The following story is for adults and contains descriptions of sexual contact between teenage males. If you are a minor it is illegal for you to read, or if you find the subject objectionable, read no further. All the characters, events and settings are the product of my over-active imagination. I hope you like it. Mail me or if literary analysis interests you visit Eliot's Space.



by eliot moore

Chapter Thirteen

Reverse Triptych

Reports that Riverview had banned "freak" dancing led to confusion
Riverside Journal, September 12th

A School Board dance policy that bans all sexual activity was announced this week and created a controversy that left many students confused as to what the policy actually was, which resulted in low ticket sales and attendance at the Riverview High School Freshman Orientation Dance on Friday.

Many students were misinformed about the rules, believing that freak dancing altogether was banned, when in fact only sexually-explicit dancing is not allowed.

"Originally, the Board had said 'no freak dancing,' and then [the student govern-ment] started questioning and said, 'Well, how do you define freak dancing?'" Riverview High Principal Frank Donaldson said. "I think [freak dancing] to kids means different things."

However, one thing that all students could agree on is that freaking is quite popular at the dances, and banning it would be a very unpopular move. "Banning freaking would be pointless, because then there would only be a couple people left at the dance," Senior Katie Doyle said. "Almost everyone does it."

Freaking, however, is not what concerned Donaldson.

"What we are finding inappropriate is when it appears that [dancing] is specifically emulating sexual intercourse," Donaldson said.

This should not be hard to enforce. In fact, many students are in agreement with Donaldson that sexually-explicit dancing is inappropriate.

"I don't think freaking should be banned, but I think its fine if really sexually explicit dancing is," freshman Amber Klein said.

One of the main factors contributing to confusion about the policy was the heavy media coverage involved. The attention itself proved baffling to many who did not understand why the press was as interested in something as simple as a school dance policy.

"I think it ended up having such a big splash because [the Riverside Journal headline on February 20, 'Freaking banned,' was totally misleading," Donaldson said. "Some of the reporters said this was a chance to do something that was pretty sensational. So, I think somehow people saw it as news."

In many cases, the policy was so misconstrued that students didn't want to attend the dance.

"Everyone thought freaking was banned, and nobody wanted to go," Klein said.

The number of tickets sold reflected the confusion over the policy. A little more than 250 students attended, which is extremely low compared to the normal 300 to 400 tickets.

Among the students who did attend the dance, very few had problems with the policy.

"I did go up to a few kids, but as soon as I [approached them], they stopped dancing the way they were, and it wasn't a big deal," Riverview Vice-principal John Cobb said.

As for future dances, Donaldson hopes that more students will return and enjoy themselves."I just hope that things can calm down, and that we can learn from our experience," Donaldson said.

Nightmares, Friday afternoon, September 11th

To Daniel the old restroom had the familiarity of nine years attending comfortable old schools. The sickly green tiles trimmed with a forest green border must have been fixed in place when his grandfather was young. Half-eaten disinfectant cakes fought a losing battle with the ambient smells of fresh urine. Daniel glanced at a student washing his hands at the sink then studiously ignored him as he hitched his book bag higher on his shoulder and moved over to the urinal. The water splashing against the sink had a harsh quality to it.

Daniel huddled naked beside the toilet. One hand rested lightly on the chrome lever. The taste of bile was strong and the force of his first evacuation had left a dull ache behind his eyes. His gorge rose a second time and he bent back over the poluted water and heaved. The effort cost him and he voiced a small cry of complaint before dropping his head onto the reassuring firmness of the seat.

He suppressed the mild anxiety that comes with exposing yourself to others. Peeing in public, the urine always flows like amber. Voices come and go and then Daniel is suddenly conscious of the powerful boy who has moved directly beside him. There is choice here and the boy, the young man with a mustache towering above him, has violated basic principles. At first Daniel feels only the usual discomfort of a male having his personal space invaded at a vulnerable moment. Eye contact is not a good idea so Daniel studies the rusty discoloration in the urinal. The dumb wildebeest at the watering hole unaware that a crocodile is momentarily going to surge out of the water to grab its exposed jugular and drag its shocked body into the murky depths. Daniel smiles at the thought as he carefully shakes off and turns away from the young man beside him. Daniel feels the anticipation of sharing an hour with Mandy. He will not let himself think of the tenth grader who had been so annoying at lunch.

They are not alone. Daniel feels hemmed in by the tall youth behind him and a new face. "Not so fast little buddy." Is it a senior? Daniel cannot be sure. He wishes they would wear badges. He pauses anyway. It is not in him to be offensive and the boy confronting him has a friendly face. "What's your name?" Daniel gives it up. This is when he should have run. "Say your Denver Hawk's freshie right?" The boy smiles and Daniel admits that he is. "Cool," he holds a fist out and cocks an eyebrow waiting for Daniel to respond. Their knuckles connect. Daniel wonders if he is one of Denver's friends. He does not recognize him. The boy swings around and Daniel becomes aware that there are two other boys at the door. When the boy swings back his smile fades and he pushes Daniel lightly with his fingers. "Drop and kiss my feet freshie." Daniel sighs and tries not to think of the soiled floor as he kneels to lightly brush his nose over the boy's dark shoes. Just get through the end of the day Daniel; Martel said the worst would be over after the dance. The boy holds out a hand gesturing for him to remain on his knees. This is taking too long now. Just as Daniel had predicted he will be late for English again. "Let's see what that faggot taught you." Definitely not Denver's friend, "You suck cock good kid, I watched you." Amongst the teaming hallways of Riverview Daniel had thought that party moment would be forgotten.

"Do you mind? I'm going to be late for class." Daniel tries an exit but as soon as he gains his feet he is pushed back toward the urinals. Strong arms strip his book bag away and fling it toward the sinks and he is locked in the grip of the tall youth behind him.

"Daniel, are you okay in there?" Daniel lifted his head and swallowed past the acid burn in the back of his throat.

"I'm fine" It came out softly.

"What?" His mother's voice was sharp. Daniel drew a deep breath.

"I'm fine. It's okay." He managed to control the trembling in his voice. He drew a hand over his clammy face.

"If you don't feel well you shouldn't go out tonight. Just phone Denver and tell him. I'm sure he will understand." Daniel could hear his mother's concern and her suggestion drove him to his feet. Tonight was important. Daniel needed to see Denver badly. He wrapped his arms around his chest as he trembled.

"I'm fine. "I'm just going to take a shower."

"Well maybe you should come home after the dance. You don't look good." Daniel shook his head and closed his eyes. It was almost more than he could bear trying to maintain his calm. A wave of panic washed over him and set him trembling harder. He dominated it for a moment and drew a deep breath before answering. When he spoke his voice was light and he managed a convincing laugh.

"Jeesh mom I just have a bit of the runs for gosh sake. Can't a guy have some privacy? I'm fine. I'll be okay at Denver's." She had agreed to it. "You said it would be okay mom." There was a pause and then to Daniel's relief she had given in. Alone again the trembling had returned. Daniel took a long look at himself in the mirror and turned to the shower. The hot water felt good. Daniel stood beneath the pounding jets, head bowed, hoping the water would cleans him.

"Hey, stop it! Let go!" Daniel glances toward the doors but the one boy is leaning on the jam. It comes to Daniel that nobody will interrupt what is going to happen. "What the fuck is wrong with you guys?"

"Lighten up kid and stop struggling." The boys giggle nervously together and Daniel relaxes in the tall boy's arms. He needs to be patient. If he makes a fuss things could get worse. "Off with your pants kid." This is suddenly familiar to Daniel; it is the girls in the restroom again. Daniel shrugs off the tall boys hands and with a slight frown yanks his shoes off. He pauses a moment before loosening his jeans to give each boy a disapproving glance. His mild protest is met with friendly smirks. These boys are enjoying his discomfort so Daniel accepts the inevitable and lets them have their fun. He stands before them, arms crossed with an exasperated frown. Daniel is wearing boxers. He consoles himself that if his pants are lost in the hallway he can walk with at least some of his dignity intact. Besides, the bell has rung and now the halls should be empty. Daniel can trace the path to his locker where he has stashed a pair of shorts for just this moment. Daniel is a quick study. "The boxers too sport." They are cruel. Daniel cannot imagine the impulses that drive these older boys to humiliate him in this way. Waves of shame and embarrassment flow through him. They mock him and they will mock his youth and immaturity. A hard poke in his back startles him out of his shock. "Get it over with kid. It's not like we haven't seen a wee little winky is it Frank?"

"Gee Jake; you think you've said enough?" Frank is facing him and Jake is behind. Daniel notes the sarcasm in the tall boy's voice. Daniel did not need their names. He could pick these three out of a police line-up with no difficulty. Given the chance, he intends to. The boxers are tossed over to the sinks where his book bag lies unnoticed. With luck the boys will forget this and only take his pants. Daniel returns to his former stance, arms crossed, staring Frank down. He fights the impulse to look down to check himself or let a hand cup his naked groin. Frank and Jake share a giggle and the boy by the door blurts out a curse and joins them. Daniel is ready with a quip to ease his tension, maybe laugh at himself and bring the three boys around a little like he had brought Simon around at the party. The words die on his lips and all that comes out is a soft puff of air. Frank is staring at him. This is the look he saw on the ridge with Evan when the men cajoled them for a picture. Daniel has caught Denver in this look and flushed with private pleasure. Daniel's bowels loosen and his groin suddenly feels heavy. A hand touches Daniel's tensed cheek and he vibrates in shock.

"He has a cute bubble-butt Frank." Daniel focuses on Frank's crotch in numbed fascination. Behind the loose drapes of the stone-washed denim the older boy's cock is half erect. It pulls the fabric out in a long tube that must be too long and thick to be real. It moves within its confines. Daniel fires a right hook up into Frank's face and as the stunned senior falls away he swivels into a perfect fighting stance and drives a hard heel into Jake's groin forcing the agonized seventeen-year-old back into a dirty urinal. The boy at the door slips away in humiliated silence. Only that does not happen.

Daniel tilted his head back into the water and opened his mouth to catch the hot stream. God, oh God, he lamented, what do I do? There was no pleasure in the traceries of water crossing his body. Daniel spit the water out of his mouth. The memory burned in him and for a moment Daniel hated himself; but in the core of his fourteen-year-old soul where his grandfather held counsel something said "no!" He listened to the echo reverberate within the confines of bathroom. "Fucking ass holes" he added. That felt better, only the feeling did not last and Daniel was overtaken by despair. He fell back against the tiles and slowly slipped down the wall. The water dropped like rain and Daniel, naked and oh so vulnerable, folded his legs up to his chin. Daniel wept like he had not wept since he stood beside his grandfather's grave.

Jake's hand slides to Daniel's hip and Daniel does finally move. He twists away and elbows Jake below his ribs. It is a solid contact but Jake shrugs it off and wraps his arms around Daniel in a bear hug that forces the air from him. When Frank moves forward Daniel begins kicking at him. The three struggle for a bit but with his feet in the air Daniel has no leverage and he cannot break the iron grip digging into his solar plexus. Jake swings him easily away from Frank and in a few steps has Daniel at the sinks. Daniel's shirt and t-shirt betray him when Jake pulls them over his head denying him the use of his arms. He ends his fight bent over a sink, arms pulled painfully behind his back. His head is mashed into the wall and his jaw grazes the chrome faucets. The corner of the sink cuts into the base of his cock and he knows he is exposed. Daniel is a strong boy but Jake and Frank have the advantage. There seems nothing left to do but beg. Daniel's voice comes out high and desperate now. "Please don't" he is sure this is what they have in mind. He can feel Jake's cock nestled between his exposed cheeks. Even in his imagination it was not this way. The memory of the dry vibrator adds to his fright. "Don't do it please, come on, just let me go." There are hands touching him and muscles ripple up and down Daniel's stomach. "Please..." he finally whispers and the tears mingle with the mucus on his lips.

The two boys are having a conference and his fate hangs in the balance. The boy by the door has been joined by the fourth boy who has been out in the hall and they add their voices to the debate. Time is an issue, then too Daniel has not been very quiet. Jake has been having a moment with Daniel's anus. The rough fabric arouses Daniel despite his fright. Finally Frank leans close to Daniel's face and he is treated to the smell of stale tobacco. "You gonna be quiet?" Daniel is silent. He senses he is being offered a deal but the terms are not clear to him. "Jake wants your ass kid and frankly so do I." Jake continues his slight masturbation.

"Don't... do it" the word rape and fuck are on Daniel's lips but he cannot put words to his fear. He twists his head toward Frank and meets his eyes. The sparkle of laughter in Frank's face defeats him. "Please"

"Tell you what pretty boy, what say you suck us off and we leave your ass for Denver ?" It is an out and Daniel spends little time thinking about it. He closes his eyes and nods. The tears don't stop. They pull him off the sink and unbelievable relief washes over Daniel. His head is light. Arms still constricted by his t-shirt, Frank pushes him in the direction of a stall. He slams through the door and drops hard onto the toilet. After a few words the watch resumes at the door and Frank looms over Daniel. The cock he guides between Daniel's lips is short and thick. It stretches his mouth uncomfortably. "Fuck kid, watch the teeth." Daniel avoids looking at him preferring to stare at the heavy belt buckle and the tufts of pubic hair poking between the brass teeth of Frank's zipper. Frank is quick. When he cums he pumps his hips twice jamming the heavy cock into the back of Daniel's throat making him gag. Daniel wishes his hands were free so he could ward off the thrusts. Frank leaves without a word and Daniel uses the break to spit the residue onto the floor beside him and starts to work at freeing his arms.

Daniel has his hands free when Jake comes for his turn. "Fuck" Jake whispers as he looks at Daniel. The roughness is gone and the young man with a moustache runs a hand through Daniel's hair. He does not seem to care that Daniel flinches away. Jake pulls a wad of toilet paper off the roll and wipes Daniel's nose and lip. "Take it out" Daniel begins to open the fly "just pull the pants down." Jake is huge and very hard. He is circumcised like Daniel and above the blue network of veins the flared head is glistening with a fresh drop of clear fluid. Jake's scrotum is a tight package surrounded by a hallo of black hair. "Hold it with your hands; otherwise I'm going to jam this right through the back of your head." Jake's voice is gentle. When Daniel hesitantly wraps a palm around the hot organ Jake catches his breath. Daniel takes the tip into his mouth and passively allows Jake to draw the tight glan back and forth over his tongue. Daniel murmurs a protest when Jake begins to pet and fondle his hair. The touch is a further violation to him. "God kid, do me. Oh my god you're so hot." Jake is whispering this under his breath and Daniel shudders when one hand moves down to his shoulder. When the hand trails down to his nipple he pulls away and shoots Jake a warning look. This is not love-making. Jake offers a smile and guides his cock back into Daniel's mouth. Jake is charged and within a few strokes he begins to pulse. He holds Daniel's hair in an iron grip keeping him on his cock well after he has spent himself. "Swallow, keep it." Daniel's mouth is full of Jake's sour flavor. It mixes with the mucus from his nose and his saliva. It is a bitter mixture to swallow.

Jake pulls him off of the toilet seat and manhandles him against the metal partition. Jake must have twenty-four kilograms and fifteen centimeters on Daniel. One hand holds him by the shoulder, thumb pressed into his throat as Jake bends to kiss his lips. The other hand cups Daniel's groin curling to hook his balls. Daniel wants to push him away, but his hands press against the cold steel. The kiss lingers on as the free hand squeezes Daniel's limp cock and drifts upward to explore ridged muscles leading to Daniel's heaving chest. Jakes smell is strong and his cock still rubs against Daniel's skin leaving light trails. Jake's hand moves back down and slides around to the small of Daniel's back... Jake breaks the kiss and whispers into Daniel's ear "I could so do you," he licks an ear, "maybe later hey?" Daniel cannot meet the youth's eyes. He needs Jake to leave. Jake is a satanic Denver soiling Daniel's dreams.

He has a thought when Jake has reluctantly left him that the third and perhaps fourth boy will come for their turn. He stands in the stall listening for a long while. Finally he stoops to retrieve his shirts and carefully moves back out into the restroom. His pants remain where he dropped them and his boxers lie beside his book bag. Daniel puts the boxers on, but when he lifts his jeans he stops. He pulls his phone from his pocket and moves slowly back into the stall where he had been violated. Behind the closed door he considers first his mother's phone number and then Denver's. His fingers shake uncontrollably as he tries to punch Denver's number into the phone. Tears resume and he is silently sobbing. The fingers will not work and he has no idea what he wants to say. Daniel sinks to the floor beside the toilet defeated again. The useless phone is clutched tightly in his hand as he cries. This is how Simon finds him.

High school is scene for a gang assault. Six arrested, including 2 juveniles
Riverside Journal, September 12 th

Six people, including a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, have been arrested and charged with a gang assault on a youth that occurred at the Riverview High School, a police spokesperson said yesterday. City police on duty yesterday refused to provide details, saying that only the chief could speak about the arrests. But an officer at the City Jail confirmed that four 17-year-olds were being held on felony assault charges

stemming from a fight at the high school Friday afternoon. It was not clear yesterday how many students from the high school were involved in the fight. But a police source said the attackers cameto the school from North High School looking for a specific teenager who had been involved in an incident earlier in the week.

Gabriel Eleda, 17, of River Heights, was charged with second-degree gang assault, false impersonation, third-degree criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. Joel Gurrier and Jeffrey

Jeanty, both 17 and of River Heights, along with Stephan Alexis, 17, of the Cathedral District, were charged with second-degree assault, a deputy said. Also arrested was a 14-year-old male, who was charged with second-degree attempted gang assault, and a 15-year-old male, charged with third-degree assault. The four older youths were sent to the city Jail, pending further action. The 14-year-old and the 15-year-old were apparently released to the custody of their parents. School district officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.


Recovery, Friday night, September 11th

Daniel glanced at Denver as they drove back to the school for the dance. He was not sure he could face the school again. He did not even ask what the dance was going to be like. Daniel had not mentioned the afternoon. What would be the point? Denver could not do anything about it now. Daniel had concluded he had to try and cope with it on his own. He knew how Arlo had felt during that first week of the summer. He had hated the feeling of helplessness and he felt betrayed by the four seniors.

Denver let Daniel sit in silence. Something heavy hung over Daniel. Something his usual resilience could not handle. Denver knew the dance could be hard on Daniel. It was the last party they had to go to and they both wanted to get it over with. They were friends. Each had found something he needed. Ironically they had moved beyond the Freshie-senior hazing to the mentorship the school had intended. The twenty-five minutes together every day was a pleasure to Denver and a welcome break from the pressure of his classes. Denver was not sure why they were going to the party. It just seemed a way to put closure on the whole thing. Denver pulled into a gas station to fill the Echo. Daniel pulled himself out of the passenger door and came to lean against the car close beside him. Denver smiled, drawing a wan smile from his young friend.

As Denver watched the pump a car load of people pulled in next to them. Two boys in his class piled out, their freshies shouting excitedly after them from the back seat. One, a classmate of Denver's, banged on the hood of the Echo and shot Denver a friendly finger before following the other into the convenience store. Daniel jumped at the noise and moved closer to Denver. "Are you okay?"

"Oh yeh, I guess I'm a little out of it." Daniel seemed to gather himself and offered a brighter smile back.

"Day go okay?"

Daniel shrugged and turned away. He leaned on the roof of the small car and watched the boys trying to buy a six-pack. Daniel was not sure if going to all these parties had been really necessary. After a week it was clear to him that half the students in his class never came to Freshie Activities. Arlo had been made to clean a park, fuck that. That seemed like nothing compared the agony he had gone through so far. He felt singled out for attention and resented it. He didn't know why he was a target and he suspected Denver was part of the problem. Daniel buried that thought quickly and turned back to watch as his friend pulled the receipt from the pump. Denver smiled at him and it took some of the pain away. One last freshie party he thought.

* ** *

Denver pocketed the stupid coin they had collected at the door and somebody checked their names off a list. It seemed a simple thing and Daniel was given another coin to keep in his pocket. Denver explained the coin would keep him out of trouble for the next week while the rest of the freshies who had missed the parties got dealt with. Daniel shrugged and put the coin away. No ninth grader could experience the trouble he had faced in his first week. There should have been a coin for the two parties he had attended during the summer. He tried to stay close to Denver.

They drifted into the gym where there was already a fair crowd dancing to a passable band. The dance was packed. The school had confined the dance to two thirds of the massive gym. The collapsible bleachers along one side had been opened for about fifteen rows to provide some seating and a fine view of the battle of the coming bands. Throughout the week Daniel had seen the posters advertising the different bands invited to perform. Mandy had met some of the musicians and he had listened nervously to her enthusiastic report of their audition tapes. Despite his misgivings and foul mood Daniel was drawn to the music and he made Denver follow him into the thickest clump. Denver felt like a parent chaperoning his son. He watched Daniel slowly enter the swirling mass of ninth grade boys and girls. They didn't dance, they simply stood together charged with the energy around them. Occasionally the girls would dance together and the boys would watch. A girl would coax a boy into dancing for a few minutes, but shyness or the silent press of watching boys overwhelmed the boys. And before long they faded back into the safety of the group.

Denver kept Daniel in the corner of his eye and stood with classmates. It was easier to stand and watch people rather than shout over the band. The band ended its set with a quiet song and Denver searched out his freshie in the mass of Tommy Hilfiger clones milling around like a flock of brightly colored birds.


Freak dancing

Daniel and Mandy had connected some time when Denver had looked away. They were dancing together stiffly. Denver sighed. He could read their body language from ten meters away. Mandy wanted him to relax and hold her close. She appeared to be leading him because every time she moved in, he would move back. He seemed stiff and tense. Denver thought Daniel looked so uncomfortable that Mandy must think he didn't like her. They broke apart quickly after the dance and the girl was distracted by three boys. A shy Daniel watched her excited conversation for a moment before turning away.

Denver steered Daniel over to the bleachers for a conference before the next set. Daniel had promised Mandy that he would come back for another dance. They sat on a bench, stretched their legs out and sat shoulders together. Daniel was feeling good about his dance with Mandy. When he was with Mandy he could forget he was a Freshie. Nothing had happened in the bathroom. He was a little surprised when Denver leaned his head close so nobody could hear. "Daniel; can't you see she likes you? You're so up tight out there she's going to think you're not interested."

Daniel knew he'd been nervous, but he had hoped it hadn't been that obvious. "I thought I was just respecting her space."

"You were not respecting that dark haired girl's space at the party last month. You were all over her." Daniel was confused by this and gave his senior a puzzled look. He didn't remember much about the last house party. All he remembered was the lingering effects of the dope and a monster hangover that had kept him sober since. Between the horror of cleaning puke off his bedroom carpet in the morning and Denver's lecturing him on a fight he had no memory of starting, Daniel had not even fought his grounding. Denver looked at his Freshie "She's not going to break. She needs to know how you feel." They glanced over at Simon when he sat next to them. "Simon, where's your senior?"

"Don't ask. Can I hang close to you Denver ? I think I see a few guys I pissed off this week."

"I guess. I'm trying to talk Daniel into making a play on Mandy" Daniel looked unsettled that Denver was making it a topic of conversation.

"Well, of course he should. She's the most patient girl I've ever seen." Simon gave Daniel a searching glance then quietly questioned his friend. "Are you doing okay dude?" Daniel's face burned as he watched the crowd.

"I'm okay, I guess. Thanks Simon, thanks for being there, you know?" He looked his friend in the eyes. He didn't know how to deal with the memory and he hated Simon knowing how weak he was.

"Kiss me you fool." Daniel fell sideways onto the floor when Simon grabbed his face and planted a kiss on Daniel's lips. "Grab my ass Daniel." Daniel grabbed his ass.

"What's the story?" he asked feeling Simon's hot breath on his lips. Simon kept running his fingers through Daniel's hair, their crotches uncomfortably close and the memory too painfully close to the afternoon. Only Simon's unrelenting straightness made it bearable. Simon seemed to know when the danger had passed because he started to pull away a moment later. He glanced under the bleachers and stopped.

"Jeez Daniel, look at that." Daniel followed his gaze and caught a shadowy image of Arlo locked in the embrace of another grade nine. The two boys glanced at each other and scrambled to their feet. They avoided looking at each other while they brushed themselves off. All of his feelings came crashing down on him again. They sat together in silence and Daniel resolved to make his move on Mandy when the music started. The school restroom had taken all the joy out of making the team, he hated being at the dance and he suddenly wanted to get it all over with. Only the thought of being with Denver steadied him.

She came back as she said she would. She stood momentarily alone adrift in the crowd spinning slowly as if to find him. Daniel ignored the warning bells shrieking in his head and walked slowly up to her. She saw him coming and he hesitated when a boy came up to ask her to dance. She shook her head with a smile and turned back to watch Daniel as he resumed his approach. He saw right through the glasses to her bright eyes and wanted to be with her so badly. He needed to burn away all his humiliations with a kiss from her lips. He ignored the words forming on her lips, took her hands and kissed her self consciously. When he broke the connection he took a deep breath to control his voice. "I like you Mandy, we've been, and well... friends for a long time, I know you miss Greg, or... I don't know, you're really cool, I know you have lots of guy friends now but, I mean, ah, will you be my girl?" It sounded terrible to him, it had turned into a shambles but he couldn't find a cool way to say it. He had jumped from the plane and he felt like he was heading for the ground at terminal velocity without a prayer. He looked into her liquid eyes in terror. She didn't make him wait.

"Yes Daniel, I will." Daniel's heart sang as she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. He glided back up into the air in triumph. They were dancing together before the music had even started.

"Well Denver, I thought your Freshie was a faggot like you are." Denver glanced up at Troy.

"Well he is Troy. I'm punishing him by making him dance with that ugly girl there. If he doesn't kiss her and hold her close he knows I will beat him later." Troy sat down beside Denver.

"You are so full of shit." he sat beside Denver looking out over the crowd. "I am sorry Denver. I don't like what you have become, but you were right about me and the girl." He was quiet for a while and Denver gave him a nudge with his shoulder to let him know he had heard, and that he had accepted the apology. "So have you nailed the kid yet?" Denver didn't dignify it with an answer.

"Peace Troy."

"Yeh, well maybe a truce; you start dating a chick again and then we'll hang out together. Till then you're just on probation."

"That'll do pig, that'll do." Troy couldn't help laughing at that and moved on. Denver thought that it was a start. Denver watched Daniel dance with Mandy. They were lost in each other in a way that Denver couldn't share with Mark. So little tolerance, he tried not to let it depress him.

"Oh God they're coming back! What should I do?" Simon sounded scared. Denver saw that the gang members were heading back with a group of their ninth grade wannabes.

"Slide under the bleachers."

"I'd rather not. I'd get raped back there." The gang was getting closer. Denver reached around and grabbed the skinny little kid and hauled him onto his lap.

"Hug me like I'm your mama pint-size." Simon snuggled up to him and buried his face in Denver's neck. Denver put his hand lightly on Simon's neck and played with his shaggy hair as the gang wandered past.

"Bastard; if you get a hard-on, I'll snap it in half like a twig. I can't believe I'm doing this after all the times I teased Daniel. Are they gone?" Denver imagined it was Daniel in his lap as he watched the real thing lost in his girl friend's arms.

"No, they are standing right behind you. Woops, they're turning around. You better kiss me."

"Fuck!" Simon gave him a light kiss on the cheek. Denver was tempted to give the kid a French kiss, but decided he had taken it far enough. Simon whispered in his ear "they aren't there are they?"

"No, they went out into the hallway a while ago." Simon leaned back and grabbed his shirt in two fists.

"You evil fag." he said gently narrowing his eyes at Denver. "This is an ugly side of you. I like it." Simon stayed on his lap and Denver realized that he was a little like Daniel. The grade nines really craved attention. Simon was lonely.

"What did you do to piss them off?" Denver let Simon balance his boney butt on his knees. He even bounced him a little.

"I got jumped leaving the school and kneed him in the sack." Denver got serious.

"That's a problem. The kid is going to have to take you out or he won't get his colors. You won't stay clear of him for ever. The longer you put it off the harder its going to be. He might only want to fight now, if you don't let him close, he'll bust a cap."

"We will see." Simon got off Denver and sat for a moment. "Daniel's a pretty boy, I don't thing its going very well for him. You should have made him ugly like Mandy." They watched them dance on the edge of the crowd. "They leave me alone because I don't look like much." he thought about it sadly. "I used to envy him because everyone wanted his attention." The last of Simon's envy had burned away when he had found Daniel shattered on the restroom floor. Denver gave Simon a pat on the leg.

"Don't put yourself down Simon. You can be my boy-toy if you like." Simon knew he was joking and he never even fantasized about such things, but somehow Denver's words cheered him up.

"I'll take a rain check."

Clair loomed out of the dark with a wrathful expression on her face. " Denver what are you thinking about? If Daniel gets any closer to her they will be fucking on the dance floor. Someone's going to see my Freshie and start wondering why Daniel is getting a hard on with a girl who is supposed to be unattractive." Denver looked at the young lovers and thought Clair might be right.

"Simon, would you go out there and throw some water on them?" He watched Simon talk to them. After that Simon stopped Troy 's Freshie and started dancing with her while Daniel and Mandy walked back to their seniors hand in hand.

"Mandy, you are forgetting your motivation. Shy ugly girls don't dance with cute boys. You were supposed to be dancing with the other girls, not freak dancing with Daniel." She said it like it was a joke, but Denver could hear the concern in her voice. Clair was a little like him. She had become attached to Mandy. He felt sorry for her. The beauty queens in grade twelve ignored her. Mandy made her feel good. Daniel couldn't contain himself around Mandy so Denver decided to move on. Daniel was forced to follow sullenly after. When they reached the hallway he cheered up a little and stopped Denver to thank him for the prod. It almost didn't matter what might happen to him at the party now, he was glad he had come. For a while bathrooms were forgotten.


Dark corners

Karen watched Daniel grabbing a drink with the big twelfth grader. She was surprised to see him and felt a flash of annoyance at herself. Perhaps she had allowed herself to be caught up in some trying little adolescent drama. There was no sign of whatever teenage crisis had transpired in the afternoon. Daniel was animated and seemed to dance on his toes as he talked to his senior. There was that type of student who played you. Even if Daniel was not, and something whispered to her strongly that the handsome boy was genuine, he was likely just a young adolescent prone to drama. "There is an example of why we turned freshie day into a mentorship program. Do you remember that boy over there?" John pointed to Daniel. Karen admitted she did.

"That's his mentor with him. Daniel came to us with a 92% grade point average. His mentor is an honors student. I think they are well matched." Karen thought it was more important that the older boy didn't abuse Daniel, and then she wondered who had.

"It's not like you planned that John. They just found each other on that stupid web site." She watched Daniel bump into another twelfth grader. Karen watched Daniel drop to his knees and apparently apologize to the bigger boy. "I'd be more impressed if that bullshit wasn't going on." John glanced away from the gang members being pushed out the door by three harassed security guards. Clearly something serious was brewing there. Hopefully the police were nearby.

"It's harmless." The boy from the hallway was rising from his feet. The boy looked no worse for his moment groveling. Learning humility was not such a bad thing. He liked Karen for her compassion, but he knew she would get over it. "Let's take a sweep around the gym."

Karen had always enjoyed dances and loud bands. The students might not believe it but she had been a bit of a party animal in her time. She didn't find being the supervisor much fun though. What was fun to the student's was a headache to her. In the flashes of light she saw students making out above her in the bleachers. Mostly it was heterosexual, but she saw gay couples too. She tried hard to be tolerant of the inappropriate contact. One of the boys looked like Simon. He was with a thin girl. She was sitting on his lap and his hand was clearly up her top. "Don't we do something about all this?" She pointed at the bleachers.

John shrugged, "where would we begin?" John ignored the students and followed his nose toward a circle of smokers. Karen caught movement underneath the bleachers. Well that was hardly a safe place for students to fool around. She wandered to the end of the bleachers to see if she could figure out what was happening. It was too hard to see past the crowd of seniors and they stared at her as if she was intruding. Karen had only been at Riverview two years and these students were strangers to her. You could move people you worked with, students who knew you. Karen was reluctant to begin stumbling around in the strobing lights amongst the maze of metal struts. When John caught up to her they went back in the hallway.

* ** *

Arlo saw the boy come toward him in the red glow of the party lights. The movement of people above his head occasionally blocked out the harsh strobe flashes. He was in an old silent film and he was the star. He had met Peter at a summer party Quinton and Donald had taken him to. There had been so many parties. Quinton was always out for the beer; Donald was there for the likes of Arlo. It had seemed to suit Quinton to let Donald entertain Arlo. His senior took very little interest in him. Peter and Arlo had connected soon after they had arrived at the Freshie Dance and as neither of their seniors seemed inclined to spend time with them they had drifted away together. The dancing had looked fun to the boys and they stood watching. The dance floor seemed to be for straight couples and Arlo at least was not interested in dancing. Daniel was their on the dance floor locked in Mandy's arms. Arlo could be glad for his best friend, but seeing them together simply made him sadder. Their afternoon intimacy haunted Arlo and he wanted Daniel back. He had so much to give Daniel now. The heavy music aroused Arlo. He had found Peter an eager if inexperienced partner when they first met. The tangle of supports under the bleachers seemed a natural place for privacy. They found they were not alone. Other couples grappled around them in dark. Arlo had grown bold about his needs and he tried to encourage the tall thin boy to use him. Peter would not take him in the school. Donald would have, the thought sent a shiver through him, but the eleventh grader was not there. Arlo pressed himself close to Peter wishing the boy would show some aggression, or at the very least some passion. Peter kissed readily enough. Peter kissed well but he was self conscious; too distracted by the noise and movement around. When Arlo drew Peter's hand close to cover his half-aroused cock the other boy would only give it a quick squeeze and move it to Arlo's hip. Peter's cock must have ached it felt so hard against the grinding of Arlo's hip. Arlo needed more. Kissing Peter simply drew his attention to the emptiness behind his balls and his need for satisfaction. He needed Donald's hands on him here in the flickering dark. Donald would have taken him on the dusty floor surrounded by wide-eyed high school students. Well maybe not; they had not gone so far as that, but Donald had stripped him to his briefs and commanded Arlo into a bedroom with a last leer for his friends and when they had returned to face the couples necking around the dark basement room there had been no doubts in the surrounding faces. The strong memory finally made Arlo hard and he desperately wished Peter would at least thrust a hand down his pants so that he could feel some sense of being possessed.

Peter was too shy. Arlo liked to be taken, so if Peter would not take the initiative then Arlo would. He slid his fingers up Peter's shirt and let his palms press against Peter's damp flesh. His partner was sweating and when Arlo's fingers trailed through the trickles lingering along Peter's sides below his arm pits he almost growled into Peter's mouth. The aroma of boy in heat was driving Arlo crazy. Worrying about the watching eyes made no sense to him. Finally he decided that if he could not coax Peter into driving his cock deep into Arlo's well-trained flesh then he could at least consume him. He ignored Peter's muffled protest as he yanked down on the boy's loose-fitting jeans. Peter moaned a surrender to Arlo's need as his cock rose free of the fabric. Peter was ready for this. Arlo gave the shaft one hard tug that sent a shudder through Peter before he dropped to his knees. Peter grabbed a strut held it tightly. His eyes darted toward the other couples. His pants clung tightly to his hips. Arlo consumed Peter driving the cock deep into his mouth, providing the force that the oblivious Peter seemed unwilling to offer. Peter was long and thick. It was a satisfying cock and the flavor of it leaked into Arlo's mouth. Arlo forced it deeper letting it choke him just so he could draw in the heavy sour musk rising from its furred root. Arlo worked the length of the cock appreciating its dimensions and the slick sensation of it as it lay along his nose when he paused to kiss the tight sack below. Always he returned to the shaft so that he could drive it far down his throat. Peter's thin thighs quivered in response to his lips. Arlo finally got some satisfaction from the boy when close to his orgasm he finally clenched his fingers into Arlo's hair and started ramming his cock into Arlo's throat. Peter cursed softly and then a string of spunk filled his mouth once before Arlo pulled off so he could watch the last ragged spurts eject from the still swollen mouth. A jet stuck to the hair on Arlo's lip before he fell back on the tender head. It met a need, but not the primary need. Arlo's sphincter muscles spasmed as he imagined the jets he had consumed deep inside him and he craved the mixture of dread and anticipation that came before and the satisfying ache that followed him home. He needed that still and Peter, a novice fumbling through the first experience of sex, just did not do it for him. Peter smelled good though and as the boy stood dazed from his orgasm Arlo suckled on his fading cock deep in the moment. It was only an appetizer. Arlo still needed to be led. He still needed to be pressed down.

Peter pushed him away finally and when Arlo glanced up he giggled. Peter smiled at him before struggling to pull up his pants. A boy locked to the lips of a girl nearby caught his eye and Arlo's flagging erection returned. The boy caught his eye and Arlo had an impulse to join the couple and taste the boy as he kissed the girl. The boy had been watching. Peter still stood beside him expectantly. Arlo knew they would connect again, but for now his interest in the boy had faded. He needed a new partner. A strobe flashed as Arlo held onto a strut and looked around. His cock jumped a second time when he saw Daniel watching him. In the blackness that followed Arlo wondered if Daniel had come to join him. Two flashes later he realized the boy was not Daniel and disappointment washed over him. It was dark-haired Laine. Arlo had avoided the gay boy in class, but there under the bleachers he gestured for the Laine to come over. Laine seemed to pause, and then turned away. Arlo watched him go. Arlo was conscious of his appearance and the need to get away from Peter overwhelmed him. He worked his way through the frame and then pushed through the wall of seniors at the end of the bleachers. Arlo had to wait for an empty sink. When one came free he grabbed some paper towel and wiped his face as best he could. A freshie came close to him and put a hand on his shoulder. The contact made him jump. He stared at Laine, and saw sympathy and concern in his eyes. "Hey" Arlo said simply.

"Hey" Laine responded and then added softly "I'm so sorry." Arlo turned a puzzled face toward Laine and absorbed his comment. Laine, Arlo realized, thought he had been forced to go under the bleachers by his indifferent Senior Quinton. He replied with a shrug and a small smile. Arlo felt the pull of the shorter boy. He was conscious of the well formed face that echoed Daniel's; not twins really, more brother-like. The two boys seemed to share an athletic ease and while Arlo estimated Daniel topped Laine by at least two centimeters their slim bodies' mirrored fine proportions. The hair set them apart, that and their moods perhaps. Arlo studied Laine's face and Daniel's familiar set across the lips. Daniel's face was always open and confident. Laine had a wistful cast that reminded Arlo of his own. The piercing eyes and expressive mouth; Arlo had studied Daniel's mouth for years and perhaps more than anything else about Laine that mouth drew him and left him uncertain. They both had that damn confidence in their own self worth. Arlo knew what it was to doubt himself and be in the shadows. He had watched Laine's lip curl into that confident smile and challenge their classmate, what if I am? And Arlo, just as certain of who he was as Laine, had known as Laine casually pushed his long hair back, forcing Arlo to recognize his similarity to Daniel, that Laine was fine with that too. Laine got that he was gay and just did not get why that should be a problem to the rest of the world. Daniel, out there somewhere freak-dancing with Mandy instead of here with Arlo was having a struggle of his own, but Arlo knew with the utter certainty of a jealous best friend that Daniel had not remotely considered the possibility that there was something wrong with him, the way Arlo had. Arlo figured Daniel was just working his way through the mystery of who he was. When he did figure it out he would be just like Laine, expecting everyone to still see his worth and frustrated if they did not. That was who they were. Arlo suddenly smiled broadly at Laine. The darker Daniel smiled back shyly but there was an animal strength to Laine that appealed to Arlo. If he could not have the golden lion prowling the dance floor with his golden mate, he could show the dark panther how to sink his claws and teeth into him. Laine could be his.


Hurt the one you love

Daniel leaned against the wall and watched as Arlo emerged from the restroom followed closely by another boy. Denver was out of sorts. Daniel could tell. Clair wouldn't let Mandy dance with him and Simon and Arlo were the only friends he had seen. He would have gone back into the gym to dance his anger away as he had at the summer party, but he could tell Denver was ready to go early. Daniel could live with that. Jake was haunting him and the memory of what had happened a bare eight hours earlier was driving him towards Denver. Daniel wanted to reach out and touch Denver. He needed reassurance. When Denver stopped to talk to some team mates Daniel risked striking out on his own for the restroom. There were a few seniors by a sink but it was too late to turn back so Daniel slipped into a stall. He hated restrooms. He'd spent one too many times in them that week. Daniel's hands trembled slightly as he opened his fly. He played the strong jet against the side of the toilet. Each incidental splash threatened to draw attention to himself. When he was done he leaned against the cool steel of the partition to pull himself together. It did not help. The smell of urine and male laughter pulled him back into the nightmare. Daniel's mouth was dry despite the drinks he had had.

When he opened the door his heart sank. The seniors had a grade nine boy between them. He didn't know the guy, but he looked scared. "Now that you're done playing with your wee-wee we found a little faggot for you to suck." Daniel mutely shook his head and backed back into the stall. As the twelfth grade boys holding the other ninth grader watched Daniel sank to the floor beside the toilet. He drew his feet close and dropped his forehead onto his knees. The two boys contemplated him as his head shook slightly back and forth. Daniel knew he was not handling the situation well. "Hey, this kid doesn't know his place." Daniel began trembling. A hand snaked past his guard and grabbed his breast. At the sharp twist of the nipple Daniel cried out involuntarily. He fired out a foot that caught the senior just below the knee-cap. The youth retreated cursing. Tears streamed down his cheeks. Daniel glared at the boys once and retreated back into his shell.

"Is there a problem with the little dude here guys?" Daniel heard Duncan 's voice. "You kid, what's your name?"


"Tyrell, your rod is getting cold. Zip it." The other boy quickly pulled his pants up. Duncan turned to someone behind him and told him to get Denver. When he turned back he commented casually. "One of these guys your senior?" The other ninth grader whispered no in a high voice. Daniel's eyes were drawn upward and he finally focused on the short fourteen-year-old shifting uncertainly between the tall youths. The boy's face mirrored Daniel's confusion and anxiety. "Jet" Tyrell weighed the possible threat of the two youths flanking him against the formidable support of the tall youth in a football jacket and opted for flight. Daniel ignored the other freshie as he slipped silently out of the trap and turned his face to the partition. Denver entered the circle a moment later looking unhappy.

"This your kid?" someone pointed at Daniel on the floor. Daniel glanced quickly at Denver and buried his burning face in his arms again. Even so he felt an immense relief to see him. "He's got a tude dude. Are you going to deal with him or are you going to step back and let us squeeze the little shit?" The words brought Daniel's head back up with a start and he watched Denver stare each of the twelfth graders down in turn. Things were getting bad. If Duncan helped Daniel thought it would be over quickly. Denver looked Daniel in the eyes and Daniel saw the look of cold fury he had seen when Denver had blown up at Troy. Denver didn't look like he was going to be reasonable about this. Daniel had to deflect Denver from his course.

"I'll take my punishment sir" Daniel broke in just as Denver was about to lace into them. He knew everyone's eyes were on him as he pulled himself off the ground heavily. Daniel stepped out of his refuge and dropped his pants. He waited patiently for Denver to come to his senses. After a visible struggle Denver walked over to him and held him tight across the chest with his left hand. Daniel grabbed Denver's bicep with both hands as Denver wrapped his hand under his arm pit. Daniel buried his face in Denver's arm as his friend spanked the thin cotton stretched across his buttocks. Daniel didn't fight the blows and each one seemed to push him deep against Denver.

Duncan gave him a wink when it was over, and then he turned away to leave. The other seniors were satisfied too and left them alone. Daniel didn't wait to be told to pull his pants up. As he buckled his belt Denver muttered "Let's get out of here now." They left the school in silence and walked back to the car through the September leaves.


Night moves, late Friday night

Denver decided he had better take Daniel home. He was feeling stretched to the breaking point. It was like the dark corners of the dance were seducing him. Simon had aroused him more than he had admitted. Sitting on the bleachers knowing that just behind him young bodies were locked together had added to his stress. The pounding rhythms of the band and Daniel's lithe body against the girl's moving in an awkward circle had seduced his senses. It was hard to keep his resolve. His fingers gripped the wheel in a death grip. God help him, he did want to nail Daniel. Daniel's odd retreat into himself worried Denver. All he had wanted to do was to fondle and kiss the boy. Denver ignored the exit for the bridge and pulled the Echo around the corner that would take them down town. Traffic lights down the long street turned green in a synchronized sign that he was making the right decision. Denver pressed the peddle and the car smoothly accelerated to catch the next light.

"Are you okay Daniel?" Daniel had looked so scared and he had been shaking like a leaf. The response was slow.

"Yeh, sure" It was a listless answer and Denver shot a surprised look at his young friend. Daniel was adrift and miserable. He knew he had to pull it together. It was only the first week. He watched the lights and tried to find the joy he had felt when Mandy said yes. He reassured himself that it had turned out okay. Everything could have been much worse. It came to Daniel that they were not on the right road. "Where are we going?" Daniel was confused.

"I think I should take you home tonight. That is the last party we have to go to and I'm sure you have had enough of that stuff for a while."

Daniel took this explanation in silently. He recalled that had been looking forward to spending the night with Denver. All he had wanted from the day was to make the football team, hold Mandy on the dance floor and be with Denver for the night. He was fourteen, first string and Mandy was his girl. So why did he still have tears in his eyes? It confused him to be this upset. Denver was panicking him. He tried to understand his friend.

"Are you mad at me Denver?"

Denver could not stand to see Daniel crying. "Daniel no, it's just I don't think it's a good idea right now. Frankly I think we need to cool it a bit."

Daniel twisted the knife a little more in his heart. "I'm sorry." Daniel wiped his eyes. "I'll shut up." Daniel sounded broken. They drove in silence until Denver swerved abruptly into a parking lot and jammed on the breaks catching Daniel off guard. Daniel shrank against the passenger door and looked at his senior. Denver had wrapped his arms around the wheel and put his head down. Daniel wilted in his seat "I'm sorry." he repeated softly. He didn't know what else to say or how to break through to Denver. He put a hand on Denver's arm and felt him flinch. He withdrew his hand quickly to his lap. Things were just not working.

"You don't get it."

"Tell me what's wrong. What am I doing wrong?" He was pushing Denver too hard and he couldn't seem to back off.

"Mark was right Daniel. School is barely started and I won't make it to Halloween." Denver glanced at Daniel's glistening eyes "I'm not safe Daniel. I'm going to hurt you."

Daniel took his seat belt off. There was no room in the Echo but Daniel tried to move closer to Denver. "Is that all? You're not tired of me? Denver, how could you hurt me?"

Denver lost the battle with himself. Daniel did not understand and it overwhelmed Denver to have to put his fears into words. From the moment he had seen the boy in the elementary school hallway this had been coming. "You're just a kid Daniel. Why are you pushing me?" There was more than a hint of desperation in Denver's voice.

"Take me to your place Denver."


Daniel couldn't put words to his feelings. He needed this. It was suddenly clear to Daniel what was really wrong with him. Frank and Jake had stolen something from him and he needed to try and retrieve it with Denver's help. "Please" They sat in heavy silence surrounded by used cars, each of them weighing the other in his mind. Finally Denver put the car in drive and turned around. Daniel thought about the heavy sadness that seemed to hang between them. It was just another thing Jake and Frank had snatched from him.

* ** *

Daniel had met Denver's dad. There had been little reason to talk to him. Daniel and Denver sat and talked about the little things that reassure a parent: Daniel's making the freshmen football squad, and his confusion with the seemingly endless corridors of Riverview High. Denver sat silently watching Daniel talk, letting the young boy control the evening for a change. His father knew about Mark of course. There was acceptance if not enthusiasm. Denver knew Beth would have been the preference. His father at least had served as a distraction for Daniel. He seemed to recover before Denver's eyes. Denver and Daniel didn't stay long. They went back to Denver's room and Daniel sat on the bed.

"Can we use the hot tub?" Daniel asked shyly. He had fond memories of the hot tub. Daniel went out to the pool house to find the swim suit he had come to think of as his own. He went out onto the dark patio determined and drunk with adrenalin. He turned the jets on and slipped into the tepid water. Denver moved a little slower. Daniel splashed in the water while he waited for Denver. He had been thinking about this for some time. He kept tripping over this in his dreams. The possibility that Denver saw him as something more than a ninth grader in need of protection, a freshie needing a mentor, guided him now. Daniel looked at his smooth forearms critically, lifted a nearly hairless leg above the surface of the water and then let his hand slide past the loose drawstring on his suit to first finger the strands of pubic hair and then his flaccid penis. He teased the flesh for a while reassuring himself of its respectability, and then tenderly cupped tender balls agitated by the moving water and his anticipation. The turbulent water seemed match his emotions. Daniel had decided there would be no rules that night. His stomach was in turmoil.

Denver came out and stood beside the hot tub. Daniel's arms came out of the water and rested on the tub's edge. Beneath the moving surface Daniel slouched comfortably with opened legs. Denver unconsciously ran his fingers over the trail of hair below his navel as he considered Daniel's solemn face. He dropped two towels on the edge of the tub and slowly joined Daniel into the water. Denver wondered again what was oppressing the fourteen-year-old's mind. Daniel had been almost manic in the gym, his euphoria had not even dampened in the hallway, and then suddenly the energy had been sucked out of him. Denver had been shocked to see him huddled in the bathroom. He had been so clearly on the edge, so fragile later on the car ride home. Denver felt uncertain. Before he could stop him, Daniel drifted across the distance and floated into his lap. He bobbed a moment before settling straddled across Denver's lap unknowingly copying Simon. They were both conscious of the closeness of their groins. Daniel leaned forward and buried his face in Denver's neck, his hands sliding under Denver's arms until he held him lightly in a hug. Denver ran his hands across Daniel's back then down to his hips and buttocks. Daniel shivered beneath his touch. "Are you all right?"

Daniel sat up and looked at the older boy. "Yes," but the answer was clearly no. Daniel toyed dangerously with the strings of Denver's suit with busy fingers. The boy's short nails tickled Denver's tense abdomen. Denver was conscious of the small tugs that let him know when binding gave way.

"What happened Dan?" Daniel concentrated on Denver's chest and a hand came up to examine the strands of hair beginning to mat the center of Denver's chest. His other hand curled around the waistband dangerously close to Denver's twitching organ. Daniel shrugged silently before placing splayed fingers on both pectorals. His eyes met Denver's for a moment before returning to the hard chest.

"I had a really good day." Daniel's fingers rotated around Denver's nipples exploring the light sprouts of hair. It was a gesture reminiscent of Mark. The seventeen-year-old was too caught up in the moment to address that problem. "I made first string."

"Yes you did."

"Mandy said she would be my girlfriend."

"I remember."

A momentary spasm of pain crossed Daniel's face and then sank beneath the surface. "The first week was okay; you know?" Daniel met Denver's eyes briefly and the boy's bright eyes and vulnerable smile made Denver ache. He was so god damned beautiful. Daniel shuttered his eyes and pushed his hands up to explore the cords along Denver's shoulders before running his palms down over the rollercoaster curves of Denver's biceps. "Things are okay," he repeated softly.

"What happened?" Denver replied quietly. Daniel moved his hands back to Denver's knees and arched his back. His young muscles tensed on Denver's thighs. Denver let his own fingers play across the perfect lines of Daniel's chest, rubbing the boy's nipples for a moment before cupping a hand to the side of Daniel's neck. Daniel's short hair tickled Denver's fingers. Daniel did not answer him, but he smiled softly at Denver's touch.

Denver felt so good to him. Daniel squeezed his sphincter tight then released the pressure. Despite Denver's fingers on his neck and the thumb rubbing along his jaw-line, Daniel's body was focused on a point deep in his gut. It was an unfamiliar emptiness he had never really thought to fill. He wanted to strip the baggy suit off and let the roiling water tickle his hole. "Why Dan," Denver held him by the hips, "just a thrill?" Daniel reached between them and felt Denver's erect penis through the fabric. He shook his head, and then cocked it to one side. The older boy had brought something new to his life. Denver fit neatly into place in Daniel's lonely private life. He had also opened the door to questions about himself Daniel needed to understand.

Daniel reached a hand down to stroke Denver's heavy sack "because I'm horny." He let go of Denver and put his hands on Denver's shoulder "Teach me to kiss Denver. You never taught me that." Daniel really didn't know how to kiss. Their first kiss was awkward. Denver instructed him to follow his lead. Denver kissed Daniel gently on the lips savoring their fullness, and then waited while the boy kissed him back. He continued with a variety of kisses; sometimes on the lips, but other sensitive places on Daniel's face and neck. When Daniel had added them to his repertoire the pair drifted into the middle of the pool locked together. Denver scooped Daniel up out of the water and set him on the edge of the tub. He began kissing Daniel's body as the steam rose away from him. Denver's touches became intimate. Daniel was satisfied to absorb Denver's attention. Daniel could feel Denver's penis hard against his thigh as he caressed his body. "You are so young Daniel."

"Please don't say that." Denver paused caught by the tension in Daniel's voice.

"Tell me what's wrong," Denver pressed the boy. Daniel pushed him away and swung his legs out of the water. He threw Denver a look and stalked away from him. Denver watched him vanish into the house on light cat feet. Denver considered leaving it at that. Daniel was being unusually complex and the wise thing was to follow his first impulse and pull back from the brink. They had explored their feelings for each other far more than Denver had expected. He was not being sensible about this. Denver sighed and followed Daniel into the house. It was not turning out to be a sensible night.

Denver trailed Daniel to his bedroom. Daniel was in the bathroom so Denver took the opportunity to strip the wet suit off and jerk his jeans back on. His cock indicated it was not happy with the new plan and resisted being packed away. Denver hopped over to the bathroom door as he struggled with his zipper.

"Daniel, what is going on here? Are you mad at me or something? You have been off all night." Denver tried the door handle on the off chance it was open. It was, but there was resistance when he pushed against it. "Come on kid, you're killing me here." His plea was met with silence. Denver rested his head against the door and tried to ease the ache surrounding his heart. Just briefly he had seen Daniel like this, at the Freshie Party in June. He had never seen him like it since. "Daniel Murrell, I know someone hurt you. Tell me it isn't me please. I need to know you're alright. I ..." Words like love come cheep and Denver was really not sure what he meant by that anyway. What were his feelings for Daniel anyway and how did they compare to his passion for Mark? Denver spared a moment's thought for his boyfriend having what Mark called a movie night with certain of his friends. Mark was important but Daniel slipped neatly into some gap in Denver's life and he was not completely clear about what that meant. Denver retreated to his bed. He sat staring at the bathroom door.

Jake's hand holds him by the shoulder, thumb pressed into his throat as Jake bends to kiss Daniel's lips. The other hand cups Daniel's groin curling to hook his balls. Daniel wants to push him away, but instead his hands press against the cold steel. The kiss lingers on as the free hand squeezes Daniel's limp cock and drifts upward to explore ridged muscles leading to Daniel's heaving chest. Jakes smell is strong and his cock still rubs against Daniel's sensitive skin leaving light trails. Jake's hand moves back down and slides around to the small of Daniel's back. Jake breaks the kiss and his hand darts up to his mouth. Then the fingers are back exploring Daniel's crevice, seeking entrance. Jakes mouth is back at Daniel's lips when his slick finger drives into him. Daniel moans a protest. The hooked finger pulls him upward onto the tips of his toes and Jake's muscled thigh presses Daniel's scrotum as a lifted knee slides between Daniel's slender thighs. Jake's finger probes the entrance to a new world and then pulls free. One hand pressed harder at Daniel's throat choking him and the other finds Daniel's engorged cock. Jake breaks the kiss and whispers into Daniel's ear "I could so do you, and I'd bet you'd like it," Jake licks an ear, "maybe later hey?" Daniel slammed his open palms onto the bathroom floor and then ground them into his eyes to wipe the tears away. Damn the seniors, he silently cursed.

Daniel paused, his body framed in the open door. Denver drew a deep breath as he absorbed Daniel's beauty. Daniel's glistening eyes were slightly bruised from the tears and his lips seemed fuller from their passionate kissing. Daniel is fourteen. Daniel is outrageously perfect. Denver recalls how awkward he felt at fourteen. He was all arms and legs on a pencil-thin neck. Even now Denver feels like the statue of David, stretched all out of proportion. Daniel's young body as a symmetry that reminds Denver of Mark, both have traded height for perfect proportion. "Why?" Denver asked and Daniel's sudden calm was broken with the force of his repressed anger.

"Because I choose," Daniel slammed a clenched fist into his chest, " me!" The alternative was not voiced between them in the silence that followed. Daniel dropped his head as he struggled with the incomprehensible feelings burning their way through him like a brush fire. Finally he lifted his head slightly to the side and looked askance at Denver, his eyes challenging Denver to reject his offer. Denver nodded his head slowly and reached out from where he sat on the bed. Daniel shifted in the muted light of the bedroom. Denver's throat tightened as Daniel's muscles shifted. Denver stretched out and gently took Daniel's slender wrist inviting him to step closer. There is a shyness in Daniel's eyes, an uncertainty not of what might come, but whether Denver would find him acceptable. It surprised Denver and he thought, how can he not know this? Why isn't he filled with pride and confidence in his body's power to draw people? The glances in the street I've caught when we are out together, Amber wanting to have his body that night, this girl Mandy waiting patiently for him; how can this angel not feel this power he has and use it? Daniel finally smiled shyly at Denver with trust in his eyes. Denver remembered to smile back but his head shook slightly in wonder. It came to him that part of Daniel's beauty was that he did not see this in himself. Denver would not be the one to take this from Daniel so the praise he might have murmured failed to pass his lips. Instead he let his hands praise Daniel's body.

Daniel was hard and his penis curved away from the soft halo of his abdominals in a graceful arch defying gravity. Denver was conscious of the invitation but concentrated on exploring Daniel's toned body. He placed his hands on Daniel's slender thighs and encouraged the boy to rotate so he could enjoy his profile. Thumb and forefinger slid up the back of Daniel's calf until his palm softly cupped a firm cheek. Daniel's back seemed to arch perceptibly and the slight pelvis thrust tightened the muscles beneath Denver's hand. Denver brushed the boy's quivering blade softly with the palm of his left hand. Daniel responded by putting a hand on Denver's shoulder. Denver rotated Daniel again and drank in the paired cheeks dimpled slightly with the tension in Daniel's muscles. He let his hands travel up Daniel's spare hips to the narrow of his waist. The purple stain of yesterday's hicky invited Denver's lips and he leaned in to kiss the soft globe. Daniel's breath caught and Denver could feel the shiver through his palms. Daniel's scent was alluring. The hot tub had washed the sweat from the boy. Beneath the chlorinated smell of the tub's mineral salts Denver caught adolescent male musk. It created a perfume that drove all caution and thoughts of Mark from Denver's mind. Denver leaned his forehead against the hard curve of Daniel's back and allowed Daniel to wash over his senses. He could have buried his lips and tongue between the cleft before him.

Daniel was content to stand trapped by Denver's hands. There was assurance in the weight of Denver's head against his back and Denver's moist breath washing down him. Daniel cupped his sack with one hand as he fingered his hardness. He ached to be touched. Denver lifted his head and let his hands travel up Daniel's back exploring the young muscles. Denver pasted the sharp blades to let his finger tips touch the soft down on Daniel's neck and then crossed the strong shoulders before sweeping delicately down the arms to take each hand in his. Daniel presses his hands slightly then turned back to face Denver with a slight smile. The journey has tickled him slightly. Denver smiled back before letting his eyes continue a journey of their own down the flat planes of Daniel's body until they rested finally on the prominence of the boy's penis. Denver pulled Daniel the final distance and without a hesitation drew the yielding flesh deep into his mouth. Denver was content with this one deep penetration and pulled back to enjoy the texture and taste of Daniel on his tongue and lips. It was the familiar paradox of hard and soft, bone sheathed in the softest chamois. Daniel's cock was a hard weapon that could be defeated by soft lips. Denver's saliva processed the ocean flavor of Daniel. It was Denver getting drunk on Daniel. The boy, so new to it all, was unable to contain himself. Daniel came in a great trembling. It was a hard male urgency and the better-than-blood taste of Daniel's life filled Denver. Mark would have groaned out soft words with such a release but Daniel stood on shaky legs panting, his fingers digging into Denver's shoulders. Denver might have possessed Daniel longer but he reluctantly released him from his lips. They exchange a look and again Denver's eyes were met with Daniel's uncertainty; had he done well? The gift of the boy's body was before Denver's eyes and on Denver's lips and Daniel did not see it.

Denver pulled Daniel down beside him on the bed and Daniel fell back, his penis is still erect. Denver wanted it back in his mouth or tight against his own hard organ. Instead, he lay down beside Daniel propped on one arm and lets his other hand explore the thin forests and extensive prairies on Daniel's skin. Denver smiled at the thought. Salty dew lay across the Daniel-landscape and he tongued the dry well of his navel. Daniel considered him silently. "Thank you" This was met with a puzzled look. The age difference came to Denver with the uncomfortable familiarity of Mark's prescient disapproval for this moment. Daniel felt what Denver has given him. He was not conscious of what he had given Denver. Denver kissed Daniel lightly between his breasts. Denver accepted that Daniel was preoccupied with his own needs.

Daniel was surprised at Denver's light kisses on his body. His loins still ached for something more but he felt shy. Denver had already done so much. Daniel admired Denver's powerful shoulders. He liked Denver's clean face with its light stubble. He studied the seventeen-year-old's face freely forgiving the odd blemish as simply a token of his friend's virility. The strong hands felt comforting. Daniel wished they would go back to touching him. Would Denver enter him the way... he tried to push the thought away as he had been trying to control the memory of the school restroom all night. To have another possess you was wholly different than being taken. Denver seemed content to lie beside him occasionally touching. Daniel did not want to stop yet.

Daniel sat up and pushed Denver back on his bed. He gave him a quick look to see if he might object, straddled Denver's legs and then wriggled backward as he pulled the jeans open and then off. Daniel promptly fell off Denver's knees and hit the floor hard on his rear. When he reappeared between Denver's legs he found Denver peering down his length with a look of curiosity. Daniel burned with humiliation. He was so awkward. He was such a stupid kid. He avoided Denver's eyes and turned his focus to the point where Denver's powerful thighs met in a heavy sack. Daniel's cock jumped. He bit his lower lip and circling the older boy's ankles with his hands felt up Denver's hairy legs to the knees and then still carefully avoiding Denver's face ran his hands along the powerful thighs. Denver did not tell him to stop so he pulled himself off the floor where he had landed and brought his hands together on Denver's fuzzy abs circling the objects he wanted permission to explore. His ridged cock caught on the edge of the bed, another embarrassment. Denver obliged him by shifting onto the bed and Daniel scrambled to follow him. When he was safely back between the older boy's legs he dared a touch.

Denver was big. Daniel thought he was hard, but when he scooped the long cock up into his palm his own cock spasmed slightly and he felt it strain out further. He glanced down at himself and saw a clear drop hanging from his small mouth. Denver's cock grew heavier in his hand. It pulsed with life and fascinated Daniel. The two seniors had liked his lips on their cocks. Denver had Mark, but Daniel chanced Denver's permission and tried a gentle kiss on the broad tip of Denver's glan. He was struck by the strong fresh smell of his older friend. He mindlessly dragged his nose and lips across Denver's musky flesh experiencing his first trouble-free exploration of another man. His tongue slipped out tentatively curious about the flavor. He felt a need for more contact and straddled one leg so that he could brush his groin against the warm surface of Denver's flesh. It was very hard not to grind his cock against Denver. He tried to keep content himself with lightly brushing the tingling tip through Denver's hair. It only served to make him harder and he found his anus was clenching. He was not aware of Denver's soft moans when he tried to wrap his lips around the shaft. Denver's smell was more pungent in his nostrils as he sucked on the large head. Jake had been bigger, less comfortable in his mouth. Denver was satisfying. Denver's hands caressed Daniel and the boy felt encouraged to continue. He wanted to taste Denver's semen. Daniel wanted the sensations and flavors of Denver to be the last ones he possessed before he slipped away from the vast turbulence of his Friday.

Denver murmured something meaningless and hooked Daniel by the arm pits and attempted to draw Daniel off his throbbing cock. Daniel shook free and pushed his mouth back round the swollen head. Denver did not understand and Daniel was too ashamed to explain it to him. Daniel needed to wash Jake and Frank from his mind. Denver's knee almost bucked Daniel off the convulsing cock. Daniel's scrotum was mashed against the tense muscle as he braced himself against the bed holding his lips sealed against the tide of swirling saliva and semen. Denver's strong hands finally pulled him free and dragged him up into a ferocious kiss. Daniel's cock trailed up to Denver's slick groin and a second orgasm rocked them both. Strong hands pressed and molded Daniel's tensed globes. Daniel was not really conscious of the finger slipped into his firm ring until later. He was lying atop Denver sated, content to be held lightly in the security of Denver's arm, as Denver's other hand cupped his opening and a finger lightly messaged him. He fell asleep contentedly.


Memories, Saturday September 12th

Daniel woke before Denver and thought about what he had done. Sometime during the night Denver had pulled the covers over them. He tried to slip out of the bed without waking Denver but when he came back from the bathroom Denver was awake and watching him. Daniel thought about the kisses they had shared and his groin stirred. "Are you sorry about last night?" Denver asked him. It was an unexpected question. Not the open invitation to return to the bed and cuddle that Daniel had been hoping for. Daniel was conscious of his naked body and slipped beneath the covers. Denver watched him patiently as dejectedly leaned against the headboard and pulled the blankets up to his chin. He looked sideways at Denver trying to gage his mood.

"No. Are you?"

"A little" Denver stalked off to the bathroom. Daniel lay back in the bed and rested his head on his arms. Denver's reply stung him. Daniel thought being with Denver had been perfect. His pride was wounded. He held himself while he waited for Denver to return. He idly let his cock grow between his fingers. The touch brought Denver's attentions clearly to mind. When he was hard he moved his hand back behind his head.

When Denver came back Daniel had retreated deeper under the covers. He was staring at the ceiling. Denver noted the contours of Daniel's body beneath the duvet; the pointed mountains of his feet, long legs running parallel to the small erect mound at his crotch. Denver disciplined himself before he rummaged in a drawer and slipped some boxers on. He got back under the covers and turned to his young friend. Denver saw a tear trickle down the soft cheek he had ravaged hours earlier. Daniel looked so young in the morning light. Karen Murrell would be stirring about her apartment wondering how her boy was. Denver knew he had not kept faith with her. The boxers did not help him much. His cock seemed conscious of the boy's smooth hip centimeters away and hardened in defiance. "It wasn't my plan to have sex with a fourteen-year-old. I thought I could help save you from this."

"You just think I'm a kid."

"You are a kid Daniel." Denver realized Daniel wouldn't appreciate hearing this. He would not appreciate being reminded that he was less developed and experienced than Denver. He would not like to be told he was just an impressionable kid wanting to please his role model. As Daniel lay content across his body Denver had struggled with the almost irresistible force of his need to penetrate Daniel's warm body. He had pulled his finger free and teased himself with Daniel's odor. He tried to chase the memory away as same body stirred beside him. Don't put your hand on his rod, Denver commanded himself.

"I've had lots of things done to me this year and you just haven't been around to see any of it or you went along with it." Daniel threw Denver a reproachful look that made the older youth blanch. Daniel broke the contact and stared back at the ceiling. "It's like you've been off in your own world leaving me to cope." Daniel knew he was being unfair. Denver had warned him things would be hard. He had explained he would be busy at school. Denver could not ignore his job at the Jade Lantern either. Denver was trying, but it was not fair to remind him he was only fourteen. It had not mattered to Jake and Frank. Daniel felt another tear drop down his cheek.

The words hurt Denver. It made what he had let happen all the worse. Daniel finally looked at his face. "Denver, I don't feel like a kid anymore. Don't you see that you help me get through all of this?" Daniel hadn't moved and Denver kept his eyes on his face. "Do you know my friend Arlo?" Denver couldn't remember the boy. "His senior gave him to some ass hole this summer and he raped him." Denver closed his eyes shamed by his own strong desires. "Last night I saw him under the bleachers." Daniel didn't have to explain that. "He doesn't know anything better Denver. Now he treats the guy like he's his boyfriend or something." Denver noted the touch of horror in Daniel's high voice. "I was jumped in the bathroom yesterday at school" Denver put a hand gently on Daniel's chest.

"Oh god Danny"

"Yeh," the single word acknowledged the anguish Daniel felt. "You weren't there to stop it like you were last night. But all the time they touched me, and while they were... were making me do... it, I could see you in my mind. I knew you would have taken them all on for me; like you would have in the bathroom last night." Daniel's tears flowed again. "I could tell myself that later I could get back to you and the Brass Lantern. I could share what had happened and you would understand." When Daniel was finished he looked back at the ceiling. "Don't take that away from me please."

Denver let his hands travel across Daniel's body under the sheets. "You know how to make me feel good about myself."

"So do you." Daniel hesitated and then continued, "I thought," His voice caught, "While that bastard shoved himself at me, I thought, you would not have treated me that way." Jake frightened Daniel and the big senior would forever be a shadow on the special moments he had shared with Denver.

"You're still a little kid Daniel, well not that little." Denver's hand had encountered Daniel's cock. "This has to be a memory for both of us. Do you understand?" Daniel reached over to touch Denver's hair. "You have Mandy and all of high school ahead of you. And I have..." Denver stopped. He wasn't sure what he would have said. Daniel smiled at him wistfully.

Daniel had not really expected more. There was Mark and a fading part of Daniel still argued the rightness of that, holding out for some vague reunion with Beth. Twelfth graders did not date ninth graders unless they were huge losers and Denver was no loser. This Donald character came to Daniel's mind. Now there was a loser. Denver's hand felt good on his body. Daniel might have purred like Mandy's tabby cat. He wanted more of Denver. "Will you promise me one more time before June?"

"If you still want to" Denver surrendered to the moment.

"Could we maybe add a few more memories now before you turn me back into a little kid again and take me home?"

"I'm not sure I will ever be able to do that again Daniel." In the early light they caressed each other. "It hasn't been all bad this week has it?"

"No" Denver let Daniel explore his groin.

"Duncan told me you're pretty fast."

"I guess "

"Swimming try-outs are next month."

"I don't think so, not this year anyway."

"You finally got Mandy."

"Till she falls for some older guy" Denver tossed the covers aside drinking in Daniel's sweet body. He traced the thin start of Daniel's pubic hair and stroked his rampant penis.

"Have a little faith kid." Daniel was more vulnerable than he thought. "I have a good feeling about you two. But remember what I said to you before. You never know who the future holds for you." Daniel twisted around anticipating Denver's strong body. Not a small mouse before him or a lazy robin. Denver was his powerful prey. Not a tabby cat at all Daniel. Clean limbed and graceful muscles rippling and tensing under the strong memory of a summer tan. Wild morning bed-head framing bright and eager eyes; curled lips and bright teeth that had not yet thought to bite or nip threw an impish grin toward Denver's face. Between Daniel's slender thighs the perfect shaft jutting proudly above straining orbs. Not a pussy cat this, it was a young lion come to feast. "Last time Daniel, I have to work."

"We'll see" the boy responded.


(to be continued)


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