Paul loves Jackie

Copyright 2004 by Freedom

This is a love story involving two males. They were boys, they were men, and now they may be boys again. That's why the story is here. No actual boys were used in this story. Flames will be doused and trashed. If you enjoyed the story tell me. It's the only payment I'll ever get.

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Hugs and love to HCFU especially HCFU-T,

who planted the germ of this story.

Its care and watering are mine though,

as are any errors.

Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honalee.
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff, oh

Field hospital somewhere in Vietnam

August 1970

Oh Lord, there's that silly song again! Here I am, stuck in a bed, only one leg, and my body looks like crispy chicken, and for some reason they're playing that silly kid's song, and I'm crying.

Me. John Piper. U.S. Army. PFC. Grunt. I've been here since I lied and joined up to fight the commies two years ago. No, that's a lie. I joined up to have an adventure all the way from Northern Canada. I was in love with the idea that I would help the Yanks make the world safe for democracy. I spent most of the first year cleaning toilets and stuff at an army base, but then I guess they needed some more bodies to throw at the Cong. So I got thrown, and I lasted 8 months in this hole. Heck I'm only 18 now. Eighteen and never been kissed. Well, that's not exactly true...

Jackie remembers

August 1962



That was my Mom doing her imitation of a foghorn. Guess I better go see what she wants. Probably left a sock in the living room or something.

I tumbled down the stairs humming that new song ... I saved up to buy the 45 RPM. Geez it's almost a song about me!

"Jackie? Dad and me are going out tonight to play cards with the Smiths. Paul'll come to stay with you."

"Wow! No girls! ... Mom? Can I stay up to watch Twilight Zone? I'll have my bath and everything before. I promise! Please?"

"That will be up to Paul, and it will depend on whether he wants to have a little boy around him all night."

I took off like a space rocket, and went back upstairs to my room and my records. Not too many books though, books were for sissies. I loved Superboy comics though, and Green Lantern. And the Hardy Boys were neato. All those adventures! It would be great to have adventures like that when I'm older.

Paul remembers

August 1962

Mom asked me to go over to babysit Jackie so the Pipers could come over here to play euchre.

"Is there any money in it? Like a dollar? Gee Mom its Friday night, and I was gonna go out with the guys!"

"If Edna gives you something, you'll take it and be happy. If she doesn't, you will take that and be happy! Understood, Paul? It's been tough for Dan since he was hurt in the mines, and I want to give them a chance to get out of the house."


I guess that's ok. And it's not like I really enjoy going out with the guys anymore. They want to talk about girls and getting laid and I dunno, I'm just not interested. I pretend though. I don't want to be called a sissy. But coke and chips cost 35 cents and that's about half of what I have in this world. If the Pipers even give me a quarter that will make me with three figures in my wallet. Yeah, $1.00 is three figures.

So I shower and change my shirt and shorts. Wonder if I'll have to give Jackie a bath? Nah, he's ten, and probably does himself. I'll have to put him to bed though, but if I do it early, I can sit and watch the Twilight Zone when he's quiet.



Geez that bugged me when she tried to sound just like me.

"What time I gotta be there?"

"They're coming over around 8, so you better get there by ten to, in case Edna has any instructions for you."

So I did, and I was just having a little chat with his parents when the back door burst open, and a dark eyed little god ran into the kitchen. He pulled up short when he realized I was there and stood checking me out – I mean he looked at me from head to toe! And maybe back again. I don't know, I was trying hard not to blush or laugh at him.

"Jackie Piper, remember your manners! Say hello to Paul."

"Uh, hi..."


With those immortal words I met the only person I've ever truly loved. I just wish he had it in him to love me back. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

"Now Paul, don't let him talk your ear off, and make sure – make sure – he has a bath. And pyjamas young man. I've made some cookies and kool-aid for you both. Bedtime is when Paul says it is, Jackie. Any arguments and you'll be spanked tomorrow, I promise you. C'mon Dan, Paul's parents are waiting."

And, of a sudden, they were gone, and Jackie and I were left in the kitchen still looking at each other.

"Wanna come and listen to my new record?" Without waiting for an answer, he grabbed my hand, and pulled me up the stairs to his room. "It's Puff the magic dragon."

So there I was, sitting on the bed, listening. When the song was over, I thought I would tease him.

"Little Jackie Piper, eh? Did they pay you anything to use your name?"

"It's Paper dummy!"

"That's what I said – Little Jackie Piper!"

"Funny man! If I'm little Jackie Paper, you're Puff and I get to ride your tail!"

"Huh! You just try!"

In a minute, he was sitting on my bum and bouncing up and down, so I guess I didn't fight him too hard. But I was hard, harder than I ever remember being, so I just lay there and enjoyed the feeling of Jackie on my back.

"So where's my strings and sealing wax?"

I heard a giggle. "Don't have any, but I have other fancy stuff!"

For the next hour we read his Superboy comic collection. He didn't have any new ones, but as he said, his Dad had hurt himself, and money was tight. He got the record by mowing 10 lawns at 25 cents a lawn. He planned to buy another comic when he'd paid back the 10 cents his mom had lent him to cover the sales tax.

"Wow! Look at the time! Better go have your bath."

"If I have it quick, can I watch Twilight Zone with you at 10?"

"Depends how clean you are!"

Giggles. "I'm gonna be really clean, cuz you're gonna wash me!"

Oh Lord. I wanted to, and I didn't want to. In the end my little man won that fight, and I was in the bathroom watching a small boy jump into the tub. He winked and handed me the soap and washcloth and sat there waiting.

I cleaned him all over, washed his hair, and even got to touch, to wash, his little weenie. And his bum hole. Gee, I'd never seen one up close before, but his was a little pink pucker and so beautiful, just like the rest of him. All the time, I had an erection, and he must have noticed, but he said nothing, just continued chattering about this and that, and all kinds of stuff.

Then he stood up, and I rinsed him down with a large cup, as I was letting the water out.

Then I took a towel and threw it at him.

"I wash, you dry!"

He looked so stricken, that I gave in and dried him too. By the time I finished, my balls were aching. It didn't help that when I was drying his feet, he leant down and gave my neck a shy kiss.

Then, he took off, still naked, and came running back with his pyjamas. He put them on in front of me, and jabbered on excitedly about the Twilight Zone.

"They NEVER let me watch it. They say I'm too young, and it'll give me nightmares."

So we watched Twilight Zone, him on the couch, me in the armchair. Halfway through the show he came and sat shivering on my lap. I almost took him to bed, but then he put his arm around me, and I decided to leave it there. He was so happy to be watching TV with me, even though he shut his eyes when the weird thing happened and time shifted.

When I told him to go to bed, he wrapped his body around mine, and insisted on being carried. So I made like a horse, or a dragon, I guess, and we went up to his bed. As I tucked him in, he pulled me down and kissed me sweetly on the mouth.

"Goodnight Puff. I hope you can come stay with me again."

And all through that glorious month, and throughout the next two years, whenever the Pipers needed a sitter, I sat. Jackie shared many things with me, his hopes, his aspirations, his comics, his records, his occasional books, and when the time came, his growing body.

By the time I left to go to University, I had pretty well figured that I was a homo. The worse kind, because men didn't turn me on, but Jackie did. We never did anything, but he continued to have me talk to him when he was in the bath, and he was never shy about showing off his body. And always, always, I was Puff. And he was Little Jackie Piper.

When I went to University, I didn't get home too often, but when I did, Jackie was on my doorstep. He was growing up, and itching to get moving – to see the world out there.

When I graduated, my Dad had just died and left me some insurance money. I used it to go home and start my own business – a hardware store. Not a bit of wanderlust in me, I guess. Besides I liked the seasons up North.

In the back of my mind, I was hoping to hire Jackie for after school and summers, until he went away. I hoped he wouldn't though. I wanted him to stay and be my friend.

But... in late August, he came over to my place, and gave me strings and sealing wax, and other fancy stuff... his Puff Dragon, his records, and said goodbye.

One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

I heard from his parents later. He had gone to the States and joined the US Army.

Without his lifelong friend, Puff could not be brave
So, Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave, oh.

I went into the closet. Not that I had never left and never would, even with the Summer of Love, and gays marching in New York. I had a feeling that they wouldn't like it if I came out. I never considered myself gay though. I just loved one boy, and he was a man now. So I stayed buried in the closet. Work, work, work, community service, youth groups, Rotary Club, the whole nine yards. The whole time I prayed that Jackie would come back from his adventures whole.

Jackie remembers

Vietnam 1970

That was totally strange, the memories that song brought back. I hadn't thought of Paul since I left. And yet he was my best friend. He always took time to listen to me, and I hated to say goodbye to him when I left. But I owed it to him, even though I didn't exactly say goodbye. I think he knew though. His eyes were moist. When I left he was cradling my old Puff dragon he'd given me one Christmas. If I make it out of here, I'm going home and I'll ask for it back.

There's that pretty nurse. Lieutenant Louise MacPherson. The others all call her LouLou. I call her Ma'am, and follow her with my eyes whenever she is in my area. She tells me I'll be transferred stateside to a rehab hospital soon. And I guess my adventuring days are over, and I better learn to walk without my leg. Better than going home in a coffin for Mom and Dad to bury, but not much. No girl's ever going to look at me, eh?

Eh. Boy where did that come from? The guys laughed it out of me when I was in training. But after everything is done, I think I'll go back to Canada, eh?

Paul remembers at Christmas 1970

What a year this has been. My parents died, my hardware store had some tough days, but in December I got the contract to supply the Public Works Department with all their hardware requirements. But it was close.

But the worse thing was that Mrs. Piper stopped in one day to tell me that Jackie had been hurt – that he'd been burnt, and had lost a leg. She didn't have too many details, but she said that he sounded ok, and was looking forward to going to a rehab hospital. She told me all about the pretty nurse Jackie had a crush on, and wondered if it would go anywhere. But I cheered up a lot when she showed me a scrawled PS "Tell Puff I said Hi! – and I'll bring him back some fancy things, oh!"

I laughed then, as I hadn't since Jackie left. I worked even harder to make a success of things so that when Jackie came home, he would see a happy Puff.

But he didn't come for years.

Jackie remembers at August 1980

That was a decade to remember. I got transferred to the Veteran's Rehab Hospital, and was moving right along there. The new leg was working, and as long as I wore a long sleeved shirt, and didn't drop my boxers without warning, I looked very presentable. And then, just a month before I was due for an honorable discharge Lieutenant MacPherson showed up.

It turned out that she had been following me with her eyes too, for all that she was nearly 7 years older than me, and had had a college education. By Christmas 1971, we were married, and in September of the next year, our little Paul was born. It irritated me that Louise wouldn't go home with me, although she was quite happy to have my parents visit. I sent them pictures, and, once a year, I sent an extra and asked them to give it to Paul. I considered him my son's godfather, though we never had him baptized, and, indeed, he had never met him. So I went to trade school, and learned my way around a garage, then ended up working for Ford in Detroit. I still wanted to go home, and I still had my Canadian passport, but with one thing or another, except for the odd trip to Windsor, I never made it.

The marriage didn't make it either. By 1979, Louise had tired of me. She said I didn't want to do anything, except eat, sleep, work and have sex every now and again. She took off with a guy from Chicago, in late August, and left me with Paul. Paul was the best thing to come out of our marriage - a quiet, gentle boy, with a sweet smile. Like me, I guess, when I was that small, but, unlike me, he was a reader.

Just before Christmas, I renewed my Canadian passport, and I put Paul on it. I had registered him at the consulate in Boston when he was born, so he was a Canadian citizen, as far as the Canadians were concerned. Another sticking point with his mother, because she always said he was American. But her new lover didn't like him – and the feeling was mutual, believe you me – Paul was quite firm in his dislike of Mommy's "boyfriend". So I got to keep him and we went up North to home finally. I would find a job and Mom would help look after Paul. I landed a job with the town, and ended up as a procurement clerk with the Public Works. So I ran into big Paul often. Actually, little Paul ran into him first – literally!

Paul remembers at Christmas 1990

It was the late summer of 1980, and I was just getting the store ready for the back to school sale. The door banged open, but I continued working. The Lafreniθre boy would deal with the customer.

"Unca Puff! Unca PUFF!"

I started to turn wondering who would be calling. Then I was hit broadside by a fast moving object, who wrapped his arms around me. Bringing up the rear was a somewhat embarrassed Mrs. Piper who started to apologize as I caught my breath.

Then I looked down at the boy who had attached himself to me, and lost it again.

I looked into his face and saw a little boy, but I also saw the boy his father had been. So we didn't need any introductions, and I picked him up and kissed him. He was young enough to kiss me back, but given the times, it was one of the few times he ever did that in public.

Later on that week, I saw Paul when he came in to "introduce" himself as my main contact with the town. He hugged me, and it was like yesterday, the last time I had seen him.

"Well, Puff! It took a while, but I finally came to get my dragon back. Have you still got him?"

"Yes, but I'm still waiting for the fancy stuff you promised me ten years ago, Mister!"

He gave me an innocent look. "But the package was delivered yesterday! I have this on the best authority!"

And indeed it had been. How silly of me to forget!

Jackie and Paul became part of my life. Little Paul shared with me all his hopes and aspirations, just as his Daddy had done. I even got to babysit him, but I never felt as close to him as I had to his dad. I loved him intensely though, and took pride in the fact that when he hit his teens, I was the one who supplied him with information that he needed to grow up with. He was my devoted helper in the store too, during the summer holidays.

And then, he was 18. He had a fight with his Dad. He came to me and cried but in the end he did what he wanted. He joined the Canadian Forces.

Jackie remembers at Christmas 1998

Paul joined the Canadian Forces, just in time to be sent to the Gulf War. I was terrified for him, and when I went to Puff, I cried. He gave me a hug, and sat me down and pointed out that I had done the same thing to my dad and mum. And him – that was unspoken, but heavily implied.

He told me that I had been wrong to oppose my son's need to prove himself, and to fight with him over something that was going to happen whether I approved or not.

I agreed, but, as I said, he better not wait 12 years to come home!

I was better than Cassandra, I guess. He's still not quite home. But he did leave the Forces in one piece. He was lucky. Very lucky. I've seen some boys who are still a bundle of nerves, who can't tolerate loud noises, who hit the ground when a car backfires.

Puff and I grew into middle age together. We often shared meals. And beer. And memories. He had me giggling when he told me stories of the times he sat with me when I was little. I asked him why he had never married, because he would have been a great dad. He shut up then, so I never pressed him. I didn't have a stellar record in the marriage department myself.

But I did have young Paul. So, I guess, did Puff. As he said, the statutes of limitation were off some confidences, so he told me some of Paul's hopes and dreams. We shared his growing up almost as a married couple, because he used both of us as models on how to grow. Or not, as the case may be.

But he still didn't come home. He left the Forces as soon as he could and spent the rest of the decade catching up on his book learning. I think he got a grant from the government, and I know he's still in the Reserves. I hope he never has to go over again.

Paul stayed angry with me all the time he was in University. But last year, I got an invitation to watch as he was inducted into the Ontario Bar. So did Puff. I found out why when we got there. Her name was Maria and she had a very Italian view of family. We were the only family he had, and she was going to meet us before she agreed to marry him, successful lawyer or not! So we did meet them, and I said sorry. We met her large family as well. Both of us were kissed soundly by people of all ages and both sexes, and by the time we left we were honorary Italians.

We went south again when they got married, the two of us, and shortly afterwards, considering the rising cost of everything, we made the decision, as two old, bachelor friends, to move in together. We got one of the first condominium apartments in our northern town. There were three bedrooms – one for each of us – and the other for Paul and Maria, when they came to visit.


June 2004

A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant's rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

Well when that happened I figured that we would all grow old together. Heck, Jackie was six years younger than me. We shared many joys together but the best was in 2000.

In 2000, just as the New Year's dawn was breaking, Maria gave birth to a little boy. John Paul Piper. It pleased her Catholic family, and it pleased us too. We unwrapped Puff Dragon, a little tacky now from all the boy hugs, but still a loveable little dragon. And little JP knows us both – Granpa Jackie and Granpa Puff. We were looking forward to watching him grow, as we had his father, as I had his grandfather.

And then, last week, Jackie didn't show for breakfast.

His funeral was yesterday.

Paul and Maria were here, and JP was supposed to come up with Maria's mother, but they were delayed in Toronto by another of those inexplicable delays of Air Canada. No matter. I really don't think little kids belong at funerals. As it was, the kids held me as I sobbed my heart out, or did I hold them as they cried? Who knows?

I was just having a lie down after supper, when the door to my room opened.

"GRANPA, Puff and me, we're here!"

Before I could even get up a little boy was on top of me kissing me and having his dragon smooch me.

"Granpa, why are you laughing?"


"Granpa, don't cry. I love you!"

A dragon lives forever, but not so little boys

Wanna bet?

The beginning.