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).

Author's Note: As with any story with multiple chapters, this is a sequel and will only make sense if read in chronological order. And remember, this story is set in the late fifties and early sixties. Kids with decent family lives didn't jump into bed with each other at the drop of a hat. They waited, not because they had lower sex drives than kids today, but because society as a whole did not condone such behavior. The fact that this story deals with a same-sex relationship doesn't alter that fact.

See Copyright notice at the end of the last chapter.

True Love

By Dan

Chapter Six

Part I - How much do you love me?

When it came time to audition for the 8th and 9th grade Christmas play, the boys decided not to try out for any of the singing parts. It was a different play than last year, but they felt they might have an unfair advantage based on comments they were still hearing about that one. They went to the choral director in private and explained their position. At first she tried to talk them out of it, but the more they talked the more she realized how committed they were to their decision. She was disappointed but she knew there were other talented kids who could fill the roles just as well. And the boys had promised to try out for other, speaking, parts.

The play went well and school let out for the Christmas break about the 20th of December. It was a normal Christmas season for the boys and their families until the week after Christmas. And then something happened that eliminated any doubts the boys' families might have had about their relationship.

Snow had started falling during the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church. By the next day, a foot of fresh snow lay on the foot of old, hard snow and ice that had been there before. On the day after Christmas, the boys took their new sleds over to the hill overlooking the lake and spent the day with friends sledding. They were having so much fun, they hardly noticed when everyone else started to drift away for dinner. Finally, they realized it was getting dark and they needed to get home.

"Come on, Dan. One last ride down the hill!" Sam hollered as he took a long run and jumped onto his sled.

Dan stood and watched until Sam was almost out of sight in the growing darkness and then followed him on his own sled. As he neared the lake and slowed to a stop, he heard Sam calling for help.

"Help! Danny, I went too far! I'm in the lake! Help!"

Dan ran, stumbling on the icy snow that had been packed down by so many kids' feet and sleds. When he got to the water's edge, he found Sam clinging there, half in the water, half out. His heavy winter clothes were soaked and preventing him from being able to climb out by himself. And his strength was rapidly being drained from his body by the extreme cold.

Sitting down as close as he could to the water's edge and digging his heels into the packed snow, Dan grabbed Sam's wrists. Then with one mighty heave, one that would have surprised them both had they been able to think about it, he pulled back with his upper body as he pushed against the earth using all the power in his legs. Sam moved forward about a foot. Dan quickly moved back and repeated the procedure, finally pulling his friend free of the water.

By this time, Sam was starting to go into shock. Hypothermia was setting in. He was so cold he couldn't move. In fact, he could hardly speak above a whisper.

"Cold. So coooold," he said.

Dan was scared. It was dark, they were out here alone, no one lived close enough to hear if he shouted. He started to cry. What else is new? He thought to himself as he tried to decide what to do. He might have been crying, but he wasn't disabled by it. He immediately began rubbing his hands all over Sam's body. But the wet heavy clothes prevented him from doing any good. He could barely see Sam's face in the dark, and he was worried. Sam didn't seem to be breathing right.

Suddenly something happened that Dan would wonder about for the rest of his life. Was it hallucination caused by his fear and fatigue? Or did he have an argument with God? Whatever it was, he was convinced he heard a voice.

Let him go, Daniel. Let him come home. I'll keep him warm.

"Noooooo!" Dan screamed into the night. "You can't have him! He's mine! You can't have him!"

But what can you do, Daniel? You're so small, and he's so cold and heavy. I can make him warm. He'll be comfortable with me.

"No! I'll make him warm! I'll keep him safe! You leave him alone! He's mine!"

Dan's first thought was to strip off his heavy outer coat and spread it out on the snow to have something to lay Sam on. But then he realized that he needed to keep it on so it would stay warm. He began stripping Sam's wet clothes from his trembling body and throwing them aside. When Sam was naked except for his undershorts, even his boots and socks and long underwear were gone, Dan lifted him onto the sled. He stripped off his fur lined coat and began rubbing Sam's nearly naked body with it, trying to dry him off as much as possible as well as warm him with the friction of his rubbing. Then he quickly stripped down to his long underwear and started dressing his boyfriend. Sam was bigger than he was, so the clothes didn't fit perfectly, but they were better than the wet ones that did fit. Finally, with Dan's heavy coat zipped up to his neck, the hood pulled up over his head, Sam gained consciousness for just a moment. Without being aware of his surroundings, he whispered one short phrase.

"Feet, so cold."

Dan suddenly realized that all this time, Sam's bare feet had been exposed to the cold air. Kneeling quickly at his feet, he quickly shoved one under his t-shirt to draw warmth from his body as he grabbed the other in both hands and began stroking it rapidly up and down as though he were masturbating a giant dick with two hands. At the same time, he sucked Sam's toes into his mouth to warm them. It was like sucking on ice cubes. After a few minutes of moving his tongue back and forth across the toes and breathing hot air on the foot that all but filled his mouth, he put one of his own boots on that foot and moved to the other. He repeated his actions on that foot and then tied the laces as tight as he could around Sam's ankles. The boots didn't fit either, but they might do some good.

Grabbing the rope tied to the front of the sled, Dan began pulling Sam towards the street. Even with the sled it was tough. Sam was longer than the sled, so his feet drug the ground behind him, and without his boots on, Dan had little traction on the packed snow. When they got to the little three foot embankment that separated the sledding area from the street, he found it impossible to get the heavy sled up the steep incline. Abandoning the sled, he pushed and pulled Sam's body up to street level. Then he grabbed his nearest leg and the opposing arm and with what little strength he had left heaved Sam onto his shoulders in a fireman's carry that he had learned in scouts.

He hadn't counted on Sam's weight, or the effect of the cold on his own body which was now clad only in long johns, or the numbness that was starting to creep into his feet. Before he had covered twenty feet, he was walking bent over at the waist. He stumbled often, losing strength each time he had to force himself to stand with the weight of his friend on his shoulders.

Soon his feet were numb. This isn't so bad, he thought to himself. At least my feet aren't cold any more.

It seemed like forever, and in fact was almost thirty minutes, when Dan's last vestige of strength left him. He had covered only three blocks, still four blocks from home, when he collapsed in the middle of the deserted street. I'll just lay here and rest for a minute, he thought as he passed into unconsciousness, his best friend lying on top of him.

Who knows why Reverend Thomas, the pastor at Dan's and Sam's church, was on that street at that particular time of night. Even later, he couldn't explain why he had chosen that route home. But just minutes after Dan collapsed, the pastor slid to a stop just a few feet away. Rushing to their side, he immediately recognized them and knew they were in grave danger. He got the boys into his car as quickly as he could and rushed them to the hospital. As soon as nurses had taken over, he found a phone and called Sam's house. Nancy told him her parents were at the Whittington's. Without taking time to explain anything to Nancy, he hung up and called Dan's house.

"This is pastor Thomas. The boys are in trouble. I'm at Mercy hospital right now. You better get here right away," he told Dan's dad as calmly as he could.

"We've been worried sick!" Mr. Whittington said. "What's happened?"

"I'll explain when you get here. The doctors are with them now. Just come down right away. And be careful! The roads are terrible."

Now Dan's dad was a wonderful man, a good father. But he had some pretty strong opinions and some of those had to do with the Catholic church. And they weren't positive opinions, either. Mercy was a Catholic hospital. Almost all the nurses were nuns. The rooms were all private rooms, no wards, no semi-private rooms. None of this mattered, though, when it came to his son's life. Whittington put all his opinions and prejudices aside as he walked into the hospital a few minutes later.

Dan was in a room right next to the nurses' station, so that's where Pastor Thomas took the four parents first. As they watched the activity around Dan's bed, he explained how he had found the boys. The nurses and doctors were working to get him stabilized, putting IV's into his arm for fluids, wrapping heating blankets around him to raise his body temperature. Then pastor said something that caught Mrs. Whittington's attention.

"Say that again?' she said with a confused look on her face.

"I said I couldn't figure out what happened to Dan's clothes."

"What do you mean?" Mr. Whittington asked, now as confused as the rest of them.

"Dan was only wearing his long johns and socks when I found them."

With confused looks on their faces, the five adults left and walked quickly down to the end of the hall where another group of doctors and nurses were working on Sam.

For a second time, the parents looked down on a boy who looked close to death, tubes running every which way, monitors beeping, oxygen running to his nose through a tube. They watched silently for several minutes, each with their own thoughts until Dan's mother glanced over to a chair in the corner.

"What are Dan's clothes doing down here?" she asked.

One of the nurses turned around, a look of surprise on her face.

"We took those clothes off of this boy."

Part II - There is no greater love...

"Oh, sweet Jesus!" Mom Russell exclaimed as she burst into tears at the sudden realization of what had happened.

"Oh my God!" Dan's mother cried as she collapsed against his father.

Silence filled the room as tears flooded the eyes of almost everyone present. Even Pastor Thomas had trouble containing his emotions. A couple of the nuns crossed themselves as they went back to working on Sam.

After a few minutes, Dan's dad urged the others out into the hall where he conferred with them in low tones. Any onlooker would have known that he was very upset about something and was extremely agitated. The group soon came to a conclusion and stepped back into Sam's room.

"As soon as you have this boy stabilized, we want him moved in with Dan," Mr. Whittington said firmly.

"But all our rooms are private rooms," answered one of the nurses. "We don't have any semi-private rooms."

Now, Dan's dad was not known for his patience. In fact, just the opposite was true. His face got red (maybe that's where Dan's blushing came from) and a dangerously angry look came over it.

"Now you listen to me, sister," he said, barely able to control himself. "You'll get these two boys into one room within the next 30 minutes or I'll raise so much hell you'll think the devil himself has entered your hospital!"

Fortunately, Father Reed, the local parish priest, chose just that moment to enter the room. This was his night to serve as hospital chaplain. He explained quickly that he had just come from Dan's room. He went on to say that his daughter was a classmate of the boys and he had attended the Christmas play the previous year. He had been quite moved by the evening performance. In quiet tones, he ushered the parents from the room and reassured them. Then he went off to make the necessary arrangements. It was rumored later that he had actually called the bishop at home and explained the situation in order to get the hospital to make the requested adjustments.

With the two beds in one room, there was barely enough room for the parents to sit down. In fact, two sat at the foot of the beds while two sat in chairs. They sat in vigil throughout the remainder of that night as the boys struggled with the effects of their ordeal. Neither had yet regained consciousness.

Mom Whittington frequently turned to the Bible when she was troubled and needed strength. This time, the others had asked her to read aloud. She was reading from the new testament, the 15th chapter of John. As she read the 13th verse, greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends Dan sat straight up in bed, his eyes wide open but unseeing, glassy, unfocused. He screamed.

"Nooooo! You can't have him! He's mine!" In his unconscious state, he was reliving his earlier experience.

As his mother helped him to lay back down, soothing his brow, Mom Russell by his side, he continued to whimper, tears streaming down his face. Over and over he repeated himself, his voice finally dying off in whispers.

"You can't have him. Take me instead. Take me instead. Take me......instead."

As the mothers sat on Dan's bed, staring through their tears at this precious child, dad Russell spoke quietly.

"Look here, quick. I think everything's going to be alright."

The other three parents joined him at Sam's bedside. There was no significant change in Sam's expression except for the tears that were now leaking from the outside corners of his eyes and dripping down his cheek onto his pillow.

As soon as the doctors had made their appearance the next morning, the parents went home to eat breakfast, shower, and tell Bob and Nancy a little of what had happened. The boys hadn't awakened yet, but their vital signs were good, and the doctors were confident that they were out of danger.

Shortly after everyone had left, Dan woke up. As he lay there in the stupor that frequently accompanies one coming out of a deep sleep, he looked around the room. Gradually things started to make sense and the events of the previous evening came rushing in on him. With a gasp and a start, he turned to his side and saw Sam in the bed next to his. Being careful not to dislodge the needle in the back of his hand, Dan slipped out of his bed.

As he stood leaning against the bed, feeling extremely weak, he noticed his gown. It was one of those standard hospital things that leave none of one's backside to the imagination. Reaching back to scratch his butt, he confirmed that he was, indeed, naked underneath it. Hhhmmm he mused to himself.

He took the two steps necessary to reach Sam's bed, moved some tubes carefully out of the way, lifted the covers and slipped into bed with his boyfriend. Cuddling up close, he laid one leg over Sam's and his arm across Sam's chest, his head resting next to Sam's on the pillow, his lips practically touching Sam's ear. Just before he dropped off to sleep, he whispered, "I love you, Samuel."

The four parents arrived back at the room just a few minutes later and found the boys still in this position. This time there was a wide grin on Sam's face, even though he was still asleep.

A few minutes after that, one of the nurses came into the room. Her reaction was immediate.

"We can't have this!" she hissed. "Get those boys back into separate beds this instant!"

Remarkably enough, Dan's dad maintained some composure. He stood, and taking the nurse by the elbow, guided her from the room. Once outside, he let her know just exactly how things were going to be.

"Now look here, sister," he began, trying hard to keep cool, "I don't know what you're thinking. In fact, I don't care what you're thinking. I'll tell you straight up. Those boys have known each other for years. They're more like brothers than friends. There's nothing wrong with them sharing one bed. They do it at home all the time. I'm sure they'll both recover a lot faster if they can draw upon each other's strength. You are a Christian woman, a nun, and a nurse. Now are you going to behave as any one of those three callings would dictate, or are you going to treat these boys in a way that will totally eliminate what little respect I have for the Catholic church?!"

The nurse looked at him briefly and saw the pain in his eyes.

"You're right, of course, Mr. Whittington. Those boys are both children of God, and it's not my place to pass judgement. Please allow me to apologize for jumping to conclusions and please forgive my outburst. They can share the same bed if they want, provided it doesn't interfere with their care."

Dad Whittington was so shocked by her response he was left speechless. Taking him by the hand, the nurse led him back into the room where she made the same apology to the others. Then she tended to the boys, checking their vital signs and all that other stuff that nurses do.

Part III - Some closets have no ceilings

The boys awoke just as she left the room. This time, recognition of their situation came quickly. Sam noticed how Dan was lying practically on top of him, and Dan felt Sam's arms wrap themselves around him as much as possible. They kissed, a long, slow kiss filled with love, but void of passionate physical responses. They looked up to see their parents gathered around the bed. Which face turned the deeper shade of red? No one could say.

"Uh... sorry." They said in unison.

"That's OK boys," dad Russell said. "After what you guys have been through, I'd say that was the proper thing to do."

The six of them spent the rest of the morning talking in general terms about what had happened and what the plans were for the afternoon. The parents had decided at breakfast to avoid asking Dan for any details until they got home, preferring to let a few hours pass before having him relive his experience. Besides, they wanted Bob and Nancy to hear them and didn't see any point in having Dan explain it twice. The nurse had explained that the boys weren't to be released until after the doctors had examined them following lunch. When lunch arrived, Dan had to get back into his own bed since there just wasn't room enough for two bed trays at one bed. The parents went down to the cafeteria while the boys ate. The boys were ravenous and wolfed down there food quickly. As soon as they were finished, Dan climbed back into Sam's bed.

"God, Danny, I was so cold last night I bet my pecker froze off and won't even work any more," Sam said giggling.

Dan reached over and grasped Sam's boyhood through the thin gown. As his favorite toy rose quickly to life, Dan chuckled.

"Well, it seems to work OK to me."

Sam slid his hand under Dan's gown and grasped his slender penis lovingly. It too sprang to life without hesitation.

"I'm glad to see that yours is OK, too. I can hardly wait til we get home."

They released each other and Dan laid his head on Sam's chest, holding him around the waist, Sam's arms wrapped around his back and shoulders.

"I love you, Samuel."

"I love you, too, Danny. You saved my life last night. And all this time I thought I was going to be your protector."

"We protect each other, Samuel. You know that."

"Yeah, I do."

They rested in that position until their parents returned with the doctor. Soon thereafter, the boys were released. They dressed in clean clothes their mothers had brought and everyone went home. They drove straight to Sam's house where Bob and Nancy were waiting. Their parents had called them during lunch and asked them to be waiting. It was time they each had a family discussion, and they might as well have it together.

As soon as they arrived at Sam's house, dad Whittington called home and asked Bob to join them. The boys went off to the bedroom to change into pajamas and then returned to snuggle down under a comforter at opposite ends of the couch. The parents grabbed the love seat and easy chairs, leaving bean bag chairs for Bob and Nancy. By the time soft drinks and coffee were ready, Bob had arrived and had claimed his seat.

"Now, Dan, tell us exactly what happened from start to finish. We all want to hear every detail," his mother said.

"And don't leave anything out, son," Mr. Whittington added with a voice filled with love and concern. "All we have so far is bits and pieces and we'd really like to hear everything."

So Dan told them what had happened, every detail. Even Sam was absorbed by the story, for he had been unconscious during most of the event and didn't know any more than the rest of them. The further Dan got into the story, the more frayed his emotions became. Reliving the near loss of the person he now knew he loved most in all the world drew those emotions ever and ever closer to the surface.

He explained about Sam's sled going into the lake, and the trouble he had pulling him out of the water. He described the difficulty he had in untying the cold, wet shoelaces with fingers that were just as cold. When he told about stripping Sam's clothes off of him, Sam blushed and hid his eyes for a moment, something that did not escaped Bob's attention. When he told of his apparent encounter with God, tears rolled down his mother's face, and his father's chest swelled with pride.

By the time he got to the part about sucking Sam's toes to try to warm them up, his tears were so close to boiling over that Bob's sudden reaction was all it took to open the flood gates.

"You sucked his toes?!" Bob exclaimed incredulously.

Dan burst into tears as he cried, "What else was I going to do?! His feet were freezing!" And hiding his face from the others, he buried his head against his knees that were drawn up to his chest and sobbed, finally releasing some of the emotion that had been building inside him.

Mr. Whittington was just about to lay into Bob for his outburst when his older son struggled out of his chair and went over to kneel at his brother's side.

"Dan... Dan! Look at me! Please!" he said forcefully, but softly, grabbing Dan's upper arms and twisting him to face him.

As Dan looked up with tears pouring down his face, Bob said to him, "I didn't mean that to hurt you, Dan. I was just so amazed that anyone would do something like that. You make me so proud! I wish I had your courage."

The rest of the families just sat in silence as Bob hugged his younger brother, his own tears falling onto Dan's shoulders. Nerves were still frayed and emotions running close to the surface as Sam sat there with a look of utter confusion on his face. Finally, as Bob moved back to his chair, Sam voiced a series of questions.

"You really took off all my clothes right out there on the snow, left me buck naked?"

"Nooo. I left your underpants on."

"And then you took your clothes off and put 'em on me?"


"Even your boots?"


"And tried to carry me home on your back? In just your socks and long underwear?"

"Yeah...., but I got tired and fell down a lot, then the last time I couldn't get back up."

By this time, Dan had tears in his eyes again, feeling bad that he hadn't been able to get Sam home.

"And when I was bare-footed, you put my foot under your t-shirt? Wasn't it cold?"

At this, Dan hesitated.

"I don't know if it was cold or not. I couldn't feel it."

Dan's mother gasped at the realization that at that point her son's body had already started to grow numb from the cold.

Sam was silent for a minute, studying Dan's face with a look of confusion, mixed with awe, and something else - love.

"How did you know I don't have athlete's foot or something?" he asked in a voice that was little more than a whisper.

The look on Dan's face said as much as his words, a look of incredulity, a look that said what a silly question. Without hesitating, he answered.

"I didn't. What difference would it have made anyway?"

As the others sat in shocked silence, Sam burst into tears. Everything his boyfriend had done for him the night before paled in comparison to how innocently he had just answered that question. Sam lurched from under the blank and fell upon his boyfriend, crying uncontrollably.

"Oh, Danny, I love you so much!"

Bob looked at his parents as Nancy looked at hers. The answer to their mutual unspoken question was the same - a brief nod of the head. Their reaction was a testimony to the way they had been raised. They each got up from their bean bag chairs, crawled across the floor and knelt beside the couch where they wrapped their arms around their brothers as best they could and hugged them until they all stopped crying.

Then it was the parents' turn to wrap both boys in their arms, one at a time, and the crying started all over again, tears of pride, love and wonder from the parents and tears of love and emotional fatigue from Dan and Sam.

Eventually everyone settled down and regained control of their emotions. The moms went to the kitchen to prepare a lunch of sandwiches and chips, while the dads and the kids started channel surfing. Once in awhile, Dan would hear a brief snippet of the conversation in the kitchen, something about newspapers and TV and reporters. When they came back to the TV room with lunch, he asked them what they had been talking about, fearing the answer. His mom spoke for the two women.

"Well, Danny, (remember only his mother and Samuel called him by that name) we were just talking about all the publicity this is bound to attract and how to deal with it. You're going to be quite the celebrity when your story hits the media. It could get rather hectic around here."

There was a note of pride in mom Whittington's voice and looks of prideful anticipation on just about every face except Dan's.

"Awe, come on you guys! Please don't tell anybody. That would be so embarrassing. Besides, I didn't do anything so special. I mean, Samuel would have done the same thing for me."

Sam looked at his boyfriend with mixed emotions. He knew how painfully shy Dan could be in front of just about anybody but his closest friends, but he wanted to shout from the rooftops the story of how Danny had saved his life.

"Aw, Danny, can't we tell somebody? I mean, you saved my life for crying out loud. You're the best show-and-tell I've had since the squashed frog I took to second grade!" he added with a laugh, trying to make Dan feel better about it.

Everyone laughed except Dan who still had a distraught look on his face as his gaze traveled around the room. His sandwich lay untouched on his plate, in spite of how hungry he was.

Finally, his dad realized how upsetting this was for his son and took charge.

"I'm sorry, folks, but Dan's feelings have to take precedence here. After all, he's the hero, whether he wants to be or not, and he deserves something from us in return. If silence is what he wants, silence is what he gets."

When the others finally nodded their heads in agreement, his dad gave Dan a look filled with pride and admiration, but most importantly, love. Then he added a warning.

"But Dan, you must realize that none of us thought about this at the hospital. When we left this morning, we didn't ask the hospital personnel to keep quiet about it. It might have been too late by then anyway. There's no way to know whether one of the nurses, doctors or other staff might have said something. It was certainly obvious in the cafeteria that you boys were the subject of conversation at the other tables. So even though we all agree not to say anything, you probably should expect some attention. And you can't ask us not to answer questions or talk about it if somebody else spills the beans. Right?"

The idea of notoriety was starting to have an impact on the kid. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all, he thought to himself. But he could never have imagined the form that notoriety was to take or what it would mean for Sam and him.

"OK, dad. But only if somebody else says something first, OK?"

Everyone voiced their agreement as Sam slid over to sit shoulder to shoulder with his first love, no longer concerned about keeping their relationship secret from any family member. As they ate their sandwiches and watched TV, they were constantly turning to look at each other, or leaning into each other, touching their heads together, giggling and smirking with unbridled love. How wonderful it was to have the freedom to express their love for each other, at home at least. Even their parents and siblings enjoyed the freedom the boys now had to be themselves.

Yes, closets without doors keep things inside, but those without ceilings at least let others in.