This story is posted for the exclusive enjoyment of readers of the Nifty Archive. While you are free to make a personal copy, no copy of this manuscript may be published, copied, posted to another web site, or otherwise disseminated without express permission from the author.

The contents of this story are fictional. Any resemblance of characters to living or lived persons is strictly coincidental. Certain characters engage in sexual acts which may or may not be legal in the state or country in which a reader may reside. Any reader with objections to graphic descriptions of sexual encounters between males who may not have reached the legal age of consent, or whose local, regional, state or national jurisprudence prohibits such descriptions, should not read further.

Chapter V

Wednesday, June 30 1993

I drifted to sleep despite myself, not before thinking that I'd just broken all my records. Brad hadn't stroked me even once, had only tickled the tip of my dick before I came. No point in even keeping count any more. Maybe no more jerking off ever again . . .

Even after I fell asleep, I was aware of him next to me. There was always the gentle sound of him breathing, not quite snoring, his chest rising and falling a little under my arm. His heartbeat in my right ear, pressed against his side. It's a drug. Puts me to sleep every time.

We woke in the dark, long before dawn, in the same position. His sex was hard in my hand, and mine throbbed in his, and we woke at the same time, as if God had sent us a cue that it was time for us again. The room was cold, as it can only get up here in the mountains of Northern California in late June, and there was the sound of the wind rustling the big Incense Cedars and Douglas Firs in the back of the house. His heart beat in my ear, solid, dependable, loving.

We retreated under the covers, and our kisses of amazed greeting turned to the warmth of loving, the passion rising to our sexes like magma. He bent down to take me in his mouth, confident this time that there was no reason for hesitation, that everything was permitted, no fear of rejection need ever come between us again. Without thinking, I scooted over, and onto my side, making him stretch to keep me in his mouth, and I bent to take him, too, almost attacking his wonderful wand of joy with my tongue and lips, kissing it, caressing it. I finally took him into my mouth, as far as I could get it, swallowing automatically as his lubricant oozed from the end, trying to get it all in my mouth at once. The smell of him was an intoxicant, better by far than the finest cologne, because it came from him. It was my smell, but better, because it was his.

He did something to my dick that made it jump, his lips going far down the shaft, and I tried to do the same, but I gagged as the big knob hit the back of my throat, and had to pull up a little.

"You don't have to . . . don't hurt yourself . . ." he said softly, leaving my dick in the cold for a second, wanting his ministrations. I reached down, over, and put his mouth back where it belonged, and plunged down on him again, trying to get him all the way into me. Something made me move some muscle or other in the back of my mouth, and all of a sudden the head went into my throat, and it felt so good. Only a little more, a few more inches, and I would have him all the way in me, and I pushed a little more, and my chin hit his pubes above the base of his dick. I had him! I reveled that I had all of my man inside me, that I could give him almost the same pleasure that he gave me.

I couldn't keep it in for long - I couldn't breathe, so I backed off, took a breath, and plunged down again, and felt him do the same to me, and I did it again, then again. It was fireworks time again, on maybe the tenth stroke. I just turned into a massive nerve ending, and the Feeling took control over my body again as I pumped my joy into my lover, and felt him expand in my throat almost at once, and the spasm of his body told me he was cumming, too. I felt him spurt inside my throat, but I couldn't taste his nectar at all, so I backed off in time for the second spurt, just in time, and sucked it greedily. Like a starving calf, I milked his teat for all I was worth, swallowing his cream, massaging the top of his knob with my tongue, getting out of the core of his body the love I so wanted. I imagined the sperms swimming down to my stomach, into my bloodstream, into my heart, there to live forever.

The whole thing lasted a heartbeat, an eternity, the waning of our springs taking far too little time, our dicks going limp gradually in one another's mouth, but still suckling, still trying to get just one more sperm for the road.

The heat under the duvet became too much, and I reluctantly let him out of my mouth, coming up at the same time as Brad for sweet fresh air and the kisses of love we exchanged as we came down from the incredible high.

"Amazing," he murmured in my ear.

"Yeah," I said in my daze, unable to say anything intelligent. The synapses in my brain would take a while to get over the surge in current.

"I love you, Tim," he whispered in my ear.

"I love you Brad."

I won't bore you with the rest of the conversation, but I surely wasn't at all bored to hear him tell me a thousand times that he loved me, and I must have said it at least that many times. I never got tired of hearing him say that, and I'd never let him even begin to think that I didn't love him every bit as much, so I told him every chance I got how much I loved him. It was hard, though, since I couldn't get myself to stop kissing him when he wasn't telling me of his love.

We fell asleep as before, our sexes in the hands of each other, my left leg draped over his right, my head in the crook of his arm. I listened to his heart as it gradually slowed to sleep, his gentle buzzing not-quite-snore signaling it was okay for me to sleep, too. He stopped "snorzing " once in the night, and I immediately woke - at least I think it was immediate. Then he slipped back, and I was at once asleep again. I needed his noise to keep me asleep, as I would for the rest of my life.

When next he stopped his buzzing, it was daylight already. Not late, mind you -- the sun was still not over the crest of the hill behind the house, so there were no beams coming through the shutters.

He kissed me on top of my head before I was completely aware of things.

"I'm in love with you," he said softly.

"Me too," I yawned.

"In love with you?" he chided.

"No, asshole! In love with you!" I said in mock petulance. I started. I was! I was really, wholly, body and soul in love! It crept up on me, crashed over me, drowned me in its tender embrace, and made me want to sing. (As if I could. Brad rightly points put that my singing could be used as a military weapon, routing the enemy in seconds from the field of battle. It's not that it's off key. It's not "key" at all. Couldn't carry a tune in a wheelbarrow, can't tell "C" from "G" in any octave, and don't care. Love listening, though. Brad, of course, sings like an angel -- albeit a fallen one.)

"I know," he said. Lifting my chin to kiss me on the lips, he whispered, "I'm the luckiest guy on earth."

"After me, of course," I said, yielding to his probing tongue.

Unbelievably, he wanted me again, stinky that I may have been, and I wanted him. It was still chilly, and we retreated under the covers to have our first breakfast of loving. No words, just caressing, kissing, licking each other all over, gradually moving into the yin/yang position, taking our time, enjoying the buildup, teasing each other by stopping just as we felt each other getting close. It took longer, thank god, before we reached the point of no return. I had him in my mouth, not using my tongue or anything, just holding them there as I watched my fingers run over his beautiful ballsack, traced the line from behind his balls almost to his anus.

He traced the line on me too, but he didn't stop when he got close to my butt hole. I felt his fingertips brush my pucker, and it tickled good and felt pretty special. He kept circling his fingers on the opening, and at one point put a little pressure on it. I thought for a second he was going to try to put a finger up there, and that there was no way I could let that happen, because I might be dirty up there, and I didn't want to gross him out. That was all it took, thinking for a second, and he had put his finger inside me, and it felt . . . neat, tingly. I started to pull away, to tell him I didn't think I was clean, when he slipped it further in, and I got all funny feeling, and then started getting the Feeling right around his finger. I felt his dick expand the way it does when he's shooting, and my mouth was again rewarded with his seed just as I exploded in Death Star glory.

All that from a little finger fiddling? Wow!

When he had sucked the last iota of fluid from my storehouse, and his dick had gone totally limp in my mouth, he took his finger out, and we scrambled to get our heads into the cooler air, our lips naturally succumbing to the super magnetic attraction between them.

"Wow!" I said between one spectacular kiss and another.

"Yeah," he said dreamily.

"Are you gonna want to . . . put it inside me?" I said softly, my head on his broad shoulder.

"Not unless you want me to, my love."

"My Love," he called me! "My Love!"

"I'm not sure if I . . . " I started to say.

"It's okay, Tim," he reassured me. "We don't have to do that. I love you, anyway you please is good for me."

"It's not that," I said, looking up at him, my Perfect Man. "I'm afraid I might be . . . dirty."

"Nothing about you can ever be dirty," he said, kissing me on the nose. "Rank, maybe, like your pits are now, but I love that."

I immediately sniffed my pits -- yeah, I needed a shower. Bad. I hopped out of bed, pulling the covers off Brad, throwing them over on his bed.

"Rank, huh?" I shouted. "You've got the smelliest armpits in the state, and you call me rank!"

I grabbed a pillow and slammed him up the side of the head.

"My pits don't smell (he hit me in the face with his own pillow) half as bad as yours, shit head!" he puffed as I hit him on the other side of the head.

"Your crotch smells like a coon shit there!" I hollered, as he chased me out of the room towards the bathroom.

"You little twerp, I'm gonna make you lick me clean then!" he said as he tried -- and missed -- a blow to my butt with the pillow.

I stopped short, and he almost ran me down in front of the toilet, glaring at me like an enraged bull.

"Now?" I said as sweetly as I could. I reached out and grabbed his arm, lifting it up and licking his pit. It smelled, all right. It smelled of loving and clean sweat, and musk, and Brad, and it tasted sour and made me horny as hell.

"Cut that out!" he said, clearly embarrassed, pulling back. "I need to shower!"

"Not on my account," I said, mimicking this old black and white movie star that just exuded sex appeal when she talked.

"I gotta pee," he said, brushing past me into the toilet.

"Me, too," I said, following him, taking the left side of the bowl, trying to let loose my stream, leaning up against him, my right arm around his waist.

"Can I hold it?" I said, reaching for his dick. He still hadn't started peeing.

"If you do, I'll die of uremic poisoning," he jabbed me in the side gently with his left elbow. "You hold me, and all I'll do is get hard and want to make love to you again," he laughed.

I took him in my hand anyway. "Not really," I said idly. "You'll have to get used to me wanting to touch you all the time -- it doesn't have to be sex every time. Just almost."

"Okay, I really gotta pee," he said, and I held my man as he relieved himself into the bowl.

As I started to pee, he reached over and held me as well. It felt amazingly intimate. Not sexual at all, just comfortable, total intimacy.

"How big are you hard?" I asked as he went.

"Uh . . . almost eight inches on the top side," he said. "How about you?"

"Only seven," I said. I think he noticed that I was a little disappointed that I wasn't the same size as him.

"Don't worry," he said. "I didn't get to seven until I was sixteen, and I think it keeps growing until you're older, like maybe twenty or twenty-one."

He's right, as always. By the time we were in our twenties, we were exactly the same size, give or take a millimeter in any measurement.

"I don't really care -- your dick is exactly my size, no matter how small it might get. I hear they start to shrink once you hit thirty."

"I'll be burnt out by then," Brad said as I shook the last drop of pee from him. He milked me a little too.

"I'll do my best," I said, bending over and sucking him into my mouth before he could move. He stopped any attempt to get away immediately, and I soon had him hard in my mouth again.

"I don't think I can, before breakfast," he said after a minute or two of me bobbing on his lollipop.

I just hummed through my work, and he leaned up against the wall, spreading his legs a little.

"I really don't think . . ."

I got on my knees, never letting his dick out of my lips' embrace, and started massaging his nut sack with one hand, pushing him back to the wall with the other, searching out his left tit, and teasing it, twisting it, pinching lightly with my fingernails. All resistance ceased. He started breathing heavily. I pushed my middle finger back until I felt the velvety softness of his hole, and he moaned. I pushed a little, real carefully, and got a little way inside. He groaned. His legs trembled a little around my arm.

"Uh, Tim," he said after a minute or so. "I think I'm gonna . . . "

I moved my head back and forth more vigorously, bobbing for sperm.

"I'm gonna shoot, Tim, I'm gonna . . . " he drifted off into nirvana as his dick swelled up as usual, and his legs started really shaking. He didn't shoot, though. There was a flow of his juice, and it tasted as good as always, but there wasn't much of it -- he didn't spurt at all.

I let him go soft in my mouth, nursing out what last liquid there was, then got up and kissed him, hard. His legs were like jelly, they quivered so.

"You're incredible," he said in my ear, his arms wrapping me up in his cocoon of love. "All that time we've missed."

"We'll make up for it," I whispered back. I meant it, too.

"I need that shower," he said. The man is compulsive.

"I'm serious, Brad," I said, following him into the bathroom.

"About what?"

"I like the way you smell before you shower," I said.

"Really?" he said, turning on the water, looking back at me. The man also has the most Perfect ass on earth. "I thought I was pretty bad under the arms, and especially in my underwear after a day without a shower," he continued, getting into the shower. I followed.

"I used to keep your T-shirts for weeks and just jerk off smelling the pits," I said sheepishly, taking the soap and washing his back as he shampooed his hair. "Your . . . your jeans, too.

"Now who's the Pervert?" he laughed. But he was flattered -- I know.

"You're the Pervert in the family, remember?" I said, turning him around and soaping his front, his pits, and his groin. "You're the one who seduced his little brother."

"Like shit!" he said through his gorgeous smile. "You invited me into your bed."

"After your lame excuse of not remembering only the simplest combination on earth?" I said, handing him the soap and changing places with him, getting him under the shower to rinse as I shampooed my mop. "You were deliberately trying to get into my pants. Admit it."

"Not really," Brad said absently as he soaped me all over. "I looked down at you, so incredibly handsome, so beautiful, I couldn't remember my name. All I could think was what a nerd I was for loving my own brother, wanting him to love me, wishing it weren't impossible . .  ."

I got him soapy all over again as I pulled him to me and kissed him. He didn't seem to mind.


We finally made it to the kitchen. The hot water ran out while we were doing the battle of the tongues, and besides, our lips were getting a little raw. How come they don't tell you that kissing does that after a while?

Mom had sent up a couple of cartons of eggs from Costco, and we made chive omelets, toast from a loaf of Mom's cracked seven- grain bread, cut thick, and big glasses of milk. We took our vitamin pills with orange juice while Brad cooked the omelet and I did the toast, then took it all out to the redwood table in the sunshine. We wore only our skins, seeing as how we were alone up here, and we don't get mosquitoes this time of year.

I couldn't keep my hands off him. If I wasn't caressing his leg, it was his neck, or his arm, or wiping a bead of sweat from his brow, or his elbow. After I'd eaten half the omelet he'd made for me, I didn't feel like any more, so I just leaned against him while he finished it, touching his balls. He ate left-handed - his right was holding my dick or my balls almost the whole time.

"It's going to be hell once Mom and Dad get here, then going back," I said, watching a single puffy cloud scud by over the tops of the trees.

"Yeah," he said turning and giving me a peck on the nose. There was a crumb of toast on his lip that transferred to my nose, and he brushed it off. "Can't make love as much."

"It's more the . . . being like this, than the sex," I said, only half lying.

"Two men can't go around holding each other's dicks all day long," he said.

"Especially two brothers," I commented dryly.

"Mom and Dad would freak," he said.

"Not to mention old Mrs. Sprague," I giggled at the thought. Mrs. Sprague from across the street was a deacon or something in the Methodist Church, a pillar of the community, the woman who went to city council last year demanding the city adopt an ordinance forbidding young people from parading around town in half-T-shirts that showed their midriffs.

"Or old Thurston Throckmorton," giggled Brad, as we got a little silly.

Thurston is my dad's lawyer. He's so strait-laced he probably blanches at the word 'damn' much less 'shit' and 'piss.' The F-word would probably send him into orbit. Guy probably never went to malls - where the F-word is almost as common as 'like." As in 'Like, I f___ing told the f___-head, like you know, like you can't f___ with my f___ing head like that, like he f___ing does all the f___ing time." And that was from kids in the fifth grade.

One thing led to another, and we got hard again - or at least I did. I lay back on the redwood bench while Brad licked me all over, from nose to toes, ending up on the hard evidence of my passion for him. It took a while, but his tongue eventually blew me away - that and his finger up my butt. He pressed into me with a little of the butter, and it felt really fine. He hit a magic spot there, and I was soon at the edge and over, my balls turning inside out as they emptied the last of their liquid into the throat of my man. I watched him as he took me, and his eyes never left mine as he moved up and down on me. It was amazing to see my dick disappear into his face, then reappear, the veins getting bluer and bluer, the Feeling getting closer and closer, the love in his green eyes hypnotizing me. I fell into those eyes and drowned when I came.

"Okay, sport, work time!" he hollered at me as I was coming down from my flight to Mars.

"Duh?" I mumbled, wanting him to cuddle me a little, kiss me deep, cum in my mouth, whatever. I wondered fleetingly how much it would hurt when I gave him my virginity, but dismissed that concern. He was going to be the one, it might hurt, but there was no other man on earth who was going to get it, and it would be better with Brad than with anyone I loved less.

"Chop - Chop!" he said in a bad pun. "Brush - brush!"

I looked at him like he had been one of the denizens on the planets I had just visited, and had somehow hitched a ride back.

"Come on - we have to get started on this jungle before it gets too hot," came the command, and he was already on his way to the kitchen with the breakfast tray, his gorgeous ass moving with his steps like a symphony playing Mahler - in perfect unison.

I reluctantly rose from the bench, and followed with the remaining plates and dishes, still a little dazed by the urgency of our lovemaking, the intensity of my orgasm. I'm used to it now, but then it was new, and I'd never experienced anything like it, so I was always dazed afterwards, for at least the first few years.

We washed the dishes up quickly -- there weren't that many -- and donned heavy work shirts and long jeans and heavy gloves from the work shed before heading out with the chain saw and loppers to clear back the encroaching edge of the forest. It had been only a year or so -- no, almost two years -- since the last major clearing Dad and Brad and I did, but the forest had made some major inroads. Some of the trunks were almost two inches in diameter, believe it or not.

By early afternoon, well past lunchtime, we were pooped. We'd sawed or hacked the whole east side of the clearing, all the way down to the bottom where the "drive" plunged into the quiet of the forest, and up as far as the west side of the top of the clearing. Thank god for chain saws and compound loppers. Of course, we were in pretty good shape, and there was the incentive that if we got more than half the clearing done before the sun started its rapid slide towards the Coast Range, we could go for a swim in the lake.

I managed for most of this time to actually get some work done, much as I stared at my handsome love, admiring the power of his stance, the grace of his movements. I wanted him to admire me a little, too, so I made an extra effort to work fast and efficiently, steadily and strongly. He gave me a couple of grins that made it all worth while. We couldn't talk over the noise of the saw, of course, but we communicated pretty good, all the same.

We didn't take a break, except when the saw ran out of gas, and I fetched cold water from the well head while he filled 'er up. He brought milk and Mom's cookies when I was doing the filling the second time, just in time to keep us from collapsing from lack of nourishment. By the time the chain saw ran out of gas the third time, I was bushed. Brad took the saw and announced "quittin' time!"

I grinned and nodded, brushing off the sawdust and dust from my arms. "Food!" I cried out. "Water!" I said, grabbing my throat with one hand and holding the wrist with the other and sticking my tongue out, a parody of a man dying from thirst.

"Let's just go to the lake and get something to eat down there," Brad hollered from the shed as he was putting the saw away.

"Not in the budget!" I hollered back, peeling off the jeans and the work shirt. I had no underwear on, but like I said, who was to see? We mounted the steps and went into the cabin.

"Hell with it!" said Brad. "We didn't buy any dinner last night, and it won't cost but five or ten for the two of us!"

His logic was impeccable, even if flawed, so I agreed, and took a ten dollar bill from the pouch, leaving the rest in the safe. No point in tempting Providence, my Gran used to say. We pulled on our Speedo's, threw sunscreen into the beach bag with a pair of clean beach towels, tied a couple of sand mats to the side of the bag, and piled into the old pickup. Brad connected the battery up, and the old Ford kicked over right away, caught and took hold. We jounced and jostled down to the logging road, then on towards Radford and the swimming beach. There's a hamburger place -- Herb's -- right on the beach, where we picked up a couple of monsters and some wonderful double fried fries, a couple of half gallon ice teas, and ate on the little patch of grass laughingly referred to as a patio, overlooking the beach. (You can't get away with food on the beach.) We wolfed down the burgers and fries as if it was our last meal -- I love that expression. For a teenager, every meal is his last meal.

"I want to suck your dick," I said between bites of hamburger.

Brad coughed, spit out a little food, turned as red as a beet, and looked around to see if anybody had heard me. "You're cracked!" he said, but he was flattered, I could tell.

"I want to take you down on the beach, strip you out of your Speedo's, and wave your big dick around in the air so everybody can see it's mine, then pump you until you blow a double load down my throat. And I'll keep on sucking until you yell for mercy and tell everyone on the whole beach you love me!"

"You're loony as a tune, Tim." Brad laughed.

"Yeah, but I'm your Loon! Pervert!" I yelled this last out as loud as I could yell. Some girls looked our way. Too bad for them. I whispered "I love you!"

Brad immediately responded "I love you," real soft, then hollered out at the top of his lungs "Loon!"

We called each other that a dozen times or so, in various ways, always prefaced by little "I love you's" in a soft voice and a loud
"Pervert!" "Loon!" "Pervert!" "Loon!"

By the time we were finished, we had everybody looking at us, and we got up and bowed to the audience, threw the trash into the bin, and headed for the beach. Almost everybody smiled at our antics. Only an old fuddy-duddy lady scowled at us.

Drinks are allowed on the beach, so we -- I -- took the half full containers out with us, while Brad carried the beach bag with the mats. For some reason I noticed from a distance two guys laying together on the beach as we walked down -- there was something about them -- I couldn't quite grasp what.

One of them was a big bruiser kind of guy, all hairy chest and arms and legs (not his back, thank goodness for him!), wearing a loose pair of boxer swim trunks. And a big gold chain around his neck. The other guy was slim, almost skinny, in a tight mini slip swimsuit that barely covered the crack of his butt. He was wearing an identical gold chain.

I watched them watch Brad as he went by them - he was way in front of me. Now, like I said, Brad is a really hot guy, with looks that most guys would kill to have, with a face and build made for magazine covers. These two guys took a look at him, did a sort of double take, then their heads just swiveled with Brad as he passed in front of them.

Bingo! Gay as geese! Betcha! Then I thought: "So? What great benefit will this discovery provide to mankind in the coming decades?" I found no answer, so shut off that section of my brain. The jealous part stuck, though. I would tear them apart if they so much as whistled at Brad, nuke them if they tried to move in on him. I ignored them as I went past them.

Brad spread our towels and we lay in the sun for a half-hour or so to let the food settle, talking about this and that. I started to use the expression "Ilya, Markova!" then. ('I love ya,' Markova!) I just made up the Markova to confuse anybody who listened in. Brad was confused, until a light bulb went on behind his eyes. Did I tell you he's gorgeous when he makes a discovery?

So we're gabbing away and Brad looks over my shoulder at something and gets a not nice, almost nasty look on his face, and says something so soft I couldn't hear. I looked over my shoulder, and saw only the two guys with the chains.

"What's up?" I asked Brad, turning back to him.

"I don't like the way those guys are staring at you," he said with contempt. "When you were coming down with the tea, they practically stripped you nekkid and ate you alive."

"Me?" I said with a laugh. "They were looking at you the whole time! I got a little . . . jealous."

"Goddarned queers!" Brad spat out between clenched teeth, throwing his head back on the towel.

"Brad?" I said softly, after I had a chance to collect my thoughts.

"What." He was over his mad, anyway.

"What are we?"

"We're brothers, of course," he said.



"Do you love me?"

"Of course I do!"

"Do I love you?"

"What are you saying?"

"Brad, I love you with every cell in my body. You love me. You're a guy. I'm a guy. We . . . make love to each other."

"So?" he said nonchalantly. But he knew what came next. He knew.

"Brad, we're queer."

"NOOO!" he shouted out, jumping to his elbows.

"PERVERT!" I hollered out as loud as I dared, not wanting to break his eardrums. Then real, real soft "I love you." I jumped to my feet and ran towards the water, Brad in stunned - but then determined pursuit.

"You goddarn Loon!" He hollered at my back, gaining ground. He runs faster than me - has to be he's got longer legs. Must be he's got more African heritage than me, since he was born first. (One of my great great great maternal grandmothers was a slave in Kentucky who was freed and went to Illinois, marrying into the family.) I had to really sprint to get to the water before him.

"PERVERT!" I kept hollering, laughing and gasping for breath all at the same time, my feet finally hitting the shallow part of the water, him catching up more and more as I was slowed by the traitorous water and sand, him laughing and splashing like a hovercraft. He grabbed at my arm, but the sun block was just oily enough that I slipped out of his grasp, and I lunged into a surface dive just as he went to grab me again, and then I was home free.

Now see, Brad's good at almost every sport, but there's two where I caught up to him before he ever got there: baseball and freestyle swimming. My body is just enough sleeker -- or at least it was then, I guess -- to get through the water ten meters for his nine in freestyle. Maybe I have webbier feet - I'll have to compare them again.

So I make my surface dive maybe two feet in front of him, and that's enough. I started taking my long, strong strokes, and was way out in front of him before he started. He hadn't expected me to dive so soon in the shallows, and had to catch his balance from running for a split second so he could surface dive (except he stinks at that unless it's from blocks). He was at least ten meters behind me in a trice. He knew he couldn't catch me, so he stopped and stood up in waist high water and just hollered at me that he'd get me when I came out, and I laughed but kept swimming out into the nice cool water.

Then it hit me. Now, see, I never get cramps. Not in all the time I've been swimming. I thought I hit something, or something hit me, right in the middle of the stomach, up high a little. I stopped and it hit me again, real hard. I doubled up a little from the hurt, and tried to find the bottom with my feet, but I was farther out than I thought, past the sharp shelf where the beach drops off to maybe thirty feet.

Uh-oh. Trouble right here in River City. I coughed and the pain hit me again, and all of a sudden I couldn't figure which way was up to the surface. How did I get under water? I hollered for Brad, but just took in a bunch of water, and I couldn't breathe, and god, stop hurting me, and I threw up in the water, which made everything worse, cause I started coughing and that pulled more water in than it let air out. I threw up again, and coughed and it was all going so fast, and I couldn't see, and I tried to yell for Brad to come and get me out, but he couldn't hear me, cause I was under water. I felt so tired, and it was getting dark all of a sudden, and it hurt less if I just curled up in a little ball and didn't move, except I was sinking for some reason, not going up, but it hurt . oh, shit it HURT. . .

Brad caught me. I felt his hand on my elbow, I think. No. A dream. The hurt felt farther away, sort of, and it got real dark . . .

"What the . . . " I was upside down for chrissakes, jostling around like a sack of onions. My stomach hurt again. I was barfing upside down, looking at the water splashing down at me from above, seeing legs pounding. Then it wasn't splashing and I got dumped on the hard sand, barfing up nothing, water getting into my nose, trying to breathe, but the water kept getting in the way, and I was coughing like a seal, and then it stopped. Just stopped. No noise, no barfing, nothing. Then it felt like Brad was kissing me, but not really, he was pushing into me, making me breathe his breath, and I wanted him, I wanted his love so bad, so I breathed in his love, and came back into the sunlight with a bang. I barfed again -- right into his mouth.

I had to sit up. I had to cough.  I had to spit out the stuff in my throat, and clear my lungs. I pushed him away and sat up and turned over to spit the stuff out as I coughed, and Brad held me and talked to me and squeezed me to keep it from hurting. My eyes were all blurry, but I could see legs all around me. Funny the things you notice. Skinny legs, fat legs, ladies' toenail paint, hairy toes.

I finally caught my breath, and the coughing died down a little, and I wanted to find a hole and crawl into it so nobody could see my embarrassment. I turned to Brad, and his face was all full of my barf, and his eyes were all sloppy from water gushing out, and his nose was running. I hugged into him, and it was better when he folded his arms around me. I started breathing better, coughing just a little.

A man held out a cup with some coke in it, and told me to wash my mouth out with it, not to drink. I looked up and it was the skinny guy with the gold chain, and his voice was as deep as a gospel singer's. I trusted him at once and rinsed my mouth out and spat stuff onto the sand. I did it again, the sweet coke taking away the awful sour taste of barf. I swallowed a little more to take the taste away.

"What's going on here," said a voice of Authority, and I looked up from Brad's chest to see a beach bunny lifeguard get off a beach buggy, right in front of us, all full of himself.

Brad looked up, I think, and said "my brother got sick in the water." I think that's what he said.

"Yeah, right. Your brother," He sneered. I never knew what that word really meant until he did it. His lip curled up and his nose nostrils flared out and his teeth bared. "You pansies don't belong on this beach. This is a family beach."

I blew him off the face of the earth forever with the howitzer I keep in my left shirt pocket.

The big guy with the gold chain -- he was big, bigger than the lifeguard by at least a head and a neck, and weighed maybe fifty, seventy five pounds more -- he puts his face in front of the nose of the beach bunny and growls something like, "I'm family, dip shit, and I don't like boys with bleached blond hair and shaved legs."

There was a nervous sound from the people standing around. Not laughs, not gasps -- sort of raspy throat clearing. The voice of Authority lost it forever.

"You okay kid?" he said, impatiently but semi sweetly, red in the face all of a sudden.

"He'll be all right," said Brad over the top of my head. "We ate too fast, he just chucked lunch."

"You wanna go see a Doc?" he said. You could tell he was reciting out of some handbook or other.

"," I managed to get out. "I'm okay now. I don't need a Doctor."

"You want me to file a report?" Another pamphlet-directed question.

"No!" I said, more emphatically. My strength was rapidly returning. "I'm OK. I just want to go home."

"Okay, folks, show's over," said the beach bunny. Making shoofly gestures with his hands, looking ridiculous.

Everybody left except the Chains and Brad and me. The lifeguard got up in his buggy, looked back at us like we were Martians that smelled of cat poop, and buzzed back to his troop of preteen nubile admirers down by the other end of the beach where the kids' swimming area was. He did shave his legs - you could see the line where he stopped. That he bleached his hair there could be no doubt -- the hair on the nape of his neck was dark brown, almost black, and the blonde was as brassy as a saloon spittoon. (I've never seen one, but it sounds like it's about right.)

"Asshole," said Little Chain, then he turned to Brad and me. I was sitting up okay now, not holding on to Brad like I was before, even if it would have been infinitely better. "You want anything? Coke, tea?"

"No, thanks, really," I managed a little smile up at him. "I just want to get home and clean up." And get away from this awful scene, I thought to myself.

"Okay," said Big Chain. "But you need any help at all, you call us, okay?"

"Sure," said Brad. His voice sounded kinda funny, like when his voice was changing, all up and down at the same time.

I got up and walked to the towels, a little unsteady, but feeling surprisingly okay. Considering I'd lost my lunch. Brad walked beside me, and when we got to the towels, wiped his face and blew his nose into the towel. He was still full of my vomit.

"Let's get out of here! Fast!" I said to Brad. I really didn't want anybody looking at me any more.

"Yeah," he said dully.

I looked at him. He was pale, drawn. He wouldn't look at me. We grabbed the towels and stuffed them into the bag, and walked to the restaurant patio, waving at the Chains as we went. We got to the pickup and wiped off the sand, and I took a towel and wiped Brad's face and hair where there was still some stuff from my stomach.

"Christ, that must have been awful!" I said to him flippantly. "Why didn't you leave me barf in my own misery, not get it all over yourself?"

"You weren't breathing, Loon." He said. He was shaking, and tears came out from nowhere. "I thought I was going to lose you. Loon, I was so scared! I thought you were going to . . . "

He sank down on the running board, pulling the towel away from me and crying into it, his shoulders heaving with sobs.

"Hey, c'mon!" I said squatting next to him, holding him. "You aren't getting rid of me that easy, Pervert. Drugging me so's you can take advantage of me ain't allowed under the Geneva Convention."

"I didn't . . ." he started, then dissolved again.

"Besides, Pervert," I said. "I love you too much to go away from you."

"God, I love you Loon," he said.

"Good thing," I said, hitting him on the shoulder a little too hard, trying to get his mind on something else.


"There's a Chinese proverb that says if you save a man's life, you're responsible for him for the rest of your life," I said. (I think that's true. Anyway, it fit the bill as far as I was concerned.) "I think we just got married."

"Asshole," he perked back to life. "Being responsible doesn't mean being married! Besides, guys can't get married. It's against the law."

"Just because I'm still a virgin don't mean I cain't have babies, massah!" I mocked. "Even if I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies Massah Rhett." I recited -- or rather, paraphrased -- lines I remembered from an old movie we watched at home once, called "Tara" or something like that. No - "Gone With the Wind."

At least that got half a laugh out of him, and we got into the pickup and headed for home. He wouldn't let me drive, naturally. As if anybody would stop us - there are lots of kids my age up here that drive legal because they live on a farm. What the hell makes them better drivers than me just because they shovel horse manure before breakfast? Adults are f___'d up -- they let them drive 'cause they work their asses off for nothing, and tell us guys that have to go to school that we aren't as worthy as turd-stompers and grape-pickers. It's all a con.

It's like sex -- they treat us like we're kids and pretend we don't have sex until we're sixteen or eighteen, and the truth is, we start getting horny when we're twelve. Shit, I bet a fifteen-year old like me has more sex in a week than a guy over twenty-five has in a month, except I'm doing it with my hand instead of with someone else. Oh. Make that WAS doing it with my hand. God, thank you for sending me my Brad.

He still wouldn't let me drive until I was seventeen. Except when he was teaching me, or it was an emergency. I think I dozed on the way home.