By Draeconin

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.

Chapter 6

I woke up trying to think what day it was. I knew it was important, but why? 'Saturday... Oh, god. Saturday! Jeremy's birthday!' I'd been so caught up worrying about my own problems during the week, I'd completely forgotten to get Jeremy a birthday present! 'Shit, shit, shit! Oh, god. I haven't got any money, either! Wait a minute... Yes, I do. Where's my bank book?' I groaned. My mom had it. Would that fucking bastard be home, or would it be safe to call mom and ask for it? Shit. Well, if that cold... bastard answered, I could always hang up.

The attitude? He'd hurt me too badly. All the love I'd had for 'him' was gone, and my feelings towards the man who used to be my father had soured to something akin to hate. Might even be the real deal. It was easier to deal with than the pain, anyway.

I looked at the clock. Eight-thirty. If he was going anywhere, he'd be gone. 'I hope Jer isn't awake yet.' No way did I want him to know that I was going shopping for a present for him. I got up and put on my bathrobe, then peeked out of my bedroom door. Good. No Jeremy. I ran out to the kitchen, and found Mister G at the table, while Mrs. G was making him some breakfast. "Hi, Mister and Mrs. G! Can I use the phone?"

Mrs G answered. "Local call, right? Go right ahead."

"Thanks!" I dialled my old number, and while I was waiting for it to be answered, I noticed my hands were a little sweaty.


Shit. It was him! I just hung up.

"Nobody home, dear?" Mrs. G asked.

"I called my old home. He answered," I replied. "Wait a minute. Did you just... ?"

Mrs. G paused, obviously torn about which matter to address first. The last one won. "Well, since you're practically family, now... You don't mind, do you?"

I grinned. "Not a bit!" I went and hugged her. "Thank you, Mrs. G. You don't know how much that means to me." Now the only question was, was I family because she thought of me like a son, or as a son-in-law? Either one would be strange, but... Thinking over the options, I think I'd prefer it if she were thinking of me as a son-in-law. At Jeremy and my ages that was really wierd, but it would be stranger to be dating and sleeping with my 'brother' - not that we'd done much more than kiss, but it was only a matter of time.

When she let go of me, she turned back to the stove. "So what did you need over there? Or did you just want to talk to your mother?" she asked.

"I forgot today was Jeremy's birthday, and I wanted to get him a gift. I need my bank book though, and Mom's got it."

Mister G joined in the conversation. "I'll call and see what I can do. In the meantime, how much do you need?"

I was in a quandary. "I don't know, exactly. Forty dollars?"

Mister G raised his eyebrows at me. "That much?"

"I don't want him thinking his boyfriend's a cheapskate, you know," I replied, grinning. Well, it was a little cheeky, but...

Both of the elder Graves laughed, although Mrs. G's was a little on the faint side.

"Okay, you get dressed, and we'll go shopping," Mister G replied.

I hugged him tight around the neck, and said, "Thanks!" then started running back to my room. I changed my mind when I got to the hallway, and ran into Jeremy's room instead. I had meant to jump on top of him and wake him up by kissing him, but what I saw stopped me in my tracks. He was laying on his stomach, his covers down to just above his ass, and everything I could see of him... Well, he didn't have anything on that I could see. And he was beautiful. I let my eyes devour him for a few moments, then I noticed his underwear on the floor along with his other clothes. I could feel an evil grin creeping onto my face as a feeling of excitement crept over me. It was almost with a sense of hunger, like I was stalking prey, that I snuck up to Jer's bed - and then jumped right on top of him, yelling my fool head off.

Jeremy tried to jump through the roof, doing some yelling of his own, but since I was on top of him, that made jumping a bit difficult. I just barely avoided having his head hit me in the face. Once he calmed down enough to figure out what was going on, he twisted under me 'til he was laying face up, and started yelling at me and hitting at me, asking me what I thought I was doing.

I couldn't answer, I was laughing so hard. I just grabbed his wrists and pinned them over his head, and started kissing him. At first my kisses were pretty hit or miss, since he was tossing his head back and forth, trying to fight me off and trying to pout, but he was grinning a little too, which ruined the effect. Eventually though, he gave in and let me kiss him properly. When I lifted my head to fondly grin down at him, he met my eyes and smiled back.

"Have a good time last night?" I asked.

His smile turned to a puzzled frown. "Huh?"

I let go of his hands and shifted myself off of him, then tried to lift his covers to peek under them.

"Hey!" He grabbed his covers, preventing me from peeking, and blushed: quite deeply, too, I might add.

"What are you hiding, Jer?" I teased. "Just 'cause your undies are on the floor instead of on you?"

"None of your business!" he protested, gripping the covers tighter against my pull.

"But today's your birthday, baby. You didn't go and waste anything of mine last night, did you?" I was really enjoying putting him on the spot.

"Yours?" he squeaked.

"Mm-hm," I said, nodding. "Mine. All mine."

"Um... Maybe?"

I didn't say anything, just looked at him intently while I reached over and removed his hands from his covers. All of a sudden there was no more fight in him. I slid my eyes down his body as I took hold of his covers and gently pulled them back, revealing exactly what I thought I'd see; a beautifully nude Jeremy, and one that was quickly becoming aroused. I put my hand on his thigh and ran it up his side, over one nipple, and then back down to his hip. Then I lowered my head to his stiffening erection. I kissed it, which made him gasp, then proceeded to kiss my way up his body to his neck, where I lingered a little; kissing, licking and sucking on it a while before moving up to just behind his earlobe, driving him wild with that, then down his jaw line almost to his chin, before once again reclaiming his lips. I could feel my own erection almost trying to explode, it was so hard, but if I was going to get him a present, I had to get dressed and go shopping.

So, giving him a couple more short pecks, I sat up and told him "Don't you dare do anything about that," I said, pointing to his hard-on. "Save it for tonight. If I find out you didn't wait..." I left the sentence hanging, sure his imagination could come up with worse scenarios than any threat I could utter. Besides, since I was only teasing, I didn't want to have to carry through with any such promise.

"I have to go get you a birthday present, so be good!" I said, forgetting that I was going to keep it a secret from him. I left, sure he'd at least try to be good for a few minutes, hurried to my own room, and dressed as quickly as I could. Then I snuck back to his room, opened the door a few inches, as quietly as I could, and looked over at his bed. Sure enough, his covers were going up and down rather quickly.

"Caughtcha!" I yelled, grinning. Jer must have levitated at least two inches in the air.

"Damnit, Tan!" he yelled, blushing furiously. "Knock before you come in!"

I ignored his outburst. "What did I say before I left?" I asked him, still teasing, but trying to keep a straight face.

He looked a little apprehensive for a second, but I guess his embarassed anger at being caught won out. "Fuck you!" he growled.

Now I was annoyed. I kept my voice down, but with quite an edge to it, I said, "Maybe not. I asked you to wait until we could be together. If you can't do that, maybe it's not that important to you." I closed the door and went to find Mister G. I wasn't really upset about his jerking off. After all, I was expecting it. What I was upset about was his attitude - again. I was just playing, and he had to pull that fucking attitude! I was seething as I stalked out to find Mister G.

Okay, so I was being unreasonable. I didn't see that, at the time.

"Okay, Mister G, I'm ready to go," I called out.

"Just a sec', Ethan. Be right with you." He was taking one more sip of coffee while he got up from the table. Made me feel really good that he'd drop what he was doing to help me. My own father never did that. Oh, he used to help, but he'd make me wait until he was good and ready. Mister G grabbed his jacket and started towards the front door, past me. I stopped him by throwing my arms around him and giving him a big hug.

"You're the best, Mister G!" I told him.

Mister G looked a bit startled. "Um... all right... Thank you. Why?" he asked, while giving me a one-armed hug back.

"You just are! My father always made me wait! Come on!" I said, grinning at him. I'd deal with the Jeremy problem later.

"Tan! Wait!"

Speak of the devil. "I've got something to do right now, Jeremy. I'll talk to you later," I said, not even looking at him.

"But... "


"I'm sorry!" he cried out, desperately.

"What's going on, boys?" Mister G asked.

"Something Jeremy and I are going to have to work out by ourselves, Mister G. I don't mean to be rude, but it's between us."

"Tan, please?" Jeremy pleaded.

As you might have noticed, when I'm pissed with him, I call Jeremy by his full name.

I sighed. "Jeremy..." I said with strained patience, still refusing to look at him.

"No!" he half-yelled.

"I think you better talk to him, Ethan," Mister G said gravely. I saw that Mrs. G was standing there, just watching us with a concerned look on her face, drying her hands on a dish towel.

"Fine." I said, chopping the word off. I turned around and there he stood, a sheet clutched with both hands around his middle, the rest of it trailing off behind him. That would have been funny, knowing he didn't have anything on underneath it, if he hadn't been crying. I melted, and closed my eyes to try to get enough control not to start crying myself; then I walked over to him and tugged him to me, wrapping my arms around him. He threw his arms around me, too, crying into my shoulder.

"I'm sorry, Tan. Really, I am. I really, really want us to be together tonight, really I do," he babbled out, sobbing.

I started stroking his back, trying to soothe him: not thinking, right then, about our not being alone when he said that.

"I was just teasing earlier, Jer. It was your attitude that got me mad," I told him. And then I let my hand fall just a little further, to pull him in a little closer, but when my hand reached his ass and I was still feeling skin, I realized that he had dropped the sheet, and I was holding a very naked boy in my arms - and in front of his parents, no less! Still, I couldn't let him go or he'd be embarrassed to no end, so right in the middle of his apology to me for his temper I whispered, "Jer! You dropped your sheet!"

It took a couple of seconds for that to sink in, but then he froze. I could just imagine his eyes going wide as he stared over my shoulder at his parents. Jeremy tried to pull away from me to run to his room, but I kept him pressed close to me so he wouldn't make the situation worse by providing a show. I couldn't help it; I had to see what their reaction was, so I looked over my shoulder. Mister G was doing his damnedest not to laugh out loud, and Mrs. G was staring with her mouth wide open and her hand over it, face red as a beet. When she realized Jer and I had realized our predicament and were looking, she quickly turned away and went back into the kitchen. Mister G was still laughing at us, but now he was doing it out loud.

"Um... Mister G? Could you turn around for a minute, please?" I requested.

Happily, he nodded his head, and still laughing, did so. I let Jer go and he bolted, almost tripping over the sheet. I ran after him to his room.

"Why didn't you let me go?" he yelled at me once we were in his room, with his door closed. I had almost slammed it, I had closed it so quickly.

Oh, god. He was angry again. "Did you want to streak for your parents?" I replied acerbically.

He looked a little shame-faced, now. "No," he replied quietly.

"I didn't think so. That's why I didn't let you run until it was safe." I was a little steamed that he didn't understand that I'd protected his modestly - well, what little was left of it.

"Thank you," he replied, still quietly. And, still nude, he came and cuddled up to me, and totally disarmed me in the process.

"Jeremy, as much as I love seeing you like this, don't you think you should get dressed?" I suggested. "I don't know if I can control myself much longer, and someone's going to come looking pretty soon." Okay, as much as I wanted to jump him, I do have some self control. I just said that to get him to get dressed. I certainly couldn't go back out there sporting wood, and I needed him to get dressed so it would go down.

He pulled his face away from me, smirking, then grasped my crotch. "Oo... You're right. Is this for me?"

I groaned at the sensation, but... "Not until tonight," I responded, backing away from his grip and, incidentally, getting a very good look at his now-aroused state. He was beautiful. It was beautiful. Without anything to measure it with, I'd have to say it was about five inches hard; maybe a little more, and just over an inch wide. His balls were in perfect proportion, and that lovely light fringe of darker blond pelvic hair... In fact, everything was perfect. But then, anything he'd had down there would have looked perfect to me.

He pouted. "But that's hours away!"

"Yeah, well, if your mother remembers that little apology you made out there, we might not be able to get together for a long time!"

"Oh, shit," he whispered, remembering what he had said.

I stepped back into him, just for a quick hug, and a quick feel. Hey, I'm sixteen! He jumped and made a little "eep" sound when I grasped him, and then relaxed again into my hug. I think he was blushing, but with his face in my neck, I wasn't sure. "It's okay, babe. If not tonight, then some other time. They're not home all the time, and they know we're going to be together... that way. They just don't want to know when, or what we do." He just hugged me, almost desperately. Plus, I still had hold of his arousal, stroking it a little, so that didn't encourage him to move away, either. So I let go, and smacked his ass a good one. "Now get dressed!" I ordered. "I'll see you a little later, okay?"

He grinned, rubbing his butt where I'd slapped it, then grabbed me for another quick kiss before turning to get some clothes. "It better be a good present after all this, Tan!" he taunted, grinning.

"How about some lube and condoms?" I teased.

He whirled, his face blazing, his mouth open in shock. I laughed at him, then ran - as best I could, in my condition.

"You better not, Tan!" he yelled after me.

Well, after giving me a vague, unspecified threat, I was definitely going to have to sneak some lube into my purchases, just to get his goat. I didn't think I'd have the nerve to buy condoms though, so I'd have to be satisfied with the reaction I'd get from the lube when I presented it to him.

"Everything okay, now?" Mister G asked when I got back to the living room. I'd made a little detour to the bathroom first, to let my 'problem' subside, so Mister G was sitting down when I got back.

"Yeah. He's really embarrassed, though."

Mister G laughed. "I'll just bet he is!"

I still couldn't get over the way he just seemed to accept my burgeoning relationship with his son.

"You ready to go?" he asked.


On the drive to the mall, I finally had to ask. "You know, most dads wouldn't let me even play sports with their sons if they knew about me. How come you're not only letting me live with you, but helping Jeremy and me?"

Mister G was silent for a minute, then said, "My older brother is gay. He went through hell; both from our family and from everyone else. He even tried to commit suicide a few times1. I swore I'd never do that to a kid of mine if it ever happened: that I'd accept him and whoever he chose to love." He looked at me a moment before turning his attention back to the road. "That happens to be you. And you need help, too. That doesn't mean I'm happy about you two planning to become sexually active so soon, but I'm not going to get in your way, either."

I sat silent for a while, absorbing that, then I said, "Thank you." I turned and looked out the window at the scenery.

"Your brother - is he happy, now?" I finally asked.

"I think so. I've tried to keep in touch with him, but I guess I remind him too much of the bad times. Last I heard, though, he had a good job and a live-in partner." He sounded so sad.

"My turn," Mister G said, sounding happier. Well, not really happy, but kind of a forced good mood sound. You know what I mean? "What was all the yelling earlier this morning?"

I blushed, but fair was fair. "I caught Jeremy - um - doing something. When I teased him, he pulled an attitude on me."

"Ah! And what did he mean by being with you tonight?"

Shit. "I was afraid you might have heard that. Did Mrs. G?"

"Mm-hm. She did."

I couldn't look at him. "Well, remember I told you I've been putting Jeremy off; not having sex with him?" I took a deep breath, let it out, and continued. "Well, I've been telling him not until after his birthday, and he's decided that means tonight." I waited for an explosion, but it never came. I finally looked at him. He looked like he was having a fight with himself. Since I didn't want to tip the balance against me, I didn't say anything: just looked out the window again. He didn't say anything more about it the rest of the way to the mall. We did talk about other things, though - things that weren't so personal - but he still looked troubled.

When we got to the mall, he pulled a couple of twenty dollar bills out of his wallet and handed them to me. "Here you go, Ethan. And don't worry about paying me back. We're going to have to set up some chores for you so you can earn some spending money, so we'll just consider this an advance on that, okay?"

I choked up and had to fight to stop the sudden tears in my eyes from spilling over. Shit. Now that people were finding out I was gay, I was going all girly. When I said so, while thanking him for the money (and, incidentally, giving him a big hug), he told me that the one had nothing to do with the other, and it was no disgrace to show your emotions. Yeah, well... maybe. It didn't fit the more macho image I'd had of myself, though.

The mall in our town isn't all that big. It has maybe three dozen stores. But most of them are pretty good ones, so I was pretty confident of finding something Jer'd like. But as I walked through one store after another, it seemed everything was too expensive, or it wasn't good enough, or it didn't say what I wanted it to say. I did manage to pick up a tube of lube for my joke gift, although the salesgirl looked at me funny, but the real gift was eluding me.

I wound up looking in the jewelry shops and the jewelry section of the larger stores. I don't know why: just out of desperation, I think. And then it came to me - a bracelet: silver, and heavy, so it wouldn't be mistaken for a girl's bracelet. I started looking in earnest. Three stores later I found one I could be satisfied with. It was solid metal, about a half an inch wide, and had Celtic knots carved into it, with a winged snake holding its tale in its mouth, and the snake twisted to make the symbol for eternity - an '8' laying on its side. It took almost all the money I had left, but it was beautiful, and it had a message on it. I wanted to get an engraving on the inside, but that would have to wait until I had more money. Luckily it did come in its own box, and the store gift-wrapped it for me. I found Mister G in a coffee shop having a latte. He offered to buy me something, but I was anxious to get back home.

That thought gave me pause. The Graves' house had become home to me after little more than a week. I felt a little guilty, like I'd betrayed my mom, but there wasn't anything either of us could do about the situation, and I felt more comfortable living with the Graves than I ever had living with my father. Yeah, I still felt a little bit like a guest, but I wasn't afraid of being accepted as I had been when I lived with my parents. My 'dirty little secret' wasn't dirty or a secret at the Graves'.

I did have to go on living after all, so I shook it off. I didn't want to ruin Jeremy's birthday by getting morose, anyway. After Mister G finished his latte, he gathered his shopping bags and we headed out to the car. I thanked him again for the money, and told him about the bracelet. I didn't tell him about the joke gift. I didn't think he'd think it was funny, or appropriate. I'd give that one to Jer in private. I grinned to myself, picturing the possible reactions he might have to it.

When we pulled up there were a couple of extra cars in front of the house. Jeremy hadn't told me who he'd invited, so I was really curious: not that I'd probably know them anyway, they being a year behind me, and all.

I was right. There were three girls, and one other boy. I didn't know any of them, although I thought I might have seen a couple of them in the halls, but none of them were ugly. I was getting suspicious. Who were these people, and what were their relationships to my Jeremy? I saw one of the girls give Jeremy a big hug and kiss on the cheek, and press her boobs into him, the other two standing in line. My jealousy alarms all went off. "Jeremy? Can I talk to you for a second, please?"

He looked up and finally saw me standing there. He grinned, then I saw it fade when he saw my expression. He turned back to those people, and said something to them that I didn't quite catch, then came towards me. "Bedroom," I said, giving him a gentle turn-and-shove of his shoulder in that direction.

"Hey! Who do you think you are? Leave Jeremy alone!"

I turned. It was the other boy: the one I didn't know. "And you are?"

"Tim. Timothy McGraw. Jeremy's my friend, and I don't like seeing him shoved around!"

I didn't like him already. Firstly, I wasn't shoving Jer around, and secondly, where did he get off being all defensive of my boyfriend? "Funny - you don't look Irish..." I said, just to be snarky. "And as for Jeremy: he's my family, and none of your concern."

Jeremy's eyes went wide at that, staring at me.

"I don't care who you are; leave Jeremy alone!" Tim said. He was standing now, and trying to look threatening.

I sighed, and spoke to Jeremy. "Jeremy? What do you have to say?"

Yes, I'd put him on the spot, and yes, it was a terrible thing to do, but I didn't care right then. Jeremy's eyes kept darting between Tim and I. Then, looking at me, he said, "I'm fine, Tim. I'll be right back." He almost stomped back to my bedroom.

Tim glared at me, and I glared right back at him for a couple of seconds, then followed Jeremy out of the room. As I went, I heard the girls start whispering. From a couple of words I heard them say before they were out of earshot, they had heard some rumors about me at school. My heart sank. Shit. Had I just blown us both out of the closet? Still, Jeremy was mine, and I didn't want other people slobbering all over him. What a wonderful day this was turning out to be...

As I closed the bedroom door behind me, Jeremy angrily asked "What?"

"What was that all about, out there?" I could hear the anger in my own voice.

Jeremy's face went blank. "What?" This time, all I heard was bewilderment.

"That... That - girl!"

He stared at me - then he started grinning. I scowled at him, but that only made it worse; he started to laugh. Oh, he was trying to hold it in, not let any sound escape, but he was laughing at me, anyway. "What?" I growled.

"You... You're - jealous!"

I refused to answer that ridiculous charge. "What was she doing, slobbering all over you?" I demanded. "You're my boyfriend!"

He was still laughing. "You are jealous!"

"I am not! Now answer the damn question!"

I saw his face soften, suddenly.

"They're just friends, Tan. I don't even know them that well. Judy just wanted to give me a birthday hug, that's all."

"And she kisses everyone she hugs? She presses her tits into everyone she hugs?" I growled. "Looked like your other 'friends' wanted some of you, too."

Now red in the face, he asked, "Really?"

I grabbed him and pulled him into a long, bruising kiss. When I let his lips go, I growled, "You're mine."

He looked me in the eyes with an expression of dazed shock that turned into a small, satisfied smile. He laid his head on my shoulder, and I heard him say, "Yours. I like that."

The last of my anger drained away - at least my anger towards my Jeremy drained away. "So no more of that out there, right?" I asked softly.

"It was only on the cheek, Tan," he said. As I tensed up, he quickly added, "Please? I don't want anyone but you, but can't I have some friends?"

He was right. I sighed, relaxing. "I'm sorry, Jer. Everybody needs friends." I felt him relax, too. "But you don't find me kissing on my friends, and I'd rather you didn't, either. Okay?"

He smirked. "Okay. But I wasn't kissing on them; they were kissing on me!"

"Brat! You know what I mean." I leaned in and kissed him again, softly and tenderly this time.

Jer sighed happily, eyes closed, lips slightly parted. "Mm-hm," he murmured. "Again?"

I was tempted, but I smacked his butt instead, saying, "You've got some very curious guests out there, love. How are we going to explain this?"

A look of mild panic crossed Jer's face. "Shit. I don't know!"

Looking around for inspiration, I saw my finished homework, and that reminded me... "Hold on... I think I have an idea. I told the guys at school that you looked up to me as kind of like an older brother, the other day." I grinned wickedly at him. "We'll just tell them I got mad because you'd been in some of my stuff!"

He looked at me, scandalized, then started grinning. "Okay, but first we're going to have to make it true!"

Before I knew it, he had his hand on the front of my jeans, fooling around with my 'stuff'. "Um... Jeremy? Birthday guests?" Man, I was having a hard time breathing! And I didn't really want him to stop!

He pouted like a little kid, then took his hand off my crotch. "Okay, but you're going to have to make it up to me."

Remembering what my role was supposed to me, I lifted an eyebrow and said, "Oh? I'm going to have to?"

Grinning nervously, he said, "Yeah!" Then Jer stuck his tongue out at me, and bolted.

I don't know if he planned it like that or not, but me chasing out after him like I did only made our little made-up story more believable. I caught him and tickled him until he cried "Uncle," his friends watching our antics open-mouthed. When he gave up, I said, "You're going to stay out of my stuff from now on, aren't you?"

He gave a shit-eating grin and said, "Um... Maybe?"

I growled, and raised my hands over him, fingers poised to tickle again.

"Okay! Okay! I give! I'll stay out of your stuff! Okay?"

I ruffled his hair and said, grinning as I got off him, "Maybe you won't make such a bad little brother, after all." I winked at him. He was a pretty good actor: but then, so was I. I grinned when he gave me a quick wink back. Fortunately for our little story, the erection he'd given me in the bedroom had gone down by this time, although his pink-faced, dishevelled state was threatening to give me another one.

The rest of the party went by mostly without incident. I even got an apology from Jer's friend, Tim, for interfering in 'family stuff'. Well, he had been, but it wasn't the 'family stuff' he thought it was. I forgave him, of course. And Jer put a stop to the hugs and kisses by giving each of the two other girls a quick hug that held their arms to their sides, and getting away before they could try anything else. I was proud of him. After the cake and ice cream, Jeremy opened his presents, except for mine: I wanted to give those to him in private, later, and whispered that in his ear. Then Tim wanted to give Jer a birthday spanking. I put a nix on that.

"I'm very protective of my 'little brother', Tim. I'm the only one allowed to beat on him."

Jeremy looked really happy with the beginning of that announcement, but his smile was rapidly replaced with a look of mild panic, and he started to edge away from me. He wasn't fast enough. I grabbed his wrist, threw him over my lap, and started smacking his butt, counting loudly with each one. Everyone else joined in the counting, laughing at Jer's squirming while trying to get away. When I reached fifteen, I stopped. Jer's face was really red, and of course we both had erections, but I wasn't done with him yet. "Well, I guess it's not really fair that I'm the only one that gets to have fun," I announced, "so you can each give our birthday boy, here, one swat for luck."

"No!" Jeremy begged. "Please, Tan!" I frowned. There was a tone in his voice... I loosened my hold on him so I could get a better look at his face. He wasn't crying, but his eyes were bright with the promise of tears.

I didn't know what was wrong, but I let him up and gathered him into my lap, where he collapsed, hiding his face in my neck. I could feel those tears spilling, now. I looked at his guests, who were staring at us. "Um... I think I may have gone too far," I said. "Could you excuse us, please?" So saying, I got up and led Jeremy to his room. Mrs. G, who had witnessed the whole thing, followed, after telling everyone to help themselves to a slice of cake.

I sat down on Jer's bed and pulled him into my lap. Mrs. G kind of hovered in the doorway, looking torn between trying to to take care of her son, which I was doing, and being a good hostess to her son's guests. "Jeremy? Jer? Did I hurt you? Are you okay?"

He didn't say anything for a couple of seconds, then he lifted his head, looked at me with a scowl on his face, and punched me in the shoulder, saying, "Don't you ever let anyone else spank me! Just 'cause I might like you doing it, doesn't mean-"

"Jer! Your mother's here!" I interrupted him, the warning coming a little too late.

He whipped his head around, and saw her looking at him, wide-eyed and slack-jawed, from the doorway. His face got so red, I was afraid he was going to die. He dropped his head on my shoulder, trying to hide his face, and started muttering, "Oh, god, oh god, oh god... "

Mrs. G started to say something, but I signalled her, begging her not to say anything just yet. For whatever reason, she understood, and kept quiet. She also came in and sat down on Jeremy's computer chair.

I just held Jer, stroking his back, while he composed himself. Finally Jeremy took a deep breath, and looked at his mother. He was still red, and looking shame-faced. "Mom?"

Mrs. G was also looking red and uncomfortable. "I... I don't know what to say, Jeremy." Turning to me, she asked "How long has this been going on?"

I knew what she was referring to, but I wanted to put it off. "What?"

She reddened further. "The... spanking."

"Oh. Um... Well, it's kinda how we met, but this was really only the second time." I didn't think the lone swats I'd given him counted.

"I see," she replied quietly.

"It's true, Mom," Jeremy said, defending me. That may have been a mistake, since now her attention was on him, again.

"And you like it?"

Jeremy squirmed, trying to get closer to me, but he would have had to climb in, to get any closer. I hugged him a little tighter, trying to comfort him; but this was between family and I didn't feel like I could butt in, even though I was involved. Jer was hiding his face in my neck again. Still, I could provide a short distraction.

"Mrs. G? Jeremy still has guests out there; can we talk about this later?"

Mrs. G glared at me. It wasn't a fierce glare, but it made me wince, anyway. She got up and went out into the living room where I heard her say, "I'm sorry, everyone, but something has come up. I'm sorry to cut the party short like this, but I hope everyone enjoyed themselves."

"Jeremy," I warned, "we'd better get your dad in on this; I think we're going to need some help. Where is he, anyway?"

"Probably in the rec room, downstairs. He's probably watching a game on TV."

"Sports?" I asked. He nodded.

"Any way to get him up here without going by your mom?" He shook his head. "Shit. Then we'll just have to ask that he be here for this conversation."

"Mom's not going to like that. She's going to know we're calling in help."

"Can't be helped, love. We need help." I gave him a chaste, tender kiss to try to bolster him.

"You scared of my mom?" he asked with a small, sly grin. Even so, I could tell he was a little scared, too.

"I'm scared of anything that might get in the way of you and me being together," I answered. That earned me a long, lingering kiss. Wow.

"That is not going to happen, Tan."

My voice was husky when I answered. "I don't want to take any chances." That earned me another long kiss. Gah... I might get used to this.

The departure noises, worried questions, reassurances and pleasantries I'd been hearing out in the living room ceased, and I heard the front door close.

"Your mom's probably on her way back." We pulled ourselves together as best we could, Jeremy sliding off my lap to sit close to me on the bed, and then she came in.

"Well?" she asked.

I took the bull by the horns. "Mrs. G, wouldn't it be better if Mister G were here, too? He can verify a lot of what we can tell you."

"He knows about Jeremy's... About your... " She was obviously fighting to find a descriptive word, and failing. I wasn't going to help, either.

"Um... No, I don't think so, but he knows what happened the first time, and you saw what happened this time." I said.

"And that's been it." It was a question, but it was phrased as a demand for reassurance.

"Yes, ma'am."

She sent us out to the living room, and then went and retrieved Mister G from the basement. We all talked for several hours. We had missed lunch when the party had been called off early, and Mrs. G didn't feel like cooking now, so they sent out for Chinese. Mister G told us all about his brother and what had happened to him: something, apparently, he had never told his wife or son about before, to judge by their reactions. But he went into details that shocked me to the core. It's one thing to read stories about such things happening, and quite another to know someone who had a family member it had happened to. It really brought everything home. But it also seemed to give Mrs. G something to think about, since she calmed down considerably.

But then, of course, there was Jeremy's little admission to me in his room, before he knew his mom was there. No way to squirm out of that one, and I still needed to talk to my boyfriend about that, too. Seems he wasn't being completely honest with me about his spanking fetish. I wasn't so sure I'd been honest with myself about it, any more. It still wasn't a scene I wanted to get deeply into, but...

Of course even Mister G was concerned with that, once he'd been informed about everything. Two young guys, our age, and what might look like even minor kink? We tried to reassure them, but it's not an easy subject to discuss. Jeremy told them that it wasn't the pain, but that he liked me being in control.

It may not be the pain, but I was pretty sure now that there was more to it than him just being a little submissive. It didn't reassure them much, I don't think. Thinking about it, I thought I could understand why - their son was giving control to me. It looked like he was a submissive, and he wanted me to dominate him. That's probably what they were thinking, anyway.

The truth was, that while there was some truth to that, it was only in a very mild way. He could, and did, ignore or overrule me or compromise with me from time to time. When I brought that up, I could see relief flooding through both of them. Now they thought it was just a game we were playing. I didn't disabuse them though, and neither did Jeremy. I wasn't quite sure what was going on with this yet, but I intended to find out. And even though we hadn't talked about it, it seemed we had come to an agreement about our relationship - at least on one more small piece in a large puzzle that we were still exploring, still figuring out.

I was expecting almost anything, except what happened next.

Mister G said, "Amy, I left my drink downstairs. Could you get it for me, please?"

Not unusual in itself, right? But as soon as she'd disappeared down the stairs, he walked over to the coat closet and took a bag off the shelf - one that I'd seen him carry out of the mall earlier. Handing it to Jeremy, he said, "A surprise birthday present. Open it in your room with Ethan."

Then he addressed both of us. "I'm not entirely sure what's going on with you two, but I think I know Jeremy well enough to think he'd tell me if he was being forced, or abused." Jeremy nodded. "Just be careful, and don't hurt each other. Off with you, now: both of you."

My mouth hung open for second. Me? Abuse Jeremy? Never! I said so, too, backed up by Jeremy. Then my curiousity got the best of me. What could he give Jeremy that he couldn't give in front of his wife? Curiosity was killing me, so I only gave Mister G the shortest of goodnight hugs before dragging Jer back to his room and closing and locking the door.

"So what is it, Jer?" I asked as I turned around.

He was already looking in the bag. Then his face went pale, then bright red. He just shook his head and held the bag out to me. Now truly perplexed, I looked in the bag, read the labels, then looked at Jeremy. I was just as red as he was, I'm sure. Then I deliberately pulled the items out of the bag and put them on his bedside table: a box of condoms, flavored lube, and scented massage oil. Then I sat heavily on the bed next to Jer, just staring at those three things in disbelief. His father had bought those things? I mean, I could understand his tolerance towards us, considering the family situation with his brother, but this was... unbelievable.

I looked at Jeremy. He was still staring at the sexual aids. "Jer?" He didn't move; he just continued staring. At least his normal coloration was back. "Jer!" He finally looked at me, but when he did, he immediately blushed again and looked away. I put my arm around his shoulders. "It's okay, Jer."

"How... Why? He can't know - can he?"

"Um... " I was stuck. How was I going to tell my boyfriend that I had told his father about his desires?

Jer's eyes widened at my hesitation. "You didn't! Please, Tan, tell me you haven't been talking to my dad about us?"

"Well, I did tell him we hadn't done anything yet," I admitted.

"He wouldn't do this, for that. What else did you tell him?" His voice was getting an edge to it.

I bit my lower lip, then said, "I might have accidentally let it slip that I'd promised you we'd start fooling around after your birthday... Oh, and don't forget what you said during your streaking incident this morning." I kinda cringed, waiting for the explosion. It didn't come; he just kept staring at me.

"I can't believe you. My dad?"

"Well," I said, pulling out the tube of lube I'd bought from my pocket, "look at it this way, love: what he got was much better than what I was able to get." I held it out to him. He stared at it as if it were a snake, then he put his hands over his face, dropped his head, and his shoulders started to shake.

Uh-oh. Shit; had I made him cry again? I put my arms around him, trying to comfort him. He started to laugh: quietly at first, but then louder. I let go of him. Had he gone crazy? He threw his head back, then threw himself backwards onto his bed, arms thrown up over his head. All I could do was stare. Soon his laughter died down to chuckles. He sat back up again, half-turned to me, threw his arms around my neck and drew me close, his forehead against mine.

"Just can't get your mind off my ass, can you, Tan?" he teased.

Gah! I felt like my face would melt off, it was so heated.

He giggled. "Don't worry; I think I like it," he whispered.

Suddenly it occurred to me that the lube wasn't the only thing in my pockets I had bought for him. "I almost forgot!" I exclaimed, pulling away and digging into that pocket. As I pulled it out, I saw that the wrapping was a little bit the worse for wear, but handed the package to him anyway. His smile was already wide, but the expression on his face when he saw the bracelet was worth everything that had happened today.

"Tan! It's... great! What's the snake thing?" He put it on. It was a little loose, but that would change as he matured, I was sure.

"It's loose," he complained.

"You're not going to be just-turned-fifteen forever, Jer," I said, reaching for the bracelet and his arm. I slid it up until it was snug. "When we're older, it'll fit just fine. The winged snake is in the shape of the symbol for eternity: And that's how long I want us to be together," I said, as I took his chin in hand and brought his green eyes to my own. It was sappy, but I was feeling sappy.

His eyes brightened, joy evident in his face, and again his tears started to flow. "Damn you, Tan. You've got the damnedest talent for making me cry," he softly said as he laid his head on my shoulder.

(1) Author's note: The teen male suicide rate amongst heterosexual males is about 4%. Amongst bisexual and homosexual teen males, that number rises to an alarming 30%, due mostly to fears and abuse caused by societal prejudices. http://www.youth-suicide.com/gay-bisexual/news/studies.htm .