This must be colder than the last ice age I thought to myself. I pulled my leather jacket closer around me, trying to block out the wind. Winter here in South Dakota is pretty dry. We hardly ever get more than a few inches of snow at a time and the wind is savage in the way it strips your skin of moisture.
Behind me, the faint sounds of footsteps came again. Someone was definitely following me. I'd heard them first soon after I left work, but figured it was just coincidence. Now I was a block from home, down a street that was hardly ever used at 10 p.m. It had to be deliberate.
I sidestepped into the shadowed alley when I took the next corner. Three doors down the alley was my apartment.
The footsteps hurried past me and I saw that they came from a bundled-up boy with a green jacket and a red hiking pack. The kid looked right and left, his body language showing alarm that I had vanished.
"Why're you following me?" I asked.
He whirled and we stared each other.
"Victor?" he asked in a soft voice. Even with his slight squint, I could see his eyes were a warm brown, wet with emotion.
I squinted back. I didn't recognize him.
He pulled back his hood, uncovering tousled, reddish brown hair, and I saw his face properly.
"Oh, my God. Dylan?"
I said, "Dylan, what are you doing here? How did—?"
"I followed you from the museum. I didn't know where you lived."
"But how'd you get to Rapid City? It's like—" Then I noticed his teeth were chattering and his lips were kind of blue. I pulled him along to my apartment and let him in.
When I'd shut the door, I turned to find him looking about in disappointment. I'm sure my little studio apartment was a lot less than he'd expected.
"You don't have a Christmas tree?" he asked quietly.
"Get warm," I told him, pointing at the metal radiator between the kitchen counter and the bed.
I pull up a chair and look at him. He was a cute boy, no doubt about it. It had been five years since I saw him, so that would make him...eleven?
He smiled and I realized that he was more than cute, he was handsome. When he was six he'd been cute, in a baby-ish way. Now he had stretched out to a lithe, pre-teen shape and his face had gained a defined look that gave him a more thoughtful demeanor.
Dylan was staring at me with questioning eyes. I saw such trust and hope there that it seemed to burn. I went to the kitchen to microwave up some hot chocolate, while he warmed his hands.
"How'd you get here?" I asked while I worked.
"From Des Moines? Didn't that bus get in here since this afternoon?"
"Yeah." He looked a bit ashamed. "I watched you at the museum from across the street while I waited. I almost talked to you there, but I didn't even know if you'd remember me. Plus I didn't know if you had a family or anything."
We both looked around. It was pretty obvious I lived alone.
"Dylan," I said, sitting down with the two cups. "I'm glad to see you, but this is kind of odd, you know? Is this some kind of Christmas visit thing?"
He sipped from the mug and then looked over at me. I sipped as I listened.
He said, "It wasn't about Christmas. I just left. I couldn't take it at home anymore. I've got some money saved up and I just needed to get out and be by myself or I'd go crazy. I know a lot of kids don't make it on the street, but I figured you'd be cool, because I know you liked me. You can let me stay with you and I can let you have sex with me."
I sputtered, chocolate flying onto the radiator and hissing.
"What—? I— Dylan, I don't want to have sex with you."
"It's okay, Vic, I know you like boys."
"I don't like boys." I got up, panicked. I looked out through the panes of my blinds, wondering if someone had a camera and microphone pointed at me.
Dylan said calmly. "You don't have to worry. I told you I was okay with it."
"Well, I'm not okay with it!"
"But, I thought you wanted to—"
"What I want is for you to leave." I turned to the door, but the expression on Dylan's face stopped me halfway. He seemed like I'd hit him.
I slumped into the chair and we stared at each other with worried eyes.
FIVE YEARS AGO
Things got busy right around Memorial Day at the university's geology museum. Tourists came into Rapid City for the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, camping, rafting and sightseeing. And for dinosaurs.
We had one of the largest collections of marine fossils, working in cooperation with the active dig sites around the area. I'd asked to be allowed in the interactive classes where visiting kids could learn from actual fossils, but my supervisor said I needed to prove my patience with grunt work before he trusted me with kids.
That's why I was manning the reception desk when Dylan walked in with his mother. She was on her phone as she collected the visitor info and paid their admission. Dylan's mother was about thirty, wearing a thick, kind of hairy-looking overcoat and bright red lipstick. (While, technically, it was the start of summer, we've been known to get snow up here as late as May, so it was cold outside.)
But Dylan was the one who really drew my attention. His green eyes were almost manic with enthusiasm as he bounced on his heels, waiting for his mother to let go his hand.
"You seem excited, buddy," I said to him.
"Yeah!" He smiled. "I've been planning this all year! I can't wait to touch the fossils."
"Are you going to the Dinosaur Park too?"
"Yes, after we're done here. I've got the whole day planned out."
As the mother and son went off to the exhibits, I kept glancing up from my work to watch Dylan. He seemed enchanted by every little thing in the museum, reading the plaques out loud and kneeling and climbing to get better views of specimens. And his smile only went away when overpowered by the expression of wonder brought on by some new revelation.
His mother was on her phone the whole time, typing and talking, not even nodding when the kid pointed out some discovery he had made. For a moment, I wondered if maybe she was just a nanny, but the resemblance was clear. They were both blessed genetically, except that her fine features were marred by scowling disdain. At one point, I saw her looking distressed, speaking into the phone like she was begging. She hung up with tears in her eyes, but when she saw that I was looking, she scowled. I looked away to save her any embarrasment, but she walked haughtily over to me and dumped her coat, saying, "I don't see why you need to keep this place so warm."
I gave her a polite look of apology and she went back to trailing her son like a resentful balloon towards the back end of the museum.
Not long after my lunch break, she came back into sight, making for the exit. Disappointed that I'd missed my chance for one last glimpse of Dylan, I said, "Thanks for visiting, Come back soon."
Over her shoulder, she said, "Your dinosaurs are boring," and kept tumbling around in her purse as she left for the parking lot.
Three hours later, I saw Dylan. He was wandering around, looking lost. I ran over and said, "Hey, buddy, you okay?"
He looked up, and sniffed back tears. "Have you seen Mommy? I fell asleep and..." He looked about in panic.
I put an arm around him and said, "Yeah, I saw her a little while ago." I sat him by a water fountain and asked, "Do you have a number for her?"
He got a look of relief and dug into his back pocket, coming up with a small wallet. Inside was a card of contact info. His mom's was labeled in purple crayon with a smiley face and a heart.
Realizing he liked to draw, I gave him a notepad and a box of pencil crayons and left for the front desk.
His mother answered her phone on the seventh ring. "Who is this?"
"Hello, ma'am, this is Victor from the geology museum. I'm calling because—"
"That is a five-hundred dollar coat, you son of a bitch! You better ship it to me, because I'm not driving all the way back across this state. And use a large box, so it doesn't get crushed."
My anger overcame my training and I said, "And could you also tell me what size box I should use to ship your son to you?"
She took a sharp breath at that and a few moments later shouted, "God dammit! Why didn't you tell me he wasn't with me when I walked out the door? It's going to take me four hours to drive back there now!"
I hung up and called the police.
Then I went to Dylan and sat next to him. He didn't look up. I put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Your mom had some errands to take care of so she's running late."
He grunted, letting me know exactly how much bullshit he knew that was.
I stayed with the cops to keep Dylan company even though we closed at six. Dylan and I talked about my studies. He wanted to be a paleontologist too and he asked how many dig sites I'd been to and if I'd discovered any new species.
I wished I could tell him I had important things in my resume, but as an undergraduate all I could provide him were some of the pictures on my laptop from the one field dig I'd visited.
Talking to him was enchanting. He was enchanting. There was just something so sweet and warm about this boy. He had passion and intellect and curiosity. He had actually found out about the museum online during his dinosaur research and asked to come visit.
We also touched on a few of the things going on in his life. Reading between the lines, I got the impression his parents had just divorced and this museum trip was part of a custody battle where his mother was trying to prove she deserved to have him.
The police brought us burgers for dinner and we ate together, laughing at jokes that only dinosaur nerds could even make much less understand and talking about what he liked about his favorite dinosaurs and what they should do for the next Jurassic movie.
Things got tense when Dylan's mother showed up. The police pulled her aside for a chat and the stress on Dylan's face became palpable. I distracted him with a tour of the storage areas, but it didn't work for long.
After getting a lecture from the police, Dylan's mother called him over. He gave me a hug and said, "Thanks for staying with me, Victor."
After I watched him walk away, I looked down at the drawing he had made: A plesiosaur swimming just under the surface of the ocean, its long neck craned out eagerly above the water with a little boy and a man happily perched there, bodies leaning forward.
In the frigid dark of the morning I awoke in my bed with Dylan wrapped in my arms. His warm breath tickled my neck. Gently, I stroked the hair back from his forehead, enjoying its springy softness. Dylan's lips were red and shiny and met in an undulating line that seemed absolutely kissable.
I sighed. What a mess this was.
At first, I'd tried to make him sleep in the bed alone, but the place was too damned cold and he kept looking over at me when I shifted on the recliner, so I'd joined him under the covers. Sleeping in the same bed with him wasn't going to get me into much more trouble than I was already in so there wasn't any point suffering the winter chill. Without saying anything, we'd ended up kind of fitting together with his head under my nose. As I hugged him, my mind drifted into a state of satisfaction. Being next to Dylan—just holding him—seemed like nirvana, a perfect calm where I wanted nothing else.
"Victor?" he said quietly.
"Yeah?" I squeezed his slender torso to reassure him.
"I'm sorry about dumping everything on you."
"I mean about the thing with you and liking boys. You're a good person, Victor, I can tell. It's not a bad thing that you like boys."
"How do you even know that?"
"You stayed with me and tried to protect me that day I got lost."
Got lost? Wasn't it 'got abandoned'?
I asked, "I meant how do you know I like boys?"
"Oh, I was looking for some other dinosaur pics that day while you were talking to the cops and I loaded up this other directory by accident with some drawings of, well, you know the drawings. Those Japanese comics?"
"Yeah," I said, embarrassed.
Dylan chuckled, "I didn't even realize what it all meant until a couple years later. And I got mad at first, thinking you had only been nice to me because you wanted sex, but then I figured nice was still nice. And you still did a good thing."
I patted his back and said, "Just so you know, I don't go for boys as young as you were then. So I was only nice because it was the right thing to do and because you were fun to hang out with."
He teased, "Ah, so am I old enough for you now?"
I went motionless in worry and shut up.
He cuddled into me and said, "Sorry, I'm doing it again, aren't I?"
"Don't worry about it. Go to sleep."
While his trip must have tired him out, I stayed up a long time after Dylan fell easily asleep. Part of it was just the stress of wondering what I should do. But mostly, it was the wonder of having Dylan pressed against me in a trusting embrace. How many times had I dreamed of something like this? This closeness that was almost like a joining of minds?
I would have to give Dylan back. He could never be mine. So for whatever few moments he was visiting my world, I wanted to experience all of it, breathe in that glowing presence against my side. I eventually drifted from meditations on my fortunate little reality into dreaming, but I honestly didn't feel a difference.
Now, with my phone about to alarm in five minutes, I was out of dreams and out of time. I had work today. I had to call the cops. I had to send Dylan back.
I started some scrambled eggs and toaster waffles with him still asleep and they were only slightly overcooked by the time he groggily sat up and smiled. He wandered over in his PJ's, a vision of boyish beauty and...well not grace, since he was still collecting his motor functions, but a bobbling elegance that even the most awkward boy can possess when he is absorbed in some moment.
As he ate, I said, "I have work today. It'll only be halfday, so you can come hang out with me for a few hours."
With his mouth full, he said, "At the museum?"
"Cool. I wanted to go in so bad yesterday. I knew coming to live with you was a great idea."
"Look, Dylan about that..."
"Yeah?" He looked up at me, worried.
In truth, I had nothing to tell him since I didn't know what would really happen. Besides, I felt like last night was still hovering about, that sense of existing out of time, just me and him, and I didn't want to give it up.
I said, "You need to look around this place and give me a list of groceries and stuff that you need." Oh, God. I felt so ashamed, leading this boy on when I knew there was no 'us' after today.
Dylan seemed uneasy. He said, "I don't need much. Honest. I don't eat a lot and I already have enough clothes and I brought my toothbrush and even my own soap."
"Relax," I told him. "It's not like that. I just never had to take care of a kid before, so you need to help me make good decisions. Like not buying you the wrong cereal or what not."
He looked relieved and then puzzled. "You mean I'm the first boy to, like, hang out with you?"
"No." I felt offended that he seemed to be implying I didn't have social skills. Or that I didn't have the skill to seduce a boy. I thought, 'I could have molested tons of boys if I'd wanted. I could have had hundreds of—' I chuckled to myself. What a thing to be sensitive about.
When we got to the museum lobby later, Dylan said, "There's nobody here."
There were just a couple of security guards and my supervisor, who barely noticed when I told him I'd have my nephew with me. Not that I blamed him. He had seven kids of his own.
I told Dylan, "I think, being Christmas Eve, most people are busy with family stuff."
"Not me and you," he said, looking at the floor. Then he said to me in alarm, "Do you have family to visit?"
"I'm saving up my money, so I'm not traveling this year. My parents are having Christmas in Tahiti in any case."
"That why you live in a crappy apartment?" he asked with innocent bluntness.
I smiled and playfully smacked his head.
Once again, I gave Dylan the museum tour, and it was like he went back to being six-years-old all over, amazed by the sights and wonder of the exhibits. But of course there was a lot more understanding behind his eyes now and he asked more thoughtful questions and followed ideas longer down the trail of cause and effect, so we had a lot to talk about.
It was an ego trip to have someone so interested in me, even if it was just because of my work.
About two hours later, I left Dylan to have a snack in my little office and went to the front desk. The reports on all security incidents for the last decade were kept in a computer file, so it wasn't hard to get the phone number for Dylan's mother.
I used my personal cell phone. She answered on the eighth ring.
"Who is this?" She sounded as pleasant as ever.
"Morning, Mrs. Davidson, this is—"
"That is not my name. I'm divorced now."
Of course she was. I said, "Sorry, ma'am. I'm calling from the museum in Rapid City. Dylan is here. He arrived last night and—"
"Why didn't you call me right away?"
"Dylan is trying to run away ma'am. He wouldn't give me your number. I had to hunt down—"
She said, "I hate that god damned museum! Why he can't just stick to sports like a normal kid. I'll—"
"Ma'am, you need to make some arrangement to pick up Dylan."
"I can't come up there now," she whined. "I have a dinner party tonight for Christmas Eve. The mayor's cousin is going to be here. I can't just abandon my guest to go chasing after Dylan. You'll just have to drive him down here yourself."
She was hunting for a new husband it seemed. I gritted my teeth and managed to say evenly, "I don't own a car, ma'am."
"Fine, I can come for him after Christmas. Can't you keep him?" Then she seemed to reconsider. "Oh, I have the Andersons' party to go to right before New Year's. I can't believe the trouble that kid is causing."
It was plain to me why Dylan had run away now. And that clarity, like a falling domino, made one more fact apparent: Dylan had lied last night. He never saw me as some pure savior with a wholesome love of boys. He had come here to prostitute himself. He figured I'd go about it a nice way, but he had come prepared to find a man who was going to exploit him. And he still felt that was worth the price to get away from his mother.
"Listen, lady," I shouted into the phone, "if you want me to keep the kid then I can keep him, but I'm going to have some conditions of my own. You let him stay here until school starts."
Her voice changed into sudden realization. "Oh my God, you're kidnapping him. What kind of pervert are you? I'm calling the police."
"Don't waste your time, I'm calling them myself when we're done. I'm sure they still have a file on you after last time and they'll make your life real fun when they investigate you again. They might even have to interview the mayor's nephew and ask him if he's ever seen you mistreat your kid. Should make for some great gossip on the cocktail circuit."
There was a satisfying silence on the other end for a few seconds and then she said, "What do you want? You better not hurt him."
"Hey, Dylan came looking for me, okay? You ought to think about that. Your son would rather run away from you and all your Christmas parties to live with some no-name guy just because I treated him decent one time. And even though he expected I was going to molest him."
More silence and what sounded a bit like a sob on the other end.
I said, "He's going to have a nice Christmas here and get his head together and I'm going to make him feel safe. He's your son and I'm sending him back to you, but I think the best thing for him is to have some time away from you right now. And I need you to agree to a few other things as well..."
Negotiations over, I went back to my office. Dylan was reading a field report I had written and I wondered how much of it he actually understood and how much he was just soaking in the atmosphere of the thing.
"Hey, Dylan," I said. "I got some good news. I called your mom and she—"
He was on his feet immediately. "You called her? Why?"
"Because she's your mother. She needs to know where you are."
"I thought I could trust you. You're not who I thought you were."
"Oh, stop being so dramatic." Having just fought his mother for his sake, calling her bluff when she threatened me with jail time, it seemed like Dylan was being ungrateful and that got me mad. Plus it seemed like his mother's grating petulance was bubbling up in him. I continued, "I'm exactly who you thought I was. Last time you ended up with me, what did I do? I called your mother and I called the cops. What did you think I was going to do this time?"
"I thought you'd be my friend."
He ran past me, grabbing his coat from a nearby chair. I realized he meant to go outside and collected my own dark red coat to follow him. I almost caught him at the front door, but Bill, my supervisor, was there, coffee in hand. "Leave him," he said calmly, leaning against the front desk.
"What?" I stopped, watching Dylan run out of sight outside.
Bill said, "Kids are waterproof. A little bit of cold and snow won't hurt him. He needs to let off some steam. He'll come back."
I looked Bill over. He sipped his coffee. I asked, "You seen this a lot?"
"Oh, yeah." He chuckled and shook his head. "And don't expect it to ever be logical either." Becoming serious, he asked, "I'm guessing his parents dumped him on you last minute and he's kinda taking it out on you?"
"I can't understand it. I'm helping him, why would he get mad at me?"
"He's not mad at you. But he doesn't know that." Then Bill cleared his throat and said, "Listen, you still living in that alley, right?"
I was famous for my penny-pinching ways and my colleagues often made jokes about my brown-bagged lunches or my shabby studio.
"Yeah," I said. "I wasn't expecting company, you know?"
Bill said, "Maybe I can help you out."
"Your house is a little crowded already, don't you think?"
He smiled. "You got that right."
I waited for Dylan in my office. On the table, I noticed he had left behind his computer tablet. I pushed it aside and the screen came awake, revealing a manga comic page, one I'd seen before.
At least in its original form.
I picked up the tablet.
The pictures told the story of a tall, bulky gangster whose criminal associates give him the job of guarding a kidnapped boy. The man and the cute, spiky-haired boy bond slowly as they wait alone in a mansion and eventually end up outside, under the stars, where they make love. Later, the kidnappers return and the boy-loving gangster turns on them and saves the boy. The story ends with the gangster becoming the boy's bodyguard and lover.
That was all an educated guess on my part though, since the words of the original comic were Japanese.
There was a second comic in the file. This one was familiar too. A tall, heavily-built man walks down a stairway in the night, carrying a giant telescope. A boy walks behind him. After they set up the telescope on a balcony, they get sidetracked into making love. It was a very straightforward sex tale with no added drama—one of my favorites because the boy seemed to have such a desperate need for sex that it came off cute and erotic all at once.
But the most remarkable thing about these two comics on the tablet was what Dylan had done to the dialogue balloons in his versions. He had replaced the Japanese with English in each case and the boy in each story was named Dylan. The man was named Victor. And they were in love.
I had to admit the large, bearded appearance of the men was kind of like me. And that was a rare look for Japanese men in comics, where even alpha males were usually smooth-chinned and androgynous. Dylan would have had to very deliberately choose these two men to give them my name.
I finally breathed in and felt the blood rush to my face. I had been wrong again! Dylan hadn't come to Rapid City because he was looking to sell himself to me. He was hoping to find love and romance.
No. That was pre-mature. Who knew what the poor kid was thinking? True, his version of the comics showed a Dylan and Victor who were loving and affectionate with each other, who clearly were into each other sexually. But that still didn't tell me enough to make a conclusion.
I clicked back through the comic to the page where I'd found it and placed the tablet aside. After a few minutes of thinking, I walked over to the museum gift shop which was open despite our lack of customers. It mostly sold science toys, especially dinosaur stuff. I left the shopping bags in the back of a museum Lexus in the garage, using the keys Bill had given me a few minutes before. When I got back to the lobby, Bill pointed over to the kids' activity area.
I found Dylan sitting there on the floor, head between his knees. He looked up at the sound of my shoes and seemed worried.
"It's okay, buddy," I said to him. "I'm not mad or anything."
He brightened. "I'm sorry," he said.
"You really do like me."
"Bill showed me the picture of us," he said and pointed at the wall.
In a frame, hung the drawing Dylan had made when we first met, of us riding a plesiosaur.
I teared up a little, unable to hold it back, and said, "You know, every day I came to work here, I'd think about you and wonder if you were doing okay."
Dylan stood and hugged me. We held each other, taking comfort in our warmth.
I told him, "Your mother agreed to let you stay with me until school starts."
He stiffened and said nothing.
I asked, "That's cool, right? We get to be together for a while at least?"
I heard him sniffle and he said, "I just want somebody to want me."
Crap. I had just made him feel worse by making it clear his mother didn't care enough to come get him.
"Dylan, I want you. I wish you could stay with me forever. The problem is just that some things don't work that way. Especially when you're young. It sucks, but it's reality, you know? Like a meteor you can't dodge."
He nodded against my shirt and I stroked his soft hair and kissed the top of his head.
We had Chinese food with Bill at noon and then Dylan and I left early in the Lexus. We stopped to get our overnight stuff at my apartment and drove on.
"So where're we going?" Dylan asked.
"A magical land," I said sarcastically.
We drove west to the ridge of hills we locals called Skyline. It ran in a north-south line, splitting Rapid City. There were a few cottages up there, tucked away behind trees and we soon arrived at one of these which sat on the flat top of one hill. It was two stories tall with a penthouse projecting above that.
"Is this like your secret house?" Dylan asked as we pulled in.
"Hardly. But the geology museum is part of the university so we get a lot of bigwigs from the oil industry coming through. This place is a little lodge the university uses to host them." I left the bags in the trunk and led Dylan to the front door. "Bill arranged for us to have it for a couple of days."
The house was clean, but even with it's soft carpeting and thick drapes, it seemed spare.
"No Christmas tree," Dylan pointed out.
"There's a ton of pine trees growing outside," I said.
And that decided our afternoon. We went to the hardware story for a hatchet and Christmas lights. After searching the grounds of the cottage a bit, we found the right tree. It was just a little taller than Dylan so I was sure we wouldn't get in trouble for taking it. I let Dylan cut it down and then we carried it home. We stood it in the corner of the living room and festooned it in the lights. There were bulbs of different colors, but they combined to cast a rosy red shade on the walls when we turned them on. At the top of the tree, Dylan put a toy pteranodon he'd taken from his backpack.
For dinner, we ordered pizza and then I got one of the bags from the gift shop.
Dylan's eyes went suspicious when I pulled a telescope from it, but I only smiled mysteriously and said, "follow me."
We climbed the stairs to the penthouse which had floor-to-ceiling windows facing every direction. I began setting up the telescope. To the East were the lights of downtown Rapid City. South, on the ridge, was the wildlife park which sat in darkness. West was more of Rapid City. Immediately to the North was a faintly-lit patch of hilltop, visible over the trees. Beyond that were more dark mountains stretching away in a line.
It was toward this faintly-lit patch that I pointed the telescope. As I focused through the eyepiece, Dylan looked at the small skylight above and impatiently said, "You're not going to be able to see any stars from here."
"We're not here for stars," I said. I pulled him over by the shoulder to the telescope. "Have a look."
It took him about three seconds to digest what he was looking at. "That's a T-Rex!" He looked at me, his eyes wide in wonder. "Victor, that's a T-Rex." After he looked back through the telescope for a few more seconds he said, "But it's not moving. It's a statue or something?"
"That's Dinosaur Park. If you look around, you can see six more statues. They're all life sized too."
He excitedly counted them off as he hunted the ancient creatures down with his swiveling telescope. "I found the triceratops...dimetrodon...stegosaurus. I see an apatosaurus...a hadrosaur. And I think there's a protoceratops by the building."
"Thanks." He spent a few minutes more looking at the dinosaurs and stepped back, looking a little flustered. He stared long and hard at the telescope and then at me. "Listen, Victor, I know you said you didn't want me here for sex...but..."
I walked over and held his hand. "I was trying to protect you. I thought you were forcing yourself to do things so you could buy your way into my life. But after I saw the comics on your tablet, I started to realize I might be wrong. I still have to be sure before I'd do anything with you, though, you understand?"
"But I don't see why it matters. I mean, I'm willing. I want to. What does it matter why I want to?"
I cupped his face in my hands and looked into his wet, green eyes. "This is a strange thing for a grown man to say to a boy, Dylan, but if you have sex with me for the wrong reasons, you can mess me up. I don't ever want to regret this. I don't ever want to think that I hurt you."
"Well, the truth is..." he looked embarrassed. "I...think about sex a lot."
"I want to do it. I've played around with some of my friends, jerking each other off and stuff, but it's not what I want."
I stroked the side of his head. "What do you want?"
"I feel like I need to be with somebody strong. Big. Someone who can be in control. Be in charge."
"You sure you don't just have it confused with wanting a dad?"
"No." He thought about it. "Well, I mean there's no way for me to know. But should that matter? It's not like me wanting sex isn't real. I'm not using one to get the other. I want both."
I said nothing as I looked at him. My heart raced as I searched his expression, so eager and trusting and...wanting. Still holding his face, I leaned down and pecked his lips. As I pulled back, he followed me and wrapped his arms around my waist. Dylan pressed his mouth to mine and we began kissing, passion rising like steam all about us as the wet touch of his lips inflamed my mind.
This was the best thing that had ever happened to me, the feel of his body against mine, the intimacy of our kiss, lips and tongues sliding and slippi—
He pulled back suddenly. His eyes went to the telescope. "Did you own a telescope all along?"
My worry that he might be changing his mind turned into frustration that he'd become distracted by wondering about the telescope. He really was a kid, however ready he might be to take on sex and love.
I answered tersely, eager to get back to the kissing. "I got it at the museum gift shop. Same time I got your present."
His eyes went wide in surprise and delight. "You got me a present?!"
So much for going back to kissing.
He held on to my sweater, practically jumping up and down. "Where is it?"
"Look, Dylan, it's not anything fancy. Don't get too worked up."
"I don't care. I wasn't expecting any presents this year. C'mon, give me."
"It's not even Christmas!"
Dylan smiled. "It's like four hours to go. Plus it's already Christmas in, like, Japan so we might as well get on with it."
I could tell I would lose this battle, but I fired one last shot. "I'm not sure Japanese celebrate Christmas."
"It's Christmas in Australia too. Heck, it's Christmas on Christmas Island, that's got to make it official."
I laughed and pulled him close, adoring the smile he was showing me. "Alright, it's in the car."
Dylan followed me outside, but I wouldn't let him take the gift bag even when we were back inside.
"You said I could have it," he complained.
"Yeah, but we still have to do this proper Christmas style. The present goes under the tree first."
I put the bag in place and then gave Dylan a 'wait' signal. "It doesn't really count as being under the tree if you just grab it. You have to let it sit there for a while."
I sat on the couch and folded my arms. "Ten minutes."
He looked at the gift bag and then scowled at me. "Five."
He came over and dropped next to me, laying his head on my shoulder. "Fine. I suppose cuddling with you for ten minutes won't be all bad."
"You're not cuddling," I said. "You're more kind of leaning on me sarcastically."
He laughed. His lips were shining in the rosy glow of the Christmas tree lights. I wanted to kiss him so bad, but whatever happened from now on, I knew it had to be Dylan's move.
He sensed it and seemed to consider his options. He licked his lips while looking at my crotch. Then he looked up, his expression turning from thoughtfulness to happiness. He pressed his face against my chest and half-purred. I found myself strangely happy that he wasn't going for sex right now. It made me feel like he wanted me for me.
I hugged Dylan back, marveling at how easily and perfectly he seemed to fit next to me.
He said, "You know, I really liked when you were holding me last night in bed."
"I woke up in the middle of the night and it felt so cozy and comfortable and safe."
"I'm glad. We could just stay here 'til we fall asleep if you want."
"I want to open my present. I've got four minutes left."
We stayed like that, folded together while we watched the lights on the tree. The effect of the glow combined with Dylan's steady breathing against my side was hypnotic. For both of us. Even when the ten minutes were up, Dylan stayed there for another half hour, squeezing my hand with his.
Eventually, he rose to go to the washroom and I went to make us some hot chocolate. When I came back, he was kneeling on the floor, waiting with the unopened gift bag before him.
I set the cups aside and knelt facing him. "Dylan, I was saying before, it's not anything great. I just—"
"I don't care if it's just a pencil sharpener. I already love whatever it is. Because it's from you." He pulled the bag open and brought out the picture book inside. He looked at the cover, which showed a painting of a boy just a little younger than Dylan grinning next to a giant fossil. The book was really for first grade readers I thought, but I figured Dylan would appreciate it anyway. It was the true story of a Canadian boy named Michael who found a fossil on his vacation.
We sat on the shaggy carpet, Dylan's back against my chest. He read while I drank chocolate, occasionally giving him a sip. When he got through the book, Dylan looked up at me and smiled. "Thanks, Victor. This is awesome."
I hugged him, that special way guys hug with a little extra on the end when they want to be reassuring.
When the clock in the hall chimed ten, I sent Dylan to brush his teeth and went to clean up in the kitchen. I came back to find he'd dragged a mattress into the living room and made a bed, complete with pillows and a heavy comforter.
"You want to sleep next to the tree?" I asked, looking over at its relaxing, hazy light.
"I figured...um...we could sleep here, both of us." He looked down, embarrassed. "Together. You know."
I reached out to the wall and turned off the room lights. Just the rosy glow of the Christmas lights now, around the dark green tree. The light reached out and bathed Dylan's form in a delicate warmth that made him seem magical, like an elf boy in pajamas.
I pushed him back into the bed and covered his body with mine. He swallowed as he looked up. I kissed him, tasting the sweetness of his lips as he clung to my neck and kissed back. I found my hips grinding in my need, my hard cock pressed against his thighs. Dylan stroked down my back, his small hands slipping under my waistband and grabbing my hips over my boxers.
Unwilling to lose touch with his tender lips, I raised my midsection up as I kept kissing Dylan and he pulled his hands under to unbutton me. After he had lowered my pants down my butt, I tugged them the rest of the way and kicked them free.
Finally, I lifted up and looked down at Dylan. His face was lit from one side, making his expression harder to read. I put both hands to the top button of his PJ top and undid it. Then the second. Dylan bit his lip and looked down as I unbuttoned the third and fourth. I spread the shirt open, exposing his smooth, flat torso.
Putting my lips to his ear, I whispered, "You're beautiful."
He dug his fingers into my shoulders in response. I kissed him just below the ear, then lower, moving down his neck and collarbone to his left nipple. I bit it lightly, then licked it and Dylan moaned.
If a boy could experience sexual heat, then he would make the sound of Dylan moaning as I circled and licked my tongue at his nipple. He only got louder as I leaned over to the right nipple and repeated my treatment, savoring the slightly salty taste of the boy. I moved south, licking at his smooth navel and slurping on it. As I kept going towards hic crotch, Dylan grabbed my hair, tensing. His little hips began rising against my chest as he reflexively started humping. I held him still at the waist, lifting my head up and smiling at him.
He smiled back.
I pulled his elastic waistband down my fingers grazing his warm, soft thighs and calves as I raised up to my knees. I got the the PJ's off his feet one by one and looked down at the boy on the mattress. He was slim, my earlier elfish impression seeming even more correct as I gazed at his lithe form in the half-light. Wearing only his open pajama top, with his small cock erect from a smooth, hairless crotch, he seemed absolutely sexual and almost wanton.
I parted his thighs, Dylan gasping at my touch, and took his hot little penis between my lips.
"Oooooh," he said as I began sucking gently on it, tasting the silky skin. I traced the top of my tongue up and down the sides, making his legs tremble. I licked his pouch, the wrinkled skin tight against his dainty balls. Underneath I probed his seam all the way to his back door, rolling him back to get a better taste. The opening was tightly shut, but the muscles pulsed in excitement as I worked my spit against the area.
Back to the hard shaft. The thin, stiff shaft felt perfect in my mouth. I played with it, sucking in waves of relaxed, and then intense, effort, the constantly changing tempo driving Dylan to writhe and groan until his hands grabbed my neck and he came. His breath went wheezy and his boner throbbed against my lips and tongue.
Nothing came out, but he had felt the whole thing quite well judging from the glazed look in his eyes when I moved up to kiss him.
"Victor, that was so good. Amazing." I was pleased that his voice was a little slurred, because it meant I had rung his bells a bit with my effort.
I kissed him and we made out. He was still out of it at the start, but soon was kissing me back heartily, his arms encircling me. His dick was still hard, tapping against my side on occasion. I took it in my fingers, gently stroking it.
Dylan pushed away and looked up in alarm. He said, "Wait, am I supposed to do you now?"
"You do whatever you want to."
He got a cookie stealer's smile on his face and he said, "I want to suck you."
"Well, since it's Christmas and all..." I rolled over, making a disgusted sound. "...I suppose I'll have to let you."
"I give the best blowjobs of all the boys on my street," Dylan said, annoyed.
"Well, unless you can arrange for me to test that claim, I'm not sure I can believe you."
"Believe this," he said, taking my shaft in hand and swooping to engulf it in his warm mouth. My body arching at the intense feeling of his suction, and most of all at knowing that Dylan, the boy who had haunted my dreams for five years, was the one giving me that pleasure.
I gasped for breath repeatedly and Dylan redoubled his effort. There was no finesse here, just energy and enthusiasm. And that was quite enough. With a cry of frustration at not being able to hold out longer, I came, grabbing Dylan's slim neck with one hand as he knelt at my side. The nerves of my body, pulsed together, making my muscles spasm and sending busts of searing pleasure to the base of my cock, where it exploded upward.
Dylan kept his head over my little volcano, sucking as hard as ever while I kept cumming in his mouth. I spasmed repeated, fighting to keep from knocking him off me with my gyrations. Gradually, my pulses slowed and diminished as I relished the last of the mighty orgasm.
I saw Dylan's adam's apple move as he swallowed, then he looked at me with smug smile and raised his eyebrows as if to ask, "Aren't I the best?"
I said, "If anyone on your block is giving better blowjobs than that, they're going to kill somebody."
He grinned and moved his lips to mine. We kissed, some of my sticky mess still on his lips. I was happy to share. It was like a celebration of our love, both of us reveling in the act we had committed and knowing what it meant to both of us to have done it with each other.
Celebration of our love?
You couldn't love someone so fast I told myself. Calm down. I barely knew him, really.
And I was right. I didn't love him. Not yet. Oh, but I wanted to. And I was going to. I was already over the edge of that cliff.
Also, I was still hard.
I rolled over, pinning Dylan under me as we continued to make out, my tongue exploring his mouth. I reached under to his tiny pucker, teasing a fingertip against it. He pulled back and said, "Hold on."
I watched him run to his bag in the corner, his butt cheeks so firm that they barely jiggled. As he bent over, my eyes followed his gently curved back, his round ass and his slender legs, then back up again to where his hole was teasingly shut, but still seemed to wink at me. The sight fully restored the hardness of my cock.
Dylan came bounding back with a pink tube of warming lube. He handed it over and said, "I stole this from my mom's dresser. Figured it would be handy."
He smiled proudly at my praise and I pecked his lips before flipping him back onto the mattress. I squeezed a big wad of clear goo onto my fingertip and pressed it onto his pucker. With small circling motions, I moved slowly in, taking my time.
Knowing this would take a while, I leaned down and enjoyed kissing Dylan again. We each had one arm each around the other, enjoying the closeness as well as the slippery contact of our lips.
Soon, I had two fingers stretching him out, scissoring slowly as they twisted. It felt so intimate, being able to touch a boy there, to have him let you in there for that kind of exploration, almost more intimate than the thought of a cock in there.
But a cock was what his tight butt hole was destined to receive. My cock. I slathered up my thick, hard shaft, enjoying the slippery warmth.
I hooked his legs under my arms pushing them back so his knees were level with his waist. I set my weight against his thighs, holding him and using one hand to guide my tip to his opening.
"Dylan," I said, "you're so beautiful. Thank you so much for coming back."
He blew me a kiss.
With the greasiness of the lube, I had little problem slipping inside. Dylan grimaced and grunted a few times as I calmly eased in. He was tight and warm and I felt like I belonged inside him. It wasn't just the physical sensation of his smooth clasping insides, but what that meant, that I had become one with him at last, that I was inside Dylan in a most intimate way.
I held still once I was all the way in, my balls lying against his cheeks. He smiled as he relaxed, getting used to me.
"Oh, wow," he said. "I can't believe we're doing it."
"I'll make you believe."
Carefully, I pulled back, the lube making it comfortable so that the walls of his tight passage applied pressure, but little friction. I pulled almost all the way out and then slid right back in.
Dylan made a mewling sound.
"Good?" I asked. "Everything okay?"
"Yeah. It feels like you're filling me to my throat, but I like it. I like knowing that I'm getting...I don't know what the word is."
"Taken." I pulled back and gave him another full, slow thrust. "That's the word they use in all the romance novels."
"Taken...hmm..." He held my shoulders tight as I gave him a new out-and-in. "I think that's a really good word for it. Like I'm not in control, so you're taking what you want and I'm glad to let you."
"Okay if I go faster?" I asked, the repeated penetrations making my muscles twitch in readiness.
"You're not supposed to ask stuff like that if you're taking me."
I kissed him on the nose and said, "Okay, but tell me if it gets too much and I'll slow down."
Truth is, my mind was struggling against my body. I wanted a slower pace, so I could take it all in and I kept my body's excitement from overcoming my brain, though I did continue at a brisker rhythm.
I used my hands to keep track of how Dylan was doing, feeling his breath through his ribs, judging his pain from the tenseness of his shoulders. The warm light of the Christmas tree made everything dreamlike, and Dylan himself seemed to fill our bed with tangible heat.
I stroked away at his splendid butt. He pushed back at me in sync and it felt more and more like we were one being with one purpose. My pleasure was his pleasure. His moans of erotic fulfillment were expressions of my satisfaction.
We built slowly, kissing and nuzzling until I boiled over into my peak. I took massive breaths and gave him a final series of stiff, long thrusts as I came, shooting into his warm, welcoming chute as it squeezed every last bit of sensation from me.
I fell to my, side, my softening tool coming free. Dylan turned to me and cuddled against my chest. I held him, stroking his face in wonder, thinking that there was no way I could prove this wasn't a dream, but glad to just live the moment.
Out by the kitchen, the clock chimed midnight.
Dylan looked up at me and said, "Merry Christmas, Victor."
I kissed his upturned lips and said, "Merry Christmas."
With a bit of shuffling about, I pulled the covers over us and then we held each other like that, barely moving for fear of disturbing the peace and joy of the atmosphere.
At some point, we fell asleep and I dreamed of angels and choirs and the light of a smiling God.
When I awoke, I was alone. I wandered groggily into the loo and the kitchen, but Dylan was not there. I called for him. From upstairs I heard his faint voice answer.
I found him in the penthouse suite. He was wrapped in a comforter he'd taken from the nearby bed and was looking out the tall windows.
I didn't speak, sensing a contemplation in him that needed to remain undisturbed. Standing behind him, I understood.
Snow had come in the night, dousing our normally dry town in a blanket of white. Out beyond the green trees, the dinosaurs of the park seemed to be wandering a snowscape as if they'd never gone away.
I held Dylan from behind and he leaned against my chest.
He said, "I feel like I want to float out there and touch them."
"You could just walk," I said sarcastically.
"I was waiting for you to finally wake up."
We ate breakfast with a purpose, then got dressed, me in my dark red leather jacket and a red Chiefs wool cap. Dylan in a green fleece waistcoat and a candystripe scarf. It took about fifteen minutes to reach the first dinosaur and we wandered under its tall neck, quiet all around. The whole city must be sleeping I thought.
I watched Dylan approach the Apatosaur's legs and reach out lightly to stroke it. I was struck by the delicacy and thought in his motion. The way Dylan saw the beauty of the world was itself beautiful.
I kept a bit of distance as we moved through the park, so that I could admire him interacting with our silent winter world. When we had finally visited each creature, I held his hand and asked, "As good as you expected?"
"Yeah. I know they're not all anatomical, but it feels like they could come alive any moment."
"That's a terrifying thought," I said, teasing him.
"Not really," he said. "I'm sure I could outrun you, so I'd be safe."
We held hands, climbing back up the step. A woman and her daughter were walking the other way. The girl seemed to be about three. I nodded as we passed. Dylan chirped a 'Merry Christmas'.
The girl replied, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Merry Christmas, Mr. Elf."
Dylan and I looked at each other, trying to hold back laughter. He did look quite elfin with his green eyes and glowing face. I suppose me with my bulky physique and short beard was enough to make her see Santa in my red jacket.
We joked with each other all the way back to the house, but we stopped suddenly when we turned the corner to the front. A Mercedes was parked there.
"Mom!" Dylan shouted.
The woman stood wearily from the front stoop and wiped her eyes. Dylan ran to her and they hugged.
I hung back, trying not to overhear anything and also wary of her reaction to me.
Soon, she pointed to the car and Dylan ran to the back door and removed two shopping bags. "She brought my presents, Victor!" he shouted, scurrying inside. "I'm gonna go put them under the tree for ten minutes!"
I walked over to Mrs. Davidson and said, "So what happened to the party?"
Her half-smile turned dark and she seemed about to cry.
"I'm sorry," I said, holding her arm. "That was uncalled for. You're here and you did the right thing. Thanks for coming."
She said, "This is so fucked up, isn't it? I'm his mom and you have to thank me for showing up."
"It doesn't matter now. You're here."
Dylan stuck his head out of the door. "Guys, it's almost ten minutes. We have to open the presents." Then he disappeared inside.
"He's...okay?" she asked.
"He's okay," I said, unsure just how much she was insinuating with that question.
As we walked inside, she said, "I couldn't stop thinking about what you said, that my son would rather be with a molester than with me and that I'd caused that. And then I realized that all these years since the divorce, Dylan is the only person that's ever really mattered. Life can be just so full of people going through the motions and he's always so..."
"Yeah. Like sometimes he's the only real person in my life." She looked panicked. "And I've treated him so bad..."
"Look," I said, getting a bit harsh. "This isn't about you. I'm glad you're having your Christmas moment, but let's keep the blame and tears for afterwards. I need you to be perky and happy for Dylan now."
"Mooooooomm!" came his cry from the living room.
I looked at her. "You going to hold it together?"
She nodded silently and smiled. "If it's one thing I know, it's faking happiness."
We walked into the living room to see Dylan shifting foot-to-foot and staring at the eight boxes of presents. Mrs. Davidson caught sight of the pink tube on the side table and gave me a look of outrage followed by resignation.
Together, she and Dylan opened the presents from his grandparents and uncles and from her as well. He got typical stuff: Sneakers with wheels in them, video games, sweaters.
I pretended not to notice that his father hadn't sent anything.
After the 'ceremony' was all over, I said, "Dylan, I'm going to go buy some stuff to make dinner for us. You can hang out with your mom and catch up."
With some suspicion clear in his voice, he said, "Okay."
Mrs. Armstrong followed me to the door and I said, "This thing with me and Dylan...I think you'd better hear his side of it without me around so you understand."
"I really don't want to hear how happy my son is that you're molesting him."
"He's got his own mind, so—"
"He's only eleven. I saw that lube. He's so little and you put your—" She looked at my crotch, flustered.
"If you recognized that tube, then you certainly know who brought it here all the way from Iowa. And why. Think about it."
With that, I left for the convenience store and spent two hours shopping for nothing at all.
I half-expected the Mercedes to be gone when I got back, but it was in the same place, getting buried as the snow was coming down even harder.
Inside, I heard laughter from the kitchen and found Dylan and his mother sitting at the island, making cookies. Her face slipped into a slight scowl at the sight of me, but I only cared about the bright explosion of Dylan's smile. He hopped down from the counter and hugged me.
"Mom's been telling me about your deal. She says I get to come back in summer and be in the geology field camp in the mountains."
"Yeah, I'm pretty hyped. This is gonna be my first year in charge of it. I could use an assistant who knows his stuff."
Dylan smiled, catching my drift.
As Dylan and I got the food stuff out of the fridge and cupboards, Mrs. Davidson quietly slipped out the back door. I left Dylan with some instructions and followed.
I found Mrs. Davidson on the back porch, crying quietly.
"Oh, it's you," she said when I scraped my shoe on the floor.
"Look, I know it's got to be hard hearing about me and Dylan like that. I'll try and keep it—"
"Oh that's not a problem. It's weird how normal that feels now that I've heard him talk about it so much. I almost think of you as my son-in-law."
"I just feel so— Talking to Dylan honestly for the first time, not just about sex, but about school and life and everything...it's like he's a stranger to me." She wiped a tear and looked at me, despondent. "My own son is a stranger."
I took her hand. "But he's a wonderful stranger and you'll have a great time getting to know him better. Before doesn't matter. You're not the same person. He's not the same person. You two are going to be okay."
Me and my 'mother-in'law' went inside soon after and we made dinner. The rest of Christmas day was quiet, peaceful and low-key fun.
That night, I set Mrs Armstrong—Jane—a place in one of the guest rooms. I moved my stuff upstairs to the penthouse and told Dylan it was up to him where he slept.
As I was brushing my teeth that night, he showed up in his PJ's and jumped on the bed.
The snow was coming down, and in the distance the white-topped trees stood sentinel against the dark beyond. I turned out the lights and only the glow from outside lit the room. I spooned against Dylan's back and we watched the snow.
The warmth of his ass against my crotch got me hard right away. He reached back and felt my stiff meat.
He asked, "You have plans for that thing?"
I squeezed his butt. "I've got plans for this thing."
I grabbed Dylan and threw him onto his front. With two hands I pulled his hips up and then slipped his PJ's down. "This looks delicious," I said to him.
He squealed out loud as I dug my tongue into his crevice and licked the entire thing from balls to back. I repeated this a few times and he squirmed happily. "That is so gross! I can't believe you're sticking your tongue in my butt."
"Wait 'til it's your turn," I said menacingly.
"Never. I'm never touching your stinky butt."
"My butt smells a lot nicer than yours," I said and playfully bit his right butt cheek.
He yelped in surprise and then giggled.
In the back of my mind, I took a moment to think of how much happier Dylan sounded. This Christmas visit by his mother might not signal any real change, but for the moment, he had the life that he'd always wanted.
This Dylan was more carefree, more secure in his situation and was probably the most like the real Dylan that he'd been in a long time.
"You okay?" he asked, looking back over his shoulder.
"You kind of froze up for a second."
"Just thinking." I shrugged. "This is the best Christmas I've ever had. I keep wondering if you're real."
He seemed embarrassed by adoration. "Really? Me?"
"I don't know whether to kiss you, fuck you or cuddle you."
He waved his butt at me. "Why don't you try doing all three at once?"
I reached over to the bedside drawer and pulled out the lube. He got on all fours and I prepared him. Once I had him ready with my fingertips, I wrapped my arms around his slim torso and kissed his cheek. "Ready?"
I reached under and played with his hard little dick. He was ready alright. With a hand to keep it steady, I pressed my cock head into his slick passage and it slid right in, comfortably sinking all the way in as Dylan let out an extended sigh.
I nuzzled the back of his neck and held his warm body tighter. I breathed in the aroma of his hair and skin, then licked the back of his ear. Trying to preserve the close contact of our bodies, I restricted myself to little nudges of my cock in his ass.
Our lovemaking lasted a long time, each of us more interested in the feel of the other than rushing to the end. Outside, the snowfall had thickened, blocking out the world. Just me and Dylan now. He was mine. I was his.
I rocked inside him, equally aroused by the silky insides of his chute as the smoothness of his waist and thighs under my roaming hands. After getting it slick with lube, I slipped one hand under to take his hard penis in my fingers again. I gave him a good, fast reach around as I kept my own pace calm. He was soon dazed, mouth open, and then writhed in ecstasy as I got him over the edge. His hard shaft throbbed and bucked in my fingers and his ass grabbed my hard cock with a series of erratic pulses that drove me wild. I held him closer with my other arm and sped up, already feeling that roller-coaster plunge into climax.
I panted as I came, filling him with my load as our bodies moved together until I had nothing left. For a moment we stayed still. I was unable to imagine being anywhere else. This was my boy. This was the place for me.
I eased us down to the mattress, so that we ended up spooning, my wet cock slipping out and resting against his ass cleft. We needed no words. I held him close. Even with this being the third night in a row I had him sleeping in my arms, I still felt like this was some precious moment, that such closeness was the reason we were on the Earth and it made all pain and struggle worthwhile.
I kissed the back of Dylan's head and he said, "Merry Christmas, Victor."
He found my hand with his and we held each other as we dozed off.
---The Geology Museum in Rapid City is a real place.
---The Dinosaur Park is also a real place.
---There really was a 9-year-old boy who famously found a fossil while vacationing on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
---However, as far as I know, there is no picture book about it.
---Dylan getting left behind by his mother is based on a supposedly true story about a kid who was forgotten in a museum. The anecdote was posted to the internet a few years back. The name 'Dylan,' and everything that happens in my story after his first visit to the museum, is fiction.
---The manga comics mentioned are both real. I've seen them online in many places, but have no info on title/author/artist since it was all in Japanese.
---A plesiosaur is different from a pliosaur. If you don't believe me, go ask the nearest 11-year-old dino expert.
---Santa Claus is a real person.
---Seriously, Santa's real. Would I lie to you?
Remember, comments are always welcome, no matter how long it's been since the story was posted.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
-Funtails@hotmail.com, December, 2015.