'52 Panhead


Chapter 42



As I lifted my left arm to check the time, Evan beat me to it. "It's seven minutes later than the last time you looked," he said, then waved his hand around the room. "I don't think the desks are gonna fit this way."

"They should -, I measured. Push your end this way a little more."

The two of us were in my office on Wednesday evening, trying to squeeze in a spare desk we'd brought home from Kenny's yesterday. I figured the one thing Brendan and I for sure had in common was a passion for Call of Duty, but there wasn't room for both of us to sit at computers at my desk. The one from Kenny was slightly smaller than mine and I was trying to put them front to front so we'd be facing each other, but maybe that wasn't gonna work after all. Evan gave the desk a shove just as I stepped forward, and the corner of it caught me solidly in the thigh. "Ow!"

"Sorry, you said to push."

"Yeah, yeah..."

After some more maneuvering, we ended up with the desks in an L shape with my computer facing the outside of the long arm and the other one facing the inside of the short arm, so I'd be looking at Brendan's profile. It wasn't perfect, but we each had room to move around a little, so it'd have to do. I spent another hour getting his computer tuned up with an Nvidia graphics card I'd picked up on Tuesday, and then making sure the game worked. Half the time, when you moved a computer from one side of the desk to the other, it no longer worked. Luckily, this one did.


Thursday morning, I lay quietly on my back, hands behind my head, watching the first faint gray of dawn begin to lighten the bedroom window, thinking about today. In a few hours, Brendan would arrive on a bus for a three-day visit; I'd be face to face with a blood relative for the first time in eight years and it was starting to get to me a little. We hadn't made any big plans for while he was here, and that was bothering me some, too. What if we had nothing to talk about? Everything I knew about him came from the handful of emails we'd exchanged in the past six months, and that didn't add up to a hell of a lot.

Evan stirred next to me, rolling onto his back, and then turning his head enough to see me. "Why you `wake?" he asked in that growly morning voice that always got me thinking about sex.

"Just thinkin' about today."

"Yeah? Nervous?" He rolled closer and draped himself across me, giving my ribs a hug and poking me in the hip with his morning hard-on. I lifted an arm over his shoulders, sliding my hand down until it came to a natural stop in the small of his back. His skin was smooth and warm.

"Yeah, some. I don't know what the hell to talk to him about. It's not like we know each other or anything. We just happen to be related."

"It'll be fine," he said through a yawn. "You can show him the dog cemetery and take him for a ride on the Pan. We can get everybody together for ribs or burgers or something on Saturday. If he's related to you, I'm sure he likes to eat. Ahhh!" The shriek was a result of me digging my fingers into his side.

"Ok, all that stuff'll eat up about six hours. Then what?"

"Then he can help you with the chicken coop, and we can have brunch at the club, and go swimming at Raf's. Just relax, it'll be fine," he repeated.

I'd come to notice that when Evan referred to Raf's and Kenny's house, he called it `Raf's.' When I did, I always called it `Kenny's.' I wasn't sure what that meant, but it was interesting. I stretched and began to pull away, but Evan tightened his grip on me.

"Don't get up yet. It's so early."

"I got the fidgits, I gotta get movin'."

"Ok, ok..."

Evan let me go, and then rolled face down and sprawled across the bed so that the view I got as I walked around the end of the bed toward the bathroom was directly up between his spread legs. The room had brightened enough that I could just make out the pink mound of his balls, with a darker shadow running up between the cheeks of his ass. As I stopped for a longer look, he moved a little, like he was just getting more comfortable, shifting his butt from side to side slightly. I peered up at his face, but he had it buried in a pillow and I couldn't be sure if he was fucking with me or not. I figured he probably was, and as I stood there thinking about it, gazing at the pale mounds of his ass rising from the shadowed dip of his lower back, my cock decided that he was indeed fucking with me and that I should fuck back. By the time I knelt next to him and rolled him over, I had a boner that had nothing to do with morning wood.

Evan gave a small hum of satisfaction when I turned him onto his back, and wrapped his legs around mine as I settled onto him. I let him control the pace and the pressure, responding to his grip on my hips and his movements beneath me, so slow at first that I thought he was falling back asleep, but he was just taking his time, eyes closed, eyebrows drawing together in a wrinkle of pleasure now and then.

"This is nice," he whispered.

"Mmm," I managed.

As things got more and more slippery, it was way better than nice. By the time Evan's mouth dropped open and he started to breathe in little gasps, I'd been gritting my teeth for several minutes, waiting for him. I slid my hands under his ass and held him to me as I spread my knees a little more and thrust quickly against him. Three or four thrusts into it, he froze for that split second that I knew meant he was about to blow. I pulled back for a moment, then ground into him and he let out a cry that started as a deep grunt but became a higher `ah-ah-ah' as he fired hot jets up between us. The jerking of his body provided the last bit of stimulation I needed to add my own load to the milky film that glazed us both from chin to crotch and armpit to armpit. I lay still on top of him for a few moments, until he patted my hip.

"You're squishing me."

I rolled off him with a groan, but it wasn't long before the cool of the bedroom chilled the cum on my belly and I pushed to my feet.

"Go back to sleep," I said. I pulled the sheet up over him on my way to the bathroom, but he wandered in a few moments later and gave me a satisfied smile when he climbed into the shower.


"21179...21179..." I muttered to myself as I parked the Jeep facing the incoming drive of the bus terminal. Barbara had called me a few hours ago to give me the number of the bus she'd just put Brendan on. Allowing for the numerous stops of a typical bus schedule, he'd be here in about ten minutes. I sat in the Jeep, bouncing my knee and drumming my fingers on the steering wheel, then got out and paced around the parking lot, kicking at cigarette butts and wishing to hell I'd never said yes to this visit. I was actually kind of surprised that he'd wanted to come see us. After all, he didn't know me any better than I knew him – we'd never even spoken to each other, for Christ's sake - but maybe he was the adventurous sort. Or maybe, like Evan had suggested, he just needed to get out of town for a few days, away from his mom and stepdad. I thought about that for a minute. Neither Brendan nor Barbara had said anything about problems between Brendan and Mike, but I thought back to my own teenage years, and decided there might be something there.


The reason was irrelevant since he was gonna be here any minute. I'd just climbed back into the Jeep when a big Greyhound lumbered up the drive and, with a whoosh of air brakes, pulled to a stop in front of the terminal. I peered out the windshield of the Jeep and spotted the 21179 in at least three different places on the body of the bus.


My hands were so sweaty I almost dropped the keys as I got out of the Jeep, so I wiped them down my shorts real quick and walked around the front of the bus. People were just beginning to step down, stretching and looking around, or heading back toward the side of the bus to collect their luggage. I leaned against a light pole about twenty feet away, watching, waiting, and then I saw him. He had a backpack over his shoulder and was looking in the other direction as he dropped off the last step and moved away from the bus.

He glanced uncertainly around, trying to look cool and confident, like he did this every day, but the hand clutching the strap of his backpack showed white knuckles. A few inches shorter than me, something I hadn't been able to tell in the couple pictures I'd seen of him, and skinny, but that could've been the baggy shorts and large t-shirt he was wearing. I hadn't seen his face yet, but he had my hair, dark brown and straight, longer than mine, a little shaggy. He pulled out a cell phone, flipped it open; checking the time, I thought, wondering where I was. He wandered a few feet toward the terminal, and just when I thought I'd have to go after him, he made a slow circle, scanning the crowd. His eyes went by me, came back for another look, then locked onto mine and I saw him swallow hard.

It was odd, looking at him; like looking in a mirror twenty years ago. After the first shock of recognition, I began to notice the dark brown eyes, the shape of his face and mouth, the way his hairline came to a little point in the center of his forehead – all mine. He looked, as Evan had said when he'd first seen Brendan's picture, like he could be my son. The thought made me smile a little, and he gave me a quick, shy answering smile of his own as he began to walk slowly toward me. When he was just out of arm's reach, he stopped and said, "Jeff?"

"Yeah. Hi."

"Hi." He spoke softly, like maybe his voice hadn't quite changed yet and he didn't want it to get away from him.

We stood there just looking at each other – he seemed as fascinated by my face as I was by his – until it got a little weird. "You, uh, got luggage or anything?" I asked, pushing off from the lamp post and waving a hand at the driver unloading bags from the compartments.

"No, just this." He hitched the backpack a little higher on his bony shoulder.

"Ok... well... let's get going. Oh, I gotta call your mom and tell her you got here ok." I punched a few buttons on my cell as he rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, she kinda freaked when they told her that nobody was gonna keep track of me. I thought she was gonna handcuff me to the seat or something."

Barb answered the phone in a rush. "Is he there?"

"Yeah, he's here, he's here - everything's fine. We're about to head out for my place... Ok." I held the phone out to Brendan. "She wants to talk to you for a second." Another eye roll.

"Hi... It was ok... Yeah, I will... Ok... Yeah, kinda... Bye."

I looked at him as he snapped my cell shut and handed it back to me. "Yeah, kinda what?"

"Ah, she asked me if I looked like you, like if we're related or not."

"Ya think?" I snorted. Any more alike and we'd be twins.

We smiled at each other for a few seconds, and then headed for the parking lot. At the Jeep, I waved him around to the other side. It was a warm day and I had it all stripped down – no top, no doors – so when I roared out of the bus lot, his hair blew all over the place. After a moment, he dug around in his backpack, then yanked a red ball cap on backwards and slid sunglasses on. That changed his appearance enough that he didn't look so much like my kid, but more like just a generic kid. We zipped down the freeway, then off at the Patterson exit without saying a word to each other cause it was impossible to talk in an open Jeep when you're doing seventy, but once we got into town, I gave him a little tour.

"...got great burgers and decent pool tables. You play?"

He gave a one-shouldered shrug, a gesture that reminded me more of Evan than myself. "Some. I'm not very good."

"Gotta play a lot to get good. That's the rib place. There's a good Italian place down that block." I grinned when I realized that every place I pointed at was a food joint of one kind or another. "That's the library... city hall... Evan's office..."

His gaze stayed on Evan's building for several seconds. "That's your, like... he's, uh..."

"My boyfriend? Yeah."

I glanced at him, but he was looking at the store fronts on his side of the street and I couldn't get a read on his expression. On the way out of town, I pointed out Kenny's (and Raf's) place to him. "They've got a pool, so we'll probably go over there Saturday if it's still hot. Maybe barbecue or something."

He spent the last few minutes of the drive gazing at the countryside before we slowed and turned into our lane. I drove slowly, thinking how pretty this place was in deep summer. The trees, heavy and green, hung over the drive and completely hid the house and barn.

As we came into the clearing and around the circular drive, Brendan said a soft, "Wow. I didn't know it was, like, a real farm. I thought maybe you just had a big yard or something."

"Ten acres. Used to be a dairy farm, twenty years ago. There's a couple horses and a donkey in the back field... they belong to our neighbor." As we walked up the steps, I saw him looking at the ramp I'd built for Kenny. "Friend of ours is in a chair. You'll meet him tomorrow – I think we're all going to the rib place for dinner." I unlocked the front door, opening it enough for Chew to dash out. "And that's Chewy."

We watched as he galloped down the steps and peed on the nearest bush, then trotted back up and stared at Brendan for a second, sniffing at his sneakers.

"Prolly smells Gracie," Brendan said, and I remembered that he had a cat with the same name as one of Bill's horses. "She rolls around on my shoes sometimes. Stupid cat." But he said it with affection in his voice, and Chewy tried to lick his hand, so I figured he liked animals well enough. I pushed the front door open and stood aside so Brendan could go in front of me. His head swiveled slowly back and forth and came to rest on the fireplace mantel. When we moved in, we'd put a few photos up there, and just sort of kept adding to it, tucking new ones in here and there until there were probably twenty or so. I stood slightly behind him, following his gaze as he studied them.

There was the one I'd taken of Evan in the dog cemetery. He's lounged back in an Adirondack chair, long legs stretched out, eyes closed, but smiling because he knows I'm looking at him. His hands are clasped on his stomach and his crotch makes a serious mound in his jeans.

And the shot Callie took one day in the garden; Evan and I are standing close, admiring our first tomato as it sits in Evan's palm. I'm grinning at the tomato and Evan is looking at me with the most wonderful expression. Every time I look at the picture, I know for a certain fact that Evan loves me.

The goofy Halloween picture that she took last year was up there, too, along with a shot of Chewy in the creek, the mares and colts galloping across the field, Sharon sitting on the front steps with a beer. Brendan spent a bit of time on that one, my first clue that he might be straight. She was wearing her usual tight jeans and a snug white t-shirt, and she looked great.

"That's Sharon," I offered. "And that's Raf and Kenny, friends of ours," I added, pointing to a picture of the four of us sitting on the edge of their pool earlier in the summer. The bad side of Raf's face was away from the camera as he laughed at something Evan had said, and he was so handsome. "You'll meet them tomorrow." Then I thought about that meeting, about how shocked I'd first been at seeing the devastation on Raf's face, about how unprepared Brendan would be for something like that. "He's, uh... Just so you know when you meet him, Rafael got burned in a car wreck and the other side of his face is really scarred. And Kenny's the guy in the wheelchair that we built the ramp for."

"There's a kid in our school who got burned when their stove blew up or something. He was sittin' at the table, so it's mostly just on one of his arms, but it's pretty gross to look at."

Brendan studied the picture a moment longer, and then turned away, looking around the room. Behind him, I scanned the room also, seeing it as he might – the small table by the door that held the little bowl of acorns, keys, a marble Evan had found in the barn; the cherry clock ticking softly; the old dining table, gleaming dully in the afternoon light, the sofa and chair facing the fireplace. It was a comfortable space, homey but not homely, and I liked the feeling it gave me.

He wandered toward the arch to the kitchen, and as I followed him, I said, "Guest room's down the hall, first door on the left. Bathroom's the next door." I pointed. "Throw your stuff in there and we can–" I was about to say "get something to eat," but Evan had made me self-conscious about the fact that I was always ready to fill my face, so I closed my mouth and just waved a hand in the air.

"Can I, um..." He looked away, out the living room windows for a second. "Look, mom told me to say please and thanks and not eat too much, but she also made me promise not to get off the bus on the way here, so I couldn't buy anything to eat, and I'm starvin'."

"You didn't bring stuff?"

"Well, yeah, but I ate it all, like, an hour into the ride."

I grinned at him. "Then let's go eat."

Fifteen minutes later we were out on the back porch with our feet up on the rail, working our way through bowls of stew from the leftovers Maggie had handed Evan yesterday when he stopped in for a quick visit on his way home from work. It was really good and I bet it didn't take us five minutes to inhale it.

"Shame to eat something so good that quick, huh?" I commented, but he gave me a look like I was crazy as he scraped the sides of the bowl with his spoon. Back inside, I put the bowls in the sink and tipped my head at the cookie jar further down the counter.

"Grab a few of those and we'll take a hike."

"Oh, man, these are good," he said around a mouthful of cookie as we walked across the back yard toward the woods.

"Yeah, that's my favorite recipe, I think. Oatmeal chocolate chip."

"You made these?" he asked, one eyebrow shooting up into his hair.

"Yeah." His tone was so disbelieving that it irritated me a little. "Something wrong with that?"

"No... uh... I just never knew any guys who, uh..."

"Liked to bake? What - you never made cookies?"

"Well, yeah, I guess. I mean, like, when I was a kid or something, maybe, but..."

"But it's not something guys do, huh? Or maybe just gay guys bake cookies? Is that it?"

When he didn't respond immediately, I glanced at him. He cut his eyes to me, then away, and I felt a little bad about busting his chops, but baking cookies was something I'd come to really enjoy and I wasn't gonna have some fifteen year old kid give me crap about it.

"No," he said in a subdued voice. "I didn't mean that. Honest," he added when I snorted. "I just... well, I mean, Mike wouldn't bake cookies if it was, like, the last food on earth or whatever. He says cooking is women's work." He lowered his voice on the last two words, an imitation of Mike.

"Really. Well, fuck Mike," I said in a conversational tone. His eyebrow shot up again. "I'll show you how to make awesome cookies and you can impress the shit out of your mom."

He laughed and nodded his head. "Ok."

By the time we'd eaten all the cookies, we were almost at the dog cemetery. I slowed down, moving a little to the right so that we'd come to it dead center. As we got close, Brendan said, "Hey, a stone wall. Did you..."

His voice trailed away as he caught sight of the grave stones standing quietly in the slanting, dappled sunlight of late afternoon. I turned enough that I could watch his face as he took in the stones, the little tree, the old red Adirondack chairs. After several moments, he looked up at me, his familiar brown eyes searching mine.

"What is this place? Are those, like, people?" His voice was hushed and I could tell he was a little creeped out by it all.

"No, dogs. It's all the dogs who ever lived on this farm."

"Huh... It's kind of... not creepy, but..."

"Yeah, there's something about it. Everybody says that. I'm pretty used to it and it still feels that way to me, but it's peaceful, too."

I stepped over the low wall, and, after a moment, Brendan followed me. The chairs were covered with bird shit and leaves, so we just stood there for a few minutes listening to the squirrels giving us hell and Chewy crashing around in the bushes.

"Pearlie didn't live very long," he said. "I wonder what happened?"

"You don't wanna know," I told him, and lead the way out of the circle and toward the creek.

He liked the clearing at the back of the pasture, the one I'd taken Kenny to in the old green Jeep. He teetered back and forth across the stream a few times on an old log, jumped across a narrow spot, and tried out the picnic table.

"You could have a camp fire back here and sleep out," he said, looking around.

"Yeah, I suppose," I replied, wondering why the hell you'd want to sleep on the hard ground with the bugs when you could sleep in a nice soft bed only a fifteen minute hike away. Then I remembered Evan's stories about the four of them camping out in the woods when they were kids. Maybe... "Is that somethin' you'd like to do? Camp out back here one night?"

"Yeah, maybe... I don't know, it just seems like a cool place."

I filed that away, wondering where to borrow sleeping bags and a tent as we walked back toward the house. As we climbed the gate into the pasture, I looked around for the horses and Dory, but they were out of sight in the far corner. We were about halfway to the front fence when the thud of hooves caught Brendan's ear. We both turned to see the horses trotting across the grass, followed by Dory's uneven canter.

"Oh, shit!" Brendan yelled.

"It's ok, it's ok. They won't run us over."

But he didn't believe a word of it and stepped behind me as Tess thumped to a stop about three feet from me and snorted. I held out a hand, and then eased it up her huge face until I was scratching her forehead. Brendan had moved a little sideways and was looking up at the horses.

"God, they're fu– they're really big," he revised. "Jesus, that one's only got three legs. Get away!"

Dory had taken his pointing finger as an invitation and was butting her head into his hand, looking to get her ears scratched.

"She just wants to be petted. Scratch between her ears."

"Oh, man..." he moaned, but he stretched out his arm and began to scruff the dusty brown hair that tufted between her ridiculous ears. Dory immediately closed her eyes and dropped her head a bit more. Within a few minutes Brendan had warmed up to the idea of them just being big pets. By the time we got to the front fence, he'd patted all three of them and was wondering if you could ride them.

"You know how to ride a horse?"

"No." He gave me a goofy grin. "But how hard can it be? They got a back as big as a chair."

That was true enough. "We can ask Bill. I know he rides some of them, but we gotta ask him."


Back in the kitchen, I got out chicken and potatoes. "Here, get these ready to bake," I said, handing him the potatoes. I trimmed the chicken a bit, then dumped it in a bowl with lots of BBQ sauce and put it back in the fridge. After Brendan poked holes in the potatoes and wrapped them in foil, we stuck them in the oven, then went out to the garden to pick stuff for a salad. The lettuce was long gone in the heat of summer, but we had tons of tomatoes, peppers of various kinds, radishes, cucumbers, and a few varieties of summer squash. We went back to the kitchen with our T-shirts folded up in front to hold everything we'd picked, and began washing, peeling and slicing. I was just contemplating a beer when I heard an unfamiliar car coming up the lane. Chewy jumped to his feet and stared toward the front of the house.

Brendan picked up on it and looked at me. "What?"

"Somebody coming up the drive. Evan's due, but it's not him."

Actually, it was him. The three of us walked into the living room and out the front door in time to see Evan pull to a stop and climb out of a brand new Lexus LS460. As he turned to face us, he held his arms out wide.

"Finally bought a car," he said. "Figured since we already had the Jeep, we needed something a little dressier. Hi, I'm Evan," he added to Brendan holding out his hand.

"Hi." Brendan replied just above a whisper and nervously shook his hand – not something I'd thought of when the bus came in.

"How was the bus ride?"


Not the most talkative kid, but I wasn't surprised that he was even shyer around Evan than he was with me. In the dappled sunlight, the 460's pearly white paint gleamed with little shimmers of reflected color. We all walked slowly around it, admiring the flawless finish, until we got back to the driver's side, where I opened the door. The interior was a pale gray, and when I slid into the soft leather seat, I smiled involuntarily. I don't think I'd ever sat in a car this nice. He'd bought the fully loaded one, and compared to the Jeep, this thing was absolutely luxurious. I tipped my head at Brendan. "Get in."

He went around and climbed in the passenger side, looking around at the wood trim, the navigation screen, the sunroof, which was open about six inches.

"This looks really expensive," he said to me in a low voice, with the tact of a typical teenager.

"It probably was," I replied, then to Evan, who was standing outside the driver's door, "Man, it's gorgeous. Did you just get a wild hair and buy a car on the way home from work?"

"No, I've been looking at them for a while, mostly online, and then I drove this one last week, and it fit me well, so.... I bought it."

We admired the car some more, looking under the hood, punching Brendan's address into the navigation, running the sunroof back and forth, before going inside for supper. As we walked up the steps, Evan put an arm over my shoulders and pulled me to him so he could plant a kiss near my ear.

"So how's the kid?" he whispered. Brendan was about ten feet behind us, throwing a stick for Chewy.

"Good. Kinda shy."

"Yeah, I picked up on that. Well, he's got a few days to mellow out and get used to us. I'm gonna change. What're we doing for dinner?"

"Chicken on the grill... baked potatoes... salad."

We got drinks (beer, beer, Pepsi), fired up the grill, and sat on the back porch while the chicken cooked. After while, the mares and Dory lined up along the fence for carrots. Brendan got the hang of feeding them right away and began to experiment with cupping his hand a little and making them wiggle around with their big, rubbery lips to push his fingers out of the way.

"Do you think I could hold one in my teeth, like you see on TV?"

"If you wanna get kissed by a horse, I suppose you could try it," I replied, thinking of the green and orange slobber I'd just wiped off my hand. "Try it with Tess, she's the friendliest."

He chose a nice long piece of carrot and stuck the very end of it between his teeth, then slowly leaned closer and closer to Tess's huge face as she stretched her neck out. When she was about six inches away, she couldn't see the carrot any longer, so she started flapping her lips and the smacking noises made us all start to laugh.

"Keep going," Evan said encouragingly, "Couple more inches."

Tess finally clamped her lips on the free end of the carrot and chomped it off about two inches from Brendan's mouth, leaving an orange string of slobber hanging from the rest of the carrot. Brendan spit it out and laughed, then fed Dory the left over bit.

The chicken was done by then, so we went inside, got our plates ready and went out to the picnic table. The roses were still blooming, and it was cool in the shade of the big tree. After we ate, Brendan tried out the swing while Evan lounged at the table with another beer. I threw tennis balls for Chew.

"He looks so much like you it's scary," Evan said, as we watched Brendan leap out of the swing for the tenth time. "Can you see it?"

"Fuck, a blind man could see it. When he first spotted me at the bus station, we stood and stared at each other for a few minutes."

"Were you that skinny when you were his age?"

"No, I was always beefier than him. He's built like I remember my old man."

"Then who are you built like?" Evan asked.

"I don't know. Probably the milkman."

When it got dark, we headed inside and cleaned up the dinner dishes. Brendan picked up a dish towel without being asked and I wondered if that was his own idea or if Barbara had primed him with a few household chores. Or maybe he dried dishes every night at home – I had no idea – but it was nice with all of us working in the kitchen together. Evan got Brendan talking about school and they compared algebra teachers. Evan was his usual affectionate self with me as he moved around putting dishes away, and I could see Brendan watching every time Evan squeezed my shoulder or patted me on the butt.

As he closed the cupboard door on the plates, Evan asked, "TV or books?" and glanced at Brendan. "You like to read?"

"Um, yeah." He had that deer-in-the-headlights look. "I, uh, brought a book. It's one they made us read in, like, sixth grade, but I read it really quick back then and now I'm reading it slower. So I can, like, enjoy it or whatever."

He trailed off when we both started to smile at him.


"Nothing," Evan said. "It's great that you read. What book is it?"

"Across Five Aprils. It's about this kid whose brothers all go off to fight the Civil War."

Evan was nodding. "I know it. That was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. I bet it's still in my bedroom at my folk's place."

"Yeah, I guess it was written a long time ago."

"Not that long," Evan said with a laugh.

We got ice cream and arranged ourselves around the living room. Evan took the chair because he liked the light, which left Brendan and me on the couch. We slurped ice cream and read our books (Evan had gotten me to try To Kill A Mocking Bird and I was enjoying it) until around ten. When I looked over at Brendan, he was slumped sideways onto the arm of the couch, sound asleep.

"Long day," Evan said softly.

I stood up and walked to the other end of the couch, then touched Brendan's shoulder lightly. His eyes flew open and he jerked away from me before he remembered where he was. Then he flushed a little. "I wasn't really asleep."

"No problem," Evan said, waving away the thought. "We're going to bed."

"Yeah," he said, getting to his feet. "Me, too."

We headed down the hall, and when he stopped outside the door to the guest room, I stopped, too. As we faced each other in the dim light of the hall, he looked very young and a little lost, and I had a wild urge to hug him. But I didn't and the moment passed when he lifted a hand from his side in a non-committal sort-of wave and stepped into his room.

"See you in the morning," I said. "We're up around seven."

He just nodded and closed the door. I stood looking at it for a few moments before going into our room where Evan was in the bathroom brushing his teeth. He was naked, and his cock waggled from side to side counter to the motion of his arm. I watched it for a few seconds, still lost in thought. Then our eyes met in the mirror as I got my toothbrush ready, and he gave me a foamy smile before spitting into the sink.

"He's a nice kid," he said as I scrubbed away. I nodded; he did seem like a nice kid.

As we settled down to sleep, I lay there for quite a while, listening while Evan's breathing slowed, listening to the clock chiming softly in the living room, wondering about the boy down the hall.




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