This is a work of fiction. Any similarities between the characters in this story and real people (appearances, names, etc.) are purely coincidental. This story may contain homosexual material, including love and sex, so if material like this is illegal in your region or if it discomforts you, please leave.

It takes quite a bit of time and effort, not to mention money, to run a site like this. Even more so when the service is FREE. So please take the time to donate what you can to Nifty HERE

Strawberry Wine

Chapter IV

12 July 2016

"Fuck you, dude!" Bradley Shumacher cried joyously. "Fuck! You!"

My character died, so I tossed my XBox controller down on my bed and stood up. I walked out of my bedroom and downstairs.

"Mind keeping it down?" my mom asked from the kitchen table. "Your sisters'll be getting ready for bed soon."

"Sure, ma," I replied. "Sorry."

As I grabbed four bottles of Pepsi from the refrigerator, my cell phone vibrated in my pocket. I took it out, and saw a photo message from Darwin. I opened it and smiled. It was a selfie taken at McLean Skate Park. Darwin wore a one-sided smile and a wink.

"What?" my mom asked with an intrigued smile. "What's got you all blushy?"

"Oh nothing," I responded quickly and ran upstairs.

"Thanks," Michael Hanley said when I handed him a bottle of soda.

"Have to quiet down," I told my friends. "Ma said the girls will be in bed soon."

"Hey, why is Darwin Horner sending you selfies?" Ollie asked, whom I hadn't known was peering over my shoulder.

I tried to hide my phone in my chest, but Brad snatched it and read, "'Just for a kiss'? What's going on, man?"

Mike snatched my phone from Brad and asked, "Are you gay? Is Darwin gay?"

"No!" I answered and tried to get my phone back. "No. I'm not gay. Darwin's not gay. But we went on a date last night, okay?"

"You went on a date?" Brad asked, shocked. Excuse you.

Ollie clarified, "With Darwin? Darwin Horner?"

I gave up on trying to get my cell phone back and told my friends, "We went out on a date last night. Darwin went out to a movie and dinner. I was his romantic counterpart. There."

All three of my friends continued to stare at me with confusion. Mike's blonde brows furrowed in his deep thought.

"Sooo..." Brad began, and sat down lax. "You're not gay. Darwin's not gay. But you went out on a date. Together."

Wow. "Yes. I'm bi. Darwin's bi. He found out about me and asked me out. We went out. On a date. On a romantic date. We will continue to date because we like each other."

Ollie shook his head and asked, "Wait, you're bi? Since when? How?"

"You guys are simpletons," I cursed, more to myself. "That means you are dumb. Following so far? If so, raise your hand."

Mike, Emerlane High's most likely to become valedictorian, began to raise his right hand. But Ollie smacked his forearm.

I said, "Seriously, how have you guys not picked up that I'm bisexual? I talk guys with Katie and Loren and Wendy all the time. Literally all of the time."

Mike shrugged his shoulders and stated, "I just thought that you were, like, really secure in your hetero-ness."

"Well I'm bi," I told the guys.

"So it would seem," Brad nodded.

Ollie begged, "So tell us about your date with Darwin. What was it like? What did you guys do?"

Skeptical, I asked, "You guys seriously wanna hear about my date with a guy?"

I looked at each of them on my full-sized bed. None of them look particularly excited, but they did look curious. And Brad shrugged his shoulders.

"Okay," I replied and leant back against my pillows. "Well I was mowing lawns when Darwin texted me yesterday. I just thought he was looking for another friend or something, someone to chill with. We went to see The Secret Life of Pets. That's when Darwin let know it was a date. He grabbed my hand."

"And what did you do?" Mike asked.

"I looked at him. I was confused, but my heart was beating a lightyear a minute, I swear. He came forward, I went in, and we kissed."

"No way," Ollie said, awed.

"Totally. It was... it was awesome, guys. Darwin has the--"

"--Nope," Brad cut me off. "No details about Darwin himself."

"Okay. Sorry. But his kissing is... I couldn't ask for a better teacher. Let's just say that."

"You've kissed Justine," Brad stated.

Mike chimed in, "And Lucy."

"Yeah but that was, like, two years ago. Anyway, Darwin kept a pretty tight hold on my hand throughout the rest of the movie.
"We walked to Distarin from there. Darwin held me close with his arm around my back. I'm talking lower to mid-back. Romantic part of the back. Like, he hopes to get in my pan--"

"Okay!" Ollie loudly said. "How was dinner?"

"Dinner was amazing. Seriously. You have not been on a date unless it's with Darwin. He is good listener, and speaks so open, and his laugh. Oh, my god, his laugh.
"And we walked to Center Square Park. We watched the sunset, and stargazed and cuddled on the hill. I'd never thought I'd feel this way about a guy."

"Feel what way?" Brad asked, intrigued.

"Like..." I responded and thought. "Like I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings. Like I can't wait to see where this goes."

Ollie patted my knee and told me, "For what it's worth, Dude, I'm happy for you."

"Me, too," Mike threw in. "But we should go crack open a beer. And then go scrape our knees and rub dirt in it. And then work on Jase's truck. And then break our arms and hope they heal properly. Manly stuff."

"What?" I asked, offended. "Why? Just because I'm dating another dude doesn't make me a--"

"Calm down," Mike cut me off. "We just listened to our guy friend moon about a date. We should just stick some tampons in our asses."

The rest of laughed softly, and Mike joined in. I unlocked my cell phone as my friends resumed the video game.

Date Unknown

I don't know how long I had been shackled up by ceiling with the pink-gold disk teaching me the alien language using hologram images. I had been able to speak the smallest, simplest of sentences when the grey-purple wall before me dissipated into nothing. A different alien walked in, and the wall behind it reformed.

"What-" I began fearfully. "Umm... huna kaer?"
[What doing?]

The alien gave no response. It walked up to me and raised its hand. My lip wobbled, I had been fighting off whimpers and tears. But the alien swiped a finger across one of the shackles. This caused the shackles to lower from the ceiling slowly until my toes touched the floor, which was surprisingly warm.

I was still trying to calm myself when I asked, "Huna kaer?"
[What doing?]

But the alien, again, gave no response. It didn't even look to care. It just bent in half and swiped a finger across a shackle around my ankle. Both shackles opened with a click and fell to the floor. I seized the opportunity, unthinking, and delivered a kick to the alien's abdomen.

The alien must have predicted resistance and retaliation. It grabbed my ankle in one of its gloved hands and one finger developed that familiar ball of rainbow light. It touched my calf, and billions of painful tingles traveled all over my body. My legs gave out due to the immense pain, and I threw my head back as loud screams began to make my throat feel raw.

"Okay!" I screamed, begging, pleading.

The alien released me ankle, and I hung there by the shackles on my wrists. I cried softly and whimpered. I no longer felt the stinging pain but the aftershocks had lingered.

"Duq'qi," the alien commanded and gestured for me to stand.

I planted my feet on the smooth stone floor and tried to stand, but my muscles were much too jittery.

The alien lifted its hand again and said, "Duq'qi."

I planted my feet again, and was able to stand simply because I was fearful of being subjected to the pain-emitting light. The alien reached up and swiped on the shackles, which fell from my wrists and reclined into the ceiling.

The alien pointed its hand at the wall through which it entered, and commanded, "Be'huk."

I was tentative to step forward because my muscles were tingly and shaking due to a combination of mild atrophy and pain aftershocks. But I stepped forward slowly, and nearly lost my footing. On instinct, I reached out and grabbed the alien's shoulder to steady myself. Surprisingly, the alien didn't become angry or disgusted, but it didn't look overly happy either.

When I felt that my legs would support me, I let go of the alien. The alien walked on ahead to the wall, and it dissipated. I stared with hesitation, I'd wondered if the wall would harm me, close on me when I reached the middle.


For a moment, a pregnant lapse in time, I stared at the alien. It's white eyes seemed blank, but perhaps that was due to the fact that they had no visible irises or pupils. So I stepped forward, and my leg muscles were feeling much stronger.

The corridors of the... I don't even know what building or structure I had been in. The corridors were the same grey-purple stone. The floors were smooth and warm. The walls bore no decoration of any kind. It was all just the familiar stone-looking material.

There were also dozens and dozens of the aliens walking from corridor to another, from one corridor to another. Each was dressed in the exact same skin-tight holographic vests and pants. Each looked exactly the same with the neon-yellow skin with forest green splotches. Though, they each had height differences and body types.

I followed the alien for quite a while, I'd guess it was between three to five minutes. The alien stood before another wall and looked back toward me, waiting. When I reached its side, the alien turned back to the wall, which dissipated.

"Hin'ik," the alien said and gestured me forward.

"Neq'qi?" I asked, hopeful.

More forceful, the alien responded, "Hin'ik."

"Please!?" I begged and tears prickled at my eyes. "I'm so- I'm so hungry! Please!?"

The alien's face remained blank, its three white eyes were blank. But the alien raised its left hand and the tiny rainbow ball of pain emitted from its finger. I whimpered and ran into the tiny room. The only object into the forty-square-foot room was a grey-purple stone bed.

As tears trailed down my face, I turned back to the alien. It was turning its back and began to walk away. Grey-purple matter formed around the arch doorway until it was a complete wall again.

While I cried silently, I approached the wall. I tentatively reached my left hand up and my fingers touched the solid wall. Surprisingly, the touch of the stone-like matter reminded me of linoleum, but it was warm.

I pushed my fingers and, as expected, the wall did not give. I groaned as hot tears escaped my eyes and used both hands to pushed. Again, the wall did not waver.

I sunk down to my knees and said, "Mom? Dad? Please tell me you're all okay. Please tell me you made it to Darwin. Please be okay."

13 July 2016

It was just past two o'clock in the afternoon when I parked my mom's S.U.V. on Vorolopous Avenue. I texted Darwin that I was parked outside, and extend the vehicle. I leant my back against the passenger side door and waited.

I didn't wait more than twenty seconds and the Horners' front door opened. Darwin looked absolutely sexy in a pink and blue colour block tank and grey cotton shorts. His smile is small, bashful, and he slipped a pair of wayfarer sunglasses on.

Darwin surprised the shit out of me when he came up to me. He grabbed the waistband of my denim shorts and pulled me forward. He attached his lips to mine, and gave me a deep kiss. I smiled inside the lip lock and touched his waist.

"Can't believe you made go a whole day yesterday without kissing you," Darwin teased.

I rolled my eyes before I responded, "Oh, poor you."

"I have no doubt that you suffered just as much as I did," Darwin retorted with a smile. "Probably more, in fact."

I shook my head and responded, "Nah. I'm a man. I suffer through pain like I'm picking daisies. See this wrist? I stumbled on the stairs and fractured it. And I can still rotate it like it fine."

Darwin threw his head back in his unabashed laughter. I laughed softly as well, and kissed Darwin's cheek. I opened the passenger door for Darwin, who giggled, and I closed it behind him.

"Where're we going?" Darwin asked while I buckled up.

"I thought we'd picnic at Lake Scarlough."

Lake Scarlough was a small lake near the town of Emerlane, about a twenty to thirty minute drive. During the drive, Darwin and I talked and laughed with his cell phone connected by the aux cord.

"So who's watching your sisters?" I asked.

"Katie," Darwin answered in a small voice. "She's the only person I know of that knows about us, so..."

"Mm," I hummed with a slow nod. "Can't imagine Katie babysitting, being responsible for little humans."

Darwin laughed softly and replied, "Yeah. My mom asked which Katie, knowing that's the only Katie I know. Katie demanded being set up with Curt as payment. That's the only reason she agreed."

"Oh, Curtis Lattering? Katie really likes him."

We arrived at Lake Scarlough and I parked the S.U.V. at the empty car clearing. Darwin joined me at the back of the vehicle and kissed my cheek before he grabbed the cooler. I grabbed the basket and we walked to the edge of the lake.

"I wouldn't have thought about doing a lakeside picnic date," Darwin stated. "But this is awesome."

Darwin and I ate as we chatted and shared laughs. His smile was big and beautiful, especially when he laughed because it reached his green eyes. He once reached to my forehead and swept a stray lock of wavy hair out of my eye. That made my heart flutter, and a blush to hear my face.

I learned that Darwin's favourite movie was Ferris Bueller's Day Off because Ferris was someone who always had a plan, someone who made loafing off an art form, someone who could fall in a barrel of you-know-what and come out smelling like a rose. Darwin idolized Ferris Bueller.

I learned that Darwin had been taking ballet classes from age four to age nine, but stopped because he had broken his leg at a playground. He liked ballet, he said it gave him a sense of discipline, but recouping after a double fibula break was difficult already without he added stress and worry of thinking about ballet.

I learned that Darwin was going to be an uncle, his half-sister Mollie was nine weeks pregnant. He had hoped for a niece, and hoped to go to college to get a great-paying career to spoil her.

And then Darwin cleared the table of our sandwich containers and potato chip bags and water bottles. He had me sit before him, and he weaved our legs together. We sat up close and personal, I could feel his breath on my chin as we ate the container of strawberries and blueberries.

Darwin listened intently, without he utmost attention, after he asked what my future plan were. I had told about my plan to graduate high school a year earlier than expected. I told him about my dream to attend either M.I.T. or Harvard or Stanford to study economics. I told him about my dream to study the shit out of economics, graduate with the highest of honours, and win a Clark Medal.

"A what medal?" Darwin asked before he popped a blueberry in his mouth.

"A Clark Medal. It's one of the highest honours an economist can receive. I hope to provoke deep thought and better understanding of economics to people all over the planet. I want to increase knowledge, so that our race as a whole can solve issues like world hunger, decrease national debts, promote stimulus and surpluses in companies, and help societies make better choices with their monies, with their futures.
"And then when I've done all that, I hope to win the Nobel Prize in economic sciences."

Darwin nodded slowly, thoughtfully, and he looked nervous. He said, "I don't know what I wanna do. I don't know what I wanna study in university. I don't know what I'll be doing after uni."

"That's okay," I softly told the brunette. "Not everybody does. And even if they do, there's no guarantee that that's what they'll be doing. My mom studied marine biology for two year when she was in college but she now works as an accountant.
"You don't have to go to college. You don't have to know what career path to choose. You don't have to know what your path is yet. You're only sixteen. You can choose one thing, and then change your mind in ten years if you want. This is gonna sound cliche, but the world is your oyster."

Darwin offered the tiniest of smiles before he leant forward. He pressed his forehead to my temple, and I drove my fingers through his wavy brown hair.

Darwin and I stayed cuddling like that for God knows how long. The only muscles that moved were in my fingers as I gently scraped my nails on his scalp. My cell phone had vibrated multiple times, so I checked.

With our faces still glued together, Darwin asked, "Everything okay? Do we need to go?"

"No," I answered and laid my phone down on the table. "My mom just asked me to pick up eggs and milk later. We can stay here til eight o'clock if we want to."

Darwin chuckled and said, "Okay."

A minute later, I complained, "Okay, my ass is sore from this table. Wanna go for a swim?"

Darwin smiled with amusement and said, "I- I don't have swimming trunks. Just my boxer-briefs."

"Oh," I replied with faux disappointment. "And I only have my briefs."

Darwin laughed before he asked, "Were you planning this?"

"No. I didn't plan on swimming, even though it's such a hot day. We don't have to. We can just sit here. With our butts aching. But not from sex. No sex happening in public. Well, not right now. Possibly never in the future. Unless I'm drunk. That's the only way I see it happening. When I have liquid courage. But I've never been drunk before, so... Well, I've never tasted any alcohol except for beer. Didn't like it. Nope, not one bit. Which makes me scared to try--"

Darwin laughed and said, "Okay, stay here and ramble. I'm gonna go see how the water is."

Darwin untangled our legs and hopped off the table. He unabashedly and confidently lifted his tank over his head, which displayed his defined pectorals and abs. The happy trail that traveled down into his cotton shorts was a thousand times sexier to see in person.

And then my breath hitched. Darwin untied the strong and pulled his shorts down. His dark green boxer-briefs pulled down a little, which showed me a bit of the coarse hair of his brown bush. My dick was hardening so fast, and my breathing was becoming haggard.

"C'mon," Darwin said as he laid his shorts on the table. "It was your idea to go for a dip."

And with that, Darwin turned and stepped. As he walked toward the lake, I couldn't help but stare at the tanned expanse of his back. His back wasn't muscular per se, but it was all kinds of sexy.

And that butt! His green boxer-briefs hugged his round glutes sinfully. And it swayed sensuously with each step. That didn't help the blood rushing to my nether regions.

Darwin was knee-deep in the blue lake water by the time I came out of my reverie. He continued to wade deeper in, so I stood and peeled my shirt off. I looked up, and Darwin had just bent forward and into the water. He reappeared from the surface about ten feet deeper, and floated on the calm surface on his back. His hands moved softly, which made his lax body slowly swim further in.

I took my shorts and eyeglasses off and walked the twenty feet to the water. The water was extremely warm, perfect. I swam leisurely to Darwin about thirty feet away, and turned onto my back.

"Hey," Darwin greeted softly. "This is an awesome idea for a date. I really like it here."

"Hmm," I hummed my agreement, and couldn't help but smile with pride.

Darwin and I stayed afloat in a companionable silence, and my eyes remained closed. The only thing I could see was the red tint of my eyelids from the scorching sun.

After a few minutes, Darwin reached over and grabbed my hand. I blushed and smiled, and my chest swelled with affection. Darwin laced our fingers together but neither of us clasped our hands so as to keep our muscles lax.

Darwin and I had stayed lax in the water for another twenty to thirty minutes before I said, "Well, I think my fingers are sufficiently pruned."

Darwin giggled, but followed when I turned over and swam back to the sandy shore. There, I walked about six feet up the sand and sat down. Darwin, the muscular and sexy jock, stood between my knees and turned. He sat down between my thighs and leant his back to my chest. I giggled at the cuteness as I supported our weight.

Again, neither of spoke. I certainly didn't feel the need to. I just liked being in his presence, being all snugly. After a few minutes, I reached my left hand up and finger-combed his wet hair.

"What kinda bird is that?" Darwin asked while he pointed in the distance.

"I dunno," I answered. "I can't see."

Darwin resumed scraping his fingernails on my knee when he asked, "Just how bad are your eyes?"

I laughed boisterously and replied, "Bad. My eyeglass prescription is a little off and I just got it back in October."

Darwin giggled as well, and gave my knee a gentle squeeze.

Another ten minutes later, Darwin, "Do you hear that vehicle coming? I- I don't care if they see us like this. If- if you don't."

That touched my heart in ways I didn't know existed. I kissed Darwin's temple. Seconds later, a silver Ford parked in the clearing, and a family of four exited.

The middle-aged woman saw us and said, "C'mon, kids! Back in the truck! We'll find a different spot!"

The man chuckled and replied, "Oh, come off it, Bev. They ain't hurtin' nobody."

"Gus!" the woman cried, aghast.

The man called to the kids, "Go for it, guys! Go for a swim! But only knee deep!"

The boy couldn't be more than eight-years-old, and the girl five or six. They both cheered happily and ran to the water. Darwin remained using me as a lounge, and I didn't mind it one bit.

About two minutes later, as the two kids frolicked in the lake, Darwin said with humour, "Well, I'm officially over this."

I giggled, but agreed. The loud children and the parents sharing a hushed and heated conversation harshed my mellow. Darwin stood, and helped me up as well.

As we grabbed put clothes off the table, the man paused emptying their own basket to say, "I'd offer you boys to feast with us, but it looks like you just ate."

"Thanks," I told the man kindly.

Darwin added, "But your darling wife seems to disagree with our lifestyle."

"Gus!" the woman whined. "Are you gonna let this faggot talk to me like that!?"

The man sighed heavily, but turned back to me and asked, "We just moved to Emerlane last week, anything we should know?"

"If you're into coke," Darwin began and walked toward the S.U.V., "see a guy named Dima in the east side. If you're not, stay away from him if you know what's good for you."

The man's face dropped, but he thanked Darwin regardless. At the S.U.V., I got a blanket out of the back and held it up as Darwin removed his wet underwear. Darwin did the same for me.

"I want so badly for this date not to end so soon," Darwin stated wistfully, "but Katie is probably about ready to drop the girls off at some playground and leave 'em there."

I laughed as I agreed, "Yeah. I wouldn't be surprised if your sisters are already at the Schull school playgrounds."

"Can I see you again on Friday?" Darwin asked quietly, shyly, and grabbed the hem of my tank. "I think- I think I wanna ask Curt and Katie to double."

"Oh," I replied with complete surprise. "I- are you sure? Is that- are you comfortable with that?"

Darwin shrugged and answered, "I dunno. But if I were to come out to someone first, it would be Curt. But only if you're okay with that."

"Of course I'm okay with that," I quickly told the brunette. "Why wouldn't I be okay with that. It's your coming out experience. It's your life. He's your friend."

Darwin sat in the back hatch and clarified, "Because I'd be telling him that you're my boyfriend."

"Oh," I said, again completely shocked. I couldn't fight my eyebrows shooting up. "Right. Yeah. I mean... yeah. I'm your boyfriend. I mean we didn't talk about that. Not that I'm opposed to that. Oh, my god, why would I be opposed to that? You're so fucking sexy, man. Like, killer sexy. Like, your level of hot could literally kill. Well, not literally kill me because that is physically impossible. Unless you're Johnny Storm. Which you're not."

"Shut up," Darwin begged with utter amusement and pulled me in between his legs. "Do you wanna be my boyfriend?"

"Yes. I mean yeah. I could be your boyfriend. Boyfriend. We're boyfriend status. You and me. Official."

Darwin pressed his face to my chest in his laughter that sounded both amused and annoyed. Which I didn't know was possible.

Finally, Darwin said against my tank, "Okay, I was not prepared for your inhuman ability to ramble. Is it too late to rescind the 'Boyfriend Invitation'?"

"S'up to you," I replied with a shrug. "I'm just happy I got an invite in the first place."

"You're not even heartbroken."

To Be Continued...

Hope 'Strawberry Wine' is to your liking so far. If you want to check out my other fictions, they will be listed below.


Car Radio

Do Not Go Gentle

Near Wild Heaven

The Other Half of Me Unknown

A Quick Fall

Some You Give Away

Somewhere A Clock is Ticking

Tearing Me Apart

The Trick is to Keep Breathing

You Call it Madness

You Don't Mean to Hurt Me