I grabbed my iPod, which was already hooked up to my stereo, and threw on the saddest song I could think of on such short notice: "Motion Picture Soundtrack" by Radiohead. Not exactly the character I wanted, but I couldn't think of anything better. My mom shook her head and started to gather up the dishes I had only sort of used this morning. "Do you want lunch?"

"No," I said, pretending to be far sadder than I was, "not if I can't eat it with Nick."

She sighed, exasperated. Just as she was turning the lock in the door on her way out, inspiration struck. I turned the volume all the way up and put on "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

* * *

Friday night, about eleven-thirty. My dad had come home a few hours ago, had a conversation in heated but quiet voices downstairs, then stormed off to his room. This had all started on Tuesday. Since then, I had been purposefully pissing my mom off as much as possible. James, I hadn't really interacted with. When he was around I kept the music down and pretty much kept to myself. I was a little afraid of him.

Wednesday was the day when I first snuck out. Thursday I repeated it, doing similar stuff, but today my mom had stayed home. She kept me locked up, because I was aggravating her so much, no doubt. That made for quite a boring day. I thought more than once — hell, a lot more than once — about doing to myself what Nick had done to me...jacking off, I was pretty sure was the word. The older kids talked about it all the time, and my friends occasionally, but I hadn't really known for sure exatly what it was, and defintely not what it felt like, until Nick did it for me. I decided against doing it for myself, though; it would be better, I figured, with Nick. I would wait for him.

So anyway. Eleven thirty. I was just lying around, listening to Be by Common — yes, my taste in music is really weird and goes all over the map, from classic rock to jazz to underground rap. I was listening on headphones, so I didn't really hear the rock hit my window so well, but I saw it.

I ripped the headphones off my head and ran over, opening the window. Nick was standing on my driveway. My heart skipped a few beats, then tried to make up for lost time.

"One second," I said just loudly enough for him to hear. I grabbed my wallet and my keys, pulled on my sneakers, then returned to the window and popped out the screen. I set it aside, shut off the light, and got into the window.

"Catch me," I instructed Nick.

"Okay," he replied. I wiggled myself backwards and let myself fall. No pillows this time, but Nick's arms caught me roughly under my shoulders and so I hit the ground only lightly. Then he picked me up all the way and spun me around. We kissed.

Nick set me down and we walked silently into the woods, his arm around my waist. The leaves crunched under our feet; the air was a little chilly compared to how it had been during the day, of course, but it was still a good seventy degrees out.

When we came upon a little bit of an empty spot, not as much a clearing as just a little bit of ground where otherwise there would have been a tree or two, I asked, "Are we headed anywhere special?"

"Anywhere where I'm with you is special," Nick smiled.

I giggled and then, because I was getting impatient and figured we didn't have any particular place to go anyway, slapped his ass. He laughed and grabbed me, throwing me softly onto the ground and pulling furiously at my tee shirt. I squirmed but let him pull my shirt over my head. I felt the twigs and leaves lying on the ground poking against my back, but to be honest I was far more concerned with Nick's taking the opportunity of my arms' being up to bury his face in my armpit, rubbing the stubble there with his nose. I laughed and let him do it for a moment, then I wrapped my legs around his waist and rolled him over. He went along willingly with me, and I pulled his shirt off, flinging it to the side. I then scooted down and lined my face up with his chest and played with the hair in the little spot between where his "tits" poked out a little. I laughed and rubbed my nose in it and nibbled on the hairs, which were pretty short but thick.

Nick laughed and asked, "You like my hair there?"

I responded by kissing his little indentation and the hair on it.

"Should I stop shaving it?"

"Yeah," I replied, and moved my mouth to a nipple. I sucked on his nipple some, which was nice and big and stuck out, unlike mine. His cock was pressed against my stomach through his shorts.

I worked my way up, kissed his neck some, then we Frenched a little. I brought my kisses down his body, paused on his other nipple, then followed the tiny strands of hair that started at about the bottom of his ribcage to his belly button. I stuck my tongue in that a little and played around some more, sticking my tongue in and out. He giggled. I started to go lower, but Nick grabbed me and rolled over on top of me.

"Nope. My turn," he said. I groaned and pretended to be disappointed, but then I moaned — I hated myself for it, but couldn't help it — as he sucked on my nipple like I had his. He brought himself down in much the same way that I had, then played with my belly button in exactly the same way as I had just played with his.

"Copy cat," I accused him, but was silenced when he undid the button on my shorts with his teeth. He then took the zipper in his teeth, and pulled down my shorts by the waistband, also with his teeth. I kicked off my shoes for him, since that's hard to do with teeth, but he took off my socks himself. He returned his face to my crotch, but didn't immediately take off my boxers. Instead he just rubbed his face against my already-hard cock through the thin layer of cloth. Just when I was built up to the point where I needed release so badly that I was about to give in and beg him to just suck me, he finally pulled my boxers down by the waistband, but took them on the side so that his lip ran along the side of my whole leg, nowhere near my important parts. After taking the boxers off my feet, Nick then popped my toe into his mouth.

I giggled as he sucked on my left big toe. He kissed and licked me up my foot, then slowly, oh so slowly, up the outside of my left leg. I was disappointed when he continued straight along past my waist and continued up my side, placing my arm out of the way. As he was going up, he was bringing his whole body along, so that he was now kneeling lying perpindicular to me. He went up to my armpit, sniffed and licked, and then went along the inside of my arm, sucked on each finger briefly, and went up licking the outside of my arm. He went up my shoulder, the side of my neck, and to my ear. He sucked and nibbled a little on the lobe, made me laugh by sticking his tongue actually in my ear, then cut across my face to my mouth. He kissed me upside down, Spiderman-style, which was interesting. Then, when we were done kissing, he licked a line straight down the middle of my chest and stomach to my belly button and, finally, he popped my dick into his mouth.

That was, well, amazing. I had thought that him jacking me off was a good feeling, but, well, this was something completely else.

His stomach was over my face now, but he spun, his mouth still on my dick. If moaned again; if my resistance or whatever the fuck it should be called was low enough that I moaned after just getting my nipples sucked, there was no way I would be able to stop myself here. He stopped spinning when he was aligned in the same direction as I was, spread my legs so he could lie on the ground between them, and, to my great disappointment, took his mouth off my dick. Instead he licked down the shaft and all along my ballsack. He surprised me by licking lower and lower, along to the very edge of my asshole but without actually touching it. Then he traced his way back, popped first one ball into his mouth then the other, and licked right back up my shaft. At this point I was literally shivering with anticipation, again on the verge of begging him to just do it. I could hardly stand it. But I didn't say anything, because he then took my dick in his mouth and, slowly, started bobbing his head up and down.

This was...well, there's not a better word than ecstasy for the feeling, except maybe for calling it orgasmic, which kind of goes without saying. He played his tongue all over me; he wrapped his lips over his teeth, so I didn't have to go through what I had done to him. He just went faster and faster. I wondered if I made Nick feel this good, and hoped I did.

"Oh, wow, oh shit, Oh Nick I'm gonna cum I'm gonna cum..."

Nick kept on bobbing his head up and done, and I had my second orgasm ever. The second one was infinitely better than the first, which I hadn't thought possible until that point. I felt myself spurt a few times, but had no idea how much cum was coming out. Probably not much, considering that there had just been a few drops last time.

Nick took his head off of me, and I felt myself going limp quickly. He swallowed and made a face. "Tastes weird," he said, "but not too bad."

I smiled at him and sighed contentedly. I would have been perfectly happy to just crawl into his arms and fall asleep, but Nick hadn't cummed yet, and I needed to deal with that.

He was still kneeling in between my legs, so I rolled up and pushed him over, playfully. He "fell" on his back, and, well, somehow, completely accidentally, you see, his legs spread as he fell. He was still fully dressed, minus a shirt, but that was quickly remedied; I just took off his shoes and socks the normal way. Then, anxious to get to my prize, I also took off his shorts with my hands. Maybe I would try the teeth next time. That left just his boxer-briefs, a pale color I couldn't make out in the dark — probably a light blue or something. I stroked his massive lump through the thin cloth with two fingers while the other hand hooked itself under his waistband. Then, unable to control myself, I just flung off his underwear and popped my mouth onto his pole. It was so big, or at least it was compared to mine, the only other one I had seen recently. It was beautiful.

I just sat there for a moment, his dick in my mouth and pressing against the top of my throat. I knew there must be some way to get it all in there, but when I had tried last time I just choked myself. Instead, I had to be content with just half of it. I would figure out some way later.

I remembered to fold my tips over my teeth, then did what Nick had done to me earlier: I spun around, keeping my mouth on his dick. I laid myself on his chest, so that my own quickly-hardening dick was pressed against his chest, and started using my tongue.

When I had contented myself with just caressing him with my tongue, I started to bob up and down slightly. I felt one of Nick's hands rest on the back of my head — he really did love my hair — and the other cupped around my left asscheek. His hands didn't move, just rested there lightly. I started speeding up with my bobbing, his dick head going from the top of my throat to just short of popping out my lips. It didn't have much of a taste, pretty much the same as sucking a finger. I just laid there, accelerating my head bob until my neck go tired. I was starting to slow down when his breathing started quickening and his hand tightened on my asscheek.

Those weren't the only clues I had that he was going to cum — his saying "I'm gonna cum, I'm gonna cum..." helped some too — but I chose to keep on going. I didn't plan to swallow, but hadn't really minded the taste last time. So, when he finally came, he thrusted his hips up some instead of me coming down on him, and he shot a couple pretty big spurts of juice into me. Like last time, it tasted, well, weird; I couldn't put a word down on how to describe it. Kinda salty but also kinda sweet, a little bit too sweet...though those aren't the right words at all.Some of it oozed right out of my mouth, but a lot of the first spurt shot straight into my throat, and instead of going through the effort of hacking it up I just swallowed. I didn't really try to swallow what was still in my mouth but not really into my throat, but, well, my control over that kid of thin isn't perfect, and so I just ended up swallwing it all. Whatever; not like I wouldn't taste it as much if I spat it out or something.

I then crawled up and rolled Nick gently on his side, then scooted in front of him facing the same direction so we were lying there spooning, his arms around me. I rested my head on his upper left arm and closed my eyes. He gently repositioned himself so that his dick, which was only half-hard now, was in between my thighs but several inches down from my actual butt. I was careful not to put much weight on it.

We just laid there for a while, and I loved every second. With Nick around me, I just felt, well...I don't know. Safe. I just didn't think about the reactions of our parents and from James. It didn't matter, because I was with Nick.

* * *

After we had laid there for a while, Nick said tentatively, "Cody?"

"Mmm?" I left my eyes closed.

"If I told you that for us to stay together, we had to — absolutely had to — run away, what would you say?"

The question surprised me, but I didn't even have to think about it. Quietly, I said, "I'd go with you."

"Good. Can you go tonight?"

I rolled over in his arms and kissed him again. "For you, baby? Of course." I meant it, completely, but I hadn't expected this at all. The thought hadn't even really crossed my mind.

Nick gently withdrew himself from our embrace and stood up. "I can't live with my dad any more."

"It's that bad?"

Rather than saying anything, he turned around. I saw marks along his lower back and his ass, rectangular red marks an inch or so wide and a few inches long each.

"Is that a belt?" I asked quietly.

He turned around and nodded.

"I'm so sorry...does it hurt to lay on it?"

"A little."

"Why didn't you say something?" I stood up too.

Nick smiled at me. "I didn't really mind. I had a pretty good distraction."

I took a step forward and kissed him again, briefly. "Where will we go?"

Nick took a deep breath. "For the last couple days," he said, "I went with my mom to my uncle's house. My mom's brother. My dad was, well, a little out of control. She told him, my uncle, what was happening....He told me, without my mom knowing, that he has a nephew, you know, my aunt's brother's son, no blood relation to me, and he's like fourteen and living with his boyfriend. His parents, my aunt's brother and sister-in-law or whatever, couldn't cope with their son's being gay, and neither could the other kid's, and, well...they're living with the other kid's aunt and uncle, you know, my aunt's nephew's boyfriend's aunt and uncle...and...yeah...I guess I'm not making much sense..."

"Nah," I said, "I know what you're saying."

"Okay, good. Well, my aunt talked to those people, well, they're the Hendersens, and by the way my aunt's nephew is Riley and his boyfriend is Victor, and they said that maybe we could go and, well, see how it works if we lived there for a while. They're great people, apparently, and, well, we wouldn't have to put up with all this shit. They live on Cape Cod."

I nodded. I didn't want to leave everyone and everything and move to a new state with people I didn't know, but if that's what I had to do to be with Nick, then, well, I would do that. I felt thatstrong about it...about him.

"So that's what you want to do? You're sure?"

"Absolutely, Nick. I want to be with you more than anything else." We kissed once again, and then he tousled my hair. I laughed.

"How are we getting there?"

Nick fished his cell phone out of his pants and looked at the screen. "It's almost twelve now; there's a train at twelve-forty-five headed to Providence, and then we can take the bus to be pretty close to their house. They're gonna pick us up there. We'll get there at like three, I think."

"Do they mind?"

"No, they're cool with it. They understand."

"You talked to them?"

"A little. They seem like nice people, and Riley's a funny guy."

"Awesome. It takes like twenty minutes to get to the train station, though, right?"

"More like thirty. We should get going," Nick said.

"No time to pack?"

"No. I have enough money to buy us some clothes and stuff."

"I don't want to spend your —"

"Don't worry about it," Nick said forcefully. He picked up his boxers and pulled them on. "I'm willing to spend a hell of a lot of money on you, but I'm not willing to get caught by your parents last-minute and be stuck living with my fucking dad for any longer."

I was a little shocked by that. As Nick buttoned up his pants he implored, "Come on, Cody. Let's get going. I don't want to miss this train."

I pulled my clothes on, not really saying anything. This was big. I was leaving home...eloping, basically. And I was twelve. But, well, I loved this kid, and though I could probably work this out with my parents and still live with them, with effort — a lot of effort & mdash; the marks on Nick's butt proved that he couldn't ever live with his.

"Should we at least leave a note or something?" I asked as I got my shirt on.

"If you have paper and a pen, sure," Nick said. "But I really don't want to go inside."

I didn't have either. I didn't have anything...well, I had my keys and my wallet, which had some cash (thirty bucks now; I had taken some more out of my mom's purse, and felt no remorse in doing so), my library card, and a membership card for the local video store. That, and the clothes on my back; literally nothing else.

I said something to this effect. Nick replied, "Well, I knew about this before we went off on our little sexcapade; my backpack's in the woods near your house. I have some clothes, not much, some cash (two fifty, most of which I stole from my parents), a credit card, good until my parents cancel it (probably soon), my cell, same deal. Toothbrush, train schedule, bus schedule. Think that's it. No, I lied; I brought deodorant too. Do you really need anything else?"

"Well, my iPod would've been nice. I could've gotten some more cash too."

"But is it worth the chance of getting caught?"

"No," I sighed. The iPod didn't really bother me, but, well, to be honest, I didn't want to just vanish without a trace. What if our parents got the police involved or something?

Actually, they would probably do that. That was no good. "Nick," I said. He reacted to the concern in my voice.


"What if they call the police?"

"Well..." He was silent for a moment. "We'll have to convince them that we're okay."


"Maybe...I guess we could call them. On the train."

"Okay, I guess..." I was growing more and more reluctant. This was one of those ideas that I just couldn't see turning out well.

But then again...I took another look at Nick, then stepped toward him. He wrapped his arms around me; I buried my face in his chest. One of his hands stroked the back of my head.

I didn't think it would work, but there was no way that I could possibly not go with him.

"Let's go," I said into his chest. He heard me anyway.

* * *

The train, or at least the car we were in, was empty except for us and the conductor, a guy probably about nineteen. We glared at him, but he didn't get the hint, so after ten minutes or so Nick just pulled out his phone and dialed. Since the conversation would make things abundantly clear in any case, I laid my head on Nick's lap. He stroked my cheek with his right hand while he held the phone with his left.

I couldn't see the conductor any more, since my face was behind the seat back. I wondered how he was reacting.

Nick held the phone for a while, then pulled it away from his face. I heard three beeps and assumed he was redialing.

Finally I heard faintly a groggy voice answering the phone. Nick said, "Hi, Mom."

I couldn't really make out what his mom was saying, but of course I heard Nick clearly. "No...I'm sitting in a cab with Cody. No...yes, Mom. We're taking the cab to New York, then flying...no, I won't tell you where we're going." He had stopped stroking my cheek now, but left his hand there. "No...no. No. Your purse; Cody too. No." His voice started to get exasperated. "Why the fuck do you think I'm running away? ... Yes. No, I'll be fine. No, I don't want you to send me anything; didn't I just say I wasn't going to tell you where we're going? ... Because you'd tell Dad, and he'd come and kill me! Yes, he would! No! ... No, that's just not true! ... Because you can't accept that we're in love! Yes! Yes, I said it! Love! ... Well, I don't give a shit! ... No, don't do that! I'm not missing! I know exactly where I am! ... Fine, call the police! You'll just waste their time, and when some little old lady's house gets broken into and there's no police nearby to help, because they're all trying to chase down some cab to the fucking city, it'll be your fault that she gets knifed!" Then there was a long pause. "No, Mom. Yes, Mom, I'll be fine. No, I won't be living on the streets. We'll be fine...I love you too, Mom, and that's why it's such a shame you can't deal with who I am." Nick hung up.

We sat there silently for a moment.

Finally, Nick asked, "You wanna call your parents?"

I sat up, reluctantly. I didn't want to, but knew I had to.

"Okay." Because I was sitting up now, I saw the conductor blatantly staring at us. I stared back, daring him to say something. He didn't; instead he found a sudden and profound interest in the floor in front of him.

I took Nick's phone, dialed my number. I just stared at the digits on the screen for a moment.

"It's the green phone button," Nick supplied helpfully.

"Really?" I snapped. "I never would've guessed."

"Sorry," he said quietly.

"Sorry," I replied just as quietly. "I'm kinda tense. I have no idea why."

He smiled and put an arm around my shoulders. I leaned my head against his shoulder and held up the phone again. There was my number.

I hit the dial button, and my number changed to a picture of James wearing what I guessed was a bed for Nick's cat like a hat, so he looked kind of like a mushroom. It said James on the bottom and had a little icon of a house. The chimney had smoke coming out of it. I hadn't seen that picture before; they must have been at Nick's house. I had only been there a few times. Nick and I hadn't exactly been the best of friends before Tuesday.

I realized that the phone would be ringing, so I put the phone to my ear. Midway through the second ring that I heard, James answered, "Hello?"

"Hi," I said. "Is Mom or Dad there?"

"Cody?" he asked. "What the hell?"

"Is Mom or Dad there?"

"They're asleep. What are you doing? Where are you?"

"Wake them up, will you?"

"If this is about fucking Nick..."

"Just wake them up, James."

I heard footsteps and then James's voice, muffled. A moment later, phones had been shuffled around, and my dad said in a tired voice, "Cody?"

"Hi, Dad."

"What's going on? Where are you?"

Another phone had been picked up, but I hadn't heard one get turned off. "James, get off the phone." Now I heard a click.

"Cody, where are you?"

"I'm...I'm in a cab. With Nick."

"What? Cody —"

"Dad —"

"Cody, you know your mother and I don't approve."

"Really? Whatever could've given me that idea? Mom usually locks me up in my room while you're away."

"Cody, you know I'm not as religious as your mother and I really have nothing against gays in general —"

"Oh, so people can be gay as long as they're not your son, is that it?"

"It's not that simple, Cody —"

"Oh? It's not?"

"Cody, I wouldn't approve of you running away with a girl. You're twelve, for God's sake —"

"You might not approve of me running away with a girl, but you wouldn't have much of a problem with me just having a girlfriend!"


"Cody, you need to come home. We can talk about your relationship with Nick, but you absolutely cannot run away."

"What'll you do? Ground me?"

"Cody, you're twelve. You're just not capable of taking care of yourself alone —"

"Well, that's what Nick's for. And it's not like we'll be living in a box under the bridge, Dad. We found a place to stay, with people who understand us."

"Cody, you don't understand —"

"I think I understand myself a shitload better than you understand me, Dad. I'll be fine. I love you; it's too bad you can't love me." I closed the phone.

Within thirty seconds, the phone started vibrating and chirping out that generic cell phone jingle. James's mushroom picture was on the screen. I let it go.

Wordlessly, Nick took the phone, set it on silent, and pocketed it. I laid my head on his lap again, and he stroked my cheek.

After a few minutes, the conductor walked over. I glared at the kid from Nick's lap.

"Sorry...I don't think I took your tickets yet." I pulled them out from my pocket and held them out, leaving my head in Nick's lap. He reached down and took them.

"How much did you pay for these?"

"Eighty total," Nick said. It was true; Amtrak prices are really high.

"How old are you?" he asked Nick.


"Oh. I don't think the ticket machine gave you the two-minors-late-night discount," he said. "It never does. That's, uh, three-fourths off." He took out a wad of cash and held out three twenties.

"But..." Nick started, then decided against it. He took the money from the kid and smiled at him. "Thanks."

"No problem," he said, and started walking towards the front of the train. "We're like twenty minutes from Providence."

I rolled onto my side and shut my eyes. As I was doing so, I saw that the light on Nick's phone was going crazy; he was still getting called. Instead of doing anything about it, I shut my eyes. Nick ran a hand softly through my hair.

Suddenly, the conductor was sitting in the seat in front of us talking quietly to Nick. It took me a second to realize that I must have fallen asleep. When I stirred, Nick stopped what he had been saying and said instead, "Hello, Sleeping Beauty." He tried to lean over and kiss my cheek but just wasn't flexible enough, so I lifted and turned my head to kiss him for real.

When we were done with that (it was quick: I was tired), I sat up and leaned my head onto Nick's shoulder.

It was then that I realized there was someone else in the other seat in front of us, a girl in (I guessed) her early twenties. She was grinning.

"Hi," I said, and started to sit up. My cheeks flushed.

"Hi," she replied. "Sorry for spying, but you two are just so cute together."

I felt vaguely offended by that, but wasn't awake enough to sort out exactly why. There was an awkward silence for a moment, but it was broken by a voice over the intercom saying, "Next stop, Providence."

"Okay, Cody," Nick said. "Time to get up."

I yawned hugely, and the girl giggled. We all stood up.

"Good luck, boys," the guy said.

"Thanks, man," Nick replied, and they shook hands — well, they didn't shake, but they did the thing where you just kinda squeeze without moving it. I wasn't conscious enough to think of the word. Clasped, maybe.

"If you ever need something," the girl said, "don't be afraid to call." She hugged Nick briefly. "You too, little man. Good luck." She hugged me too. Awkwardly, that left my face at exactly breast level. Being short sucks. Well, I guess it would be pretty cool actually, because she was kinda hot, but I had absolutely no interest. I had Nick.

As we walked up to the doors and waited for the train to stop, Nick said, "We can't be so obvious about being together in public. We were lucky that these two were awesome people, but you never know when some random asshole will want to beat the shit out of us for being gay. I don't want to take that risk, especially in the city."

I sighed. "Okay, I guess. When we get to Cape Cod, will we be able to?"

"I don't know. I want to, but we're gonna have to figure it out. I don't even know if Riley and Victor are out, to tell you the truth."

"We'll have to talk about that soon," I said, then yawned.

"Yeah." We stepped off the train; the doors closed with a hiss, and the big machine lumbered off into the dark behind us. The city streets stretched out before us.