My father got me into the scouts on a sudden whim of his when I was just about twelve. I don't know what got into him. He'd never been the joining type before. But there we were, just a month before my birthday, getting fitted out in matching uniforms at the ArmyNavy shop. I wasn't really interested in the Scout uniform. What I really wanted to get was the thick olive-green East German overcoat that fit over me like a tent. And the helmets were really cool and the bayonets in a glass case behind the counter, and big leather boots, and the hats of every nation's army you could name. And a few I'd never heard of. "Jason!" my father yelled. "Quit charging around like a little maniac and get over here!"
So I did. "Why are we joining the Scouts?" I asked.
"Don't you want to go hiking and camping and all that?"
I looked at him like he was dense or something. "But don't we do all that anyway?"
He stopped going through the shirts and looked at me like I was the crazy one. "Yes we do. But this way we can go with a lot of other guys, not just your Uncle Frank, and we can go places we wouldn't get to go to otherwise. Besides this is the troop at church, and they do a lot of things around the church (St. Ellen's Catholic, if you were wondering), and your mother and I want you to join..."
"I wasn't saying no."
"Good. Now try on this shirt." And that's how I found myself in the Scouts. It was a pretty good troop, I guess. They went hiking or camping once a month, and did at least two long trips in the summer. They also did all sorts of stuff around church, like help at mass now and then, paint stuff, cut the grass, and there was the Christmas presents for poor kids we did every year. Oh, yeah, and there was a mass just for Scouts once a year, and this medal you could get for knowing stuff about being Catholic. It wasn't anything that I would have volunteered for otherwise, except maybe the Christmas presents thing, but my dad thought it was important, so I did it. I wasn't even an altar boy.
Now, as you might have guessed, nearly all of the kids in the troop were Catholic. But there were a few that weren't, they'd joined mostly because we were the closest troop to where they lived, and they didn't want to have to drive across town to find some troop that wasn't. Mostly they didn't stay very long, it was hard to include them all the time when so much about the troop life centered around the church, especially all the service things that we did. One of these boys was named Kyle, and he was really short, maybe a half inch shorter than me, even though he was six months older, and I was pretty little. He may have been short, but he was built like a little fireplug, so he didn't get picked on much by anyone. He and I hit it off pretty quick, we were both athletic and pretty wild, and he had a tiny whiff of exoticness that drew me towards him. I've always had a, what, a fetish, for boys who were different. That doesn't sound like the correct term for it. But guys who were somehow slightly different from everyone else really turned me on. Kyle wasn't really different, he was just Protestant, but that was enough.
Oh, I suppose I forgot to mention that guys turned me on. It wasn't something that I thought about at all, back then, it wasn't until I was fourteen that I recognized it and decided to put a name to it.
So Kyle and I became fast friends, and we were a terror to our troop leaders. If anyone at all was in trouble for something, Kyle and I were more than likely part of it. Running around and screaming before and after troop meetings, listening to the echoes off the cavernous church walls. Throwing a bedpan like a Frisbee up and down a nursing home hallway when we were supposed to be singing Christmas carols. Stuff like that. And we got lost on hiking trips all the time, not that we were really lost, just that the scoutmaster thought we were. He never tired of claiming that we were the cause of most of his gray hair.
One summer we went on a long hiking trip, I think it was in Mississippi, eight days along an old railway through some dense forest, a small town, and a couple of farms. I really don't remember much about that trip except that one of the farms had a old-fashioned well pump of rusted blue-painted iron that stood taller than any of us; and of course, I remember what happened the night we slept there, the second to last night of the hike.
I don't even remember our scoutmaster's name, so I'll just call him "Mr. D." Original, huh? He usually didn't let Kyle and I stay in the same tent. Too much of a good thing, he was thinking. In fact, he usually kept either Kyle or me in the tent with him, so that we'd shut up and go to sleep. But that last night one of the other kids was homesick. Or maybe he was just sick, I don't remember ever throwing up over homesickness. So Mr. D ends up putting Kyle and me together, and had that kid in his tent with him. I guess he didn't want anyone else getting sick. Which was fine with us, except that he spent an entirely unnecessary, to us at least, ten minutes telling us what horrible things would happen if he caught us cutting up or bothering the other scouts.
Which wasn't completely stupid, even though we were both so tired we could barely stand up, and he had to have known it just looking at us, that had never stopped us before. I barely managed to keep my eyes open while we sat around our fire that night roasting the last of the marshmallows, mushed and decrepit though they were. They tasted wonderful. But I was nodding off halfway through Mr. D's ghost story. I don't remember how it ended, and I don't remember getting into the tent.
It couldn't have been much later that I woke up, in time to see Kyle zipping the tent door shut from the outside. A lantern was burning, and I could hear low adult voices murmuring together. There was a dog barking somewhere way off in the distance, and about a gazillion bugs making noises all around. I was glad I was in a tent. I do like sleeping out under the stars, but not in the South in the summertime. I lay there listening, my eyes closed, but I didn't feel sleepy. I felt restless, I don't know why. After a few minutes, Kyle came back, zipped up the door and lay back down on his sleeping bag. It was way to hot to get into it. "You awake?" he whispered.
"Yeah," I whispered back.
"Did I wake you? Sorry."
I shrugged. "Who's still up?"
"Mr. D, Tyler's dad, and Mr. Greg. They're playing cards."
"Well, ye-ah. It's not even midnight, numbnuts."
I reached over and wacked him on the shoulder, and he gave a muffled "ouch!"
"Hey," he whispered, "What do you get when you cross a bear and a toilet?"
I rolled my eyes. But this was an thing between us, that we could get each other to laugh, especially when we were supposed to be quiet. Kyle came up with the stupidest stuff..."uh...I dunno, what?"
"Winnie the Pooh!"
I groaned. So I laughed the first time he told me that one. Okay, maybe the third time, too. But this was the, what, seventh time? It was a stupid joke! "Oh, man, why do you have to keep telling me that joke?"
"Okay, okay! uh....so why did the raccoon cross the road?"
"umm....to eat the dead chicken that got hit crossing the road?"
"No....stupid! You're ruining the joke!"
"Sorry...um, I dunno...to get to the other side?"
"Nope...he didn't make it to the other side. Got hit by a car."
"But....oh, come on. That's not funny...."
"Yes it is. It would'a been if you hadn't ruined it."
"I didn't ruin it..."
There was an ominous shape outlined against the roof of our tent, framed in the feeble light of the lantern outside. "Quiet, you two!" it said, in a harsh whisper sounding a bit like Mr. D. Kyle and I lay there grinning and trying not to laugh, and eventually the shadow moved away, clumping off through the dead leaves. He was making a lot more noise than we did.
We were silent for a few minutes. The low murmur of adult voices resumed. Pine needles dropped on the roof of the tent with faint pops. The dog was still barking way off somewhere. "Hey, Kyle," I whispered.
"A bear and a rabbit were shitting in the woods. The bear asks the rabbit, hey, does shit stick to your fur? The rabbit snorts and says, rabbits are better than that. Shit doesn't stick to our fur. So the bear picks up the rabbit and uses it to wipe his ass..."
Kyle couldn't help it. He tried, standup little guy that he was, but in the end, he started to giggle. "ewwww!" he said.
There was a clumping in the leaves. Twigs cracked. The dog fell silent. The shadow returned, looming over us. "That's enough!" it hissed. "If I hear either one of you again I'll split you up if I have to hang both of you up by your ankles!"
I don't think we believed him. I mean, we believed him about splitting us up, but maybe not about the hanging us up part, at least not by our ankles. We were quiet then for a long time. I even dozed off, not that the wet heat let me sleep for very long before I got too uncomfortable. After a while, I decided I had to get up and take a pee...walking outside that time of night made me feel like a moving buffet for hordes of mosquitoes, I must have collected a dozen bites by the time I got back.
Kyle was awake. "Bet I can make you laugh," he said.
"Not with those stupid jokes of yours," I said. "Besides, we'll get in trouble..."
"All right, fine. How'r you going to make me laugh?"
"By tickling you."
"What do you mean, tickle me?"
"You lie there and try and keep still. I bet you...um...a dollar I can make you laugh.
Hoo, boy. And Kyle knew exactly how ticklish I was. It was a fiendish thing to suggest. He knew I couldn't back out of a bet, which was basically the same thing as a dare. And we'd tickled each other before, lots of times, but never like this, where one of us would be doing it and the other trying to ignore it. If you remember, back when you were a kid, when you and your friends tickled each other your laughter fed off of one other's, making you hyper-sensitive, and you dug your fingers in here and there, mostly in the ribs or under the arms or the neck, but it was really more of a wrestling match than anything else. Even when your father or an uncle tickled you it was pretty much the same thing, if one-sided. What Kyle was suggesting was a lot different. There was an unfamiliar tension in the tent. I licked my lips, swallowed. I didn't want to puss out...and, you know, the idea of it..."Well...okay...but you can't do it to my feet, that would make it too easy for you." I said.
I could see Kyle grinning in the darkness, his teeth shining like neon lights. "Sure, no feet. Turn on your stomach," he said, getting up on his knees beside me.
To this day, I'm really ticklish. So when he poked a finger into either side of my neck I just convulsed, trapping his fingers between my neck and shoulders and jackknifing over onto my side so fast I nearly knocked him over.
"Hah!" he said, "You lose!"
"I do not. I didn't laugh."
"Yeah, but you jumped like I touched you with a...a....cattle prod or something!"
"Don't matter. We bet I'd laugh."
Kyle sat back on his heels and glared at me. "Okay, well, the new rule is you can't move either."
"No, no, no....you have to say you lost the first bet if you want to change the rules."
Kyle's voice started to get louder. He was almost always the first one to get angry when we fought...which was pretty often. Sometimes we wouldn't talk to each other for days. "That's not fair. You could just bite your tongue or something and not laugh!"
"So? You made the bet, not me!"
Kyle started to say something else, now so mad he was beating his hands on his knees, but I shushed him. There were clumping about noises outside, getting nearer. A faint suggestion of a shadow moved across the front of the tent, and then away. The clumping noises faded. pop, pop, pine needles fell on the tent. And if you listened carefully you could hear moo-ing off where the dog was barking.
I lay back down on my sleeping bag with a relieved sigh, "All right," I said, "fine. I won't move."
"Really?" Kyle whispered.
"Yeah. If I move, you win."
Kyle didn't do anything for a minute or two. He was one of those types who couldn't take winning an argument very well. He was always suspicious you were just giving in to make him happy. Which I was. Which would have really pissed him off if he hadn't wanted to tickle me. This, of course, is something I realize now, but at the time I wasn't really paying attention. Finally, after I guess arguing with himself about whether or not to be mad or to just ignore it, he knelt back next to me and whispered, "All right, so you can't move..."
"I'm not going to move."
He started by poking me in the neck again, but I was ready for him. I just gritted my teeth and ignored the chill running up and down my spine. Then he started brushing his fingertips over the back of my neck, back and forth, dipping his fingers down under my shirt collar and then up the back of my head. That wasn't so bad. I could ignore that. It tickled, but it wasn't so bad. But he was just setting me up, getting me to relax. Devious little bastard. He stopped for a half-second or so, then ran a finger along either side of my spine, to the small of my back and up to my neck. I couldn't help it...I yelped. I didn't move, though. It was hard, especially with all the little muscles in my back jumping and contracting. "Was that a laugh?" he said.
"No," I said, whispered voice muffled even further by the wad of sleeping bag I had stuffed in my mouth.
"What?" he said. "Then I sup...pose I'll have to keep going..."
Bastard. So then he tried tickling me up and down my sides, digging his fingers into my ribs just like we did to each other when wrestling, but he quickly realized that wasn't going to work at all. I mean, hardly anybody is ticklish there unless they sort of want to be, like when your dad is doing it, or like I said, when you and your best friend are doing it to each other. But there wasn't anything funny about what he and I were doing right then. It wasn't funny, it was, not exactly sexual, not just yet, but certainly sensual. He gave up on my ribs and sat back again, thinking for a moment. Then he started on the backs of my knees. That was practically torture. He did that for five minutes or so, me sucking sleeping bag the whole time, then started up the backs of my thighs, his fingers making circles across my skin, first big, then small. The backs of his hands brushed up against the hem of my shorts, kept going, his fingers just barely touched the elastic on my underwear. I breathed in sharply, squeezing my eyes shut. This was a lot more intimate than we'd ever been with each other, though we'd seen each other naked numberless times, slept together in the same bed and even taken showers together. But we'd never...touched....each other, at least not on purpose. He tickled me there for a minute or two, right where my leg ended and my butt started. It was getting difficult to stay still, and not just because I was starting to see stars it was so ticklish, but because I was starting to notice a faint tingle in another part of my body...and I didn't want Kyle to think I was, you know, like that. I decided I had to do something. I was going to lose, and soon. That wasn't acceptable.
Kyle stopped before I said anything. "Break time," he said.
I spit out the sleeping bag, which I'd almost worn a hole in with my teeth, and took a breath. It took me a minute before I could say anything. "How long....how long are we going to do this?"
"What do you mean?" Kyle said, sounding just a little out of breath, or maybe that was my imagination. I don't think so. It's one of my minor disappointments, that I never got around to asking Kyle about that night, especially considering our relationship later in life.
"I mean, we can't just keep doing it forever. We have to have a time limit. I'm going to have to go piss sooner or later..."
"Oh...okay. How about, um, half an hour?"
"Half an hour!" I said out loud, then clapped a hand over my mouth. Jesus, I thought. We both lay still, and I thought for sure that Mr. D could hear my heart, it was beating so loud. But there was nothing. We couldn't even hear the adults talking anymore, so maybe they had gone to bed at last. I had no idea what time it was, but it had to be at least one or so. "Come on," I whispered, "you've been doing it for ten minutes at least already."
"Yeah, but now we stopped. You got a chance to relax."
"That was your idea. You've got ten more minutes and that's it."
Shit. What the hell. "All right. Twenty. Let me have your watch."
He fumbled around in his pack for a second, then handed me his watch. Shit, I thought. It's nearly two o'clock. My dad would've killed me if he'd known I was still awake. I didn't feel sleepy. I lay down. "All right. Go ahead," I said.
He started on my neck once more, moved quickly down my back, right where I could barely stand it. He lifted up my t-shirt and ran his hands back and forth, lightly, lightly, just above the waistband of my shorts. Then he went back up my back, under my shirt, fingernails tracing tiny circles the whole way. I stuffed the spit-soggy cloth back into my mouth and bit down. This was almost as bad as my legs. There was only so far he could go, though, with me laying on my stomach he couldn't lift the shirt further than the middle of my back. Kyle stopped and sat back. "Hey," he whispered.
"Take your shirt off."
"So I can tickle you easier, stupid, why do you think?"
I had to think about it. I didn't know if I wanted to take my shirt off or not. I didn't want to make any easier for him to win, but...hell, I thought. I can take it. I sat up quickly and pulled the shirt off over my head, tossed it down by my pack. I heard Kyle exhale sharply, then he went back to work. I felt his fingers dancing across my back, nails scraping ever-so-lightly against the skin. I don't know what he was thinking, it couldn't have been anything about winning the bet, because after the first touch, when every muscle in my back jumped, I settled down and relaxed. It hardly tickled at all. It felt good. Kyle stopped again, but only long enough to get off his knees and sit down, crossed legged, next to me. He put one hand just over my waist, just lay it there, not moving, and kept up the spider-dance with his other. Time passed, I don't know how long, but the dog had long ago stopped barking, and the lantern outside had burned out. I had the sudden absurd thought that he was playing the piano, and I was the keys. Maybe not so absurd. As I look back on it, years ago, I can tell that the game had become just a pretext. It had nothing to do with a bet any longer. His hand felt cool against my skin, and his watch lay forgotten, rolled off the end of my sleeping bag onto the floor of the tent.
Finally he got back up on his knees and shifted down, once more tickling the backs of my knees, once more tracing circles over and over up the backs of my thighs until he was brushing against the elastic of my underwear, and occasionally up over it, onto the angle of my butt rising up from my legs. My mind was completely blank. It was as if the entire universe had narrowed down to the few tiny bits of skin, continuously changing, where his fingers touched me.
His fingers danced down the outsides of my legs and back up, and on the way up one barest fingertip slipped under the elastic, brushing against the skin of my butt. I tensed slightly, then relaxed, and it was a moment or two before he did it again, first one finger, then two. He wasn't even pretending to tickle me anymore, just running his fingers over me, not quite a massaging motion, the touch was too light for that, but definitely meant to feel good rather than the quasi-pain of tickling.
My dick felt like it was digging through my shorts, through the sleeping bag and plastic of the tent, drilling itself down into the earth.
By now Kyle had the fingers of both hands up maybe an inch or so into my underwear, the rest of his hands resting on my legs, his thumbs down between my legs, still tracing those tiny circles. I didn't say anything, I couldn't.
"You're not asleep, are you?" I heard Kyle in the faintest whisper. "Are you?"
"No," I managed to get out, then crossed my hands in front of me, laying my head down on them and closing my eyes.
Kyle pulled his hands out of my pants and put them down across my butt, lightly at first, then I could feel his fingers digging in slightly. I still said nothing and I could actually feel him relax, down through his fingers. When he grasped the hem of my shorts and started to pull them down I lifted up, making it easier for him. He pulled my shorts and underwear down to my ankles in one motion, and I kicked them off to the side. My dick got even harder, almost painful. It had never felt like that before, not even when I played with it, and neither of us had so much as touched it. There I was, naked in front of my best friend, and hot as that summer night was, the air felt cool against my butt. It was the first time I'd ever felt naked.
Kyle didn't do anything at first, I guess he was just looking at me. I felt him shift around a little, breathing heavily. A finger touched me, just above my knee, then traced up my leg, hesitating slightly before continuing up and across my butt, then down onto my back. Then two fingers, then three. He did that three, maybe four times before working up the courage to use his whole hand at once, and he ran his hands over me, my back, my legs, shoulders, and butt, where he stopped, moving his palms once more in circles, then kneading slightly, digging his fingers into me, sliding his hands down the sides and lifting me up slightly, letting me back down. I couldn't help it, I didn't even realize I was doing it at first, but I started slowly flexing my hips, pushing my dick down into the rough cloth of the sleeping bag. Kyle put a hand on either side of me, pulling the cheeks of my butt apart, and I felt him lean over me. I remember thinking, what the hell, then I felt his breath, blowing against me. That nearly sent me over the edge. I arched my back and sighed, not too loud, but loud enough that Kyle stopped and whispered, "shhhhh...." Letting go again, he ran his hands down to my knees and tugged a little on them. Obediently I spread my legs apart a bit, and he slid back upwards, just his fingers now on the insides of my legs, brushing so slightly against my scrotum it could have been an accident. With a single fingertip he rubbed that little spot just behind the balls, pushing in and releasing. I was so skinny back then, I know he could feel how hard I was, all the way back there.
To this day I have to wonder at his technique. It was such an incredible new experience for me at the time, that I had no idea he must surely have done it before. He knew exactly what he wanted to do, and how to do it. He may have been nervous at first, but only because he was unsure of my reaction. I just lay there in a sexual haze, feeling an overwhelming sense of passivity. I was his to do with whatever he pleased. But I never thought to ask him, until it was far too late, where he had learned it all.
He let go of me and sat up. "Jason," he whispered. "Jason....Jason!"
The very briefest flicker of uncertainty flashed through my mind, then I turned over, one arm across my face, the other at my side, my dick standing up straining. Kyle got up on his knees over me, and I peeked out at him from under my arm as he pulled his own shirt off, slid his pants down over his feet. His dick was standing up too, and I couldn't tell in the dark, but there may have been a faint few whisps of hair down there. His dick was definitely bigger than mine, easily bigger and fatter than my grown-up thumb is now. It had been several months since I'd last seen him naked, and apparently he'd grown some. I remember feeling jealous, then forgetting about it as he leaned over and started rubbing my chest and stomach, tracing around my nipples. I gasped again when he leaned all the way over and licked first one nipple, then the other. The sensations running through me threatened to overload my mind. I'd no idea that you could feel that way. No wonder it caused so much trouble.
His hands roamed across me, making my skin tingle and my dick ache, his tongue traced over my cheat, kissing and sucking at my little nubs, now as hard as my dick. He started licking down my chest, my stomach, when he pushed his tongue into my belly button I had to laugh, it tickled worse than anything he'd done on purpose before.
"shhhh...." he whispered.
And I suppose I knew what he was going to do before he did it, I mean, I wasn't exactly a sheltered child, despite my parents religious beliefs they were also quite open about things, and I know I'd heard about that sort of thing from listening to the older boys talk. So it wasn't a surprise, not entirely. But my entire body tensed up when I felt his fingers grasping the base of my dick, and his breath blowing across it. When his lips closed down around the tip of it, they felt so hot I thought I'd be burned, and I almost bit into my arm trying to keep from crying out. Sweat was pouring off of both of us.
He sucked me hard into his mouth, his tongue pushing at me, his hands digging down under me and squeezing my butt. Once more the universe centered down to a single point, this time my dick, as he sucked up and down, never releasing the pressure, his tongue playing around the head of my dick, pushing into the tip of it, running around the edge of the crown. Oh, yeah, he knew what he was doing. Maybe it was just that it was my first time, but I doubt anyone gets it that right on their first try, no matter how inexperienced their partner.
He had me on the edge in a matter of minutes, a pressure building up inside me. I felt ready to explode. I started flexing my hips again, humping up and down in tune to his sucking, pushing myself up into him. I wanted as much of me inside him as possible. When the orgasm rushed over me, it felt as if something way up in my gut gave way, and everything that was me came rushing down, squeezing out through my dick. Waves of pleasure washed through me, and I arched my back, the muscles on my arms and legs standing out in sharp relief. It was a dry orgasm, I was yet a year away from puperty, but I'd had orgasms before when I'd jerked off in the tub or in bed and they were more than good enough to make me a fan of masturbation...but this...this left me empty, cleaned out. My brain short-circuited.
I was vaguely aware of Kyle turning me over, and I must have protested a little, because I remember him hushing me. "....I'm not going to stick it in you, just relax..."
How could I have done anything but relax? A toddler could have tied me up in a knot.
He lay down on top of me, our sweat-slick skin almost creating a suction between us as he pushed his dick between my butt-cheeks, rubbing it up and down, brushing across my anus, though never pushing against it. He held my shoulders and pressed his face into the side of my neck, his breath hot in my ear. When I squeezed my butt together, his dick felt like a bolt of molten iron.
I realized he actually had my earlobe in his mouth, pulling on it and licking it as he pumped away at my butt, not fucking me, not yet, that would come later.
He came with a high-pitched hissing, squeezing my legs with his, squashing me beneath him, his hands, so much stronger than they looked, digging into my arms. I thought he was going to pull my ear off....
I felt his dick get harder, hotter. And there was a gushing of something even hotter that seemed to spread outward and upward. Then he collapsed on me, his hips still twitching every now and then.
After a while he slid off me to the side, arms still around me, and I turned over so that I faced him, and we lay there for what seemed ages, just staring at each other. There was a strange, musty smell in the tent, a new one for me, Kyle's cum still smeared in my butt-crack, some even up on my back.
Eventually we fell asleep, still holding each other, to be wakened far too soon by the noises of the troop waking up and the smells of coffee and frying bacon. The tent was bright with the morning sun.
Mr. D was wacking the outside of the tent. "Hey, you two! Shake a leg!"
"Shit!" Kyle said, a snarl really, and he rolled across to his own sleeping bag, sitting up and scrambling for his clothes. I sat up more slowly, groaning. I felt like I'd been tossed over a cliff in a barrel. Kyle was up and out the tent before I'd managed to get my pants on, and Mr. D had come back twice, threatening horrid consequences if I didn't hurry before I got out of the tent. And the bacon was cold by then. The day was shaping up to be a real bummer.
What made it worse was the way Kyle avoided me all morning. He would hardly look at me, didn't speak to me at all as we tore down the tent and packed our bags. I didn't notice at first, since I was in such a daze, but by the time I figured it out he was going out of his way to stay away. And though we usually walked together, by the time we got out on the trail, sometime around ten or so, he fell steadily behind until he was walking with the rear-guard of adults and out-of-shape kids. I mean, the reason we got lost so often was that we almost always ranged up ahead of everyone. Misplaced is a better word, they always found us once they started looking.
It was lunch time before I cornered him, sitting on a log away from everyone else, eating a peanut-butter sandwich. When he saw me coming he got a wild look on his face, like he was going to get up and run for a moment, then he slumped down. He looked sad, dejected. I had no idea why.
"Hi," I said.
"Hm-hm," he said, around a mouth full of peanut butter.
I took a swig out of my canteen while he struggled to swallow.
Neither of us said anything right away. I just sat there, wondering what the hell had suddenly gone wrong, while he drew patterns in the dirt in front of him with his shoes.
"Are you mad?" he asked suddenly.
"Am I...? No, I'm not mad, why would I be mad?"
"I don't know...I thought you were....you wouldn't talk to me this morning when we got up...I thought maybe you were pissed because I...um....because I....ah...."
"Oh, shut up." I said, and dumped my canteen over his head. "You...stupid. I was just tired. I thought you were mad at me!"
Kyle wiped the water out of his face and stared at me, a smile growing slowly in his eyes. He looked so relieved I thought he might cry.
"Jason," he started, couldn't go on.
"Let's go!" Mr. D shouted back on the trail. "Head 'em up! Move 'em out!"
We both rolled our eyes. "Why does he say that all the time?" I said.
Later that afternoon, the sun sinking amid blazing red clouds, I punched Kyle's arm, and when he turned to me I whispered, "Hey, tonight I get to tickle you!"
Kyle grinned. "Okay," he said.
So that was the first time Kyle and I had sex...though "made love" would be a better term. We were only twelve and almost-twelve, but we truly loved each other, even though we would never have said it out loud. It was so obvious, even to others, that we even got teased about it on occasion, though never really with malice. We'd have kicked the shit out of anyone making fun of us. That night in the tent wasn't remotely a game, it was passion and soul-sharing. It was Kyle asking and me giving, laid out like a sacrifice on the altar of my sleeping bag.