile. I felt my face redden as I realized she was mentally undressing me, and nearly tripped running down the stone steps that led back to the lobby elevators.

The moon was up when Davey and I walked out onto the balcony after finishing cards for the night. Its light reflected across the waves out on the gulf, and I could barely make out a few ships coming back through the ship channel. Below us, kids noisily splashed in the condo pool. Davey leaned on the railing, the warm light from inside the condo washing over his strong back and shoulders.

I put my hand between his shoulders blades and rubbed. “Want to go for a walk on the beach?” I whispered.

“A run,” he said, looking back at me with a grin.

There were few people on the beach as we ran out from the condos. Turning north up the beach, we kept to the firm sand at the edge of the water.

We were silent in the roar of the surf, moving up the beach like ghosts on the wind. The moonlight reflected off Davey’s muscles and turned his hair silver. He ran easily, with incredible grace. He was beautiful when he ran.

All we had on was our shoes and shorts, but the night was warm, and there was a light gulf breeze from the southeast. We ran past the end of the condos, seeing fewer and fewer people.

“Ellie wants you, you know,” I said before leaping over a narrow wash out.

“She’s been… trying,” he replied.

“You could take her up on it,” I suggested, as we passed a couple walking hand-in-hand. “It could be a chance to see what sex with a girl is like.” I definitely had mixed emotions about suggesting it, but if Davey was ever going to try a girl, at least this one wouldn’t be around after this week.

He turned and looked at me, all of me, up and down my body. “Why would I… want to?” he asked with a smile.

“She’s cute, and horny as a guy.”

Davey shook his head. “You said ‘just us’ this trip.” He put a hand on my back as we ran. “Just you and me.”

I smiled gratefully. “But are you sure? It’s a chance to make it with a girl!”

He stopped running and I stopped too.

“I’m sure,” he said grinning, and pulled his shorts off so that he was naked, except for his shoes. A thin sheen of sweat on his chest glistened in the moonlight, and his belly heaved. Every muscled showed, and the white skin beneath his tan line glowed in the moonlight. From the dark patch of his pubic hair, his cock hung into the soft light, thick and inviting.

I looked around. There wasn’t anyone in sight so I pulled off my shorts, too. Davey started running again and I hurried to catch up with him.

We ran naked up the beach, and we ran faster. It felt incredible — our cocks and balls swinging in the night breeze. We watched each other as we ran, laughing with exhilaration. If Davey was beautiful running before, he was breathtaking naked.

A few hundred yards farther, I slowed to a stop. Davey circled back to me. I kicked off my shoes, dropped my shorts on top of them, and ran into the surf. After doing the same, Davey came splashing in after me. He tackled me from behind, pulling me down in the surf. The gulf was still warm, and stung slightly on my sunburned back.

We both came up sputtering and I charged him, hoisting him up on my shoulder and flipping him into the water. He came up spitting, and charged, burying his shoulder into my gut. The moon and the surf and the sky all spun as he flipped me over his shoulder.

I landed on my feet and spun, upending him by coming up under his legs from behind. He came at me and we took turns tossing each other over our shoulders. As we tired, we switched to butt swatting, tagging each other in turn. When Davey grabbed me with one hand while trying to swat my ass with the other, we ended up in a circling dance, moving closer and closer until the butt swats became butt pats. And those became caresses when our mouths met.

We stood in the waist deep water and tightened our embrace against the buffeting waves. The jostling was too much; I picked Davey up in my arms and carried him back to the wet sand at the water’s edge. Dropping to my knees, I lay Davey down and lowered myself on top of him.

Water rushed up between our legs and washed against our naked bodies. I looked down into Davey’s face, his hair splayed out all silver on the sand.

He grinned up at me. “Just us this trip,” he said softly and wrapped his arms over my shoulders.

We finished slowly. I rolled back from our sixty-nine and let his cock slip from my mouth. He let mine go, too, and we just lay on the sand, catching our breath, the water washing around us. I felt his hand take mine and looked up at the night sky. The moon was high now, and it was probably getting late. I sat up and rubbed Davey’s stomach.

“Time to head back, Old Man,” I said quietly.

He reached both arms up, and smiling, I leaned down to kiss him. “We’re not done,” he said. “Back at the room, I’m going to wear you out.”

“That won’t be hard,” I said, laughing. “I already am. It’s been a long day.”

I got up and offered a helping hand up to Davey. We rinsed the sand off our legs, backs, and butts in the surf, and Davey headed back to our shoes while I took a piss. As I headed back towards Davey, he had already put his shorts and shoes on, and run ahead, back down the beach.

I put on my shoes, but couldn’t find my shorts anywhere. I looked all around, and then saw Davey waiting a hundred yards up the beach. High over his head, he waved my shorts.

“You fucker!” I yelled.

I took off running, but Davey didn’t wait. We raced down the beach, and at first I was unable to gain any ground on him. I pushed myself harder as I realized somebody might catch sight of me at any moment. We were drawing close to the lights of the northernmost condos when I finally began to close the gap. Davey was getting winded.

We ran past the lights of the first hotel. There was only one couple left on the beach, and, luckily for me, they were only interested in each other. I was only a few feet behind him when Davey tried to circle away. I followed. He tossed my shorts to the side, but I kept after him until I tackled him to the sand and began tugging down his shorts.

He tried holding them up by the waistband, but he was laughing so hard I pulled them from his grasp. Jumping to my feet, I flung his shorts as far across the sand as I could and then went looking for mine. He beat me to them by half a second and we began a breathless, laughing, tug-of-war that ended with a loud shredding sound. I fell back with only the waistband of my shorts in my hand.

Just then, there were a couple of whistles and loud hoots from the direction of the water. Three young couples had stopped on their moonlight walk along the beach to applaud. I tried to cover my crotch and Davey took off running for his shorts.

I knew where I’d thrown them and beat him there. He caught me while I was trying to pull his shorts on and tackled me to the ground. We both rolled around, laughing hard, but I managed to hang on to the shorts and tried to pull them up; he tried to pull them off. I was winning when the waistband tore and the shorts ripped down the side.

Davey let go and I pulled the remnants of his shorts up, holding the waistband closed. It would work.

“Oh, no you don’t!” Davey cried, grabbing the shorts and pulling hard. There was another loud ripping sound, then he jerked again, and they tore completely off. I heard the room keys fall from them.

“Oh, shit, Davey! The room keys — they were in your shorts!”

We dropped to our hands and knees and carefully searched the sand. Davey found them, holding them up triumphantly. Then he sprang up, and tore off for the condo in just his shoes

“You asshole!” I shrieked, taking off after him, just as naked.

I know we passed at least a couple more people along the way before I caught Davey. I grabbed him by the waist and we both went down.

“What’s gotten into you?” I asked, panting, as we sat up.

He looked at me for a moment and then smiled. “I love you,” he shrugged. “I’m… I’m happy.”

“Oh, hell,” I groaned. “This is what happens when you love me?”

He grinned. “And this!” He pushed me down and kissed me hard.

When he sat back up, I took a deep breath. “Okay,” I said, “I can handle that.”

We dodged from dune to dune all the way back to the condos, but it was so late that no one was still out. The condo pool was deserted, and the underwater lights were out, though I could just make out reflections on the water’s dark surface.

“Hey, Davey,” I whispered loudly. “Let’s skinny dip.”

He stopped, looked at the pool, and started to open his mouth.

I quickly clasped my hand over it. “But we’ve got to be quiet.”

He grinned and removed his shoes.

The water was warm and almost felt thick. We moved to the side of the pool where it was darkest, and the water was only up to our necks. I brushed the sand from Davey’s body and he did the same to me. We moved closer together as we cleaned each other off… closer, until eventually our bellies touched and we reached behind to clean each other’s backs, closer still until my mouth was at his ear.

“Davey,” I whispered. “Loving you is incredible.”

We managed to sneak back into the hotel and up to our rooms, still naked, without anybody seeing us. Sometime during the night, Davey moved to my bed. I woke with his back against my side. I rolled up on to my side to spoon him and snuggled up before I fell back asleep.

We shared a bed every night after that, always being careful to mess up the other one before stepping out of the room each morning.

* * * * *

That first full day was our pattern for the rest of the week: Maggie, Davey, and me fishing in the morning while Mom sipped coffee and read novels on the balcony. After fishing, we picked up Mom and went to Bayside to eat some of our catch for lunch. After lunch, we’d return to the condo and rest up for an hour or two, then we’d hit the beach for the afternoon, and try to dodge Ellie and crew. Every night, we ate out for supper and played cards afterwards. And when Davey and I weren’t too tired or too horny, we ran on the beach.

Ellie saw us when we headed out for a run on the third night and wanted to go with us. But she didn’t have her shoes so we got away. But then she began pestering us to tag along the next time we ran. When we headed down to the beach on our last night, Ellie was waiting in running shorts and shoes.

“I’m going with you,” she insisted.

“No, you’re not,” I said. Davey and I wanted our final night to be special.

“How fast can you run?” Ellie asked with a smile. “I’m pretty fast.”

I looked at Davey, who grinned back at me and wiggled his eyebrows; and we took off running. Ellie wasn’t bad, but she couldn’t keep up. She fell back, but didn’t give up. Finally, Davey and I slowed down. “Shit,” I muttered. “I’m almost feel like I’m being cruel.”

“We can let her… catch up… for a while,” Davey suggested.

So we slowed down and waited for her. Eventually, she made her way up alongside us.

“I was about to give up on you guys,” she said breathlessly. “Don’t you know that it’s the girls who are supposed to play hard to get? Not the guys?”

“Ellie,” I said, laughing, “we already told you — we’re each going with someone.”

She laughed. “When does that ever stop a guy from having fun?” She slapped Davey’s butt hard and took off.

“Hey!” cried Davey. The chase was on. We raced ahead for at least another mile.

Ellie had a lot more endurance than I expected. We made it past the last condos and down to where the beach was completely deserted. She looked at us triumphantly as we came alongside. “You guys ever skinny dip in the Gulf?” she asked.

I grinned. “Yeah, sure.”

She undid her top as we ran, and pulled it off. Her firm breasts bounced provocatively, and Davey’s eyes were drawn to them.

Ellie loved the attention. “C’mon guys!” she called. “Let’s swim.”

We came to a stop. Ellie pulled off her bikini bottom, waved it with a ‘woo hoo’, and tossed it along with her top onto the sand.

Davey watched fascinated, as Ellie kicked off her shoes. It was the first time that I knew of that he’d seen a naked girl. And I had to admit, she was a damn good-looking one.

She stopped and cocked her head. “Have you ever even been with a girl, Davey?” she asked.

He slowly shook his head.

Ellie stepped up to him and pushed down his shorts. Damn, I thought. She’s fast. I had mixed emotions. At this rate, Ellie was going to rape Davey. He may have promised it would be ‘just us’ on the trip, but Davey did have an easy on button, as Larice had reminded me. How would he feel if I tried to stop things now?

His shorts fell to his ankles and his cock began to rise. I figured I better keep up, so I dropped my own shorts.

“Oooh,” Ellie said, focusing on Davey’s cock. She took it in her hand and gave it a squeeze. “Take off your shoes, Davey,” she commanded. “You too, Michael,” she added, turning to me, and then her eyes widened. “Oh, damn!” she exclaimed. “How big does that thing get?” She gave me a sly grin while she eyed my cock, but continued to fondle Davey.

I swallowed hard. Gay or not, I felt myself getting aroused, my erection already at half-mast.

Davey kicked off his shoes and followed her out into the surf. I kicked off my shoes and followed after, but I wasn’t happy. It was one thing to tell Davey he could try a girl; it was quite another to have to stand by and watch.

But Ellie wasn’t going to leave me out. With a laugh, she grabbed us each by the hand and led us out into the surf. Once we were in a quiet spot between breakers, about waist deep, she tried pulling us together with her in the middle.

Davey looked at me helplessly and came around to my side. He put his arm around my shoulder.

“Is there something wrong?” she asked, stepping closer.

“Umm, Ellie,” I said, glancing at Davey. “We’re gay.” I figured it couldn’t hurt to tell her, as we wouldn’t be seeing her after tomorrow.

“What?” she yelled.

“I said we’re gay!” I yelled back.

Her mouth dropped, and then pulled itself up into a cunning smile. “Cool! Let me see you kiss.”

That was fine with me. I took Davey into my arms and he wrapped his arms over my shoulders, we put our crotches together and kissed. We forgot about Ellie and melted together.

“That is so hot!” Ellie cried over the noise of the surf, and stepped closer. She ran her hands lightly up over our backs and down to our butts. Then she reached between our bodies to grab our now-rigid cocks.

She stroked them appreciatively and rubbed them together. Then she pushed between us, breaking our kiss, and facing Davey, she pressed her body to his. She ground her body against his and, even though her eyes were focused on Davey, she reached back and grabbed me, pulling me hard against her rotating butt. She made it clear that she wanted both of us!

Ellie wrapped her arms up over Davey’s neck and wrapped her legs around his hips, obviously pressing her crotch against the underside of his cock. Davey grabbed her butt to support her and she planted her mouth firmly on his.

It was obvious that Ellie was not going to stop, and Davey’s thinking had all moved to his cock. He was about to fuck a girl! Emotionally I had mixed feelings, but my own brain was losing its voice in this transaction. I pressed in behind her, my cock against her back, and I reached in from either side to cup her breasts. She moaned and leaned back against me.

The way Ellie began moving between our bodies, I was afraid she’d bring Davey off before he ever even made it inside her. But Ellie was just warming up. In one smooth movement, she reached for Davey’s cock, lifted her hips and guided Davey to her hole. Then she took him in, down to the hilt.

Davey’s head rolled back, mouth open in a gasp that was drowned out by the surf. He obviously liked it. She began to move on him. Holding her tightly by the hips, Davey began thrusting.

Ellie leaned back into my arms, the back of her shoulders resting on my chest. I cupped her breasts and rubbed her nipples with my fingertips while I held her for Davey.

I let my eyes move down her slender body to where he was moving in and out of her at the water’s surface. She reached up over her head and clasped her hands behind my neck, bringing her cheek up to mine and using the leverage to undulate on Davey.

Davey was watching, too, his eyes mesmerized by her body, especially where he entered her. His eyes moved to her breasts where my hands worked. Then his eyes met mine, they were mindless, dazed. He held her butt in a vice-like grip, his pecs straining under the skin. The muscles of his belly were all working, clearly defined in the bright moonlight. His neck grew thick, his jaw tightened. Davey never looked more male, more beautiful than he did that night in the surf.

I held her with both arms, while Davey increased his speed. She writhed between us, her moans rising above the sound of the surf. Then her moans turned to cries, and just as she climaxed, I gently squeezed her breasts and lightly pinched her nipples.

Davey kept pumping until her orgasm plateaued, and then he cried out and arched back, all his muscles straining. He was awesomely male, in full rut, with the wind wildly blowing his hair and the surf spray making his body glisten. His pumping slowed and he leaned forward against her. She kissed him hard, greedily.

When she finally let him go, he slipped out of her, and floated back in the water.

My heart was still pounding. I was horny as hell and hoped that Ellie was up for a second round. With one arm, I lifted her back up and pulled her legs around with the other.

She reached down and took hold of my erect cock. I was so hard that it ached.

“Please,” I asked.

Without saying a word, she put an arm around my neck and pushed her tongue into my mouth. That was all the answer I needed.

Holding her more upright, I pulled one of her legs aside, found her soft slit, and entered her. Instantly, my cock was firmly enveloped in a soft warmth, and Ellie let out a long moan of satisfaction. She wrapped her legs around my hips, and put both arms over my shoulders. Her head rested against my neck, and I held her by the butt as I moved in her, slowly at first.

She was small in my arms and her firm breasts brushed lightly against my chest. She held my cock snug inside her, caressing my entire length as I moved in and out. The waves lapped gently against our legs and washed my balls.

Ellie began to move with me and our motions grew larger. At first, she rode up and down on me. Then she leaned back until only her fingers held the back of my neck, and she fucked me back, rocking her pelvis to meet my every thrust.

We watched each other’s bodies working, grinding, rocking on each other. There were muscles in her belly, and she used them well. Our eyes met and she pulled up for a brief kiss. Her vagina tightened as our lips met.

She leaned back again and rocked her whole body in rhythm with mine. Our eyes locked and she ground harder against me. Suddenly Ellie threw her head back and cried out as her insides clamped down hard on my cock. And then I felt Davey behind me, his hand slipping between my legs, rubbing under my balls.

Ellie slowed down, coming off her orgasm. I grabbed her ass more tightly and pumped harder as Davey’s other arm came around my chest and I felt his lips caress the back of my neck.

Ellie arched back, orgasming again, and this time she took me with her. I cried out and pumped every last drop I had into her, thrusting and thrusting until I was almost dizzy. Davey held me up, then laughed gently and nuzzled my neck.

She let go and just floated on the small swells as my cock grew softer inside her. Davey continued to massage between my legs and kissed the back of my neck. He pressed his hard cock to my butt, standing between Ellie’s loosely draped legs. I leaned my head back alongside his, trying to rub my cheek against the smooth skin of his face.

I think Ellie would have floated that way all night. She was definitely well fucked.

Davey put his lips to my ear. “You’re lots better… lots better,” he whispered.

I grinned and twisted my head back so that we could kiss. He wrapped his arms around me from behind, pressing his body to my back.

He put his mouth to my ear again. “You looked so… hot,” he whispered and his cock found my butt crack to rest in. He gently bit my neck and I wondered if he was going to enter me while I was still in Ellie.

But then I saw the headlights of a jeep approaching, so I pulled out of Ellie and stepped from Davey’s embrace. “Shit!” I said. “Someone’s coming!”

We moved apart and crouched down in the water until the jeep had passed. Ellie found Davey and wrapped herself around his front. Laying her head on his shoulder, she looked ready to fall asleep, clinging to him like a small child. We walked out of the surf with Davey carrying Ellie. Reluctantly, she let go so she could get dressed.

Davey came over and whispered. “I’m sorry, Mickey.”

I took Davey into my arms and put my mouth to his ear so Ellie couldn’t hear. “It’s OK. I did it, too. I’m sorry it wasn’t just us tonight. But at least you got to try a girl! And damn, you looked hot, too!”

He whispered in my ear. “I liked doin’ it together.”

It was funny, but I knew what he meant. It was almost a ‘buddy’ kind of thing to do.

Davey pushed his tongue into my ear and I melted into him.

“Hey,” Ellie said, walking up. “I belong in the middle.” She wedged her way between us and we sandwiched her in a hard-on hug. Over her head, our eyes met and rolled upwards in disdain — she definitely did not belong in the middle.

As Davey and I pulled on our shorts, Ellie rubbed Davey’s back. I caught her eye. “Uh, Ellie,” I began, remembering my current problem with Amy, “please tell me you’re on the pill.”

She giggled. “My mom’s had me on the pill for over a year.”

I let out a long sigh of relief.

We walked more than ran back to the condos, mostly in silence. Ellie had an arm around Davey’s back and his was over her shoulder. With her other hand, Ellie held mine. From time to time, Davey turned and blew me a kiss over her head.

When we stopped at her condo, Ellie turned to us.

“Gay boys, huh?” she said, with a dreamy smile. “I got news for you. You’re two of the hottest guys I’ve ever met. And you sure know how to use what you’ve got, Michael.” Then she kissed Davey. “You were awesome for a virgin, Davey.” She kissed behind his ear. “You’re the sexiest guy I’ve ever met.”

Then she turned away, and floated, more than climbed up the stairs back to her room, tossing us a smile and a wave while we watched her disappear.

That night we faced each other in bed, resting our heads on the same pillow. “At least now,” I whispered, “I know that if you’re gay, it’s not because you never tried a girl.”

He smiled. “I’ve always been… gay.” He stroked my cheek, tenderly. “I don’t want… to be straight. Do you… Mickey?”

I put my forehead to his. “I just want you.” He smiled, and I ran my fingertip over his lips. “Have I worn you out yet, Old Man?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said. “I’m pretty tired.”

I kissed him. “Good night,” I whispered.

Davey smiled, and then rolled to his other side, backing up to me. I put an arm over his waist, and nuzzled the back of his head. I fell asleep wondering how I would ever manage to get Davey all to myself on any trip.

There was no time for fishing the last morning, so Mom, Maggie, Davey and I spent a final couple of hours on the beach. Ellie showed up, but she was definitely quieter than on previous days. She was almost demure, and her smile was actually very sweet.

She kissed me goodbye first and tiptoed to nibble me playfully on the ear. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Mom watching. Then Ellie gave Davey a sheet of paper with her address and phone number before she gave him a lingering and patently sensuous kiss. “Thanks for last night,” she whispered loud enough for Mom and Maggie to hear.

Davey and I watched Ellie’s tiny bikini bottom as she walked away. When we turned back, both moms were staring at us. Mom had an almost sour expression. Maggie looked almost pleased.

In our room, before we left, Davey and I embraced one last time. We rested in each other’s arms and I realized that I felt a bit like Ellie must have… well satisfied.

* * * * *

It was late Sunday afternoon when we arrived back in San Antonio. We picked up Big Macs and ate them at our house, and then Davey and I sent our moms out to the front porch with glasses of iced tea while we stayed inside and cleaned up in the kitchen. While I was washing up at the sink, Davey hugged me from behind. I half turned in his arms, and we kissed lovingly. I leaned into him, and then pulled him closer with my hand on the back of his head.

“What the hell do you think you are doing?” Mom’s voice boomed from the kitchen door.

Davey and I flew apart, and the three of us stared at each other. I was hit with a storm of emotions — shame, embarrassment, but also anger: not only with myself for being so careless, but also with my mom for her reaction.

“Well?” she asked again.

What was there to say? Not a damn thing. We’d been caught.

She looked from me to Davey. “I’m going outside to get Maggie,” she said. “We’re going to talk about this — right now.”

This was not to be a casual kitchen table talk. This was a Davey-and-me-on-the-living-room-couch-with-plenty-of-distance-between-us talk. Mom paced angrily back and forth in the middle of the room as Maggie sat quietly watching us from a chair.

Mom’s fists clenched and unclenched as she paced. Then she wheeled on us. “How long has this been going on?”

Without thinking, I reached for Davey’s hand. “Since just after seventh grade, I guess,” I answered, avoiding her eyes.

“Since seventh grade? And don’t do that,” Mom said, pointing to where I held Davey’s hand.

I let it go. Mom paced again.

“Mom, listen,” I said, glancing nervously at Maggie. “We’re gay. We both are.”

“Don’t say that!” Mom glared at me, but didn’t stop pacing. “Never say that! You’re much too young to be that way! Boys just… they just do things together!” she said, as if she was trying to convince herself. “You’re just going through some kind of phase. It doesn’t mean you’re homosexual.”

Almost shaking with anger, she turned to face me, hands on her hips. “What was that all about with the girl on the beach? And dammit, Michael — You just got a girl pregnant, for God’s sake! What was that all about?”

I hung my head down. “When that happened, Davey and I weren’t together for a while.”

“Weren’t together? What do you mean, you weren’t… Oh, my God,” she said, putting a hand over her mouth. Numbly, she resumed her pacing. I could hear mumbling under her breath. “You don’t get a girl pregnant if you’re… you just don’t! You aren’t that way.”

Maggie finally spoke. “Geoff?” she asked quietly. “Was that why you were apart? Were Davey and Geoff… together?”

I looked at Davey and he nodded.

Mom wheeled on Maggie. “How much did you know about this?”

Maggie looked sadly at her. “I’ve suspected off and on for some time now. You have too, Gloria. You just never wanted to talk about it. You’ve never wanted to admit it to yourself.”

Mom collapsed onto the chair across from us. “What do we do?” she asked, half to herself.

“I don’t know,” Maggie admitted.

Mom frowned. “I’ll tell you what we do. We break it up. It stops right now.” She glared at me. “You understand?”

I sighed. “I understand what you’re saying, Mom,” I said, “but I don’t think you do. You don’t know how we feel about each other! If Davey was a girl I loved, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

“Oh, yes we would, Michael!” she snapped. “In fact, I should’ve come down on you much harder after you got Amy pregnant. I thought you learned from your mistake, but I forgot how young you really are — much too young.”

“Mom,” I said, pleading. “Look at Romeo and Juliet. Greatest love story of all time, and they were younger than us.”

Mom laughed; a short, abrupt, derisive laugh. “Yeah and look how that one turned out. Besides, that was just a story — fiction. And it was between a boy and a girl!”

I glared at her. “It’s still the same thing.”

Maggie looked away.

Mom glared, and her fists clenched. Then she regained control of herself and took a deep breath. “OK. No more sleepovers. No more being alone together in the afternoons. No more being alone together… period.”

“We can’t do that, Mom,” I said.

“You can and you will as long as you’re my son, living in my house.”

I looked doubtfully at Maggie. Would she take me in if I moved out? She wouldn’t look at me. I was really afraid to say it, but I did anyway. “Maybe,” I said quietly, “I won’t live in your house. I have money now, you know.”

“Michael,” Maggie said, her head snapping back in my direction. “Just slow down. Give us time to work through this.”

“What’s to work through?” Mom asked, turning to Maggie. “I’m not going to have these two doing… those things in ‘my’ house.” She looked at me sadly. “I don’t even know you anymore, Michael.”

“I haven’t changed, Mom.”

“Oh yes, you have changed!” she spat. “I used to think that you would grow up to be as fine a man as your father. Thank heavens he didn’t live to see you now.”

“Gloria!” Maggie gasped.

My eyes filled with tears, Mom had succeeded in stabbing right to my heart. I wanted to leave. I wanted to just get up, walk out of the house, and never come back.

“Well, it’s true,” Mom replied angrily, then glared once more at me. “God knows what Grandpa Bentolli’s going to say.”

“You don’t need to tell Grandpa,” I said, trying to blink my eyes dry so I could look her defiantly in the eye.

Mom sat frowning at me, then took a breath. “We’ll see. I think he could talk some sense into you.”

“What sense do I need, Mom?” I said. “How am I dumber than I was yesterday? It wasn’t that long ago you said that I had character.”

“Well, that was before you started getting girls pregnant and sleeping with boys. You certainly have character now… bad character. Maybe we need to have you talk to a priest.”

“Yeah, right. As if you’ve suddenly got religion,” I snapped.

Mom started to say something, then closed her mouth, then shot an angry look at Maggie. “You’re awfully quiet, Maggie. Don’t pretend you approve of this!”

Maggie shook her head and let out a long breath, then rested her elbows on her closely pressed knees. She looked down at the floor, collecting her thoughts before she spoke. She looked at us when she spoke.

“It’s not like they ever had much choice, Gloria,” she said. “They’ve been best friends since they were six. I’ve never seen two boys so attached to each other. Maybe if I’d thought about it… maybe if I’d seen it coming, I wouldn’t have let them spend so much time together. Especially on sleepovers, and especially when they were hitting puberty.”

Maggie smiled at Davey and me and continued. “It’s obvious they love each other, Gloria — as friends, if nothing else. We’ve known that for a long time.”

She turned back to Mom. “Just like you, or any mother, I always hoped that someday Davey would find some girl who would appreciate just how special he is, and marry him.” She smiled at Davey. “I hoped I would someday see a home with lots of little Daveys running around.” Her eyes began to water.

Then she looked at me. “But instead of finding a daughter who would appreciate Davey, I found a son — a son who loves Davey as much as I do myself… maybe even more. Before Michael came along, Davey could barely even talk to another person.” She smiled sadly at her son. “He was such a timid little guy.” Then she turned the sad smile on me. “Davey latched on to Michael from the very first day they met. And Michael’s protected him ever since, and tried to help him be just as normal as any other boy. And now, Michael is seeing him through high school and giving up a lot to do it.”

Her eyes filled with tears and though her mouth was open, her voice froze. She swallowed hard, took a deep breath, and lowered her gaze to the floor. “With the new business,” she continued quietly, “Michael and Davey have worked some magic, Gloria, and it looks like they could be rich someday. I was just beginning to feel like Davey would be OK for the rest of his life, even if something happened to me.”

Tears now rolled down her cheeks, and she took a ragged breath, and then looked me in the eye. “Gloria,” she said, “When I look at Michael, I see a young man of great character. I’ll always be proud to call him my second son.” She glanced at Mom. “Please don’t ask me to keep him away from Davey.”

“I love my son,” Maggie said, smiling at Davey. “I’ve known how special he was from the beginning. I’ve never known a purer heart or a sweeter spirit. And I love the man he is becoming. I respect him for his courage and his endurance. He’s become strong, and I am terribly, terribly proud of him.” Her voice cracked and she paused to compose herself. “I’m proud of them both.”

Mom watched the tears rolling down Maggie’s cheeks, and then stifled a sob of her own. She struggled against it. Then Davey got up off the couch and crossed the floor to Mom. Kneeling beside her, he put his head in her lap, and wrapped his arm around her waist.

Mom choked, and her face screwed up as tears filled her eyes. She reached out her hand and stroked Davey’s hair. Some of her teardrops fell on him. Then a larger sob escaped her and she struggled from Davey’s arms.

She stood in front of us, holding up her palms as people do instinctively when they’re trying to protect themselves. “I need time…” she said, choking, and then fled back to her room. I heard the door slam behind her.

Maggie looked at Davey, still on the floor beside the chair, then at me on the couch. Quietly, she took a Kleenex and dried her eyes. “Let’s give her some time, OK?” she said, looking from me to Davey. “Can you boys promise me that you will not — God, I can hardly say it — can you promise me that you won’t have… sexual relations until we can work this out?”

Davey nodded. I looked at the floor. “How long?” I asked.

“God, Michael,” Maggie said in exasperation. “Can’t you at least give your mom and me a few days? Maybe a couple of weeks?”

I nodded without looking at her. “Sure.”

Maggie stood up. “Alright. Let me talk to Gloria.” She walked back to Mom’s room, gingerly knocked on the door, then opened it and went inside.

Davey looked at me from where he still sat on the floor, and his eyes dropped to my hands. They were shaking, and I realized that my heart was racing and I was having trouble catching my breath. Not again!

Davey got up and came over to me. He knelt on the couch beside me and wrapped his arms around me, kissing the top of my head.

“I’m sorry, Davey. I…”

He shushed me and rocked me in his arms.

I felt so stupid, so pitiful, shaking like an old woman. The longer Maggie took with Mom, the harder it was to control my body. I even thought about going with Davey to the front porch so I could hide my hands in the dark. Finally Maggie came back out to the living room.

She took one look at Davey holding me and saw how badly my body was shaking, and she rushed over, kneeling on the floor beside us. “Michael,” she said, taking my hand and looking me over in alarm. “Are you alright?”

“No,” I said, quietly, and leaned back into Davey’s arms.

She frowned. “I’ve never seen you like this before. Are you that upset we found out?”

This wasn’t good. I couldn’t have Maggie and Mom thinking I was too dependent on Davey. That’d just make it worse. “No. It’s… it’s lots of things, and I’m just really tired, Maggie. I need to go to bed.”

She nodded. “You push yourself much too hard, Michael. You should have rested more at the beach. And now this! Promise me you’ll sleep in tomorrow.” She stood up. “Go ahead. Go on to bed. Davey and I will lock up.”

She turned and headed for the kitchen, and I turned to Davey. “I think I’m shaking too much to get up,” I said quietly, my voice breaking. “Don’t let your mom see.” Somehow, I needed to get to my room before Maggie came back.

Davey acted quickly. He put an arm under my knees and the other behind my back. Lifting me off the couch, he carried me back to my bed and laid me down on it.

“It’ll be OK, Mickey,” he said, and kissed my cheek. “You’ll see.”

Maggie came to my room as Davey was standing back up. “I can stay with him,” Davey said.

Maggie shook her head. “That wouldn’t be a good idea, Davey.” She came up beside my bed. And looked down at me with eyes full of concern. “Michael, are you sure that you’re going to be OK?”

I cleared my throat. “I’ll be fine.”

“You want a glass of milk?”

“No… thanks. I’ll be alright. Really.”

She stared at me for some time before closing my door. And it was a long time before I fell asleep.

* * * * *

I awoke before dawn to use the john, and then undressed before returning to bed. Later, when I got up for the day, Mom had left for work, and I was just as glad.

Davey called. “I saw Gloria… drive away. Are you OK… Mickey? I worried… all night.”

“Yeah, Davey. I’m fine. I will be fine. I’m going to be strong, Davey. I’m tired of getting the shakes and being a wimp.”

“You’re strong, Mickey.”

“Yeah, well… I still missed you a whole lot last night. I would’ve given anything to have been with you.”

“Me, too.”

I thought for a moment. “Is Maggie OK?”

“Mom’s alright. I think she’s a… little sad. But mainly… for you and… Gloria. Are you planning… on working today?”

“Definitely. Wanna go too?”

“Yeah,” he said. “I do.”

Davey and I had a good day at the University. Computers were always an escape for me. And it was good to be with Davey, even if we had promised not to have ‘sexual relations’ for a few days.

But I still had to go home that night. And I wasn’t looking forward to it.

I got the silent treatment from Mom that evening. In fact, Mom said only one thing to me that didn’t have to do with supper. “Have you two heard of AIDS?” she asked, angrily.

“Yeah, Mom,” I said. “We’ve heard of it. And we’ve been careful.”

Her eyes widened as she considered all the ramifications of that statement, and she quickly looked away.

The next evening, Mom finished the last bite off her plate, leaned back in her chair, and studied me. “I talked to a realtor today. There are a lot of really nice homes being built north of Bitters Road. Those neighborhoods are in the Northeast ISD. Good schools; nice area.”

I glared at her. “I’m not moving, Mom.”

“If I move, you move,” she insisted.

“No. I won’t.”

“You’re still only sixteen, Michael. You are my child. And if I move, you move.”

“But I’m not a child, Mom.” I stood up from the table. “You make your choices, I’ll make mine. One way or the other, I’m staying.” I walked from the kitchen.

“Michael!” she yelled after me.

I reluctantly returned to the door. “Listen, Mom,” I said. “Whether I’m gay or not, you don’t make decisions like moving us away without talking to me first.” My jaw set. “All of a sudden, you want to treat me like shit. Well, I’m not gonna take it!”

I stormed out of the kitchen, walked down the hall and closed my door.

If I have to, I thought, as I lay in bed and stared at the ceiling, I bet I could get Ed to pay for an apartment and let me live there. But I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to live alone. I didn’t want to live farther from Davey.

As it was, Mom never mentioned moving again. And an uneasy truce developed at our house — one that involved very little talking.

* * * * *

Even Maggie took a stab at ‘converting’ us. Thursday night, Officer Richardson stopped by and took us for a ride to the local DQ in his patrol car; for root beer floats and a man-to-man talk.

“You guys don’t know what queers are really like,” he told us in a low voice.

I winced.

“Sorry,” he said. “I meant… homosexuals.”

“Gays,” Davey corrected.

“OK — gays,” Thomas agreed. “Anyway, the ones we meet out on the street… they’re total lowlifes. You guys aren’t like them at all.” He leaned closer over his float. “Look, it’s not unusual for guys your age to experiment a little. I admit, even I did it a few times with my cousin when I was a kid. It doesn’t mean anything.”

I grinned. “Did you like it?” I asked.

He frowned. “Come on, guys! I’m serious here. You don’t see what I see out on patrol. Lots of those fags — sorry, gays — they’re strung out on drugs. They get all flakey and try to talk like slutty women. Have you ever seen a guy try to dress like a chick? Ugggg-ly! And damn, it’s always really fat guys or really skinny ones that do it.”

“We like… being guys,” insisted Davey.

That was true. I certainly wasn’t turned on by transvestites, but the booklets that Knox had given us explained that some gay men liked that stuff.

“And the things they stick up their butts!” he continued. “I know some emergency room techs. You should hear their stories.”

Davey and I both sat impassively.

“Alright,” he said, leaning back. “Look how many gays wind up on the street hustling, or working as hair dressers, or hospital orderlies. You’re a whole different class from them. Even the ones who can act normal and get jobs in business — look how many of them wind up getting arrested in the park for coming on to a kid, or for exposing themselves in restrooms. It’s all sick, and you guys don’t want to wind up like that, do you?”

I grabbed Davey’s hand and put it up on the table, holding it, defiantly. “I don’t know what you see on patrol, Tom,” I told him. “I bet you see some pretty weird straight people, too.” I leaned closer to him. “But you’re looking at two gays now. And you can think we’re as weird as you want to. But I say there are all sorts of gay people in the world, just like there are all sorts of straights. There are even gay police officers.”

Tom harrumphed and shook his head.

Davey squeezed my hand, and we looked at each other. I was tempted to kiss him, but I turned back to Tom. “We are what we are, Tom. Do you want to be our friend or not?”

He frowned. “I want to be friends or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” He leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. “So you’re really sure you’re gay?”

Both Davey and I nodded.

“Alright, then,” he said, resignedly, then uncrossed his arms and leaned forward. “I promised Maggie I’d at least talk to you guys, and I have. I won’t hassle you any more — either of you. I like you both, and… well, I love your mom, Davey. I want us to be friends a long time.” He looked Davey, and then me, right in the eye. “Have I blown it? Can we still be friends?”

Davey and I both nodded. “What you said was all crap,” I told him. “But yeah, we can be friends. As long as you take care of our root beer float habit.”

He laughed. “Damn straight. Oops, sorry.”

On the way back out to the patrol car, Davey leaned close with a wicked grin. “You’d be pretty… dressed like a girl.”

I pushed him away. “You fuck up!”

Then I had a wicked idea which I whispered to him as we were about to get into the car. “Wouldn’t our moms flip out if they caught us dressing in their clothes.”

Davey gave me a sick look and started to get into the car. I grabbed his shoulder. “Don’t worry. We won’t try it — you’d look terrible without makeup.”

He elbowed my gut, and I doubled over as he climbed in. “Man, don’t do that after I drank a big root beer float,” I said, climbing in after him. “You might wind up getting kissed by an alien.”

Davey laughed, and Tom started up the engine and made his way back towards home.

* * * * *

I wasn’t surprised by what Amy asked on Friday — just a little surprised at who she asked. Amy was sitting on the front porch with Davey and me when she told us about La Maze natural childbirth. She’d been reading up on the birthing process, and La Maze was the latest craze.

“In La Maze,” she explained, “every mom has a coach to help her through labor. Usually, it’s the husband or mom. I don’t want my mom, guys. She can’t handle it. Guys, I need a coach.”

I nodded, and then she turned and smiled at Davey. “And I was wondering if Davey would do it.”

Davey’s mouth dropped.

“What does a… coach do?” he asked.

“You’d go to training with me one night each week for about six weeks, beginning next week,” she said, smiling hopefully. “And you’ll need to help me practice my breathing exercises. And then, of course, you’ll be there when I’m in labor and have the baby. You’ll help coach me through labor.”

Davey looked blown away by the idea. Still, I wasn’t sure Amy had really thought things through. “But your mom has already had babies herself,” I pointed out. “Are you sure you shouldn’t ask her?”

“My mom? She was on anesthetics and totally out of it when she had each of us. She’s sweet, but you know her, Michael. She’d just lose it the first time I screamed.”

“Screamed?” Davey asked softly.

Amy took Davey’s hand. “I thought about Larice or Janie, or one of the other girls, but honestly, I wanted someone who was just as excited about the baby as me, someone like you, Davey. Will you be my coach? Please?”

Davey glanced at me and I gave him a big ‘thumbs up’. He grinned and gave Amy a hug. “You bet… Amy!” Davey said, patting her back. “Thanks.”

She hugged him back, and looked at me over his shoulder. “I want you there too, Michael, when the time comes.” She smiled. “You can pace the floor in the waiting room. That’s what fathers are supposed to do.”

I nodded. “I’d be doing that anyway. I just want you to know, Amy — I’m looking forward to the baby coming, too. But I’m glad Davey’s going to be your coach.”

Amy took a sip from her glass of ice water. “I know you’re looking forward to little David getting here, Michael. And your mom is too, you know. She’s coming by again tomorrow to see how we’re doing.”

“Yeah, well, I wouldn’t know. Mom and I aren’t really talking right now.”

“Oh?” Amy asked, concerned.

I looked down at the floor. “She sort of found out I’m gay.”

“Both of us,” added Davey.

“Oh,” Amy said frowning, and looked away.

We sat there awkwardly a moment before I volunteered to drive us for sodas.

“A malt,” Amy said, smiling again. “Lately I’ve had this really weird craving for chocolate malts.

* * * * *

We still had family dinner on Saturday night. Davey and Maggie came together and I noticed he had his landscaping plans with him. Davey had worked hard on his plans and had made them quite detailed. Even though drawing by hand was definitely not one of his strengths, they looked great the last time he let me see them.

Bringing the plans was a stroke of genius on either Maggie or Davey’s part. I hadn’t been looking forward to the four of us experiencing the stone-cold silence Mom and I had shared most of the week. It’d be nice to have something neutral to talk about for a change.

Before supper, Davey spread out the grid paper on the kitchen table for us to look over. I stayed quiet as Maggie and Mom critiqued the plans and spoke up about their preferences. I had asked for only one thing — a place for a grill — and Davey had worked that into the plan, giving me a small area of paving stones out from the garage. It looked great.

Davey wanted to start on the actual landscaping the next day.

“Davey, this is South Texas,” I pointed out. “You don’t plant things in August! They’ll burn up in the heat.”

Davey shook his head. “I just want to start with… walks and preparing beds… and stuff.”

“You could plant things that are going to be in the shade,” Mom suggested.

“You’d need to water them a lot, though,” Maggie cautioned.

Davey grinned. “Tomorrow. Let’s start.”

So that night, we called Ed to tell him we wouldn’t be over for his regular Sunday afternoon cookout, and we explained why. A few minutes later, Chase called to say that both he and Hunter would be over to help, and that they would bring his Dad’s Suburban to haul things from the nursery.

Davey and I went for a run that night, after giving our supper a chance to settle in our stomachs. We ran slowly, jogging easily into Alamo Heights and up to the quarry bluff. The night was cloudy and a little cool, but it felt good to be out and running. We ran in just our shorts and shoes, feeling almost naked in the wind.

We didn’t talk much. As we made our way along the road, people were inside their well-lit living rooms. We did pass one place with an outside party where the smell of their grill almost stopped us. At the bluff, we stopped and looked out over the quiet quarry below.

We stood beside each other as our breathing slowed. My bare shoulder touched Davey’s, and the whole world seemed to grow strangely quiet to everything but our slow, deep breathing. I longed to hold him in my arms. The previous week had been an eternity.

Davey put his hand on my back, I half-turned to face him, and suddenly, we were locked in full body embrace, kissing all over each other’s faces.

It’s funny, but I wasn’t rock-hard right away. I just missed him so much — I longed for our intimacy, just being able to hold him like this. But then Davey grabbed my butt and pressed his erection against my crotch. My own cock responded and I moaned.

I put my hands on his shoulders, but left my cheek against his. “We can’t yet, Davey,” I whispered. “We promised your mom.”

He chuckled, and pulled my butt tighter, nibbling on my ear. We were all skin and sweat and heat. The smell of his damp hair, the feel of him against me… I wasn’t sure I could let go of him, even if he wasn’t holding me so tightly.

For just a moment, I tried. I began to push away. “No, Davey,” I gasped. “We promised!”

Ignoring me, he ground into my crotch and buried his mouth in the hollow of my neck. I felt my resolve waver. I held the back of his head as he kissed and sucked on my throat. “I’ve never broken a promise,” I said softly.

There was a large, flat limestone rock close by. Davey pulled me over next to it, never letting me out of his arms. He pressed his mouth to mine and held it there as he pushed my shorts down to my thighs, and then he quickly pulled his down, and grabbing me by the butt, he pulled our naked groins together.

I wanted him so badly that I could barely breathe. We backed to the rock and Davey pulled me down onto it. The rock felt cool and rough against my skin. We kicked off our shorts and he rolled to his back, spreading his legs. I gently rolled over onto him and settled down between his legs as he crossed them over me. And then we wrapped our arms around each other and Davey opened his mouth, hot and wet, to mine.

And all the clouds in the sky, all the lights of the city below, even the hardness of the rock itself faded away. It was just Davey and me, naked, pressed together and so very hungry. He grabbed my butt and his body was demanding under me. Everywhere our bodies touched felt alive with desire.

We filled the night with moans and whimpers, and ground our straining cocks against each other faster and faster. It wasn’t just sexual tension that had built over the previous week, but the need to express our love personally, intimately, and powerfully. Davey belonged to me, and I belonged to him and this is how we took possession.

Davey came first, but I didn’t last much longer. Afterwards, we stayed in each other’s arms, glued together by sweat, and cum, and… love.

A puff of breeze blew over us and washed our hair about our heads. I held my face over Davey’s so that my lips could brush his as I spoke. “Let’s just stay here, forever.”

Davey reached a hand up behind my head and pulled my face down. His mouth was still as hot and wet and as sweet as the very first time we kissed, so long ago.

The rock was growing hard under my knees and elbows. I rolled to my side and Davey came with me, so that we were facing each other, his top leg over my hip, my top leg bent up under his butt. He stroked my face and I rested my hand on his hip. We touched our foreheads together.

“I’m running out of things to be proud of,” I said quietly. “Since I was a kid and Mom told me that my dad always kept his word, I’ve always been proud that I’ve never broken a promise.”

“I’m sorry,” he said, as he caressed my cheek.

I reached up and took his hand, kissing the palm. “We can behave after tonight, but damn — I needed you.”

He smiled gently and ran his fingertip over my lips before replacing it with his own lips. I ran my hand up and down his side, feeling his smooth, damp skin and the relaxed muscles beneath.

When he kissed my cheeks and forehead, I put my hand behind his waist and pulled our bellies together. We were both still hard. “Davey,” I said, “I still haven’t ever broken a promise to you.” I looked him in the eye. “And I never will. I promise.”

He grinned. “I know.”

“You know, huh?” I grinned back.

His face became serious and he looked steadily into my eyes. “I know.”

Damn I loved him, and told him with my eyes before I pressed my cheek to his. “Hey, Old Man,” I whispered, “as long as we broke the promise to your mom, how about we break it real good before we get off this rock.”

Davey smiled and slid his top leg farther up my side, rotating his butt my way. We were both flexible enough, and our cocks long enough, to have been able to do face-to-face on our sides before. I grinned, and pulled my hips back to let my cock slide under his balls and butt, and then I kissed him.

Davey spit in his hand, and reached under his butt for my cock. I spit in my hand, and reaching down, found his hole. We lubed each other. Then still, face-to-face, I ran my arm under his top leg to lift it higher along my side, opening him up more. Davey took my cock in his hand and guided me in. The ring of his sphincter, made tighter by the angle, traveled slowly half way down my cock, pushing back my foreskin. We pulled our bodies together, and I rested my cheek on his as I prepared to move in him.

Davey pressed his cock against my belly, and put his mouth to my ear. “Mickey,” he whispered almost as lightly as the wind, “I love you.”

I held him tightly to me, and pressed my lips to his ear. “I know,” I said, and then began to move my hips. “I know.”

By the time we headed back, the clouds were gone and a half-moon was high in the sky. Running downhill always felt like floating anyway, and tonight that was especially true. It was after one in the morning when we arrived home.

My house was totally dark, and I hadn’t carried a key, thinking we’d be home earlier. And the only time I left my window unlocked was when I had crawled out of it.

Maggie was still awake at their house and greeted us with a frown as we came in.

“That was a very long run,” she said.

Davey looked at me, and I shrugged. What could I say?

“Davey, you need to get on to bed. And, Michael, you need to go home,” she said.

“But he’s locked out,” Davey said.

She looked at me, and for just a moment, I thought she might be thinking about letting me stay with them. But then she shook her head. “Michael, your mom said no sleepovers. Maybe you’d better just sleep on your porch. You can borrow a pillow and blanket if you need to.”

So I headed back to my house with a pillow and a blanket. Stepping up onto the porch, I laid them down on the couch, and then stepped into the bushes to take a piss.

It’s fine to sleep on the porch, I thought. I’d already had an excellent night. I felt damned good as I pulled up the blanket.

I’d just begun to doze off when I heard a noise. I opened my eyes to see Davey kneeling before me. He smiled. “I snuck out… I didn’t want you… alone on the… porch.”

Smiling, I lifted the blanket and he crawled in with me.

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