Flying Solo

by Richie

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Eli breathed deeply in the thick, heavy darkness. The dark-eyed Israeli suddenly felt so small and insignificant, alone in the world—he choked, fought back tears—no, he told himself, this is not Uriel here—he is not gone.

Gone—that was the word his mother had used—he was only seven years old, but he remembered it so clearly: her tear-streaked face looked so far away, and she knelt down, took his tiny hands in hers, and said Eli, my baby—Uriel is gone.

No—this was a completely different kind of loss.

Tyler is not gone, he told himself firmly.

But it still hurts.

He just felt so lost without Tyler—he was flying solo now, over stormy and uncharted seas with a broken fuel gauge. His best friend, his idol, his surrogate big brother, his teacher, his protector, his lover—for three years Tyler had been all that and more. Now, trying to fall asleep without those arms around him just felt wrong—his bed felt cold, empty... not so much dead as un-alive.

Eli sat up, rubbed his face, popped the crick in his neck, turned on the bedside lamp—soft light played over his shaggy, tousled locks of golden blond hair and his tawny, sun-soaked skin. He yawned as he glanced at the clock on his nightstand, and the red LCDs glared at him—1:33.

He thought, as he so often did, of that first night he spent with Tyler, three years ago now—it seemed like such a very long time ago, and yet it could have been last night—it was the night that he became aware of who he was and what he was capable of experiencing. Tyler, then fifteen, had manipulated him so masterfully with his lips and tongue, he had brought him to an explosive orgasm—at age nine, it was the boy's first—and then he had deflowered him with such power and urgency—Eli had lost his virginity before he even knew how to masturbate.

They had relived those acts of passion so many times in the three years that had passed, but still what came so vividly to the front of Eli's mind was the intensity of that very first night. The memories played back in crystal-clear focus and exacting detail. He could still see the glistening dampness in Tyler's hairline and the glassy look in his eyes, he could still smell the sweat and saliva, he could still taste Tyler's tongue slipping between his lips for the first time, he could still tremble with the powerful and complex emotions of complete and total trust and submission as Tyler slid deep inside him.

Most importantly, he could still feel the warm and fuzzy feeling he got when Tyler first told him he loved him.

He is not gone, Eli told himself again. You can talk to him right now.

He picked up the phone next to his bed and pressed the speed-dial button. It rang for a long time—Eli was about to give up when the familiar and comforting voice picked up, sounding cheery: "Hey there. Can't sleep?"

"No," Eli said, his voice slightly hoarse.

"Yeah, me neither. How you feeling?"

Eli ran a fingertip down one smooth shin. "Bored... depressed... horny... really lonely. I miss you, Tyler."

"I miss you too," the voice said quietly.

"How's Boston?"

"It's great," Tyler said, suddenly cheerful again. "It feels so good to be back. You've got to come up here some time—you'd love it. The dorms are really cool, I have a little kitchen and a microwave and everything. My roommate's name is Tuomas—get this—he came all the way from Finland to study architecture here. He has this weird European liquor that tastes like black liquorice."

"Sounds like fun," Eli said, his spirits lifted a bit. He reclined naked on the bed and slowly fondled himself as he listened to the voice on the line, pretending that Tyler was in bed next to him. "When are you coming back to Houston?"

"I really don't know yet. I'll definitely be back for Thanksgiving, right now I'm just kinda getting settled in and I'm trying to figure out if I can come home, maybe, for a few days before the semester starts."

They chatted for a while longer, and when Eli heard a door close, Tyler's voice dropped: "I need to tell you something, though, Eli."


"Eli, I want you to... Don't let your feelings for me get in the way of you living your life."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean... if you want to have fun, I want you to go and have fun. What I mean is if you meet a boy—or a girl, for that matter—and you think there's something between you, I want you to go for it. Don't let me hold you back."

"But... I love you."

"I love you too, Eli, and I always will, and we'll always be best friends and whenever you and I are together, we'll be, y'know, together. But in the meantime—while I'm away—get out there. You're only twelve years old, Eli, you're at the door to a very intense and beautiful time in your life, and I wish to God I could be there to see it, but more than anything I want you to get out and enjoy that time as much as you can, because if you don't then you'll end up like me—just depressed all the time, always wishing you could go back, and I won't let you become that. Get out there and learn to live and love, Eli, have lotsa sex if you want to, but for God's sake be careful. Promise me, Eli."

"Okay. I promise." He sighed and switched to his left hand. "So tell me about Boston."

Tyler kept talking, his tone upbeat, and Eli kept stroking himself as he remembered the way Tyler used to tell him that his face was so perfectly angelic. And only a month before, he had told him that it had grown somehow wiser, more mature—but no less perfectly innocent and beautiful. He shuddered silently as he climaxed—but the joyless dry orgasm paled in comparison to the sensations Tyler could give him.


"Yeah, I'm here," Eli breathed.

"Okay, well... try and get some sleep. I'll be back before you know it."

"Okay. Bye Tyler... I love you."

"I love you too," came the near-whisper, and then with a click Eli was all alone again.

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Three months later, two months into the seventh grade and only a month before his thirteenth birthday, Eli danced in anticipation as the phone rang and rang.


"Tyler!" Eli blurted excitedly. "Guess what, guess what!"

"What, what?"

His voice swelled with pride: "Iiiiii met a boy!"

"Eli, that's great!"

"I know!" he giggled. "It's really exciting. His name is Ian, he's a sixth grader and he's kinda having a tough time getting used to middle school. He says he's straight but just curious. That's what a lot of the guys are saying in my grade too—Corey and Trevor and Aidan—it's like it's the new cool thing."

Tyler laughed. "But why would he say that, I mean how did he know you, y'know, you're into boys?"

"Because I told him," Eli said. "I mean he's a sixth grader and he doesn't seem to have a lot of friends, who was he going to tell?"

"Well that's cool. Still—be careful about who you tell. Because if you get beaten up, that means I'll have to take time away from my studies and spend a fortune on airfare to come down there and kick some middle schooler's ass. And then I'd probably end up in jail."

Eli laughed joyously.

"So what are you gonna be for Halloween?"

"Actually," Eli said, "I'm going to a party."

"A par-ty?"

"Yeah, and not like a costumes and candy apples party either. Austin's parents won't even be home—I'm really excited, but I'm kinda nervous too."

"Oh man," Tyler sighed, "what a monumental occasion. My little boy's going to his first real party. Well you be careful, d'you hear me? Don't eat any razor blade chocoloate bars or syringe cookies or strychnine punch."

Eli laughed. "I won't, I promise."

"Y'know, I do have some good news of my own. Turns out the Monday after Thanksgiving is some kind of administrative holiday or conference day or whatever. Which means I get to stay in Houston an extra day—"

"My birthday!" Eli was ecstatic. "Oh man, Tyler, that is so awesome, I can't wait!"

"Me neither."

The doorbell rang quite suddenly, and Eli jumped. "Oh shit—I have to go, Tyler."

"Yeah, me too—I'm going to a movie in ten minutes. I'll talk to you soon, okay?"

"Okay—bye—love ya!" and he hung up the phone.

Moments later Eli was at the door, greeting a very nervous and slightly sweaty boy, shepherding him inside.

Ian Harken, age eleven, was small and pale, skinny and unathletic, with small silver-rimmed eyeglasses and short sandy-colored hair that was somewhere between blond and brown. He was mousy, easily overlooked, easily ignored, and was always picked last for basketball and science class lab partners. He was not plain but he was not exceptionally gorgeous—very cute, that's all—but still there was something about his aura, his air—his rich but subtle scent, clean and earthy and undeniably boyish—his quirks and mannerisms, the way he moved—that Eli found extremely invigorating and alluring.

And it was in his eyes. An illuminated hazel that could be called olive green, they reflected the waning autumn sunlight to radiate a color that produced a strange melting sensation within Eli. They were heavy with emotions like hope and longing, they were the kind of eyes that belonged to a boy who had so much to say but had been told too many times to shut up, and they were the kind of eyes, Eli thought, that had witnessed many secrets.

He leaned in and kissed the boy, a slow and tender and loose-lipped kiss that made his whole body swell with excitement—he had missed this feeling so much—and as he pulled away, Eli smiled the calm but secretly elated smile of a boy who had just rediscovered happiness.

Meanwhile Ian, his lips tingling with the incomparable ecstasy of his very first kiss, his mind fogged with the dizzy euphoria of first discovering this physically simple but emotionally complex pleasure, gazed wide-eyed at the bronzed god before him and wondered how the hell he had gotten so lucky.

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Two weeks later: Halloween night. Eli and Ian pedaled hard, swerving their bikes around trick-or-treaters in the dying twilight.

When they arrived at Austin Yates's house, the party was in full swing. There were maybe thirty or thirty-five people in all, a fairly even mixture of boys and girls, seventh and eighth graders, milling around and talking loudly, laughing and dancing and pulling off outrageous stunts. There was no alcohol, of course, but there was also no supervision, and Eli suspected that a few of the older kids might have been out back smoking pot.

Austin had fake blood around his mouth, and his short auburn hair was dyed a neon shade of blue. He gestured at Ian, who sat silently on the couch, hands folded in his lap, looking intimidated as he drank in the commotion around him. "Who's that?"

"That's Ian," Eli said.

"Isn't he a sixth grader?"

"It's alright, dude, he's cool."

Austin's eyes met Ian's, he shrugged and offered the boy a Pepsi—he politely refused.

Some hours later, the action had died down and the crowd had dwindled to a mere ten or eleven. Austin gathered them all around in a semi-circle in the living room, and he grinned mischievously as he hid something behind his back. "Now," he said, "in true Halloween tradition, it's time to play... hide and seek."

"Hide and seek?" someone called. "That's so gay!"

Ian winced visibly. Straight but just curious, Eli thought, right.

"Ah, but this is Halloween, my friends," Austin said with a Vincent Price-esque air of grandeur and creepiness. "Tonight we shall play hide and seek... in the dark..." he revealed what he had been hiding behind his back: "with knives!"

The kids ooh-ed and ahh-ed in approval. Ian gave Eli an excited look, and Austin doled out the knives—big fuck-off butcher knives, tiny scalpel-like paring knives, serrated steak knives. "As your magnanimous host," Austin said, still in old horror movie character, "I shall be the first it." He walked around the room, flicking all the light switches off. "You have five minutes. Hide well, my children, for it may be the last place you ever hide!" He let out his best impression of maniacal laughter.

The kids scattered with their knives—a few of the girls shrieked in mock terror—and in the chaos Eli slipped his hand into Ian's and led him up the stairs, towards the back of the house. "C'mon," he said, "I know the best place to hide."

The boys crowded into the spot Eli had chosen—an antique rosewood armoire in a disused, out-of-the-way guest bedroom. The thick doors swung shut with a dull thud, and it was cramped and dusty and pitch black.

They were forced to stand so close that Eli could feel Ian's warm breath on his neck, and he could smell his hair. Immediately he pulled him in for a passionate kiss—in surprise, Ian dropped his knife, and it hit the floor of the armoire with a clatter. Eli kissed him harder, pushing him up against the wall and sliding his hand up the boy's shirt, running his fingertips over the warm, silky skin and tweaking the small nipples.

Ian was shivering with excitement and breathing hard. He didn't know how to react—he just stood there and accepted every incredible moment of it. He was aware of Eli lowering himself to his knees, and he jumped in shock when he felt his own jeans being unbuttoned.

"What are you doing!" he demanded, his voice a terrified whisper.

"I'm sucking your dick," Eli whispered back, cool and matter-of-fact in his tone, as if he had been planning this for days. In fact, Eli had been planning this for days, and, knowing that armed hide-and-seek was Austin's favorite game, he had carefully anticipated every moment of the evening so far.

Ian was a mess of conflicted feelings. "B-but—they could come in here any time and catch us!"

"I know," Eli whispered, and it sounded like he was grinning. "Isn't it exciting, doesn't it make you feel kinda dirty?"

Ian was trembling violently with an exhilarating mixture of terror, excitement, desire, and helplessness as he felt his zipper being undone and the waistband of his underwear being pulled down. He gasped when he felt Eli's hot breath on his aching hard cock, he jumped when he felt slender fingers exploring its every contour. Oh my God, he thought, he's actually gonna do it—oh man, here it goes—

Ian stifled a cry when he felt hot, wet tightness engulf the entirety of his three-inch boyhood. Every time Eli's warm lips and hot tongue slowly slid down to the hairless base, it felt like his cock was shooting through some sort of exquisite velvet at a thousand miles an hour, and Eli's hands caressed and squeezed his buttocks, urging him further inside his most welcoming mouth.

Somewhere in the distance, Austin's voice: "I am coming for you now, my little darlings. These could be your last thoughts—so make them a prayer!" Again, the faux maniacal laughter.

Ian felt every muscle in his body loosening, his mind racing, his soul breathing deeply with a cool rush of opiate euphoria, and he considered this, his first sexual experience—only a month ago he was masturbating to "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and wondering if he would really go blind or grow hair on his palms—and now, this. And it was an experience, no less, given to him by the boy so physically perfect that he never would have thought he would even be able to even talk to him. Ian's breathing was rapid and shallow as he gulped for air in the suffocating heat of the musty blackness—he lasted no more than a minute before he strained and groaned, and his knees buckled with the most intense orgasm he'd ever experienced.

Eli somehow knew—well, maybe somehow wasn't quite right—and he gave Ian's acutely sensitive cock head one last lick before he came up, and then he pinned him against the wall with a fiery kiss—as Eli's tongue wormed its way into the boy's mouth, Ian thought that this one tasted slightly different somehow, and he thought deliriously: is that what my dick tastes like?

Simultaneously they heard something close by—in an instant they flew apart like similarly-charged magnets, and no sooner had Ian redone the button on his jeans than the armoire's doors flew open and Austin let out a horrific bellow that made both of the armoire's occupants scream with terror—then Austin laughed hysterically, and Eli and Ian followed suit.

As the boys stepped out of their hiding place, Austin sniffed the air. "Man, what were you guys doing in there?"

"Sweating," Eli said, never missing a beat. "It was fucking hot in there."

"Yeah, I guess so," Austin said unassumingly, and then he roared in the direction of the doorway: "Eli Kovacs, I hereby pronounce you it. Olly olly oxen free!"

Sounds of laughter and chatter filled the house as kids emerged from their hiding spots. In the moonlight Eli's eyes caught Ian's, and he whispered: "Stay here."


"Just do it," he grinned, "trust me." He went to the doorframe and, sensing Austin had passed the torch of melodrama, he hollered: "The clock is ticking, my little... um... ponies. The witching hour is close at hand!"

Downstairs, kids yelped and giggled and whispered, doors opened and doors closed—and Eli turned back to Ian, mischief in his eyes. He pushed him onto the carefully-made bed, climbed on top of him, and between kisses he whispered: "My turn."

He rolled onto his back, and Ian's clumsy fingers fumbled at the front of Eli's jeans. His cock ached, and he helped by undoing the button. Ian found the zipper, pulled it down, and swallowed loudly.

Eli felt a grin creeping across his face as he felt the familiar sensation of a face approaching his straining cock—it had grown since that first time with Tyler, and while still hairless it stood now well over three inches, and Eli let out a soft moan as he felt Ian's hot mouth envelope it.

Ian had no idea what he was doing. Eli ran his fingers through the boy's damp hair, guiding him, and he whispered: "Agh, watch the teeth... yeah, that's better... okay... yeah, use your tongue... oh yeahhh... oh God, ungh, that's just perfect..."

He felt that familiar pressure building within his loins, and he held Ian's head tight and bucked his hips, gasping at his first real sexual release in almost five months. He finally hit an earth-shattering climax, with a vocal cry that he couldn't contain—and then Ian came up sputtering. Immediately the pressure reached explosive levels, and Eli's hand flew to his slick cock and he pumped furiously as he rode out the rest of his orgasm—it felt different, it was so much deeper and more intense than anything he'd ever felt with Tyler or by himself, what was it—

And then there was the sound of Ian spitting.

Could it be... Oh my God... There's no way...

Eli brought his hand to his face, examining it in the moonlight: there, in the little hollow at the base of his thumb, was a spot of something—something that glistened, something wet

"Holy shit," he panted. He rolled the stuff around between his thumb and fingertip—it was warm and slick and viscous, it was runny and clear, it was almost exactly like the stuff that Tyler had called precum. He grasped his still-hard cock and gave it a gentle squeeze near the head, and a glistening bead of the stuff swelled at his pee slit. "Holy shit," he repeated. His eyes locked on to Ian's, and he whispered: "That was fucking awesome."

Ian beamed with pride.

Eli's first thought surprised him somehow: "What did it taste like?"

Ian shrugged. "Kinda salty... a little bit sweet. It wasn't bad actually—sorry, I—I just wasn't expecting it."

Eli thought: Neither was I. He scooped the last drop off the head of his cock with one finger, and it drew a glistening, heavy strand that finally snapped. He held his hand in front of Ian's face, and immediately the boy sucked the warm stuff off his fingertip—Eli thought: Oh man that is so sexy.

He pushed Ian onto his back and climbed on top of him, he ground his still-wet cock into the warm crotch of his jeans, and he kissed him hard and deep—but he tasted nothing. He pulled Ian's pants and underwear down together as he peeled off his own damp t-shirt, and he humped furiously with his jeans halfway down his thighs, grinding their cocks together—never in his life had be been so blinded by sexual desire.

Eli's tongue never left Ian's as he thrusted over and over, fucking Ian's crotch hard and deep—Ian writhed as he came again, and still Eli kept fucking, now he kissed and sucked on Ian's neck briefly, but always he returned to that warm and welcoming mouth—and finally, raking his teeth over Ian's tongue, he exploded in his second orgasm in ten minutes.

Panting, he sat up on Ian's thighs and examined the boy's hairless groin—there was that stuff again! There was much less of it this time, just a few drops, just enough to catch the moonlight—but nevertheless there it was, a few inches away from the base of Ian's dick.

Burning with curiosity, he bent down and greedily lapped it up—yes, that taste, that texture, it was almost exactly like Tyler's pre-cum. Only this time, Eli thought, his mind fogged as synapses misfired wildly, this time it came from me. I can cum! I can cum!

He didn't swallow it—he came back up and again he forcefully kissed Ian, sharing his treat with his new lover. As Eli's cock finally started to deflate, he began to feel very peaceful and sleepy. He stretched his arms, pulled up his pants, and he called out into the darkness: "Okay, I... I found Ian! Ian's it now!"

As Eli searched in the darkness for his shirt, there was a rustle in the bathroom across the hall. "Yeah," Austin snickered, "sounds like you found him pretty damn hard."

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For the next few weeks, Ian was high-strung and tense. Austin Yates knew, that was certain, and a lot of the other kids had grown suspicious when Eli returned to the party shirtless and sweaty—but Ian heard no murmured rumors echoing through the halls of the middle school. Still, he was terrified—he simply couldn't comprehend why Eli didn't seem care who knew! He was one of the cool kids—the popular kids, even—and he played on the school soccer team—wasn't he worried?

But he couldn't object to the exhilarating new sensations that Eli continually introduced him to. Despite his abject terror, he had submitted and allowed Eli to suck him off in the fitting room at Nordstrom even as two teenage girls chatted about shoes just on the other side of the plywood door—to surreptitiously masturbate him through silky shorts high in the bleachers during P.E. class—to slide a slick finger up his ass in the back seat of his dad's Lexus—to even put his foot up the leg of Ian's shorts from across the dinner table, stimulating the squirming boy with his toes as he smiled and said oh I'm doing great thanks, Mrs. Harken, how about you?—and with every new experience Ian found himself turned on immensely by Eli's boldness as he brought him to new heights of pleasure.

And now, Eli awoke and felt Ian's warmth beneath him. Eli's mind cleared as he remembered where he was—in a tent deep in the Woodlands. He remembered how he had talked Mr. Roberts into letting him come along on this weekend trip even though he wasn't even in Boy Scouts. The boys' limbs were entangled as they cuddled naked within a single sleeping bag—for companionship as much as for warmth—and Eli considered how warm and happy and content he was.

The rain drummed on the stretched canvas dome above them, and outside the myriad forest bugs croaked and chirped. The glow-stick they had used for light had worn out hours ago, and in the pitch-black Eli guessed that the sun would come up in a few hours.

He now considered how very lucky he was to have two amazing boys to love and to love him. He loved Tyler deeply, of course, but he also loved Ian. But like how the loss of Tyler was different from the loss of Uriel, his love for Ian was different than his love for Tyler. Now Eli was the elder, the teacher, the dominant partner. Even the sex was different—and not only because Ian was younger and less mature. Sex with Tyler had always been a very warm and intimate experience, private and spiritual and passionate. With Ian, it was fun—like a most intense dare, it was exciting and dirty and illicit, and the physical pleasure heightened each time as their expressions of passion became more and more open, more and more public—as if sex with Ian was an experiment to see just how much they could get away with before they were finally caught.

Tyler's parents had eventually found out—they had learned to accept it, learned to get on with their lives knowing what was going on between the two boys, one so much older and one so much younger—and then it was like they had nothing left to hide. Ian's parents, on the other hand, had no idea, and every little act was an exciting secret unto itself—every caress was hidden, every kiss stolen. Eli had once thought they were found out—in a booth at Carrabba's, Mrs. Harken had glanced across the table to see her son, mouth agape and eyelids fluttering, clutching his iced tea with white knuckles as Eli sat next to him, nonchalantly studying the menu. But either she didn't see it for what it was, or she had repressed the memory, or denied it, or simply forgotten—so officially, they were completely oblivious.

Eli considered this new turn his life had taken. It felt amazing—it felt good to be alive. He felt the light sheen of sweat between them, and it seemed to glue them together—always together, never apart.

Below him, Ian mumbled and shifted. Even as he kissed the sleeping boy's neck, Eli felt a smile creeping across his face. He couldn't wait for Tyler to come home—it had been ages since they'd been together—and in the darkness Eli just smiled, thinking: I have so much to show him.

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