by Dashiell Walranven
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My father reached across the table to muss Neal's jet-black hair. Neal, chewing on a mouthful of food, gave a lopsided grin and submitted.
"I can't believe how big you've gotten just since we last saw you Neal," Dad said, incredulously. Neal shrugged and continued attacking the food on his plate.
"What about Oliver?" Neal's father chimed in, "Great Caesar's ghost, that boy has shot up a mile it seems. When I saw that red hair of his, I thought somebody had left a torch burning on a pole!" Everybody laughed at that; I felt a little awkward and subconscious. Watching Neal smile and eat though, I didn't mind so much. I couldn't take my eyes from him. If it were possible, he'd grown more beautiful in my eyes. Where we had been about equal in height in August, and we both had grown some, I was a solid 3 or 4 inches taller. Neal's growth was more evident in his shoulders, which were a little broader than I remembered. His face wasn't as rounded, and his hair, cut short and neat for school no doubt, look like obsidian glass in the firelight. Still shy and polite in the presence of adults, Neal charmed everybody around him, no less me as I ached to get him alone and catch up.
"Oliver, honestly," Mom said, exasperated, "You really must eat. You've hardly touched your plate." I looked down at my food. It was a perfect example of my Mom's fantastic cooking, delicious in every respect. Neal's captivating presence however, diverted my attention completely. I resolved to stop gawping like a curious loon, took up my fork and started to dive in. The conversation over dinner took on grand proportions as Neal's father regaled us with the tale of their engine troubles, blowing snow and the trip up from their home in Connecticut.
"You know," Neal's mom said, casually lighting her after-dinner cigarette, "You folks should really come and visit us one of these days, we'd love to have you."
"Where did you say you lived again?" Dad asked.
"West Hartford," she said, "You should come and see what city life is all about."
"City life," Neal's father snorted, "Hartford is hardly a grand metropolis my dear." There was general laughter on this point.
"I heard we're getting a hockey team," she said lightly. I perked up immediately.
"They're making plans for a big arena and convention center in the center of the city," she explained. Neal's father nodded in agreement.
"Yup, I expect they'll get the plans approved and start demolition by next year or so."
"Whoa," I said in appreciation, "I'd really, really, really love to see a for-real-life hockey game." Neal's dad clapped me on the back and laughed.
"Well my lad," he said, his eyes sparkled, "That's a ways off, but there's plenty to do in Hartford. We've got movies, The Mark Twain House, the Children's Museum."
"I, for one, would love to do some shopping," said Mom, "I'm in desperate need of clothes that don't look like they come from a feed store!"
"We'll take you to G. Fox," said Neal's mother, patting Mom on the shoulder, "and maybe we'll take a stroll past Savitt Jewelers on the way!" My Dad's eyes grew wide in mock horror.
"I'll be bankrupt by the end of that trip I'm sure!" he exclaimed. Laughter erupted from around the table and I glanced over to Neal, watching him take a bite of his pie. I marveled at the way his ears moved slightly forward as he chewed. He laughed at something else and a small piece of pie fell from his mouth into his lap. He grabbed at it, and looked around furtively to see if anybody saw it. Our eyes locked for a moment, he smiled again, and went back to eating. I felt it again, like bright fog rolling into my gut; that hazy, diaphanous, fluttery feeling that I could not quite name. Even though he sat across the table from me, he wasn't close enough. I felt a physical, visceral need to be in direct contact with him, an almost suffocating feeling. I looked away, down at my water-glass, to my plate, to my napkin, anywhere but at Neal. Confused, I abruptly pushed myself away from the table and got up, my chair fell backwards behind me and I stumbled clumsily.
"Whoa there sailor!" Dad exclaimed, "You been hitting the eggnog already?" Embarrassed, I managed a weak smile, righted my chair, and took my plate and silverware to the kitchen. I grabbed an apron and started rinsing the dishes and stacking them to go through the washer/sanitizer. Looking out through the pass-through window, I saw Neal excuse himself and bring his plate to me. I gazed at him as he walked, feeling my heart jump. The turtleneck sweater he wore squared off his shoulders handsomely and clung to his torso in a way that caused blood to surge into my loins; I was grateful for the cover of the apron.
"Want me to start clearing plates and stuff?" Neal asked, setting his own down at the pass-through.
"That'd be great," I smiled, thankful for the help. I set about rinsing and stacking the trays while Neal started clearing the tables. Several of the other kids followed his example, although some had to be reminded by their parents to do so. With the tables cleared, Neal came around into the kitchen, donned an apron and helped stack the dishes as they came out of the sanitizer.
"So," Neal ventured, "what goes on at these things after we're done eating?"
"Nuffin much," I shrugged, "first night we don't have much planned `cause everybody is just getting settled in, might even be a few families that arrive later yet. Sometimes Pastor Dave breaks out his guitar and people just sit around and sing songs and stuff."
"Cool," Neal said, starting on the oven pans and saucepans in the sink. I sorted and put away the silverware in the bins.
"I wanted to show you something later."
"Really?" He raised his eyebrows, "like what?"
"Something I did while you were gone is all," I said.
"Yeah, cool," Neal grinned, "I'm almost done with these anyway."
My Dad strolled into the kitchen, stood between us and wrapped his strong arms around our shoulders, giving them a gentle squeeze.
"Can I just say how proud I am of you two?" he beamed, "Nobody had to ask you to do a thing and you just went ahead and took care of the after-dinner cleanup. Absolutely stellar work boys, stellar work." Neal shrugged some and gave Dad a shy, "aw-shucks" grin. Dad didn't give out praise easily, so when he did, it was heartfelt and it made me feel wonderful.
"Thanks Dad, "I said, "Just needed to be done I guess."
"Well," he said in mock seriousness, "You would have been asked to do it anyway, but the fact nobody had to tell you, raises you both in my estimation by several measures." Dad mussed our hair; mine became a tangled mess while Neal's hair returned right back to normal. "Tell you what," Dad said, "How about you two take the rest of the night off with my thanks?" He palmed both of us a five dollar bill. "Don't expect that every night now, but I just wanted to show how much I appreciate you being such grown up fellas."
"Whoa thanks!" Neal blurted out, "Holy cow!"
"You're welcome son," Dad said, patting him on the butt. "Okay you two, scoot!"
Grinning and laughing, we tumbled out of the kitchen and past the gathered families in the great room. Taking Neal to his family's room, we gathered his jacket, a wool cap and some gloves. I pulled on my heavy winter coat, hat and gloves and we marched outside into the cold. The snow crunched underfoot as I led Neal down the path toward my little cabin in the woods.
"Where the hell are we going?" Neal asked, breathing clouds of vapor into the frigid air. I pointed to the darkened cabin, nestled under a blanket of snow, illuminated by the bright moonlight. We trudged to the small porch, knocked off the snow from our boots, and went inside. Once I closed the door, I struck a match and lit one of the kerosene lamps, which filled the small interior with its warm glow.
"What do you think?" I asked, waving my arm around to show off my handiwork.
"Did you build this?" he asked. I laughed, touching another match to the paper and kindling already preset in the pot belly stove, blowing and coaxing it to life.
"Nope, it was already here," I said, "I just cleaned and fixed it up. Dad said I could have it if I took care of it." The little fire started to take, the wood crackling and burning. I closed the door to the stove, confident that it would soon start to warm the entire cabin. Neal walked around the little room, trying the pump, which did nothing but squeak and gurgle. He checked out the bunks and shelves, and finally plopped down into one of the chairs at the table.
"Wanna play?" he said, pointing to the checker board that I strategically planted there several days before in preparation.
"Sure!" I said brightly, sitting down on the opposite side. We agreed that I would go first, so I moved a piece forward. "So what's it like at your school?" I asked.
"Pretty cool," he answered, countering my move, "I like it okay."
"It's a private school, right?"
"Do you stay there or go home every day?"
"You can do either," he said, making a seemingly random move, "but I stay there most of the time. I come home some weekends."
"I don't think I'd like that," I thought aloud.
"It's not so bad," Neal said quietly, "The other guys are pretty cool, my roommate is a good dude."
"Roommate?" I asked, feeling a twinge of jealousy.
"Yup," he said, jumping and claiming one of my pieces. We played in silence for a few moves, Neal was definitely gaining an advantage on me but my mind was not on the game.
"What's his name?" I asked, making a move that I realized put my piece in immediate danger.
"Douglas," he said, ignoring my last move and moving one of his to the last row on my side of the board, "King me!" I sighed and dropped one of his checkers from my pile onto his piece. He grinned with satisfaction. I scanned the board for any opportunity to do damage. I saw that by leaving my last move alone, he left several of his own pieces imperiled. Taking action, I jumped five of his pieces across the board.
"You suck his dick?" I asked, as I scooped up his checkers. I wasn't sure why I asked, but I something was eating at me.
"Naw," he snorted derisively, not even fazed. Neal scoured the board for a move to make, for some reason I felt a little ticked-off.
"Is he good-looking?" Neal raised an eyebrow, perhaps sensing the edge in my voice.
"I dunno," he said, "I guess." I was fell silent, feeling a little foolish. "I don't think he'd be in for all that stuff," he offered, "he's got a real small dick anyways."
"Oh?" it was my turn to raise an eyebrow, "you've seen it?"
"Um yeah, in the dorm showers," he said, "no big deal, we've all seen each other's dicks." I knew I was being silly, but rational thought didn't seem to be a factor in how I felt.
"I see." I said, pouncing on another one of his pieces.
"Oliver," he said, somewhat irritated sounding, "what gives?"
"Nuffin." I said, sullen.
"This is boring," he said, clearing his pieces from the board, "you're kicking my butt anyways." I clearly wasn't, but arguing the point didn't seem worthwhile. Neal got up from the chair and walked over to the bunk where he picked up my copy of "Treasure Island". I put away the board and the checkers while he plopped down onto the bunk, kicked off his shoes and reclined on the mattress, a hand behind his head. I glanced over to him and felt a lead pellet form in my belly as I saw him laying there with his legs crossed, which accentuated the rise in the front of his chinos; that part we now refer to as "the package". I walked to the bunk and stood over him, leaning on the upper bunk. He looked up at me and smiled his shy smile, the dimples in his cheeks deepening. I saw him swallow, but he said nothing. Casually, I reached down and cupped him through his pants, rubbing slowly with the tips of my fingers. His smile widened, he closed his eyes and let his head drop back into the pillow. I turned to the table, and snuffed the light from the kerosene lamp, leaving only the glow from the little window in the pot belly stove to cast its orange flicker around the darkened room.
When I turned back, and continued to palm Neal's balls through his pants, he let his hand wander up my leg, the brushing motion made me shiver even though the room was plenty warm enough. I could feel my penis stiffen and point toward my hip under my jeans. I slid the flat of my hand up under his shirt and felt his warm belly, exploring his navel with my fingertips. He giggled softly as I did this, gripping my hardness through the thick denim; I gasped. Leaning over, I climbed on top of him slowly, my face hovering over his. I inched in closer and paused, just brushing his lips with mine. He put his hand behind my neck and hungrily pulled my lips to his, kissing me madly. I heard our fervent breathing and kisses echo in the room, mingling with the crackle from the fire. Lowering the rest of my body to him, we started to grind our stiff penises against one another.
"Stop!" he gasped into my mouth, "I'm gonna squirt if you don't stop!" I complied, freezing all movement, our lips locked together. I felt him pulse once beneath me, his eyes clenched close. The moment passed, his breathing turned to normal and he opened his deep brown eyes to look directly into mine.
"Okay?" I asked, my voice husky and low.
"Yeah," he nodded, whispering, "I just didn't want to cream in my pants." I nodded, understanding. In response, I arched my back and rose up from him. Gliding down, I came to his waistline, where the front of his pants tented out urgently; I could hear his short, rapid breathing. Carefully, and very slowly, I unbuckled his belt, opened the dual hooks at his waist, and with great deliberation, lowered the straining zipper. He threw his head back and gave a pleading whimper, his underwear bulging through the open fly. The cotton of his briefs stood out starkly white in the flickering light, moving up and down as Neal's belly heaved with his gasping breaths.
Parting the Y-front fly, I gently dug his dick out from his underwear; it stood straight up and pulsed urgently. I gazed at Neal's marvelous penis for a moment, reveling in its steely suede texture and the heady, warm musk that arose from the depths of him. The shadow cast over it by my body made it difficult to see, but it definitely looked a little bit longer than I remembered. I held his throbbing warmth next to the peach fuzz on my cheek. He writhed against my face and groaned in his desperate need. I decided to torture him no further. Touching his pulsating member to my lips, I drew him deeply into my mouth as he grabbed up fistfuls of the blankets beneath him, gasping.
"Mmmm," I moaned, feeling the length of his dick palpitate against my tongue.
"OH, gawwwwd Oliver!" his voice rasped, "I so waited for thissssss..." I leisurely swirled my tongue around his silky hardness, savoring the slightly salty flavor of his skin. Reaching under and caressing his balls through the fabric, I felt him part his legs further, so I pressed the tips of my fingers into the space directly under his scrotum. "Ungh," he grunted quietly, his body shaking with a short spasm. Encircling the base of his penis with my thumb and forefinger, I pulled the skin down, making it shiny and taut. He groaned deeply in his chest and I felt his belly tense beneath my palm, I knew he was close. Sinking my mouth down along his entirety, I felt the knob of his head reach farther down my throat than I had ever felt it before. I swallowed, massaging his whole length with my tongue and throat.
The breath huffed out of his chest as Neal's balls tensed and drew closer to his body. I swallowed again and moaned around him. Driving his pelvis up, he propelled his penis as deeply into my mouth as possible, I countered his pressure, mashing my lips against him, my nose dug into the downy, black pubes as I inhaled his essence into my flared nostrils. My own hardness swelled, trapped by the fabric of the leg of my jeans. In sympathy his Neal's impassioned throes; I felt hot semen jet toward my hip and down my pants-leg. I groaned out loud as Neal pistoned in and out of my mouth. Finally, he arched his back and I grabbed his butt and sucked for all I was worth. We hung there in the air for what seemed an eternity while Neal's tormented penis finally spasmed and spewed forth it's delicate, milky offering to my throat. I felt the liquid hit the back of my throat and I swallowed quickly, not wanting to miss a single drop. I pulled back, leaving only the swollen knob to perch on my tongue. Two smaller bursts of viscous liquid flowed onto my taste buds, and I moaned appreciatively sweet, musky flavor.
Slowly, we returned to my little cabin in the woods, to the silence broken only by our deep sighs and the crackling of the wood in the stove.
"Holy shit," Neal whispered breathlessly, "Holy steaming pile of banana-flavored monkey shit." I couldn't help myself, I started laughing. He coughed and stared laughing too. Between the two of us, we giggled like little girls for nearly twenty minutes. We decided shortly afterwards to return to the lodge before somebody missed us and came looking. It wouldn't do well to have somebody walk in on me and Neal with his dick hanging out.
At the lodge, we walked in, pounded the snow off our boots, shed our winter-wear, and sidled up next to the huge fireplace. The group was singing some folk songs popularized by Peter, Paul and Mary. Mom came up and sat between me and Neal. Mom leaned over and sniffed near my mouth.
"Mom!" I recoiled, "What are you doing?"
"Just making sure you two weren't out there smoking something funny," she said matter-of-factly. I looked over at Neal, who had a wicked, wry grin on his face.
"No Ma'am," he said as seriously as his face would let him, "No smokin' goin' on here!"
"Hmph," Mom said, looking back and forth between us a couple of times. "Honest to Pete, Oliver," she said, grabbing my glasses from my face, the curled ends twanging my ears as she did so, "how do you managed to see a blessed thing through these messy lenses?" She held the spectacles up to the light and shook her head. "What the devil?" she said. Taking the soft fabric of her shirt, she attempted to clean and polish each lens, holding it to the light each time. She blew on one of the lenses a couple of times.
"Mom!" I hissed impatiently, embarrassed.
"There seems to be a few like... I dunno..." she flicked at a lens with a fingernail, "looks like fine, black hair or something." Brushing the surface of the glasses, she polished it once more with her shirt and seemed satisfied. "There," she said happily, handing them back to me. "You must have been snuggling with the cat again; she got hair all over your glasses, but only the black ones! Go figure that out!" We all laughed, but I took a moment to steal a glance at Neal, only to see a comical look of confusion yield to comprehension as he began to understand that those were his pubes Mom had blown off my glasses. He snorted into his fist and we both broke out into peals of laughter. Mom looked back and forth again, mystified. Shrugging her shoulders, she stood and joined the rest of the group while Neal and I jumped in with the rest of the group as we sang along to the rousing chorus of "If I had a Hammer".