See explanations and disclaimers at the beginning of Chapter One.

See Copyright notice at the end of the last chapter.

What Is True Love Anyway?

By Dan

Chapter Eleven

Part I - The summer of '62

Hi. It's still me, Joe. Dan said I should keep on writing, so here goes.

We walked down the hill hand-in-hand, bumping against each other, rubbing shoulders and giggling like two young lovers. Which wasn't really so true. I mean, we weren't really young, and we certainly weren't lovers, yet. In fact, we didn't really become lovers for several more months. But that's what this chapter is all about.

I don't remember what explanation we gave Mrs. A for bolting from class the way we did, but it must have worked because she didn't report us or treat us any differently after that. I would have remembered if we got in trouble simply because we never did. The only time we were ever in the principal's office was when we were working on the school newspaper and had to go to the office for a story or something.

I think the last two months of school that year were the best in my entire lifetime, college included. Having finally made my love for Daniel known to him and finding that he loved me too just took away all my teenage fear and anxiety about life. I mean, everything else was OK to begin with, right? My folks knew I was queer, Dan's folks already knew about him, too. There wasn't anything else wrong with life at the time. And now I had someone to share the last year and a half of high school with.

I knew I was really lucky. I'd say I was blessed, but that sounds so unfair. I mean, why would God bless me with true love when there were all these other kids in our class, presumably all normal, heterosexual people, whom God hadn't blessed that way. And back then, shoot, everyone thought queers were going straight to hell, so surely I wasn't blessed, just lucky.

But whatever, I sure was happy, and so was Daniel. I mean, here we were in love! Well, sure, we couldn't really tell anybody about it, and we couldn't share it in public, but inside we knew we were in love. And when we looked at each other across the room, we each knew the other's look had love in it. Most of our classmates didn't have boyfriends or girlfriends. Most of them were still struggling with the dreaded dating game. I saw more guys get shot down by more girls than I could count. Poor slobs. I might have been queer, but at least I had found my soulmate, and that meant a lot!

Dan and I didn't jump right into bed with each other, either. We still remembered the night in Washington and just let the memory and the anticipation build while we got to know each other better as boyfriends. Besides, I had a promise to keep.

Which is not to say that our hands weren't busy. To the contrary, we were just like two lovebirds that you used to see in old movies, sneaking kisses whenever we could, giggling together just about all the time, holding hands in movies, sitting close at home - but not so close that we offended our parents or Dan's brother.

He was just so much fun to love. He had this way of looking up at me over the tops of his glasses that just made my heart melt. And I loved the soap and shampoo he used. He always smelled so good! Well, OK, not always. Sometimes he'd smell a little musky, but he rarely stank. He was so little that he hardly ever sweat, so even his armpits never had a bad odor. I bet he didn't weigh more than 125 until he got out of college. And he didn't put on the last few inches of height until after high school either. There he was, about 5'6" or so and 125 pounds. And cute? God! Was he cute!

Me? Well, yeah, I guess you could call me cute. I mean Dan did a lot. I was about 5' 10 or 11" and about 135 or 140 pounds at that time. But who cared? Daniel loved me, so it didn't make any difference anyway.

School ended and summer began, and life just got better. By the time school was over, we had finally progressed from just kissing and rubbing each other's chest and backs to groping each other through our pants. Summer that year was great! For one reason, Dan had this pair of white denim cutoffs that he wore that were really short. I mean really short. Now his equipment was small enough soft that they were OK most of the time. But if he got a hardon, it was really obvious - mostly because he loved to wear those shorts without any underwear.

I can't begin to tell you the number of times I'd be sitting somewhere, look up and see Dan sitting across from me in such a way that I could see right up his pant leg. The head of his penis would be laying there in full view, and as soon as he knew I was looking, his dick would start to get hard. Lots of times, when no one else was around, he would let it would work its way right out of his pant leg. God, he was such as tease. I'd get hard in an instant, rub my crotch once, and he'd put it away where I couldn't see it. I loved it and hated it at the same time.

About the middle of June, his mom put him to work painting the outside of his house. They had this old stucco house which was white from roof to ground, and he had to paint the entire thing. I didn't have a lot of chores to do at home, so I showed up at his house almost every day before noon and helped.

He'd usually do the ladder thing and I'd paint from ground up. This let me look up his shorts any time I wanted to. And on those days when his mom went shopping or to work at the church, I'd wait til he wasn't expecting it and then reach up his pant leg and grab his penis and play with it a little bit. The first time I did that he almost spilled a whole bucket of paint on me. I about laughed myself silly.

Actually, it wasn't paint. It was white wash, just like Tom Sawyer used in Huckleberry Finn. It was a powder that we had to mix with water. That made clean up a breeze, coz we just washed everything at the curb with a hose and let it run down the gutter. The EPA didn't exist back then.

I remember one day real well. Dan was up on the ladder, his mom had just gone to town to do some shopping, and I was standing right below him. He had on those shorts again, and when I looked up I realized he must have been thinking of me, coz his penis was stiff and the head was peeking out at me. I glanced up at his face, but he was trying to pretend he didn't know it. So I stuck my brush down in the white wash and then stuck it right up his pant leg.

It was soooo coool! With him on the ladder, he couldn't get away. The brush was just the right size to fit all the way to his balls, and I made sure everything got a good brushing. He turned really red in the face and started giggling, yelling that it tickled. The more he laughed, the more I moved the brush around in his crotch. Pretty soon he was laughing so hard he almost fell off the ladder.

Then, all of a sudden, he just dumped his whole bucket of white wash right down on my head. Woooo! Gross! I had that stuff in my ears, hair, all over my chest and back and running down the insides of my shorts. Fortunately I had taken my shirt off. Anyway, when I jumped out of the way, he hurried down off the ladder. Then we got into a sword fight with our paintbrushes. In no time at all, we were white from head to toe.

Then we started wrestling and tickling each other in the grass and soon had grass clippings and stuff all over us, stuck in all that white wash. We were screaming and laughing so hard I'm surprised we didn't have half the neighborhood running over to see what was going on. When we finally stopped fooling around and started to clean up, I wanted to just strip and hose ourselves off right there. But, of course we couldn't do that. I mean, shit, the house next door wasn't more than fifteen feet away, and the lady didn't have a job, so we knew she was home. So we hosed off the worst of it, dried up a little bit with the paint rags and ran into the bathroom.

The Whittington's didn't have a shower - just a tub. So we HAD to take baths. Dan filled the tub about half full of water and we both stripped. You could hardly tell we'd been wearing any clothes at all. The white wash was pretty thin and had run down into our shorts so that just about everything was covered with it.

Dan stepped into the tub before I could cop a feel, but I could tell he was getting hard already. Heck, he could get a hardon just looking at himself naked in the mirror. Of course, the minute he sat down, it looked like he was taking a milk bath. Like I said, that white wash was mixed with water, so getting him clean wasn't any big deal. He washed his arms and legs while I washed his back and chest and shampooed his hair. Then we let the water out and filled the tub again so he could rinse better. Sure made me glad we had showers at my house.

Ya know? It was funny. All the time the water was running out and the tub was filling back up, Dan just sat there kind of hunched forward, his arms squeezed between his legs, hiding his crotch. It was almost like he was embarrassed to be sitting there naked with me leaning against the side of the tub. All of a sudden, I felt such an overwhelming sense of love for him.

He was quiet and still all the time the tub was filling back up. As the water reached his waist, I reached out and cupped his chin with my right hand and turned his head to face me. With all that scrubbing and the sunburn he had, his cheeks were this really pretty dark pink. His light brown hair was hanging down over his forehead, and there was a little tear just starting to fall from the corner of his eye next to his nose. It was so precious I wished I had a camera.

I leaned forward and kissed his lips, gently, lovingly as I let my hand slide around to the other side of his head. We broke our kiss as I stroked his cheek and we looked into each other's eyes.

"What's the matter, Daniel? Why the tears?" I asked him.

"Oh, Joseph," he said, a catch in his breath. "I'm just so happy. I love you so much. I never want this moment to end."

I bent forward a little and kissed him again. His body straightened up, pressing his lips against mine, and our tongues became involved. I moved my left hand to the far side of his head and used it to pull his face against my own even as my right hand slid down his chest into the water. He was stiff as a board already, so I stroked him a few times and petted his scrotum with my fingertips. It had shrunk up against his body to the point his nuts had almost disappeared. Of course, by this time I was hard as a rock, too, but he couldn't reach me from where he was sitting.

But that wasn't a very good place to continue what we had started, so I let go of his boyhood and together we finished rinsing him off. Then, without changing the water, we traded places. As he stepped out of the tub and I stepped in, our erections brushed against each other, causing us both to gasp with pleasure.

By now, the white wash covering my body had dried, so I laid back in the tub to let the water cover as much of me as possible. Dan ran some more water to bring the level higher, then as I laid there, he just moved his hand gently all over the front of my body, loosening the paint. It felt so great, I can still remember it. I closed my eyes and reveled in the feel of his soft hands sliding over my chest, stomach, legs, then back to my chest.

What was this? He'd purposely avoided my boner laying there on my stomach, moving from side to side with the motion of the water. Actually, the water only came about an inch higher than my nutsac anyway.

"Uh... say, buddy... aren't you forgetting something?" I asked.

I opened my eyes to see what he was doing and found him staring at my crotch. I loved it when he did that. He obviously enjoyed looking at my equipment, and that just fed my ego something fierce.

"I'm getting there. I just wanted to look at you," he answered.

"So? What's the big deal? You've seen it all before." I loved to tease him when he looked at me like this.

"I just can't get over how little hair you have on your nuts. I mean, they are so damned cute, almost hairless. I just love playing with them. I'd really like to lick them, too."

I sat up right away.

"Whoa there. We better get me clean. You know we agreed not to do that yet."

"I know, Joseph, but that doesn't mean I don't want to."

With that he leaned forward and kissed me, his right hand slipping down to stroke my hardon and fondle my nuts. I was almost tempted to ask him to jack me off, but resisted it. After just a minute or two, we took care of my white washed body the same way we had his. As we let the tub refill with clean water so I could rinse, I leaned against the back of the tub with my hands behind my head so he could see my hardon which was still throbbing between my legs.

This time, he sat back on the commode which was right next to the tub, put his hands behind his head and spread his legs so I could see him too. Pretty soon, we were squeezing our muscles so our dicks were bouncing up and down in unison. This got us to laughing, and eventually our hardons went away. When I got out of the tub, Dan helped dry me off. We both just wanted to go to his bedroom and huggle, but we hadn't gotten much painting done, so we put on clean shorts (I borrowed a pair of Dan's) and went back to work.

Part II - More of the same, Dan's turn

After reading the last chapter, I told Joe he could start this one. But he's having all the fun, so I decided we'd share it. And since he's telling it in first person, and you've already figured out that the Dan in this story is really me anyway, I might as well continue in the first person rather than switching back to third person like the first nine chapters. So, here goes.

Most of that summer was really great. Joe and I spent most of our days together but none of the nights. You may remember early in this chapter that Joe said he had a promise to keep. But he didn't tell you what that promise was. Well, it had everything to do with us not spending the night at each other's house.

You see, Joe felt really close to his dad, even closer than Sam was to dad Russell. Yeah, I know, Sam and me broke up, but I still call Mr. Russell dad. After all, Sam and I still live across the alley from each other. It isn't like we don't see each other all the time. Weird, huh?

Anyway, because dad Cannady was so supportive of Joe's homosexuality, Joe felt this real strong sense of responsibility to show his dad how much his support meant to him. Remember how Sam and I had promised our folks we wouldn't have anal intercourse until after high school? Well, Joe went overboard with his dad. He even promised not to have oral sex until after he had graduated from high school.

I mean, talk about frustration! No blow jobs? No oral love making? I gotta tell you, it about drove me nuts all summer! That's why Joe wouldn't let me lick his nuts in the bathtub that day we poured paint all over each other.

In fact, we rarely even got naked with each other. The temptation and frustration was just too great when we did that. So we'd grope and pet and paw each other with all our clothes on and then, when we were alone, we'd pull our dicks out of our pants and just beat off. It seemed to be OK for Joe, and it was always fun for me, too, but it was pretty tame compared to what I knew it could be.

I even talked to my brother about it one night when we were in bed. Bob and I didn't talk about sex much, but he'd always help when I had a real question. It was nice having a brother two years older than me. Bob was dating this girl named Dori at the time, so I thought maybe he could help me. We had just gotten into bed (we had twin beds in our room), so I knew he was awake.



"Can we talk?"

"Sure. Whadda ya wanna talk about?"


Silence. I always knew Bob accepted me being queer, but talking about it still made him a little nervous. Sometimes I think he was afraid I'd suggest doing something together.

"OK. What can you tell me about it?"

I laughed at his poor attempt at humor.

"Not much, and you know it. But you're the older one, you should be able to answer all my questions."

I liked to rub it in that he was older.


"Have you ever had a blow job?"

I think he must have had some spit in his mouth or something. He just started coughing and hacking like I'd thrown soap down his throat. When he finally calmed down, he answered me.

"Tact, Dan. Finesse. That ability to say what you need to say without destroying the person you're saying it to. Ever tried it?"

I knew he wasn't really mad. I couldn't see his face in the dark, but I could hear the grin in his voice.

"OK, how about this? Has a girl ever laid her head in your lap, opened her mouth and paid homage to your most precious appendage? You know, SUCKED YOUR DICK?"

We both cracked up. I thought we'd wake up mom and dad, we were laughing so hard. Eventually he was able to talk again.

"Um, no, not that I can remember. Why?" (giggle)

"Well, baby brother (I just had to take advantage of the moment), I have. It's great. In fact it must be the greatest feeling in the world."

"You mean getting one or giving one?"



"Well, Joe won't do it with me."


"He promised his dad he wouldn't do that until after high school graduation."

"So? That sounds pretty responsible."

See? I told you he was older than me.

"Well, it may be responsible, but it's driving me nuts! Sam and I used to do it all the time. Now I want to do it with Joe and he won't. That's why I never spend the night at his house. Too much temptation."


"So, how can he stay so pure? How can he be so strong? How come it's so much easier for him?"

"You don't miss what you never had."


"Look at it this way, Dan. I've never had one, and I've never been laid either. Dori and I pet some, but that's as far as it goes. She's never even given me a hand job. So I still look forward to doing it some day, but I won't really know what it feels like until that first time, will I? If I'd had sex with Donna before I met Dori, I suspect I'd be in the same boat you're in. I'd want it again. But Joe's never done anything but jack off, so he doesn't know what he's missing. That makes it easier on him."

"Well, I guess I see your point, but it doesn't seem fair. Seems to me if he loves me as much as he says he does, he'd do it with me. He knows how much I want to, and I've told him how good it feels."

At this point, Bob reached up and turned on his bedside lamp. Then he leaned up on his elbow and looked at me real serious-like.

"Dan, listen to yourself. That was probably the most selfish thing I've ever heard you say. What do you think Joe's thoughts would be? Just listen to this, If Dan really loved me, he wouldn't ask me to do this all the time. He knows I made a promise. Why can't he respect my decision?"

I felt like shit. Bob could do that, you know. Make me feel even smaller than I was. The longer he was silent, just looking at me, the worse I felt. I couldn't help it. I started to cry, again. I hate it when I do that.

But Bob is a really neat big brother. He got out of his bed and stepped over to mine. He knelt down and pulled me into his arms, laid my head against his shoulder and hugged me. I felt him kiss my neck as I grabbed him really tight and cried on his shoulder. I guess I needed that. At least I felt better when I finally stopped crying. Bob could do that, too, make the pain go away. Did I tell you he was a neat big brother?

"I guess I never stopped to think about it that way. I love him so much, but I never realized he might be thinking the same thing I was thinking. I am proud of him, though, the way he always sticks up for his dad and stands by his promise."

So, after that night, I stopped pestering Joe to have sex with me. And I stopped dropping little hints, like that day in the bathtub. You know what? Even our jack off sessions got better after that. We'd space them out so each one was like a gift. Usually it was dark, so we didn't even get to see each other's penis.

I remember one night, though. I don't think I'll ever forget it. We had gone to a movie and Joe got this huge box of popcorn. It was round and made of this thin cardboard material. I got a large drink and two straws. We went up to the balcony (theaters still had them back then) where very few people sit. He held the popcorn and I held the drink. About halfway through the movie, and halfway through the popcorn, I had to go to the bathroom. When I got back, I reached over for another handful of popcorn and wrapped my fingers around his hardon.

He'd cut a hole in the bottom of the box and shoved his penis up into the remaining popcorn. I about SHIT! Here we were in this war movie, and I was laughing my fool head off, all the time playing with his pecker. We snickered and whispered jokes about his dick being covered with salt, about a crunchy hot dog, about buttered wieners, and all this other silly stuff. And every time I reached for more popcorn, I'd stroke his penis up and down a few times.

By the time the popcorn was all gone, Joe was about to reach his orgasm. So I leaned over and rested my head on his shoulder (fortunately it was really dark in the balcony), reached in with my right hand (I'm right-handed) and finished him off. When he came, his semen shot all over my hand and dripped down onto the bottom of the box. It's a good thing nobody was sitting close to us, cause his grunts were really kind of loud, and the seat springs were squeaking pretty badly. When he finished cumming, I found out why he had grabbed so many napkins with his popcorn. We laughed about that for several weeks.

Part III - Kathy's turn

Hey guys! It's me, Kathy. I talked Dan into letting me tell the next part. You gotta hear this. He doesn't really want me to tell it, but Joe and I talked him into it. This was so funny. Well, not for him, maybe, but Joe and I thought it was hysterical.

After my failure at convincing Dan he wasn't really homosexual, I gave up. I still like him a lot, but I stopped chasing him. We still spent a lot of time together, and when Joe came into his life, we sort of became a threesome. I had decided that I wanted to become a pediatrician, so I wasn't interested in getting emotionally involved with anybody at the time. Having people think I was dating either Dan or Joe or both kept most of the hounds at bay, so to speak.

Anyway, some months after that movie Dan just talked about, the three of us went to a movie together. Dan offered to buy us all popcorn, but I said I didn't want any because the kernels get caught in my braces. I thought I saw a little grin on his face when I said that, and I wondered what was going through his head. So he turns to Joe and says, "I'll get the popcorn, you get the coke." So Dan buys me a coke and them a big box of popcorn, and Joe buys a large coke with two straws. I'm starting to feel left out already.

Well, we were really early for the movie so by the time it started, I had already finished my coke and was sharing theirs. Yeah, I kept my straw and stuck it in with theirs. Geez! So, halfway through the movie, I gotta pee. Dan was sitting in the middle, so I leaned over and told him I was going to the ladies' room. As I was leaving, Joe asked him where I was going and then said he'd go with me - to protect me from evil. While we were gone, Joe said I really had to try some of that popcorn. He was really persuasive and finally convinced me to try it in spite of my braces.

So, we get back upstairs, take our seats, and Joe reaches into the box for some popcorn. I noticed he seemed to be having trouble getting a handful, cause he kept stirring the popcorn all around. As soon as he moved his hand, I reached in to get a handful. I ABOUT SHIT!!! Dan's penis was sticking up about an inch above the popcorn. The head of it hit my palm just as my fingers touched the shaft. I screamed and jumped back. Then I started laughing. Joe was cracking up. It's a good thing the theater was practically empty. No one but us in the balcony. No ushers came up to see what the scream was about.

I saw Joe shove his hand into the popcorn box as Dan squirmed in his seat. Then through his giggles, I heard Joe whisper to Dan to just sit still and take what's coming to him. I think Dan must have thought I'd leave him alone, but was he in for a surprise. I suppose if it hadn't been for that night in my basement, I would have been really upset. But, after all, I'd already played with his penis once, rolled a condom down on it and sat with him naked for an hour, so it wasn't like I didn't already sort of know him. Besides, I figured why should Joe have all the fun.

So I started grabbing handfuls of popcorn and penis along with Joe. We took turns. And we started cracking jokes. Shoot, the movie wasn't all that great anyway. I can't even remember the name of it. All the time we were making jokes (Joe and me, that is) Dan's just sitting there, hard as a rock, and probably red as a fire engine. I was dying to see his face. Our jokes went something like this.

Joe: Popcorn, peanuts, penises.

Me: Red hot penises. Get 'em while they're hot.

Joe: Get your crackerjacks filled with nuts right here.

Me: Big nuts, little nuts, they're all the same to me.

Dan was having kittens. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. And I know he was getting close. Joe and I didn't just grab popcorn and merely touch his penis. We took turns stroking him, sliding our buttery fingers up and down his shaft, making him feel really good. I was real careful, though, to listen to his breathing. I didn't want to be the one to bring him off. I thought Joe should do that. So when I felt his body bouncing up and down in the seat, I shut up and left my hand out of things. There was just enough light from the screen to see that his eyes closed as he came.

It was really awesome. I'd never been with a boy when he climaxed. I could just barely tell when his eyes closed and his head fell back against the seat. But I could hear his groan and I could see Joe's hand moving up and down in the popcorn box. When it was all over, Joe did the sweetest thing. As Dan sat there slumped in his seat, I could just barely see Joe move the box of popcorn and make wiping motions in his boyfriend's lap. I knew he was cleaning the semen from Dan's penis. It was really a special moment, and I was glad they let me be a part of it.

When we got outside, though, we razzed Dan something fierce. His face turned so red it was almost purple. Joe and I were laughing so hard I almost pee'd my pants.

"Was that butter or margarine you had on the popcorn, Dan?" I asked, laughing my head off.

"Yeah, Dan, what flavor was that? It seemed most of it settled to the bottom of the box!" Joe added.

"Aw, come on you guys. I don't believe you did that!"

By this time Dan was laughing, too. I'm sure the few people that were around wandered what we found so funny. It certainly couldn't have been the movie.

"Well, it serves you right, boyfriend of mine. You shouldn't have tried to pull that off when we had Kathy with us."

"But she said she didn't want any popcorn! How come you changed your mind, Kathy?"

"Joe talked me into it. (giggle) He just said I should be prepared for a surprise, but I wasn't prepared for THAT!" and I laughed again. The look on his face was so precious.

Anyway, that's my part of this story. These guys were so great. I loved 'em both.

Part IV - Dan again.

Our senior year in high school was pretty awesome. Joe spent our junior year getting to know my friends and making new ones of his own, so by the senior year, everything was really neat. Sam and Pam had continued to be a couple and once Joe and I got together, it was easier for me to let go of my old feelings for Sam. It was actually pretty neat how the three of us were able to become friends again, just like before Joe moved away.

It wasn't a PERFECT year, though. There were actually some pretty tough times. But I'll save those for later. Right now, I just want to talk about the good times.

Neither my mom nor Joe's mom worked - not outside the home anyway. They kept reminding us they worked plenty just being mothers and wives. But you know? They never made us feel bad about being queer. But they didn't ignore it either. I remember how they teamed up to teach us all about housework. It started practically the first day of school. Mom had called me into the kitchen as soon as I finished passing my papers.

"Danny," she said (remember she and Sam were the only ones who called me that. I still didn't like it. Too juvenile.). "It's time you learned to cook."

"Huh?" I was really eloquent in my senior year.

"Well, I notice that neither you nor Joe seem particularly effeminate, so I can guess that neither of you is going to accept the role of wife in your relationship."


"So, you both better learn to do things that his mother and I have always done. Otherwise, you'll both starve and stink!"

She said that last part with a grin on her face.

"Aw, Mooooom!"

"Don't aw mom, me, mister. Get that apron on and start peeling those potatoes."

She tied the apron strings at my back and handed me a potato peeler. I started rubbing that small hand tool over the potato, moving it away from myself. At the rate I was going, we'd eat sometime next week. Mom saw what I was doing and laughed at me. You ever have your MOM laugh at you? How embarrassing!

"Not that way, silly. Pull it towards you. Here, let me show you."

After she showed me how to peel potatoes the right way, I got the hang of it pretty fast. When I was done, she handed me this brown paper bag and told me to put a cup of flour into it. Once I did that, she had me shake some salt into it. Then she dropped a chicken leg into the bag and told me to shake it up real good. Then I had to take that chicken leg and lay it in the skillet of hot oil. Almost burned my self with that one. Then I had to do all the other chicken pieces the same way.

Anyway, you get the idea. That night I learned to make fried chicken, mashed potatoes and peas. I liked the peas part. Open a can and dump it into a pan. Turn on the heat. Turn it off when the juice starts to boil. Easy.

Now gravy? That's another matter altogether. By the time I was done trying to make gravy, I was ready to turn that duty over to Joseph. God, I love that boy. Love that name, too. Sorry. Just had to stop and say that.

I found out later from Joseph that at the same time I was learning to fry chicken, he was learning to bake a cake. Big deal. Open a box, break an egg or two, pour in some water, and Bingo! A cake. Tastes better raw than baked.

All through our senior year we were learning how to do all those things women usually do around the house. Gag a maggot! We learned how to iron shirts, pants, tablecloths, all that stuff. Turns out his mom and mine had planned our entire domestic education. We even had classes together. Baking, darning socks (yeah, we just buy new ones now, but back then we had to darn the holes in the toes), running the sweeper, making beds. Geez, I hoped I never got drafted.

Actually, it wasn't all bad. Especially the joint classes. One mom or the other would get us started on something, and as soon as she left the room, we'd be necking and kissing each other. Joseph was such a swell kisser. He had this really neat way of sneaking up behind me, wrapping his arms around me and laying his head on my shoulder. Then he'd nuzzle my neck and start licking me. Before too long, I'd turn around and he'd either attack my lips like there was no tomorrow, or just the opposite. He had me leaking all the time, either from my eyes or the head of my dick. Either I'd be crying or leaking precum into my undershorts. I didn't care which, either. Both were special to me, cause I was so special to him.

Part V - Menage a What?

As I said before, there were some tough times that year. After all, God didn't promise us a rose garden. One of those times included Sam. Actually, he was at the center of it.

Sam invited me over to his house for dinner one evening, under the pretense of helping him with some of the songs his group was working up for the talent show to be held at the end of the school year. I was a bit surprised when I arrived and found that his parents weren't home and wouldn't be back until quite late.

At first, I was just a little uncomfortable. It hadn't been all that long since we broke up, and even though I loved Joseph with all my heart, there was still some feeling for Sam lurking around.

When I first got there, we just sat around talking about the songs he wanted to work on and drinking cokes. Then he suggested I help him get dinner ready. No big deal. Just hamburgers and french fries, but we had to peel the potatoes and fry them ourselves. None of that store bought crap.

While Sam was making patties out of the hamburger meat, I stood at the sink peeling potatoes with my back to him. I was thinking of the last time Joseph and I had shared cooking duties at his house and was unprepared when Sam's arms circled my waist and his lips begun nuzzling my neck. With Joseph on my mind, my first reaction was to lay my head back and enjoy it.

I was already getting hard when it dawned on me that it was Sam and not Joseph that was the source of my arousal. I turned around suddenly enough to slip loosely in his arms, but that just left our crotches pressed together and his hands on my butt. Before I could say anything, Sam's lips were on mine. I gasped as those damn sensory receptors kicked into overdrive and finished my erection. I could feel Sam's humongous boner pressing against me. Sometimes I had to look for mine, but Sam's was always clearly evident once he got hard.

Finally I was able to get control of my senses and pushed him away from me.

"What...(gasp)... what are you... (gasp)... doing, Sam?"

He actually blushed and tipped his head down a little as though embarrassed.

"I'm sorry, Dan, I couldn't help myself. I still love you, remember."

"But I'm with Joseph now, Sam. I can't do this!"

"Please, Danny, just for a little while? I miss your kisses, the taste of your spit, your breath, the softness of your lips. Just a little bit? Please?"

"Sam, don't do this, please. And don't call me Danny! This isn't right. What about Pam?"

"We're still together. I still love her and she loves me. But she doesn't want to have sex yet, and I miss what we used to have. It's not like you're cheating on Joe. I'd never try to come between you. Just some touchy feely? Maybe play a little tune on your meat whistle? Please?"

I couldn't believe my ears! Here was my ex-lover offering to share blow jobs with me, something Joseph wouldn't do. For a minute, I was actually tempted. I could hear voices in my head telling me that Joseph would never know. Sam wouldn't tell him. I didn't need to tell him.

But then, I realized that I couldn't NOT tell him. If I did this thing with Sam, I'd die trying to keep it a secret from Joseph. God it was hard. (Yeah, THAT was hard, too. I meant it was difficult! Geez, guys!)

"I can't do that Sam. Maybe, if Joe wants to come over and doing something with us... like we used to?"

I was shocked at how fast Sam jumped at that suggestion. I guess it was a sign of how desperate he was.

"Yeah, good idea! Let's call him right now before he starts dinner."

So we called Joe and asked him to join us. I was careful to tell him that Sam's parents weren't home so he wouldn't be caught by surprise like I was. Sam and I continued getting dinner ready while we waited for Joseph, and Sam was careful to leave me alone.

It didn't take long for Joe to get there. He had his driver's license, and his dad let him borrow the car. Nothing was said about what had happened between Sam and me until about halfway through dinner. Then Sam spilled his guts. I guess the tensions was ruining his dinner or something.

He was real careful to take all the blame and to try to explain to Joseph what had driven him to do what he did. By the time he was done, he was actually crying. I was really proud of Joseph, though. He just sat there looking mostly at me all the time Sam was talking, and he never once looked angry or upset. There were a few tears leaking down my cheeks, too, by the time Sam finished his confession. Joseph waited until he was certain Sam was finished before he said anything.

"I guess I'm not totally surprised that this happened, you guys. I mean, I know all about you being a couple and doing sex stuff. When Daniel told me you were bisexual, Sam, I wondered if something like this might happen. In fact, I'm kind of glad it did."


"What? Why"

"Well, at least now it's out in the open. Daniel's been tempted and was able to resist. God, that makes me feel good! It's a relief, too. And Sam? I don't hate you for it. I know how hard it is to say no to doing stuff. I've been saying no to Daniel since we got together, so I know what Pam's going through. And I can see what it does to Daniel when we get real hot and then we have to stop or just settle for a hand job, so I can imagine what it's doing to you, too, Sam."

"I can't believe how well you're taking this, Joe. I thought you'd hate me when you found out how I tried to jump your boyfriend's bones."

"Boner is more like it," I added with a grin.

"Well, hey. Sex is fun. No harm done. Shoot, just talking about it has gotten me stiff."

"Oh, Joe, you're always stiff."

"Oh yeah? Who gets hard just looking at himself naked in the mirror, ya little squirt."

"Now, Joe, if I remember correctly from days gone by, Dan's squirts aren't so little," Sam said, laughing at his crude joke.

That sort of broke the ice and opened the door for Sam to bring up his earlier suggestion.

"Well, if we all have boners, how about fooling around like we used to in grade school?"

"You mean the three of us? Together? Strip down and play with each other?"

"Yeah, Joe. I know Dan won't do it if you won't, but it would be fun, wouldn't it?"

By this time, poor Sam was rubbing his crotch something fierce. I was beginning to realize that it must have been a long time since he and Pam had done anything more than just petting.

We sat there in silence for quite some time, each mulling over the idea of a circle jerk. I didn't know which way to go. I liked playing with Sam's monster cock when we were together, and it was fun having another guy's hand on my cock and balls, but sex wasn't everything. As it turns out, Joe was toying with almost the same thoughts, except he was wondering more what Sam's penis looked like now, since he hadn't seen it since grade school.

When it was all said and done, though, Joseph and I came to the same decision without having to talk about it. Looking at him, I knew what our answer was. Since I seemed to be the hinge pin, I spoke for us.

"Sam, it really is a tempting idea, and I know how frustrated you must be, sexually, but Joseph and I aren't comfortable with this. For you, it's just sex stuff, and that's OK. We wouldn't want it any other way. But for us, sex is always a result, not a cause. We just can't have sex without love, and there wouldn't be any love if the three of us tried it together. We just can't go back. OK?"

I could tell he was disappointed. But at the same time I don't think he was surprised.

"Yeah, guys, that's OK. I guess if I want a little something different, I can always use my other hand."

(Yeah, I know, old joke.)

So, we all got up and cleaned the table while our boners found someplace to go. Then we played cards and watched TV until it was time to go home. I think we were all glad this had finally happened. As Joseph said, it felt like a cloud had been lifted off of our relationship, allowing us to become even closer friends.

Chapter Twelve

Part I - Cold, snowy nights can be fun

Valentine's Day that year was on Friday. I drove over to Joe's house for dinner with him and his family. My folks never did anything for Valentine's Day, but it was always a day for gift giving in the Cannady household. Unbeknownst to any of us, snow started to fall shortly after I arrived.

Joe's mom had fixed my favorite dinner - fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and peas. I think Joseph asked her to do it for me. After dinner, we exchanged gifts. Joe's mom and dad gave each other something and Joe and I did the same. For Christmas, Joe had given me the complete set of Beethoven's symphonies on 33 1/3 LP's. It was a really neat gift since Beethoven is one of my favorite composers of classical music, but I have to admit I was looking for something a little more personal.

I gave him a really nice gold bracelet, the kind guys wore back then, except I had it engraved on the underneath side rather than on the top. It said to Joseph, my gift from heaven, with love. It didn't have to say who it was from. He knew.

But Joe had been holding out for Valentine's Day, the day for lovers. It was really kind of embarrassing with his mom and dad sitting there. I mean, they knew about us and all, and I was really comfortable snuggling with Joseph in their presence, but this was different.

Joe had gone all over town to find just the right gift, and he had saved up a lot of money from his job at his dad's workplace. The card he gave me was just a handwritten one, not a Hallmark or Helen Steiner Rice. It said simply, Next to God, I love you the most. May he bind us together in love forever. Just as the dove is a sign of God's love for His son, let this dove be a constant reminder of just how much I love you. Only God can love you more.

When I opened his present, I couldn't help crying. Inside this little box was a gold ring with a dove cut clear through it. After I slipped it onto the ring finger of my right hand and found that it fit perfectly, tears ran down my face. Even though his mom and dad were sitting there watching us, I reached out and drew Joseph to me. Laying my face in the crook of his neck, I hugged him tight.

"Oh Joseph. I don't know which means more, the ring or the card. I love you so much, I'm almost afraid."

"Afraid? Afraid of what?"

"Can this last forever? Can life go on after this? If you bring any more joy into my life, I may not be able to handle it. But I know I couldn't handle it without ALL the joy you bring me. Only God could love you more, Joseph."

It was really embarrassing to be crying in front of his parents, but I couldn't help it and didn't even want to try.

We hugged for a long time after that, eventually sliding down to lay beside each other on the couch to listen to our favorite opera. Yeah, that's something else that made Joseph so special. He liked classical music just as much as I did. It didn't make him cry as often as it did me, but he loved it just the same.

Our favorite opera was The Marriage of Figaro and it has a song in it that was so appropriate for Joseph and me, especially on this day, the day for lovers, Valentine's Day. The song goes like this:

Tell me what love is, what can it be?

What is this yearning, burning in me?

Can I survive it, will I endure?

This is my sickness; is there a cure?

First this obsession seizing my brain,

Starting in passion, ending in pain.

I start to shiver, then I'm on fire,

Then I'm aquiver with seething desire.

Who knows the secret, who holds the key?

I long for something - what can it be?

My brain is reeling, I wonder why;

And then the feeling I'm going to die.

By day it haunts me, haunts me by night,

This tender torment, tinged with delight!

Tell me what love is, what can it be?

What is this yearning, burning in me?

That song alone said it all. The first time Joseph and I listened to it together, we knew it was our song.

I don't know which of us fell asleep first, but I found out the next morning that just before they were going to wake us up and send me home (remember, we didn't have sleepovers because of Joe's promise), Joe's parents had looked outside. The snow was so deep they called my parents and suggested that it probably wasn't a good idea for me to be driving.

The folks all agreed it would be OK for me to spend the night as long as we were just on the couch and not sharing a bed. Mom Cannady brought out some blankets and laid them over us before she went to bed.

Some time during the night Joe and I woke up and realized where we were and that we were alone. We got up and walked over to the window to look outside. The snow must have been a foot deep and still falling.

"The folks must have decided it was safer to let you spend the night than drive home," he whispered to me.

"I guess so. Does this mean we can go to bed now?" I answered.

"Better not. I'm sure the fact that we fell asleep on the couch had something to do with their decision. I'll go get us some pillows off my bed and we can sleep on the floor."

When he came back, Joe had stripped down to his t-shirt and undershorts, so I did the same, not giving any thought to what we might do with our morning boners if his folks got up before we did. We laid down on the floor, covered ourselves with the blankets and went back to sleep in each other's arms.

When I woke up the next morning, the first thing I saw was Joseph's face next to mine. His breath was a little yucky, but his face was beautiful. So serene, so angelic, so sweet and loving. I remember thinking to myself, that bracelet I gave you says it all, Joseph. You are a gift from heaven. You are my angel.

But it wasn't until later that morning that life became complete for me. I had been carrying around a persistent fear that something would happen to split Joe and me just as it had me and Sam. I never let it show, but it was always there, eating at me. But when I woke up the second time, with my head on Joe's shoulder, the first thing I saw was him looking at me. He had the most wonderful smile on his face, and he was stroking my hair and cheek so softly. The look of love that I saw in his eyes banished all the fear that had lingered in my soul for all those months. The fact that he could love me in the morning with bad breath, hair messed up, and everything else convinced me that we would be together forever.

Just as I was about to lean up and kiss him, I heard dad Cannady harrumph to get our attention. I didn't like the scowl I saw on his face. I think he thought we had been up to no good. But Joe was able to calm the waters with just a few words.

"Don't worry, dad. Nothing happened. We just slipped out of our shirts and slacks to keep them from getting so wrinkled. Dan didn't have a change of clothes with him."

"Oh. OK, son, no problem."

Still, we had to wait a few minutes for our erections to go down before we were able to crawl out in just our undies and head for the bathroom. Boy! Was his dad ever strict about that promise Joe had made. Geez!

The rest of the school year was about normal for a senior year in high school. I wasn't really prepared for Joe's graduation gift. But I'll save that for last. I promised Joe he could tell the next part of our story.

Part II - The talent show

Hi. It's me again, Joe. As Dan said, the rest is in two parts. I insisted on telling this part because I knew Dan wouldn't do it justice. Sometimes he can be just too, too shy (humble is what I call it, but he prefers shy).

I didn't know it at the time, and in fact didn't find out about it until we were about to graduate, but just after his break up with Sam, he found a song on a record that touched his heart. It seemed to be written specifically to describe that broken relationship. He listened to that song almost every day and soon knew it frontwards and backwards. He wanted to sing it for Sam, but just knew that this would never happen.

However, when his voice finally changed towards the end of the tenth grade, he rejoined the church choir and continued to develop into a pretty nice baritone. He never sang solos because along with the end of puberty, with its whiskers, pubic hair, and voice change had come an overwhelming shyness. No longer did he try out for singing parts in class musicals, preferring speaking parts only or not even being in the plays the school presented.

But his love for this one particular song by Peter Case seemed to drive him to face challenges as nothing else could. He secretly began taking guitar lessons after school every day. This particular piece included guitar, violin and accordion. Obviously he couldn't play all three of these at once, but he couldn't bring himself to seek out others who might play with him when there was only one song he truly wanted to perform.

After watching a performer on TV play the guitar and harmonica at the same time with a device that hung around his neck and held the harmonica, he decided that he could make the song work with just that combination. So he talked his dad into teaching him the fundamentals of playing the harmonica. Mr. Whittington wasn't real good at it, but he knew the basics. Dan never told him what he had in mind, only that he wanted to fiddle around with the instrument for the fun of it.

Finally, in his senior year, the time came to fulfill his dreams. The school talent show was held every year the week before the Jr/Sr prom and two weeks before graduation. Like the class plays, there were two shows, one in the afternoon for the student body and a second at night for parents and anyone else who wanted to buy a ticket.

Dan tried out as a comic act, telling the story of Cinderella by screwing up the first letters or syllables of many of the words. He intended to use the guitar as a prop, pretending that he couldn't play it and adding bad notes and chords as part of the humor of the story. He didn't tell the teacher-sponsor about the song he was planning to sing because he knew she would make him sing it at the rehearsals which would let the cat of the bag because Sam's group was also in the show. He figured she wouldn't let him do it at the evening show, but that didn't matter. The people who counted would all be at the afternoon performance anyway.

When the day of the show finally arrived, Dan found that he was scheduled to perform about half way through the second half of the program. Sam's group was in the first half and would be sitting in the audience by the time Dan's turn came. This suited him just fine. He really didn't want Sam standing back stage or anywhere near the stage when he sang his song. He was nervous enough about it as it was.

It was a great show with lots of comic routines, singing, and dancing. Sam's group was great and received a long round of applause. When it finally came time for Dan to perform, he set up his tall stool, fussed around with his guitar a bit and then told his Cinderella story. Those of us in the audience loved it, and we laughed ourselves silly.

As we applauded at the end, Dan slipped his harmonica out of his pocket, unfolded the gizmo that held it and slipped it around his neck. When the applause died away, he spoke into the microphone.

"I have a song I'd like to sing. I didn't tell Mrs. A I was going to do this, so I guess I better apologize right away. Next, I'd like to thank my dad for getting me started on the harmonica. He can't be here until tonight, so he probably won't even get to hear this. Finally, the song I'm going to sing is a tune by Peter Case entitled Hidden Love. It's dedicated to some people who are here today. They'll know who they are."

As I sat there wondering if I were one of the ones to whom he was referring, he began:

Far from the dreams, the bright lights and the boulevards,

In this empty room a guitar makes a band.

Our last conversation still echos on bare walls,

Like a child's painting of everything we planned.

Across the brown fields and through the frozen meadows,

All around that place we called our own,

We both have to live here in each other's shadow,

Hoping that someday we get home.

Refrain: We kept a secret hidden deep inside,

Hidden love, unbidden love through all the tears we cried,

Though I loved you for a long time, it can't be denied,

Someone sees the dreams we hide.

I woke up in the night, my covers on the floor,

Stripped of all my dreams and all my pride.

The vast black night that conquered me kept coming back for more,

Until I woke and found an angel by my side.

Refrain: We keep a secret hidden deep inside,

Hidden love, unbidden love and all the tears we cry,

Though I've loved you but a short time, it can't be denied,

Someone sees the dreams we hide.

The dreams we hide.

Obviously the first two verses and refrain were for Sam, but the third verse and last refrain were for me. I sat there and cried silently, seated next to Kathy, my hand in hers, squeezing so hard she winced with pain. As I heard these words for the first time, knowing full well who each of the verses applied to, I just felt so lucky that the last verse and refrain were for me. Daniel had just called me his angel.

He told me later that the opening instrumental and lyrics of the song only lasted about three minutes, but the instrumental portion at the end added another two minutes as played on the record. But as he finished the lyrics, he could feel the adrenaline pumping through his system, and it seemed to build as he got into the combined guitar and harmonica bit.

As he continued to play, the emotion of the words combined with the beauty of the written tune produced a result that had the audience somewhat mesmerized. At times we sat silently in awe of what we could see and hear happening to Dan. At other times we clapped in rhythm with the music. Dan continued to play the closing instrumental section over and over again with slight variations, apparently improvising as he went along. He played as though possessed - not by demons, but by angels. He told me later that in his own mind he almost felt like God was using this song to tell him that life goes on despite the pains we suffer.

When he finally stopped playing, he had actually added only about three minutes to the total length of the song. But it seemed longer than that. At first there was complete silence. But as the audience began to applaud, Dan finally opened his eyes and stared at the crowd as though he had just become aware of our presence. Tears were streaming from his eyes as the audience gave him a standing ovation, many of us weeping softly with him.

I was standing backstage when the show was over, and watched as the performers that finished out the program immediately sought out Mrs. A who had pulled Dan aside and was talking with him about what he had done. She had been moved by his performance but was also irritated that he had added something to the program for which she hadn't been prepared. She was about to tell him to choose between the story or the song when the other kids found them.

I listened as their request caught her by surprise. They wanted Dan to do both parts of his act, but they wanted him moved to the end of the program. One of the girls spoke for the group.

"Mrs. A, you have to let him do both parts. The story is just too funny to leave out, and the song just has to be left in. Especially since his dad's going to be here tonight. You just have to let him do his entire act. We just want him moved to the end of the program."

Mrs. A and Dan both stared with surprised and confused expressions on their faces. Seeing their confusion, the girl explained.

"Dan's was a tough act to follow. But more importantly, his provides an emotional high point that would be a perfect ending to the whole show. Plus, if he's at the end, it won't be such a big deal if he gets all wrapped up in that music thing like he did this afternoon and forgets when to stop."

Mrs. A finally gave in and moved Dan to the end of the bill for the evening performance.

Soon thereafter, I was finally able to pull Daniel into a darkened classroom. I looked around the hall quickly just as I shut the door behind us. Then I turned, and took Daniel's face in my hands. I looked deeply into his eyes in the dim light that seeped in from the hallway. He tilted his head slightly to the side, a questioning look coming over his face.

"Daniel, I don't know what I'm going to do with you. If it hadn't been for the fact that half the kids in the audience were in tears, our story would be out in the open. My own tears would have told the world that I knew you were singing to me. I know the first verses were for Sam, but I noticed how you changed the words in the second refrain, and I knew it was for me."

Tears started to fall from my eyes and roll down my cheeks as my love for Daniel gushed forth from deep within me.

"Oh, Daniel, I love you so much," I said. "I just wanted to stand up and shout That song's for ME!!!"

And then I kissed him, a deep, soul wrenching, soul searching kiss that left us both gasping for breath, and hard as rocks. Fortunately we both wore briefs, not boxers, so our erections weren't obvious in our somewhat loose fitting slacks. We soon left the room after carefully checking the hallway and made our way back to the school's main entrance where we mingled with the crowd that was just leaving the building.

The performance that night was, if possible, even better. A lot of kids had come back for the evening performance, but I'm sure it wasn't just for Dan. Most of the acts were really good.

I don't know if it was the way I kissed him after the first performance or what, but the song meant even more to me the second time I heard it. And I think he actually played longer at the evening performance than he had in the afternoon. I guess it was a good idea to move him to the end of the program, too, because when he finally finished, the applause was thunderous.

The audience was on its feet with many of them screaming for an encore. After a few minutes, Dan looked up with tears streaming down his face, again. As the noise died out, he spoke softly into the mic.

"I don't know anything else. That's the only song I've learned. It's the only one I've ever wanted to sing."

Then Sam jumped up and yelled loud enough for everyone to hear.

"Play it again, Dan!"

I looked over and saw him looking right at me, a knowing smile on his face. Then I noticed Dan's dad who was standing with Mrs. Whittington and the Russell's. I don't think I've ever seen more pride on one person's face than I saw at that moment. To this day I don't know how that man could control his emotions so tightly. I knew he'd never cry real tears, but I could see how hard he was struggling, so I cried for him.

The audience started stomping their feet and chanting, "play it again, play it again," until Dan finally looked off stage to where Mrs. A must have been standing. She obviously gave him the OK because he performed it again. I could tell that the audience was listening closely to the words, but I was surprised by their response when he finished. After the applause died out, someone yelled, "Who was the song for, Dan?"

Others took up the chant. "Who's it for, who's it for, who's it for?"

Some of the kids sitting around us thought it was for Kathy and were trying to get her to stand up. I wanted so much to jump up onto the chair I had been sitting in and yell at the top of my voice, "THAT SONG WAS FOR ME!!!"

But thoughts of the uncle I never knew surged through my head and kept me rooted to my seat. That and Kathy's hand holding mine in a death grip. As we sat there listening to the applause, tears running down both our faces, Dan quietly left the stage, allowing the chanting to die away slowly. It was at that exact moment that I knew what I wanted to give Daniel for graduation. But there was one pretty big hurdle I was going to have to deal with to do it.

.... to be continued. Just two more chapters

Please send comments to me at Writers thrive on feedback. I hope this story helps someone (actually, a lot of someones).