This is an original homocentric love story. If you are offended by homosexual relationships, do not read. All characters and situations are fictional and of my own creation. Any resemblance to real situations or people, living or dead, is completely coincidental. See chapter one for further warnings and copyright information.
When I woke up Tuesday morning, it was to the feeling of something soft crawling on my cheek. I startled and swatted at it: only to hit something hard and hairy a lot further away from my cheek than I expected, and to hear an "Ow!"
"Huh? Jer?" I did tell you I'd just woken up that second, right? I opened my eyes to see a fully dressed Jeremy rubbing the back of his head.
"What'd ya hit me for?" Jeremy asked in hurt anger.
I started chuckling. It wasn't funny, but his expression was. "I'm sorry, Jer. I just felt something on my face and thought it was a moth or something. You were kissing my cheek?"
He nodded, and stopped rubbing his head. After all, thinking I was going to be slapping something on my own face, I hadn't put that much force into it. My smile softened. "Kissing me awake. That was an incredibly romantic thing to do, Jer." He blushed with pleasure. On a mischievous impulse, I continued in the same soft, drawling tone. "And if I'd been expecting even the possibility of something like that, I would have made sure I was more awake before hitting you." His hurt look was priceless. I crowed. "I'm sorry, Jer. Just jerking your chain. Come here a minute?"
Jeremy leaned down, an expression of suspicion on his face. I put a hand behind his head, pulling him in even closer, and then kissed him. It would have worked better if he hadn't been resisting 'cause of his suspicion of me, and since I still wasn't awake enough to be coordinated, I only got the corner of his mouth. "Thank you for a wonderful wake-up call, even if I didn't appreciate it at the time," I whispered. Jeremy grinned abashedly.
"Oh, shit!" Jeremy yelped. "I forgot! Dad wanted me to get you up. We need to go to school!"
I frowned at that, as memories of the last few days flooded back. "I'm not sure I'm up to going to school," I said. But Mister G was the principal as well as my guardian, and I was in no position to push things right now. I sighed. "Okay, I'm coming."
"You better not be. You'd have to take a shower, and there isn't time!" Jeremy quipped, with a grin.
He got me back already? "Smart-ass!" I retorted, grinning, and lightly cuffed him upside the head: on purpose this time. I was sure that Jeremy was putting up a front, trying to distract me from less... pleasant thoughts. But you know what? I didn't mind in the least. I wanted to be distracted.
I got up in search of clothing. Mrs. G must have been busy last night. How she managed it without waking me up I don't know, but my closet and dresser drawers were full of my freshly laundered clothes. After a little bit of searching to find everything, I picked out an outfit for the day and got dressed while Jeremy chattered at me about decorating ideas for my room, what was going on at school, and anything else he could think of. When I was finished dressing, I walked over to him, grabbed him, and kissed him - not too fast, but hard.
When he'd got his breath back, he said, a bit dazedly, "Wow! What was that for?"
"I couldn't think of a better way to shut you up, chatterbox." I grinned, and shot out of the room as quickly as I could, then came to an abrupt stop after almost running into Mister G who, it turned out, had been on his way to see what was taking me so long. That didn't stop Jeremy, though, who tackled me to the floor, tickling, poking, and generally torturing me. I loved it, and after only a second's hesitation for Mister Grave looming over us, I gave as good as I got.
"BOYS!" Mister G shouted. He didn't sound angry, but it was an effective bid for attention. He got it; both of us panting and grinning up at him from the floor. "Just what is this all about?" he asked, grinning in spite of himself.
"I just tried something to see if it would stop Jer's talk, talk, talk," I said. "It worked!" Jeremy blushed, big time. Not but what my face wasn't showing more than a little color too, I'm sure, but I was still grinning.
"I've been looking for something like that for years!" Mister G replied, smiling back. "What is it?"
Now I knew I was blushing. "Um... Mister G? I don't think you'd want to use it." Mister G frowned, and I knew I'd have to explain or his imagination would come up with something much worse. "I kissed him," I said, and hid my face behind Jereremy's head. Fairly easy, since he was hiding his face against my neck.
Suddenly Mister G was laughing - hard! Yep. Time to amuse the adults, again. Shit. Jer and I got off the floor, Jer glaring at his dad for daring to laugh at him. I got Jeremy's attention, and winked at him to let him know I had something up my sleeve. Jeremy gave a half-shrug and grinned at me, willing to go along with whatever I had planned. I hoped he was, 'cause I pulled him to me and kissed him again. I don't know if Jer was going along with the joke or really getting into it, but when we parted, I was looking at him a bit dazedly.
And then I remembered Mister G, and wanted to sink into the floor. It didn't work any better this time than the last. Well, Mister G wasn't laughing any more, but at least he still had a smile on his face, although his eyebrows were competing for a high-jump trophy.
"You do that in school, and you're both grounded until you graduate college," was all he said.
School. Jeremy. Oh, my god. I made sure I caught Jer's eyes before I started talking, so he'd be able to see how serious I was. "Jeremy, we've got to be very careful in school not to let anyone know about us. That means we can not show affection anywhere in public."
Jeremy frowned at me. "I don't care who knows," he said. "Why do you? Are you ashamed of me?"
I was shocked that he'd think that. "What? No! No, Jer," I declared, pulling him into a hug, "it's just dangerous! I don't want you getting beat up - or me either, for that matter." I leaned a bit away from him, and grinned wryly at him.
I got an idea, and turned to Mister G. "There's a website for gay stories on the Internet, Mister G. A lot of them are about boys like Jeremy and me, and the kinds of trouble they have because of it. Having Jeremy read a couple of those would explain what the dangers are far easier than I could. May I show them to him?" It might have been easier to sneak onto the site behind his back, but it wouldn't have been smarter.
Mister G looked like he wasn't comfortable with the idea, and I guessed that it was because of the reading material. I was proven right. "I don't like the idea, but I see what you're getting at. I'll need to see them first. If I approve of the ones you pick out, I'll print them, and let Jeremy read them that way, but only at home." He paused. "After this weekend, and seeing your father, I have to assume that you were sneaking to that site, Ethan, and I don't like that idea, either. I don't want you going there, anymore. May I have your word of honor?"
I didn't like that restriction, knowing that there was some really good fiction on there. Not all of it was smut. "Mister G, do you know what it was like being the only gay boy in the area I knew of? Those stories helped me feel less alone. Even with them I got extremely depressed from time to time. Without them, I don't know what I'd have done. They let me know that I wasn't alone: that there were other boys like me. They let me know the dangers, but they also gave me hope for a fulfilling life."
"But you've got me now, Tan!" Jeremy said.
Bad timing, Jer. But I understood why he'd said it. "Thank you, Jer," I said, putting an arm around his shoulders and hugging him, "but a lot of those stories also present life lessons." I turned back to Mister G. "The attitudes of society, Mister G," I explained, "like what can happen if you don't practice safe sex, what it takes to have a successful relationship, and how easy it is to ruin one with just one mistake; and they do it in a way that brings the reality of it home."
"They're not porn or smut?" Mister G asked, incredulous.
"There is some," I admitted, "but most of them just describe loving sexual relationships as a part of the story." Mister G was clouding up. I was going to have to be fast. "But only as a part of the story, Mister G - just as, I assume, sex is only a part of your life and your relationship with Mrs. G." Mister G was getting ready to say 'no', I could tell. "Please let me finish, Mister G." I said as he opened his mouth. He closed it again, clearly annoyed. "In some ways, those stories can actually help young gay teens prepare themselves for life as a... homosexual. But they have to be read critically, and not just read for prurient interest."
I noticed Jeremy frown a bit at the word 'prurient', and I guessed that I'd finally used a word he wasn't familiar with. "Just for the sex," I explained. Jeremy's frown disappeared and he nodded, looking like he was filing the word away.
Turning back to Mister G, I continued. "Just like all fiction, they can't be taken literally. Happy endings are almost required, for instance. And yes, there are stories on there that are just porn, but most of them are in separate areas of the site. That kind of story in the areas I read are rare. Besides," I said with a sly grin, and praying that it wouldn't backfire, "it would save you having to teach Jeremy about gay sex."
Looking at his eyes, I saw that my little dig had not helped my argument. "I'm sorry, Mister G. I thought some humor..." I waited, not knowing what I was going to hear. It wasn't long in coming.
"Keep up the smart-ass comments, 'Tan', and your face won't be the only thing turning red." Ouch. I must have really punched some buttons. "Amy and I are trying very hard to accept your feelings for Jeremy and his for you, but don't push it."
"Yes, sir. I am sorry," I half-whispered, looking at the floor. I actually was feeling ashamed of myself. "You and Mrs. G have been very kind to me. I - I guess I took advantage of that." Damn. I was feeling so bad, not to mention more than a little scared that I might have messed things up, that I was actually tearing up - and I didn't want him feeling sorry for me. "May I be excused?"
"Get some breakfast. We'll talk more after school."
"Yes, sir." What the hell was wrong with me, that I'd tear up at the drop of a hat?
Jeremy followed silently after me.
The day didn't get any better. As Jeremy and I approached our lockers, I saw a bunch of my friends looking at me. But something wasn't right. They were looking at me almost like they'd never seen me before. "Hi, guys!" I said cheerfully. I wasn't ready to talk about my personal problems, so I was acting cheerful and carefree, pretending that everything was as it had always been. "What's up? Whatcha do over the weekend?"
They looked kinda uncomfortable, but no-one said anything until a puzzled frown crossed my face, then my best friend of them, Barry, said, "So is it true?"
"Huh?" There was that brilliant conversation again! "Is what true?" I asked.
"I called your place Sunday afternoon so we could all go toss a football around. Your dad answered. Said he never wanted to hear 'that fag's' name again, and hung up. What's going on, Ethan?"
My heart had sunk into my stomach as soon as he said he'd called. "Guys? Can... Can we talk about this at lunch? In private?"
"So it's true, then?" Jim asked.
"Lunch?" I pleaded.
Barry stared at me for a few moments, then nodded, jerked his head at the other guys, and they left.
Jeremy, being right there at his locker, had heard the whole thing, and came over to comfort me. He raised his arms to put them around me. I quickly stepped back, shoving him a little. "Are you crazy?" I whispered fiercely. "You want to show them?"
At his hurt look, I stepped a little closer, and as quietly as I could, hoping no-one could hear but him, I said, "I'm sorry, but we have to be very careful, or everyone's going to be in trouble, including your dad! Only at your place, or when we absolutely know nobody's around, okay?"
I could see that he was still hurt, but he nodded his understanding. I wanted so much to hold him now, and comfort him, as he had been about to do for me. I wanted to hug him, kiss his hair, walk down the halls hand in hand... But it couldn't be. Not now, and maybe not ever. Not in public.
"That doesn't mean we can't act like friends, Jer: just not that close of friends, or we might accidentally do something dangerous." I couldn't even tell him I loved him - not there in the halls. I got in my locker, got the things for my first class and, trying to say 'I love you' with my eyes, walked to my first class. I felt like a Grade-A heel.
But now I had to worry about what I was going to say to my friends at lunch. Lies, deceit, hiding... Was it worth it? Then I thought about Jeremy or me being beat bloody, maybe even bad enough to wind up in the hospital: or Mister G maybe losing his job for what he'd done for me, or maybe all of us becoming social pariahs. No, it wasn't worth it, but it looked like it was necessary.
Between worrying about what I could say to the guys, and feeling guilty about how I'd treated Jeremy, it was hard to concentrate in my classes. Lunchtime came around, and I still wasn't sure what I was going to say. Maybe if I just talked to Barry, first? I'd have to get to him before the others got there, though. I hoped it was a short meeting. I wanted to find Jeremy and apologize.
I was in luck. I caught Barry on his way out the door to the school yard. "Barry? Can I talk to you alone?"
"Why?" he asked, frowning suspiciously.
I frowned. "You're my best friend, that's why." I was being a little beligerant about it, but damn it, Barry had no right treating me like that!
Barry didn't look at all pleased. "Why alone?" he persisted.
"For god's sake, Barry! I'm not going to attack you or anything, I just want to talk!"
Barry looked undecided, then "Okay. Boy's bathroom."
I had overheard a few things in the boy's bathroom that the speakers probably wouldn't have wanted known, so, "Um, how about the front lawn?"
"I'm not sure I want to be seen with you, if you're... You know."
That hurt. "I'm tried and convicted without a hearing, Barry?" I asked softly. Barry was now looking decidedly uncomfortable, and a little ashamed. Good. I waited.
"Yeah, okay, but not the front lawn," he finally said.
"Okay, the side yard, then."
"What side yard?" he asked, looking at me like I was crazy.
"It's not much - just a little patch of grass on the side of the building. Never saw anyone there, so it should be private enough," I replied.
I led the way, and soon we were sitting on the grass under some windows. They weren't classroom windows, so I didn't think anything of it.
"So?" Barry prompted.
Here's where some of that reading on Nifty came in handy. "Barry, even if I were gay, and I'm not saying I am, what would be different about me?" I asked. "I did an assignment for Civics on homosexuality," I lied, "and it's not like you catch a disease or something and just become gay. If you are, you're born like that. You can't help it. You can't make other people that way, either," I added. Well, all of that was true, anyway.
"So are you?"
Single-track mind, Barry has. "Answer my question, Barry. What would be different about me if I were?"
He just looked at me, puzzled. I got up. "Think about it, Barry. When you've got an answer, you know how to find me."
"Yeah, about that;" Barry said, before I could take off, "what were you doing with the principal's kid?"
That didn't quite add up to an on topic question, but what the heck! "Jeremy? His folks took me in when my father threw me out."
Now Barry looked shocked. Good! "Your folks threw you out?" he exclaimed in surprise.
"My father did. My mom couldn't stop him." I sighed, and sat back down. I knew I couldn't put it off any more.
"Because you're - queer?" Barry asked, hesitantly.
Shit. I was crying again. Not sobbing or anything, just a stray tear or two running down my face. "Not 'queer', Barry - gay."
I expected him to yell at me or call me names, or run away, but he didn't. He just sat there looking at me. "Does Mister Graves know?"
I sighed. "Yeah, their whole family knows. They're okay with it, and Jeremy's kinda adopted me like a big brother." Well, it was almost the truth.
"Shit, Ethan, why'd you want to be a fag?" he asked.
The damned, thick-headed shit! "Weren't you listening to me, Barry? I didn't choose to be gay! I was born that way. Think about it - who'd choose to live a life where almost everyone hates you?" He looked a bit taken aback. I hope I got him thinking, anyway.
"I gotta think about this, Ethan." he said, getting up.
"Yeah. Just keep it to yourself, okay? Just tell the guys I was kicked out 'cause my dad found some drugs or something?"
"I won't say anything. Yet, anyway. Talk to ya later."
I nodded sadly and watched him walk away.
Mister Graves' voice? Where? Oh, my god! The windows!
"Ethan, could you come to my office, please?" Mister G ordered, more than asked.
"Yes, Mister Graves," I answered.
When I got to the offices his door was open, so I just walked in and closed it behind me. I couldn't tell anything from the look on Mister G's face as he gestured for me to sit down. When I was settled, he just looked at me for a minute more. "I thought we were going to keep this a secret, Ethan?"
"You heard everything?" I asked. He nodded. "I didn't have a choice. They called my - my old place, and my dad - father - told them not to mention my name any more, or call there ever again. He called me a fag and some other names when he said it." (Okay, so I was gilding the lily a little.) "They started asking questions. I was going to lie, but I couldn't lie about everything, at least not to Barry. He's my best friend. Barry's the only one I've talked to. If I can get him to back me, the others might be okay with it." I was babbling, hoping, and knowing there was no hope. But Mister G surprised me.
He looked at me thoughtfully for minute. "Thank you for protecting Jeremy," he said.
"Huh? Oh! The 'adopted brother' thing. Yeah, well - I might be blown out of the closet, but that doesn't mean that Jer has to be, too. Besides, it's not my secret to tell; it's his," I said.
Mister G cocked his head at me and said, "You know he's going to want to protect you. How are you going to handle that?"
"'Protect' me? I don't see how I could stop him from supporting me in a fight if I were attacked, Mister G, but I'll talk to him."
"That's not quite what I meant, Ethan, although the point is well taken. I meant he's going to want to stand beside you and support you."
He hadn't actually said anything that different, but I suddenly knew what he meant. Jeremy might out himself, just for me. "Oh. You mean... " My heart sank. I didn't want Jer having to go through that. "I don't want him to do that. The kids already make it rough for him, just 'cause he's the prin-" I stopped, turning red with embarrassment.
"Because he's the principal's son. Yes, I know," Mister G said, finishing my sentence for me. "I'm going to talk to him, and I assume you'll talk with him about it, too?" At my nod of assent, he said, "I'm glad to see we're on the same side in this. Now, I think you should go get some lunch before it's too late."
I stood, feeling very alone and lonely. I knew I was supposed to be too old for it, but, "Mister G?"
"Can I have a hug? Please?"
It felt wonderful.
I broke the hug and turned around. Only one person called me 'Tan', even if I wouldn't have recognized his voice. That door must have had very well-oiled hinges. I hadn't heard him open it. "Hi, Jer. Close the door?" I looked at Mister G for permission for the request I'd just made. I think he knew what I had in mind too, 'cause he smiled and nodded at me.
Jeremy closed the door, and looked curiously at me as I walked up to him, and grasped his shoulders in my hands. "I'm sorry for earlier, Jer." Then I pulled him to me and kissed him. I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, Mister G turning to look out the window just before I closed my eyes and got lost in the bliss of kissing my young man..
After about a minute Mister G cleared his throat, causing me to come back to myself, and breaking the kiss. Sighing, I opened my eyes and pulled Jer's head to my chest, his arms still wrapped around me. "You're right, Mister G. This is not the place. I wish the world was different." I noticed Mister G had turned back around, now.
"Jeremy, did you want to see me about something?" Mister G asked.
"No, Dad. I just saw Tan come in, and I got tired of waiting for him."
Mister G frowned. "We've talked about this before, Jeremy. Unless it's important, you are not to interrupt a meeting. If the door is closed and you don't know if I'm with someone, knock."
"Yes, sir, but it's lunchtime, and it's Tan," Jeremy explained.
It felt strange to be holding my boyfriend while this conversation was going on, but Jeremy wasn't letting go. Evidently, Mister G felt the same way.
"If you can crawl out of Tan's arms for a minute so I can talk to you?"
Oh, shit. He used Jer's pet name for me. Well, it was a private thing between the two of us, so I had to interrupt. "Mister G? Sorry to interrupt you, but would you mind using my whole name, please? I'd prefer that 'Tan' be used just between Jeremy and me." He had been mad at me the first time he'd used Jeremy's pet name for me, that morning, and I wasn't stupid enough to make it worse by correcting him then.
Mister G looked a bit annoyed by the interruption, and probably the correction, but he just nodded. "Very well, Ethan," he said.
Yep. He was annoyed, going formal on me like that. But Jer had pulled away a bit, so that helped the situation a little. He still had an arm twined with mine, but he wasn't cuddled up like he had been.
Mister G turned back to Jeremy. "You know the rules, Jeremy. I don't care who I'm working with."
"Yes, sir," Jeremy replied, looking suitably rebuked.
I didn't believe it, but I wasn't going to say anything in front of his father.
Looking at Jeremy, Mister G asked, "Have you eaten?"
"Do you think you can keep your hands off Ethan while he eats?"
Jeremy blushed, but nodded.
"A ll right, then the two of you get out of here. I'll talk to you when I get home."
Jeremy gave me one last quick peck on the lips, then we put on our 'public' demeanors, and rejoined the rest of the school. Jer did behave himself while I ate for the most part, although he kept 'accidentally' kicking my feet while we talked about school things. It was annoying, but I knew he was only doing it for some sort of contact. That better have been the reason, anyway.
When the bell rang calling us to our next classes, I was relieved that I hadn't seen any of my friends. I hoped Barry came through for me.
I saw Jim and Sammy in my next class, math, but they didn't give me a hassle or anything, so maybe I had a reprieve. I saw Barry in science class, but I guess he was still thinking things over, 'cause he didn't talk to me, either.
And if you think I was taking all this calmly, you're nuts. I was ready to chew my fingernails down to the quick.
The rest of the day went by without incident, and when Jer and I got home, I filled him in on what had happened.
"Shit, Tan! What are we going to do?" Jeremy asked me.
"Fi rst of all, Jer, it's 'me', not 'we'. I don't want you getting involved."
"I'm gay, too. And you're my boyfriend!" Jer declared.
"Look, we've been over this before; I don't want you getting involved!"
"And what're you going to do if I do? Spank me again?"
"No, Jer, but... "
"You know, I wouldn't mind it, if you did," he said quietly, looking down at the floor.
He had just taken a hard right turn in our conversation, and it took me a second to catch on to what he was saying. When I did, I was flabbergasted. "What?!" I all but screeched. "Jeremy, what the hell are you talking about?" I needed him to clarify it, so I'd know I wasn't jumping to conclusions.
"I mean... Well, not all the time, just when... " he swallowed "When I - needed it. When I was being bad." He was almost whispering, by then.
I have to admit, the idea of having my hands on his beautifully formed ass was a turn-on, but hurting him to have that? Not in your worst nightmares. "Jer," I said just as quietly, "do you really want me to spank you - to hurt you?"
His face was as red as a beet, but I could tell he'd been thinking about this, and was determined to talk it out. "I don't know, Tan. I know I got excited when you did it that first time, and the time in the dining room..." He got quiet, thinking. After a minute, he said, "Those are the only times you've spanked me, aren't they?"
I nodded my head. "So what did you like about it, Jer?" I didn't like where this seemed to be going.
He frowned. "I'm not sure. I didn't really like how it hurt, but... " He paused, and took a deep breath. "I kinda liked how I couldn't do anything about it, I think," he finally said.
A possible out? "You liked me being in charge?"
He thought about that. "Yeah, maybe that was it. I've been trying to find out if you really like me, Tan, but it seems I'm always having to kiss you, hug you. Do you like me?" he demanded.
"I think I love you, Jer."
"Then why won't you show it?"
"So you want me to be more aggressive with you?"
He looked up, mildly alarmed, but also very embarrassed to be revealing this stuff to me. "I just... Not hurting, but..."
I rescued him from his verbal quagmire in the most pleasant way I'd found, putting more energy into our kiss, holding him tighter. When I felt him melt into it, I knew that we'd found the right answer.
I was going to have to stop waiting for him to show me he was ready, and just take charge. It was going to be a fine line between being aggressive and dominating, but since I didn't really want to dominate him... Adding a lot of fun should help avoid that pitfall.
When I broke the kiss he started to pull away, but I pulled him back, kissing him on the forehead. "You're mine, Jeremy," I said as firmly as I could. I felt him shiver as he dropped his head onto my chest. I smiled.
"That better?" I asked. He gave a small nod that I felt, more than saw.
Then I felt his hand on me, on my hardness. Nice, but... "I thought we agreed I was in control, Jer?" At his look of hurt betrayal as I removed his hand from me, I added, "I'll tell you what: let's at least wait until after your birthday, just to see how well we really get along. If things are still okay, and we're still developing a relationship..." I let the promise go unspoken, but I felt Jeremy shiver again.
"You're really going to make me wait?" Jer whined.
I nodded, smirking at him. "It's not even a week, Jer. Until then we're just going to have to make do with Mister Thumb and his four sons!" I'd only just then made up my mind to wait. It would be a special birthday present, although I still planned on going pretty slow - aggressive mode or not.
Jeremy frowned. "Shouldn't that be 'Mrs. Thumb and her four daughters?'"
"Hey, I thought you were gay!" I teased. "Switch-hitting on me, now?"
Jeremy blushed furiously, and punched me in the arm.
"Hey, no call for violence, there, Jer. Maybe I should take you up on your offer to spank you after all!"
"You're joking, right?" he asked, looking at me nervously.
"Maybe... But don't push it, love." I grinned and winked at him, but in the back of my mind was the thought of his deliciously round globes at my mercy - but only when it became necessary. And if he and I lived up to our genetic heritage, I'd always be the larger.