Legal Notice:

The following contains descriptions of graphic sexual acts between consenting underage boys. It is a work of fiction and has no basis in reality.

Do not read this story if:

1) You're not 18 or over.
2) If it is illegal to read this type of material where you live.
3) If you don't want to read about gay/bisexual people in love or having sex.

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What We Are II - Summer Heat
By: R. Ryan

Chapter 11:  Birthday Boy

The sun hadn't set completely by the time Richie and Lindy reached the bottom of the bluff, but the density of the tall trees that surrounded them made it appear that way.  Had they waited any longer, their descent over the moss slicked rocks and boulders in the diminished light would have been a slow and dangerous undertaking.  It was so dark, in fact, that Richie had to rely more on his memory of where they left the bikes than his eyesight.  Thinking Lindy was right behind him, he spoke in a conversational tone as he carefully made his way over the darkened creek-bed toward the trees.

"A flashlight would be a good thing to have right about now, don't ya think?"

When his friend didn't answer him, Richie stopped to look over his shoulder.  Noticing Lindy wasn't behind him, he looked further up the creek-bed.  Straining his eyes in the dim light, he could barely make out Lindy's profile at the bottom of the hill.  He was gazing up at the top of the bluff, its shape now just a black silhouette contrasting against the blue-gray of the late evening sky.  Before Richie could say anything more, Lindy started to walk in his direction.

"What's on your mind, bro?" he asked when they were together again.

"Aw, nothin... I was just thinkin how cool this place is... and how it would be really cool if me and you were the only ones that knew about it," answered Lindy in a wistful tone of voice.

"We don't have to tell the others if ya don't want to."

After a brief moment to consider this, Lindy said, "Nah, like you said, Kyle probably already knows about it... besides, you know me, there's no way I could keep this place a secret from them.  This has been one awesome ride, bro, and trying to tell them about it without mentioning this place would be like telling a joke without the punch-line.  I just couldn't do it."

"I hear ya there," said Richie.  "C'mon, let's get the bikes and see if we can't find our way outa here."

It was completely dark by the time they had their helmets strapped on, so any final preparations were done by feeling and groping their way around.  It would be another half hour before the moon came up, and even though the cloudless sky was filled with stars, they provided no useful light.

"Got everything?" asked Richie in the dark as he straddled his machine.

"Yeah," said Lindy, patting the cell phone through the fabric of his pocket.  A moment later, he asked, "Rich?"


"When we tell the guys about all this, could we leave out the part about what we did up on the cliff?"

"You shittin me?" said Richie, grinning in the darkness.  "Talk about leaving out the punch line, that was the best part."

Since Lindy couldn't see Richie's face, he wasn't sure if he was serious or not, so he began to plead his case, "I know, it was great but..."

"Don't worry about it, man," interrupted Richie.  "My lips are sealed as tight now as they were around your dick on the cliff."

"Thanks," said Lindy, smiling at the comparison.

Satisfied that they were ready to begin their ride back to the cabin, Richie kicked over the motor of his bike.  It started on the second try, the high pitched whine of the two stroke motor shattering the silence while the bright beam of the headlight ripped away the darkness.  In that single moment, Richie and Lindy's storybook world was transformed back into one of reality.

They moved with caution as they slowly wound their way down the creek-bed to the snowmobile trail.  When they reached it, they stopped a moment for one last look back in the direction of the pond.  After that moment, as if on silent cue, the two boys looked at each other with a smile on their face.  As they went though a final slap-tap handshake, they knew that this day would be etched on their memories for the rest of their lives.

They rode their bikes slowly and carefully as they made their way over the trail on the final leg of their journey, the beams of their headlights guiding them safely through the pitch black of the forest.  In just under a half-hour they spotted the Jacobson's yard-light twinkling through the trees - a welcome sight indeed.  Minutes later they pulled to a stop in front of the garage where Kyle and Kevin were waiting for them.

"What up?" asked Richie as soon as the bikes were turned off.

"We were beginning to wonder if you guys hadn't gotten lost or something," said Kyle, "What did ya do, take the scenic route?  You've been gone for like more'n six hours."

"Yeah, ya might say we made a side trip or two... but we had one helluva good time doin it, didn't we bro?" said Richie as he smiled over at Lindy.

Then, noticing some scratches on Richie's arms, Kyle became concerned.  "What the hell happened to you, man?" he asked as he gently ran a finger over the abrasions.  "If I remember right, you were undamaged when you left Harry's."

"Aw, it's nothin.  I just took a mini-tour of one of your local swamps, is all."

"Whew," said Kevin as he wrinkled his nose, "I guess you did.  You smell like a backed-up sewer."

"Jesus, are you OK?" asked Kyle as he looked closer at Richie for any signs of other injuries, "What the hell happened?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, really.  Put a couple of scratches on the gas tank of the bike, but other than that, nothing serious," said Richie, grimacing at his bruises as he dismounted from the bike.  "I'll let Lindy give you the details, though, cause I need a shower."

"True that," said Kevin, holding his nose to emphasize the point.

Lindy needed no further encouragement and was well into a detailed account of their adventure even before they had the bikes parked in the garage.  He was just getting to Richie's encounter with the swamp when Richie headed for the cabin and a hot shower.

Despite the rinsing he gave his clothes in the pond they still wreaked of swamp, so he stopped just inside the kitchen door to strip, tossing the smelly garments into a pile by the storage room to be washed later.  Every move he made as he did this caused him to flinch slightly from the pain of his bruised body.  When finally he was naked, he made his way to the bathroom, relishing the thought of the hot shower that awaited him.

Standing under the shower-head, the aches and pains seemed to wash away with the relaxing spray as the water sluiced over his body.  He knew he wasn't bruised too badly, but he also knew he'd probably feel worse in the morning after his muscles tightened up again.  He didn't mind, though - the pain he felt now, as well as the pain he would feel tomorrow was a small price to pay for the time he'd spent with Lindy.  Even though they've been best friends for ten years, Richie couldn't remember the last time they'd had so much fun together.

When he began to run out of hot water, he quickly finished his shower and was in the process of drying himself when Kyle walked in.  The smile on his face quickly turned to a grimace when he saw the black and blue marks on Richie's back and upper right arm.

"Jesus, Rich, you're all banged up.  Are you sure there's nothing broken?"

Straining his neck to look at his back in the mirror, Richie said, "Nah, for sure nothin's broken, and those bruises look worse than they feel."  The final part of his statement was a small lie, but he didn't want Kyle to start mothering him over a few black and blue marks.

"You sure?" asked a concerned Kyle as he checked over Richie's body more closely.

"Yeah, man, I'm sure.  Like, I guess I'd know if it were serious, wouldn't I?"  Then, interrupting Kyle's examination, Richie gave him a quick kiss on the lips.  "So don't worry about me, OK?"

"OK," said Kyle with a forced smile. "Oh, I almost forgot, TJ's on the phone for you."

"He is?  Cool," said Richie as he wrapped a towel around his waist.  Holding the towel in place with one hand, he brushed the loose water from his hair with the other as he made his way to the kitchen.

Snatching up the phone from the counter, he said, "Yo, TJ, what up, dude?  Did your rents finally bust you outa the hospital?

"Yeah, finally," laughed TJ.  "You still comin to get me tomorrow?"

"Sure, like that's the plan ain't it?  Like around ten or so?"

Seeing Richie with just a towel on when Kevin walked into the kitchen, he couldn't resist the temptation to embarrass him.  Quickly snatching the towel from his waist, he spoke in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear.

"Whoa!  Look, guys, a raw guppy!"

"Kevin!" shouted Richie.

"What the hell's goin on over there?" asked TJ.

"Oh nothin," said Richie.  Then, in a louder voice he added, "Either Kevin's being a jerk or he wants to get a look at my dick, cause he just pulled the towel away from me."

"Whoa, you trying to tell me you're talkin to me on the phone naked?  Is this like phone sex or somethin?  I could get naked, too, if ya want." mocked TJ in a low sexy voice.

"No!" laughed Richie while he tried to grab the towel back from Kevin.  "I mean, yeah, I'm naked, but I'm not lookin for phone sex.  Hang on a sec, TJ, I gotta kick some serious ass here."

With that, Richie lunged at Kevin where he began to wrestle the towel from him.  By now, Kyle and Lindy had entered the kitchen where they stood casually by to watch the friendly battle.  Moments later, when Kevin felt the joke had run its course he relented, returning Richie's towel to him.  Once adequately covered again, Richie returned to the phone.

"Yo, TJ, you still there?"

"Yeah, man, but I still got my clothes on.  You want me to take them off slow, and describe it to you while I'm doin it, or do you want me to just rip 'em off?"

"Oh, you are so sexy when you talk dirty to me," cooed Richie in his most sexy voice.

Richie's impression of a `phone sex' voice caused TJ to laugh hysterically.  But even though he knew the whole phone sex bit was a joke, Richie found himself forming a mental image of TJ slowly pulling off his clothes.  Before he could put these thoughts from his mind, his dick began to rise to the occasion, pressing outward against the cotton fabric of his towel.  Once this rising process began, there was little he could do to suppress it, so he was relieved that his three friends had long since left the kitchen to watch something on TV.

"Oh, God, Rich," laughed TJ.  "I think you could actually get someone off using that sexy voice of yours."

"Hey, any time, dude.  Just three dollars a minute and I'm all yours, all night."

"Whoa, you don't work cheap, do ya?  Anyway, what I was gonna say is if you wanna pick me up at ten, that's cool, but you could come over even earlier if ya wanted to.  I'm sure we can find somethin to do to fill the time."

"Cool," said Richie.  "Whenever I get my ass out of bed and eat, I'll be over.  Oh, by the way, TJ... where the hell is your place, anyway?"

"It's about a quarter mile north of McCarthy's.  Ya can't hardly miss it.  We have two docks in, and it's the only one with a sailboat moored out in front."

"You have a sailboat?!"

"Yeah, but it ain't nothin special.  It's kinda small, ya know... like it's only a 16 footer.  You sail?"

"Never been.  But I'd sure like to try it sometime.  Looks like it'd be a lotta fun." said Richie

"Well then, I'll just have to get you out once before you leave.  Hell, if it's windy enough, we could even do it tomorrow."

"Whoa, that sounds great, dude, thanks.  I'll be over sometime in the morning, then, OK?"

"Sounds like a plan, dude, I'll be waitin for ya.  Bye."

"Later, man."

Richie was smiling when he hung up the phone.  He'd always wanted to try sailing, and now he was going to get his chance.  While leaning against the door jam he reflected back on his phone conversation.  Even though he barely knew TJ, he found him real easy to talk to.  This wasn't the norm for Richie.  Even though he wasn't characteristically shy, he was usually somewhat guarded when expressing himself to new acquaintances.  There was just something about TJ, though, that instantly put him at ease, making him feel as if he'd known him for much longer than he actually had.  He chuckled out loud when he thought about their phone sex bit.  This, of course, led him back to the image of TJ putting on a strip show for him.  As his dick began to rise again, he formed another image of TJ, one where he was standing naked in front of him, his uncut dick pulsing at full attention.

Suddenly remembering that he was standing in the kitchen with only a towel to cover his fully aroused member, he quickly glanced at the clock.  Noticing that it was nearly midnight, he cautiously peeked around the corner into the main room.  There was no way that the towel he wore was going to hide his excited state, so he was relieved to see both Kevin and Lindy crashed-out on the couch.  When he saw that the bathroom door was closed, indicating that Kyle was in there, he quietly padded his way into the bedroom.  Once he was safely inside, he began to dig through his bag in search of a clean pair of boxers.  Before he could finish, however, Kyle came in and walked up behind him.  Glancing up from his bag, Richie saw that he was naked, his hair still damp from his shower.

"You should wear a towel more often, Guppy," said Kyle as he pressed his body against Richie's ass.  "Makes you look sexy."  Then, reaching under the towel, he wrapped his hand around Richie's still hard dick and gave it a firm but gentle squeeze.

"Whoa!" whispered Kyle into Richie's ear.  "You excited to see me, or did TJ get your dick hard?"

Knowing that Kyle was fucking with him again, and expecting him to say that of course it was Kyle that had him hard, Richie smiled at the thought of deflating his ego a bit.  Grinning smugly, he turned to face him.  After giving him a quick kiss on the lips, he answered him in a `matter of fact' tone of voice.

"Actually, it was TJ."

"Really?" said a surprised Kyle.  A trace of disappointment crossed his face as he released Richie's dick and sat on the edge of the bed.

"Yeah, really," said Richie.  He knew he had the upper hand on Kyle for a change, and he was determined to milk it for all it was worth. "Why?  Does it surprise you to hear that someone other than the great Kyle Jacobson could get me turned-on?"

"No, not at all, Rich," said Kyle, trying unsuccessfully to cover-up the disappointment he felt.  "I think it's great.  So what did you guys talk about that got you so pumped up?"

"Nothin, man," said Richie with a smile designed to let Kyle off the hook.  "It wasn't anything we said to each other... well, not directly, anyway.  After we hung up, I just got to thinking about what he'd look like naked... you know, with that really cool uncut dick of his... and before I knew it, shazzam, little Guppy's standing tall."

"You really do have a thing for uncut dicks, don't you?"

"Well," said Richie, dropping his towel to pull on his boxers, "as you know, I've never been close to one yet, but I sure would like to check one out."

"Hey, who knows, maybe you'll get a chance to check out TJ's."

"Nah," said Richie with resignation as he sat next to Kyle.  "I don't think that's gonna happen.  I'm pretty sure he's straight.  Least he hasn't sent me any signals that he isn't."

"Well, how bout Brian then, he ain't cut either, is he?"

"No, he's not," said Richie, brightening at the thought.  "Now there's a possibility.  I mean, between the two of them, if anyone's gay, I'd put my money on Brian.  Hell, I even almost hit on him when we were at McCarthy's"

"You mean on the fourth?"

"Well, duh!  When else was I there with him?"

"Man, you were quite the busy little slut that day, weren't you?  I mean, first there was Brian, then Kevin in the boat, then Kevin on the raft."

Not sure if Kyle was joking, or if he was bringing up the relationship thing again, Richie looked up to find him grinning from ear to ear.

"C'mon, man," said Richie, embarrassed but sure that Kyle was only messing with him.  "You know how fucked up I was that night.  Anyway, even though I think Brian might be gay, I still have this thing for TJ.  Why do you suppose that is, Kyle?  I don't really know either one of 'em, but I can't seem to get TJ outa my head."

"Well, besides the obvious... I mean he does have a good looking body... I'd have to say it's your empathy complex.  That is the right word, ain't it... empathy?"

"If you mean I feel sorry for him, yeah, that's the right word.  I think there's more to it than that, though... I just don't know what it is."

"Well, don't worry your pretty head about it," said Kyle as he ruffled Richie's hair.  "You got the big 15 comin up tomorrow, so you should be thinkin about that."

"Oh yeah, 15.  Big whoop, right?"

"Hey, cheer up, Guppy.  You're gonna get your permit, you're gonna start working... Hey, you're growing up, bro... ya gotta be happy about that."

"Yeah, I spose."

When Richie seem to fall into deep thought, Kyle began to gently massage his neck and shoulders.  After a few minutes of this, his face took on the look of a contented cat.  Suddenly, he opened his eyes wide, blinking them as he looked over to Kyle.

"Whoa, you almost put me to sleep there, dude."

"Now there's a shock.  You've had a long day, bro, and it's past midnight which means you're already 15, right?  So Happy Birthday, Guppy!"

"Hmm, thanks," said Richie with a yawn. "Well, I did tell TJ I'd be over as soon as I got my ass out of bed in the morning, so I spose I'd better get some sleep.  Did I tell you he wants to take me sailing?"

"No, you didn't, but that oughta be a real treat."

"Are you serious, or are you just being sarcastic about TJ again?"

"Hell no, Rich.  I'm serious, man... serious as a heart attack.  You couldn't go out with a more experienced sailor.  He's the `Ace' of Gull Lake when it comes to sailing."

"No shit?  He's really good?"

"Hell yes he's good.  TJ may have his faults, but not when it comes to sailing.  Every summer McCarthy's sponsors a huge race... I think it's called a regatta or something.  Anyway, TJ kicks ass every year."

"That's awesome, man.  I've always wanted to learn how to do it, and now it looks like I'll get a chance to learn from the best."

"Then get your ass into bed and get some sleep.  Whether you want to admit it or not, you got a big day ahead of you tomorrow."

"OK," mumbled Richie as he stretched out on the bed, "but somebody should wake the sleeping beauties in the other room and tell 'em to go to bed."

"Got it covered, bro, see you in the morning."

With that said, Kyle pulled the sheet up over Richie's body, then smiled as he gently brushed his hair aside to give him a kiss on the forehead.

"Happy Birthday, Rich."

Richie never heard Kyle's last words, he was already fast asleep.


It was a quarter to eight when Richie began to stir, the warmth of the morning sun that streamed through the window bathing his body as he stretched his arms and legs.  Blinking the rest of the sleep from his eyes, he saw Kyle stretched out on his side next to him, snoring quietly as he slept.  After a quick glance at the clock, he settled his head back into his pillow while he instinctively reached for his morning erection.  After two or three strokes, he rolled onto his side to face Kyle.  Out of habit more than anything else, he started to reach under the sheet for Kyle's manhood, pausing when his hand was just inches away.  This was the first morning of their `new relationship' and Richie wondered if waking Kyle like he did every other morning was still the right thing to do.

`Is this my first test of our new relationship?' wondered Richie.  `Is this a sort of crossroads for me?  If we agreed to keep on having sex, then what am I stopping for?'

These questions were confusing for Richie and for the first time in recent memory he truly didn't know what to do.  Because this sort of relationship was so foreign to him, he knew when he decided to give it a try that there would be times of uncertainty and indecision, he just didn't expect the first one to come so soon.  Thinking it was better to be safe than sorry, he decided to let Kyle sleep.  As he looked into Kyle's face, for the first time since their discussion yesterday he felt a pain in his heart, as if he'd lost a piece of something very dear to him.  With tears welling up in his eyes, he slowly pulled his hand back.

Just as he began to roll onto his other side, Kyle reached out to grab him by the wrist.  Pulling him back, he placed Richie's hand on his rock-hard member protruding through the fly of his boxers.

"You didn't think you could sneak outa here without giving me my morning squeeze, did ya?"

"I, um, thought you were asleep," said Richie, still unsure of what to do about Kyle's obvious invitation.

"That never stopped you before, horny boy."

"Yeah, well things are different now, aren't they?"

"Like how?  I'm here, you're here, I'm hard, and I'd bet a dollar to a donut you're hard... so what's different?"

"I don't know, I just thought..."

"Look, Rich," interrupted Kyle as he reached up with his free hand to wipe a tear from Richie's cheek, "I know what you thought.  Nothing's changed, Rich.  It's like we said yesterday - our relationship hasn't changed at all, just how we think of it.  So, whatever you felt was right yesterday is still right today."

Then, with a devilish grin on his face, he wrapped Richie's hand around his dick and added, "And you grabbing my dick in the morning feels so right, I wouldn't want to start the day without it."

"Oh Kyle," said Richie as he almost flung himself on top of him, his tears, now the tears of joy, falling onto Kyle's chest.  "I love you so much."

"I love you, too, Rich," said Kyle, pressing Richie's head close to his chest while he ran his fingers through his hair.  A moment later, squeezing Richie's hand around his dick again, he said, "So, how bout my morning wake up call?"

"OK, big guy," said Richie as he looked into Kyle's eyes with a smile on his lips.  "Just promise me one thing."

"Anything if it'll get your lips around my dick.  What?" asked Kyle with a huge grin of anticipation on his lips.

"Hey, I'm serious, Kyle."

"Sorry.  What?"

"Just promise me that you won't ever change.  You're a still puzzlement to me Kyle Jacobson, but you're my puzzlement and I don't want you to change until I get you figured out.  Deal?"

"Deal!  Now how bout..."

Kyle's words trailed off into a quiet moan when Richie began squeezing and stroking his erection while he kissed his way to his groin area.  When his lips met their intended target, he wasted no time in working his magic on Kyle's stiff six inches.  As he happily and voraciously sucked his friend and still lover to orgasm, Richie felt a new sense of peace and security.  He now knew that whatever happened between him and Kyle would be the right thing for both of them, and that when it happened he would be able to accept it without feeling loss or regret.  Even though he could never put it into words, for the first time Richie was beginning to understand the true meaning of their relationship.

Richie was stretched out on his back next to Kyle now, savoring the sweetness of what remained of his juices as he waited for him to come down.  While he waited, he thought seriously about his birthday.  He was fifteen today, a milestone of sorts he thought, yet he didn't really feel any different.  Even when he thought about how this was the first time he'd been away from his family on his birthday, it didn't bother him.  Maybe Kyle was right, maybe he was growing up and things like birthdays no longer held such an importance for him.


"Yeah?" he answered, raising himself up on one elbow.

"Don't you ever change, either, OK?"

"You got a deal, big guy," said Richie as he gave Kyle a quick peck on the cheek.

When he rolled over to swing his legs off the edge of the bed, Kyle reached out and grabbed him by the waistband of his boxers.

"Where's the fire, dude?  Don't ya want a payback?"

"Nah, I'm OK.  Besides, I gotta get movin so I can get over to TJ's.  You can pay me back tonight... sort of a birthday present or somethin."

"Oh, I'll give you a present, alright," said Kyle with a grin as he snapped the elastic of Richie's shorts.  "You gonna eat something before you go?"

"Yeah.  Thought I'd rustle up a couple of ham'n cheese omelets for breakfast.  You interested?"

"Hell yes, I'm interested.  I'm gonna watch ya make 'em, too.  Part of my ongoing culinary education, you know."

"Whoa!" exclaimed Richie, "Another correctly used four syllable word.  You better be careful or you're gonna get to be too smart to play hockey."

"Fuck you, you pool puppy," said Kyle as he smacked Richie in the head with his pillow.

Groaning from his stiff and bruised muscles, Richie discarded his boxers, pulled on his cutoffs along with a clean Vikings T-shirt, then padded barefoot into the kitchen to begin preparing breakfast.  When Kyle joined him a few minutes later, he was carrying an armload of dirty clothes.

"Since you were planning to wash the swamp out of your clothes, we might as well make it a full load," he said.

"Good plan," said Richie.  "Might as well check with the other guys, too, and get everything clean."  Then, with a grin he added, "I doubt that there'll be much in the way of underwear, though, since we haven't been wearing any since we got here."

"True that," said Kyle with a smile as he dropped the clothes on top of Richie's.

Just then, Lindy strolled into the kitchen yawning and stretching the sleep from his body, the remains of his morning hard-on still visible against the front of his boxers.

"Hey, bro, you're up early this morning," said Richie.

"Hmm," grunted Lindy, plopping himself down at the table.  Like Kyle, Lindy wasn't too quick to wake up in the morning.

"How bout some breakfast, dude?  Is Kevin up yet?" asked Richie

"Um, sure, breakfast sounds good... and no, he's not up yet.  Oh yeah, Happy Birthday, Rich."

"Thanks, bro."

"You got any dirty clothes you want washed, Lindy?" asked Kyle.

"Um, yeah, sure... a few anyway," replied Lindy, beginning to perk up.  "I'll go get 'em.  Want me to wake Kevin up and ask him?"

"Nah, no hurry," said Kyle.  "Have a glass of OJ to get ya goin while Richie shows me how to make an omelet."

Minutes later, Kevin appeared at the door, fully clothed and looking as though he'd been up for hours.

"Whoa, the birthday boy's makin breakfast this morning.  Happy Birthday, dude," said Kevin as he tousled Richie's hair.  "Sure smells good in here.  Got enough for me?"

"I figured you'd be in here before too long... so yeah, I'm makin plenty."

Seeing the pile of clothes on the floor, Kevin asked, "What's this, laundry day?"

"I guess you could say that," said Kyle.  "I just figured that since Rich was gonna wash his nasty stuff, we might as well do ours, too.  So if ya got anything, just add 'em to the pile."

With Kyle looking on, Richie gave an expert class in preparing ham and cheese omelets with a side of hash-brown potatoes.  He even went so far as to mention that to do it properly the eggs should really be warmed to room temperature before they're used.  When everything was ready the four boys sat down to attack their breakfast with typical teenage abandon.

At some point between mouthfuls of eggs, Richie asked, "So, Lindy, did you fill these guys in on our ride yesterday?"

"You bet," answered Lindy.

"Did you, um... tell 'em about the pond?"

"Course I did.  I told ya I couldn't leave that out.  Besides, Kyle already knew about it."

"Then did ya tell 'em how you dove in with all your clothes on?" asked Richie with a wide grin.

"No, he didn't," said Kevin with a smile  "Must've forgot about that part, eh dude?"

"Um, I guess I did kinda forget to mention that," said Lindy, embarrassment creeping across his face.

"Well, c'mon, boy, fill us in.  You didn't by any chance do something stupid, did you?" asked Kyle.

Since Lindy was far too embarrassed to properly relate the story, Richie was more than willing to do it for him.  By the time he was finished, and all the jokes were tossed out at Lindy's expense, Lindy's face was as red as if he'd been sunburned.

"I still can't believe you guys got up there on the bikes," said Kyle.

"Really?" asked Richie.  "Why would you say that?  Hell, that creek-bed was like a freeway compared to the logging roads we rode."

"That's what I find so hard to believe," said Kyle.  "Course, I haven't been up that way for a long time, but when my dad and I used to ride that trail the creek was always full of trees and shit that washed down from above."

"Really?" asked Lindy.  "I don't think there's enough water comin down that hill to carry a leaf, let alone a whole tree."

"Oh, I don't doubt that," said Kyle.  "This time of the year the creek is just a trickle compared to what it's like in the early spring.  That's when all the crap comes down.  There's so much water coming down that puppy then that it washes out the snowmobile trail almost every year."

"Huh," grunted Richie.  "Well, there were a few trees and logs along it I guess, but nothin like you say.  So how did you get up there to see the pond if you couldn't ride the bikes up?"

"One year, I guess it must've been the last year we rode together, we actually left the bikes at the trail and hiked our way up.  Jesus, was that ever a long hike."

"Holy moley!" said Lindy.  "You'd never catch me hiking up that mountain."

"Hey, Kyle," said Richie.  "Why don't you and Kevin take the bikes up there this morning while me and Lindy are over at TJ's?  If the creek-bed gets like you said most years, this might be your only chance to see it again... and trust me, it's worth the trip up there, right Lindy?"

"Um, yeah, for sure... so me and you are goin over to TJ's?"

"Oh yeah, didn't I tell ya?  He don't have any way over here for the party, so it was decided that I should go get him in the boat.  Thought maybe you'd like to come with.  Oh, and I almost forgot, he said if it's windy enough he'd take us sailing.  So what d'ya say?"

"Sailing?  TJ has a sailboat?"

"Yup, and Kyle says he really knows his shit when it comes to sailing."

"No shit?," said Lindy.  "Whoa, that is so cool.  Like how many times have we talked about wanting to try that out?"

"I know, man, can you believe it?" said Richie.  "So how bout it, Kyle?  You really should go up there, ya know."

"Sounds like it'd be a lot of fun, Jake," said Kevin.  "Besides, it's been like forever since we last rode together.  C'mon, bro... what'd ya say?  Let's do it!"

"I guess we got enough time to run up there before we have to get ready for the party.  OK, Hatch.  You're on, bro."

When they were finished eating, Kevin and Lindy added their contribution to the pile of dirty clothes.  Following that, Kevin helped Richie clean up the breakfast mess while Lindy showered and dressed to go to TJ's.  Also during this time, Kyle earned everyone's gratitude by tending to the laundry - no longer would they have to put up with the stench of swamp water that drifted up from Richie's clothes.  When everyone was ready, including Lindy who was dressed in cutoffs, a Packers T-shirt, and his goofy Gilligan hat, Kevin and Kyle followed the younger boys down to the lake.

"You're in luck, Rich," said Kyle.  "There's a good steady wind coming out of the south that'll be perfect for sailing... and since it's coming from the south, it won't mess us up for water-skiing this afternoon."

"Great," said Richie.  "Now what do I need to know about driving this yacht of yours?"

"Nothin to it, Rich," chuckled Kyle.  "Even though it's a little windy it's no where near as bad as it has been, so you won't have any problems with that.  This boat's big enough so you'll hardly even feel the waves.  All ya gotta do is let her warm up a bit if you leave it parked for any length of time, then run it only as fast as you feel comfortable with... and since you'll have your sidekick on board, he can help you dock it when you get to TJ's.  It's cake, dude... nothin to it."

"Yeah?  What about the controls?"

"What about 'em?  You only have two plus the steering wheel, the throttle and the shifter," said Kyle as he pointed out the two levers mounted next to the driver's seat.  "Just make sure it's in neutral with the throttle in the start position before you start it.  Then, as soon as it's started, throttle it back to where it idles smoothly to let it warm up for a few minutes. After that, just shift it into forward and you're on your way.  One last thing to remember... always slow it down to an idle before changing gears.  That's it... only other thing I can think of is to watch out for floating trees and shit.  Now since we only have one cell phone, I think it's best that me and Hatch take it with us.  But if you take it easy and use your head, you won't have any problems, so you won't need the phone."

"OK," said Richie with a sigh.  Then, looking at Lindy a little apprehensively, he asked, "You ready, bro?"

"Hell yes, I'm ready!" said Lindy full of excited enthusiasm.  "Let's get this show on the road."

"OK," said Richie.  "I guess we're ready.  We'll see you guys back here around one then, right?"

"That's the plan," said Kyle.  "So have fun, Birthday Boy, and don't look so worried, you'll do fine."

That said, Richie put the controls into their proper position before starting the motor.  Waiting for it to warm up, he noticed that neither Kyle nor Kevin were waiting with them - they were already half way up the hill on their way to the cabin.  When Richie looked around at the big boat with uneasy skepticism, then over at Lindy, Lindy seemed to read his mind.

"Hey, bro, I know it looks big... but it's not like we've never been in it before... and like Kyle said, you only got two controls and a steering wheel, so how hard can it be?"

"I know," said Richie.  "It's just that sometimes I think he has maybe too much confidence in me.  But you're right... like what can go wrong?  Only... I know this is probably overreacting on my part, but would you mind if we wore our life jackets... at least for the trip over?  You know, just in case we run across another log or somethin."

"Aye, aye, Skipper," said Lindy, snapping to attention while giving Richie a slapstick-like salute to bolster his sprits.  "Lets belay the blarney and cast away, or whatever it is you do to get us outa here."

"You crack me up, Lindstrom," laughed Richie, his apprehension fading as he tossed his friend a lifejacket.  "That stupid hat you're wearing has warped your brain, dude.  I think the correct expression is `cast off'."

"Away, off, who the hell cares?  As long as it gets us moving, let's do it."

With the motor warmed up, their lifejackets strapped on, Richie took a deep breath before shifting into reverse to back slowly away from the boat lift.  Once clear of the dock area and pointed away from shore, he took another breath, shifted into forward, then eased the throttle up to three-quarter speed.  Moments later they were gracefully bouncing their way toward the other end of the lake.

Richie was surprised at how easily the big Bayliner handled, responding quickly but smoothly to the slightest turn of the steering wheel.  After about five minutes, his confidence fully restored, he began to smile, enjoying the control he had over such a big and powerful machine.  Noticing his smile, Lindy gave him a gentle nudge with his leg to get his attention.  When Richie looked at him, his face was beaming with a huge grin.

"See, it ain't so bad, huh, bro?  Looks like Kyle knows you better than you know yourself."

"True that, bro, on several levels."

All too soon they were passing McCarthy's, cruising well out beyond the marker buoys where they began to scan the shoreline for TJ's place.  Both boys were standing now, searching for the telltale sailboat.  It was Lindy with his eagle eye who spotted it first.  Poking Richie in the ribs with his elbow, he pointed in the direction of the sailboat that bobbed gracefully at its mooring about thirty feet from shore.

Acknowledging Lindy's find with a nod of his head, Richie throttled back the Bayliner while he eased the bow in toward shore.  Spotting the two docks that TJ told him about, he wondered which one he was supposed to use.  His question was answered moments later when he saw TJ waving to them as he ran onto the one on the right.  Even from this distance Richie could see he was smiling, his blonde hair bouncing around on his head as he ran.  Taking TJ's wave as a signal, he waved back, slowed boat as much as he could while still maintaining control, then angled it toward the dock.  After easing them in as close as he dared while still under power, he shut the motor off, letting their momentum carry them the rest of the way.

"Hey, guys," said TJ as he and Lindy tied off the boat to the dock.

"Hey, TJ," said Richie.  "Hope we're not too early."

"No, dude, right on time," said TJ.  Then extending his hand out to Lindy, he said, "You're Lindy, right?  Rich's bud from the city?"

"Yup, that's me.  Me and you met at McCarthy's the other night, remember?"

"Yeah, I do.  Cool hat by the way, and I really dig your shirt, man.  Packers rule."

"Thanks, man.  Hear that Rich?  At least someone around here knows style when he sees it... and he knows his football."

"Oh, great," said Richie, rolling his eyes.  "Just what I need, another Packers fan."

At least TJ wasn't wearing a Packers T-shirt.  Actually, he looked pretty hot in his khaki cargo shorts, brown sandals and white muscle shirt.  His deep tan stood out in contrast to the colors of his clothes, and the slight bulge showing at his crotch made Richie wonder if he was wearing any underwear.

"Don't pay any attention to him, dude," said Lindy to TJ.  "He's just one of those retarded Vikings fans.  You know who the Vikings are, don't ya?  The team the Packers use for their practice squad twice a year?"

"Bite me, Lindstrom," said Richie.  "Your dumb-ass Cheese-heads ain't even gonna make the playoffs this year."

Knowing he didn't stand a chance in a verbal battle against two Packers fans, and needing to get his mind off TJ's appearance before his dick started to swell, Richie quickly changed the subject.

"So, you gonna take us sailing TJ?  The wind's good enough, ain't it?"

"It's perfect, man.  Why don't you guys come help me dig out the sails and we'll go for it."

TJ's cabin couldn't really be called a cabin at all.  It was a sprawling log home, at least twice the size of Kyle's.  It had two levels, each with a set of four adjoining floor to ceiling picture windows facing the lake.  Running the entire length of the front was a balcony for the upper level, and a massive deck in front of the lower one.  Making their way across the sandy beach on their way up to the garage, Lindy was so impressed that he couldn't help commenting.

"Whoa, TJ, nice little place ya have here... a real log cabin," he said with good humor.

"Thanks, man, it serves its purpose."

"So, you and your family live here year round?" asked Richie.

"Nah.  We could, I guess... I mean it's like fully insulated and everything... but my mom and I just spend most of the summer here.  My dad comes up when he can, usually on the holidays and once in a while for a weekend."

"So what does your dad do for a living, rob banks or somethin?" asked Lindy.

This question earned Lindy a cold stare from Richie as well as a not so light punch in the arm.

"What?" complained Lindy, grimacing as he rubbed the sting from his arm.  "I was only askin.  I mean this place is like so cool."

"Hey, it's OK," said TJ.  "I guess it is a little bigger than your average cabin... but no, he doesn't rob banks.  He owns a few car dealerships."

"Whoa!" said Lindy, stopping dead in his tracks.  When Lindy suddenly stopped, both Richie and TJ stopped as well to look at the surprised expression on his face.  "You tryin to tell us that your dad is the Allison Cadillac, Allison... and the Allison Pontiac-GMC, Allison... and the same Allison that owns about a bazillion other dealerships in the city?"

"Yup, that's him" said TJ, a little embarrassed as they all started to walk again.

"No shit?  Well that explains a few things," said Lindy as he looked again at the cabin.

"Lindy!  God!  You are so rude sometimes, man," admonished Richie.

"I'm sorry, man," said a slightly embarrassed Lindy.  "And no offense, dude, but I am like totally impressed.  I mean, if you buy a new car in the city you buy it from TJ's dad, plain and simple."

"I spose that's true," said TJ.  "He does own a few of 'em."

As soon as they rounded the corner of the house, a large three-car garage loomed into view.  In front of the garage they saw a well dressed middle aged man closing the trunk of a new Cadillac DeVille.

"Hey, Dad," said TJ as they approached.

"Hey, Terry, what're you boys up to this morning?"

"Thought we'd do some sailing," said TJ.  Then, introducing his two friends, he said, "Dad, this is Rich, and this is Lindy.  They're friends of Kyle Jacobson and the ones that fished me out of the lake yesterday."

"Of course," said Mr. Allison as he shook first Lindy's, then Richie's hand.  "Words can't begin to express how grateful we are that you boys took such quick action."

"Aw, it wasn't that big a deal, Mr. Allison," said Richie, both he and Lindy blushing.  "I don't think he was in any real danger."

"Maybe not, but it's sure good to know that you cared enough to help him.  So, which one of you is the Birthday Boy?"

"Oh, um, I guess that would be me, sir," answered Richie, blushing even more.

"You're 15, right?  So how did you like your birthday presents?"

Richie was caught completely off guard at hearing such a strange question, especially from someone he'd just met.

"Dad!" said TJ sharply.  "His party isn't until this afternoon, so I don't think he's gotten any presents yet."

"Oh, well congratulations anyway, Rich."  Then to TJ he said, "If you boys are looking for the sails, I think they're still in the basement."  Then, to Richie and Lindy he added, "We keep them in there over the winter so they won't mildew."

"Yeah, you're right.  I think I know where they are.  C'mon guys," said TJ.

"Oh, and son, would you tell your mother to get a move on.  We're gonna be late for our luncheon as it is."

"Sure thing, Dad, got it covered."

When they were out of earshot of TJ's dad, Richie asked, "What did your dad mean `did I like my presents'?"

"Who knows," said TJ, shrugging his shoulders as they made their way up the steps to the back door.  "Once you get to know my dad better, you'll get used to him saying weird things all the time.  That's just his way... harmless, but weird."

Stopping just inside the door, TJ leaned his head into an empty kitchen and yelled, "Yo, Ma!  Dad says to get your butt movin or you're gonna be late."

Immediately following that, an exquisitely dressed good looking woman entered the kitchen, putting on one of her diamond earrings as she walked.  When she saw her son with his friends, she showed just a trace of embarrassment in her face.

"You'd do well to mind you manners a little better in front of company, Terrence."

"Sorry, Mom."

Then, any signs of embarrassment were quickly replaced with a smile as she introduced herself.  "Hello boys, I'm Miriam Allison, TJ's mother."

Turning to his companions, TJ said, "Mom, this is Rich, and this is Lindy."

"Of course, how inconsiderate of me, I should have known.  You're the boys who saved Terry's life yesterday."

"Mom!" said TJ, trying to save his friends from further embarrassment.  "Dad already gave them the heroes speech."

"And as well he should," said Mrs. Allison, her voice taking on a stern tone.  Then, brushing TJ's blonde hair away from his forehead to reveal his bruise, her manner softened a little.  "You may think you're invincible, Terrence Jerome, but you were unconscious, and you could have drowned if these boys weren't there to help you.  So if I were you, I'd show a little more gratitude, OK?"

"Yes, ma'am," said TJ, his admonishment making him feel a little ashamed of himself.

"That's better."  Then, as if the moment had never happened, she checked her perfect hair in the hall mirror while making a casual inquiry.  "So, what have you boys got in mind for this morning?"

"We thought we'd go for a sail before the party."

"That's nice, dear.  I'm sure you'll have a good time," she said, showing little interest in his answer as she straightened her dress.  Retreating back into the kitchen to retrieve her purse and gloves she made a final comment.  "By the way, Cheryl Anne called for you a few minutes ago.  You should really call her back, TJ.  She's such a nice girl, and she's crazy about you."

"Yeah, yeah," said TJ, rolling his eyes as he began to lead Richie and Lindy down to the basement.

"Well, you boys have fun," she said over her shoulder on her way to the door, "I don't know when we'll be back, dear... we'll probably go to the club after the luncheon, and you know how that can go."

"Yeah, sure, whatever," replied TJ from the bottom of the stairs, not knowing or caring whether she heard him or not.

Although he thought he detected TJ's disappointed at his mother's lack of interest in his plans, what intrigued Richie the most about their exchange was the mention of a girl.  He was about to ask him about her when not so shy Lindy beat him to it.

"So, who's this Cheryl Anne, TJ?  She your girlfriend?"

"Hah," laughed TJ.  "She wishes.  Actually, her name's Cheryl Anne Harper, and she's a girl in my class who's been like all over me for more than a year now.  She ain't bad lookin or anything, and I've been out with her a couple of times, but she's dingy as hell.  Drives me fuckin nuts to be around her."

Hearing this, Richie became more convinced than ever that he was straight.

While TJ rummaged around, searching for the sails, Richie filled the silence with more questions.  "Whereabouts do you live in the city, TJ?"

"Arlington Heights."

"Whoa!" exclaimed Lindy.  "That's like only a ten or fifteen minute bike ride from where we live.  So what school do ya go to?  I know it ain't Radison."

"Ah, here they are," said TJ when he found the sails.  "What school?" he added.  "I wish it was Radison.  But no such luck.  I'm stuck over at St. Matthew's."

"Really?" asked Richie.  "Man, just making it through St. Matt's is enough to guarantee admittance to any college in the country.  What are you, a brainiac or somethin?"

"Who me?" chuckled TJ as he handed one of the two sails to Richie.  "Not hardly.  Matter of fact, I barely made it through my freshman year.  St. Matthew's sucks... but my dad can afford it, and it gives him something to brag about to his friends, so that's why I'm there.  As soon as I figure out how to break it to him, though, I'm transferring out.  I'd much rather go to someplace like Radison... not near as much pressure, ya know?"

"I hear ya there, bro," said Lindy.  Then, grinning as he took the other sail from TJ, he added, "And Radison's much cooler than St. Matt's, too... at least us common folk think so."

This got a laugh from both Richie and TJ, and earned Lindy a playful slap across the back of his head.

"C'mon you `common folk'," said TJ.  "Let's sail."