By this time, you already know what this story deals with. If you're too young to be reading it, you already know that, too. But it's dedicated to you, anyway, and to all boys your age whether gay or straight. I don't encourage the behavior depicted in this story at your age, but in the right circumstances I could accept it. I hope you will like it.

This is a period piece; i.e. written at a time when HIV and AIDS weren't issues. The characters don't use condoms except to prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately, in today's times, condoms are an absolute necessity unless you have the will power to be monogamous, which I encourage.

This is a love story. Sure, sexual acts are depicted, because sex is a basic part of being in love and sharing your love with one another. There will be at least 11 chapters. Please send comments to me at Writers thrive on feedback. I hope this story helps someone (actually, a lot of someones).

True Love

By Dan

Chapter Two

Interlude -

Perhaps now is the time to explain that because the relationship between Dan and Sam had started when they were four or five years old, their parents were unconcerned about it. They had become accustomed to the constant attention the boys paid to each other. Sleepovers had been a big part of their lives for so many years each set of parents thought they had an extra child. In their early years, the boys had held hands when they went places together, and as they prepared to enter seventh grade this had moved into resting their arms over each other's shoulders. When they were at home, the boys always seemed to sit close as they watched TV or played games. And if they were laying on the floor or bed watching TV, it wasn't unusual to see one's head on the other's chest or shoulder.

Often times they would fall asleep in such a position, and invariably the parents would look at them lovingly and marvel at the relationship and how cute the boys were together.

Part I - First year in Jr. High

The rest of the summer passed all too quickly, it seemed, but with plenty of sleepovers and opportunities to explore their sexuality and that new experience they had discovered. They had each taken advantage of every opportunity to bring their friend to the accelerated heights of pleasure which resulted from serious stroking of their peckers rather than just fiddling around. Feeling like they had crossed some vast, but as yet unexplained frontier, Dan and Sam looked forward to getting into the school environment where they might find out what it was they were doing with each other. What was it called? Was it harmful? They had about decided that anything that felt that good couldn't be bad, but they probably couldn't have stopped even if it were.

This was the first year the boys had Phys Ed classes at school. And back in the fifties, showers weren't optional. Of course, shy, skinny Dan was always embarrassed when he walked into the communal shower room with so many other guys. The few experiences at summer camp hadn't really overcome his bashfulness when it came to showing off his naked form.

Sam, however, didn't seem to be bothered by it at all. Probably because he was starting to fill out better. While Dan's body said leave me alone, I'm weak and afraid, Sam's said I ain't afraid of you or anybody else! It probably would have taken forever to find out whether or not other guys their age did the things to their peckers that Dan and Sam had been doing if it had been up to Dan. But Sam's more outgoing nature provided the answer before the first month of school was over.

He had been rough housing in the shower after PE with Robby, another kid his size, and both of their peckers had gotten semi-hard. One of the other kids yelled at them.

"Hey pecker-heads! You get any stiffer and you're gonna have to beat your meat before you leave."

Sam and Robby stopped and looked at the kid.

"What are you talking about meathead?" Sam said.

The other kid grabbed his cock and gave it half a dozen fast strokes.

"Like I said, dirt wad. Beat your meat. Pound the pud, slap the slong, jack off. Don't you know nothin?"

Dan just stared from the corner where he was trying to remain unnoticed. He felt his own dick begin to rise at the sight before him. He quickly rinsed under the shower and fled the room before the others could notice what was happening to him.

Sam saw Dan's predicament and covered his retreat by asking Robby quietly, "What's he talking about?"

Robby stared at Sam and said, "Masturbation, Sam, don't you know anything? All the guys do it."

"You mean when we stroke our cocks til we get that funny feeling? Is that what it's called?"

"Yeah, silly. Do you cum yet?"

"What's that?" Sam said.

"Cum is that white stuff that shoots outta your dick when you get that funny feeling."

"Oh," Sam said, now embarrassed. "Uh... no.. We.. I mean I... uh.... don't do that yet."

"Well, don't worry about it," Robby said, conspiratorially. "I don't either, but I saw my brother do it once. He's fifteen. But I never had guts to ask him how old he was when it started. Oh, and when you cum, you know, get that funny feeling? That's called a climax or orgasm. I don't know if there's a difference."

Sam and Dan could hardly wait to get together that night. Being a Friday, Dan was once again spending the night at Sam's house. They forced themselves to stay with the rest of the family until the news was over and Sam's parents indicated it was time for bed.

"Are you guys going to take a shower before you go to bed?" Mrs. Russell asked.

"I don't know," said Sam. Looking at Dan he said, "think we ought to?"

Dan made a pretense of smelling his arm pit, which hardly ever smelled 'cause he hardly ever sweat, and said, "Yeah. 'Spose so."

"Well, have fun, but be careful. We don't want to have to send Nancy in there to rescue one of you from cracking his head on the tub." Mr. Russell said, chuckling. They had no idea of the kind of fun Sam and Dan had in mind.

Nancy and Dan both blushed, and Sam just said, "Awe Daaad!"

The boys took their time stripping down to their briefs while Nancy took her turn in the bathroom. They were each sporting an obvious boner by the time they made their way down the hall and into the bathroom. Fortunately, Nancy had shut her bedroom door and had already turned out her light.

As soon as the bathroom door was shut, Dan had his hand in Sam's crotch, making it difficult for Sam to get the door locked. Giggling, Sam made a show of attempting to shove Dan's hand away with his hip as he struggled with the lock.

"Geeez, Dan! Get a grip, will ya?!"

"That's what I'm tryin' to do, dummy," Dan answered with a giggle.

As soon as the door was locked, Sam turned around and thrust his hand down to cup Dan's package outside his briefs. The boys stood there for a moment staring at each other and fondling one another's dick, both of which were rapidly rising within their undershorts. As their breathing quickened, Dan moved his free hand to one side of Sam's waistband and his occupied hand to the other. Then, slipping his fingers under the material, he slowly began to push them down from his friend's hips and across his butt. His eyes left Sam's and moved down to his crotch as he sensed the briefs beginning to display his friend's erection.

As the material slid gently over the length of Sam's cock and slipped off the head, it popped up to a rigid position parallel to the floor. By this time, Dan was kneeling at Sam's feet with his eyes level with his penis. He stared avidly at the still hairless cock and ballsac before him as his hands continued to push the underwear down to the floor. Then he moved his hands gradually up the outsides of Sam's legs, across his thighs and onto his intended target.

I can't believe how much I love looking at Sam's penis, Dan thought to himself. I wonder if this is normal. Do other guys do what we're doing? Do they enjoy looking at another guy's dick as much as I do? Does SAM like mine as much as I like his? he wondered.

As Sam looked down at his hardon sticking straight out at Dan's face, he saw his friend's hands moving up towards it. He also noticed how intently Dan seemed to be staring at his erection. He watched as Dan's left hand reached his balls and cradled them softly in his palm while his right hand gingerly wrapped itself around his stiff penis and stroked it slowly up and down.

God, that is so cool, he thought to himself. It's like he's making love to my dick with just his hands. Something's changed since summer camp. The way he's touching me and looking at me is different somehow. And it's sooo neat! What's going on here?

Before Dan could get too carried away, Sam grabbed his hands and pulled him to his feet, forcing him to let go of his prize.

"It's my turn," Sam said in a whisper. The way he looked at Dan would have told any observer the whole story. But the actors in this youthful drama seemed totally unaware of what was happening. And why not? How many seventh graders had ever experienced love at their age, much less understood it or recognized it for what it was.

Sam stripped his best friend in the same manner Dan had used. As he slipped his hands under the material of his friend's undershorts, he moved them around to cup his little bubble butt. Without squeezing, he simply moved his hands softly over the flesh of Dan's bottom. He felt Dan's muscles contract as he did this and then moved his hand on down his thighs, carrying the briefs with them. He almost giggled when Dan's skinny little erection popped free and bounced right in front of his face.

His dick is sooo cute! He thought. If I weren't afraid Dan would run out of here screaming bloody murder, I'd kiss it.

When Dan had stepped out of his shorts, Sam did something a little different. He slid his hands softly up the back of his friends's legs and onto his butt. Then he pulled Dan towards him so his face was pressed against his stomach, just below his belly button. This put Dan's penis just under his chin, rubbing softly against his neck.

Omigod! Dan thought, as he gasped for breath, feeling Sam's hot breath on his tummy and his dick rubbing against his friend's neck. What's he doing? What's happening here? And he felt tears spring to his eyes and fall across his cheeks. He quickly pulled Sam to a standing position and grabbed him in a big hug, resting his head in the crook of Sam's shoulder. As they stood there holding each other, their stiff dicks rubbing against each other, each was lost in his own thoughts for a moment.

When Dan had once again gained control of his emotions, they backed away from each other. Sam turned to start the shower running as Dan tried to apologize.

"I'm sorry, Samuel. I don't know why I do that."

"Do what, Danny?"

"Cry like that, for no reason. It just happens sometimes with no warning."

"That doesn't bother me, Danny. That's who you are. That's part of what makes you special."

The boys hadn't used that phrase since the last night of summer camp.

"Thanks, Samuel, but it's still embarrassing to me."

They climbed into the shower and took turns washing each other's hair and body, paying special attention to their "special" places.

By the time they had dried off and brushed their teeth, their erections had subsided enough not to poke holes in the towels they wrapped around their waists to return to Sam's bedroom. They dropped their towels as soon as the door was closed, and crawled into bed, leaving only the bedside lamp turned on.

As they lay on their sides facing each other, hands stroking each other's cock back to erection, Sam told Dan what he had learned in the shower.

"I saw you starting to get hard in the showers today, Dan. Is that why you left in such a hurry?"

"Yeah, when that big kid started playing with his dick, I started to get excited. Sure hope nobody else saw it."

"Nah, I don't think anybody did. I asked Robby what the guy meant, and he told me that when we play with each other the way we've been doing, it's called masturbation."

"You didn't tell him we do this to each other did you!?"

"No, silly, I just asked him what that big kid was talking about and he said it was masturbation. Then he said that when we get older, white stuff called cum will shoot out of our dicks when we get that funny feeling. He said he saw his brother, who's fifteen, shoot cum once."

"Wow, I wonder when that'll start for us."

"I don't know, Danny, but you keep doing that and it might start tonight."

With that, Sam rolled over onto his back and laid his arms over his head, opening his body to Dan's willing fingers. They usually took turns bringing each other to that powerful feeling they had discovered this past summer, and Dan always enjoyed doing Sam first.

When Sam rolled onto his back, Dan raised up to rest his head on his left hand so he was slightly above the level of Sam's body. Then his right hand began rubbing Sam's chest with a gentle back and forth motion, from neck to belly button. When he reached Sam's waist, his hand slid down the side and back up along the side of the rib cage to his friend's still hairless armpit, across his nipples to the other side and back down to the waist. Once in a while he would stop at Sam's nipples and draw light feathery circles around them using just his finger tips. Then as the nipples hardened, he would rub his palm across them, marveling in their stiffness.

Throughout this loving stroking, Sam just lay, his penis rock hard at times and semi-hard at other times. Even as young and virile as he was, it wouldn't stay hard forever without some direct attention. So it would soften a bit, only to be brought back to stiffness when Dan's hand would rub across that area between pubes and belly button. Then, when Dan finally moved his hands off of Sam's chest onto his thighs, the hardon returned with a vengeance, lying on his stomach, throbbing with each heart beat.

The boys had never talked about their feelings at a time like this, but each of them had begun to wonder just what was going on between them. New emotions seemed to be surfacing, especially in Sam. New feelings of closeness that each was afraid to put into words. For what word could they use to describe this new sensation, this deepening bond that was developing. Love? That was almost too scary to allow the word to be given even silent expression. Boys didn't love other boys. That was queer, and neither of them felt they were queer. Certainly neither wanted to be queer. (Remember, this was the fifties.)

As he rubbed his hand up and down his friend's thighs, coming close to his ballsac, but never touching it or Sam's penis, Dan conducted a detailed examination of his friend's sexual equipment. He never tired of looking at the hairless cock and balls before him. Had he been able to free his mind to express itself without reservation, he would have admitted to himself, if not to Samuel, that he loved Sam's penis and testicles. Although still quite devoid of hair, Sam's penis and balls had started to show signs of his advancement into puberty. His penis was getting bigger, both in length and width, and his balls were also getting larger. Dan knew that Sam was outpacing him in the growth department but didn't really care. He knew he was smaller in all respects and figured he'd catch up sooner or later.

Eventually Sam started whimpering and moving his hips around, trying to push his prick into Dan's hand as it passed across his belly from one thigh to the other. Not one to cause any one or any thing undue distress, Dan raised up further to lean on his outstretched left arm so he actually look down on what he was doing. Then as his hand traveled up inside of the thigh closest to him, he finally moved it on up to cup his best friend's ballsac. At first he just rested his hand there, his palm relishing the smooth skin, his fingers curled around the edges and touching the base of Sam's cock. Then he started squeezing gently, in rhythm with Sam's heart beat, all the time watching Sam's cock swell and contract, swell and contract as it throbbed for attention.

Finally, he moved his hand off of Sam's scrotum and onto his penis, gently, lovingly wrapping his fingers around the shaft. Again, he paused and just held this powerful tool in his hand for a moment. The heat, the pulse... suddenly Dan was struck with the thought that this experience was like holding Sam's heart in his hand. Little did he know that for Sam, that was exactly what he was doing, emotionally at least.

Before he began the up and down stroking that they both loved so much, Dan slid down the bed a little bit and again laid down with his head resting in his left hand. This brought his face much closer to Sam's crotch where he could see every detail, smell that unique and thrilling smell that was the essence of his best friend, the smell that Dan knew was for him alone.



"Have I ever told you how much I like looking at your penis?"

"Only about a million times, but you can tell me again if you want to."

Dan was silent for a moment as his hand began to stroke his friend, sliding smoothly along the shaft from base to head, squeezing the head gently, and then returning. He didn't try top move the skin with his hand because Sam's penis always seemed to outgrow the outer sheath. There just wasn't much that could be moved. But as he stared at his friend's most private parts and watched his hand glide softly and gently along its length, Dan felt a little tear leak from one eye and fall across his cheek. Oh no, not again, he thought to himself. Why do I get choked up and all teary eyed every time I play with Samuel's penis? He waited until he knew he had control of his voice before speaking again.

"Samuel?" he spoke softly

"Yeah, Danny?" Sam answered just as softly.

"I really your penis."

Omigod! What have I said? What have I done. He's gonna kick me outta here and outta his house Dan thought with fear. How could I have ever used that word?

But he needn't have worried. Dan couldn't see from the position he was in, but as Sam's breath caught in his throat at Dan's expression, he, too, felt his emotions soar and a tear dripped from the corner of his eye and dropped down the side of his face to nestle in his ear.

"Thanks, Danny. You've never said it that way before. I.. Uhhm.. Uhh... I... uhh love what you're doing, too."

There! Both boys had used that word, the word they had never mentioned, never let themselves use before. Did they even know what love was? They were only 12. Sure they loved their parents and sister and brothers, but their feelings for each other were different. They had never felt this way about anybody else, and they weren't sure what love was in the first place.

Neither of them said anything more as Dan's hand began to move more rapidly on Sam's penis, and his grip tightened a little bit, the way he knew Sam liked it. He marveled at the beauty of the instrument before him, the way that perfect, rounded head swelled each time his hand reached it and squeezed. He studied the slit in the underneath side of the head and wondered for the umpteenth time when cum would start coming out. Their 12th birthdays had both come and gone and neither of them had pubic hair or produced semen yet. In quiet moments alone they worried that they weren't developing as fast as some of their other friends, but they never said anything to each other about it.

As Sam's climax approached, evident by his breathing pattern and the way his hips were humping against Dan's hand, Dan scooted forward to rest his chest against the side of Sam's hip and lay his head on his friend's tummy, just above the head of his penis. Then he doubled his efforts and stroked Sam to one of the best, most powerful dry orgasms he had ever had.

But as Sam settled down, Dan noticed something new. Dry? Well, mostly. But right there, in Sam's pee slit was some gleaming wetness. Just a drop or two, but maybe a sign of things to come. Without thinking about what he was doing or checking to see if Sam was looking, Dan leaned real close, close enough to sniff at the head of the penis he still held in his hand.

Hmm. No smell. Wonder what it feels like? Is it pee?

Had he been able to see Sam's face, he might have chuckled, for as Sam felt Dan's hot breath on the head of his pecker, his eyes popped open and he stared at his best friend's head in his lap. For a moment he thought Dan was going to lick his penis, and for some unknown reason, this thought thrilled him immensely. Then he felt Dan's forefinger slip across the head of his dick.

What's he doing? Sam thought to himself.

Huh!? It can't be pee. It feels kind of slippery, like honey. Dan thought to himself as he rubbed this fluid between thumb and forefinger.

At that moment, Sam reached out and drew his friend up to lay beside him.

"Wow, Danny, that was awesome! I don't know what made this time so different, but that was really special! I never came so hard before. Let me get my breath, and I'll do you. I just hope I can make it as good for you."

The boys lay there for several minutes, their arms wrapped around each other, their foreheads touching, their mouths almost close enough to kiss. Neither of them had ever given any thought to kissing. After all, they had never kissed a girl, and they only kissed their family members on the cheek. Lip kissing was for couples or married people.

Dan actually fell asleep, he was so happy about the joy he had been able to give his friend. Sam just laid there watching his little friend sleep for a few minutes. And yes, Dan was smaller than Sam. They never mentioned it, but Sam's body was developing faster, his muscles were more pronounced, bigger. As a result, he felt very protective of this bundle in his arms. He was startled by the thought that suddenly popped into his head. You are so kind and so gentle, Danny. I'll never let anything bad happen to you. I'll protect you forever. Strange and deeply powerful thoughts for a 12 year old, and not thoughts that Sam was prepared to explain, even to himself.

But it was getting late, and Sam didn't want Dan sleeping through the night without the same experience he had just had himself, or at least as close to it as he could create. So he gently rolled his friend over onto his back and looked down at his nakedness. Yep, Danny was skinny. His ribs showed, and his arms weren't very well developed. Yet Sam knew that he'd do anything for anybody. All they had to do was ask. He had seen Dan rescue a neighbor's cat from high in a tree while suffering multiple scratches from both tree and cat, watched him run into the house of one of his paper route customers to make sure the family was out before calling the fire department to report the fire he had seen in the basement. And Sam had actually cried with his mother when Danny wouldn't accept any money for delivering his paper route in addition to his own for the week Sam was gone on vacation.

You may be smaller than me and weaker than most kids our age, but you're special to me Sam thought as he looked lovingly at Danny's face. Of course, he didn't think of his look in that way, 'cause they didn't use that word with each other, even in their private thoughts. Well, they hadn't until tonight, anyway.

As Sam's gaze traveled slowly down Danny's body to his crotch, he saw that Dan had become quite soft. His limp little penis lay still in his lap, resting quietly on his smooth, soft ballsac and the two miniature nuts inside, barely as big as the first knuckle of Sam's thumb.

God, that's beautiful, Sam thought to himself. And I don't care if that IS a sissy word. It's the right word to use for Danny's penis.

Then Sam did something neither had ever done before. While he was sure his friend was asleep, he bent over and quickly kissed Dan's limp penis, right in the center on the top. Then he began the same soothing rubbing motion that Dan had used on him. He grinned when he saw Danny's penis begin to swell and stand up from his crotch, even before the boy woke up and opened his eyes.

"Ahhh, that feels so good," Dan said sleepily as he felt Sam's hand slide across his erection and down onto his nutsac.

Sam rested his hand on Dan's nuts, cupping them as though they were a baby's head, then rolling them gently in his fingers. Then he moved to a sitting position at Dan's waist so he could use both hands; with one, he began stroking Dan's penis as his other hand moved softly, gently across the boy's nutsac and down into that sensitive area between scrotum and ass crack. His stroking hand moved slowly, up and down, squeezing just hard enough to move the outer sheath of skin along the rigid shaft underneath.

Dan's penis was still pretty short, maybe three inches erect, and Sam's hand just about covered the length of it when he held it in the normal way, fingers wrapped around it from the side. Every so often, Sam would change his grip, forming a tent with his fingers and grabbing the shaft with his fingertips just below the head. He knew Dan really liked it this way because his friend had told him so. Besides, this was the way Danny often did it when they played with themselves together.

The combination of one hand on his penis and the other rubbing his scrotum, which by now had shrunk to a little bag with his nuts practically hidden inside his body, soon had Dan moaning and squirming on the bed, the pressure building ever closer to that moment of blissful release the boys loved so much. Sam wasn't even thinking about what he was doing any more. As he quickened his stroking of his friend's boyhood, the only thought going through his head was to make Danny's experience even better than his own, if that was possible.

So as he felt Dan's penis begin to swell and saw Dan start to arch his back up off of the bed, the telltale signs of his approaching orgasm, Sam bent over and placed his open mouth just above the head of his friends instrument. Then as his hand sped up and down on the shaft, he huffed hot air onto the glans.

Dan went ballistic. His eyes snapped open as he felt the sudden hot air on his penis, and the combination of hot air and the sight of his best friend's mouth so close to his sex brought him to a crashing climax. He covered his face with the pillow to stifle the cries he could not prevent as his hips bounced up and down more forcefully than he had ever experienced, thrusting his penis in and out of Samuel's grasp.

As Dan collapsed in exhaustion, Sam was tempted to kiss him again, this time on the head of his penis. But he was afraid of Dan's reaction, so he leaned back and just sat there, holding his friend's beautiful, deflating penis in his hand and looking at Dan's face which was by now no longer covered by the pillow. Dan lay there peacefully, his breathing slowly coming back to normal, such a peaceful, satisfied look on his face, the hint of a smile resting on his lips. Sam laid down beside him.

"Danny, you awake?" he whispered, his head just inches from Dan's.

"Yeah, Samuel. I'm awake. But I think I just died and we're in heaven."



"Yeah, Danny?"

"Thanks. That was really special."

"You're welcome. I wanted it to be special, as special as you are."

"For a minute there I thought you were going to kiss my dick."

"You did?"

"Yeah. You could have, you know. I wouldn't have minded."


Part II - Eighth grade begins

Seventh grade passed with little significance. Dan and Sam continued to do just about everything together. Most everyone saw them as a team, an apparent partnership. They walked to school together and had most of their classes together. Even their paper routes overlapped, so they could help each other or meet up at different points to sit and bind the papers for the next section of their routes.

Summer provided another opportunity to go to camp. This one was for 7th, 8th and 9th grades with a girls' camp just a half mile or so down the road. The two camps got together on the middle Saturday for a movie and dance. Dan was always too shy to ask a girl to dance and would watch with no little jealousy as Sam danced with one girl after another. When he said something to Sam later as they were getting ready for bed, Sam's answer was a bit short.

"Well, one of us has to dance with the girls! If we both just sat there, together, the other guys would start calling us queer."

Immediately, Dan felt tears spring to his eyes. Sam had never talked to him like that before. He felt dirty somehow when Sam put it that way. He had never thought of him and Sam as being queer, although he was beginning to use the word they never used when he thought of their relationship. He turned away quickly, climbed into his bunk and curled up facing the wall, his back to Sam and the others. He had the bottom one this year, Sam had the top.

Sam climbed up into his upper bunk and laid there thinking about what he had said. He was certain he had seen tears in Dan's eyes just before he turned away, and it hurt to think he had hurt his friend's feelings. He laid there for a long time, unable to sleep. At times he thought he could feel the bed shaking and wondered if Dan was playing with himself or crying. Then he heard a definite sniff. He climbed as quietly as possible from his bunk and tiptoed to the bathroom, looking carefully at each of the other boys and the counselor to see if any of them was awake and watching.

He pretended to pee but didn't flush the commode for fear it might wake someone. Then he rinsed his hands quickly, just in case someone was awake. When he got back to the bunk, he looked around quickly and then slid under the covers with Dan. Snuggling up to his friend and wrapping his arm over the smaller boy's upper body, he put his head up against Dan's.

"Danny?" he whispered.



"I'm sorry. I didn't mean it the way it sounded. I don't really care what others think. I know we're not queer."

"You sounded like you were angry with me."

"Maybe for a second, but you know I couldn't be really mad at you. I lo... I mean, you're special."



"Yeah, Danny?"

"Thanks, you're special to me, too."

More silence as Sam listened to Dan's breathing calm down and the sniffles stop.


"Yeah, Danny?"

"Don't you think you ought to get into your own bunk before we fall asleep?"

"Yeah, I 'spose so. But I'd rather stay here."

"Mmmm, me too."

And with that, Sam got up and climbed into his own bunk.

The second week of camp went off without a hitch until Friday. That was the day the boys all went skinny dipping in the lake. Even the counselors stripped down and left their trunks in the pile with the boys'. Everything would have been just fine had that not been the day the girls had left early in the morning to hike down passed the boys camp on a nature hike. They had to return along the road that bordered the lake and were in full view of the swimming area before the boys knew they were coming. A few boys had to dive quickly from the dock to hide their nakedness, but it did little good since to get to their camp, the girls had to walk across the boardwalk along the dam that created the swimming area. When they got to the other side, there were all the boys' swimming trunks in a pile on the path.

After a cacophony of cat calls and ribald jokes and trying to scare the boys into thinking they could see through the lake water to what the boys were trying to hide, the girls grabbed all of the swim wear and carried it off with them. They left it about four hundred yards down the road near the stables.

Some of the more aggressive boys were all for leaving the water right away to go get their suits, but the counselors made them wait til they were certain the girls had left. Then it was everybody for himself, naked little butts running all over camp, some to get their trunks, others to their cabins to get dressed first. The counselors thought it was quite funny. Most of the boys weren't so sure.

Eighth grade started just a few weeks after the boys returned home from camp, and everything went well until just a few days before Christmas break. What an appropriate time of year for the boys, and many other people for that matter, to be reminded of the words of St. Paul in the new testament where he said something to the effect that the power of Christ is made strong in our weakness.

Dan was sitting on the school steps listening to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on his portable tape recorder and thinking of his friend Sam and the growing changes in the depth of their relationship. He figured they were going to have to talk about it one of these days, and he was in a bit of a turmoil not knowing if Sam felt quite the same way he did. This anxiety, combined with how he felt about Sam and the moving music to which he was listening, all combined to cause one of those moments when tears sprang unbidden to his eyes.

As luck would have it (how does the song go? If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all?), just at that moment, Randy, the school bully, and his two friends happened to be coming down the steps. As he passed, Randy slapped Dan on the back of the head, knocking his hat off. When Dan looked up to see who it was, Randy saw the tears in his eyes.

"Hey look guys, cry baby's at it again!" he yelled to his friends.

Dan just hung his head and tried to wipe his eyes, but the attack and humiliation just made matters worse. Besides, Randy's yell had attracted the attention of other students who were milling around talking, waiting for rides, or for their friends.

"What'samatter, cry baby? Did Randy's little slap hurt ya?" the bully taunted.

Dan jumped up to go after his hat.

"Go away and leave me alone!" Dan yelled back, his voice cracking embarrassingly.

"Hey guys!" Randy continued. "I bet this little pipsqueak is queer. Look at those tears and listen to that squeaky voice. And look at how puny he is. We all know queers is little and puny and scared of their shadows!"

All this time, Randy was pushing Dan's shoulders and slapping his face. And Dan wasn't fighting back. He never did. Usually he could avoid fights because he could run faster than anybody else. But this time he was caught unprepared. And the more Randy belittled him the worse it got.

"I'm NOT queer, you asshole! Leave me alone!"

"Who you calling an asshole, you little faggot?" Randy yelled, and he hit Dan with a sucker punch that knock his head back, and he went down hard. When he fell, his head hit the step with a sound that all the kids who had gathered around could hear. The little guy lay there unconscious, everyone just staring at him, waiting to see if he would get up. Some of them even worried if he would ever get up.

Sam had just walked out the school door in time to see Randy punch his best friend and hear the CRACK! that Dan's head made when it hit the step. In a blinding rage, Sam was down the steps and through the crowd. With a yell like a banzai warrior that startled Randy and every kid within fifty feet and attracted the attention of Coach Williams who was in the classroom on the second floor right above the school entrance, he kept going through the crowd and right into Randy, his fist given power by his forward momentum.

Randy fell back on his butt, totally surprised that someone smaller than him would attack him. Then he saw the look in Sam's eyes. Those eyes which were usually mild, calm, filled with laughter, those same eyes that looked at his friend, Danny, with love (even if Sam was having trouble admitting that emotion), were, at that moment filled with a hatred that was almost palpable. And with a voice that almost matched the look in his eyes, he spoke.

"Don't you EVER touch my friend again! Not if you want to grow up!"

"Who are YOU to threaten ME, ya little runt!" Randy yelled from his sitting position. "The little fart's a queer and everybody knows it! What are you, a queer lover?"

Faster than anybody expected, Sam leaped from where he stood looking down on Randy and landed both feet square on the bully's chest.

"He's NOT queer! And yes I love him. He's like a brother to me and a giant compared to you!"

Then Sam dropped the coup de grace.

"And I'd find it easier to love a queer than a bully like you!" And he turned to sit at Dan's side, cradling his head in his lap, his tears falling uncontrollably onto his friend's face where he used them to sooth the bruise that was already starting to appear.

With that, Randy's friends helped him stand up. Sam wasn't all that heavy, and while his attack on Randy had hurt the bully, it wasn't enough to keep him down for long. The kids in the circle around them feared the worst, but made no attempt to stop the fight they all saw coming. None save one, that is.

Standing near the back of the crowd was a kid whom Dan had befriended in the seventh grade. John was a big kid, I mean BIG! He was also older than everybody else because he was slow, mentally. He had been held back so many times, he was old enough to be in the twelfth grade but was only in the eighth. Dan was one on the few kids who spent time with the boy everybody else called Big Bad John. He stood six feet tall, almost a foot taller than any of the others, including Randy, and weighed in at about 200 pounds. With his size and strength, he would have made a great defensive tackle, but he just didn't have the mental capacity to make the team, although he had tried out all three years he had been coming to this school.

Coach Williams was looking out the window of the classroom upstairs where he had been reviewing plays with the varsity football team, many of whom were ninth graders and pretty good size themselves. As John made his move, coach called the team over to the windows and told them to watch carefully.

John stepped through the crowd with ease. After all, everybody made way for Big Bad John. Just as Randy pulled his hand back to slug Sam in the back of the head, John stepped forward, stuck out his hand and caught Randy's fist in his own. Without letting go, he spoke is his usual slow manner.

"You shouldn't oughta beat up on kids smaller than you," he said quietly.

"Oww! Let go of my hand, you big ox!" Randy yelled. "Who do you think you are, anyway. This ain't your fight."

"No, it ain't. It ain't no fight at all when you pick on somebody too small to defend himself. But if you want a fight, you can pick on me, if ya want to."

Randy turned to his two friends who were stupid enough to still be backing him up.

"Let's teach this clodhopper a lesson, guys. Then we can finish off the smart aleck and his queer friend."

Upstairs, coach Williams quickly asked his team, "Quick thinking test time guys. Which team down there do you think needs the most help?"

"Sam and Dan," one of the team members yelled quickly. The rest of the team immediately yelled their agreement.

"And which team do you think deserves the help?"

"The same team, coach," answered Hank, the team captain, with immediate support from the rest of the group.

"Then get down there and back up big bad John."

"And don't get into a fight unless it's absolutely necessary!" he yelled as the team ran out into the hall and down the stairs.

As the three bullies were circling to attack John, the football team came out the door, marched calmly but quickly down the steps and took up positions behind John. Sam and Dan were still on the ground behind them. Coach Williams had gone to the office to call the paramedics, not knowing how severe Dan's injuries were.

The sight of the entire football team suddenly appearing in front of them, their arms crossed at their chests, angry looks on their faces, stopped Randy and his friends in their tracks.

"Randy, you and your goons have been bullying kids in this school for way too long. It has to stop, and it has to stop now!" Hank said, his voice calm but firm. The rest of the team just nodded their heads in agreement, staring at the bullies.

"We're all tired of you picking on the weaker kids, the little ones like Dan, who either won't or can't defend themselves. Let me ask you a question, Randy. Who do you think is really the bigger person here, you or Dan?"

Before Randy could answer, the crowd answered for him.

"Dan!" they all shouted, almost in unison.

"And who do you think the other kids respect, Randy, you or someone like Dan and Sam who are always helping other people, making us laugh, making school more fun than it would be if they weren't here?"

Again, the crowd answered for Randy, "Dan and Sam!"

"I think your time has come, Randy," Hank said as the paramedics drove up in their ambulance. "Why don't you go home and grow up?"

The look in Randy's eyes caused Hank to add, "and don't think you can catch these guys alone somewhere and hurt them. In fact, you might even want to become their body guards, because if anything bad happens to either of them, we're just gonna have to assume it was you and you friends that did it. Then you're gonna wish you were queer, cause you sure won't be able to have kids when we're through with you."

There was no hatred, no venom, in Hanks voice. But his reputation with the other kids and the sincerity with which he said those words caused every kid there to stand up straighter and add their two cents worth. By the time they were done, Randy and his friends knew their days of bullying the others had come to an end. Their rule over the others had ended, and they moved away with their heads down.

The paramedics were concerned that Dan might have a concussion, so they packed him up to take him to the hospital. After a brief scuffle, during which the coach had spoken for the boys, they agreed to let Sam ride with them. After examining him thoroughly, the doctors decided that Dan was OK and could go home. They warned him to take it easy over the weekend and spend most of his time in bed. The Whittington's (did I ever tell you Dan's last name) had arrived with Sam's mother and took the boys home. With only a little pleading on Dan's part, they agreed to let Sam spend the night.

During supper, the Whittington's filled their son in on Sam's actions that afternoon. Coach Williams had come to the hospital and explained everything to them in great detail, especially the way Sam had attacked the bully. Dan kept staring at Sam as the story unfolded, his feelings for his friend building to the point where they threatened the all too normal tearful reaction. Afterwards, the boys stripped down to their underwear and curled up on the couch to watch TV with Dan's parents. But Dan kept falling in and out of sleep, and it became difficult to watch the shows and fill him in on what had happened while he was out of it, so Sam suggested they go to bed.

The boys gave Dan's mom and dad hugs, brushed their teeth, took a whiz and climbed into Dan's double bed. They could never really do much with each other at Dan's house, because the door to his room was just a flimsy folding one, and there was a window which opened onto the enclosed back porch which was his mom's sewing room and laundry area. But neither of them felt like fooling around anyway.

Dan fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. The boys lay on their side facing each other, Dan's face just a few inches lower on the pillow and a few inches away. Sam wasn't really sleepy yet, so he left the light over the bed turned on. It only had a twenty-five watt bulb in it, so it cast a soft glow over them and allowed him to stare at his friend and think. What had happened today was causing him to admit certain things that he knew he had been feeling but hadn't wanted to think about. His feelings for Danny went beyond simple friendship, WAY beyond. As he was finally able to say the word both boys had unconsciously avoided using with each other, his emotions gave way and tears began to flow down his cheeks, just as they had that afternoon.

The Whittington's chose that inopportune moment to stick their heads in the door to see how their son was doing. As they looked down at the boys and the way Sam was staring at their son, their love for both boys threatened to bring tears to their own eyes. When they noticed Sam was crying, they stepped softly to Dan's side of the bed and looked at Sam with affection.

"Are you OK, Sam?" Dan's mom asked, even as Mr. Whittington laid his hand on top of Sam's which was lying on Dan's shoulder.

Choking on his tears and trying to keep his voice down, Sam blurted out, "I love him, mom Whittington. I was so scared out there today. When I saw Danny fall and hit his head, I thought he was dead. I couldn't even think about what I was doing. I was just so angry at what Randy had done, I couldn't control myself. Then, all of a sudden, I felt like every bit of energy just drained out of me, and I sat down with Danny. I was really afraid those guys were going to beat us both up."

What a speech for a fourteen year old caught in the throes of emotions he couldn't understand, much less control.

Dan's mother looked at Sam with the love of a mother for her son, for he was like a son to her and had put himself in harm's way to protect one of her own.

"That's OK, Sam. We know you love him. It's been obvious to everybody for a long time. Maybe you never thought of it that way, but we have. We just want you to know how proud of you we are, and how grateful we are for what you did today. That took a lot of courage, and it really shows how much you care for Danny (only Sam and his own mother were allowed to call Dan by that name). Are you going to be OK?"

"Yeah. I just want to look at him a little bit more."

"Alright, son," Dan's dad said. "But don't stay up too late. We're going to bed now ourselves."

As they left the room, the Whittington's turned to see Sam rubbing his hand softly across Dan's cheek and forehead, brushing his hair aside, feeling the soft texture of his skin. For a moment, they wondered just what kind of love the boys felt for each other.

Later that night, Dan woke up having to pee. The light over the bed was still on and Sam's face was only inches from his own. His first thought was of the story his parents had told at dinner, and his feelings grew even stronger. I love him, he thought to himself. I really love him. I need to find a way to tell him. I just hope he feels the same way. But what if he doesn't? How would I live if he gets mad and doesn't want to speak to me again. What if he thinks I'm queer because I love him? Am I queer? Was Randy right? I don't wanta be queer. But I do love him. Dan leaned forward and kissed his friend lightly on the cheek. Then he got up to go to the bathroom.

Sam hadn't been sleeping very soundly and Dan's kiss woke him immediately. As Dan slipped from the bed he thought, did Danny just kiss me? I'm sure that's what he did. Maybe he loves me, too. But what if he doesn't? What if he asks me to leave when he finds out how I feel. I couldn't live with that. But I gotta tell him. Sam got up quickly and joined Dan in the bathroom where they half heartedly fought their age old sword fight with their pee.

When they returned to bed, they left the light on and snuggled up close, wrapping their arms around each other, their heads once again only a couple of inches apart. For long moments they just stared into each other's eyes, each buried in his own thoughts but afraid to speak them. Finally, Dan took the initiative, the boys speaking in hushed voices just above a whisper.


"Yeah, Danny?"

"Have you ever kissed a girl?"

"Sure, I kiss Nancy all the time. Not much to write home about though."

"No, silly, not like you kiss your sister. I mean on the lips."

"I knew that," Sam said with a grin. "No, I never did. Have you?"

"Are you kidding? I can hardly talk to girls, much less kiss one."

Sam just smiled lovingly at his friend. He knew Danny was too shy to try to kiss a girl. He just wanted to tease him and see where it would lead. They were quiet for a few minutes more before Dan spoke again.



"If boys kiss each other on the lips, does it mean they're queer?"

Sam thought for a minute before answering.

"If a guy pees sitting down, does it mean he's a girl?" he asked with a grin.

Dan giggled and gave Sam a hug.

"Of course not, silly."

"Then I guess guys could kiss each other without being queer. Certain guys... at certain times... when they felt a certain way about each other..."

They were quiet again, eyes closed now for fear of telling too much with their stares. Pretty soon Dan spoke again without daring to open his eyes.

"Samuel?" he whispered softly.

"Yeah, Danny?" Sam answered just as softly, his breathing beginning to quicken in anticipation of where this conversation seemed to be heading. He opened his eyes and saw a single tear leak from Danny's eye and slip slowly across his cheek.

"Would you... uhh... I mean... uhh... could I, uhh..."

"Go ahead Danny, say it, please."

Dan opened his eyes and saw that Sam was looking at him intently. Their gazes locked and seemed to ease the tension as they looked into each other's soul.

"Would you kiss me?"

As a tear escaped from the corner of his eye and slid down his nose, Sam leaned forward the mere two inches that separated them and placed his lips gently on Dan's. Both of them gasped through their noses at the unexpected and previously never experienced electrical charge that surged through them. Neither had known what to expect and couldn't have been prepared for the sudden feeling of warmth and deep satisfaction that overwhelmed them and drew them more deeply together.

They kept their lips pressed gently together, each struggling to breathe through his nose, neither wanting this experience to end, both seemingly afraid that if contact was broken it might not be repeated.

For the next several minutes all of their senses seemed to become involved. As their lips touched, their hands began to move over each other's upper body, stroking softly every place they could reach, but never below the waist. Each drew in the fragrance of the other's body with every breath, smelling new scents suddenly released by their bodies' natural hormonal reaction to this stimulation. Their eyes fluttered open and closed, seeing one another in a new way, looking into each other's soul when their eyes chanced to meet. Each boy's ears picked up the other's heavy breathing as well as his own. Even the rustle caused by the uncontrollable movements of their legs back and forth between the sheets didn't go unnoticed by their subconscious minds.

Finally, when breathing through their noses couldn't keep up with the oxygen needed to sustain them, they broke the kiss. As they lay there staring at one another, Sam saw tears forming in his friend's eyes, again.


"Yeah, Samuel?"

"You wanna know something?"


"I figured out what makes you cry so much."


"Well, just about everything you care about real deeply. You know, like when you lost your cat and you were sad, you cried?"


"And when it finally came home and you were so happy, you cried."


"And when your grandmother died, you cried."


"And you cried when I wanted to pay you for passing my papers for me, when you did it because we were friends and didn't want money for it."


"And sometimes listening to classical music makes you cry, right?"

"Yeah, so what are you getting at?"

"Danny, you cry about things you love."


"And you're crying now, with me."




"Yes, Samuel?"

"I love you, too!"