Copyright © 2003

By Lee Mariner

The author's copyright and all provisions of the original disclaimer remain in force.  All Rights are reserved.

My friend, Dean, edits all of my stories.  His assistance and expertise is invaluable and I cannot thank him enough.

This story depicts homosexual acts and is intended for ADULT READERS ONLY.  If you are not of legal age in your locality or you do not approve of such material, please leave.

My stories are listed in the Nifty Archives listing of Prolific Authors under the pen name of Lee Mariner.

Any reader wishing to be notified of future episodes to this and/or other stories, please contact me at:

Chapter XXIII

It was a moonless, cloudless night devoid of any illumination except for that from untold numbers of brilliant stars twinkling coldly in the blackness of limitless space.  The headlights of Dalton's car cut a brilliant swathe through the inky darkness as I sat facing him, leaning against the locked door of the car with one leg pulled up on the seat.  The dashboard lights illuminated the soft but chiseled contours of his profile and the sculpted lines of his chest.  His slender fingers gripped the wheel lightly, but the thickness of his forearms and biceps revealed the hidden strength that could be elicited if needed.  Physically, we were almost the same and the genes we shared made it obvious we were brothers; the only difference was in our ages, and that was of little consequence.  Although he was only sixteen, he had already developed physically and mentally to a level that comparable to men older than he. 

His questioning to know more about the difference he felt within himself revealed the struggle and loneliness he had endured as he entered puberty.   I had suffered the same as he when I was his age, and the trust he had placed in me by asking about his feelings had enhanced the deep bond that was growing between us.  I could feel that bond in the depths of my soul, and those feelings told me that our lives were inextricably meshed.   He was my kid brother, and that bond would never be broken, but the spiritual bond was a love for each other that surpassed that which brothers normally felt between them.  We had been kindred spirits searching for the nirvana that would join us one to the other, and we had found it together.  I knew that what I felt was right and would always be right; but the future, our future, was an unknown we needed to explore and discuss.

                                                                             * * * * * * * * * *

The warm night breeze flowing through the open window ruffled his hair; and, using his left hand, he brushed a few strands from his eyes before turning to look at me, "You haven't said a word since we left the house, Carlie, is something bothering you?"

"Not a thing, Dalt," I answered, stretching my arms out in front of me and taking a deep breath.  "I was just thinking about all that has happened in the last few days. "

"You aren't sorry about anything, are you?"  He asked, glancing at me.

"Heavens no, nothing like that.  I was thinking about how much we are alike and how much I love you, that's all," I said.

"I think about that a lot too," he said, slowing down and reducing the cars headlights to low beam as the Gaston Lake Village limits sign came into view.

There were only a few cars parked in front of darkened buildings.  The parking lots of two restaurant-bars, that were open, had several cars parked in them; and we could see a few people mingling at the entrances as we passed.   The village was pretty well closed down for the night, and that surprised me since it was the height of the tourist season.   Jake Ballard's office was dark, but I was looking for a grocery store that might still be open, so we could stock a few things we would need in the morning. 

"Damn," I muttered under my breath.

"What's wrong?"

"I was hoping there might be a store open; so we could get a few things for in the morning, coffee, eggs, milk, stuff like that."

"It looks like everything is closed except for the bars and that place down by the lake," Dalton answered, slowing the car to a crawl as we passed Jake's office.

There was a pavilion with a neon sign that read, ''Lake Gaston Dance Pavilion & Restaurant" that I hadn't noticed before.  It was brightly lit, and we could see several boats tied up to a long pier that extended out into the lake.   There were several couples dancing, and more sitting at tables.  At first, I wondered why we couldn't hear any music until I realized there was an off-shore breeze blowing.

"I don't think we will find groceries there, Dalt, but we can check the restaurant out later," I said.

"Yeah, the restaurant maybe, but I don't think we can do any dancing," he said, grinning at me.

"Let's go on to the cottage, Dalt.  We can have breakfast at one of the restaurants in the morning and do some shopping,” I said.

                                                                          * * * * * * * * * *

I was about to ask Dalton whether he remembered the road to the cottage when he turned to the left onto the roadway that Jake had shown us.   The darkness surrounded us as we entered the tree line, and he switched to the high-beams so we wouldn't miss the cottage's gravel drive. 

I didn't remember the cottage sitting as far back in the trees as it did when he turned onto the driveway, but the darkened cottage came into view when he went up and over a small rise in the driveway.   It looked almost ghostly sitting among the trees, and I looked back over my shoulder into the pitch-black darkness.  The only sounds were the breeze blowing softly through the tall pines and the crunch of gravel under the car's tires. 

Dalton drove up on the concrete parking pad behind the cottage, and when he turned the car lights off we were in total darkness.
"Damn," he said almost reverently, "talk about not being able to see you hand in front of your face.  Jesus, its dark up here."

"We could have waited until daylight tomorrow," I said teasingly.

"I didn't hear you say 'no'," he said as he reached over and, opening the glove-box, took out a flashlight.

"When did you put that in there?" I asked.

"The other day, it's one of Dad's," he said, turning it on and directing the beam out of the window at the rear door of the cottage.

"Oh, part of your plan, I guess."

"No, Dad always carries one in his car in case he needs it," he said, opening the door on his side and getting out. "Let's turn on the inside lights, and then we can carry in the stuff Mom gave us."

I followed Dalton fumbling in my pocket for the keys and handing them to him.  When he opened the door, he went inside moving the lights beam around the walls searching for a light switch.  I ran my hand over the wall beside the door and found the switch were it should have been.  The room lit up when I flipped the switch; and he turned looking at me sheepishly, still holding the lit flashlight.

"Light switches are usually next to the door, Little Brother," I said taking the flashlight from him and turning it off.

"I know that," he said defensively.  "I was just looking around."

"Ugh huh, and what did you expect to find?"

"I don't know, nothing really, but it looks like someone has been here already," he said, looking past me in the direction of the kitchen area.

He was right; someone had been already been in the cottage and had left several items of groceries on the counter.  "Mom and Dad don't know where we are, so it had to be Jake, the real estate agent.  He and his daughter, Tracey, are the only ones who knew we would be here this weekend." I said, moving toward the counter.

All of the staples I had wanted to get were on the counter with a neatly handwritten note:

"Welcome to Lake Gaston.  Tracy and I thought you might like breakfast on Ballard Real Estate.  Check the refrigerator for the rest of the things you will need.  After you are settled in, stop by the office if we can help you with anything."  The note was signed, Tracey and Jake.

"I wonder why they would do this?" Dalton asked, as he opened the refrigerator.

The refrigerator was stocked with ham, sausage, eggs, milk, butter, orange marmalade, a can of tomato juice and a loaf of bread.  There was a can of Chase & Sanborn coffee along with tea and dishwashing liquid on the counter. 

"I don't know, Dalt," I replied, thinking about how Jake had looked us over when we had first met. "At least we won't go hungry in the morning, but we will still have to do some shopping tomorrow. We can stop in and thank them," I said, still thinking about our benefactor and what his intentions might be.

                                                                         * * * * * * * * * *

There was another switch that turned on outside spotlights, so we didn't need the flashlight to unload the things that Mom had put together for us.  She had the forethought to include bath soap; and, when I put it in the bathroom, I checked the hot water to see if the hot water heater was on.

"The hot water heater must stay on when there is power in the cottage, Dalt." I said, returning to the bedroom where he was starting to make up the bed.

"We don't need another shower, do we?" He asked as he shook out a sheet.

"Not tonight, we don't," I said, moving to the other side of the bed to help him with making it up.

"I put my toothbrush and stuff in your toilet kit with yours, Carlie, but I forgot to get it.  It's on the back seat of the car."

"Go ahead and get it while I finish tucking the sheet in."

While I was getting a glass of water, Dalton came back with the toilet kit and went into the bathroom.  I did a quick check in the cupboards for a coffee pot and found an old Sunbeam percolator.  For a moment I was tempted to fix a pot of coffee but changed my mind.  I heard the water running in the bathroom and looked to see whether Dalton had decided to take a shower.  He was standing barefooted at the sink with his shirt off, brushing his teeth.

Turning away from the door, I saw his shirt hanging on the back of the only chair with his socks and shoes laying beside it.  Removing mine, I placed them neatly next to his; and, while I was removing my shirt and hanging it over his on the chair back, I heard him say cheerfully, "Your turn," as he came out of the bathroom and sat on the bed.

"Did you wash behind your ears?" I asked, kidding him.

"Nope, Mom put towels in with the sheets and stuff but she must have forgotten washcloths," He answered as he pulled his shorts off, letting them drop on the floor. 

"We'll have to get a couple when we go shopping," I said, going into the bathroom.

I did a soap and water hand wash of my face before brushing my teeth.   A washcloth would have been nice, but I'd hand washed before.   Dalton was lying in bed with the sheet over him up to his armpits, his arms lying beside him holding the sheet tightly over his body.  The sheets accentuated the perfection of the sculpted muscles of his chest and  the tapered beauty of his torso.  He looked at me, and I could see the warmth in the softness of his eyes as he moved one hand slowly over his pelvis, up over his chest, tucking his arm behind his head.   He lay, not saying anything, watching me as I took my shorts off and laid them on the seat of the chair.

The room was lit with a glaring overhead light; and, when I flipped the switch, we were in almost total darkness except for the silvery light of stars shining through the window.  I waited for a second while my eyes adjusted to the faint glimmer of starlight before moving toward the bed.  I didn't have to see Dalton’s eyes following me as I moved,  I could feel them.  As I lifted the sheet and got into bed, he turned toward me; and I felt his arm under my neck as I laid my head on the pillow.  When I started to turn toward him, he said quietly, "Don't move, Carlie; just let me hold you; that's all I want."

I let myself relax as he put his arm over my chest with one leg over mine.  As he snuggled closer, I lifted my arm and put it around his shoulders when he laid his head on my chest.  His hair smelled of musk shampoo and the warmth of his breath wafting over my chest sent gentle titillating feelings of excitement flowing over me.   Closing my eyes I hugged him, breathing in deeply, filling my lungs with his clean scent and as I exhaled, he whispered, "Do you really love me, Carlie?"

"Little Brother, I've loved you all of your life and mine," I responded, caressing the velvety softness of his shoulder and arm.

"Me too," he whispered, tightening his arm over my chest, pulling us closer, cleaving his body to mine.

We lay in the satiny darkness, clinging to each other.  I felt his muscles relaxing and his heart beat slowing as his breathing became deeper as he slipped into sleep.  His knee rested on my balls, and I felt his flaccid cock pressing against my thigh.  With the slow rhythmic beat of his heart, his closeness and the warmth of his breath drifting over me, amorous feelings swelled in my breast and washed over me....  

"Yes, Little Brother," I thought as I relaxed and my eyelids grew heavy,  "I love you and you are learning there is more to loving and being loved than sex."