Warning: This story is for 18 year olds or older and contains descriptions of sexual contact between teenage males. If it is illegal for you to read, or you find the subject objectionable, read no further. All characters are imaginary. I hope you like it. Mail me or visit Eliot's Space

 

Turbulence

Chapter 6, Pulled by the tides

Letter to the Editor

Riverside Journal, July 14th

I have been reading the letters from concerned parents over the last week and I decided I should share my story. My eldest son Wade just completed ninth grade at Riverview High and my husband and I think the credit for his success goes to the mentor he had and the teachers in his learning community. We just recently moved from Lincoln and I have to say we were very concerned about how well Wade

would do in a big city school. Our son had to repeat grade six and he was failing junior high in Lincoln. Wade even talked about dropping out of school. Wade needed help with his school work and we knew we could not give it to him. His mentor and the resource room program at Riverview High turned things around. Wade looks forward to being in grade ten next year and even talks about being a mentor when he is in grade twelve! I sympathize with the concerns expressed by other parents and I

agree that the bullying should be stopped before someone gets hurt. Parents need to remember that their children are growing up too. They will start to do things and live more independent lives. We tried to keep an eye on Wade's school work and learned to trust him as he began to go out to the parties. Isn't it hard to know when to be involved and when to step back?

 

Beatrice Christie

A helping hand, Tuesday June 15th

Daniel quietly drifted through Monday and Tuesday doing very little of anything. His mother found him reclined in the living room watching T.V. when she came home from work. Despite the air conditioning he had resorted to an old pair of khaki shorts and no shirt. She had sent him out for errands occasionally, but he rarely took long. She wasn't quite sure; however, he might have been in hiding from his friends.

The routine was broken Tuesday night when he had a phone call from Arlo saying he had heard from his senior. Daniel had difficulty sharing Arlo's enthusiasm. He disappeared into his bedroom to conduct the conversation in private, and then returned some time later to lie back on the couch. Heather Murrell was trying to think of something to do with Daniel before she put him on the road for his two weeks at camp. He broke into her thoughts to announce that Arlo would be stopping by the next morning. The silence drew out for half an hour until Heather asked if he had heard from Mandy. Taking it as an intrusion into his love life Daniel chose not to reply. She had returned to her book when Daniel rolled off the couch and went back to his room. She heard the murmur of his conversation and the abrupt increase in volume that allowed fragments to reach her. "I don't want to talk about it!" she tried to stay focused on the book. "Why me?" she turned a page back realizing what she had read had not registered. "Guys just don't talk about it." She gave up on trying reading for the moment. "You're going to owe me Mandy." The anger had left his voice and some humor had returned. "Yeh; something like that" the conversation ended with a sharp "God no!" She returned to her book moments before he came back to sit on the couch. She gave him some time before asking

"How is Mandy?"

"Fine." was all she could get out of him. Moments later he got up and announced he was having a shower. Heather smiled as he stamped out of the room.

Daniel let the jets of hot water release the tension built up through the two phone calls. Mandy's promised kiss had helped too. Daniel realized she had him whipped. It wasn't fair; she wasn't even his girl friend. Her offer to come over to help had really panicked him. Daniel put his masturbation on auto-pilot while he thought about the problem of dealing with Arlo in the morning. He kept thinking about it late into the night while he watched T. V.

Arlo and Daniel, Wednesday morning June 15th

Arlo showed up early in the morning and woke Daniel up. Daniel stared at him through bleary eyes while Arlo poured out his excitement and anxiety. While he got some juice he asked his friend what he thought he could do.

"Some people say the party was brutal and some say it was the best party they ever went to."

"I suppose it depends on who you were. I didn't have any fun." Daniel was not happy with this conversation.

"Yes. Well Chris said his senior never told him anything. He just kept hitting him all the time... Did you know he's mad at you?" This was news to Daniel, but he realized it didn't surprise him. "I'm going to see my senior tonight and he said he would take me to the next party. Are you going?"

"Probably; so you know what it is going to be like."

"That's why Mandy said I should talk to you. So I don't get the shit beaten out of me."

Good old Mandy, she would have to make good on that kiss. "Arlo; the truth is that you could do everything right and still get the shit beaten out of you."

"Mandy thinks your senior got you ready or something. Can't you help me?" Arlo was pleading with his eyes.

Daniel took a pull from the orange juice bottle and looked at Arlo "I don't want to do that shit with you, some of its real gay." His latest slave boy fantasy surfaced with all the welcome of a rancid fart. It seemed to have attached itself to him and he could not shake the boy's smell and salty lips from his memory. The boy's exposed head against his belly, Chris' spewed cum and the senior's lips consuming his erection as a counterpoint to the throbbing party music had melded together in his mind.

"Like what? Just pretend your one of the seniors at the party." Daniel didn't like the pressure.

"Which one? The one who grabbed my hair or the one who wanted Chris to suck cock?" Daniel got up to put the juice away. He was feeling agitated by Arlo's odd interest in replaying his humiliating night.

"Yeh, I know about that. Mandy said it was happening to lots of freshie's. She said she even had to kiss a girl's breast at the party. Man I'd pay money to see that!" Crap! Daniel thought; he would too. He pulled an image of Amber and Mandy locked in an embrace out from somewhere and then quickly put it away for future reference in the shower. He had seen so many things at his first high school party that sexual fantasies were always at his finger tips. Sometimes he was a freshie and sometimes he was a senior like Troy; but wasn't there a difference between whacking off in the shower over some fantasy or having trippy dreams, and actually doing it?

"It's all free and all you have to do is whatever crap they tell you to do. Do you have any idea what he is like?"

"Well we didn't talk much. He sounded okay I guess. He said we would have fun together this year." Arlo sounded very hopeful. "So... it gets really gay? They might ask me to... like do sex stuff with guys?"

"Oh the gayest. Well, there is other stuff too. I mean I kissed a lot of girls. That was good." Daniel decided to push a little harder to convince Arlo to back off. "You really want me to act like a senior?"

"Yes." Arlo bit his lip and the scattering of pimples along his chin seemed redder.

"You have to do everything or you get punished." Arlo considered this for a moment.

"How does your senior punish you?"

Daniel paused, trying to decide if he really wanted to take things that far. "He spanks me on the ass."

"No shit? Well I guess that's better than a black eye. Chris is in rough shape. Let's do it."

Daniel thought about what Denver would have done. "Okay these are the ground rules. You don't say or do anything I don't tell you to do. It's kind of truth or dare. You don't want to do it, you get punished. You want me to stop, say time out."

"Time out; I got it."

"Take all your clothes off." Daniel looked in the fridge for anything to eat. He tried to suppress the unexpected thrill he felt.

"What?" Arlo was already confused. Daniel turned around.

"See! You don't want to take it seriously. Let's play a game instead." Arlo shook his head.

"No; if I can't do it now I'll get murdered at the party." As Daniel made some toast, Arlo undressed. Arlo shrugged at Daniel when he was naked. They had both taken a giant step away from huddling over a computer sniggering at Flash cartoons of red-neck farts. He walked over and stole a piece of Daniel's toast. Daniel glared at him.

"Did I tell you to do that?" Arlo shook his head. Daniel reached behind him and slapped his ass once. Arlo jumped forward and dropped the toast. "Do you remember pictures? You have to say thank you master too."

"Ah, thank you master. Now what?" Daniel hit him again. "Time out! What was that for?"

"You talked. It's hard to do the right thing isn't it? You ruined my toast so you might as well finish it" Daniel remembered the party and the problems he had figuring out what to do. Daniel turned him into a little robot for a while asking him to do things around the house or get him things while he sat. They giggled together to ease the tension. Arlo got the slave routine down very quickly.

"Yeh, well what happens now?" Daniel noticed Arlo's cock was bigger. Daniel was running out of ideas. So he procrastinated.

"Go into the hallway."

"No Daniel! Don't make me do that!" Daniel threw his hands up in the air. He was wandering in a dark fantasy now. He was sure they were making a big mistake but he was aroused by the power Arlo had handed him.

"Quit?" Arlo shook his head vigorously. "Sure?" Arlo nodded his head. "Lie down Freshie." When Arlo had lain on the floor Daniel sat on his butt. Arlo felt warm beneath him. "Will you go out to the hallway?" Daniel placed a hand on Arlo's smooth back. A tightening in his stomach betrayed the excitement he felt. His heart pounded loudly in his ears. He felt his cock harden as Arlo's muscles flexed beneath his calves.

"No!" Arlo was stealing himself for whatever Daniel did next.

Daniel went and sat on the couch. "Come here Freshie" he commanded. Arlo came over to him and stood beside him. Daniel grasped his elbow and pulled him down across his lap. Daniel held him down as Denver had and spanked Arlo seven or eight times. Arlo's butt was getting red. Daniel left him bent over his lap while he thought about what to do next. He felt Arlo's partially erect penis against his own naked leg where his shorts had lifted. He knew his cock would be responding to it soon. This was definitely getting too gay. Daniel remembered something and gave Arlo another slap.

"Thank you master" Arlo responded. Daniel paused to think. He looked down at the smooth back bent across his lap and Arlo's ass cheeks. Arlo was breathing audibly, but seemed to be simply waiting for Daniel to continue. Daniel had to admit Denver had never actually done anything like this to him. Even at the Freshie Party nobody had got naked. Daniel felt suddenly uncomfortable.

"Go to my bedroom and sit on the bed." Arlo did as he was told. After a minute Daniel followed him in. Arlo sat waiting, his legs slightly apart to leave his balls resting on the cover. Daniel started pacing up and down in front of Arlo. He was conscious of Arlo's eyes following him. He stopped and turned on him. "I don't want to do this anymore Arlo. It's getting weird now."

"Please, more. You did it." Daniel resumed pacing anxiously up and down his room while Arlo slouched back on his elbows and waited. "Have you seen your senior naked?"

"Sure, well when... what?" Daniel turned his attention back to his best friend. "What?"

"This guy, your senior, have you seen him naked?" Arlo lifted a leg up onto the bed and and his heavy cock fell across his thigh, "So?"

Daniel blushed. "Jesus Arlo"

"Come on, give over, be honest with me."

"Well, I guess he did once."

"Shit Danny, what did he do?"

"Well nothing really. I guess he just wanted me to feel less embarrassed about taking my clothes off." Daniel had not thought about it before. As soon as Arlo had asked the question the answer came to him.

"So maybe you should be naked too." Arlo bit his lip.

"Huh?"

"Fair turn around Dan, you should take your clothes off too." Well, thought Daniel, it was not like they had not been naked together before. It had never been that big a deal to either of them. Daniel shrugged and pulled his t-shirt off. They were just friends trying to handle being in grade nine.

Arlo gestured for Daniel to come closer. "Let me be the freshie." He pulled Daniel's pants down freeing his penis and then Arlo bent forward to take it between his fingers. "Does he make you touch it? It must be huge. I remember how big he is when he picked you up at the school." Daniel watched as Arlo explored the shape and feel of his cock. It had grown hard as soon as his friend had pressed the side of his finger into the soft hollow at the base of his shaft. His scrotum tingled as it shrank tight. A single tear glistened at the mouth of his cock. Arlo's thumb caught it and spread it around causing Daniel to flinch. "Is he circumcised like you or is he like me?" Arlo let go of Daniel suddenly and peered down at his own erect cock. "Look, see, when I get a boner it pulls back and I look just like you." Arlo glanced up at Daniel's face as his hand returned to Daniel's cock. He began to slowly pull the tight skin up and down slowly, kneading the tender shaft like he was milking a cow. Daniel's head shook slightly as if tell Arlo to stop, but then he froze.

Arlo had kissed his cock. Arlo tried holding Daniel's glans in his mouth. This was not what Daniel had planned. They had been friends for almost three years and this was the first time either of them had even touched the other. Arlo put his hands on Daniel's hips and began working in earnest. Daniel responded to his wet mouth and felt a growing urge to cum. This was really wrong. Daniel pushed Arlo back onto the bed unwilling to let him finish the blow-job. Arlo rested on the bed and looked back at him. Daniel lay down beside him while he tried to understand what was going on. "I never touched Denver. We didn't do that kind of stuff. Except for Chris I didn't have to touch anyone. Just kissed mostly." Arlo sat up and suddenly kissed Daniel. When their lips joined Arlo rolled until he was on top. Daniel gave himself up to the curiosity of his next kiss. Arlo put a lot of passion into it but the boy in the underwear had been more exciting. Daniel could feel his slick cock slide across Arlo's belly and the shared heat as their crotches were momentarily pressed together. When he pushed Arlo off, the boy lay beside him silently. Daniel had just discovered something new and disturbing about it all: he liked kissing some boys more than others. Daniel glanced down at Arlo's ridged member and then back at his face. Things were never going to be the same between them.

"More" Arlo whispered. "Maybe you should be touching me." Daniel touched Arlo's ridged member. He let a finger trail down to the swollen globes bulging between Arlo's smooth thighs. Arlo gasped as he stroked the shaft. This was too much for the boy and he ejaculated a single stream of cum across his soft stomach and chest.

"Now did I tell you could do that?" Arlo shook his head. Daniel touched the translucent fluid with fascination wondering if it would be a new third flavor, or if it tasted like his or Chris' cum. He found a tissue and mopped up the spill.

"Thank you master."

"I don't think you are supposed to shoot your load unless I say so. Do you understand?" Arlo agreed that he did.

"Should you spank me again?" Daniel surveyed his friend with interest. Arlo was half a year older than him and Daniel envied his dark body hair. The hair on his calves was noticeable now and there was a rich halo covering his balls. Daniel thought Arlo's uncircumcised cock seemed bigger and more mature than his. The hair along his chin showed the beginnings of a beard. He realized Arlo was watching him and turned away.

He got up and walked to the door conscious of the urge to jack off. His heart was pounding. Daniel turned back and told Arlo to get up and follow him back to the living room. Daniel grabbed two cokes and the remote and sat on the couch again. He gestured to Arlo and the boy sat down next to him. For half an hour they remained in that position with Daniel occasionally glancing down at Arlo's erection as it came and went. He didn't move when Arlo tentatively reached over to take his cock into a damp hand. Daniel's cock responded to the pressure of Arlo's message. Arlo tried to suck his friend's cock a second time. Daniel closed his eyes and thought about the grimy cement floor sticky from spilt beer. He thought about the heavy aroma of Chris's body and Denver's muscular frame. He pulled his cock away from Arlo's busy mouth unwilling to be a part of this. His glistening cock ached and quivered a few centimeters from his friend's nose. Arlo reached out to grasp it and guide the swollen head back into his mouth. It was too much. Daniel convulsed and his shaft almost burned as he sent a quick succession of shots into Arlo's mouth.

Arlo slipped down on the floor. It had not been as intense as sex with Amber. It had not even been as good as jacking off in lazy summer morning as he imagined being asked to touch the boys at the party. Daniel wondered why. It had just been a release, nothing more. Daniel looked down at Arlo sadly and commented, "We are only fourteen. I'm making you do this shit and it hasn't even been a week since school got out. How the fuck'r we supposed to survive till next June Arlo?" Arlo shook his head mutely. "You okay?" Arlo seemed upset.

"I need to go to the can."

"Sure." While Arlo went to the bathroom Daniel cleaned up a bit. He went into the bathroom and found Arlo sitting on the toilet seat looking dejectedly at the shower. Daniel felt like something needed to be done so he suggested "my turn." Arlo stretched back on the bed and Daniel very slowly coaxed Arlo into a final erection. Daniel thought about Chris' cum on his lips and the fact that he had never actually put his mouth on Chris' cock. Arlo was his friend and Daniel had never imagined him in this way before. How did he really feel he wondered. He looked at Arlo's anxious face and realized that the boy's body no longer turned him on. Arlo was just Arlo, his best friend. He knew he needed to resore the balance between them. They needed to be equal again.

Liquid dripped down the tip of Arlo's organ as he brought his mouth close. He smelled the same male perfume he had noticed on Chris. When he paused close enough to warm Arlo's exposed glans with his breath he wondered if, like Chris, Arlo would ejaculate before he was able to wrap his lips around the expanse of his head. The cock felt large between his teeth. Arlo had raked his skin painfully in his efforts to suck Daniel's cock and Daniel tried to avoid that. He realized he could only take in half of Arlo's cock comfortably. When Arlo tried to force more in Daniel had to wrap a fist around his quivering member and hold it back. Daniel pulled off to consider the task. When he went back onto the thick organ he tried different things to add to the sensation like playing with the tad-pole mouth and nibbling the tight foreskin. He thought about Denver and Mark briefly as his mouth tasted his friend.

Arlo's balls had drawn up tightly against the base of his shaft and his veined cock was rock-hard. Daniel eased off a little to bring Arlo down and give his tongue a rest, then he went back to work on his shaft while his fingers messaged Arlo's scrotum. He was not really thinking of Arlo. His mind had drifted to the cock poking through the boy's underwear and the passionate kiss they had shared. "Oh God Daniel I'm going to cum. Let me cum." Daniel took the shaft in as deeply as he could then sucked as he pulled back out to the head. Arlo groaned and ejected onto his tongue. Daniel pulled off immediately swallowing the thin spoonfull. Daniel massaged and squeezed the last drops from Arlo's shaft while Arlo shuddered occasionally beneath him. Finished, Daniel lay next to his friend and muttered, "A thrill's a thrill. Even in paradise"

"Like the song." Daniel propped himself up to look at his friend.

"What?"

"Long John Baldry. Dad has it. I kind'a like it." Daniel looked at him in surprise. "Let's go download it." Arlo let Daniel search for it and then stood behind him with a hand on his shoulder as they listened to it. Daniel thought it was a strange song. It made him uncomfortable. It made him wonder about Arlo's father. After they had listened to the song Arlo asked Daniel "are we gay?"

"No, we're pathetic freshies. I don't know anymore. Let's make a deal that we don't ask that question until next year. It's either a thrill or we're just trying not to get beat up."

"Did anyone get... you know... cornholed?"

"Jesus Christ Arlo, no." Daniel shifted slightly further away from Arlo on the couch. "Well, actually Denver said it might happen. I think he got it up the end when he was a freshie." He was sorry as soon as he had said it. It seemed a violation of his friendship with Denver. That was something personal. It came to him that you did not talk about such things with other people. He might tell Arlo he had slept with a girl, but Arlo did not need to know Amber's name; just like this morning was something private between the two friends.

"I bet that feels bad. You know? Getting stretched out like that?" Arlo rolled his cock lightly as he sat there considering it. Daniel pulled his legs up onto the couch and turned slightly away from Arlo.

"Yeh, I bet it is uncomfortable. I think it must burn a lot and if the cock was big it might poke something inside."

"It doesn't burn if you used vegitable oil." Daniel missed the syntax of Arlo's reply as he thought about Mark and Denver together.

"Who would want to feel that anyway? Something sticking up inside of you."

"Girls like it."

"Yes, but they are made to stretch like that." The thought of Amber excited Daniel. She had been so soft and warm. It sent a shiver up Daniel's spine. "Cocks are big."

"I don't know Danny, some of my shits are pretty big too." That set both boys to giggling and the mood of sexual tension eased. They teased each other and compared log stories. That led to farting and they broke down into hysterical laughter. Arlo won the contest for plugging the toilet the most and his shits became mythical in proportion. That was good, Daniel reflected as they sat together. He liked to laugh and joke. The sex was getting to serious. Loosing his virginity, the tension with Denver, the horrible time with Chris, and now Arlo, it was supposed to be fun wasn't it?

They hung out for a bit playing games. Daniel tried to move them back to the easy friendship they had shared for so many years. It seemed at times as they played that Arlo wanted to return to their exploration but Daniel discouraged it. Arlo finally decided to leave. He had a new perspective on the evening ahead and he wanted time to think about it. At the door he turned suddenly to say "Don't take this the wrong way Daniel, but you give great blow-jobs. Kinda like when you're at school, it's always gotta be an A+ with you. We'll just keep this between us okay?"

"Thanks for the report card. My lips are sealed."

The Brass Lantern, Wednesday evening

Karl and Denver worked together without much conversation. Over the years they had divided up the duties. Lunch was Karl's busy time and he needed help. The rest of the day he handled things by himself. Evenings were slow until a theatre crowd showed up at 11:00 p.m. At 6:30 Denver was building an order by himself while Karl pecked at his computer in the back room settling accounts. " Denver come here when you're done with that." Denver finished the chef salads with a few artistic touches and sent them to the table. He cleaned up before joining Karl. He sat and waited for Karl to share what was on his mind. "I think maybe we let Eddie go. I was wrong about him." Karl had been talking to Denver like this since he had been fifteen. Denver knew he wasn't asking for advice, he just wanted someone to say things to. Occasionally Denver would offer an opinion.

"No, he's going to be fine. What's eating you about him?" Denver thought Eddie's accent and music added something to the Brass Lantern's atmosphere.

"He looks like he's a refugee from the streets and he still smells like a dumpster." Denver shrugged. Eddie was a refugee from the streets and he smelled bad because he hadn't made enough money to replace his clothes.

"So help him get into the YMCA where he can wash up more often. I thought you liked having someone older than you hanging around." Eddie had snow white dread-locks and looked older than he probably was. "Don't you like the in-house entertainment? He's starting to draw a crowd." Eddie sang obscure songs with a Reggae flavor when the mood hit him. Like the computers this had begun to draw a small following. Denver thought it would be too bad when the old Rasta finally keeled over from age or lung cancer.

"Ya, I keep him and you and he smoke the ganja out back." This was true, but not the reason Denver wanted to keep Eddie, so he didn't comment. "Maybe I let him sleep here as night watchman and he can use the money to clean up." Denver knew a decision had been made and went back to the kitchen. There were no orders so he went out to the front to give Eddie a break. He told him Karl wanted to see him.

Denver surveyed the room. The Brass Lantern was never busy at supper. Families went in for fast food and the menu was finer elsewhere. Even so it seemed that half the tables were full. Denver kept himself busy. He has closing the till when Daniel came in the door. The boy's smile was infectious and Denver remembered why he had been drawn to him. Daniel had changed into a brightly colored shirt and jeans before walking the six blocks from his apartment. He stood by the till watching Denver work the room. Denver cleared a table and Daniel followed him back into the kitchen. Daniel started washing the dishes. Denver didn't comment except to come over with an apron. He put it on the boy while he washed. "Don't go out front with that on." Daniel noticed the seedy old black man when he came out of the work room. The old man paused to look at the well dressed kid in the huge apron. Karl's voice drifted out of the room behind him.

"That's Daniel, Eddie."

Eddie responded in a dreamy voice "eh mon. Mi a go a door." Daniel glanced at him over his shoulder from the sink as he went out front. Karl went through the room a few moments later and the three were soon into a routine.

Denver realized Daniel needed to hang out with him for a particular reason, so when he had a moment he asked him if he needed to talk. But Daniel shook his head so Denver didn't worry about it. When he had finished with the dishes he took the apron off and bussed tables. Things got slow after 8:00 p.m. so he curled up on the couch with his shoes off and played a game on his hand-held. Karl grunted his approval when Daniel discretely left the couch after a large party eyed it. He slipped his game back into his baggy pants and headed back to the kitchen. Half an hour later Eddie came back in through the back door with a variety of bags and a battered guitar case. Daniel helped him carry the odd piles out of a shopping cart and into the work room. They stuffed it into a corner before Eddie went back to work.

Daniel was back on dishes when Karl asked him to help him in the back. Karl showed him a dusty pantry with no window. "We got to clean this out for Eddie." he said. Daniel surveyed the space full of junk and waited for orders. "I give you something; you put it where I say." Except for the interruption of a phone call from his mom, the two worked steadily for a half hour. Karl would hand him an item and say, "shelf", "garbage", or "office". Most of it was garbage and Daniel hauled it out back.

Daniel's mother appeared unexpectedly fifteen minutes later drawn down to the restaurant by her son's cryptic comment "I think we're making a room for Eddie - I gotta go." She surveyed the progress then decided to help. Daniel wasn't too happy about having her intrude on his new world. But he reflected philosophically that it would mean she wouldn't expect him to come home right away. When they had cleared out the space Karl sat down heavily on a box and told him to take a break while he thought for a minute. Daniel decided to help Denver in the kitchen. He heard Karl and his mother discussing beds as he walked away.

Daniel's mom made a few phone calls from the work room and lined up an old futon. While they waited for it they washed down the room.

Heather was having a good time. There was something about the old restaurant and its anti-Santa Claus owner that conveyed a sense of peace. She decided to stay until her friend drove into the back alley with the futon and some sheets. Her friend stayed long enough to see everything put to rights, then after giving Heather a hug she left. Karl told her it was enough and offered her some tea. The restaurant was full when she carried her tea out. It had been sleepy and quiet when she had arrived. The black waiter was gliding around the room. She watched Daniel in his new role of bus boy slipping in and out of the room. Less than a week and I see a whole new side to him, she reflected. She knew that this was his world and she needed to keep her distance. She watched Denver go over to Daniel and quietly give him some instructions. Daniel smiled and nodded. She saw the trust and affection in her son's eyes. She watched Denver for a moment: father-brother; whatever he was to Daniel. She thought him young. He's only about a decade younger than her. It seemed a pity. Perhaps that was a thought she should put away. She had felt older than he is when she was his age too. Daniel was all consuming when she was in grade twelve and she had no time for handsome young men like him. Daniel had been her Grad date for heavens sake. It seemed things would be okay between them. The black waiter with the dread-locks took an old guitar to the side of the room and Heather realized a number of people were moving their chairs in anticipation of something. Eddie surprised her with the depth of his music. His voice must have faded from its former strength and the years on the streets, but his fingers were still strong and the unfamiliar melodies became woven into the charms of the simple restaurant. Eventually the old man had the attention of the house and he managed to hold it for about 45 minutes. He quit without any warning and dreamily put the instrument aside. Heather decided it was time for her to go. Late as it was Daniel was still wrapped up in his work so she got Denver to promise he would take Daniel home. Daniel didn't notice her slip away.

Denver watched Daniel's mom leave quietly out the front door with a glance back at her son pouring coffee at a table. Daniel got his looks from her. She seemed very young to him. Later Daniel and Denver walked the quiet streets back to the apartment. They sat for a minute near the front door to talk. Denver couldn't resist asking Daniel a few questions about his mom. "How old is your mom?"

"I don't know. She says I can still trust her `cause she's not over thirty." Daniel realized he didn't know much about his mom. She had always seemed old to him. "I think I was ten when she finished university." She was younger than Denver had thought. Daniel changed the subject on him. "I'm leaving for camp on Sunday." Daniel didn't know how to tell Denver he would miss him. It seemed a little gay to ask him to write to him while he was away.

"Come on back to the restaurant anytime you want. Give me your address and I'll send you a post card" Daniel felt good about that. After his morning with Arlo Daniel had wanted to be near Denver. Part of him wanted to share his confusion with the older boy. Denver might understand. But that stopped him too. Denver might tell him he was really gay and Daniel could not handle that. It was just being a freshie he tried to reassure himself, well maybe that and a little curiosity. He knew he was attracted to Mandy and he was pretty sure he did not feel anything for Arlo. I just want to be your friend. Oh God, Daniel groaned, it was all getting so gay.

"What about next Saturday?" Daniel was torn between his dread of the next party and his growing need to be around Denver and understand what was happening to him.

"Saturday will happen. Amber and Amanda promised to help me get you ready. It's going to be Rocky Horror Picture Show."

"Rocky Horror Picture Show?" back to the computer, thought Daniel. He got up and looked at Denver. A hug hung in the air between them. Daniel turned and walked toward the door. Denver followed his steps with his eyes. Daniel turned back suddenly and said "A thrill's a thrill; Long John Baldry. I get it Denver" he smiled brightly at the older boy, and then turned back to the apartment door with a quicker step.

Denver watched him go, and then whispered "even in paradise."

High School Freshie Initiation

Riverside Journal, June 16th

David M. Campbell, Jr., 14, was tarred and made to stand on a truck bed in his shorts as the truck

whizzed away. He was one of four boys initiated. His hair was cut, he was pelted with stones and forced to eat rotten eggs, according to Gail Farber, who witnessed the initiation from her front porch. Although 14-year-old Todd Depino, another of the boys, was paddled so hard and often that he was hospitalized and his skin was discolored, he refused to turn in the hazers. Another youth suffered similar hazing brutality.

No Regrets, Thursday June 17th

Daniel started packing on Thursday. He was in contact with some of his mates from the camp and they were cross referencing the supply lists. In the last two years at Camp Daniel had been drawn into the equipment competition. Daniel spent weeks calculating the merits of the items he would select. The serious voyager at his camp operated on a few important principles: First and foremost minimalism ruled; then small and light weight; High tech disguised as low tech; and strictly functional. Generally speaking, the smallest load gained the highest points. The number of items didn't matter as long as you could get to them quickly. Daniel planned to show up with a very small, highly organized bag. The only new expensive item he had was his sleeping bag. It was new and he thought it would give him an edge over his friends. It was thin and he had been promised that he had not sacrificed too much warmth. Daniel was carefully laying each item out on his bed. Redundancy is sometimes important. Daniel planned to bring the 15 centimeter German blade that was his grandfather's. He would also bring a small Swiss Army knife as back-up. Two outfits, a fleece and his anorak were all he needed. His only concession was the old pillow he planned to take. Two weeks without a pillow would suck. He'd take his MP3 player for the long trip. The phone worried him a little. There was no place for a phone in the woods. He decided he wanted it for the trip and then he could hide it when he got there. He liked making compact kits. He had a very small first aid kit. You had to be able to deal with your own cuts and splinters. He would find room for an old Day timer binder he had turned into his correspondence kit. He fussed with it adding pre-stamped envelopes and mechanical pencils. He'd printed out a little address book to put in the little binder. The worn leather zip-binder had the perfect look. He considered the neat rows. If an item failed to pass the test the burns from his cabin-mates would last all two weeks. The electronic games and large puffy sleeping bags could kill you. Daniel was lost in the Zen of packing when Arlo phoned. Daniel was annoyed by the disturbance but Arlo was so upset Daniel had promised to come over later in the afternoon. He wanted to keep his evening free so he could drop into the Brass Lantern. Well Arlo was not the happiest person most of the time anyway so Daniel decided to put him out of his mind while he repacked the bag.

* ** *

Arlo met him at the door and hurried him to his room. Daniel realized Arlo was more than stressed. "Daniel; you have to help me, I'm scared. I'm bleeding."

Daniel glanced up and down at him but didn't get it. "Where?" and then his stomach sank because he thought he got it. "Let's go to the bathroom and see." They slipped into the bathroom while Arlo's mom was busy. Arlo pulled his sweats down and leaned over the counter and Daniel saw the blood stained paper towel Arlo had stuffed between his cheeks. "Holy Mother of God Arlo! Does it hurt much?"

His friend sobbed once, "it burns and I'm scared to crap."

"Tell your mom."

"No way! You have to tell me how bad it is." Daniel swore under his breath and gingerly removed the paper. He flushed it down the toilet and gently spread Arlo's cheeks apart so that he could see the damage. It didn't look too bad, but he wasn't sure. He gently washed Arlo's anus with a warm wash cloth and looked at it again.

"I don't think it's that bad. There's a little tear I think. Let's put something on it to keep it clean." Daniel glanced at Arlo's face reflected in the vanity mirror. His friend's eyes were squeezed shut and his mouth was a tight line. It was a good thing too because Daniel's face was burning. Daniel dabbed some cream on Arlo and pushed his finger into Arlo a little and his friend whimpered briefly. "Have you taken a shit yet?" Daniel absently thought of his finger momentarily gripped by Arlo's anus. Things were, he had to admit, getting worse very quickly.

"Yes. It really hurt."

"Was there lots of blood?" Daniel knew they should tell a parent. No matter how embarrassing it might be for Arlo. This was serious stuff and Daniel was no butt-doctor. He had told Denver he would not stand by while his friends got hurt and here he was agreeing to keep silent.

"I guess not."

Daniel looked around the bathroom and found some Tampax and suggested Arlo use it in case he started bleeding again. Things got a little worse when Arlo hugged him tightly before pulling up his pants. Daniel was at a loss as Arlo pressed into him and then awkwardly patted his friend on the shoulder. It was a relief when Arlo's groin pulled away from his. They returned to Arlo's room and Daniel sat at Arlo's desk chair while his friend lay down on the bed. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Arlo told him the story. He had been picked up by his senior and they had stopped for a friend. Arlo had sat in the back trying to be cool. Daniel had told him how much fun he had had with Denver and his friends the first time. Quinton had picked up his girl friend and the group drove out of town. They started drinking. "I thought things were going to be okay and I was getting drunk. It was great you know? These guys had it all, a car and girls. I kind'a thought I was in like you are." When they got to the river things got rougher. Quinton basically ignored him and the other boy started making out with him. "It was a bit like the kissing you told me about at the party. You know, I was just going along with it." The friend, his name was Donald, pulled off Arlo's shirt. Donald had said Arlo was good looking. He had blushed as he told Daniel this. "You know everyone always says how hot you are Danny. I think that was the first time anyone said I was good looking." Arlo had not been surprised when Donald unbuckled his pants and told Arlo to suck his cock. "It was what we expected, right?" Before he had even got started Donald had changed their mind and encouraged him to get out of the car. At the back of the car and Donald had reassured Arlo with a kiss and then bent him over the trunk. Donald had entered him with a quick series of thrusts that left him in serious pain. "I mean I did not think it would hurt like that. You know Daniel? I thought it would be, I don't know, like taking a shit or something. That does not usually hurt." It was over quickly and the boy had pulled out. Arlo was dazed. The boy had asked him if he had enjoyed it. Arlo thought he had mumbled something, but he could not remember what it was. After that Arlo had vomited across the back of the car. Donald had laughed at that but Quinton had become angry and Arlo had stood there shaking while Quinton yelled his disgust. The boys made Arlo use his t-shirt and river water to clean the car off. The boys and Quinton's girl friend drank beer while he cleaned. After that they had left him alone in the back seat for a while. When they were finished their beer they started to drive back to town. On the way back they kept telling him to suck it up; that he knew he was a little fagot freshie. All the way back they made him thank them and beg for more. "They can't do that can they?" Arlo looked at Daniel with tears in his eyes. Daniel was embarrassed.

"I never saw that kind of thing at the Freshie party. Maybe you need to tell your dad. You know, go to the police and complain. But, I don't know Arlo, Denver said they will beat you up really bad if you tell anyone." The word rape was in Daniel's mind. But rape was a girl thing to Daniel. Fourteen-year-old boys were too tough to be used that way. Daniel preferred to see it as bullying: big boys picking on small boys mean games. He put his hand on Arlo's back and patted it. "I'm sorry." There wasn't much more Daniel could do. Sitting by the river listening to Denver talk about this kind of thing was nothing. Arlo was bringing it home to him.

"Can I tell you something?" Oh my God, thought Daniel, what more could he possibly tell? Arlo missed his reaction as he buried his face in his pillow. "I shot a load. I mean, while Donald was in me." Arlo risked a glance at Daniel. Daniel rested his forehead on the back of the chair, and then looked back at his best friend. They both were close to tears.

"It doesn't mean anything Arlo. It just happened. Like with Chris."

"What happened with Chris anyway?" Daniel regretted his slip.

"It doesn't matter Arlo, let's not talk about that. It doesn't mean your gay Arlo. You're okay." Arlo gave him a measured look and then broke eye contact with Daniel.

"Mandy's been trying to call me and I don't want to talk to her." Arlo looked over at Daniel "would you call and tell her I'm alright?" Daniel knew he wouldn't want her to know what happened.

"Sure, I guess I could do that." Daniel stayed a little longer and helped Arlo cover with his mom. She was home most of the day. Daniel wondered what that would feel like. He wondered what having a dad come home in the evenings would be like too. Arlo wasn't up to much, but he did move into the family room and watch while Daniel entertained him with a video game. Daniel refused a supper invitation and went home. Away from Arlo, he felt depressed about it all. On the bus ride home Daniel felt jumpy. For the first time he didn't feel safe.

Strong Currents, Wednesday, June 23rd

Summer was for sleeping in and he had drifted in and out of sleep until the pressure to pee drove him out of bed. Summer nights were for midnight television and chatting with friends on the internet. Sometimes he was up until 4:00 or 5:00. Summer mornings were for daydreaming in a soft bed. He liked to recall his evening with Amber. It was solid and he felt a satisfaction that nobody could take it away from him. He sometimes replayed the image of girls at the freshie party. At a distance, the leather, spandex and chains became more exciting than they had been during the discomfort of the real moment. The reality had been vomit, sweat, bad breath and self conscious fumbling awkwardness. The replay was more impressive. Lying between the cool sheets Daniel could enjoy his own rewrite.

In the night he dreamed of music pounding out an angry rhythm that made speech impossible. His senior would have him in a loin cloth like the boy, but Daniel would have no underwear. His cock would poke out of it as he prowled the seething mass of boys and girls tugged occasionally by the leash his senior had made him wear. He would be asked periodically to rut with the girls. He liked the memory of the drunken senior sucking his cock on the table so he usually included it in his fantasy. Occasionally he divided her into two girls: one to kiss and one to blow. At times his fantasies would drift to the boys. Daniel began thinking of anal sex. He visited some of the web sites to study the pictures. He realized the faces showed something... he was not sure what exactly. He borrowed his mother's dildo and tried it again. This time he imagined he was Mark with Denver. He was not sure they had sex like that. Whatever they did together it would not be like Arlo's experience. Daniel could not imagine Denver hurting Mark or Mark hurting Denver. The dildo still hurt and the soap he had used to make it slippery burned for a long time afterward.

He had no control over the dreams at night. When he lay awake in the mornings he reassured himself with fantasies of girls. He had tried to imagine Mandy naked. It did not work well. She always wore a one piece when they swam together so much of it came from his imagination. When he looked down at her in his fantasies she always seemed to blend with his memory of Amanda. The day dreams always seemed to begin when she would come over in the morning and in the privacy of his room they would silently begin foreplay that would lead to a quiet love-making. Daniel liked the idea of quiet touching. The irony was she was over frequently. With Greg out of the picture he had a clear run at her. He never tried. It had to be done right or he would screw it up. Would she take him seriously, or did she like him because he didn't make a play for her like everyone else did? He thought she was the hottest girl who had ever talked to him. He couldn't think of a line that would be good enough to try on her. The handsome guys in the movies just seemed to do it without words. There would be this dumb scene the chicks loved to watch. Action swirling all around them and this guy with tears in his eyes would stare at the girl silently, and then she would have trouble breathing and they would kiss. The problem was Daniel didn't know how to give that look. When he looked at Mandy he was the one who had trouble breathing and all he could do was give her a stupid smile. He had concluded she must think he was retarded.

* ** *

Arlo had freaked Daniel out. He avoided his friend and stayed around the appartment until finally the heat of the afternoon pulled Daniel away. It was a day to be out and Daniel headed in the direction of the pool. Camp was getting closer and he was feeling tired of the city crowds so when he saw how frantic the pool looked he turned his back on the mass of screaming children and headed down toward the river.

After a lazy morning it felt good to follow the familiar path. The river was still swollen with the echo of winter snows and the heavy rains upstream. He paused along the path and sat on a bench to watch the silent flow. Occasionally a ripple would disturb the surface hinting at the strength of the current. It was just about safe enough to swim in the river again, definitely not recommended. Daniel contemplated the sheet of water and thought about canoeing.

"What's up pretty boy?"

"Jesus Simon you're such a pain." Daniel turned his gaze to the scrawny blond balancing on a battered mountain bike. Simon stood on the pedals shifting his weight as he held the bike up. He finally gave up the effort and sat with his foot on the bench.

"Where's your senior?"

"Where's yours?" Simon usually reserved his smart ass comments for other classmates and left Daniel alone. Daniel pretty much returned the complement. He watched unimpressed as Simon pulled a pack of smokes out and lit one. He took a drag for dramatic effect and looked at the water before continuing the verbal match.

"She is resting up from the beating I gave her pussy last night."

"In your dreams"

"Is that where your senior is Daniel? Is his pecker sore from banging your ass all night? Hey, I'll bet Preparation H would bring down the swelling." Daniel thought of Arlo and decided he didn't want to hear anymore so he stood up and headed further down the path.

"Screw off you little prick" His voice broke a little as he said it. Daniel cursed himself for sounding like a cry baby. He was still angry at Simon for telling Mandy about Chris. Simon started to follow on his bike, pausing and balance every time he overtook the angry boy. Daniel turned on him suddenly grabbing his handle bar before snapping out his anger and frustration. "I don't have an older brother to set me up for the year. The rest of us have to take the bull shit. Just fuck off; you don't understand." He started walking again and did his best to put some distance between them. Simon showed no mercy when he had something on you and he had something big on Daniel now. Daniel could look forward to his crap all year now.

This was just payback for all the times he had smiled at Simon's jokes. The truth was Daniel had done his share of laughing at the guy's jokes in class. But to be fair it was mostly easy going stuff. Daniel bent to pick up a plastic bottle and dropped a three pointer into the nearest trash bin. Moore, the crowed roared its approval. Daniel raised his arms above his head in victory. Any time Simon trashed Daniel, Daniel found it best to just laughed it off and he had tried to give a good come-back. Simon was not too proud to laugh at himself either. They would quip back and forth until Daniel noticed Arlo or Greg's disapproving looks. Arlo and Greg had thought he was nuts to chat with Simon on line.

Guys like Chris were poor sports about it. Chris was big enough to push Simon around. Once in gym class Simon made a crack when Greg stole a basketball away from Chris. Chris had been trying so hard and Simon was so obviously not interested in the game. He would just jog around the court ignoring the fact that nobody was interested in tossing him the ball. Chris had walked up to the smaller boy and pushed him hard. When Simon bounced up with a smile Chris had punched him. Everyone had stood surprised at the sudden violence and when Simon looked like he was going to go at it with Chris Daniel had stepped into it and turned the angry boy away. "It's not worth it Simon, he just can't take a joke." Daniel had searched for a distraction. "I'll feed you a ball next time you are under the basket if you promise to take a shot." Later when he tossed the ball to Simon the wiry boy flipped it into the basket and gave him a high five as he continued to jog annoyingly in and out of the busy play. Walking down the path after their encounter Daniel concluded that he should have let Chris clean the little asshole's clock.

The path wandered along the bank through a hector of undeveloped forest. The noise of traffic subsided and the humidity increased in the cool shadows. Side paths braided their way in and out of the paved path offering enticing opportunities to explore the river bank in seclusion. After his conversation with Simon Daniel wanted some privacy so he ducked down a familiar path and headed toward the river. The undergrowth closed in as he pushed his way through. It reminded him again of camping. When he finally paused at the river's edge he dropped to the turf and stretched his feet out.

It was not a wilderness. Across the river he could see the great houses with their terraced views of the river. Beyond them were expensive condominiums and Denver's neighborhood. Daniel's spot was spoiled by the bottles and cans left by previous visitors. He pulled his legs underneath him and picked up cigarette butts out of the tall grass and tossed them into the river. It was better at camp. People kept the campsites clean. There was more respect. Daniel and Arlo liked this spot. When the river was lower they even sat on the sand bar and suntanned; of course then they had to share it with more people.

Daniel became alert when he heard someone moving down the path. It was not a good place to be caught alone. Arlo had dreamed of bringing girls down to the water to neck. It didn't seem like such a good idea now. Daniel relaxed when he saw it was Simon leading his bike. He didn't want to listen to anything else the guy had to say, but he was relieved it wasn't seniors. Daniel tried to ignore Simon and turned back to the water. Simon didn't take the hint and let his bike drop to the grass before parking himself next to Daniel.

"Communing with nature boy toy?"

"Just give it a rest. I can't handle that right now." He didn't understand why Simon had to harass him. He went back to picking up the butts, hoping Simon would be quiet.

"Why did you do it?" Simon's voice had lost its edge and he sounded bewildered. Daniel knew what he was talking about. His anger suddenly evaporated and he tossed the last butt before answering.

"I don't know why."

"Man I was so sure you were straight." It was a statement, not a crack. "I mean, you never get a boner in the change room and the girls are on you like flies on honey." Daniel listened in misery.

"I am straight" Daniel snapped at him finally. He didn't know how to explain it to Simon. "When you are a rookie you have to do shit like that."

"Glad I've never been on a team."

"Well, it's not just that." Daniel didn't want Simon to think he sucked dick all the time. "You saw what happened; it just seemed like the best thing to do."

"I didn't see what happened." Simon had been busy hitting on his senior. Everyone was right. She thought he was a pest and that offended Simon.

"Well then what the fuck do you know?" Some of Daniel's anger came back. "This bastard was beating the guy up. Everyone just stood and laughed at it. I thought it wouldn't be a big deal." He still struggled with himself about it. It had been nothing to worry about until suddenly he was sucking Arlo's cock in his bedroom. He didn't have a good explanation for that; comparing the taste of cum. God, Daniel could hardly face his own reflection in the morning.

"I could never do that." Simon said it like Daniel had eaten shit or touched a little kid's dick in the pool.

"I don't have to explain this to you, you little prick. Lots of guys were doing stuff." He stood up and stared down at Simon. "Get lost"

Simon slowly got to his feet and looked back at Daniel. He could see the anger in the other boy's eyes and noticed the flush across his face. Simon was tired of the Daniel's of the world pushing their looks and muscles into his face. The guy had everything and took it for granted: first pick on the teams, friends, girls, money, smarts. Simon almost blurted his thoughts out, but then he stopped. The thing was Daniel was fairly decent. He might take everything he had for granted, but he never pushed it in your face. He could take a joke and most times he cared about people's feelings. He thought about Daniel in the lunch room holding out his CD player. Daniel treated him like a person.

There were voices on the trail and the loud noise of snapping branches. The boys locked eyes and Simon could see Daniel's alarm. They sounded like young men, not boys like themselves. Simon glanced at the other freshie and took in Daniel's sudden look of vulnerability. Daniel was a pretty boy. Simon grabbed Daniel by the T-shirt and whispered to him fiercely, "Do me a favor and hide in the bushes. If they see us together who knows what shit they will make us do."

"You hide"

"I have to watch my bike" and Simon shoved Daniel backward into the bushes. The three boys who stepped into the clearing were seniors Daniel recognized from the party. He didn't feel good about hiding behind Simon, but he had to admit he was glad he didn't have to face them.

"It's not him."

"I was sure he went this way." The heavy boy let a broad paddle swing back and forth threateningly.

"Hey dip shit, where did your friend go?" The boys came close to Simon. They didn't seem interested in him.

"Do I look like I'm here with a friend?"

"You look like you are going into grade seven kid."

"Fuck you, I'm at Riverview next year."

"Yeh, he was at the party. I remember him."

"Then he should know better than to piss me off."

"I think this is Vance's brother."

"Your point?"

"Take it easy." Simon thought about Daniel's crack about his brother. He resented the special treatment, particularly when Daniel was watching.

"Vance isn't my baby sitter. I can take care of myself." The three boys circled Simon. He backed up a little instinctively putting space between himself and the wooden paddle. It was always like this for him. The bigger boys favorite target.

"Well then you can take your licking like a good freshie." The senior pushed Simon up against a tree. Simon gripped the tree and through the heavy leaves he caught Daniel's eyes. The first slap caught him unprepared and he jumped. Daniel shifted suddenly and Simon shook his head to keep him still. Simon felt his eyes water so he shifted his gaze. Another boy took a turn. The third declined the paddle.

"Fuck it man, let's head back to the pool and check out the bitches. Maybe Denver's pretty boy is up their jacking off. " Simon casually reached into his pocket and pulled his cigarettes out. One of the seniors slapped them out of his hand and stepped on them.

"Smoking is bad for your health."

"Yeah, you need to run more." Daniel watched as one of the youths tossed Simon's bike into the river. They pushed Simon to the ground and then moved back up the path. Simon watched them go and then bent down to retrieve his cigarettes. He lit one while he walked down to the river bank and gazed into the water where his bike lay. Daniel listened for the sound of the seniors and then quietly came up beside the other boy. Daniel did not know what to say.

"Shit, my bike." Simon sounded upset. His hand trembled a moment as he tried to light his cigarette. Daniel studied the water for a minute. He started to take his shirt off and, taking a last glance up he trail, slipped his shorts down. Simon's eyes slid up and down his body. "We are not having sex gay boy, that's what I was trying to avoid."

"Fuck you Simon; Come on, let's go get the bike."

"It's in the frigging river sport." Simon gestured to the ominous water sliding by. Daniel stood in his bathing suit for a moment looking back at him.

"There is a sand bar there, it's not that deep." To prove his point he started wading into the water. Simon watched him as the water piled up against his legs and foamed around him dangerously. Daniel moved until he was about waist deep and fished with his feet before he located the bike. He ducked once and came up with the frame. Simon kicked his shoes off and waded into the water dangling the cigarette out of his mouth. When Daniel struggled closer with the bike he helped the bigger boy drag it back onto the bank. He looked it over while Daniel sat on the grass. Satisfied, he sat next to Daniel to finish his smoke.

They didn't speak to each other. Daniel sat drying off in the wind and sun watching the river. He felt like his summer was being robbed a little bit at a time. It felt like he had to watch his back every moment now. The three boys might have wanted nothing much at all, or they might have been like Arlo's senior, Quinton. They might have been looking for someone to hurt.

Simon sat perplexed. He wasn't sure why he had taken the heat for Daniel. He didn't understand why someone like Daniel would even consider doing something gay. He thought about what he had said to Daniel when he pulled his shorts off. He hadn't meant to give him the burn. It was like Daniel made him nervous. He spent most of his time being angry at the guys like Daniel, yet he had found himself turning back on the path to seek him out. He took a final puff on the cigarette and ground it into the grass beside him. Daniel picked up the butt and threw it into the river. Simon got up, put out by the little gesture.

"I don't get you Murrell" he started with annoyance "Which did you like better, blowing Chris or getting blown by that chick at the party?"

Daniel looked up at him. There was really only one answer he could give. "The chick man, what else?" Simon stared at him for a moment. He pulled his bike up and headed toward the path.

"See you around gay boy." Daniel felt a flash of annoyance and turned back to the river without a word.