This contains male-on-male love and sexual acts. If such material offends you, or you are not of age in your region for this type of material then please leave. Of course, I don't always know who is reading, so I can't force you to leave. So that means more readers for me! Any names, places, or names of places that are same or similar to your experiences could be coincidental. There may be mentions of celebrities (while characters are watching movies, television, magazines, etc.) but this should not infer as to their sexual orientations in real life.
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Tyler Christoper, email@example.com
Note to Readers: Though there are scenes of sexual activity and/or mentions of said activities, this is mainly a story of love, family, friendship and trying times.
Last time on With Arms Outstretched:
My parents and I patched things up with that whole sexuality acceptance thing with guidance and words of encouragement from my mom's side of the family.
Lenny also snuck into my room that same night and I sort of offended him with one of his comments. But I held him in my arms and he fell asleep.
And also my good friend Nick showed up to my room that same night but this time with a fresh bruise that looked bad. Yeah, he had bad parents. Anyway, the next morning I told my parents to do everything in their power to adopt Nick and they were already planning to do so. I was not supposed to tell Nick anything about the adoption until my parents heard back from their lawyer but I told him anyway.
"You told him, didn't you?" my dad asked in a non-harsh tone at the dinner table.
"No..." I cautiously denied. "Okay, I told him! But I couldn't not tell him!"
"Did your lawyer say anything?" Nick asked nervously.
My dad tried with all his might not to smile, but his smile won over his persistence and it formed BIG on his face.
"Francois looked at all the photos and he thinks we have a good case!" my dad very nearly shouted in excitement.
We all looked so surprised and relieved and ecstatic. We cheered and laughed, and Nick cried happy tears as we all got to him and grabbed him into a group hug.
"Ooooh! I have to tell my uncle!" Nick called as he gently pushed us off him.
Nick made a beeline for the telephone. He was beaming with excitement, it was so obvious.
"Hey! Uncle Ken! Guess what?" Nick excitedly asked into the phone. "Mr. and Mrs. Bernison are going to adopt me!"
All of the sudden, Nick's expression changed from excited to shocked to sad.
"Whadda you mean?" Nick asked sadly. "But-- fine!" Nick shouted, then he handed the phone to my dad.
"Hello, Mr... Nick's uncle," my dad asked into the phone unsurely. "Is there a problem-- Sure, of course you can come over. See ya when you get here."
My dad hung up the phone with a sigh and he looked troubled.
"What the fuck did they say?" Nick asked angrily as a single tear fell from his eye.
"Your uncle and his family will be here in about forty minutes," my dad answered as he pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. "Let's just finish dinner while we wait for them."
Throughout the rest of dinner that night, it was eerily quiet at the table. I tried multiple times to start up a conversation, but nothing came out of me. Nick was just sitting there, looking at nothing, furious and hurt. My dad looked troubled, which made me wonder what Mr. Zanders had said to him. My mom looked to be wondering the same thing I had been.
My mom and Curtis cleared the table in silence as Nick, my dad and I still sat at the dinner table doing nothing, looking at nothing.
Nick and I had just finished doing the dishes from dinner when his relatives rang the doorbell. Nick tossed the dish rag rather harshly onto the counter and half-ran to the door. But my dad told Nick to go to the living room and sit down. He told me to do the same. My dad stood for a second at the yet-to-be-opened front door and shrugged his shoulders once to calm himself.
"You must be Kenneth and Natasha Zanders," my dad greeted flatly when he opened the door.
"Adam and Christine Bernison!" Mr. Zanders greeted almost cheerily standing at the door as my mom made her way to her husband. "Where are the boys?"
"I AM RIGHT HERE, YOU FUC--" Nick called furiously as he attempted to rise from the couch. But I grabbed and yanked on his shirt.
"Ah," Mr. Zanders said with a heavy sigh. "To the matter at hand then. Adam, Christine, would we be able to talk privately?"
"Of course!" my mom crowed pleasantly. "Who might you be, young man?" she asked of Scott, as he was standing behind his parents.
"Apologies, Mrs. Bernison, my name is Scott! And this little princess right here is Crystal!" Scott said with forced enthusiasm as he picked up his little sister.
"Ty, Lenny, please take Nick, Scott and Crystal to your bedroom while the adults talk," my dad commanded with a tight jaw.
The walk from the foyer to my bedroom was quiet, uncomfortable.
Conversation was not present for four minutes after entering my room when Scott asked, "Is your brother not home this evening?"
"Umm, Curtis is in his room," I answered awkwardly.
Scott nodded his head and left it at that.
"I hate them so much!" Nick seethed from where he sat on the floor against the wall.
"Nicky, you don't understand!" Scott said in defense.
"Why would your parents want me to stay in that--" Nick caught his words as we were in the presence of an impressionable child. Then he got up and stormed out of my bedroom.
Scott sighed and said, "It's not what he thinks."
"Care to elaborate?" Lenny asked.
"My parents have been wanting to adopt Nicky for so long, but we can't afford a lawyer," Scott answered slowly, sheepishly. "If I wasn't on scholarship, I wouldn't be in college right now. I'd be working some dead-end job."
"Oh, I'm so sorry," I sympathized as I placed a hand on Scott's wrist.
Scott looked at my thirteen-year-old hand on his college-guy wrist and cocked an eyebrow in amusement. I quickly retracted my hand and blushed. I looked at Lenny, and he was grinning so big it worried me.
"Is this the boy you like?" Scott whispered.
"He's my boyfriend," I excitedly whispered back.
"Dude!" Scott exclaimed, startling me, and catching the attention of Lenny. "You're gay!?" he asked of Lenny.
I was so pissed at Scott at that moment. I had outed my gay boyfriend to a gay college guy, and my gay boyfriend didn't know the gay college guy was gay.
As predicted, Lenny's face portrayed panic and fear and anxiety. He immediately looked to Scott, to me, back to Scott, then back to me, totally wide-eyed. I punched Scott's leg as hard as I could for nearly causing my boyfriend a heart attack or something.
"What's 'gay'?" Crystal asked.
"It means a lot of different things," Scott answered his sister in a pleasant tone, as he vigorously massaged his injured leg. "I'm gay, too," he confessed to Lenny with a broad smile, still rubbing his leg.
Now Lenny looked confused, but that immediately changed to relief. Then relief changed to worry.
"Did you guys...?" Lenny trailed, pointing his finger at both Scott and me, implying sex.
"NO!" Scott and I answered simultaneously.
Scott chuckled nervously and said, "I'm seeing this guy named Billy."
"NICKY!" my dad called from downstairs, "WILL YOU COME DOWN PLEASE!?"
I heard the bathroom door open and close, where Nick had been. Then I heard the angry footsteps of Nick as he descended down the stairs.
"So you're gay, too?" Lenny asked of Scott in awe. "I've only ever met two gay guys, Martin and Vince."
"Martin and Vince?" Scott asked.
"Friends of my parents," I clarified. "They're a couple."
All of a sudden, there was the sound of feet running at great speed up the stairs. Nick bursted into my bedroom with tears streaming down his face. The grin on his face told us something great had happened. Without warning, Nick laughed a shrill laugh while wiping the tears dry.
"Looks like I'mma be yo brotha!" Nick exclaimed to Scott in his rendition of a gangsta twang.
"What?" Scott asked in disbelief with a chuckle. "How--"
"Nick, you didn't let us finish," my dad admonished as all four adults filed into my bedroom. "In order for all this to work out, you are gonna have to testify against your parents."
"What?" Nick asked as his grin disappeared completely.
"Honey," Mrs. Zanders began as she gently placed a hand on Nick's shoulder, "you're gonna have to tell a judge and the court how your life at home is."
"But..." Nick complained lightly. "Do I have to?"
"You do, Nicky," Mr. Zanders confirmed empathetically with a nod.
"So are you guys paying Francois to work Nick's case?" I asked at breakfast the next morning.
My parents exchanged a worried look.
"I didn't tell him, I swear," my dad quickly stated with his hands up in surrender.
"I think I'm smart enough to figure it out myself," I stated irritatedly. "Scott told me yesterday that his parents had been wanting to adopt Nick, but they can't afford the legal costs."
"Oh, then yes, we will be paying for the whole thing," my dad answered.
As Lenny and I reached the school grounds, I noticed our friends standing at the tree by the main entrance. Nick was standing and talking and laughing with Sam, Jamie, Gary and Francis. Everybody else was sitting on the fading grass, in their own conversations. I handed my messenger bag to Lenny, removed my backwards baseball cap, tied my hair to the crown of my head messily, and took off running. As I neared them, Jamie noticed me first, her face contorting into caution.
I was about fifteen feet away from them when I heard Jamie, "Ty?"
At her word, everybody looked in my direction, to find me sprinting at Nick. Nick barely had time to prepare himself before I jumped at him and tackled him to the ground. Nick grunted when he hit the ground, me landing atop him. I laughed my ass off as I sat on Nick's abdomen and began slapping his face silly, in a playful but not harmless manner. Nick tried grabbing at my hands, to no avail. So he shielded his face with his arms and hands. A moment later, Nick used his upper body strength and tossed me off him. I rolled to my feet and sprinted away. Nick was not far behind. I laughed as I ran away from one of my best friends. He laughed as he chased me. Before I knew it, Nick had leapt and grabbed a hold of my ankle, causing me to fall to the ground with a thud.
"This'll teach ya not to run away, ya chicken-shit!" Nick called, laughing, as he began hitting my cheek and head, even spanking my jean-clad ass a few times.
"I didn't fuckin' spank you!" I called out in laughing hysterics, unable to move from Nick's weight on me. "OW! You bitch!"
"Whadidju call me?" Nick asked in mock-anger as he noogied my hair.
"Get off me, you bitch!" I called again, my stomach now in pain from laughing too much.
"SAY MY NAME!"
Just then, the bell rang.
"Saved by the bell," Nick whispered, then got off my back, still laughing some.
I rolled onto my back, clutching at stomach as I tried to fight the laughter. My stomach was in pain, and my face felt hot. I guess I'd overdone it with the laughter. Nick held his hand out to me, to help me up. His face was also red. I don't know if that was caused by the chasing, or the laughter, or both. But he was still smiling, if not grinning.
"How's everything going with the adoption?" I asked as we made our way back.
"Good!" Nick answered excitedly. "My uncle got my parents to agree to sign the adoption papers your dad's lawyer is drafting when they're complete. If they don't sign them, we press charges for child abuse."
"Why not press charges anyway?"
"Okay! I want to save your dad the fees for the legal stuff as much as I can!"
"Nick, don't worry about that! I'll tell my dad--"
"Ty! Promise me you'll leave it alone!"
"Promise me you'll leave it alone!"
"Fine! I promise!"
"If you say anything to your dad, you'll make me so much more unhappy than I was when I was living with them!"
"Cross my fucking heart, I won't tell anyone!"
"Good!" Nick's face softened. "Enjoy your day, Ty!" Nick said in a mock-pleasant tone, with a big, fake grin to boot.
"Dude, that was creepy."
"Kay," Noah said as we walked to my home with Lenny, "what's wrong?"
"What?" I defended.
"You've been quiet all day, even at lunch!" Lenny complained an explanation.
Truth is, what Nick had told me about the lawyer stuff was bugging the crap out of me. I tried my best not to show it, but I guess I failed miserably.
"Nothing is wrong," I answered untruthfully.
"Liar!" Noah exclaimed.
"Kay!" I conceded. "Something is wrong."
Lenny and Noah looked at me expectantly.
"Doesn't mean I'm gonna tell you what it is!"
"Dude!" Noah cried frustratedly.
"What?" I asked incredulously. "It's my problem and it's gonna stay that way!"
That night after dinner, Noah and my mom were loading the dishwasher with the dishes we had used for dinner. Noah was raised with the notion that you are to help do whatever you are able when you are a guest at another's home. My mom absolutely loved that about him, that she didn't have to ask him to do it, he just did it. I don't know how I felt about that. On one hand, I didn't have to do it. On the other hand, Noah was showing me up. I know, selfish.
"Does he know?" Curtis asked above a whisper, inclining his head to me across the table.
Lenny quickly looked in the kitchen from his seat, making sure Noah didn't hear that, looking worried.
"I take that as a 'no'," Curtis concluded awkwardly.
"I want to tell my parents before I tell anyone else," Lenny whispered cautiously.
An hour later, Aunt Mags came to our house and talked with my mom a bit before she told Lenny that they needed to go see his grandparents before the night was over. It was just Noah and me. I hadn't hung out with my 'brother' Noah in a long while, and it reminded me why he was my brother. We played various video games on my PS2, we relaxed on the fading grass of the backyard, maybe wrestled a bit there as well. We rode bicycles, I used my bike and Noah used Curtis', to John's since we figured there would at least be Kevin there as well.
"Hey, guys," John greeted when he momentarily averted his attention from his Nintendo GameCube game.
"Where's Lenny?" Gary asked, then his character died. "Aww, you fucker."
"He had to visit his grandparents," Noah answered.
"Hand it over!" Kevin crowed cockily to Gary, since Gary had lost the video game.
"And no, Ty, your girlfriend Jamie didn't come," John teased, which elicited giggles from my other friends.
"Shut up, man," I shot back weakly.
Ten minutes later, "Wanna do something else?" Kevin suggested, having grown tired of video games.
"Like what?" John asked as he gently tossed his game controller to the floor.
"Let's go check out the basketball court," Noah suggested after a minute of silent thinking done by us all.
When we got the usual basketball court, it had four other teenage boys playing a game of two-on-two. They all looked to be about fourteen years of age. I knew one of them to be Gordon Cisken, who his friends called Sis, much to his chagrin.
"'Bout a game o' four-on-four?" the boy with red hair asked, panting, holding the ball in his side. "One can ref."
"I'm tired," the boy with blonde buzzed hair said between deep breaths, and made his way to a bench.
An hour and ten minutes later, the game was over. My team lost by seven points. But I don't think it was completely about competition. Well, for me it wasn't. I was tired and sweating bullets. My shirt was soaked, it's coolness felt good. I removed the elastic band holding most of my hair together and shook my head. My long hair clung to my sweat-drenched face and neck.
"Hey," Gordon said.
I didn't even know he had approached until he greeted me. It startled me a bit, but not enough to cause me to jump or anything.
"Hey," I greeted back while combing the hair that clung to my face back using my fingers.
"Uhh-- I'm Gordon."
That caused me to smile, almost giggle, but I caught it in my breath.
"I know who you are, doofus," I joked.
"Sorry, I didn't know if you'd remember me."
"It has been a while since we last saw each other, I guess."
"Your hair's grown."
"Yeah... hair tends to grow."
"You're still the smart-ass, I see."
"You still don't know how to properly greet an old friend."
"We're not friends."
"Man, you're still on that? It was a cookie!"
"It was my mom's cookie!"
"So I don't like her recipe!"
We stared at each other for a minute before breaking out in laughter and giving each other a handshake hug.
"Man," Gordon said still giggling, "you played an awesome game!"
"I was just being nice." That caused us to laugh again.
"Seriously, Tyler," Gordon said when he grabbed a lock of my hair, "This makes you like one of those California surfer duuuudes!" he finished with his best surfer accent.
"It helps him get girls," Noah teased as he approached Gordon and I. "It would be so much worse if he bleached it."
"Shut up!" I laughed.
"They go crazy for his curls," Noah teased further.
After a lull in conversation, Gordon asked, "So is Lenny still around?"
"Yeah, we still live next door," I answered."So who are your friends?" I asked Gordon, indicating the other three boys.
"Red-head is Ryan, blonde is Fred, that one talking to Gary is Glen."
I grabbed my baseball cap off the bench and placed on my head in my usual fashion.
"You're even wearing caps!" Gordon exclaimed with a smile. "Man, what else has changed? Anyways, I gotta get home. I'll have Norm drive me to your place sometime. That is, if he's not being an ass."
"We should trade cell numbers!" I excitedly suggested.
Gordon fished in his sweater pockets for his phone while I did the same.
Since Lenny never locks his bedroom window, I opened it unashamedly, as quietly as I could. The wood squeaked as the window slid open, causing Lenny to take notice.
"Hey!" Lenny excitedly greeted me in a whisper while I climbed through the window.
Lenny didn't even give me chance to greet him back before wrapped his arms around me in a kiss. The kiss happened so suddenly and unexpectedly that it kinda stung. But the pain was not worth parting lips with my Lenny.
"Sorry, did I hurt you?" he cautiously and worriedly asked.
"I don't know, am I bleeding?"
"Then I'm fine, just come back here."
During our lip-locking session, Lenny had removed my cap and ran his fingers through my hair. It got me to thinking that Lenny absolutely loved doing that. Lenny led us to his bed, where we lay, giving each other sweet pecks on the lips and giggling.
"Guess who I saw earlier?" I asked Lenny after suddenly remembering Gordon.
"Who did you see?"
"Not Gordon Cisken," Lenny sighed.
"Why did you and Gordon always hate each other?" I asked completely puzzled.
"We didn't hate each other."
I cocked an eyebrow, indicating I wanted Lenny to elaborate.
"There's just always been tension."
"Kay, well I gotta finish my homework."
"I wish you could stay."
"Sorry, if my grades slip any, I'll be in so much shit."
Twenty minutes after starting my homework, I heard my window opening. Lenny was climbing in when I looked.
"Mind if I watch?"
"What's with you and watching me do my homework? You must get bored doing that!"
"Nope," Lenny replied as he stretched out on my bed beside me, his head propped on his hand.
Lenny spent the next hour watching me write answers, write notes, read texts, and double check. Every so often, Lenny would brush a lock of hair out of my face and tuck it behind my ear. Another thing Lenny did that night, though not as often as he would tuck hair, was ask for a peck on the lips. I would happily oblige.
After I had all my work done and stored in my backpack for the next day, Lenny spent the remainder of his time with me that night lying on top of me with his lips attached to mine and his tongue fighting with my own.
"My parents are starting to wonder why I've been coming over for breakfast lately," Lenny flatly stated in the middle of breakfast the next morning.
"What did you tell them?" Curtis asked, almost giggling.
"I didn't tell them anything."
"That's not boring," Curtis said, spewing sarcasm.
"I wasn't saying it for entertainment," Lenny lightly defended. "I was just telling my boyfriend what was going on. Anyways, Ty, I think I'll come out soon..." Lenny finished unsurely, nervously.
Twelve Days Later
"Ty?" Lenny asked in the middle of our homework we were doing in Lenny's bedroom, with a shaky voice.
"Will you help me tell my parents tonight?"
"Tell your parents what?"
Lenny just stared at me with frightened eyes. Then it hit me. Like a ton of bricks, it hit me.
To Be Continued
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