If you are offended by male/male relationships, or male/male sexual relationships, then you shouldn't be here in the first place. If this conduct is illegal in your area, you must EXIT NOW. This story is not to be copied or posted elsewhere without permission from the author. If you are interested in a story about gay teenage males, then please take your time and enjoy. Feedback/comments/suggestions and even complaints are welcome at DomLuka@aol.com

Chapter Twenty-one: The great outdoors

I switched hands; relieving my right arm of the grocery basket I was carrying, wishing that I had grabbed a shopping cart instead. But, I was halfway finished and didn't see the point of grabbing one now.

A glance at my watch told me that Aiden should be ready in another thirty minutes, and we could get going. It was six thirty on Saturday morning, and I was in a hurry to get out of town. It just so happened that I needed a few things first.

Well, maybe I didn't need them. I hadn't exactly made any decisions about this weekend yet. Mostly, I just wanted to get away with the one person who I couldn't seem to get enough of. But, there were a few things that I wanted to have with me, just in case I did decide that I...needed it.

Buying condoms had never bothered me before. Not that I had purchased many in the past. Or used many of the ones that I had purchased. But, I didn't find it embarrassing or scary, or anything like that. But, once I stopped in front of the several choices of condoms I wasn't exactly sure which ones to get. The idea of what they would be used for, with Aiden, made me want to make the exact right choice. Of course the choice wasn't entirely difficult, only frustrating because everything seemed to be for her pleasure. I finally decided on one of those handy variety packs. At least that way I'd be prepared.

And, considering I was buying condoms, I reasoned that lubricant was probably a necessity too. But see, that's where things got hard for me. I had always jacked off with lotion in the past. I wasn't sure if you could use that for what I wanted, or might do with Aiden. But, I figured that I better get something that was actually made for that particular activity.

Unfortunately, I had always associated lubricant with `gay' sex. Just standing in front of it made me nervous. And all of the damn choices didn't help either. I had spent way too much time already though, filling my basket with things we probably wouldn't even use this weekend, to avoid this very moment, so I reasoned that it was time to step up and just pick a damn lubricant already.

I decided that the best thing to do was not think about it so much. I'd just reach up, grab a bottle, and get out of there. No big deal. I decided to do it quick, feeling that quick was the best way, but just as my hand came level to one of the numerous bottles, another hand appeared alongside mine. I pulled my arm back so fast that I practically gave my shoulder whiplash.

I watched the hand, easily picking up a container of KY jelly, and my eyes followed the hand up the arm, all the way to a familiar face smirking at me. I don't think it would have been possible not to blush at the moment.

"Hi Ben." I managed to get out.

"Owen, you look lost," he smiled, turning to face me, "anything I can help with?"

"No," I said quickly, grabbing the same type of container that Ben had, only the smaller version, and dropped it in my cart. "I'm fine."

"I guess so," Ben grinned, walking in step with me as I headed for the check out, "I guess you are going away with Aiden this weekend then?"

"Um, yeah." I replied, hating the knowing way that he was looking at me. It was making me blush. The way that he kept glancing in my basket, looking at the condoms and the lubricant wasn't helping either. I had to bite back the urge to blurt out that I didn't even know if I was going to use them or not.

"Your brothers tell me that you're going to come talk to me." Ben said, changing the subject. I wasn't sure if the subject change was good or not. Either topic I could have done without. "I'll bet you're looking forward to that."

"Not really." I blurted out, "I mean, not that I don't want to talk to you," I added quickly, "I mean, you're...it's just that."

"Good Lord." Ben giggled, "You are cute when you're nervous, aren't you. Deep breaths Owen," he said, placing a hand on my shoulder, "I don't bite...much."

I looked at Ben, wide eyed, sending him into another fit of giggles as he waved me off and went to check out. I decided to wait in another line where the older lady behind the register looked friendly. I don't know why I was so worried that she'd comment on my purchases. I mean, people buy humiliating stuff all the time and no one comments, right? Ben certainly didn't have a problem with buying his purchase. But then, I guess Ben wasn't exactly shy.

I decided not to worry as I unloaded all of my groceries, leaving them as I turned to put the basket in the stack with the others. When I turned back around though, I froze in my tracks when I saw Ryan behind the register holding up my condoms and lubricant. He made a point to laugh at the look on my face.

"Hey," he shrugged, "I don't judge, remember? Ben said that you might want me checking you out today." And just like that, my more questionable purchases were forgotten as Ryan scanned and bagged them.

"What are you doing here?" I asked as I approached the register, "Since when do you work Saturday mornings?"

"The manager switched around the schedule for the next few weeks." Ryan frowned, "No more late Friday nights for me."

"Right." I laughed, "I doubt you'll let your work schedule stop you."

"True." He smiled. "So when do you leave? I take it you still plan on getting out here with Knightly, right?"

"Yep." I smiled, "He should be done figuring out what to pack by the time I get back there. What are your plans for the weekend? Lacy and you hanging out again?"

"Nah." He sighed, "She has something going on with her mom. I might get a few guys together or something."

"Well, I guess we'll see you when we get back."

"You'd better," he smiled, reaching across the register and clasping my hand before I pulled back smiling, and started to walk away. "Just don't let Aiden wear you out too much!" he suddenly called after me, "Wouldn't want you to be too tired for our workout on Monday."

Scowling, I picked up my pace and got out of the store without looking back, making a note to kick Ryan's ass later for that last remark.


"That's all your bringing?" I asked Aiden as he pulled one small bag over his shoulder and followed me out his front door.

"Do I need more?" he asked.

"Probably not." I smiled, "We'll just be gone overnight. I sort of wish it was a longer weekend."

"If it's not long enough, there will always be next weekend." Aiden smirked.

"We'll take next weekend anyways." I smiled back.

"Do you have the cell phone that Chris gave you?" I looked up and saw Tony standing at the bottom of the stairs. I had already said bye to him, but I guess you could say that he was worried about me going.

"It's already in the truck." I smirked, "but I'll leave it here if you can't promise not to call every ten minutes."

Tony managed to smile, but it didn't reach his eyes.

"Are you sure you don't want to wait until next weekend?" he asked, "You could take some time..."

"That's what I'm doing, Tony." I interrupted, "I'm taking some time."

"Alright." Tony sighed. "You know I'm not trying to be a nag, right?"

"I know, you just can't help yourself." I remarked.

Aiden laughed and Tony pulled me under his arm for a quick hug and a noogie. I shoved my brother away with a smile that I hoped was reassuring. I knew that Tony was worried about me, and I wished that he wouldn't. I wanted to enjoy my time with Aiden, but I didn't want Tony worrying about me the whole time.

"Have fun you two." Tony said, "Just make sure you call and check in, okay?"

"We're only going to be gone for one night." I pointed out.

"We'll call." Aiden assured him, avoiding further argument as he held up a folded piece of paper for my brother. "Tony, could you uh...it's for my mom, in case she gets back before we do. I don't want her to worry."

"Sure." Tony gave him an understanding smile and took the note, but I was frowning.

I had almost forgotten that Aiden's mom would be home when we got back. I had been pretty wrapped up in my own problems lately. I was annoyed with myself that I had forgotten why I wanted this weekend in the first place. I wanted to get Aiden's mind off of his problems. I was aware that we both probably needed a break at this point, but I decided that I would try my best to make this weekend good for Aiden. He'd been great, dealing with his problems and then putting up with mine.

Tony reminded us to call a few more times before we actually got to leave, but once we were out of town everything felt almost perfect. The idea of getting away had been appealing, actually doing it made me feel free. I hoped that I would feel like that all weekend.


I smiled at Aiden as we got out of the truck. I was just proud of myself for not getting lost on the way there. Not that Aiden would have given me much of a chance to. He had figured out where we were going half way there.

The campsite seemed larger, without so many people to share it with. But, we were at the exact same spot as before and it didn't look like it had been used since the last time we were there. The only difference seemed to be that it was colder now.

"I've been wanting to come back here." Aiden smiled, looking around.

"Good." I stated, watching as he turned in a full circle, holding onto his camera as he took in his surroundings before he stopped and grinned at me again.

"Come on," he insisted, "Let's set up so we can go hiking."

I started to open my mouth to talk but he was already opening the tailgate, looking into the bed of the truck, and then looking inquisitively at me.

"You didn't bring anything." He frowned, "No tents...no sleeping bags...what did you bring?"

"Just what we need." I laughed, grabbing a backpack out of the truck. "We're not sleeping here, but we've got all day for you to get us lost."

"Fair enough." Aiden smirked, "So where are we sleeping tonight?"

I ignored his question and grabbed his hand.

"Come on." I insisted, bypassing the campsite completely as I headed into the woods. I had no idea where I was going, and as that became apparent Aiden took up the lead as we started our hike, never letting go of my hand unless he wanted a picture.

And he took a lot of pictures. It was just like the last time we went on a hike. Anything and everything seemed to catch his eye. And just like the last time, Aiden was happy while I was just happy watching him. But, being there with him again made me wonder what it would have been like if we had been together back then. Or, what would have happened if I had had the guts to kiss him when he crawled into my sleeping bag with me.

I guess it wouldn't have made much of a difference. Maybe the last camping trip would have been more fun, but as far as Aiden went. But, I sort of liked the way that things turned out, regardless.

We didn't have another one of those time stopping moments with another elk, or the same one for that matter, but we were enjoying ourselves. Aiden found another trail leading up the mountain and we followed it. We were nearing the top of the trail when Aiden wrapped an arm around my waist and smiled at me. We had been holding hands since we started, so the gesture wasn't really a huge deal. But, it did come to mind that I really liked the idea of being so open with him in a place other than in our homes.

I think I surprised him, when I suddenly stopped, pulling him to me as I cupped the back of his head and kissed him, but he caught on quick and soon I found myself being pulled against his body with his camera wedged uncomfortably between our chests. I felt his tongue against my mouth and I parted my lips, letting him in. I slid my hands down the back of his jacket and cupped his ass, pulling him forward and wanting him closer.

When we finally pulled back I could feel the bulge in Aiden's pants, pressing closely against my own rapidly inflating cock. Aiden's cheeks were red from the weather and his lips were puffy from the kiss. I leaned forward and gently blew a fallen strand of hair from his face and he smiled, leaning forward to kiss me again, this time slower. I nipped his bottom lip and lightly pressed my tongue against his as he moved his hands inside of my jacket, moving his arms around me.

But, the affection was short lived as Aiden suddenly jerked away from me, his eyes wide as he looked at something past me, up towards the top of the trail. He looked terrified, and it immediately put me on edge, I spun around, instinctively reaching for his hand, but I felt him move that away too when I brushed against his knuckles. And then I saw why.

Coming down the trail were two men. They looked like hikers, older than us, maybe in their thirties or forties. One was larger than the other and had a thick, scraggly beard that gave him that wild mountain man appearance. They both looked just as stunned as I felt.

They were bigger than us. So much bigger than us. Horrible images came to mind. Aiden and I were alone up here. For all I knew these guys could be off-season hunters ready to open fag season. I guess that was a little over the top, but after the last few days of my life I wasn't willing to take any chances as I prepared myself for a onslaught of homophobic remarks. I was terrified of what might be coming. Worthless faggots, perverts, abominations to the human race. I was prepared to hear anything. I was ready to defend Aiden and myself if necessary.

And then it hit me. I was ready to fight if I had to. Sure, I'd fought before, but whenever an adult, especially an older man intimidated me, like my father, or Mr. Gordon, I would freeze up. I'd lose my voice. I'd lose my nerve. I'd feel that sickening fear.

Not this time. Sure, I was scared out of my mind. The idea that two older, larger, intimidating men had just seen me kiss my boyfriend was horrifying. But I forced myself to stand up straight and I stopped cowering as I narrowed my eyes on them and I waited.

To my surprise, I felt Aiden's hand slip into mine. Instinctively, I still wanted to pull away from him, just the way he had at first, but I resisted the urge and locked my fingers with his as he moved to stand beside me. And don't think that Aiden being there, standing next to me didn't have an effect. It did. I wasn't alone. Here was there. It was strange, to think how much of a difference having someone with you could make.

I watched as the two intruders exchanged glances, and when the bigger on took a step forward I couldn't help the way I flinched despite the smile on his face. Smile? Yup. He was smiling. It wasn't an evil smile. Just a smile, as he glanced back at the other guy again and they both laughed.

"Nice day, isn't it boys?" the smaller one laughed as Aiden and I stepped aside so they could pass by and continue on their way.

We were still staring in their direction after they had disappeared completely, and finally Aiden squeezed my hand, drawing me to look at him. I must have still had that cat trapped in the bathtub look because Aiden appeared concerned.

"You okay, Owe? You're shaking."

Yes. Yes, I was shaking. That couldn't be helped. I was still trying to make sense of what just happened, but when I pulled Aiden to me, wrapping my arms around him and buried my face against his shoulder, I found myself laughing. Laughing hard. He must have thought that I was crying because his arms tightened around me and his hands made gentle motions over my back as he whispered soothing nonsense against my ear.

When I pulled back and Aiden saw that I was laughing he paused, a look of bewilderment crossed his face and then he started laughing too.

"That scared the crap out of me." I managed to get out.

"Shit," Aiden muttered, "You scared me. When they left I thought I was going to have to carry you off this mountain."

"Like you could." I smirked as he wrapped his arms around my back and pulled me closer. I hugged him back and was surprised at how tight I found myself holding on. I noticed that he had stopped laughing, and his expression was unreadable. I hoped that he wasn't worried. I rested my chin against his shoulder and let out a breath, satisfied with the way that he was hugging me back. "You know what, Aiden? It is a nice day."


The end of the trail led to a drop off, and for once there was no mess of trees blocking our view. We could see down the side of the mountain, not that we were very far up, but it was still a great view. I assumed that Aiden would be all over it, so when he moved closer to the edge and just sat down without touching the camera hanging from his neck I was a little perplexed.

I pulled the backpack off my shoulders and dropped down behind him, positioning myself so that my knees were on either side of him as I wrapped my arms around him and cradled his back against my chest. He leaned into me and I slid my hands into his jacket, warming them against his chest.

"Tired of taking pictures already?" I asked.

"I pulled away from you." Aiden sighed, sliding his hand under his coat and placing it over both of mine.

"What are you talking about?"

"Back there," he replied, "When those guys surprised us. I pulled away from you."

"So what? I would have done the same thing." I insisted, "They surprised us, Aiden."

"But I shouldn't have," he replied, releasing a breath, "I mean, you're different, Owen. I'm...everyone knows about me now. At school, even away from school. Everyone knows. It wasn't supposed to bother me, you know? I'd always thought that if the people who mattered knew about me, then if it happened it wouldn't matter. But there were so many other people...like Adam. People I've known forever. You know people actually avoid my register at work. Some of the adults in our town are just as bad as the kids."

I held onto Aiden a little tighter and kissed the side of his neck. It hurt to hear him talk about this. I hated that he had to go through it and I hated that it was hard for him. I hated everyone who made it hard for him.

"But I'm out, Owen. I'm out." He paused, as if thinking his own words over. If I didn't know that he had been dealing with this shit for two weeks I would have thought that he was just now realizing it. "People already know what I am, so it shouldn't have bothered me when those guys saw us. I shouldn't have pulled away from you."

"You're thinking about it too much." I insisted, "I think...I think we spend so much time trying to hide, that when we don't have to hide anymore, it takes some adjusting, you know?" I stopped to kiss his ear and he tilted his head, his eyes catching mine.

Aiden gave me a small smile, but this was obviously something that was going to bother him. I didn't have the right to say that I knew what he was going through. Not really. But, I could relate to those feelings of guilt. I felt guilty that Aiden was out and I wasn't.

I think Aiden was trying to be strong. He had always seemed so certain of himself when he talked about coming out. You'd almost think that the idea didn't scare him. But obviously, now that it had happened, he was discovering that he wasn't as comfortable with it as he thought he would be. Unfortunately, I had no idea what to do or say to make him feel better.

But, Aiden never did seem to let these things bother him for long. His smile slowly grew until it seemed contagious and I couldn't help smiling back. He was giving me one of those looks again, the kind that could make me blush no matter where we were, with a lazy smile and slightly glazed over eyes as he relaxed against me.

Holding myself up, I flattened the palms of my hands against his chest, under his and pulled him even closer as I tilted my head and caught his lips with mine. I could still feel his smile against my mouth as I kissed him, parting my lips as he did and grazing his tongue with mine.

He closed his eyes as he reached up and cupped the back of my head, kissing me more soundly as he opened and I pushed my tongue past his teeth, into his mouth. My fingers began to move over his chest. I felt him tremble as he snuggled back closer to me and wrapped his arms around my knees as his chest ached up against the light contact of my fingers.

When he pulled back he let his head drop back on my shoulder, taking a deep breath as I found his nipples through his shirt, already hardened as I brushed my thumbs over them.

"We should start walking again." Aiden suggested, although he made no move to get up. "If you don't stop touching me soon, it's going to be an uncomfortable walk back."

I glanced down and smiled at the bulge straining his jeans. It looked like he would already be having an uncomfortable walk back. I knew I would. My cock was erect, firmly pressing against his back. But just as he made no move to get up, I had no intention of stopping as I responded my nipping his earlobe with my teeth as I slid my hands down his chest, over his stomach and stopping just before I reached his jeans. When I moved my hands up again, Aiden seemed to arch up with them, his body inadvertently grinding against my erection.

I moved my mouth over his neck, grazing his skin with my teeth as his arms tightened around my legs and he tilted his head back against my shoulder, his weight pressing back against my body and trapping my cock. I slid my hands down over his stomach again and didn't stop this time as I unbuttoned his jeans, only to have Aiden's hands come over mine as his eyes snapped open.

"Are you crazy?" he practically whispered, "You're supposed to be the one who's not interested in becoming an exobitionist! This isn't a private trail and after what just happened with those guys..."

"So you be the look out." I chuckled against his ear as I carefully moved down his zipper, with no resistance from Aiden.

"You're such a bad influence." He mumbled as I proceeded to kiss his neck, opening his pants just enough to get a hand in. He sighed as I traced his erection through his boxers before moving my hand up and pushing my fingers under his shirt.

I could feel the goose-bumps over his chest, likely there from the way that I was touching him rather than the cold, and as I made contact with his nipples he turned his head and I parted my lips, pressing my mouth over his as I thrust my tongue in. This time he tasted like root beer. That's what we'd been drinking on the ride down. He always seemed to taste like something sweet.

Aiden leaned back into me, arching his hips up off the ground as I hooked my thumbs in his jeans and eased them down, just enough to push his boxers down over his cock until his balls were exposed too.

He moaned against my mouth as I wrapped my fingers around his shaft, squeezing as he arched up and his body pressed back against me again. I jumped a little when the hard denim of my jeans pressed against my erection, but despite that, I found myself leaning forward, pressing my cock against his back as I began to stroke him and kiss him harder.

His fingers began to dig in under my knees and I pushed them closer to his body, cradling him between my legs as I stroked up and down the length of his erection, moving my thumb over the head and pressing against his slit, smearing his pre-come as he arched up again, his back grinding against my cock.

Aiden tore his mouth away from mine and I watched his eyes roll back as he dropped his head back on my shoulder. His breath hitched and he let out a small groan as I moved down, fondling his balls as my hand moved up his shirt and I flicked my thumb against his nipple. I moved my tongue over his neck and then kissed my way up his skin, pulling his earlobe between my teeth and he trembled when he felt my breath against his ear.

I stroked his cock, finding a slow rhythm that he seemed to like until he was shaking, arching up every time. His chest was heaving as his breathing became more ragged. I loved it when he got like this. It meant he was close.

But my breathing was becoming somewhat irregular too. I couldn't decide if it felt good or if it hurt every time that his warm body came into contact with my erection, pressing and rubbing my jeans against my boxers, sending sharp sensations through my cock.

Aiden suddenly sat up a little, his lower back settling firmly against the dripping bulge in my pants as he turned his head and kissed me hard. I felt his tongue against my lips and then it grazed my teeth as I opened for him and he invaded my mouth.

When Aiden came against my hand, his body pushed back hard against mine and I think for a second, I blacked out. I felt a slight pull in my balls and my pants suddenly felt wet, but the realization that I had just come, didn't exactly register because Aiden was still kissing me.

I cupped the back of his neck, holding him to me with my clean hand until he hesitantly pulled back and just smiled at me. He had a goofy, sated look on his face and I couldn't help laughing at him. When he looked down and saw the wet spot on my jeans, it was his turn to laugh.

"Are you kidding?" he remarked, "Damn, and here I was looking forward to getting even."

"Shit." I chuckled, reaching for the backpack. "You'll have plenty of time later to get even." I turned my attention from him as I began to open the bag one handedly, but then I felt Aiden's hand gently on my shoulder.


I looked up again and closed my eyes as he leaned forward and softly pressed his lips against mine for more than a few seconds. When he pulled back I was smiling at him, as I dug into the backpack for the handy-wipes.

Aiden watched me tentatively as I wiped off my hand and then carefully cleaned him up, lightly wiping away the mess with one of the wipes, not wanting to be to quick about it in case he was still sensitive. When I was finished I zipped him up and he unzipped me long enough to clean up my own mess. And I did feel sensitive, especially after the jeans rubbing against me. I was sensitive, but completely content at the moment.

Only, I suddenly wished that we weren't on this mountain. I wanted a warm, soft bed that I could curl up in with Aiden. I guess it was safe to say, that I wanted a nap. But, when he moved to sit beside me and threw his arm around my shoulders I leaned against him and felt comfortable enough as we silently went back to enjoying the view, and each other's company.

"Look." He said pointing.

I followed the direction in which his finger was pointing and smiled. He had spotted the pond we had swum in before, and the rocks. I had wondered if we'd end up there again. I wasn't sure that I'd have the nerve to jump in that damn water this time, but it was probably one of my best memories with Aiden. Of course, now sitting there with him was on that list too. I didn't need to relive the pond experience. This new experience seemed better. We weren't at the top of the mountain, but I felt like, at the moment, we were on top of the world.


On the way back to the truck I was surprised how much time had passed. The sun was getting lower in the sky, and I was surprised at how much time had passed while we were on our hike.

But, I guess we weren't in any hurry. We were taking our time getting back, through the campground. Every once in a while we'd catch site of a fire, or some other people. They weren't really paying attention to us. I'm not sure if they even noticed us. I guess we weren't paying attention to them either. That's probably why I didn't put too much thought into it when I held Aiden's hand.

Aiden was quiet. I figured that he was just enjoying his surroundings, like I was. I didn't realize that his mind was on anything until he spoke up.

"She called the other day." He said quietly. "My mom."

I looked up, squeezing his hand and he gave me a small smile.

"She sounded okay." Aiden continued. "She thinks it'll be different this time. She asked me to toss out all of her stashes that I can find in the house. She even told me where they were. Usually, I have to find them on my own."

"Do you want help?" I asked.

"I'm okay." Aiden smiled, "she'll be back before us anyways. If she can get rid of some of it by herself...then maybe I'll know she'll be all right. And she even has a sponsor this time."

"That's good." I nodded. Although, I had my doubts about his mom coming back. From what I heard, he'd been through this situation before and he'd always ended up hurt in the end. For Aiden's sake, I hoped that things would be different this time.

"And I told her about us." he said, almost hesitantly.

It took a few seconds for what he said to hit me, but when they did I stopped walking and just stared at him. I wasn't really sure what to say. I didn't know what that last admission meant. I didn't even know if it was a good or bad thing.

"Look," Aiden sighed, taking my other hand so that he had both of them, "I know you've only met her a few times...I just wanted her to know, Owen. In the past, I never even brought guys home with me. I mean, she knows I'm gay, but with you...if you're going to be around I just wanted her to know that you mean something to me."

"Oh." I nodded. I was having mixed feelings. Aiden told his mom about us. I guess it was unreasonable to think that she'd never find out, but still. On one hand it meant more to me than Aiden would ever know, that he cared about me enough to tell his mom that we were together. But, part of me felt like I'd been outed to a woman who Aiden couldn't trust half the time.

"She wants to meet you." He continued, "Not like before, but maybe have you over for dinner or something."

"Huh?" that came out more panicked than I meant for it to.

"I know parents make you nervous." Aiden continued.

"Aiden..." Dinner with his mom? I wasn't sure how to take this. The idea really scared the hell out of me.

"You don't have to." He insisted, wrapping an arm around me and pulling me closer to him. "It's up to you, Owen. I'm just asking you to think about it, you've got all the time you want. Just, please think about it."

"Alright." I nodded. I guess that didn't seem like too much pressure. And agreeing earned me a smile and a kiss.

"Thank you." Aiden sighed, sounding somewhat relieved.

"Why didn't you mention this before?" I asked as we started walking again.

"It didn't seem like a good time." Aiden shrugged, "and to be honest, I wasn't sure that it was such a good idea for you to get to know my mom. I mean, you haven't exactly had the best luck with parents. And my mom...well, no one's voting her mother of the year. I was afraid if I mentioned it before, you'd freak out."

"I don't like parents." I admitted, "I know things have been weird lately...but you could have talked to me about it, Aiden. It's not like you're trying to force me into it or anything. I wish people would stop worrying about how I'll react to this stuff."

"It wasn't just worrying about how you'd react, Owen." Aiden admitted, "It was me too. I wanted my mom to know that I care about you, so I told her about us. But, when she said she wanted to meet you, like for real, it kinda scared me."

"What do you mean?"

"She's a drunk, Owen." Aiden frowned. "I don't even let my friends come over because of the way she acts. I don't want them to see it. It's embarrassing. I'm afraid they'll meet her and...think less of me. Sometimes I feel responsible when she gets like that. I don't like the people who I care about to see it. I didn't want you to see it. But I guess you already have." He finished, frowning.

"Hey," I said, wrapping an arm around his back and pulling him against my side as we walked, "Your mom's drinking has nothing to do with you, Aiden. It's not exactly something that you can control. And maybe you're right. Maybe this time she'll get better. And even if she doesn't, it won't change the way that I feel about you."

Aiden gave me a small smile and leaned over to kiss my temple as the truck came into view.

"So will you think about it?" he asked.

Dinner with Aiden's mom. I wasn't sure that I even wanted to think about it. But, he wouldn't have brought it up if it didn't mean something to him. He wouldn't have told his mom that we were together if I didn't mean something to him.

"I'll do it." I agreed.

"Really?" he smiled, "you don't even want to think about it first?"

"What's there to think about?" I shrugged, "my boyfriend would like me to meet his mother. The least I can do is show up for you, Aiden. Besides, I want her to know how much you mean to me too."

"Yeah?" he smiled.

"Yeah. And, it's kinda normal, right? Meeting your boyfriend's parents. It's supposed to be scary...I think."

"You've already met my mom." Aiden laughed, "and seen her at her worst."

"Yeah, but it's not the same." I insisted, "I mean now...I feel like I'll have to impress her or something. You know, prove I'm good enough for you."

"Hey," Aiden laughed, suddenly placing his hands on my waist and backing me up against my truck as we reached it. "You don't have to impress anyone."

I sighed, closing my eyes as his mouth came down against mine and I felt his tongue brush against my lips. I opened for him, reaching up to cup the back of his head as he kissed me, and when he pulled back I wrapped my arm around his neck, resting my forehead against his and keeping him close.

"Would you come home with me?" I asked, "I mean, if my parents..." I'm not sure where that question came from. Actually, I was shocked with myself for even asking something like that. Aiden meeting my parents? I mean, maybe if things were different...I guess thinking about properly meeting his mom got me thinking. Maybe she was a drunk, but she at least accepted her son. Why couldn't my parents accept me? Why couldn't they be happy for me if I told them that I'd met a guy as great as Aiden? "Sorry...never mind."

I was feeling foolish, and Aiden was just studying me, but then he smiled and leaned forward to kiss my cheek.

"If things were different, I'd go home with you in a heartbeat." He stated. "And, maybe I don't have to impress your parents...but you do have two older brothers who scare the hell out of me ever since we've gotten together."

"Tony and Chris?" I laughed, "But you're just as much a brother to them as I am."

"Maybe." He said sheepishly, "but they've always really cared about you, you know? I mean, they talked about you all the time. When we first got together, I sort of expected one of them to pull me aside and give me the big brother speech."

"Did they?" I asked, horrified.

"No." Aiden laughed, "But it's still a little more intimidating to be around them sometimes, now that we're together."

"Is that why you won't move in with us?" I asked curiously.

Aiden frowned, and I wondered if it was a bad idea to bring the subject up.

"That's only some of it, Owe." he replied, "I mean, I know we're sleeping in the same bed every night anyways...but, if my mom's gonna be around, I feel like I should at least try to live with her. I'll probably be moving out after I turn eighteen anyways...having my own place senior year might be nice, you know?"

This was news to me.

"But where will you go?" I asked, a little panicked, "I mean, you'll have school, and you're only working part time right now. Getting your own place will be tough, I mean..."

Aiden's laughter interrupted me. I frowned at him as he took my hand and opened the driver's side door of my truck.

"Lets get in the car." He insisted, "It's getting cold out here."

I sighed, getting in the truck to turn it on as Aiden walked around. I turned up the heat as he got in and I waited.

"Do you remember when I told you that my dad was in real estate?" he asked.

"Yeah." I nodded.

"Well, a few of the buildings he owned were in town." Aiden explained. "My mom inherited most of them, even though they were divorced. She sold a lot of them though. That's pretty much how she's been living between jobs when she can't hold one because she's too drunk... But, I got a few too. I let my mom sell most of them, but I kept two. We live in one of them."

Huh. I wondered if I'd ever stop learning all of these new little facts about Aiden.

"So you're like, the land lord?" I asked.

"I guess." He shrugged. "Mom gets the rent for our building right now, though. It's not like I really need it, and she takes care of everything until I'm eighteen anyways. She'll probably just keep our building when I do...but the other one...I've been talking to Jake about getting it up to code. My dad did a lot of work on it before he died. It's six apartments, and Jake says he knows a few people who I could rent the other five of them too. I have some money saved up so the most expensive part would be getting it all set up. Eventually I'd turn a profit...I was thinking about moving there."

Moving? Everything else just seemed to go right over my head. Aiden was moving? Sure, it wouldn't be for a while, but moving? I liked having him so close. I liked that he could come over in the middle of the night and get into bed with me.

"Where's the building?" I asked.

"Over by the school." He replied, "not very far. Um, when we get back we can go over there if you want. You can see it."

"Okay." I nodded.

I must have looked troubled. I was troubled by this news. I knew that I should just be happy for him. He was able to get away from his mom if he needed to, and what teenager wouldn't want their own place? But, I was beginning to learn that I didn't like change. I was used to my surroundings, and having Aiden so close. It wasn't like he was moving very far, but I still didn't like it.

"Hey," he said, reading my mind as he reached over and took my hand. "It won't be for a while." He insisted, "Maybe not even until next year. And I'm not going very far. I know I could move in with you guys if I needed to, but let's face it Owe, it could get crowded. And you guys have your own family stuff to deal with."

"I like it when you crowd me." I smirked at him.

"And I plan to do plenty more of that in the near future." He smiled. He gave my hand a tug and I turned in my seat, leaning towards him, "and don't look so down. It'll be great if I move out. Just think about it, when you come over you won't have to hide all that screaming you do when we're in your bed."

"I do not scream!" I laughed at him.

"Okay, not scream...but you make all of those little grunting sounds..." and he proceeded to imitate said sounds as I cracked up at his effort, trying not to blush too much. Aiden finally stopped and laughed as he pulled me closer to him and trapped my bottom lip between his teeth before he gently pressed his lips against mine.

"I'm not that bad." I mumbled, recalling some of the sounds that had come out of Aiden before, and feeling the need to adjust my cock after remembering them.

"It's definitely not bad." Aiden grinned at me. "Actually, I love all of those little sounds you make. Just as much as I love you, Owen."


A really long pause.

There was that word again. Love. This time it was coming out of Aiden's mouth. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that this was the part where I say something. Something like, I love you too. Anything but thank you. Thank you just doesn't sound right at a time like this.

And I don't think that it was because I didn't want to say it. I even opened my mouth but no words came out. Maybe it was because I had been thinking about how this would happen. Saying I love you was a huge thing to me, ridiculous or not. Aiden had said it and I hadn't been expecting it. But, I guess if our first date was any indication, I should have known that things wouldn't always turn out like I expected them to with Aiden.

I kept running silly questions through my mind. Have I known him long enough to love him? Yes, I think so. I think I started loving him that first day waiting to go into the principles office when he was completely standoffish with me. Was it love? Is that what I felt? I guess so. Was Aiden really saying that he loved me, or was it an offhanded remark just then? No. He meant it. I could tell by the way he was looking at me. And the amazing thing was that he didn't even look expectant, like he expected me to say it back. Did I feel different, hearing him say that? Maybe a little. He always made me feel amazing. The way he was looking at me now made me feel special. No one had ever looked at me like that before. Did I love Aiden? Yeah, I loved him. Did I want to tell him? Yes. That would be the reasonable thing to do.

But, before I could get any words out Aiden decided that he'd left me incapable of forming actual words and took matters into his own, capable hands as he cupped the sides of my face and kissed my already opened mouth.

I felt his tongue against mine and seemed to snap out of whatever shock I was experiencing, and I latched onto the front of his jacket and kissed him back. Maybe I couldn't quite get the words out, but I could definitely show him how I was feeling about him. I think I did a good job too, because Aiden was practically panting when he pulled back and grinned at me.

"So where are we going now?" he asked.

"Well...I was going to take you to dinner, but..." I looked down at the stain on my jeans and the dried marks of come on his jacket before I looked back at him and we both started laughing.

"I guess we'll just have to eat in." I smirked as I threw the truck into reverse and backed out to the road we had taken up here.

"Eat in?" he asked curiously, "Where? You know, we could have camped, would have made it easier."

"Maybe." I smiled, "But that would ruin my plans for tomorrow. And I'm not finished with you yet."

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