Chapter 8: Brick-Book Crunches

We managed to pass through the corridor, where people sitting in the most uncomfortable positions gossiped about the usual stuff, and went to look in the living room. I was still holding Merry's hand and wasn't bothered at all. They were going to see me and I didn't care. The contact between us was becoming so addictive that, if possible, I would stay like this all night. Though, there was more to come later in the night.

The living room was spacious. There were people everywhere around the house, though it was not that crowded here that you would bump into someone with each step. I could see Reece with his teammates and other jocks from school and pretty much all other acquaintances from there. People, known and some unknown, ran past us as we stood at the doorframe of the living room. There was no sign of Hayden yet.

I quickly scanned the whole room. Overall, the party was in its early stages, but there could already be seen people who had a little bit too much alcohol. Not that the people here needed to be drunk so that they could fool around, because that's what you saw everywhere you turned: couples making out on the couches, by the TV, on the floor in the corner. It was like the whole house had become a place for raging fantasies and hormones to be unleashed. Beer and vodka bottles, mostly, kept coming in from somewhere and, although I counted more than twenty put together on the table in the middle, they soon disappeared and made room for others to be placed. An exception was a small group of three or four people behind the glazed door across the room, which led to the backyard. They were probably getting high, smoking pot. I had to be careful not to let Merry near them.

I have to admit that the one thing I liked about his parties was the music. There was not a trace of modern pop-crap. It's not like that was enough to lure me here, but still... Reece's good taste. Rock music blasted from the huge speakers, placed in two opposite corners of the room. Songs from old rock n' roll bands shuffled one after another. Surprisingly, all of the people at the party were in tune with the sound, even the ones I knew that weren't into that kind of music.

Those who weren't sitting were dancing. Those who were aroused from sexual pleasure and those who were aroused from dancing often lacked some piece of cloth. People who weren't intoxicated couldn't be seen.


As Reece saw us and headed over to greet us, all eyes were directed to Merry and me. The stares were caused by my little gesture of holding Merry's hand. People were looking at us like we didn't belong there. The music was blasting but I knew that every conversation in the room had stopped. And what I read on their faces angered me. If we were holding hands we couldn't be at the party, that's what they thought. I didn't think for a moment about the consequences. What happened at the party didn't always stay at the party. I didn't have time to think that I had actually outed myself. What mattered was the person beside me, nothing else. I had shielded him, covering half his body with mine, and tried to protect him from the sudden change of the party's behavior.

"This can't be! My future best man coming to one of my parties! It's not my wedding yet!" Reece joked and gave me a brotherly hug, but he saw the tensed expression on my face.

He turned around and took a look around the room. Then he looked at Merry and me and smiled.

"Manny, my boy! How are you?" he said unexpectedly and also gave him a hug, almost lifting him from the floor. Before I could say anything about the name calling I watched how like mowed down wheat all ill stares were swept away and people returned to their own business, which was drinking, dancing and kissing. The host made it clear for everyone not to bother us. "Drink and have fun," he continued as he patted cheerfully Merry on the back. I thought he was a little scared at first, but now giggling at Reece's manners.

I pulled Reece aside so I could talk with him without Merry hearing. He couldn't even when being this close because of the music. He didn't mind us and just studied curiously what grown teenagers really called fun.

"Was this your grandiose idea, to pollute his head like this?" I whispered in his ear.

"What are you talking about? This is just a party. I'm surprised to see you here, Jace. It was not part of my plan." He sounded absolutely sincere. I could tell.

But, somehow, I already knew that neither of my friends had planned this. It was Merry's idea. He had planned our date... again. He just wanted to be with me.

Reece skipped to the table with the alcohol and returned with a bottle.

"Here, Manny, drink up!" He handed him an already opened beer. "Have fun! Dance! It's a party! Jace, make sure he has a good time," he said and went back to his other friends.

As though he needed to tell me! And what's with the nickname?!

"Wait," I said as I took the beer from Merry. "I'll get us something to drink." What if there was something in the beer? I wouldn't be surprised if they put something; I had to look after Merry.

I hesitated for a moment. Should I leave him alone? What if something happened? He saw the look on my face and pointed in the direction of the kitchen. Andrew came out from there and when he saw us he waved and headed in our direction. I looked at Merry and nodded. It was the first time we understood each other without words, the first of many.

As we passed each other with Andrew I told him to stay with Merry till I returned. He made a curious face but nodded in acceptance. I headed for the kitchen where I thought all the alcohol must be kept.

Sure enough, the fridge was full with beer and just when I was about to close its door something covered my eyes. The hands were small, smooth and soft.

"Guess who?" a pretended male voice said.

"I can recognize those breasts pressing on my back even blindfolded. I wondered where you were."

"Here and there. It's a party," Hayden said as I turned around. She had a goofy lop-sided grin on her face. She was expecting to hear something. "Well?" she finally asked. "How are you two doing?"

"Hehe. You can tell from the fact that I am here," I told her unequivocally.

She got excited and overjoyed again and reached to hug me. I could tell from the scent of vodka that she was not all that sober. Then again, who was at the party?

"That's great, Jace! I'm so happy for you two!" she said as she released me from the prolonged hug. "So... will you stay overnight... together?" Her grin spread wide.

Okay... that took me by surprise. Again. She expected an answer that would satisfy her prying nature, but at the same time I needed one for myself as well. How did she manage to unlock thoughts like that twice today? I didn't say anything and headed back to Merry, hoping that she wouldn't pursue the topic anymore.

"Just go back to the party and don't cause any uncomfortable situations," I wished to myself.

But she dragged behind me all the way back to Merry and Andrew.

They were sitting on a couch at the far end of the living room, as far away from the crowd, if that was even possible. There was another person with them, a girl their age I've seen in school. They were laughing together at something and my eyes locked on my pretty boy. Seeing him so cheerful from a distance made me smile goofily.

How this night would end, I wondered.

I walked to them and just before I handed Merry the beer a hand grabbed his own, which reached for the bottle, and pulled him up on his feet. Don't do anything stupid, Hayden!

"Ah, Manny, I'm so happy to see you." She hugged him tight, almost lifting him off from the ground.

His face got buried in her proud woman upper parts and when she stopped squeezing him I saw that Merry's face had flushed with a deep red color.

"Umm... I'm happy to see you too, Hayden," he said above the loud music as she let him go. He had the most bashful expression I had ever seen on his face. It was probably his first time when he felt that kind of closeness from a girl. I put a hand on his back as to tell him it is okay. In an instant his shyness was gone and he took the beer from my hand.

"Can't you behave normally!" Andrew's voice sounded above the music. He tried to make it as accusing as possible, but I doubt the little version of Reece was able to tame her wild nature. Only he could do that.

"Oh, little Drew, do you want a hug, too?" Hayden opened her arms for him, literally.

"Knock it off already!" He was usually laughing at Hayden silliness, but a glance at the girl explained everything. "Guys, I'd like you to meet Camie. She's a... friend." The way he said it... That Andrew that I knew since little had the same kind of air floating around him as me. Camie was a friend, his friend. I saw the girl's cheeks turn slightly pink and her lips formed a sheepish smile. She was cute. I thought there was something familiar about her, but I couldn't guess what it was.

The girl said something but it didn't reach our ears, then greeted us with a smile. She was probably shy because of me and Hayden, mostly Hayden, being there.

I wanted to find a place to be alone with Merry, but we had to separate yet again.

"Jace, can I... talk to you for a moment... alone." Andrew eyed me with a pleading look.

I had the same look when I turned to Merry. This was so not the place for us to enjoy each other's presence. I knew that from the start, yet I thought it didn't matter where we were. The party was keeping us apart, rather than enveloping us in closeness. Oh, but how much the feeling grew! I wanted him more and more!

Andrew looked at Camie and I told Merry we'd be right back. He lead me to his room upstairs, be it to be able to hear each other without the music blasting in our ears or to not have eavesdropping listeners. Was this about Merry? Did he know? Oh boy, the explanation was going to be difficult.

Andrew paced through the room while I sat on his bed. I didn't say anything. I waited for him to begin. Would he take it well? It surely would be a shock for him after knowing me for such a long time. He practically grew up around me and Reece; I felt him as a brother probably as much as Reece. If only I hadn't kept the secret from him for so long.

"You know, I tried talking to Reece about this, but with his easy-going character he wasn't of much help." There it is! He began. The next couple of minutes would be a torture of misunderstandings and explanations. "We've known each other for like forever, isn't that so?"

"Would that continue after you know?" I thought to myself.

He stopped in front of me and looked me in the eyes.

"I want to ask you..." His voice trailed away.

"It starts with the question. Will you get straight to the point?" My mind was thinking of all the possibilities.

He started walking around in circles. He looked nervous. It was bothering him so much...

"What would you do if you had feelings for another person, but you couldn't be with that person because of the circumstances?" The words came quickly out of his mouth.

"He's testing me, right? I'll tell him straight away! I don't want to be placed over live coals."

"You just have this thing inside you," he continued, "an attraction, but it is so strong that you can't control it. You know it with your whole body and soul that that person is the only one that can make you feel that way. They're not able to leave your thoughts. You think about them, you dream about them, you wish they were close to you all the time and when they really are you're like dumbfounded and unable to think about anything else than the inability to talk about something. That person's special, right Jace?"

I couldn't suppress it anymore. My heart was pounding fast. I just wanted to tell him and get this over with. Others pressuring you to admit you were gay was not something I would let happen. But this was Andrew. He had to know. Why didn't he just ask normally?

"Yes. Yes! Andrew! Stop!" I shouted. My voice must have scared him because as he was going in circles he suddenly jumped back from my reaction. He looked at me stunned. "I like Merry, okay! I wanted to tell you a long time ago, but I didn't. So... you know now!"

I stood up, ready to leave the room. As he saw me move, Andrew came to his senses.

"Merry? Marian? Who's talking about him?! I'm talking about Camie, man!"


"Oh, shit!" was all I could say.

Neither of us made any movement. Minutes passed. Our eyes didn't meet even once. I avoided his gaze and I think he avoided mine. Neither knew what to say.

"You and Marian," I heard him murmur to himself.

I wanted this to be over; I wanted to get out of the room. What advice could I give him about Camie? I couldn't possibly tell him what to do. I could tell him the obvious, though. Gosh! He had no idea what would happen when he led me up here to talk. I didn't know that this would happen tonight!

"Guess you can't help me then," Andrew finally said and let out a prolonged gasp. He came and sat next to me on the bed. "Hehe, it's not like I'm that surprised..." His voice trailed away. My eyes were fixed on my clenched fists on my knees.

"I wanted to tell you, but... I guess it's a shock to find about me like this." I didn't look at him. I was still trembling a little, but I wanted to say what I had to say. "We should have told you before appearing like that tonight. Just don't be upset with Merry..." He probably had questions and I was preparing for them.

"I sorta knew, Jace," he said and I heard him chuckle. I looked at him: same old Andrew. "Geez! What was with that outburst! You scared the shit out of me!" He punched me lightly in the shoulder.

It made me laugh. Everything was okay.

We were probably going to continue chatting like that, but the rare moment had to come to an end. We needed to get back to the party where our two important people were. It was kinda funny that both our liked ones: Merry and Andrew's soon-to-be girlfriend were together downstairs while we shared our thoughts and feelings about them in the bedroom.

"By the way, I saw the way Camie was looking at you. She definitely likes you, that much I can tell," I told him as we got up.

We didn't notice, but it was strange that as I opened the door no sound blast hurt my ear-drums. There was no music. The party had somehow made a pause and the door-barrier, behind which we had our whole-hearted, friendly chat, was as though it was never placed to separate two different backgrounds.

Excited voices and shouts sounded from somewhere downstairs. When we reached the staircase I saw that everyone had gathered at the front gate and outside of the house. There was something going on. People were in an uproar commotion. Probably a fight broke out, but there was an unusual interest judging from the crowd. We went back to where we left Merry and Camie, but they were nowhere to be found. The living room was fairly empty, except for the few immobilized bodies on the couch and one on the table. I learned that Reece had gone to get some more booze from one of them when he tried to ask me when the higher degree would arrive, referring to the alcohol, no doubt. There was only one place where they could be and in a nearly panicked state I rushed back to the hallway and into the crowd of people.

A familiar and unpleasant figure revealed itself to me as I pushed past the front row of bodies that were standing as though they were at the theater, watching a show. My blood instantly boiled and rage took over me as I saw...

That face made me remember why Camie seemed familiar. She bore resemblance to him. I also understood Andrew's words about why there was a problem with him being with Camie. It was because of me and Merry, and a big part of Reece. But even before I realized any of that I had tackled Ashton to the ground and had begun hitting him furiously. If I had the chance to see myself from aside I would not have known who that person was. I wasn't myself; I was possessed. Me, the one who is usually calm and composed, to be driven to such an extent, to such measure. It was because of what I saw that I was so enraged. I saw a scene the same like the one on the school parking lot that day. Ashton's car was parked roughly across the lawn. He had pushed Merry against the car, holding him by the collar. He was shouting something in his face. Everyone else were standing around and watching. They wouldn't help the gay boy. Not on this party, not while Reece was gone. Not to mention at school. Camie was standing aside and with the front porch giving light to her face I saw she had tears in her eyes. What drove me insane, angry, mad, out of my usual self was the horror look on Merry's face. The boy was probably wondering why I wasn't there, asking himself what I was doing that I couldn't help him.

I beat him; my fists engraved his body with the burst of anger. I beat the person that I was once attracted to; but not anymore now I had to protect Merry. I thought that a long time passed, though he didn't react at all or tried to fight back. I hit him till I felt a strong grip pull me away from Ashton. I struggled; I wasn't finished with him; I wanted to pummel his body till there was nothing left, but the hands held me tight in one place.

"Easy there, buddy." It was Reece behind me.

I was looking at the figure on the ground with bloodthirsty eyes.

"Jace," I heard Merry near me. I looked at him. "I'm okay." His voice was emollient.

It was then that I saw him with a seriously worried expression for the first time. I stopped struggling. Was he... afraid of me? My eyes searched his for signs, something to tell me he was still mine. In that moment everything seemed unreal. What had I just done?!

"Merry," I softly said.

Reece had let me go. I took a step towards my blond angel; he didn't move. I was feeling guilty now that I realized what I did to Ashton. I reached with my hand and touched his shoulder. He put his hand on top of mine.

"Hey..." I said.

Looking each other in the eyes, connected in our own way and world, we both whispered a sorry. My sorry was because I wasn't there to protect him and when I tried he saw me going out of my mind. But Merry... He was blaming himself for getting in a situation like that. He was blaming himself for the awful feeling that I had within me. I told him it was not his fault. Our hands entangled tenderly and I slightly winced when his fingers brushed against my sore knuckles. We understood each other almost silently, on the level of which only two lovers can.

The street lamp and the light coming from the porch were illuminating the enjoyable, for some who were mostly not involved, and the painful and unpleasant events. After Merry, I had become the center attraction to the party, though we were put aside as everyone's attention was now focused on Ashton. Cheering till a moment ago like a bloodthirsty pirate: drunk and swung on its mood, the crowd had now settled down into silence and suspense. We were standing aside, next to the front of Ashton's car. Reece and Ashton were sidelong the car, one still lying on the ground and the other standing above him, waiting him to get up. Camie and Andrew came to us and I saw the worried expressions on their faces, the same like Merry's. As much as Camie tried look firm and composed I could see she was barely keeping her tears back. Andrew was holding her hand and was trying to comfort her. Strangely, the resentment I expected from her was not directed to me at all, but to the body on the ground.

"Hey, hey, dude," I heard Reece say to Ashton, who had gotten up on his feet, "if you're here for the party, then you have to know no fighting." He was going to take care of it delicately.

Ashton was wobbling a little while he stood on his feet. Blood was dripping from his nose and he wiped it with one hand. It's not as though I did much harm to him in that little time, but he really looked beaten up. He took a look around him. His eyes travelled from the crowd behind Reece and back to him. Ashton's face frowned when he saw the figure standing in front of him. But when his eyes stopped at me and our group of four a detestable grimace replaced it.

"You know," Reece continued to talk even if Ashton didn't answer him, "you can come inside and join the party." He continued to handle it in a care-free manner.

Ashton's only answer was a mumbled fuck you. He leaned on his car with one hand and it became clear that he didn't want to fight. He looked down-hearted, not his usual assertive self. I thought that was because of Camie.

"Camie, let's go. Get in the car." He turned towards us. All eyes were now looking at the girl whose hand Andrew was holding.

"Just leave, Ashton. I'll stay a little longer." She wasn't pleading; her voice was sharp.

His aggravated nature wasn't subdued anymore.

"No, you're not!" he yelled. He had a look of utmost disgust as his eyes met mine and Mery's and then stopped at the holding hands of the two in love. "Mom and dad left me in charge, so I'm telling you to get in the car!" He was making quite the scene and he didn't care.

It became clear to all who didn't know that Camie was Ashton's little sister. Underneath that nasty nature of his, he was definitely a loving and caring brother. Though, he didn't snow it the way people could understand right away. Maybe I understood that he wanted to protect his sister the same way I wanted to protect Merry. I thought that he was brave enough to cause a ruckus when the party was full of jokes that could make it hard for him to leave in one piece, even if they were from the same school and people knew him well. I understood him, but that could not excuse him for hurting Merry; he shouldn't have done that. If this wasn't Reece's party and if it wasn't for me and Merry being here, it could have been different, being that he didn't like us. But still, because of that I sensed, there was some kind of unfriendly friction between the two siblings, which wasn't entirely our fault.

"Oh... Oooooh. I get it. She and you..." Reece, who had now understood how things stood, glanced back and forth to his brother and to Ashton.

"So, you're not with the fag, but with the brother, huh," Ashton sneered.

"Stop it! I'm not coming with you!" She was holding tight onto Andrew's hand.

"You shouldn't be here! If you don't want to get in trouble, let's go home! Do you hear what I'm saying?!" He was almost hysterical over nothing.

"You're being an idiot! I'm not going anywhere with you. Why did you hurt Marian?"

"I saw the fag touching you "

"Hey," I snapped out angrily.

I had Merry safe, but I wasn't going to let Ashton's homophobic presence ruin the night any longer.

"Hey, buddy, chill out." Reece had gotten closer to him and he had put a hand on Ashton's shoulder. "Come drink a beer inside. It's a party!" But Ashton harshly and angrily brushed his hand off. He didn't consider that at any given moment Reece could do to him a lot worse than me.

"That fag thinks he can do whatever he wants," Ashton screamed viciously. "I saw him touching you! I saw you together! You're not staying here! When I catch him alone..." He didn't finish.

What the people around were expecting all along finally happened. I didn't want Camie to see it, neither did Andrew, but Ashton had to be dealt with somehow and words alone weren't gonna do it. Reece's fist knocked him down on the ground almost senseless.

A sudden excited shriek, piercing and louder than the music before, drew all attention to the house, as though what was happening wasn't enough. I thought that if the music hadn't woken the whole neighborhood, then that scream did. Hayden rushed out of the house and from what I could hear and understand she was repeating my name. As she made her way through the people in front of the house, who were pulling aside to make way, she saw our group and headed towards us. Her look was rather disturbing and hilarious at the same time, but not that strange for the party.

"There you are! Jace, hurry!" She grabbed my wrist and tried to drag me with her. "You must come and see the stars in the sky out back! I was resting in the bathroom and I saw them through the window there," she was ranting without noticing anything or anyone around her. "Oh my god! You must see! Come on."

"Hayden, wait," I said without letting myself be dragged. "Stop!"

She turned around to face me and her other hand, which for some reason had a knife in it, stood between us. As I looked at her, her whole appearance was silly and bizarre. Her hair was a mess. She had some white liquid on her shoulders; it looked like beat cream to me. Apart from the knife, I saw she had stuffed her jeans with fruits. Literally.

"Hey, Hayden, are those lemons in your back pockets?" Reece walked to us.

"Ah, yeah. I'm almost finished. I came to get Jace, so he can get an inspiration."

"Hayden." I was trying to get her to see what the moment was before her intrusion.

"By the way, why did the music stop?" She asked, still not grasping.

"You look idiotically like always." Andrew stepped in.

"Oh, hey, guys!" She finally looked around her. "What's going on here?"

"We have a situation..." And I explained it to her without going too much into the details.

The problem was how to get Ashton to leave willingly without taking Camie with him.

"Don't worry," she said and smirked at me, then turned to Camie and said there's no problem, whatever that meant. "Leave it to me."

She went where Ashton was shakingly leaning on his car, taking his breath from Reece's blow. He hadn't seen Hayden when she came and maybe because of the double beating he received tonight, he probably thought he was hallucinating or something. Seeing Hayden with a knife in hand and stuffed jeans with fruits made him smile. That was an unbelievable sight! She leaned close to him and whispered something in his ear, after which an even goofier grin appeared on his face. It was like he wasn't the same person who a minute ago was fuming with aggression.

"Camie," he said, ready to get in his car, "I'll let you stay another hour or two." He looked at Hayden again as though he wasn't sure he really wanted to do it. I saw her wink at him. Then he turned to Andrew. "You make sure to bring her home," he grunted.

And he was gone.

"Way to go, Hayden." Andrew happily exclaimed. "Who would have thought you could be useful!"

"Okay, everyone, back to the party! Show's over. Put the music back on!" Our host was putting things in the normal party order. Everyone headed back to the house. "By the way, what was that about, Hayden? What did you whisper?" It seemed only Reece was bothered by Hayden's actions and persuasions.

"Haha. That's a secret." She winked at him and put her index finger on his forehead. "I have cocktails waiting to be made in the bathtub." And she tiptoed inside, screaming and chanting party.

Me and Merry, hand-in-hand, didn't move till we were the only ones left outside.

"Hey, are you okay?" I asked attentively.

He looked me in the eyes.

"I think I saw a banana... stuffed down there."

We both laughed thinking how funny Hayden's outfit was. I thought Merry was still shocked or scared, but he was actually bewildered.


Soon, the incident was forgotten. As though nothing happened, the party continued and returned to normal, if normal could even exist between these people. Although the plan was for me and Merry to be together here, there was always something to split us apart. It was like a whole chain of events had been triggered from the moment we had stepped in the house. Still, nothing separated us for a long time after the whole Ashton thing and we stayed together, trying to enjoy the party.

We ended up on one of the couches together with Andrew and Camie. We were probably the soberest people around. Not that we didn't have a little beer. It was to lift the spirit a little and not feel like we were isolated from the party. Hehe, and it was cute to watch how my curious boy tasted alcohol for the first time. It wasn't like I wanted him drunk. I told him he didn't have to prove anything to me, but he was doing it because he wanted to, so he said. We had a good time, which was strange because neither of us was really a party freak. You would think that since Andrew was Reece's brother and had his blood he would be on the same level of craziness as him, but no. The four of us stayed there on the couch talking, laughing and drinking a little.

When the atmosphere and the stuff happening around us became too weird, we decided to get out of there. Too weird like Reece playing his guitar, accompanying the music that played, and Hayden pressing a cocktail of hers to his lips, which I saw had a banana in it, and singing along with the rest of the people around them. It was time for Andrew to take Camie home like he promised Ashton and they left quickly, not wanting to see where things would progress. I suggested to Merry that we go somewhere quieter where we would be really alone. I still didn't know how the night would end, or what I wanted to happen, or what Merry expected to happen. We were taking the steps unknowingly of where they would lead us exactly.

One of the guest rooms on the second floor had a balcony at the side from which Hayden wanted me to look at the stars. The backyard with the pool was underneath us and it was slightly illuminated from the light of the living room that made its way through the glazed door. The small shining sparks did leave a miraculous inspiration. But what really got to me and made the moment emotional was that I shared it with the special person next to me. We were neither in school, or in my car, or in his house. This was different. I experienced this before when I was at his home, but now we were both out of our comfort zone and maybe the party was really the best idea for us to be together. We were alone and we could be ourselves.

We stayed almost in the dark and gazed at the stars.

"I can't believe we're doing this," Merry spoke. "We are here... together. Am I being silly? I'm being silly, right? Hehe."

I bumped my shoulder in his as we were leaning with our elbows on the parapet.

"I feel the same way. It's as though I've known you forever, when actually this is the fourth day since we know each other and... that kiss you gave me." I looked at him and in the dark I could see his blue eyes shimmer like stars. "Four days of unforgettable events," I whispered.

"Yeah, but all those sneak peeks I've caught you taking for a month now," he teased. "If it wasn't for them I... hehe... I wouldn't have given you a half-kiss that day."

"Half-kiss, huh..."

It was my turn; the moment... now or never.

Our eyes were locked in a deeply-emotional gaze and as I leaned forward we both closed them. It was his breath that I first felt, then the touch of his warm, soft lips. We sealed our breathing. Our bodies pressed. We kissed under the night sky full of stars.

The moment, which I had been waiting for since my first predatory, amorous thoughts about Merry, left me in sheer ecstasy. Even if I had a passion for writing, I couldn't describe the exuberance of feelings that overwhelmed my senses.

After a few seconds we slowly broke the kiss. In the vehemence of our merging my right had come up to his cheek. The tips of my fingers gently caressed the smooth, soft skin. My other hand was around his waist and his delicate frame felt like a feather in my embrace. Merry had a tentative look on his face, but yet one filled with passion and lust. I found trust there; trust and innocent beauty. I noticed that his hands were ready to slide under my clothes. In our silent love gaze he seductively bit his lips and leaned his head forward for another kiss.

"This is... You're... amazing," Merry said after we broke the kiss again. "You're... all I ever wanted, Jace." Even though we took it slow and affectionately, I could feel him in my hands that his heart was beating like crazy and his breathing was in fast, small puffs. My body was in the same excited uproar.

"Hey..." Whispering seemed fitting for the almost dark, romantic atmosphere. "Wanna try something?"

His blue eyes got wide. He bit his underlip and I could tell he surely blushed.

"Everything with you," he whispered.

I realized what and how I said too late. My idea was sort of stupid for a time like this, but I wanted to let him know that I'd been thinking about it.

"Hehe, I didn't mean it like that." He made a cute face that mimicked disappointment. "It's about what you said yesterday..." I let some space between our pressing bodies. My hand slid down from his cheek; it brushed along his arm and clasped his hand, entangling our fingers. "... you know, about me telling you about writing... So, want to do something like that now? Hehe, it sounds like such a nerdy thing to think about when we were kissing just now."

I wasn't sure how exactly he would react, but a second later his face beamed.

"Really, Jace?" He again became excited over a small gesture. "That would be awesome! For a second there I thought you had some dirty thoughts in mind." He giggled. "As much as I'd like to hear the naughty ones, your other thoughts are better. I'd like to have from them now, please. The other ones let's save for later."

Could he be more... perfect?

"Okay, so, we'll try doing something like an exercise," I said, still holding his hand and looking him in the eyes.

"But... I thought you said that exercises..."

"I know what I said," I cut him off. "Hehe. This is different."

"What do I have to do?"

How did the idea come to mind right now? It was from the past... but with Merry it would be different.

"We'll both describe what's in front of us... Hmm... ourselves. It has to be the way you'll potentially write it on paper, so you may do it in a more artistic way. Understand?"

"Oh..." He bit his lip again and lowered his eyes for a moment. "Can I do you first?" he asked anxiously as he lifted his head back up.

If it wasn't dark, he would have seen a very frustrated and flushed me. When he sensed I was fidgeting and overheating, the cause being his straightforward question, he giggled and had me laughing along with him.

"It'll be fun to hear."

"Maybe even a little kinky." He teasingly licked his lips and to my a-little-surprised look he answered with a finger to my lips. I was to remain quiet and enjoy. Hearing about myself? No. Hearing Merry's thoughts about me? Hehe, I wasn't that self-obsessed. We were now connecting and making bonds on a grander scale. Our feelings were evolving and taking over new expressions and different forms. Love is love, simple, yet hard; but the most difficult thing is to learn about the world of the person you are with. That's what we were doing. "But you have to close your eyes," he said eagerly. He really entered into his part of my idea. After I obediently did what he told me, I felt his body's warm presence move away. "Let me think for a while."

During the time he tried to construct his thoughts into his own creative style, I stood unknowing and unseeing. A few minutes passed when I felt Merry come close.

"Even though it's dark," he started, his voice full with melodious affection, "the figure in front of me is not a silhouette, but a living image resting vividly in my mind. It is so deeply and emotionally engraved that I know every little detail in that person's appearance. He has the most tender characteristics. His luminously green eyes hold enchanting and captivating grace. His outer world speaks for a strong individuality and it also alludes to his immense and rich inner self. It goes deeper the more I spent time going through my thoughts about him. He's sophisticated, and thoughtful, and creative and has a charming personality that he doesn't often show, but the truth is he's a great friend who cares about the people around him. There's a living flame inside him that burns with the passion of a thousand sunrises. A poet's heart, unchained and free, has found existence within his aristocratic soul."

He paused after that almost culminating point where his voice raised and in triumph it reached its highest melodic pitch. My eyes were still closed, but if they weren't, I probably would have let a joyous tear slide down. What I just heard were things no one ever truly saw in me. I was fascinated, but I also felt Merry's own fascination and feelings. I became aware of his body that came close to mine. A warm touch on my chest made me quiver as though I was the innocent one, as though this was my touch. Because what I understood from the connection when Merry slowly rubbed his hand was that things started to change. In my mind, the literal exercise was over. He was probably thinking the same.

"Right now that person is wearing a blue sweater," he whispered in a voice that had changed into a seductive tone, "which, although I find him very cute and sexy in, I'd so like to tear it and get it out of the way." Was I hearing right? I had the urge to open my eyes to see him how he was inquisitively teasing me, but I thought I would ruin the moment. At the same time, while he was still rubbing my chest through my clothes with one hand, I felt his other hand creep towards the end line of my clothing. "I often fantasize about him at night," he whispered lustfully. His hand slid under and rested on my bare flesh. The sensation was amazing. His small hand was soft and warm. I was becoming weak in the knees and incredibly aroused. "I don't think he even suspects all the things I want to do to him." His hand was moving under the sweater and caressing my naked skin. It tickled and it made me even more excited. I hadn't realized until now, but my hands were also under his shirt and were stroking his back. But Merry completely had me in his possession and power. His other hand traveled down my body and stopped at my thigh. He squeezed it playfully. Then I felt him lean closer to me. His hair brushed against my face and I became intoxicated by his scent. I felt his breath on my cheek, close to my ear. "And although he is unbelievingly handsome, the urge to ravish him wildly comes from the beauty of his soul." I was never this hard before! And as though Merry didn't know what his voice, and scent, and body were doing to me, he moved the hand on my thigh in an upstroke till it reached my throbbing erection. "I didn't say it, but that person is my boyfriend." As I was seeing nothing but darkness, being anxious, oversensitive, on the verge of exploding from the lustful passion, Merry kissed me and our bodies intertwined into the oblivion of pleasure. If there could be a climax in his description, it would be now, at the same time as mine was.


The atmosphere abruptly changed when the balcony became illuminated by a strong, bright light. We were startled and surprised and as it swept away the darkness and revealed both our faces, we understood that our erotic moment, in which we were submersed in each other's mutual expression of feelings, was over. Our smiles faded and we became frustrated by the unexpected interruption. I felt as though I had become nude and uncovered. A sense of embarrassment appeared.

Along with the light, which was coming from under us, the music that we had gotten used to and was all along a subtle fractional sound suddenly got louder. In a frenzy, almost like a myriad of people, though not that many, not believing my eyes, I saw people shrieking out of their senses as they rushed past the glazed door underneath us in the back yard and, running towards the pool, they started jumping into it without any inhibitions or hindrances. Among them I saw Hayden and Reece. Of course...

I was still holding Merry in my arms. We stood like that aghast, but also thinking and wishing nothing had stopped us. I doubt anybody noticed us, so we remained for a while like that, silent, not wanting to break off our embrace. My mind began to clear a little and, not really wanting, I began to think about things. What happened between us? And what could have followed? Too many emotions passed through me for one night. Too many to comprehend at once. All I knew was that it felt good to be close to Merry, feeling his warmth and essence, his pounding heart, his sweet aroma. His spirit!

But... it seemed that everything had a tendency to happen in pairs tonight. Above the music, my ears caught up a barely audible sound that was coming from the other side of the house. I sighed in frustration. It was the sound of sirens. It wasn't many minutes later when the blasting music from the party quieted down. The screams from the pool that instantly pierced my hearing also begun to quiet down when it was realized there was no insanely-high euphonic noise. I knew what would follow and who exactly had come. Though the neighbors didn't have any problems with Reece's parties, imagine that, when someone called once in a while, he would always come to test the party's spirit. The next couple of minutes would decide the fate of this gathering. In most cases it ended right away. Not that I cared about the party. If I were to be honest, I enjoyed the struggling scenes that took place at a time like this. I was a party pooper... secretly.

"Hehe. Come," I said to Merry. "I want you to see this." I took his hand in mine and we went in the house.

Only when I started to move I became aware of the little messy problem in my pants. I looked down and saw no visible clue, so I decided I would bear with it till later. I didn't want to think about it, but I wondered if there would be more action to come after this was over.

When me and Merry got down to the backyard we saw an officer had already appeared and was standing near the pool, urging the drunk and wild teenagers to come out of it. It wasn't him, though. He looked young; he was probably new to the job. That's why no one was responding to a word he said; they just laugh at him and tried to get him wet.

Not everyone from the party had jumped in the pool. Now that there was going to be yet another spectacle, which some knew about and others had heard, they gathered in the backyard.

I was wondering where he was, but when someone gripped my shoulder, my question was instantly answered. There was no other strong hand like that. I turned to my side to see that enormous body-build of the only person I was ever scared of.

"Hey... Uncle Dave," I muttered.

He looked even more massive in his uniform. Uncle Dave was around 2 meters tall, muscular and very moody. That was all you needed to know, because it was a risk to speak anything more than that. The figure stood almost above me, making me a little nervous. Was it a good idea to come down?

"Haven't seen you in a while on one of these, heh." He patted me on the back, which felt more like a hit.

I looked at him and tried to guess the mood he was in, but to no avail, though the beer I saw in his hand before that told me he was somewhere in the positive zone. His eyes were directed to the pool, searching for Reece, no doubt. He must have made an eye contact with him because a sly smirk appeared on his face. In less than a minute, by a silent command, everyone hurriedly got out of the pool.

"Hey, old man. Haven't seen you in a while at one of my parties." Reece said as he got out dripping wet. He chuckled at the overshadowing figure standing in front of him.

"You call this a party?" He laughed. "Boy, this is nothing compared to the ones we had in the old days. Right, Henry?" He turned to the young officer, who was at least 10 years younger than him.

"Umm... Sir?" It looked like his partner was slightly confused. "Aren't we on duty?" He hinted about the beer.

"Oh, yes, of course," Uncle Dave said and in one gulp finished the bottle. "But we're here for the party, Henry. Look here now. This is how it's done."

Good. It appeared he was in a good mood.

I glanced at Merry beside me and he had a very amused look.

That's when our beloved Hayden entered yet another of her madwoman states.

"Uncle Dave," she screamed, turning all the attention to her... again, "where are those concert tickets you promised?!" An apple got thrown at Uncle Dave and it bounced off his chest. She probably still had it in her pants.

Huh... From the looks of it, Hayden was in trouble.

"Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry." He stepped up to her. "I'll make it up to you."

"Really?" Hayden happily, more like ignorantly, exclaimed.

"Yeah." He hugged her, his huge body completely enveloping her. I found it strange because she was wet from head to toe. "But you know what? Why don't you search them back in the pool!" And with that he threw her into the water again.

Uncle Dave was a kind soul... in his own ways. Reece and I used to play a lot with him when we were little and he always tossed us around. We were playing, yeah, but if you could only guess how rough of a play it was. But he was the kind of guy that didn't look down upon us teenagers and took us seriously. We considered him a friend. That's why he always enjoyed ruining Reece's parties.

"Strangely, this time it weren't the neighbors down the street," Uncle Dave said and turned back to Reece. "Someone wants to ruin your party, Reece?" It was Ashton's doing, no doubt. "Well then, I'll take the role for a while. You know what the procedure is, right?"

"You're going down," Reece said with incitement.

They walked away from each other along the edge of the pool. Their eyes didn't leave the other's body movements even for a second. They were going to have a fight.

"If I get thrown in the water, the party continues, but if you fall in, it's over," Uncle Dave explained the simple rules.

It didn't take that long for it to be decided. They didn't have enough time for positioning, because Reece instantly rushed towards Uncle Dave. Maybe he thought that a surprise attack would work on him. Maybe under the alcohol's influence he had believed he would win over the 2 meter giant. He was quickly dealt with and sent back where he earlier jumped in.

No one else had the guts to stand against Uncle Dave, so they submissively consented that the party was over.

Uncle Dave was pleased, but when he turned to me I knew it wasn't all over. His look gave me shivers. I saw his eyebrows raise in question and a smile appeared on his face.

"Hello, there," he said and extended his hand, but not to me. "I'm Uncle Dave," he introduced himself to Merry.

Merry! I was holding his hand the whole time. Uncle Dave saw it! The entertainment I wanted to show him didn't turn out the way I had it in my vision.

"I'm Marian," he reached for his hand. It was like a kitten's paw compared to a tiger's. I thought Uncle Dave would do some stupid manly thing like clutching his hand, but he didn't. "Nice to meet you, Uncle Dave," he smiled brightly as though he and I weren't seeing the same monstrous thing.

"Welcome to the family, little buddy!" Uncle Dave... smiled. He smiled! He was... cool about it. What was happening tonight?! "Jace!" He turned to me with a changed expression. A wide grin appeared on his face. He threw one arm across my shoulders. "A man's a man when he has a reason to live; when he protects and loves," he said all worked up. He probably thought his other hand was stretching somewhere into the nothingness up ahead, but he actually pointed at the pool and the people around it. I was perplexed at his unusual personality. "You see Henry there." He pointed to his partner not far away who was talking with a drenched Hayden. "If he wasn't wearing a uniform, he would be a beast at this party. I know him well enough to say that. Don't look that he is slightly embarrassed right now. That's because of Hayden's harassment... Hmm... What does that girl have in her jeans?" I heard Merry's giggle somewhere behind me. I hadn't realized, but Uncle Dave had made me move with him a few steps further towards the pool. "You, Jace... don't have a party spirit!" After hearing that, I felt his strong hand push me.

The cold water enveloped my body. After the initial shock of the sudden dip and the absence of air, I managed to get to the surface. As I was climbing the pool ladder, cursing politely Uncle Dave in my mind, I saw a grinning Merry before me.

"Hehe, this was entertaining, Jace!"

I had to laugh, seeing him so cheerful because of my soaked self.

"Reece, you know what you have to do," I heard Uncle Dave's voice. "Better luck next time!" He was leaving. His job was done... "Henry, Hayden, leave yourselves alone. Let's go!" Did they names not sound alike?

Reece was talking to his teammates, probably trying to explain yet another time what domineering power Uncle Dave held over him and how he had to listen to him. I noticed that everyone else, maybe after seeing the lost fight, had started to leave.

"Ahh, I enjoy the struggling youth, Henry," were Uncle Dave's last words I heard before he left.

It's not like he broke up the party because of someone's call... of Ashton's call. It was because he enjoyed it. Simple as that.

The party had officially come to an end. But when Merry got close to me and looked me with a charming, yet lustful look, and I saw him bit his lip, I knew the night was far from over.

"I get to see you change," he said with a wink.

The way he teased me held a unique feeling to it.

"You want to try the water, too?"

I stepped towards him with opened arms for a hug. He just giggled and evaded when I tried to grab him, then ran back to the house.

One thing that was good about my midnight swim was that it washed the mess in my pants. That sort of happened by chance like a lot other things before it.

I followed Merry back to the guest room with the balcony. He had nowhere to run after I closed the door. The frightened deer was trapped... Hehe. As though I was going to wear anything dry again tonight. He wouldn't let me put a piece of clothing on me. He waited for the moment when I would be most vulnerable. I had to take off these wet clothes, but even in the dark I wasn't going to just strip bare naked in front of him. Hehe, I might have been the older one, but I was still a little shy.

We didn't say anything. Only our breaths vibrated in the silent darkness. When my eyes got used to it, the outline of his body became visible. Wet or not, he didn't move or protest when I held him in my arms. My lips touched his and the kiss made us forget we had been interrupted when we did it the last time. It didn't last that long, but it felt as though it was forever. When our lips parted, Merry started to go further down, placing kisses on my cheek and stopping at my neck where his lips buried in. I winced from the touch and gave out a slight gasp. My knees, like before, were ready to let up. My wet clothes were in the way, so were his dry. He struggled to get my wet sweater up, but it was stuck to me.

"Come on. Strip for me." he slyly said. Just when I wanted to start things for once, he got ahead of me. He had already a long time ago started our intimate exploring. The little cute devil... "I want to see your six-pack, hehe."

"Heh, yeah... I don't exactly put books in my backpack and do crunches with it." He giggled.

We somehow got out of our clothes. I remember unbuttoning his shirt and removing his T-shirt, also slipping down his underwear and feelings his smooth, firm globes; I remember how as he tried to take off my sweater our naked chests pressed and when he got to my underwear his hand brushed against my hard, solid member. We didn't give much thought to it, not because we weren't enchanted by the other's body, but because we felt it much more exhilarating and breathtaking to exchange small erotic gestures in the darkness. I untied his hair and his tail bloomed into silky tufts. At the same time Merry had my other hand to his lips and he was kissing my sore knuckles...

Having Merry lay next to me naked was an over-thrilling first experience. The images were finally unlocked, but only after we took that step.

"I want to kiss every golden lock of you," I said and played with his golden locks.

We were in each other's embrace. Our hands were slowly exploring what was within reach, caressing fondly everything soft and warm. However, we did not attempt anything yet.

"Being passionately poetic... I like that."

Merry nuzzled in me and breathed air into my neck. It sent ecstatic shivers down through my whole body. I felt his hand travel down my chest, to my abdomen. It brushed my raging boner purposefully and rested on my thigh.

I didn't think of it till now, but I was probably going to be Merry's...

"This your first?" I asked.

He bit his lip.


Considering what he did to me till now...

I kissed him on the forehead.

"It's my first time with you, I think," I said affectionately. That managed to get a giggle from him and take away any nervousness. "Let's take it slow..."

Our bodies were whining for attention.

We shared another kiss.

I thought the feeling would be like really experiencing it again for the first time. It was with Merry...



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