Disclaimer: The following fictional work may contain depictions of same-sex minors engaged in sexual activities. If you find this offensive in any way or if the law for any reason prohibits you from reading such content please leave this page now.



What? You skipped the last chapter because I said it didn’t have any sex in!? Well tough. This one doesn’t either. But go on, read them anyway. They were fun to write, and if you don’t read them, you’ll have no idea what’s going on next time.

Chapter III

~ Cookies and Coffee ~

Across the street toweling off, mind still reeling from the awesome feelings he’d just been having, Alex was thinking about the head he’d seen at the window. That head must belong to someone, a boy, he guessed.

He wondered what it would be like, having a friend who lived right across the street. Someone to talk to, have sleepovers with, someone to love... what? Where did that come from? Boys loved girls; he knew that from the other guys at school. You could love your brother, but that was a different kind of love, like you loved your mum.

And yet he knew that there were some boys who loved each other... they were called queers, or something like that. Mikey had told him in a slightly awed, hushed voice that Drew and Lewis in 8th grade were queers. He’d said they sucked each other by the dustbins at the back of school. Alex wondered what that meant... what did they suck?

There was a smell of baking coming from downstairs. That was weird. Alex’s mom usually slept in on Saturdays – she was never up this early. And she never cooked anything. Not any more.

He pulled on some jeans and a t-shirt he thought was probably clean, and went downstairs to investigate.

“Alex!” his mum called when she heard him coming down the stairs. “We’re going to go and meet the new neighbors – I made some cookies.”

“Can I have one?” Alex asked, coming into the kitchen and reaching out a hand to the tray.

“Not now!” She slapped his hand away.

Alex wondered why she had to take out her bad moods on him. It wasn’t his fault dad had died... but then it wasn’t hers either, he supposed.

He also wondered why she was so keen on meeting the neighbors... there must be a pretty good reason if she’d made cookies specially. And it couldn’t just be that she was in a good mood, because she wasn’t. He wished his dad were still here. He wanted to talk to him about the feelings he was having, ask him what they meant, whether they were normal. He had so many things he needed to let out, and nobody to let them out to – and bottled up inside him, they were making him confused and angry. He felt a tear slide down his cheek, and brushed it away in embarrassment as he heard his mom say, “You coming?”

He followed as she crossed the street and walked up the driveway of the house opposite. As she rang the doorbell, she adjusted a stray hair, checking her reflection in the glass of the door in front of her.

After a moment or two, the door swung open to reveal a tall man immaculately dressed in dark jeans and a designer shirt. He wouldn’t have looked out of place in a department store window, with his perfectly styled short brown hair and the light stubble that covered his chin.

“Hi!” said Alex’s mum brightly. A little too brightly, Alex thought. He looked up at her... was she blushing?

“I’m Beryl, and this is Alex,” she said, putting an arm round Alex’s shoulder. “We saw you just moved in, so we figured we’d come and offer a bit of help. You know, make you feel welcome. We made some cookies.” She proffered the plate, still talking in the unnaturally bright voice that didn’t really belong to her.

“Thank you, that’s really kind,” said the man, and he sounded as if he meant it. “I’m Mark.” He took the plate of cookies and turned and called up the stairs. “Jay! Come down and meet the new neighbors!”

He turned back and smiled at Alex’s mom. “Jay’s my son – he’d be about Alex’s age, I guess. Anyway, do you two want to come in?”

Beryl picked her way past a pile of boxes lying in the hallway, and Alex followed gingerly.

“Sorry about the boxes,” apologized Mark. “Now, if I can find the coffee, I’ll make us some. If you’d like, that is?” he asked, turning to Beryl.

“That’d be lovely,” she replied. Alex looked at her oddly – she didn’t usually drink coffee. She seemed to be going out of her way to please their new neighbor, and Alex felt a slight unreasonable surge of jealousy. She was never this nice to him.

There was a loud clattering noise, followed by a bump, and after a few seconds a boy’s face appeared round the door. A trickle of blood spread from his nose, and as he caught sight of Alex he turned his head away slightly in embarrassment, trying to hide it.

“Damn, Jay, that’s the second time today!” laughed his dad. “You better go clean that up. This is Beryl and Alex from across the street, by the way.” He grinned at Beryl. “Boys... I expect you know all about them.”

Alex was a little shocked at Jay’s dad’s reaction to his nosebleed... Alex’s mom didn’t exactly show him any outward affection, but he was pretty sure she would at least have cleaned him up and set him on his feet if it had happened to him. But instead of sounding surprised, she replied, “Don’t I just. I’m just glad I’ve only got one! Is Jay an only child?”

Alex looked over at Jay as he bent over the sink. He found himself admiring the seat of Jay’s pants, and vaguely wondered why. This must be the person he’d seen at the window that morning. He was a little shorter than Alex, and his skin was tanned to a really nice light brown. His straight blond hair was just the right length, with bleached highlights. Alex liked it. For some reason he really wanted to make friends with this guy. He found himself imagining spending time with him, going out bike riding in the summer, swimming in the pool together, maybe having a sleepover…

“Well, thanks for the coffee,” he heard his mom say, and he came back to earth with a jolt. “We should be getting along now, but it was really nice meeting you.”

Alex realized with a surge of embarrassment that Jay wasn’t bent over the sink any more. He was looking straight into Jay’s eyes – and Jay was looking straight back. He dropped his gaze, blushing slightly, and stood up next to his mom, who was shaking hands with Mark and saying goodbye.

“We’ll probably see you around, but if there’s anything you need, feel free to pop over and ask,” she said, as she turned towards the door.

“Thanks” said Mark. “It’s not often you’re lucky enough to get neighbors as friendly as this.”

Beryl beamed. “See you then!” she called, as Alex followed her out of the door. As he turned back to close it behind him, he caught sight of Jay watching him from the sitting room. He smiled shyly, and Jay grinned back. Well, smiles were a start, he thought, as he pulled the door shut and walked back down the drive towards his house.

If only he knew.

I know, I know, it’s getting a little boring. Next time. I promise. All comments welcome at istarion@hotmail.co.uk – please try and be constructive in your criticism so I can do better next time.