STANDARD WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to individuals, living or dead, is pure coincidence. Do not read this story if you are offended by man-to-man romance or sex. Do not read if you are underage according to the laws in the country, state/province, county, city/town/village or township where you live. There is sex between males. You have been warned!

Copyright 2002 by Nick Archer. Permission is granted to Nifty Archives to post one copy. No part may be copied, reproduced, republished, or reposted on another website without written permission from the author.

Pocketful of Stars

By Nick Archer

Chapter 19

Troy was spending Saturday night at my house again. Dennis had admitted to me last night that he didn’t love me. Troy had been affectionate with me all day. And then, there was the little matter of the way he undressed in front of me the night before. My mind was swirling with images of the past few days.

I wasn’t yet undressed. I sat on the edge of my bed listening to my Walkman. I needed to hear some music. Do you ever feel like that? Sometimes you listen to a song and it matches your mood perfectly?

"What are you listening to?" Troy asked me.

I lifted one earpiece. "Blue Monday."

He grinned. "How does it feel? To treat me like you do?" Troy sang the first two lines. "It’s a bitchin’ song. What other tapes do you have?"

"They’re in the dresser."

Troy opened the top right dresser drawer.

"Not that one," I tried to explain. Dennis had his clothes in the right side. Mine still filled the left.

Instead of closing the drawer, Troy just stared into it.

"What?" I asked.

He reached into the drawer. I expected the drawer to be empty. But it wasn’t.

"What’s this?" He pulled out a handful of velour and cotton stuffing. He started to pull out more. Then, he pulled out the remains of German’s face.

Dennis had ripped German apart. German was my favorite teddy bear. I had had German since I was a baby. Mom had packed him in a box that she had shipped to Williams Bay by UPS as a joke.

I burst into tears.

"Hey, Joe. Maybe he can be sewn back together."

"No, never," I bawled.

"Who did this?"

"Dennis." It could only be Dennis. Then, I got really furious. I felt a rush of adrenaline sting my brain. I tightened my hands into angry knots. "I’ll kill him." I stomped to the bedroom door and flung it open. My destination was the living room where Dennis was sleeping on the couch. I was going to hurt him.

"Whoa, there, Joe!" Troy blocked the door.

I tried pushing him aside.

"You’re not going in there," Troy held me back while trying to keep the volume down.

"I’m gonna kill him!" There was a stranger yelling in my house. Then, I realized the yelling stranger was me.

"Shh-hh! Keep it down!" It was a miracle we didn’t wake anyone up.

I started to cry again and my arms became limp and fell to my sides. With a hand on my shoulder, Troy led me back to the bed.

"Sit," he commanded. He shut the bedroom door and then sat next to me.

He put his arms around me and stroked my hair. "Shh! It’s OK, Joe. It’s OK." It was weird having another guy stroke my hair like that. Usually, I would have protested, even if the protest was fake, but I had been drinking and I was crying and upset.

How could I explain the pain to him? It wasn’t the loss of a teddy bear that I was crying about. It was the memories. How many times had I held German? How many times had I told him my troubles? There were times I felt German was the only one who would listen without judgment. How many times had I rocked him, cuddled him, held him until I fell asleep?

How could I express the anger and outrage I felt toward Dennis? By tearing German apart, he had violated me. By shredding the stuffed animal, Dennis had shredded any hope of reconciliation between us.

What made the act so insidious is that Dennis did it precisely because he knew how much it would upset me. He did it for the express purpose of hurting me.

And he had succeeded.

Dennis had torn apart one of the last pieces of my childhood. It was that loss that I was crying about.

But Troy was there. His impossibly blue eyes were full of concern for me. There was something else in his eyes, too. I was too preoccupied to ask what else was going on in his brain.

He got up from the bed, opened the bedroom door and closed it behind him silently. Within a minute, he returned with a cup of water and a few tissues. "Here, blow your nose and take a drink. It’ll make you feel better."

While I did what Troy commanded, he crossed over to the sliding glass doors and closed the drapes. I handed him the cup and the snot rag; he put them on top of the dresser.

He took the bottom hem of my shirt. "Lift your arms up, please."

"What are you doing?"

"We’re going to bed. We can deal with this in the morning. But it will help if you grab some shuteye. Lift!" I lifted my arms and he pulled my shirt off. He hunkered down on one knee and pulled my shoes and my socks off. I liked the grip and warmth of his hand on the back of my calf as he held my leg to accomplish this task.

"Stand up," he directed and I did. I got just a little excited when I felt his fingers on my belly and just below my beltline as he unbuttoned my jeans and pulled them down. I stood there wearing only my favorite blue Calvin Klein underwear - the pair that I found in the locker room at school. And my semi-hard dick was creating a tent on the front of my underwear.

"Well, hello, there!" He chuckled. "Looks like Mr. Happy is saying ‘Hi,’ which is good. Nice underwear, too," he leered in an attempt to get me to laugh.

I couldn’t laugh. My brain was still squirming like a toad in the hand of a 7-year-old. Dimly, I was aware that Troy was taking care of me. I’m usually an independent person. I used to tell Mom and Dad, "I wanna do it my own self," all the time when I was a little kid. But right now, I was letting Troy lead me….but where was he leading me? What was going to happen next? I didn’t know and I was beyond caring.

He turned down one side of the covers. "Get into bed. Atta boy." He pulled the covers up around my chin.

I didn’t even protest that he called me a boy. And you know how much I hate that.

Troy stepped out of his shoes, and stripped himself down to his boxer briefs. Just before he turned out the light and crawled into bed, I did manage to get a look at his chest. And OK, I admit it, I checked out his package, too. I wasn’t too upset to do that. It looked like he was semi-hard. I could clearly see a tube-like bulge on his upper right thigh.

He crawled into bed next to me and pulled me close. His breath still smelled faintly of beer, as I’m sure mine did.

"What are you doing, Troy?"

"Nothing, Joe. I’m just going to hold you, OK? Is that OK with you?"

I wanted more, at least I think I did, but I was too confused at that moment. My feelings had just gone through a blender and I couldn’t sort them out.


"Nothing else is going to happen. You’re my friend, that’s it. OK? I just want to hold you."

"OK," I agreed. And I snuggled next to him and quickly fell asleep.

Early the next morning, I woke with a feeling of warmth. I was lying on my left side, toward the closet doors. Troy was spooning me. His right arm was flung over me and his right hand was palm-up, just inches away from my face. The fingers twitched as he slept.

But then I gradually became aware of something else. There was a hot tube pressing against my butt. Now, let’s see. I don’t remember going to bed with a curling iron. So it could only be one thing.

I lay there for what seemed to be a long time, trying to get a peek of the world outside through the curtains over the sliding glass doors. It was still gray and gloomy, or perhaps it was so early that the sun wasn’t up yet.

My mind wandered to the events of last night and what happened next. I was still hurt over the loss of German, but I felt a little better about it. I was able to look at it in a more practical light. Was I going to carry around a stupid teddy bear for the rest of my life?

And then I remembered how tender and gentle Troy had been with me last night. No guy had ever done that to me before. Well, Dad did and so did Paul, but they don’t count because they’re grown-ups. Josh never did and neither did Dennis.

I lifted Troy’s arm off me, sat up very slowly so as not to wake him and went to the bathroom. When I got back, his eyes were open.

"I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you up."


The morning was a little chilly so I was glad to get back into bed.

"God, it’s only 5:24," I reported.

"Is it raining?"

"No, but it’s overcast."

Troy pulled me close so that we were chest-to-chest. He still had a boner, which made me stiff again.

"Thanks," I whispered.

"You’re welcome," he whispered back. "That’s what friends are for." He rubbed my bare back. "Best friends," he added.

"You’re my best friend, too. I had one in Bloomington."

"What was his name?"


Troy grinned, "But now since your address is Williams Bay, I get the best friend title. Is that it?" He pretended like he was hurt, but I knew he was teasing me.

"Josh didn’t know everything about me. Trouble is -- if he did, I’m not sure he would still like me." All of a sudden, I started to feel sad again.

Our faces were only inches apart and our erections were pressing into each other’s thighs. They were like rubbing old-fashioned wooden matches on sandpaper.

He closed his eyes again, and it looked like he was trying to fall asleep. My mind wandered again to German, and my eyes started to leak again. Now, I wasn’t so upset about losing my teddy bear, I was upset at Dennis. How could anyone do something so heartless and cruel? Why was he so angry with me? What did I do that made him feel like he wanted to hurt me so badly?

"Hey," he whispered, "it’s going to be all right." Then he did it! He kissed my forehead! My eyes flew open.

"Wh-why did you do that?"

"Because I knew you wouldn’t."

"Are you teasing me again?"

"No, Joe." And then he kissed my cheek! It was a really tender and nice kiss.

I pushed him away. "OK, time out." I rolled onto my back. "This is not happening. This can’t happen. You’re my best friend."

"Joe, remember when we were riding bikes the day that Dennis and Tad left?"


"And I said, "Let’s just say it happened before.’ This is what I meant."

"Oh, Jesus. Oh, God!"

"I’m not gay, Joe. I just like sex."

"Oh, my God." I wanted it to happen. All Troy had to do was look at my stiff dick to confirm how much I wanted it to happen.

Troy tried to put his arms around me, but I moved away from him to the edge of the bed.

"What? What’s wrong, Joe?"

"You’re my best friend."


"Best friends can’t fuck around," I whispered fiercely.

He snickered. "What soap opera did you see that on?"

"It’ll change everything."

"Maybe." He continued to move closer to me. "But did you ever think that it might change things for the better? Did you ever think that it might make us closer?"

I ran out of bed space to move away from him. If I moved any further, I would fall off the edge of the mattress.

"I just want to make you happy, Joe. I don’t want you to cry anymore. I want to see you smile again. Let me do this for you, Joe."


"Because I want to help you." He dropped his eyes, and lowered his voice to an almost inaudible whisper. "Because I care about you."

He leaned even closer to me, closed his eyes and puckered his lips.

Oh, shit! What was I going to do? I’ll tell you what I did. I kissed him back.

Kissing a guy is different that kissing a girl. When I kissed Sue Travis, which seemed like a century ago, her lips were soft. She let me control the kiss. Guys lips are a lot firmer.

I was ready to shoot my load right then and there.

He stopped kissing, opened his eyes and a devilish smile crossed his face.

He hopped off the bed - which wasn’t a big hop since I had scooted to the edge to get away from him - and placed his hands under my knees. He swung me around so that I pivoted on my butt. Now, my lower legs were dangling over the side of the bed. And Troy was standing over me with that evil smile.

He put a hand on my belly.

"We shouldn’t be doing this," I told him.

"I know."

"We’re going to fuck up our friendship."


"I like you too much to fuck it up."

"It’ll be OK."

"But you’re not gay."

"But I like sex. I’ve been with a guy before. It’s no big deal."

"I can’t. I can’t do this."

"Yes, you can. I want it. You want it. And," he reached underneath my boxers and pulled out my dick, "You’re going to get it."


"Shh!" He held my hard dick in his left fist. He placed his right index finger over my lips. "Shh!" he repeated. "The next thing I want to hear out of you is when you’re going to shoot."

Then, he went down on me.

I panted and clawed the sheets. I rolled my head back and forth. He was good and he knew what he was doing. In fact, he was even better than Dennis.

Much, much too soon, it was over. "Troy, I’m cumming."

"That was fast."

"Oh!" I grunted as the first blast hit my right shoulder.

"Whoa, dude! You come like a volcano."

I snickered.

"Is there anything to clean up with?"

"There should be a towel in the closet." He found the towel and grinned while he wiped my chest with the soft cotton cloth. When he was done, he dropped the towel casually on the floor.

"Your turn," he said as he pulled on my arm. He wanted me to sit up and suck him. I was eager to do it.

He hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his boxer briefs and slid them to his ankles. His dick pointed proudly at me.

Without hesitation, I took him into my mouth. He tasted a bit salty, but I didn’t care. I rolled my eyes up to his face and observed a look of bliss there. I grinned - as much as one can grin with a cock in one’s mouth - took a deep breath through my nostrils and took him all the way down my throat. My lips landed on his pubes.

It was easy. Dennis had a bigger dick and by now I knew how to relax the muscles in my throat.

"Oh! God!" His fingers were massaging my scalp as if he was trying to massage in conditioner.

My throat released his cock. My lips rested on the head of his dick while I took another deep breath in through my nose and plunged down again.

"Shit! Joe! I’m going to come!"

I quickly removed my mouth just as his prick spit on my right shoulder again and down my chest.

"Oh, God, Joe!" He took my face in his hands, leaned over and kissed me. "Thank (kiss) you (kiss) so (kiss) much."

"No, thank you."

He giggled as he picked up the towel again. "No, thank you."

"No, no. Thank you."

We both laughed as we repositioned ourselves and cuddled together.

"Feel better now?" Troy asked me.

"Much. Thanks."

"No, thank you."

I said, "Shut up and go to sleep." But I said it with a smile.

After I turned off the light, Troy spoke, "I don’t want you to think that we’re going to do this all the time. I just did it to make you feel better."

As usual, Troy was as good as his word.

Dad tapped on my bedroom door.

"Joe? Joe? Dennis is leaving."

I was immediately awake. "OK," I said groggily. I sat up in bed. The first order of business was to pee, so I slipped my favorite basketball shorts. I had no intention of putting on a show for Dennis or Tad, and I certainly didn’t want to give Michael any ammunition for his bitchy mouth.

When I was done, I glanced around the whole living room and kitchen area. Michael was nowhere in sight. Dad and Tad were hugging near the kitchen table. I thought I heard Dad mumble something like, "I’m sorry it ended this way."

Tad was crying! When they saw that I was watching, they parted.

Dennis was sitting on the living room couch, with his back to me. His hair was all messed up. Before I went to talk to him, I ducked into my bedroom. I needed to get something.

Troy was still asleep. I looked at him and my heart skipped a beat. I debated whether I should wake him up. He would want to see this. But I decided against it. This was between me and Dennis.

I opened the top right dresser drawer and grabbed the contents.

I crossed the distance between my bedroom door and the couch in the living room in a few long steps.

I threw the remains of German in Dennis’ lap.

He looked up at me. His face was ashen, his hair was a mess and he had dark circles under his eyes.

I grinned in triumph. "You are an asshole," I hissed. I kept my voice low because I didn’t want my dad or Tad to interfere. This was personal. This was between Dennis and me.

"Why did you do it?" I demanded.

He shrugged.

Everything was clear to me, now.

"Well, I think you made it pretty clear to me how you really feel about me. I loved you, but you didn’t love me. You were just using me, weren’t you?"

Dennis shrugged again. I wanted to punch him.

"So are you gonna go through the rest of your life thinking with your penis?" My voice was starting to rise. I couldn’t help it. I was upset.

"You were just using me, weren’t you? You were using sex to get what you wanted."

By this time, Dad and Tad heard me and were making their way over to where I was standing.

I bent at the waist and got right in Dennis’ face.

I quoted Blue Monday. "How does it feel? To treat me like you do? When you laid your hands upon me? And it told me who you are?"

Dennis made no move to get away from me.

"Son," dad put a hand on my shoulder.

Tad muttered, "I told you to be careful with him." He turned his attention toward Dennis. "Stand up. Let’s go."

Dennis stood and with his head hanging and then started to walk away.

I grabbed his bicep. I had one more line from Blue Monday. "I thought I was mistaken and I thought I heard you speak. Tell me how should I feel? Tell me now how should I feel?"

He jerked his arm out of my hand and shuffled as he followed his brother out of the house. I knew he had a hangover, and I wanted to add to his misery.

Troy appeared in his underwear. "What’s going on?" he asked groggily.

Dad put his hand on my shoulder. "Take it easy, son."

I was standing between Dad and Troy. I put my left arm around Dad’s waist and my right arm around Troy’s shoulders. I aimed right between his eyes and took my last shot.

I lowered my voice to a more reasonable tone. "You’re a loser, Dennis."

"Bastard!" he screamed.

"That’s enough, Joe. I mean it. You’ve made your point," Dad said to me firmly. I knew he agreed with me about Dennis, but at that moment I was like the First Law of Physics. I was in motion and I wasn’t going to stop until acted upon by an outside force. In this case, the outside force was dad attempting to calm me down.

Dennis cried as he got into the backseat of the car.

"Shut up, Dennis, and get in the car," Tad told him. He turned to me. "I’m sorry. You’re too nice a kid for this."

He held his arms out to me. I hesitated for just a second and then I thought, Tad had never been mean to me. Ever. It wouldn’t hurt to hug him. It might even piss Dennis off even more.

I hugged Tad and he gave me several pats on the back.

"Be happy, kiddo."

Tad shook hands with Dad. They didn’t say anything, but looked in each other’s eyes for a long time.

"Let’s go," Michael said, as he lit another cigarette with his clicky lighter.

We watched Tad’s car as it disappeared down Congress Street. He signaled a right turn and then they were gone!

As soon as we stepped inside the house, Dad hugged me tightly. "That’s my boy!" He said with pride. I didn’t even try to correct him from using the word ‘boy.’

Troy turned to me. "God, remind me never to piss you off."

That day, I became the Hubble Telescope.

When we stand on the surface of the earth and look at stars, they’re distorted because of the atmosphere. To us, the stars appear as if they’re twinkling. But when they’re viewed from the Hubble Telescope without the atmosphere interfering, the light that they emit appears steady. And much brighter.

I was now looking at the people in my life clearly. And I could see them for what they really were.

Dennis was just using me. I knew that. When I first figured this out, I was angry at myself. But eventually, I let myself off the hook. Hey, it was my first relationship and I was just a boy. Yeah, I said boy. I was in love with the idea of being in love. It took a long time to forgive Dennis - many years - but I finally did.

Troy really cared about me. Another thing I learned is that friends are more important than lovers sometimes. There are fewer hidden agendas between friends. I realized that then.

The two real stars in the whole story were my parents. Dad made such a turnaround when he re-examined the priorities in his life. And Mom was able to rise above her own needs and wants to let me do what was best for me. I still feel the brilliant starlight of their love.

And I try to reflect that love.

There was still one challenge left - going back to Bloomington. How would those people look to me now without the atmosphere to make them twinkle? Would Josh, Paul and even Mom look different? What about my sisters?

Within the next week, I would be able to see for myself.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome. I read and respond to all email (even if it takes a few days) Just click on one of the links below. And don't forget to check out my website (Chapters are always posted there earlier than here) and my other stories here on Nifty, Paternal Insticts/Family Instincts/Thicker Than Water in Relationships section and The Cooksville Chronicles in Historical.

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