Skip - Part 27


Skip – Part 27

Skip and I showed Michael off at North Station again late Sunday afternoon. He left much happier than he had arrived.

"I love you, Aaron," he said. "I'm going to be okay now, but I want to come back and visit again. I'm psyched for July 11th. My train will get in around 4:00 on the 10th, so thanks for the overnight invite. And you bro," he said to Skip, "thank you so much for helping me this weekend. It was nice."

"For me, too, love. Call when you want to, okay? We don't go far during the week."

We watched as he climbed aboard, feeling blessed by our buddy.

"Sweet kid, huh bro," asked Skip.

"Sweet is right. Not so much a kid anymore though."

"You still worried that you encouraged him too much?"

"No, that I took a young boy and did strange things to him."

"With his permission and his need. The needful are taken care of, by your rules."

"He does seem to be in much better spirits. It was cool that you showed him some tips on helping him get hard. He respects you, you know, a lot."

"He respects you as much. I love that you offered our help in getting him help for college. Are you going to ask Sam for his help?"

"No. I think work-study is a good plan for him. It helped me pay for school when my dad could not. There are a lot of jobs on an average campus. Then we can pick up the slack. I don't want to upset Michael's folks, so we need to talk about that a bit more. I still want Sam to manage the scholarship fund on his own. I'm not sure how he would feel about Michael."

"Let's get them together at the July weekend. I think they'd hit it off nicely."

"I do too. If there is an offer for help, I want the boys to work it out."

"I don't think it will be `if'."

"Me either, truthfully. Sam's got a nice heart."

"You love me, right?"

"I love you right."


"You love me, comma, right?"

"I love you, comma, very much. You are my heart, period. You are my very soul, period."

"You sure are a nut, but you're very sincere."

"I am nothing without you. Exclamation point."

"Kiss me here," I said, pointing to my forehead. "Kiss me here," I said, pointing to my cheek. "Kiss me here," I said, touching his lips. He paused. He tried to kiss his lips. Failing that, he kissed mine. "Kiss me here," I said, touching my heart. He pulled off my shirt and kissed my chest, over my heart.

He licked and bit my nipples. He licked my navel. His hand went into my shorts and he played with my dick. With a little effort, he got a finger into my hole. I went semi-hard.

"Sorry love, but I better pee before I end up peeing on you. No water sports for us."

Skip held me in the bathroom while I peed a lot. "Geez, you weren't kidding, love."

"Well, since I peed, I lost what little erection I had. I'm just fine climbing into bed. Hold me?"

"No need to ask, love. It's what I do best."

"Second best. Not making me feel bad about being a burden with this crap is the best thing you do."

"You are not a burden. You are the man I love so sincerely that anything you ever need will be taken care of. I am not going to pack my clothes, walk out that door, and go home to New Hampshire."

"I know. Well, I think I know. But you never thought about this stuff when you were falling in love with me."

"Says you. I knew you had cancer when I was falling in love with you. I thought about everything that could happen to you, including you dying. Your needs are few. It's no burden to hold you while you pee. It's even less of a burden to carry you from your chair to a seat or the bed, and back again. I will always be here for you, love. I'm not going anywhere."

"Tell me more about falling in love with me."

"Remember when we were on the van, alone, one afternoon? You were staring at me."


Skip and I had one of our first real conversations on a rainy day in the cafeteria. The time that Skip was talking about was a couple of weeks before that. At the end of that particular day, I was one of the last to leave work. Skip knew that I was still at work. My car was still in the parking lot across town. He came back to pick me up before he went home for the day.

"Oh man, sorry for making you stay late. I should learn to put the work aside and leave on time. I hate knowing I made you make a special trip."

"No sweat, Aaron. I saw your car. I'm not going to make you walk over a mile at the end of the day."

"I owe you. Thanks."

I stared at him, kind of unconsciously. I did not realize I was staring until he looked at me. He smiled, amused by me.

"Oh crap. Sorry. I guess I'm staring."

"Well, it's good for my ego. I look like my dad. He's quite handsome."

"Lucky guy. Both of you. There's a younger kid who looks a lot like you at work, too."

"Yeah. Billy. We're brothers."

"I'm, uh, sorry for staring. I don't mean anything by it."

"It's okay. By the way, in the looks department, you're quite handsome yourself. And I do mean something by that. I tend to speak plainly."

"Same as you, I look like my dad. I saw a picture of him recently at around my age. We could be twins."

He dropped me off at my car when we got to the parking lot.

"You take care, Aaron. No worries, okay?"

"Okay. Thanks. Good night."


"So you didn't care that I stared at you. Handsome does not cover it, nor did it back then. I went home and jacked off thinking about you. I came in my mouth, thinking about how you tasted."

"I did too. Same thing."

"You jacked off thinking about me? No way!"

"Way. And came in my mouth, thinking about how you tasted."

"That's more than four years ago. Did you ever imagine we'd be lovers?"

"I not only imagined it, I tried hard to make sure we were."

"Really? I never knew I meant anything to you, well, not until I called you to tell you about the tumor. It took me two days to get the guts to call."

"I would have called you and asked you if you had not called me. You weren't getting away from me, especially if you were needful. I know you lived alone. I picked up on your Canadian accent, so I knew your hometown was not nearby."

"How often did you think about me back then? Egomaniac that I am. I really want to know."

"Daily. I found that I missed you a lot when we weren't at work. I jacked off almost daily after work, sometimes before work too, because I was excited about seeing you, even if at a distance. I wasn't thinking about Billy either."

"Me too. I thought about Billy though. Sometimes my fantasies got away from me. But mostly I thought about you."

"And here we are, four years plus later, very real."

"Whatever you do, do not pinch me and wake me up from all of this. I want it to last a lifetime."

He pinched my nipple hard.

"Ouch! Holy shit!"

"Still think you're dreaming, love?"

"No, but you're in danger of getting me hard again."

"Really? Do you want to be?"


"Alrighty then."

He put his finger in my hole and massaged my prostate. The instant-come button that wasn't so instant-come for me anymore, but worked well in getting me even half-hard. He went down on my cock and sucked me to full hardness, or nearly full. I pulled him into a sixty-nine. We worked each other's holes while we sucked. We did not rush. I loved the taste of his dick and he obviously loved mine. He massaged my balls, licked them, and rolled each one in his mouth. I did the same to his one, never afraid of it. One ball short, just like Michael.

"I'm close, love," I said.

"Me too," he said, quickly before going back down on me.

We erupted simultaneously in each other's mouth, swallowing and sucking, unloading a creamy load. At least I hoped mine was creamy.

"Oh yeah, bro, it is."

"Damn, not often, but good. Now I know how good Michael felt. I need to sleep, love. I'm done and done."

He lay and pulled me into his arms, tucking my face into his neck. I kissed him and went to sleep very quickly. It used to take me a half hour or more to fall asleep, before Skip. I would have to read for a while to stop my mind from running away. I figured I solved at least 1/3 of the world's problems in any given night until I discovered that reading in bed was a good thing.

The days went by. Skip worked, I did homework, and I had chemo. Yeah. Oh boy. Exciting stuff. Ten minutes into my day and I could climb the walls like Spider Man. I can't walk. I hated that I can't walk. I felt trapped at home. I did not tell this to Skip, because he would have quit his job to take care of me. I would hate that worse than that I can't walk. Monday's were made for Jimmy. I had Skip for Saturday and Sunday, and every evening, faithfully. I had Andrew on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for chemo. Tuesday morning, Wednesday, Thursday morning, and Fridays sucked, bad!

What to do what to do?

Okay, so on top of being bored, I was stupid. I had the best life of almost anyone I knew. I had love by the bushel. I was so blessed. And cursed. My attention span was ten minutes. I could read in the park or at the Boston Public Library or anywhere ... except in my living room, even with music or television. I could be home alone on rainy days and be just fine, but on a decent day, especially a decent summer day, being at home just plain sucked. My condo building did not have an elevator. I considered throwing my wheelchair over the railing and then inching my way on my ass down the stairs.

What to do what to do?

Duh. Tell Skip. He likes his job a lot and will not give it up. No brainer.


"What's the matter, love?"

I told him everything that I had thought about, including navigating the stairs myself.

"That's easy. And I already know all of that. You talk in your sleep, remember."

He looked at his watch.

"Four, three, two ..."

My front door opened. In came my savior. He came over to me, picked me up, held me tightly, and kissed me deeply.

"I'm sorry that I did not think about this, love. I take full responsibility for you feeling trapped."

"No, love, you shouldn't. I chose to mope. I know you don't have to work, and that you would ..."

"Sshhhh just let me hold you for a while. It is my fault."

"Fine, but it's mine too."


Skip lay behind his brother and held him. "Mine too. I wasn't thinking."

"Problem solved," I said. "I don't have to be on the go every minute, but I do have to get out. Until I can walk again, I really do need you love."

"I'm here," said Billy. "Even when you can walk again, I'm not leaving you until school starts."

Skip started to look through the fridge for dinner.

"Nope, love, let's go see Jillian. I'd love a quesadilla."

Jillian smiled wide when her favorite boys came through the door. She was happy to see me too. Go figure.

"Aww, my most favorite three boys on the planet. Aaron, you got that `I need a quesadilla' look. How about you two," she asked Skip and Billy.

"Chicken quesadillas all around, Jills," said Billy.

"How was your birthday, Jills," I asked.

"Thanks to you three, just wonderful. A dinner cruise and a show—you boys are so special to me."

"Even gay boys?"

She looked like she could get pissed, but she turned it around on me. "I love you for everything you are, love."

"Oooh baby!"

"You put that gay boy stuff in a sock, though."

"I'm just kidding. But I love that you won't let me get to you."

"I don't care if you're from Mars, I will always love you three."

I turned my wheelchair to face her head on. She knew what I wanted. She came over to me, bent down to let me put my hands on her shoulders, and then pulled me up. She held on to me for dear life.

"And you, especially, Aaron. What you've done for so many is just endearing."

She gently kissed my cheek and then set me back on my wheelchair.

"You know you two are no slouches either, but our friend here needs a break."

"I got every break I need, Jills. If you love me, then I'm golden. I don't need anything."

"You need to be out of that wheelchair."

"Someday. I've had a few days of boredom, but Billy is coming to stay with us, so I'm good again."

"Yeah, you and your ten minutes of attention span a day. That would drive me nuts. That's why Jimmy and I bought this place."

"We know you won't let us pay for our meal," I said. "However, this is for your women's shelter contribution."

I gave her cash out of my wallet.

"Too much, love. I can't take that."

"Of course you can, and will. It's to help you help what you believe in."

"Aaron, it's too much."

"To quote someone I love, put a sock in that."

Sigh. "Thank you, love. I'm not going to take credit for this, though. My supplier knows a little bit about you, as does the director of the shelter. This is a month's worth of meals for dozens of women and children."

"I don't want the credit. You're doing all the work. It's not rocket science to give you, and them, some help. The needful are taken care of," I said, looking at Skip.

"Then WE share the credit. Does that work for you?"

"WE will always work for me, Jills. I do very little on my own."

"Not!" she said, walking to the kitchen to make us lunch.

"She is such a wise guy," I said, thinking aloud.

"And you aren't?" asked Billy.

"Of course not."

"Oy," he said.

"You're a good man, Aaron," said Skip. "I agree that it was a lot of money, but she'll stretch every dollar. No one will be left out."

"Then my job is done," I said, content, finally.

Jillian brought our lunches and three tall iced teas. Mine was a raspberry tea. I cannot get enough of that. We ate lunch, hugged her, kissed her cheek, and headed for home.

We went to the rooftop deck and sat together, holding each other, until bedtime. We had left my wheelchair in our apartment, and Skip had carried me upstairs. Billy threw me over his shoulder when we were ready to go inside again. Once inside, he put me in the oversized chair, took of my shirt and t-shirt and then my Nikes and socks. He too stripped down. There was a very light breeze coming through the windows. Skip brought us more iced tea. He too stripped down. We again looked like triplets except that I was still too skinny to be identical.

"Tomorrow, bro, after chemo" I said to Billy, "let's get a newspaper. I want to start looking for a small office space. I need to get busy helping out fellow cancer patients and our `family'. Even with you here, I can't sit around all day doing nothing. I think that's one reason Skip knows I'm so antsy—feeling trapped here is only a small part of it. I got to be busy, worthwhile busy."

"Good plan, love. It'll be cool to start our business. We'd be a year ahead of your plan."

I reached into the drawer of the table beside our chair. I pulled out the list that I had made a few weeks ago. I passed it to Billy.

"Whoa, lemme guess, you did a brain dump."

"Yeah. Skip helped too. Hey, it's no good if the ideas are inside my head. What if something happens to me?"

"Not likely, but it makes it easy to divide up some tasks."

"Add anything that you think of."

"I like this one, at the bottom," he said.

He put the list down and turned us to face each other. He kissed me very lovingly. Skip lay on his side behind me and did the same. I loved being in the middle. I could still give, but mostly I received from two. Nice. We shared long lingering kisses as the boys wrapped us up like a warm cocoon. I dozed off for a bit. Next thing I knew, Billy was putting me in bed between him and Skip. They kissed me and I sort of kissed them, going back to sleep for the night.

I wanted to find office space so that we could get our business going. It was not ever going to make the Fortune 500, but it was important. We wanted to give some humanity to dealing with cancer. That was the limited scope of the business for now. Later on, we would start to help the abused and bullied.

Since Claire had some business sense, I asked her to go with Billy and me. We had taken the Sunday Boston Globe and circled ads that sounded reasonable. We thought that 1000-1500 square feet would be nice. The boys at school could come and go as they pleased while they all had a workspace, or even shared workspace between them.

Claire understood what we wanted to do for cancer patients. We were not counselors. A couple of the boys are psych majors, but would not practice without credentials. We would give cancer patients a place to be with fellow cancer patients, a place to hang out away from the hospital, and a jumping off point for social activity. Michael and Jimmy were coming on board first.

We found a 2,000 square foot space not far from Mass General. It was on the ground floor. It needed work. The landlord gave us a rate of $1800 a month if we would do the work. Claire had done comps in the area. She talked him down to $1600, based on similar properties.

Skip and JD came in one early Saturday morning to repair walls, put up two walls where none existed, made sure plumbing was in order, checked the electrical systems, replaced three in-window air conditioners, and then taped, mudded, and painted. They added wainscoting to the lower walls and crown molding to the upper walls. Any at-my-level work that needed to be done was passed to me. Billy painted like a man possessed. I had rented some office furniture and taken donations from Betsy and Claire. They also shopped yard sales together in New Hampshire.

By the end of two weekends, the place was in great shape. We had hardwood floors instead of carpeting, neutral but eye-pleasing colors, cheery lighting, and plants in containers. We had no shingle on the door. Those who needed to find us would. We would turn solicitors away as kindly as we could. We had no money to give and we did not need to buy anything. We were a not-for-profit, and needy ourselves. Claire and Andrew, Betsy and JD, Billy, Skip and I paid the rent and for the rental furniture.

I woke up with a start. It took me a moment to figure out where I was. I had come home for the weekend with Billy and Skip. We were in Skip's bed.

"What's the matter, love?" Skip asked as he kissed me, making sure I was okay.

"Dream. Real dream. I found a son to adopt. It was so real."

"Dreams do come true, love," said Billy. He rubbed my back. "You're proof of that. I can't say I dreamed you into existence, but you are an answer to my prayers."

"I'm sorry I woke you guys. It's only 2:30."

"Try to go back to sleep, love. Two hours sleep isn't enough for you."

I lay quietly. I had the picture of a young man in my head and he would not leave me. I figured I could pretend to go back to sleep.

3:30 a.m. The boys were breathing softly. I lay still, staring into the darkness.

5:00 a.m. The boys were breathing softly. I lay still, staring at my eyelids in the darkness. Oy.

6:30 a.m. The boys were breathing softly. I lay still, staring into the semi-dawn. Oy and a half.

Could I really have a son someday? I was supposed to have one already. He would be nine years old. I would be teaching him to throw and catch and bat, or to sink baskets, or hit a hockey puck and how to skate. I would be teaching him about caring about people, and being a good boy. He would be taking care of a puppy. I don't know about dreams coming true, but fantasies do. Twice, in my case, as my sleeping buddies prove.

8:00 a.m. The boys slowly came awake.

"Love, you look like hell," said Billy, kissing me.

"Thanks, bro, I love you too. I'm under the impression that, to you, I are a stud boy."

"Well, yes, but a stud boy who doesn't sleep at night is a very tired stud boy."

"I am."

"Come downstairs and lay on the sofa. We'll make breakfast," said Skip.

The boys did not give me time to argue. Billy picked me up and threw me over his shoulder.

"But ..."

"Yes and a fine one at that. I'd like to be inside of it, but breakfast first."

"Oatmeal for me. Maybe a couple slices of ham."

The boys made oatmeal for all of us, and cooked up some Canadian bacon. After four and a half years together, they still would not eat more than I did. When breakfast was ready, Skip took me off the sofa and carried me outside, putting me in one of three lounge chairs. He kissed me deeply.

"I'm sorry you had such a bad night."

"Not bad overall. The dream was okay, really, but not getting back to sleep does suck."

As we talked, Billy went inside and filled our bowls with more oatmeal. Skip went in later to make some toast. We finished eating. Billy lay behind me and slid slowly into me. He held me, talked to me softly, and helped me gently fall asleep. I did not wake up until almost 1:30. He was still inside of me. Skip was sitting in the lounge chair close by, reading.

"Aww, bros, don't tell me I wasted your whole morning."

"You did not," said Skip. "I went out to pick up groceries for dinner. I picked up movie tickets for us, too. Mom and Dad are coming for dinner. I've read six chapters in a book that I haven't touched in weeks."

"As for me, I got to hold you all morning. I love you, so that's not wasting anything."

"I love you too, bro. How much fresh cum is in my ass?"

"Only two loads."

"You stud you."

"You bring out the very best in me, and my cum too."

"Do you want a bath, bro," asked Skip.


He picked me up in both arms and carried me upstairs. Billy went ahead of us to start the bath. Skip asked if he could take advantage of the natural lube already in my hole.

"Oh yeahhh. Lay me on my back so I can watch you inside of me."

He did. Billy got him harder first by sucking on him. When he was nice and hard, and a bit wet, he slid slowly inside of me. I watched every inch enter me. Billy sucked me and I became nicely hard.

"Well, I guess stud really is the right word. Can you feel Skip inside you?"

"A bit, but not more than usual. Mostly at the outer edge of my hole. No prostate action though."

Billy lay in a sixty-nine with me and we sucked while Skip fucked me nice. Within twenty minutes, he was shooting inside of my hole while Billy and I were filling each other's mouths with cum.

Skip then put me in the nice hot water, washing me thoroughly. He and Billy then showered together while kissing. I dressed. Billy tied my Nikes. We were going to the mall for a bit. I had ordered Billy's birthday gifts online, so I was looking for the newest Patricia Cornwell and the newest Robert Ludlum novels for me. I was also re-reading the Bourne Identity trilogy. I had recently joined the Doubleday Book Club so that I would have at least one new book a month. Too much time on my hands was not a good thing. When I got bored, I would shut down. It would take very little to be bored if I did not stay in motion, and staying in motion was hard because of my legs.

It came time to head for Lake Winnisquam. Michael took the train into Boston and then to the usual suburban station that was over the border from New Hampshire. We picked him up and drove north for just under ninety minutes. By noon, all the boys had arrived and we were putting things in the fridge and chest freezer that JD had bought for us. We no longer had to make daily ice runs. We ran to the store only when we ran out of food. Or to get fresh dessert.

This is the first year (3rd annual weekend) that I had no legs. The boys made sure I got into the lake anyway, but also ensured that I did not drown. A year ago, Billy and I were recovering from kidney surgery. I wanted only one thing—a normal life. Apparently, it was too much to ask for.

We made sure to introduce Sam and Michael first thing. The boys spent a fair amount of alone time together. David had encouraged Sam to do so. He made sure that Sam understood that being with Michael was not going to take anything away from their friendship. A brother is a brother. When I caught up to them near sundown on the first evening, Sam was holding Michael from behind. Michael's hands held Sam's arms.

"Well, looks like you two are getting along famously. All is well?"

"Yeah, love," said Michael. "Thanks for introducing us. It's okay that I hold on to Sam?"

"Of course, love. This is what we do. We hold on to each other. These aren't friendships that fade in a couple of years. These are friendships that should last our whole lives."

"I just don't want to take anything from you. You do know you are special."

"Aww, bro, Aaron is special to us all. We love each other. You don't hate me because I'm gay."

"Cut the gay crap," said Michael, meaning it. "You lose when you let dopes put a label on you. You're my brother because of this circle of friends. Someday, I'm going to love you very much."

"Aww Michael, I'm sorry. I know better than to do that. But I don't love the way you do."

"Sure you do. What's Aaron say?"

"I dunno. Aaron says a lot of great stuff."

"I quote—love is not gender. Love is love. Unquote."

"Wow, you actually pay attention to me?"


I laughed aloud. Duh indeed.

Michael leaned in to kiss me, and it was not just a peck on my cheek. He put his hand behind my head as he kissed me. He pulled back a moment and looked into my eyes. He kissed me again, as warmly.

"Okay, bro?"

"Yeah. And a half."

"I do love you."

"Thank you for loving me, Michael. I do love you at least as much."

He took me out of my wheelchair and sat me down in front of Sam, between his legs. I lay back against his chest. Sam wrapped his arms around me. Michael got behind Sam and resumed holding him.

"If this is gay, people are stupid," said Michael.

"People are stupid, at least some of them. I usually couldn't care less what people think of me. They size me up in seconds, and get it ALL wrong. I have a hundred abilities, and ONE disability. Which do they see? So, fuck `em."

"No, teach `em," said Sam. "Show `em what you're made of," said Sam. "You have a thousand abilities. So `em every last one of them so they don't see the disability."

"That's a tough job. They'll see the disability no matter what."

"I don't. Not one of the original 14 do. Alex, Kirk, every boy who loves you. We see your heart because it's out there for us to see. Any one of us can kiss you and hold you forever if we wanted to. I can do this ..."

Sam put his hand inside my shorts to play with my cock. He turned my head to kiss me deeply.

"... and so can every boy you know, without asking. Or you'll do it to them if you know they're stressed or needful."

I looked at Michael. "May I get you hard, love?"

"Yeah, as long as Sam keeps working on you."

"When did you come last?" I asked.

"I tried to on Wednesday. I couldn't. It's been a week at least."

"Do you want to?"

"Yeah, badly. Sam, may I suck your cock?"

"Really? You sure?"

"I am. You take care of Aaron and I'll take care of you."

"Okay, bro. I'm game."

We got into the same triangle sixty-nine that Skip, Billy, and I do. Michael did not hesitate to take Sam's cock. They had spent the whole morning together, and much of the afternoon. Sam took care to make sure Michael fit in. I did my part, because Michael fit in nicely. I managed to get him fully hard. Getting him to come was the challenge. I was half-hard, but I let Sam do whatever he wanted to. Getting me harder and getting me to come was also the challenge.

Sam sucked me expertly while he fingered my hole. He avoided my `instant cum button' for now. I was just hard enough for him to enjoy. Michael took just as good care of Sam. I licked over Michael's hole, probing with my tongue. He shivered.

"You like that?"

"Yeah. I do. Aaron, you're the best for taking care of me."

"I'm still nervous about doing this to you. I really want you to know there is more to me ..."

"Sshhhh. There is much more to you, and I do know that. But for right now, this is something I need."

"Okay, love, then I can do this for you, no shame."

We three lay there, taking and giving. I felt my cock stiffen more and more. It felt nice to be so hard. I just wish that it did not take so much effort. I watched Sam for a couple of minutes.

"I'm okay, bro. Stop worrying."

I smiled at him. I decided to give Michael's prostate a go, gently. I brushed it once with the tip of my finger, lightly. His cock got a bit firmer in my mouth. I was afraid he would come too soon, so I stopped. I licked his hole instead. He moaned, making Sam moan too, making me moan in turn.

"I want to come, love. Please?" Michael asked me.

I made sure I was firmly on his cock. I brushed my finger across his joy buzzer lightly a few times. He shot so hard in my mouth that he bucked his hips. He kept his mouth on Sam, who started to come. Sam pressed into my hole, causing me to come hard into his mouth.

"Wow," Michael said, catching his breath. "So good. Oh so good," he said, collapsing onto his back.

We cleaned each other up. Michael leaned in to kiss me. He was smiling. There is no way I could deny him his only pleasure when he asked. I did not pity him, but I did want him to know that he could count on me ... and anyone here, all of them.

To make that come true, we went back to the boys. They had had enough of the water for this afternoon.

"Michael, can I hold you," asked Edward. "It's been a while, and I've missed you."

Michael answered by walking over to Edward and giving him a world-class hug. He kissed Edward on his forehead. Edward returned the kiss on his forehead and then lightly on his lips. He looked into Michael's eyes. He sat and put Michael up against his chest, wrapping his arms around his friend. I had not known until recently that Edward spent a fair amount of time with Michael right after Michael's surgery. Edward had a cousin who died a year ago, of testicular cancer. He wanted to keep Michael on this side of his life, and he had been taught how to do that by Skip and me.

Michael turned his head and waited, looking into Edward's eyes. Edward thought about it for a moment and then kissed Michael warmly. Michael put his fingers behind Edward's head and kissed him back. A tear ran down Edward's cheek.

"I'm glad you're here, bro. I'm sorry I haven't ..."

"Now hush, bro. I know you live in Rhode Island and that you work. I also know that you will call me when you get back to Cambridge. Email is good enough. Or when you call me. You holding me is nice."

Skip came over to me and whispered in my ear. I nodded. He picked me up and carried me inside. I peed a lot. I usually do after I come.

"Thank you for taking care of Michael."

"How do you know?"

"I just do."

"I shouldn't doubt that. I know no one came near. They must have seen Sam, Michael, and I go off together."

"We did."

"No one was curious?"

"Of course we were. But not enough to interfere with you. I told the guys that Michael ... has trouble ... I also told them not to embarrass him. They wouldn't, of course. I'm going to introduce Greg to Michael. Greg lives a town away from Michael and says he wants to watch out for him the rest of the summer."

"Sweet. Michael will be happy to have a buddy close by."

"The way I like to have you," Skip said, kissing me, showing me he means what he says. He put both arms around me.

I kissed him on his neck and then his lips. He took me off my wheelchair and set me on the floor with him.

"That was too good to stop," he said, kissing me some more.

He loves to hold on to me. I think back to him suffering so badly after his surgery. I think back again to me telling him to let me go, and how stupid that was.

"It wasn't stupid, love. You hurt, and you had been through so much. I just knew we could be okay in time. I loved you, and still love you, too much to ever let you go. I was more selfish than you, but I had to be."

"You've told me that me not in your life would suck."


"I believe you. I can't even conceive of me without you."

"Someday you're going to love someone more than me. Until that happens, I love you."

"I can't picture loving someone more, unless he's needful."

"There will always be someone more needful than me, and you. In fact, there are. We need to find them and love them to life."

"Let's go out and see if we can get a basketball game going. Think the guys would like the same `winners and losers' as last year?"

"Yeah. You'll coach?"

"I will. Let's see who wants to coach the other team, and what teams to make."

Edward asked to me the `rival' coach. He let me pick my team first.

I took Jimmy, Bryan, Kirk, Patrick, Ste, Henry, Kenny, Jeremy, Greg, Jessie, and Matt.

Edward took Michael, Nate, Alex, Billy and Skip, Jerry, Jake, Paul, Brian, Vincent, and David.

I already knew that this was a nice even match-up because we had an even mix of height and speed. Kenny was my short guy but he moved. David was the height advantage on Edward's team. Henry and Patrick were my tall guys.

David scored the first 3-point shot but Kenny got the ball, ran like the wind, and jumped like a gazelle, sinking a beautiful 3-pointer. It was a while before any more were made, but the regular shots came fast and furious. The boys played their hearts out for two and a half hours. Edward and I yelled encouragement from the sidelines. I just happened to be in Edward's arms, up against his chest.

"Hey, some rivalry," said David. "That's called fraternizing with the enemy, bro," he told Edward.

"Yes," said Edward.

"Yes it is," I said.

Billy had thrown the ball to me at the end. We were up by three points, which was enough to win, of course. I shot and scored. With my basket, my team won 90 to 85. It was not a gimme. The lead had changed hands across the whole two and a half hours. It was hot, we were tired, and we were very hungry.

"Okay boys," said Edward. "We're treating the winners at the diner. We do know what happens later, right?"

"Yeah. Oh boy," said Kenny.

Michael looked at me. A couple of the other guys caught the look.

"Don't worry bro," said Kenny quietly, walking over to Michael and holding his arms. "I'll take care of you, if you'll have me. Aaron gave me a head's up."

Michael looked at me. He smiled and said "Thank you," to me.

"Yeah, Kenny. I'd like that."

"I don't think you'll have much trouble, though. To be honest, it's pretty hot to watch us all take care of each other. Tomorrow is `Loser's Revenge'. You pick anyone you want tomorrow."

Michael nodded. He knew about that, too. There were no real losers in my world, no in this game anyway.

We settled into tables at the diner. They knew we were coming and put us all together in one side room, around a series of tables put together. As before, we shared plates around. Several, me included, ordered breakfast. I shared a waffle with Billy, to go with his chicken. I got fruit salad in exchange.

When it came time to pay the bill, there was no bill. The boys, most of them knowing me well, raised their eyebrows at me.

"Whaa-aaat?" I said, in two syllables.

"You know what," said Edward. "You know my team should be paying."

"There are no losers, bro. I love you guys, and I like to take care of you."

Sigh. Eyebrows went down. "Okay, I can't challenge that," said Edward. "However ..."

"Uh uh. I love you. And I like to take care of you." I looked all around.

Sigh again. Silence.

"Thanks, Aaron," as one.

"You're welcome, loves. Let's go home."

Skip carried me out of the diner over his shoulder. I ignored the stares, but I laughed like crazy as we went out the door. So did Skip. Billy put my wheelchair in the back of Skip's truck.

"You're a disruptive influence in public AND you put my scrawny ass on display."

"I am and I did."

"Is that all you have to say for yourself?"


"Alrighty then."

"One more thing," he said.


"I love you very very much."

"Oh my."

"You might not know that, so I thought I should tell you."

"I do know that, but to hear you say it that way ... so great, love, just perfect."

"You bring out the best in us," he said.

I looked at Billy. He did not say anything, but he kissed me deeply for him and for Skip.

"I know what Skip did when he first saw me, how he felt. How did you feel?"

"Like you needed to be in my heart. Like I needed to be in yours."

"Did you think it would happen? What if I stayed in my shell? It was more comfortable, not loving anyone."

"You need to love, even when there are hard times. I need to love, too, and getting you through cancer is my short-term mission. Skip loves you and I love you as much, no better and no worse."

"Your bro and I did the same thing, early on."

"I did too. Every time I came, I imagined that it was you who got me off, and your cum in my mouth."

"And then you found out I have a heart too."

"And a soul," said Skip.

"Yeah, but you loved me anyway."

"We did and we do. We are three," said Billy.

"This weekend we are 24."

"A small circle of friends. Intimate and special. We're going to have to take the party inside though. Here comes the rain."

We were the last to arrive at the cabin. Skip used me for his umbrella. He did it on purpose so he could get me out of my wet clothes and nekkid. Good thing I am not modest. David took off my wet shirt. Jeremy took off my sneakers and socks. Michael scooted under the boys, undid my shorts, and then took them off. My boxers came off at the same time. The boys wasted no time in getting naked so I would not feel out of place. Trust me, me naked and 23 other guys fully clothed did not bother me a bit. But I liked their concern.

Jessie lay between my legs and took my cock in his fist. Paul lay between Jessie's legs and did the same. The boys kept it up until we were one large winding line. The guys were definitely creative in how they got together. They believed me when I said there were no real winners and losers, just mates who really loved each other. Michael was between Jeremy's legs and Kenny was between Michael's legs. I was without a cock in my hand because I was at the head of this circle. Jessie knew that he had to work a bit for me, but he did not let that stop him. Once he got me half-hard, he knew we would be okay. He also sucked me to keep me hard. He stopped after a while and leaned up to kiss me.

"Okay bro?"

"I am if you are."

"I are," he said, smiling.

He went back down on me, fingering my hole at the same time, knowing that that is the magic trick to getting me off. Hands were eventually replaced with mouths along the whole line. Even the boys who had not been here in previous summers had no qualms about sucking a buddy's cock. The guys knew that Nate and Bryan were lovers, so they made sure to separate them to give them some variety in their sex. Edward gave and received in equal measure, very much enjoying our group playtime.

I do not know who was the first to come, but it was not me. I was somewhere in the middle of the pack. I unloaded a decent load in Jessie's mouth. He swallowed and then cleaned me up. He looked at me, asking if it was good. I told him it was very good, just perfect. The end of the line turned out to be Henry. We made eye contact. I wanted a cock in my mouth and he wanted to be sucked, so the guys made room for us. Some of them jacked while Henry and I got into a sixty-nine. A handful of them came a second time, while their nearest buddy went down on them to take their loads. Henry and I unloaded into each other's mouths. It surprised the boys that I came again. I credit Henry and the guys who cleaned up their buddies a second time because that was just purely hot.

The rain cleared up and we wanted to be outside again. It was after 10:00 and no one was even close to being tired, not even those of us who would wake early. Guys who had not been with another buddy today took the opportunity to hold someone else. I took Matt in my arms and kissed him as we faced each other.

"Hi bro, long time no see," he said after kissing me.

"Hi love. I think we got lost in the ocean of bodies, huh?"

"No real complaints about that, but it's nice to hold you again."

"You having a good time this weekend?"

"Oh yeah. I hope we do these weekends for a long time."

"I'd be okay with that, as long as you guys want to keep coming."

"In more ways than one, bro," he said, smiling at my double entendre.

It was after 1:00 a.m. before we settled into sleeping bags and into each other's arms. I asked Matt if I could sleep with him. He drew me close to him, tucked into my neck, kissed me lightly, and fell asleep. As usual, when we were in each other's company, we all slept deeply.

We made a large breakfast, made all gone, cleaned up the area, and then headed out to hike around the high points above the lake. A few of the guys had made a few dozen sandwiches after we cleaned up. It was a large effort—tuna, egg salad, PB&J, cold cuts ... they worked together very well. They threw them in backpacks. I turned out to be Billy's backpack. To him, I weighed as much as the other guy's packs. He was not a muscle hunk, just a hunk, but toned and athletic.

After he set me down, he lay down on top of me, smothering me with kisses. I laughed aloud, loving that he loved me so much. I held him down on top of me and returned every kiss.

"I'm so horny, bro. I want ..."

"Go for it, love."

I did not have to tell him twice. He lay behind me and entered me as discreetly as possible. It took a long while before anyone else noticed that he was doing more than just holding me.

"You guys need a room?" asked Ste.

"Nope. We're fine," I said. "Just dandy."

"I want your cum, Billy, okay?" said Paul. "Okay with you, Aaron?"

"Of course, bro," I said.

Billy nodded to Paul when he was ready to come. Paul lay between Billy's legs quickly and swallowed his cock, and then his cum. In the meantime, Billy pulled my cock out of my shorts after finding me hard enough. He stroked me a few moments. Kenny leaned in and took my about-to-come cock into his mouth.

"Geez guys, if you snooze around here, you surely lose," said Jeremy. "Good thing I had some overnight."

"On top of mine yesterday?" said Jerry.

"Yup. Aaron is not the only greedy boy around here."

The boys were a bit tired after hiking for nearly two hours, so we just sat and enjoyed the scenery. We played the `Five Senses' game, after explaining it to the newer guys. I cannot say that I was amazed, but I was very pleased that they saw, heard, smelled, felt, and tasted (which was usually each other). We did not have to hurry home since the weather was so nice, so we agreed to stay until sunset. The purple dusk settling in made us all very content. Billy again picked me up and carried me on his back. When we got back to the cabin, we made hot dogs and burgers. Before the fire died, we made s'mores. I was one of the first, along with Skip, to conk out for the night. He held me from behind as Patrick lay in front of me. Edward held Patrick as they both went easily into sleep.

Monday morning was spent loading up the trucks and SUVs. We made sure the fire was out, that the freezer was empty, and that all garbage was put curbside. We all hugged and kissed for a while. There was no sadness in leaving. We would be together again in late August. It was still six weeks away, but we'd keep in touch via email or phone. The second part of summer always went faster.

Greg took Michael home with him, far easier than taking the train back.

Skip, Billy, and I had dinner with the folks that night. Half-way through dinner, I felt tingling in my upper legs.

"Geez!" I said in surprise.

Everyone looked at me, wondering what was going on. JD was beside me. I pushed back from the table. He saw that I was moving my legs, more than usual.

"You feel `em?"

"Yeah. Not 100%, but I feel my thighs," I said as I poked at them.

I backed up my wheelchair and locked the wheels again. "Help me see what I got?" I asked him.


JD slid the footrests out of the way. Skip stood up on my left. I used the table to push myself up. JD put his arm around my back. Skip put his around my waist.

"Not too tight, guys. I want to see how much I got."

They both loosened their hold on me, but stood ready to catch me. Billy sat directly across from me. His face lit up when I looked at my legs and then looked at him. Betsy was also smiling a bit, cautious of course. The mom instinct said not to let me get hurt. I was not going to get hurt.

I felt my hips and thighs support me. Energy flowed from my knees down to my feet. I let go of the table, scared to do so. I chanted `stand up, stand up' to myself silently. I felt the muscles in my back. I wobbled a bit. JD started to reach for me but I waved him off. I stood a bit straighter.

"Holy crap," I said. "I can feel everything. My lower legs hurt."

"You feel pain?" asked JD.

"Yeah. It's wonderful."

Skip took my wheelchair out of the way and turned me around. Actually, I helped him turn me around.

"Take a step," he said.

I kept my head up for balance. I took a step. I brought my two feet together again, wobbled a bit, but stood firm. I took another.

"Hold me!" I said.

Skip and JD reached for me. Betsy's breath caught. Billy stood and casually walked over to me. He stood in front of me. When he reached out to hold me, he stepped back and I stepped forward. He smiled at me. JD and Skip stood back, humbled because they didn't get what I said. That's my fault, for not speaking clearly. Billy got it. He held my chest for a moment, let me go, and took another step back, I followed. I had taken three very small but three very large steps.

"Whoo hoo!! Holy crap! Okay bro, hold me for real."

Billy did. He kissed me warmly and handed me off to Skip, who held me, tears in his eyes. He hugged me tight. JD and Betsy both teared up. They too stepped over to hug me. I was still standing.

"Can you walk more?"

"No. Too tired."

"That was magnificent," said Skip. "Here, sit."

He put my wheelchair behind me and lowered me into it. "Will you try again tomorrow?"

"Maybe. It's a bit like being teased though. I'm continually fighting the urge just to get up and run ... and never look back."

"I can't say that I can imagine what you feel like. I know it would suck not to have ability to walk, but there are worse things. You always seem to make the best of it."

"I know Skip, but if I let it get me down, there's no turning back. I believe you when you say I'll walk again, and that I'm not a burden. But ..."

"Sshhhh, no `but'. You will. And you are not."

"Does that mean the swelling on your spine is going down?" asked Betsy.

"Maybe. I'll call Andrew when we get back to Boston. He can check with an imaging scan."

"Let's watch the rest of the ballgame, love," said Billy. "You've done so great tonight."

We settled in on the sofa. We three are going to stay overnight. Billy goes back to work in the morning and Skip and I will head for Boston.

"I got feeling in my legs, Andrew. Can I come see you today?"

"Of course. Sit tight. I'll come fetch you within the half hour."

Andrew arrived within twenty minutes. Considering where his office was in the MGH complex, that was a feat. If only the pizza delivery guys did as well. Once we arrived at his office, he scheduled a checkup with the imaging center. After a while, he saw the results.

"The swelling is about half what it was, love. I'm pleased that you have been taking care. I know you hate the wheelchair, but it's necessary. I could ask you to do physical therapy, but I think if Skip is willing to help you, it won't be necessary."

"We talked about that already. No PT, except what Skip will do for me. PT just brings me back to learning how to walk again after my accident. I hated it."

"I would recommend small steps, and a routine. Three to four steps each day, increasing by one or two every other day. If you feel pain in your back AT ALL, do not be a hero. You don't want the swelling to return."

"No hero here. Walking three steps the other night was a mixture of awe and terror. Why do my legs hurt so much?"

"They have hurt for a while, but the loss of feeling masked it. How about your back?"

"Same deal, but not as much. Lying flat in bed is painful after a while. Side sleeping hurts my hips. I spend the second half of the night in the oversized chair, upright."

"It must make for a hard night for you and Skip then. I assume he carries you?"

"Yeah. He goes right back to sleep, as do I. We know I'm okay, so we don't lose sleep."

"He's a blessing, and peace of mind even to me."

"He says I'm not a burden."

"How could you be? Claire and I have a surprise for you when you can walk again."

"Oh? Are you going to tease me?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

"Oh, alright. Come to lunch with me at Jillian's place. My treat."

"No, my treat. She won't take money from you, but she will from me."

"Women. Go figure."

Andrew and I had fruit salads at Jillian's place. She did not accept payment.

"Women," said Andrew. "Go figure."

"We'll make a donation to the women's shelter. That's what she does with her income anyway."

"I heard that!" she said from the kitchen. She came back to scold me.

"Well then, I'll go you one better," I said.

With a little effort, I stood up. Andrew stood close but did not crowd me.

"Really? You can feel your legs?"

"Yeah. Mostly pain, but Skip and I are going to get me walking again. In a few weeks, I think I can walk from my place to yours without much help."

"Oh dear heart, that's great! God bless you, Aaron."

"He does, Jills. And Skip," I said.

"Oh yeah, love, definitely Skip. I'm thrilled. You'll be sensible though, right?"

"Yeah. It's very tiring to walk. If I fall, I risk injuring my spine. Then this beast will be a permanent fixture. That's not going to happen."

"Maybe someday, love, but not in the immediate future. The day you and Skip walk to my place from home, Jimmy and I will have a special treat for you."

"Oh great, one more tease. Are you and Andrew in the conspiracy business?"

"Yes. Yes we are."

"Dandy. Okay, so I got something to look forward to when I can walk again. In the meantime, the only thing I want is a hug and a piece of strawberry rhubarb pie for Skip."

Jillian brought me the entire pie.

"Hey, it's just a big piece, that's all."


Later that evening, Skip helped me walk four steps. It was slow, but it was just wonderful. Tomorrow there would be four more steps. The next two evenings there would be five. Geez, at this rate I could make it from the oversized chair to the bathroom by August.


"Aaron, I have a candidate for Sam to talk," said a familiar voice from Canada. "He needs a friend more than anything."

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