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.

The author retains copyright to this story. Reproducing this story for distribution without the author's permission is a violation of that copyright.

E-mail responses to this story may be sent to me at

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

Chapter 14:  Revelations

As usual, Richie waited patiently for Kyle to recover.  After several moments had passed, and Kyle still hadn't moved, he looked down at his outstretched body to see if he'd fallen asleep.  He smiled when he saw that his eyes were open and gazing up at the stars as if he was in deep, contemplative thought.  Moving over to lie next to him, he propped himself up on one elbow, then reached over to brush the sweat-matted hair from his forehead.

"If you're tryin to count the stars, dude, forget it - there's too many of 'em."  When Kyle remained silent, he asked, "What ya thinkin about, big guy?"

"Hmm," said Kyle, looking into Richie's eyes, "Just doing a `Rich Andrews
over-analyzing' thing."

"Yeah?", asked Richie, wiping Kyle's sweat from his hand onto his cutoffs.  "Well tell me about it, then, cause this has gotta be a first."

"I think I must be some kind of a freak, Rich."

Normally a remark like this would have caused Richie to laugh it off, even make a joke about it in return.  But the look in Kyle's eyes and the sound of his voice told Richie that he wasn't joking.

"You're serious, aren't you?"

"Yeah, I am," said Kyle, breaking eye contact to look back to the stars.

"So tell me about it.  What's got you thinkin you're a freak?"

"It has to do with the way you bit down on my dick."

"Oh, that," said Richie, smiling with embarrassment as he recalled his aggressive behavior.  Thinking that Kyle's concern couldn't be too serious, he continued to smile as he casually looked over to his now flaccid member.  "Sorry about that, I guess I kinda got carried away.  Hope I didn't do too much damage."

Suddenly, the smile vanished from his face, quickly replaced by a look of real concern.  Sitting up, he leaned forward for a closer look at Kyle's penis, turning it over in his fingers as he did.

"Oh, Jesus, Kyle," he cried when his suspicions were confirmed.  Looking his friend in the eyes, tears beginning to form in his own, he went on.  "I put marks on your dick, man!  I left fucking bite marks on your dick!"  His tears began to spill over his cheeks as he continued, "Oh God, I'm so sorry, Kyle.  I never meant to hurt you."

"Hey, relax, Rich.  You're missing the point here, bro - you didn't hurt me."

"No?!" asked Richie, wiping at his tears in an attempt to regain control of himself.  "How can you say that, Kyle?" he asked, sure that Kyle was just trying to spare his feelings.  "Your dick might get as hard as steel, but it's still flesh and blood, man... and those are my fucking bite marks on it... now that had to fucking hurt!"

"Rich," said Kyle in a soft, calming voice while he gently rubbed his back.  "You still don't get it, man."

"Then tell me, Kyle," pleaded Richie.  "Just what the fuck are you talking about?  And don't tell me it didn't hurt, cause I fucking know better."

"OK, you're right, it did hurt... but that's just it... that's what I'm talking about... it hurt, and I liked it."  Richie's tears began to subside when he said this, so Kyle continued to explain.  "When you first bit down on it, it hurt a little, but not too much... only about as much as the other things you've done to me.  You know, when you squeeze my balls, or bite on my nipple or my earlobe... which I love, by the way.  Anyway, it was when you gave it that final twist before letting it go that it really hurt.  Aw shit, man, I don't know how to explain it, but even though it hurt, it only hurt for a second, then it went away... like really fast... it like turned into something that was so intense, and felt so good, that I almost came on the spot.  And ya wanna know what finally did send me over the edge?  It was when you pulled down on my balls.  You've done it before, lots of times, but this time you pulled down really hard, and I felt that same pain-pleasure thing.  God, it was like so intense I couldn't believe it."

"Really?" asked Richie as he wiped the last of the wetness from his cheeks, a slight smile beginning to form at the corners of his mouth.  "You really liked it?"

"Yeah, I did, man, that's what I'm trying to tell you!"  Then, looking up at the star filled sky while he continued to rub Richie's back, his voice became quiet again.  "That's why I think I'm a freak.  I mean, like how weird is that?  Who but a freak would like to get his balls pulled like that - not to mention getting his dick chewed on?"

"I don't think that makes you a freak," said Richie, his tears gone, a full smile on his lips.

"It doesn't?  I'm lying here telling you that I'm some masochistic nut, and you tell me you don't think I'm a freak?"  Despite Kyle's serious mood, Richie couldn't help but notice his use of a four syllable word.  He was about to make a joke about it when Kyle saw it coming.  "And if you so much as make one crack about me saying masochistic, Guppy, I'm gonna pick you up by the ears and throw you in the lake."

"Whoa, never crossed my mind, bro" lied Richie.  Then, serious again, he said, "I still don't think you're a freak, though, or a masochist.  You might be a little like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but no way are you a freak.  I think you just like aggressive sex, is all.  Besides, if you are a freak... then I guess that makes me a freak, too."

"Yeah?" asked Kyle, turning his head to look up at Richie.  "You tryin to tell me that you like... what did you call it... aggressive sex... or are you just sayin that to make me feel better?"

"No. man, I really do like it... for real.  I like the way you sorta like, manhandle me when we have sex.  You know, when you use your strength to... I don't know, have your way with me... especially when you're a little high.  I don't know how to explain it, either, but I like it when you sorta take charge of things, but still let me do what I want to do.  That's why I started doing those things to you, cause you were doin 'em to me.  Hell, I figured that if I liked it, it must be the right thing to do.  You know, just part of having sex.  Kinda looks like I was right, too, don't it?"

"Whoa," said Kyle quietly as he returned his gaze to the stars.  After a moment he spoke again, "Man, am I ever glad to hear you say that, Rich."

"How so?"

"Because... because of what we're planning for tomorrow night."

Richie didn't say anything, but the confused look on his face prompted Kyle to explain.  "You remember asking me when we were leaving Pine City why I haven't fucked you yet?"

"Yeah, and you gave me some lame excuse about being afraid you'd hurt me."

"Exactly, and it wasn't lame, either, cause that's what I was afraid of.  See, when you did it to me, it hurt, Rich.  I mean, like when you first went in, it really hurt.  The pain went away pretty quick, but before it did it sorta changed into that same feeling I got when you bit my dick... and from then on it was like totally awesome, especially when you started to slam into me.  That's why I started to think I must be some kind of freak.  Course, thinking that you probably weren't a pain freak, I couldn't bring myself to do it to you.  See what I'm sayin?  I really was afraid I'd hurt you.  And let me tell you, it's been frustrating as hell, too."

"How so?'

"Think about it, man.  After that first time, I liked it so much I wanted you to do me every time we had sex - but there was no way I could ask you for it.  I mean, like how many times would you be willing to fuck me if I refused to fuck you?"

"Not many, and that's for real."


A few moments of silence passed while both boys mulled over what they'd been discussing.  It was Richie who spoke first, his voice quiet and thoughtful.  "So you're sayin that it hurt, but you still liked it, right?  Why the hell didn't you tell me about this before?"

"Yeah, right.  You think I wanted to start off our relationship by telling you I was a pain freak?"

"Pain freak?!  I think that's a little over the top, don't you?  Just because you like some things a little rough, doesn't make you a pain freak."

"Yeah, maybe, but I didn't know that then.  And I sure as hell didn't know that you might like it, too.  It's not as if we knew a lot about each other's likes and dislikes, ya know."

"True that.  Hard to know what someone else likes when you're just learning what you like."  Richie paused for a moment.  When he spoke again, he did so with mock irritation.  "Still, you know I should be pissed at you for waiting until now to tell me this, don't you?"

Looking up at Richie, Kyle knew instinctively what he meant by his remark.  "Oh, man, you couldn't be more pissed at me than I am.  Just think," he added with a sigh, "we coulda been fuckin like rabbits for the past six months."

"I guess we'll just have to make up for lost time, then - starting with tomorrow night."  Feeling his dick twitch at the thought, excitement began to fill Richie's voice when he continued.  "Man, am I ever glad we had this little talk.  Tomorrow night is gonna be so cool.  Now you don't have to worry about me, and I know what to expect."  Giving his rapidly hardening member a squeeze, he almost shouted a final thought.  "God, I can't fucking wait!"

"Hey, slow down there, hotshot.  If we're gonna do this, you gotta make me a promise first."

"Sure, man, anything... anything at all, just name it." said Richie, his eyes sparkling with anticipation.

"Hey, I'm serious here, Rich.  Either you agree, or the whole thing is off."

"OK, I'll agree, I'll agree... what?"

"You gotta promise that you'll tell me if the pain is the kind that you don't like.  In other words, if it hurts, which I'm sure it will at first, you gotta tell me if it doesn't go away, or turn into something that feels good.  You gotta tell me if it's bad, Rich... you gotta promise me that, OK?"

Richie could see that Kyle was dead serious, probably more serious than he'd ever been before.

"Sure, Kyle, I promise.  But ya know what?  I don't think it'll be a problem.  I don't think you could ever hurt me.  You just wouldn't.  That's why I want you to be my first, bro, cause I know I can trust you.  Nobody knows better'n you what I like, so it can't be nothin but good.  And I'll tell you somethin else, Kyle.  If what you feel when you do me comes anywhere close to what I felt when I did you, you are gonna think you died and went to heaven, and that is like totally for real."

"Yeah, well maybe so, but you still gotta promise me.  I mean sure, I would never try to hurt you, but you have got to stop me if I get too carried away.  It could happen, you know.  I've never done it before, so even I don't know if I can keep from going too far... or being too rough... especially now that I know you like it that way.  So say it, Rich.  Promise me."

Richie had no problem with making the promise, but thinking it over before answering, he decided to make his promise conditional.

"I promise, Kyle.  I promise to tell you if it hurts too much.  But you gotta make me a promise, too.  You gotta promise not to keep askin me if it hurts while we're doin it.  It kind of spoils the moment if you're always askin if I'm OK, ya know?  So if I make the promise, you have to trust me to tell you without asking, OK?"

"Fair enough."  After a short pause, Kyle spoke again.  "So, what d'ya think, Rich, are we freaks or what?"

"Well, I don't know about you, but I know I'd rather not refer to myself as a freak.  So unless we find out different, I say we call ourselves normal."  After a short pause, he gave Kyle's thigh a gentle squeeze and continued, "Ya know what?  There's two reasons why I'm glad we had this conversation."

"Yeah?  And they are?" asked Kyle, looking up to see Richie beaming down at him.

"For one thing, now we know a little more about what we like when we have sex.  The other thing is, freaks or not, I'm pretty sure that not everybody I meet is gonna like it the way I do.  I think that's good information to have, don't you?"

"Well duh... only if you ever want to have sex with them more than once, it is.  You got anybody in mind?"

Looking slyly at Kyle, Richie was thinking about TJ and how, without this information, if and when he ever did have sex with him it could well be a disaster.  "Nah, not really," he said evasively.

Knowing better, but deciding not to press the issue, Kyle raised himself up on his elbows to look down at his dick.  "Did you really leave marks on my dick, Guppy?"

"Yeah I did," answered Richie, once again feeling guilty as he gently turned Kyle's penis over to show him the marks.

"Whoa, looks kinda like baby hickeys, huh?"

"Yeah, sorta," said Richie as he leaned in for a closer view.  "Does it still hurt?"

"Nah, not a bit," answered Kyle with a shrug of his shoulders.

Then, grinning again, Richie said, "If those marks don't go away soon, or if your dick turns black and blue, you better not flash it around for a while."

"Good point," agreed Kyle, straining his neck for a better view of the marks.  "I don't know how the hell I'd explain something like that."  When he looked up to Richie again, he saw a huge grin on his face, and a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.  "What?'


"You web-footed little shit!  I warned you about that."

Richie knew he'd be in trouble even before he made the remark, but he just couldn't resist the temptation.  Scrambling to escape Kyle's wrath, he never had a chance.  Before he knew it, Kyle was on his feet and had his arms wrapped firmly around his waist in a tackle, his momentum carrying them both into three feet of water.

For the next twenty minutes they horsed around in the shallow water, dunking each other and playing grab-ass games as if they were little kids half their age.  Richie enjoyed the repeated contact with Kyle's nude body, never passing on the chance to cop a quick feel as they wrestled.  When finally they tired of this, they returned to the dock to retrieve Kyle's Speedo before heading for the cabin.

"Let me see that for a sec," said Richie when Kyle picked up the flimsy garment.

Straining his eyes to see in the moonlight, he carefully turned the swim suit over in his hands, paying special attention to the front.  When he was satisfied, he tossed it back to Kyle.  "Man, that's some tough material, bro.  From the looks of your dick, I'd expect to see some holes torn in it... or at least a scratch mark or two.  Shit, man, it looks as good as new."

"Maybe they should add another label saying it's guaranteed bite proof."  Spreading the suite across the front of his groin area before stepping into it, he thought about how small it looked when it wasn't stretched over his body.  "Hard to believe I can even squeeze my ass into this tiny thing."

"I know, man," laughed Richie.  "I couldn't believe how small it looked when I bought it.  I even thought about getting the next size up, but I'm sure as hell glad I didn't.  You should be proud of yourself, bro... not every dude can get away with wearing a suit like that."

With much less effort than the size of the Speedo would suggest, Kyle soon had it on again, his package neatly tucked within the confines of its clinging pouch.  He was about to lead them up to the cabin when Richie stopped him.

"Do me a favor, would ya?  Do that runway strut like you did before.  I wanna see how good you look up close... and do it serious-like this time."  When Kyle gave him that questioning look, Richie added, "C'mon, hockey player, humor me here.  Just do it, OK?"

Shrugging his shoulders to say `why not', Kyle stepped onto the dock, then casually made his way up and down its length in front of Richie's lust-filled eyes.  The droplets of water that clung to his matted hair and covered his body, glistened in the soft glow of the moon as he moved, the Speedo clinging to his cheeks and thighs like a second skin.  After two passes, he stopped with his feet slightly spread, his hands on his hips, towering over Richie who gazed up at him from the shallow water below.

"So, what d'ya think?" he asked.

"Awesome, man!  Abso-fucking-lutely awesome!" sighed Richie, his rigid member straining against his cutoffs.  "You'll probably think I'm nuts, Kyle, but I seriously think you could be a model."

"Ya think?" asked Kyle as he struck a body-builder's pose for the younger boy.  "Don't ya think ya might get jealous of me showing off my sexy body for the whole world to see?"

"Are you shittin me?  I'd love it, man.  Every time I opened a magazine, or saw a poster of you, I'd think, `Whoa, I've had sex with him.  I've been to bed with the awesome Kyle Jacobson, and I know what that body looks and feels like without clothes on.'.  So hell no I wouldn't be jealous, I'd be proud!"

"Well, you can put your tongue back in your mouth, Guppy, cause I don't see that ever happening," said Kyle as he began to lead them toward shore.

"Yeah?  Have you ever looked at yourself lately?  I mean really looked at yourself?  You are one hot looking hockey player, bro."

"Nah, save it for your dreams, Rich.  There's no way a dude like me could break into that business... even if I wanted to.  Besides, aren't you the one who told me I should go into forestry?"

What Kyle said was true.  Last winter, when Richie found out that Kyle had a strong interest in the wildlife around Gull Lake, and that he had no plans to attend college, he convinced him to talk to the school counselor about pursuing a career in forestry.  With a few adjustments to his remaining junior year classes, and a solid but intensive plan for his senior year, Mr. Palmer saw no reason why he wouldn't be able to get into a forestry curriculum at the University when he graduated.

"Well, yeah, and you should... but you could still try for a modeling gig.  If it don't work out, then you stick with forestry."

While they made their way up the hill, Richie persisted, "Look, just for the hell of it, when we get back, let me shoot some pictures of you with that fancy camera of yours.  You know, just a few to show you how good you really look.  Then, if you still think I'm nuts, I can always put the pictures in my scrapbook."

Coming to an abrupt halt at the top of the hill, Kyle turned back to Richie.  "You keep a scrapbook on me?"

"Well, yeah," answered Richie, embarrassed that he'd revealed this information.  "Just a small one... you know... for the articles I found in the sports section on your hockey games."

"Must be a really small scrapbook, then," said Kyle with a smile on his lips as he began to move toward the cabin again.  "I suppose, if you really want to shoot some pictures, I guess I got no problem with it."

"Alright!" exclaimed Richie just before they reached the door to the cabin.  Lowering his voice so as not to disturb their sleeping friends, they stepped into the main room.  "And I get to pick out your wardrobe, too.  With all the shit you've got hanging in your closet, we'll have enough pictures to send to Speedo and Tommy Hilfiger, and the Hanes dudes, and Adidas..."

"Don't forget the nice folks over at Levi Strauss, Guppy," interrupted Kyle with sarcasm.  "Wouldn't want them to feel left out."

"Oh, for sure... them, and Guess Jeans..."

"Whoa," whispered Kyle, realizing that Richie was serious.  "You can take all the pictures you want, Guppy, but we're not sending them to anyone.  OK?  Besides, I don't think you're supposed to send pictures to the manufacturers, anyway.  Aren't ya suppose to hook up with a modeling agency first?"

"I don't know, maybe.  But so what, we can send them to both places."

"No, we won't, Rich.  We're not sending them to either place, and that's for real."

"OK," replied Richie with resignation.  Although his enthusiasm was somewhat deflated, his mind was already making a note to look up some mailing addresses when they got home.

Just as they reached their bedroom, the door to the bathroom suddenly burst open.  Startling them as well as himself was TJ, obviously up to take a late night piss.  While Kyle continued into the bedroom, Richie lingered for a moment to speak to TJ.

"Hey, dude, I'm glad to see you're up.  What say me and you check out the pond tomorrow?  Kyle says we can use the dirt bikes in the morning if we want."

"Um, sure, that's cool," said TJ as he made his way back to his air mattress.  "Just wake me up when ya wanna leave."

Watching him return to his spot next to Daryl, Richie was a little disappointed in his lack of enthusiasm.  Deciding that his unexcited response was due to the fact that he was still half asleep, Richie shrugged it off as he joined Kyle in the bedroom.  Closing the door behind him, he saw that Kyle was already in bed, lying on his side watching him.  Stripping out of his still damp cutoffs, he draped them over the back of the chair next to the bed.  Then, following Kyle's line of site, he looked down to his semi-erect penis swinging seductively from side to side with every movement he made.

"Doesn't your dick ever go soft, Guppy?"

"Hey, man," whispered Richie as he crawled under the sheet, "I'm not the one who got a blow-job a few minutes ago, so cut me some slack, would ya?"

"Mmm," cooed Kyle, as he wrapped his fingers around Richie's member, "want me to fix that for ya?"

"Oh, man," sighed Richie at Kyle's gentle touch.  "I know you're gonna think I'm crazy, cause I won't be sayin this very often, but I'd rather save it for tomorrow night.  Besides, it's pretty late, and I wanna get up while it's still morning to take TJ up the creek-bed.  OK?"

"Sure," said Kyle, beginning to pull back his hand.

Quickly grabbing his wrist, Richie stopped him.  "But that don't mean you can't play for a while if ya want."

Smiling at Richie while he fondled his balls, he said, "You are one horny fifteen year-old, ya know that?"

"Hey, what's the big deal?  You're the one who told me there was nothin wrong with being horny all the time.  Some people like to collect stamps, or coins... I just happen to like sex.  So what?"

"Hey, I got no problem with it.  I think it's kinda cool.  Rich Andrews, sex collector.  Now there's a hobby if there ever was one."  Sliding closer to snuggle up to Richie, Kyle continued to gently rub his hand over his chest and stomach.  "So, what did ya think of the party?"

"Fucking awesome, man.  Matter of fact, this whole trip has been the best time ever.  Thanks."

"Nah, don't thank me.  All I did was provide a place to crash."

"Bullshit, man.  I know everybody chipped in to put the party together, but you're the one behind it all.  You're the one who made it all happen, and it's been the best time of my life... probably better than I deserve, even."  After a few moments of thought, Richie spoke again.  "You ever wonder if, when things are going so good, that something bad has to happen to balance it out?"

"Whoa, you sure can come up with some weird thoughts sometimes, ya know that?"

"That's not so weird.  I mean think about it.  Isn't all of nature in balance...  and if that's true, doesn't it make sense that you have to expect an equal amount of bad to go with the good?"

"I spose that's one way of lookin at it."

"So have ya?  Ever wondered about it, I mean?"

"Hmm," said Kyle as he brushed his hair out of his eyes before resting his head on Richie's shoulder, "I might have at one time, a long time ago.  But that was before my mom died.  Now I never think about that kinda shit.  I just go with the flow, ya know?  Why fuck up your head worrying about something you have no control over when you can spend your time enjoying what you've got?"

To Richie's thinking, this was very profound, especially for Kyle, and the more he thought about it, the more he found merit in it.  It would also help to explain Kyle's carefree approach to life in general.  Another thing that wasn't missed by Richie was Kyle's mention of his mom.  In the six months they'd known each other he'd only mentioned her a few times, and then it was only in passing.  Over those same six months, however, Richie had wondered about her on several occasions.  More than once he'd been tempted to ask him about her, too, but it never seemed to be the right time.  As much as he was tempted to ask him now, due to the lateness of the hour he decided to put it off once more.  Without further comment, he rested his arm across Kyle's, turned his head to kiss him on the forehead, then drifted off to sleep.


On this morning when the birds began their incessant chirping, seeming to believe that the sun couldn't possibly rise without it, none of the occupants of the Jacobson cabin so much as moved a muscle.  It wasn't until hours later, long after the feathered residents of Gull Lake had tired of their chatter, that Richie began to stir.  He probably would have slept for another hour if his full bladder hadn't demanded his immediate attention.

Stretching himself out full length on the bed, he rubbed enough of the sleep from his eyes to see his friend and lover stretched out next to him.  Smiling at how peaceful he looked in his sleep, he glanced in the other direction to the alarm clock.  Not really caring what time it was, he did notice it was almost 9 o'clock.  More asleep than awake, he quietly swung his legs over the edge of the bed and stumbled for the bathroom with his morning erection leading the way.  Opening the bedroom door, he stopped short when he smelled the aroma and heard the sound of bacon frying.  Barely awake, his groggy mind forgetting that the cabin was filled with sleeping friends, he also forgot about his state of undress.  Without thinking, as if his body was on auto-pilot, he passed by the bathroom and proceeded on to the kitchen.  When he rounded the corner and saw TJ at the stove, dressed in his cargo shorts and clean white T-shirt, he froze in his tracks when it suddenly dawned on him that he was naked and sporting a hard-on.  He tried desperately to reverse his direction before TJ could turn and see him, but he wasn't quite fast enough.

"TJ!" he said to his smiling friend.  His mind searched frantically for something to appropriate to say as he tried in vein to cover himself with his hands while he inched his way back from the kitchen.  "Sorry, man..." he continued, still fumbling for the right words.  "I, um, was heading for the shower, ya know... and then I smelled the bacon and... I guess I'll, um, just go do that now... you know, take a shower..."  His face was flushed and burning from embarrassment.  The last thing he saw before turning to run the rest of the way to the bathroom was the huge grin that was spread across TJ's face.

A few minutes later, refreshed from his shower, and fully dressed in his cutoffs and a Vikings T-shirt, Richie left the still sleeping Kyle to face TJ again.  This time when he entered the kitchen, he started off with an awkward apology.

"Ah, that's better... you know, after taking a shower and all.  Look, man, I'm sorry for busting in here all naked and shit.  I guess I wasn't awake enough to think right."

"Hey, that's cool, Rich.  Didn't bother me any."  Then, with a chuckle, he added, "From the look on your face, though, I'd have to say you were embarrassed enough for the both of us.  God, that was funny.  What's Kyle always say?  Another Kodak moment missed?"

"Yup, that's it.  Man, I can't believe I did that."  In an effort to change the subject, he looked over TJ's shoulder to see a nearly ready pan-full of scrambled eggs.  "Mmm, smells good, man."

"Just a little bacon and eggs.  You hungry?"

"Fucking starved, man."

"Me, too.  Couldn't see us goin up to the pond on an empty stomach, so I decided to make us somethin to eat.  I was gonna get you up when they were ready, but from what I saw, you did a pretty good job of getting yourself up."

"Real funny, dude," said Richie, his face flushing again as he playfully elbowed TJ in the ribs.

Out of respect for their sleeping comrades, they kept their breakfast conversation quiet so as not to disturb them.  When they were finished, they cleaned up their mess before heading for the garage to retrieve the dirt bikes.  After topping off both gas tanks, they were ready to ride.

"It's gonna be a hot one today," commented TJ as they adjusted their helmets.

"Yeah, but a dip in the pond will cool us off pretty quick.  You ever done much riding?"

"Well, I haven't gone through any swamps or anything, but I've been up and down a hill or two."

"Oh, man," replied Richie with a touch of embarrassment.  "You know about that?"

"Hell yes.  Lindy filled me in last night, and from the way he tells it, it must've been somethin to see."

Minutes later, with Richie leading the way, they were headed North on the snowmobile trail toward the creek-bed.  TJ's experience riding a dirt bike quickly became evident as he followed Richie through the forest, never missing a turn or slowing for a hill.  When they reached the culvert where the creek ran under the trail, Richie stopped them to rest before beginning their climb to the bluff.  True to TJ's prediction, the temperature had already reached the low eighties, and with little wind to cool them, the high humidity had their T-shirts soaked with sweat.

"Well, this is it, dude," said Richie after pulling off his helmet to wipe the sweat from his forehead.  "It'll take us twenty minutes to a half hour to get up to the pond, but the ride isn't too bad and the scenery is awesome."

"Cool.  I can't wait to check it out." said TJ as he pulled up the front of his T-shirt to wipe his face.  When he was finished, he dismounted his bike and stepped off the trail to get a better look at the creek-bed.  "Whoa," he said as he studied the winding route they were about to travel.

"What?" asked Richie.

"This is like really amazing!  This is a freeway compared to what it usually is."  Returning to his bike, his excitement evident, TJ quickly pulled on his helmet.  "C'mon, man, let's get up there.  I am like so stoked for this."

So excited was TJ that he either forgot, or ignored the fact that Richie was leading this expedition.  Without a word, he started up the hill ahead of him, much like a kid visiting an amusement park, quickly forgetting it was his parents that brought him there.  At first, feeling as if he was being ditched, Richie was irritated with his behavior but quickly shrugged it off.  He knew very little about TJ, so his actions could well be explained by the fact that he was just overwhelmed with excitement.

Muffled by the tall pines and dense underbrush that now separated them, the sound of TJ's bike could barely be heard when Richie was finally ready to follow.  Unhurried, he angled his machine off the trail and began his ascent.  Knowing that he'd catch up to TJ when he reached the bluff if not before, Richie set a leisurely pace for himself, enjoying the sights and smells of the lush green forest that surrounded him.

Ten minutes later, rounding one of the many curves the creek-bed took, he came upon TJ waiting patiently off to one side.  Wondering if he had trouble with his bike, his question was quickly answered when TJ motioned for him to pass.  Smiling at the gesture, Richie gunned his motor while nodding his head in understanding.  As soon as he passed the spot where TJ waited, TJ quickly fell in behind where he remained for the rest of their climb.

Reaching the bluff twenty minutes later, Richie parked his bike next to the same tree he'd chosen when he was there with Lindy.  Following his example, TJ picked out another tree nearby.  With their bikes no longer needed, the high-pitched whine of their two-cycle engines silent, the eerie quiet of their surroundings took on the same magical quality that Richie had felt before.  The magic wasn't lost on TJ, either, as he stood next to his bike to remove his helmet.

"Whoa," he said, his voice quiet and respectful, much like a voice one would use if he were in church.  Making his way to where Richie stood, he continued in the same respectful tone, "This is unreal, man.  I kinda feel like we aren't supposed to be here."

"Really?  How's that?"

"Oh, I don't know..." said TJ as he gazed up at the bluff and the water that cascaded gently over its face, "it's kind of like ducking under the velvet rope at a museum to get a closer look at an exhibit, or sneaking out of the house late at night after your parents have gone to bed.  It's like being somewhere you're not supposed to be even though you don't plan on doing anything wrong while you're there.  For me, anyway, it's like this adrenaline rush I get, knowing that I could get caught at any minute.  Know what I mean?"  When Richie just stared at him with a blank look on his face, TJ asked, "What?"

"Um, nothin really, just thinkin about what you said.  I know what you mean about the feeling you get when you're somewhere you're not supposed to be, I just never thought about this place that way."  Then, with a chuckle he added, "When me and Lindy were here yesterday, he wondered if we didn't fall down a rabbit hole or something.  He said it reminded him of one of them old black and white dinosaur movies.  Like we somehow got transported back in time to the Jurassic period."

"Exactly!  That's what I'm talkin about, dude.  It's like we were messing around somewhere we weren't supposed to be and accidentally stepped through a time warp or somethin.  You dudes didn't see any pterodactyls flying around by any chance, did ya?"

"No," laughed Richie, "but we did see a family of dear that stopped by for a drink at the pond."

"No shit?"

"Yeah, they came wandering out of the woods just after we got to the top of the bluff.  Blew my mind, man... but I'm sure it woulda been no big deal for you... you probably see them all the time around these woods."

"I've seen a few, but they're always on the run, or so far away you can barely tell they're deer."  Then, quickly glancing from the bluff to Richie, excitement gleaming in his eyes, he said, "C'mon, let's get up there, man.  Maybe we can see some more."

Caught up in TJ's excitement, Richie led them to the bottom of the bluff where they began to climb over the same route that he and Lindy had used the previous day.  As they moved over the rocks and between the boulders, Richie's mind was occupied with thoughts of this most recent discussion with TJ.  The in-depth explanation of his feelings, complete with meaningful analogies, had Richie wondering if maybe he wasn't brighter than he wanted to let on.  He chuckled to himself when he thought about how Kyle would give him a hard time for over-analyzing.

Being the first to reach the top, Richie stopped as soon as he was high enough to peek over the edge for a clear view of the pond.  Signaling TJ to be quiet, he poked his head up for a look.

"See anything," whispered TJ, barely able to contain his excitement as he waited patiently on the rocks below.

"Nah, all clear," answered Richie as he climbed the last few feet to the top.

When TJ pulled himself over the last outcropping of rocks to stand next to his friend, his amazement was clearly written in the wide-eyed expression on his face.  Smiling at TJ's reaction, thinking how his own must have been similar the day before, Richie remained silent, waiting for all of it to sink in.

"Holly shit..." said TJ after a long moment, his voice hushed, barely more than a whisper.

"Hey, dude," said Richie with a chuckle in a normal tone of voice, "ya don't have to whisper, ya know.  Nobody's gonna hear us and come charging out to chase us away."

"Ya think?" asked TJ, his voice still quiet, almost reverent like.  "I can't help it, man.  For sure I don't think we're supposed to be here, now.  This place is just too awesome."  After another moment of silence, he asked, "You think there's any food around here?"

"Food?" asked Richie, amused by the strange question.  "You might find some berries or pine cones layin around, but I doubt there's a Quickie Mart anywhere nearby."

"Yeah, true that," chuckled TJ as he moved closer to the edge of the pond.

"Let me make a wild guess here, TJ," said Richie as he followed.  "I'm guessing you were having some crazy fantasy about this place being like some tropical island filled with bananas and coconuts that a dude could live off of, right?"

"Well," said TJ, blushing slightly, "sort of, I guess.  I mean, wouldn't it be like way cool if it were true?"

"Absolutely, but I don't think it's geographically possible, do you?"

"No, I spose not," answered TJ, sounding a little disappointed at the reality of it.  Then, noticing the cliff at the far end of the pond for the first time, he sucked in his breath in a low audible gasp.  "Whoa, you guys never told me about those falls over there.  This is just too cool!  What's up there, Rich?  Did you guys climb up to the top?"  TJ's reverent demeanor was now replaced with renewed excitement.  His eyes sparkled, and the grin he wore stretched from ear to ear.  "Ya did, didn't ya?  So what's up there, man?  I know it's gotta be cool."

"Yeah, we went up there," said Richie, shrugging his shoulders like it was no big deal.  "But there ain't nothin up there to make it worth the climb."  Then, casting TJ a sideways glance out of the corner of his eye, he smiled a sly grin.

"You dick," said TJ as he backhanded Richie's arm.  "You're fuckin with me now, aren't ya.  C'mon, man, show me... what's the best way to get up there?"

"Ow!" said Richie, trying to sound as if TJ's slap actually hurt.  "I don't know, dude, my arm might be too sore to climb now."

"Sore?  You want sore?  I'll give ya sore," said TJ as he playfully grabbed Richie's arm and twisted it behind his back into a hammerlock.

"OK!  OK!," cried Richie in mock surrender.  "I'll take you up the same way me and Lindy went, just let go of my arm ya big bully."  When TJ loosed his grip, Richie shook his twisted arm, then with an evil grin, he said, "You are so gonna pay for that, dude, and trust me, paybacks are a bitch."

Stepping to the edge of the pond while stripping off his T-shirt, Richie toed off his sneakers as he looked back over his shoulder to TJ.  "Follow me, man, and try to keep up, would ya?"

That said, he dove headlong into the pool and began to swim all-out toward the falls.  Caught momentarily off guard, TJ quickly shucked his shirt and shoes before diving in behind him.  Swimming with every bit of strength his body could supply he tried desperately to catch his friend, but Richie just kept on pulling away from him.  When he did catch up, Richie was idly treading water under the falls.

"What took ya so long, bro?"

"Jeez, man, no wonder Jacobson calls you Guppy.  You got gills in your pits?  I bet you got webbing between you toes, too, don't ya?"

"Nah, I'm not fast, man.  You wanna see fast, go up against Lindy sometime."

"No thanks.  I've already seen him beat you, so I think I'll pass."  Then, maneuvering himself to where he was directly under the waterfall, TJ yelped when the water pounded down on his head.  "Whoa!  This shit's cold, man."

"Well, duh.  What did you expect, dummy, a comfy hot shower or somethin?  C'mon, ya big pussy, we can climb up to the top over here."

With that, Richie swam to shore at the same spot where he and Lindy had gone the day before.  While he waited again for TJ to catch up, he scanned the rocks that made up the shoreline around him.

"What ya looking for?" asked TJ when he emerged from the pond.

"A rock."

"A rock?!  Well that shouldn't be too hard to find since there's at least a half a gazillion of 'em layin around here."

"Yeah, but none of  them are like the one I'm lookin for," said Richie, smiling at TJ's remark.  Although he understood why TJ would think him crazy, he was disappointed that he couldn't find Lindy's magic skipper.  Seeing the confused look on TJ's face, he went on to explain.  "The one I'm lookin for is about the size and shape of an egg with red and white speckles on it.  Lindy found it yesterday and I coulda sworn he threw it over here somewhere.  Oh well, no big deal.  C'mon, let's go."

"Cool, I'll race ya to the top."

"Whoa, I don't think so.  It ain't all that steep, I guess, but there's a lot of moss and shit on those rocks, and I sure as hell don't want to send you to the hospital again.  So let's just take it slow, OK?"

"I'm cool with that.  Lead on, McDuck."  When Richie looked at him funny, TJ shrugged his shoulders and said smugly, "Hey, you know a Macduff from Macbeth, right?  Well, I just happen to know a Scrooge McDuck from Donald Duck... so there."

Shaking his head and rolling his eyes, Richie began to lead the way up the hill next to the cliff.  When they reached the top, he watched as TJ cautiously moved closer to the edge of the rock outcropping where the creek spilled into the pond below.  As soon as he was close enough, he craned his neck to look down.  Amused that he was being careful not to get too close, Richie began to think that TJ might be a little afraid of heights.  Seeing an opportunity to repay him for twisting his arm earlier, an evil grin spread across his face.  Quietly stepping up behind him, he grabbed him firmly by his upper arms and pushed him to the very edge.  His suspicions about TJ's acrophobia were quickly confirmed when he gasped, his body tensing with a rush of adrenaline as he tried desperately to push himself back.  This stunt had an unexpected bonus for Richie as he felt TJ's ass press firmly against his package.

"Oh God, Rich!  Back up, man, we're gonna fall!"

"Ya think?" asked Richie, maintaining a firm grip on his friend.  "I told you paybacks were a bitch.  Now say your sorry for twisting my arm."

"OK, I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!  Now please, back up!" pleaded TJ.

"Promise you'll never fuck with me again?"

"Yes, I promise.  I'll never fuck with you again."

"OK," said Richie, stepping back as he loosened his grip.

When TJ quickly moved further away from the edge before sitting down, Richie saw that he was white as a sheet and shaking like a leaf.  Stepping over to him, he rested a hand on his shoulder.

"Hey, you OK, man?"

"No!" he exclaimed, his irritation evident in his voice.  When Richie continued to look worried, he went on,  "Yeah, I'm OK," the irritation was now replaced with a resigned embarrassment.  "Gees, Rich, you scared the shit outa me, man.  That's a long way down from here."

"What, that little drop?  Shit, man, that ain't no more than twenty feet, tops.  Me and Lindy dove off it yesterday.  I've been off diving towers higher than that.  Besides, the water under it's so deep you'd never hit bottom, anyway."

"Yeah?  Well, it sure looked high to me."

"Sorry.  I didn't think it'd freak you out so much.  I wouldn't have let you fall, ya know."

"That's good to hear."  Then, after a short pause, he said, "I spose you think I'm a big wuss now, huh?"

"No.  Why would I think that?  Just cause I scared the shit out of you?  If somebody I barely knew did that to me, I'd be a little freaked myself.  So don't worry about it."  After giving TJ's shoulder a reassuring squeeze, Richie moved closer to the edge for a better view of the pond.  "C'mon over here, man, ya sure as hell won't be able to see any deer from where you're sitting."

Crawling on his hands and knees to where Richie was sitting, TJ once again craned his neck to look down.  "It still looks awful high to me.  Course, if I were a diver I suppose it wouldn't."

"Lindy isn't a diver, and it didn't bother him any."

Sitting cross-legged, Indian style, just close enough for an unobstructed view of the pond, TJ began to relax.  "You and Lindy are pretty tight, huh?"

"Well, yeah.  Like I told you before, we're best buds.  Kinda like you and Brian, I guess."

After a short pause, not quite sure of himself, TJ asked, "So, is Lindy gay?"

"Lindy?!  Hell no!  He's straight as they come... sexually frustrated, but definitely straight.  Why?"

"Um, I don't know... just curious, I guess.  You're not though, right?"

"What?  Straight?" asked Richie with a grin.

"No," said TJ with a smile at the corners of his mouth. "Sexually frustrated."

This question caught Richie a little off-guard.  Since TJ already knew he was gay he decided that honesty was the best policy.  So, without elaborating, he said, "I guess I've been pretty lucky as far as sex goes.  How bout you?  You gettin any?"

"Me?  Well my picture's in the dictionary next to the word `virgin' if that tells you anything.  So, you like have a boyfriend?"  Again, TJ's voice was quiet and tentative, sounding as if he wasn't sure he should be asking these questions.

"Nope.  I did for a while, but now I'm like totally unattached."  When TJ didn't reply, Richie went on in an effort to keep the conversation alive.  "So, you sayin you've never even messed around with anybody?  You know?  Like when you were a kid?"

This question caused TJ to become visibly nervous.  Not wanting a reoccurrence of last night's scene, Richie quickly decided to back off.  "You don't have to answer if ya don't want to... it's just that you kinda brought it up, is all."

"I know," said TJ while he gazed out over the pond, "and I really want to tell you about it, too.  See, I've never known anyone who's gay before, so I think you'd understand what I've been going through.  And you're like so easy to talk to, ya know?  Up till now, Brian's the only one I've ever known that I could talk to about personal stuff, so to answer your question, yeah, I did... sort of.  But it's kind of a long story with a really bad ending."

"Hey, I'm not goin anywhere.  So tell me about it."

"OK, but this has got to be just between me and you, OK?"

"My lips are sealed, dude.  So what happened?"

"Well, first of all, it was with Brian.  Now ya gotta know somethin up front... Brian's straight as an arrow, OK?  The only reason we did anything at all is because I made him... well, I didn't exactly force him to, but it was my fault we did it.  I like took advantage of him... of our friendship.

"Anyway, we were spending the weekend at his grandpa's farm about a month ago.  I don't know how it all got started, but we were hangin out in his grandpa's hayloft just shooting the shit when we started to talk about sex stuff.  That's when I told him that I liked... you know..."

"Guys?" interrupted Richie.

"Yeah," answered TJ, flushing slightly.  "So, we're like talkin, and before I knew it I was asking him if I could feel his dick.  I don't even know why I did it.  I was pretty sure he was straight, but I asked him anyway.  Shit, man, he could've gotten pissed at me and told me to fuck off, ya know?  But he didn't.  Instead he said sure, go ahead.  Kinda surprised me.

"Anyway, I started to feel him through his shorts.  That's all I was gonna do, too, until I felt him getting hard.  Well, he had to be liking it, right?  I mean he got really hard, really fast.  Course, I was already hard, but when I felt him getting stiff, I really got horny.  That's when I wanted to do more... you know, feel him without his shorts in the way.  I tried slipping my hand down his pants, but they were too tight so I just went back to feeling him through his shorts.  Well, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I wanted to get a better feel, so being the friend Brian is, he stood up and pulled his pants down.  Just like that he was standing there waving his boner at me.  Oh, man, I thought I was gonna die when he did that.  I was so surprised that all I could do was stare at it.  That's when he said, `Go ahead, feel it.'

"I couldn't believe it, Rich.  I mean it all happened so fast, and he was like so willing for me to do it.  So, I felt him... I mean, I felt him all over... his dick, his balls, between his legs... I even reached behind his legs to feel his ass.  That's when he said something that like totally blew me away."

Richie's dick began to stiffen soon after TJ started his story, but now it was so uncomfortable that he had to make an adjustment.  Smiling at this, TJ made a similar adjustment to his own rising member.

"So what did he say?" asked Richie, anticipation sparkling in his eyes.

"He asked me if I wanted to suck it.  I never even thought about that before... never.  As soon as he asked me, though, I knew I wanted to do it... I mean I really wanted to do it."  Suddenly, a sadness came over TJ's face as once again he looked out over the pond.  "That's when all hell broke loose.  Just when I opened my mouth to do it, his grandpa walked in and caught us."

There was a long pause while TJ gathered his thoughts.  Richie could tell this was getting increasingly difficult for him, so he waited patiently.  When his silence became a little too drawn out, and he appeared to be getting even more uncomfortable, he was about to tell him to forget it when TJ continued in a much quieter voice.

"It was awful, Rich.  He yelled and screamed at us... called us fags and queers, and just about every other bad name in the book.  Said we were gonna burn in hell for what we did.  Finally, he told me to get off his property and to never come back... plus he said that if I ever messed with his grandson again he'd beat the shit out of me.

"Man, I was like so scared I left my bike, my back-pack, everything, and ran all the way home.  And when I got there, I bawled my eyes out.  I don't think I cried so much since I was a little kid.  I knew I did something really bad, and now I was going to go to hell for it.  The worst part of it was that I'd gotten Brian into trouble, too, and it wasn't even his fault - he was just being my friend.

"Anyway, Brian called me the next morning and asked me to meet him at McCarthy's.  I just knew he was gonna tell me that he didn't want to hang out with me anymore, and I couldn't blame him for feeling that way.  Like who would want to hang out with someone who would do somethin like what I did.  Well, I got to McCarthy's first because he had to come all the way from Pine City, and when I saw him pull up in his brother's truck I almost shit.  The first thing I saw was my bike in the back, so I knew his brother had to know what happened.  And from the look on his face, I was sure he was gonna kill me.  I almost peed my pants I was so scared.

"I still can't hardly believe it, but it didn't happen that way at all.  All Steve did was tell us not to worry about what we did... that it was just experimenting... it was just something that all kids our age did.  I must've looked like an idiot sitting there cause I was so surprised.  Then he said that even though there was nothin wrong with what we did, getting caught, especially by his grandpa, was not very cool and that we should be more careful the next time.  Can you believe it, Rich?  He actually said we should be more careful next time.  Then he just got up and went to wait in his truck so me and Brian could talk.  Tell the truth, I think he thought the whole thing was funny cause he had this shit eating grin on his face when he left.

"Well, I sure as hell didn't think it was funny.  As soon as he went back to his truck, I started to cry again.  That's when I found out how good of a friend Brian really is.  He was so cool about it, ya know?  He told me not to worry about it... he said his parents thought the same way Steve did, so nothing would come of it and my secret would be safe.  Man, you got no idea how relieved I was to hear him say that.  Not only that, but just before he left he said we should take his brother's advice and be more careful next time.  Just like that, he said it... like nothing ever happened.  That was about the nicest thing anyone ever said to me, Rich.  I don't mean what he said so much as how he said it, and the fact that he said it at all.  I'm know I'm probably not explaining this so good, but who but a really good friend would say something like that to a dude like me that just got him into a shit load of trouble?"

Richie's heart went out to TJ.  Reflecting back to when he and Lindy jacked each other off, he wondered what would have happened if they'd been caught.

"So, did ya?  Ever do it again, I mean?"

"No.  I spose there's been lots of times when we could have, but I never asked him again and he's never volunteered.  I was thinkin that we were like really lucky that time, and that even though what I did was wrong, that maybe God wouldn't send me to hell after all.  You know, because I didn't know it was so bad, if I didn't do it again that maybe he'd forgive me.  Like that was a warning or something."

"That's what you think?  That being attracted to boys is bad?  That it's like some terrible sin or something?"

"Well, yeah.  Don't you?  Brian's grandpa's a pretty religious man.  He like reads the bible all the time, so I figure he's gotta know what he's talkin about, right? "

"No!" exclaimed Richie.  "I think his grandpa's a bible-thumping religious bigot.  God, I hate people like that!  They take two or three out of a bazillion or so passages in the bible, then twist 'em around just to support their beliefs.  Then they go around spouting them off like they were God's own personal messengers.  He's just a closed-minded, loud-mouthed idiot, so don't listen to him, TJ.  He's totally wrong, and that's all there is to it."

"I don't know, man."

"TJ, what you did wasn't wrong, man.  What you feel for other guys isn't wrong, either.  What Steve told you was way more right than what Brian's grandpa said.  When a dude gets to be our age, our hormones like take over our bodies.  That's when we start thinkin about sex.  I mean we start thinkin about it a lot and..."

TJ smiled a little as he cut Richie off.  "I know about puberty, Rich.  I am fifteen, ya know."  When he saw the exasperated look on Richie's face, he realized he wasn't in the mood for jokes, so he became serious again.  "Aren't we supposed to be thinkin about girls, though?  That's where I get so confused.  That's why I keep thinkin that maybe there's somethin wrong with me cause I'm always thinkin about guys."

"That's what I'm trying to tell you TJ.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with you, or about how you think about guys.  It's just as natural as a straight dude thinkin about girls.  Hell, some dudes even think about both, and there's nothin wrong about that, either."

After a short pause while TJ thought about this, he said, "You seem to know a lot about this stuff, Rich.  Are you like some kind of authority on teenage sex or somethin?"

"No!  Not at all... but at least I've done some research on it.  See, when I found out that I was attracted to guys, I was confused and scared just like you.  That's when I started to look stuff up on the Internet.  And trust me, man, there's a lot of good information out there - and I'm not just talkin about porn, either.  Now I'm not sayin that everything I've read is right - like why some people are gay and some aren't - cause I just don't know for sure.  And there's still a hell of a lot more for me to learn, but at least I'm forming my own opinions based on what I can find.  I'll never listen to someone like Brian's grandpa, and you shouldn't, either.  Course, there's another thing that's helped me a lot, and that's having some good friends that I can trust and that understand what I'm going through."

When TJ looked puzzled at this, Richie went on to explain.  "Yeah, man, what I'm still going through.  I'm still in the closet, ya know."

"What's that mean, `in the closet'?"

"Whoa, you really do have a lot to learn, bro.  In the closet means that no one knows I'm gay.  Well, except for those few close friends I mentioned.  The point I'm tryin to make is, just like me, you have a lot to learn about who you are and what it's gonna mean for you.  And if ya don't learn it - if you listen to assholes like Brian's grandpa, instead - you're never gonna be happy with yourself.

"Look, I know I sound like a dad now, preaching and shit, but I do know a little something about what it means to be gay.  I know this is a dumb question, but you do have a computer, don't ya?  And you know how to use it, right?"


"Cool.  When I get back, I'll send you some stuff.  I won't send you everything I have, cause there's like way too much, but I will send you enough links and shit to get you started.  Besides, I think you should look up most of this yourself so you can form your own opinions instead of just taking my word for it."

"Cool.  Thanks, man, I was gonna ask you if you would."  Then, with a devilish grin, he asked, "Do you, um, like have any of that porn you were talkin about?"

Smiling when he thought about some of the pictures he'd found, and the stories he'd read, he said, "I might, but don't get all hung up on lookin at porn, TJ.  I know I'm sounding like a dad again, but this is important for you.  In the mean time, forget about Brian's grandpa.  He's so full of shit his eyes are brown."

"Yeah, well he does have sort of a bad rep for getting drunk and shooting his mouth off, that's for sure."

"Yeah?  So did he ever say anything to anyone besides Brian's parents?"

"I don't think so, but only because Brian's his grandson.  If it wasn't for that, you can bet your ass he would have told everyone in the county by now.  He hates my guts now... he thinks I'm some faggot queer that tried to turn his grandson queer.  I know he's like called me names and shit behind my back when he's drunk, but I'm not too worried about that.  He runs his drunken mouth so much that nobody really takes him seriously.  Besides, everyone around here thinks I'm just a trouble-maker, anyway, so fuck him - calling me a few names ain't gonna make things any worse."

"What a fucking asshole!" said Richie, anger evident in his voice.  "Did your parents find out?"

"I don't know for sure cause they never said anything to me about it, but it's possible that Brian's parents told them.  Tell the truth, I got a feeling that they must have.  I think that's why my mom is so set on me going out with Cheryl Anne.  If you knew my parents, Rich, you'd know how they're all about image.  I don't think they would really care if I was gay or not, they just don't want anyone else to think that I am.  I know how that might sound - what's the word for it - shallow?  Still, they're really pretty cool as far as parents go.  I think they really do want what's best for me, they just don't show it all that much."

Both boys remained silent for a long few minutes, each thinking about TJ's story.  It was TJ who finally broke the quiet.  "You remember that old dude we saw in the boat yesterday?"

"Yeah," said Richie, looking up to meet TJ's eyes.

"He's Brian's grandpa, and the kid that was with him is his cousin."

"No shit?!  Well that explains a few things.  What a fucking asshole!  Maybe we should punch a few holes in his boat or somethin.  Teach that fucker a lesson."

This actually caused TJ to chuckle before speaking seriously again.  "Don't think I haven't thought about doin something like that.  But you know what?  It's what you said in the boat yesterday that made me decide not to."

"Really?  Like what?"

"When you told me I didn't have to show off and do stupid things to get attention.  That's when I figured that doin anything to get back at him would be totally stupid.  For sure he'd know it was me, and that would just piss him off more, which would make him shoot off his mouth more.  So I decided just to forget it."

"Yeah, you're probably right to do that.  It just pisses me off that some people can be so hateful."  After a short pause, Richie added, "Are you sure that Brian's straight?"

"Oh yeah, no doubt about that.  Why?"

"Something he said to me on the fourth at McCarthy's had me wondering, is all.  It wasn't anything specific about being gay, but I got the impression that he got pissed off at the Boy Scouts over their attitude about allowing gays to join.  I kinda got the idea that's why he quit."

"Oh, that.  Yeah, that is why he quit, but not because he's gay.  It's because they kicked his scoutmaster out for being gay.  I never met him myself, but Brian used to talk about him all the time.  Said he was really cool and taught him a lot a stuff.  So, when they found out he was gay and kicked him out, Brian went ballistic and quit.  >From what I heard, he raised a lot of hell when he did, too.  That's how Brian is, ya know?  When somebody he likes and respects gets fucked-over, he takes it real personal like."

"I can understand that, for sure.  I guess I'm kinda the same way, especially when it comes to prejudice against gays."  After another short pause, he said,  "Can I ask you somethin?"

"Sure, go ahead."

"Was it because of what Brain's grandpa said that you didn't want to do anything with me last night?"

"Yeah, well that was part of it, I guess.  See, that's what's been drivin me crazy.  Even though I thought it would be way wrong to do it, I still wanted to... and really bad.  It's like even though his grandpa scared the shit out of me, and convinced me that what I felt about other guys was wrong, I couldn't stop doin it.  After getting caught with Brian, though, I was afraid we'd get caught, too - especially with all those other guys around.  It seems like every time I do something I'm not supposed to, I get busted, so I guess that's the biggest reason.  The rest of it is kind of embarrassing, but since I've never done anything like that before, I was afraid I'd look like an idiot.  You know, cause I was afraid I wouldn't know what to do - then you'd laugh at me or somethin."  After a short pause, he added, "I guess it all turned out for the best, though."

"What d'ya mean by that?"

"Aw, nothin... forget it."

"Whoa, dude, you can't be doin that to me.  C'mon, man, you just told me some very personal shit here, so why stop now?  Is it something about me?  Something I said, or did?"

"No, not exactly," said TJ beginning to fidget again, "but it's like so embarrassing, and I just know you're gonna get pissed at me if I tell you."

"Whoa!" said Richie.  "Now for sure you gotta tell me.  C'mon, dude, out with it.  What?"

"OK.  I'm glad we didn't do... whatever... cause I know you're already hooked up with someone else."

"TJ, I already told you..."

"I know what you told me, Rich," interrupted TJ.  "But I know better, OK?"  Speaking in a lower voice while he looked down at the ground between his legs, TJ went on, "I know about you and Jacobson."

"What the hell do you mean, you know about me and Jacobson?"

Looking Richie in the eyes this time, guilt creeping into his voice, TJ said, "I saw you guys last night.  I didn't mean to, I swear... I mean, it wasn't as if I was spying on you or anything, but I saw what you were doing on the dock."

When Richie was about to say something, TJ rushed on, "Now before you punch me out, ya gotta know that I'm sorry I did it... really, I am... but I swear it was an accident.  What happened was I couldn't sleep cause I was thinking about how you... well... what you wanted to do.  I couldn't get it out of my head.  Lying next to Daryl didn't help any, either.  I mean you saw what I saw earlier, right?"

"Oh yeah, I saw alright... and I saw what it did to you, too.  Why do ya think I hit on you?  I mean c'mon... dude... we were both hard as a rock when we left the cabin, right?"

"Yeah, I kinda figured that was why.  Anyway, him being so hot lookin, and so close, and me being so horny, I almost felt him up while he was lying there passed out.  I could've done it, too, ya know, and he'd have never known the difference.  Then I thought about you again.  I knew you hadn't come in yet, so I decided go back down and see if you still wanted to mess around.  That's when I saw you and Jacobson on the dock."

"So what exactly did you see, anyway, TJ?" asked Richie, not at all angry, but actually excited by the thought that someone saw them.

"Everything.  It was kinda dark without the light on, but I saw you..."  his voice trailed off.

"Saw me what?" asked Richie with a huge grin on his face.

"Oh, man, I saw you suckin his dick, OK?  I know I shoulda gone back inside, but I just couldn't make myself do it.  It's as if... aw shit, I knew it was wrong, but I just couldn't keep myself from watching.  Anyway, what I'm trying to say with all this is that it was obvious that you and him have a relationship goin on, so it's better that me and you didn't do anything."

When Richie continued to smile without responding, TJ asked, "Are you pissed at me?  Cause if you are, you sure got a funny way of showing it."

"Nah, I'm not pissed, bro.  Actually, I think it's pretty hot.  But just to let you know, me and Kyle are not a couple... and since this conversation is a private one, I'll tell you that we used to be, but we're not anymore.  He's my next best friend after Lindy, and more like a big brother to me than anything else... and yeah, we still have sex with each other, but no way are we a couple anymore."

"No shit?"

"No shit.  We decided it would be best for both of us if we weren't in a committed relationship.  Matter of fact, neither one of us wants to be in one with anyone right now."  When TJ smiled as he looked down at the ground again, Richie quizzed him on it.  "What?"

"So Jacobson's gay, huh?"

"Yeah, but this is strictly between you and me.  Except for Kevin and Lindy, no one else knows, OK?  Those three guys are the close friends I was telling you about.  They're the only ones that know that both me and Kyle are gay."

"Oh, for sure.  No problem, man.  I was just thinking how I'd never have guessed it in a million years.  Just proves that ya can't always tell a book by its cover."

"True that," said Richie.  "So, what did ya think?  About what you saw, I mean?"

With a huge grin on his face, and a twinkle in his eye, TJ looked up and said, "It was fucking hot, man!  God, it was hot.  Why d'ya think I couldn't stop watching.  Shit, man, by the time you were done, I was so turned on I had to stop at the bathroom to beat off.  I just finished doin it when you guys walked in."

"Whoa, that is so cool," laughed Richie as he grabbed his knees and rolled onto his back.  Rather than sit up again, he continued to lie there smiling with his knees raised, his arms stretched out above his head, and his stiff dick pressing against the inside of his cutoffs.  "Damn, I almost wish I'd known you were there.  I know this is gonna sound weird, but lately I've been thinking how it would be kind of a rush to put on a show like that for someone.  And now, just knowin that you saw us, I'm beginning to think I was right.  Hell, my dick is hard right now just thinkin about it."

"So I noticed.  That is kinda weird, though.  I mean, like doin it while someone else is watchin?"

"Yeah, but I don't know if I could actually do it.  It's one thing to think it's hot after the fact, but I don't know if I could do anything like that if I knew someone was actually watching me.  You know, like if they were in the same room with me or something.  Maybe I could do it if I knew they were watching, but they didn't know I knew."

"So for sure you're not pissed at me?" asked TJ.

Lowering his knees to stretch out flat on the hard rock surface, Richie grinned up at TJ while he massaged his dick through the cotton of his shorts.  "If I were pissed, do you think my dick would be as hard as this?"

When TJ stared at Richie's hand as he massaged the bulge within his cutoffs, a powerful yearning began to spread through his body.

Seeing this in his eyes, Richie's own desires prompted his encouragement.  "Go ahead, man," he said in a quiet, seductive voice, barely louder than a whisper.  "No way is anyone gonna catch us up here."

With his dick leaking into his shorts, TJ hesitated for only a moment before tentatively reaching out to Richie.  Impatient and unable to control himself any longer, Richie gently wrapped his fingers around TJ's wrist and pulled his hand to his throbbing member.  Closing his eyes, he sighed with pleasure when he pressed TJ's open palm firmly against the denim of his cutoffs.