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 6: The 4th of July

"I hate to break up this up," said Kevin, returning the nozzle to its place on the gas pump, "but we oughta move outa the way of the gas pumps and let someone else in here."

"Good point," said Kyle, noticing a few boats waiting patiently for them to finish. "Jump in, Steve, and ride over to the other dock with us."

"Sure," said Steve. "By the way, this is my brother, Brian. Brian, you remember Kyle don't ya? And this is Rich, and I guess I haven't met these other guys yet."

"Oh, sorry," said Kyle. "This is Lindy, a friend of Rich's from back home, and you should remember Kevin here, he used to come up with me a lot when we were kids."

"Hey, Lindy," said Steve as they shook hands. Then, turning to Kevin he held out his hand while he thought for a moment before smiling his recognition.

"Kevin? Hell yes, I remember you now. Whoa, you've grown, dude. How ya been?"

"Good, Steve. I guess we've both grown since it's been six or seven years since we've seen each other."

After shaking Steve's hand, Kevin turned back to Kyle. "OK, then, I'll meet you guys over at the other docks after I pay for the gas."

Immediately after saying this, Kevin turned to leave the dock before Kyle had a chance to insist on using his credit card. Although Kyle had no particularly telling expression on his face, both Richie and Lindy knew he felt beaten at the money game this time, and it caused them to smile at each other.

"Gotcha, bro," said Richie, as he playfully punched Kyle in the shoulder.

This action did get a smile out of Kyle, but it also caused him to begin to think of a way to regain the lead in this friendly battle over who pays for what.

When Steve and Brian were settled in the boat, Kyle eased it away from the dock, then pointed it toward the end of the beach to find a parking spot as far away from the rest of the boats as possible.  While they slowly cruised toward the arcade end of the beach, Richie proceeded to ask Steve if he'd heard anything more about TJ.

"So, Steve, any word on how TJ's doin?"

"I haven't heard anything, but Brian might know."

"Say what?" asked Brian, hearing his name mentioned but not Richie's original question.

"Rich was asking about TJ. You called the hospital, didn't ya?"

"Um, yeah, I did," said Brian, sounding somewhat embarrassed and looking down at his feet, "They said he'll be OK."

It was obvious to Richie that Brian had more than a casual interest in TJ's condition by the fact that he called the hospital. What intrigued Richie more, though, was the slight embarrassment he seem to feel when it was brought up. Checking out his body again, he decided he definitely wanted to get to know him better, as well as find out more about TJ. But, since Kyle was already pulling the boat alongside the dock where they would tie it up for the day, he decided to wait for a more appropriate time.

"Alright!" exclaimed Kyle after he shut the motor off, "This is it and here we are. So, Steve, you guys got a spot staked out somewhere or are you two just wandering around like nomads?"

"Oh yeah, we staked our claim on a fire pit at the back of the picnic grounds as soon as we got here. Why don't you guys grab your stuff and put it up there with ours?"

"Aren't your parents gonna be here? We don't want to muscle-in on anybody's family thing."

"Nah, don't worry about it, man. They're already here, but they hooked up with some friends of theirs who have a spot closer to the bar. So we won't bother them, and they won't bother us, if ya know what I mean."

"Is this spot of yours kinda out of the way?" asked Kyle, a conspiratorial grin on his face.

"You know it, bro," said Steve, returning Kyle's smile, "I made sure to get one where we could do anything we want, and no one will be the wiser."

"Sounds perfect to me. What d'ya say guys?"

Everyone smiled knowingly, then nodded their agreement as they began to gather up their belongings.

Steve's description of their chosen fire pit was accurate in every way. It was located at the very back edge of the picnic grounds with a few scattered pine trees on each side, and the denser forest directly behind. It was probably the worst place of all for watching the fireworks because of the trees that blocked the view, but that didn't matter since they planned to watch the show from the boat. What it did provide, and quite nicely, too, was privacy. It would allow them to relax, drink beer, and even smoke some weed without being observed. Not only that, but the woods directly behind them would make the perfect place to relieve themselves rather than make the hundred-plus yard trip to the nearest portable toilet.

They quickly set up their lawn chairs to face the lake in a semicircle around the back of the stone-lined fire pit, then set the cooler where everyone would have easy access to it. When Kevin joined them a few minutes later, he noticed that no one had a beer in his hands, so he went directly to the cooler. After accepting a beer from him, Kyle eased himself into a chair next to Steve.

"Good job, man, this is the perfect spot."

"Thought you'd like it," said Steve.

Looking up at Kevin who continued to distribute the beer, Lindy shoved his can into a styrofoam cool cup. "What're the damages?" he asked.

"Forty bucks, so that's ten bucks apiece," said Kevin as he smiled over at Kyle.

Before Kyle had a chance to react, Richie and Lindy each took a ten dollar bill from their wallet and handed it to Kevin.  Accepting the fact the he was totally beaten at the money game, Kyle gave Kevin a smile along with his own gas fund contribution.

Seeing an opportunity to talk with Brian, Richie took two beers from Kevin, shoved them both into cool cups, then handed one to Brian as he sat down next to him.

"So, Kyle tells me you guys live in Pine City... how old are ya?"

"Fifteen. I'll be a sophomore at Pine City High this fall... If we're still living here that is."

"Oh, you planning on moving?" asked Richie.

"Aw, nothin's for sure yet, but my dad wants a better job, so he's been checking around down in the city."

"Cool," said Richie, "I mean, the city ain't so bad. There's a lot worse places to live. So, what all did they tell you when you called the hospital?"

"Oh, just that TJ regained consciousness in the ambulance, and that he had a slight concussion and suffered from mild hypothermia. They said it wasn't too serious, but they wanted to run few tests and keep him overnight for observation."

"Well, that's good to hear. Do you know him very well?"

This last question seemed to make Brian uncomfortable, and before he answered, he took a drink from his beer, then fidgeted nervously in his chair while looking down at the ground by his feet.

"Yeah, well, I guess I know him as well as anybody. I mean, we usually hang around together when he's up here."

After taking another drink from his beer, he looked over at Richie. "How bout you? You were the first one to get to him today, right?"

"Yeah, but there wasn't nothin much I could do for him cause I was by myself on a jet-ski. All I did was make sure his head stayed above water till the rest of the guys got there in the boat."

"Yeah? Well that's a lot more than most of the people around here would do. So, like how do you know him... through Kyle?"

"Well, I really don't know him at all. I mean, Kyle told me who he is and all, and I sorta bumped into him here last night, but I don't know him. I didn't even know it was him on the jet-ski till I got out to him."

After this exchange, Richie was sure there was more to Brian's relationship with TJ than he wanted to let on. He thought that at the very least they were good friends, but since it was obvious that Brian felt uncomfortable talking about it, he decided to let the subject drop.

For the next few minutes they all sat in silence while they drank from their beers. The heat of the day, coupled with the relaxed mood of the boys seemed to make the beer taste especially good, and before Richie knew it, his first can was empty. Just as he was about to get up to fetch another, he saw Lindy stand, toss his empty can into the recycle basket, then turn to face the rest.

"OK, which one of you dudes wants a lesson in how to kick some ass on a video game, huh? How bout you, Kevin? I already got one of your dollars, care to lose another one?"

Kevin quickly accepted Lindy's challenge as he, too, stood to toss his empty can into the basket.

"OK, big mouth, you're on. But like I said last night, we're goin for five bucks this time, and I'm gonna beat ya like I own ya."

"Oooh, I'm like so afraid, man. Anybody else wanna come?"

"Maybe later," said Richie as he tossed his can, then headed for the cooler and a fresh one.

"Nah, me neither," said Kyle, "You guys go ahead, we'll catch up with ya later."

Then, as Kevin and Lindy trudged off in the direction of the arcade, Kyle looked over to Richie who was digging to the bottom of the cooler for the coldest beer.

"Hey, bro, why don't ya get the rest of us one while you're in there."

Richie did as Kyle asked, tossing a fresh beer to everyone, then keeping one for himself before closing the lid on the cooler. The four of them spent the next hour, and a few more beers, talking about life in general, school, sports... the usual stuff. It was during this conversation that Richie learned of Brian's interest in gymnastics, and that he was an avid Vikings fan. He was really warming up to this kid, and after a while, with a few beers under his belt, Brian seemed to become more relaxed and sociable.

Although all four of them were enjoying themselves while they talked, Kyle and Steve were putting away the beer a little faster than the other two. So, around seven o'clock, when Kyle stood to toss his fourth empty into the recycle basket, Richie and Brian were just finishing their third. Opening the cooler in search of his fifth, Kyle grimaced when he looked into it.

"We got a small problem here, guys, we're almost out of beer. Like, we're down to our last two."

"Not to worry, dude," laughed Steve, "I got another case in the truck, all iced down and ready to go."

"All right!" exclaimed a mildly buzzed Kyle, "But first we gotta pass this baby around."

With that, he produced an already rolled, though somewhat flattened joint from his back pocket. Moving back to his chair, Kyle smoothed out the slightly deformed cannabis while Steve dug a lighter out of his pocket. Richie and Brian looked at each other a little apprehensively, then shrugged their shoulders to indicate a `why not' attitude and waited for their turn at the weed. When finally they had reduced the joint to a quarter inch roach, Kyle carefully smothered it in the sand, then returned it to his pocket.

"OK, so who besides me is hungry?"

This question got a good laugh from all three since the marijuana induced munchies had already taken a hold on everyone.

"Well, I gotta plan," said Steve as he stood, swaying slightly to maintain his balance. "Why don't me and Kyle go to the truck to get the beer, then stop off to pick up some brats on the way back? That way, Brian and Rich can stay here and keep an eye on our stuff."

"Works for me," said Kyle, "What d'ya say, Rich?"

"That's cool, just don't take too long, cause we're like starving here."

"Not to worry, bro. The cell phone's next to the cooler in case ya want it, and we'll be back in a flash."

With that, Kyle and Steve were off, leaving Brian and Richie alone.

"What d'ya say we build a fire?" said Richie as he stood and threw his empty in the direction of the basket. "Seems a shame to have a fire pit without a fire in it."

"Good idea," said Brian, draining the last of his beer before pitching the can towards the spot where Richie's landed. "There should be plenty of dead wood in the trees here, but I gotta take a piss first."

"You ain't the only one," said Richie as he joined Brian on his way into the trees.

Once they were a few yards into the woods, they both stopped and began to relieve themselves. Standing side by side, the alcohol, along with Richie's natural curiosity, caused him to be bold enough to glance over at Brian's equipment. He appeared to be about the same size as Richie, though perhaps a little thicker, but what caused Richie eyes to stay riveted to his dick was the fact that he was uncircumcised. `Whoa', he thought to himself as he stared, `two uncut dicks in two days'.

Because of his beer induced boldness, and his fascination with uncircumcised penises, Richie allowed his eyes to rest on Brian's dick a little longer than he should have. Due of the density of the forest the light wasn't very good where they stood, but after a few seconds of staring, Richie thought he saw Brian begin to stroke himself while he pissed. Suddenly realizing that he was staring, he quickly looked up to find Brian looking back at him. Embarrassed that he'd been caught, he fumbled for some sort of explanation as he returned his gaze to the ground in front of him.

"Um, Jesus man, I'm sorry. I uh... I didn't mean to stare like that. I must've been sorta spacing out of somethin."

"Don't worry about it, dude, it don't bother me any," said Brian with a smile as he shook the last drops from the end of his dick before slipping it back into his trunks.

After adjusting the webbing of his swimsuit for comfort, Brian began to move further into the woods in search of firewood. Before he'd gone very far, however, he stopped and turned back to a red-faced Richie.

"Hey, from what I saw, you don't look too bad there yourself, dude."

Richie was dumbfounded, frozen where he stood, his dick hanging out and his piss down to a dribble as he watched Brian move deeper into the woods.

"C'mon, man, shake that bad boy off and help me round up some of this firewood," laughed Brian over his shoulder.

Feeling his cheeks burn with embarrassment, Richie quickly stuffed his still dripping dick into his pants and zipped them up. When he'd regained most of his composure, he began to gather up sticks and small branches from the ground. As he did so, he wondered about what had just happened - more specifically, he wondered about Brian. He was obviously not offended by Richie's staring, and had apparently done some staring of his own. Then there was that comment about Richie not looking too bad there himself. Was Brian hitting on him? As much as he tried to discount these signs as horny and wishful thinking, a byproduct of the beer and weed he'd consumed, he couldn't make himself stop wondering about them.

Unable to distinguish between the fantasy and the reality of the situation, by the time he'd gathered an armload of firewood, his dick was hard as a post. Since he wasn't wearing underwear, he enjoyed the feeling he got when it rubbed against the fabric of his cutoffs, easily positioning itself up and to the right. Looking down at it past the firewood, he knew he had to think of something else to give it time to deflate or it would be quite visible to Brian when he returned. He didn't want to give in totally to what he was sure were drug induced fantasies, yet these same drugs made him feel bold enough to want to see if Brian might be hinting at something. After a moment of further consideration, he thought `fuck it'. With a smile on his lips, he casually moved from the trees to the fire pit with both his arms and his pants full of wood.

"Whoa, nice load of wood," said Brian with a smile that gave Richie no clue as to which wood he was referring. "I was beginning to think you got lost or somethin, and I'd have to come to the rescue."

"Nah," said Richie, "I just wanted to make sure I had as much as I could carry, is all. Saves trips that way."

"Cool," said Brian as he fished the last two beers from the cooler. "So pile it on, dude, and let's crank this puppy up."

Richie did exactly that, unceremoniously dropping the entire bundle into the fire pit. Moving next to him, Brian shook his head as he handed Richie a beer while looking down at the tangled pile of branches and small logs.

"Whoa, man, didn't the Boy Scouts teach you any better'n that?"

"What Boy Scouts?" said Richie, "I was never a Boy Scout."

"Well, that explains it," said Brian as he knelt down to rearrange the pile.

"I spose you were," said Richie as he watched. "In the Boy Scouts, I mean. Or are you still in them?"

"Nah, not any more... but I was, up until last summer."

As he watched Brian arrange the wood into what was probably a textbook correct pile, he found that the more he learned about him the more he liked him. Remembering how shy he seemed earlier, he wondered if maybe it just took him a little time to feel comfortable after meeting new people, or if it was the beer and weed that brought him out of his shell.

Richie's dick was back to its flaccid state now, no longer causing a visible bulge in his cutoffs. He was pretty sure that Brian had seen it when he came out of the woods - he would have had to be blind to miss it - but the only thing he said was something about a nice load of wood. Convincing himself that Brian's remark was in reference to the wood he carried in his arms, he decided that he must have misread his previous comments as well. Thinking about this, he felt a little foolish that he'd tried to bait him. He was also thankful that he hadn't made any overt remarks of his own. Somewhat disappointed, but relieved at the same time, he sat back in his chair to watch as Brian finished building the fire. When he was satisfied that the wood was stacked the way he wanted, Brian stood and began checking through his pockets.

Assuming he was searching for some matches, Richie asked, "How bout using flint and steel, Boy Scout?"

"Exactly what I had in mind," laughed Brian as he produced a cigarette lighter.

After only a few seconds of holding the flame under the smaller sticks at the bottom of the pile, they caught fire and began to feed on themselves. Sooner than Richie expected, Brian pocketed his lighter and sat back in the chair next to him. As both boys watched in silence, almost hypnotized by the flickering flames, the tiny blaze gradually grew into the perfect fire. It wasn't a large fire, but a small one designed for ambiance rather than heat.

"That was fucking amazing, man."

"What's that, Rich?"

"The fire, dude. Shit, if I'd a built it, I'd still be trying to get it lit... and when I did get it lit, it'd probably be too big and too hot to sit by. Is that what they teach you in the Boy Scouts?"

"Yeah... well, that and prejudice and hate."

Richie snapped his head around in surprise when Brian said this. He didn't say anything, but just stared at him in wonder. He had, of course, heard about the Boy Scouts of America and the ongoing battle in the media over their stand on homosexuality. He knew all about how they refused to admit gays to their organization, either as members or as leaders, but he'd never talked to anyone who was personally involved. It seemed obvious that this was exactly what Brian was referring to in his answer.

Richie was very sensitive to gay-related issues. This sensitivity, coupled with the fact that Brian had quit the Boy Scouts only last summer, made him more than mildly curious. Just before he could ask him about it, however, he heard voices coming from the direction of McCarthy's. As the owners of the voices drew closer, he recognized them as belonging to Kyle and Steve, returning from their beer and bratwurst run. Somewhat irritated by the timing of their return, he put his many questions on hold as he stood to greet them.

"Bout time you guys got back. We're hungry and we're out of beer."

"Chill, Rich, we didn't forget ya," said Kyle.

Even before Kyle and Steve had time to set the cooler down, Richie could smell the bratwurst, making his stomach growl and his mouth water with anticipation.

"Nice fire," said Steve. "I'm guessing that Brian built it, right?"

"Can't get anything past you, can we, Steve," said Brian.

Hearing this, Richie couldn't tell if it was a sign of some hidden tension between them or just normal brother to brother banter. Weaving slightly as he opened his fifth beer, he realized he was pretty buzzed. After misreading Brian's intentions earlier, he decided to put all of his questions on hold and stop looking for hidden meanings. For the rest of the night he would be content to simply enjoy himself and the company of his friends. After all, he already had enough on his mind without overanalyzing everything and risk either misinterpreting it or overloading his brain.

As the sun set and the sky began to darken, the four boys sat quietly watching the fire while they sipped on fresh beer and ate their bratwurst.


The arcade was packed wall to wall with kids of all ages. The noise generated by the machines and their operators had become as irritating to Kevin as it was pleasing to McCarthy's management. Dead even at two games apiece after a long battle for supremacy at their favorite game, Kevin pulled Lindy away before he could insert another quarter.

"C'mon, dude, let's get outa here. This place is driving me nuts."

"Aw, man, just one more game to break the tie," pleaded Lindy, sounding more like a little kid than a teenager.

"Nah, the noise is giving me a headache. Besides, we gotta get back before the other guys drink up all the beer. We can always come back here when it's not so busy."

Looking a little dejected at first, Lindy finally shrugged his shoulders in resigned agreement. "OK, but I'm not done with you yet, bro."

Kevin smiled, then ruffled Lindy's hair as they turned toward the front door.

"Excuse me," came a woman's voice from behind them, "aren't you two of the boys that saved TJ's life today?"

The voice belonged to a rather portly, middle aged woman with black hair, wearing just a little too much makeup on a full but charming face. With the exception of the makeup, she reminded Lindy of one of the ladies that worked in the kitchen at the church where his parents were members. Although Kevin and Lindy both turned to face her, it was Kevin who answered.

"Well, not really, ma'am. I mean, I don't think he was in any immediate danger of drowning. We just pulled him out of the water is all. Anybody would have done as much as we did."

"Well, maybe so, but you boys were the ones that did it, and it was a heroic and unselfish thing that you did, too. Your parents should be very proud to have such brave and caring sons."

"Um, thank you, ma'am, but it was nothing, really," said Kevin as he began to blush.

"Well, I think it was special of you, and I just wanted to tell you so."

"Oh, well, thanks again, we appreciate it," said Kevin as he nervously shrugged his shoulders.

"Bullshit," came a loud gruff voice from off to their side, "ya should've let the little faggot drown."

Both Kevin and Lindy twisted their heads in the direction of this new voice, a look of complete shock on their faces.

"George Larson, you hold your tongue you drunken old fool," said the lady, her sweet and gentle voice now sounding like a drill sergeant yelling through a bull horn.

Still in shock, Kevin and Lindy turned back to the lady who gently put her hand on Kevin's arm while she spoke to them in the same sweet voice she'd used before. She was flushed and obviously embarrassed.

"Please forgive my husband, he's had far too much to drink today. You did the right thing and you should be very proud of yourselves."

Then, when she moved away from them to join her husband, she grabbed him by the arm and began to drag him toward the front door. As the two boys watched them leave, they heard the woman severely admonish her husband.

"How dare you say such awful things to those nice boys! Not only did you embarrass me, but you made a complete fool of yourself! If you ever do anything like that again, I'm going to... "

Her voice faded away as they exited the arcade leaving Kevin and Lindy to wonder what the hell had just happened. As they looked around the immediate vicinity, the few people who had witnessed the outburst quickly returned to their own business.

"C'mon, Lindy, let's get the hell outa here."

Quickly leaving the arcade to begin their trek back to the fire pit, their minds were filled with confusion over what had just taken place.

"What d'ya think that was all about?" asked Lindy.

"I don't know, man, but it looks like somebody's got issues with TJ. A very drunk somebody."

"Yeah, well that's a pretty sure bet. I'm just glad Kyle and Rich weren't here to see it.'

"You and me both, bro," said Kevin.

When they were midway between McCarthy's and where the rest of their friends were partying, Kevin stopped them.

"What? You forget somethin?" asked Lindy.

"No, but I was just thinkin about what you just said, about being glad that Kyle and Rich weren't with us. I mean, I know Kyle, and I've seen him go off on somebody for a lot less than what that asshole said. Like it could have turned real ugly in there, especially if Rich were with us, too."

"Yeah, you're right about that... so what's your point?"

"My point is, let's not tell them what happened... at least not tonight, anyway. I know they're gonna be pretty buzzed by now, and I don't want to say anything to upset the applecart... if ya know what I mean."

"Ah, gotcha, bro. My lips are sealed. Shit, I remember when Rich went postal last winter and that's something I wouldn't care to see again. And I sure as hell wouldn't want to have to get in the way of both of 'em if they decided to go on a head-hunt for that guy."

"Well, it probably wouldn't come to that, but it sure as hell could ruin a good party."

Once they were in agreement not to mention the incident, the two boys continued on to rejoin their friends. When they arrived at the fire pit, they found everyone to be a little drunk. Even though they were joking around with each other and having fun, they weren't making enough noise to attract any unwanted attention. Smiling at the sight, Kevin went to the cooler to pull out a couple of beers for himself and Lindy. Since the rest of the crew was pretty hammered, he decided once again to assume the duties of designated driver, and not overdo the alcohol. Lindy, on the other hand, was determined to catch up with Richie and Brian, and began to drink his beer in earnest.

"So, Lindy?" asked Kyle. "Who's the master of the video games, you or Hatch?"

"Neither," said Lindy. "We're tied at two games apiece, but we were afraid you guys would drink up all the beer, so we took a break. I'll get him later, though, and that's for real."

"You guys get anything to eat?" asked Richie, stuffing the last of his bratwurst into his mouth.

"Yeah," said Lindy. "We had some brats before we went into the arcade, and they were outstanding."

Opening his beer, Kevin moved over to where Kyle was sitting and stood next to his chair.

"So, Jake, when is this great fireworks show supposed to start?" he asked as he looked around at the many flickering fires that dotted the picnic grounds.

"I'm not sure," said Kyle. "What d'ya think, Steve, nine-thirty, ten maybe?"

"Yeah, that sounds about right," said Steve as he looked at his watch. "So you guys better figure on staking out your spot on the lake within the next half hour or so."

"Stake out our spot on the lake?" asked Richie. "Dude, like that's a big lake out there. Why would we need to get a spot?"

"True that," said Kyle. "But there's gonna be a lot of other boats out there, too... and a lot of the fireworks go off at lake level, so we don't wanna be too far away." Then to Steve he asked, "You guys are coming with us, right?"

"Are we invited?"

"Well duh! Course you're invited," said Kyle as he reached over and punched Steve in the thigh. "The more the merrier. Matter of fact, why don't you guys come back to the cabin with us after. We got plenty of beer left to drink, so there's no point in stopping the party now. Hell, you might as well crash there, too. The couch opens up to a pretty comfy bed, so there's plenty of room. Then we can bring ya back to your truck in the morning. C'mon, what d'ya say, bro? The night's still young!"

"I don't know," said Steve. "What d'ya think, Bri? You up for some more partying?"

"Sounds good to me," said Brian with a shrug as he casually poked at his fire with a stick.

"All right!" exclaimed Kyle.

Struggling to get out of his chair, Kyle stood uneasily, weaving slightly as he drained the last of his beer from the can. Tossing the empty over his shoulder, he grinned as he reached into his back pocket.

"But we just gotta do one more of these before we go."

Richie had been watching intently as Kyle convinced Steve to join them for the fireworks. They were both pretty drunk, and it was obvious that they were having a good time together. Now, as Kyle staggered slightly before pulling another joint from his pocket, Richie could see that special sparkle in his eyes, and it made him feel good to see him so happy. Seeing him like this made him feel a little foolish that he was ever the least bit jealous of Steve.

Turning his attention to Brian kneeling by the fire, he began to think that his breakup with Kyle probably was the best thing for them, after all - and that the possibility of them staying friends was very real.

Once the weed was reduced to a roach so small that it burned Kyle's fingers when he took the last hit, they began to police the area. While Brian extinguished the fire, spreading the dying coals out to cool, the rest of them picked up their empties and deposited them in the recycle basket. When they'd finished, they rounded up their belongings and headed for the boat.

When Steve and Kyle stumbled a few times as they struggled with the nearly full cooler, it was pretty obvious who had consumed the most alcohol. The lawn chairs and the empty cooler were distributed evenly among the others, and despite Steve and Kyle's zigzagging, they were soon back at the boat where they stowed everything on board.

The only change in the weather since they had arrived was a shift in the wind direction. It was still a gentle breeze, but it came in from the northwest now, carrying with it the refreshing scent of pine. A nearly full moon was on the rise, and as it joined the millions of stars in the crystal clear sky, it bathed the lake in a soft glow.

None of the boys talked much as Kevin captained the boat away from McCarthy's, each seeming content with his own thoughts. As they got further away from shore, they looked back to see the many boats that were parked there begin to move like an armada toward the open water.

"Whoa," said Lindy. "Look at all the boats, man. I'll bet you a buck, Rich, that there's at least one crash before the night's over."

"I'll take that bet," said Brian. "I've been here every year since I was a little kid and amazing as it sounds, in all that time there hasn't been one accident."

"That is amazing... and since I believe you, I hereby rescind my offer of a bet," said Lindy as he fished another beer from the cooler.

Richie smiled as he watched Lindy stagger slightly when he opened his beer. His best friend had always had a great sense of humor, but after he had a few beers in him, he was hilarious.

When they reached the open water at the outer edge of the small flotilla of early arrivals, Steve and Kyle began a friendly argument over the best place to drop anchor. After a few minutes of putting up with their bickering, Kevin suddenly stopped the boat and turned off the motor. Standing up to survey the area, Kyle playfully slapped him on the back.

"Perfect spot, Hatch."

"Yup, exactly where I would have stopped," agreed Steve, getting a chuckle from everyone.

After switching on the running lights for safety, Kevin turned to Richie in the seat next to him. "Hey, Rich, why don't you crawl up front and drop anchor for us?"

"Sure," said Richie as he stood to swing open the small access door cut into the windshield and dashboard.

When he got to the bow of the boat, he checked to make sure the anchor rope was secured to one of the cleats before hefting the anchor overboard.  Having never been in this part of the boat before, he sat down at the bow and stretched his legs out across one of the seats along the side.

"Man, this is really cool up here, Kevin. These seats are pretty comfy, too."

"Cool," said Kevin. "Stay put while I get us a couple a beers and I'll join ya."

After fishing two beers from the cooler, Kevin climbed up to the bow with Richie. Once he'd sat down and stretched his legs out, they found themselves shoulder to shoulder, resting against the same bow cushion.

"Man, this is some beautiful night, ain't it, Rich?"

"Yeah, it is," said Richie. "Kinda like what you read about in those romance novels."

"You read romance novels?" asked Kevin with a grin on his face.

"Fuck no!" exclaimed Richie. "But I've read some gay stories on the Internet that described a setting like this. It's amazing how many more stars you can see in the sky once you get away from the lights of the city."

"Yeah, you're right," said Kevin. "I'd love to get Stephanie out here like this."

"I bet you would," said Richie before taking a good sized gulp of his beer. "So, how are you guys doin? You gettin fucked enough?"

"Whoa, you're gettin kinda personal now, aren't ya?

"Yeah, I spose I am," said Richie. "But c'mon, Kevin, I know you're sleeping together... and you know I know you're sleeping together... so what's the big deal?"

"Yeah, I guess, but... " his voice trailed off and he took a drink from his beer.

"But what?" asked Richie, more than just casually interested now.

"Aw, it's nothin, forget I said anything."

"Nope. That's bullshit, bro," said Richie, his voice slurring slightly. "You know better'n that. You can't say the `but' word like that and not tell me what the `but' is about. It's the law."

Kevin had to laugh at this, almost spitting a mouthful of beer on himself as he did. After recovering, he took another drink, then looked wistfully at his feet before continuing.

"The problem is that what you're getting from Kyle, I'm not getting from Stephanie."

Due to the level of Richie's inebriation, it took a moment for that to sink in. When it finally did, his head snapped up in surprise.

"Stephanie isn't giving you head?!"

"Shhh," whispered Kevin as he elbowed Richie in the ribs. "Not so loud, man. You think I want the whole fucking lake to know that?"

"Sorry," said Richie in a much lower voice. "I was just surprised to hear it, is all. What's the matter? Why won't she suck your dick?"

"She says it's gross and disgusting, and refuses to do it."

"Say what?!" exclaimed Richie in a voice so loud that everyone in the boat heard him.

"God, keep your voice down, would ya," said Kevin, relieved that the rest of their friends were too absorbed in their own conversations to pay them any attention.

"Oh, yeah, sorry. I just never thought she was such a prude. Shit, I thought all girls like to suck dick."

After taking another drink from his beer, a devilish grin spread across Richie's face. Being drunk, and horny as usual, he reached over to Kevin's crotch and started to massage his dick through his cutoffs.

"Well take it from someone who knows, bro, she don't know what she's missin. You got a great dick, and anyone who don't think so is either super straight, hasn't seen it, or is just plain fucking nuts."

The initial contact of Richie's hand on his crotch surprised Kevin and made him flinch.  He knew he should push it away, just as he knew that if Richie were sober he probably wouldn't have touched him in the first place, but he couldn't bring himself to do it.  Even though he wasn't nearly as wasted as Richie, he was still high enough to enjoy his touch and want him to continue.  What he felt now, as Richie continued to squeeze and stimulate his dick through his cutoffs, caused his memories of last winter to come rushing back.  If Richie had something in mind, whatever it was, Kevin didn't want to discourage him, so he just closed his eyes and went with the flow as he felt his dick grow into a full erection.

As Kevin stretched out even more, and spread his legs to allow Richie easier access to his crotch, the voices of the others in the back of the boat seem to fade into oblivion.  Kevin couldn't have cared less if there was one or a hundred other people in the boat right now, for Richie had already taken him well past the point of concern.  A moment later, as he felt his zipper being pulled down, the mere thought of what was about to happen almost made him come in his pants.

Just as Richie leaned his head over Kevin's crotch while reaching inside his cutoffs to grasp his throbbing member, there was a single bright flash in the sky high above them, followed immediately by a huge explosion.  This initial burst was then followed quickly by a series of smaller flashes and explosions.  The fireworks were just beginning.