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TheEggman

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About TheEggman

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    DE, USA
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    Guitar, bass guitar, classic rock, digital recording, gay rights, writing stories.

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    keithhundser0922

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  1. TheEggman

    A loss shared

    *** As was posted on Timmy's Treehouse Nov. 5, 2013 *** Tonight, I am the bearer of tragic news. The world has lost a great man tonight. D, of D&B, passed on to the next life. Not only was he a great writer; but he was a great friend and a caring father figure to quite a few people who owe what they have become to his generosity with his love. His wit and friendship will be deeply missed; his puns might take a little longer, but they will be missed too. He was always there to lend a hand however he could. All of us will miss him, not just the CSU authors that worked with him, but all of the readers and board members over the years who have interacted with him. Please feel free to leave comments and memories below, if you can. Please keep Barb (the 'B' in D&B ) in your prayers; during this time she needs all of the support we can give her. Dave, give Kyle a hug when you meet him at the Pearly Gates. I’ll see you there! AC Please pardon the delay in sharing this; it's taken us most of the week to recover from the sudden shock. (TheEggman) The family has requested that memorials be in the form of donations to a local LGBT organization in memory of David Wilbur.
  2. TheEggman

    Chapter 30

    LGO-31 has been my primary goal since July. I started a new job in July also, thus the slow writing. Guaranteed, it won't be 5 years, like between chapters 8 and 9.
  3. TheEggman

    Chapter 30

    With only the TV lighting his room, Corey cuddled with Drew on his bed. This was the third night they had watched the eleven o’clock news. Corey knew it was the result of seeing the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’, and the next morning’s conversation with Drew’s parents. Corey agreed that they needed to pay attention to current events, but it was often frustrating. They had changed their Internet account front pages to see preferred news stories. Corey was seeing one set of news from his Excite account while Drew was getting top stories from other services on his Yahoo account. Thankfully, the channel seven ABC news ended with the weather and sports wrap-up. Corey looked up into Drew’s eyes. A few moments later, Drew locked eyes with Corey, softly chortling, “What?” Corey shrugged, “Nothing too world shattering on the news tonight; just the usual politics, local building fires and gang problems.” “The Dodgers beat the Mets, eight to five,” Drew cheekily grinned. Nodding, Corey sniggered, “Small wonders never cease.” Drew sighed, “I know, angel; it’s generally boring day-to-day stuff.” “We’re learning more from the web sites for The Advocate, SPLC, Excite and Yahoo,” Corey offered. Drew nodded, “In about the same amount of time.” He then asked, “Do you want to stop?” Shaking his head, Corey said, “I know you want to keep informed, and that’s cool, but you were yawning most of the last half an hour.” “We were out in the pool most of the day, and again after dinner,” Drew reminded. “We came inside after your parents went to bed.” “So we could make babies,” Corey softly giggled. Drew grinned, “Quadruplets for you today. It took us all weekend to get back on a normal daytime schedule. We couldn’t have woken up for tennis any day the last week.” Corey wondered, “So what do you want to do?” “Definitely keep looking at the web sites you mentioned,” Drew quickly answered. After a brief pause to think, he uncertainly added, “Eleven o’clock news when there’s nothing better to watch?” Corey nodded then stole a kiss before settling down again and whispering, “You’re so awesome, Drew.” Tightening his grip around Corey, Drew confirmed, “You’re really awesome too, angel.” With that out of the way, Drew and Corey kicked back to watch David Letterman. Half way through, they switched to the Tonight Show. Since nothing interested them there either, they flipped to ESPN. Corey set the TV timer to shut off in two hours, intending to dive face first onto Drew’s crotch, but Drew pulled Corey back and on top of him for some late night Olympic tongue wrestling. The best part for Drew was when Corey turned tongue wrestling into real wrestling. Corey was definitely getting stronger. Drew had to struggle to get Corey into position, so he could straddle his hubby’s hips and take a ride. Cuddling afterward, with Drew’s head resting on his lover’s chest, Corey whispered, “It never occurred to me that you would like intercourse too. You rarely let a day pass without getting some.” Happy that his blush couldn’t be seen, Drew grinned, “I didn’t think of it either, until I talked to Keith and Prez, just before the Big Bear trip. That’s when they gave me the dildo.” Corey wondered, “Did you use it that day, before we used it together?” “I wanted to, but didn’t have the time,” Drew smiled. “My mom would always stop for something to eat after doctor appointments,” Corey shared. “I always thought it was for me, to get me to eat something, not realizing that she would have to work and needed an early lunch. Now that I think of it, I’m a little hungry.” Shifting to get up off Corey, Drew nodded, “Me too, and I have an idea.” Sitting up, Corey softly giggled, “Not in the kitchen again.” Drew smiled, “We’ll see,” and then rolled off the bed, offering Corey his hand. Once out of bed, Corey took Drew’s hand. They quietly left Corey’s bedroom, naked, which completely blew Corey away. Once well past the two bedrooms, Corey giggled, “You’re not afraid of getting caught?” Drew reminded, “Your mom’s already seen me naked, and with a morning chubby. If you weren’t puking, it prob’ly would’ve been full wood. Your dad won’t care.” He released Corey’s hand and went directly to the refrigerator. Drew opened the freezer and took out the vanilla ice cream. He then opened the fridge, leaned over and grabbed the last remaining strawberries from the crisper drawer. Corey grabbed an ice cream scoop, two spoons and then two bowls. Drew grinned, “One bowl and one spoon, Cor.” Nodding and giggling, because he knew that Drew intended to make this midnight snack very special and intimate, Corey returned one bowl and spoon. Drew got a knife and carving board then began cutting the strawberries into quarters. As if watching a master chef at work, Corey said nothing while Drew lined the bottom of the bowl with sliced strawberries. Then Drew added four scoops of ice cream. He topped it all with more sliced strawberries. Corey put the ice cream back in the freezer. Drew dumped the empty plastic strawberry container in the trash. Unexpectedly, Corey wrapped Drew in his arms, impishly smiling, “To let the ice cream soften a little bit.” Holding onto Corey, Drew nodded then moved closer so they were cheek-to-cheek. He sighed, “So soft.” “I’ll always love you, Drew,” Corey confessed. “I think I knew that after your first visit here.” “There was always an attraction,” Drew reminded. Nuzzling Drew’s neck, Corey giggled, “I waited four months for you to kiss me. I was done waiting and took a chance, not knowing if you’d allow it.” “As surprised as I was, I knew what a kiss meant and wouldn’t have backed away,” Drew dreamily admitted. Corey remembered, “After that first kiss, we always kissed each other as soon as we got here or at your place.” Drew whispered, “I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to really love you, angel. Yeah, I could feel it happening, but sex was the stumbling block. I should’ve known better.” “I was scared too,” Corey admitted. “Sex is the easy part, come to think of it.” Drew smiled, “I’m not scared anymore,” and then wondered, “How about you?” “Only of labor pains,” Corey giggled, and offered a romantic kiss that Drew accepted and returned. Corey stepped back then picked up the bowl of ice cream, intending to be the one feeding them. Drew picked up a small piece of ice cream covered strawberry then wiped it over Corey’s shoulder. Giggling and shivering, Corey watched his hubby lean forward and lick the spot clean. Once again, they played with their food, softly giggling and enjoying themselves as much as the snack. Nearing the bottom of the bowl, Corey got an evil idea. Drew spooned mostly melted ice cream into Corey’s mouth. Then Corey knelt down to take Drew’s chubby into his mouth. Shivering at the unexpected coldness, Drew quickly put the bowl on the counter before he dropped it. Corey didn’t finish what he started, but wanted the same from Drew. Lifting the bowl and drinking as much as could, Drew knelt down. Corey was already stiff and visibly lurched at the shocking coldness. Simply to get Drew back to the bedroom as quickly as possible, Corey finished the remaining fruit and ice cream. When Prez and Keith left Black Angus late Monday night, both sat in the 4Runner quietly for a minute or two before backing out and pulling away. In the passenger seat, Keith softly called, “Prez?” “Yeah, babe?” “Comparing Blockbuster to Black Angus is like night and day.” Knowing Keith was referring to the hectic pace of their job, Prez nodded and grinned, “It’s worth it for the bucks.” “A box of VHS tapes weighs as much as most bus-buckets, but I wasn’t lifting twenty every hour.” Prez giggled, “You timed it?” Keith nodded, “Every three or four minutes, on average, we’re back in the kitchen with another bucket.” Prez wondered, “And around nine at night, it slows down to what?” “About every five,” Keith rambled, “then every six, and unbelievably enough, when it’s down to every seven, after ten o’clock, it feels like we’re wasting space.” Prez began sniggering. Keith grinned, “At Blockbuster, I’d spend half-an-hour in the back store room, preparing tapes for rental, then bring the box to the front of the store to displays. I’d guess one box every forty-five minutes, compared to one bucket every four minutes.” “And we have to be careful we don’t run into other people, customers or others going in and out of the kitchen,” Prez chuckled. Keith nodded, “Which...” “only slows us down,” they both chorused. Keith admitted, “Four nights in a row of this and I’m so exhausted. The noise of that kitchen though, dude; when we get past the nightly rush and things finally quiet down, I’m relieved.” Glancing over at his lover, Keith leered, “Now I know how you got those shoulders, arms and abs.” “From our nightly bedroom calisthenics,” Prez chuckled. Keith nodded and chortled, “Only partially, sex-machine.” When Keith said nothing for more than a minute, Prez said, “Penny for your thoughts.” Keith shrugged, “I’m conflicted; part of me wants to go home, but the other part knows we’d be better off in Agoura Hills. I’m also remembering what Mike or Derrick said in early July; three couples gettin’ busy and keeping each going all night.” Prez cracked up. “There’s something not right,” Keith playfully rambled. “Part of me says, yech, old people shouldn’t have sex...” Prez roared laughing, but Keith stubbornly continued, “but sooner or later, we’re gonna be older. Nobody’s preventing me from playing with my favorite toys, not now or ever.” “I have a headache,” Prez giggled. Keith smirked, “Right, the last time I fell for that, I woke twenty minutes later with my dick in your mouth, groggily trying to force you off me and myself to not cum.” “I simply needed to give without receiving anything,” Prez warmly grinned. Keith nodded, “I got ya back first thing the next morning.” Prez teased, “Do you want to test our self-control?” Vigorously shaking his head, Keith grinned, “After school starts, baby. Until then, I have no self-control, especially with you.” A few moments later, Keith asked, “How’re you liking this summer so far?” Prez gushed, “It’s been great in so many ways. I know you couldn’t have planned it, but it certainly is very different from last summer.” “I did it all,” Keith playfully bragged. “I told Corey to stop eating, I told Drew to scrape up his boyfriend and shovel food into his mouth. It took quite a bit of searching, but Brian and Pete visiting was all my doing too.” Knowing Keith was overtired and getting sillier by the minute, Prez began giggling, which only fueled Keith’s rant. “After a few lessons from Mike, I got them all, visitors and friends, to get naked with us as often as possible and wherever possible. What did we see? Several limp dicks that are very similar to yours, and the same dicks stiff, proving that your old man probably has the smallest dick around.” “You live a very interesting reality,” Prez giggled. “Reality is up for grabs,” Keith rambled. “Drew and Corey are the prime examples of that; Drew being as forward as he’s been, and Corey gaining weight at a very nice pace.” “It’s not too visible on him yet,” Prez sighed. “It’s another work in progress,” Keith reminded, “like you, sex-machine. Now your pet name matches your incredible abilities, and totally smokin’ hot bod too.” Prez mooed a warning through his giggles. Turning towards Prez slightly, Keith smiled, “I’m so proud of you, baby. Now our two closest friends know that too.” Prez shrugged, “Don’t you think we all learned a lot about each other? I mean, it wasn’t simply sexual. Now I know that Derrick is completely repulsed by bathroom cleaners. None of the other three of us bitched about cancer rates attributed to friggin’ Dow scrubbing bubbles.” Keith softly sniggered. Prez smiled, “And Mike is an ‘all-or-nothing’ kind o’ guy. I knew that about his guitar playing, but the same attitude goes for everything else; keep him active, cooking or cleaning something, and he’ll go right to it to get it quickly done. If he’s not kept occupied like that, his mind wanders and he forgets something.” “We can live together easily,” Keith affirmed. Prez softly and gently prodded, “Now you need to decide what you want to do, Keith. Derrick, Mike and I are all set, our plans will be put in motion, but your goal isn’t.” Keith moaned, “I know. The thing is, I don’t consider myself a singer or a sound technician. I don’t think I could be happy studying business administration, and I’m definitely not a scientist.” He shrugged, “I dunno.” “Your SAT score in English was better than mine, babe,” Prez reminded. “What can I do with that though?” Keith wondered. “Journalism, and working for a newspaper or TV station? Other than that, I’d be looking at six or seven years to become a teacher or college professor, both of which sound boring as hell to me.” “Think ahead, babe,” Prez encouraged, and then elaborated, “Look how far the Internet has come in the last few years. Where will it be in another five years? Journalism for an internet news organization could be an alternative career.” Prez paused then said, “This is your education, not mine, babe. As much as I’d like us to go to the same school together, this can’t be for me or us, it has to be for only you.”Approaching the Kanan Road exit on the 101 northbound, Prez hummed then checked, “Burger King or Taco Bell?” Keith shrugged, “Taco Bell?” “It’s fine with me,” Prez replied. Prez took the exit ramp and stopped to check both ways before making the right turn on red. There were four lights at the intersection; two on the frontage roads and two for the 101 on-ramps. Seeing it was clear, Prez put the 4Runner in first gear and started to turn when the car behind them tooted it’s horn. Before Prez or Keith could say something, an old, but nicely restored early seventies Dodge Charger sped around them in the left lane. Keith sighed, “That nice car won’t last much longer being driven like that.” “Ev’rybody’s hurryin’ towards or away from something,” Prez impatiently muttered. A few moments later, Prez made the U-turn at Thousand Oaks Boulevard then drove a few hundred feet to the Taco Bell. He pulled into the drive-thru lane, where the same sweet Charger was in line in front of them, waiting to place their order. Keith grinned, “Karma; all the hurrying to get one position ahead of us in line.” Nodding, Prez smiled and sang, “I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers, consultin’ with the rain. And my head I’d be scratchin’, while my thoughts were busy hatchin’...” “If I only had a brain,” Keith and Prez both sang, and then helplessly snickered. While they waited in the Taco Bell drive-thru lane, they tried to remember more of the lyrics to the song. Soon, their orders were placed, they paid for their food, received two sacks of tacos and chalupas, and then they pulled away. Arriving at Doug’s and Brian’s home in Agoura Hills, they peeked in the kitchen window to find Derrick and Mike cuddling on the living room sofa and watching TV. Both were shirtless and wearing only board shorts. Derrick’s butt was on the sofa cushion, and his legs were wrapped over Mike’s legs and over the edge of the seat. Derrick had left the front door unlocked, so there was no reason for knocks and the dog wouldn’t bark. Prez saw his dog get up and head for the front door. Signaling Mike and Derrick, Rush trotted to the entryway to welcome his masters. After greeting Mike and Derrick, Keith and Prez sat at the table with their dinner. Mike grinned, “We have good news and bad news.” Keith smirked, “Bad news first.” Derrick softly explained, “Doug and Brian went to bed about an hour ago, so you’re showering alone, at the end of the hall.” Concentrating on unwrapping their dinner, Keith and Prez nodded. Derrick grinned, “Doug found our ice cream too, so we can’t play our late night games tonight.” Softly chuckling around their food, Keith and Prez nodded again. Mike smiled, “The good news is, you won’t be sleeping on the floor. We completely forgot that Doug and Brian have air mattresses. There’s one in the studio now, in a bag. Unroll it, plug it in, and it’ll pump up to a full size mattress.” “Very cool,” Keith smiled. Prez nodded and scowled, “I wish we had known that last week. Aaron, Danny, Craig and Glen slept on the floor.” Mike smirked, “I know. The sad thing is that there are two of ‘em, so none of them had to sleep on the floor.” “We forgot about the Memorial Day party, when they were last used,” Derrick offered. Turning the TV off, Derrick and Mike went to the table. Mike said, “There’s more good news. We got some of the pictures in our e-mail from Eddie already. Since I have the only color printer, we can work on the audition package tomorrow, if you want.” “I have an alternate suggestion,” Prez offered. All three wondered what it was, taking various off-topic tangents. Mike prompted, “What’s your idea, Prez?” “This is important to our band,” Prez explained. “I think it would be worth while taking all the pictures and previously prepared stuff to Kinko’s. Let them do the printing on color laser printers. It makes us look more prepared and puts a professional polish on it.” Keith wondered, “What do you think it might cost, baby?” Prez shrugged, “I don’t know. Our little package will only be about five or six pages. We can type up and print the bio’s for each of us, or put it on a floppy disk to take with us. Let’s make some assumptions; five pages that will be color photographs and text; this same package could be reused, at least in the short term, so let’s get ten copies of the package. If it cost us fifty bucks for five pages, I think that would be reasonable. Agreed?” Derrick, Keith and Mike agreed. Derrick summarized, “So ten bucks per page and we get ten copies of the prepared package. We should also set a maximum cost; in case they tell us it’s gonna cost more like a hundred bucks.” Mike hummed then said, “Twenty bucks per page for ten copies is ridiculous. Ten bucks, like Prez said, is a lot, but for something that looks good, it’s worth it. I wouldn’t spend more than fifteen bucks per page, or ninety bucks maximum for a six page package. If I had to go out and buy more color ink cartridges, and some real nice paper, to do it myself, that’s about what they would cost.” Keith asked, “Is that what we’re gonna do tomorrow? No beach?” Mike shrugged. Derrick offered, “How about we just stop by Kinko’s tomorrow and get an idea of what bucks we’re talking about? We don’t have all the pictures, or the text put together yet anyhow.” Prez smiled, “Cool. We haven’t seen the beach in about ten days and I was hoping.” Mike chuckled, “By the way, Graham wants to take Ben to the beach Wednesday, but since Ben has never been, he wants to, and I quote, ‘keep my teddy bear safe so he wants to go back again’.” Prez and Keith helplessly laughed. Derrick sniggered, “So tomorrow we hit the beach first, and then stop by Kinko’s on the way home?” Prez nodded and Keith giggled, “That sounds like a plan.” Mike and Derrick shared a glance that didn’t go unnoticed by Keith and Prez. Mike softly asked, “By now you’ve had a chance to talk about the four us, as in during the last few weeks?” Still eating and with full mouths, Keith and Prez nodded and tried to grin. Mike wondered, “Where are you at?” Swallowing first, Keith leered, “Where are you two nudists at?” Derrick began softly chuckling and covered his mouth, so he wouldn’t accidentally wake Doug or Brian. “Come on, Keith,” Mike pressed. “All we want to know is if either of you regret anything?” Having swallowed and washed down some food with soda, Prez quickly and a little too loudly assured, “Absolutely not. Right after we dropped off the key, I compared us to the top of a pyramid, as in the three of you are the most important people in my life. Beyond that, things get blurry. Drew and Corey rank high because they live, at least part time, with us. After that, it becomes more and more difficult to place pyramid bricks for Shaun, Jessy, Gil, Nelson, Ben, Graham, Eddie, Matt and so on.” Prez paused to catch his breath and unwrap a taco, then more softly admitted, “I wouldn’t normally get naked with too many people, never mind have sex with them unless I feel something.” He bit into his taco. Happily beaming, Derrick sighed, “That’s a relief. I hoped there were no ‘after-the-fact’ arguments.” “There was only one disagreement,” Keith grinned. Prez had to cover his mouth to prevent spitting taco bits around the room. Rolling his eyes, Mike sniggered, “It couldn’t have been that bad if Prez is laughing about it.” On the verge of hysterics, Prez got up from the table and had to step out of the house. Rush followed his master outside. Keith grinned, “Remember me walking on my hands and Prez getting excited about it.” “Omigod,” Mike and Derrick softly sniggered. Keith nodded and chuckled, “We tried making love, orally and anally that way. It was awesome, from both perspectives, bottom and top. We’re perfectly fine, dudes. In the grand scheme of things, I love Prez; serious or silly or anywhere in between. Right after him, there’s you two.” Derrick heartily giggled, “Prez did you then you switched and you did Prez?” Keith nodded, “It was his idea.” Red in the face from laughing, Prez came back inside with Rush. Mike commented, “It couldn’t have been too comfortable for the dude on his hands.” Sitting at the table, Prez shrugged and giggled, “It wasn’t, thus the disagreement.” All four helplessly cracked up, albeit much more softly, which only made the laughter last that much longer. When Keith and Prez were finished eating, they went to the studio to begin pumping up the air mattress. While that was happening, Prez and Keith took a shower. The four of them then sat around the computer, working on simple biographies for the six band members, including birth dates, which high school they attended and after high school plans. After returning from Eddie’s pool party, Ben and Graham made love, and then settled down watching the movie ‘Crossroads’, with Ralph Macchio. Relaxed in his own bed with his new boyfriend, Graham fell asleep before the movie ended. Ben stayed awake to watch the whole flick then turned the volume down and set the timer, so the TV would turn itself off in an hour. Shuffling down, Ben gently pulled Graham’s arm over his tummy then closed his eyes and fell asleep. In Agoura Hills, Derrick and Prez woke first around nine in the morning. Bowls of cereal were poured. Prez let Rush out the back door for his morning toidy. Since Doug and Brian weren’t around, Prez went to wake Mike in the guest bedroom while Derrick went to wake Keith in the studio, reaffirming that the bonds they had built in July would remain for the foreseeable future. With Prez laying on top of him and actively grinding away, Mike shuddered, his mind reviewing the prior summer, when he and Prez weren’t very friendly. Mike softly prompted, “Tell me why you called me last summer?” Lifting his head off Mike’s shoulder, Prez locked eyes with him then answered, “Remember what I told you about Justin, my friend in Texas?” Mike nodded, “Homophobe in the making.” Prez said, “I let him walk away if a huff. I let days pass before trying to call him, by which time, I guess it was too late. The fact that I wasn’t thinking sexually at the time is irrelevant; a lesson was learned. For me, for Keith and all of us, life would be easier if we liked each other.” “And now?” Prez evilly grinned, “I’m taking advantage of your morning wood.” Mike sniggered, “Keep grinding and I’ll cum.” Prez shrugged, “These shorts are laundry anyway. If that’s what you’d like, I’m sure I could too.” “I think I want more,” Mike warned, and then rolled so that he was on top of Prez. Through Prez’s giggles, Mike grabbed a tender kiss, got one in return and then shuffled around to push Prez’s shorts down and get into a sixty-nine position. In the studio on the air mattress, Derrick sneakily laid beside Keith, silently stroking his bone. When Keith’s eyelids fluttered and his hips reflexively bucked, Derrick helplessly giggled. Sleepily realizing the giggle wasn’t as deep as Prez’s, Keith opened his eyes. He grinned, “You and Prez are as bad as me and Mike, always plotting something.” Derrick grinned, “You and Mike sleeping later than us makes it easy. We had a few minutes to scheme.” Keith deeply inhaled and stretched, but Derrick kept stroking away. Wrapping one arm around Derrick’s back, Keith smiled, “I can’t believe you thought I was cute. Sometimes I thought you’d be happier if I wasn’t around.” “Very rarely, when me and Mike wanted to be alone,” Derrick admitted. “We were both denying being gay at the same time, Keith. Now we all know where we stand. Regardless of preferred partners, we’re all really attracted to each other. So today, I get to do for Prez and he’s with Mike, doing what I would normally do, just to say to both of you, we could’ve done each other, but like you and Mike, we’re a little more comfortable this way. We’re making up for the past too.” Searching Derrick’s eyes yet finding only pleasure and consideration, Keith giggled, “Well done, but this is what happens to Prez in the morning,” and then forced Derrick flat onto the mattress. They kissed hard then Keith kissed his way down to Derrick’s cock. Only when Derrick giggled, “Give me fat dick now, you evil bastard!” did Keith swing around. From both ends of the hall there was brief giggling. Then there was silence as friends orally pleasured each other. Naked and meeting in the hall, partners teased each other for being conniving and wicked, above and beyond the call. Prez let Rush back in and fed him. All four ate and then showered together. Preparing to leave for the beach, the bedroom doors were closed. Rush was given adequate water in his bowl before the four boys left for Zuma in the 4Runner. During the drive to Zuma, they bounced some ideas around for their band package and what to tell the folks at Kinkos. Ben woke around ten that Tuesday morning. Knowing that Graham hadn’t caught up on a month’s worth of lost sleep, Ben carefully slid out from under his boyfriend’s arm. He went to the bathroom, relieved his bladder then brushed his teeth. Returning to the bedroom, Ben slid into his board shorts from the night before, and then quietly went downstairs to find something for breakfast. In the pantry, Ben found Rice Chex cereal and poured himself a bowl. He ate at the kitchen island, expecting Graham to come down before he finished eating, but his boyfriend never did join him. Deciding to allow Graham to catch up on his rest, Ben found the remote for the living room television and turned it on. He found ‘Interview with a Vampire’ had just started and watched the entire movie. When it ended at noon, Ben went upstairs. He found Graham on his belly, still unconscious. He heard the front door unlock and open, signaling that Mrs. Carleton was home for lunch. It had been over ten hours since Graham fell asleep. Ben smiled at his lover’s incredible physique and muscular ass, contemplating whether to let Graham sleep or wake him. Deciding to allow Graham to sleep, Ben powered up the Mac and began transcribing poems from Francis’ notebook. Half an hour passed and Graham hadn’t moved. Ben spent another half an hour typing in Francis’ poetry. Not an expert in literature, Ben thought the poems and lyrics were very good. The handwritten words he was reading gave a voice to a friend he never got to meet, but felt close to nonetheless. What was most revealing was that none of the poetry mentioned Graham by name, and very few of the poems used words that gave gender to the subject of his love; it was always ‘me’ and ‘you’ and ‘us’. Ben heard the front door open and close then the rattling of the lock. Mrs. Carleton had gone back to work. Seeing it was after one in the afternoon, Ben carefully slid into bed. He softly called, “Puddin’?” and gently rubbed Graham’s back and buns. Graham hummed then croaked, “Hey sexy teddy bear.” Ben smiled, “It’s after one o’clock. I’ve eaten breakfast, watched almost all of ‘Interview with a Vampire’, and started entering poetry from Francis.” Rolling to his side and reaching an arm out to hold Ben, but keeping his eyes closed, Graham grinned, “So now you’re bored?” “I can find lots o’ ways to keep busy,” Ben giggled, “some require you though.” Stretching, Graham opened his eyes, yawning “How long have I slept?” “About eleven hours,” Ben smiled. “I’ve been expecting this though and you needed it.” He confirmed, “No dreams?” Graham chortled, “Only of you and crazed grizzly sex. Francis did make an appearance, while my helium heels were floating and you were pounding my ass, only to tease me and ask, ‘are you sure you can be mostly a top?’” Ben giggled, “And your answer was?” “At least twice a week I’ll need my backside filled,” Graham smiled, and then playfully bounced his eyebrows. Graham had made it very clear that making love in the missionary position, with Ben’s strength and weight holding him in place, was completely mind shattering. Reaching for Graham’s morning wood, Ben gently stroked away and giggled, “What would you like this morning?” Graham smiled, “I think I’ll take top, since I’ve got major wood.” Pausing while his hips reflexively bucked, Graham then sighed, “You’ve got the most wonderful hands in the world.” “I’m glad you think so,” Ben giggled, and then loudly called, “Phase one!” as both hands started tickling Graham’s torso and ribs. Tickling Ben back, Graham howled, “And I thought we were starting with phase two!” Ben giggled, “You didn’t specifically tell me phases were interchangeable.” “They normally aren’t,” Graham laughed, “but you’re dressed, which I’ll have to do something about.” With that said, Ben moved over Graham for their morning kiss. Graham began pushing Ben’s shorts down. Ben kicked his shorts off then lay down on his boyfriend. They started making out and grinding then Graham rolled them over, so he was on top of Ben. Spreading his legs and lifting them to wrap around Graham’s butt, Ben made it plain that he was very ready. Making love in the missionary position, the two new lovers began whispering. Graham shared, “Thanks for letting me sleep in, teddy bear.” Absently running his hands up and down Graham’s arms, Ben smiled, “You’re relaxing at last, puddin’.” Ben briefly wondered if Graham knew how incredibly sexy he was hovering as he was, with his arm, back and chest muscles flexing to hold his weight. Having recently seen all his other friends shirtless, albeit not in exactly this position, Ben ran through the list again, comparing all of them to Graham. Ben thought that Graham had Derrick’s chest and shoulders, Drew’s arms, Prez’s abs, Mike’s tushie, and a sense of humor that was bits and pieces of all of them; generally less boisterous than Mike, yet at times wickedly sarcastic, but with a playful expression and darting eyes. Graham sighed, “It’s been six days since we met. Only you could’ve accomplished so much so fast.” Ben reminded, “You wanted me to be your special friend.” “You’re so much more, Ben,” Graham assured. Feeling their bond swell in his chest, Ben moaned; “Oh Graham, I want you with me forever. Please say you’ll stay with me forever?” “I promise I will,” Graham swore, and then leaned down for a passionate kiss. Before breaking the kiss, Graham’s thrusts began speeding up, causing Ben to groan and whimper. Graham smiled, “Forever Ben, it’s you and me.” Nodding, Ben whined, “I can feel you throbbing inside me. Let it happen. Please do it, Graham.” Graham leaned down for a playful medium kiss and let his body do what it needed to do. He and Ben cooed and moaned into their kiss with their eyes locked until the very last moment. Knowing he was going to lose it, Graham loudly groaned “Omigod, Benjamin.” Graham’s powerful thrusts and uncontrollable spasms caused Ben to cheer, “Yes, Graham. I’m all yours, puddin’, your lover, forever and ever.” Barely able to focus, Graham peered down and caught Ben’s expression of relief. All the doubtful thoughts during weeks of solitude were being shattered in this one incredible person. They could really be together, caring for one another for a very long time. Without much recovery time, Graham gave away many kisses then slid out of Ben. He enthusiastically went for his boyfriends leaking cock. Giving Ben no chance of holding back, Graham bobbed his head and wiggled two fingers into Ben’s butt, purposefully pressing on the prostate. At last, Graham swallowed while Ben writhed, panted and grunted. Lying on top of Ben during the post orgasmic shuddering, Graham repeatedly stole kisses. Holding on tight, Ben began giggling because they had actually had a relevant conversation while making love. The act fed the words and the words fed the act, Ben realized. He softly asked, “Is that the kind of talking we’ll always do?” Graham shrugged, “We can tell each other anything we want; what we feel, what we think, or even make plans for the future.” He grinned, “Like right now, I have to pee something awful.” Ben cracked up then followed Graham off the bed and into his bathroom. Ben was holding Graham’s dickie while he relieved himself. Graham confirmed, “You ate already?” “Cereal and juice, more than three hours ago,” Ben giggled. “Let’s have lunch as soon as we’re done here. I’m starving.” “What else do you want to do today?” Ben wondered, “Would you like to go for another short drive in your new car?” Graham asked, “Is there someplace you’d like to go?” “No, not really,” Ben replied. “I’d be happy here, alone with you.” Bouncing his eyebrows, Graham smiled, “Making love?” Ben giggled, “Anything and everything, puddin’. You’ll want me to play guitar for your parents, so I should practice too.” “Definitely,” Graham smiled. “You could try working on some other new tunes too.” “That’s not very interesting for you though.” “It depends on how we approach it,” Graham devilishly leered, pushing Ben into a giggling fit. Graham honestly said, “I would like to go for a drive in the car. I also want to listen to you play guitar. Getting lunch and making love with you are the highest priorities.” Shaking Graham’s dickie, Ben offered, “I suggest we take a shower, go for a ride and grab something to eat while we’re out. When we come back here, I’ll practice a little while and then we’ll make love a couple of times, leaving time to shower again before your folks get home.” Graham nodded and led Ben to the tub, revealing, “You make me feel really peaceful, teddy bear.” He leaned over to turn the water on while Ben softly giggled. Standing up straight, Graham smiled, “Why is that?” Ben shrugged, “Is it me or is it you, Graham? I’ve felt comfortable enough with you, to say exactly what I feel, without fear of embarrassment, for six days now. All I can say is that we’re good together.” Graham grinned, “Maybe it’s us. My dad said I’ve changed since the accident. I’m only seeing little pieces of that, and it revolves around you.” He checked the water temperature then offered Ben a hand and stepped into the tub. Ben slid the door closed. Graham turned the shower on, and with warming water spraying his back, went to give Ben a hug, smiling “I’ve told you enough about Francis. What do you really think?” Ben’s lips curled inward and he thoughtfully hummed. After a moment’s consideration, Ben offered, “Francis liked to be active. You were friends for years before becoming a couple. The relationship you had with Francis was busier, and you were both happy like that. At this point, I think that you’re simply happy to be in less pain. Also, in your room are two paintings of mountain lake landscapes. That tells me you’re basically relaxed and peaceful most of the time. “I’m perfectly content watching TV with you, or slow dancing with you, or doing anything, as long as it’s with you. I think you’re peaceful because I’m not demanding anything from you. I don’t even have to demand attention. At Eddie’s pool Sunday night and last night, you stayed near me most of the time. All I’ve needed or wanted was what Prez and Keith have; what Mike and Derrick have.” Ben smiled, “Someone to be with is what they have and now I do too.” Picking up the soap and beginning to bathe Ben, Graham smiled, “I picked out those two paintings years ago, when my parents decided it was time to redecorate, to make the room mine. Only you would notice something like those pictures. What else do you see, teddy bear?” Ben giggled, “From the pictures of your friends on your computer, I think you’re very loyal. Since you allow Eddie to do his photo editing on your computer; that tells me you have no problem sharing. The posters tell me what kind of music you prefer. You have a better stereo than I do, so you must really enjoy listening to music.” Graham chuckled, “Damn, you’re good. I asked for a stereo for my thirteenth birthday. Specifically, I wanted the one in the living room, never really expecting to get it. So my parents got a new Bose surround sound system for the living room and gave me the old gear.” Ben grinned, “You do know that JBL makes some of the best speakers out there, right?” Shaking his head, Graham said, “No I didn’t. The Bose system is smaller and sounds better to my ears.” “It’s surround sound, not stereo,” Ben reminded. “Instead of left and right only, surround sound has six distinct channels.” He then suggested, “If you separated your speakers more in your room, it might sound better?” “How could we do that?” “What if the whole setup was moved over by the bed?” Ben offered. “The two speakers could be on either side of the bed. The components could go against the wall by the closet.” Graham nodded, “I like the idea of the speakers moving closer to the bed. The receiver is connected to the satellite box though, so that would have to stay close to the TV.” “Oh,” Ben giggled, “I didn’t know that.” “Because we usually watch TV late at night, without the stereo,” Graham smiled. “We can check into getting longer speaker cables though and move the speakers.” Once out of the shower and dressed, Ben and Graham went for a ride down Ventura Boulevard. They stopped for lunch at the McDonald’s where Eddie worked. Eddie got to take a break and sit with his friends for about ten minutes. When Eddie went back to work again, Ben and Graham had finished their lunches and left to go get speaker wire. Graham was going to check Radio Shack, but Ben told his partner that he could get speaker wire almost anywhere else for less money. Ben suggested that they go to a Home Depot and check the electronics department. If it wasn’t available there, they could go to Circuit City and get it there. At Home Depot, they found 16-gauge speaker wire for eighteen cents per foot. While they went to find a salesman to help them, Graham wondered, “About how much do you think I’ll need?” Ben scowled, “Your bedroom is pretty big. So we don’t have speaker wire running past the doorway, for us or anyone to trip over, we should probably tack it around and over the door. That’s a good twenty feet right there, plus about four feet to the stereo, plus about ten feet to the middle of the room. That’s two thirty-four-foot lengths.” Graham did the math, muttering “Thirty times twenty cents is six bucks, times two is twelve bucks. No problem. I’ll still have cash for the beach and I still have that twenty I found to take you to the movies.” Ben giggled, “Does your dad have some little U-shaped tacks we can use?” Graham nodded, “I’m sure he does.” At the customer service counter, Graham asked for help with the speaker wire. The woman behind the desk called for assistance in the electronics department. Graham thanked her and hurried back over there with Ben. About ten minutes later, they had paid for the wire and were walking out of Home Depot. They would go right back home to move the speakers around, set up the new wire and still have some alone time before Graham’s parents came home from work. On their way back from the beach, Derrick, Mike, Keith and Prez stopped at a Kinko’s in Thousand Oaks. The place was busy, with many adult business men and women. The four of them stood out in their boardies, T-Shirts and sandals. After about ten minutes of waiting, they were helped. Prez and Mike did almost all the talking, explaining what they wanted to prepare and for what purpose. The woman behind the counter made several suggestions and showed them various samples of paper and bindings for their audition packet. They kept their choices down the middle, getting good quality paper and bindings, but not the best available. All four were most concerned with color image quality and told her so. The woman itemized every requirement and all the materials needed for the ten copies the boys wanted. Presented with the itemized list, all four reviewed it and the final cost of seventy-five bucks, not including tax. Agreeing to go for it, Prez asked how long it would take to prepare. The woman replied it could be done in a day, but to make sure it was done that quickly, she would need to know when they would have all their materials together. Prez said, “We could be back this time next Tuesday with all our data and photos.” The Kinko’s lady smiled, “I’ll put you on the schedule, if you’ll make a ten dollar deposit?” “Excellent,” Prez, Mike and Derrick cheered. Mike and Prez handed over five bucks each, and they promised to return the following Tuesday. Returning to Doug’s and Brian’s house in Agoura Hills, all four went directly to the studio to jam. Concentrating on songs they could play as a four-man band, they ran through the four songs by The Who, and then the two they already knew by Led Zeppelin. They wrapped up their studio time with Stairway To Heaven, with Keith singing lead vocals for the first time. At the end of the song, while he was being complimented and the gear was being powered off, Keith reluctantly admitted that the last verse of the song left his throat and voice feeling like gravel. Derrick, Mike and Prez promised that they would only perform the song at the school dances if it was requested and Keith felt up to it. At the Seaver residence in Woodland Hills, Corey and Drew were outside skinny dipping in the pool and discussing computer options for Drew’s birthday. The previous day, they had browsed through flyers from Sunday’s newspaper, but not been satisfied with what they found. They decided to go inside and check the Internet on Corey’s computer to do some on-line shopping. Still on Corey’s desk were the flyers they had already checked, so they could do some price comparisons. Starting the Internet dial-up connection, Corey smiled, “I still think you should go for a laptop, Drew.” Picking up the flyers, Drew shrugged, “It would be useful, but desktops are still cheaper, Cor. Besides, reading from those little screens will eventually ruin my eyesight. What’s that show on TV that talks about all that techie stuff every Saturday? They have a web site we could check out.” “Good idea,” Corey giggled, and then raced out of his room to check the TV Guide in the living room. Watching his lover’s butt bounce away, Drew sighed and tried to focus his attention on the computers in the flyer he was holding. Moments later, when Corey stepped back into the room, he laughed, “Drew!” Not looking up from the flyer he was leafing through, Drew softly sniggered, “What?” Shaking his head sadly, Corey giggled, “You’re hard again. Do you want to make babies first, stud?” Dropping the flyer on the desk, Drew blushed and grinned, “It’s been almost a week since your last nightmare. The next time you have one, remember what happens when you jog away naked.” Stepping closer to Drew and fondling his lover’s erection, Corey smiled, “Let’s hope that the worst of the nightmares are past, and that we’re down to one doctor visit a month by September.” Pulling Corey closer, by the hips, Drew stole a kiss then shared, “We’re set, angel. Your mom and mine will be getting only two-percent milk from now on. For lunch, we both had salads and split a big turkey sub with Swiss cheese. You’re matching me with every meal again, Cor. I can’t remember the last time I could say that; maybe as far back as December.” Sitting down at the desk again, Corey nodded, “That’s probably right.” Loading Internet Explorer, Corey said, “The name of the show we watched was C-Net Central. I’ll head there and check out their latest computer reviews.” Nodding, Drew went to stand behind Corey and read the screen. Corey said, “Intel Celeron processors are now up to 400MHz. This machine that I just got for Christmas is 266MHz. My hard drive is two gigabytes. You could get up to six gigabytes.” Drew reminded, “The PC in my room that I’ve been sharing with John, is only a hundred mega-Hertz and has a 200 megabyte hard drive. I know they’re recommending we get the most bang for the buck, but let’s not put your parents in debt for this, Cor.” “Your PC is a 486 processor with only two-hundred-fifty-six meg of RAM, Drew,” Corey reminded. “That’s why you can’t get Windows 98 on it.” Drew nodded, “I understand that, but it’s primarily for homework and writing on the school newspaper. I’ll need Microsoft Word, not just a top-of-the-line PC and Windows 98, without the software to do the job.” Corey nodded, “Microsoft’s coming out with new versions of Office and Word this year too. You’re still using Word 95.” A few moments later, after following another link, they discovered that many of the phone companies and cable vendors would soon be offering high-speed Internet access to residential users. C-Net recommended that any new PC be outfitted with Ethernet connectivity. “They’re recommending Dell over and over again, for desktops and laptops,” Drew noticed. Corey clicked on the link that took them to the Dell site. At last, they could compare prices. In only a few more minutes, they discovered that every PC offered by Dell was much better and less expensive than the Compaqs and other brands offered in the flyers. To get an accurate quote, they began configuring a system online. Soon, they had a system configured that was much like Corey’s, with a fifteen inch monitor, Microsoft Office 97 and had a built-in Ethernet port and a fax-modem for dial-up use. Corey leaned back and grinned, “Under two grand, less than this machine cost my parents.” “Two thousand bucks though,” Drew moaned, and fell back on Corey’s bed. Corey sighed then opened his Windows Calendar. He beckoned, “Drew, come here for a minute.” Sitting up, Drew complained, “Your parents can’t drop two grand on my birthday, Corey.” Pointing at the calendar on the screen, Corey instructed, “Look, Drew; my last doctor visit this month is on Friday, August twenty-eighth. I’m gonna point this out to them too. I could be down to one doctor visit a month and told that on Friday the twenty-eighth. Your birthday is two days later. Would all this progress have been made without you? Not very damn likely. There’s their incentive, right there, stud.” “It’s still a lot of money, Cor,” Drew frowned. “I’m going to be living with you half the time,” Corey reminded. “We’ve both got to be able to do our homework on this machine. The only alternative I can think of is to go back to the site and look at laptops. That way, you’ve always got your PC with you, no matter where we happen to be that week.” Drew nodded, “Let’s check it out. If we can both get our work done at the same time, and I can take it to school with me too, the value goes up, even if the cost doesn’t change very much.” Going back to Internet Explorer, Corey went to work on configuring a laptop, similar to the desktop and with a fifteen inch screen. The cost was two-hundred dollars more than the desktop though, so Corey started again, but with a laptop based around the Intel Pentium 233MHz processor. Finally arriving at something less than the desktop, Corey checked, “If they would get this for you, how bad would you freak out?” Groaning, Drew flopped back onto the bed and covered his eyes. He huffed, “I didn’t have two major arguments with you for a PC, Corey. All I wanted was to get you healthier and save this summer, for both of us. You’re doing all the work here. I’m reaping the benefits every day. What are you getting out of this?” “Besides being healthier?” Corey giggled, “Let’s see, the witch doctor is history; my parents, while still worrying more than I’d like to see, are giving us chances that neither of us thought we’d have when we had those arguments. Your parents are chilling out too. We’re making love and babies at least twice a day, and up to twelve times a day. We got to spend most of last week in Agoura Hills, with Brian, Pete, Keith, Prez, Derrick and Mike. Nope, I haven’t gotten squat out of any of this.” Sitting up, Drew smiled, “Please don’t make them spend too much, Corey. I can do the stuff I need to on the PC I already have. A Windows 98 capable machine might be nice, but it’s not necessary.” Standing and moving for the bed, Corey promised Drew that this was the basis he would ask his parents for, but in the back of his mind, was already planning on sweetening the PC somehow or another. Once Corey told his parents exactly what Drew had said, he knew his parents well enough to be certain that Drew would get everything he deserved. At that moment, Corey pushed Drew’s shoulders and softly instructed, “Lay flat, stud.” Drew grinned and mutely complied. Corey spent the next minutes proving to Drew exactly how much he deserved. If it were possible, Corey would’ve remained there for the hours until his parents got home. As it was, Corey repeatedly shifted his focus away from Drew’s cock to any other body part he could easily reach. It took so long that Drew thought he was still good to hold back his orgasm when the first shots unexpectedly erupted into Corey’s mouth. On the other side of the 101, Ben and Graham had moved the speakers and run the new speaker wire. Graham tried to hammer the tacks holding the speaker wire over the door frame, to save Ben’s talented fingers. Two tacks and two squashed fingers later, Ben took over. Not once did Ben pound his fingers with the hammer. To test it out, the stereo was turned on. At first, Graham wanted to hear what it sounded like from the bed. They found Independence Day on one of the movie channels, near the ending battle, and turned up the volume. With the speakers near the foot of the bed, the stereo separation was great and the bass frequencies vibrated the mattress. Thrilled that Ben’s suggested modification worked so well, Graham got silly and then got some more of Ben. During the afternoon, Graham’s intention was to move beyond the four basic positions. They made love several new ways; with Ben laying flat and his legs spread, and Graham on his knees and rocking into Ben, and then at the edge of the bed with Ben laying prone and Graham standing, and with Ben sitting on the desk chair, for Graham to go for a ride. Before Doug or Brian returned home from work, Prez and Keith demonstrated the new hand-stand position for Mike and Derrick. Since the middle of July, Prez had wanted to make love while Keith was upside down standing on his hands. Following his best friend’s lead, Mike stood on his hands for Derrick. All four were rapidly shifting from ecstatic groans and moans to giggling and laughter as Keith and Mike periodically lost their balance. Before their week together ended, Prez and Derrick promised to do hand stands for Keith and Mike. They took a shower and got dressed. Returning to the main rooms of the house, Prez called Jessy and Shaun, to have them e-mail to him the chosen photo portrait and short biographies that could be included in the band packet. Derrick and Mike took a quick run to the grocery store to get something for dinner. Doug walked in the house, about ten minutes after five, to find all four boys in the galley kitchen. He asked, “What’s cookin’, lads?” Mike smiled, “Barbecued London Broil, baby carrots and steak fries tonight.” Derrick added, “The steak is marinating.” Prez asked, “Where’s Brian today?” “In Anaheim, at the Royal Crown,” Doug answered. “Assuming he’s not stuck in traffic, he’ll be home in a half an hour or so.” Shifting his eyes mysteriously, he wondered, “Why are all four of you in that tiny kitchen if nothing is cooking yet?” Four wide smiles formed and they checked with each other. Mike joked, “We’re going through all the slippery substances.” “To determine what might work best,” Keith chuckled. Derrick nodded and teased, “Most of it is kind o’ bland tasting though.” Prez giggled, “Italian dressing might work, like the marinade on the steak.” Pretending to slap his own face, Doug grinned, “Ask a silly question,” and then went to the living room to turn on the stereo. Returning through the rooms, he offered, “Let me change out of these work duds into something more comfy,” and went into the master bedroom. When the door closed, Prez softly sniggered, “We have no chance of keeping us private.” Surprisingly, Derrick and Mike shrugged. Keith whispered, “Did you tell them anything?” Derrick shook his head. Mike softly smiled, “They haven’t implied that they know, but since there were eight of us living here at once, I think they have a clue.” Slightly out of sync, each of the four of them admitted that the last week of July was a lot of fun. With Brian, Pete, Corey and Drew around too, it was better than any of them imagined. Between the last four nights of work and surfing that morning, Keith felt a need to stretch, causing several vertebrae to loudly pop, and raising eyebrows. Prez took his position behind Keith and began rubbing his lover’s neck and shoulders. Mike took Keith’s left arm and began kneading his best friend’s biceps. Derrick moved around Keith and took care of the right arm. Keith mooed and then sighed as he relaxed. Walking out of the master bedroom in shorts and a sport shirt, Doug took a seat on one of the kitchen counter stools. Keith explained, “I started working at Black Angus. All the bus buckets and racing around is still new.” “Backaches suck,” Doug simply stated. While working over Keith’s sore muscles, the four of them began explaining to Doug what they were planning for the audition packet. Surprised that the boys had thought of it, Doug smiled, “That kind of preparation, in addition to being rehearsed, will get you the gig.” “It wasn’t really our idea,” Prez chuckled. Mike nodded, “Our friends from Portland, Brian and Pete, suggested it.” Locking eyes with Doug, Derrick asked, “What do you think our chances are?” Taking on his Irish brogue, Doug melodically answered, “Let me just say this about that. If you lads were twenty-one, I’d have you playing at our two clubs, two nights at each of ‘em.” Suddenly releasing Keith and leaving him wobbling in a relaxed stupor, Prez, Mike and Derrick loudly squealed, “Really?” Nodding, Doug pointed at Keith and chuckled, “Catch him before he drops.” Prez wrapped his arms around Keith’s waist. Derrick and Mike each flung the arms they had been working on over their shoulders to prop Keith up. Doug grinned, “I’ll take a few minutes to explain what I heard. Wonderful Tonight, with Mike singing lead and Jessy backing up, is as good as the record. Derrick gets two thumbs up for purposefully singing like Mick Jagger and Tom Petty. I know, and we all know, you’re having fun imitating them, but it sounds good. Don’t change it in any way now that you know that. Overdo it and it becomes a joke.” Derrick nodded and widely smiled. Doug continued, “Prez, on Hold My Hand and the No, No Song, were impressive enough, but I think we found your range in the Asia tunes. The last I heard, Prez’s baritone in the Beach Boys songs fills out the presentation perfectly.” “Thank you,” Prez happily chuckled. Doug grinned and locked eyes with Keith. “Don’t embarrass me,” Keith softly giggled. Doug smirked, “I told you New Years Eve that you have a talent. Your voice is a perfect replacement for Steve Perry on all the Journey songs. I haven’t heard a single song you’ve sang poorly, but we all know when you really like the song you're singing, because your persona changes. The only thing I recommend is that you show the same enthusiasm for all the songs you sing. Don’t let an audience believe your nothing less than completely into it.” Keith nodded, “I’ll try.” Doug smiled, “Shaun is good too. He’s got a good voice and powerful rhythm guitar that really adds something to your group. That and his ability to help Jessy at the keyboards makes him an invaluable addition. What Brian and I saw last weekend was quite a bit different than John’s birthday party, so I have to ask, what do you think has changed?” “I was scared to death then,” Keith giggled. “I’m down to only frightened now.” Smiling, Doug nodded and waved that idea off, saying, “Each performance will make it easier.” Derrick hummed then offered, “We’ve been rehearsing the songs all year, with only a few newer additions and exceptions.” “That helps,” Doug agreed. Mike said, “I think part of it is having equipment that allows us to hear ourselves better.” “Ooo, so warm,” Doug playfully droned. Seeing four uncertain expressions, Doug sniggered then got up to get his Martin acoustic, now back on its stand in the living room. Mike whispered, “I get a damn chubby every time I play that guitar.” Keith suspiciously glanced over at Mike then pulled his arm off Mike’s shoulder. Derrick and Prez helplessly chuckled. Doug returned and started strumming and singing Sister Golden Hair, a song he had heard the band play, so he knew they would easily sing along. At the start of the second verse, while Doug sang the lead vocals, the four boys began softly wooing and ahh-ing, in perfect harmony. Soon Derrick was countertop drumming, keeping the simple beat. Doug ended the song, thrilled that he heard doo-wops in sync. He quickly cheered, “Right there, what have you done?” Prez shrugged and smiled, “Singing in harmony.” Mike nodded, “During the winter, Derrick and I would spend some time singing with only an acoustic, figuring out our vocal ranges.” He paused to chuckle, “We couldn’t do much more than privately make out, so we had to do something.” Derrick added, “By the spring, it was all four of us, not really working on songs, but ooo’s and ahs with chords.” “You were listening,” Doug emphatically stated. “Hearing isn’t the same, with amplifiers blaring, drums thumping and cymbals crashing, you can’t help hearing. Really listening requires involvement. Get it?” “Got it,” four voices chanted. Returning his guitar to its stand, Doug said, “Rehearsals and knowing the songs have helped, but listening to yourselves, voices and instruments, makes the band unified.” Walking back to the counter, Doug prompted, “Now, speaking of unified, what is this thing you’ve been doing, as in to Ben, Corey, Graham and Danny?” Doug sat on a stool again. Mike giggled, “An extension of what we can already do, isn’t it?” Derrick teased, “We haven’t created clouds or caused floods, have we?” “Ah, but you’ve moved beyond the physical into the metaphysical,” Doug grinned. “The change in Ben was almost overwhelming. He actually cares about himself, and now he’s learning to care for someone else too.” Prez huffed, “All he ever needed was to feel included instead of excluded.” “He wasn’t very receptive at first,” Mike said. “Whatever it was that fucked with him was pushed aside, simply by allowing it to drop into the past.” “We all had several opportunities to talk to him,” Keith revealed. “Ben listened too, to each of us individually and all of us as a group. Include Brian and Pete, and Drew and Corey too, and he had eight examples and probably alternate perceptions too.” “He wanted, we provided,” Derrick shrugged. “In return we get a pair of ears listening, and two strong arms to help move gear around. The last part wasn’t planned, but it has worked out that way.” “And Graham?” Doug prodded. All four boys shrugged. Doug sighed, “What frightens me is crossing that boundary to the other side. Generally, that’s very unsafe, ya know?” Prez nodded, “All I could feel from Graham was uncertainty, or more accurately, confusion; with Francis gone and Ben there, already very willing to be anything Graham needed. What happened wasn’t what any of us expected.” Keith explained, “The timing was kind o’ fucked up. Graham had just had a major argument with a drunk friend out on the lawn. Between that and the hours he already spent with Ben, Graham was up and down like a yo-yo, not sure what was good or bad anymore.” Mike asked, “Is that what you felt at the time?” Keith thought a moment then nodded, “Encapsulated, with my own twenty-twenty hindsight included.” Derrick reminded, “Prez collapsed, scaring the hell out of all of us.” Doug patiently explained, “Brian and I discussed this and have come up with some possible reasons. First of all, let me explain that over the weekend we noticed two very important things. It’s highly likely that Corey and Eddie have natural clairvoyant abilities. Having known Francis, Eddie more than Corey was like a beacon. Prez’s mother protected everyone present that night, including Francis, offering up Prez to become the vessel that Francis spoke through.” “Why me,” Prez quickly asked. Doug shrugged, “It’s possible that Francis chose you, rather than your mom pointing the way.” Mike checked with Derrick, “That makes sense to me.” Derrick nodded, “Yup, me too.” Seeing only confusion on the faces of Doug, Keith and Prez, Derrick reminded, “Francis was thin, about five-eight, and redder hair than Prez’s. As a matter of fact, Prez last summer was generally the same height and build as Francis was, when we met him at Mike’s party. I’m just sayin’ maybe Francis chose Prez, to make the whole thing more important to Graham; a recognizable voice from a similar body.” Keith grumbled, “I did not like that, one tiny bit.” “It does make more sense,” Prez muttered. Fascinated, Doug grinned at the four of them, because he could see their auras growing and intermingling. Prez explained, “My mom wouldn’t put me into a position that would make me so weak that I’d crumble. Francis choosing me makes more sense to me.” The front door opened and Rush barked once, but didn’t get up. Brian walked past the entryway wall, appearing to dramatically whither with each step he took until he finally knelt and kissed the carpeted floor. Doug grinned, “Traffic?” “Fuckin’ morons,” Brian weakly mumbled. “Freeways turn into parkways, so we can all lounge around listening to the fuckin’ radio. I took side streets from Santa Monica to Woodland Hills, the freeways were so completely screwed. If I hadn’t, I’d still be out there.” Taking notice of the four boys and his lover, Brian smiled, “I missed something here?” For the next minutes, while dinner was prepared by the boys and they strolled in and out to the barbecue, Brian was filled in on the conversations they had. They all sat down to eat and almost immediately got silly. Still unwinding from his drive, Brian softly asked for various items to be passed, much more so than anyone else, until everything was passed to Brian’s end of the table. After dinner, Mike, Derrick, Keith and Prez soon left to pickup Drew and Corey, for their first self defense class at Bally’s. While waiting for class to begin, all six decided to swap partners, so that lovers never had the chance to hurt one another. Drew would spar with Keith, Corey would spar with Derrick and Prez would spar with Mike. Two younger teenage girls came in the room. Corey gasped and Drew softly groaned. Prez checked, “What’s wrong, Corey?” Sadly shaking his head, Corey sighed, “That blond girl…” “No, Corey,” Drew softly and firmly said. He then told them, “When Corey and I were apart, I got friendly with her, because she was part of our school newspaper staff. That’s Susan Barnes.” Returning his attention to Corey, Drew stated, “She’s only a friend, Cor.” Mike grinned, “Here they come, dudes.” “Hi Drew,” Susan cheerfully said. “I didn’t know you came to this club.” Drew shrugged, “I haven’t been before tonight. My mom got my dad a family membership on Father’s Day.” Drew introduced Keith, Prez, Mike and Derrick to his friend then asked, “You know Corey?” Nodding, Susan smiled, “Hi Corey.” “Hi,” Corey muttered. Susan introduced her friend, Tanya Hillsman, to Drew and the other five boys. All of them greeted the girl, and she was nice to all, except for Drew. It was obvious to Keith, Derrick, Mike and Prez that Tanya and Corey were in the same unenthused state. They had barely begun chatting about the weekly classes they would all be attending when class began at seven sharp. A young woman, probably in her twenties, introduced herself as Roslyn Suder. Beside Roslyn, a young man, also in his twenties, introduced himself as Lonnie Farlow. They would be the instructors the next four weeks. This first class presented information relevant for Los Angeles; like staying in well lit areas, being aware of your surroundings, and exuding self confidence. Unfortunately, Corey wasn’t paying attention and was displaying exactly the low head hanging that Roslyn and Lonnie were talking about. Lonnie wasn’t a tall guy, about Derrick’s height, but well built. He got right in Corey’s face, forcing Corey into the present. Corey maintained eye contact with Lonnie, which became the next part of the lesson. Paired up, Prez and Mike tried to give each other killer “Brian Kellam” stares. In moments, both were howling hysterically. Drew, Keith, Corey and Derrick evilly snickered at Mike and Prez, drawing the instructors’ attention. Roslyn smirked at them, saying, “You’re supposed to be intimidating each other.” “It generally works,” Mike chuckled. “Except with each other,” Prez sniggered. Across the room, Lonnie sighed, “There are always a few rowdies in every class.” Roslyn tried her best to intimidate Prez. Locking eyes with the muscular and tall woman, Prez silently challenged her with his eyes. Truthfully, this lady presented more of a challenge then Jake had with a knife. She growled, “You think you can take me?” Never losing eye contact, Prez scowled, “You’re here to teach me and everybody in this class. I’ve already been knifed by a homophobic cretin, so teach me how to disarm someone that would’ve liked to kill me.” Nodding her head toward Mike, but maintaining eye contact with Prez, Roslyn asked “He’s your boyfriend?” Prez shook his head. Mike chuckled, “Why does everybody think that? That’s what started the fight in the first place.” Roslyn shifted her intense gaze to Mike and loudly said to the entire class, “Bigots are threats to women, people of races and alternate sexualities. I’m here because, as a girl, I was rudely propositioned on a few occasions.” Lonnie told the class, “I’m here because I was a target as a teenager too, not because of my sexuality, but simply because I wasn’t confident or strong enough and seemed to be an easy target. That’s why we’ve started the class with this simple introduction; those that appear to be targets become victims. Be aware of your surroundings. Hold your head up confidently and don’t act like a victim. When confronted, maintain eye contact at all times. You can avoid most fights before they ever start by those simple rules.” Returning to the front of the room, Roslyn stated, “Ladies, if you’ve been raised to believe this is a man’s world, ask yourself why that is. Being the supposed ‘fairer sex’ does not mean you have to be prey. I appear to be a bodybuilder, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to wear dresses and act like a lady. Which leads us into our next topic; levels of awareness. Always consider your environment and events around you. A completely non-threatening environment is like inside your home.” “I was attacked in my home,” one middle aged woman in the class said. “If it weren’t for my husband, I don’t know that I’d be standing here now.” Moving nearer to that lady, Roslyn sighed, “I understand how you must feel violated. You are standing here now though, so you’ve obviously made a choice to protect yourself.” The woman nodded, so Roslyn continued, “Condition white is a safe environment and safe events. An event is this lady’s environment leads her to not feel comfortable where she should be most comfortable; at home.” Roslyn asked, “What did you do that got your husband involved?” “I screamed ‘no’ at the top of my lungs,” the woman meekly offered. Roslyn nodded, “That’s perfectly acceptable. No one should feel embarrassed by screaming.” She told the class, “Out on city streets, screaming for help will draw attention and very likely save you from violent confrontations.” Lonnie said, “You men and boys need to understand that simple fact too. Shouting for attention will get you help and attention. In this city, there’s nothing that says you’ll be confronted by only one other person. Making noise and being heard might be the difference between life and death.” Remembering Corey shouting at that woman at Knott’s Berry Farm, Drew grinned and bounced his eyebrows at his beloved. “So condition white is the safest environment and the safest events,” Roslyn continued. “Condition yellow is being aware of your surroundings and alert for signs of danger, like everyone should be every time they step foot out of their homes. An automobile accident had a car swerving out of control onto a friend’s lawn. Had he not been alert and quickly moved out of the way, he would’ve been hurt. Be aware of what’s going on around you at all times.” Lonnie explained, “Condition orange is when the environment, events or both lead you to begin to feel alarmed. A woman alone in a dark alley with several men following her should feel alarmed.” Pulling his keys out his pocket, Lonnie arranged the keys between the fingers of his fist and displayed them, saying “Here’s a weapon we all carry; our keys can become very effective deterrents. In an alarmed condition, you have every right to seek out every available weapon.” “We’re talking about survival, ladies and gentlemen,” Roslyn reminded. “If you want to be polite, then you may die quietly. I’ll assume everyone here would rather go down fighting and making as much noise as possible.” Everyone in the class vocally confirmed that. “Condition red is when you are confronted, are under attack and are responding,” Lonnie instructed. “We will be going through several exercises that will show you how and what to do under various conditions.” Roslyn stated, “Condition black is a blind panic; you’re out of control and may freeze. No one wants to be there, correct?” Again, everyone in the class vocally replied. “Remember these five levels, ladies and gentlemen,” Roslyn instructed, “White is lowest level of alertness. Yellow cranks it up a notch, where you all should automatically be the moment you step foot out of your homes. Orange is imminent danger and preparation. Red is when you are confronted and are responding. Black is blind panic. We’ll be asking each of you about those five levels for the rest of this class and the next four weeks.” A thick gymnastic mat was dragged out and set in the center of the floor for Lonnie and Roslyn to begin demonstrating various techniques. Lonnie went after Roslyn. Taking hold of Lonnie’s shoulders, she held on tightly, went down to her butt easily and flung Lonnie, who had to be at least one hundred and sixty pounds, over and behind her. He landed with considerable force on the mat. Practicing that one simple move took the remainder of the class. As forewarned, either Roslyn or Lonnie asked each of the students about one of the five levels. Prez and Keith were amazed watching Drew’s friend, Susan, and her friend, Tanya, sending Roslyn and Lonnie flying over and behind them. Even the middle aged lady who had been attacked in her home used momentum to send Roslyn and Lonnie flailing to the mat. Every person in the class got to try the move out with the two instructors. For the remaining minutes of the class, the instructors randomly chose two students to try the move. Mike was sent flying over the middle aged woman that was attacked in her home. Then Mike got to send Prez flailing onto his back. While Lonnie folded and returned the mat to the corner of the room, Roslyn announced, “Next week, we’ll concentrate on blocking punches and subduing attackers with knives.” Another one of the teenage male students asked, “Why did we start with this lesson?” “For two reasons,” Lonnie answered. “First, it’s extremely easy, and secondly, it builds confidence. Now all of you know that your size has nothing to do with your ability to send someone larger for a spill that would hurt.” Roslyn firmly instructed, “Do not try these exercises without mats to break your fall. For those of you that would like additional practice, this same class will be repeated Thursday afternoon at two and Saturday morning at nine.” Holding up one arm, Lonnie waved and smiled, “Have a good night everyone and remember those five levels of alertness.” Roslyn also offered her farewells and everybody started leaving the classroom. Drew immediately went to Corey and softly said, “I’ll tell her now, Cor.” Corey sighed then smiled, “You would do that?” Drew nodded, “In a second, to prevent another nightmare.” He then turned to Prez, saying, “We’ll meet you at the car, Prez.” Understandingly, Prez nodded and Drew hurried with Corey through the group of people ahead of them. Mike scowled, “What was that all about?” Slowly moving forward out of the room, Derrick smirked, “Remember Drew telling us about a bad dream Corey had? That girl Susan is the one Corey dreamed about.” “Oh shit,” Mike softly droned. Derrick nodded, “That’s why Corey was only partly paying attention tonight.” “And why Drew’s ready to take care of the situation, once and for all,” Prez added. Keith said, “Tonight, if Drew and Corey still decide to join us at Eddie’s, let’s give Corey some reminders.” Dropping off his temporary club visitor badge at the reception desk, Mike frowned, “You think they might not want to come?” Derrick handed the lady his visitor badge too. Keith shrugged, “It’s up to Corey and Drew. If they ask to be dropped off at the Seavers’, we’ll know Corey’s freaked enough.” Stepping up to Prez’s side, Derrick grinned, “We had a blast at Eddie’s last night, bro.” Walking out the club doors, Mike smiled, “Shaun and me jammed for about an hour. Graham got his new car and we all checked it out. It’s beautiful, with a moon roof, five CD changer and an in-dash GPS.” Checking around the group for nearby people crossing the parking lot, Mike then softly chortled, “Graham and Ben spent their first fifteen minutes there alone, in the bathroom together.” Surprised, Keith and Prez gasped, “Ben did that?” Derrick sniggered, “I don’t think Graham gave him much of a choice.” Mike chuckled, “Even more surprising, Eddie took dick pics, limp and for the first time ever, erect. Ben was there and participated in that too.” “With a little coaxing from Graham, Matt and Eddie,” Derrick devilishly grinned. “When I checked our e-mail earlier, there were six photos waiting, all from last night.” Dumbfounded, Keith and Prez glanced at each other. Through Keith’s wide grin, Prez didn’t even need to hear his lover’s thoughts about his teasing remarks and softly chuckled, “No.” Arriving at the cars, all four glanced around for Drew and Corey. Keith told Mike and Derrick, “We’ll meet you at Eddie’s.” Seeing Drew and Corey walk out of Bally’s together, Prez pointed and said, “There they are.” Peeking into the rear of the 4Runner, Mike smiled, “Good, you remembered to bring your acoustic bass.” Prez grinned and nodded. Mike checked with Derrick, “Ya ready, Dee?” Shaking his head, Derrick suggested, “Let’s wait to give Corey some hugs, whether he needs them or not.” Hurrying through the parking lot, Drew loudly said, “Sorry about that, dudes.” Keith asked, “You told her what the deal is?” Shaking his head, Drew frowned, “We never found her. Did you see her out here?” All four shook their heads and said that they hadn’t, but they hadn’t been looking either. As soon as Corey stepped closer, Derrick took him in his arms. Hugging Derrick back, Corey giggled, “What’s this for, dude?” Stepping back, Derrick grinned, “You seemed to need it.” Mike added, “We want you to come to the pool party tonight too,” and then gave Corey another hug. Glancing around, Corey giggled, “I’m fine, really. Drew’s gonna tell Susie the first chance he gets. If I have another nightmare over her, I’ll know I need serious counseling.” Drew grinned, “We’re going to Eddie’s, so Cor can get some dickie piccies.” “Your dickie piccies,” Corey giggled. Shaking his head, Prez started for the driver’s side door and unlocked the 4Runner. Together, Derrick and Mike called, “Prez?” Prez looked over at the 442, to find they were both flashing the lickity-split sign. Mike chuckled, “We told them last night. Eddie might still be laughing.” Derrick started the engine and teased, “I’ll lead the way, Magellan.” Corey, Drew and Keith cracked up. Prez got in his car chuckling, “I’m gonna get Brian for that and the giant redwood joke.” In the back seat, Corey whispered something to Drew then they cracked up. Backing out of the parking space, Prez grinned, “What’s so funny, Corey?” Corey shrugged and giggled, “You need to warn Brian before you get him, Prez. One of your orgasms might scare him straight.” Drew and Keith roared laughing. For most of the short drive to Eddie’s, Prez’s power shooting abilities were the topic of conversation. Keith shared the results of two shoot offs with Drew and Corey. Prez only grinned at the three of them. Following Derrick’s 442, Prez made the turn onto Baza Avenue when Drew and Corey began figuring out what the lickity-split signal meant. Keith proudly boasted that it was all from a remark Prez made during the last weeks of school. Stopping behind Derrick’s car, Prez quickly turned off the engine and got out to retrieve his acoustic bass. Noticing Prez hurrying, Derrick wondered, “What’s wrong, bro?” Opening the rear hatch, Prez sniggered, “Why did we agree to those shoot offs?” and pulled his bass out then closed the hatch. Getting out of the car, Mike answered, “To make me and Keith happy. We loved it, right bro.” “Always have,” Keith smiled. From behind, he grabbed Prez around the waist and whispered in his ear, “No matter how we do it, there’s always that final exciting show.” Waiting by the trunk of the 442, Derrick smirked, “We’ll have to do that again sometime, with Shaun.” Mike pulled out his acoustic guitar case. “And with Corey,” Prez added, and Drew quickly covered his mouth so he didn’t laugh too loudly at night. Derrick retrieved bongos, a Djembe, maracas and a tambourine from the trunk then closed it. “I’m not that much of a power shooter,” Corey giggled. Keith grinned, “For fourteen, yes you are.” Mike and Derrick led the way around the side of Eddie’s house to the backyard. Already back there and naked in or near the pool were Eddie, Matt, Ben, Graham, Shaun and Gil. Seeing their friends walk through the gate, Eddie, Matt and Gil quickly climbed out of the pool. Gil toweled off while Eddie and Matt went over to greet them. “I’m so glad you dudes made it,” Eddie cheered, and began going to each of the six for hugs. Shaking Keith’s hand and knocking knuckles, Matt smiled, “We were beginning to think something changed your plans.” “Just our Bally’s self defense class,” Keith reminded. “It ended at nine and we came right over from there.” Once Eddie had hugged everyone and Corey was recovering from the giggles, they followed their host to where a group of chairs were setup. Shaun was sitting there and softly finger picking arpeggios with Gil sitting across from him. Putting down his bass case, Prez smiled, “Ben, are you gonna hide in the pool by Graham all night?” Graham sniggered and Ben giggled, “At least until everyone’s naked.” Eddie and Corey began giggling. Derrick, Keith, Mike and Prez started stripping off their clothes. Drew grinned, “Eddie, can me and Corey use your bathroom?’ “It’s probably a good idea before we go in the pool,” Corey giggled. Eddie nodded and smiled, “Right this way,” then led Drew and Corey into the sunroom. Through the screened windows, everyone could here Eddie giggling, “Is this a necessary or recreational trip?” Corey cracked up and Drew sniggered, “Necessary, since we had dinner hours ago.” Eddie nodded, “Two nights in a row, Ben and Graham combined business with pleasure.” Holding Ben’s face down on his shoulder, Graham laughed, “We didn’t tonight. You dudes just want to believe we did.” Derrick and Keith took all the clothes to the table. Shaun sniggered, “Either they’re constipated or they made whoopee in there.” Shaking his head, Ben giggled. Graham devilishly muttered, “We’re certainly not constipated.” Parking his buns at the pool edge and dangling his feet in the water, Keith told Ben and Graham, “There’s new siding going up on our house. The contractors started making a racket at eight yesterday morning, so we’re in Agoura Hills the rest of this week.” Graham asked, “We’re good for the beach tomorrow?” Keith nodded, “We’ll be there around ten and hang until Prez starts getting burned up.” Sitting with Mike, Derrick and Shaun, Prez offered, “I’ll keep a T-shirt on, babe. That should allow us to stay a little longer.” Without warning, Mike and Shaun started playing a familiar progression. Prez wondered, “What tune is this?” “We worked out Lola last night,” Shaun answered, and kept on playing. Mike nodded, “Before Ben and Graham got here and Eddie’s camera flashed us.” Eddie cracked up and Matt evilly sniggered. In a few moments, Shaun and Mike were singing. I met her in a club down in North Soho Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like Cherry Cola C-O-L-A Cola. She walked up to me and she asked me to dance. I asked her name and in a dark brown voice she said, "Lola" L-O-L-A Lola, lo lo lo Lola Well, I'm not the world's most physical guy, But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine Oh my Lola, lo lo lo Lola Well, I'm not dumb but I can't understand Why she walks like a woman and talks like a man Oh my Lola, lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo Lola Well, we drank champagne and danced all night, Under electric candlelight, She picked me up and sat me on her knee, She said, "Little boy won't you come home with me?" Well, I'm not the world's most passionate guy, But when I looked in her eyes, I almost fell for my Lola, Lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo Lola I pushed her away. I walked to the door. I fell to the floor. I got down on my knees. I looked at her, and she at me. Well that's the way that I want it to stay. I always want it to be that way for my Lola. Lo lo lo Lola. Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls. It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, except for Lola. Lo lo lo Lola. Lo lo lo Lola. Well I left home just a week before, and I never ever kissed a woman before, Lola smiled and took me by the hand, she said, "Little boy, gonna make you a man." Well I'm not the world's most masculine man, but I know what I am and that I'm a man, so is Lola. Lo lo lo Lola. Lo lo lo Lola. With everyone else clapping, Drew and Corey walked out of the sunroom laughing. Drew snickered, “You dudes had to have written that song.” Shaking his head, Mike smiled, “Sorry, it’s by the Kinks. I think Ray Davies wrote it, probably twenty-somethin’ years ago.” Corey grabbed his head like it might explode and howled. Derrick chortled, “That tune and the No, No Song get played during our school dances.” Noticing that he and Corey were the only two with clothes on, Drew pulled Corey closer and started untying his hubby’s board shorts. Knowing where they were and how many others were around didn’t matter much to Corey. Somehow, Drew had captured Corey’s undivided attention. It wasn’t simply Drew’s very expressive eyes, it was a year-and-a-half as friends and lovers; it was the change in Drew, becoming the willing leader so much of the time. No one, least of all Corey, expected Drew to be the one that pulled him close to undress him in a backyard surrounded by ten other teenaged dudes. So that only Drew would hear, Corey whispered, “Drew?” “You sexy angel,” Drew softly smiled. Corey blushed and giggled, “You’re gettin’ so bold. Showin’ us off again?” Drew nodded, “Any chance I get.” He incredulously added, “I belong to you. The healthier you get, the hotter you get and the crazier I get.” Corey’s shorts fell and his arms raised, for his hands to cover his glowing red face. They both began giggling. “Keith,” Mike called, “get your butt over here, bro. We need your voice.” Standing, Keith asked, “For what song?” Without answering Keith, Mike softly counted then he and Shaun began finger picking Dust in the Wind. Without any preparation at all, Keith easily sang; I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity Dust in the wind All they are is dust in the wind Derrick sang the backup vocals during the second and third verses. Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see Dust in the wind All we are is dust in the wind Oh, ho, ho Now, don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky It slips away, and all your money won't another minute buy Dust in the wind All we are is dust in the wind All we are is dust in the wind Dust in the wind Everything is dust in the wind Everything is dust in the wind The wind Standing naked and waiting on the diving board for the end of the song, Drew clapped with the rest of the small audience and cheered, “Awesome!” He then dove in the pool. During those seconds Drew was on the diving board waiting, Ben noticed him and began whispering to Graham. Neither imagined that Drew was as defined as he was. Taking Drew’s place on the diving board, Corey waited for Drew to swim away. Ben and Graham shifted from speaking of Drew to Corey. As thin as Corey was, they were again surprised at Corey’s very wide shoulders and contrasting thin waist. Still clapping, Matt smiled, “You dudes are too good. Our school dances will be more like concerts.” Eddie nodded and giggled, “We watched Shaun and Mike work out those two songs last night.” Corey dove into the pool. “It was amazing,” Eddie gushed. “Pieces and parts became identifiable songs.” “They’ve all gotten better the last couple o’ months,” Keith smiled. Mike grinned, “Which wouldn’t mean shit without our lead vocalist.” At last, Graham climbed out of the pool. Prez expected Ben to follow, but he didn’t. Ben only watched his boyfriend jog to the diving board. Watching Ben’s head bounce slightly, in time with Graham’s butt, Prez couldn’t help grinning. Watching Prez devilishly grinning, Matt, Eddie, Gil and Keith cracked up, causing Derrick, Mike and Shaun to turn and grin. Widely smiling, Graham glanced around. Still chuckling, Eddie, Gil, Keith, Matt and Prez all pointed to Ben. Graham sniggered, “Teddy bear?” Ben dreamily hummed, and everyone roared. Turning on the diving board, Graham wiggled his ass for Ben. Clutching his chest and giggling, Ben fell backward, pretending to drown. Doing a backward flip off the board, Graham dove in. Matt smiled and softly shared, “You dudes are only seeing the silly side. Last Thursday night, Eddie and I found them watching the sunset from Graham’s room. It’s where Graham might’ve been with Francis. Come to find out, it was Ben’s idea.” Eddie nodded and softly explained, “After the sun went down, we started zipping up photos of Francis on Graham’s computer. The goof was gazing at pictures of his dying partner for a month. It was Ben’s idea to leave Graham one photo and put all the others aside.” “That necklace on Ben’s neck was given to him by Graham, right after your rehearsal yesterday,” Matt smiled. “We watched Graham give Ben a family heirloom, and then watched Ben fall apart, crying happy tears.” “That was lunch time yesterday,” Eddie giggled. “We didn’t see them again until after ten last night, when they came here with Graham’s new car.” “Earlier tonight, we went for a drive with them,” Matt told us. “Graham drove down Malibu Canyon and pulled into the beach parking lot. We watched the sunset from there then drove back here.” Mike evilly grinned, “So you saw them lunch yesterday, again last night, but not again until sundown tonight?” Nodding, Matt chortled and Eddie giggled his ass off. Turning toward the pool, Mike loudly asked, “What were you and Graham doing today, Ben?” Even by the pool light, everyone could all see Ben turn bright red. Guiding Ben’s giggling face down to his shoulder, Graham held him close, laughing “What’re ya tryin’ to do to me, dude? When I wasn’t getting some teddy bear action, I was gettin’ grizzly bear action. The rest of the time, we watched TV, listened to music, surfed the net, looked at Eddie’s pictures from last night, and your humongous bone, which by the way, is almost the same size as Matt’s and he’s way taller than you.” Everyone, including Mike, roared laughing. Corey could barely catch his breath. Shaking his head sadly, Graham grinned, “You need to be nice, Mike. First, I’ll have my grizzly bear pick you up and dump you in the pool. Then four of us will grab hold of you and let Derrick tickle you to tears again.” Ben and Graham whispered in each other’s ears. “No,” Mike cackled, “not again! It took me almost the whole day to recover.” Matt chuckled, “I’d be more worried about the grizzly bear picking your ass up. We’ve seen Ben pick up Graham with very little effort.” Eddie nodded and giggled, “Ben would’ve carried Graham all the way across the park, if his mom hadn’t caught the act.” Derrick sniggered at Mike, “You might be safe this time, but I would be more careful if I were you.” Mike turned to Ben and sweetly asked, “You wouldn’t, would you, Ben?” Widely grinning for a moment or two, Ben looked like he might. He giggled, “I just talked Graham out of it, this time.” At Mike’s nervous expression, those surrounding him cracked up. While they were indisposed, Ben picked up Corey and tossed him to the deep end of the pool. Hearing the giggling and the splash, those out on the patio turned to see Ben pick up and easily toss Drew at least six feet across the pool. Prez helplessly chuckled, “You’re in it deep now, Mike. Graham’s got a trained grizzly at his beck and call.” Mike sighed, “At least I knew it when Kellam wanted to kill me.” Unexpectedly, a camera flashed at Derrick, Prez, Mike and Shaun, sitting in a semi-circle. Matt looked over his shoulder at Eddie and sniggered. “What? I got above the waist, faces and partial instruments,” Eddie giggled. “This will go with the other controversial CD cover photo. Mike’s worried expression makes it even better.” Ben giggled, “Can I have a copy of that?” “Sure, bro,” Eddie nodded. Graham cracked up and loudly shivered, “Brrr!” “Grrr,” Ben happily replied. Everyone watched as Corey held onto one of Ben’s arms and stepped into the other hand. Effortlessly, Corey flew across the pool, giggling his little blond butt off. Ben offered to toss Drew again, but Drew politely declined. Prez noticed the time and got up to put his acoustic bass back in its case. Shaun sighed, “It’s after ten already,” and got up to put his Ovation acoustic away. Mike also put his guitar back in its case. Eddie called, “Okay dudes, let’s get the lineups started. This time let’s sort from the tallest to the shortest.” Gil told Keith and Derrick, “Over here, dudes,” and started to walk to the yard’s side fence. Ben, Corey, Drew and Graham climbed out of the pool to dry off. “Can’t we go with couples, like last night?” Shaun pondered. Matt offered, “Let’s check with our new participants.” He then told Prez, Keith, Drew and Corey, “Last night, for the first time, couples got each other worked up and Eddie took stiffy pics.” Eddie nodded and giggled, “That’s why I thought we’d start now. Everyone starts chatting and it takes a while to get the pictures taken.” Drew playfully complained, “You dudes are crazed. I was prepared for limp dicks. In the space of three weeks, Corey and I have shown everybody we’ve met.” Helplessly, Corey softly giggled. Prez checked, “Ben, you participated last night?” Nodding, Ben giggled, “We practiced just being couples then did the photos. It makes more sense doing the pics and then practicing being.” Tilting his head curiously, Corey grinned and wondered, “Being what?” Graham smiled, “Being together, sharing silently.” Eddie nodded, “Those special times where we’re not doing anything; we’re just together, at peace with each other and doing nothing.” Derrick offered, “We get so busy doing stuff, running here, going there, rehearsals, and making love that we forget that being is just as important as everything else we do.” “Oh,” Corey smiled, “that’s easy and fun too.” Drew confirmed, “Do you want to, Cor?” Taking Drew’s hand and starting for the lineup, Corey shrugged, “Sure, why not?” At the fence, eleven lined up; Matt, Gil, Keith, Prez, Derrick, Graham, Ben, Shaun, Mike, Drew and Corey. Shaun grinned, “At least I’m not the only circumcised dickie here, like Sunday night.” Lifting the camera and trying to get everyone in the picture, Eddie slowly backed up and giggled. Mike nodded, “Five cut and seven uncut, we’re almost half; about forty percent.” Keith teased, “Forty percent is where you’re usually at, bro.” Mike smirked and bitched, “Just ‘cos you’re at sixty percent, don’t blame me.” Gil chuckled, “I’m confused, forty percent and sixty percent of what?” After checking with each other, Derrick and Prez grinned, “Their erect size.” Corey began hysterically giggling. “We’ll all be able to figure who is who in these photos,” Matt smiled. He then reminded, “We’ll need to get eleven moons by the moonlight too, buttercup.” “I’ll stand next to Prez,” Eddie giggled. Keith chortled, “That should be a special pic, just the two of you.” “Front and back,” Matt suggested. “Not only are they both bubble butts, their pubes fan out almost the same.” Keith nodded and softly chortled. Eddie loudly giggled, “Hey now!” Matt reminded, “The camera lens doesn’t lie. You’ll see for yourself.” Drew sniggered, “We should change our order for the next pictures, by tan lines. Shaun and Gil have been working too many days this summer.” “That’s too true,” Shaun sighed. Gil grunted, “Only another two weeks, bubbala.” Eddie nodded, “You and Corey have the darkest tans, Drew.” “We’re out in the sun almost every day, at my pool,” Corey giggled. Noticing Eddie kneeling down, Drew laughed, “Dickie piccies first, Eddie?” “You’re all yappin’ up a storm,” Eddie giggled. Corey giggled, “Make your dickie swing, stud.” With gyrating hips, Drew obliged and softly chortled. His hips hit Corey’s and Mike’s, starting a chain reaction of flopping meat down the line. Of course, everyone exaggerated their hip swivels. Eddie snapped a photo then laughed, “That will be interesting; some dickies up, some down, some swinging to the left and others swinging to the right.” Matt walked away from the line and went to Eddie. Eddie giggled at his lover, “My dickie don’t hang or swing like you dudes.” Holding one hand out for the camera and gesturing toward the line with his other hand, Matt chortled, “It hangs and swings enough, buttercup. Do it for me.” Eddie stole a kiss then nodded and handed off the camera. Joining the line, Eddie squeezed between Drew and Corey. Shoulder-to-shoulder, they all started their hip swivels and gyrations again. In a few moments, another flash indicated Matt had snapped the photo. He looked up and smiled, “Very cool. Now chill and hang dudes.” Turning to Graham, Ben giggled, “Every night it’s something a little different.” Nodding, Graham smiled, “I want you to do some more dancing for me later, teddy bear.” Prez leaned forward and locked eyes with Graham, smiling, “You’ve done more for Ben’s confidence than four of us accomplished in almost a month.” Graham chuckled, “This is just the start too. We’ve got a goal in mind.” Ben giggled, “For Christmas.” Corey giggled, “Who will be pregnant?” and everyone cracked up. Graham proudly chortled, “Maybe both of us. We can only keep trying.” Ben whined through his giggles. Shaking his head, Keith sniggered, “I will never forget last Friday’s doctor appointment, Corey.” Corey giggled, “I scrape the shit out of my arm and Drew was all worried. The nurse takes a few tubes of blood and Drew can’t watch. When I go into labor, my hubby’s passed out on the floor and I’m really screwed.” Again, they all roared laughing. “This is a very interesting concept,” Shaun chortled. Gil smiled, “Later, bubbala.” Matt hummed then teased, “Laughter causes more bouncing dickies. Save gay pregnancies for the stiff dickie snaps.” Almost simultaneously, eleven voices promised, “We will.” During a calm moment, Matt took another photograph. He and Eddie swapped places. As Matt approached, Gil smiled, “So since you and Eddie have been a couple more than a year and half, you have two bambinos?” “Six,” Matt chortled, “two sets of triplets.” “We’re going for quintuplets next,” Eddie giggled. Drew and Corey howled. Keith smirked, “Now look what you’ve done, bro.” Drew sniggered, “It’s not our fault!” “Talk about your population explosions,” Keith teased. Prez nodded, “All gay couples, each going for twins, triplets and more could push it to seven billion in only three or four years.” Derrick chortled, “Like the baby boomers, we’ll call our generation the gay boomers.” “If only,” Shaun sighed. Corey offered, “Drew and I consider ourselves married the last week. Making love has become a whole new and awesome experience.” “Making love, our eyes are locked all the time now,” Drew softly grinned. “It might seem a little weird, but that change has definitely improved what was already awesome.” “Wow,” Eddie giggled, and then snapped another picture of eleven faces. He lowered the camera, giggling, “All of us obviously like this fantasy.” Nodding, Matt suggested, “Pair up, dudes.” Derrick leaned close to Mike and softly suggested, “Look around, Lick.” Glancing around as all the couples paired up, Mike’s eyes widened. He took Derrick’s hand and they moved aside, several paces away from where the other ten were standing and holding their partners close. Misty multicolored wisps surrounded all their friends. Bouncing around amongst the colors were pinkish balloons. They widely smiled then flew together and locked lips. Prez wondered what Derrick and Mike had been looking at, but Keith’s voice in Prez’s head asked, ‘Wanna go for septuplets tonight, baby?’ With a passionate kiss, Prez enthusiastically replied affirmatively, regardless of where they were sleeping that night or plans for the next day. Quickly, six couples and twelve dudes were happily giggling and reforming the line in pairs. Matt and Eddie remained together for the first photos of ten proud erections, smiling faces and moonlit moons. Then Gil and Shaun stepped away from the lineup while Matt and Eddie joined the lineup for another set of butt, crotch and facial photos. The lineup broke apart and for the first time, Prez noticed Ben and Ben noticed Prez. Out the group of twelve, Graham and Keith noticed that Ben’s and Prez’s erections were most similar; Ben’s hard bone slightly curved right and Prez’s slightly curved left, but in length and girth, they were very similar. Matt took Eddie’s hand and Keith took Prez’s hand for the final pictures of the night; Preston’s and Eddie’s butts and pubes. Once those photos were snapped, Graham then insisted that two more pictures be taken of Prez and Ben together, front and back. Between Ben’s giggles, Prez softly shared, “I’m so proud of you. Graham’s treating you well?” Ben sighed, “Oh, he’s so much like what I’d hoped; he’s a dream come true. Somehow, he thinks a lot of me too.” Eddie giggled, “And they’re yapping up a storm! Turn around, dudes.” They turned and Prez whispered, “Bend over on three; one, two, three.” They both bent over to give them full moons. The camera’s flash went off twice. Ben’s giggling was drowned out by Matt’s, Keith’s, Graham’s and Eddie’s loud laughter. Grinning widely, Ben and Prez turned around to return to their partners. Derrick softly sniggered, “My once polite best friend has become a deviant.” “I think last month very much proved that,” Mike chuckled. Wrapping his arms around Prez’s waist, Keith smiled, “My sex machine.” Drew and Corey went over to Keith and Prez. Corey sweetly asked, “When do you think we could go camping again?” Prez shrugged and deferred to Keith. Keith said, “We’re planning on the beach tomorrow afternoon. We could go tomorrow night.” The four of them considered that idea. Drew and Corey wanted to hit the beach too, so Keith and Prez promised to pick them up. They could consider camping the next day while at the beach. Not too far away, Shaun checked with Mike, “Would it be alright if we got another practice session in tomorrow night, dude? I’d really like to work on Bringin’ on the Heartbreak. I don’t feel like it’s memorized enough.” Having heard Corey ask about camping, Mike answered Shaun; “It would be only the three of us, unless we get Doug and Brian to join us.” Shaun nodded, “That’s cool; just drums and two guitars, so I can hear the parts.” Corey and Drew shared a glance then Corey suggested, “I’d really like another camping trip with all three couples again, before school starts.” Derrick nodded, “Let’s plan that for next Wednesday night.” “Don’t you dare break fourteen, fuckers,” Mike playfully warned. Drew, Corey, Keith and Prez shook their heads, confirming they had no intention of even trying. Unexpectedly, Ben and Graham cracked up. “You didn’t,” Derrick, Mike, Keith, Drew and Corey laughed. Hysterical, Prez couldn’t speak. With Ben turning purple, Graham took him in his arms and chortled, “Yesterday we managed ten and weren’t even trying. By the way, we have to go.” The remaining ten lost it and howled laughing. “Not that it really matters a whole heck of a lot,” Eddie giggled, “but I have to ask, how you managed the ten?” Grinning madly, Graham shrugged, “It was our first day having intercourse, so we had to try a few positions out, didn’t we?” A variety of loud expletives flowed. Shaking his head sadly, Mike sniggered, “So we’ll go to the beach tomorrow. You two dudes won’t be able to walk, never mind swim.” Pulling Keith along, Prez went to Mike and whispered, “What were you and Dee noticing, before the erection pics, that made you so happy?” Mike leaned close and whispered, “Auras.” Surprised, Prez gasped, “You can see them?” Nodding, Mike smiled, “It’s not too difficult.” Slowly nodding and noticing Prez’s spark of interest, Derrick softly chortled. “Teach us,” Prez prompted. Turning to Derrick, Mike softy asked, “Can we teach them to see auras, Dee?” Suddenly, they had everyone’s full attention. Scowling and humming, Derrick thought for a moment before saying, “I’d love to, dudes. Doug and Brian taught us, so they’re really the right people to ask.” He told Mike, “We could at least take them through the feeling exercise.” Graham excitedly said, “We did that. It was very cool, dudes.” Ben nodded, “Visualize a blank white movie screen. That’s what Graham did and it worked for me too.” Almost simultaneously, Corey, Drew, Eddie, Gil, Shaun and Matt chimed, “Teach us too.” Derrick grinned and Mike chuckled, “Okay, we’ll split in half; six students and six subjects.” Corey, Drew, Eddie, Matt, Keith and Prez lined up. Mike instructed, “You’re too close dudes. Eddie doesn’t have his camera, so get an arm’s length between you.” Like a military formation, each put up their arms and made space. Facing Matt, Derrick nodded, “Let’s line up so students don’t know the subjects very well; Ben, Graham, Gil and Shaun, lineup across from Drew, Corey, Keith and Prez.” Derrick stood across from Matt. Mike stood across from Eddie. In a few moments, all the aura test subjects were lined up and spaced apart. Mike instructed, “The idea is for the students to emotionally feel the subjects. Matt, step forward so you’re toe-to-toe with Derrick and close your eyes. Clear your mind and picture the blank movie screen, like Ben suggested. Tell us what you feel from Dee.” Derrick said, “Understand, you’re telling us what you feel about my general personality. Each of these things you feel is associated with a color. We haven’t memorized the colors, so students will get confirmation from the subjects, and probably the subject’s partner too.” Matt moved closer to Derrick, softly murmuring, “I don’t know if I can do this.” Derrick smiled, “Believe that you want to, dude. You know as well as I do, believing you can do something is half the battle.” Matt glanced at Eddie, sighing, “I don’t get it.” Picking up on Matt’s continued trepidation, Eddie moved forward, toe-to-toe with Mike. Closing his eyes, Eddie exhaled and attempted to feel something from Mike. Tilting his head, Eddie softly said, “Shielded, careful, playful, obsessive...” Derrick grinned and nodded. Further down the line, Keith and Prez softly chuckled. Eddie giggled, “Guess that means I did okay?” and then opened his eyes. Keith sniggered, “Yeah, that’s Mike.” Mike checked with Prez; receiving a wide smile and nodding head. He then checked with Derrick, asking, “When am I shielded?” Derrick shrugged, “It’s not a bad thing, Lick. You’ve been man-of-the-house more than three years, it makes perfect sense.” He faced Matt, asking “Ready to try, dude?” Shaking his head, Matt grinned, “More demonstration, please.” Beside Eddie was Corey who was facing Ben. Corey took a step closer to Ben then closed his eyes. Without prompting, Corey raised his hands and actively felt the air surrounding Ben. He then mumbled, “Honest... and educated... and intense... wait, where did that thought come from?” He opened his eyes and looked up at Ben then scowled. Ben softly asked, “What is it, Corey?” Stepping back, Corey forced a grin and promised, “Another time.” Glancing back and forth toward his other friends, Ben then prompted Corey, “It’s okay to say it here and now.” Corey sighed, “Are you sure?” Without hesitation, Ben nodded. Corey softly shared, “You think you’re lucky, that somehow Graham slipped past the Reaper, that he might die. The accident you now know of scares you more than any other single thing.” Ben’s jaw flopped down. It seemed Corey had read a fleeting thought and worry, something that simply flew through Ben’s mind, as it had at least once a day for almost a week. Derrick tapped Mike. Facing each other, they smiled and playfully bounced their eyebrows. Eddie quickly moved beside Ben and rubbed his shoulder, offering, “Maybe it’s simply all of us, having learned so abruptly that teenagers can die, that we aren’t indestructible. It was a rude awakening for each of us here.” Slowly shaking his head, Graham turned Ben to face him. He firmly assured, “It won’t happen, teddy bear. Something I learned from our chats about the day of the accident; Francis and I woke at seven then left my house around eight in the morning, way before my mom was ready to leave for work. After an entire day in the sun, and then going to dinner, we shouldn’t have seen that movie before leaving Huntington Beach. We were both having such a good time, all day, it seemed to just fly by, and neither of us wanted it to end. The movie ended around eleven-thirty, so it must’ve been midnight when we got to my car. I won’t make that mistake again, not for a movie. A day can end and be started again the next morning.” Happier about Graham’s admission than concerned about how Corey knew so precisely what was going through his mind, Ben stepped nearer to Graham, gave him a tender kiss, and then whispered in his ear, “Needing time apart or breaking up wouldn’t be as devastating as that total loss.” “You don’t have to even worry about any of those three things,” Graham softly replied in Ben’s ear. Facing Drew, Corey giggled, “I told him, another time.” Grinning widely, Drew shrugged, “Keeping the secret when twelve dickies are flapping in the breeze is kind o’ pointless.” Everyone helplessly sniggered. Noticing his dumbfounded older brother, Drew rolled his eyes and slouched, “Come on, bro; last week it was eight, a week later we’re at twelve, next week it’ll be somewhere between sixteen and twenty dickies that might be hangin’ out.” Eddie giggled, “I’ll invite Jerry and Mack; each of their dickies count as two.” Mike and Derrick shuffled down the row to Keith and Gil. Derrick smiled, “Your turns, dudes.” “Until Ben and Graham finish whispering sweet nothings,” Mike chuckled. Giggling his bubble-butt off, Eddie returned to Matt. Gil stammered, “Don’t think I can... do this.” Keith shrugged, “I’ll try first then?” and Gil nodded. Keith took a step closer to Gil and closed his eyes. He scowled, “Ya know, I’m not feeling much more than I already know about you, dude.” After a few moments of silence, Keith’s eyes opened and locked with Gil’s eyes. “This won’t wait,” Keith huffed. Surprising everyone, most of all Prez and Shaun, Keith reached for and took Gil’s arm, and then led Gil away for a private chat. Drew prompted Graham, “Ya wanna try and read me, dude?” Taking a step closer to Drew and nodding, Graham closed his eyes. After a longer few moments, Graham softly said, “I feel like you’re very creative, Drew. It’s like a technical thing too, not just creating any ol’ thing, but more like knowing one set of things, so you can learn more along the same lines and build on it. I also feel growth, and like you’re teetering, trying to find a comfortable balanced place...” “Holy shit!” Corey softly giggled. Graham opened his eyes and wordlessly checked with Corey. “You got it, dude,” Corey cheered. Mike and Derrick sniggered. Corey smiled, “Drew writes for the school newspaper. He’s able to be creative, but he’s using and building upon what he already knows. I’ve read all his articles and watched the changes turn into a style that’s uniquely Drew. The same thing goes for Drew running the P.A. mixer; he uses what he hears and knows, way better than I could, noticing the slightest differences in sounds.” Drew nodded and grinned, “You couldn’t have known this, Graham, but up until about March or April, when Corey and I started getting more serious, I used to consider myself bi-sexual. So what you said about finding balance, a happy medium, is true too. I wouldn’t have even considered going to a skinny dipping party last summer. I’m here know though, and since everyone is being cool, I’m accepting, yeah, this could happen again, at least with this group.” Paying more attention to Keith, now returning with Gil, Prez was startled by Shaun asking, “You wanna try and read me, Prez?” “Your boyfriend needs you,” Prez quickly responded. Shaun barely turned his head to see Gil approaching and appearing very sad when Prez added, “You can make it better.” Stepping away from the line, Shaun hurried to Gil. The two of them wandered further away again. Derrick grinned, “I think you all get the idea.” “Everything said with words can be associated to colors,” Mike explained. “We don’t always look for auras, but when Dee and I do choose to perceive them, it’s not only pretty, it sends shivers down our spines.” Derrick nodded, “Specifically, Matt, it’s not surprising you had trouble going there to feel and see with more than your senses. That’s not you, dude; no harm done.” “I want to, but it feels uncomfortable,” Matt shared. Derrick shook his head, smiled and briefly hugged Matt, saying, “It don’t matter. You’re just as valuable a friend now as you were earlier tonight, last night, or days ago. Look at it this way, your boyfriend and you make a hell of a team.” Derrick stepped back from Matt. Eddie quickly took Derrick’s place and wrapped his arms around his lover. Mike added, “We guessed that Eddie and Corey would have no problems doing this experiment. From Friday night, when we were with Graham and Ben at Doug’s and Brian’s place, we knew neither of them would have any difficulty at all. It’s just a different level of perception; some can do it easily, some need practice, like Dee and me, others won’t ever be able to see them.” Drew pulled Corey closer. Willingly, Corey cuddled with his hubby and visibly relaxed. Drew chuckled, “Guess we have something new to try and learn about?” Corey nodded and giggled, “So you can use that knowledge to create something very cool.” Facing each other and still swinging their held hands together, Prez and Keith were silently sharing Gil’s well guarded secret. Ben and Graham moved closer to Matt and Eddie. The four of them watched Shaun and Gil returning to the larger group. Gil forced a smile, telling Ben, Graham, Eddie and Matt, “It’s cool and I’m fine, just totally blown away.” Eddie asked Shaun, “What’s up?” “For now, I hope you don’t find out,” Shaun answered. Gil shook his head and shivered, considering revealing his secret. He glanced around at all the other boys in the yard. He huffed, “Ya know what? I’m tired of hiding shit. I’ll tell you what Keith told me.” He collected himself for a moment then admitted, “My parents have anger management problems. I’m as mellow as I am, or at least try to be, because home stresses me out. There’s nothing I’d like more than to bring some of you dudes home to introduce you to my family, but it’s an unrealistic hope. I know they’re homophobic and don’t tell them about me and Shaun, because it would turn out very bad. After talking with Keith though, they had better watch their steps. If they ever get physically abusive with me or my little sister again, I’ll have them arrested. Then I’ll talk to Keith’s father for legal representation.” Eight jaws dropped. Only Shaun, Keith and Prez weren’t surprised with Gil’s statements. First to encircle and embrace Shaun and Gil were Eddie and Matt. Ben and Graham joined and soon the other six did as well. Basking in warmth and understanding, Gil nervously chortled, “If only we had clothes on.” They all chuckled and the twelve person hug began to break apart. Derrick told everyone about his father and how he wound up living with Mike. Prez took over from there, explaining a little about his father, the divorce and how he came to live with his mom in California. Since it was well after midnight, the boys put their clothes on, beginning with Drew and Corey. In minutes, everyone was dressed and saying goodnight. They would all meet at Zuma Beach the next morning. Once alone in 4Runner, Drew asked Keith, “How’d you figure out Gil’s deal, bro?” Keith sighed, “I wish I hadn’t. We’re talking about a father that has temper tantrums and punches walls; a mother that went berserk one night and broke all four dinner plates, filled with uneaten food, on the kitchen floor, and then got more pissed off cleaning up the mess she made. Gil’s little sister ran to her room crying and hid out. While both parents were screaming and yelling at each other, Gil snuck out with his sister. They went to a movie, then Gil dropped his sister off at a friend’s home. He went home, knowing his parents had serious issues, to argue it out with both of them. That was only a few months ago, before we met Gil. They take out all their frustrations on each other. Gil and his sister are the unwilling witnesses to meltdowns all too frequently.” Corey grumbled, “There’s some really fucked up adults.” “I can’t even imagine it,” Drew shivered. “I mean, we all know mom’s having a rough time with that kid at the hospital, but she’s not flippin’ out and smashing shit.” Turning slightly in his seat, Keith said, “Our parents know how to have an argument or disagreement without screaming, yelling or making it obvious to us. A problem between them isn’t our problem, and it shouldn’t be. When John got in trouble the start of the summer, it wasn’t a problem between me and John, or you and John, or Prez and John. And the problem was serious enough, yet not so serious that it effected the entire household. In that house, Gil’s parents make all their work, personal and family issues everybody’s problem.” Prez asked, “Corey, what do your parents do?” Corey confirmed, “You mean when they argue?” “Yeah.” “They take it to their room or out of the house, most of the time,” Corey replied. “I know that something’s going on, but they don’t make it part of my life, not until days after the fact, when they eventually decide to tell me what was up.” Turning into Corey’s neighborhood, Prez said, “It’ll be close to ten when we get here to pick you up for the beach.” Drew nodded, “We’ll be ready for that and camping too, if we decide to go tomorrow night.” A minute or so later, Prez stopped at the curb in front of Corey’s house. Leaning forward, Corey gave Prez and Keith unexpected kisses on the cheek. He smiled, “See ya in the morning,” then shuffled out of the back seat. Drew softly chortled, “He’s lovin’ having so much to do with other gay dudes. See ya later,” and then followed his beloved out and closed the back car door. Drew asked, “What do you think, Cor?” Reaching into his pocket for the house key, Corey wondered, “About?” Drew shrugged, “Anything and everything; like what we did tonight?” Corey paused for a few moments, locked eyes with Drew and sighed, “I wish we had found Susie. Without a doubt, I simply don’t like girls. The last few hours, with only other gay dudes, was way more fun than the two hours spent at Bally’s.” He then unlocked the front door and stepped inside. Absorbing that, Drew followed Corey into the house. He locked the door behind him then followed Corey to the kitchen. Once there, Drew promised, “I’ll tell Susan that I love you, as soon as possible.” Smiling widely, Corey faced Drew and hung his arms over his hubby’s shoulders, saying, “I know you love me, and that you’ll deal with Susie. Ya know how I know?” Holding Corey’s hips, Drew prodded, “How?” “Everything we do proves it, every day,” Corey admitted. “You take every opportunity to take my clothes off, and you do it like we’re alone, caressing me, in front of everybody.” Softly chuckling, Drew nodded and waited for more. Corey giggled, “I am learning, Drew. Other gay dudes must think I’m okay looking, because I’ve caught a few glances, and been told it’s so, but in my mind, you’re the sexy stud everybody should be gazing at. I look at you and see perfection. Others look at you, but never get the whole picture somehow. I was paying attention when Ben tossed us in the pool. He treated you exactly the same as he treated me. Come to find out, Matt noticed Prez and Keith noticed Eddie and Ben. That’s the part I’m struggling with. We all notice each other, but other than a few silly remarks, it goes no further.” At the pause, Drew gently reminded, “Twelve gay dudes making six couples; each and every one of us thinking more about who we love most. Keith didn’t hit on Ben or Eddie, he only noticed similarities.” Corey wondered, “What similarities did you notice?” Drew shrugged, “I noticed everything, Cor; body shapes, chests, shoulders, bellies and legs. I saw twelve dicks, limp and erect, and each was just slightly different.” Corey prompted, “Tell me more, be specific.” Drew grinned, “Specifically, let’s rearrange the line-up by leg length first. Matt, Gil, Keith and Prez have the longest legs. The shortest legs there were Eddie’s, Mike’s, Shaun’s, yours and mine. The thing to remember is that we’re the youngest in the group. Mike and Shaun are seventeen and probably pretty close to fully grown. “The trimmest waists were yours, mine, Graham’s and Prez’s. The nicest abs were Matt’s, Keith’s, Derrick’s, Prez’s, Eddie’s and Graham’s.” “And yours,” Corey added. Drew shrugged and smiled, “I can’t tell that, but I’ll take your word for it.” “What about dickies?” Corey cheekily smiled. “I’ll prove to you that I’m gay enough to notice them too,” Drew sniggered. “We’ll start with limp dickies, from smallest to largest, okay?” When Corey giggled and nodded, Drew listed, “Eddie, Ben, Mike, Shaun, you and Prez are all in the same league, about three inches, with slightly varying thicknesses. Slightly longer, from about four inches to over four inches, were Gil, Derrick, me, Graham, Keith and Matt.” Drew checked, “Agreed?” Shaking his head, Corey giggled, “You hang nicer than Graham, about the same as your brother.” “I’ll have to take your word for it,” Drew smiled. Corey observed, “You both have about the same length, but your dick is much thicker than Graham’s.” “The amazing thing is how those dicks measured up when erect,” Drew continued. “Without a doubt, Eddie and Mike change the most. The least amount of change probably goes to Matt and Keith. Everybody else falls in the middle, no major surprises.” Scowling slightly, Corey confirmed, “You think I’m in the middle too?” “You are, angel,” Drew smiled. “You hang about three inches, but your dick is pretty thick.” Corey giggled, “Ya think so?” “I know so,” Drew assured, and then leaned closer to whisper, “What I love is watching your dick get hard. Including Brian and Pete, I’ve now seen twelve other dicks, hard and soft. There is no other dick I want in my mouth or in my butt more than yours.” Leaning back slightly, so Corey could see the truth in his eyes, Drew smiled, “The great thing is, we’re the youngest and still measure up. Where will we be in two years, when we’re seventeen? Proportionally, not much different, but we’re sure to grow.” Corey rapidly nodded, and then asked, “Who was most attractive to you?” “Eddie,” Drew quickly answered. Quite surprised because Eddie wasn’t blond, Corey squeaked, “Really?” Drew nodded, “He’s got the second cutest body, the second cutest personality and the second cutest giggle.” Liking the way Drew stated that, Corey moved closer and hung off Drew. Drew asked, “Who did you think was most attractive?” Corey began giggling. Grinning, Drew pulled only his head back to see Corey’s face, but Corey hid his face on Drew’s shoulder. “Come on, Cor,” Drew chortled. Without lifting his head, Corey giggled, “All of ‘em.” Uncontrollably, Drew evilly snickered. Corey giggled, “There was something attractive about all of them, really.” Drew chuckled, “Pick one, other than me and Prez.” Barely showing his face, Corey giggled, “It would have to be Graham, then.” Drew prodded, “Why?” Corey sighed, “He’s the most like you, in looks and personality.” “Ya think?” “In most respects,” Corey grinned. “He’s not shy, but other than that, yeah, he’s got the sense of humor, the cutest face and nicest body, overall. I can honestly say they’re all attractive in some way though.” Drew placed a tender kiss on Corey’s cheek, since that was as close to Corey’s mouth as he could reach. Corey whispered, “I love you, Drew.” Drew smiled and purred, “I love you too, Corey.” For another few minutes, they held one another close in the Seavers’ kitchen. Drew softly asked, “I’m guessing since you came here instead of your bedroom, you’re hungry?” Corey nodded, “A little. Just can’t decide what I want.” “Ya want an apple?” “That wouldn’t fill me up.” “A sandwich?” “That might be too much.” “I’ll split it with you?” “Cool.” Since Corey didn’t budge, Drew grinned, “Let’s make it quickly, so I can get you in bed and gobble ya up.” Nodding, Corey giggled, but before completely releasing Drew, he leaned in for a completely unexpected smooch. Enjoying it, Drew’s eyes closed. Leaving Drew somewhat dazed, Corey stepped back and went to the fridge to get sandwich fixings. Shaking off the urge to attack Corey in the kitchen, Drew helped make a turkey sandwich. Corey placed two pieces of wheat bread on a plate. Drew put mayonnaise on the bread. Seeing Corey put more than the expected three or four slices of turkey on the bread, Drew grinned and tore off a few pieces of lettuce. Giggling, Corey put three slices of Swiss cheese on the pile of meat. Suspiciously eying Corey, Drew added the lettuce then put the top piece of bread in place while Corey put stuff back in the fridge. Drew got a knife and carefully cut the sandwich in half. Corey took the plate to the table while Drew deposited the knife in the dishwasher. Entering the dining room, Drew found Corey standing and waiting for him. As had become habit, Drew sat down and Corey maneuvered onto Drew’s lap. Drew sniggered. Corey giggled. They kissed, believing that would be enough to allow them to eat, but alas, the best laid plans of mice and men flew to the wind. Completely thrilled with the quantity of meat and cheese Corey put on the sandwich, Drew pushed the plate aside then pulled Corey closer and began gobbling away at his hubby’s throat and shoulder. Corey cracked up and held on tightly to Drew. In moments, they were making out. Concentrating on a fleshy ear, Corey purposefully slid around Drew’s lap. Drew lifted Corey’s shirt and ravenously devoured a tiny nipple. Thankfully, the Seavers’ master bedroom was on the other side of the house, because they couldn’t stop. Lifting Corey and placing him on the table, Drew then ripped open his lover’s shorts and tore them off, dropping them on the carpeted floor. What began on the table was finished, many minutes later, on the floor. Deliriously happy with one another, they remained there, basking in the afterglow, for quite a few more minutes. Now starving, they decided to eat the sandwich, which eventually became a second sandwich when Corey admitted he was still hungry. Watching Corey put an incredible sixth and seventh slices of meat on top of the Swiss cheese, Drew covered his mouth and quickly went outside where he cracked up. Drew was still laughing when Corey walked outside with a glass of milk, the plate and a raging erection. Drew wanted more too, so they made use of a poolside chaise lounge, where Drew went for a ride on Corey. When that round was complete, they were both surprised that they had made love outside for the very first time. They finished their midnight snack after one in the morning. Enthralled and not thinking clearly, they then decided to enjoy the night, cuddled together on the same chaise lounge. Peacefully, under a clear, starry night sky, they fell asleep there. About six-thirty in the morning, Bill Seaver woke before the alarm. He padded out to the kitchen in his boxers to start a pot of coffee. Seeing Corey’s bedroom door open and the bed made, as if it hadn’t been slept in, Bill scowled and worried where the boys might be. His answer came less than a minute later when he stepped into the kitchen and saw them naked outside on the patio chaise lounge. Corey was fully draped over Drew. He only looked a little closer to determine if they were awake or asleep. It seemed that they were asleep, so he made the coffee, trying to decide if he should bother waking them up or not. Bill knew it would embarrass them both, but Drew much more so. Since he had a jump on the day, Bill went to take his shower and shave, deciding to leave the boys be. If they were still out there and asleep when he returned to the kitchen, he would wake them then, figuring it would be better than his wife finding them there. Twenty minutes later, Bill returned to the kitchen dressed and ready for his day. Seeing the boys hadn’t moved, Bill muttered, “How in the blazes did they manage to stay there all night?” and poured a cup of coffee. Since it was almost seven and Lanna would be awake any minute, Bill took his cup of coffee outside. He sat at the table, only a few yards away from his son and son-in-law, then softly called their names. They barely shifted, so Bill called them again, more loudly. Corey sleepily glanced around. Drew stretched. Bill snickered. “DAD!” both boys excitedly yelled, and started to untangle themselves to get up at the same time. Laughing hysterically, Bill politely turned away. Once on his feet, Corey giggled, “Busted!” Seeing Corey and himself nude and with erections, Drew chortled, “Oh shit!” With nowhere else to hide, Drew threw himself into the pool. At least the cooler water would eventually chill his hot bone, Drew figured. Hearing the splash, Corey giggled at Drew, then turned to his father, asking, “Where’s mom?” Still turned away from his son, Bill laughed, “In bed, as far as I know, but not for much longer.” Remembering that their clothes were still on the dining room floor, Corey gasped then hurried into the house. Hysterical over his own embarrassment, Drew tried to calm himself down enough to at least say good morning to his father-in-law, but he couldn’t stop laughing. Inside, Corey scurried around the dining room, picking up his and Drew’s clothes and making sure the room didn’t look or smell like they had sex in there. Moving a chair back where it belonged, Corey heard the electronic beeping of his parents’ alarm clock. Lanna turned off her alarm and swung her feet to get out of bed. She put her light summer robe over her nightie then walked out of her room. Seeing Corey’s made bed and becoming extremely concerned, Lanna loudly called, “Bill?” Again, Corey gasped and raced back outside, carrying the clothes. Thankfully, his dad was still laughing, but explaining this to his mother should prove interesting. Still hurrying, Corey threw the clothes in the air to fall as they may then dove into the pool and beside Drew. At the shower of boxers, T-shirts and shorts, Bill roared laughing. Lanna walked outside, hearing her husband’s, Corey’s and Drew’s laughter. Relieved that the boys were home and fine, she smirked, “What in the world?” With a wide smile, Bill looked up and chortled, “Don’t ask.” “I almost had a heart attack seeing Corey’s door open and bed un-slept in,” Lanna huffed. Nodding agreement and standing, Bill sniggered, “They’re fine.” Picking up his coffee and taking hold of his wife’s hand, Bill turned to the giggling boys and sarcastically added, “Obviously!” Drew and Corey fell against each other and howled laughing. Leading his wife into the house, Bill smiled, “I found them out there, sound asleep.” Suspiciously humming, Lanna picked up the plate and glass on the table then followed her husband and closed the back door. Softly sniggering, Drew and Corey remained in the pool. They chatted about lame stories they dreamed up to explain themselves to Corey’s parents. Now wide awake, they started swimming laps until both adults had left for work. They then went inside to have breakfast. Finished eating, they realized that Keith and Prez would be there in about thirty minutes. The two boys went into hyper-speed, getting the clothes in from outside, cleaning the kitchen and meeting in the bathroom. They were still loading their backpacks for the camping trip when they heard the doorbell chime. Drew hurried to let his brothers inside. He cheekily grinned, “We have to go camping tonight.” Carrying both backpacks and overhearing Drew, Corey came to the entryway, giggling, “And then spend the rest of the week in Agoura Hills, that way we avoid embarrassing questions.” Keith rolled his eyes. Grinning insanely, Prez grunted, “Uh oh.” Drew told Corey, “Better leave a note, Cor.” Nodding and dropping the backpacks, Corey went to the kitchen giggling, “And maybe a forwarding address.” Shaking his head, Keith chuckled, “What did you do?” Drew shrugged and smiled, “What we seem to do a lot of lately. Then we fell asleep outside. Corey’s dad found us there.” “Naked,” Corey hollered from the kitchen. Then he and Drew cracked up. Prez sputtered and tried to contain hysteria to mere chortling for Keith’s sake. “Ya know, it’s really not fair,” Keith began playfully rambling, comparing and contrasting histories of himself and of Drew to no one in particular. With Keith still going off the deep end, Corey returned to the entryway. Giggling at the things Keith was saying, Corey picked up both backpacks. Prez led the way back outside and to his truck. Drew took the backpacks from Corey. Corey locked the front door then he and Drew hurried to the 4Runner. For the ride, Corey and Drew told Prez and Keith about the remainder of their night while K-Earth oldies played on the radio. They were all hysterical and only beginning to calm down when the 4Runner pulled into Russ’ surf shop. The water was relatively warm, so Prez and Keith didn’t need wetsuits. A few minutes later, they were strapping the two surf boards to the 4Runner’s top rack. Corey and Drew put two boogie boards in the rear storage area and they took off for Zuma, where Mike and Derrick were waiting. They all knew that Eddie worked until eleven, so Matt, Eddie, Graham and Ben wouldn’t be there for another hour. Paddling out on the boogie-boards, Drew and Corey joined the surfers and rode a few waves. Around noon, they decided to take a break for lunch. Prez immediately put on a T-shirt and a baseball cap. While Prez, Derrick and Corey made the food run, Mike, Keith and Drew remained on the beach with their stuff. Of course, Keith told Mike about Drew’s and Corey’s embarrassing awakening. Having attempted sleeping out under the stars with Derrick, but not succeeding, Mike asked, “Didn’t you get cold?” Shaking his head, Drew blushed, “Corey was sleeping on top of me, so my back was occasionally chilled by breezes, but we were never that cold. I’m surprised the sun rising didn’t wake us up.” Mike held out his clenched fist for Drew to knock knuckles, and then chuckled, “You did what we’ve all tried to do.” Drew pleasantly sighed, “Corey’s pulling his act together, a little more every day. Lately, I can’t wait for Fridays. How much did he gain this week; two, three or more pounds? Only a few weeks ago, I could feel his hip through his butt when he sat on my lap. I have to really pay attention, but I’m pretty sure it’s less noticeable now.” Keith smiled, “Get a measuring tape, bro.” Mike nodded, “Yeah, like I measured with my hands and fingers that time, Drew. It’s another number, showing you and Corey that he’s progressing. Turning to Keith briefly, Mike admitted, “That’s why I like recording so much, bro. The playback tells me without a doubt, if I’m playing a song right, shaking vibrato or bending to true pitches with the right feel for the tune.” Drew hummed then grinned, “Good idea. What do they cost?” Keith offered, “Just take mine, Drew. They’re only like two bucks. Prez and I haven’t used ours in a long while anyway, so just take mine. I’ll get a new one, before we go clothes shopping for school.” Seeing Corey, Derrick and Prez returning with lunch, Mike hopped up to give them some help carrying the sacks and drinks. Drew noticed Keith’s wide smile and chuckled, “What?” Keith shrugged, “I love seeing you like this, but it’s still so different from what I’ve grown accustomed to.” “It’s still me, bro,” Drew assured. “I was the first one in Corey’s pool, hiding from his dad, who wasn’t even looking our way. I couldn’t even say good morning to him; I kept feeling my face flush and thinking, Corey made two big sandwiches and matched me bite-for-bite. I went for it twice, once to make love to him, and then straddled him to get some too. Yeah, part of it was the sex, but more of it was Corey, knowing that he’s doing it all for me. He sleeps on me and we’re both completely comfortable that way. That’s what really blows me away.” Keith confirmed, “All the questions are answered?” “As many as I could think of, for now,” Drew nodded. “It simply doesn’t matter what other people think or say or do, as long as he loves me. These last couple of weeks have been awesome, since he started turning around and trying.” “I know the feeling, and I’m glad you know it too,” Keith smiled. Thoughtfully, Drew hummed. Keith prompted, “Did you think of a question?” “No,” Drew grinned. “Last night during dinner, we mentioned possibly going camping tonight, but never asked the Seavers this morning if we could go.” Keith chuckled, “If we don’t, do you really want to spend the night in Agoura Hills? Remember, Doug and Brian are back from vacation. Mike and Derrick are in the guest room. Prez and I are in the studio, sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. There’s another air mattress we could set up in there, but it puts us in sight of each other again.” Drew shrugged, “We would be in sight of each other camping too. I guess it don’t much matter. Let’s see what Prez wants to do tonight.” Returning with the food, Corey cheered, “Prez said he’d drive us to the doctor again this Friday.” Drew smiled, “Very cool. Thanks, Prez.” Kneeling in the sand and helping with the drinks, Keith asked Prez, “What do you think of camping tonight, baby?” Prez checked with Mike and Derrick, “What do you two think? Do you want us there with you, or to just work with Shaun, with a little help from Doug and Brian?” Mike shrugged and muttered, “Shaun was cool with it, so you could go camping.” Settling down in the sand, Derrick nodded, “Once Shaun feels like he’s ready to play with a full band, we could probably get Doug on bass and Brian on keyboards.” Sitting down and opening a sack, Mike passed a salad to Corey then started to hand out burgers. When he reached the bottom of the bag, he unwrapped his burger, saying, “Shaun and Gil will be gone by ten. We could meet you dudes at the campground, probably around ten-thirty.” Smiling around his burger, Prez nodded and mumbled, “Very cool.” Conversation all but completely stopped while the six of them ate. After the beach, Derrick and Mike would go home to get spare pillows and a blanket. They would then go to Agoura Hills, have dinner, and then jam with Shaun. Keith, Prez, Drew and Corey would stop at the Hundsers’ to get the tent and other camping gear. They could even stay at the Angeles National Forest until midday Thursday, if they wanted. As long as Derrick and Mike were back in Agoura Hills by three to get ready for work the next day, they could stay a little longer. While they were still eating and planning, Ben, Graham, Eddie and Matt found them. The four latecomers gathered with the other six. Ben and Graham considered possibly going camping too. Neither of them had ever been camping, and they would have to wait until after dinner, so Faye Carleton’s dinner plans weren’t thrown an unexpected curve. Unfortunately, Eddie and Matt had to work the next morning and wouldn’t be able to go. Tentative plans were made for later in the month, when Eddie and Matt had quit their jobs for school. If they planned it right, maybe Gil and Shaun could go too and all twelve of them could spend a relaxing night with friends and nature. As soon as he was done eating, Drew dug out his cell phone to call Lanna Seaver at work. Corey began evilly snickering before Drew even said hello to Lanna. Keith and Prez began telling Ben, Eddie, Matt and Graham about the way Drew and Corey woke. Blushing from his mother-in-law’s teasing and the story being shared, Drew got up and wandered a short distance away from the group. “I never even heard you two come home last night,” Lanna admitted. “We always try to be quiet,” Drew smiled. “We were home a little after midnight. Corey was hungry, so we made and ate two big turkey sandwiches. I can’t wait for Friday, mom. I’ll bet he’s gained another three pounds this week. Which reminds me, Prez and Keith will take us to the doctor’s Friday morning.” Relieved, Lanna sighed, “Very good. Thank him for me, please, Drew.” “I will,” Drew assured. Lanna wondered, “Was that the reason for your call?” “Umm... no,” Drew grinned, “We’d like to go camping tonight with Prez and Keith. The last I heard, Mike and Derrick will be going too, and maybe two other friends. Is that okay?” Lanna giggled, “I suppose that’s alright.” What wasn’t said caused Drew to blush again and giggle, “We’re still working out what’s cool for Friday morning. If it comes up, could I say it’s okay to stay in Agoura Hills Thursday night?” Lanna groaned then muttered, “You two won’t be happy until I’m a drunk addicted to cigarettes again.” “Sorry, mom,” Drew sniggered. “Corey said he wants us to spend next week at my house too, since we’ve been at your house all this week, while construction is going on at my house.” “We’ll discuss that when I see you both again, Friday evening,” Lanna sighed. She then instructed, “Call to let us know when your Thursday night plans are solid.” “I will,” Drew assured and then thanked her before saying goodbye. Expectantly, Corey watched Drew walk back to the group. Drew smiled, “We’re set for tonight and can stay in Agoura tomorrow night, if it’s easier for everybody.” Corey cheered, “Sweet!” “We’ll have to check that last bit with Doug and Brian,” Keith offered. Gathering trash, Mike promised, “I don’t see why it would be a problem.” Standing with more trash to be deposited, Derrick nodded, “They liked the songs you recorded, Drew. I’ll bet they’d like having you two around.” The remaining group of boys stood. Graham led Ben down to the waterline. In ankle deep water, Graham pointed down and told Ben, “The surf is strong enough to pull sand out from under our feet.” “It seems like we’re sinking,” Ben smiled. Taking Ben’s hand, Graham led the way to knee deep water, saying, “I just want you to feel the power of these waves, teddy bear. To me, the ocean is way more fun than a pool, but I want you to remember that it can be dangerous too. One time, when I was about twelve, I was body surfing and needed some air. Unexpectedly, another wave crashed into me while I was breathing. I caught a lungful of salt water and immediately puked it up.” Ben grimaced, “Not fun.” Graham confirmed, “You feel the waves pushing your legs?” Ben nodded then Graham led them out to waist deep water, where waves were breaking and splashing as high as their chests. Bracing himself, Ben giggled, “Whoa!” Off to their left, Drew and Corey brought their boogie-boards to the ocean. Many yards to their right, Mike, Derrick, Keith and Prez were paddling out on their surfboards. Matt and Eddie joined Ben and Graham in chest deep water. Eddie checked with Ben, “How do you feel, bro?” “Like a noodle, being easily pushed around,” Ben giggled. “Retreating waves make my knees want to buckle, but then another wave pushes them back again.” Matt pointed at the general flow of surf that day and explained, “When you swim in a pool, you’ve got no problem going directly forward. In the ocean, it’s different; for every yard you move forward, the current is pushing you two or more yards to the left or right.” Appreciatively smiling, Graham prompted, “You dudes show Ben, then we’ll swim out and join you.” Matt and Eddie agreed then dove into the next incoming wave. They swam out many yards, almost as far as the surfers, Ben noticed. Matt and Eddie caught a wave then body surfed back to the shallower water. In shallow water, Matt and Eddie walked about fifty yards to Ben and Graham. Once the four of them were together again, Graham checked with Ben, “Ready to give it a try?” Nervously, Ben huffed, “Yeah.” Eddie and Matt led the way followed by Ben and lastly Graham, keeping a close watch on his boyfriend. Not very far away, Drew and Corey saw Ben swimming out with Graham. Corey hung off his board, humming thoughtfully. Noticing Corey’s concerned expression, but seeing that Ben seemed fine, “What’s wrong, Cor?” Corey shrugged, “The first time I went to the beach, two things freaked me out; not knowing where the bottom was and occasional fishes brushing past my legs.” Drew checked, “Ya wanna go over there?” Corey nodded, “Just in case. We could give Ben one of our boards.” They paddled in that direction, remaining well off to the side of the four swimmers, so they wouldn’t accidentally crash into any of them. All six stayed together, catching waves to shore and swimming back out. Giggling and cheering before each trip back out, Ben was obviously having a good time. Seeing Corey and Drew on their boogie-boards, spinning in waves they were riding, Ben asked to try it out. Corey and Drew handed off their boards to Ben and Graham. A long while passed uneventfully, at least forty minutes or so of rides and swimming. Further up the beach, surfers paddling out or sitting on their boards had a better view and saw many jumping fish followed by at least two or three dolphin dorsal fins. Unprepared for any aquatic visitations, Drew, Corey, Ben, Graham, Matt and Eddie were swimming back out. When they stopped to catch the next wave, the school of fish swam directly through where the six were wading. Completely caught off guard, Ben yelled, “What the fuck?” Matt and Eddie cracked up. Then a dorsal fin broke through the water. It went right by the six of them, but within inches of Ben. Feeling the massive rush of water caused Ben to momentarily whimper before screaming, “SHARK!” and panicking, swimming as fast as he could for shore. “Aw, shit,” Graham softly snickered, and went after his freaked out lover. Still laughing, Matt and Eddie tried to follow. Drew and Corey had reached for the dolphin fin, but just missed getting free rides by mere inches. They caught the next wave for a ride to shore. Seeing the sandy bottom, Ben stood and tried to run, stumbling and tripping his way onto the beach. With adrenaline pumping like mad, Ben could barely figure out what was going on around him, excitedly racing around in circles. Quickly, Graham hurried to Ben, calling his name and pet name to gain his attention. Ben’s eyes were wide open, like saucers, and he didn’t even appear to be blinking. About a minute later, Eddie and Matt were on shore, also trying to calm Ben down. Feeling like he had never been so scared before in his life, Ben scurried around, rambling about fishes and sharks, being eaten or drowning, not hearing a word his boyfriend and two other friends were saying. Coming ashore, Drew and Corey noticed three trying to calm Ben down, but obviously failing. Sadly shaking his head, Drew dropped his boogie-board and prompted Graham, “We’re gonna have to surround and tackle his ass.” Graham nodded and smirked, “I think you’re right.” Matt shared, “Once we get him still and listening, it’ll be alright.” Seeing Ben on the beach, excitedly waving his arms and scurrying about, Mike and Derrick roared laughing. Widely smiling, Prez sighed then told Keith, “Let’s go, babe.” Evilly snickering, Keith nodded, lay flat on his board and started paddling with Prez right beside him. Corey, Drew, Eddie, Graham and Matt encircled Ben, giving him no path to escape. It was a well meaning and proper plan, but Ben was beside himself. In the center of a five-way hug and beginning to hear what his friends were saying, Ben broke down crying as his adrenaline level plummeted. Soon, Keith and Prez were there and offering encouraging words. Last to arrive, and seeing that Ben was royally tweaked to say the least, Derrick and Mike led the pack back to their towels on the beach. Done crying, yet exhausted from the excitement, Ben lay down on his towel and tried to relax, learning that the dorsal fin he saw belonged to a dolphin and not a shark. With their arms, and then by drawing in the sand, Derrick and Mike showed Ben the difference between the straight shark fin and a curved, more streamlined dolphin fin. Generally, everyone except Ben was quite enthused, because they never had a similar encounter at any beach they had ever been at. Starting with Mike and Derrick, couples began returning to the water and encouraging Ben to join them. Showing Ben that everything was really fine, Matt and Eddie swam out. Corey and Drew also went back in the water, but left their boogie boards for Graham and Ben. Prez and Keith then left Graham to take care of Ben. Graham warmly smiled, “Are you feelin’ better now, teddy bear?” Ben nodded and weakly grinned, “About ten pounds lighter too. I think I shit myself.” “The thought never occurred to me, Ben,” Graham chuckled. “I was worried about rip currents, not wildlife. You might not believe it now, but what happened is so rare, in a few days you’ll wish you hadn’t freaked.” Repeating Drew’s and Corey’s words, Graham added, “Had we been just a little quicker, one of us could have grabbed that dolphin for a once-in-a-lifetime ride we’d never forget.” Ben asked, “Was it really a dolphin, Graham; you’re not just telling me that?” Graham nodded, “I will never lie to you, teddy bear. I don’t think there’s ever been a shark scare on any SoCal beach. Sharks like colder water, like up by San Francisco and north of there.” Ben smiled, “Walk with me to the men’s room?” Nodding, Graham hopped up and offered Ben a hand. Taking Graham’s hand and standing, they started for the parking lot and nearest facilities. “You don’t smell nasty,” Graham slyly remarked. Ben giggled, “Everything solid inside me turned into liquid. It’s floating around out there now.” Graham smiled, “Fish usually hang out near floating kelp, like I pointed out to you. A pod of dolphins were cruising for a snack and hit pay dirt.” Shaking his head, Graham sniggered, “All I ever thought about was the current. I didn’t even think of small fish or crabs that might be lurkin’, and that’s common. Rip currents are the most dangerous hassle at our beaches.” He glanced over at Ben and helplessly laughed, “It’s just your luck, your first day at a beach and a dolphin comes by looking for snacks.” Not wanting to encounter any more fish, dolphins or crabs, Ben giggled, “I’m changing the subject now. Do you really want to go camping?” Graham nodded, “Sure. Neither of us have ever been, and Keith said he’s got a spare two-person tent we could use. We’ll grab some stuff from home and meet them there.” Giggling, Ben asked, “You remember what I said about their camping trips?” Nodding, Graham assured, “It’s no different than Eddie’s pool parties. Your friends are very cool, enough that they’re becoming my friends too. As soon as they could, everybody was there on the beach to help you. I think it’ll be fun, hanging out, partially clothed or naked, and we’d still be able to disappear into a tent for some private fun too.” After some silent steps, Graham softly shared, “You made me feel so needed, teddy bear.” Ben turned and smiled, “So you liked me freaking out?” Graham shrugged, “Not the circumstance, but I definitely liked being needed.” “If we’re alone in the men’s room, you’re getting a big wet kiss,” Ben warned. Unfortunately, the men’s facilities were busy. Disappointed, Ben and Graham finished their business, washed their hands and returned to the beach. During the walk, Ben really needed some contact from Graham and made that clear. Afraid that Prez might get too much sun, Keith suggested that they return to the beach. Prez put his Lynyrd Skynyrd cap on backwards and let Keith douse him in more sunblock lotion before putting his T-shirt back on. For those few minutes, they scanned the water, finding Matt, Eddie, Drew and Corey. In only waist deep water, Ben was getting the much needed hug he had asked Graham for. Ready to kick back and relax, Prez and Keith had just sat down when they saw two other guys approaching Ben and Graham. Ben and Graham turned to the strangers. Seemingly not happy, Ben appeared to be saying something. Also with a serious expression, Graham then said something. This activity was not missed by any of the other six boys. From various directions, eight additional teenagers converged, ready to face homophobic activity and stick up for their friends. First there were Matt and Eddie. However, the others became confused as they approached. It seemed Ben and Graham weren’t arguing, they were talking to the newcomers with Matt and Eddie. Arriving at the growing group with Keith at his side, Prez wordlessly checked with Ben. Ben nodded and smiled at Prez. At the next convenient opportunity, Ben introduced two gay teenagers from Australia, Ashley Dawson and Dylan Trent, to the entire gang. Ben explained, “They asked us if it was cool to be hugging in public. I said it was and didn’t care who didn’t like it.” “Brrr,” Graham happily shivered. Ben giggled then replied, “Grrr.” Ashley was rather thin and pale, but had a pleasant demeanor and a hearty laugh. Dylan was inches taller than Ashley, much more muscular, had the most hair on his chest and belly amongst the twelve boys, and seemed to be getting a nice tan. Ashley and Dylan were from Western Australia, near Perth, and on vacation in California with Ashley’s parents and younger sister. It was winter down-under, all the California boys soon learned. Having never met anyone from so far away, Ashley and Dylan were invited to sit with the Woodland Hills gang. Gathered together in the sand, the vacationers said that they were staying at the Marriott Hotel, near Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport. They had only arrived Monday morning. So far, they had been to Disneyland, gone on a bus tour of famous homes in Hollywood, and today’s activity, at Malibu Beach that morning and then arriving at Zuma in the afternoon. Dylan was interested in surfing, but had never been on a board before. With approval from Ashley, and borrowing Prez’s board, Derrick and Mike paddled out with Dylan. The remaining group gave Ashley suggestions on other places they could visit. Since all was well, Drew and Corey decided to return to the waves. They picked up their boogie boards and trekked off. A fair distance away and splashing into ankle deep water, Corey loudly gushed, “Omigod! What cute accents!” “Here we go,” Drew softly sniggered. “Come on!” Corey incredulously laughed, “Tell me you don’t think so.” Drew shrugged, “I’m not used to it, so they’re a little hard to understand.” “You don’t think they’re cute?” Nodding, Drew smiled, “Ashley more than Dylan, in my opinion.” Corey’s jaw dropped. He then loudly giggled, “Dirty blond, of course!” Drew chuckled, “And he’s really nice too. Dylan was quieter, so he and I can just stare across rooms at each other. You noticed all his hair?” Corey grimaced and nodded, “A bushy chest and belly.” Drew reminded, “They said that they both just turned seventeen. That’s a lot of hair. We sure won’t be that way.” Corey playfully queried, “How do you know?” Drew shrugged, “Matt, Ben, Mike and Derrick are the oldest and not that hairy. Keith’s almost seventeen and nowhere near that hairy, neither is my dad and neither is yours.” He paused and locked eyes with Corey then smiled and clearly announced, “Face it angel, I already have what I want most.” Momentarily stunned, Corey reeled and again wondered if Drew had gone insane after all. But those words, said so forcefully and honestly on a public beach, warmed Corey’s heart. Seeing Corey staring blankly at him, Drew softly chortled and nonchalantly moved further away from Corey. Corey mooed a warning and Drew took off running, laughing his ass off. Chasing after Drew, Corey loudly giggled, “Might as well tell everybody now, fourteen is shattered! I ain’t stopping with you until dawn, or we both wind up in the hospital!” Roaring hysterically, Drew raced around and back toward where Ashley was still having a nice chat with Prez, Keith, Ben, Graham, Eddie and Matt. As they ran past the latter group, Corey laughed, “Fourteen’s over, I’m staying up all night, goin’ for twenty!” Ben blushed and giggled. Hysterical, Eddie grabbed his belly and fell back in the sand. Graham evilly snickered. Matt, Prez and Keith all tried to innocently smile. Ashley pointed at Drew and Corey, loudly wondering, “What was that about?” Matt shrugged and grinned, “Boyfriend stuff.” Keith nodded and chuckled, “Possibly the first clue that we need to leave soon.” “I guess because their younger, I simply didn’t think, ya know, it was possible,” Ashley shrugged and smiled. Prez explained, “It’s a long story, but this summer, they’re as committed to each other as any of us.” They chatted a little longer about Drew and Corey, and then the existing relationships each couple had. Noticing it was three-thirty, Keith softly told Prez, “We really need to get you out of the sun, baby.” Prez sighed, “Yeah, I know,” and then apologized to Ashley, complaining about his Irish skin. Before parting company, Ashley shared his e-mail address, sincerely hoping that they would all keep in touch. Then the group went down to the water line to wave Derrick, Dylan and Mike back to shore. Final farewells and handshakes traveled around. Ashley reminded every one of his e-mail address. Heading off in different directions, they waved, thankful that they had met some long distance family. On the way to the parking lot, Keith asked, “Who's going camping with us tonight?” Graham smiled, “Is it cool if we meet you there, say around seven?” “Very cool,” Prez assured. Mike checked with Derrick again then replied, “We’ll be there about ten-thirty-ish.” Matt leered, “That leaves us to entertain ourselves, buttercup.” Eddie cracked the evilest grin, causing all the others to crack up and comment on it. Everybody veered off to check out Graham’s new Volvo in the daylight. At last, Ben and Graham got to suggest that Prez get a GPS, either installed in-dash or a portable model. Much to Prez’s amusement, everyone, including Keith, though it was a good idea. Matt, Eddie and Ben got into Graham’s car and headed for Woodland Hills. Mike and Derrick jumped into the 442. Lastly, Prez, Keith, Drew and Corey got into the 4Runner. Heading toward Agoura Hills, Prez promised he would get a GPS soon, if they weren’t very expensive. If they were more expensive, Prez would save up his tip money to get one as soon as possible. At Keith’s insistence and after being reminded of a certain pedophile, Drew called his dad to say that they were planning on going camping at the Angeles National Forest again. Drew also told his dad that Prez was driving him and Corey to the Friday morning doctor appointment, so they would be at Agoura Hills Thursday night, and returning to the Seavers’ home after returning from the doctor. Drew asked how the siding installation was going and learned that it was still expected to be complete by Saturday afternoon. “What color?” Drew wondered, and then snarled, “What’s heritage gold look like?” He then muttered, “That don’t sound bad at all. Way different from the wood shakes we had though.” After a few more seconds, Drew blushed then giggled, “Thanks dad. We’ll all be home Saturday night. Yeah, see ya then. Bye.” Keith turned in the passenger seat, asking “What is heritage gold?” Drew smiled, “Dad said it’s close to gold, but more like a very light brown, almost tan color. The siding is a newer type, aluminum and fiberglass, so it won’t dent and should last longer.” Corey grinned, “Why did you blush?” Drew sniggered, “Everyone knows how we woke this morning. He strongly recommended that we keep our shorts on or risk burned buns.” Covering his face, Corey cracked up. Drew laughed, “Your mom called mine, and your dad called mine too.” Prez and Keith evilly snickered from the front seat. Drew wisely said nothing more. He offered Corey his hand. As if offered a tasty meal, Corey picked up Drew’s hand then began kissing and licking the palm. Prez and Keith made plans for the night, allowing Drew and Corey to cuddle in the back seat. They got to Doug’s and Brian’s place a little after four that Wednesday afternoon. Prez let Rush out to take a leak then joined the others in the master bathroom shower. Before turning on the water, boardies and shorts were dropped and sand fell to the tiled floor. All the shorts were tossed out of the shower stall then the water turned on. Couples paired up. Not seeing what they had become accustomed to the prior week, eight arms washing four bodies, Corey curiously checked with Drew. When Drew only shrugged, Corey wondered, “What’s going on, dudes? Is something wrong?” Concentrating on shampooing Derrick while Derrick washed his body, Mike answered, “There’s no problem, Corey. Around five, Doug will be home from work.” “We just have to get the task done and get out of here,” Derrick added. Prez smiled, “What we all know, we don’t want Doug or Brian knowing for certain.” Keith nodded, “Once we’re done and dressed, we’ll get Rush, head home and start gathering camping gear.” Drew asked, “What are we doing for dinner?” Prez answered, “We’ll stop by a B.K. drive-thru.” Derrick nodded, “Mike and I will bring a cooler with some drinks and munchies.” With Prez washing his naughty bits, Keith dreamily sighed, “Graham’s bringing a cooler of sodas and some munchies too.” Prez softly giggled. Sadly shaking his head, Drew sniggered, pushing Corey over the edge and causing loud laughter. Widely smiling, Derrick and Mike huffed then went to separate Prez and Keith. Smirking at Mike, now standing before him, Keith grumbled, “This only effects posture,” and then roughly grabbed hold of Mike. Pulling Mike close, Keith started grinding and evilly snickering. Laughing, Mike told Keith to “chill and save it for the tent,” and then cracked Keith’s ass. Drew and Corey howled laughing. Sadly shaking their heads, Prez and Derrick only smiled and continued bathing. Stepping back and releasing Mike, Keith grinned, “The dildos and dong are in our backpacks.” “Ooo!” Mike groaned, and then faced Derrick, adding, “We might’ve forgot to bring ours with.” “You might’ve forgot, but I haven’t,” Derrick smiled. Wheezing through loud laughter, Corey was losing it. Rinsing off, Drew giggled, “You dudes are crazed.” Keith teased, “Where are your toys, bro?” “In our backpacks,” Drew softly sniggered. Four voices sang, “Uh huh, who’s crazed?” The first hiccup erupted from Corey and reverberated around the shower. Drew giggled, “Now look what you’ve done. I go out of my way to get his dickie stiff and now it’s fading fast. Guess I’ll have to start all over again.” Corey didn’t wait for Drew to take hold of him. Willingly flinging himself at Drew, Corey giggled, hiccupped and playfully humped away. In another few minutes, the six of them finished in the shower, turned the water off and stepped out of the stall. They toweled off, chit chatting about the various plans for the evening. Soon, all the after shower necessities were taken care of and they left the master bathroom to get dressed. Six boys were wandering around the house when Doug walked in and greeted everybody. Derrick and Mike were in the kitchen, preparing the ribs that Brian left thawing in the fridge the prior night. Keith was making sure they weren’t leaving behind any mess in the studio while Prez took Rush for a walk in the park. Finished reorganizing their backpacks, Drew and Corey waited in the living room. Doug chatted with Drew and Corey, learning details about how their relationship had changed. Doug told them a little about his first boyfriend, back when he was thirteen and congratulated the boys for being far more mature than even he had been, way back when. Finished walking the dog, Prez returned and insured everyone was ready. Goodbyes and goodnights traveled around before Keith, Prez, Corey, Drew and Rush went back out to the 4Runner. Pulling up to the Hundsers’ house, all four were surprised with the siding progress already made. In the living room, watching a ball game on TV, John was already home for dinner when they walked inside. After a little chatting about their plans, Keith led the other three to the garage. The tents, sleeping bags and other miscellaneous camping gear was brought out to the 4Runner. Keith brought the large cooler into the house and started filling it with ice, cans of sodas and bottled water. Jim Hundser got home from work just as the boys were finished packing the cooler. There was some more small talk about the siding and how their mother was holding up, dealing with the sick boy and his parents at her hospital. They learned that after three frightening days, the boy was a fighter and making a strong return to health, which vastly improved Jennifer’s attitude and outlook. What she needed most now, Jim told the boys, was a return to normalcy at home, the construction completed and all the boys sleeping at home. Before his brothers left, John wondered if he’d get a chance to go camping that summer. John received four promises that he would get a chance, and was instructed to leave his middle-of-the-week plans loose, so if they called last minute he would be ready. John said he would pass that along to Tommy too, intending to bring his best friend along, so he wouldn’t be the only straight dude there. While it was close to six, Jennifer still wasn’t home from work. Explaining that they were stopping for dinner on the way, the four boys left with Rush for their camping trip. Keith insisted that Prez drive. Keith would navigate for Prez. They took Topanga Canyon north as far as Devonshire Street, where Prez turned right. Devonshire was followed to Balboa Boulevard, where Prez turned left. Seeing that the freeway traffic wasn’t too bad, Keith instructed Prez to get on the 118 Freeway. They stopped at a grocery store for firewood, and then at a Burger King for food. To make sure that there was plenty for any late night cravings, which caused a stir of giggles, Prez got a salad for Corey and four extra burgers, thinking they could be warmed at the fire when needed. Getting back on the road, they pulled into the Angeles National Forest about quarter of seven. Prez explained to the park ranger that two additional cars and four more would be joining them, so they needed a large site for two tents and an expected group of eight. By seven o’clock, they were parked at their campsite and having dinner. They were still easting when Graham and Ben pulled up in the white Volvo wagon. After greeting each other, Graham asked, “Is your truck unlocked, Prez? We could set up the small tent that we’ll be using, if that’s all right?” Nodding and mumbling around his partially chewed burger, Prez said, “Cool,” and then paused to fish his keys out of his pocket and toss them to Graham. Graham caught the keys and went with Ben to the 4Runner. A minute later, Ben returned with the cooler he and Graham had brought along. Holding two plastic sacks containing various chips and cookies, Graham listed off, “Ruffles potato chips, the giant size bag, those really big Bavarian pretzels, Wheat Thins, Oreos and Ritz crackers. In the cooler we have onion dip, ranch dip and a block of wine cheese.” Corey had brought fruit from home that was in his backpack. Prez, Keith and Drew listed off the snacks, sixteen sodas and bottled water they had brought. The consensus was that they had plenty to last them into the next afternoon, when Mike and Derrick absolutely had to leave for work. Also, Prez reminded that he and Keith were expected to be at Prez’s Aunt Eileen’s house for dinner. Beginning to giggle again, Corey wondered, “Does that mean we’ll be back at my house tomorrow night?” Prez pulled out his cell phone and pretended to call the Seavers. “Hello, Mister Seaver. Yes sir, it’s Preston. Corey and Drew asked if you would just move all of Corey’s bedroom furniture out to the back patio.” As evil snickering erupted, Prez chuckled, “Yes sir, they discovered that they like fucking like bunnies in public. Okay, I’ll let them know.” Proving that no one was exempt from teasing, Keith smiled up at Graham, asking, “Has Ben asked you to dye your head red yet, dude?” Smiling widely, Prez glared menacingly at Keith. Giggling his ass off, Ben turned and started for Graham’s Volvo to hide, until Graham pulled him back. Graham chuckled, “I know all about Ben’s crush. I’ve also been told that I’m cuter and funnier. Sorry, Prez.” “It’s alright,” Prez chuckled, “but expect some loud spanking noises from the larger tent tonight.” Keith provocatively mooed. Picking up the bag containing the smaller tent, Ben giggled, “Would someone please show us how to... err... oh shit, never mind.” Drew sniggered, “If you haven’t figured out how to pitch a tent by now, Graham needs to start looking around.” Graham teased, “Are you offering, Drew?” Drew shrugged and smiled, “Do you like doing it under the stars?” earning him a slap from his hysterical boyfriend. “Never tried it before, but I’m sure Ben and I will try tonight,” Graham joked. Standing with his trash, Keith laughed, “Well, this is going to be a very interesting night. We might as well just all jam into the large tent for an orgy.” “It’s too bad Matt and Eddie couldn’t make the trip,” Graham smiled. One at a time, Prez, Drew and Corey also stood to toss away their trash. Drew and Corey went to help Ben and Graham erect the smaller tent. Prez and Keith worked on the larger tent, got it spread out and aligned so the sun wouldn’t wake them. They quickly got the four corners set. Prez slid inside to hold up the canvas. Corey playfully asked, “Keith, are Drew and I going home tomorrow night?” Drew smiled, “Do we need to start blushing now, just to get used to the feeling?” While Prez was inside the tent holding it upright and laughing his ass off, Keith smiled, “Well, I see several possibilities. Either home will be embarrassing. Alternatively, you could stay with Doug and Brian until Prez and I get back.” “Would that be cool with them?” Drew asked, and embellished, “We hardly know them and they don’t really know us either.” “I’ll give them a call once the tents are pitched,” Prez loudly sniggered. Noticing the expressions on Drew’s and Corey’s faces, Keith got serious for a moment, explaining, “First of all, dad works with Doug, so they probably know Drew, and at least the basics about Corey. Most importantly, Doug and Brian are very cool. They’ve never made any moves on any of us. After being together for almost twenty years, I don’t think they’d be interested in anything more than just being goofy and entertaining. Once again, you have choices; go home for certain embarrassment or have dinner with Doug and Brian and stay there for a few hours.” Still inside the tent, Prez loudly offered, “If you decide to face the music at either home, we could pick you two up on the return trip from my aunts. Then we could leave for the doctor the next morning, right from Agoura Hills again, like last Friday.” Corey checked with Keith, “Are they really cool?” Keith sighed then told them the truth. “Derrick, Mike, Prez and I look at them and see ourselves in another fifteen or twenty years. Start getting used to it dudes, you won’t be teenagers forever. They’re the best example of what it’s like to be a committed gay couple. They got together in 1981 and are still together. That’s seventeen years, and they own that house by a park and two pubs.” Prez said, “I’d be proud if we, or any of us, wound up like them.” Finished driving stakes into the ground, Ben stood and softly said, “Doug’s been my guitar teacher for two years. I’ve been around him and Brian a lot. They’ve got each other and don’t need kids to fulfill any fantasies.” Graham nodded and explained, “The first night, right after I met them, they talked to us like adults, not kids. They showed us the same aura experiment that Mike and Derrick showed us all last night.” Drew picked up the final two poles that slipped through roof loops on the smaller tent, creating an arched ceiling once they were bent and attached to the ground stake hooks. Corey and Drew slipped the poles into the loops then they teamed up with Ben and Graham to get each corner securely attached. Keith ducked inside the larger tent with the center pole pieces. Not ten seconds later, he and Prez were giggling. Leaning over to hook a pole to a corner stake and inspecting the tent he would be occupying, Ben gasped, “Wow, it’s pretty big.” Prez giggled, “Betchya can’t remember the first time you said that, Ben.” Blushing and giggling, Ben fumbled the tent pole. Softly chuckling and finished with his corner, Graham went to help Ben. He chuckled, “I sure remember.” Drew asked, “Keith, is this tent eight feet on each side and about four feet tall?” Lastly, Drew unzipped the tent to show Ben and Graham the inside. “Something like that, four and a half feet tall in the center, I think,” Keith answered from inside the tent. “Ya have to stoop over to dress and undress, but that shouldn’t be any problem tonight.” Graham chuckled, “Eddie’s pool parties have exposed us all,” and then ducked into the tent. He held a hand out and called, “Come on in, teddy bear.” “Don’t get too comfy yet,” Drew chuckled. “We have to gather kindling before it gets dark.” Corey went to stand behind Drew, wrapped his arms around his waist and nibbled his hubby’s shoulder. Drew smiled and looked back over his shoulder. Ben giggled, “We have to get the blanket and pillows anyway, puddin’.” Nodding, Graham smiled and crawled back out of the tent. Stepping out of the larger tent, Keith locked eyes with his brother and Corey, firmly instructing, “Looking for kindling, you two aren’t out of our sight.” Obediently nodding, neither argued and sure didn’t want to take any chances. Not knowing better, Ben smiled, “Don’t you trust them?” Keith nodded, “Trusting them isn’t the issue. It’s other people that I’m worried about.” Over the next few minutes, Corey, Drew, Keith and Prez told them the story about the pedophile that scared Drew and Corey a month earlier. Ben couldn’t believe that had happened and now understood why Drew and Corey were worried about Doug and Brian. With that knowledge, Ben was surprised that they had wanted to go camping again. That day meant so much more to Corey and Drew. Without fully explaining, Drew shrugged, “The rest of the day and night was very cool. This is our second time camping since then, and we’re hoping for once more before school starts.” Corey rapidly nodded and attached himself to Drew. Prez reminded, “None of us goes wandering off alone and none of us gets hurt. We have an electric lantern and a couple of flashlights for any latrine trips.” Swinging his arm around, Prez pointed at the various trees, playfully reminding, “We can whip it out to pee almost anywhere.” Keith nodded, “That’s the best part about taking middle-of-the-week trips here; the place isn’t crowded, which allows us privacy.” Splitting up, three couples wandered off to collect twigs and branches. Ben and Graham spoke mostly of the fright Drew and Corey faced. Both agreed that at fourteen, they wouldn’t be in a big hurry to camp again. Prez gave Drew Rush’s leash, so the dog would be with them to bark should any trouble happen by. He then took Keith’s hand and went behind the campsite, toward where he saw more trees. Drew and Corey had a totally different conversation, wondering how they should act around Ben and Graham, eventually concluding that it would be fine to get naked and stay that way, once the sun had set, just as they had the last time alone with Keith and Prez. Only if Ben or Graham weren’t comfortable would that plan change. Drew checked if Corey wanted to stay with Doug and Brian, adding, “It sounds alright, and it really would be easiest for all of us, Cor.” Corey shrugged, “Do you think they know about me, the anorexia, I mean?” “Maybe,” Drew shrugged. “You’re important to me and my family, angel. If my dad mentioned it, you don’t have to worry about that. If they get too personal, I’ll be there to interfere and change the subject.” Corey wondered, “Are you okay with staying there?” “I forgot that Doug worked with my dad,” Drew admitted, and then grinned, “Messing with us might get Doug in a shit load of trouble with my dad. I think it’d be fine.” “Where would we sleep?” Drew hollered, “Keith?” From a fair distance away, but still within sight, Keith yelled, “Yeah?” Drew asked, “Would we have a bed to sleep in at Doug’s?” “Yes,” Keith loudly replied, “We’ll work out the details later with Mike and Derrick.” Thoughtfully scowling, Drew wondered, “Why do we need to talk to them?” “’Cos there’s only one bed,” Keith answered. “We’ve been sleeping on an air mattress in the studio,” Prez bellowed. “There are two air mattresses. We’re thinking Derrick and Mike might share the studio with us and you two can have the real bed.” “Cool!” Corey and Drew chorused. “That works out good for them and us,” Corey smiled. Drew nodded, “If we had to, we could...” “No we couldn’t,” Corey interrupted. “Your just being super nice again, Drew. You don’t want to be in the same bedroom as Keith, I don’t want to be with Prez, so let Keith, Prez, Mike and Derrick work it out.” Thrilled that Corey showed a great deal of confidence, Drew grinned and hummed. Realizing what Drew was humming about, Corey giggled and softly promised, “Soon, stud. My legs will be in the air, so you can get me nice and wet.” Drew smiled, “I made sure your butt was very clean. After that little outburst, I think I might have to try and give you another thrill before entering you.” Giggling and shivering with anticipation, Corey turned around and started back to the campsite. It was near sunset when couples returned to the campsite with armloads of kindling. Since they hadn’t stoked a campfire before, Ben and Graham were taught how to arrange kindling and the first few logs by Keith and Prez. In the meanwhile, Drew and Corey got sleeping bags from the 4Runner and then arranged the inside of the bigger tent. Soon after the fire was lit, giggling from the tent was heard. Graham chuckled, “How many times so far today, dudes?” “Two sets of two,” Corey giggled. “Twice last night, which got us in trouble, and twice this morning before the beach.” Ben giggled, “How did you get in trouble? Who got pregnant?” Receiving only giggling and laughter from Drew and Corey, Graham asked Keith what had happened. Playfully, while Drew groaned and Corey cracked up laughing inside the tent, Prez and Keith relayed the abridged version. Corey led Drew out of the tent, explaining, “That’s why we’re too embarrassed to return home until it’s absolutely necessary.” Drew nodded and grinned, “Imagine getting caught like that by your dad. Corey’s dad is very cool, but any doubts about where we’re at just exploded into a million pieces this morning.” Corey giggled, “The question now is, when we do face our parents, what lies or truths should we tell them?” “Definitely not about the twelve times,” Ben softly giggled. Keith grinned, “If he’s anything like my dad, and I think he is, you don’t have to say anything at all.” “That’s your way,” Drew grinned. Sitting on a fireside log and pulling Corey onto his lap, Drew sniggered, “just let everyone hear what’s going on.” Ben and Graham cracked up. Drew laughed, “They’d turn on the stereo, but that didn’t cover the sound of the headboard hitting the wall.” He turned back to Keith and Prez, proudly reminding, “My new bed doesn’t have a headboard at all.” Graham chuckled, “And I was a little worried about us being heard tonight.” Locking eyes with Ben, Prez teased, “Why? Did you discover a new, louder position? You’ll have to share it somehow.” Blushing, Ben considered his answer, and decided to prove he was considerably better off by replying, “Only folded in half in the missionary position are we quieter. Out here, without walls though, I’ll bet even that’s loud enough.” “No bet,” Keith chuckled. “It’s plenty clear what’s going on.” Deciding to change the subject, since Ben was being as forthright as any of them, Prez gently prodded, “I’d like to know more about you two; how Ben managed to turn grief around like he has?” Graham started telling the group more about that night in the park, only a week earlier. Soon Ben was adding his perspective, all of which Graham had already heard. They spoke of the next day and their first weekend together, including Ben’s revelation about the photos of Francis, then finished with Monday’s first times together. Any doubt of Graham’s sincerity vanished quickly. Graham thought Ben was perfect, the gift given and happily received that turned weeks in the mire completely around. Graham raved about all the visitations Francis had thus far done, proving to everyone who had known Francis that death is not the end. Even Ben, who had freaked out a month earlier, likened death to changing schools or moving from one home to another, where things are different, but not as scary as he once believed. Corey whispered in Drew’s ear. Both of them began giggling. Keith smirked, “There they go again.” Prez prompted, “What’s so funny?” Drew shrugged, “Ben and Graham, sharing their story the way they did. Are Corey and I the only couple that took their time before actually becoming a couple?” Keith shook his head, answering, “Derrick and Mike have you two beat by years.” Prez nodded, “Keith and I didn’t waste time. It sounds like Ben and Graham didn’t waste any time either.” Facing Ben and Graham, Corey smiled, “We think it’s totally awesome, dudes. After all the both of you have been through, to find each other and fall in love so fast. That’s really great, but we, Drew and I, moved a lot slower.” “Mostly because of me,” Drew reminded. Corey shook his head, saying, “Only partly, Drew. When I look back at us, it’s definitely like each of us had to deal with certain situations and feelings.” Watching Drew tilt his head, Corey sighed, “After we broke up, you were trying to talk to me within a few days, but I didn’t want to hear, never mind listen. So yeah, our relationship moved exactly the way it needed to, because we both needed to figure stuff out. Now that I think of it, you made the final moves on me, only about ten days after the trip to Big Bear. Where we’re at now is where I want to be, and I love everything just the way it happened.” Keith chortled, “You tried to take on more than your fair share, bro. ‘Mostly’ doesn’t make a partnership. It’s two people, each taking a share of the wins as much as the loses.” He turned to Prez, “We tripped over that about four times, didn’t we?” Prez nodded, “Let’s hope and pray that we don’t stumble and make the same mistake ever again.” Graham widely smiled, “That was very cool, dudes.” Corey, Drew and Keith wondered, “What was cool?” Prez only shrugged. Graham offered, “Francis and I had ten great months together, and we never learned the difference between ‘mostly’ and ‘partly’.” Pulling Ben closer, Graham smiled, “I need to remember that.” “Oops!” Prez playfully warned. Softly chortling, Keith corrected, “That ‘I’ just got you in trouble, Graham.” “We need to remember,” Ben and Graham chimed. “Excellent,” Prez smiled. He then told the others, “We’re going to take Rush for a walk before Derrick and Mike get here.” Standing up, Keith teased, “I expect to see the fire still going when we get back, regardless of tent time spent, cool?” Corey, Ben and Graham cracked up. Drew smirked, “I’ll bet the dog isn’t the only one getting exercise.” Mooing and loud laughter erupted. Denying nothing, Prez attached the leash to Rush’s collar. After picking up a flashlight, Keith took Prez’s other hand and they wandered off. Drew wordlessly checked with Corey. Nodding, Corey slid off Drew’s lap and offered a hand. “We’re taking advantage of the opportunity,” Drew smiled. Graham nodded and asked, “Should I put any more wood on the fire?” Drew answered, “We’re not going for any records tonight. The fire will be fine for fifteen or so minutes.” Taking the lantern with them, Drew and Corey went into the larger tent. Graham smiled, “Brrr?” “Grrr,” Ben happily growled. Then they stood and went into the other tent. About half an hour later, Keith, Prez and Rush were returning from their walk, down the middle of the dirt road leading to the campsite. Hearing a car approaching from behind, they moved off to the side of the road. Rolling slowly by in the 442, Derrick teased, “Hey sexy dudes, ya wanna go for a ride?” Prez chuckled, “A car ride, sure.” “You’re already one behind us, if not all six of us by now,” Keith grinned. Derrick stopped the car, allowing Mike to get out to let Prez, Keith and Rush into the back seat. Getting back in the car, Mike swung the swivel seat and asked, “We’re only one behind, really?” Prez smiled, “It’s been very cool, Mike. All six of us were chatting, while pitching the tents, and again after we got the fire going. Ben and Graham had a really nice first night together. Graham wasn’t sure if he was ready, but he said that Ben was so awesome, he had to try. They said the next morning, before we went to lunch, they made a really deep connection. They called it a soul connection.” Keith nodded, “It would be great if we could get all six couples here for a night.” Prez agreed, “Even if we took two camping sites next to each other, that would be great. We need to ask if anyone else has another large tent.” Mike offered, “We brought another cooler of drinks. Doug and Brian gave us a whole watermelon, some hot dogs and buns too, if anyone gets that hungry.” Prez asked, “How was the jam with Shaun?” “I think he’s doin’ great, ready for the audition and concert,” Derrick answered. Mike chuckled, “He’s playing what I’ve shown him, but Shaun’s still not happy with his vibrato technique. He’s not used to electric guitar, so I showed him a few things he could practice. We went off on a twelve-bar blues, to let Shaun solo for awhile.” Derrick saw the white 4Runner and Volvo. He pulled his 442 off the road and parked close to Graham’s V70. They got out of the car. Beyond the cars and around the campfire, sat Drew, Corey, Graham and Ben. Munchies were being eaten and soda cans sat on the ground near their legs. Prez let Rush off the leash. The dog trotted to the fire to say hello and see if anyone would offer him a snack. Prez and Keith helped Derrick and Mike empty the trunk. Approaching the fire carrying the watermelon, Prez noticed only Ben had shorts on while the other three were naked. Prez smiled, “What’s wrong, Ben? After last night, you can’t be bashful.” Patting the log he was sitting on, Ben giggled, “It’s this log, Prez. I don’t want splinters in my butt.” “I offered to pull them out with my teeth,” Graham seriously said, pushing Ben, Corey and Drew into hysterics. Carrying bedding for himself and Derrick, Mike went toward the larger tent cheering, “Somebody remembered to keep the flaps open, I see.” Drew nodded and grinned, “It’s organized like last time, Mike. All the sleeping bags to the left side, all our gear and room for Rush on the right side.” “Cool,” Mike chirped and ducked inside. Last to arrive, with a large cooler between them and each carrying a guitar case, Derrick and Keith went into the tent. Ben groaned, “Aw, I should’ve listened to Graham and brought my guitar too.” Stepping out of the tent alone, Keith closed the flaps. Widely smiling as he approached the fire, Keith explained, “They want to catch up.” Heading for the 4Runner to get the sack of remaining burgers, Prez spun around chuckling, “Which started it?” “Derrick,” Keith answered. “We’re both right side up this time,” Derrick and Mike sang from the tent. Keith and Prez cracked up. Uncertainly glancing around, Graham grinned, “I’m really trying to figure out that confession, but drawing a blank.” Shaking his head, Drew chuckled, “It’s probably best if you don’t waste your time, Graham.” Ben uncertainly mumbled, “Upside down?” and shook his head. Still sniggering, Prez handed off the sack of burgers to Corey. He then went to Keith and whispered, “Shall we quickly demonstrate?” Nodding agreement, Keith looked down and swept an area clear of stones and twigs with his feet. Squatting down, Keith planted his hands on the ground then stood on his hands and arms. Ben, Corey, Drew and Graham started laughing before Prez knelt down, proving that his crotch lined up fairly well with Keith’s face, and Keith’s upside down goods were still accessible by Prez. Having seen his humans doing this before, and not getting any snacks from anyone, Rush lay down and huffed. Drew hysterically cackled, “No, no, no!” Graham and Corey were loudly roaring. Softly giggling, Ben’s face sagged into his open hands, and watching in amazement. Prompting Keith to stay another few seconds, Prez then got up and went around to Keith’s back. Being the same height, it was again obvious that Prez could pleasure Keith numerous ways. By bending his arms, Keith also showed that Prez’s cock would only have to be pointed down to fill his ass. Moving off to Keith’s side, Prez remained close by until Keith was on his feet again. Simply to prove versatility, Prez moved to stand on his hands and Keith helped him get balanced. Keith moved around Prez, wordlessly demonstrating that a lot was possible. Facing Drew, Corey incredulously giggled, “Why should we be embarrassed about what we did?” Drew shrugged and chuckled, “We made love the normal ways. Our worst move was deciding to stay out there naked, but we thought the sun would wake us before we were caught.” Noticing Graham’s devious expression, Ben giggled, “No, puddin’.” Graham sniggered, “We’re the same height and could at least try.” “I’ve never even tried to stand on my hands,” Ben giggled, “not even as a little kid.” “I have,” Graham smiled, “we could practice.” Ben whimpered. Keith and Prez went to the fire. Keith smiled, “It all started when Prez saw me walking on my hands a few weeks ago.” Prez nodded and chuckled, “The roughest part is staying balanced when your brain is turning to mush.” From inside the tent, Derrick giggled, “Don’t, Lick.” Corey handed the sack of burgers to Prez. Prez and Keith each took one burger. Drew took one too. Satisfied with Ruffles chips and onion dip, Corey didn’t want the last one, so Drew offered it to Ben and Graham. Ben politely declined, but Graham took it and thanked Drew. The six of them quietly munched on burgers and snacks for a minute or two, then they heard Derrick’s evil snickering and Mike’s loud laughter from inside the tent. Less than a minute later, those around the fire heard Derrick and Mike chorus, “Oh shit!” Ben and Graham were facing the larger tent, but the others turned to watch it collapse upon Mike and Derrick. Ben, Corey, Drew and Graham howled laughing. “Nice goin’!” Prez bellowed. Keith laughed, “It’s good the lantern is electric and not an open flame, you shit heads.” “Talk about your house shaking orgasms,” Mike helplessly sniggered. Derrick giggled, “Uh, a little help here, please?” Still laughing, all six stood and went to the flattened tent. Rush was sniffing around one corner. Prez enticed his dog, teasing, “Who’s in there, Rush? Get ‘em, boy!” Rush barked and pounced on the shuffling corner where Derrick and Mike were still laughing. Drew and Corey went to the opposite corner. Ben took another corner and Graham the next corner. Keith took the final corner, while Prez called his dog back. Keith sniggered, “Okay dudes, on three, lift the corner poles.” Keith counted and together, all four corner poles were pulled upright. “You two in the tent need to set the center pole,” Keith instructed. Remembering their first time and almost knocking the tent down themselves, Drew and Corey couldn’t stop laughing. Seeing canvas moving, signaling that Derrick and Mike were crawling around beneath, Prez chuckled, “Do we even want to know what you did that knocked the tent down?” Derrick giggled then answered, “We heard you and Keith demonstrating the hand stand.” “I thought we could do it!” Mike laughed. “We did,” Derrick howled, “everything was fine until I lost it and Mike teetered, crashing into the center pole.” The center pole was being lifted and returned to its proper place. Once it was done, Drew and Keith roamed around to make sure all the corner poles were adequately placed to support the heavy canvas. Cheekily sniggering and still naked, Derrick and Mike made their way out of the tent. Keith impatiently smirked at them. Everyone else completely busted up laughing at them. Grabbing hold of Graham, Ben giggled, “Can we go home now? If one couple did that, what’s gonna happen when all three couples are in there?” Shaking his head, Graham breathlessly sniggered, “I haven’t laughed this hard since watching Monty Python’s Holy Grail.” Keith nodded and smiled, reverently reciting in a poor British accent, “O Lord, bless this, Thy hand grenade, that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy.” Rapidly nodding, Graham added, “First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.” Wisely remaining silent, Derrick and Mike helped themselves to the various munchies still near the fire. Ben and Graham took seats on the same log as Mike and Derrick. Graham chortled, “I can’t wait to tell Eddie and Matt. If Francis was watching, he’s rolling around clouds right now.” Mike shrugged and grinned, “Thankfully, I fell low enough where none of the pole pieces got bent, it simply slid and the ceiling crashed.” Keith smirked, “I can’t imagine what possessed you to even try.” “We had the space and privacy,” Derrick smiled. Mike grinned, “Now that we all know, a show of hands for those that intend to try it?” Graham’s and Corey’s hands flew up. Drew cackled, “Corey!” “What?” Corey giggled. “As long as our height allows it, I’d like to try, to see if we like it.” Mike nodded, “From this bottom’s upside down vantage point, it’s as good as any other position.” Derrick smiled, “It’s good from the top too.” He then told Mike, “Next time we switch positions.” “Cool,” Mike chirped. Prez chuckled, “Tomorrow night, in the studio.” Ben cackled, “Oooo-migod! At Doug’s and Brian’s place?” Derrick, Keith, Mike and Prez all smiled and nodded. Ben giggled, “Do they know?” Mike nodded, “Not the exact method, but I’m sure they heard late night laughter when we first tried it.” Derrick asked Ben, “Why would you think Brian or Doug would care?” “I guess they wouldn’t,” Ben softly blushed. Graham grinned, “You dudes don’t hide much.” Gesturing at his naked brother, Keith said, “There’s proof that even the shyest dude around knows a male body is like any other.” Cutting off any more from his brother, Drew then piped up, telling Graham more about how shy he was years before the first pubic hair ever sprouted. Prez added his perspective, as a loner that didn’t consider himself gay, bisexual or even straight. “The first hours with Keith, I was falling in love. Come to find out the next afternoon, he felt the same way about me. Dicks are nice, but it’s the person the flesh is attached to that makes the difference. We all must know that or most of you that are nude wouldn’t be.” Nodding heads confirmed Prez’s statement. However, Keith’s warm smile relayed more, prompting him to take Prez’s hand and lead his lover into the large tent. The conversation continued along the same lines, with each of the remaining boys sharing their pasts with the others. Prez and Keith stepped out of the tent naked and joined the fireside chat. A little past midnight, and feeling drowsy, Drew and Corey called it a night. The older six remained awake a while longer. Mike and Derrick offered to cut the watermelon, if anyone else wanted some. Since all did want a slice, Keith got up to go to the tent and get the only knife. Drew and Corey were cuddling in the tent, barely conscious. When they heard why Keith was rummaging around the backpack, they got back up to have some watermelon too. Half the watermelon was sliced into eight large pieces. Proving how overtired they were, Corey and Drew played with their food in front of everybody. Never one to allow the youngest to play their games without participating, Mike prompted Derrick to stand before him. Knowing where Mike was leading everyone, Derrick evilly snickered and his flaccid uncut meat began growing. Mike rubbed bites of watermelon around Derrick’s lower abdomen and upper thighs, licking up the sweet juices as he worked, getting closer and closer to Derrick’s stiffening cock. Liking this idea, Prez stood before Keith. Without a second thought, Corey stood before Drew. Ben’s surprise was Graham softly smiling, “Please, teddy bear?” Ben’s mouth hung open. Graham asked the others, “What’s it like, I mean sex with other dudes around to see?” Derrick sighed, “It’s no different really.” Corey offered, “I’m only concerned with what Drew’s doing.” Turning his head slightly, Prez called, “Ben?” Ben giggled, “Yeah?” Prez said, “Think about it; we all saw each other last night anyway. We all know what couples do together. I’m for Keith. Corey’s for Drew. Derrick’s for Mike, and you’re for Graham. Each couple is very well occupied with their partner. You don’t have anything to worry about.” Mike wiped sticky watermelon juice off his face and added, “Besides, when I’m done with Derrick, do you think I’m gonna just let him wish the tables were turned? Not a second longer than Dee needs. As soon as he’s ready, I’ll stand before him too. Let Graham make love to you, dude. Then you get to make love to him.” Standing up, Ben giggled, “What a week!” and then unbuttoned his shorts. He stood before Graham. Nervously glancing to his left, at Drew and Corey, and then to his right, at Mike and Derrick, Ben realized that no one except Graham was looking at him. Ben looked down at Graham, happily wiping watermelon around and licking up the juice. This simply seemed wrong though, Ben thought. All of these dudes were cool, but Ben firmly believed that sex was a private act of love between two people. It still was an act of love, but certainly not private. Besides, Ben wanted some of Graham too and wasn’t willing to wait. Leaning forward, Ben slipped his hands under Graham’s armpits and lifted. Graham locked eyes with his teddy bear then nodded his head. They went into the smaller tent to finish what was started without their watermelon slices. Carefully biting off a chunk of watermelon, Mike nibbled off enough to hook it over Derrick’s bone. He then opened wide and engulfed it all, allowing the watermelon to squish and melt in his mouth. Derrick gasped then softly chortled, “Awesome.” Orgasms cascaded around the fire and in the tent where Ben and Graham lay. Drew decided he didn’t want oral sex, so he led Corey into the larger tent. Completely comfortable with each other and more pleased with the act by romantic firelight, Prez swapped places with Keith and Derrick swapped places with Mike. Many minutes later, when all the watermelon was gone and it was obvious the two couples outside were quietly cuddling, Ben, Graham, Corey and Drew came back out of the tents to watch the fire die. Melted ice water was poured onto dirty T-shirts so each couple could clean themselves up. Wordlessly, Drew and Corey went back to the tent. Ben and Graham stood, offering soft thanks for an experience neither would ever forget. They then went to the smaller tent. Derrick, Mike, Keith and Prez waited only a while longer, so they could kick dirt on the embers of their fire. Prez called Rush then all four ducked into the larger tent, where Drew and Corey were already sound asleep. Drew and Corey had even opened sleeping bags and organized a little bit, so all the four of them had to do was lay down. Hours later, Prez heard his dog growling. Before anyone else was disturbed, Prez got up and peeked out of tent. The sun was up, but just barely. Hearing voices of other nearby campers waking and breaking down their tents, Prez shushed his dog. Glancing at his wristwatch and seeing it was only a little after six in the morning, Prez softly told Rush, “It’s alright. Go lay down, hound dog.” Prez then returned to Keith’s side and fell right back to sleep. Only about an hour later, closer to seven-thirty, Corey woke and gently woke Drew. Once Drew was responding with tender kisses, Corey whispered, “We have to go the latrine, stud.” Drew smiled, “You ate a lot all day yesterday,” and sat up. The two boys got dressed. Drew picked up Rush’s leash, to take the dog along with them for the walk. Carefully, the three of them left the tent. Once away from the campsite, Drew raved, “With all the milk, ice cream, cheeses and other stuff you ate this week, I’m expecting the doc to say you gained three or more pounds.” “We’ll see,” Corey blushed and giggled. Pulling Corey close against him, Drew smiled, “No matter what the doc says, you’re making me so happy and extremely proud, Cor, seriously.” With happy tears pooling in his eyes, “I want a long life with you, Drew.” “We’ve got it in the bag,” Drew cheered. Corey sniffled and wiped his eyes. Drew asked, “Are you okay?” Corey nodded and smiled, “They’re happy tears. I’m just a little scared, ya know?” Drew nodded, “I understand, believe me. A month ago we made our first trip to the doctor together. With all that’s been accomplished, I’m not expecting any setbacks, but we’ll deal together, angel.” “I keep growing, pushing the target further away,” Corey griped. Drew sighed, “What’s the plan, Cor?” Corey chanted, “To keep on trying.” Drew nodded, “I’ve never had to lie to anyone about what you’re eating and how well you’re doing. As long as I see you trying, everything’s very cool. Yeah, we have a reason to be scared, but it’s only a lurking fear, like giving a poor oral report at school. Trying makes all the difference. The first time I have to lie to anyone, I’ll be watching even closer. Are the numbers making sense with what I see you doing? They have been for weeks. Try not to worry.” Corey softly begged, “Don’t leave me, Drew.” “Never,” Drew confirmed, “I don’t even like being alone while you’re in a latrine. I couldn’t fit in there with you, never mind with Rush too. If I could fit, I would squeeze in too.” “Dammit!” Corey complained, “How can I be so happy and relieved, but still be scared to death?” Drew sighed, “You know the answers, Corey. Someday, Doc Folsom’s going to say your five feet seven inches, then eight, and so on, always tagging on a few extra pounds. That’s only one set of measurements though. When we get to my house over the weekend, I’m taking Keith’s tape measure. We’re going to create a spreadsheet, outlining every change in our bodies, from our necks to our feet. That way, if the doc ever says you gained less than a pound, we can look at a chart that shows where those ounces went. Once a week, we’ll spend a few minutes doing that. When one set of numbers doesn’t make sense, we’ll have something else to say, okay, this is why.” Corey smiled, “You’re really on my side.” “On your side and at your side is where I want to be,” Drew chanted. He then turned and smiled, “I saw you last night, gay boy.” Corey giggled and nodded. Drew chuckled, “Three other dudes getting blown, three others on their asses giving head and occasionally stroking their bones, and you gazing down at me, like no one else was there.” Corey shrugged, “Why should I look around? I can’t feel what the others are, but can feel what’s happening to me. We’re married, stud. I still love watching you, no matter how we’re making love or who’s doin’ what in which position. I’ll always be watching you.” “The feeling is mutual,” Drew smiled. Arriving at the latrine, Drew prompted, “Go, and I’ll wait with Rush until you’re done. Then I’ll go.” Heading for the wooden shack, Corey spun around briefly, only to find Drew and Rush looking around, watching for other people. Once inside the latrine, Corey recognized the stern expression on Drew’s face; one of concern that hadn’t been seen for a month. Even when told to appear intimidating at the health club, Drew didn’t look like that. Waiting outside, Drew looked for lurking pedophile jack-offs. Picking up on Drew’s nervousness, Rush lifted his nose and sniffed the air. Everywhere Rush turned, Drew looked for trouble. Seeing some other teenaged dudes approaching, Drew and Rush focused on them. One of the three asked, “The dog’s been potty trained?” Drew smiled, “Just waiting for a friend. When he’s done, he’ll watch the dog.” Another dude asked, “Are the other four stalls empty?” Drew nodded, “As far as I know. Cars have driven by, but none stopped. Nobody else wakes and stays to use the latrine.” Hearing Drew speaking, Corey hurried and finished. He opened his stall door as the approximately seventeen-year-olds split off to other stalls. Corey hurried to Drew and took the dogs leash, saying, “That face you were making is the face Lonnie asked for the other night.” Suddenly, Drew’s wide smile was replaced with an exaggerated “Kellam” expression. Corey cracked up and Drew went to the latrine, sniggering insanely. One at a time, the other three dudes stepped out of their stalls, each making small talk with Corey, and one squatted down to pet Rush. Only somewhat concerned, over the other dudes and Corey being alone with Rush, Drew stepped out of the shack. The other dudes were only a few steps away from Corey, already on their way back to their campsite. Corey giggled, “I’m telling Brian about that face you make.” Drew sniggered, “If you think that’s funny, you would’ve loved the face I made forcing myself to shit quickly.” Corey howled laughing. Giggling, Drew took Rush’s leash from Corey. Hysterical, Corey wanted to see Drew’s constipated ‘forcing myself to shit’ face. Drew complied and followed that with his bored at school face, then his dopey ‘mid-blowjob’ face and finally the dopier ‘I’m gonna have an unexpected prostate orgasm’ face, which was a mix of wide-eyed terror and the open-mouthed rollercoaster-ride joyous scream. Hiccupping like mad, Corey staggered most of the way back to their campsite. Already awake, shirtless but with their shorts on, Ben and Graham were sitting on a fire pit log. Not aware that the two youngest had left, Ben loudly asked, “Where were you?” Since Corey was still gasping for breath and hiccupping, Drew answered, “The latrine for our morning deposit.” Ben’s jaw dropped and he squealed, “After what happened you went alone?” Drew smiled, “It was either that or dirty another pair of shorts.” Graham sniggered. Seeing Ben ready to say something more, Drew made his ‘forcing a shit’ face. Ben, Corey and Graham lost it and cracked up. Rush barked and trotted around to each of the four boys. Prepared to yell at his dog, Prez sat up. He noticed Rush, Drew and Corey were gone. Carefully standing, Prez wandered out of the tent without bothering to put anything on. Seeing his master, Rush trotted over. Still wiping sleep from his eyes, Prez asked, “What’s goin’ on?” “We were waiting to see if anyone else needed to make a trip to the latrine,” Graham sniggered. Ben smiled, “Corey and Drew just got back. I can barely believe they went there alone.” Prez shrugged and checked with Drew; “You took Rush along?” Drew nodded. Prez then told Ben, “Rush is generally friendly, but he’s a good watch dog. Rush helped us catch that cretin last month.” “Oh,” Ben giggled, “that wasn’t mentioned last night.” “You’ve been a little wary of Rush,” Prez reminded. Prez glanced around, looking for other nearby campers. Seeing none, he walked around the tents then stopped at a tree to relieve himself. Graham stood, telling Drew and Corey, “We need to make a nature call too.” Flushed red from holding his breath to stop the hiccups, Corey nodded, “It wasn’t busy when we were there. See ya in a few minutes.” Ben and Graham started their trip. Drew prompted Corey, “Let’s get some breakfast.” They went to the tent to get the fruit from Corey’s backpack. Rush followed, but Drew commanded him to stay out of the tent. Inside the tent, Derrick was awake and standing. He went to a cooler to get a bottle of water then peaked out of the tent. He softly said “good morning” to Drew and Corey. Not wanting to dress, Derrick stepped outside. Going to take a seat on a log, he saw Prez returning. A year earlier, Prez wouldn’t consider roaming around in his birthday suit. Now, since the weeks spent living together, Prez was much more open to it. They said good morning to each other and Prez sat. Derrick gave Prez a quick tender kiss then explained himself. On their way to the latrine, Graham asked Ben, “What did you think about last night’s watermelon games?” Ben thoughtfully hummed the said, “It was fun, but it just seemed wrong somehow.” Graham nodded, “Taking me into the tent was awesome, Ben.” “Yeah, I guess.” “It’s cool, Ben. I mean, that you feel that way about it.” Ben sighed, “I wish I understood why I feel that way.” Graham shrugged, “It doesn’t matter what the reason is; I understand. Try to realize something for me, okay?” “Okay.” “Remember me saying that I looked forward to the day you came after me wanting some?” “Yeah. It still feels a little strange though, stopping whatever else we’re doing just because I suddenly feel randy.” “Try not to feel that way, teddy bear. You’re not only allowed to get horny, I love when you’re aggressive. When you want some, come and get it, every time. Don’t wait for me to start.” Ben confirmed, “Would you really like that?” Graham chuckled, “Of course I would. We’ve got to be there for each other in every way, not only sexually. You wanting me sexually only helps prove that when you need something else, you’ll still come to me. You’re really good at wanting hugs and kisses. Take the next step, my love, just like you did last night.” Ben giggled, “Watch out the next time your mom or mine get watermelon.” Graham cracked up. Sitting on logs and gathered around the fire pit, back at the campsite, Corey, Drew, Derrick and Prez were having watermelon and the other fruits brought by Corey for breakfast. Searching for Derrick on the blanket beside him, Mike began to wake and remembered where he was. He argued with himself about getting up. He opened his eyes and saw Keith only a few feet away. Deciding to not waste a good argument, Mike called, “Get up, Keith.” Only getting a sleepy grunt in response, Mike said, more loudly, “Get your ass outta the bed.” “Fuck you,” Keith grumbled. Mike sat up and sniggered, “Fine. Wanna do it upside down and on your hands, so we can knock the tent down again?” Keith smirked, “You need to start running.” Standing and purposefully pushing Keith’s buttons, Mike kicked the blanket beneath him onto Keith, bitching, “You’re such a lazy fuck, literally.” Pulling the blanket over him, Keith rolled onto his belly and joked, “Taking bottom upside down kind o’ precludes doing much of anything else.” “Oooh, wait,” Mike droned. “If the dude getting fucked is upside down, he’s gotta be top. We discovered a way to get our butts filled and still be top!” “Call Guinness,” Keith grinned. “Now stand on your hands and walk the fuck outta here. To you, it’ll look like I’m up, but I still get to sleep.” From outside, Keith and Mike could hear Corey, Drew, Derrick and Prez softly laughing. Mike scowled, “Cranky bitch.” He then asked, “How can you have a boyfriend and still be a cranky bitch?” Keith growled, “Because your delaying Prez. He’ll come in here and wake me the right way, once you leave.” The laughter outside the tent got louder. Mike walked out of the tent. Seeing two bare butts, Derrick’s and Prez’s, and two clothed bodies, Corey’s and Drew’s, Mike went for his morning kiss from Derrick. He leaned over to get a watermelon flavored kiss, and then softly said, “Gonna irrigate a tree.” Derrick nodded and stuffed a large piece of watermelon into his mouth. He then stood and followed Mike. Prez told Corey and Drew, “Once everybody’s back and had breakfast, we’ll break down and cleanup. Then we’ll go for a hike.” “Cool,” Drew and Corey chorused. They smiled and watched Prez stand then go into the tent to wake Keith. Moments later, there was a fake, cartoonish growl and then Prez giggling. Out of sight from Corey and Drew, they then heard Mike cracking up. Smiling widely and occasionally giggling, Drew and Corey finished their breakfast. Ben and Graham returned and helped themselves to breakfasts of crackers, fruit and bottled water. Arm-in-arm, Mike and Derrick walked back to camp, seemingly following their erections, directly into the tent. Ben, Corey, Drew and Graham expected some remarks from one of the four in the tent, but surprisingly heard none. The gasping, groans, moans and whimpering from inside the tent affected all four that were trying to finish their breakfasts. Finished eating, Corey sat on Drew’s lap. They started making out. Graham hurried through breakfast. Chugging the bottled water, Graham and Ben seemed to reach for their hands at the same time. They went back into the small tent to complete their morning routine. Realizing it was quiet in the larger tent, Drew looked over his shoulder and loudly called, “You’ve got two minutes to finish cuddling, dudes.” Helplessly, Ben and Graham cracked up. Keith responded, “We’re finding clothes and getting dressed.” Putting on clean undies, Prez and Mike leaned forward almost at the same time. Mike giggled, “Watch it, bubble butt.” “I keep trying, but it hurts my neck,” Prez sniggered. Ben cracked up. Derrick sputtered then gathered his clothes and walked out of the tent nude. Loud enough for everyone to hear, Derrick smirked, “Four of us squeezed in there is unnecessary at this point.” Having not eaten or drank anything since the prior night, Rush whined. Almost fully dressed, Prez called, “Chill, hound dog buddy. Your food and dish are in the back of the truck.” Keith prompted, “Toss me your keys, baby. I’ll take care of Rush.” Soon, the jangling of keys was heard, and then Keith stepped out of the tent. Now wearing clean boxers and shorts, Derrick hollered back to the tent, “Be good in there, you two. Yes, I’m being selfish.” On his way to the 4Runner, Keith nodded and warmly smiled at Derrick’s remarks. Together, Mike and Prez innocently sang, “When were we not good?” Attached at the hips, Corey and Drew wordlessly went to the tent. Dressed and carrying backpacks, Mike and then Prez emerged from the tent, heading directly towards the cars. Carrying the dog’s dish, Keith called Rush. From the smaller tent, Ben called for heavenly intervention, causing the other six to silently smile, knowing better than to make any comment that might embarrass Ben. Derrick, Keith, Mike and Prez began cleaning up the campsite and putting coolers into the cars. Prez poured bottled water into Rush’s dish which his dog immediately lapped up. With nothing more to do until Ben, Graham, Corey and Drew finished, the other four sat on logs around the fire pit, practicing harmonized vocals. Wearing only grey boxer-briefs, Graham came out of the tent with a pair of shorts and a T-shirt in his hands, smiling at the singing band-mates. While Graham slid into his clothes, Ben stepped out of the tent fully dressed, wearing the new clothes Graham got him Monday night. The light colored shorts and shirt looked good on Ben, and all four of his friends praised the change. Since one good turn deserved another, Ben giggled his thanks then asked, “What are you dudes doing? I’ve never heard you singing a cappella before?” Derrick smiled, “Opening our ears and listening.” Mike nodded and explained, “Keith sings a tone, Prez sings about an octave lower, Derrick sing the perfect fifth above Prez, then I add the final tone, usually between Derrick and Prez.” “We’ve been trying since January,” Keith smiled, and then chuckled, “only recently have we gotten past straying voices and major flubs.” From inside the larger tent, cuddling with Corey, Drew loudly confirmed, “I’ve heard them practicing that stuff before.” “They’re getting so much better too,” Corey added. He then softly asked Drew, “Ready to get dressed?” Drew nodded and Corey got up off his hubby. Graham smiled at Ben, “I wish we had brought your guitar.” Noticing four curious glances, Ben giggled, “Graham has me practicing every day. We take my guitar between his house and mine. Doug is showing me how to play popular music on my classical guitar.” Graham offered, “We’re heading back to Agoura Hills tonight, after supper. Ben hasn’t seen his mom since Sunday night, and there’s a move to deal with still.” “Which reminds me,” Ben began, “the day of the audition, my mom is having a garage sale. Sorry, but we’re needed there that weekend.” All four nodded and Mike said, “Not a problem. We’re planning on asking the North Hollywood dudes, and Eddie and Matt to play roadie that day.” “Cool,” Ben and Graham responded. Graham leaned into the small tent, pulling out the blanket, sheet and pillows they had slept on. Ben took the wadded up blanket and sheet then followed Graham to his car. Corey and Drew came out of the large tent with their backpacks. Soon, all eight were putting the last of their stuff in the cars and breaking down the tents. A park ranger slowly drove by. Running toward the road, Prez asked if the cars could remain at the campsite while they all took a hike around the park in the daylight. “As long as you’re gone by five, we won’t have to charge you for another night,” the ranger answered. Prez assured they would be gone by two the latest, and then returned to the campsite. Once everything was packed away and the campsite cleared, all eight started down the road. Lighthearted chit-chat passed around the group. They saw distant reservoirs and beautiful mountain landscapes. Graham commented that they needed to bring Eddie along sometime, so they could get photos of the more scenic views. Realizing it was almost noon, they turned around and started back toward the campgrounds. Some tentative plans were made for later that evening, so they could get together and roam Chumash Park in Agoura Hills. At one-thirty that Thursday afternoon, three cars drove out of the Angeles National Forest and started back home.
  4. TheEggman

    Chapter 29

    Monday morning, August third, siding contractors arrived at the Hundser residence before eight o’clock. Drew was with Corey over at the Seavers’, but Keith, Prez and John were still in bed asleep when contractors began tearing the old siding off the house. Rudely awakened, all three staggered out of bed. Intending to let Rush out back for his morning toidy, Prez found contractors in the backyard too. Realizing that they would have to walk Rush, Keith grabbed granola bars and two eight-ounce bottles of Sunny D from the fridge, while Prez got T-shirts and sandals from the bedroom. Soon, they were walking the dog over to the park and eating a light breakfast. Keith and Prez periodically glanced at each other, sharing silent complaints about the siding contractors waking them up. Finished with their breakfast and roaming the park, Keith grumbled, “We can’t deal with this early morning construction another day.” “You’re tellin’ me,” Prez yawned agreement. “We made love until one in the morning and have to work again tonight.” “We’re gonna have to go back to Agoura Hills, baby,” Keith suggested. Prez scowled, “Doug and Brian are home too. We can’t sleep with Derrick and Mike in the guest bedroom without raising eyebrows.” Keith nodded and sighed, “I’d rather sleep on the floor in the studio than deal with all that noise.” “We’ll talk with Mike and Derrick during rehearsal,” Prez offered. “I’m sure they won’t mind at all.” “Eddie’s taking our band pictures today too. We’ll have to wear decent shirts.” “Wear that tangerine muscle Tee I got for you, babe.” Keith grinned, “If you’ll wear one of the green polo shirts I got for you?” “Done deal,” Prez brightly beamed. They started back home to get their backpacks packed again for another week away from home. Prez wondered, “What are we gonna say if they want to fool around?” Keith shrugged, “I guess it depends on the circumstances. I sure don’t want Doug and Brian to know. Do you?” “No,” Prez replied, and quickly added, “I think it might be kind o’ obvious though, just the way the four of us act. Brian and Pete saw it before we had really gone there. A lot of guys at the party last week saw it too. I can’t and won’t go backwards, babe. If one or the other or both want a hug or a kiss, they’ll get it, whether Doug and Brian are around or not.” “That’s cool, baby,” Keith smiled. “I just don’t want two adults knowing for certain we’ve fooled around together. I don’t want to know if they’ve done anything similar, or if it worked out or didn’t. I think the four of us have something special that very few can fully understand.” “Let’s tell Mike and Derrick that,” Prez suggested. Keith nodded, and then asked, “What was that song on the radio last night, on the way home from work?” “Fantasy, by Earth, Wind and Fire,” Prez remembered. “We’ll hit the mall to get that disk soon,” Keith smiled. Prez chuckled, “I can’t believe how close you came to hitting those high notes. We’d only have to lower the key signature a half step or a full step, at most.” “They’re awesome lyrics,” Keith grinned, and then sang, “Every man has a place, in his heart there’s a space, and the world can’t erase his fantasies. Take a ride in the sky, on our ship fantasize, all your dreams will come true right away.” Widely smiling, Prez softly growled. Glancing over at his sex-machine, Keith sniggered, “Be good.” “Until we get in the shower,” Prez leered. Immediately upon returning home, Keith told John, “We’re spending the next few days over in Agoura Hills, bro.” John nodded, “Yeah, I’ll talk with Tommy later. I’ll spend tonight there and hopefully tomorrow night too. I spent a few nights there last week, while the roofing dudes were here. Tommy’s folks know what’s going on here, so it’s cool.” Prez grinned, “You spending so many nights there must seem a little strange to them, huh?” John shrugged and then chuckled, “You’ve got a dirty mind, Prez.” Keith cracked up. Prez sniggered, “I have to wonder what two straight boys do at night?” “Not what two gay dudes do, that’s for sure,” John laughed. Keith smiled, “So, what do you dudes do before bed?” John shrugged, “After his parents go to bed, we play Monopoly or Battleship, or if Sammy’s awake, we’ll play video games. Now that Tommy and Sonia are catching up to me and Kim, we talk about our girlfriends too. It’s very cool too, since I couldn’t easily tell Tommy much, before he hooked up with Sonia.” Prez smiled at Keith, “The same as us, babe. We don’t tell single gay guys much either.” John joked, “They hear it for themselves.” Keith smirked, “No they don’t, bro.” Recalling Ben’s embarrassment from being greeted at the door by nudists, Prez chuckled, “Ben would’ve freaked out. All he saw or heard was us being couples, which obviously made enough of an impact.” John wondered, “Who’s Ben?” “A gay dude over in Agoura Hills,” Keith shared. “He was single, until last week.” Prez nodded and told John, “Ben met another guy named Graham and they fell for each other.” Heading for the bedroom, Keith softly chortled, “I wonder how long before Graham has dyed his hair red.” Following his teasing lover, Prez giggled, “Never, if I have my way.” Keith joked, “I’ll check with Ben later today.” Grabbing his backpack, Prez smirked, “He had a crush on me, but found a boyfriend with brown hair, a muscular chest and abs, like you.” “Graham doesn’t look that much like me,” Keith sniggered, picking up his backpack and putting it on the bed. “His abs look like yours, actually; a nice four pack.” Loading the backpack with socks and underwear, Prez shrugged, “Shirtless at Mike’s pool, it seems he looks more like you than like me.” “I’ll chat with Graham too,” Keith grinned. “I’ll bet you that Ben has turned into a sex machine by now.” Keith walked across the hall to get toiletries. Prez laughed, “I was never anywhere near as shy as Ben.” Returning to the bedroom with the first handfuls, Keith dropped the stuff on the bed and smiled, “You’re looking forward to seeing Ben and Graham together as much as I am, admit it.” Prez nodded, “Of course I am. Seeing Ben happy and Graham recovering from Francis means a lot more than I expected.” Noticing Keith paused at the bed, Prez softly asked, “What’s wrong, babe?” Keith shrugged, “We just moved back home, now were moving out again.” “Only through Friday night, lover,” Prez reminded; “Saturday afternoon, after rehearsal, we’re right back home again.” Keith grumbled, “We’re suffering and Drew’s just staying at Corey’s, the weasel,” and walked back out of the room. Retrieving T-shirts from our closet, Prez tried desperately to not laugh and reminded, “We’re going to the beach at least once this week, babe. The self defense class is tomorrow night. Derrick and Mike are working Thursday night, and we’re at my aunt’s for dinner.” “Don’t forget to bring your hats, for the beach, baby,” Keith loudly said from the bathroom. Prez started rolling the T-shirts and stuffing them in his backpack. With the remaining toiletries, Keith returned to the room, smirking, “The last thing we need is mom on a rampage. After the last few weeks, I want time alone with you, but not forced because we’re grounded.” At the Carleton residence, Ben and Graham were sound asleep. Ben was dreaming. A distant male voice called, “Hi Ben.” “Hello? Do I know you?” Much closer, the same voice answered, “Yeah, you do, better than you realize.” “I don’t recognize your voice. It’s so dark. I’m getting scared.” “Please don’t be afraid. I have a lot to talk to you about.” “Tell me who you are, or at least let me see you.” “First feel me, dude.” A hand gently took Ben’s hand in the pitch darkness. Ben felt a thin hand; smaller than his or Graham’s or Prez’s. With is heart fluttering madly, Ben whimpered, “You won’t hurt me?” “Never, dude. Tell me, who do you trust most in the world?” “My mom, Graham, Prez and Mike, in that order,” Ben answered. “You’re not one of those four, I can tell.” “You can still trust me. You could whip my ass on a whim with very little effort. Just slow down a little and breathe with me.” After a few calming breaths, Ben wondered, “Eddie?” “Nope. I’m going to turn up the light, a little at a time. Stay calm and breathe slow and deep.” From above, a very dim shaft of light enveloped Ben. He could barely identify the outline of the person holding his hand. The light got slightly brighter, but was still barely equal to a single candle. Making out red hair, Ben sighed, “Prez?” “Nope.” Uncontrollably shivering, Ben muttered, “I don’t know anyone else with red hair.” “We both love the same person, dude. That’s why I’m visiting you, so you know me.” Shaking, Ben gasped, “Omigod!” and started crying. “Say my name, Ben.” “Francis Patrick McLoughlin,” Ben wept. “Good. Stay with me, Ben. Don’t freak out and wake up. I have so much to share with you, and it’s all important.” “What could you possibly want to share with me?” “My life with Graham and all our friends,” Francis replied. “It’s gonna be easy too, like watching TV.” “Can I please see you?” The light got only slightly brighter. Francis grinned, “Better?” Ben nodded and smiled, “You really are beautiful.” Francis shrugged and smirked, “I sort o’ was, when I was alive. I could also be one ugly fuckin’ bitch too. Let’s walk, dude. You’ll see images now and then. I’ll describe them as we go.” The dim light above followed them as they walked. Ben saw what appeared to be a row several of home movies playing on monitors. At the lines of kids waiting to enter a school on the first video, Francis pointed, “Here’s me, starting junior high, the first day of school. There’s Graham, Eddie and Shaun. Over there are Matt and Rick. Matt was tall, even then.” Moving to the next video, Francis smiled, “Over there, is the gymnasium, and all six of us, scattered around the bleachers.” “Why are you all separate?” “I didn’t know Graham, Eddie or Shaun. They’re neighbors, but live several blocks from where I lived, so they’re sitting on the bleachers together. Graham, Eddie, and I are starting seventh grade. Matt, Rick and Shaun are starting eighth grade.” “Why aren’t you helping Rick? He needs a little help, ya know?” “I have been visiting Rick. He had the football huddle dream too, and others, but he won’t admit it. First, I’ve gotta get him to stop thinking with his dick and realize who he belongs with. I’m letting him rest to sleep on it tonight. It’s your turn.” “I still don’t understand why you’re visiting me, Francis.” “The short answer is that you’re just like me and all my friends were in seventh grade. Back then, a year’s difference in age mattered. You know it doesn’t matter all that much. Thanks to that year’s P.E. class, here’s what we looked like by the end of that school year.” At the image of a softball game, Ben smiled, “All mixed up and together.” “It was so much more than what’s visible. Matt and Rick were actively seeking out dick. Both of them had Graham, Shaun, Eddie and me, in their hands and in their mouths. That summer, we all mixed and had kid sex together, thirteen-year-olds and twelve-year-olds. You never had those experiences. Truthfully, it wasn’t like any of us could have known what we were doing, or where it would lead at the time; it was mostly fun experimentation. The way we wound up by high school, another year later, was even better, as far as friendships are concerned. Now we’re gonna zip ahead another year. That’s El Camino Real High School’s cafeteria, where you’ll be going to school next month.” Ben pointed, “There’s you and Graham, Shaun, Eddie and Matt, and over there are Mike, Keith and Derrick. Jeez, was Derrick always cute?” Francis sniggered, “Don’t ever say that to him. The same ways you’re self conscious, Derrick gets too, only by having too many eyes on him.” “What’re you, Graham, Eddie and Matt giggling about?” “Getting into Derrick’s, Keith’s and Mike’s pants,” Francis sniggered. “Eddie and Matt were already a couple, on the verge of admitting what they feel for each other. Just like you and Graham, it was body size concerns holding them back. You need to get over that, by the way. Graham never hurt me, he won’t hurt you and you definitely won’t hurt him. This was about six months before Graham and I got serious.” “I heard it wasn’t too serious,” Ben giggled. Francis laughed, “Oh, he’s such a dog! Let me show you what he did.” At the next video, Francis pointed and chortled, “Look at him, tickling my ribs, pinchin’ my nips and grabbing my ass, following me around his house. I couldn’t even sit down without getting another goosing. It got to the point that I always looked down, between my legs, before I sat.” Ben giggled, “You’re doing a really poor job of playing hard to get.” Watching the Francis on the video crack an evil grin and goose Graham, sending him jumping a foot off the floor, Ben cracked up. “And let the wrestling begin,” Francis chuckled. “See him, kissing my neck to break my concentration? He kissed me first.” “That’s not a real kiss!” Ben giggled. “But look at him,” Francis insisted. Ben laughed, “This is how you two became a couple. I’m watching you both.” Francis sighed and halted the image at the point where he was reaching his head up with puckered lips to kiss Graham. Francis smirked, “I was in a hopeless situation. My family said, no, homosexuality isn’t real, it’s just hormones running wild, but I wanted Graham every way I could get. Before this day, the time I spent with Graham was always the best. What was great got better after this too. I had a double life, dude; a family telling me queers were only after sex and that wasn’t love. I also had Eddie, my best friend, with Matt, telling me love leads to really special sex; the kind of sex that doesn’t make you feel guilty; that love doesn’t exist without sex and sex can’t be good without love. So you can tell Graham that I admitted to kissing him on the mouth first. Before that point, I had been with five other great dudes too. The times with Graham were always the most fun though. Yeah, I was hyper a lot of the time with Graham. I had to be that way, because when I let myself relax, I would always want to be in his arms. “Graham hurts because of the way things were; he wanted more time alone with me. While that would’ve been great, I’ll tell you that we never wasted any alone time; we said and did all we wanted to. A talented hand or mouth will only get you so far; as I’m sure you’ve already learned. With Graham, it was love; I was totally involved in him and everything he and I did together. He’s being the same with you as he was with me; showing you all the sides of his personality, sometimes in rapid succession.” Before another video screen, Francis sighed, “These images are of me, having a shit fit because Graham was being way too cuddly with me at my house, with my mom only rooms away. It was September 1997; we’d only been a couple a little more than a month. I’ll tell you so you can tell him; that angry face you see me wearing was only barely covering how much I needed to cry. If it was easier, I would’ve been with Graham as much as we both wanted. In my house though, it wasn’t possible. I wanted all of him, Ben; every word and every touch lifted me a mile into the air, just like you’ve felt since you met him. A small part of Graham doesn’t know how much I loved him. I’ll tell you the truth if you promise to not tell Graham for a while. Save this for when he really needs to hear something special, okay?” Ben nodded, “Okay.” “If the accident had never happened, I wouldn’t have made it through this summer without telling my parents to fuck off, packing my stuff and walking out the door, directly into Graham’s house. “This next part, you can tell only Eddie, okay? Matt will freak out and shake like a leaf for hours.” “Cool,” Ben chirped. “I took the photo of Graham and me that Eddie and Matt found in my room. I had a tantrum and tossed all my stuff all over the place, leaving that photo on my closed poetry notebook, nice and neat, for my parents to find. My folks can toss that picture out; rip it up, burn it to ashes and it will keep popping up again. There will be other pictures they’ll look at, but they’ll see that image, me and Graham, with our arms wrapped around our shoulders. Right now, my folks are trying their damnedest to forget about me, as the gay son that never existed. With help, I’ll remind them over and over again, I was their son, I was gay; I was in love with Graham Carleton. They need to admit that and change their beliefs. I’ve been told they’ll eventually come around and make amends, but I don’t know when that might be. “Last night, I saw my sisters having a major fit with my parents, over the stuff they’ve been saying and doing regarding me. As well as I hid it, Mandy and Rachael knew and they’re still on my side. Tell only Eddie that, Ben. He’ll believe it. Let Graham and everyone else find out when my parents finally wake from their delusions.” Ben nodded and repeated, “When Graham needs to hear it, I’ll tell him that you were on the verge of moving out and in with him; that you loved him enough to throw away all the pretenses and commit to him. As soon as I can, I’ll tell only Eddie, the photo is under your control, to teach your parents a lesson.” “Good enough,” Francis smiled, and hugged Ben very tightly, harder than Ben might’ve expected from such a thin dude. Still wrapped up in strong arms, Ben asked, “Can I do anything else for you, Francis?” “You’re doing it already, Ben,” Francis shared. “I eased his pain and guilt for only one purpose; so he wouldn’t be alone; he needs to be with you. Nobody else deserves my Honey Graham more than you. Graham goes to extremes normally. Recovering from me though, he’s even worse than ever; going higher with the good times and diving lower with the bad times. Your past suicidal experiences have made you much more temperate. He needs you every bit as much as you need him, believe me. I’ll tell you one more thing that’s important to only you.” “Okay.” Into Ben’s ear, Francis whispered, “Graham’s an awesome friend and lover. When I saw him with you, I was told that you were one of the kinder and sweeter dudes; that you and Graham together would be good. Of all the dudes I had sex with; Graham made love to me, like I was special. There are few funnier or kinder dudes around anywhere. He listened and paid attention like nobody else I knew. He’s really good on top, but he very much loves being on bottom too. Take the initiative; you won’t be disappointed and he’ll love it. Make sure you’re alone with him the first time you enter him. He gets really loud and crazy, dude. He’s an instigator too, wanting you to get just as loud and wild. He might actually cover his mouth or mute himself with a pillow, mostly when his folks are home, but if he holds true to form, you’ll both be extremely loud.” Francis pulled back from Ben’s ear and then tenderly kissed Ben on the mouth. Francis warmly smiled, “That’s for you to pass on to him.” Softly kissing Ben again, Francis smiled, “That’s for you, for making him so much happier.” Ben nodded and giggled, “I hope to see you again sometime, Francis.” Francis nodded, “You and Graham have direct lines to me, Ben. Every word you say to me, I hear. You’ve both been very good at hearing me too. We’ll get together again, when you or Graham need me.” Francis stepped back and the light quickly became blindingly bright. Shading his eyes with both hands, Ben asked, “Was that you making the wind blow and the trees whisper?” Still walking backward, Francis giggled, “My idea and some help. I love special effects, dude. Tell Graham in exactly these words, good special effects kick butt.” “I guess that’ll mean something to him,” Ben giggled. From a distance, Francis chuckled, “If he remembers. He got a pretty good clunk on the head. I think you deserve a new pet name. I’ll share it with Graham. You’ll know it when you hear it.” Waking up, Ben glanced around Graham’s bedroom. Sunlight from the window behind the bed beamed into the room. The night table digital clock read eight-fifty. Inhaling deeply, he remembered all that Francis had shown and told him. A small part of Ben considered it only a dream, but he knew in his heart that it was real, he had actually been with Francis and seen Graham and Eddie as twelve-year-old boys. He started placing soft kisses along Graham’s shoulder. In a few moments, Graham inhaled deeply and exhaled, “Brrr.” “Grrr,” Ben softly growled. Rolling over to face Ben, Graham sleepily yawned, “No dreams that I can recall.” “I had one,” Ben smiled, and then mimicked Francis’ kiss. Graham’s eyes shot open. The kiss felt so familiar that he thought he was still asleep and nervously looked around. Facing Ben again, Graham prompted, “Again.” Ben obliged and repeated the kiss, causing Graham to softly moan approval. Ben opened his mouth wider for a passionate kiss, hoping Graham hadn’t figured anything out. Hiding what he had learned would prove difficult, but Ben rolled back, pulling Graham with and on top of him. When the kiss broke, Graham breathlessly panted, “Omigod, Ben. I so want to make love with you, all the way. We have to make us forever.” “We’ve waited long enough,” Ben softly smiled. “Are you sure we’re alone?” Reaching for the bottle of lube, Graham nodded, “Dad’s been gone at least an hour. Mom’s gotta be gone by now. I locked the door too.” Noticing Graham was trying to spread his legs, Ben held Graham in place, shaking his head and suggesting, “You first, puddin’. Slide my dickie inside you and show me the way.” Nodding, Graham flipped open the lube bottle top and let a little liquid drip onto Ben’s cock. It bounced and they both giggled. Smearing the lube around, Graham checked, “If you want a condom, now’s your last chance?” Shaking his head, Ben smiled, “We’re permanent, puddin’. I promise to do my best, all our lives. As much as I like our other friends, I can talk with you like no other person alive.” Shivering, Graham giggled, “Oh dude, I really want forever too; nothing matters more.” Holding Graham’s stroking hand still, Ben giggled, “Cumming now would be wrong, wouldn’t it?” “I think so,” Graham laughed. He shuffled back toward Ben’s hips and poured another little bit of lube onto his fingertips then reached back to prepare his ass. Leaning down, Graham placed a few tender kisses. He was only slightly thoughtful of Ben’s girth, so he fingered his hole with two digits, which gave Ben time to chill a little and share a few kisses of his own. Graham whispered, “Ready teddy bear?” Ben nodded smiled, “Yeah. I really do love you.” “I love you very much too,” Graham assured, and then pushed up and reached back for Ben’s cock. Once it was pointed up, he adjusted slightly then started lowering down, softly cooing and widely smiling. Even with all the practicing they had done to prepare, including playing with the dong, Graham could barely believe how fantastic Ben’s thick cock felt entering his butt. Only about half Ben’s bone was inside him, but Graham felt so extraordinary, he uncontrollably groaned. Ben’s entire body stiffened to prevent bucking wildly into Graham. With all of Ben deep inside him, Graham wiggled his buns down and made the final adjustments. Two voices gasped, “Omigod!” Graham sighed, “I waited far too long for you, my love. You feel so awesome inside me.” “You’re really hot inside, puddin’. I didn’t think it would be warmer than your mouth, but it is.” “I want to move and ride you, but you’re so big, I’m afraid I’ll cum too fast.” “Take your time.” Graham only nodded, but he made the first move, sliding slowly up and slower back down again, grinding and wiggling his ass against Ben’s groin. Ben groaned and Graham sighed, and then started getting into the ride. Out of control, Graham momentarily went up too high, causing Ben to slip out of his butt. Reaching back and getting Ben’s bone pointing up, Graham giggled, “Shit happens,” and reinserted Ben’s erection. Laughing hysterically at Graham’s remark, Ben couldn’t say anything. Holding Graham’s thighs, Ben watched Graham intently for about another minute, until Graham ground down and wiggled his butt again. Helplessly, Ben thrust up. Graham happily shouted, “Omigod, yes! Gimme!” Ben’s hips dropped and Graham lowered down and then Ben pushed up harder. “Oh fuck yeah!” Graham screamed. With every exhaled breath, Graham loudly cheered, “yeah!” Wide-eyed and sporadically thrusting his hips up, Ben couldn’t help giggling. No part of Ben ever thought Graham would like intercourse this much or get this loud. This proved beyond any doubt that the dream of Francis was more than Ben’s imagination. Graham was almost out of control, yelling Ben’s full name, calling Ben’s pet name, begging for different speeds, and his hands flew all over Ben’s torso, mostly on his chest. Reaching a delirious state, Graham lowered down to passionately kiss Ben. From their practice sessions, Ben knew he was supposed to take over, and did so, with Graham cooing and moaning into Ben’s mouth with every powerful thrust into his butt. Breaking the kiss, Graham hung his head besides Ben’s, and with each breath, repeatedly muttered, “Omigod-omigod-omigod-omigod!” Ben always expected to have to ask, “Was I okay?” It was quite clear he wouldn’t need to ask. He tried to wiggle a hand between them to get at Graham’s cock. The moment Ben’s hand touched his bone, Graham whimpered then flung himself upright to bounce more than he ever had with Francis. Trying to stop Ben’s hand from moving too much, Graham loudly moaned; “Please cum in me before I shoot, Ben. Oh please, do it before me. Oh God Benjamin!” Losing it, Graham bounced, quaked and shivered, unaware of anything except how wonderful he felt. Starting to regain sentient thought, Graham noticed Ben grimacing and felt expansions inside his ass. Graham smiled and softly encouraged Ben through several more forceful thrusts. Suddenly, Ben grunted and held his hips up. Forcing his butt down against Ben’s raised hips, Graham chuckled, “Oh yes, my love. I feel it. You’re so wonderful,” and then leaned forward to place many tender kisses. Ben collapsed and panted, smiling up at Graham, who was happily finger painting little patterns of semen around Ben’s chest and belly. They started giggling; Ben for the wet tickling on his torso and Graham for his sheer pleasure with Ben. Graham reached back and guided Ben’s cock out of his ass. Holding Graham firmly in place, Ben shuddered at the sudden coldness on his very sensitive dick. Hovering over Ben and placing more angel kisses, Graham happily cooed, “The virgin that doesn’t act like one just gave me the single best sexual experience of my life. I’m seriously your leech, forever at your side. Anytime you want me, Ben, just signal me and I’m there, anywhere, any way you want me.” “Silly graham cracker,” Ben softly giggled. “You’re already all I need and want. I knew you’d like it, you told me you would, but I didn’t expect you to be so loud.” “I’ve been loud before, but not like this time,” Graham admitted, and then enthusiastically cheered, “I’m so crazy in love with you.” Ben very much wanted to share his dream with Graham, but the warm loving face placing little kisses had his undivided attention. Running his fingers through Graham’s wavy brown hair, Ben returned kisses and decided to wait for a more appropriate time. Graham lowered all the way down onto Ben and contentedly sighed. It was all Ben, for five days, saving Graham’s sanity, mending his broken heart, restoring all his dreams and hopes, adding more purpose with every passing day. With his eyes closed, Ben rested his arms around Graham’s back and felt his lover’s heartbeat slow to normal. Moments later, Ben softly asked, “Should we eat or shower first?” and got the morning’s first tickle in. “Let’s eat, I’m starved,” Graham cackled and tickled Ben back. “What will we do this afternoon?” “It’s your turn to make me yell,” Ben giggled, and let his hands fly to tickle or fake tickles. Flinching and lurching, unwilling to block Ben’s hands, Graham laughed, “I want to, but the question is, will you yell?” “I have no idea,” Ben howled, “but I could try, if ya want.” “I’ll race ya to the kitchen,” Graham roared, and rolled away from Ben’s tickling. Bouncing up and going after his lover, Ben giggled, “What do I get when I catch you?” Already down the hall, Graham bounced his eyebrows and teased, “Whatever ya want.” He then flew down the stairs two or three steps at a time. At the bottom landing, Graham waited for Ben to appear at the top of the staircase. “I’m gonna get you,” Ben giggled, and hurried down the steps. Racing away, Graham laughed, “Ya got me already and it’s dripping down my legs.” Cracking up, Ben had to slow his descent or risk tripping the rest of the way down. From the lower level bathroom, Graham hollered, “I’m washing up, teddy bear.” Entering the kitchen, Ben went into that bathroom for the first time. He found Graham wetting a washcloth at the sink. This half-bathroom also contained the washer, dryer and water heater. Ben glanced around and Graham pulled him close to the sink, so he could wash Ben’s dick. Encasing Ben’s chubby in a soapy, warm washcloth, Graham softly offered, “I’m so hungry that I forgot no condom leaves different messes for us to clean up, on you and in me.” “Since you’re washing me, I hope I get to wash you?” “I so want you too,” Graham smiled. Ben didn’t know how to say what he wanted to without upsetting Graham. He waited until Graham finished washing his dick and was rinsing the washcloth to softly say, “Francis admitted to kissing you first, Graham. He also said that when you were trying to be cuddly, with his mom only a few rooms away, his angry face only barely hid his need to cry.” Dropping the washcloth into the sink, Graham locked eyes with Ben and deeply inhaled. Stepping forward to loosely embrace his partner, Ben whispered, “He showed me that first day, in your living room, you being naughty, him playing hard to get, the wrestling, and him reaching up to kiss you. He also showed me the argument; September last year, only about a month after you two hooked up. It wasn’t your bedroom, so it must’ve been his, since he said that his mom was close by. Francis made the wind blow through the trees last night. He told me to tell you, good special effects kick butt.” Feeling Graham’s intense shaking and seeing rivers of tears flow down his lover’s smiling face, Ben held on tighter and checked, “Are you alright, puddin’?” Speechless, Graham nodded and shed happy tears. Clearly, Ben had been visited by Francis. Graham never told Ben when or where the argument had happened, or that Mrs. McLoughlin was nearby, but Ben knew it. Having almost completely forgotten seeing the movie ‘Armageddon’ with Francis the night of the accident, Graham hadn’t told Ben that, or that one of the last things Francis ever said to him was ‘good special effects kick butt’. The bond shared with Ben exploded within Graham during the short minutes he cried. Sniffling and wiping his eyes, Graham pleasantly sighed, “Boyfriend one visited boyfriend two, on equal ground. I should probably be very worried, but I’m not, I’m thrilled. All I feel now is a lot of love from you, some of which was given to you by him.” Ben nodded and smiled, “He knew I’d be scared, so he spoke to me in darkness at first. I didn’t recognize the voice, but he eased me into it, eventually allowing me to see him. He was wearing blue and green board shorts with a pale yellow T-shirt. He showed me the first day of junior high school too. All he wanted us to know was how much he loved you, Graham. You told me he could be hard and stubborn, but I didn’t see him that way. I saw someone that struggled to make two sets of very different people happy.” Knowing more surely that this was real, because Ben described the exact clothes Francis had worn that last day, Graham giggled, “What else did he say?” and returned to the washcloth, floating in an almost overflowing sink of warm water. Ben shrugged and smiled, “The best part for me was seeing how you two started. He called you a dog and wanted me to focus on how you were acting.” Graham roared laughing and handed Ben the washcloth then leaned over the sink and spread his legs. Beginning to clean Graham’s legs and working his way up, Ben giggled, “He said that it got to the point where he always looked down between his legs when sitting, to make sure your hand wasn’t there, waiting to goose him.” “That is so true too,” Graham laughed, and wiped more happy tears from his eyes. “Being the string bean he was he didn’t think that he had a nice ass. His butt was perfect for him and I always proved it.” Working on cleaning the crack of Graham’s ass, Ben giggled, “He told me stuff for me, for you, and one other thing that was specifically only for Eddie to know. I don’t want to hide it from you, puddin’, so I’ll say that when the time comes, I’ll know it and tell you then.” Graham grinned, “Not another prophecy?” Shaking his head, Ben smiled, “A promise to be fulfilled.” Cleaned up, Graham took the washcloth from Ben, rinsed it then tossed it into the hamper near the washing machine. Leading Ben out of the bathroom and into the kitchen, Graham suggested things for breakfast. Ben was fine with a toasted bagel and a glass of cranberry juice. Graham had a bowl of Frosted Flakes, a glass of orange juice and a toasted bagel. Ben had finished and loaded his plate and glass in the dishwasher while Graham was still eating. Graham offered Ben more from his plate. Ben shook his head and smiled, “I’m fine, puddin’. I told you I’m a light eater compared to most dudes. If anything, I’m looking forward to doing some leg raises and sit-ups with you, to flatten my belly more, so I like it.” Graham smiled, “You’re belly is fine as it is, but I’ll help you get it so you like it.” Blushing, Ben nodded and giggled, “This morning was a great workout.” Sputtering around the food in his mouth, Graham nodded and smiled, “Sex is the most fun exercise there is.” The phone rang and Graham gestured for Ben to answer it. “Carleton residence,” Ben formally said into the receiver. “Don’t you sound very proper today?” Eddie giggled. “It’s not my house,” Ben cackled. “Graham’s still eating, so he told me to answer.” “We’re ready to leave and pick you two up,” Eddie said. Ben gasped and scanned for the kitchen clock. Finding one on the oven, he told Graham, “It’s nine-forty, puddin’. Matt and Eddie are ready to pick us up.” Graham nodded, “Tell them that we still need to shower and to come in through the back door.” Ben passed the message and Eddie began giggling before Ben finished. “Some things never change,” Eddie giggled. “Tell Graham to quit playin’ dickie games and get his buns in gear.” In the background, Ben heard Matt laughing. Seeing Ben blushing, Graham rolled his eyes and held his hand out, chuckling, “Gimme the phone, teddy bear.” Ben warned Eddie, passed the phone over and Graham grinned, “What did you say to make Ben blush?” “Just the truth,” Eddie cackled. “We know you too well. You were playin’ your morning dickie games, don’t lie.” Going to unlock the kitchen sliding door, Graham chortled, “Well, we are showering before we go anywhere, so come inside and up to my room.” Checking his wristwatch, Eddie giggled, “Its nine-forty-one and we’re timing you.” “Whatever,” Graham sniggered, “see ya in a few, bro.” When Eddie hung up, Ben watched wide-eyed as Graham went into hyper-speed; hanging the phone up, swallowing the remainder of his juice, stuffing the last bit of bagel into his mouth and loading the dishwasher. Still chewing, Graham took Ben’s hand and raced through the house, back upstairs and into his bathroom. “Wait!” Ben giggled, “Our toothbrushes and stuff are still in our backpacks.” “Shit!” Graham loudly laughed, and pulled Ben back out of the bathroom into his bedroom. “Nobody and nothing is preventing me from playing with your dickie,” Graham cackled. The backpacks were retrieved from the walk-in closet, where Ben had put them. Ben giggled his ass off, looking through his backpack for his toiletries. Dumping his backpack on the bed, Graham raved, “Yeah, we already made love, and it was phenomenal, but that was before you told me about your dream with Francis, which was no dream, teddy bear. You knew things you couldn’t have known; that nobody except Francis and me know about. All we need is a few extra minutes, before we spend four hours with our clothes on around all our friends.” Hurrying to the bathroom again, with Ben trying to keep up, Graham giggled, “This afternoon, we’ll have a few hours alone for more awesome sex. I’m so inclined to make you a top only.” Dropping handfuls of his stuff on the bathroom vanity, Graham noticed Ben’s expression in the mirror and laughed, “What?” Shaking his head, Ben cracked up. Grinning widely into the mirror, they brushed their teeth. Graham dragged an electric razor around his face, sharing details of how he felt with a longer and thicker bone up his butt. Shaving with a Gillette Trac II disposable razor, Ben tried to stop giggling, so he didn’t cut his face to ribbons. Finished shaving first, Graham suggested, “Come right into the shower. Rinse the shaving cream off your face in there.” He went to the tub, stepped in and turned the water on. A moment later, the shower turned on and Graham shivered, “Brrr!” Ben giggled, “Grrr?” “Cold water,” Graham sniggered, “that was a real brrr, not a signal. Since my dickie is shriveling, I’ll tell you now, your first time in me was fabulous, Ben. It’s not uncommon for dickies to slip out and have to be reinserted. That was my fault, for getting far too into the ride. I know I get loud sometimes, but you were so good, I was much louder and shot way further than usual. That’s how much I love it with you.” “I’m gonna slice my throat,” Ben softly giggled. “Sorry,” Graham called, “I didn’t hear you.” Ben loudly giggled, “I said, I’m glad I didn’t slip out.” “It’s not a major problem when it happens,” Graham assured. Finished shaving, Ben went over and slid open the shower door then stepped into the tub with Graham, who had his head back and eyes closed, rinsing shampoo from his hair. As soon as the water ran clear, Ben stepped closer and wrapped his arms around Graham. “Hey there sexy teddy bear,” Graham smiled. Years of poor self-esteem were being whittled away. Ben sighed, “You were so wonderful this morning too,” then gave his lover a soulful kiss. They moaned into the kiss and started a slippery grind. The kiss broke and they held each other tight to finish what they had started, whispering words that strengthened their bond. For the first time since Friday, Derrick and Mike used the master bathroom shower. With Doug and Brian back from vacation, but working, the couple was able to return to their June pattern. They were glad to have their adult friends back home and enjoyed the silly antics they often pulled. That day, they remained shirtless leaving the house for rehearsal, but brought better looking sport and polo shirts to rehearsal, to look their best for the photos Eddie would take. At work the prior night with Keith and Prez, Mike and Derrick considered how to prepare a package for the audition. The foursome planned a cover page with the band’s name and the band photo. The next page would list the primary songs intended for the concert and the alternates that they might play, if circumstances dictated less ballads and more rock. The last three pages would have photos with short biographies and contact information for each of the six band members. Arriving at the Gibbons’ home first with Corey and Drew, Keith and Prez greeted Lindsay and asked that she open the garage door. Shaun and Gil pulled up to the house next and helped get the gear setup. The 442 pulled into the driveway, leaving abundant space for the mixer table and their friends. All the male band members that had worn their good shirts took them off while moving heavy gear around. Jessy arrived last in normal clothes, but she had better clothes in her car to change into when it was time to take photos. Since Eddie, Matt, Ben and Graham were running late, the band started their prepared audition rehearsal. Much more comfortably, Derrick thanked the auditioners, introduced the band, and then Prez and Hold My Hand. While they played, neighborhood kids started congregating in the street. At the end of the song, Prez introduced Jessy and Give Me One Reason. When that song finished to applause, Jessy thanked the audience then introduced Shaun and Sister Golden Hair. Hearing more applause from the street, Shaun also thanked the audience then introduced Keith and Open Arms. During the latter tune, Matt’s Maxima pulled up to the curb. Eddie, Matt, Ben and Graham got out of the car. Carrying his photography gear in a large padded gear bag, Eddie jumped on Matt’s back and Graham climbed aboard Ben for piggy back rides up the driveway. Gil lost it and howled laughing, pushing Corey into a giggling fit. Drew and all the band members were widely smiling too. Near the mixer table, where Corey, Drew and Gil stood, Eddie and Graham slid down off their lovers. Glancing between Ben and Graham, Gil loudly asked, “It happened, huh?” Hanging off Ben and proudly smiling at his teddy bear, Graham nodded, “The sex was awesome, but almost as important, Francis paid Ben a nocturnal visit. I will swear on a stack of Bibles, it was no dream.” Corey’s, Drew’s and Gil’s mouths dropped open. Graham held his right hand up and assured, “Ben knew things I never told him and the only other person who knew was Beanie.” Finishing Open Arms, Keith thanked the audience, the auditioners and welcomed their four tardy friends. Stopping his digital watch, Drew waved the band out to the driveway, smiling, “Seventeen minutes and forty-eight seconds. Good job on the songs, introductions and audience interaction.” Putting their instruments down, all six band members went to the mixer table and warm greetings were passed around. With no music playing to cover what needed to be said, Matt and Graham suggested a short trip around back, away from the younger kids in the street. In the backyard, Graham again made his proud announcement that his first boyfriend had definitely visited his second boyfriend and that there was no chance of there ever being a third boyfriend. Snapping photos of the occasion, Eddie cruised around the group. When congratulations had completed, Shaun and Gil shared that Ben had gone skinny dipping with them, Eddie and Matt at Eddie’s pool the prior night. Naturally, Ben was embarrassed, but everybody congratulated him on another big step. Only Jessy denied ever having gone skinny dipping, but under comfortable and safe conditions, she admitted it wasn’t out of the question. Wandering to the front of the house again, Mike and Eddie talked about getting large group skinny dipping parties organized, before school started. Jessy hurried to her car to get her dress clothes then went inside the house to change. Prez and Keith spoke softly with Ben and Graham, learning the more intimate details of the last few days. In the process, Ben and Graham learned exactly what had been going on between Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike. Graham and especially Ben were glad to learn there were limitations, reasons and rules. Nearby, Eddie, Matt, Gil and Shaun heard all of what Ben, Graham, Keith and Prez were talking about. Bringing up the rear, Drew and Corey were also listening in. Keith noticed his younger brother and Corey and could almost hear the gears grinding. “What?” Corey and Drew giggled. Shaking his head and grinning, Keith dropped back to pull them aside. Keith softly explained, “You heard what Ben and Graham were saying and what Prez and I said too. There are no set rules. What Prez, Mike, Derrick and I do alone doesn’t mean that every gay couple on Earth goes there. As cool as it was, we’re thinking it might happen again rarely, like once every couple of months. You’ve tried stuff with Brian and Pete, so the only question you two have to answer is how you feel. I’m sure Brian and Pete understand that, but do you?” Corey nodded and Drew softly shared, “We’re fine, bro. It was fun and good with Brian and Pete. We’ve left the topic hanging for now, because we can’t say if we’ll ever want to have sex with them again, or with anyone else. It happened because we felt something for them. We’re not actively looking for it to happen again with anyone, but if we feel something, we’ll talk about it, just like you four dudes did, and we did with Brian and Pete.” Keith nodded, “Fair enough. I only wanted to be sure you weren’t following in our footsteps.” Prez hollered from the garage, “Keith? It’s time to get gussied up, babe.” “I’ll be right there,” Keith replied, and then locked eyes with Corey. Corey grinned, “I really don’t know, Keith. I used to think things didn’t change too much or too quickly. Now I know that they can and they do, sometimes very fast. How will Brian and Pete feel when we see them again? If they want to and we do too, okay, but I saw Drew change in a matter of days, I see myself changing, and today, I see how much Ben has changed too. In the last few days, Drew and I have talked a lot about it. All I care about is being with Drew, for a long time.” Humming thoughtfully, Drew then smiled at Keith, “You dudes are getting pictures taken, right?” Keith nodded, “For the next couple o’ minutes.” Taking Corey’s hand, Drew smiled, “We’ll be in the pool house if you need us,” and started toward the backyard. Whimpering and giggling, Corey followed his hubby. Helplessly sniggering, Keith went to the garage to get his shirt on. Putting on one of the polo shirts that Keith gave him for their anniversary, Prez softly asked, “Is everything okay?” Keith nodded and chortled, “Apparently so,” then picked up the tangerine muscle Tee that Prez had given him and pulled it over his head. Wandering around the group in the garage, Eddie told Mike, “Brush your hair, dude.” Glancing at Derrick’s shirt and hair, Eddie moved on to Shaun, who was already getting his hair brushed by Gil. Keith and Prez were combing their hair. Eddie paused and asked, “Is that the best shirt you have, Keith?” Prez smiled, “It’s the one I want him to wear, Eddie.” Eddie giggled, “You’re showing off his chest and arms.” “Marketing for the masses,” Prez chuckled. “I see,” Eddie giggled. “Remind me to get a stud muffin lineup going at one of the pool parties.” Standing outside the garage and hearing every word, Matt chortled, “You don’t need any reminding, buttercup. Your perverted cameras make appearances at every pool party any way.” Keith chuckled, “The cameras are perverted?” Shaun grinned, “Eight great pictures were taken last night, with Ben and Graham there.” Prez called out toward the driveway, “Ben, what are you doing?” “Showing Graham the mixer, amps and stuff,” Ben innocently answered. “Okay, what were you doing last night?” Prez playfully prompted. Graham cracked up watching Ben instantly flush red. “No comment,” Ben giggled, and rapidly hid his face on Graham’s shoulder. Counting his fingers, Eddie giggled, “A line up for ten dudes will require a wide angle lens.” “We’re not all hung like Keith,” Mike teased. Shaun smiled, “Okay dudes, a show of hands for cut dickies?” and held up a hand. Prez and Mike held up their hands. Seeing Keith holding up two hands, Shaun cackled, “What the hell are you doin’, Keith?” “For me and Drew,” Keith smiled. “Oh,” Shaun giggled. “I got scared thinking you were cut twice.” The garage seemed to explode in laughter. Gil chuckled, “A show of hands for uncut dickies?” and held up a hand. Derrick, Matt, Eddie, Ben and Graham held up their hands. Noticing Prez with a wide smile and a hand held up, Shaun laughed, “Can’t you tell if your cut or uncut, Prez?” Again, everybody cracked up. “For Corey,” Prez bellowed over the crowd. Grasping his heart, Shaun giggled, “Oh, thank God! That’s five cut and seven uncut.” Turning to Matt, Shaun asked, “What about Jerry and Mack?” With Eddie turning purple by this point and hanging off him, Matt chuckled, “One of each.” Returning to the garage, looking fantastic, Jessy smiled, “You’re all certifiable, you realize this?” Nodding and vocal affirmations assured Jessy that they all knew and were proud of it too. Staggering out to the center of the garage, Eddie giggled “Can we get organized now?” Prez, Keith, Mike, Derrick and Shaun, assured Eddie they were fairly well organized, but they needed two more dudes with cut dickies. Giggling, Jessy made the sign of the cross and silently prayed. Matt, Ben, Graham and Eddie cracked up. Coming around to the front of the house, Drew grinned, “What’s going on? Are the pictures taken?” Keith sniggered, “We haven’t even started that yet. It’s Mike’s fault, he took the first tangent.” “Tangents on the wing,” Mike insanely giggled, “There goes another.” “Omigod,” Corey and Drew chorused. Corey giggled, “If only Brian were here, we’d have a chance of getting something done.” Pulling out his cell phone, Drew dialed Portland. Keith wondered, “What’re ya doin’, bro?” Drew grinned and sighed, “Calling Kellam.” “He’ll be here in two days,” Corey giggled. Prez chuckled, “We can probably get this done before Wednesday.” Hearing voice mail pickup the call, Drew hung up and smiled, “Lucky for you it’s an answering machine.” Derrick grinned, “What do you need us to do, Eddie?” “Let’s start with the three tallest on their knees in front of the three shortest,” Eddie giggled. Shaun, Jessy and Mike lined up. Prez, Keith and Derrick knelt down facing Shaun, Jessy and Mike. Everyone out in the driveway howled. Smiling up at Jessy, Keith teased, “This works how?” “I’d walk you through it, but we don’t have the time,” Jessy giggled. Eddie snapped the photo anyway then giggled, “That’ll make a very controversial CD cover. You three in front, face me. Derrick you need to be between Keith and Prez.” They stood and turned around then knelt down. Derrick softly chortled, “This position seems vaguely familiar,” causing Keith, Prez, Mike and Shaun to crack up. Eddie snapped another picture. Matt sniggered, “I suggest getting the single portraits done, buttercup.” Eddie nodded and giggled, “Maybe if they’re separated we could get this done. Let’s do portraits out in the daylight; ladies first.” Unexpectedly, all six started walking out of the garage. Hysterical, Jessy playfully slapped her five silly male band mates, ordering them back. Those out in the driveway cracked up. Eddie led Jessy to one of the evergreen trees on the front lawn. Mingling around the driveway, Shaun, Gil, Ben, Graham and Matt told the others more about the skinny dipping the prior night. Shaun smiled, “We were told about Francis being heard Wednesday night too.” Shaking his head, Gil nervously grinned, “Suddenly, the breeze picked up and the trees around the yard bent and whispered.” Graham chuckled, “Ben, Eddie and me hollered for Francis to cut the crap and the wind died down.” Ben nodded and grinned, “That was Francis’ idea. He said that he got help with the breezes.” Graham sniggered, “I swear, Beanie needs to rest. He’s in our dreams and watching everything we do.” “Let’s get a touch football game organized,” Gil joked. Ben, Graham, Shaun and Matt nervously chortled. Prez, Keith, Mike, Derrick, Drew and Corey glanced at each other. Prez admitted, “I had a dream about that.” One after the other, Keith, Drew, Corey, Mike and Derrick recalled similar dreams. Completing the first portraits, Eddie and Jessy approached the driveway to hear Drew explain, “It was like I was watching from the sidelines, not in the stands, but right off to the side of the field.” Corey nodded, “I got the impression we were offense and you dudes on the field were defense, or maybe it was the opposite way around; I couldn’t really tell.” Keith shivered, “Aaron, Danny, Craig and Glen were with us.” “Yeah,” Derrick droned, “I remember that too, and that we were playing in a huge stadium, packed to capacity.” “This is getting too weird,” Mike muttered. “Brian and Doug asked us about this last night, after work.” Getting freaked out, Derrick locked eyes with Eddie and asked, “Ready dude?” Eddie nodded and giggled, “I love this. We need to check with the other four dudes in North Hollywood.” Walking over to the evergreen tree with Derrick, Eddie giggled, “You never got to know Francis, but this is so like him, Derrick.” “That’s part of what’s so weird,” Derrick grinned. “I don’t feel that I knew him and he couldn’t have known me, but here’s a shared dream, with four other dudes we recently met.” Gesturing for Derrick to stand before the tree, Eddie giggled, “Maybe we just met the beginning of this summer, but we knew of you, Keith, Mike and Prez too. After all, we do go to the same school.” He checked the camera’s view finder and prompted, “Say blue balls, blue nose.” “What?” Derrick exclaimed, and cracked up. Eddie snapped three quick photos of Derrick laughing. “Thank Graham for being a goof,” Eddie giggled, and lowered the camera. “You knew of us?” Derrick smirked. Snapping another picture, Eddie giggled, “Of course; four of the cutest dudes in the school, all a year older than Francis, Graham and me. We watched and hoped until Mike’s birthday. That’s when we found out, yeah, you’re gay and already hooked up too.” Eddie wondered, “When did you and Mike meet?” “When my family moved into the house behind this one,” Derrick fondly recalled, and Eddie snapped another photograph. Derrick giggled, “You’re a great photographer, dude. I usually don’t like doing this, but you’re making it easy.” Eddie giggled, “This is good for you dudes and for me too. I intend to make a living doing this, so I get to add to my portfolio and gain experience. You’re done, bro.” Stepping away from the tree, Derrick repeated, “Bro?” Eddie giggled, “It’s how I feel about each of you; gay brothers. Some of us might be really tight and others not so much, but we share something.” “I know what you mean,” Derrick smiled. “First it’s only personal, and then it’s someone special. Two became four and it’s growing exponentially now.” “Yup,” Eddie giggled. “It was me and Matt, and then Francis and Graham; Shaun and Gil since Mike’s party; lastly, Graham and Ben.” At the driveway, Derrick and Eddie heard Matt nervously complain, “I don’t understand this and really don’t want to understand it. Please don’t tell me if it turns out the four in North Hollywood shared the same dream. I’m gonna go forward like this dream never happened.” Prez nodded and patiently smiled, “That’s perfect, Matt. Judging by what Mike, Ben and Graham have said, that’s what Brian and Doug recommended anyway.” Graham nodded and placed a hand on Matt’s shoulder, firmly squeezing it. He reminded, “Beanie was a clown at least half the time. He was happiest dancing. He’d never hurt me, you or any of us.” Standing close to Matt, Eddie interjected, “Don’t sweat it, okay? The only thing that makes this freaky is Francis is gone. Let’s treat the dream as if he was really here; just one of his weird jokes and drop it.” He glanced around at the band members and prompted, “Play somethin’, dudes. Mike, it’s your turn.” Nodding, Mike suggested, “Play Fire and Rain, Shaun.” “Cool,” Shaun smiled. He led Prez, Jessy and Derrick to the garage. Keith remained out in the driveway with Matt, Ben, Gil and Graham. Mike followed Eddie. Walking across the lawn, Eddie softly asked, “How do you feel, Mike?” Mike chuckled, “Thrilled more than scared, that’s for sure.” The band began playing. Eddie nodded and giggled, “Me too. Francis was my best friend. There were times he wanted to be like me, and times I wished I could be more like him too.” Mike moved before the tree, wondering, “How?” Eddie shrugged, “Francis could dance better than anyone. I sure can’t dance that well. We’ve always been about the same height and body type, but he could run like a rabbit. Francis’ parents aren’t accepting of homosexuals, but surprisingly, it turned out that mine are.” Frowning, Mike sighed, “I’m sorry to hear about his folks being that way.” Raising the camera, Eddie prompted, “Say blue balls, blue nose.” Sniggering insanely, Mike remembered Graham’s honking nose. Eddie caught two good shots and giggled, “Francis might have seemed distant to you at your party, but it was only because of the tightrope he was walking. What do you think of Graham and Ben?” Mike warmly smiled and Eddie snapped another photo before Mike said a word. “You didn’t know Ben from Memorial Day,” Mike smiled. “He’s improved in a lot of ways. What’s most amazing to me is how Graham is clinging to Ben. I thought it would be the other way around.” Eddie snapped another shot and giggled, “Ben looks to Graham for lots of stuff, but they’re really attached. They’d both crumble without the other.” Wanting another photo, Eddie asked, “How big’s your dickie?” Mike cracked up and Eddie got the shot before Mike laughed, “We talked about this at the beach; three inches now; eight hard.” “I know,” Eddie giggled, “but I needed this shot. I’m getting five of each of you. You dudes can choose which to use. We’re done. Who should I pull next?” Stepping away from the tree, Mike suggested, “Shaun, Keith and then Prez last.” Eddie nodded and wondered, “Why is Prez last?” “We need our bassist and drummer ninety plus percent of the time,” Mike replied. “We all get to take breaks during various songs, except Prez and Derrick.” Eddie went to Matt and gave him a hug, softly insuring his partner was less freaked out. Mike waited at the mixer with Corey, Drew and Gil, listening to the last verse and chorus of Fire and Rain. Having given and gotten kisses from Matt, Eddie knelt down to change memory sticks in his digital camera. The last tones rang and the street erupted in loud applause. Clapping enthusiastically, Mike looked around the driveway and street, taking note of the audience that had gathered. Walking around the table, Mike smiled at Shaun, “Awesomeness, dude.” “Thanks, Mike,” Shaun chuckled. “Take a time-out with Eddie,” Mike suggested. Taking his guitar off, Shaun nodded, “Cool,” and then put his acoustic on a guitar stand. Picking up his Carvin electric guitar, Mike asked, “What’s next?” Prez suggested, “How about Separate Ways? We can get by without Shaun, I guess.” The idea was approved by Jessy and Derrick, so Prez called out, “Keith? You’re needed, babe.” Excusing himself from Ben, Matt and Graham, Keith went to the garage. Before he crossed over the monitors, Jessy started playing the introduction. Eddie, Gil and Shaun walked together away from the loud music and toward the evergreen tree. Shaun took Gil’s hand, pulled the arm up to his mouth and began playfully mouthing the limb. Eddie cracked up. Gil sniggered, “Happy, bubbala?” “I cannot wait for this concert,” Shaun cheered. Gil turned to Eddie and explained, “Every time Mike applauds and encourages Shaun, this is the reaction.” “There will be more, later too, I’ll bet,” Eddie giggled. Shaun cackled, “Until my parents get home.” Eddie checked, “You two are good with the dream?” “Shaun is more than me, but I’m okay too,” Gil replied. “For me, it sucks just starting to get close to someone, only to have them yanked away.” Eddie nodded and suggested, “Think of him like he’s on extended vacation. Really, he is.” Shaun smirked, “If only he’d act like he’s on break.” Nodding, Eddie gestured for Shaun to stand before the evergreen tree and giggled, “Is Francis acting differently, Shaun?” Sounding quite disgusted, Shaun went to the tree, grumbling “No,” and turned to face Eddie and Gil. The latter two began softly chortling. Shaun grinned, “I know what he’s doin’. He’s showin’ off again; only now he’s not wavin’ his dickie around; instead he’s saying, ‘I’m gonna stick up for all gays and lesbians that have dopey parents like mine’.” “Oh shit,” Eddie softly sighed. Gil and Shaun chorused, “What’s wrong?” “Prez is wearing a green polo shirt,” Eddie scowled. “That’s gonna make him look like a red headed face floating in front of this tree.” Shaun shrugged, “Have him swap shirts with someone.” Gil nodded, “Keith’s his boyfriend, so no problem there.” Eddie nodded, “That’ll work,” and lifted his camera. He reminded, “Shaun, remember Francis at the first pool party with Gil?” Widely grinning, Shaun recalled that night. Eddie snapped one photo and Shaun chuckled, “What the hell Beanie was doin’ trying to lift Gil, I’ll never know.” Eddie giggled, “Accepting him, bro. You’re both a year older than me, Graham, and him, but you took the longest to get hitched.” Realizing what Eddie was doing, Gil grinned, “He kept playing grab-tag under water too.” Shaun laughed, “The closeted perv didn’t care what he grabbed either.” Eddie snapped two more pictures while Shaun was laughing. Gil grinned and nodded, “Graham was in on it too, as the distracter so Francis could cop feels.” Shaun only nodded and smirked, leaving Eddie with no shot to take. “Say blue balls, blue nose, bro,” Eddie prompted. Smirking, Shaun remarked, “More proof that Graham’s got a screw loose.” Eddie sighed, “You’re gonna be difficult.” Turning to Gil, Eddie giggled, “A little help here?” Gil nodded and approached Shaun, out of line with the camera, but wearing his devious expression. Shaun nervously cackled, “Honey?” and Eddie snapped another photo. Getting down on his knees before Shaun, Gil looked up and locked eyes with his partner. Loudly laughing, Shaun shifted slightly. Eddie snapped the final photo before Shaun began praying in Yiddish. Eddie giggled, “That’s it, dudes,” and started for the driveway. Gil stood and Shaun jumped his lover, giggling, “Now that I’m getting a stiffie, you’re done, but we’re just beginning.” Holding Shaun up against him, Gil stole a kiss and reminded, “We’re done early today, bubbala.” Rapidly nodding, Shaun giggled, “The house is empty for more than three hours.” Behind the mixer table, Graham was playing air guitar, copying Mike’s every move, driving Ben and Corey into giggling fits. Eddie goosed Graham as he passed. Surprised, Graham jumped a foot in the air. Ben, Corey and Drew cracked up. Eddie snapped two photos of the band playing. Glancing at Corey and Drew, Eddie asked, “How long have you two been a couple?” Matt meandered over to be near his partner. Corey giggled, “It depends on how ya look at it.” Drew nodded and smiled, “Either last Fourth of July, when we first kissed, or maybe last August, when we started messin’ around.” “Or last December, when Drew admitted how much he missed me, while I was away in Vermont,” Corey finished. Absorbing those answers, Eddie giggled, “You’re invited to the pool party tomorrow night.” Corey sang, “Sweet!” Drew nodded and smiled, “Thanks, dude.” Eddie giggled, “It’s all couples and most will be skinny dippin’, so I only needed to check.” Drew asked, “Would it be a problem if we kept our boardies on?” Shaking his head, Eddie smiled, “Nope, but neither of you need to worry about it. My parents are cool and they’ll go to bed soon after the party starts.” Corey asked, “When will it start?” “Sundown,” Eddie replied. “Awesome,” Drew smiled. “We’ll be there with Keith and Prez.” Matt wondered, “Just curious, you two are how old?” “Fourteen,” Corey answered. Drew nodded, “I’ll be fifteen the end of the month.” Corey worried, “We’re not too young, I hope?” Shaking his head, Eddie giggled, “Nope. The qualification is met, gay couples only for skinny dippin’. We’re all cool with affection and woodies. I’ve got a sunroom with an attached bathroom for private emergencies.” Corey’s jaw dropped. Drew grinned and shook his head. Corey giggled, “Dammit! You’ve got a sunroom, Mike’s got a pool house, and my parents didn’t even put up the cabana this year.” Rolling his eyes, Drew chuckled, telling Eddie and Matt, “Corey’s got a pool too. The cabana fabric tore during a windy day last autumn.” Corey giggled, “Lucky for you!” Eddie and Matt cracked up. The band finished playing Separate Ways and Eddie hollered, “Keith, it’s your turn, bro.” Jessy said into her microphone, “Drew, join us for Against All Odds, dude.” Nodding, Drew went to the garage. Keith stepped between the monitors coming out of the garage. Shaun went into the garage and over to Jessy, near the keyboards. Drew lowered Keith’s mic stand about two inches. Corey and Gil adjusted settings on the mixer for the drums and keyboards. Eddie, Matt and Keith waited for the song to start. After Derrick’s soft count, the song opened with Jessy, Shaun and Prez. Drew began singing. Eddie giggled, “He’s so damn good.” Matt checked with Keith, “Does your whole family sing?” Nodding, Keith answered, “Both my parents have favorites that they always sing.” Leading the way across the yard, Eddie pointed at the evergreen tree where he had been taking photos and giggled, “Prez is gonna look like a floating red head with that green shirt he has on.” Keith started softly chuckling and broke into loud laughter. Glancing at Keith and Matt, Eddie giggled, “What did I say?” “You reminded me of something,” Keith sniggered. Eddie giggled, “Will you swap shirts with Prez?” Nodding, Keith howled, “Sure, we’ll love it!” Eddie laughed, “Ah ha! I’ve worn Matt’s T-shirts and know exactly what you’re saying. Matt’s shirts hang on me like a tent though. I wear a men’s small and he’s a large, so I look like I’m wearing a dress. He likes it.” “Easy access,” Matt chuckled. Eddie nodded and giggled, “Your parents keep wondering why you come home shirtless too.” Stopped at the tree, Keith turned and smiled, “Thanks for taking these pictures, Eddie.” Snapping the first shot, Eddie giggled, “This is my future and I’ll get to add to my portfolio.” He wondered, “How’re you feeling about the dream, Keith?” “Personally, I’m confused,” Keith replied. “Prez and I have had similar dreams before, but nothing like this. Prez and Mike have had weird experiences too. We didn’t even really get to know Francis, and didn’t recognize him in the dream. We recognized everybody else though, since you were all at the party last week. It helps knowing that Francis is keeping to his personality too.” Eddie giggled, “Say blue balls, blue nose.” Keith cracked up and Eddie got the shot. “That was so funny,” Keith laughed. “When Ben said that it was an erection reaction, I almost fell over.” Nodding, Eddie giggled, “I’ve known Graham all my life. He has extremes of happiness and sadness. I was really worried he’d be stuck sad, but Ben fixed all that.” Keith nodded and smiled, giving Eddie another good photo. “Ben’s obviously thrilled with Graham,” Keith said. “I have to admit, we’re all so shocked Ben was the one Graham turned to and hooked up with.” Eddie nodded, “You didn’t know Francis. Alone and in safe company, Francis was cuddlier. You dudes didn’t get to see that side of him at Mike’s party, because he wasn’t sure how safe he was. All he worried about was word getting back to his parents that he hung around a group of gay dudes somehow.” Matt explained, “All of us went into straight boy mode any time we were at his house.” Eddie giggled, “I need two more shots, Keith. Tell me why Prez floating was so funny.” Keith sniggered and Eddie grabbed a photo before Keith explained, “One morning I woke to find Prez floating about two feet off the mattress. I’ll swear it wasn’t a dream, even though I know it had to be. It was a great morning and day for us.” Needing one more shot, Eddie giggled, “How big is your dickie?” Keith roared laughing and Eddie snapped the photo. “About four inches long at the moment,” Keith cackled. Holding up his camera, Eddie giggled, “That’s all I needed.” Shaking his head, Matt chuckled, “You’re so bad, buttercup.” Shrugging, Eddie giggled, “The trick is to never allow the subject to feel self conscious.” Stepping away from the tree, Keith giggled, “So ask how big my dick is.” Picking up his lover, Matt warned Keith, “Joe Photo here will have the camera out at the pool party tomorrow night.” Happily holding on to Matt, Eddie giggled, “No faces are included in any dickie shots and all are shared.” Stepping up closer to Matt and Eddie, Keith smiled, “We have a self defense class at Bally’s Fitness Center, from seven to nine. We’ll leave there, drop off Drew and Corey at home, and then be right over.” Matt put Eddie down and shook his head, saying, “Drew and Corey are invited too.” “Cool,” Keith chuckled. “We’ll be right over after class then. 5225 Baza Avenue, right?” Eddie nodded, “That’s the one. Come around back. Ben, Graham, Gil and Shaun will probably already be there with us. Take your shirt off for Prez, Keith.” Doing so, Keith chuckled, “Make sure you tell Prez this was your idea.” Nodding, Eddie giggled, “I can’t wait to see his reaction.” “Rehearsal might have to end even earlier,” Keith sniggered. The band finished Against All Odds to more loud applause and cheering. Drew and Prez came out of the garage. Drew returned to the mixer and Prez went toward the lawn. In the garage, Derrick came out from behind his drums and went to the center microphone. Prez wickedly grinned, “Why’s your shirt off, babe?” Eddie giggled, “Your green shirt against the green tree won’t work, Prez. You need to put Keith’s shirt on.” Locking eyes with Keith, Prez chuckled, “This was your idea,” and reached down to pull his polo shirt over his head while Eddie, Keith and Matt cracked up. The band played As Tears Go By, with Derrick singing lead vocals. “Sex machine,” Keith sniggered, “it really was Eddie’s idea. How would I know the pictures would be taken at a tree?” Prez grinned, “I know you love green, but we’ll have to find alternatives when we go school clothes shopping.” Prez and Keith swapped shirts. Prez put Keith’s tangerine muscle Tee on and adjusted it. Seeing Keith holding his green polo shirt, Prez prompted, “Put it on.” Shaking his head, Keith sniggered, “Lemme check with Mike, Derrick, Jess and Shaun.” “You can check,” Prez grinned, “but rehearsal is over early, no matter what.” Matt grinned, “That shirt looks great on you, Prez.” Heading for the tree, Prez smiled, “Thanks, Matt. I’ll probably have it on until we go to work tonight.” Suspiciously glaring at Matt, Eddie smirked, “You didn’t tell Keith it looked good on him.” Matt chuckled, “Didn’t I? I meant to.” “Sure ya did,” Eddie giggled. Walking away, Matt softly told Keith, “I’m in trouble again.” Heading for the garage, Keith sniggered, “If they could see their rear ends, they’d understand.” Eddie and Prez shouted, “HEY!” and broke into gales of laughter. Painting on their innocent expressions, Keith and Matt swung around. Keith playfully prompted, “You two need to check out what we see every day.” Matt nodded and smiled, “We’re not trying to be bad, just honest.” Holding his clenched fist out, Matt grinned at Keith, “More cushion for the pushin’, right?” Knocking knuckles with Matt, Keith nodded and laughed, “You know it as well as I do.” They walked away, leaving Eddie and Prez helplessly giggling. Eddie started to raise his camera, but lowered it again until he stopped giggling. Prez grinned, “We have to get them later.” Nodding, Eddie giggled, “Matt’s getting his bare butt spanked.” “Good idea,” Prez chuckled. “I’ll see how Keith likes working with toasted buns tonight.” Inhaling deeply, Eddie raised the camera, snapped the first photo while Prez was still smiling, and then asked, “What’re your thoughts about the dream?” Prez smiled, “I love it. Since my mom passed, I’ve had these feelings, on and off, that she’s really not gone. Francis can do whatever he likes where he’s at. Right now, he’s choosing to be with us.” Eddie snapped another picture then shared, “He’s been home too. We got a lot of his stuff yesterday afternoon, after he scared his parents. Ben dreamed of Francis this morning. He said that he has something more to share with me too.” “It’s wonderful,” Prez warmly smiled. “Keith and I were so surprised, sharing that dream in the shower and finishing ideas for each other. We all have proof that life doesn’t end, it only changes.” Eddie nodded, “I’ve always loved books, movies and TV shows about the paranormal. To me, scary ghost stories are either funny or stupid.” Prez smiled, “We’ve got that in common, Eddie.” Eddie grabbed another photo then asked, “How’re you feeling about Ben and Graham?” “Relieved,” Prez chuckled. Eddie lowered the camera, tilted his head and scowled. Prez sighed, “Ben had a crush on me. I’m surprised nobody told you.” Eddie shook his head then raised the camera. Prez offered, “Ben’s turned into a really good friend this summer. I wish we were still around Agoura Hills, like last month, to see him with Graham more. They seem to have completely bonded, like I am with Keith, Derrick is with Mike and you are with Matt.” Taking another photo, Eddie shared, “Ben’s not only important to Graham, but somehow, he’s becoming my best friend too. What’s weird is, Francis was my best friend, but Ben’s a lot different. Francis would strip and go skinny dipping without a problem. Ben’s so darn cuddly though. It took me, Matt and Graham a while to get Ben to understand it’s cool.” “I was that way too,” Prez pleasantly recalled. “It took Keith, Derrick and Mike awhile to get me to relax about it.” Eddie took the final photo of Prez then approached him asking, “I have a personal question, about you, Keith, Mike and Derrick?” Prez grinned, “Why and how, right?” Eddie nodded and Prez shrugged, “How is easy to answer. We want to live together next year. Derrick’s a best friend and big brother rolled into one. Mike’s a talented guitarist, a good friend and funny as hell sometimes; he’s been Keith’s best friend for ten years. Putting ourselves into a place where we could live together, admissions were made all around. We have rules and limitations too. Intercourse is for partners only. None of us can see that ever changing. None of us want to be separated either. Friends you can really count on and trust aren’t easy to find. When you have them, all you want to do is keep them. Losing someone close; like my mom, or Mike’s dad, or Francis, is world shattering. We learned that the hard way. As a result, I’m showing Derrick and Mike that my world would change without them. We’re all showing each other the same thing.” Eddie nodded, “I guess what I don’t understand is how you can get past the intimate part without any problems?” Prez grinned, “Just like skinny dippin’, Eddie. After ya see a few erections, it’s no problem. The rest is a result of trust. We gained the trust the hard way during a fight at school.” Lifting his shirt, Prez showed Eddie the scar and explained, “It was me and Mike against three guys, until Keith and Derrick came to the rescue. What we said to each other, that night and over the next days, was more important than any kiss, hand-job or blowjob. Alone, the four of us joke about things we say while couples are having anal sex.” Eddie giggled, “What about the squishy noises and accidental farting?” Prez chuckled, “The squishy noises are nothing compared to what Keith and I are saying, or what Derrick and Mike are saying. Farting in bed is something we all deal with, every night, with our partners anyway. It’s just funnier.” Eddie shared, “Matt and me wish we had done something with Francis and Graham.” He scowled and sighed, “It’s not like we didn’t spend a lot of time together, but somehow we’re wishing something more was said or done.” Prez nodded, “I’d imagine so. Since I barely knew him, I obviously don’t feel that way, but I was devastated when I learned about the accident. You saw me, last week, fighting back tears when Matt told us Francis had died. All I’ll ever know about him is what I learn from his friends.” Eddie sighed, “I kissed Francis and he kissed me. We both knew where we were at, I guess. At first, it was Shaun, my best friend and big brother. During junior high, when Francis and I met, he became my best friend.” Prez smiled, “Be certain of where you and Francis were at, Eddie. Regrets suck. My best friends and I were on the sidelines. Francis’ best friends were in the huddle. All that remains to be seen now is how everything works out. The GSA club at school will make a big difference.” Starting to walk back to the driveway with Prez, Eddie giggled, “That’s gonna be so cool.” “Don’t kid yourself. It’s gonna be scary at times too,” Prez reminded. “What I hope to accomplish is separating the real radical homophobes from the rest of the student body. Keith, Derrick, Mike and I firmly believe that they’re more of a minority than gays and lesbians are. The difference being, they would hurt or kill us, where all we want is to choose who we love.” Matt silently joined Eddie and Prez. Ben, Graham and Gil moved closer to listen to what Prez was saying. “I’ve gotten a few e-mails about the GSA. We need a teacher to sponsor the club. With school support, we have the upper hand. Expect some homophobic cretins the first meeting or two. They’ll be surprised when they get a week’s principals detention for being jerks. Anything less than that and I’ll tell the GSA organization, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, PFLAG and my foster father, who happens to be a lawyer. Every gay, lesbian and straight supporter will be protected, I’ll guarantee that. The radicals will be punished, and if necessary, expelled and arrested; just like the guy that started our fight and knifed me.” The band finished playing Wonderful Tonight. Since Prez wasn’t joining them and had everyone’s attention, the band members came out of the garage. Eddie grinned, “You’re intense about it.” Prez nodded and sighed, “I had to deal with Keith thinking my guts would pour out of a three inch slice on my side. I still have to deal with my best friend, Derrick, freaking out and wanting Jake executed for assault and attempted murder.” Taking hold of Drew and Corey, Prez smiled, “My foster brother, friends and every supporter will be safe. If I can’t insure that, then I’m not the right person to preside over the meetings, which is what Keith, Derrick and Mike want me to do. I intend to share that responsibility with them. Near the end of the school year, we’ll vote for replacements to take over the job next year. That’s been the major problem at a lot of schools, ours included; the clubs starts, but falls apart and doesn’t get restarted again the next year. It’s got to be a permanent fixture, every school year, so we don’t have to be so scared of homophobes.” Eddie smiled, “I’m gonna be a junior and so is Graham.” Graham nodded, “I already talked with Ben about it, Prez. We’re there for every meeting.” Nodding, Ben giggled, “Now I know more about what it means.” Gil said, “Shaun and I will be at all the meetings too.” “Very cool,” Prez brightly smiled. “We’ll be participating in all sorts of activities, locally and nationwide, like the National Coming-Out Day, No Name-Calling Week and whatever happens to come up here in L.A.” Jessy interjected, “I can promise you at least two straight supporters, Nelson and me.” Keith nodded, “We’ll have more than that; I’d bet on Greg Kovac and others like him.” “Anyone that has a gay, lesbian or transgendered friend or family member,” Mike offered. Glancing around, Derrick checked, “Are we done for today?” Eddie said, “Play another song or two and let me get a few more band photos.” Returning to the garage, the band members started bouncing song ideas around. Eddie grabbed his Canon camera to take digital and film photos. The band decided to play Mary Jane’s Last Dance, with Derrick singing lead vocals and Shaun playing guitar and harmonica, and Bringin’ on the Heartbreak, because Shaun wanted to practice his guitar part. Eddie roamed around taking pictures, from the left side of the garage to the center and then to the right side. He stepped back, nearer to the mixer, and got some full band photos from the same three perspectives. While they got the gear stored away, Eddie shared, “I took a total of thirty portraits of the band members, and another twenty-four of the band, including the two funny ones from the start of the rehearsal. I’ll e-mail all the digital pictures as soon as I get home. I’ll have prints and digital versions of the others by next weekend’s rehearsal.” Prez asked, “What’s it gonna cost for the prints, Eddie?” “About twenty-five bucks for five-by-sevens,” Eddie answered. The next thing he knew, Prez, Derrick and Mike handed over ten bucks a piece. Mike smiled, “You’ve got the gig as our official band photographer, dude.” Eddie giggled, “You haven’t even seen the photos yet!” Keith smirked at Eddie then loudly said, “If anyone doesn’t think Eddie did an awesome job just dealing with us, speak up.” Almost at once Jessy, Prez, Derrick and Mike agreed; not one of them ever had a chance to feel anxious about having their photographs taken. Shaun added, “Eddie’s taken thousands of pictures the last few years. I can easily promise that every picture will look really good, given the subjects he dealt with.” Graham nodded and smiled, “Shaun lives right behind Eddie. If there’s anyone that knows Eddie better than I do, it’s Shaun.” Shaun grunted then smirked, “I know him, alright. He knows me too.” Ben, Eddie, Gil, Graham and Matt chuckled and giggled. Drew grinned, “I worked on the school newspaper and know sneaky photographers. What’ve you been doin’, Eddie?” “Nothing anyone could identify as you, except Corey,” Eddie giggled. Corey loudly giggled, “Yippee!” Jessy laughed, “Okay boys, I’m outta here! See ya Saturday,” and then grabbed her other clothes. She started for her car while everyone else said goodbye. Moving off to the side, Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick had a separate, soft conversation. Keith and Prez wanted to spend a few nights in Agoura Hills, since the siding contractors were waking them up. Mike and Derrick agreed, and then asked if Keith and Prez wanted to talk with Graham about his recent loss. Drew grinned at Corey and wondered, “What do you want pictures for?” Corey shrugged and giggled, “Ya never know.” Matt chuckled, “All dickie shots from Eddie’s perverted cameras are faceless.” “That’s right,” Eddie giggled, “it’s always the equipment.” Taking Gil’s hand, Shaun said, “Later dudes,” and started for his car. Everyone said goodbye to Gil and Shaun. Walking past Drew, Shaun chuckled, “It’s really the photographer that’s perverted.” Eddie cracked up. Drew nodded, “Yeah, I figured.” He told Corey, “You make sure that no one except you and I ever see any dick pics.” Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick went over to where Corey, Drew, Ben, Graham, Eddie and Matt were gathered. Eddie giggled, “Zip ‘em up and password protect the compressed file. That’s the best you can do under Windows.” Graham added, “It’s always a good idea for anything private anyway.” Mike asked Graham, “How’re ya feelin’, dude?” “I’m really good,” Graham smiled, and shifted closer to Ben, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. Wrapping an arm around Graham’s waist, Ben blushed and giggled. Prez smiled, “Regarding Francis and the dream, we mean.” “I couldn’t be happier,” Graham gushed. “How something so awful turned into something so hopeful so fast, I’ll never figure out.” Keith nodded, “That’s why we brought it up.” Derrick softly told Graham, “What you just said is sort o’ what Mike and Prez figured out from their losses.” Mike assured, “You’ll learn that there is nothin’ to fear in life or in death. Passing over is exactly that; another change, from one existence to another. The love never dies.” Ben smiled at his four friends and offered, “I told Graham exactly what happened that led to you dudes encircling me. Believe me, if it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have known what to say or how to act with Graham, in the park last week.” Graham prodded, “So you dudes believe in spirit visitations?” “Abso-tively,” Mike chuckled. Prez nodded, “Definitely.” Keith chuckled, “I have to, because it’s been apparent a few times.” “Same here,” Derrick grinned. Graham sighed, “All the time Francis was in Intensive Care in a coma, I think he was stuck; not quite alive or dead.” Matt nodded, “You were stuck too, bro. A couple of times you wished that you could swap places with Francis. Do you remember what we did each time you said that?” Graham blushed and grinned, “I’ll never forget it. Thanks for that too. I regret saying it, obviously.” Locking eyes with Eddie, Ben softly reminded, “We need to have a private chat yet too. I don’t want to forget anything.” Graham assured, “As soon as we get home, teddy bear. Matt and I will go upstairs and let you two dudes talk.” Noticing uncertain glances between Derrick, Mike, Keith and Prez, Graham proudly beamed, “Part of Ben’s one-on-one chat with Francis this morning was something meant specifically for Eddie. The things Ben told me make me sure it wasn’t a dream. Ben’s told me it’s not a secret; it’s more like another present I’m anxious to open.” “I’ve had a few of those with my mom,” Prez smiled. Mike nodded, “Me too, with my dad.” Matt asked, “How can there be nothing to fear?” Prez replied, “When you’ve lost someone close, nothing is worse, so what’s left to be afraid of?” Mike added, “There are tons of things to worry about, but when you put it in perspective, the worst things are losses of other people. Everything else really doesn’t amount to a whole hell of a lot.” Matt checked, “None of you are freaked over the dream, or Ben being visited by Francis?” Everyone shook their heads, even Drew and Corey. Derrick offered, “What makes it freaky is how we’ve been raised; with Halloween and ghost stories that are nothing like the real thing. The last time Mike dreamed of his dad, he was so happy, there was no containing him.” Keith agreed, “The worst things in life are losses of life.” Drew piped up, “Even a dog’s life matters. After we lost our first dog, our family kept seeing him around the house, out the corner of our eyes. We’d look again, and gone.” Eddie smiled at Graham and reminded, “Did Matt or I argue about putting pictures away last week?” Graham shook his head and Eddie giggled, “You’re here with us, bro. You can’t live in the past and present at the same time.” Prez shared, “Trying to manage both is really where the brain gets all screwed up. I lived that way for about a month too, Graham, so don’t think you’re any different than anyone else.” Slowly shaking his head, Graham chuckled, “Ya know, when Francis was around, we didn’t know what to make of the four of you. Because of that and a year’s difference in ages, we didn’t make efforts I can see we should’ve made.” “Don’t feel guilty about it, dude,” Mike quickly said. Ben nodded and giggled, “I told you not to use the word ‘should’.” Derrick chuckled, “Bonus points for the teddy bear,” and Ben blushed, causing everyone to snigger. “My bad,” Graham chuckled. Eddie checked with Mike, “You and Derrick are off work tonight?” Mike and Derrick nodded. Eddie smiled, “Come over tonight then, around nine and bring a guitar.” Ben asked Graham, “Will we be there?” “Maybe,” Graham shrugged, and then reminded, “If dad gets the car today, we’ll be out driving around.” Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick all excitedly wondered which car Graham was going to get. Graham grinned, “We’re most concerned with safety, and it’s gotta last into college, so a Volvo V70 wagon.” “That’s cool, dude,” Derrick chuckled. “We knew you weren’t getting a Firebird.” “In my dreams,” Graham smiled. Backing away, Eddie giggled, “Don’t let Beanie drive.” Mooing erupted and Eddie was quickly captured by Ben and Graham. Eddie was easily lifted off the ground. Since they were outside, Eddie got to keep his shorts and underwear on. Witnessing their first tickle torture, Corey, Drew, Keith and Prez roared as Matt abused his partner then carried the hysterical remains to his car. Gathering Eddie’s camera gear, Ben and Graham waved then got in the backseat of the Maxima. In moments, the car pulled away. It wasn’t yet one o’clock when Corey, Drew, Keith and Prez gave goodbye hugs to Mike and Derrick. Getting in the 4Runner and closing the back door, Corey immediately giggled, “What was all that dickie talk? I’ve heard dick, cock, pud and a dozen other variations, but never so much dickie, until today.” Keith chuckled, “It’s gotta be Eddie, Matt and Graham. Even Shaun was saying it in the garage.” Starting the engine, Prez looked into the rearview mirror and grinned, “Are you gonna take your clothes off and let Eddie get pics of your dickie, Drew?” Keith evilly sniggered and Corey cracked up. Prez pulled away from the curb. Drew smirked, “If I have to see Keith’s for the three-hundred-and-twentieth time, I guess so.” “You’re exaggerating, bro,” Keith sniggered. Drew hummed and then figured, “Four years, at least twice a week for a while, and almost every day the last week of July. I’ll bet I’m not far off.” “It must be like looking in a mirror,” Corey giggled. Drew grinned and nodded, “Now that Keith’s got pubes again.” Prez and Corey cracked up. Sadly shaking his head, Keith grumbled, “Now you’re talkin’ about dickies and pubes. Two months ago, I never heard a word about either.” Drew grinned, “After the last week at Agoura Hills, I’ll generally have to be very careful where I am, how I act and what I say.” Turning in his seat slightly, Keith told Drew, “We’re heading back to Agoura Hills after we drop you off at Corey’s. The siding contractors woke us at eight this morning. John’s gonna try and spend a few nights at Tommy’s too.” Drew nodded, “Cool. Remember the self defense class starts at seven tomorrow night.” Prez said, “We’ll pick you guys up after supper, around six-thirty.” Corey asked, “Should we bother bringing boardies?” Prez answered, “Only if you want to. From what Eddie and Matt were saying, I don’t think anyone will be wearing anything.” Corey wordlessly checked with Drew. Drew shrugged, “It doesn’t matter, Cor. I’m not worried about it; you don’t need to be either.” Corey hummed then giggled, “What do you want for lunch, stud?” “Don’t start, Cor,” Drew sniggered. Corey playfully rambled, “Salads with carrots and cucumbers, followed by fettuccini Alfredo, and then ice cream with chocolate syrup…” Drew unbuckled his safety belt and dove for Corey’s belly. While Drew and Corey played in the backseat, Keith wondered, “What are we doing for lunch, baby?” Prez shrugged, “Let’s see what Derrick and Mike are planning. Or we can just stop at Burger King?” A few moments later, Prez pulled along the curb in front of Corey’s house. Keith looked back and grinned, “You’re home, dudes.” Prez teased, “Go get your carrots and cucumbers ready for the salad.” Corey cracked up. Drew grinned at Prez. “What?” Prez chuckled, “Did you think that would get past me without a remark?” “You’re not the only ones who’ve had fun making salads,” Keith smiled. Drew huffed and got out of the 4Runner. Corey giggled, “We’ll see ya tomorrow night,” and then followed Drew out of the car. Rolling down his window, Prez joked, “Don’t forget, lots of ranch dressing on the cucumbers and carrots.” Spinning around and seeing Prez’s cheeky grin, Drew groaned through his giggles, “We never should’ve had sex around them.” Corey howled laughing. Prez pulled away from the curb and started for home, to pick up their backpacks and Rush before heading to Agoura Hills. At the Carleton residence, Graham and Matt went inside, leaving Ben and Eddie outside. Ben grinned, “Francis wanted me to tell you about the missing picture. It’s not missing; he’s got it, to continually show his parents that they did have a gay son, who had a boyfriend.” Eddie loudly laughed, “Omigod! He’s still the same as ever.” Ben nodded and giggled, “According to him, that photo’s been touched. He said that his parents can shred it or burn it to ashes, but it will keep popping up. There will be other times, where it's not that specific photo, but his parents will see Francis with Graham.” “That answers so much,” Eddie giggled. “I knew we took that friggin’ thing out of the house. That’s gonna drive his folks nuts.” Ben sighed and smiled, “He showed me a lot, Eddie. I got to see Francis, you, Graham, Rick, Matt and Shaun, the first day of Junior high school. I thought you and Matt were the same age.” Shaking his head, Eddie grinned, “There’s about seven months between us. I was born January twelfth, 1982. Matt was born May twentieth, 1981. My mom and Graham’s mom were pregnant at the same time. I’m five days older than Graham.” Ben offered, “There’s eight months between Graham and me. My birthday’s April 4, 1981. So I’m about a month older than Matt.” Eddie giggled, “We have a lot in common, at least as far as our boyfriends are concerned.” Ben nodded, “More than that. I love music, you love photographs; they’re both arts. Considering the poems and drawings Francis did, I guess he and I would likely have been friendly too.” Eddie smiled, “Maybe those two things are part of why we hit it off so well from the start.” Ben wondered, “Did you and Graham… ya know… alone?” Shaking his head, Eddie giggled, “I think because we practically grew up together, there’s never been sexual attraction. I’ve seen his dickie hundreds of times and never had the urge to touch it, never mind play with it. He’s never touched me either. We’ve kissed, but not French kissed. You don’t need to worry about me or Matt, bro. We’ve both looked around, tried it with others before we committed, but for over a year and a half, we’re together.” Ben confirmed, “Valentine’s Day, right?” Eddie nodded and giggled, “That’s Matt. He’s so romantic alone with me. I can look past stuff that makes us different, because he’s so sweet.” Ben giggled, “I haven’t found a side of Graham that I don’t like. I think I’ve seen a lot of different emotions from him already; anger, sadness, seriousness, playfulness…” Eddie interrupted, “When did he get angry?” “Yesterday morning,” Ben answered, “from a nightmare about the funeral. He’s disgusted with his own imagination. I love his imagination, so I reminded him it wasn’t real, and that everything worked out the way it was supposed to.” “I went to the wake and funeral,” Eddie softly admitted. “They sucked. Everybody was in shock, I think. It was a closed casket, because of the accident. Francis’ sisters cried the most.” Remembering the sisters from his dream, Ben softly recalled, “Mandy and Rachael?” Wide-eyed because Ben knew the names, Eddie nodded, “One a few years older, Amanda, that graduated in June, and one a little more than year younger, Rachael. He has an older brother too.” Eddie wondered, “Is there anything more Francis wanted you to tell me?” Ben shrugged, “The wind through the trees last night was him,” and then smiled, “He really loved Graham.” Eddie smiled, “I know it, but Graham’s just as good now with you, bro. He’s still pulling himself back together, but don’t ever allow yourself to believe Graham doesn’t love you. When I see you two together, I see two dudes that need and want each other, like every other couple.” Ben smiled, “Francis loved you too, Eddie. I can’t figure out why he wanted me to pass a message to you.” “That’s easy,” Eddie giggled. “You wouldn’t know the McLoughlins if you tripped over them, but I do. Your dream was more than imagination. Francis told you things you couldn’t possibly know or imagine. Now I know you were visited, like Graham knows.” “What I said about the picture is for only you,” Ben giggled. “He said Matt would flip and that Graham will find out when Francis’ parents make amends.” “Perfect!” Eddie giggled. “Matt definitely would freak over an indestructible photograph. He believes in a different way than me. For me, everything alive is a miracle; from leaves on trees to the birds in the sky to the bugs on the ground. It’s a miracle when any two people find and choose to love each other too.” Ben nodded and giggled, “Let’s go inside.” “I need smooches,” Eddie giggled, and started for the house. He and Ben walked inside to hear Graham’s and Matt’s voices from the kitchen. They followed the sound. Ben went to Graham asking, “I thought you were going upstairs?” “It’s lunch time, teddy bear,” Graham smiled, and stole a quick kiss. After sharing two tender kisses with Eddie, Matt added, “And we needed to piss.” Stealing another kiss from Matt, Eddie nodded and went into the lower level bathroom, only partially closing the door. Ben asked, “What’s for lunch?” Graham replied, “There are burgers in the broiler,” and quickly asked, “Do you like cheese on your burgers?” Ben nodded, “I like all kinds of cheese.” Going to the fridge, Graham hunted around then said, “We’ve got American, cheddar and Swiss. What’s your favorite, Ben?” Ben smiled, “Cheddar’s my favorite, but I think Swiss would be good this time.” Matt said, “Cheddar for me, dude.” From the bathroom, Eddie shouted, “Swiss for me too.” Pulling two packages of cheeses out and putting them on the counter, Graham then peeked in the broiler. He closed the broiler door then snuggled up to Ben and shivered, “Brrr!” “Grrr?” Ben giggled. Into Ben’s ear, Graham whispered, “It’s almost your turn.” Ben giggled and watched a wide grin spread across Matt’s face. “Turn me into a grizzly and it might be your turn again,” Ben whispered into Graham’s ear. Quickly pulling back, Graham searched Ben’s expression and eyes before evilly snickering and nodding; proof that if it worked out that way, Graham wouldn’t mind in the least. Matt chuckled, “You two are bad.” Graham sniggered, “We’re very, very good.” Matt teased, “Who’s better?” Ben blushed and giggled. Graham smiled, “My teddy bear.” “We’ll have to see about that,” Ben giggled and flushed redder. “Eddie, get your bubble butt out here,” Matt loudly laughed. Eddie giggled, “Just washin’ my hands. Ben, you need to silence your boyfriend.” Graham bounced his eyebrows, enticing Ben to land a deep, passionate kiss. They were still kissing moments later when Eddie stepped out of the bathroom, giggling “Let the making out begin.” Matt picked Eddie up, parked his butt on the island counter and moved in closer. Through dime-slot eyes, Graham pushed Ben against a pantry door, knowing that his lover was an awesome kisser and knew just how to play the tongue teasing games. He knew he had to check the burgers again, but didn’t want to break the kiss because he could feel Ben’s erection against his own. Graham held the kiss many more moments, until Ben whimpered because his cock was uncomfortably trapped, pointing over his right hip. Breaking the kiss, Graham gasped, “Omigod, Ben. What awesome kisses.” Behind him, Matt and Eddie softly chortled into their lip lock. Watching Ben closely, Graham dizzily stepped back. “The burgers,” Ben softly giggled. Shaking off the wooziness, Graham nodded and chuckled, “I’m glad I didn’t decide to make hot dogs or sausages.” Ben giggled. Eddie and Matt were forced to break away from each other and laugh. Opening the broiler door, Graham quickly slid his left hand into an oven mitt and grabbed a spatula to flip the burgers. Graham chortled, “Well done, I’d say.” Matt teased, “Are you serving hockey pucks again?” “Not intentionally,” Graham sniggered. Pushing off the pantry door, Ben looked in and smiled, “They’re not black, puddin’.” “Dark brown,” Graham grinned. “It’s Ben’s fault.” Surprised, Ben’s mouth dropped open then he giggled, “That’s one.” Eddie wondered, “One of what?” Closing the broiler door and setting the timer for three minutes, Graham chuckled, “Grizzly button presses.” “Get him, bro,” Eddie giggled, but was quickly silenced by Matt’s mouth. Ben waited until Graham put the spatula down and took the oven mitt off then swung Graham against the pantry door and resumed making out. Ben’s fingers ran through Graham’s hair and traced the edges of his ears. Shivering, Graham slid both hands into the back pockets of Ben’s shorts, pulling Ben against him. Not wanting to make another mess, Ben softly grunted negatively. Graham hummed and gently closed his mouth. Ben pulled back and curiously tilted his head. Graham smiled, “Wait here for a minute? I’ll be right back.” Ben nodded and stepped back. Graham took off through the house and raced upstairs. Matt broke away from Eddie, asking, “What’s goin’ on?” Ben shrugged, “I’m not sure what he’s doing.” Flying back down the stairs, Graham quickly returned to the kitchen, chuckling “Close your eyes, Ben.” Nodding, Ben did as he was told. With Eddie and Matt watching, Graham moved behind Ben and showed his friends the necklace he had concealed in his hand. Dangling off a silver chain were two silver medallions; one was a spiral shape and the other the Carleton Family crest. Graham opened the clasp and then put it on his partner, softly saying, “One says you’re mine and the other signifies infinite turns, as in our lives together.” Reaching a hand up to feel the chain and two medallions hanging off his neck, Ben smiled and turned to face Graham. Ben pulled Graham with him into the bathroom to see in the mirror and wept happy tears. Graham held Ben close against him and assured, “I’m done searching, Ben. There’s no point. I could never find anyone better.” Through his tears, Ben softly asked, “Did this belong to Francis?” Shaking his head, Graham answered, “Nope, they were mine, gifts from my grandparents, but now they’re yours.” The oven alarm began beeping. Graham placed a soft kiss on Ben’s neck then softly prompted, “Today’s a very happy day. Wash the tears off your face, my love.” Ben nodded and turned the water on. Graham stepped into the kitchen. Matt chuckled, “You never stop surprising us.” Heading for the broiler, Graham shrugged, “I have to admit, all the best parts of Beanie, Ben has in abundance, plus so much more, some of which only he and I will know about.” From the bathroom, Ben heard and loudly growled. Eddie, Graham and Matt cracked up. Heading around the counter, Matt went to help Graham with lunch. Eddie hopped off the counter and went to the open bathroom door, watching Ben dry off his face and hands. “It looks awesome on you, bro,” Eddie giggled. Ben smiled, “I’ll never take this off.” “I know the feeling,” Eddie giggled, and moved closer to Ben. Pulling his T-shirt collar down slightly, Eddie showed Ben his gold chain and whispered, “It was my first anniversary present. I lost it in my pool once. I almost had a heart attack finding it. Will that slip over your head?” Frightened, Ben quickly checked, trying several ways to pull the chain up, but it always stopped at his ears or chin. He leaned forward to have Eddie try, softly explaining, “I could never replace his family crest medal.” Not able to get the chain over Ben’s head, Eddie shared, “Never wear it at the beach, bro. Leave it in the car or home. Lost in the ocean is gone forever.” Wide-eyed, Ben nodded and gave Eddie a hug. They stepped out of the bathroom. Standing at the island counter across from Graham and dowsing his cheeseburger in ketchup, Matt smirked, “Just in time.” Graham looked over his shoulder to watch Ben approach his side, where a plate was already set with a cheeseburger and a pile of potato chips. All of a sudden, Ben wasn’t the slightest bit hungry. He rested his forehead on Graham’s shoulder, contentedly sighing. Matt checked with Eddie, “What were you two saying in there?” Preparing his burger with an over abundance of sliced pickle chips, Eddie grinned, “Remember when I lost the chain you gave me?” “Yeah,” Matt chuckled, “you were still blue from all the diving when I got there.” Nodding, Eddie giggled, “I reminded Ben to take his chain off at the beach. Searching the bottom of a pool for an hour is one thing; the ocean is lost forever.” Graham grinned, “Teddy bear?” Ben curiously hummed. “Eat, my love, before your burger gets cold,” Graham smiled. Lifting his head, Ben only covered his burger with the bun top and took a bite. On the counter, between the four plates, were four cans of soda, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, Thousand Island dressing and the jar of pickle chips. Noticing three grinning faces, Ben raised his eyebrows and continued chewing. Gesturing at all the condiments, Eddie wondered, “You don’t want anything on it, bro?” Shaking his head, Ben soon swallowed and smiled, “I asked for Swiss cheese and don’t want to drown it out. A plain burger or with American cheese, I’ll doctor with a little ketchup.” He chomped another big bite out of his burger. Graham grinned, “You’re a really light eater.” Ben nodded and had another wicked thought cross his mind. Matt and Eddie saw Ben blushing, and they chuckled around the food in their mouths. Locking eyes with Ben, Matt swallowed and laughed, “What’re you thinking that’s got your face ketchup red?” “Secrets are generally not allowed,” Eddie giggled. With his mouth full, Graham took one look at Ben and sputtered. Ben moved behind Graham to hide his blush, swallowed and then giggled, “This is only an appetizer for the main course.” Eddie, Graham and Matt roared. Turning to face Ben, Graham chuckled, “I already clued Matt in. We’ve got stuff to do and so do they. We’re having lunch here and now to keep our strength for this afternoon.” Eddie giggled, “Why do you think rehearsal ended early today, Ben?” Ben shrugged, “Not for us, I hope.” Shaking his head, Eddie giggled, “Prez was wearing a green shirt. I had all of them standing in front of that evergreen tree, so Keith gave his shirt to Prez. Before Prez even put the shirt on, they were horny and getting naughty.” Matt smiled, “We do all the same stuff, dude. With empty houses, we’re free to have as much fun alone as we want. Don’t be embarrassed about wanting alone time. The reason is hanging from your neck. We’re gonna make love, so are you, so are all of the other dudes that were there.” Returning to his burger, Ben muttered, “So much for eating slow.” Eddie and Matt cracked up. Graham hung off Ben in muffled hysterics. Slightly less embarrassed, Ben helplessly giggled. As soon as they composed themselves, burgers and potato chips were inhaled, cans of soda downed and the four of them raced around the kitchen to clean up the mess. The broiler pan was the only thing left in the sink soaking when Eddie and then Matt hugged Ben and Graham. Eddie and Matt left through the backdoor. Graham closed and locked it behind them. When he turned around, Ben was already racing through the house, giggling his ass off, to get to Graham’s bedroom first. Taking off, Graham mooed then laughed, “I’m gonna getchya!” “Hooray!” Ben giggled, already halfway up the flight of stairs. Ben stopped at the top of the staircase, took his shirt off then threw it at Graham as he flew up two steps at a time. Hurrying down the hall and unbuttoning his shorts, Ben cheered, “I can’t believe you gave me a family heirloom, and in front of Eddie and Matt.” Not quite catching up, Graham cackled, “I love you, teddy bear. Now I get to show you.” Running up onto the bed, Ben pushed his shorts and boxers down then kicked them toward the doorway at Graham, giggling “I don’t want to be a total virgin another day.” Tossing Ben’s clothes aside and taking his own shirt off, Graham promised, “Not another hour, my love.” He closed and locked his door then advanced and stepped up on his bed. Ben wrapped Graham in his arms and gave away tender kisses, then knelt down to take Graham’s shorts and boxer-briefs off. Unbelievably to Graham, his lover was taking his sweet time getting only the shorts pushed down, feeling up Graham’s butt and legs, like they were wondrous and Ben had never touched those body parts before. Ben then took longer, mouthing Graham’s growing erection through cotton cloth while caressing Graham’s legs. A little at a time, Ben tugged the underwear down until he had no other choice except to stop munching to pull the elastic waistband forward and let Graham’s stiffy spring free. Graham’s hard penis was beautiful to Ben. At that moment, the foreskin covered only the glans ridge. At the tip there was a shiny droplet of precum waiting to be savored. Ben gently brought his tongue forth for a taste. Smiling down, Graham saw a thin string of fluid stretch between his cock and Ben’s tongue. Before it broke, Ben moved forward and lapped it up then gently sucked the tip, pulling foreskin forward with his hand, covering the head. Thinking of that morning’s frantic sex, Graham felt a little sad that he had hurried everything along. Now Ben was reminding Graham, with actions alone, that making love often needed to be slow and fun; it had been that way for the last five days. Graham realized his teddy bear was showing him how he wanted his first time to be. Becoming delirious, Graham sighed, “You’re so awesome, teddy bear.” Holding on tightly to Graham and smiling up, Ben softly admitted, “I’ve never wanted anything more than you. This, what we’re about to do, will seal what we’ve been feeling for days.” Nodding, Graham gently reminded, “You need to be relaxed, my love.” “I think I am. I can’t help being anxious and excited though.” Graham softly encouraged, “Let me lay down with you.” Ben nodded and shuffled back then lay down on the bed so that there was space to his right side for Graham. Kicking his shorts and undies off to the floor, Graham took his position. Ben nervously giggled, “What’re you planning?” Searching for the lube under the pillow, Graham grinned, “I’m gonna get you nice and calm, so you can ride my dickie and it feels good.” He displayed the lube and reminded, “Just like our first time fingering each other, only this time, I won’t touch your dickie at all. It’s best when you cum during the ride.” Spreading his legs, Ben smiled, “Like you did this morning. Why’d you want me to cum first?” “Because you were so awesome,” Graham chuckled, and reached two lubed fingers down between Ben’s legs. Placing angel kisses around Ben’s torso while his fingers massaged and rubbed, Graham shared, “You felt wonderful inside me, teddy bear. Your first time in me was incredible. We lasted pretty long, considering it was our first time. It’ll get better with time and practice.” Ben giggled, “More practice? Somehow I don’t see this like guitar lessons.” Graham chuckled, “I hope not. We’ve got three hours of practice ahead of us, with a few short breaks in between. If we’re lucky, we can each get through all four positions I showed you.” Ben giggled, “When do we reach virtuoso level?” “I have no idea,” Graham loudly laughed. “We’d have to check with Eddie and Matt or Mike and Derrick; they’ve been practicing the longest.” Certain it would be a long damn time before he asked either couple, Ben cracked up. Feeling a loosening, Graham inserted a fingertip. Gasping and then cooing, Ben concentrated and loosened up more. Graham only went as far as the second knuckle and then remained still. Ben softly prompted, “More puddin’.” Wiggling a second finger in beside the first, Graham checked Ben’s expression. Locking eyes with his lover, Ben smiled and nodded. Always watching Ben, Graham slowly slid both fingers all the way in then twisted his wrist and fingers. Ben purred, “So nice.” Resting his head on Ben’s belly, Graham sighed, “Always for you, my love.” For a few moments, Graham moved his fingers only slightly in and out. Soon, Ben’s hips started bucking. Before losing control and sucking Ben to orgasm, Graham asked, “Do you feel ready to try?” “Yeah, I’m pretty sure,” Ben smiled. Carefully removing his fingers, Graham instructed, “Remember to adjust your position and take me slow. You have all the control until you lower down on me and give me control.” Ben reached for the lube. Graham gave Ben a relatively short passionate kiss then lay down. Rolling to one side, Ben got Graham’s bone prepared. Those talented fingers soon had Graham giggling and holding Ben’s hand motionless. Wide-eyed, Ben giggled and released Graham’s stiffy then gave Graham a playful medium kiss. Moving into position over Graham, Ben reached back and down, pointing Graham’s bone at the ceiling. He shifted back a little at a time as Graham had done that morning. Feeling his lover’s erection between his cheeks and just outside his hole, Ben checked with Graham. Nodding, Graham smiled, “I think we’re good.” Lowering down, Ben felt only the head penetrate. It was so big and hot, Ben thought, nothing at all like the cold dong. Quicker than Graham expected, Ben lowered all the way down, closing his eyes and softly whimpering. Graham worried, “Are you okay?” Arching his back and raising his arms, as if he was stretching, Ben opened his eyes and warmly smiled down at his lover, then wiggled his butt further down. Rising up for the first time, Ben felt emptiness and slammed down, wiggling his tush around Graham’s pelvis. Graham checked, “Ben, are you okay?” Smiling widely, Ben rapidly nodded, “Grr-rrr-rrr!” “Ooo-migod!” Graham sniggered. Now knowing what this was all about, Ben began riding Graham, writhing around, and speeding up. After about two incredible minutes, during which time Ben only whimpered and moaned, Graham tried to slow Ben down by taking hold of Ben’s cock. Ben gasped, “Yeah!” and went berserk, riding up and down, thrusting his hips forward and back then grinding down to feel all of Graham deep inside him. Ben now knew that there was a connection between his butt and dick. As good as the play time with Graham and the dong had been, Graham’s cock was so much better. Barely a minute later, Ben came hard, spraying all over Graham’s chest and torso, but barely slowed his ride at all. Firmly holding Ben’s thighs, Graham tried to slow his crazed grizzly and prompted him to lean forward. Not hearing his lover, Ben discovered leaning back was so good too. Getting nowhere except closer to orgasm, Graham madly snickered, planted his feet on the mattress and began thrusting up. With the first bounce, Ben whimpered then sighed, “Omigod, yes Graham.” Gesturing with his finger for Ben to lower down, Graham loudly laughed “Come here.” Ben started to comply, but only got as far as resting on his arms, hovering over Graham and chanting “Yeah! I want it!” with every hard thrust into his butt. At first, Ben thought he was imagining the feeling of expansion in his ass, but the more Graham drove in and out, the more Ben was certain it wasn’t his imagination. Moments later, Graham grunted and pushed up with every ounce of strength he had. At the warm wetness inside him, Ben cooed and straightened up, pushing Graham’s hips down with the intention to keep every possible millimeter of hot flesh inside him for as long as possible. The phone rang, however neither heard it. Incredibly to Graham, Ben leaned backward onto his arms and continued his ride. Thrashing at the sensations overwhelming his sensitive organ, Graham tried to focus and speak. However, Ben was completely delirious, loudly telling Graham how awesome and alive he felt. Quite unexpectedly, Ben’s hips convulsed and he whimpered, “It’s gonna happen. It’s beautiful. Please… more… oh please?” Doing the only thing he could think of during this experience, Graham thrust up. Ben cried, “Yeah puddin’, more.” Graham dizzily thrust up again and again and again. It was bordering on painful, his dickie was so spent and sensitive, but what he was giving was more than enough for Ben. A second orgasm surged through Ben. Graham watched in quiet amazement as it pulsed out and landed on his belly. This had never happened with Francis. Ben leaned all the way down and repeatedly kissed Graham. More incredibly, Graham couldn’t control his own lurching body and continued long enough to have a second dizzying orgasm. Feeling the expansions and more warmth inside him, Ben breathlessly cooed until Graham’s hips dropped to the mattress. Regaining consciousness, Ben felt Graham’s tuckered out wiener slip out of him and panted, “That was way better than any toy, puddin’.” Blinking fast and trying to focus, Graham began chuckling. Lifting his head, Ben smiled down at Graham, giggling, “That was fun. Let’s do it again.” Cracking up, Graham pulled Ben down again and held on tight. There were so many thoughts racing through his mind. Neither he nor Francis had ever had a complete prostate orgasm, but Ben just did. Neither Graham nor Francis had ever kept going after they each had had orgasms, but Ben did and seemed to enjoy the second more than the first. Graham also thought, ‘These are our first times. Earlier today, I probably would’ve had a prostate orgasm if Ben hadn’t started beating my meat. If we keep up like this, one or both of us will likely die very happy.’ He said none of that to Ben though. He simply smiled, “You’re my love, forever, Ben.” Running his fingers through Graham’s hair, Ben giggled, “You must know I’ll always stay with you, puddin’. The decision was made Thursday morning before we showered. Each day since, we’ve gotten closer.” Nodding agreement, Graham grinned, “You surprised me again, ya know?” Ben blushed, hid his face and giggled, “I know, but I couldn’t make myself stop, and you stayed hard too, so I had no reason to stop.” Graham chortled, “Oh no, teddy bear; you put that blush back in your past. I had the best sex in my life twice today, with you. I know what it means to me, but what does it mean to you?” Ben shrugged, “We’re good together, but we always have been, Graham. You talk and I listen. I talk and you listen. If one of us wants to rest or play or dance or make love, that’ll always be enough.” Satisfied with that answer, Graham grinned, “You know what we need to do now?” Ben snarled, “We’re stuck together and have to wash up a little.” Graham nodded and evilly snickered, “Then we come back here and fill my heels with helium.” “If that’s what you want,” Ben giggled, and tried to push up slowly. For a few moments, Graham grunted and Ben squeaked as skin and hair broke free of each splotch of dried semen. Giggling at their own foolishness, they went to Graham’s bathroom for a quick sponge bath. During that little bit of intimacy, Graham told Ben that he had not only found a good lover, but the best ever; an enthusiastic one that could keep up with and surpass Graham’s every expectation. Ben reminded Graham of almost every sexual experience they had shared over five days and turned the table, insisting that Graham was the patient teacher almost all the time. Arriving at Doug’s and Brian’s house in Agoura Hills, Keith carried their lunch from Burger King while Prez got Rush and their backpacks. Having forgotten to ask Mike for the spare key, Keith knocked on the door. A moment later, Derrick opened the door and waved Keith inside asking, “Do you dudes want to jam or have sex before going to work?” Keith shrugged, “We’ve got two hours. We can probably do both.” Rush galloped inside with Prez not far behind. Derrick told Prez, “Mike figured out Zeppelin’s Dancing Days, bro.” “Cool,” Prez smiled, “that’s the tune Keith likes.” Coming down the hall from the studio, Mike said, “All the gear’s powered up. Dee and I will get the drums and rhythm guitar tracks started while you dudes eat.” Pulling food out of the sack and onto the table, Keith asked, “I’ll need to hear it a couple more times before I attempt the vocals.” Heading to the living room, Mike nodded, “Cool. You can listen to it low while you eat and we record the tracks.” Mike stopped at the entertainment center, pulled the CD out of the rack and put it in the player. In moments the tune was softly playing. Mike went to the table, grinning, “It’s set to repeat the track until you get sick of it.” Already eating, Keith and Prez nodded. Mike and Derrick went down the hall and closed the studio door. Prez said to Keith, “Ya know, someone’s eventually gonna ask us to play Stairway to Heaven. Would you consider learning it, babe?” Keith shrugged and swallowed then answered, “I like the first three-quarters of the song, but that last hard rock bit blows the whole tune to hell. It’s like a nice dream suddenly turning into a nightmare.” Prez nodded, “It’s that switch up that most people love. After twenty-five years, that song still makes top ten lists.” Keith remembered, “We only tried it that one time, with Derrick singing,” and then asked, “Do you think our band could do it justice?” Prez rambled, “Jessy could handle the opening flute part on her synthesizer. Shaun could play the acoustic guitar part. Yeah, I think our band could easily play it.” “If the band as a whole wants to,” Keith mumbled past some French fries. “Mike gets pretty bored with it, but it is what people will want to hear,” Prez muttered. Music from the studio drowned out the sound from the stereo almost completely. Keith rolled his eyes and grinned. Prez loudly giggled, “I’ll see if there’s a pair of headphones so you can hear the stereo.” Keith smirked, “What gets me is that as loud as a drum set and amplifier is, we still need a P.A. system that makes everything even louder. At John’s party, we had everything adjusted so the drums and vocals were generally loudest. At the frolics, we had the old P.A. system cranked, but Jerry said he could barely hear us.” “A two-hundred-fifty watt P.A. system compared to one thousand watts feeding only the sub-woofers of our new system,” Prez mumbled around his food. Prez swallowed then grinned, “Plus another seven-hundred-fifty watts for the two main cabinets and two two-hundred watt amps for the four monitors. If we wanted to play for about two thousand people, we’d need to double the amps and speakers running as mains. We can do a fair amount of expansion with the system we have. First, we have to get the things Doug and Brian recommended.” “Mike’s got the old P.A. system up for sale in the L.A. Times,” Keith reminded. “It’ll sell, babe,” Prez assured. “The quicker the better,” Keith sighed. Reaching across the table to take Keith’s hand, Prez smiled, “Don’t worry about it. Derrick will pay me back well before we need to worry about income taxes. Selling the old P.A. will just make it happen faster. Derrick’s not forgotten and neither has Mike, and we’re set for the school dances. The goal now is to play well and keep getting better with each performance. I have another idea, you might like to hear.” Grinning mischievously, Keith chuckled, “If we do that first, before recording…” “Not that!” Prez laughed. “What then?” “Well, at M.I., you can concentrate primarily on engineering, but there will be other people we’ll meet that can help you and all of us learn to sing better. It’s matter of sharing what we learn with new friends.” Keith nodded, “Effectively killing two birds with one stone.” “It’s an idea easily executed,” Prez mumbled around some fries. “I expect that stuff we learn will be shared between the four of us. Shaun still hasn’t said whether he’ll join us. Jessy’s considering M.I. too, but while she’s attending college, so her time will be split. It would be great if all six of us were on the same track for another year or two beyond high school.” Music from the studio ended. Keith could again hear the original Led Zeppelin recording playing in the living room. Finished eating, Keith and Prez tossed their trash then went to the living room to concentrate on the song. Mike and Derrick walked out of the studio, down the hall and into the living room. Since Keith was concentrating on the lyrics and the song, Prez softly explained, “Once you two started recording, we couldn’t hear the stereo at all.” Nodding, Derrick and Mike went to the kitchen to get something to drink. At the end of the second time listening to the track, Keith stood and went to the stereo. He turned it up slightly so he could hear himself singing. The song restarted on the CD player. Holding the page of lyrics, Keith started swaying with the music then sang; Dancing days are here again as the summer evenings grow I got my flower, I got my power, I got a woman who knows. I said it's alright. You know it's alright - I guess it's all in my heart You'll be my only, my one and only. Is that the way it should start? Crazy ways are evident, in the way that you're wearing your clothes Sippin' booze is precedent as the evening starts to glow. You know it's alright. I said it's alright - You know it's all in my heart You'll be my only, my one and only. Is that the way it should start? Dig You told your mamma I'd get you home but you didn't say that I got no car I saw a lion he was standing alone with a tadpole in a jar. You know it's alright. I said it's alright - I guess it's all in my heart, heart, heart You'll be my only, my one and only. Is that the way it should start? So Dancing days are here again as the summer evenings grow You are my flower, you are my power, you are my woman who knows. I said it's alright. You know it's alright - I know it's all in my heart You'll be my only, my one and only. Is that the way it should start? I know it isn't Derrick, Mike and Prez clapped enthusiastically. Keith wanted to run through it one more time with the stereo and did so. Then they went back to the studio. Already recorded were drums and a guitar part. Prez picked up Doug’s Warwick 5-string bass and Keith went into the vocal booth. In about four minutes, the bass and vocals parts were recorded. Mike added two more guitar parts, using a Telecaster and a Stratocaster. The four of them spent a little time mixing. All they would need is a keyboard part added. Knowing that Doug and Brian wouldn’t be home until four the earliest, they went to the guest bedroom and made love as couples. Mike and Prez admitted to being the bottom all weekend. Derrick and Keith were more than ready to switch positions. About half an hour later, all four went to the master bedroom to shower. Mike and Derrick returned to the studio to jam. Keith and Prez got ready for work then said goodbye to Mike and Derrick. They raced out of the house to get to Black Angus before four that afternoon. Returning to the bedroom, Ben and Graham laughed at the wrecked state of the bed. Ben knelt down to gather CD’s from their backpacks. Graham powered up his Mac to show Ben the nudie pictures he had and the websites he had previously mentioned. Spinning the chair around, he sat and asked Ben, “If you were to keep pictures like these on your computer, what would you call it?” Ben thought for a moment before answering, “It wouldn’t be anything obvious, like nudies or triple ‘X’, it would be something only I would know; maybe something like reversing ‘treble’ to ‘e-l-b-e-r-t’.” “Good,” Graham chuckled, “I did something similar. In Mechanical Drawing, I use a T-square every day. My naughty pics are in a hidden file named ‘.squaret’. You have to type in the file name under the Finder Go To dialogue, which is like Windows File Manager search. Hidden files and folders always start with a single dot. Then it’ll ask you for the password. You’ll remember this password easily; it’s ‘honeygrambeanie’, all one string.” Ben looked over and giggled, “How many characters is that?” Graham grinned, “Fifteen. Apple wants to increase it to thirty-two. Creating these encrypted disk images is a pain, but for security, it’s worth going through all the steps. I’m probably gonna go through that pretty soon. I want to change from honeygram to puddin and from beanie to teddybear. Once I do that, I’ll share the new password with Eddie and Matt.” “Why?” Ben wondered. Graham explained, “When I was learning to do this, I thought, well what if I had amnesia and couldn’t remember these details. As long as I’m not totally John Doe, I would remember my best friends and my partner. Little did I know how close I’d come to losing my memory. You three will always have access to my computer, this one and in the future.” Suddenly, the computer said, “Incoming Mail,” and an instant later, the phone rang. Standing up, Graham grinned, “The mail is probably Eddie’s pictures from last night. I’ll get the phone.” He hurried to his parents’ bedroom to catch the phone. Ben got up to check the e-mail. It took him a while to find the application, but then he saw a string of e-mails from Eddie. Opening the first e-mail, Ben softly gasped at the size of the attachment and mumbled, “No wonder there’s only one photo per e-mail,” then clicked to open it. The file opened quickly and Ben smiled at the image of him with Graham, forehead-to-forehead, taken the prior night. He left that open for Graham to see then opened the next e-mail and its attachment. The second picture of him with Graham loaded. Their expressions actually looked funny on the large monitor and Ben giggled. The third e-mail and its attachment soon opened. Five faceless and flaccid dickies filled the screen. From the left was Matt, with the heftiest slab of meat, then Gil, who seemed slightly smaller in length and width, then Shaun, who seemed very similar to Ben’s size the prior night, but the photo showed differently; the length was the same, but Ben’s limp dick was visibly thicker than Shaun’s. Then Ben concentrated on Graham’s beautiful dick beside his own. Sitting there making comparisons, Ben realized his belly wasn’t that bad looking compared to the four other dudes. Matt’s dark skin and muscle stood out, but truthfully, Ben could now see what Graham had been saying for days; his belly was fine and their dicks were in the middle of their group of friends. Scrotums were varied across the lineup. Only by belly button height could any comparison be made about which pair of nads hung lowest. Ben’s belly was virtually the same as Shaun’s and Gil’s, not only in size but in the quantity of hair around their navels. Eddie’s, Graham’s and Matt’s bellies were most toned and muscular, with Matt clearly winning that contest. Startlingly, Graham’s hands slid down Ben’s chest. Gasping, Ben jumped in the chair. Graham smiled, “I’m sorry, teddy bear; I didn’t mean to scare you.” Gesturing to the screen, Ben giggled, “We’re all very much the same and our dickies are in the middle of the group.” Still feeling up Ben’s chest, Graham nodded, “I’d never knowingly lie to you. That’s one sure fire way to screw up a partnership. Eddie’s limp dickie is slightly smaller than Shaun’s. Erect, their proportions stay about the same. You see your belly too now?” Ben nodded, “Matt wins with an awesome eight pack, you’re in second place, me, Gil and Shaun in a tie for third. Shaun’s got the definition down the middle, making a two pack, I guess.” Graham nodded, “Load the one with Eddie. You’ll see he’s pretty damn well proportioned and has really nice abs.” Going back to the e-mail, Ben wondered, “Was the phone call important, puddin’?” Graham grinned, “Turn around, my love.” Loading the next picture, Ben giggled, “You’re hands on my chest are giving me a woody,” and then turned the chair seat. Graham backed up a step. Spying Graham’s erection, Ben looked up, giggling “Again? We just made love maybe fifteen minutes ago. Who was on the phone?” Graham laughed, “The Volvo dealer looking for my dad. I gave the dealer dad’s office number then immediately dialed it. I’ll have a white Volvo V70 with a CD stereo and a moon roof tonight.” Bouncing up and into Graham’s arms, Ben and Graham kissed and laughed then soon fell to the bed. Round two began orally, with blowjobs and rimming. Graham pulled his legs up and Ben mounted his lover. After each climaxed, they swapped positions and went for it again. Folded in half, neither was loud, in comparison to their prior riding efforts, but they both reveled in the experience, being eye-to-eye, face-to-face and hearing every muttered word. Cuddling up to Ben afterward, Graham asked, “Did you like your first times, teddy bear?” Ben giggled, “I absolutely loved them. You were fantastic every time. I see what you mean now. Jacking off is nothing compared to what happens with someone special. Oral is so much better and anal is out of this world.” “Does your butt hurt?” “No. Does yours?” “No. We both finished kind o’ wild, so I needed to check.” Squeezing Graham tight for a moment, Ben giggled, “I’m so much more than awesome. I’ve got you.” Graham laughed, “Brrr!” Ben giggled, “Grrr! Graham chuckled, “Once more, before dinner and a trip to get the car, my love; doggie-style.” “What’s the deal with the car trip?” “Dad has to sign the paperwork. I might need to sign the title and registration, dad said, but he’s thinking about that. Once everything is signed, we’re going for a ride, to get used to the new wheels. Then we’ll go to Eddie’s and get naked.” Ben reminded, “Same group as last night, plus Mike and Derrick.” “Maybe they’ll play and sing for us.” “With Shaun there too, we can count on it.” “I like all your friends a lot, teddy bear. What they said today mattered a lot to me.” Ben giggled, “Watch Mike tonight for weirdness on par with Doug and Brian. In the future, we both need to keep an eye on Corey. He might be short now, but I give him a year and he’ll be about our height. Another year later and Matt might be looking up into Corey’s eyes.” “Really?” “Corey’s dad is very tall, from what I’ve been told.” Graham smiled and sang, “Your dickie is hard again.” “It’s your fault,” Ben giggled. Graham laughed, “I haven’t touched it. I’m just lying here, watching it.” He looked up and smiled, “If you’re ready, I am.” Pushing Graham over, Ben reached down to Graham’s chubbie, giggling, “You were first the last two times. I want to be bottom first the next two.” Without even looking down, Ben had Graham’s dickie between two fingers; the one on top moved the foreskin forward and back then remained still while the one underneath did the same thing. Shivering and squirming, Graham whimpered, “Kiss me.” Leaning down, Ben tried new kisses while he had the time to experiment. Some kisses made Graham giggle while others made him sigh. Stiff as steel, Graham whispered, “I want to feel all of you on my back, teddy bear. I’ll get into a position so you can do that.” Knowing that wasn’t what was planned, Ben nodded and smiled. Graham stole a tender kiss then shared, “This is uniquely us, Ben. During sex, Francis and I never talked like the two of us have been.” Ben smiled, “Isn’t it my job to fulfill your fantasies? I sure won’t ever say no to any bedroom games. If I did that then I’d be giving you reasons to look for someone else.” Graham chortled, “I think I learned that under a jungle-gym.” “That was an accident,” Ben giggled, “probably from being outside, where we could get caught.” Graham chuckled, “For intensity like that, I’d deal with crusty underwear again,” and then rolled over to get on his hands and knees. Looking around for the lube, Ben giggled, “So would I,” and picked up the bottle. Noticing Ben with the lube, Graham offered, “Just a little on your dickie, my love. I think I’m still plenty wet down there.” Humming uncertainly, Ben went around to Graham’s rear end to check for himself with a finger. Not expecting the gentle fingertip insertion and slight wiggle, Graham loudly shivered, “BRRR-RRR!” Wide-eyed and grinning, Ben wondered, “Good or bad, puddin’?” “Oh God help me, you’ve got fingers that make my skin crawl.” Since that wasn’t an answer, Ben could only assume Graham’s butt was sufficiently lubed and wet his cock. Graham’s legs weren’t very close, but close enough where Ben had to squat. He slowly guided his bone between Graham’s cheeks then carefully lowered down. With most of his weight against Graham’s back, Ben adjusted his feet slightly so he could move. Just that little bit of motion made Graham’s eyes spin. More quietly than the previous two times, Graham encouraged Ben and told his lover everything he was feeling. After a minute or two, Ben began kissing, licking and gently nibbling Graham’s shoulders. Never knowing what his teddy bear would do next had Graham rapidly shifting from coos to giggles. The position allowed Ben to last longer than he ever expected. He had noticed the time when he climbed aboard and they were nearing ten minutes. Graham went berserk, softly calling “Omigod-omigod-omigod” with each exhaled breath. Holding himself and Ben up, Graham couldn’t get at his bouncing cock. Ten minutes, Ben noticed and a digit flipped before he looked away, making it about eleven minutes. Graham’s tight, warm and wet ass was so wonderful; Ben couldn’t believe he was only just beginning to feel like he would climax soon. Graham suddenly gasped then loudly announced, “Oh fuck yes! I’m cumming! I love you, my wild teddy bear, so fucking much. I’m really cumming!” Ben couldn’t believe it either and it drove him to hump away like mad, which only served to cause Graham to demand it. To finish, Ben pushed up off Graham’s back. Three forceful thrusts and grunts later, Ben convulsed as he climaxed and barely controlled lowering down onto Graham. Dizzily recovering, Ben heard Graham’s soft confession. “I’ll never ever leave you, Ben. Where in the world would I find someone cuddlier, or more sincere, or more wonderful than you? Forget it dude. I’m your leech. I’d do anything you said for lovin’ like this. My dickie’s still bouncing and throbbing, wondering what the hell just happened.” Ben started giggling. “Jesus!” Graham chortled, “Did we take fifteen minutes?” “Eleven or twelve, I think,” Ben giggled, and started to move to get off his lover. “No,” Graham quickly insisted, “stay right where you are, holding me.” Ben lowered down again and wrapped his arms around Graham’s torso. Graham assured, “I’m perfect, Ben. You stay until your dickie softens and falls out of me on its own.” “We could be here a while,” Ben giggled. “Lucky us,” Graham chuckled. Placing a few soft kisses along Graham’s shoulder, Ben asked, “You really came?” Graham laughed, “Like a friggin’ geyser, with every pump into me, you awesome hunk. These sheets are laundry now.” Ben confessed, “It was the position. Every time I thought I was getting close, I’d adjust or you would, and I’d be back to square one.” “Maybe it was the other times too,” Graham offered. “Sex is awesome exercise and we’ve had a couple really intense orgasms.” Squeezing Graham tightly for a moment, Ben sighed, “You’re so awesome. Here we are, with you holding me up, like I’m a featherweight.” Feeling Ben’s cock slipping out of his ass, Graham only grinned and waited a few more moments. When all he could feel was the head of Ben’s deflated bone still inside him, Graham pushed up into a kneeling position with Ben still attached. Looking over his shoulder and holding Ben’s arms in place, Graham smiled, “You are not too heavy for me. I loved this position a little more than the other two, because I could feel more of you against me. We could hear each other perfectly. I could feel your hairy sack, every time you pushed in hard. If only I could see your eyes and you could see mine, it would be my preferred position from now on. We’ll just have to keep practicing, teddy bear.” Ben giggled, “I know, it’s too sad.” Graham cracked up and Ben moved away only to collapse onto the mattress in muffled hysterics. Crawling onto Ben’s back, Graham lay down, sniggering “I loved the licking, kissing and nibbling you did too,” and snuck in a soft bite. Ben bounced and giggled, “Silly graham cracker. Take me now, like this.” Humming provocatively, Graham started grinding until he was hard enough for entry. He held onto Ben and pounded away. The best part for Graham was when Ben pushed his butt up and matched his thrusts. The best part for Ben was learning why Graham was cooing and giggling through all the shoulder kissing, licking and nibbling. When Graham lost it after only five minutes, Ben was on the verge too and prompted his lover to keep pounding away until friction with the sheet created more jizz on the soiled sheets. Afterward, they cuddled, planning to wash the sheets, clean themselves up and return to the Mac. Contentedly, Ben helped Graham strip his bed, helplessly giggling because they had only slept on the sheets one night. Pushing his lover into hysterics, Graham reminded Ben that eight loads of semen had either leaked out of them or been shot across the sheets since they woke that morning. Breathlessly giggling, Ben followed Graham downstairs and into the bathroom, listening to playful rants about Beanie power shooting onto the pillow cases. Once the washing machine was started, Graham paused in the kitchen for a glass of milk that he shared with Ben, and some chocolate chip cookies. Ben had only one cookie. Graham couldn’t believe Ben wasn’t hungry after all that sex. Climbing the stairs after their kitchen raid, Graham said, “We’re taking a bath, teddy bear.” Ben giggled, “We can’t fit in your tub together silly graham cracker.” “Not my tub,” Graham grinned, “my parents have a nice big whirlpool tub, for their old, aching bones.” Ben gasped, “You are rich.” “We are not!” Graham laughed. “If we were, they wouldn’t have to work and we couldn’t have had hours of awesome sex.” “We can’t use their tub,” Ben balked, and stopped short at the top of the stairs. “Sure we can,” Graham insisted, and pulled Ben into the Carleton’s master bedroom. “Beanie and I used that tub more than a few times. It’s awesome, Ben. We can fit in there easily, wash our dickies and our butts, and when they get home, we’re clean as a whistle and totally innocent.” He let go of Ben’s hands inside the master bathroom and pointed at the whirlpool tub. As Graham had described, the tub was definitely large enough for both of them. Shaking his head, Ben giggled, “You are not innocent, puddin’.” Graham turned on the water to allow the tub to fill, cackling “Neither are you now.” Standing up and facing Ben again, Graham teased, “I’m debating on new tickle torture rules, just for you. Every time you blush, you’ll get tickled to tears.” “I can’t help it,” Ben giggled, “I feel so wrong just standing here naked with you.” Graham smiled and sighed. He reached into the vanity cupboard and pulled out a bottle of Mister Bubble. Displaying it proudly, Graham grinned, “This is for me, not for my mom or my dad. I don’t even have to buy it. Mom gets it when she goes shopping. She knows I’m not a virgin, that Beanie wasn’t, and soon she’ll figure out you aren’t either. That means my dad will know too, and let me tell you, he can be a real teaser. He’s got forty years more experience than I do at it. You won’t even realize he’s gotten in a shot until minutes later.” “Omigod, I’m really screwed now,” Ben giggled. Pouring some Mister Bubble into the tub, Graham chuckled, “See, I know you, teddy bear. You’ve been hiding in the closet; never letting on that your mind is full of dickie thoughts.” Returning the bottle from whence it came, he faced Ben and continued, “I know when you stepped out of the closet. I know what you’re able to do with those talented guitar player fingers. I know that I loved the pounding you were giving my butt, and then suddenly realized I was going to lose it, without you or me touching my dickie.” Moving closer to Ben and holding him close, Graham smiled, “I told you days ago to be proud and hold your head up. I expected to give you plenty of reasons, but not like what happened. I’m so glad I gave you that necklace before having the prostate orgasm of the century. It would’ve seemed weird if I gave it to you afterward. Thankfully, I remembered.” He reached to the necklace and softly explained, “When I turned thirteen, my grandfather gave me the crest and my grandmother gave me the spiral, telling me about the same thing I told you; it’s life’s infinite circles. Grandpa was over eighty and grandma was almost eighty. They’re gone now too. I get to remember them by looking at you wearing those gifts. When I wore it, I could never see them without looking in a mirror, so I stopped wearing them after they passed.” Ben lowered his face onto Graham’s shoulder and helplessly cried, not certain if he was shedding happy or sad tears. Graham sighed then whispered, “Don’t cry, my love. Maybe what you said about karma is right. On this one day, I got your love inside me, you got mine in you, I get to remember my grandparents every time I see that necklace, and in a few hours, we’ll be driving around the valley in a new car.” Glancing over his shoulder, Graham checked the whirlpool and saw the jets still weren’t covered with water, so he shared, “Here’s another one of my pointless daydreams. What if Francis hadn’t passed and I had gone to that party with him? I really have to wonder how I would’ve reacted to you; to you being with Rick or Howard. It’s another silly thought, I know, but I also know that I would’ve noticed you, Ben. Beanie would notice me noticing you.” “No,” Ben softly wept, “please don’t go there, Graham. It changes so much. There would’ve been no reason for you to cry, no reason for me to hold you or watch that sunset, no hours walking around the park, no need for a special friend. The alternatives aren’t good, so please don’t say any more about that.” Graham gently prompted, “Tell me why you’re crying?” Ben shrugged, “Because I love you that much. Hearing about your grandparents, and this necklace makes it, you and us so much more important.” Into Ben’s ear, Graham whispered, “That’s why I told you about it, them and an alternative reality. The necklace, medallions, you, and the two of us together are important to me.” Shivering and feeling like he was in a dream state, Ben wondered, “Who are you, really?” Squeezing Ben tight, Graham answered, “Your friend, lover, partner and attached leech, Ben; right where I need and want to be.” Whimpering, Ben raised his face off Graham’s neck and passionately kissed him. Countless moments later, the kiss broke and Graham wiped the remaining tears away before diving for another passionate kiss. Many moments later, Ben felt Graham’s growing erection and giggled into their kiss. Graham started chuckling too, because his excitement led directly to Ben’s. Stepping back from each other, they helplessly laughed. Ben waved a disapproving finger at Graham’s crotch and giggled, “Bad dickie!” Graham shrugged and chuckled, “It’s how I feel, teddy bear. The timing might be less than perfect, but I really do love you. Since you’re as hard as I am, the feeling must be mutual.” “It always will be,” Ben smiled. He tapped his own chest, and then Graham’s, reminding, “It’s right inside us.” Graham nodded, took Ben’s hand and led him to the whirlpool tub. He pushed bubbles aside, checking that the lower four jets were covered with water. Seeing that they were, he flipped the switch to turn them on. They got in the tub, sat down side-by-side and enjoyed the jets pulsing warm water all around them. It was a long, virtually wordless bath. Graham switched to the other side of the tub and washed Ben’s feet with his hands and a washcloth. Once both feet and all ten toes were clean, Graham placed the foot on his chest to wash that leg and sucked on Ben’s big toe, causing them to break into fits of giggling and laughter. When that leg was done, the process was repeated on the other leg. Graham bathed every inch of Ben, prompting him to stand, kneel or sit as necessary. When Graham finished, Ben returned every favor he had received. Finished, they sat back and relaxed for a few more minutes, softly giggling as hidden hands toyed with hard dickies under the remaining bubbles. Before either climaxed, Graham opened the drain and then stepped out of the tub to get towels from the linen closet that separated the toilet from the sinks and vanity. They toweled each other dry and then dried out the tub with the towels. Graham even wiped up puddles of water on the floor, making it seem like the bathroom had never been used. Sneakily, Graham brought both towels downstairs with them and tossed them in the downstairs hamper, so his parents wouldn’t know what had happened or when. Ben lost it and howled laughing. They tossed the cleaned bed sheets into the dryer. In the kitchen, the broiler pan from lunch was quickly cleaned, dried and returned to the broiler. They padded through the house and back upstairs to Graham’s room. The stereo was turned on and CD’s shuffle played. At last, Graham showed Ben his collection of X rated pictures. Minutes and several photos passed. At a photo of a cute twenty-something year old with a tremendously long and thick cock, Ben gasped, “That cannot be real!” Graham chuckled at Ben’s reaction and instructed, “Zoom in on it, Ben.” Clicking the zoom button several times, Ben squinted at the screen. Graham pointed and grinned, “No tell tale signs of editing; pubes, dickie veins and texture all matches, so either someone’s an incredible artist, with the patience of a saint, or it’s real.” Ben exclaimed, “What the hell does he or anyone do with that? I couldn’t get him in my mouth, and sure wouldn’t allow him anywhere near my ass.” Shaking his head and holding his hands up, Graham roared laughing. Ben turned in the chair, giggling “My chubby dickie’s gone into hiding. Your dickie isn’t hard either.” “It’s him, not us, teddy bear,” Graham sniggered. “Beanie, Eddie, Matt and Rick all said pretty much the same things you did when they saw that picture.” He leaned over, closed the X rated folder and opened the folder of PG photos. Graham opened three pictures; a teenage water-polo player, a teenage gymnast and a shirtless teenage baseball player, all of which were incredibly handsome and had great bodies. Graham smiled, “If you could choose to be with one, which would be the one?” Ben giggled, “You’re not on the screen, puddin’.” Graham smirked, “That’ll cost you. Of only those three, choose one.” Scanning the monitor, Ben grinned, “The water polo player is wearing a Speedo, which is unfair, because the other two have way more on. The gymnast has the cutest face. The baseball player is really cute too.” Turning to scan his still naked partner, Ben then looked at the screen again and admitted, “I can’t really choose one.” Looking at Graham, he giggled, “If any of the three walked by me in real life, I’d notice, sigh, and get smacked by my boyfriend.” Graham grinned, “I wouldn’t smack you for looking, but if you told me you were at the library, instead of telling me you were at a diner with one of them, then yeah, we’d have a lot to talk about.” “A diner is really innocent,” Ben smiled. “You lying to me isn’t innocent,” Graham grinned. “You haven’t ever lied to me, and I don’t want you to. For discussion, you’re in a college class with all three of them and there’s a project you need to work on with them.” Ben giggled, “First of all, they’d better be as cool with gays as they are handsome. Either way, wherever I am, I’ll want you there. I have to be in class with them. After class, when I can be with you, that’s where I’ll be. They can come to the apartment or over here, to work with me on the school project. If they’re not cool with gays and show that to you or me, then they’re out the door, one at a time or as a group.” Loving that answer, Graham’s eyebrows rose and he warmly smiled, “You’re seeing them as unknowns, potentially straight and homophobic?” Ben nodded, “I can’t see anything more in the photos. None of ‘em has little gay flags anywhere on them.” Graham reminded, “Neither would you. There was nothing that made you obviously gay when we met. I had to ask the question.” Ben nodded and was about to remind Graham that he had answered the question truthfully, but noticed something about Graham’s expression and stance. Ben softly wondered, “You’re jealous of the idea of me with them?” Nodding, Graham chuckled, “You could be in that Speedo, Ben. My jaw would drop and major wood pop. There’s nothing wrong with my vision. I’ve got a sexy teddy bear to share my bed with, to skinny dip with, and chillin’ naked with me now. If you haven’t asked yourself already, think about why we’re undressed and lookin’ at pictures of other dudes.” Ben smiled, “So the reaction is obvious.” Graham chuckled, “You admitted how you felt about Prez; medium build, red hair and taller than you. This whole time, I’ve been watchin’ your dickie to see what makes it grow. Every thin or medium framed dude that had a cute face started the magic.” Ben giggled, “You’ve got a chubby.” Graham grinned and nodded, “From the pictures and looking at them with you. I saved the ones I found attractive. Beanie, Eddie and Matt had some input, depending on who was here at the time, but they’re all cute in my opinion.” “Why was Mister Monster Cock saved?” “As a wonder of the world,” Graham laughed. Rolling the chair to Graham, Ben wrapped his arms around his lover, rested his head on Graham’s belly, closed his eyes and held on tight, purring “I love you, Graham.” Gently holding Ben’s head in place, Graham sighed, “I love you too, Ben, as my dickie is making very clear.” Ben took hold of Graham’s erection and smiled up. Graham chortled, “We’ll have to shower again.” Shaking his head, Ben opened his mouth and took only the hooded head. Holding onto Ben’s shoulders, Graham groaned, “Thank goodness we found each other.” Ben hummed affirmatively and took his time, stroking and sucking, enjoying every minute, hoping he could drag out the experience. To accomplish that extension, Ben occasionally stopped oral action to simply look at his lover’s private parts. Graham suggested, “We could move onto the bed?” Ben hummed negatively. Feeling dizzy and his muscles tightening, Graham smiled, “I’m doing you next.” Ben provocatively hummed affirmatively then slowly slid down all seven inches. He backed off quickly before gagging then tried again, determined to learn how to take all Graham had. Graham whispered, “First inhale and hold your breath, teddy bear. That’s how I do you deep.” Trying and succeeding, Ben was thrilled, at least as much as Graham. Setting a rhythm, Ben alternated foreskin teasing, tongue twirls around the exposed head and taking Graham’s bone deep. In another minute, Graham began cooing and whimpering. Holding back his orgasm, Graham instructed, “Don’t go deep, my love. I’m so close.” Ben moved his arms under Graham’s butt cheeks and sped up his bobbing head. He could feel Graham’s cock throbbing against his tongue. Firmly grasping Ben’s strong shoulders, Graham moaned a final warning, “Omigod, get ready,” and seconds later grunted. Swallowing fast, Ben happily took it all and held his quaking lover upright then made sure Graham’s bone was clean. Graham giggled and whimpered through the final phase. Before he leapt out of his skin and cracked up, Graham pulled Ben up by the armpits and deeply kissed his giggling partner. Breaking the kiss and holding Ben tightly against him, Graham chuckled, “I was thinking, six orgasms each was pretty good. You went for seven.” Ben nodded and giggled, “Your parents will be home soon, then dinner, and then we go get the new car. You’ll be more excited than me and I can’t take care of that at the Volvo dealership.” “Then we’ll go for a spin around the valley and over to Eddies for a while. You wanted insurance.” Ben hummed affirmatively. Graham squatted down and picked up Ben, turned and went to his bed. He lowered Ben down to the mattress then knelt down and took care of Ben’s very wet chubby. Lying back on the mattress, Ben moaned, “Oh, Graham, I don’t think I’ll last very long.” Chortling, Graham switched his focus from Ben’s cock to his scrotum. Ben growled loud and long then giggled, “When will I learn to watch what I say with you?” Evilly snickering, Graham lifted Ben’s legs onto his shoulders and drenched Ben’s crotch with spit, occasionally sneaking in unexpected thigh nibbles. Ben giggled himself purple and was delirious before Graham swallowed his erection. Closing his eyes and trying to prevent bucking wildly, Ben realized his right hand was holding his new necklace. For a brief moment, Ben saw externally; himself writhing on the bed and Graham on his knees working his magic. The vision was too much for Ben to take. He whined, “Oh puddin’, you love me so nice. I can’t hold back.” Wanting it, Graham wiggled his index finger between Ben’s cheeks, as a reminder they had shared each other in the best ways. Ben gasped at the anal tickling and pushed his butt down to take the finger in. That’s when Ben climaxed. Swallowing, Graham felt Ben’s sphincter spasms and wondered if Ben really wanted to be bottom more. He meticulously cleaned up and chuckled at his thrashing teddy bear. Crawling over Ben, Graham was pulled down and repeatedly kissed. Between kisses, Graham chuckled, “I’ve got a question to ask.” “Yes!” Ben giggled, “Whatever it is, yes!” Graham laughed, “Seriously, do you like bottom more than top?” Nodding, Ben giggled, “I think so.” Graham smiled, “Then that’s the way it’ll be. If you need me on bottom, let me know. I’ll have no problem letting you know when I need it.” Happier than words could describe, Ben giggled, “GRRR!” Graham sniggered, “BRRR!” Waiting for their bond to deflate in their chests, Graham gave Ben a kiss and got one in return. Graham reminded, “The sheets are done by now. We have to put on our clothes and innocent act in less than an hour.” Ben nodded and then rolled off the bed. Taking Ben’s hand, Graham led the way from the room. Ben giggled, “How innocent will we seem when your parents see your necklace on me?” Graham joked, “Keep it under your T-shirt tonight and try not to touch it so much.” Ben laughed, “Have I been doing that a lot?” Nodding, Graham chortled, “When your hands haven’t been busy with me, they’re reaching up to either the chain or the medallions.” Ben giggled the whole way down stairs. In the bathroom, Graham pulled bedding out of the dryer and handed each item to Ben. “If you can’t wipe that glowing smile off your face, the innocent act will fail,” Graham teased. Ben giggled, “Why are we doing it then?” “For you mostly,” Graham smiled, “to delay my dad’s jokes and teasing remarks.” Humming uncertainly for a few moments, Ben followed Graham back through the house. Climbing the stairs, Ben said, “Ya know what, puddin’; I don’t care about any jokes or teasing from anyone.” Stopped at the top of the stairs, Graham checked, “You won’t be embarrassed?” Ben shrugged, “It doesn’t matter. Seventeen years of blushing will eventually stop; it has to now.” Tapping the necklace, Graham smiled, “It’s your choice; leave it out and I’ll tell my folks where we’re at; in love and committed. Keep it hidden under your shirt, and I’ll keep the secret until I see it out.” Shaking his head, Ben said, “It’s done, Graham. You want me as much as I want you, right?” Graham nodded and Ben giggled, “Then hiding it is pointless.” Stepping around Ben, Graham placed both hands on his shoulders and guided him toward his bedroom, loudly shivering, “BRRR! I cannot wait for dinner! By the end of this week, everybody will know. We’ll tell your mom as soon as possible. With a car, we can drive over there whenever ya want, teddy bear.” “Maybe Wednesday night,” Ben giggled. They started making Graham’s bed. The bottom fitted sheet hadn’t been completed yet when Ben giggled, “What’re you lookin’ at?” From the opposite side of the bed, Graham leered, “Silver on a beefy chest. What’ve you been looking at?” “Your chest and shoulders,” Ben giggled. Shaking open the top sheet, Graham sighed, “We’re gonna have to dress. I’m not looking forward to it.” Catching the sheet, Ben confirmed, “You don’t want this sheet or the blanket tucked under the mattress?” “Nope,” Graham answered, “I never did it that way. It’s easier to straighten it out in the morning if it’s not tucked. I’ll only kick it all out while I sleep anyway. My mom used to tuck it under until she realized it was wasting her time.” While they got the sheet adjusted, Graham grinned, “I think you’d like your sheet and blanket left un-tucked too. You could roll up in a cocoon easier.” “A cocoon for two,” Ben giggled, “With you behind me, drillin’ my butt.” Laughing, Graham warned, “I’m gonna jump over this bed, teddy bear.” Ben giggled, “You want more?” Tossing a light summer blanket over the bed, Graham nodded, “I warned you the first day, I like sex a lot. Our connection makes it even better.” Helping adjust the blanket, Ben smiled, “What surprises me is how much I like suckin’ your dickie. Now I can take all of you and it’s even better.” Giving up on making the bed, Graham stepped up onto it and walked over to Ben. Amazingly to Ben, Graham’s dickie was growing fast and pointing at his face. Ben smiled up at his silly graham cracker. Graham smiled down and suggested, “Once more, sixty-nine? We have enough time before mom gets home.” Ben wrapped one arm behind Graham’s lower legs. Graham was about to protest, wanting it together, at the same time. Unexpectedly, Ben simultaneously shoved Graham’s chest and pulled at his legs. Falling back onto the mattress, Graham cracked up. Ben crawled onto the bed and round eight began. Minutes later, they padded into Graham’s bathroom to swish mouthwash and wipe deodorant under their pits. Returning to the bedroom to dress, Ben watched Graham taking too long at the dresser and softly wondered, “What’s wrong, puddin’?” “Nothing,” Graham answered, “I’m rearranging, to make some room for your stuff. Hopefully, we’ll have time to stop and get a few things while we’re out.” Ben grinned, “What sort of things?” “For you and me, to live at two places,” Graham replied. “We both need extra deodorant, toothbrushes, hair brushes; maybe an extra T-shirt or two for you. That way we’re not carrying everything back and forth.” Finished at the dresser, Graham turned and smiled, “C’mere, teddy bear.” Wearing only his boxers, Ben went to check it out. Graham gestured to the open top drawer and explained, “My undies on the right, yours on the left.” Pulling a pair of red boxer-briefs out, he closed the top drawer then opened the next drawer, saying, “My socks on the right, and yours on the left.” He closed the drawer and bent over to put his undies on, saying “I’ll do a little more, later or tomorrow, so you can have a drawer for shorts and boardies. The closet is next. I’ll move my stuff to the right and you can have the left side.” Before Ben knew it, Graham had him wrapped up and was mouthing his left nipple. The best part for Graham was Ben howling and wrapping an arm around his head. More often than not, Beanie would’ve laughed, but tried to push Graham’s head away. Graham’s head popped up and replaced a nipple with Ben’s mouth. Whimpering into the kiss, Ben held Graham’s ass in place and ground his growing chubby against Graham’s. Breaking the kiss, Graham smiled, “I’d really love to, Ben, but we don’t have the time. Mom could be home any minute and she might come upstairs.” Nodding, Ben giggled, “I can barely believe you’re moving me in.” Stepping back, Graham nodded and smiled, “This is phase one. Phase two happens at your apartment. There’s not much sense in me moving into your house while you’re moving out.” He asked, “What’re you wearing, shorts or boardies?” Pointing at the board shorts he left on the edge of the bed, Ben giggled, “Boardies, for Eddie’s pool later, not that it makes any difference.” Graham nodded and opened a drawer to pull out a pair of board shorts. Going to the bed to put his boardies on, Ben giggled, “We’ll match.” Ben leaned over and Graham warned, “Point that fine ass at me again tonight and I’ll grab it.” “Grab it all ya want, whenever ya want,” Ben giggled. Trying to comprehend all the differences between Ben and Francis made Graham woozy. He saw Ben had on his grey and navy blue striped board shorts. Graham’s boardies were plaid greens and blues. Ben slid a red T-shirt over his head. Graham went into his closet to choose a shirt and started moving hangers from the left side to the right side. Before Graham had made a choice, they heard the front door open down stairs. Hurrying, Graham chose a powder blue T-shirt and put it on. He stepped out of the closet, but Ben wasn’t in his room. He called, “Teddy bear?” “In the bathroom, puddin’,” Ben replied. Graham walked in to find Ben brushing his hair. They made some soft plans to keep their stories straight. In moments, their hair was brushed and they were hurrying downstairs. Faye Carleton already had an apron on and was beginning dinner preparations when both boys chorused, “Hi mom.” Hearing Ben refer to her as ‘mom’, Faye spun around. All questions were answered when she saw Graham’s necklace and medallions hanging off Ben’s neck. Faye smiled, “How was your day?” “Busy,” Ben answered. Graham fibbed, “We were at band rehearsal from ten until three. We came back with Matt and Eddie then had cheeseburgers for lunch here.” “Graham showed me how to use his Mac,” Ben smiled. “It’s way different from Windows.” “Then I did some rearranging in my room, to make room for Ben’s clothes,” Graham explained. Almost certainly that routine was prepared in advance, Faye thought, and helplessly giggled. Confused, Ben glanced at Graham. Grinning widely, Graham bounced his eyebrows at Ben, and then turned to his mother chuckling, “What?” Shaking her head sadly, Faye giggled, “I spoke with your father and know you were home before three. Care to try again?” Ben giggled and hurried to hide his first blush of the evening on Graham’s shoulder. Graham cracked up. Faye grinned, “So rehearsal ended early and you two have been home alone all afternoon. Something special must’ve happened or Ben wouldn’t be wearing that necklace.” Graham nodded and chuckled, “I didn’t remember to give it to him last week, but wanted to.” Noticing his mom slicing mozzarella cheese, Graham instructed, “Put the knife down for a moment, mom.” When his mother did so and faced them, Graham smiled, “Francis visited Ben last night. Ben told me so much more than what I told him, it couldn’t have been a dream. I told you and dad that I wouldn’t leave Ben. I feel kind o’ strange admitting it aloud, but in five days I’ve fallen so fast and hard for Ben, it makes me wonder if I ever loved Beanie at all.” Ben’s head popped off Graham’s shoulder and he assured, “Yes you did. I saw you with him in the dream. Our love is different, not better or worse, only different.” Ben looked up at the ceiling and loudly said, “Graham’s love drunk, Francis. He did not mean that.” With tears pooling in his eyes, Graham looked up and choked out, “I didn’t mean it, Beanie.” He locked eyes with Ben and softly sobbed, “I’m sorry. Excuse me, teddy bear.” Releasing Ben, Graham hurried into the nearby bathroom and closed the door. Faye stepped up to Ben and took him in her arms. Comfortingly, she softly said, “If you hadn’t said something, I would’ve.” Ben frowned, “It hurts him so much. He loved Francis, but now he loves me. I know I’d be all sorts of twisted inside, so Graham has to be.” “I know,” Faye sighed. “Believe it or not, as bad as what Graham said sounded, it’ll probably help him. Can you understand that?” Ben nodded, “I think so, but I have to wonder if I said it wrong.” Faye gently smiled, “There’s no right way to say it, Ben.” She ran her fingers over the necklace and told Ben, “Graham considered giving this to Francis once. He didn’t because he couldn’t be sure they’d last through the McLoughlins’ homophobia. That’s why Graham hurts so much; he and Francis wanted more time together, but that couldn’t happen and then the accident cut everything short. The fact is that Graham wanted you to have this necklace several days ago. He knew last Thursday or Friday, but forgot. He remembered when?” “This afternoon,” Ben smiled. “Right after we got home, while Eddie and Matt were here and watching, he put it on me.” Faye nodded, “He’s healing and you’re the one he loves now. The past is fighting the present to a vicious stalemate in his mind and heart.” Ben nodded, “I think I can fix this. Pardon me?” Faye released Ben and watched him go to the bathroom door then softly knock. Ben asked, “Can I come in?” The door knob lock rattled. Ben twisted the knob, opened the door and stepped into the combined bathroom and utility room. He closed the door behind him and locked it. Leaning over the sink and washing tears that were still falling off his face, Graham softly wept, “I’m really sorry, Ben. I don’t know what to say or do sometimes.” Rubbing Graham’s back, Ben said, “Your mom told me that you wanted to give this necklace to Francis. You didn’t because of the problems with Francis’ parents.” Graham nodded and sniffled, “I gave it to you because we won’t have any problems like that. I’m the problem. The harder I try to separate you from him, the more stupid shit flies through my brain and lands in my mouth.” Ben nodded, “You don’t have to worry about it. Francis is in the same place on the other side. He told me that he knew he wouldn’t have made it through this summer without telling his parents off, packing up and moving in with you.” Graham looked up, gasping “He told you that?” Ben nodded and smirked, “His exact words were, ‘I’d tell them to fuck off’. We can guess what kind of shit storm that would’ve caused.” “Yeah,” Graham weakly chuckled, “It would’ve been ugly.” “Leaving you and Francis caught in the middle.” Graham wondered, “Where do we stand?” Ben shrugged and grinned, “In love, together, working through our shit, in a bathroom.” Smiling through more tears, Graham sobbed, “I really do love you. I want us to be together a long time, Ben, really I do.” Ben assured, “I want that too. This necklace that you couldn’t give to Francis, you gave to me, to say we’re forever. As long as we both want that, we’ll deal with everything else.” Sighing, Graham checked, “You can deal with me saying dumb shit?” Ben nodded and giggled, “You can deal with me blushing over every little thing?” “I can help you get over that.” “Thanks to Francis, I can help you stop saying dumb shit, at least about you and him.” “I’m glad Matt and Eddie didn’t hear me say that. They would’ve gotten pissed and ranted for an hour; but not you though, huh?” Shaking his head, Ben confirmed, “Never about a simple slip. I’m sure Francis isn’t angry either.” Ben helplessly giggled, “He called you a dog and a louse, so he obviously knows plenty.” Hanging his face over the sink and washing up the last of the tears, Graham chuckled, “I’m so screwed.” Shaking his head, Ben leaned over and softly giggled, “Nope, I will be, bedtime tonight, when my helium heels float toward the ceiling.” “That’s my teddy bear, throw my own words back at me,” Graham sniggered, and then toweled his face and hands dry. Ben shrugged and giggled, “Only practicin’, puddin’.” Graham nodded and smiled, “I need to check with my mom about something, but I’d like your opinion first.” “Okay.” Hanging the towel, Graham sighed, “Like a few minutes ago, when I said that about me and Francis, what did you really think?” Ben sighed, “That you were trying to tell your mom how you felt about me. You complimented me in the most awesome way, but you and I aren’t you and Francis. At least that’s what you’ve told me before.” “There’s very little in common between you and Francis,” Graham nodded, but then scowled, “That’s why I think I’m cracking up. I know there’s no comparison, but I keep doing it. The only thing that feels close to the same is after sex cuddling and chatting. Every other moment, it’s like night and day, completely different.” Ben wondered, “Is that what you want to ask your mom, if you’re cracking up?” Graham nodded, “If I am, then let’s do something about it before I really fuck up and lose you. If I’m not, then what can I do to make things better faster?” “Let me take care of one thing before we get out of here,” Ben softly said, and then reached for the necklace explaining, “This gift means you and me are together forever. I’ll reluctantly take it off to keep it safe, but the rest of the time, it’s on. If for some future reason, you tell me, enough, go away, I’ll do that knowing that you’ll come back again. If you tell me to give this back and go away, I’ll assume we’re over.” “I won’t ever ask for it back, Ben.” “I’m only saying what I feel, Graham. There’s a difference between needing a break from each other and wanting this back. All afternoon I’ve been thinking of what I could give you and drawing a blank. Nothing I could buy will match this gift. My heart went to you before you gave this to me. If you tell me you want it back then it’s not a short break, it’s a breakup.” Graham nodded, “Got it.” “You aren’t going totally insane, Graham; you’re split in half. I knew that, five nights ago, and I think you knew it too. Honestly, you’re being impatient with yourself. I’ll be the special friend you asked me to be, and your constant companion, and your lover, and whatever else you need me to be. You need to give yourself a little slack, to take the time to heal. If I were in your shoes, I’d be locked away worthless for months. You’re coming back into the world at your own pace, and here I am, with you.” Understandingly, Graham nodded and smiled, “I correct your mess ups, and you’ll correct mine; simple.” They stepped out of the bathroom. Faye was stir frying rice at the stove. Ben hungrily hummed, “That smells great.” Graham smiled, “Courtesy of Eddie’s mom, teaching the Anglo how to cook authentic Chinese food, not that stuff from Panda.” Faye sighed and turned around, saying, “I know when I’m being buttered up. What’s on your mind?” Grinning at Ben and causing a giggling fit, Graham then faced his mother and bluntly asked, “Am I cracking up?” “No!” Faye loudly proclaimed, “You’re recovering from a horrible accident and a more horrible death. What do you expect, Graham, to simply flip a switch, forget four years of friendship and almost a year as a couple? Look how long it took your father and me to get over your grandparents. They were my in-laws and I took weeks. Your father took at least two months, I think closer to three, to stop picking up the phone, intending to call them.” “So I am rushing myself?” “To an extent, yes,” Faye replied. “You took a step last week, not only with Ben, but by putting the photos aside. The second step you took today. It’s hanging off Ben’s neck. You discussed it with us during spring break, so we know what that means. You took the third step…” Rapidly shaking his head, Graham interrupted, “You’re way over my head, mom. What steps?” “Recovering from grief is a process,” Faye explained, and returned to her dinner preparation. “Step one is numbness and denial. In your case, weeks locked in your room looking at photos. Step two is yearning and anger. Yearning is what your father and I warned you of last week. It’s what Ben’s mother warned him of. However, we know now that Ben is not a substitute for Francis. In appearance and in action, Ben is not Francis. What you just said, asking if you ever really loved Francis in the first place was anger. Step three is sadness and withdrawal, which you’ve likely also done alone in your room. Now you’re in step four; reorganizing your life. The final step is letting go and moving on. When that happens, you’ll have Francis in your memories and heart with far less sadness. His time with us will integrate itself in us. No one that knew him will forget how he was or how he was lost. The overwhelming emotions do fade.” Graham wondered, “So what do I do now?” “What you’ve been doing is fine,” Faye smiled. “You said you were rearranging your room?” Graham nodded, “Making space for Ben’s stuff in my dresser and closet. Ben’s stuff is always on the left, mine is on the right.” “I’ll try to remember that when I’m putting laundry away.” Graham grinned, “It won’t be too hard. Ben’s shirts are mens’ large, mine are usually medium. Ben wears boxers, I wear boxer briefs.” Ben giggled, “Why is your mother putting your laundry away for you?” “Because I’m a slob,” Graham laughed. Faye only nodded her head in agreement. “Not anymore, puddin’,” Ben grinned. “Go get him, Ben,” Faye playfully cheered. Ben suggested, “Why not leave the laundry basket in the laundry room or at the bottom of the stairs?” Faye turned and smiled, “That’s an excellent idea.” “More reorganizing,” Graham smirked. “The situation is different now,” Faye reminded. “Francis was here a weekend a month. Ben has spent two nights here in less than a week. You were at Ben’s three nights, Graham; that’s something you never did with Francis. From what was said last week, Graham’s dad and I expect to see Ben more than we saw Francis; with more nights spent here than Francis could manage. Believe it or not, we’re reorganizing our lives too. Part of that you two are doing; another part we’re doing later tonight, with a new safe car instead of another used car. This reminds me; go find your insurance check, Graham. Sign it over to your father and put it on his desk. He’ll be home any minute. Dinner will be ready in ten minutes.” Graham nodded and asked, “What’s for dinner?” “Mozzarella sticks, sweet and sour chicken, and chicken fried rice,” Faye answered. Taking Ben’s hand, Graham led the way back upstairs. Passing the dining room, Graham prompted, “While I take care of the check, clear up the pictures on the Mac, teddy bear; dump it all in the trash, but leave the disk image file where it is.” Ben nodded, “I’ll shut it down when I’m finished and turn the stereo off too.” Rounding the staircase landing, Graham let Ben go up the stairs first. Ben hadn’t gotten three steps up before he was stopped and his cloth covered butt bitten. Rolling his eyes, Ben softly giggled, “Grrr.” Graham sniggered, “Brrr, sexy teddy bear.” Racing up the stairs, Ben giggled, “I didn’t blush too much.” At the top of the stairs, Graham smiled, “Show me your dickie.” “Graham!” Ben giggled, “It hasn’t been an hour since you last saw it.” “I’ll show you mine?” “And we’ll miss dinner,” Ben cackled. “Just a quick confirmation,” Graham sniggered. Ben laughed, “Confirming what?” “They like to see each other.” If Graham hadn’t been worried about being insane minutes earlier, Ben would’ve said he most certainly was. Instead, Ben cracked up, walked into Graham’s room untying his boardies drawstring and turned around. Seconds later, Ben was whipping out his chubby dickie. Graham turned the stereo off as he followed Ben into the room. Speaking in squeaky voices, Graham pulled out full wood and moved closer to Ben, so their dickies would touch. His one-eyed snake squeaked, “Hey there dickie.” For Ben, who was laughing himself almost to tears, Graham squeaked, “I missed you, dickie.” Graham squeaked, “I can’t wait to be alone with you again, dickie.” Ben whimpered through giggles. “I can’t wait either, but we have to hide now, dickie,” Graham squeaked for Ben’s unit. Graham bounced his cock, as if nodding, and squeaked, “See ya later.” Before Graham could put his meat away, Ben jumped him. Giggling between kisses, they soon heard the front door open. In his normal voice, Graham softly chuckled, “Dad’ll be up here to change clothes.” They gave two last kisses away and stuffed their dickies in their shorts. Graham opened up one of his desk drawers and took out the envelope with the insurance check, saying, “I’ll be right back,” and then hurried to his parents’ room. Still grinning slightly, Ben sat down and selected the folder the pictures had expanded into then dragged them to the desktop trash can. He confirmed the original image file was still where Graham had showed him then emptied the trash. Selecting the shutdown command, Ben heard footsteps coming up stairs. A few moments later, while Ben was straightening out the bed sheet and blanket, he heard Graham talking with his father about the car then both began chuckling. Then the master bedroom door closed and Graham called, “Are you finished, teddy bear?” Heading for the door, Ben answered, “All set, puddin’.” Beyond the closed master bedroom door, both boys heard Robert Carleton sniggering, “It’s better than Honey Graham, but still food.” Turning to the door, Graham grinned and rolled his eyes, because his dad had never before admitted to knowing that pet name. Facing Ben again, Graham saw his lover’s flushed red cheeks and gently reminded, “Put that blush in your past.” “I’m trying,” Ben giggled. Walking downstairs with Ben, Graham waited until they were near the bottom of the steps before grinning, “Dad’s just warming up. The more he says the better he feels about you. Try to remember that when he gets goofy and you start blushing. He’d go round and round with me and Beanie. I know you’ll get there too, teddy bear. You’re relatively safe during dinner.” Entering the dining room, Ben saw settings only at the side chairs and not at the ends of the tables. He softly asked, “Your parents don’t take the opposite table ends?” Stopping in the dining room, Graham answered, “When the table is fuller, yeah. When it’s just the three of us, I’d sit at one end and they’d sit across from each other. This is normal for four, so we can sit across from each other and so can they.” Leaning close to Graham, Ben giggled, “Rich boy.” Graham grinned, “You’ll regret that when I take you to Nordstrom’s for T-shirts and shorts.” Ben gasped then giggled, “Don’t you dare.” Graham chuckled, “A brief test; what’s the label on my boxer-briefs say?” “I’ve never looked at the label,” Ben giggled. Graham sniggered, “Some say The Gap, and others say Old Navy. That’s where most of my clothes come from. There’s a table for eight because we’re a family of five. Including my brother’s wife and my sister’s boyfriend and you makes eight.” Leading Ben to the kitchen, Graham grinned, “Mom, can I borrow a credit card? Ben and I need a few odds and ends to live at two places.” Busily putting sweet and sour chicken into a bowl, Faye nodded, “Take the mozzarella sticks and rice into the dining room. I’ll give you my MasterCard before you leave to get the car. Keep the charge under two hundred dollars, Graham.” Gesturing to the plate of mozzarella sticks for Ben to take, Graham picked up the bowl of fried rice and assured, “No problem, mom. We just need extra toiletries, a few T-shirts and pairs of shorts.” Ben and Graham started for the dining room. Faye scowled, “You need more T-shirts like a hole in the head.” “For Ben,” Graham chuckled. He and Ben placed the plate and bowl down on the table. Pulling a chair out for Ben to sit, Graham softly chortled, “Unlike you, focused on my ass and dickie, I noticed a Stafford label on your boxers. That’s JC Penney’s brand. The shorts I put in your backpack last night were from Old Navy.” Taking the chair across from Ben, Graham smiled, “We’re just like you, teddy bear. Only my family is larger and my parents are older. I’ve overheard them talking about selling this house after I move out. They’ll probably get a small condo or townhouse, with one extra bedroom for visitors.” Ben nodded and grinned, “You’ve gotta admit, this house is larger than mine. It’s fun teasing you too.” Raising his eyebrows, Graham slid a foot over to gently rub Ben’s foot and lower leg. He playfully bounced his eyebrows and Ben started giggling. Entering the room, Robert Carleton said, “Signing all the paperwork will probably take an hour or more. Bring magazines or something with you to keep you occupied while I get writer’s cramp signing my name a hundred times.” Graham assured, “I’ll bring the car magazines. We’ll probably wait outside.” When his dad sat down, Graham asked, “Have you decided whether to sign the title or have me sign it?” “I think I’ll sign it, to get the sales tax write-off,” Robert answered. “Next year or when you turn eighteen, I’ll sell it to you used for a dollar. That way we’re both avoiding more state taxes.” Entering the room with the bowl of sweet-and-sour chicken, Faye prompted, “Dig in boys.” During dinner, the topics of conversation were Ben’s dream visit with Francis, the car, the band’s rehearsal that day with Eddie taking pictures, and Graham asking if Mrs. Healy could store the tool chest in their garage. Mr. and Mrs. Carleton both assured Ben that would be no problem. As they were clearing the table, Graham told his parents that he intended to take the new car for a drive around the valley. Learning that the dealership was in Calabasas, only a short drive away, Graham suggested, “I’ll take the 101 to the 23, up to the 118, back down the 405 to the 101, and back home. If it’s not too late, we might stop at a mall for a few things. We’ll probably go over Eddie’s later tonight too.” Faye opened her handbag and gave Graham her credit card, reminding him of the limit. After checking with his wife and hearing that she wasn’t interested in coming along, Robert told Ben and Graham, “As soon as you’re ready. Let’s try to get this done before sundown.” Graham nodded, “Let me get the magazines from my room and we’ll meet you out in the car, dad.” He and Ben raced through the house, leaving the two older adults chuckling and wishing they had that kind of energy to be so enthusiastic. Moments later, Ben and Graham were in the backseat of Robert’s Mercedes with magazines and a handful of CD’s. Only minutes later, they were at Volvo of Calabasas. Robert went inside the dealership, leaving Ben and Graham at an outdoor patio table with the magazines. Too excited to sit for very long, Graham suggested they wander around the lot, checking out the various new cars. Within another few minutes, salesmen saw the two boys wandering around. They didn’t seem to be trouble makers, but a younger salesman went to ask, “Can I help you?” Graham grinned, “My dad’s inside, dude. He’s getting me a V70 and signing the paperwork.” Extending his hand to Graham, the salesman said, “I’m Ryan Baum. Since you’re indirectly a customer, let me get the keys for a V70 and introduce you to the vehicle you’ll be driving. It’ll save us time when your father is finished.” Graham shook the man’s hand and smiled, “I’m Graham Carleton and this is my partner, Ben Healy.” While Ryan and Ben shook hands, Graham chuckled, “Thanks bunches for this, dude. I was beginning to think that I’d be getting used to a new car in the dark.” Ryan nodded and smiled, “Let me go inside and get the keys for one of our V70 models.” Before Ryan walked away, Graham quickly said, “Mine will have a CD stereo and a moon roof. I won’t know how to work either of ‘em.” Ryan smiled, “Cool. I’ll be back in only a few minutes, so hang out here.” He then started for the building. Ben giggled, “And this is my partner…” Graham grinned, “You are.” Ben giggled, “He didn’t look twice or anything, so he’s not homophobic.” Graham teased, “You were checking out an older man, you horny devil.” Shaking his head, Ben giggled, “Only noticing you being awesome and him still being nice.” Graham teased, “I’ll bet you he’s almost thirty.” “No older than twenty-five,” Ben giggled. “What’s the bet?” Glancing around to make sure the coast was clear, Graham smiled, “Winner is bottom first tonight.” Nodding, Ben extended a hand. Graham took it and pulled Ben into his embrace, softly chortling, “Either way, I win. He’s older than twenty-five, teddy bear.” “We’ll soon find out,” Ben giggled. Leading Graham to a nearby price tag, Ben pointed and teased, “Rich boy.” Howling with laughter, Graham tickled Ben. Running away in hysterics, Ben kept a safe distance from Graham. He soon started singing; “You’re a rich boy, and you’ve gone too far, ‘cause you know it don’t matter anyway. You can rely on the old man’s money. You can rely on the old man’s money. It’s a bitch boy, but it’s gone too far, ‘cause you know it don’t matter anyway.” They chased each other around cars in the lot until Ryan loudly laughed at the two of them, “Okay, dudes. Follow me.” Hurrying over toward the man with Ben only steps behind, Graham chuckled, “How old are you, Ryan?” “Twenty-four,” Ryan grinned. Stopping abruptly, Graham turned to Ben, chuckling, “How’d you guess?” Shrugging, Ben giggled, “Look at the other salesmen. Three piece suits and bellies. Ryan’s got a real sharp jacket, matching slacks and no belly.” Huffing at Ben, Graham asked Ryan, “Are you gay, dude?” Continuing the walk to the V70 model, Ryan smiled, “No, I’ve got an older cousin and friends who are. In sales, we can’t really show any bias or preference to any customer. That’ll break a sale before the first dollar is mentioned.” Ben wondered, “Why’d you come over to us?” “I’m the youngest salesperson here at the moment,” Ryan answered. “We saw the two of you wandering the lot. I got sent out to find out what was going on. Now everyone knows you’re customers.” Pausing at the rear of a silver Volvo V70, Ryan pressed the button on the key in his hand and the car chirped. Ryan smiled, “Take the driver’s seat, Graham. I’ll take the passenger side and introduce you to your new car.” Nodding, Graham went to the driver’s side, chuckling, “I asked my dad for white or silver with a CD player.” He ducked into the car. Ben followed and got in the backseat behind Graham. Ryan got in, saying, “Your father chose the white over the silver. On a foggy road, white is seen before silver. Your white model and this silver one have the same option package; moon roof, an Alpine five CD changer with AM/FM radio, air conditioning with climate control, electric remote fuel hatch release, electric remote rear hatch release, anti-theft system, cruise control, remote power door locks, power steering, power windows and anti-lock braking system.” Blown away, Graham gasped, “Holy crap. I was driving an old Chevy that was nothing like this.” Ryan grinned, “I forgot the computer system. It’ll tell you your average fuel consumption, instantaneous fuel consumption and the estimated range for the remaining fuel. It’ll tell you the internal and external temperature on the dashboard, and of course, a digital clock. The driver’s seat is motorized and has up to three memorized seat positions. The rear seats fold down for a total of one-thousand-eight-hundred-ninety-seven liters of space. With the seats up, there’s one-thousand-fifty-one liters of space.” Sitting back on plush grey leather, Ben began giggling, certain that there was little chance of them getting any sleep that night. Graham would be swapping between reading the owner’s manual and jumping back into bed for more sex until dawn. Ryan hung the key before Graham and had him start the engine. He spent another thirty minutes reviewing every operation and how to access various computerized fuel and temperature readings. In the backseat and paying attention because he would someday be driving the car, Ben noticed adjustable vents, door pockets and bins for maps and other small items, like wallets and necklaces stowed before hitting the beach. His mom’s Mazda 929 was nice, but this car was universes nicer. The Carleton’s might not be wealthy, but they certainly had no problem affording priority items, like the safest vehicle available for their sixteen-year-old son. Completing the paperwork, Robert Carleton stepped up beside the open car doors, leaned over and smiled in at his dumbfounded son, saying, “Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday.” “For the next two years,” Graham laughed, “it’ll take me that long to memorize everything this car can do.” Robert grinned, “I had an in-dash GPS system installed in your car. They’ll be driving it around front any minute now.” Graham and Ben cracked up. Robert teased, “You’ll have to leave the country to use the excuse, we got lost, dad.” Ryan loudly laughed and shook his head, apparently recalling using that excuse during his teenage years. Turning to Ryan, Graham chuckled, “Is there anything more; phasers, photon torpedoes or shields?” Shaking his head, Ryan cheekily grinned, “Planned for the 2000 model year.” Looking up at his father, Graham laughed, “In time for graduation, dad!” and then turned the key, shutting the engine off. The car chimed, warning that the key was still in the ignition. Ryan pulled the key out. Graham and Ben thanked Ryan for taking care of them. Standing up, Robert joked, “I am not getting offensive weapons on any car for you.” Ben, Graham and Ryan got out of the car. Without the boys seeing, Robert slipped Ryan two twenty dollar bills for expediting the introduction, allowing all of them to get on with their night. Ben and Graham hurried to the Mercedes to get the CD’s left in the backseat then returned to Graham’s dad. At the front of the dealership, Ben, Graham and Robert waited only a few more minutes, during which time Graham told his dad, “It’ll take me five minutes to get the seat adjusted and stored in memory. Then I’ll have to check the mirrors and warp drive dilithium crystals.” Softly chortling, Robert handed Graham a slip of paper. Seeing it was a temporary insurance certificate, Graham nodded, “Yep, I’ll need that too.” Graham’s sparkling white Volvo V70 stopped before them. The salesman strode around the car with Robert, checking for any last minute exterior defects. Ben and Graham followed and heard that the temporary registration slip was in the glove box with the owner’s manuals. With the last inspection complete, Robert shook the salesman’s hand then turned to Graham and Ben. He asked, “You’ll be taking her for a spin around?” Graham nodded, “And stopping at a mall while we’re out.” Robert seriously said, “Pay attention to the steering and handling for possible alignment or balance issues. I don’t expect any problems at all, but for the cost, I demand perfection. When I get home tomorrow night, that’s the first thing I’ll be doing, taking it and checking out the performance and handling.” Graham nodded and hugged his dad, happily thanking him. “You’re very welcome,” Robert smiled, and reminded, “The car is safe. The rest is up to the driver.” “I’ll be safe and home in about two hours,” Graham assured. Releasing his son, Robert smiled, “I may or may not be in bed. Have a good night boys.” Graham’s father went to the parking lot to get in his car. Ben and Graham got in the Volvo, still running at the curb. Wearing the widest face-splitting smile, Graham glanced around his new car, leaned back and chuckled, “It’s a space station. There’s only four miles on it.” Ben giggled, “I know. I’m afraid to even put CD’s in the player.” Beginning to adjust the driver’s seat, Graham wondered, “What’d you bring teddy bear?” “I tried to keep it all upbeat driving music,” Ben answered. As he slid disks into the player, Ben rattled off, “The Alarm, Standards; The Beatles, Abbey Road; Foo Fighters, The Colour and the Shape; Journey’s Greatest Hits and Tesla, Five Man Acoustical Jam.” Adjusting the mirrors, Graham nodded, “Two of yours and three of mine.” Ben reminded, “Easy on the anti-lock brakes, puddin’. They take very little pressure in my mom’s Mazda.” Checking the emergency brake was released; Graham nodded and chortled, “Set impulse power, Mister Healy.” Using one of Doug’s Scottish accents, Ben giggled, “Aye, impulse engines engaged, Captain.” Pulling the stick down into drive, Graham smiled, “And we’re off.” Only moments later, needing to stop at the dealership exit, Graham gently tapped the brakes, the car lurched, and Graham groaned, “Jeez! It’s so different.” Ben nodded, “They take getting used to. You’ll be fine in no time, Graham.” Checking for oncoming traffic, Graham sighed, “I’m a little nervous, mostly about the new car, but a little because of the accident.” Understandingly, Ben smiled, “Relax, breathe deep and concentrate on the road.” Graham nodded and drove out onto Calabasas Road then down to Parkway Calabasas so he could get onto the 101 northbound. The second stop at Parkway Calabasas was smoother than the first. The GPS system that neither had messed with turned itself into a street map. The third stop for the left turn onto the 101 onramp was perfect and Ben told Graham so. Moments later, they were at sixty-five-miles-an-hour and Graham set the cruise control then turned it on. Taking his foot off the accelerator, Graham sniggered insanely as the car practically drove on its own. Ben giggled and turned on the stereo then played copilot for his boyfriend, explaining that the Janns Mall was one exit past highway 23. While Ben fiddled with the GPS, Graham agreed it was probably a good idea to get the little bit of shopping done before malls and shopping centers closed. Figuring out the user interface, Ben had the GPS set for their destination. It was about twelve miles to Moorpark Road. Three times Graham had opportunities to check the alignment and balancing, as his father had asked. Each time, the car remained perfectly centered in the lane and didn’t drift. A mile before the exit, Graham turned the cruise control off and moved over to the right, onto the exit ramp. Graham pulled into the mall parking lot, found a parking space with Ben’s help and parked the car then turned the CD player off. Ben giggled, “Grrr!” Pulling the key out of the ignition, Graham grinned, “Brrr?” “You’re a good driver,” Ben smiled and leaned over to give a kiss away and get another in return. Ben grinned, “I had an idea while Ryan was explaining things.” “Uh oh,” Graham chuckled. Ben giggled, “The back seats fold down. We might be able to fit back there, open the moon roof…” “And make love without steaming up the windows,” Graham happily finished. “That goes on our list of things to do. We’ll have to find a cool place to do it.” They got out of the car and met at the rear. Graham pressed the lock button on his key, the locks engaged and the car chirped. He stuffed the key into his pocket, took Ben’s hand, started for the mall entrance and smiled, “My shy boyfriend just suggested sex in the back of my new car, and barely blushed.” Nodding, Ben giggled, “It’s safer than under a jungle-gym.” Laughing, Graham wondered, “What’s in this mall?” Ben smiled, “A Rite Aid for the toiletries and an Old Navy for clothes.” “Lead the way,” Graham prompted. Ben checked, “You’ve never been here?” Shaking his head, Graham answered, “Nope. There are two malls much closer to home, the Promenade and Topanga Plaza.” Ben shared, “This one’s okay. The only big department stores are Marshalls and Burlington. There’s a Toys R Us, Regency theaters and some decent restaurants.” Ben giggled, “Prez got lost getting from Doug’s house to TGI Fridays here, I heard.” Graham chuckled, “He moved here from Texas when?” “Over a year ago,” Ben giggled. Graham laughed, “Omigod!” They stepped inside the mall. Ben first led the way to Rite Aid. Graham grabbed a hand basket for the few small things they needed. Ben tossed Right Guard deodorant into the basket. Graham dropped in Arrid Extra Dry. They found two-packs of Oral B toothbrushes on sale and got two packages. Finding little plastic travel toothbrush protectors, Graham picked up a package of four. They stopped at disposable razors, got their favorite brands and more shaving cream then moved on. Selecting hair brushes took the longest time. At the display of lubricants, they stopped again. “We’re both getting low,” Graham grinned. “I’ve been using Wet brand for two years, but I like the ID brand you use,” Ben admitted. Graham explained, “I don’t get just one brand; I alternate and try different ones. Ya wanna try Astro-Glide?” Ben shrugged, “Whatever you want, puddin’.” Watching Graham pickup the large bottles of Wet and Astro-Glide and drop them in the basket, Ben broke into a fit of giggles. Graham chuckled, “What?” Speechless, Ben only shook his head. Graham softly chortled, “We have a lot of totally awesome sex, and there’s a whole month before school starts. Bet ya we need more by then; maybe before then, assuming we don’t slow down.” Shaking his head, Ben turned redder as he became hysterical and staggered dizzily. With Graham evilly snickering and Ben helplessly giggling, they got into the checkout lane. A few minutes later, they walked out of the store. Pulling Graham aside to a quiet place, Ben giggled, “I lost track of how many times we made love and how many orgasms we had today.” Graham softly chuckled, “Once this morning, and one each. After lunch, you went for a ride that caused two each. Then missionary, once each, you got me doggie style and I got you on your belly. Add in the after bath blowjobs for six times and eight orgasms each, before dinner. And the day’s not over yet.” Ben laughed, “I shouldn’t be surprised.” Graham warmly smiled, “You’re an awesome lover, teddy bear. I couldn’t be happier.” Taking Graham’s hand, Ben led the way to Old Navy wondering, “More tonight?” Graham nodded, “As soon as we get home or maybe at Eddie’s, if you’re cool with it?” Envisioning walking into and out of Eddie’s sunroom, Ben giggled, “What will they say?” Graham chuckled, “The usual bad jokes and teasing from Matt and Eddie.” He then wondered, “What would Mike or Derrick say?” “I haven’t a clue,” Ben giggled. “It’s never been a worry before.” Graham nodded, “Well, don’t worry about it now. We’ll probably go orally. Anal takes longer, and means we have to clean up, before getting back into the pool.” Pulling Ben aside, Graham waited for some patrons to pass then leaned closer and whispered, “I want you to always remember, I had a prostate orgasm from you and you had one from me. That’s never happened to me before. Francis and I had heard of it, but never managed it. After four awesome days of sex, on the fifth day, we went all the way and thrilled each other that much. Even if it doesn’t happen again for days or weeks, we did that Ben. That means we can do it again. Hold that handsome face up proud, because I am very proud of you and us. At some point, I know my pride is gonna make me ask Eddie or Matt if they’ve ever done it. If they say yes, I’ll definitely share what we did. If they say no, I probably won’t share and keep it a secret for only us. Cool?” Ben nodded, “Very cool.” Filled to overflowing with love and pride, Ben took Graham into Old Navy. Graham spent less than sixty bucks at Rite Aid, so he had a hundred and forty he could spend at Old Navy. He got Ben three pair of cargo shorts, two pair of boardies and three T-shirts. Graham watched Ben try everything on and confirmed the clothes looked great. Both were very pleased as they walked out of the store and the mall. Now Ben didn’t have to worry about packing his backpack every week. All the boxers, two of the T-shirts and two pair of shorts Ben had brought to the Carletons’ this trip could easily stay there. Giddy, they got back in the new car and pleasantly commented on the new car scent. Since the sun was setting, Graham opened the moon roof for the ride. Soon, they were back on the 101 and quickly made the turn onto the 23. About six miles later, highway 23 dumped them onto the 118. According to the GPS, they had twenty-six miles before the intersection with the 405, so Graham turned on the cruise control. With only the stereo playing, Graham loudly cheered, “This is awesome! How could I possibly get a speeding ticket with cruise control? All I have to do is watch other cars, stay in the lane and let the car do the rest.” Ben giggled, “It’s so beautiful too, inside and out. The dashboard is like an airplane’s. The GPS is loaded with shopping, dining, and points of interest, where I found Magic Mountain, Disneyland and Universal Studios. We can enter our own addresses and save them too.” Graham grinned, “Not even Prez could get lost.” Ben giggled, “From what I’ve heard, I wouldn’t be too sure of that.” Graham chuckled, “I’ll have to talk to him tomorrow night. If anyone needs a GPS, he does.” Ben nodded, “Maybe he can have one installed in his 4Runner.” Graham grinned, “I wonder why he didn’t get one in the first place. It’s obviously new. Maybe the dealership didn’t offer it as an option. If he can’t get one installed, he could get one of the small GPS units to sit on top of the dashboard.” “We’ll bring it up when we see him,” Ben agreed. After only a few minutes of listening to music, Graham called, “Teddy bear?” Looking over, Ben smiled, “Yeah, puddin’?” “I’ve got major wood,” Graham helplessly giggled. Ben cracked up laughing, “Are you trying to get into an accident?” Graham laughed, “I’m so friggin’ excited! I’ve got you, with me, in this car, and clothes in the back for you, to be with me in my room.” He paused then softly chortled, “I hope I don’t shoot in my shorts.” Sliding down in the passenger seat, Ben lost it and howled. Graham rambled, “What would be the best is if I could park the car in my room too. Then we could fuck like bunnies in the back without any worries.” Ben started sneezing between bouts of laughter. Graham chuckled, “Great, now we’re both allergic to erections. We’ll be the only two gay teenagers in SoCal with no nads or noses. What will people say? They’ll laugh loudly, but whisper softly, ‘There they go, trying to make love without the tools to do anything except shiver and quake in frustration.’ Without noses we can’t even give each other head, for cryin’ out loud!” Breathlessly, Ben gasped and giggled, “Please stop.” Graham grinned, “Hold my hand, so I don’t spank my dickie and cause a twenty car pileup?” Ben gave Graham his hand and tried desperately to stop laughing. Soon, he started hiccuping and Graham sniggered, “Sorry teddy bear.” Shaking his head, Ben tried to explain, “Our first day of intercourse and we had eight orgasms each. I never would’ve guessed, in my wildest dreams.” Graham grinned, “We could make fourteen easily. Tomorrow, Matt’s working all day and Eddie’s working from ten until four, I think. Let’s try for fifteen or sixteen tomorrow.” “We could try,” Ben giggled, “or we could go for a spin around town; maybe catch a movie?” “Are you sore from sex?” “I’m not sore, but I know I’m not a virgin any more. My butt twinges now and then, reminding me how we spent the afternoon.” “Mine too,” Graham smiled, “it’s an awesome feeling, that I haven’t felt in a very long time.” Noticing Graham quietly reflecting, Ben softly prompted; “Do you want to tell me?” “I do and I don’t,” Graham sighed. “The only reason I don’t is because you aren’t Beanie and I’m tired of comparing.” Understandingly, Ben nodded, “I don’t see it as comparisons, Graham. In my dream, I was really scared at first, seeing a dude with red hair that wasn’t as tall as Prez, and sounded completely different. His hand seemed so small in mine, compared to yours and Prez’s. I’d like to suggest that we treat Francis like he’s moved far away. He’s not gone, he’s in China; sharing his love for us long distance. He treated me like a friend, puddin’; like he knew I was scared, and then I started to feel comfortable, like he was my friend. Your old boyfriend gave me the keys to your heart.” Graham smiled, “I figured that out when you corrected me, before dinner. You were considerate of his feelings, Ben. That matters, so much more than I can say.” Ben asked, “Can you talk to me like Francis is in China?” Shrugging, Graham tried it out. “There were days with Francis like we had today. Every one of ‘em was during vacation; last summer, during Christmas and Spring break, and again earlier this summer. The bedroom similarities between you and Beanie are that you both like to play and have sex too.” Ben giggled, “That’s because of you, puddin’. Francis had to hide his feelings, sort o’ like me, but for different reasons. Now that the hiding is over, I go for it, just like he did. You’re the playful instigator. When I get the chance to start something, I do and Francis did too.” “Holy shit,” Graham gasped, “you’re right.” “I know I am,” Ben giggled. “Our first night and first time, I was going slowly only partly because I was nervous. The rest of what I did was so you could stop it, if you felt you needed to. You wrapped my hand around your hard dickie. That gave me permission to do what I wanted.” “So you’re catching up on seventeen years and Beanie was catching up on lost opportunities.” Ben nodded, “I can easily imagine him, after an afternoon at home, going back to your place, the instant he was alone in your room either he’d rip his own clothes off or yours.” “Omigod,” Graham laughed, “you were peeping or he told you that.” Shaking his head, Ben giggled, “He didn’t tell me and I didn’t peek into your window. I know how I am and how I’d be in his shoes.” Graham chortled, “It’s amazing because he actually did rip a pair of boxer briefs off me.” Ben cracked up and Graham sniggered, “It was during Christmas break and a brand new pair wound up in the trash. He couldn’t get at my dickie fast enough. With two hands, he ripped open the fly and tore right down the crotch.” Ben laughed, “I promise to not destroy your clothes.” Graham smiled, “Can you tell me why…” and then shook his head, choosing not to finish the question. Ben wondered, “Why what?” Graham sighed, “There were times he’d stop me, in my room, when no one was home, and we could’ve done anything we wanted.” Ben shrugged, “Judging only by what I know, what Francis showed me of your first time, what you’ve said, and what little Eddie’s said; I’ll bet he was challenging you.” Graham incredulously exclaimed, “Challenging me?” “To turn on the charm,” Ben warmly smiled. Graham glanced over briefly, obviously confused. Ben giggled, “Let me give you a few examples. In the first hour, you asked me to be your special friend. During all our time in the park that night, you described yourself in a fog from grief, yet you noticed that I’m right handed and the scars on my wrists. You waited for me to explain the scars. Sitting at the picnic table, you told me how much you wanted to have sex, but warned me you might not be able to. I had already figured that out, but you said it sadly, like it made a difference. There were so many things you said in the park that were nothing less than charming and some were completely hysterical.” Grinning and nodding, Graham teased, “Erection allergy.” Ben smiled, “I’ll bet that’s what Francis wanted more than your dickie; just those kinds of words. I have to wonder, how many times he attacked you after a simple comment.” Graham shrugged, “He told me of a few, indirectly, usually by suggesting we go right to my house instead of his.” Ben nodded, “You took me from being a nervous wreck over a sleepover to sex by dawn. Since then, you’ve been awesome, making every single sexual experience easy and fun. Now you’ve got me spending entire afternoons naked with you, and anxiously anticipating the next day we spend that way.” “Whenever you want,” Graham smiled. “Is tomorrow our only full day alone, without friends around?” Graham nodded, “I think so. Eddie works Thursday and Friday mornings and Matt works full days, from nine ‘til five. Shaun and Gil are working full days Tuesday through Friday.” “Then we’re back to the weekend,” Ben smiled. “Tomorrow we’ll make love all day. Wednesday we’ll go to the beach with Eddie and Matt. Thursday or Friday we’ll catch a movie.” Graham prompted, “I need to see you swimming before we go to the beach, teddy bear. Pools don’t have currents like the ocean. That’s why I want Matt and Eddie with us our first trip to the beach, to keep you safe.” Ben nodded and smiled, “You’re driving very safe; passing on the left and moving back to the right, allowing faster traffic to pass to the left. How did you do on your written and behind the wheel tests?” “I aced both,” Graham admitted. “On highways, I never go more than five miles an hour over the speed limit. My dad warned me that cops look for teenagers doing that. On side streets, I never go over the speed limit. Little kids playing have already popped into the street and scared the shit out of me.” Ben smirked, “Living near a park, I know the feeling too well.” Graham asked, “How’d you do on your driver’s tests?” “I aced the written, but had to retake behind the wheel,” Ben giggled. Graham wondered, “Because you were nervous?” Ben sighed, “Of course.” Squeezing Ben’s hand tighter for a moment, Graham shared, “You can’t get nervous at the beach, teddy bear. If you get that way, let me know, or just get out of the water. There are rip currents that’ll grab you and take you for a sightseeing tour. The last thing you want to do is fight it. Just go with it and save your strength.” Ben checked, “That’s why you want Matt and Eddie there with us?” Graham nodded, “As much as I would try to watch you constantly, I couldn’t. For you especially, having never been, you need eyes watching and strong swimmers to help. Any one of the three of us could help rescue you.” Ben nodded, “I was surprised the first time I saw Eddie with his shirt off. He’s more muscular than I imagined.” Graham evilly sniggered. Ben giggled, “I guess he has to be with Matt.” “You’ll have to ask Eddie,” Graham chuckled. “Right,” Ben giggled. “Hey Eddie, since Matt’s four inches taller and at least thirty pounds heavier, how does that work?” Graham smiled, “Ask him.” Ben grinned, “You obviously haven’t.” Shaking his head, Graham warmly offered, “I haven’t always paid attention to stuff, teddy bear. Eddie wasn’t in my kindergarten class, but we’ve known each other since we were infants. I was actually very happy when he and I were in the same first grade class. For me, it was like, hey, I know you, but didn’t know you went to this school.” Ben nodded, “Common kid stuff, not catching on to what should be obvious.” Graham smiled, “Suddenly, here’s this kid I’ve seen countless times before, whenever our mom’s got together, and he’s in my class at school. He was the exact same way, surprised I was there. That’s why we say we’ve been friends since first grade, because before that, we weren’t catching on to simple shit. There are things I don’t ask Eddie about, especially sexual things. He tells me a lot, I’ve told him a lot and Francis did too. You’ve already shared something with Eddie that I’ll find out about in time.” “Does it worry you, puddin’?” “Not at all,” Graham quickly answered. “I know it has something to do with Francis and your dream visit, so that’s enough and totally cool. How Eddie and Matt manage sex is more than I need to know. It would be like asking a twin brother the question. To further complicate things, way before they got serious, Matt was with me on a few occasions. The important thing is, Matt completely loves Eddie and Eddie is madly in love with Matt. Eddie wasn’t a big giggler until he and Matt made the commitments. Now he’s happy all the time and shows it.” Ben hummed thoughtfully. Graham chortled, “What’re you thinkin’ teddy bear?” “You and me,” Ben smiled. “I made you happy Wednesday night. By three in the morning, you had me laughing so hard, and I haven’t stopped giggling since.” “We make each other very happy, my love,” Graham assured. They approached the intersection with the 405 freeway. Moving to the right and onto the interchange ramp, Ben noticed Graham’s right leg shift to the accelerator and his right hand disengaged the cruise control, like the car wasn’t new and everything was simple. Graham matched the ramp speed limit. Ben started giggling. “What did I do?” Graham grinned. Ben giggled, “You’re piloting the star ship very well, Captain.” “This car practically drives itself,” Graham smiled. Ben giggled, “Shall I set our destination coordinates?” Graham nodded, “5225 Baza Avenue, Mister Healy.” Leaning forward, Ben operated the GPS; selecting the city, which auto-filled for him, entering the house number and then the street name, which also auto-filled. Ben saved it as ‘Eddie’s house’. Surprising the boys, a female voice said, “Recalculating.” In moments, the display changed to show the route and the female voice announced, “Turn right at exit 63B to state highway 101 northbound onramp.” Ben and Graham loudly laughed, “OMIGOD!” Graham sniggered, “Mister Dickie says we have to go directly to Eddie’s sunroom, Mister Healy.” “Let’s show them the car first,” Ben giggled. “Then they’ll understand why we’re playin’ with our dickies.” “When we get there, stay close to me. I might have major wood or a big wet spot,” Graham chuckled. Nodding, Ben teased, “I’m telling everyone that a woman’s voice gave you a stiffy.” “There’s a first time for everything,” Graham laughed, and then rambled, “It took me a while to set the damn driver’s seat. It took you a while to get the CD’s loaded, which by the way, is totally awesome too. With our music playing, we haven’t had to reach for the station select button once. That’s about five hours worth of music, so we could go all the way down to San Diego and back again on the same disks. Cruise control simplifies driving to watching other cars on the road.” He paused to press buttons on the dashboard then grinned, “We’ve gone over thirty-five miles, gotten twenty-two miles per gallon and we can get another two-hundred-eighty miles on this tank of gas. The moon roof is killer too. We got to see the sunset above us while driving. This is the kind of car that’s a pleasure to drive. We might have to take a break tomorrow simply to drive around.” “You love the car more than me,” Ben frowned. Graham chuckled, “No, I don’t think so. If they added a new option package, lifelike anal stimulators and a blowjob tube, you’ve still got the car beat, my love.” Ben giggled, “Talk about your distracted drivers, with anal stimulators and automated fellatio, they’d have to develop shields and phasers.” Bouncing in his seat, Graham shouted, “I’m cumming,” and then pressed an imaginary button, making a loud ‘fzzzzt’ sound to fire his phasers. Ben howled laughing. Pretending to be in the throes of multiple orgasms, Graham repeatedly bounced, announced and fired. Minutes later, Graham had stopped his bouncing and phaser fire. Ben had mostly recovered too when the GPS lady announced, “One mile to exit 63B. Merge right onto highway 101 northbound.” Moaning, Graham pretended to beat off. Sliding down in his seat, Ben cracked up. Only to instigate Ben, Graham playfully wondered, “Do you think she’ll talk dirty to us?” “Make a wrong turn and find out,” Ben breathlessly laughed. Knowing where he was, Graham took the first exit off the 101 onto Haskell Avenue. Roaring hysterically, Ben didn’t hear the GPS system announce, “Recalculating.” “Re-ejaculating?” Graham loudly exclaimed. “She’s gonna blow us now, dude.” Gasping and wheezing, Ben shook his head and covered his crotch with both hands. Widely smiling at his breathless lover, Graham turned his directional on, to make the right turn onto Ventura Boulevard. At White Oak Avenue, Graham turned right again and soon was getting back onto the 101. Noticing Ben grinning at him, Graham sighed, “I love you so much, Ben. Everything’s gotten so much better in such a short time, thanks to you.” Ben shivered and smiled, “I love you very much too, Graham. Seeing you happy and being silly have made my days. Tell me something, seriously.” Graham nodded, “Anything, teddy bear.” Ben softly asked, “Do you still think you’re cracking up?” Humming for a moment, Graham thought about the question. He offered, “What my mom made sense. Without realizing it, I was helping myself by reorganizing a little. I wouldn’t have been doing that without you though. It was your suggestion to put the pictures away too.” Accepting that, Ben nodded, “Tomorrow’s another new day, puddin’. It’ll be just you and me until dinner. We can do whatever we want and go wherever we want. Nothing is written in stone.” Graham wondered, “You’re leading someplace, aren’t you?” Ben smiled, “You know me as well as I know you. I’m only saying that this has been a great week, for me and especially for you. The days are what we make of them, Graham. Tomorrow, there’s no new car, no new boyfriend, no first times in the bedroom. From here onward, it’s us, making the days as much as they can be.” “Those days will be so much more than I expected,” Graham gushed. “Since we sat with Ryan in that other car, I’ve been thinking, holy shit, my dad didn’t only get a safe car, he got one with more than I asked for or expected. I asked for white with a CD player. I got a CD changer and a moon roof in a space station. I’ve got you sitting at my side, playing navigator and making all this so much more fun. As far as tomorrow is concerned, what else could I need or want other than time with you. I showed you four basic positions, teddy bear. There are other ways we can make love; so many more that we couldn’t possibly try them all out in one day, even if we did manage to set a new record. What I’m looking forward to is experiencing each of them with you. Wednesday we’ll hit the beach for a few hours. That’ll be just as much fun as a day alone with you, because it’s your first time doing that. In a few minutes, when we get to Eddie’s, we’ll have another new first time; the two of us with my friends and two of yours there too. I’m looking forward to everything again, Ben. Even catching a flick will be exciting, because it’ll be our first time doing that. Until we see a couple of flicks in various genres, it’ll be new and very cool. “Here’s another little difference between you and Francis, right now. Beanie wouldn’t be too thrilled just driving for an hour without a destination. Not once have you asked to stop anywhere and we’ve been driving almost an hour. You’re perfectly happy copiloting and talking though. That makes you the special friend I wanted you to be; it made this drive fun and totally about us.” Graham took the Canoga Avenue exit off the 101 freeway. Relieved, Ben sighed, “I was really worried that I’ve been boring this whole time.” “No way, teddy bear,” Graham grinned. He stopped for the red light at the intersection with Ventura Boulevard, and then explained, “Beanie liked to be entertained. I’m very happy with you because you don’t need that same level of activity.” He paused then asked, “Tell me truthfully, would you be happier staying home tomorrow or going out?” Ben shrugged, “What we do doesn’t matter. Since we can’t plan on another day to be totally alone, then that’s what I’m fine with. That’s all I want, is to be with you.” “That’s all I want too,” Graham smiled. The light at Ventura Boulevard turned green and Graham turned right, softly chortling, “You aren’t boring, my love. Quiet times are allowed in my life. After the accident, I very much appreciate the change. Don’t think for a second that I’m not completely attracted to you just the way you are. I loved every part of today and sharing it all with you.” Taking the left turn down Baza Avenue, Graham smirked, “I’m just gonna run into my house real quick, to let my folks know we’re still alive and very happy. I know at least one of them is awake and nervously waiting for us to get home.” Since they didn’t go directly to Eddie’s, the GPS warned “Recalculating.” Ben nodded, “They’ll be that way for a while, puddin’.” Graham sighed, “I know it, probably a very long while.” He stopped in front of his house a few moments later, turned and grinned, “I’ll leave the thrusters idling. Watch the Enterprise for a minute?” Nodding, Ben giggled, “I’ll fiddle with the navigation system some more.” Leaning over, Graham gave Ben a kiss then opened his car door, softly muttering “A damn fine kisser for a copilot.” Helplessly blushing, Ben giggled as Graham got out and hurried to the house. It was only ten minutes before ten, Ben noticed as he leaned forward to try various controls on the GPS. Not too surprisingly, Graham found both his parents in the living room, barely awake and watching the ten o’clock news. He excitedly told his parents that he was thrilled with the car, adding that he had checked the alignment and balancing and it stayed perfectly centered in the lane. Faye wondered where Ben was and Graham told her “He’s waiting in the Enterprise, programming the navigation system for nearby star systems.” At his confused wife’s stare, Robert softly chortled, “I added a GPS. He can’t possibly get lost.” Faye nodded and Graham smiled, “Ben used it too, to get to a mall in Thousand Oaks and to get us back home again. We’re going over to Eddie’s for another few hours, so off to bed with you, before I call AARP.” Suspiciously squinting, Faye grinned, “You’re grounded.” Graham shrugged and sniggered, “We weren’t planning on leaving the house tomorrow anyway.” Closing her eyes and shaking her head, Faye softly asked, “Please call my cell if your plans change?” Graham nodded, “No problem. With cruise control, speeding tickets are a worry of the past.” Faye stood and gave her son a kiss goodnight. She climbed the stairs. Turning the television off and standing, Robert asked, “You tested everything?” Graham nodded, “Pretty much; computer systems, seating controls, moon roof, CD changer, climate control, headlights and the directionals. It’s awesome dad, more than I expected. When you give it a test drive tomorrow, you’ll be just as happy.” Robert nodded and sighed, “We just don’t want another middle of the night call from a policeman at a hospital, Graham. I think the three of us aged ten years this last month. The son I thought I knew would’ve argued about my preferred car choices. You didn’t argue. That’s why you got more than you asked for. I’ll also say that your mom is considering getting you a cell phone, so she can get calls whenever you go anywhere. I’m on the fence about it, because cell phone use while driving is dangerous. I don’t ever take calls when I’m driving for that reason.” Gesturing outside, Graham reminded, “I’ve got a constant companion and copilot. Whatever makes mom happy, we’ll make it work safely. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t expect to find both of you awake and waiting.” Robert shrugged, “When she’s nervous, I get to keep her from climbing the walls.” “There wasn’t a single problem out on the road all night,” Graham assured. Robert smiled, “I can barely believe that.” Graham grinned, “There were the usual speed demons, but nothing surprising; not even an accident on the road to slow us down.” Robert nodded, “Go get back to Ben. Park in the driveway beside your mom’s car when you get home tonight; that’s your car’s home.” Giving his dad a hug, Graham promised, “We’re only going to Eddie’s. We’ll be home around midnight.” Squeezing his son tightly, Robert nodded, “Have a good time. I’ll see you and Ben tomorrow night.” He released his youngest son and started up the stairs. Graham walked outside, locked the door behind him and sighed, wondering when his parents might relax. He hurried back to the car and got in groaning, “My folks are so freaked out. Mom’s even thinking of a cell phone, so she can track my every movement.” Ben asked, “Both of them were awake?” Buckling up, Graham nodded, “That’s what’s bummin’ me out; they’re too old to be that nervous so often. Dad even brought up the emergency call from the police.” He leaned over for a kiss which Ben happily provided, and then put the car in gear, grinning “Maybe my new boyfriend will keep me home more often, so they don’t need sedation.” He pulled away and started the short trip to Eddie’s. Ben giggled, “I think I can manage something. I’ve already thought about hiding your clothes.” Graham laughed, “Have you?” “At both houses,” Ben evilly grinned. With Graham sniggering, Ben thought aloud, “A trip to the Promenade Mall is necessary.” Graham chuckled, “For what?” “One pair of Calvin Klein low rise briefs,” Ben giggled. “That’s the only clothing you’re allowed to wear, and only when I say so.” “We’re going out to the desert,” Graham chortled. “If all I get is one pair of briefs then all you get is a loin cloth.” Ben asked, “Would you wear CK briefs?” Graham nodded, “If that’s what you want, sure. I only changed to boxer briefs two years ago, when pubes started getting ripped out by the roots.” Ben squealed, “OW!” Graham cracked up. Ben smirked, “Okay, no CK’s for you. We’ll get two loin cloths.” “Easy access, teddy bear,” Graham sniggered. “Omigod,” Ben giggled. Stopping in front of Eddie’s house, Graham smiled, “What?” Ben pressed the power button on the CD changer then sighed, “I can’t wait to be alone with you later.” Turning off the engine, Graham reminded, “We don’t have to wait very long, my love. Give me the signal and I’ll lead you to the bathroom off the sunroom.” Shrugging, Ben smirked, “I don’t know if I can do that.” He then giggled, “I don’t think I’d be satisfied with blowjobs.” Graham mooed through his snickering then prompted, “Let’s get the new car stuff out of the way, quickly. So you know; I won’t be acting very happy. I need you alone real quick too.” Ben reached over to give away a tender kiss that started to become very passionate. With knowing grins, they both put it on hold then got out of the car. Graham pressed the key button to lock the doors. Two hands found one another and they walked around to the backyard. As they approached, they could hear guitars and singing. At the gate, they could see their six friends out of the pool, naked on patio chairs and gathered around Mike and Shaun. Seeing Ben and Graham enter the yard, Eddie hurried to them, excitedly asking, “Well, did you get the car?” Ben and Graham nodded. Graham grinned, “It’s around front.” Abruptly, Mike and Shaun stopped playing and singing. Derrick got up and prompted, “Let’s see it, dude.” Also standing, Matt tilted his head and wondered, “What’s up, bro? You don’t seem very enthused.” Graham shrugged, “It’s real nice, but it’s not a Firebird or 442.” Derrick chuckled, “Good luck finding a 442 in good condition like mine.” Leading the way out of the yard, Eddie grinned, “It’s probably awesome. Ben’s being way too quiet.” Ben giggled, “You’re all naked and walking to the front of the house?” Graham chortled, “No skid marks on my leather seats, dudes.” Shaun shoved Graham, sniggering, “We took two showers and were in the pool.” Glancing around, Ben and Graham saw the other five cheekily smiling and nodding. Graham pressed the keychain unlock button again, the car chirped and the doors unlocked. Eddie’s mouth dropped open. Locking eyes with Graham, Matt chuckled, “You bastard.” Graham bared a toothy smile and Ben giggled. Gil gushed, “It’s beautiful!” Soon all eight were opening doors and surrounding the car. Graham got in, put the key in the ignition and turned it. Ben stood beside Graham at the open driver’s side door, so their friends could check out the car. Looking in from the passenger side, Mike smirked, “A CD changer and GPS? Jesus, Graham.” Derrick prompted, “Look up, Lick.” Mike, Eddie, Matt, Shaun and Gil looked up. Gil chuckled, “And an open sun roof.” Shaun chuckled, “It sucks. Take it back, fucker, so I can get it tomorrow, for ten grand less.” Ben and Graham cracked up. Eddie giggled, “How many miles are on it?” “Just under fifty,” Graham chuckled. “It had a little over four when I drove off the lot. We took it for a ride…” “There are sacks in the back cargo area,” Derrick interrupted, and started going through the contents. Joining his partner, Mike grinned, “Did they go fetish shopping, already?” The other six roared laughing. Derrick grumbled, “It doesn’t seem that way; there’s only clothes and basic toiletries…” He paused then sniggered, “And two large bottles of lube.” Mooing, laughter and giggling erupted. Blushing, Ben giggled his ass off. “Okay,” Graham chortled, “Have you dudes seen enough?” “For now,” Matt chuckled. “You’re driving to the beach Wednesday, bro.” Eddie nodded and giggled, “We’ll meet Mike and Derrick there.” Derrick added, “Keith and Prez too. The Hundsers are having new siding put on the house, so they’re back in Agoura Hills with us this week.” Turning the ignition off, Graham smiled, “That would be great.” Getting out of the car, Graham wordlessly checked with Ben. Ben nodded as all the car doors were closed. Walking around the car with Ben, Graham softly reminded, “Ben’s never been to the beach dudes. I need him safe and would like it if he wanted to go back often.” On their way to the backyard, Mike squinted at Ben and prodded, “Are you confident?” Ben nodded and giggled, “As much as I can be, but I’m clueless about waves and currents.” While the other six discussed beach plans and keeping Ben safe, Shaun and Gil were refining their resignation plans for later that month. Shaun told Gil, “We went right to work at the start of the summer. I’d like the last two weeks without that responsibility.” Gil nodded, “I can do that if you can. It’ll free us up for the Magic Mountain trip too.” Shaun suggested, “How does Friday the fourteenth sound to you?” Gil grinned, “Excellent. Happy birthday to me.” Ben asked Gil, “Your birthday is the fourteenth?” Rapidly nodding, Gil smiled, “I turn seventeen.” Ben widely smiled, “Many happy returns, in advance.” Nudging Mike, Shaun teased, “We’re going for seventeen times that night.” Shaking his head, Gil evilly snickered. “I’ll get you canes so you can walk the next day,” Derrick joked. Ben gently tapped Eddie then whispered, “I need your bathroom.” Eddie giggled, “Alone?” Nodding, Ben giggled, “This time.” Eddie led Ben inside the sunroom, but Graham never left Ben’s side. As they stepped into the small bathroom, Eddie giggled, “Five minutes, dudes.” “I promise to be good,” Ben giggled. Closing the bathroom door, Graham silently mouthed, “He’s really good, bro.” Walking away in a giggling fit, Eddie heard Ben laugh, “You’re not being good, puddin’. Dinner was four hours ago, I really do have to go.” Covering his mouth, Eddie cracked up. Watching his partner stagger out of the sunroom, Matt went to Eddie asking, “Already?” Eddie nodded and giggled, “Ben needs to go and Graham’s being bad.” Stunned at what they overheard, Derrick’s and Mike’s jaws dropped. Picking up his guitar, Shaun smiled at his two band mates, wondering “You didn’t expect it?” “Not from Ben, immediately upon arrival,” Derrick grinned. Gil chuckled, “He was here last night too. Watch them together, dudes.” Shaun sat with his guitar and smiled, “What we see from the garage is only half the picture. Which is more infatuated is a coin toss. What gets me is Graham going from a skinny extrovert like Francis to a beefy introvert like Ben.” Noticing Gil grinning madly, Shaun cackled, “What? I always preferred big dudes like you, honey. I’m not shedding light on any guarded secret.” Shaking his head, Mike grinned, “It’s not the same dude we met Memorial Day. He wouldn’t even talk to us.” “He ran inside, totally bam-foozled,” Derrick smiled. “A little at a time, he started speaking,” Mike added. Derrick nodded, “Even after we encircled him, the change wasn’t this drastic.” Eddie and Matt cracked up, causing Derrick, Gil, Mike and Shaun to smile widely at them. Matt chuckled, “You dudes are way over analyzing. Sure, I love my buttercup and his photos. He comes to every ballgame and takes ten pictures of me for each one he takes of the rest of the game.” Eddie giggled, “What are the very best times though?” “Making love is not the answer, so think again,” Matt grinned. Gil checked, “The absolute best times are before we fall asleep. Nodding, Shaun agreed, “When there’s nothing left to say or do and we’re simply together.” Derrick smiled, “Yeah, when we’re not asleep; just cuddled up together.” Mike rapidly nodded and added, “Waking easy in the morning too, before we do anything else.” Eddie suggested, “Try it more often, dudes. Take five or ten minutes to simply be, any time you feel like it.” “That’s why I’m with Eddie,” Matt shared. “A couple of times a day we practice just being; lying down together, standing and holding each other close, or even sitting at the table.” Eddie sighed, “There’s nothing finer than a few quiet minutes together, not concerned about anything; listening to birds chirp or rain falling or the wind blowing.” Before another word was said, Gil took two towels off the table and carefully spread them out on the concrete deck. He lay down and looked up at the stars. Shaun put his guitar back in its case then went and lay down with Gil. Derrick took Mike’s hand and led him into the shallow end of the pool where they took hold of each other to simply be. Eddie got up and sat on Matt’s lap. Gazing deeply into one another’s eyes, they carelessly let time pass. Many minutes later, Ben had finished on the toilet and finished off Graham. Taking the spot on the porcelain throne, Graham took care of business and Ben too. They walked outside, surprised that there was no guitar playing, no singing, and no talking. Recognizing what was going on, Graham led Ben to the diving board. They took their clothes off and Graham prompted Ben to lie down on the board, with his head over the concrete and his feet over the water. Graham then carefully lay down on Ben. For many more minutes, there was only the sound of the crickets and the pool filter pumping water. Shaun and Gil got up from the towels and went into the shallow end of pool near Derrick and Mike. Not a minute later, Matt and Eddie joined them in the pool. Softly whispering about how nice those minutes felt, they gave Ben and Graham some time to be. Then they stealthily paddled across the pool to the diving board. Matt and Gil held Graham down on top of Ben while the other four tickled four feet, shattering the minutes of serenity with loud laughter. As soon as he was released, Graham bounded up and dove in. Ben followed to cannon-ball his friends, making a huge splash. Graham went on the attack, throwing himself at Shaun, Gil, Derrick and Mike. Before anyone could get to Ben, Eddie prompted, “Follow me inside for a minute, bro? I need to show you something.” Nodding, Ben didn’t ask questions, but simply followed Eddie out of the pool. Moments later, alone in Eddie’s first floor bedroom, Eddie smiled, “Remember that shitty white blur photo from last night?” “Sure,” Ben grinned, and added, “it really wasn’t too bad, considering you took five pictures so fast, dude.” “It’s what I found in that white blur that’s amazing,” Eddie giggled. He pulled up the original photograph, and then zoomed in on an area near the top center, between Gil’s and Matt’s out of focus arms. Seeing something on the monitor, but not certain what it was; Ben scowled, “It almost looks like a face. What is that?” Eddie giggled, “That’s pretty much what I said.” He then applied a filter effect that took a while to render. Recognizing the face as it was still being rendered, Ben shivered, “Oh my God.” Eddie looked up at Ben and smiled, “You know who that is?” Ben nodded, “It’s the face from my dream; it’s Francis.” “Now check this out,” Eddie giggled, and went to work loading another photograph. “I took this June twenty-third, two days before the accident. Francis was floating around the pool.” A moment later, after the picture had loaded and Eddie moved the filtered pool view beside the earlier photo of Francis, Ben wiped his eyes then nodded, “That’s him, just like he was in my dream.” Ben asked, “Who else knows about this?” “No one,” Eddie smiled. “Matt was in the kitchen when I found it this afternoon.” Ben hummed then asked, “Do you think Graham should see it?” Eddie shrugged, “Do you?” Blown away, Ben sighed, “I’m not sure. I think he’d like to, but it will probably make him a little sad too. I finally got him to talk about Francis, like he was away on extended vacation in China, earlier tonight, in the car. I think he’s really seeing it that way. It’s good for him and for me too. We were talking to Graham’s mom about phases of grief before dinner…” Eddie suddenly cracked up and pointed at the window, where Matt and Graham were suspiciously peeking in. Ben giggled, “Can I open the window? I’ll call Graham in.” Still giggling, Eddie rapidly nodded. Ben went around the bed and slid open the window. “My teddy bear, bro,” Graham chuckled. From the pool, Derrick, Mike, Gil and Shaun sang, “Busted!” “Come inside, puddin’,” Ben giggled. Graham prompted, “For?” Carefully watching Graham and his own tone of voice, Ben answered, “A very surprising photo, of Francis.” After thinking about it a few moments, Graham shook his head, saying, “He’s in China. It’s you and me now, and for the foreseeable future, Ben.” Ben whimpered then nodded, “We’ll be right out.” “With the camera,” Eddie giggled. Turning and going near the pool, Matt chuckled, “Out of the pool, dudes. Un-shrivel your dickies and nads for Eddie’s perverted camera.” Ben slid the window closed then he and Eddie cracked up. Climbing out of the pool, Shaun cackled, “At least Mike’s here, so my dickie isn’t as unique as it was last night.” Close behind Shaun and rubbing his lover’s wet buns, Gil smiled, “It’s still unique to me, bubbala.” “Our first ever erection line-up,” Shaun sniggered. Climbing out via the stairs with Derrick, Mike repeated, “The first ever, really?” “That’s just wrong,” Derrick chortled. Handing out towels, Graham chuckled, “Hold that thought, dudes. Lemme see if I can get Ben to go along with it.” Matt nodded and grinned, “Getting ‘em up doesn’t take as long as getting ‘em back down again, so let’s get limp dickies first.” Walking out of the sunroom with Eddie following, Ben went directly to Graham. Handing the last towel to Mike, Graham guided Ben aside and whispered the suggestion in his partner’s ear. Ben started giggling before Graham finished speaking. Wide-eyed, Graham watched Ben stagger then loudly laugh, “Mike!” Jumping at the sudden loud calling from Ben, of all people, Mike hollered, “What!” Also momentarily stunned, Derrick chortled, causing Shaun to crack up at the expressions of his two band mates. Ben giggled, “An erection line-up, dude?” Eddie, Graham and Matt broke into muffled hysterics. Shrugging, Mike sniggered, “It was only a thought. Shaun’s idea, backed by me and Derrick, but whatever, dude.” Matt chuckled, “Limp dickies first, bro; then couples make the magic happen for another set of pictures.” Ben giggled, “What about you and Eddie? You’re the ones taking the pictures, and joining the lineup, one at a time.” “It’s a warm night,” Eddie giggled, “no problem here, bro.” Hoping for backup from someone, Ben turned to Gil. “We were hard in the pool last night, dude,” Gil grinned. “Really, it’s you, Derrick and Mike that are newcomers.” Shaun playfully muttered “Don’t say ‘comers’, hon.” Mike, Derrick and Gil cracked up. In a fit of giggles, Ben turned to Graham, who smiled, “Whatever you say, teddy bear; limp dickies only and we’re the ones taking the pictures. Then we get to watch the rest of ‘em dash into the sunroom.” Shaking his head and hoping to calm Ben’s fears, Mike pointed at his crotch, grinning, “Three inches now to eight. You’re bigger than me right now, Ben.” Matt smiled, “Another to eight.” “Seven and a half,” Gil admitted. “Seven,” Derrick grinned. “Seven here too,” Graham smiled. “Six and three-eighths,” Shaun shared. “Exactly six,” Eddie giggled. Since Ben couldn’t speak, Graham enthusiastically said, “Ben’s never measured and it hasn’t been a priority for us. I’ll guess at least six and half inches and much thicker than I am.” “Oh Christ, another one,” Mike grumbled. Noticing the others curiously grinning, Derrick chuckled, “Keith and Prez, dudes. Both of ‘em have thick cocks.” Eddie giggled, “Tomorrow the wide angle lens gets snapped on.” Gil chuckled, “I heard Corey has seven inches, but nothing about thickness.” Shaun wondered, “What about Drew, honey?” “Dunno,” Gil shrugged. Rolling his eyes, Mike sighed, “Drew is Keith’s brother. They’re about the same, almost seven by almost six.” Gil asked, “What about Prez?” “Six and three-eighths by five and a half,” Derrick grinned. Matt and Eddie led the others to the fence, to allow Graham and Ben to talk. Graham checked with Ben, smiling, “It’s all out in the open, literally.” He leaned close to whisper, “Be proud ‘cos I sure as hell am. We can get each other rock hard with a single deep kiss. If you want payback, my ass is yours, very willingly.” Nodding, Ben giggled, “What the hell.” Ben and Graham went over to join the lineup. Ben locked eyes with Mike. “It’s not my fault,” Mike laughed. Shaun sniggered, “I only mentioned it because Gil was teasing. Another word and wood would’ve popped anyway.” Gil playfully wondered, “Which word is this?” “Helium,” Shaun giggled. Matt, Eddie, Gil, Graham and Ben lost it and cracked up. Mike grinned, “Why helium?” “As in my floating feet,” Shaun giggled, and then flashed Mike and Derrick the lickity-split signal. The three of them cracked up. Eddie giggled, “What the hell was that, Shaun?” Shaun gestured to Mike, who gestured to Derrick, who chuckled, “Prez and his Texas sayings led to a series of tangents.” With his left hand, Derrick demonstrated and explained, “Get your legs in the air and flick your tongue over the fleshy bit.” All eight howled laughing and the lineup fell apart. Turning to Ben, Graham sniggered, “You never told me that.” Ben giggled, “They never told me or even showed me. I was the only one around without a partner.” Mike chuckled, “Don’t feel too left out, Ben. We haven’t taught Corey or Drew that either.” Derrick nodded and chortled, “We’re not sure if they’ve gone there or not. If we flash it tomorrow night and Corey falls into the pool laughing, the question is answered.” Eddie was trying to line up the shot, but lowered his camera and cracked up. Reorganizing themselves into a lineup, seven out-of-sync voices laughed “Hurry up, Eddie.” Breathlessly, Eddie flashed them the lickity-split signal, with extra tongue action between his fingers. Softly sniggering, Matt went to his hysterical lover. He took the camera hanging off Eddie’s neck then led Eddie to the lineup, in between Shaun and Mike. Wrapping his arms around Mike’s and Shaun’s shoulders, Eddie pulled them closer and hung off them. Backed up to the pool, Matt instructed, “Stop acting like straight dudes. Grab a shoulder or waist and pull together.” Doing as he was told, Derrick grinned, “I thought you said limp dickies first?” Looking down both sides of the lineup, Mike grinned, “One Eddie sandwich, comin’ up.” The view finder showed Gil’s right hip and Ben’s left hip would still be chopped off, so Matt shuffled back until he had the entire group. Kneeling down on the pool edge, with his legs hanging over the water, Matt grinned, “Okay, say dick cheese, dudes,” and snapped the picture. Mike smiled at Eddie, wondering, “How much do you weigh?” “About one-thirty,” Eddie giggled. Derrick grinned, “You‘re thin as a rail, dude. If it weren’t for muscle, I’d start shoveling food into your mouth.” Approaching the lineup, Matt assured, “He eats almost as much as I do, three meals a day plus between meal snacks. It’s just Eddie’s metabolism burns every calorie.” Matt gave Eddie the camera. Eddie got out of the lineup and Matt went down to the end by Gil. Mike said, “While we’re on the subject, who here doesn’t know Corey’s anorexic?” “Me,” Shaun, Matt, Eddie and Graham chirped. Mike nodded, “Just don’t say anything about it tomorrow, unless Corey or Drew brings it up.” Shaun nodded and Derrick explained, “Corey’s doing so much better, but he’s still got some more weight to gain. Eddie’s only an inch taller than Corey. I’d expect Corey to talk to you directly, Eddie. All you have to say is positive, encouraging stuff.” “Cool,” Eddie grinned, and started lining up the next photograph. “That’ll be bonus material for Corey tomorrow night,” Mike suggested. “Between me, Matt, Gil and Ben, Corey will see four large framed dudes, all different heights. If you catch Corey staring and whispering to Drew, assume that’s what’s goin’ on.” Only to poke fun, Ben and Graham sang, “Drew’s our hero.” Smirking, Derrick and Mike turned to Graham and Ben, causing the latter two to crack up. Shaking his head sadly, Mike warned Ben, “You’re so lucky you’ve got a boyfriend and that Doug and Brian are back.” “I know I’m lucky,” Ben giggled. “Brrr,” Graham shivered. Ben giggled, “Grrr.” “Wait,” Eddie giggled, “don’t you two start yet!” He knelt down and giggled, “Say dick cheese.” The all chanted the phrase and Eddie snapped the photo. Turning to Mike, Shaun grinned and rolled his eyes. Mike smiled, “I know, dude.” Eddie hurried to Matt and was quickly lifted off the ground and kissed hard. Without instruction, the remaining three couples began locking lips. Less than a minute later, Eddie giggled, “Raise your... whatever, when you’re ready, dudes,” and then reattached his mouth to Matt’s. Arms raised a couple at a time, beginning with Ben and Graham. Seeing that everyone was ready, Matt let Eddie down. Eddie smiled, “Let’s make this quick and get back to makin’ out,” and went to take the first two pictures of erections and smiling faces. The lineup reorganized and all seven wrapped arms around each other. Eddie’s eyes flashed across seven bones, barely believing that Ben, Derrick and Mike seemed almost as thick as his much larger partner. On his knees, Eddie snapped the first photo then stood. Almost immediately, Eddie giggled, “Okay dudes, only Matt and Shaun are looking into the camera.” All seven evilly snickered. Matt chortled, “Your dickie’s amazing, buttercup.” Glancing down the line, Matt smiled, “Three times his limp state.” “Look at the camera!” Eddie laughed. A moment later, he giggled, “Say blue balls…” “Blue nose,” all eight finished, and Eddie snapped the photo. He and Matt approached and the camera was handed off. After kissing Matt, Eddie quickly joined the lineup. Preparing to take the photo, Matt chuckled, “None of you are looking into the camera!” “You’re huge, bro,” Shaun chuckled, “Jerry’s the only dude we know that’s larger.” Matt chuckled, “So damn large his stiffy points out instead of up.” He waved his left arm near the camera and called, “Ben and Gil, over here, dudes.” All seven giggled and sniggered. Matt quickly snapped the picture before attention wavered below his waist again. Gil grinned, “I know why, but I’ll still never fully understand Matt and Eddie as a couple.” Kneeling down, Matt reminded, “Eddie’s hunky little muscular body can keep up with me. All you dudes know that I did more than my share of searching. If you think of us as mismatched, like the tortoise and the hare, it’s actually Eddie who’s the rabbit.” “Put that camera down as soon as you take the photo,” Eddie giggled. “I’m gonna jump you right after the flash and we’ll fall into the pool.” Shaun sniggered, “I’m getting the feeling this party might end after this picture.” Eddie giggled, “It doesn’t have to; only if you dudes want to finish what we’ve started.” Derrick reminded, “It’s almost midnight anyway, Eddie.” Matt took the picture, put the camera down and quickly stood, just barely ready for Eddie’s leap into his arms. As the lineup broke apart, Mike said, “We’ll be back tomorrow night anyway.” Picking up his own and Mike’s clothes, Derrick then went to Eddie and Matt. “Thanks for the reminder to just be, dudes,” Derrick warmly smiled. “Life tends to lead us to forget simplicity.” Eddie smiled, “You’ve heard it before?” Derrick and Mike nodded. Mike offered, “We get so busy doing stuff that we forget to spend time doing nothing.” Shaun smiled, “We’re all perfect as we are. If any individual sees themselves as less than perfect then it’s up to them to correct that imperfection; God won’t do it for you.” Pulling his shorts up, Gil nodded, “It’s a problem us Christians are fed all our lives. Worse, a lot become arrogant about their beliefs and wallow in that sin. Being with Shaun and hanging with Eddie has taught me more in the last two months than I’ve learned in almost seventeen years.” Derrick nodded, “I started getting interested in Eastern philosophies about two years ago. Doug and Brian have added to those ideas and lessons.” Off to the side, where they had left their clothes and were dressing, Ben asked Graham, “Do you understand this stuff?” Graham shrugged, “To a certain level, I guess. What’s wrong, teddy bear?” Pulling his shorts up over his boxers, Ben scowled, “How can I, or anyone, be perfect as we are?” “Cause and effect,” Graham simply replied. With his shorts on and his shirt in his hand, Derrick went nearer to Ben, smiling, “Ask yourself, ‘Is the world the same as it was in May; is it the same as it was a week ago, before you met Graham?’” “No, to both questions,” Ben replied. Following Derrick, Mike grinned, “Assuming the world hasn’t changed and you have, the difference between May, late July and right now is only your perception of it.” Still attached to Matt, Eddie asked, “Which world was an illusion, bro?” Ben frowned, “I don’t understand. How can any world perception be an illusion?” Derrick smiled, “Okay, was a boyfriend possible in May?” Ben shook his head. Derrick asked, “How about in July?” “More possible, but still a dream,” Ben answered. Mike asked, “And now that you have a boyfriend, how has that vision changed?” Ben giggled, “Every moment of every day is a dream come true.” Graham softly shivered, “Brrr.” Matt smiled, “So since the world is the same and your view of it has changed, then all your perceptions have been illusions, based on where you were at.” Eddie nodded, “We all reflect our own personality on the world around us. Naturally, what we see is dictated by how we think and feel. It’s a matter of training your mind, bro. The more you understand cause and effect, the more you’ll realize that what’s around you is only an illusion.” Rapidly shaking his head, Ben giggled, “Then we all just shared an illusion of eight bones?” Shaun chuckled, “No, dude. The reality for each of us was the same. How we got those stiffies is the illusion. If all eight of us swapped partners, we’d still be working on getting those erections. Get it?” “Sort of, I guess,” Ben giggled. Gil smiled, “It’s what separates us from all other animals, Ben. Imagine holding close and kissing any one of us, except Graham. No quickening heartbeat, no excitement, no bone, right?” Ben rapidly nodded. Gil shared, “So Shaun is more to me than he is to you. So Graham is more to you than he is to me. So the asshole calling us fags is only what we allow ourselves to imagine. So when Francis and Graham got into an accident, it meant nothing to you until you got to know Graham. For each of us that knew Francis, even a little bit, like me, it affected us differently than it did Graham. The reality was the same; our perception and reaction to it was the illusion.” Shaun tapped Mike and asked, “In early July, when we first started rehearsing, how was my playing and singing, compared to earlier today?” Mike thought for a few moments then smiled, “Worlds apart.” Shaun told Mike and Ben, “Due to my preoccupation. As the sadness and fear dwindled, I was more in the moment, where I need to be to play and sing.” Graham nodded then told Ben, “Knowing some of this didn’t change my suddenly altered reality. That was the mind fuck that kept me in a funk for a month. You’re the very sudden counter shock that pulled me out of the funk. The photos last week, you easily saw and understood for me. Who knows when I would’ve figured that out on my own? We had the same reality; I was still in my own illusion; your clearer perception solved a problem. Earlier tonight, I didn’t want to see whatever picture you wanted me to see, because I choose this reality, this moment, with you.” Understanding, Ben smiled, “Eddie e-mailed me the pictures. When you want to see, I can show you.” Slowly shaking his head, Graham assured, “It’ll be a long time, teddy bear. Being with you is the reality I want. Our shared illusion is what I choose to perceive. The alternative is to continue missing Beanie, leaving you wanting, but not getting.” Derrick smiled at Mike, muttering “Nights in White Satin.” Mike nodded and mysteriously recited, “Breathe deep, the gathering gloom. Watch lights fade from every room. Bedsitter people look back and lament; another day’s useless energy spent.” Shaun and Derrick joined Mike, reciting, “Impassioned lovers wrestle as one. Lonely man cries for love and has none. New mother picks up and suckles her son. Senior citizens wish they were young. Cold hearted orb that rules the night removes the colors from our sight; red is grey and yellow white, but we decide which is right, and which is an illusion.” Ben, Eddie, Gil, Graham and Matt enthusiastically clapped. Locking eyes with Ben, Mike chuckled, “Are you getting it yet?” Ben nodded and giggled, “I feel like I just spent an hour with Doug and Brian.” Derrick smiled, “We’re not there; maybe in twenty more years.” Graham wondered, “What’s it going to be like tomorrow, with Keith and Prez here?” “Better harmonies, not only in the music,” Shaun grinned. Rolling his eyes, Mike grinned, “Don’t forget your wide angle lens, Eddie,” and went to get his guitar. “No problem,” Eddie giggled. “That was one of my goals for working this summer.” Derrick began hugging his friends. Getting to Graham, he said that he would tell Keith and Prez about the Wednesday beach plans. He told Shaun that he would remind Prez to bring his acoustic bass and that he would bring some percussion instruments along. Eddie and Matt got warm thanks and promises that they would be back often. Soon, everyone was saying goodnight. Gil climbed the fence. Shaun passed over his guitar then jumped up and over. Ben, Graham, Derrick and Mike walked around front to their cars. Eddie and Matt went inside, turned off the pool and yard lights then went back to Eddie’s room to call it a night. As soon as they were alone in the car, Graham smiled, “How do you feel teddy bear?” Ben giggled, “Fine. Why wouldn’t I be?” Pulling away from the curb, Graham nodded, “I was just checking. You know if you decided not to show your bone, I would’ve been perfectly fine with that, right?” Ben nodded, “I know. It’s just me, puddin’. Not that long ago, I wouldn’t let strangers see me in a locker room. I guess that’s just my illusion.” Graham nodded, “That’s exactly what it is, a figment of your imagination. I’m really so proud of you too.” Ben giggled, “How proud?” “As proud as you need me to be,” Graham chuckled. “I won the bet,” Ben reminded. Remembering Ryan at the car dealership, Graham sniggered, “Fine.” Giggling gleefully, Ben lowered his seat-back to recline, pulled his knees up to his chest and pumped his arms, doing a little happy dance. Graham howled laughing.
  5. TheEggman

    Chapter 28

    The first couple to wake Sunday morning was Ben and Graham. Disturbingly, Graham was crying and thrashing at seven-ten in the morning. Ben firmly shook his partner awake from the nightmare. Gasping and nervously looking around, Graham huffed an explosive sigh of relief. Ben frowned, “Again, huh?” Nodding and wiping his eyes, Graham desperately wept, “I can’t believe this fucking shit. It wasn’t even real; only a ‘what if’ possibility that I never even thought of, but there it was, to making a fucking shitty situation worse.” Cuddling up to Graham and laying his head on his boyfriend’s chest, Ben softly reminded, “I’m here to listen, puddin’.” Shaking and trying to calm down, Graham wrapped an arm around Ben’s back, moaning, “I really wanted to make love with you tomorrow morning.” “Please don’t worry about that,” Ben begged. “I’m worried about you. Tell me about the dream.” “It was stupid,” Graham sighed. Ben planted a kiss on Graham’s belly then suggested, “Talking it out might help.” Graham softly shared, “It was so ridiculous. I didn’t go to the wake or funeral, but there I was, at the church the day of the funeral.” He paused then groaned, “Omigod, it was a week ago today.” He firmly assured, “I wasn’t even thinking of that, Ben. All day yesterday I was a hundred percent with you. We made love so many great ways and bed time last night was best of all.” “Graham?” “Yeah?” “All that matters to me is you. Dreaming of a funeral you weren’t allowed to go to, but wanted to, is totally understandable.” “That’s the worst part of the nightmare. I was there and so were all of Francis’ friends. It turned into a brawl at the church. His casket was knocked over. It opened and he fell out, naked; all the accident injuries could be plainly seen. The priest wouldn’t finish the ceremony, because Francis was gay, so everything got totally fucked over, all because I was there.” Shifting onto Graham and locking eyes with him, Ben gently assured, “None of that really happened, Graham. You weren’t there. You got to say goodbye to Francis a completely different way. I heard him, Eddie and Matt heard him, all your friends and mine heard him and you saying the sweetest goodbye ever. You told him that you loved and missed him. He told you that he loved you too and that he never felt a thing. If Francis was here, right now; what more would you say?” Thinking about the question for a long minute at least, Graham then sighed, “Nothin’.” “Are you sure? I mean, we talk to him all the time; we’ve played with him too, like he’s here with us. If you have something to say to him, then say it.” “All I’d tell him is that his parents are bigger assholes than he and I ever thought. He said he’d take care of that too though, so he already knows.” “Do you want to say something to his parents?” Graham smirked, “Nothing nice, that’s for sure.” “Then that’s what this nightmare was about; your need to confront them and say goodbye to Francis. The two got mixed up in the dream and it got ugly, but it never really happened.” Graham slightly smiled, “You’re sweet. I’m really disappointed in myself though.” Ben wondered, “Why?” Graham shrugged, “For making a scene in the Intensive Care Unit, so that I couldn’t visit him again or go to the funeral.” Ben nodded then thought aloud, “Let’s say you didn’t get emotional that day and you could visit him. Do you think you would’ve been able to always hold it all in?” Shaking his head, Graham replied, “No. It would’ve eventually…” Graham paused then grinned, “I see what you’re saying. If I had held it in that day and maybe all the way to the funeral, it would’ve eventually been exactly like the nightmare.” “Maybe not exactly,” Ben softly assured. “Any argument at a church during a funeral is bad enough.” Graham smiled, “I love you.” Ben giggled, “I’m loving you back,” and then planted a tender kiss. Graham softly and sweetly sang, “Benjamin?” Ben giggled, “Grrr?” Graham whispered, “I want your dickie inside me.” Ben giggled, “What about your plan?” Graham shrugged, “At this rate, we might not get to that special third day.” Running his fingers through Graham’s wavy brown hair, Ben smiled, “Let’s ignore the fact that our dickies are hard for a minute.” “Make it a short minute.” “If we made love now, what would happen?” “The noise your mom heard yesterday would be nothing like she’d hear now.” Ben nodded and giggled, “And if we waited until tomorrow, like originally intended, then what?” Graham evilly leered, “We’d never make it out of the house, that’s for sure.” “And all our friends would know exactly why we missed rehearsal. Matt, Eddie, Mike and Derrick would know for certain.” Graham prompted, “Your plan is?” “We compromise; Tuesday, at your house, no matter what your dream happens to be. Today is our fourth morning together; two good dreams, one bad, and one with no dreams of Francis. You’re making real progress, so let’s just choose a day.” Graham checked, “Tuesday; whether I have good, bad or no dreams?” Ben nodded, “If it’s bad, we wait until you’re feeling better, maybe that afternoon, but Tuesday will be the day.” Shifting his eyes, Ben giggled, “Until then…” Diving face first into the crook of Graham’s neck, Ben started sucking hard. Cringing, Graham loudly giggled, “Omigod, I do love my grizzly bear!” Lifting his face for a moment, Ben giggled, “Do you know when you pushed the button?” and then, without waiting for an answer, dove right back to Graham’s neck. “I can’t think!” Graham cackled. “Then I’m leaving the biggest hickey ever,” Ben warned. Becoming hysterical, Graham laughed, “Omigod, what did I say?” Sniggering and trying to recall what he had said; Graham snacked on Ben’s shoulder. It took far longer than Ben expected for Graham to breathlessly laugh, “I want your dickie inside me!” Ben’s face popped up again and he nodded, “I want to, puddin’, very much. I want your dickie in me too. When we go for it, I can almost promise you, we’ll be in bed the whole day.” Graham giggled, “Almost?” Ben nodded, “We’ll eventually have to pee and eat, but other than that…” Graham spread his legs wide and Ben’s lower half sunk to the mattress. Ben giggled, “More practice?” Graham nodded and smiled, “The last position is doggie-style.” “That’s not too different from a crack slide.” “What can I say? That’s the way I want it from you this time.” Ben nodded, landed a passionate kiss then moved off Graham. They got into position and set about playing their preparatory game. In Corey’s bedroom, Corey woke before the alarm and was under the sheet once again, giving Drew another wake up blowjob. That’s not what Drew wanted that morning; he wanted to make more babies. Corey first happily bounced to an incredible orgasm then leaned down for kisses and so Drew could plow away. Down close to Drew, Corey whispered his desire for twins. Holding Corey in place, Drew carefully flipped them over into the missionary position. When the second orgasm raced through Drew, Corey giggled, “Triplets?” and Drew collapsed in hysterical laughter. Prez woke wanting to call his aunt and cousin. The concert was Friday night and he needed to alter their plans. Maybe Wednesday or Thursday night would be good and he could go with Keith. He slid into his shorts and left Keith sleeping. Saying good morning to dad, Rush was let out for his morning toidy and then Prez called his aunt. After a brief conversation, they chose Thursday night for Bob’s guitar lesson and for dinner together. Extremely happy that he would at last get to spend time with Keith and his Aunt’s family, Prez returned to the bedroom to wake Keith. Groggily realizing that Prez was ravenous and raging, Keith felt Prez snaking arms and legs around him. In moments, Prez rolled onto his back and brought Keith along for the ride. Lifting his legs, Prez made it clear what he wanted and how he wanted it. Across the 101 Freeway, Shaun and Gil were similarly involved. Every weekend, Gil was spending with Shaun and his family. Friday night Sabbath meals were always followed with music played by Shaun and they all sang. Shaun’s parents really liked Gil and never made any issue of his Christian upbringing. Gil never knew what to expect from Shaun in the mornings. Sometimes Shaun would be top, but more often he would choose instead to get Gil crazy and then go for a ride, as was the case this morning. In the same neighborhood, Eddie was on his hands and knees, doing most of the work for Matt. That summer, the weekend after school let out, Eddie told his parents that he was in love with Matt and had been for over a year. Eddie expected arguments and shouting, but surprisingly got neither. At last, Eddie’s family and Matt’s family were well aware of their sons’ sexual orientation. At Eddie’s house, they were slightly more comfortable in a full size bed than at Matt’s house and his twin size bed. At home, Matt didn’t mind sleeping with Eddie draped over him, since it always seemed to create middle of the night sexual interludes. Waking this Sunday morning at Eddie’s house, the plan was to join everybody at Mike’s house for rehearsal. Needing to burn off affection and energy before the band’s rehearsal, Matt kept Eddie revved up and got on his hands and knees for Eddie and the second round. The best part was that Eddie always rested his upper body on Matt’s back in this position. Matt could hear every whispered word and feel Eddie’s heart frantically beating. In Agoura Hills, Mike and Derrick made love standing, so that damn squeaky bed wouldn’t make more noise than both of them combined. Mike leaned against the dresser for Derrick to take him. Everything was considerably quieter, as they had intended, until they got close to climaxing, when their combined strength began tilting and knocking the dresser against the wall. Mike released the dresser and held his thighs, just above the knees, to allow Derrick to finish. After their earlier bedroom escapades, shower masturbation, and big breakfasts with Ben’s mom, Ben and Graham walked to Doug’s and Brian’s house about nine-thirty. Hearing knocks on the front door, Doug yelled, “Door’s open.” Ben and Graham stepped inside. Just finishing breakfast, Mike, Derrick, Doug and Brian were still at the table eating. The stereo was on, and again Graham heard something that sounded like Pink Floyd, but nothing he had ever heard before, so he asked which CD it was. Doug replied, “It’s not Pink Floyd, it’s our own music.” Graham’s eyebrows rose and he grinned, “Is this the same stuff I heard the other night, when we first met?” Brian nodded, “This same disk anyway.” Derrick smiled, “It’s as good as any Floyd, huh?” Graham nodded, “It really does sound a lot like them.” Mike got up from the table, teasing Doug and Brian while taking his plate to the kitchen; “Maybe someday we’ll be taught how to do the backwards stuff?” Doug grinned, “Select the audio file or section, pull it into the waveform editor, then Options and then Invert. The next menu gives you the flip option.” Derrick and Mike groaned, “Ah,” setting Ben and Graham off in a giggling fit. Brian teased, “If you hadn’t managed Hair of the Dog last night, you’d be searching the manuals.” Standing with his plate and cup, to get a safe distance from the two men, Derrick went to the kitchen, chuckling, “We did it once before. The second time was easier.” Taking on his New York Mafioso voice, Doug mumbled, “Notice how they left the table before firing their shots?” Nodding their heads, Ben giggled and Graham evilly snickered. Mike laughed, “We’d be exiled to Sicily otherwise.” “And we would like your help again today,” Derrick sweetly smiled. “Aw,” Brian and Doug sang. Mike chuckled, “Your vacation officially ends tomorrow, correct?” Brian and Doug grunted and nodded. Derrick offered, “So our next chance to have your opinions might be two weeks away, the weekend before the auditions.” Leaving the confined galley kitchen and waiting behind Ben and Graham, nearer to the front door, Mike joked, “Maybe we can team up and contact others that have crossed over? I’ll guarantee Lennon still has a lot to say.” Mooing erupted and Mike giggled, “Ya wouldn’t want to miss that, I’m sure.” Doug and Brian pointed at Mike and hollered, “Get him!” Ben and Graham spun around and grabbed Mike by the arms before he could escape out the front door. Graham playfully checked with Ben; “Tickle torture?” Nodding, Ben giggled, “Derrick, you get the honors and we’ll hold him still.” Mike’s arms were held against the entryway wall before he could uncertainly cackle, “Tickle what?” Already evilly snickering, Derrick came around the corner. Ben prompted, “Go for it, dude.” Derrick went crazy, tickling Mike from his neck to his belly. Mike howled laughing. Graham chuckled, “The rules are, his pants need to be pushed down.” “Educational value is lost if he pops a bone,” Ben giggled. Reaching for Mike’s board shorts, Derrick had them untied and the Velcro ripped open before Mike could half-heartedly protest. Clearing the table, Brian and Doug went to the kitchen to allow the boys to teach Mike a valuable lesson. With Mike’s shorts and boxers at his ankles, Derrick playfully abused his partner, laughing almost as hard while watching Mike turn purple and slide down the wall. The two men were cleaning up the breakfast mess and heard Graham laugh, “Don’t touch his dickie, dude; tickle everywhere else.” Doug and Brian roared. In minutes, Mike was practically on his knees, purple, wheezing and powerless. Derrick stopped his tickling, Ben and Graham let Mike down gracefully, leaving a half naked, hysterical mass in a fetal position on the tiled entryway floor. Graham proudly grinned, “It’ll be a few minutes before he can pull his shorts up.” Derrick sniggered, “This is a very cool educational tool.” Graham nodded, “Common practice with my buds. I was tickled to tears, Thursday night, for being a cranky bitch the last month.” Taking Graham’s hand, Ben nodded and giggled, “Partners get to deliver justice. Matt and Eddie held Graham still for me.” Leaning against the kitchen wall, out of site of Mike’s giggling remains, Doug chuckled, “This wasn’t my intention, but it actually turned out very well.” From the living room, where he was turning off the stereo, Brian hollered, “Get up, Mike! We’ll be late for your rehearsal.” Ben, Derrick and Graham looked over and Mike couldn’t even reply. Facing Brian, Graham sniggered, “It’ll be another couple o’ minutes.” About ten o’clock, cars began pulling up to the Gibbons’ home. Prez, Keith, Drew and Corey arrived first. Shaun pulled up with Gil as the first group got out of the car. Right behind Shaun’s car, Matt pulled up with Eddie. At the curb, the group gathered. Shaun and Gil were raving about a song that Shaun had learned the previous night. They wanted the band to learn the song and thought it was very appropriate. Prez and Keith were enthused, but since Mike and Derrick hadn’t shown yet, they went to the front door to ask that the garage door be opened. Drew and Corey led the other four boys to the garage, explaining with Shaun and Gil that gear had to be moved. Soon, the door was rising in its tracks. Aaron and Danny pulled up while everything was being setup and wondered where Derrick and Mike were. Keith smirked, “God only knows.” He then called, “Drew, ring Agoura Hills and see if they’ve left, please?” Drew nodded and stopped messing with the P.A. gear to place the call. Corey took over and got everything powered up. Aaron and Danny pulled Keith and Prez aside and warmly hugged them. Soon, Keith and Prez knew about Danny’s turn about. It was quite obvious too by Aaron’s physical attachment to Danny. They could barely wait to offer their thanks to Derrick and Mike too. They went out to the driveway to await their arrival and listen. Gil gave Shaun a kiss and also went out to the driveway. Drew told Keith and Prez, “I tried twice and no answer. They must be on their way.” With only his acoustic guitar accompaniment, Shaun ran through the song he learned. Prez picked up his bass and watched the chords Shaun was playing. Keith got his lyrics notebook out and parked his buns on Mike’s amplifier, listening to Shaun’s performance. When the tune was completed, Shaun told Prez, “The bass line is pretty simple, just boppin’,” and then sang a brief example. He then told Keith, “There are lots of places where your backup vocals will be needed; doubled during the various points in the verses, and the whole band during the chorus’, and during the doo-doo-doo-dos.” From his back pocket, Shaun pulled out a piece of paper with the lyrics scribbled down and handed it to Keith. The 442 pulled up to the curb while Shaun, Prez and Keith were going through the song. Aaron and Danny went to greet them and offer their thanks to Mike and Derrick. When Aaron and then Danny hugged Mike, Prez and Keith noticed that Mike seemed to uncharacteristically shrivel and giggle. Brian’s Firebird stopped across the street from the house. Seemingly on rubber legs, Mike was still giggling as he approached the garage. Derrick took his place on his drum throne and started playing along. Still a quivering wreck, Mike turned on his amplifier, but looked at his guitars like they were foreign objects. Derrick laughed at his temporarily changed lover. The second run through ended without Mike’s participation. Scowling curiously, Shaun, Prez and Keith turned to Mike. “What the hell happened to you?” Keith wondered. Derrick cracked up. Shaking his head, Mike giggled, “A not so innocent remark changed the whole friggin’ day.” Shaun grinned, “Can you play?” Mike shrugged and cackled, “I dunno.” By this time, Ben and Graham had filled in all the others about Mike’s learning experience and they busted up laughing. Prez checked with Keith, “Have you ever seen him like this?” Shaking his head, Keith grinned, “Never. Even after numerous bong rips, he’d play and play well.” Shaun suggested, “Until you pull your act together, could we go inside and listen to the tune on your stereo, Mike?” “Sure!” Mike giggled. The band, all ‘their ears’ and guests went inside to work on Shaun’s suggested cover tune. With the living room and kitchen filled, Shaun played the track You Can Do Magic off the America CD and sang along. I never believed in things that I couldn't see I said if I can't feel it then how can it be No, no magic could happen to me And then I saw you I couldn't believe it, you took my heart I couldn't retrieve it, said to myself What's it all about? Now I know there can be no doubt In the kitchen, Aaron, Danny, Matt, Eddie, Ben and Graham were enthusiastically dancing to the song. Drew and Corey were also dancing in the living room while Doug, Brian, Gil and the band members were listening to the recording and Shaun’s enthusiastic vocals. You can do magic You can have anything that you desire Magic, and you know You're the one who can put out the fire You know darn well When you cast your spell you will get your way When you hypnotize with your eyes A heart of stone can turn to clay Doo, doo, doo... And when the rain is beatin’ upon the window pane And when the night it gets so cold, when I can’t sleep Again you come to me I hold you tight, the rain disappears Who would believe it With a word you dry my tears You can do magic You can have anything that you desire Magic, and you know You’re the one who can put out the fire You know darn well When you cast your spell you will get your way When you hypnotize with your eyes A heart of stone can turn to clay Doo, doo, doo... And if I wanted to I could never be free I never believed it was true But now it’s so clear to me You can do magic You can have anything that you desire Magic, and you know You’re the one who can put out the fire You know darn well When you cast your spell you will get your way When you hypnotize with your eyes A heart of stone can turn to clay Doo, doo, doo... You’re the one who can put out the fire You’re the one who can put out the fire You’re the one who can put out the fire Jessy arrived from her Sunday morning church service performances with sacks of Subway sandwiches. Entering the house, she said hello to everyone, including Mrs. Gibbons, sitting at the kitchen dinette table with Lindsay. After listening a second time, the entire group of teenagers moved back outside. In the garage, Brian and Doug worked with the band to pull together this new cover tune. With encouragement from Danny and most of the boys out in the driveway around the mixer, Old Habits ran through the song twice, then played Without You and Land of Confusion before concentrating their efforts on the audition and concert set list. Since they had gotten a later than usual start, it was almost one o’clock when lunch break was taken. The band agreed that they had accomplished all they needed to for that day. Doug and Brian took their leave of everyone then left for home. Aaron and Danny were next to leave, but promised to return the next Saturday with Craig and Glen. During lunch, a discussion about the band’s audition packet began. Matt, Ben and Graham told the band members that Eddie was a good photographer. Reaching quick agreement, the band conscripted Eddie to take photos the next day. Once lunch was eaten, the gear was moved back into the garage and then everyone that wanted to took a pool break. Jessy offered her farewells and then went to meet Nelson. Before leaving, Matt and Eddie hugged Ben, Graham, Shaun, Gil, Drew, Corey, Prez, Keith and Derrick then made a point of tickling Mike. Backing away and laughing, Mike almost fell in his pool, but Keith grabbed Mike’s arm and Prez wrapped his right arm around Mike’s back. Together Keith and Prez pulled Mike forward, into Derrick’s arms. “You aren’t allowed to drown today,” Derrick grinned. Keith chuckled, “There’s no audition or concert without you, bro.” Prez nodded and told the gathered group, “We’ve gotta get some sort of day trip at an amusement park organized.” Shaun suggested, “How about Magic Mountain?” Gil hummed then checked with Shaun, Matt and Eddie, “The end of the month would be best for us.” “A Wednesday,” Eddie smiled. “I’d only have to work from seven until eleven in the morning. Matt’s got Wednesday’s off too.” Not too far away, Graham was softly encouraging Ben into making the trip. Ben wanted to go, but didn’t have the cash. Graham assured his partner he could easily afford it after five weeks of doing nothing. Still wrapped in Derrick’s arms, Mike asked, “Is August twenty sixth good for everyone?” Checking with Gil, Shaun nodded agreement, “We’ll be available.” Matt smiled, “Sounds like a plan to me,” and Eddie enthusiastically nodded agreement. Derrick nodded, “Right after the audition and before the concert.” Graham grinned, “We’ll be there too.” Prez smiled, “I’ll give Jessy a call and see if she can make it with Nelson.” Keith confirmed, “Wednesday, August twenty-sixth, from about noon until the park closes?” Everyone agreed and started walking to the front of the house to say goodbye and get in their cars. Ben and Graham went with Derrick and Mike back to Agoura Hills. Prez pulled away from the curb, glanced in the rearview mirror and asked, “Don’t you two want to go to Magic Mountain?” Drew shrugged, “We’ve already been there, with Brian and Pete.” “I wouldn’t mind going again,” Corey offered. Drew reminded, “Our self defense class starts Tuesday, at Bally’s.” Corey asked, “Prez, do you think we can go camping again before school starts?” Crossing the 101, northbound on Topanga Canyon, Prez nodded, “We can probably go at least once more.” Turning slightly in the passenger seat, Keith said, “We’ve gotta go school clothes shopping too. That’ll probably wind up being a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, so we can all go together.” Prez prompted, “Let’s give Ben a call, babe. Now that he’s hooked up with Graham, that trip may not be all too important to him.” Drew told Corey, “Let’s check with our folks about Magic Mountain, angel. If we can go, great, if not, oh well.” “We’re going, stud,” Corey giggled. Drew grinned and pulled Corey over to lie on top of him. Only a few minutes later, Prez dropped Corey and Drew off at the Seavers’ then turned around and started for home. Noticing the fuel indicator lamp turn on, Prez sighed, “Time for more gas.” Keith shook his head and grinned, “We’re not taking time for that, sex machine. I haven’t driven my Camry in over a week, so I’ll drive us to work tonight and tomorrow.” Prez leered, “Drive me, lover.” “At least twice in the bedroom and again in the shower,” Keith promised. The minute Corey walked into his house with Drew, Corey told his parents that the band wanted to spend a day at Magic Mountain, as a group, and that he wanted to go with Drew. Without any argument, Bill Seaver agreed. Thanking his parents, Corey pulled Drew outside to the pool. Lanna looked over and asked, “Why did you agree so quickly?” Bill answered, “Because Corey’s found a place to fit in and boys he wants to be with. If I had said no, they’d be home alone with virtually no other social interaction. A day at a park might be a little expensive, but so are little league uniforms and equipment.” Nodding agreement, Lanna smiled, “Corey needs social activities. There will be eight other older boys with him too. It couldn’t be safer.” Arriving home, Ben walked in his house with Graham to find his mother on the phone. Margaret Healy quickly said, “Hold on, please. Ben just walked in.” A moment later, she covered the mouthpiece and smiled, “It’s Preston, calling to ask about school clothes shopping later this month.” Ben nodded and his mom handed over the phone. Ben said, “Hey, Prez.” Prez said, “Hi Ben. On the way home, Keith, Drew, Corey and I were considering various plans for the month. It’s getting pretty hectic, so I just wanted to check with you. When we planned on a shopping trip, you didn’t have a boyfriend attached to you.” Ben giggled, “I already talked to Graham about that. We’d still like to go. It might be with Eddie and Matt too. We’ll check with them again tomorrow or during the week.” “Sounds great,” Prez cheered. “Since these sorts of things need to happen in the middle of the week, we’re thinking the eighteenth, nineteenth or twentieth would be good. We’ll check with Derrick and Mike at work tonight. Drew and Corey would be with us too, most likely.” “Cool,” Ben smiled. “I’ll pass that on and check with my mom, then let you know tomorrow at rehearsal.” Graham softly reminded Ben about moving day. Ben gasped, “Before I forget again, Prez; my mom’s decided to go with a U-Haul rental truck for the move. Would you and Keith be available to help us?” Prez asked, “What day of the week is it?” “Tuesday, September first,” Ben answered. “That shouldn’t be a problem, but let me check real quick,” Prez replied. He lowered the phone from his mouth, but Ben could still hear him asking Keith about it. Moments later, Prez told Ben, “You’ve got all four of us, Ben. Drew and Corey will lend a hand where they can too.” Prez then said, “I’ll be seeing Derrick and Mike before you. Would you like me to get them to help?” Ben giggled, “Yes, please. Thanks so much, Prez.” Prez teased, “You’d better get back to Graham before he starts shaking and frothing at the mouth.” Turning red, Ben softly giggled, “We have some packing to get done.” Graham excitedly nodded. Prez couldn’t believe Ben had said that and roared, “You’d best get to it. I’ll see ya tomorrow.” Ben nodded and giggled, “See ya tomorrow, Prez. Bye.” Prez chuckled, “Buh-bye,” and hung up. Prez turned to Keith, grinning, “Ben’s getting some packing done, but I didn’t get the impression it had anything to do with the move.” Reaching his hand out for Prez’s hand, Keith smiled, “We’ve got the house to ourselves. Ya wanna do some packing too?” “In the worst way,” Prez giggled. Following Keith back to their room, Prez rambled, “I can barely believe all the good that’s come from my mom’s one simple suggestion. Ben’s got a boyfriend; Corey and Graham are doing so much better, and Danny’s had a very positive turn around too.” Closing and locking the bedroom door, Keith nodded, “That’s gonna be it for a while, baby. We have to learn what it is we’re managing to accomplish. Doug seemed scared when he told us that all four of our auras changed to bright white.” Prez asked, “Does it really matter, Keith?” “As long as you’re safe, Prez,” Keith answered. “I know how you feel, and why you’re leading us in these things. That’s very cool, but I need you happy and safe.” Landing a tender kiss on Keith’s lips, Prez softly promised, “Then we’ll learn about it, as soon as possible.” As they started to undress, Prez asked, “You consider me a leader?” Keith smiled, “Only in this specific case, yeah, you are. It was your idea from the start.” After talking with Prez, Ben hung up the phone. Graham wrapped Ben in his arms and softly chortled, “You are getting very bad.” “I can’t imagine why,” Ben giggled. He looked over at his mother and told her about the tentative shopping plans and that they now had four pairs of helping hands on moving day, with two more pair tentative, pending Prez asking Mike and Derrick for help. Thrilled to have extra help on moving day, Mrs. Healy agreed that would be as good a time as any to get school clothes shopping done. She added, “I took the bag of shirts to Good Will this morning.” Ben nodded and smiled, “Thanks, mom.” He led Graham to his room and softly giggled, “Let’s get some real packing done.” Wide eyed, Graham leered, “Then packing practice.” Beginning to fold one of the U-Haul boxes, Ben asked, “Turn on the stereo, puddin’?” Graham went to the stereo, asking, “Got a favorite or just shuffle?” Ben explained, “Start with Hanson’s Weird. Old Habits plays it differently, more bluesy.” Setting about finding the disk and the song, Graham wondered, “What did you think of Shaun’s song suggestion today?” Kneeling down to empty his desk into the box, Ben smiled, “It was awesome. He sang it so easily too.” Dropping the disk in the player, Graham nodded, “He sings a lot, teddy bear,” and then played the third track off ‘Middle of Nowhere’. Going over near Ben, Graham landed a kiss on the cheek and smiled, “How can I help?” Ben giggled, “All seven drawers of this desk can be emptied. Ya wanna get another box folded?” Graham nodded and went to work. Ben sighed, “As many things as I’m looking forward to with this move, I’m still nervous.” “It’s a big change,” Graham offered. “If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it so much. You’ll be spending half your time with me at my house. The other half of the time, I’ll be with you there.” “I’ve always lived here; as far back as I can remember. I wasn’t even three when we moved here.” “I was born in my house, but ya know what; they say, wherever you eat, sleep and hang your hat is home. This year I need to start thinking long term stuff, after high school. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” Pushing one full box aside, Ben pulled another over and giggled, “Besides spending it with you?” Graham mooed then grinned, “That’s gonna cost you.” Quickly getting up, Ben closed his bedroom door, giggling “My butt’s in the air.” Graham smiled, “Nope, I’ve got helium heels tonight. You need the practice.” Dropping to his knees by his desk, Ben giggled, “I’m going to junior college after high school, probably for business administration.” “Smooth transition,” Graham softly chortled. Concentrating on emptying desk drawers, Ben giggled, “And I didn’t even need lube.” “You’re not gonna get too many more boxes filled,” Graham playfully warned. “There’s nothing I need in this desk,” Ben smiled. “Pens, pencils and a pad of paper stay ‘til the last week. Everything else gets packed.” He turned to Graham and wondered, “Do you still want to show me stuff on the Internet?” Graham nodded, “There’s a few sites I know you’ll love. One is a pictures only message board, young guys, all PG, but mostly shirtless. It’s the site where I got most of my collection from.” “You’ve got no nudes?” “I didn’t say that,” Graham evilly grinned. Ben giggled, “So where do you and I stand in comparison?” Moving to kneel near Ben, Graham smiled, “In the middle. Some dudes are small limp but grow real nice. On the other end of the spectrum are dudes that hang real nice but don’t grow at all; their dickies just get hard. You more than double in length and girth. I don’t quite double; going from four inches to seven inches. On the ‘net, there was this one really cute dude. We got the whole set, because he was so cute, but when he pushed his skivvies down, there were two inches that barely grew to four. His fist covered his entire cock. I can only hope he’s a bottom or straight. The other extreme are dudes totally horse hung, thicker and longer than you and me combined. We thought that the pics were Photo Shopped, but none of us found anything to prove that.” Ben wondered, “Why do you go to the PG message board?” “It’s guaranteed success,” Graham answered. “Whatever you might like, you’ll find; from Beanie track runners to huge muscle bound hunks and everything in between. Most of my friends never needed to see dicks to be able to say, ‘now he’s cute’. Rick’s the only exception to that rule.” Ben grinned, “My friends are the same.” Graham nodded and smiled, “I think Derrick liked tickling Mike a little too much.” Ben giggled, “I think Mike liked being tickled too much.” “He didn’t upset me at all with that joke, teddy bear,” Graham softly shared. Pausing his work, Ben carefully searched Graham’s expression. Seeing only a slight grin, Ben smirked, “It was a little too close to the mark, which is why I held him to get tickled.” Graham asked, “Ya know what I saw, several times now?” Returning to packing his desk, Ben prompted, “What?” “Last night, with the kazoos, and again this morning, Derrick and Mike are surprised with you.” Ben shrugged, “I guess they have good reason to be. Without a boyfriend, I couldn’t get involved in any of that horsing around. I was always tempted though, but would just sit back and laugh at the silliness around me.” “You didn’t need me, or a boyfriend, to join in the fun now and then.” “That kind of fun, yeah, I did.” “You still consider yourself separate?” Taking another break, Ben thought carefully then said, “Less so now, with you. The first times I ever felt comfortable talking were with Mike, Derrick, Prez and Keith. I tried being a little more vocal with Gil and Shaun and it worked. It worked with Corey and Drew too. I wasn’t trying at all when I met you. “Two months ago, I never felt comfortable talking to anyone about anything, not even pointless English Lit oral reports. With help, I got better at talking. With you, now I finally feel like if there’s anything I need to say, I can say it. To me, the world is mostly out there, beyond us. Today though, I danced with you, while Danny danced with Aaron, and Matt danced with Eddie. For those brief minutes, I felt part of something bigger. When I can get involved, I am trying to, just for those moments when I feel there’s something more. I felt that way with Eddie and Matt at your house. In the restaurant with your parents, I felt that way too, even when I wasn’t part of the conversation.” Graham smiled, “I truly love the way you are and how you think, Ben. It’s a different point of view; one that I’ve never heard before. Other people, besides me, would love it too. When you trust who you’re talking to, you have cool things to say.” Going back to work, Ben giggled, “Really?” Graham enthusiastically nodded then asked, “Other than your father, has anyone ever gotten annoyed by anything you’ve said in the last month?” Thinking about it for a few moments, Ben realized that no one had shown any displeasure of any sort from anything he had said. Shaking his head, Ben sighed, “I guess not. Some people don’t make it easy though, ya know? They’d mock me for being quiet, for keeping to myself.” “Ya can’t please all the people all the time,” Graham smiled. “What I’ve seen is you being awesome and other people treating you nicely. Not only your friends and mine; Aaron, Craig, Glen, and most especially, Danny think you’re awesome.” Ben admitted, “Danny’s really nice. He survived stuff I wouldn’t have.” Graham nodded, “I can see already, he thinks a lot like you do.” Believing Graham was jealous over hugs that day and the previous day, Ben giggled, “He’s only a friend, puddin’.” Graham nodded, “He could be a really close friend, if he and you would let it happen. Danny’s only got eyes for Aaron, just like you’ve got your heart set on me. Because of that, I wasn’t the least bit jealous of Danny. I want you to have lots of friends, teddy bear. You missed out and now you’re making up for it.” “All at once, without much effort,” Ben sighed, and pushed another full box out of the way. Graham pulled an empty box over. Ben started filling it, wondering, “Was it all only me, Graham?” “I really don’t think so,” Graham honestly answered. “I think maybe stuff happened when you were very young; things that affected how much trust you’ll give people. You probably couldn’t ever remember exactly what it was, because it was world shattering to you. I don’t think it was your dad, at least I hope it wasn’t. I’ll bet your mom doesn’t even know what it was. It was probably what they call a sandbox trauma. The things I’ve been seeing for the last four days, with everyone, everywhere, tell me that you’re moving past whatever it was.” Nodding, Ben stood and went to lock the bedroom door. Graham chuckled, “I didn’t mean to press the grizzly bear button.” “You didn’t,” Ben smiled, and offered Graham a hand up. Graham took Ben’s hand and stood. Ben explained, “Very much the opposite. I need to be held.” Nodding and heading to the bed with Ben, Graham wondered, “Did I spark a memory?” Crawling onto the bed, Ben answered, “No; you just made a lot o’ sense.” Once comfortable and resting his head on Graham’s shoulder, Ben sighed, “You know me very well already. I think you could go to college for something like psychology. You have natural qualities for it.” “The same ways you watch and listen to people, I do too. I think everybody does to one extent or another. I watch and participate. You only observe. Neither way is bad.” “Why?” “How could I say your way is better or worse than my own, teddy bear? If I felt that way then I might as well go home alone. I love you as you are and refuse to go anywhere without you.” Ben giggled, “That’s one.” Graham grinned, “One what?” “Button press,” Ben playfully warned. Graham chuckled, “I see how you are. I’m wondering why we’re in bed with clothes on.” Shifting onto Graham and smiling down, Ben asked, “Do you want to?” “We could cuddle and talk naked,” Graham suggested, and then gave Ben a tender kiss. Ben softly giggled, “That would let me play with your dickie, ya know?” Graham grinned, “Whenever you want.” “Do you want me to?” Graham shrugged, “Could you stay in teddy bear mode for me?” “I could try.” “Before we do that, let’s switch CD’s. The only song on this Hanson CD I like is over. I want to hear some of your CD’s.” Ben nodded and scooted off Graham and the bed. They took their shirts off then went to the stereo and Ben pressed the drawer eject button. While they were on their knees before the stereo, Ben put the Hanson CD back in its case and Graham browsed Ben’s CD’s. Ben offered, “I’ll have the band play Weird tomorrow. Let’s replace Hanson with Journey’s Greatest Hits. Old Habit’s plays three of those songs.” “Cool,” Graham smiled, and handed Ben the disk to be put in the CD drawer. He asked, “Ya wanna replace Pink Floyd too?” Ben shrugged, “With what?” “Beethoven?” “That’ll probably put us to sleep,” Ben warned. Taking the disk out and handing it to Ben, Graham grinned, “I need to take a whiz before we get naked, make love or fall asleep.” Inserting the Beethoven Symphony Number 6 disk, Ben nodded. He closed the CD drawer then took Graham’s hand and stood, saying, “Lemme just quick check where my mom is at. There might be other boxes to move to the garage.” Graham nodded and they stepped out of the room. Seeing only one big box, Ben asked, “Just this one, mom?” Mrs. Healy nodded, “It’s got spare sheets, blankets and pillows from the linen closet.” Ben offered, “My desk is mostly emptied and in three boxes.” He asked, “What else should I concentrate on?” She answered, “Any things you won’t need until next month. We’ll need to organize a garage sale to sell off some of your father’s power tools and office furniture.” “Mrs. Healy?” Graham chimed, “Let me check with my folks before you sell the tools. You wouldn’t get half of what they’re worth. I’m thinking it would be better to hold onto some of them. We could store a few of those things in our garage.” Quietly thinking about it, Mrs. Healy smiled, “Thank you, Graham. I’ll let you boys choose what we should keep and what we could try to sell. I also need to know when we could have the garage sale. I’ll need Ben here that Saturday and Sunday.” Ben said, “The band’s audition is August twenty-second. Let’s have it that weekend.” Mrs. Healy nodded and smiled, “That’ll be fine.” The boys started for the bathroom and Graham wondered, “What kind of power tools do you have?” “A circular saw, a jigsaw, a router, two drills, one of which is cordless, and a belt sander,” Ben answered. He closed the bathroom door and told Graham, “There’s one of those big tool chests out there, filled with all kinds of tools, puddin’.” Standing at the bowl, Graham said, “You should keep a set of screwdrivers, a hammer and the cordless drill, at the apartment, for quick fixes and stuff.” Standing behind his partner, Ben unbuttoned, unzipped and pushed Graham’s shorts and undies down. Pointing Graham’s dick at the bowl, Ben smiled, “I love doin’ this.” Graham grinned, “Don’t love it too much yet. We have boxes to move and a garage to check out first.” Resting his chin on Graham’s shoulder, Ben sighed and got quiet. Starting to urinate, Graham softly asked, “What’re ya doin’?” “Trying to stay in teddy bear mode,” Ben giggled. “Mister Dickie and all of me are yours, Ben. I’m looking forward to the day you walk up and start undressing me, only because you want to see me naked.” “Tuesday,” Ben softly promised. “Our clothes won’t go on until your parents get home.” Graham grinned, “That’s gonna be a day of crazy, passionate sex. I know I like seeing you naked, without a stiffy. You’ve got a nice thick dickie that gets even thicker.” “Stop,” Ben giggled, “another word and I won’t be able to pee.” Finishing at the bowl, Graham evilly snickered, “Only three shakes, teddy bear.” Ben sadly whimpered then they both cracked up. Ben pulled Graham’s boxer briefs and shorts up then buttoned and zipped them up. They swapped places at the bowl and Graham worked from behind Ben to get his shorts unzipped. Realizing there was more than usual under the cloth, Graham giggled, stopped at Ben’s open fly, and wrapped his arms around Ben’s waist, softly prompting, “Relax, my love. Close your eyes and focus on our connection. It’s all ours; mine is from you and yours is from me. Let me know when you’re ready.” Nodding and closing his eyes, Ben contentedly sighed, “I feel it often, warming my insides.” Graham whispered, “I love you so much. When it swells inside me, like right now, I feel like I might explode.” Ben purred, “Me too, puddin’.” Closing his eyes too, Graham softly shared, “I feel things happening to us and all around us. I can almost see each of our friends. Eddie’s with Matt over at the mall, at the camera store getting film.” “Mike and Derrick are getting dressed for work. Prez and Keith just got out of the shower.” Shivering, Graham wondered, “How are we doing this?” Ben shrugged, “It seems so real. I saw Prez and Keith in a bathroom I’ve never seen before.” Graham prompted, “Let’s focus on Aaron and Danny.” Ben nodded and they concentrated. Ben giggled, “Oops; bad timing.” “They’re making love,” Graham evilly snickered. Turning his head slightly and opening his eyes, Ben said, “I’m ready.” Graham hummed curiously. Ben giggled, “To pee.” “Oh!” Graham chortled, and reached down to fish Ben’s dick out of his boxers. Ben teased, “Daydreamer.” As soon as Graham had Ben’s dick pointed at the bowl and the foreskin pulled slightly back, Ben started to leak. “That was way too real,” Graham chuckled. Pulling his left arm up, Ben checked his watch. He gasped, “It’s almost three-thirty. Mike and Derrick probably really are getting ready for work.” “I have no doubt everything we envisioned was real,” Graham smiled. “I saw Danny’s face smashed against Aaron’s. If they weren’t making love then they were definitely making out.” “I had the profile view,” Ben giggled, “there was a leg there. I think they were in the missionary position.” He turned to Graham and scowled, “Your legs don’t have to be on my shoulders?” Graham smiled, “Nope; we could have them up just about anywhere. We might also like one up and one down; whatever’s comfy, teddy bear.” Moments later, Ben was finished. Graham carefully stuffed Ben’s dick back in his boxers then zipped up his shorts. Ben flushed and met Graham at the sink. Noticing Ben watching from the medicine cabinet mirror instead of looking down at their hands, Graham grinned, “What?” “Bad thoughts,” Ben blushed. Graham prompted, “Yeah; such as?” Ben giggled, “The short version is, we have to finish what we need to do, and quickly get back to my room.” Grabbing the hand towel and nodding, Graham dried his hands and softly shared, “Anything for you; as long as I won’t wind up getting arrested, I’ll do whatever you want me to.” Turning the water off, Ben giggled, “Really?” Graham handed the towel to Ben then softly reminded, “I rimmed your ass, Ben. Beanie wouldn’t let me do that. You allowed it and rimmed me too. Just about everything is fair game.” Ben grinned, “I was imagining the impossible.” “Go on.” “I want to play with your limp dickie, but it can’t get hard.” “You’re right,” Graham chuckled, “it’s impossible. I do have an alternative idea, just for you, my very special love.” Giggling, Ben quickly folded the towel, hung it back up and told Graham, “Hurry.” Cracking up, Graham opened the bathroom door and led the way down the hall. They picked up the two full boxes in Ben’s room and took them to the garage. Ben opened the tool chest and showed Graham the power tools first, then the various drawers of hand tools. “We can probably store this entire thing for you,” Graham smiled. “Lemme confirm it with my folks.” Blinking fast, Ben sighed and smiled. Graham softly grinned, “Anything I can for my teddy bear,” and led Ben back into the house to get the big box from the living room. Squatting down to lift the box, Ben prompted, “Get the garage door for me, puddin’?” Ben’s mom began softly giggling. Graham paused and grinned at Mrs. Healy, “I like it.” Mrs. Healy giggled, “Ben did tell you that pudding is one of his favorite deserts?” Ben’s head sagged onto the box as he turned a hundred shades of red and broke out in a sweat. Cracking up, Graham laughed, “No, just that he had a weird dream, where my hair was chocolate pudding.” “I don’t doubt that for a second,” Mrs. Healy giggled. Without saying a word, Ben lifted the box and carried it to the garage door. Still evilly snickering, Graham opened the door for Ben. Ben walked by and Graham followed, letting the door close and softly teasing, “Brrrute.” “I’m just gonna pack myself in one of these boxes until I can stop blushing,” Ben giggled, and squatted down again to release the box. He remained there, leaning on the box and hiding his face. Graham giggled, “So I’m your favorite desert now?” “A bit more than that, since my bowls of pudding don’t talk to me,” Ben helplessly cackled. “Brrr-rrr-rrr!” Looking up, Ben queried, “Grrr?” Holding his hand out, Graham smiled, “Come with me.” Taking Graham’s hand and standing, Ben shivered, “What’re you planning?” Graham answered, “The best of everything I can do for you. Then it’ll be your turn.” He opened the garage door and led Ben back to his bedroom, closing and locking the door behind them. Ben watched Graham check the CD drawer, advance to a disk and then press play. The drawer closed and Graham smiled at his seemingly entranced boyfriend as he pushed his shorts and underwear down. He kicked his clothes aside then started dancing to As Long As You Love Me. Noticing that his boyfriend had incredible rhythm; twisting, turning and clapping his hands in time, Ben pushed his shorts and boxers down and danced with Graham. In moments, Graham sang the best he could and continued his dance. Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine I'm leavin’ my life in your hands People say I’m crazy and that I am blind Risking it all in a glance And how you got me blind is still a mystery I can’t get you out of my head Don't care what is written in your history As long as you’re here with me I don’t care who you are Where you’re from What you did As long as you love me Who you are Where you’re from Don't care what you did As long as you love me Every little thing that you have said and done Feels like it’s deep within me Doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run It seems like we’re meant to be I don’t care who you are (who you are) Where you’re from (where you’re from) What you did As long as you love me (I don’t know) Who you are (who you are) Where you’re from (where you’re from) Don’t care what you did As long as you love me (yeah) I’ve tried to hide it so that no one knows But I guess it shows When you look into my eyes What you did and where you’re comin’ from I don’t care, as long as you love me, baby I don’t care who you are (who you are) Where you’re from (where you’re from) What you did As long as you love me (as long as you love me) Who you are (who you are) Where you’re from (where you’re from) Don’t care what you did (yeah) As long as you love me (as long as you love me) Who you are (who you are) Where you’re from What you did As long as you love me Who you are (who you are) Where you’re from (where you’re from) As long as you love me Who you are As long as you love me What you did (I don't care) As long as you love me Clapping his hands, Ben loudly cheered, “Awesome! I’ve heard that song before, but the lyrics suddenly mean so much more.” Going to lower the stereo’s volume, Graham giggled, “You’re a very biased audience.” Ben smiled, “Tell me Francis didn’t like it.” Graham chuckled, “Beanie didn’t like Backstreet; they were just eye-candy for him. I never once sang or danced for him. I only danced with him. You’ll overlook my creaky voice, and that makes you very special.” “Your voice isn’t creaky,” Ben warmly assured. “What I heard was very good; not pro level like some dudes we know, but it was still something I’ll look forward to hearing more of.” Graham hummed then grinned, “I was going to lay back and let you have your way with me, but no. Get on the bed, teddy bear.” Doing as he was told, Ben giggled, “One compliment too many, obviously.” Graham sniggered, “I’m not in grizzly mode. This might take until dinner,” and crawled over Ben then lay down on top of him. Ben’s arms wrapped Graham up. Desperately, they kissed and started grinding. Twice during their love making they paused to consider intercourse. Ben dissuaded Graham with the dong, and minutes later, Graham deterred Ben by reminding they would need to shower before dinner. Each had two orgasms and were cuddling afterward, with Journey’s Greatest Hits playing in the background, when Graham grinned, “We’re not gonna make it until Tuesday.” Ben giggled, “It sure doesn’t seem that way.” Absently tracing little patterns on Ben’s chest, Graham chuckled, “Another change in plans?” “It’s up to you, puddin’,” Ben smiled. “Your reasons for waiting are better than any excuses I dream up.” Graham hummed then offered, “Tomorrow after rehearsal we come home to an empty house.” “We’d have about three hours.” “And time to shower before your mom gets home.” “Then we’re back at your place tomorrow night.” “Matt and Eddie will be at tomorrow’s rehearsal. We could make life easy and get a ride to my place immediately afterward?” “Call your mom if we’re having dinner there.” “And I’ll check with Matt to see if he’ll give us a ride.” “Gimme a kiss and we can get moving.” Graham gave Ben a tender kiss, and then got a medium playful kiss in return. They finished with a passionate lip lock that left them both gasping, “Omigod.” Rolling out of bed and getting dressed, Ben wondered, “You want to go first tomorrow?” “We can’t really plan that out, teddy bear. I’m pretty sure I’ll want to go for a ride on you first, but we could decide otherwise at the last minute. If you’re in aggressive grizzly mode, I might not have much say in the matter.” Pulling his shorts up, Ben nodded and giggled, “I might be aggressive, but still sit on your dickie.” Graham smiled and whimpered. Ben giggled, “You like that idea?” With his shirt in his hand, Graham paused and assured, “It’s all you, Ben. Maybe I’ve been scared of mixing names for no point. Once I told myself to stop comparing, I’ve been really good at accomplishing it, especially during sex.” Ben nodded, took Graham’s shirt out of his hand and tossed it on the bed with his own shirt, wondering, “How do you feel right now, Graham?” Graham checked, “You mean about Francis?” Gently placing his hands on Graham’s hips, Ben added, “And me too.” “There’s very little comparison between you and him. After four awesome days with you, I see literally dozens of differences. You’re mellower most of the time. Beanie wouldn’t be happy at the band’s rehearsals; he wouldn’t like the music and would want to do something else. I have absolutely no problem with the music, or the band members, or the dudes there hangin’ out. I’m with you too, so it’s automatically good. Beanie would want to kick a soccer ball around or do something more than hang out and dance. My life is different, which it kind o’ has to be, but it’s the same too.” “How is it the same?” Ben wondered. Graham stepped closer and took Ben’s hands in his, saying, “I’m with a really special dude. That much hasn’t changed. Just like before June twenty-fifth, I have places to go and stuff to do with my partner. The places and stuff are different, but I’m just as happy now as I was June twenty-fourth.” Ben smiled, “As long as you have a boyfriend to do things with, the things done don’t matter.” Graham nodded, “Mention that tomorrow to Mike and Derrick, Matt and Eddie, Prez and Keith, and Drew and Corey. Each couple has their favorite stuff to do. Once I get a car, we’ll have our own favorite stuff to do too. One of those things will be right across the street, roaming around the park.” Ben whined then collapsed against Graham in a giggling fit. Graham chuckled, “Come on, teddy bear. I need to make two phone calls.” They went out of the room and Ben handed Graham the phone. Ben went and shared the updated plans with his mom while Graham was talking to Matt. During his conversation with Matt, Graham wondered, “Where were you around three-thirty?” “At the Promenade Mall,” Matt answered. “Eddie needed some film to take band photos tomorrow. Some will be with a digital camera and some will be regular film portraits.” Matt wondered, “What made you ask?” Graham grinned, “Everything’s turning around, dude. Life seemed to be in the dumps a week ago. With Ben, it’s cruising at thirty-thousand feet.” Overhearing his lover, Ben growled from the living room. Mrs. Healy helplessly giggled. Graham turned around and widely grinned at his silly teddy bear. Matt chuckled, “Eddie and I have some amazing shit to share with you. We’ve been having similar dreams, of Francis.” A shiver raced through Graham and he grinned, “Of a football huddle and maps on the ground, filling with pink lines linking houses?” Matt gasped, “Holy shit!” Graham smiled, “I told you things were flying. We’ll talk tomorrow, at rehearsal, bro.” “Yeah,” Matt nervously chuckled. “We’ll see ya then. Later.” “Take it easy, bro,” Graham offered. He disconnected and told Ben, “We’ve got a ride. Now to see if we’ll have dinner.” Ben nodded and giggled. Graham called home. Hearing his mother pick up the line, Graham said, “Hi ma.” Faye playfully asked, “Are you having a good time, Binky?” Graham whined, “Ma, please.” Hearing his mother’s soft giggling, he sighed, “We’ve been having a great time.” Faye carefully shared, “Francis paid your father a visit.” Graham smirked, “What did he do this time?” “Friday night, your dad made a mistake working on the Fiery Cross Clipper ship,” Faye explained. “Saturday afternoon, he went back out to fix it, but the mistake had already been corrected, by itself, and the forward sail had a Calligraphy ‘F’ marked on it. He showed it to me, looking white as a ghost.” Shaking his head, Graham chuckled, “I had a dream of him. It sounds like Matt and Eddie had the same dream. Somebody forgot to tell Beanie to rest. He’s as busy now as he ever was.” “Did you need something, Graham?” Faye wondered. Graham grinned, “Yeah, we’ll be home for dinner tomorrow, if that’s alright?” “Of course it is,” Faye quickly assured. “I’ll just take extra chicken out of the freezer now.” While she did so, Faye asked, “What do you think about all these little signs from Francis?” Graham smiled, “I don’t know what to think. First the rose petals, then the dreams and now dad’s boat too? Have you ever heard of things like this?” Faye replied, “I’ve heard of it, but never experienced anything like this. It’s all truly remarkable. It gives me hope, for him, in the afterlife, and that our lives aren’t quite what they seem to be.” Graham sighed, “All I can think about right now is this life, this day and the next days, with Ben.” “Of course,” Faye delightfully chortled, “you’re young.” Graham scowled and softly wondered, “What’s that got to do with anything? Francis was young too.” Faye gently replied, “You said it yourself in your own way, Graham. Francis was active on this side; it makes sense that he would be active on the other side too. All I can suggest, for you and Francis’ friends, is to remember him as he was, and also these things he’s apparently doing now.” “I don’t think we’ll ever forget anything,” Graham smiled. Faye asked, “When do you expect to be home?” Graham answered, “Band rehearsal will end about two, so probably before three; well before dinner time.” Faye cheerfully said, “Good. I’ll look forward to seeing you and Ben when I get home. Your dad would like to speak to you now.” “Okay, see ya tomorrow,” Graham said. A moment later, Robert Carleton said, “Hello, Graham.” “What’s up, dad?” “I checked into the Subaru Outback,” Robert explained. “It’s got good safety and maintenance records. If that’s what you’d like, I could start the ball rolling in the morning.” By his father’s tone of voice, Graham asked, “It’s not as good as the Volvo V70 though, is it?” “No, it’s not,” Robert confirmed. Graham softly said, “You’re footin’ the tab, dad. After what happened, I’d be just as happy in the Volvo.” Robert asked, “I’m curious why you’re looking for wagons and SUV’s and not sedans?” Graham shrugged, “This car’s gotta last and keep us safe. Who knows what I’ll need in two years; will I be going to junior college; will I be going to a university? I don’t know which right now, but I do know this is the car I’ll be driving.” Robert sighed, “The accident changed you, son.” Graham grinned, “Yeah, in more ways than even I know. Somehow, I’ll bet Beanie knows though.” Robert chuckled, “It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. I’m glad he only corrected that little flub and left me the majority of the work to complete.” “He wouldn’t finish it for you,” Graham sniggered. “It would take a bunch of angels to do what you do with those boats.” Robert laughed, “I hope they have better things to do than build model ships. I’ll start the ball rolling on the Volvo V70 in the morning.” Graham grinned, “Cool, hopefully in white or silver with a CD stereo.” “Right,” Robert chuckled. “I’ll see you tomorrow night.” “Yup, see ya then dad. Bye.” “Goodbye.” Graham hung up the phone and went to the living room, saying, “We’re all set; dinner at my place tomorrow, and maybe a new car before we go to bed.” Standing and reaching for Graham’s hand, Ben smiled, “Which did you choose, the Subaru or the Volvo?” “The Volvo,” Graham wildly grinned. “Dad’s paying and the Volvo is the better car. My folks are happier, and I have to admit, so am I.” At Graham’s enthusiastic tone, Ben giggled, “We have an errand to run; over to Safeway for French bread, bleach and laundry detergent. We’re having pasta for dinner tonight.” Graham offered, “We need shoes,” and led Ben back to the bedroom. The moment they were out of Mrs. Healy’s sight, Graham pulled Ben into his arms and giggled, “Brrr-rrr!” Holding on tight, Ben giggled, “I could feel you were excited as soon as you hung up the phone.” “Not just about the car,” Graham giggled. “The dream I had of Francis, Matt and Eddie had too. Francis fixed a problem with one of my dad’s model ships too. It’s so friggin’ weird. He’s moved on, but hasn’t gone very far at all.” He stepped back and smiled, “It all started with you, teddy bear. You walked into my life and suddenly, everything is getting so much better.” Ben smiled, “I’m glad you think so,” and then stole a kiss before stepping back to put his sandals on. Graham slid into his sneakers and raved, “My first morning with you, I had a good dream. The morning you were at my house, my mom got pink rose petals, and I had another good dream. It sounds like Matt and Eddie had the very same dream. My dad slipped and goofed up something on his model ship. He went back to it and found it fixed, with a script ‘F’ on the forward sail.” Pausing to put his shirt on, Graham finished, “Add a new car to all that and everything points to you, Ben.” Giggling and taking Graham’s hand, Ben led the way out of his room and out of the house. Once outside, Ben warmly smiled, “What’s from Francis is his. I won’t take credit for that. What I will take credit for is being the special friend you asked me to be. You feel better so that automatically makes everything around you better too.” They went to the car, with Graham insanely sniggering, because Ben saw things the way Graham might’ve expected. Once they got in the car and closed the doors, Graham playfully warned, “I’m gonna suck your dickie all night long. I’m gonna sleep that way, so every time I wake for an instant, you get another blowjob.” Starting the car engine, Ben giggled, “That leaves your dickie near my face. Every blowjob you give, you’ll get one too.” Graham laughed, “This will make intercourse very interesting tomorrow afternoon.” He started pumping his arms and bouncing in his seat, doing his happy dance and Ben cracked up. Continuing his happy dance all the way to Safeway, Graham paid no mind to curious stares from other motorists. Pulling into a parking space and stopping the car, Ben giggled, “Ya know, other people that don’t know you might think terrible things, like you’re insane or happy Francis passed on.” Graham cheered, “I’m not happy he’s gone, but I am happy that he’s making it very clear he hasn’t gone far. I have to wonder, how many things like this did I miss, during my weeks of funktification?” Ben howled, “Funktification?” Graham rapidly nodded, “Is there a better name for having my head so far up my own ass that I couldn’t see daylight?” Releasing his seat beat, Ben giggled, “Come on, silly graham cracker. The faster we get this done, the quicker I can get you home and sedated.” They got out of the car. Graham practically flew around the car, jumped and landed beside Ben. Shaking his head and taking Graham’s hand, Ben led the way to the store, giggling, “We’re going to Doug’s and Brian’s after dinner. You’re doing bong hits until I have to carry you home.” “That won’t help,” Graham playfully sang. “I’ll only eat you out of house and home then suck your dickie the rest of the night.” Covering his reddening face with his left hand, because Graham practically declared his intentions to everyone in the Safeway parking lot, Ben howled laughing. Graham was no better in the store than he was outside. The supermarket seemed to have turned into Graham’s personal playground, especially in the housewares aisle, where Graham stuck feather dusters under his armpits and rode a broom up and down the aisle. Gathering the bleach and detergent his mom asked for, Ben tried to pretend he didn’t know Graham, but failed miserably by cracking up with each stunt his silly lover pulled. Walking down the aisle, Ben warned, “I’m going to get French bread.” Quickly tossing the feather dusters and broom back in the display, Graham called, “You know why they call it French bread, don’t you?” “I really don’t want to know,” Ben softly giggled. Graham announced, “They tongue kiss every loaf before they bake it. That’s why it’s so gooey inside.” He asked an old lady passing by, “Didn’t know that, did ya?” The lady hurried away. Shaking his head sadly, Ben giggled, “We’ll be having dinner at Metropolitan State Hospital tonight.” “They sent me home already.” “Did you take your meds?” Graham nodded, “A little orange one and two big pink ones.” Ben sniggered, “You were supposed to take two little orange pills and one big pink pill.” Leaning in close, Graham leered, “I want your big pink pill, ya hunky beefcake.” Ben blushed and giggled, “I’m so glad I’m moving soon. Four more weeks of Safeway trips with you and we’ll be on the ‘do not service’ list.” “That’s alright,” Graham softly giggled, “I’ll service you plenty.” Covering his mouth, Ben pretended to repeatedly sneeze, until he had Graham cracking up and had gotten a loaf of French bread. In the express-checkout lane, Graham giggled, “Damn allergic reactions.” Ben nodded, “I’m telling Matt and Eddie all about this.” Graham smiled, “They won’t be surprised. They’ll be sorry they weren’t here for broom stick and feather duster jousting.” Paying the cashier, Ben giggled, “Oh good, you’re all insane.” “Mental health is overrated,” Graham smiled. Accepting his change and saying thank you to the cashier, Ben noticed that Graham already had the large box of laundry detergent. He picked up the remaining two sacks with the bleach and French bread and went with Graham toward the exit. Ben grinned, “I’ve never had so much fun at a supermarket before.” Graham smiled, “The best is yet to come.” Ben giggled, “Mom’s probably got dinner cooking. We’ll be eating soon after we get home.” Graham nodded, “We’ll need our strength tonight.” Absorbing that while they stepped outside into the heat of late afternoon, Ben giggled, “It hasn’t been a month since I smelled ladies’ perfume and freaked out. Now I feel completely different about spirits.” Graham smiled, “I can relate. Our fourth day together isn’t even over yet. The only thought pending is, when will I get the car and what color will it be. I hope I have it by Wednesday.” Ben wondered, “What’s special about Wednesday?” “Matt has the day off and Eddie’s home by noon,” Graham replied. “We could go to the beach or anywhere we want with them.” Noticing Ben shifting the sacks in his hands, Graham took the bleach so Ben could get the car key out, saying, “I want to salvage the rest of this summer with you, teddy bear. I’ve got a few ideas brewing.” With his car key in hand, Ben wondered, “Such as?” Graham smiled, “We’ve got a lot already planned this month, but we could spend Wednesday’s with Matt and Eddie. There’s a park near our homes with basketball and tennis courts. We could check out a few flicks too.” Unlocking the car, Ben grinned, “Whatever you want to do, puddin’.” “Wait a minute,” Graham scowled and bent down at the passenger side of the car. Putting the French bread on the back seat, Ben asked, “What’s wrong?” He thought the car might have a flat tire since that’s where Graham was looking. Graham stood up displaying a twenty dollar bill and chuckled, “That takes care of catching a flick.” He got in the car with the bleach and detergent, widely smiling, “How’s that for proof you’re good luck?” Starting the car, Ben giggled, “You find money and I’m good luck?” Pocketing the bill, Graham grinned, “It was under your tire.” Buckling up, Ben softly offered, “Doug talks about karma all the time. Could it be that our combined karma is sending good things our way?” Graham shrugged, “What movie do you want to see?” and snapped his seat belt in place. Hanging his head, Ben giggled. Graham chuckled, “What?” Dropping his arms off the steering wheel and looking over, Ben smiled and sighed, “I love you, Graham.” Leaning to his left, Graham gestured for Ben to lean closer. When Ben leaned over, Graham whispered, “I love you too, Ben,” and then planted a tender kiss. Wearing a contented grin, Ben leaned back in the driver’s seat and closed his eyes. Graham assured, “I feel it too, teddy bear. Every time the feeling swells like that, I can’t figure out what to do about it.” Ben admitted, “You had the feeling growing in me the whole time we were in the store.” Stepping on the brake, he put the car in reverse and looked around for pedestrians and other cars. Beginning to slowly back out, Ben smiled, “The hopes I had last week have doubled, tripled and quadrupled. When I ask myself how anything might get messed up, the only answer I come up with is losing you.” Ben put the car in drive and slowly moved forward through the parking lot. Resting his hand on Ben’s on the gear shifter, Graham nodded, “I’m there too, Ben. A week ago, I was in a bad place. Now I’m as happy as ever. I’m right here, where I want to be. These weird things with Francis, I have to really wonder about. Rose petals by themselves weren’t too much. Until I talked to Matt, it was just me seeing things differently. Shared dreams though are just too freaky to ignore. By the way, Matt and Eddie were at the mall, just like we envisioned. How and why is all this happening? The only answer I can come up with is us being together.” For a few moments, while they waited at the traffic light, Ben thought about it. The light changed and he drove forward, softly offering, “Francis’ best friends in the world were you, Eddie and Matt. It makes sense that he’d share with you three, in ways that couldn’t be considered coincidence.” “I can’t help wondering why.” “To make his best friends feel better, so you know he’s still around in spirit. I’m just going with what Mike and Prez told me. Mike’s father and Prez’s mother make themselves known to them. Francis is doing it too.” What Ben and Graham didn’t know was that Francis’ parents had spent time that weekend cleaning out Francis’ bedroom. The gut wrenching task was being done a little at a time. Clothes were put aside to be donated to the church. Earlier that very day, they were going through Francis’ desk. They found a copy of the photograph with Graham and threw it away. Also in the desk was a spiral bound notebook where Francis had written poetry. Neither of them had any idea that Francis wrote poems. Some were very dark, almost morbid, considering how things had turned out, but others were love sonnets and others seemed to be lyrical. The two adults were crying over their loss and the new knowledge of their departed son when they heard a loud bang that caused the whole house to shake. It was too brief to be an earthquake, so they hurried out of the room to find out what had happened. They searched the entire house, inside and out, but nothing was out of place. Returning to Francis’ room, they found the bags of clothes dumped all over the floor, the garbage can overturned, and the notebook they had been leafing through closed, with the photo of Francis and Graham sitting on top of it. Francis’ mother broke down wailing and hurried out of the room. Francis’ father closed the bedroom door and went to console his wife. Ben, Graham and Mrs. Healy were cleaning up after dinner when there was a knock at the front door. Ben went to answer it and was surprised to find Eddie there with Matt. Parked at the curb was Matt’s Nissan Maxima. Ben giggled, “Come on in.” Stepping inside, Matt smiled, “I know we should’ve called first, but things happened.” Ben giggled, “Don’t worry about it. I’m glad you’re here.” Hearing his friend’s voice, Graham came from the kitchen and chuckled, “Dudes! What’s goin’ on?” Eddie grinned, “Francis is more out of control now than he ever was.” Matt nodded, “Right after you hung up, Mrs. McLoughlin called. They wanted us to finish what they started. Can you come outside?” Ben and Graham nodded and followed their friends outside. Eddie asked, “Remember what Francis said, about dealing with his parents?” “I’ll never forget it,” Graham smiled. Matt nodded and chuckled, “He’s doin it, dude.” He and Eddie relayed the story that the McLoughlins had told them, about a loud noise, the house shaking and returning to find Francis’ room a shambles. Eddie giggled, “So they gave me a key and told me to take anything I wanted from Francis’ room. They went out and said they wouldn’t be back until late. Matt popped his trunk and chuckled, “We took all his T-shirts, his CD’s, his photos off his computer and this too.” He reached in to pick up a spiral bound notebook, prompting Graham to “check out the drawing on the inside cover.” Watching Ben, Matt and Eddie, Graham opened the notebook. They found a penciled sketch of a graham cracker with one corner bitten off. All of them started laughing and shed tears. Eddie asked Ben, “Are there any bits of Graham missing?” Shaking his head, Ben blushed and giggled, “All his parts are accounted for.” Matt asked Graham, “Did you know he wrote poetry?” Graham wiped his eyes and replied, “Yeah, but he wouldn’t show me though.” “Understandable,” Eddie giggled, “Judging by the little I’ve read, a lot of what’s in there is about you, about being in love, or about feeling like a misfit. Now look at the back page.” Nodding, Graham closed the notebook then flipped it over and opened the back cover. He quickly closed it again, flushed red and cracked up. Matt and Eddie roared laughing. “Wait a minute,” Ben giggled, “Lemme see that again.” Graham blushed and handed over the notebook to Ben. Closely looking at the drawing, it was obvious to Ben that Francis had taken time and care when he drew it. The penciled lines were softened where necessary and shades gave the rendering of Graham’s chubby penis and scrotum depth. Matt teased, “Did you pose for that or what, bro?” “Not that I know of,” Graham giggled. Ben looked up from the drawing of Graham’s private parts and smiled, “He did this from memory?” Graham shrugged and grinned, “He must’ve. I never saw him drawing that. Maybe it was done while I slept.” “It’s very obviously your dickie,” Ben giggled. Eddie howled, “I wonder if his parents saw that?” Matt, Ben and Graham cracked up. For the next few minutes, they reviewed the contents of Matt’s car trunk. Eddie could fit into all of Francis’ shorts and some of the T-shirts. A few of the T-shirts were men’s medium size that Graham had bought, so he wanted those. The CD’s they split; Ben and Graham each took one, and the remainder, Eddie and Matt would keep. Eddie said, “This is all the stuff we took. We bagged up most of his clothes that could be donated. I took his portable stereo.” Eddie passed the stereo to Ben, smiling, “I have one, Matt does and so does Graham, now you do too.” Looking around the trunk, Eddie scowled, “We took the photo, didn’t we?” Nodding, Matt hummed affirmatively and pointed, “It’s gotta be in that bag somewhere.” Turning to Ben, Eddie prompted, “Check that notebook. If Graham sees it again, he’ll get all kinds of freaked out.” Eddie looked at Graham and explained, “It’s his copy of the one we just packed away for you.” Graham nodded understandingly. Flipping through the notebook, forward and backward, Ben said, “It’s not here.” Matt grumbled, “It’s gotta be in that trunk somewhere. I know we took it.” Searching the trunk, Eddie groused, “We made a trip to the car with this stuff then went back inside to make sure we didn’t leave anything behind.” Holding the notebook by the spiral binding, Ben shook it to be certain the photo wasn’t in there. Nothing fell out and Matt growled then helped Eddie search the trunk. Coming up empty, Eddie sighed and told Matt, “We must’ve dropped it in the house. Let’s make a quick trip back there before we go home.” “We didn’t drop it,” Matt griped, “it’s the one thing we know they wouldn’t want to see.” Ben mumbled, “Maybe Francis wants them to see it?” Eddie and Matt looked up from the trunk at Ben. Graham grinned at Ben then helplessly chortled. Ben shrugged, “Would it be any stranger than rose petals, or shared dreams, or a fixed model ship, or house rattling noises that scared his parents, enough to turn over the key to his friends?” Grinning slightly, Eddie, Graham and Matt slowly shook their heads. Ben smiled, “Every shirt, pair of shorts, the notebook and the CD’s are accounted for. These are the things Francis wanted you dudes to have. Eddie, you said that his parents were reading the poetry when they heard the noise, right?” Eddie nodded and Ben explained, “That’s his heart in words meant for Graham. Of course he didn’t want them reading it. It’s also very possible he didn’t want them to see the drawing of Graham’s dickie.” Matt, Eddie and Graham nodded and sniggered. Matt droned, “This is really getting very strange.” Ben nodded, “I was taught that love never dies. It seems very clear that Francis loved you three dudes. What he’s given isn’t as important as the fact that he gave it.” Displaying the notebook, Ben smiled, “I’ll copy every word he wrote and save them as computer files. We’ll each get copies and this notebook will be stored away safe.” Enthusiastically nodding, Eddie giggled, “Graham’s dad has a scanner. Scan every page, especially the drawings.” Graham chuckled, “What do you dudes want with a sketch of my dickie?” Eddie cracked up. Matt chuckled, “It’s Francis’ interpretation of your dickie that we want, as cover art for the poems. The real McCoy belongs to Ben.” Ben smiled, “Can you dudes stay for a while?” Nodding agreement, Graham offered, “We’ll be walkin’ around the park at sunset.” Matt and Eddie agreed to hang out for a while. Matt closed the trunk lid and Ben led the way back into the house then introduced Matt and Eddie to his mom. Ben and Graham got glasses of soda poured then the four boys went to Ben’s room. Immediately upon entering, Matt hummed then said, “This is the master bedroom at the other house.” Ben nodded and explained, “Doug and Brian remodeled their house. The studio was once the master bedroom.” Pointing at the back wall where his bed was, Ben said, “They knocked that wall down, extended the bedroom and built a new master bathroom there.” For the next hour and half, while Ben’s stereo played in the background, they talked about the dreams they had shared, about the Healy move, during which Matt and Eddie said they would help, since they intended to quit their jobs before school started in September. Graham told his friends about the new car he was sure to have in a few days, and then prompted Ben to play guitar. Ben played both Bach pieces as well as he had for Graham. Afterward, Eddie was checking out Ben’s CD collection and asked Ben, “Why’d you choose this Sarah McLachlin disk?” “Two reasons,” Ben answered, “because I’m sure I’ve heard some on the radio and liked it, and because her last name resembles Francis’ last name. I’ll always remember where it came from.” Matt smiled, “I got it for Francis last Christmas.” “Put it on,” Graham prompted. Ben worried, “Are you sure, puddin’?” Nodding, Graham replied, “I like her voice. Beanie and I only danced to it once, that I can recall. Getting Francis to slow dance wasn’t too easy.” Matt nodded and grinned, “He liked to bop and bounce, the louder the beat, the better.” Eddie nodded and giggled, “Francis couldn’t take slow dancin’ with Graham. He’d get horny and they’d forget to dance.” “Shush!” Graham laughed. Ben giggled. Matt and Eddie cracked up. Giggling at them, Ben stopped the player. He took out The Backstreet Boys and replaced it with Sarah McLachlin’s ‘Surfacing’. Eddie was up off his knees and pulling Matt off the bed as soon as Ben hit the play button. In a few moments, both couples were slow dancing to Building a Mystery. After the first verse, the couples separated and picked up the pace slightly with the music. They danced to almost the whole disk, stopping only to take a walk around the park. Graham proudly told his friends more about what he could recall of his first night with Ben. To get even, Ben told Matt and Eddie about Graham’s sneezing fit, supposedly caused by an allergic reaction to erections, which strangely hadn’t been repeated the last four days. Ben continued about Graham’s Safeway store broomstick and feather duster jousting, caused by extreme happiness over the shared dreams and a new car. Sniggering insanely, Matt and Eddie playfully denied any knowledge of broomstick jousting. Graham remembered Ben’s faked sneezing fit in the store and playfully wondered exactly how much Ben enjoyed his silly grocery store antics. On the return trip across the park, Matt asked, “Do you dudes want to go back to Woodland Hills tonight? I’m only offering because we’re here now, it’s totally up to you.” Graham shrugged and turned to Ben asking, “What do you think, teddy bear? It doesn’t matter to me.” Ben smiled, “Let me check with my mom. I don’t think she’ll have any problem. We should probably tell Doug and Brian too, that way Mike and Derrick don’t wait for us in the morning.” “Cool!” Eddie excitedly sang. “We’re going swimming tonight. You dudes can join us.” Graham chuckled and told Ben, “Eddie’s got a pool at his place. It’s walking distance, over on Baza Avenue.” Matt nodded, “It’s quickest from Graham’s house if you take Darro then cut across the hill wash out and down to Baza.” Turning to Matt and Eddie, Graham said, “We’re planning a trip to the beach Wednesday.” Eddie nodded, “Cool. We’ll hit Zuma. The last time we were there, we ran into Derrick and Mike.” Passing the playground, Graham chortled, “Ya wanna play at the jungle gym, teddy bear?” “No,” Ben laughed. Pulling Ben close, Graham shared the story of their jungle gym escapades. While Eddie and Matt laughed over crusty underwear and gunked up foreskin, Graham held on tightly to Ben and excitedly gushed, “That’s one of many things that makes Ben very special. Beanie wouldn’t chance public affection like that. Most times it was hard getting him to hold hands. Ben has no problem with it. We hold hands all the time, here in the park or out in supermarkets.” “I waited seventeen years for a boyfriend,” Ben giggled. “I won’t ever say no to hand holding.” Eddie asked Ben, “You’re not afraid of homophobes?” Ben shrugged, “Ya know what I’ve witnessed, Eddie? At Agoura High, I’ve seen jocks mocking other jocks for a moment’s compassion and sincerity. I thought, jeez how dumb can ya get? The dude gave an excellent oral report, prob’ly got an excellent grade, but his jock buddies called him a fag, for having more brains than the rest of them combined could scrape up. I don’t care about name calling, probably because I’ve already been called every name in the book.” Matt grinned, “Very cool, dude. Not many would bust your balls in the first place.” Ben muttered, “Some have, some haven’t.” Matt checked, “Dudes much bigger than you, right?” Ben nodded, “Yep.” Graham grinned, “They don’t know you like I do. Carry me, teddy bear.” Ben blushed and giggled, but Graham persisted and told Matt and Eddie how he had pushed the grizzly bear button and been carried across three quarters the length of the park. He then giggled, “I’ll suck your dickie. I’ll suck it in Matt’s car. I’ll suck it again in Eddie’s pool. And I’m still sleeping with my face down there so I can suck you all… night… long.” Only to appease his teasing boyfriend, Ben grabbed Graham’s arm and hoisted him over his shoulder. Graham, Matt and Eddie howled laughing. Ben carried Graham toward his house. “He’s a brrrute!” Graham giggled. Matt nodded and chuckled, “Ya know what, Ben? You’ll have nothing to worry about at El Camino Real High.” Eddie nodded and giggled, “If you can pick up Graham that easily, you could lift half our varsity football team.” Graham tried to look up at his friends and smiled, “This is what happens when I push the grizzly bear button.” He stuffed his hands into Ben’s back pockets. “Graham!” Ben incredulously giggled, “Do you want to make it home or to Eddie’s pool?” Graham replied by removing his hands from Ben’s back pockets and wrapping his arms around Ben’s belly. In the kitchen making herself a cup of tea, Margaret Healy saw her son carrying his boyfriend across the park. Beside herself, she put the cup down and hurried to the front door, opened it and yelled, “Benjamin Healy, put him down now!” Eddie, Graham and Matt cracked up. Stopping in his tracks, Ben softly giggled, “Yes, mother,” and put Graham down. Graham loudly laughed, “I made him pick me up, Mrs. Healy. It’s my fault.” Shaking her head, Mrs. Healy sighed and closed the door; softly muttering about boys being boys no matter what their sexuality happens to be. To get Ben off the hook and butter up Mrs. Healy, Eddie had Matt give him a piggyback ride across the remaining bit of the park, across the street and into the house. Ben sent Graham, Matt and Eddie into his room to start packing while he talked to his mother. Several minutes later, with permission to leave for Graham’s that night instead of the next afternoon, Ben returned to his room, where he found Matt face down across his bed and Eddie on top of his partner, poking the dong into Matt’s clothed ass. Giggling, Ben closed his door and locked eyes with Graham. “They’re quiet and happy,” Graham grinned, and stuffed four pair of boxers into Ben’s backpack. He told Ben, “I’ve got shorts, boardies, T-shirts, skivvies and socks. Get your stuff from the bathroom, and I’ll make sure they keep their clothes on.” Ben nodded and giggled, “Pack the CD’s too, puddin’. I’ll finally get to hear your stereo.” Graham asked, “Ya want me to leave the Hanson disk here, teddy bear?” Shaking his head, Ben answered, “No, let’s bring it with us. Don’t forget Francis’ poetry notebook.” “Never,” Graham smiled. Ben left his room and made a quick phone call to let Doug know that he and Graham wouldn’t need a ride to rehearsal the next morning. Doug promised to pass along the message and asked Ben to stop by with his friends. Ben thanked him then hurried to get his toiletries from the bathroom. By the time Ben returned to his room, everything was packed except what he had in his hands and his guitar case was out too. “You’ve got to play for my parents too, teddy bear,” Graham smiled. Putting his toiletries in his backpack, Ben giggled, “If you say so.” Taking Graham’s hand, Ben faced Eddie and Matt, saying, “Doug and Brian would like to meet you two. They want to know who else was with Graham when we heard Francis Wednesday night.” Matt shrugged, “We met them before, at Mike’s birthday party.” Graham grinned, “They’re probably gonna read your auras. They did that with us the other night. Ben and I got to try it out too. It’s very cool, I have to admit.” “It won’t take more than a few minutes, just to say hello,” Ben offered. “I already told them where we’re going and that we’re planning on going swimming.” Eddie giggled, “I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d like to know how we heard Francis that night.” Picking up the guitar case, Matt nodded, “Given what’s been happening the last few days, let’s see what they have to say.” Ben and Graham grabbed their backpacks and led the way out of the room. Turning into the living room, Ben, Graham, Eddie and Matt said goodbye to Mrs. Healy. Matt led the way out the front door. Everything was stowed in Matt’s car, and then they walked up the block to Doug’s and Brian’s house, chattering about auras. Ben knocked on the door. Brian answered in moments, smiling, “Welcome gentlemen; please come in.” Entering first, Ben smiled, “How’re you doin’, Brian?” Brian grinned, “It’s our last day of vacation, so everything’s well.” Approaching from the living room, Doug smirked, “Tomorrow is the return to madness.” Ben giggled and Graham introduced his two friends with pats on the back. “This is Matt Morales and this is Eddie Chan. I’ve known Eddie since first grade and Matt since third grade. They both knew Francis for as long as I did, since junior high.” Shaking Matt’s hand, Brian smiled, “Red, light red and pink.” “Aye,” Doug briefly agreed while shaking Eddie’s hand. “Here we have soft yellow, royal blue and more pink.” Eddie giggled, “What’s that mean?” The two men moved so that Brian could shake Eddie’s hand and Doug could shake hands with Matt. Brian explained “Matt is energetic, competitive, grounded, passionate and sexual and has strong will-power. Large bouncing pink bubbles tell us he’s madly in love with you, Eddie.” “I’ve known him for eight years and couldn’t have said it better myself,” Graham chortled at Matt’s shocked expression. Doug smiled, “Eddie is a large force in a small package. Yellow is the color of awakening, inspiration, creativity, optimism, psychic and spiritual awareness. Add the royal blue and you’re clairvoyant, generous and highly spiritual. More large pink bouncing bubbles say you’re in love with Matt, I’d guess for about two years or more.” Matt grinned, “He likes ghost stories and all that paranormal stuff; not because it scares him, but just because it’s fun.” “Rightly so,” Brian chuckled. Doug smiled, “Here’s what we know so far, in a nutshell; Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick are doing something with instruction from Prez’s mother. Generally, what they’ve done for Ben, Corey and Danny is cleansing. We’ve witnessed that with Danny yesterday.” “In Graham’s case,” Brian continued, “there were at least two clairvoyants with royal blue auras; Corey and Eddie. Add in Eddie’s pale yellow psychic and spiritual awareness, and his direct knowledge of Francis, and you have a beacon to the other side.” Doug nodded, “Being recently departed, Francis is probably keeping a close watch on his loved ones.” Graham nodded, “Jerry, Mack, Matt, Eddie and me all knew Francis very well.” Laying a hand on Graham’s shoulder, Doug warmly smiled, “So five were here that Francis cared for. Contacting the departed is almost always a very risky business. Ouija boards are marketed as a game, but they are extremely dangerous, because any evil entity could masquerade as a loved one; they open doors that shouldn’t be opened. Preston’s mother was very likely the protector of everyone gathered here and of Francis too.” Graham wondered, “How did Francis know what to say to me?” Brian grinned, “Love. He cared enough to know your concerns and fears, Graham.” Doug nodded, “It wouldn’t surprise me to learn Francis was sharing a lot, probably through Eddie.” Matt wiped his eyes and softly asked, “Can I sit down, please?” Leading Matt by the shoulder, Brian hurried to get him seated at a dining room chair. Eddie followed and worried, “Are you okay?” Matt mutely nodded. Brian assured, “It’s Matt’s nature; being grounded in this life and passionate too, there’s some conflict.” Graham stood before Matt and confirmed, “It’s the dreams, isn’t it?” Matt nodded. Scowling, Brian and Doug chorused, “What dreams?” Graham shrugged, “It’s actually a single dream that the three of us had, of Francis.” Doug asked, “Please, tell us more.” Eddie shared, “I had a dream, Friday morning. When I woke, with Matt, he told me almost the very same things were in his dream.” Graham nodded, “I called Matt earlier this afternoon and told him I had the same dream, but he didn’t tell me it was Friday.” Ben shivered, “The three of them had the same dream the same night.” Also feeling weak, Ben sat on another dining room chair. “It was all of us,” Matt carefully explained. “All of Francis’ friends in a football huddle. Francis was the quarterback, which he never would’ve been in real life.” “Call the play, Beanie,” Graham recalled. “The play is already in motion,” Matt sighed. Eddie smiled, “There were maps on the ground, showing all our homes flashing in white, green and blue. Pink lines began connecting all the homes of gays and lesbians, here and across the country. Francis said, ‘the closet doors won’t only be opened; they’ll be blown to smithereens. There will be equality for everyone, of every gender, of every orientation, of every race, around the world.’” Glancing at the two men, Graham shared, “He said that one will cause all of us to take a stand. Another will strengthen our position, even he doesn’t know it yet, and he’s old, thirty seven.” Wide-eyed, Doug softly said, “I’m thirty-seven.” “Omigod,” the four boys gasped. Brian paled and repeated, “One will cause all of us to take a stand.” “It’s a prophecy of something that’s going to happen,” Doug sighed. Ben loudly asked, “So what do we do?” Brian shrugged, “There’s nothing we can do except what we would do anyway, regardless of this knowledge.” Eddie muttered, “We have to go. Who else had this dream? We’ve gotta call Shaun, Gil, Jerry, Mack and Rick. They were all in the dream huddle too.” Doug pointed at the phone on the wall and prompted, “Go ahead and call your friends.” Eddie went to the phone and started placing the calls. After calling Shaun’s house, Eddie confirmed, “Shaun and Gil had it too.” He called Rick’s house, but Rick was working. He called Jerry’s house next, but he was at Mack’s house, so Eddie called there. In a few moments, it was apparent that Jerry and Mack had the same dream. Doug sighed, “Seven had the dream.” Brian nodded, “And God created the Heavens and the Earth in seven days.” “Fucking great,” Matt groaned. Doug cheerfully said, “Listen guys, this isn’t a forewarning of doom and gloom. It is what Francis said it is, an opportunity to change things for the better for everyone.” “But we’re on the front lines,” Matt reminded. Brian shrugged, “You still would’ve been had you not had the dream. All this proves is that the dream wasn’t coincidence. Francis wanted you to know something good would come of this. We don’t know who will cause us to take a stand or when that will happen. Life will go on and we’ll do what we feel we need to do.” “Relax,” Doug firmly commanded. “Francis was your friend,” Doug reminded. “He presented this information to you in the form of a game. There is nothing to fear. Change is a natural part of life. We know that Ben has changed, that Graham has changed and that your plans for this evening have changed. Treat what you know now as another part of life’s changes. Remember that setbacks are fleeting. All you need to do is choose to be who you already are; gay couples in love. Make your future each day, with choices based on what and whom you truly love.” Glancing around at the four teenage boys, Brian asked, “Is anyone still afraid?” The boys checked with each other then shrugged. Graham said, “I feel more anxious, because I’m not sure what will happen or when.” Eddie nodded, “I’m worried about the one Francis said would cause all of us to take a stand.” “Understandable,” Brian smiled. “Who was directly mentioned in the dream?” “All of us,” Matt recalled, “even Mike, Derrick, Prez and Keith.” Graham offered, “The four in North Hollywood too; Aaron, Danny, Craig and Glen.” Doug smiled, “I’m counting sixteen that are safe; you four and everyone closest to you. We’ll talk with Mike and Derrick when they get home tonight. If there’s something more to be said, it can be discussed during tomorrow’s rehearsal.” “Until then, please enjoy your night and time together,” Brian peacefully suggested. Shaking his head, Ben giggled, “I should’ve known you two would be weird.” Innocently blinking, Doug chuckled, “Reality is weird sometimes.” Locking eyes with Doug, Graham asked, “It’s you, the thirty-seven year old that Francis told us would be like our coach, isn’t it?” Doug shrugged, “I have no idea. It could be any thirty-seven year old. I will say this though; if something happens that causes me to act like a coach for all of you, I couldn’t be happier or prouder.” “I guess that makes me assistant coach,” Brian grinned. “Ooo!” Doug softly chuckled. Together, Brian and Doug loudly cheered, “Come on, kids! We'll give ‘em the old rickety-rack! Bricka bracka, firecracka, sis boom ba! Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny, rah rah rah!” Covering his eyes, Ben giggled, “See, now they’re just gonna get weirder. We should leave.” Eddie cracked up. Graham softly chortled and Matt only smiled. “The lad knows us too well,” Doug playfully muttered. Standing up, Ben nodded then went to give Doug and Brian tight hugs. Eddie, Graham and Matt all stood and shook hands with Doug and Brian. The former three left the house and Ben reminded, “I won’t be around Thursday for my lesson.” “There’s little more that I could teach you,” Doug smiled. “Soon, you’ll realize that. Let’s think about changing to twice a month. I’ll talk with Mike too. Maybe he could teach you after you move?” Ben nodded and smiled, “Thanks again. I’ll see you Friday night.” “Take care,” Doug warmly said, and waved to the departing group. They all waved back and chanted various farewells then started walking down the street. When they were out of sight, Doug closed the door. Leaning against the entryway wall, Brian wondered, “What do you think?” Doug shrugged, “Seven boys all having the same dream is far more than coincidence. We’ve got to step up the lessons.” Taking Doug’s hand and leading the way to the studio, Brian nodded, “And check with Derrick and Mike later.” Doug sighed, “I wish we had met Francis.” Brian nodded, “It would clear up a few remaining mysteries.” Piling into Matt’s car, Ben shared what he knew of Doug and Brian from two years of guitar lessons. “They always said more than was necessary for guitar teachers. It was centered on guitar and music, but they’d present it like karate lessons. The studio was their dojo. Their goal, from day one, was to take me from a white belt learner to a black belt expert.” Matt pulled away from the curb and Ben sighed, “Lemme see if I can remember this correctly. There were twelve points of focus; spirit; rhythm; technique; feel; perfection; mistakes; stages and plateaus; discipline; limits; follow-through; taste and collaboration.” Matt nodded, “I can easily see how some of that applies to baseball. Without spirit to want to play, everything else is pointless. I need rhythm to throw the ball and swing a bat. Technique, that’s how to accomplish a short throw versus a long one, or swing to bunt versus a swing for a home run, or anything in between.” Eddie offered, “Everything learned comes in stages and plateaus; that’s the learning curve. For photography, I had to learn all about light and shadow to compose a good picture.” Lying down with his head resting on Ben’s lap, Graham wondered, “What else did they teach you, teddy bear?” Running his fingers through Graham’s hair, Ben smiled, “There were twelve common missteps, most of which I think I stumbled across at one time or another.” Eddie giggled, “Yeah, knowing something doesn’t count until you do it successfully. I wasted rolls of film trying stuff out.” “That would be over-thinking,” Ben said. “Okay, cool,” Matt chuckled. “It’s the same in baseball too. When you’re in a play to get the ball from the outfield to the basemen, to get a man out, you can over think it and choke under the gun.” Ben meekly offered, “Self-doubt is one of my biggest hurdles.” Turning in the front passenger seat, Eddie frowned, “Why dude? You play really good.” Ben shrugged. Matt said, “There’s a difference, buttercup. Let’s say you take three photos of the same landscape using different lenses and settings; two look like crap so you don’t show those to anyone. In baseball and in music, we’re playing for people in the moment. If I make an error or Ben misses a note, we can’t simply toss it out as if it didn’t happen; it’s there for everybody to see or hear.” “That’s why I still take notes about settings and lenses,” Eddie explained. “If something looks shitty, I can learn from the mistake. I see the difference in music and baseball though.” Glancing in the rearview mirror, Matt recommended, “You get over self-doubt by repetition and learning from your mistakes, Ben.” Graham smiled, “You said that you played those two tunes better for me than ever before. You played them just as well for Matt and Eddie earlier.” Eddie asked, “What’s that breathing thing you do, Ben?” Ben replied, “Preparing the mind and centering myself, so I’m focused, but not obsessing.” “Yup, I do that in the batter’s box, taking practice swings,” Matt nodded. “Obsess about it and you’ll strike out.” Graham thought aloud, “What I’m hearing is all three of you do similar things. The applications are different, but the method is pretty much the same.” Matt chuckled, “You do the same things too, bro. I sat beside you in our Mechanical Drawing class last year. I got C’s and B’s; you got straight A’s. It’s easier for you to see and draw than it is for me. I sat beside you all year, took your suggestions and did virtually the same things that you did, but your drawings looked awesome; mine were a smudged mess.” “I never thought about that,” Graham softly muttered. Ben looked down and grinned, “Think about this, puddin’. Why are Prez, Mike, Derrick, Keith and even Drew so good at what they do in the band? Mike told me he’s been playing for over five years. Prez has been playing almost five years. I’ve got two years and two songs under my fingers. What’s the difference between me and them?” “Not much, as far as I can tell,” Graham chuckled. Ben asked, “Eddie, how long have you been taking photos?” “About four years,” Eddie replied. Ben asked, “How long have you been playing baseball, Matt?” “Since first grade,” Matt replied, “nine years.” Ben said, “Some things come easier and some things take more practice and repetition. For the dudes in the band, what they do comes more naturally. Drew can sing every bit as well as Keith and they do that naturally. I might be where they are in two more years or I might take longer. Your drawings come more naturally than Matt’s. You can visualize that stuff, which isn’t too surprising, daydreamer.” Matt and Eddie cracked up. Graham grinned and rolled his head to gently munch on Ben’s belly. Giggling his ass off, Ben retaliated by tickling Graham’s armpits. Nearing Graham’s house, Matt chuckled, “Okay dudes, what’s the scoop; are you changing into boardies, swimming in what you’re wearing, or in the buff?” Ben giggled, “In the buff is out of the question.” “Why?” Matt and Eddie chimed. “We would if you two do,” Matt offered. Eddie nodded, “My parents have been in bed about an hour. As long as we’re relatively quiet, it’s no problem. Their bedroom is upstairs and in the front of the house.” “It’s up to you, teddy bear,” Graham softly smiled. Glancing around, Ben blushed, “This is normal too?” Eddie nodded, “At night, when it’s just us, often.” Matt said, “The worst that would happen is Shaun and Gil would hear us and jump the fence.” He turned to Eddie and suggested, “We should just invite them over.” Eddie rapidly nodded. “Shaun lives behind Eddie,” Graham told Ben. Matt stopped the car in front of Graham’s house. Sitting up and leaning forward, Graham told Matt and Eddie, “Let us take our stuff inside. We’ll be right back out.” Matt popped the trunk and all four got out of the car. While at the trunk getting Ben’s guitar, the backpacks and Francis’ T-shirts, Graham softly assured, “It’s totally cool, teddy bear. I know you’re nervous and why.” Eddie tapped Ben on the shoulder. When Ben looked over, Eddie assured, “Don’t worry about gettin’ a stiffie. We have a sunroom with an attached bathroom for couples to take care of emergency situations. My parents are very cool about it, and since they’re asleep, it’s even cooler.” Standing up with the T-shirts, Graham grinned and softly asked Ben, “Can I share with them?” “I wish you would,” Ben giggled. “I don’t know what to say or how to say it.” Wrapping an arm around Ben, Graham told Matt and Eddie, “First of all, we have a very shy teddy bear on our hands. Secondly, we all know the likelihood of wood popping is high. Lastly, Mike, Derrick, Prez and Keith are a lot closer than we guessed.” “Oh that!” Matt chuckled. “We know; they made that obvious at the party, while you two were making time in the park.” Eddie nodded and shared, “We’re not there, Ben. Making out and skinny dipping is completely different. We’ve never shared a room for sex of any kind; not with Graham and Francis, not with Gil and Shaun, and definitely not with Jerry and Mack.” Graham warmly smiled at his two friends, saying, “We’ll just take this stuff inside and be right back.” He picked up his backpack and led Ben to the front door, softly asking, “Can I be really blunt, Ben?” Nodding, Ben smiled, “I’m more nervous now than when I first got naked with you.” “For good reason,” Graham chuckled. “We’ll take this stuff upstairs to my room. I’ll tell you exactly what makes your four friends so special. Then we’ll come back outside.” “Cool,” Ben chirped. Graham unlocked the door and they stepped inside. Seeing the house dark, Graham knew his parents had gone to bed. He led Ben upstairs and into his room then closed the door behind them and turned on the lights. They put the backpacks and guitar case down. Graham took Ben in his arms. He whispered, “It’s about intercourse, teddy bear.” “I kind o’ figured,” Ben softly shared. Graham whispered, “It’s very beautiful, but it’s also kind o’ funny at times too. There are the things we’ll say and the way we’ll say them. The squishy noises from a lubed dickie in your hand are quiet in comparison to a lubed dickie in a lubed butt.” Ben quietly giggled, “I’d imagine so. The dong makes noise and so do we.” “Now keep that image in your mind,” Graham grinned. “Think about what could happen if we had a little too much soda and spicy food that day.” Ben giggled, “Omigod!” “That’s what makes your four friends so special,” Graham sniggered. “It’s one thing for the two of us to deal with those very rare occasions, now add a second couple in the same room. Mike and Derrick getting busy, saying things they would usually say, while a few feet away, Prez and Keith are busy too. A couple being intimate, in the bedroom, following each other to the bathroom, sharing everything like we have been is one thing. Mike, Derrick, Prez and Keith sharing as much as they are, is a whole different thing. How they manage it, is a question I can’t find an answer to.” Muting his laughter on Graham’s shoulder, Ben mumbled, “That’s too funny. I can so easily imagine them doing that too. I have to admit, I know them well enough to say, they absolutely trust each other; they show it in everything they do.” “That’s why we won’t, Matt and Eddie won’t, and Shaun and Gil won’t either,” Graham giggled. “Forget about that for me now, teddy bear. As much as I love my friends, the most we’ll ever do is make out with our partners around each other.” Ben giggled, “Graham?” “I know. Me too, Ben,” Graham widely smiled. “Don’t worry about stiff dickies. You already know what Matt and Eddie are packing. They know us too, so it’s really no major problem. Seeing other dudes erect is fun for all of us. If we need a few minutes alone, I’ll show you the way.” Ben incredulously giggled, “If?” “Okay,” Graham sniggered, “when.” Ben planted a kiss to say thank you, and then prompted, “Let’s go. They’ve waited for us long enough.” Graham nodded, opened the door then turned off his bedroom light. They quietly walked back downstairs and went outside. Ben waited for Graham to lock the door. As soon as all four were near Matt’s car and saw the expressions on their faces, they helplessly busted up laughing and quickly got in the car. Sticking a hand under the opposite armpit, Eddie made loud farting noises. Graham countered by putting both hands to his mouth and made louder farting sounds. Ben and Matt were hysterical the entire short trip down Medina Road and Baza Avenue. Stopped in front of Eddie’s house, the four friends tried to get their laughter under control. Covering his blushing face with both hands, Ben softly giggled, “And I was worried about showing off,” causing more loud laughter. Eddie giggled, “You two haven’t yet?” “Tomorrow,” Graham sniggered. “Regardless of what I dream, we’re going all the way at some point.” Nodding, Ben helplessly giggled, “No soda or tacos tonight.” A final round of loud laughter broke loose. Eddie and Matt promised to leave Ben and Graham alone until after dinner the next day. Down to mere soft sniggering, they got out of the car and emptied Matt’s trunk of everything. The three CD’s Matt was keeping were put in the front seat. Eddie and Matt led the way around the house to the backyard. Eddie and Matt disappeared into the house with all of Francis’ stuff for about two minutes. Moments after they went inside, the outside garden and pool lights were turned on. Graham led the way to the back fence and trees encompassing the yards. He softly called, “Shaun?” Getting no reply, Graham prompted Ben to also call over the fence with him. Shaun quietly replied, “Give us a minute to cleanup and we’ll be over.” Graham took his T-shirt off and Ben followed suit. Both shirts were put on a patio chair. Graham took hold of Ben’s shorts and carefully searched his lover’s expression. Ben nodded, “Let’s get in the pool fast.” Unbuttoning and unzipping Ben’s shorts, Graham widely smiled, “I’m so in love with you. You’re being totally awesome.” Ben shrugged, “It’s another first for me. How often I do this, remains to be seen.” Pushing Ben’s shorts and boxers down, Graham shared, “Skinny dipping is awesome, teddy bear. You’ll wish you could do it all the time, everywhere.” Seeing Ben flaccid, Graham nodded, “You’ll relax soon enough. Don’t worry about anything.” While Ben worked on Graham’s shorts, Graham smiled, “You and I are average. In this group, you’ll see Matt’s hung best, limp and erect. Gil’s about as thick as you and about as long as me. Shaun and Eddie are about the same when limp, but Shaun’s bone is a little longer and thicker. Shaun’s also the only one with a cut dickie; he’s Jewish though, so it’s common. None of these dudes will care too much about being naked.” Ben pushed Graham’s shorts and boxer-briefs down. Seeing Graham with an obvious chubby, Ben giggled, “You’re not the least bit nervous.” Graham shook his head and grinned, “I’m naked with my sexy teddy bear.” Graham leaned over to pick up his and Ben’s clothes. He put them on a patio chair then took Ben’s hand and walked to the edge of the pool. They jumped into the deep end feet first and, once in the water, released each other. Rising to the surface, they saw Eddie and Matt walking through the sunroom already naked. Eddie put a pile of towels down on the patio table. Matt asked, “Did you call over the fence for Shaun and Gil.” Graham nodded and cheekily grinned, “They had to cleanup.” From beyond the fence, Shaun cackled, “No sunroom visits for us tonight.” A moment later, while tree branches shifted, Gil laughed, “Shaun!” “It wasn’t me,” Shaun giggled, “it was the tree.” “Yeah, right,” Gil chuckled. “The tree grew fingers.” Shaking his head and smiling widely, Matt jumped in the pool. Eddie was having a giggling fit and had to wait before jumping in the pool. “You dudes need to prune these trees,” Gil groused, and landed on Eddie’s side of the fence. Stepping out from the greenery in shorts but shirtless, Gil waved then turned around and told Shaun, “Ben and Graham are here.” Shaun grunted as he climbed the fence then shared, “It’s about time they emerged from the bedrooms.” Eddie cracked up and decided to just sit at the pool edge, dangling his feet in the water. Matt swam over near Eddie. Graham chuckled, “It’s our first days together. If I recall correctly, we didn’t see you and Gil much for about two weeks after you hooked up.” Landing in Eddie’s yard, Shaun emerged from the trees, also in shorts but shirtless, giggling, “Three weeks, but I don’t expect you’d know that, unless you were spying from your bedroom window again.” Graham laughed, “Beanie had the binoculars, but there’s not a clear line of sight.” Kicking off his sandals, Gil grinned, “The sad thing is, he’s got the advantage now and can spy all he wants.” Ben checked with Graham, “Was he really a peeping tom?” Graham nodded and chuckled, “He tried to be.” He pointed northeast and smiled, “My house is that way, on top of the hill.” Eddie nodded and giggled, “Graham’s room looks out in this general direction.” Standing, Matt took hold of Eddie by the armpits, lifted and pulled him into the pool. Naked, Gil jogged onto the diving board. Shaun grinned, “Shake that thing, hon!” Giggling, Gil shook his hips and his dick flopped around. Matt picked Eddie up again and tossed him to the deep end of the pool. Not expecting a show from Gil, Ben cackled, “Omigod!” Gil grinned, “I give you a month before you’re doing stupid shit for Graham.” Graham giggled, “It won’t take that long, believe me.” Ben nodded, “I wouldn’t be naked at all without encouragement.” Flashing a thumb up gesture, Gil smiled, “Good work, both of you,” and then dove in. Shaun took his boyfriend’s place on the diving board. While waiting for Gil to swim away, Shaun grinned at Ben and Graham, “How’re you two doin’?” Ben smiled, “You saw us together the last two days.” Shaun nodded, “But I’m in the garage with the band. I only get a few minutes out of hours to say anything. The rest is what Gil tells me after the fact.” Rising to the surface at the far end of the pool, Gil spluttered, “What did I say?” Shaun smiled, “Just a second, hon,” and then dove in. While Shaun was under water, Ben giggled, “Shaun was only telling us that he feels a little out of the loop, since he’s in the garage most of the time.” Walking toward Ben and Graham, Gil smirked, “I told him plenty; everything I know.” Shaun popped to the surface, wiped water off his face and chuckled, “Okay, there seems to be a wood shortage in this pool.” Eddie giggled, “It’s early, and it’s been a weird night.” “All of us having the same dream is way too freaky,” Gil grinned. Ben raised an arm and said, “I didn’t, but I didn’t know Francis.” Matt smirked, “But Jerry and Mack did, plus the five of us for a grand total of seven.” Eddie giggled, “It all started earlier tonight, with the two men reading our auras. They don’t know us well enough to pick us from a crowd, but they told us a lot.” Ben giggled, “Doug and Brian are bizarre most of the time. Tonight, they set new levels of weirdness.” Graham smiled, “Circumstances dictated it though, teddy bear.” Climbing up on Gil’s back, Shaun wondered, “So what’s the deal?” Matt shrugged, “According to Doug and Brian, there really is nothing to fear or worry about.” Eddie nodded, “Francis clued us in on something that we have to believe is real, but there’s nothing we can do to prepare.” Holding Shaun’s legs and keeping his boyfriend on his back, Gil frowned, “That’s hard to believe.” Graham shared, “The ball is already in play, supposedly. We’ll do what we do, regardless of the dream. Believe me, that’s just like Beanie too; he’d share a secret seven times and then float off, laughing about it.” Matt shivered and grinned, “Don’t say that shit, dude. It’s right from the dream.” Eddie nodded, “It was me, Matt, Ben and Graham telling him to get his skinny ass back down on the ground.” “Stop,” Matt frowned. Eddie cuddled up close to Matt. Ben gasped, “I spoke to Francis?” Graham nodded and smiled, “I told you that you were in the dream. He likes you a lot, teddy bear. He includes you with all his closest friends, simply because of what you mean to me.” Matt moved closer to Ben and laid a hand on his shoulder, softly reminding, “Thursday night, Eddie and I spent a little time with you and Graham. When I first woke the next morning, and shared the dream with Eddie, we thought the dream was because of that time we spent with you two.” Eddie nodded, “Only tonight did two become three, then five and then seven.” Still on Gil’s back, Shaun smiled, “Gil and me liked you a lot before you hooked up with Graham. Remember our poolside chat about Mike, Derrick, Prez and Keith?” Ben nodded and smiled. Gil giggled, “We told you it was boyfriend time about two weeks before you met Graham.” Shaun fondly recalled, “I took a break from jamming Wednesday night, and we saw you two roaming the park. When we left about midnight, we had to search a minute or two before we realized it was you and Graham sitting at a picnic table.” Eddie, Matt, Shaun, Gil and Graham began evilly snickering. Ben giggled, “You missed one of the best parts. Someone had a sneezing fit.” Graham nodded and chuckled, “Who knows what tickles the nose. I could’ve said it was a big snot rock, instead I told Ben that I’m allergic to erections.” Ben roared laughing and all their friends sniggered while Graham recited, “That’s how I knew I was gay; I’d sneeze because I had a bone and couldn’t spank it. I sneeze a lot in school and other public places, like parks. Some dudes get blue balls, I get blue nose.” At that, all Graham’s friends howled. Satisfied, Graham pulled Ben close and whispered, “I wanted you then, teddy bear.” Eddie raced from the pool. Whimpering, Ben locked eyes with his silly graham cracker. Their connection swelled and they stopped laughing long enough to share a very passionate kiss. Eddie, Gil, Matt and Shaun mooed through their giggles at their friends attached at the mouth then started applauding. Shaun slipped off Gil’s back and fell into the water. Releasing Shaun’s legs, Gil turned around, still laughing. Ben and Graham broke their kiss and giggled at their applauding friends. Eddie snapped photos of Shaun floundering and of Ben and Graham, forehead-to-forehead and still giggling. Eddie giggled, “Before anybody bitches, everyone’s getting copies of these, so shush.” Matt sighed then smiled, “The price we pay to have a photographer around.” Graham grinned, “I have to admit, this is an important night.” On his feet, Shaun wondered, “How so?” Gil smirked, “The dream.” Eddie added, “The McLoughlins freaking out and letting us have Francis’ stuff.” “Aura readings and dream interpretations,” Matt chanted. “And it’s my first night here with Ben,” Graham finished. Shaun squinted at Eddie, “Is that a digital or film camera?” Backing away toward the sunroom, Eddie giggled, “Digital.” Starting toward the pool ladder, Shaun prodded, “You got my dick too, didn’t ya?” Hysterical, Eddie nodded and cackled, “Got two of you and your cute dickie!” Shaun flew out of the pool and Eddie raced into the house. Dripping wet, Shaun followed his neighbor inside the house. Ben, Gil and Graham cracked up. Matt sniggered, “They’re just putting on a show. Eddie has plenty of revealing pics of me. What’s ours is ours; what’s yours is yours; Eddie won’t keep incriminating pics.” Gil nodded, “I’d bet bucks they’re putting them on Eddie’s computer now.” Ben softly giggled, “My first time skinny dipping and there’s my dickie, all over the Internet.” Graham shook his head and sniggered, “Your dickie’s safe from Internet exposure.” Matt nodded and assured, “Eddie’s got dozens of my dickie in all states, and all are faceless, so nobody could identify me. They’re for him only, so he can look back ten or twenty years from now and compare them to my real thing.” Leaning close to Graham, Ben whispered “Do you have pool nudes of Francis?” Graham nodded and whispered, “Taken only a week or so before the accident. I haven’t seen them since they were taken. Now they’re archived with your password.” Matt and Gil climbed out of the pool and went to a first floor lit window. Graham softly giggled, “Matt and Gil are looking into Eddie’s room.” Ben smiled, “Should we go look too?” Graham shrugged, “It’s up to you. I thought you’d like to keep your dickie under water.” Ben thought for a moment then suggested, “Let’s go look. I’m curious enough.” Smiling widely, Graham inhaled deeply then shared, “I’m so proud of you.” Ben gave Graham a tender kiss then they hopped out of the pool and went to Eddie’s bedroom window. Matt tapped on the glass. Eddie and Shaun turned to the window to find four faces peering in. Eddie turned the monitor toward the window. Shaun held up four fingers and stepped aside. Graham scowled, “I could’ve sworn I saw five flashes of light.” Matt nodded, “Obviously one was a shitty shot.” Seeing a photo of his half submerged partner, Gil began giggling. Widely smiling, Shaun signaled Eddie to advance to the next shot. Seeing Shaun’s dick above water, Gil laughed, “That’s a good one.” Shaun nodded and smiled at Gil then tapped Eddie to advance. The next shot was of Ben and Graham, still forehead-to-forehead. “Aww,” Gil and Matt sang, causing Ben and Graham to blush and giggle. Inside, Shaun made kissy faces at the window. Eddie advanced to the fourth photo. Ben and Graham were starting to turn toward the camera, but were still close together. Tapping on the window, Matt held up five fingers. Eddie made a crooked face and reluctantly showed the fifth photo, which was basically an out of focus white and blue blur that seemed to have Gil’s shoulder on one side and Matt’s arm on the opposite side. Matt then waved Eddie and Shaun out of the room. Ben smiled, “Eddie took four great shots in about five seconds.” Matt nodded, “He’s taken some awesome snaps, dude. Eddie’s a perfectionist though. You saw the face he made before showing the fifth picture. If that was film wasted, we’d hear him bitchin’ until I kissed him quiet.” A moment later, Shaun and then Eddie stepped out of the house, still armed with his camera. Matt asked, “What was the intended subject of the last pic, buttercup?” Eddie sighed, “It was supposed to be you and Gil, but you both moved in opposite directions.” Ben lavishly praised Eddie for all four shots, taken in the dark and spur of the moment. Ben smiled, “I saw three photos on Graham’s computer, from April 1996.” Smirking, Eddie locked eyes with Graham and griped, “You showed Ben those?” Shaking his head, Graham chuckled, “I was locked out of my room at the time.” Eddie giggled, “We were tossing a Frisbee around. Did you see a Frisbee in any of those shots?” Ben grinned, “No, but the pictures of Matt, Francis and Graham were really good. Each of the three photos had at least one of the subjects in motion.” Backing away, Graham giggled, “Ben was lookin’ for my nudies while I was locked out of the room.” Blushing and giggling, Ben shrugged. Gil, Matt and Shaun softly chortled. Eddie giggled, “Those are encrypted and hidden.” Ben squinted at Graham and growled, “Grrr!” Graham giggled, “Brrr?” and then flung himself into the pool, before he was attacked by a grizzly bear and popped major wood. Shaun sniggered, “What are those sound effects for?” Ben giggled, “Benjamin Robert and Graham Robert. We use them as signals for just about anything.” Smiling, Gil and Shaun groaned, “Oh.” Eddie giggled, “Okay, all five of you, line up by the fence.” Matt grinned and suspiciously eyed his lover. “From the waist up, I promise,” Eddie giggled. Nodding, Matt moved toward the fence and reminded, “If it wasn’t for Eddie, we’d have very little to remember Francis by; just a few shirts and CD’s.” Graham climbed out of the pool while Matt, Shaun and Gil lined up by the white fence at the side of the yard. Ben and Graham joined the lineup. Eddie asked, “Gil and Shaun, swap places, dudes. With Shaun in the center, it’ll look a little better.” Shaun giggled, “Why?” “You’re the shortest, bro,” Eddie replied. “Matt, Gil, you, Graham and Ben will look good, and I can be sure I haven’t cut anyone’s head off, or accidentally included pubes.” Moving around, Shaun grinned, “I thought it was because I was circumcised.” Eddie giggled, “I’m not taking dickie shots here, unless Ben specifically says I can.” Ben giggled, “Why me?” Matt smiled, “It’s our second night together, dude. We’d like you to return, without worrying about Eddie’s perverted camera.” “That’s right, blame it on the equipment,” Eddie cackled. Shaun laughed, “It’s my equipment that’s altered in this group. With Francis, my dickie didn’t stand out so much.” Gil teased, “I’m not doin’ anything to make your dickie stand out.” All six evilly snickered. Eddie checked the view through the camera and prompted, “Closer, dudes.” Matt shuffled closer to Gil. Shaun wrapped an arm around Gil. Graham moved closer to Shaun and wrapped an arm around Ben’s shoulder to pull him close. Eddie sang, “Closer.” Wrapping an arm around Gil’s shoulders, Matt grinned, “Is it just me or does Eddie sound like Hannibal Lecter when he says that?” Shaun giggled, “This sounds like a very personal issue, if ya ask me.” Ben cackled, “No parts of Matt seem to have been cannibalized.” Graham sniggered, “I’m surprised you were looking, teddy bear.” “It’s not like I could miss him, even under water,” Ben giggled. Turning to Matt, Ben wondered, “How tall are you?” “Just short of six feet,” Matt replied, “five-eleven-and-three-quarters.” Eddie knelt down and Matt laughed, “Don’t you do it, Eddie.” “You’re all yappin’ up a storm,” Eddie giggled, and stood up again. Ben smiled, “Go for it, Eddie; just one though, with no faces.” Graham quickly planted a kiss on Ben’s cheek then softly wondered, “Why?” Ben shrugged, “It’s been done before, hasn’t it?” Graham, Gil, Shaun and Matt all admitted that it had. Eddie giggled, “Are you sure, Ben?” Ben nodded and giggled, “It’s either this or a six foot tall by eight foot wide mirror.” “Okay,” Eddie giggled, and knelt down again. He composed the shot then giggled, “Say dick cheese.” Ben, Graham, Gil and Matt repeated as they were told. Eddie snapped the photo and Shaun cackled, “Again, something I know nothing about.” Standing again, Eddie giggled, “I hear there’s corrective surgery to restore foreskin, bro.” “That’ll go over real well,” Shaun playfully sang. Graham smiled, “It’s your dickie, dude. Whatever you and Gil are happy with, no one else has any say at all.” “Your dickie’s perfectly fine, bubbala,” Gil softly assured Shaun. Matt moved from the lineup, took the camera from Eddie and Eddie joined the group, smiling at Ben, “One more, for comparison purposes for you, bro.” Ben nodded and giggled, “I can barely believe we’re doing this.” Weaseling between Shaun and Graham, Eddie checked, “Can I e-mail you the ones with Francis, for Ben?” Graham nodded, “Sure. I probably won’t look. It would seem like cheating now.” Ben squealed, “Really?” Graham nodded and pulled Ben tighter, gently reminding, “You’re really here, teddy bear. The next nightmare I have will cause a temper tantrum and I’ll get out of bed.” “You know I’ll follow you,” Ben smiled. Graham nodded. A little red light shone from the camera at five mid-sections. Matt confirmed, “Flash is set. Say dickie.” Five voices chorused, “Dickie,’ and Matt took the picture. Standing, Matt prepared to take another shot, from the waist up this time. “Okay,” Matt grinned from behind the camera. Matt sniggered, “Say blue balls, blue nose,” and all five cracked up. Matt snapped a great picture of his five friends withering and laughing hysterically. Eddie and Matt swapped places again. Eddie giggled, “That saying goes in my book for all future gay events.” Leaning against Graham, Ben giggled, “Who started using the word dickie?” “I’m not sure,” Graham sniggered. Raising his hand, Eddie giggled, “I think I did.” Matt nodded, “I think so too. Around eighth grade I first heard it.” Ben admitted, “I never heard it before Graham.” Eddie giggled, “Graham calls his Mister Dickie, I heard.” While Ben, Shaun, Gil and Matt cracked up, Graham incredulously cackled, “Dude!” Lowering the camera, Eddie giggled, “Your ex-lover, my ex-best friend.” Five voices repeated, “Ex-best friend?” Snagged in a slip of the tongue, Eddie hung the camera off his neck and walked over to the group. He stopped before Ben, hugged him tight and placed a kiss on his cheek. Stunned on several levels, not the least of which was another warm, naked body pressed against his that wasn’t Graham’s, Ben smiled and stammered, “How? Why?” Eddie giggled, “From tonight, from Thursday night, it’s happening.” He stepped back and went back to his place to take the next photograph. Graham smiled, “I had an idea this would happen.” Matt nodded, “Me too, but I’m the one hearing Eddie’s remarks.” Ben giggled, “I’m so tempted to say thank you.” Mooing erupted and Ben quickly moved away from the group, cackling “Don’t tickle me!” Shaun checked with Graham, “You’ve warned him about niceties?” Nodding, Graham chuckled, “It’s the first nicety I’ve heard in at least two days.” Gil sniggered, “This is your last warning, Ben,” and waved him back to the group. Ben approached and Gil admitted, “I was tickle tortured twice before learning the lesson.” Shaun nodded, “Eddie on one arm, Francis holding the other, Graham and Matt took a leg each and I had fun.” Ben giggled, “I get tickled every morning, before I can wipe the sleep from my eyes.” Gil nodded, “We get crazy after we shower, while toweling off.” “We get silly after we make love,” Matt grinned. Lowering the camera, Eddie sighed then giggled, “If I didn’t see five dickies over there, I’d swear you were a bunch of old ladies. Now shush and say, blue balls, blue nose.” Everyone lined up chanted, “Blue balls, blue nose,” and Eddie snapped the picture. Eddie giggled, “One more, for posterior’s sake; five moons by the moonlight.” The lineup turned around and Eddie took his last photo of the night. “Awesome,” Eddie giggled, and then asked, “What’s your e-mail address, Ben?” “Healy-forty-four-eighty-one at hotmail,” Ben answered. Graham confirmed, “Forty-four-eighty-one, that’s your birthday?” Ben rapidly nodded. Eddie nodded, “The pic Graham doesn’t want to see goes to you. All these others from tonight will go to each of you.” Three couples gathered in the shallow end of the pool, partners shared some affection and all six were chatting. Ben asked Eddie, Matt, Gil and Shaun if they wanted to join the large group going school clothes shopping. Depending on when it happened, they would want to go, as long as they weren’t working. Shaun said he would check with Prez or Keith the next day, at rehearsal. For Shaun’s benefit, Ben and Graham shared the story of their first night together, including brief mention of their first daybreak sex. Gil and Shaun shared stories of their first days together as did Eddie and Matt. Under water and barely concealed, six erections proudly reached for the surface. When intercourse was mentioned, all six spoke of body size differences. Eddie was the shortest and lightest. The tallest and heaviest was Matt. Eddie admitted his favorite position with Matt was doggie-style, but he had managed other positions without too much difficulty. Gil was only an inch shorter and a few pounds lighter than Matt, but two inches taller and twenty pounds heavier than Shaun. It was almost always Shaun who instigated sex. Graham happily shared that Ben had two personalities and how he had been carried across Chumash Park twice. Gil and Shaun were pleasantly surprised and tried to ease Ben’s obvious embarrassment. Eddie, Matt, Gil and Shaun told Ben and Graham about some of what they had missed of Wednesday night’s party. There were two parties, one in the studio and one in the living room that everyone moved between. In the living room they played Bel Ami porn and the ‘Rate A Cum Shot’ game. Getting silly and tired, all six shared more personal information, as had been done at the party. As best as they could tell, there was no rhyme or reason to how dudes shot their loads. Height, body type and dick size obviously had nothing to do with it. Jerry, Matt and Mike were dribblers. Mack, Eddie, Gil, Ben, Graham and Keith averaged about a foot or a little more, while Shaun, Derrick and Prez were power shooters. The night of the party, Aaron, Danny, Craig and Glen were hysterical listening to the others and never revealed their status. Ben wanted to know which tunes the band had played at the party. Eddie, Matt, Shaun and Gil rattled off about twenty song titles, ranging from Baba O’Riley and Back In Black to Wonderful Tonight and You’re My Best Friend. Everyone told Shaun how much they liked the new cover tune he had suggested earlier that day. Shaun simply smiled, “After what happened with Danny, it seemed appropriate.” Ben shared with his new friends how he was encircled. Graham, Eddie and Matt told Gil and Shaun what had happened when Graham was encircled. It was the first time Shaun and Gil were told about Francis’ voice coming from Prez’s open mouth. Making the tale more peculiar, light summer breezes suddenly changed to more forceful winds that whispered through the trees. Graham, Eddie and Ben looked up at the starry night sky and laughed, “Knock it off, Francis!” The winds died down and Shaun nervously cackled, “Okay. It’s time to go home, I think.” Gil nodded and grinned, “It’s after midnight and there’s rehearsal in the morning.” Ben softly asked Graham, “Are you ready too, puddin’?” Graham nodded and smiled, “You know we’re not to going right to sleep.” Slightly out of sync, Matt and Shaun sniggered, “None of us are.” By the nearest ladder or stairs, all six climbed out of the pool and toweled off. Matt would drive Ben and Graham around the corner. While Matt was gone, Eddie would upload all the photos taken and get them e-mailed. They would all meet again the next morning at Mike’s house and hugs traveled around. Getting warm hugs and kisses on the cheek from four naked dudes had Ben a blushing and giggling wreck. They weren’t simple friendly hugs either; Ben had Matt, Eddie, Shaun and Gil momentarily pressed against his body. Each hug, from the two larger than Ben to the two shorter, felt incredibly good. Ben made sure he tightly returned Eddie’s hug, causing both to loudly giggle. It dawned on Ben that now he might get these kinds of hugs from his other four friends. Matt hurried inside to get his shorts on and his car keys. Ben, Graham, Shaun and Gil slipped back into their clothes. Gil insisted that Shaun climb over the fence first, to return the goosing he had received. A play argument erupted between the two lovers. Eddie, Ben and Graham cracked up when Gil picked up Shaun and carried him to the fence. A moment later, Shaun loudly yelped. From the other side of the fence, Shaun giggled, “Your ass is mine, in the yard.” Gil chuckled, “Dream on, bubbala,” and then climbed over the fence. Matt walked out of the sunroom. Eddie asked Ben, “How was your first night of skinny dippin’, bro?” “Awesome,” Ben giggled. Graham smiled, “We all popped wood, but none were touched, only seen.” Matt snuck up behind Eddie and cupped his lover’s goods with both hands. Eddie nodded and giggled, “That’s the way it’s always been; as friends only two years ago, and when we started hookin’ up with partners last year.” Matt smiled, “Here at Eddie’s pool, at first, it was Eddie, Shaun and Graham then me; then Francis, Jerry, Mack and Rick.” Locking eyes with Graham, Eddie smiled, “Have I said before how surprised I am with you?” Graham nodded and grinned, “You’ve said it and I understand why. Alone with me, Beanie was a little like my teddy bear; a side he rarely ever showed anyone else. Ben’s almost the polar opposite; quiet and cuddly most of the time, until I press his grizzly bear button.” Ben softly growled past his giggles. Pulling his lover close, Graham chuckled, “You both must see all my reasons more clearly now.” Matt nodded, “Something very special is happening, not only with you two, or all of us, as in the dream, but more. I can’t really put a finger on why, but it seems every one of us has gotten so much closer since the accident.” Eddie sighed, “For a few days there, we thought we might lose two very important friends. I think it shook all of us up. Now that you’re back, bro, and with Ben, things are returning to normal, but we’ll never forget what we learned.” Graham thoughtfully scowled and wondered, “Since the accident, do you two occasionally feel very peaceful?” Nodding, Matt smiled, “Since the day you got out of the hospital, bro.” “I thought it was just me, crying myself to exhaustion,” Graham shared. “Then it started happening with Ben and without tears.” Ben asked, “Do you two feel major chest swellings, where it almost hurts to breathe?” Eddie nodded and giggled, “From Matt, a couple o’ times a day.” Looking up over his shoulder at Matt, Eddie sniggered, “Even when he isn’t holding my dickie.” Ben and Graham softly chortled. Matt chuckled, “You’re the only one still naked, buttercup. I’m keepin’ you warm.” “A little too warm,” Eddie giggled, and quickly stole a tender kiss. Matt smiled at Ben and Graham, “Ready dudes?” Ben nodded, “We’ll see you in the morning, Eddie.” Eddie smiled, “Have a good night.” Glancing back at Matt, Eddie giggled, “Release me for five minutes?” Nodding, Matt planted a kiss, gently squeezed Eddie’s goods and softly promised, “We’ll pick up where we left off when I get back.” Matt released Eddie and started for the gate with Ben and Graham in tow. Eddie quickly gathered the towels and his camera then went inside. Matt, Ben and Graham walked around the house to the street, remaining quiet until they got in Matt’s car. They ducked inside the Maxima and closed the doors. Matt started the engine and shared, “Eddie and me can’t understand what’s happening this summer. It’s not only about the accident or the dream. It actually started simply enough, at Mike’s birthday party. Since then, we feel different, and since the accident, it’s getting more intense. Shaun and Gil feel it too, but they think it’s partially because of the band.” Putting the transmission in drive, Matt wondered, “What do you two feel?” Graham softly prompted, “Tell him, teddy bear.” Ben sighed then softly told Matt how and when he met Mike and Derrick, and then Prez and Keith. “In June, Derrick and Mike started spending half of every week in Agoura Hills. That meant Prez and Keith were coming over too. I started spending more time there. Those four dudes and the two adult men cared more about me than anybody else ever did. Sure, my mom cared and even my dad did, in his own way, I guess. In early July, Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike encircled me, just like they did with Graham and Danny. Two or three minutes later, it was like a dense fog had lifted and everything was clear. My dad tried to kill me for admitting I’m gay. My mom and I fought him, so he’s in jail now. Even that bad scene didn’t change me as much as those few minutes had. A lot was changing before the party last week. Not only could I go over there and spend time with four great friends, they also wanted me to tag along with them. They started rehearsing for the concert. I got to meet Gil and Shaun, and Drew and Corey too. I felt… valuable, I guess is the best word. Then Brian and Pete showed up, and again, I felt safe around two more great dudes. It’s not even been a full week with Graham, and I feel even more connected, thanks to you, Eddie, Gil and Shaun. “This weekend and tonight, we learned so much from Doug and Brian, but even the dream doesn’t matter as much as what seems to be happening around me. For the first time in seventeen years, I have a boyfriend and ten other friends too. Since I’m almost always at a loss, I check with Graham to learn what’s cool and what isn’t. I feel this summer is a big change for all those reasons. For me, and maybe for all of us, it’s not over yet. I want to move from a house to an apartment, to be closer to Graham and all our friends, to finish high school with all of you. For the first time in my life, I’m not looking down a dark, endless tunnel, where things jump out at me. There’s light now, but maybe I’m still blinded by it. I never foresaw two friends becoming four, or six, or eight, or ten, or twelve, which is I where I stand now. Only Brian and Pete have left for home, so it’s ten total friends plus an awesome boyfriend. So you see that I know everything’s changed too, but from my point of view, it’s different than it is for Graham, you or Eddie.” By this time, Matt had stopped the car in front of Graham’s home. Matt turned and locked eyes with Graham, prompting, “How do you feel?” Graham smirked, “I got hit with three major changes already this summer. Mike’s party was first. Beanie saw that too. The last week of school, we watched Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike, wondering what the deal was with those four. They seemed to be inseparable couples and friends. After school let out, we didn’t think about them much; we were happy enough with you and Eddie, and Shaun and Gil too, when they were around. I remember asking if you and Eddie wanted to come to Huntington Beach with us, the night before we took the trip. I recall almost the whole day, right up until we got in the car. We spent the whole day on the beach and in the sun, then went to have supper, then went to the movies. As tired as I was, I should’ve known Beanie was just as tired. Ya know, I don’t even know for sure where the accident happened? I think I regained consciousness at least five times that first day, but had to be told over and over what happened. Change number two was happening, but I don’t recall most of it. Five days later, I see Francis in Intensive Care. Later that day, I’m back home and wondering what the fuck happened. “From that point and for the whole month of July, I was like Ben described; in a dark endless tunnel that I couldn’t go forward in or back out of. I remember you, Eddie and Rick telling me to get my ass out of bed and forcibly dressing me to go to the party.” Graham paused and warmly smiled at Ben, saying, “Half an hour later, I’m in tears and wrapped in warm arms. Change three, dropped before me, ready or not. The tunnel is lit and I can see where I’m going again. Wherever the tunnel leads, I’m going there with Ben. It’s the best now, from my perspective, because Ben’s special enough on his own, and the best parts of Francis, you and Eddie combined. Tonight, when Eddie told Ben how he felt, I almost cried happy tears.” Matt smiled, “I think we all did bro.” Locking eyes with Ben, Matt said, “You mattered to us before you ever said a word, the night of the party. We heard what was happening, checked it out for ourselves, and learned what you’re like from Keith, Mike, Prez and Derrick.” Wiping tears of joy from his eyes, Ben wondered, “I have no idea why you’re so accepting. I mean, here I am, with Graham, a week after the funeral, and nobody is the slightest bit angry.” Matt chuckled, “Okay, I get it.” He seriously asked, “So what should Eddie and I do; bitch out Graham; bitch out you; choose to turn good memories of a good friend into a shit storm, losing Graham and you almost as certainly as we lost Francis?” Matt sighed, “Rick’s the one doing that. He still refuses to apologize. He’s mostly alone, except for when he works. Until we learn from you and Graham that he’s grown a pair and apologized to both of you, that’s where he’ll stay. Gil, Shaun, Jerry and Mack all feel the same way. Shaun started having problems with Rick when he hooked up with Gil. There are reasons to be glad and reasons to be sad. We’re sad enough for the obvious reason. None of us will ever forget Francis. Thanks to Eddie, we all have dozens if not a hundred or more pictures of him. When we’re all old and gray, we’ll look at those pictures and remember him exactly as he was. All Graham’s friends are glad that he’s with you, Ben. Those reasons are obvious in how happy you two are.” Matt smiled, “So go make love and let me get back to my buttercup, before he comes up the hill really bitchin’ us all out.” Ben giggled and leaned forward to kiss Matt on the cheek then opened the rear passenger side door. When Ben slid out of the car, Graham smiled, “Thanks bro,” and gave Matt a second kiss before shuffling out and closing the car door. Matt pulled away and saw Ben wrap his arms around Graham. Happy tears that had been contained most of the night flowed out of Ben’s eyes and down his cheeks. Feeling Ben shaking again, Graham held him tight and softly shushed him. Neither felt the need to explain anything and quietly stood outside for a short while, until Ben pulled himself together. Graham had an idea during that time. Ben never had friends before simply because he never felt comfortable or safe to seek out friends. If anyone had ever asked him to simply hang out, Ben wouldn’t do it out of fear. Ben had counted out ten local friends and two from Portland, Oregon. All the changes and the ease of acquiring friends threw Ben for a loop. Graham knew exactly what to do. He led his lover into the house and upstairs. They used the bathroom then went to Graham’s room. While Ben organized the room, putting his guitar case and the backpacks into the walk-in closet, Graham turned on his stereo and scanned the FM dial until he found something really mellow they could slow dance to. The black light was turned on and the overhead light turned off. Graham went to Ben and started slowly undressing his teddy bear. Ben softly giggled, “Graham?” Graham smiled, “Not tonight, my love; tomorrow, probably after rehearsal. Tonight, I’m gonna make love to you every way except anally, for me and all twelve of your friends. My hands and mouth will prove how wonderful and worthy you really are.” Ben shivered, “And you?” “I’m yours, but I intend to keep you in teddy bear mode. I’m also gonna make good on my promise; your dickie is in or near my mouth until we wake and make love again.” Graham did as he had intended for over an hour. For the first time in his life, he gave a full body massage, starting at Ben’s toes and feet and working his way up. Very relaxed, Ben’s first orgasm snuck up on him soon after Graham took him in his mouth. Ben tried to keep Graham equally satisfied with anal finger action and oral pleasuring, but Graham was trying his very best for Ben’s sake. Only a minute or so after Graham had his first orgasm, Ben had his second. At two in the morning, at Ben’s insistence after four orgasms, Graham lay down beside his teddy bear, wrapped an arm over his waist and they peacefully drifted off to sleep.
  6. TheEggman

    Chapter 27

    Mike and Derrick had finished almost all the housework by nine-thirty that Friday morning. The prior nights towels were folded and returned to the master bathroom linen closet; the master bed sheets were washed, dried and the bed remade the way Doug and Brian had shown them. The guest bed was also remade. The kitchen, dining area and living room were spotless. Only that morning’s towels were still in the washing machine, but everything else in the house looked good. The last thing to be done was to put all the porn videos back where they found them. The phone rang while they were doing that. Leaving Derrick to finish the task, Mike hurried to answer the phone. Mike said, “Hello?” “Hey, Mike,” Graham pleasantly said. “We’re just wrapping up and getting ready to leave, dude,” Mike assured. Graham giggled, “There’s no hurry. My dad wants me to get a car, so Ben and I do have stuff to do, besides chase each other around the house.” Fiercely blushing and with his mouth agape, Ben advanced. Graham walked around to the other side of the kitchen’s island counter, away from Ben. Mike grinned, “Uh huh, I see.” Being tickled for his last remark, Graham laughed, “We’ll get the teddy bear to the beach another day, okay?” “Any time ya want,” Mike sniggered. Becoming hysterical from Ben’s incessant rib pokes, Graham roared, “There are things I want and other things I need. Sometimes they coincide.” Hearing Mike’s soft chortling; Derrick grinned and entered the room. Mike chuckled, “Have a good time, dude; if ya can, stop by tonight.” “We will, if I survive. See ya later,” Graham cackled, and the phone was obviously dropped. Mike handed the phone to Derrick. Putting the phone to his hear, Derrick heard Graham’s distant loud laughing, “Ben? Teddy bear? BENJAMIN!” Hanging up the phone, Derrick turned to Mike and smiled, “Remember our first few days?” Noticing a bluish tint in Derrick’s hazel eyes, Mike nodded and smiled, “We can’t leave Rush here and go to the beach, can we?” “Doug and Brian coming back home to a growling white shepherd don’t sound good,” Derrick gleamed. Gesturing with his index finger for Derrick to follow, Mike backed away into the guest bedroom. At the Carleton residence in Woodland Hills, Graham and Ben had gone downstairs naked for breakfast, and to call to cancel their beach plans. Ben had backed Graham into a corner of the kitchen, picked him up and then turned around to place him on the island countertop. Now sprawled out on the counter, Graham was Ben’s breakfast. It was all sinking into Ben’s mind. He had a wonderful, playful boyfriend, his own friends, and friends like Gil and Shaun that overlapped with Graham’s friends. Why it had never really happened before, Ben couldn’t figure out. Of course, introverts see the external world internally, therefore he saw himself apart from the rest of the world. Ben couldn’t recognize how, where or why he had previously failed. Since befriending Mike, Derrick, Prez and Keith, Ben had promised himself that he wouldn’t let the past cloud his present and future. Graham was the willing witness to the newly emerging Ben Healy. All Ben needed was someone to love and to have that love returned. Without realizing it, Graham was molding his new boyfriend. It was his sincerity; his playfulness; his compliments that filled Ben up. On a whim and without presently realizing exactly how he was doing it, Graham could turn a quiet cuddly teddy bear into a crazed grizzly bear. Passive Ben had asked to be held when he felt insecure. Conversely, with the proper prodding, the same boy could be made very playful and more aggressive. Graham loved both, the teddy and the grizzly bears equally and peacefully reaped the benefits. Heading north on the 405 ramp to the 101 freeway, Prez was driving home from Corey’s doctor appointment. Again, Drew was ecstatic, lying across the backseat of the 4Runner with Corey draped over him. Plans had changed here also. Drew and Corey wanted to go home to be alone together for the first time in about five days. They wanted to talk about Brian and Pete, about what they had done with them, and to make love. A week seemed to have been much longer and they needed to catch up. Keith and Prez understood and decided they couldn’t wait until later that night to catch up. They dropped Drew and Corey off at home then went to Agoura Hills to get Rush. Surprised to find the 442 there, Keith first knocked on the front door before unlocking it and stepping inside with Prez. Rush hurried to the entryway to greet his two favorite humans. Hearing the sounds of Derrick and Mike making love, Keith grinned, “No beach for us either, dudes. We’re only here to take Rush home. I’ll catch ya at work later.” All he received in reply was enthusiastic affirmative grunts. Prez quickly took Rush out the front door before he cracked up. Heading to the dining area, Keith giggled, “I’m leaving the spare key on the table.” Turning around, Keith locked the knob and went outside. Prez was already in the 4Runner and still laughing. Keith could hear him through the closed windows and over all other neighborhood sounds as he approached the car. When Keith opened the door, Prez giggled, “We didn’t mean to interrupt.” Getting in the passenger seat, Keith sniggered, “I don’t think we even made them pause a second.” He closed the door and started buckling up, saying, “Now, sex-machine, an observation.” Pulling away from the curb, Prez chuckled, “Yes?” “You used the dong on me, Derrick on Mike, and Mike on Derrick. Your turn is only minutes away.” “Yee-haw!” Prez laughed, and excitedly danced in his seat. “Then,” Keith giggled, “I will take you.” “This is sounding better,” Prez playfully teased, and then wondered, “The goal is?” “I have several goals,” Keith admitted. “First, is to make sure you make it through the night while I work. Secondly, so I make through the night at work and don’t ravage you the second I get home, and lastly, to remind a certain couple that we share a wall between our two rooms.” Taking the ramp back onto the 101, but southbound, Prez sniggered, “I have only one intention; to wear you out so you take a nap before work.” Making a crooked smirk, Keith hummed then softly realized, “Five hours sleep and seven hours work, not good.” “Exactly, lover,” Prez nodded. “So we will play, we will have lunch, we will play more, but by one-thirty, the alarm is set for three-thirty and we’re taking a two hour nap.” “You’ll be going to your aunt’s tonight?” “That’s my plan. I’ll call and we’ll see if they have other plans.” “And if they’re busy?” Prez thought for a moment, and then teased, “I’ll be between Drew and Corey?” “PREZ!” Keith roared, and then chuckled, “Corey is fine, but please, not with my brother? Drew and I will both wind up needing therapy.” “Never again with either, babe,” Prez giggled. “It was a onetime deal, perfect for Corey, good for the three of us, but that’s it. I’m as sure as I can be that Drew went along with it only for Corey’s benefit.” He paused and scowled, “I’m not really sure what I feel for Corey. He’s definitely a close friend, but there’s more that I’m not certain about.” “He looks up to you, baby. You’re an only child and so is he.” “True, and he’s obviously attracted to me, but it can’t happen again. We would have to reproduce his nightmare and all the circumstances that allowed it to happen once again. Since they’ve shared what seems to be a deeper intimacy with Brian and Pete, they’re past it. And let me remind you that Drew looks up to his big brother too. Beyond all the jokes, games and goofing around you two do, it is there.” “So you do see Corey as a little brother?” “Sometimes,” Prez replied. “The rest of the time, he’s a close friend, like all our other close friends. It can’t get more complicated than it already is, ya know? First and foremost, there’s you, and then there’s Derrick and Mike, in that order. The tiers of the pyramid blur after those priorities.” Keith nodded, “Yeah, I get it, like Shaun, Gil, Jessy, Ben and Randy are all on that third level.” “Add Graham too,” Prez suggested, “he’s Ben’s partner and seems pretty cool. How in the world Ben managed to turn grief around in one night the way he did, I’ll never figure out.” “It’s half Ben and half Graham,” Keith offered. “Ben’s the kind that could help and Graham must’ve wanted the help.” Prez shrugged and got quiet. Keith softly asked, “What’s spinning, baby?” Prez sighed, “I’m looking forward to Ben moving to the apartment complex and dreading it at the same time. If he’s in an apartment like the one I was in, I don’t think I’ll want to be there very often.” “Try not to think of it that way, baby,” Keith instructed. “Instead of thinking of the place, think of the people; think of Ben and his mom and their stuff in an apartment similar to yours.” Driving off the 101 at the Topanga Canyon ramp, Prez began to smile. “I can see that clearer now. With their belongings, even the same floor plan would seem different. Thanks babe.” “Any time,” Keith smiled. “I remember your apartment vividly, Prez. As soon as I walked in, to the left of the doorway was the dinette table and chairs and beyond that was the kitchen. On the right side was the living room area, which was a fairly descent size. Straight ahead, past the front rooms, I was in a hallway that only went left. The first room on the right was your bedroom, and then there were two bathrooms, mirror opposites of each other, then your mom’s bedroom. The two bedrooms seemed to be similar in square footage, just different shapes.” “All true,” Prez nodded. “My point is this; it’s an apartment complex, so all the apartments are virtually the same, just mirror images of each other. The door into your apartment faced west. Ben’s might be facing east, or north, or south. Instead of the kitchen and dinette on the left, the living room might be there. Unless Ben has the exact same apartment, which is unlikely, it will be different, inside and outside.” “So I need to pay attention to the differences instead of the similarities,” Prez said as they made the final turn into their neighborhood. Keith nodded and promised, “But if they do have the very same apartment, I’m taking the keys and getting you the heck out of there.” Prez cracked up. Keith rambled, “Seriously, I know you’d fall apart before we even walked in the door. What would be the point of going inside? So I can watch you cry? So I can cry with you? The sixth month anniversary snuck up on us; I am not forgetting the one year anniversary.” Stopped in front of the house, Prez groaned, “August, September, October,” and turned the engine off. Grabbing the windshield shade, Keith assured, “I’ll be watching you like a hawk. If it’s raining the seventeenth, eighteenth or nineteenth, we are inside those days; fuck school, work and everything else.” Getting the shade in place on the driver’s side, Prez grinned, “I’m not gonna dwell on October in July. I am racing you to the bedroom. Get the hound.” “What?” Keith laughed, “Oh no, you don’t!” Laughing his bubble butt off, Prez hurried out of the car and to the house. Keith grinned and grumbled, “Your master is being bad, Rush.” Getting out of the car, Keith let Rush out the back hatch and locked the car doors then went toward the open front door. Rush hurried past and hiked a leg to mark a bush in front of his den. Keith hollered into the house, “You’d better be naked and in bed by the time I get there.” Hearing the front door close once Keith and Rush came inside, Prez loudly giggled, “Ooo! Bumps! I love the bumps in my butt!” In the next bedroom, Drew and Corey howled. Prez was already naked in bed and had the dong with him, but was only teasing Keith by repeating what Mike had said about it Wednesday. The only difference between Ben’s toy and the one lying on the bed with Prez was the color. Prez’s was blue instead of red. Rush trotted into the bedroom and went directly into his crate looking for his toys. With his T-shirt off and in hand, Keith entered the room, sniggering, “You will be punished.” “I live for your punishments,” Prez giggled. Hearing every word from the next room, Drew and Corey were hysterical, rolling back and forth across the bed together. With Drew and Corey out of control, Keith pushed his shorts down and kicked them aside then loudly said, “I’m getting the handcuffs and the whip,” to push his brother over the edge. “Noooo!” Drew loudly laughed. Corey giggled, “Hey! No one told me they had handcuffs and whips.” Wide eyed, Drew giggled, “No Corey; not in this life.” Climbing onto the bed, Keith clapped his hands and Prez yelled, “Oww! Again!” Corey hollered, “You’re already two behind, so you need to get caught up over there.” Grinning, Keith teased, “Do you want to watch? The door’s open.” “We heard enough,” Drew cackled. Together, Drew and Corey laughed, “Give me big dick now!” Prez roared laughing. Keith sniggered, “Copy cats.” “Cats have teeny weenies,” Corey giggled. Drew rolled over and laughed into a pillow. It was then that Corey remembered something and smacked Drew’s ass. Rolling over again, Drew giggled, “I told you, don’t encourage them!” “Encourage them?” Corey incredulously asked. Scowling and trying to appear more jealous than he really was, Corey complained, “Who said you could lick Brian’s cock? I don’t recall that being in the plan.” Although Keith had the dong and Prez lubed and ready, he paused, wondering how his brother would weasel his way out of this mess. “Well,” Drew giggled, “I needed to get him wet, didn’t I? You lapped at Pete’s cock too. And it got us some oral action from Brian and Pete. Then you told everyone in the shower, and then at the doctor’s office, you were pregnant.” Prez pulled a pillow over his face and helplessly roared. Drew playfully finished, “So if I’m bad, then so are you.” Corey’s eyes opened wide and a devious smile spread across his face. No longer wanting Prez or Keith to hear, Core shuffled onto Drew and softly giggled, “Guess you’ll have to spank me then.” Holding Corey in place, Drew sniggered, “Not today, angel. You’re two pounds better than last week. With luck, we’ve only got four weeks to go, before you’re down to once a month visits.” “Would you though?” Corey giggled. Pulling Corey down closer, Drew smiled, “Only if you’re very bad.” Corey wondered, “Like how bad?” Drew hummed then softly answered, “If you had another nightmare, about our alone time with Brian and Pete, after telling me and them that you’re fine, then I might have to.” “Pretend I’ve been bad.” “Why?” “I have been bad, lots of times. I don’t know if I’ll like it and want to find out.” Giggling, “You asked,” Drew raised both his hands off Corey’s butt and lifted his arms. He cracked Corey’s ass hard, harder than Corey expected. “OWW!” Corey yelled. Drew helplessly sniggered. Mooing a warning, Corey tickled Drew. In the next room, Keith had started playing with the dong and Prez, but paused again, wondering if Drew and Corey were repeating clapping hands and exaggerated painful screams. “Enough distractions,” Keith whispered to Prez. He swiftly got off the bed, turned on the stereo and then closed and locked the bedroom door before returning to bed. On the other side of the freeway, Ben had finished his yummy ‘Graham juice’. The couple was now really starving for food. Other than what they swallowed of each other, they hadn’t eaten in about sixteen hours. Deciding to make brunch, Graham fried up bacon and periodically jumped back from the stove with every pop of grease. Ben whipped a bowl of eggs into froth and smiled, “I guess you don’t have an apron.” Turning around, Graham grinned, “Why didn’t you mention that before?” “I figured if you had one, you’d use it,” Ben giggled. Graham went to the pantry to get an apron and wrapped it around his waist. Blushing, Ben added, “Watchin’ your butt bounce is fun, but if you burn your dickie, we’re both in pain.” Tying the apron on, Graham returned to the stove, sniggering, “What have I done? I turned a cuddly teddy into a sex crazed grizzly bear.” Ben giggled, “You made love with me.” Graham nodded, “Eight times yesterday; twice for you and three for me, so far today. I’ll get you caught up.” The broiler timer went off and Graham went to turn the steaks. Ben worried, “You’re sure your mom won’t miss those?” Concentrating on the steaks in the broiler, Graham nodded, “Since they were in the fridge already defrosted, I’m guessing they were planned for us anyway. There was only these two, teddy bear. Friday nights we usually go out to eat somewhere.” Closing the broiler, Graham went to Ben, asking, “Where would you like to go?” “Anywhere is fine. I’m not picky.” Graham grinned, “Give me a clue.” “Anywhere, really,” Ben giggled. “Where would you like to go?” “I’ll ask for pizza and they’ll groan.” “Pizza’s fine.” “Yeah?” “Course it is, silly graham cracker,” Ben giggled. “Okay,” Graham chuckled, “an idea is taking shape.” Grinning, Ben suspiciously wondered, “What kind of idea?” “I’ll ask if they’ll get us pizza, we’ll stay home for dinner alone, and they can go out.” “That sounds real nice,” Ben warmly smiled, “but tell me, have you gone out for any Friday night dinners recently?” “No.” “Then they’ll probably want you and me with them. They’ve got their son back, complete with a new boyfriend, Graham.” Reaching over the island counter, Graham gave Ben a tender kiss, and then smiled, “This is why I love you, ya know? I’m being selfish and you’re being totally awesome.” Ben giggled and shrugged. Graham looked down and spied Ben’s awesome chubby, with the tip of the head only just peeking beyond the foreskin. Sighing, Graham admitted, “I want you.” Ben giggled, “You’ve got me, right after brunch.” Remembering the bacon, Graham mooed and hurried back to the stove. Helplessly, Ben cracked up. “I hope you like really crisp bacon,” Graham chuckled. Joining Graham near the stove, Ben pushed the English muffins down into the toaster. He then poured the whipped eggs into the hot frying pan, beside the pan Graham had the bacon in. Ben grinned, “You cook better than I do.” “I haven’t begun to cook yet,” Graham teased. Bacon grease popped and reflexively they both jumped back from the stove. Sniggering, Graham teased, “Jump again and let me watch your dickie flop around.” Ben cackled, “Graham!” “What?” Graham laughed, “I only saw it out of the corner of my eye. I’ll also mention that my shy boyfriend lifted me onto the counter, while I got nothing except dizzy from your oral examination of my dickie.” “Are you ever serious?” Ben giggled. Scraping bacon out of the pan onto the rack to drain, Graham nodded and smiled, “I have been very serious, yesterday and so far today. I think you’re hotter than this bacon. In my own way, I’m telling you, your mom, my folks and all our friends the same thing. Most important is making you understand everything I feel about you.” Finished with the bacon, Graham turned the burner off and carefully looked at Ben, whose head was sagging and his face flushed red while he scrambled the eggs. Firmly, Graham lifted Ben’s chin and gently reminded, “All mine, for a very long time to come.” With tears welling up in his eyes, Ben took hold of Graham’s hand and repeatedly kissed it. Graham sighed, “I know, Ben. Someday soon you’ll know it too. That’s my medium term goal, to make you know yourself.” “It’s been seventeen years,” Ben softly reminded. Getting plates from the cupboard, Graham grinned, “Watch me work, dude. Imagine four months of days like yesterday and today. By Christmas, you’ll be here with your mom, holding your head up high, proud of yourself, of me and us. It’s gonna be so cool.” Imagining as Graham suggested, Ben gasped, “Omigod!” “You can see it?” Graham chuckled. “Almost,” Ben giggled, “in brief flashes.” Placing slices of bacon on the plates, Graham smiled, “It’s what I already see all the time, teddy bear.” Scooping cooked scrambled eggs onto the plates, Ben wondered, “What else do you see?” Gesturing with his hand from Ben’s head and down toward the floor, Graham smiled, “You making love to me when you want and how you want. Sometime over the next few days, you’re going to make love to me, have intercourse with me, and then the shock will really hit you. I can hear you now, asking if you were good; asking if you hurt me.” He paused then laughed, “Asking to do it again.” Blushing and nodding, Ben cracked up too. The toaster popped and Ben put the English muffins on the plates. Graham sniggered, “Oh, you don’t understand. I took Beanie every chance I got. With you, I’m imagining even more often, because his house wasn’t cool, but yours is. So, if that was me, only fifty percent comfortably horny, then ask yourself what two cool homes and a hundred percent means.” Both Ben’s hands reached for his face and he roared. The broiler alarm went off and Graham put a steak on each plate. Since they hadn’t yet showered, they stood at the island counter to eat their meal. Slicing into his steak, Graham signaled, “Brrr?” “Grrr?” “As soon as I’m sure it’s all you, Ben. I don’t want to imagine him when it’s you I’m with. I don’t want to chance calling his name instead of yours.” Ben nodded and reminded, “You haven’t yet.” Shaking his head, Graham honestly answered, “There are levels, Ben. Level one is sleeping and showering together. The second level is what we’ve already been doing with our hands and mouths. All the ways we can have intercourse make up the third level. What we’ve felt and experienced is great, and it’s all been you with me. That third level is so much better, there’s practically no brain activity. I’m just playin’ it safe. It would be horrible for both of us if I accidentally called Beanie instead of Ben.” Locking eyes with Ben, Graham softly assured, “I’m not gonna chance hurting you, or damaging what’s already more than I hoped for.” Swallowing some eggs, Ben asked, “You’ve been thinking about it?” Graham nodded, “Since our first kiss at the park. That was a test, for me, not you, Ben. It’s one thing to want a new boyfriend; it’s another to believe and feel it. I just don’t want to screw up, and in the process, hurt you, and indirectly, myself.” Scooping more eggs onto his fork with an English muffin, Ben muttered, “It sounds very distracting.” Considering how he would be when trying to think of more than one thing at a time, Ben stuffed more food in his mouth. Nodding, Graham finished chewing the steak, eggs and bacon in his mouth. He said, “I want to be with you, one hundred percent. Everything’s great and I want to keep it that way.” Graham went to get glasses, put them on the island and then looked in the fridge, saying, “We’ve got apple, cranberry and orange juice. What would you like?” Ben smiled, “Cranberry, please.” Putting the bottle on the counter, Graham teased, “Please, huh?” “Please don’t tickle me,” Ben giggled. “Save that noise for adults,” Graham grinned, as he poured himself a glass of apple juice. He put the bottle down and poured the cranberry juice for Ben. “Half a glass,” Ben grinned, careful to not say, ‘please’. Only filling the glass halfway, Graham joked, “I’m still tickling you later.” Chewing steak, Ben nodded, knowing that Graham would whether he had an excuse or not. They ate silently for a few minutes. Ben noticed Graham grinning around his food. Then Graham began chuckling. Ben giggled, “What?” Graham softly chortled, “God help me, I love the way you eat too.” Looking at his fork and the piece of partially eaten English muffin in his hands, Ben giggled, “What’s so different?” “The English muffin used as a shovel, the smaller pieces of steak you’re slicing. It just seems like I’m stuffing my face. You’re accomplishing the same, but easier. Last night, you used the knife to load your fork.” “We didn’t have bread,” Ben giggled, “the breading was on the fish.” Graham sighed and smiled, “Your mom is a great cook and my boyfriend is so awesome.” “Mine is the most awesome,” Ben giggled. Shaking his head yet grinning, Graham reminded, “When we’re done here we’re going back upstairs.” Ben nodded, “To find a car for my boyfriend.” “So I can shuttle my boyfriend around and go cool places, like North Hollywood and the beach.” “North Hollywood isn’t exactly cool,” Ben giggled. Graham hissed, “It’s hot, like you.” Ben groaned then giggled, “You’re making me hard.” Leaning over to cop a peek, Graham sang, “I can make it all better.” Eating faster, they watched one another almost constantly, only looking down when necessary to carve their steaks. Still chewing, Graham noticed the clock. He quickly took his plate, silverware and both empty glasses to the sink. Giggling his ass off, Ben rushed to stow both juice bottles in the fridge then took his plate and silverware to the dishwasher. Graham didn’t exactly rinse things as his mom preferred before stowing everything in the machine; it was more like letting many drops of water hit each item then splashing more water around the room as things flew into the dishwasher. Ben started washing the frying pans in the sink. Graham took his apron off, covered Ben’s face with it, then held onto Ben’s hips and started sliding his erection against his boyfriend’s ass. “Omigod,” Ben laughed, “I can smell you on the apron. Take it off my head before get dizzier and fall down.” Like a magician, Graham pulled the cloth off Ben and sniggered, “Wah-la! I’ll toss this in the wash and be right back.” Ben finished the first pan, put it on the drain pan then started the second pan. Before he was done, Graham returned and took his previous position behind Ben. Instead of teasing with his cock, he giggled, “That’s good enough,” and squatted down slightly then lifted Ben off the floor. Unsteadily wobbling and dropping the pan in the sink, Ben hysterically roared, “At least let me turn the water off.” “Do it, teddy bear,” Graham sniggered. Ben howled, “Put me down, silly graham cracker!” “When I put you down,” Graham giggled, “you’ll get a three second lead, and then I’m chasing you to my room.” Leaning forward and bracing himself on the counter, Ben got the water turned off. The instant Graham put Ben down on the floor, he started counting. With wet hands, Ben dropped the towel and took off running naked through the house. More familiar with where everything was and how to run the obstacle course of furniture, Graham caught up quickly. Right behind Ben on the staircase, Graham poked, prodded and tickled him. Racing all the way into Graham’s room, Ben stopped at the foot of the bed. He didn’t even get to turn around to face his assailant. Running into Ben and wrapping him up in his arms, Graham giggled, “You are so much friggin’ fun. It’s my turn now, for getting me in the kitchen.” “You didn’t need to chase me,” Ben giggled. “I kind o’ did,” Graham sniggered. “Mom could be home any minute. Getting caught naked and eating is bad enough; with both of us hard; it’s too much embarrassment for even me to cope with.” Shivering with delight, Ben smiled, “So you said nothing and got me out of the kitchen?” Graham nodded, “I’m learning your limits. The moment I said a word, you would’ve started freaking, right?” Ben blushed, “Right.” “And what do I get for hiding it from you? You wash the pans better than I would have.” Ben giggled, “So you risk a hernia and pick me up.” Stepping back and pointing down at his crotch, Graham smirked, “I can pick you up, no problem, both nads hangin’ perfectly. Did I huff or grunt?” “No.” “Now I get to make you huff and grunt, teddy bear,” Graham warned, and shoved Ben onto his bed. Flipping over as Graham approached, Ben giggled, “There’s a small problem.” Crawling onto the bed and over Ben, Graham evilly snickered, “There are no small problems in this room; there are two large problems.” Ben cackled, “I mean I want you too now.” Pausing and shifting his eyes mysteriously, Graham softly assured, “We can manage this.” He lowered his body onto Ben’s and softly smiled, “Hi.” “The door is still open,” Ben giggled. “Mom won’t come up here,” Graham assured. “She’ll grab lunch, make a phone call or ten, and then leave. If she needs something, she’ll holler up the stairs.” Feeling safer, Ben playfully gushed, “Hi lover, where’ve you been?” “I was having lunch with this really sexy dude. He reminded me of you, in so many ways.” Wrapping his arms around Graham’s back, Ben’s smiled faded. He sighed, “Oh Graham.” Placing a few angel kisses along Ben’s jaw, Graham whispered, “I feel it too.” Ben breathed, “This is my idea of heaven, your warmth and mine, as close as possible,” and then returned kisses. They made love like that, grinding and humping, slow and fast, desperately and passionately. About five minutes later, Graham climaxed. The burst of wetness and Graham’s expression pushed Ben over the edge mere seconds later. Contentedly regaining consciousness, Ben giggled, “That was so good.” Graham nodded and chuckled, “I tightened up so much, I’m surprised nothing cramped on me. I really needed it and you were awesome again.” Ben giggled, “Thank you, Professor Carleton.” Graham grinned, “Who’s the teacher’s favorite pet?” Ben happily cackled, “Me!” “Before we get stuck together, let’s get to the car shopping.” “Don’t you wanna shower?” Shaking his head, Graham rolled off Ben to his right side, suggesting, “Car research then we’ll make love, at least once more before five o’clock, when mom and dad get home. I want our mix of smells on each other as long as possible.” Ben whimpered. Graham chuckled, “You like that idea?” “A lot,” Ben giggled. “You wanna drive the Mac, teddy bear?” Nodding, Ben smiled, “I guess I need to learn that too.” They rolled off the bed on the same side. Ben rested his head on Graham’s shoulder and softly wondered, “Am I really doing okay?” Squeezing Ben’s hand firmly, Graham softly assured, “You’re doing everything perfectly, Ben, so much more than I ever expected. I feel good in your arms. I’m totally amazed and thrilled with your oral talents. I’m not going to say a word about what your fingers can do, or we’ll never get to car shopping.” Graham gave Ben a tender kiss and got another in return. Relieved, Ben smiled, “I guess I thought I wasn’t doing much right.” Graham grinned, “We’re a couple, teddy bear. When I’m making love to you, I’m doing what I think of doing at the time. That’s what you’re doing too, isn’t it?” Ben rapidly nodded. Graham explained, “That’s what lovers do, have fun with each other. If all we wanted was quick release, it would get really boring. As a matter of fact, if that’s all a dude wants is quick release, and nothing more, I’d say that’s pretty harsh. A dude like that might as well beat his meat.” Ben nodded and giggled, “I don’t think I’ll ever masturbate again. Making love with you is so much more fun, it wouldn’t feel right.” Nodding understandingly, Graham offered, “I won’t do it either. I’ve got the perfect partner to do it for me.” Crossing the room and taking Ben to the Mac, Graham instructed, “The first big difference is you drag and drop almost everything. If you want to print a web page, drag it to the printer. If you want to bookmark a web page, drag the URL to the bookmarks folder.” Having a seat on the desk chair, Ben nodded, “Cool.” Heading to the hobby table where the magazines were, Graham said, “Dad’s first suggestion was a Volvo. He thought I’d rather not, and he’s right, but let’s at least look at what they have.” While typing in Yahoo’s address, Ben was surprised that it auto-filled. He hit return, asking, “Are you more interested in SUV’s, or anything that can carry more stuff like that?” “Yeah I am,” Graham replied. “The BelAir had a huge trunk and I still managed to fill it, so let’s see what Volvo has with cargo space.” Ben searched for Volvo, hit the corporate site and soon announced, “They’ve got a wagon, model V70.” Looking over Ben’s shoulder at the displayed images, Graham’s eyebrows rose and he muttered, “Not too shabby.” While Graham flipped pages in Consumer Reports to find that model, Ben looked at the Buick LeSabre, Toyota Camry and Subaru Outback printouts from the prior night. He took those pages to the hobby table and spread them out so Graham could easily reference them. Stopped by Graham on the way back to the computer, Ben received a kiss and a smile. Ben returned the kiss and groped Graham’s tush. Surprising himself again, Ben watched Graham’s expression. Smiling widely, Graham signaled, “Brrr!” Realizing that Graham liked having his butt groped, Ben blushed and giggled. A few moments later, while Ben was looking at Prez’s 4Runner’s ratings, Graham groaned, “Oh dude, no wonder he wants me in a Volvo; five stars across the board on everything.” Ben nodded, “Since you’re interested in SUV’s, I checked Prez’s 4Runner. Generally, four and five stars, except the rear bumper is three stars. It says; heavy damage in low speed, rear collision tests.” Graham smiled, “Print it, teddy bear. The more we get done, the happier dad will be, and it won’t look like we spent all day making love…” He sniggered, “Which we have, but dad doesn’t need to know that.” Ben cracked up. Going to Ben and running his hands around his lover’s chest, Graham sniggered, “I warned you how much I like sex.” Looking up into Graham’s eyes, Ben giggled, “I will never complain, I promise you.” Graham gave Ben a quick kiss and then asked, “Let’s check other SUV’s, like the Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer and the Chevy Blazer too, so dad has stuff to compare.” Again, while Ben checked the web, Graham reviewed the magazine. In a few minutes, those models were printed, but crossed off Graham’s list. His dad wouldn’t like the maintenance records or the crash test results. They went back to sedans to check a few Chevys, Fords and Chryslers too. Nothing compared to the three makes and models Graham’s dad chose. Shaking his head, Graham put the magazine down and grinned, “I’ll bet you he was doing research the day I got home from the hospital. He knew what top-of-the-line was; this whole exercise was for me to learn it too.” Ben nodded and wondered, “So, what’s your choice?” Graham shrugged, “I’d like to see the Subaru Outback and the Volvo V70. Since the Volvo is so much better than everything else, that’ll probably be what I get. He’ll only compromise so far.” Ben smiled, “You know how great it is too, Graham. It can fit five, plus more than a sedan’s trunk.” Taking Ben in his arms and playfully swaying, rubbing their limp dicks to and fro, Graham grinned, “What can I say, safety I can understand, but a Camaro or Mustang would be awesome.” Giggling both at Graham’s vehicle desires and the awesome feelings Graham was creating below his waist, Ben wondered, “What’s this exercise for?” “A few things,” Graham chuckled, “most importantly, I’m torn between having to pee now and wanting to play with your dickie.” Grabbing a quick kiss, Ben then softly prompted, “I’ll hold it for you.” This was Ben’s second trip into Graham’s bathroom. It had larger than the standard tub, so even Graham could relax in it if he chose to take a bath. The bathroom wallpaper had a seafaring theme, with various old wooden sailing ships against an aqua blue background. The vanity was like many others, but since it was virtually only Graham’s bathroom now, his stuff was all neatly arranged on both sides of the sink. Standing behind Graham and holding his lover’s dickie while he relieved his bladder, Ben wondered, “Do you always keep your things so organized?” “That’s not too organized,” Graham grinned. “According to my mom, it should all be put away every day. Sorry, I told her, but every day I brush my teeth and wipe deodorant under my pits. At least once I day, I swish mouthwash around. Twice a week, I shave.” “It all makes perfect sense though. The toothbrush you need in your right hand first is there in a holder. On the opposite side, for the left hand to pick up is the toothpaste. You liked the way I ate, I like your bathroom.” Switching positions to allow Ben to pee, Graham smiled, “Twice a week, when the maid service comes, I put everything away. Since they come Saturdays and Wednesdays, I’ll clear most of it off after we shower. The rest will come with me for this weekend.” Ben nodded, “Since you’re spending three nights with me, would you like me to be here Monday through Thursday with you?” “I’d love it,” Graham softly assured. Seeing that Ben was finished, he shook three times and went for the forth, giggling “Yes, I’m playing with your dickie.” “I can see that,” Ben giggled. As if he were surprised, Graham gasped, “It’s getting bigger.” Humming affirmatively, Ben playfully wondered, “Something big is invading my crack too. It seems to be searching for something.” Graham nodded and panted, “Soon, teddy bear. I could show you another awesome thing we can do?” “In here?” Ben giggled. “It works standing and lying down.” Reaching to flush, Ben giggled, “Can Mister Dickie wait for me to lie down?” Graham’s hands slid effortlessly to Ben’s hips. With Ben hunched over, Graham’s cock pointed up and fell into position. “No,” Graham sighed. “Stay like you are, my love.” Ben leaned against the toilet tank and giggled. Feeling Graham’s first forceful thrust, Ben mooed at almost the same moment Graham did. Bracing himself better, Ben purred then giggled, “My dickie’s getting harder. I love this.” Graham smiled, “Shifting like you did was fantastic. Do it more, whenever ya want.” Whenever Graham paused, Ben either shifted his buns from left to right or up and down Graham’s erection, causing Graham to gasp, groan and shiver. Without prompting, Ben stood so he could be held close and tight. Graham’s arms and hands shifted across Ben’s chest and tummy. How something so simple could feel so good, Ben had no idea. He leaned back and tilted his head for their first awkward front-to-back kisses. No wonder Graham has tight butt muscles, Ben thought, he’s actually pushing me, no matter how much I push back or try to stay still for him. Graham’s eyes were practically spinning. Ben was doing awesome things with his every first experience. Ben’s crack was only a little hairier than Beanie’s, but it felt so damn wonderful, Graham couldn’t control himself. Holding a beefier body like Ben’s was only adding fuel to the fire. Knowing he had barely a minute to last, Graham got in his first nipple pinch. Initially shocked, Ben helplessly giggled for the other tit to be tweaked. Doing so, Graham began rambling, telling Ben how incredibly wonderful he was being, how fantastic he felt in his arms, and how close he was already getting to losing it. Words and deeds pushed Ben to tell Graham that he loved this crack sliding, that it seemed very close to real intercourse, that he wanted Graham to shoot hard and cum all over his back and butt. Burying his face on Ben’s neck, Graham whimpered with each additional hard thrust of his hips. Hearing the first grunt from Graham and feeling the first splash of warm semen on his back, Ben cheered for more until Graham seemed to wither. Ben giggled hysterically and remained in position for Graham to hold onto. Softly chortling, Graham kissed every inch of Ben he could reach. Fully recovered, Graham moved over to the vanity and prompted, “Come on, teddy bear, gimme some lovin’ too.” Not expecting it, Ben moved behind Graham. He spent the first minute caressing everything from Graham’s hair and head, down his wide shoulders and strong arms, and then the back and buns got special attention. Ben started carefully. Graham braced his arms and legs; knowing this was going to be more intense than it ever was with Francis. As Ben began thrusting and grinding, he inadvertently pulled his hips back too far and his cock slid down, poking Graham very near his anus. Pulling his cock up and back to Graham’s crack, Ben giggled, “Sorry about that.” Graham cracked up then sniggered, “It seems your dickie has a very definite goal.” “Controlling my hips might help keep Mister Dickie where he needs to be,” Ben giggled. Looking back over his shoulder, Graham smiled, “I loved it, Ben, really. It was only a shock. Another fraction of an inch, and the goal would’ve been made.” “Stand,” Ben giggled, “let me hold you tight like you did to me.” Graham did as Ben said and caressed the arms that where caressing his torso, from his throat to his semi-hard bone. Francis had never caressed Graham’s neck and throat like Ben was doing. Graham thought it was another awesome, unique act that made Ben way different than Francis. Ben found this as thrilling as Graham had and soon had to rest his head on Graham’s shoulder and give his hips pause too. Graham’s nips were tweaked and graciously seemed to get perkier between Ben’s fingers. Starting again, Ben softly asked for kisses and got them. Graham’s hands reached back and gripped Ben’s buns. Ben started whimpering and Graham encouraged the inevitable. Badly, Graham wanted to lean forward and tell Ben to take him completely. He didn’t do or say it, but the thought gave cause to question his own worries. Ben made it very clear that he considered Graham as perfection on two legs during those final moments before he sharply inhaled, and then actually grunted from the effort of standing and grinding off. Holding Ben’s arms firmly against his chest and belly, Graham cheered and chuckled. Ben was very near the edge of consciousness when he heard Graham playfully explaining, “That’s another step closer, my love. It was so great; I almost demanded that you slide into me.” Breathlessly, Ben purred, “When you’re sure, Graham. Now we’ll have to wait.” Turning in Ben’s arms, Graham planted a passionate kiss and breathed into Ben’s oxygen starved lungs. Holding on tight, Ben took all he could until he had to break the kiss. Blinking rapidly, Ben smiled, “Whoa!” Graham playfully offered, “It’s going on three o’ clock. Would you like to watch TV and cuddle, risking more very probable sex, or we can take a shower, which will only slightly lessen the likelihood of more sex?” Ben cracked up and howled, “Well since you put it that way, let’s just cuddle and watch TV.” That afternoon, while Keith napped before work, Prez began the process of unloading all the photos on his digital camera to the computer’s hard drive. He had already created a folder for the Yosemite photos the prior afternoon. Prez created another folder labeled ‘B&P_A-Y’, which meant ‘After Yosemite’. He felt the label was quite appropriate, since Brian and Pete were radically changed from how they were when they first arrived in L.A., the beginning of the month. All the digital pictures of Brian, Pete, Corey and Drew taken the prior afternoon and evening went into the new folder. On a music CD were the songs recorded by Drew and Pete. Prez converted them to MP3 files then set about sending a few pictures and the two songs to Corey’s e-mail. Prez started to burn a data CD of the photos too, but time ran out and he left the computer running to wake Keith and take a shower. In the next room, Drew and Corey were watching a ball game on TV from the bed and chatting. Drew hummed then softly wondered, “Ya know what’s really messed up?” Corey shrugged, “What?” Drew sighed, “I know exactly where I stand with Brian and Pete, and with you too, but I can’t help feeling like the limitations were bogus; they were kind o’ necessary, but still, that’s what I didn’t like.” “Limiting them and us,” Corey finished. “Yeah,” Drew grimaced. Corey nodded, “It does seem weird. We’d seen each other naked and hard in the shower. Jackin’ them was cool and fun, but it’s like all four of us were showin’ all the goods and sayin’, look but don’t touch the merchandise.” “Exactly like that yeah,” Drew muttered. After a brief pause to consider it more, Drew asked, “Do you think we could’ve gone a little further; maybe played with the dildos too?” Shaking his head, Corey turned to Drew and scowled, “I couldn’t have done that with either of them. It was enough as it was.” “I feel the same,” Drew admitted. “If we had gone there, then they rightfully would’ve wanted to go there with us too. In either case, it wouldn’t have been cool at all.” “Yeah,” Corey sighed. Sliding down and cuddling Corey, Drew huffed, “I don’t think we’re going to be playing those games a whole heck of a lot. Brian’s bone wasn’t different from yours in most respects. I feel good that we did have fun with them, and in the process show how important they are, but I don’t need to do it again. If they were still here and asked for a second night of fun, I’d probably say no.” Both returned their attention to the ball game, but at the next commercial break, Corey softly called, “Drew?” When Drew hummed, Corey reminded, “I love you. I think the difference is that we were all giving permission to go only so far. You don’t need my permission to make love to me. I haven’t felt like I needed your permission for me to make love to you; not in a long damn time, since our first time on your last birthday. That’s what feels weird; each of us saying I’ll allow this, but only so far.” Nodding agreement, Drew grinned, “That was a pretty smart thing for a blond to say.” “I had a brunette moment,” Corey giggled. Drew began running his fingers through Corey’s pubes. Corey sniggered, “What are you doin’?” “Searching for a stray brown hair,” Drew chuckled. They both began laughing. Soon, they were wrapped in each others’ arms, playfully kissing and getting worked up for another round. In Agoura Hills, Mike and Derrick were beginning to wonder why Doug and Brian weren’t home yet. They had finished everything and had been waiting in the living room for about an hour, waiting for their two adult friends to get home. When the door opened about three that afternoon, they were actually slightly startled. Doug loudly sang, “Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside. There beyond a glass is a real blade of grass, be careful as you pass, move along, move along!” Heading directly to the master bedroom and joining with his partner, Brian sang with Doug; “Come inside, the show’s about to start, guaranteed to blow your head apart. Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth, the greatest show in heaven, hell or Earth. You’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo, you’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll!” Sniggering insanely, Derrick and Mike followed and watched them toss four suitcases onto the bed. All four hugged each other. Stepping back from Derrick, Brian grinned, “It’s boring living alone, huh?” “The place hasn’t changed a bit, so obviously nothing remarkable happened,” Doug chuckled as he started opening the first suitcase. Glancing at each other, Derrick and Mike cracked up. They then began telling Doug and Brian about some of what had happened the prior month. Mike and Derrick kept on talking about the whirlwind of fun as three-thirty rolled around and they had to get ready for work. Finally, just as they were preparing to leave, Mike went to the linen closet and pulled out Aladdin’s lamp, chuckling, “Here’s your own blades of grass.” Derrick smiled, “Have a good time and we’ll be home between eleven-thirty and midnight.” “We’ll save it and the rest of what we brought home for later then,” Brian grinned. Doug staggered and groused, “Don’t ever switch from Mexican to Hawaiian overnight.” Shaking his head, Brian smirked, “Not recommended. I wouldn’t recommend working too hard either. For us, it’s four hours earlier, so we’ll be awake late.” “Good!” Mike and Derrick chorused. Following Derrick out of the house, Mike paused to say, “We’ve only given you the brief version of what’s happened. There’s so much more, we can barely wait to tell you, but…” “Out!” Doug chuckled, “Go make money, bring home bacon and leave the grease.” After cleaning up a little bit, Ben and Graham returned to the bedroom. Graham powered off the printer and shutdown his Mac. He then turned the TV on and went to his bed with Ben. They flipped channels until landing on the Cartoon Network, where they watched some anime for a few minutes. Graham found pro surfing on another channel. Ben was frightened that Graham was trying to surf the mammoth twelve- to twenty-foot waves seen on TV. Graham assured Ben that he had never been on a wave bigger than five or six feet, and most were two and three footers. Next, they watched some baseball on ESPN, chit chatting about the game and the car commercials they were watching. Ben shared that he liked baseball most, of all televised sports, but Ben wasn’t any good at bat or in the field. While they were on the topic, Ben wondered why Graham had an L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant poster on his wall. Blushing, Graham giggled, “Because they wear the least and most players are really sexy.” Ben laughed a long time, which was only made worse by Graham’s tickling and remarks about baseball players’ bodies on TV. During the seventh inning stretch and a boring section of the game, Ben changed to VH-1 and pulled Graham off the bed to dance. The fast song they were haphazardly trying to dance to finished then switched to a ballad. Peacefully in one another’s arms, they swayed and learned more about each other. Graham told Ben that he liked all sports and wasn’t very good at any; with Francis and Jerry, it was basketball; with Matt it was baseball, with Eddie it was tennis; with Mack it was soccer. With all his friends, Graham had chances to have fun and slightly improve his skills. His favorite sporting events were during the summer and winter Olympic Games. Graham explained, “Those folks aren’t paid to be the best, they simply are because they love what they do.” With Shaun, who lived behind Eddie’s house, Graham got to know and appreciate popular music and various cultural variations. “I’ve known Shaun as long as I’ve known Eddie,” Graham smiled. “Shaun doesn’t play the kind of electronic music most of us dance to; he plays piano and guitar, so he’s playing older music. The Eagles are Shaun’s favorite band; that’s what I’ve heard him play most.” The CD’s Graham had in his room were mostly gifts from his friends and family. Graham showed Ben all his CD’s. The Bodyguard Soundtrack, by Whitney Houston, and ‘Falling Into You’, by Celine Dion, were amongst Ben’s favorites. Thanks to Shaun, Graham also had The Eagles Hotel California, Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon and America’s Greatest Hits. Graham also had CD’s by The Backstreet Boys, N’Sync and Hanson. Ben raved about Old Habits’ covers of Weird and the Phil Collins tune Against All Odds, even mentioning that Drew could sing every bit as well as his older brother. On their knees on the floor before the stereo, Graham asked how Ben had met his friends. “Although it didn’t seem too important at the time, I got very lucky,” Ben explained. “It started at a Memorial Day party my guitar teacher and his partner were having. I couldn’t believe it when Derrick and Mike came over to talk to me. I didn’t know what to say to them. At one point, I was going to leave and go home, but Doug, my guitar teacher wouldn’t let me go. It was a good thing too, because I watched Derrick and Mike the whole night. Soon, school was out and I was getting to spend time with them. Even though I really wasn’t saying or doing much, Mike and Derrick tried harder than anyone to get to know me. “About a week later, Prez and Keith are there, at Doug’s and Brian’s place and I met them too. The rest of June was pretty cool. Little by little, I got to know them and they obviously got to know me. About the second week of July, after Doug and Brian left, I was there again. Keith was working, but Prez, Mike and Derrick were there with Rush. I walked in and clearly smelled women’s perfume. When I eventually asked about it, Prez said his mother was visiting. I didn’t know she died last October, and freaked; sad, scared, and completely trippin’ out about ghosts. I told you about the first time they circled anyone and what happened afterward.” Smiling, Graham nodded and wondered, “What do you feel about each of them?” Ben giggled, “They’re great people, down to Earth, and each of them wears their hearts on their sleeve, almost literally. Prez lives with Keith and the Hundsers. Derrick lives with Mike and the Gibbons’ family. They want to go to the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and live together. That’s why they spent most of the month living together, as a test run for next year.” Ben wondered, “What do you think of them?” Graham shrugged, “From first and second impressions only, Mike’s the most outgoing; he’ll say anything that’s on his mind. The other three are kind of the same; it seems Prez is slightly more careful than Mike, with Keith a little more than Prez, and Derrick a little more than Keith. I was really surprised when Derrick hugged me yesterday. At the parties, they moved around as a band or as couples. That’s what I like most; they’re like all other couples, completely into each other, no matter what’s going on in the background that most people don’t know. That’s how we are already, Ben. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better, because they mean so much to you.” Leaning forward, Ben gently caressed Graham’s face and gave him a tender kiss. Ben wondered, “Are we really already there?” Graham smiled and nodded then said, “I know how I feel and told you already, teddy bear. Time together only means we’re a successful couple. There’s only one reason we’re not having intercourse now or tonight, so I can let it swim around my skull another day, and be sure that it’s only you and me. If it all works out, you’ll be the first person to know.” Gesturing to stand, Graham took Ben’s hand, led him to lie on the bed and carefully stated, “What I’d like to know is everything you think and feel about us. You’ve told me some awesome stuff; I just want to know everything. It’s my job to put every fear and worry to rest. There’s nobody else that could do that.” Humming while they lay down on their sides facing one another, Ben tried to recall exactly what he had said already; however, being naked with Graham on his bed made that task very difficult. He tried to organize his thoughts and feelings then softly smiled, “I never pitied you, Graham. It’s sad, but that wasn’t my first thought when you cried on my shoulder.” Ben paused and Graham patiently waited, searching Ben’s eyes. Ben giggled, “You’re beautiful, Graham. Fully dressed, wandering around the park, I thought you were beautiful. I feel so good every time we hug or hold each other. What thrills me is how much you’re willing to talk about everything; telling me what you think and feel, and listening to me tell you about me. I guess I was scared it wouldn’t be that way; that we’d be lovers that didn’t talk.” At Ben’s next pause, Graham softly rubbed Ben’s arm and assured, “That’s what boyfriends, lovers and partners do; everything together, all the time. Sharing with you is easy. That’s why I started thinking of you as boyfriend material.” Looking at Graham’s hand on his arm, Ben giggled, “That’s another thing; you find me a little attractive…” “Very attractive, inside and out,” Graham gently corrected. “Glance down, Ben. We’ve both got chubby dickies. That says it all. As relaxed as we are, the excitement is still there.” Glancing down as instructed, Ben giggled, “What else do you want to know?” “What you feel, about anything and everything,” Graham prompted. Ben sighed and smiled, “I’m head-over-heels in love with you. I was afraid of Mike and Derrick when I met them. I was even a little afraid of Prez and Keith when I met them. There’s always been a little fear or worry with everyone I’ve ever met, until I met you. You didn’t give me a chance to be afraid. I was more afraid when I told you about the suicide attempts, but that fear didn’t last much more than a whole minute. You made even that easy. Then we went right back to talking. As nervous as I was when we went to bed, you made it easy for me. The only thing I’m afraid of is losing you. All the ways we make love have been beautiful and fun. Even I’m surprised how great it is. I didn’t think it would be all that different from masturbation, but it is.” At another pause, Graham chuckled, “Tell me, teddy bear. I don’t think there’s anything you might say that’ll surprise me too much.” “Everything surprises me,” Ben gushed. “Think about it; alone, I wipe off with towel. With you, if there is a mess, we leave it to dry there. I never once had the nerve to taste even a little of my own semen, but here I am swallowing yours every chance I get, and loving it.” “Maybe that’s me,” Graham sniggered, “I just feel that’s part of intimate partnerships. We’ll shower in a little while and I’ll miss smelling you on me.” Ben nodded and giggled, “Very cool. I like it, but it’s just so different. I used to wash up immediately after jacking off.” Graham nodded and grinned, “That’s because wanking is a necessary evil, I think. With a lover and partner, it’s completely different.” Ben wondered, “How will it be when we have intercourse?” “The same, as far as I’m concerned,” Graham replied. “I’ll be in no rush to clean up. We’ll do it when we have too.” “You don’t wanna use condoms?” “I don’t see a reason to. On day two, I’m imagining years with you, Ben.” Ben giggled, “Yeah?” Graham nodded, “You’re starting your senior year. I’m starting my junior year. There’s only nine months between us, but I’m foreseeing your graduation with me, and mine with you.” Ben smiled, “Ya know, I hadn’t even thought of that. I see you with me; that’s it. To me, school is another necessary evil.” “You really do see yourself apart from everything,” Graham smiled. “You’re not apart or separate, Ben. I know that I see you with me everywhere. I’ll bet all our friends see us with them, doing this or that, here or there or anywhere.” Ben nodded, “The world’s becoming larger.” “Whatever you think of yourself, or how other people made you think of yourself, try seeing from the outside once in a while. Like with Matt and Eddie last night; imagine what they saw of us together and you individually.” Closing his eyes and trying it for the very first time, Ben soon opened his eyes, giggling, “Us together, I can almost see. What they saw of me is blank.” Holding out his hand, Graham grinned, “Okay, come with me, back to the bathroom,” and started to get up. Taking his boyfriend’s hand, Ben followed Graham out of his room and to the bathroom, where Graham closed the door for the first time. There was a full length mirror on the back of the door. Graham pointed, “That’s you and me, naked and with chubby dickies. I see my ears, which are too big in my opinion, but what can I do? What do you see?” Ben wondered, “Of me or you?” “Both,” Graham replied. Ben inhaled and grinned, “I see you, as handsome as ever; the perfect sixteen-year-olds’ body. I see me like a box, nothing’s so handsome there.” Graham grinned, “Okay, let’s go with the box analogy. I don’t see a plain box; I see a wrapped box; a gift for me to open every minute and hour we’re together. I see a handsome face topped with messed up bed hair, just like my hair isn’t too perfect now. I see a strong neck, wide shoulders for me to rest my head on, your incredibly beautiful chest, a flat tummy and awesome treasure trail leading down to your bush, dickie and nads.” Turning only his head to Graham, Ben blushed, “That’s not a flat belly like yours, Prez’s, Keith’s, Mike’s…” “Yes it is, my love,” Graham chuckled, and turned Ben ninety degrees so he could see his own profile in the mirror. “See? You’re mistaking flat for fat. There’s no sagging bulge there. Your chest is big and your tummy is flat all the way down to your dickie. At Mike’s birthday party, I saw all four of your friends shirtless. You’re most like Mike; the same build and body type, only he doesn’t have your face, or perfect chest hair, and he’s a tad shorter than you and me. You’re mistaking invisible belly strength for visible abs. You picked me up twice; once to carry me onto your bed and again to put me up on a counter to have your way with me.” Blushing fiercely, Ben nodded and giggled. Graham paused and patted Ben’s bare butt, smiling, “I haven’t seen your friends in the buff, but this is your ass and it’ll be mine someday soon.” Helplessly covering his face, Ben incredulously squealed, “Graham!” Chuckling, Graham shook his head, pulled Ben’s hands down and beamed, “I wish I had a second full length mirror so you could see your whole backside. It’s really awesome, Ben. There’s a nice shape, enough power and strength to lift me, a butt that’s not too hairy and strong legs too. There’s more hair on the back of your thighs than the front, but that’s only a unique feature of you, teddy bear.” Ben giggled and whined, “Grrr-rrr-rrr!” Graham chuckled, “Brrr-rrr! I know you’re embarrassed. It’s time to get over it, my love. In another few days, we’re going all the way to heaven. We’ll say hello to Francis then drift back down to your bed or mine. The dude I’m looking at and that you see in the mirror is the one I fell for in one night. So what if you’re not into sports? All I care about is that you’ll try to play with me and our friends now and then. I intend to repeat this lesson as many times as necessary for you to understand, I think you’re awesome.” Firmly tapping Ben’s chest over his heart, Graham smiled, “You’re the one I want to be with; the one I’ve given my heart to; the one I’m making love to, and the one I will give my ass to. Believe me; I’ll greedily take your ass too.” Ben nodded and giggled, “I think I’m getting it.” Leaning closer, Graham gave Ben a tender kiss then smiled, “Good. Now let’s take a shower.” Nodding, Ben followed Graham into his tub with those insane thoughts gallivanting around his mind again. In his own wordless way, Ben tried to warn Graham of what he was thinking by caressing his back and buns while the water was turned on. Graham turned the shower on, was blasted with the first few seconds of cooler water and turned to face Ben. Overwhelmed with joy freely given and received, Ben gave Graham a very deep, passionate kiss. When Ben stepped back, Graham noticed a mischievous flash in Ben’s eyes and giggled, “Uh oh.” Nodding and giggling, Ben knelt down to admire Graham’s private parts. “I did it again!” Graham giggled while running his fingers through Ben’s hair. He warmly smiled, “Hi there, grizzly bear.” Looking up, Ben only replied with a deep, long growl and kept caressing Graham’s naughty bits. Graham softly shared, “This wasn’t my goal or intention, ya know?” Ben nodded and smiled, “I know. You would’ve been happy with soapy masturbation, right?” Graham nodded. Ben giggled, “Not this time.” Ben did things he always wanted to do with Graham’s private parts. On his toes several times through his grizzly bear’s loving, Graham whined in anticipation and the mind boggling frustration. Having never done it in the shower before, the water temperature was the least of Ben’s concerns. On the north side of the 101, Drew and Corey were out in the garage lifting weights while Prez was trying his aunt’s phone for the second time. This time he left a message for his aunt and then went out to the garage. He silently checked the weight they were lifting and smiled, “You’re not overdoing it.” Between sets, Corey shook his head and shared, “Brian said that we’re not going for pain and gain; we’re shooting for form.” Doing squats with the barbell across his shoulders; Drew paused and asked, “Your aunt still isn’t home?” Shaking his head, Prez smirked, “I should’ve warned her last week that I might be calling this week. It looks like I’ll be home for dinner, at least.” Preparing to start another set, Corey offered, “If ya want, we can do something together, Prez.” Beginning to evilly snicker, Prez caused Drew to pause and laugh. Putting the dumbbell down, Corey loudly giggled, “Not like that! I only meant… oh shit!” Corey, Drew and Prez cracked up. Once they had all calmed down, Prez shared with them what he had told Keith; that their intimate time together was very likely a onetime event. “It was great and very special, but you’re both my brothers-in-law,” Prez finished with a smile. Putting the bar down on the floor, Drew stood and smiled, “That’s what we’ve talked about already too, Prez.” Corey nodded, “It was great, but for Drew and Keith, it’s too weird. We’re not worried about it, so you don’t need to be.” Prez nodded, “We’ll go someplace, to the beach or mall, after supper. If my aunt calls back by then, it’ll probably be too late for a visit.” Corey and Drew agreed and Prez left them in the garage. John was home and watching TV in the living room. Prez smiled, “How’re things goin’?” “Good,” John answered, his attention mostly on the ballgame. “Kim and I were with Neil and Lindsay today, over at the Gibbons’.” He looked up at Prez, bounced his eyebrows and chuckled, “First kiss.” John and Prez excitedly mooed then both cracked up. Slightly shaking his head, John sniggered, “Lindsay kissed Neil first. A little while later, he kissed her.” Heading into the kitchen, Prez looked out the sliding glass doors at Rush, lying in a shady spot on the grass with his rope toy nearby. He checked the clock; saw it was almost half past five then checked the fridge for something thawing that might be intended for dinner. Finding nothing thawing, Prez went back to the living room and told John, “I guess we’re ordering take-out tonight.” Nodding, John gestured at his glass of 7-Up, indicating that he had already been in the refrigerator, and said, “It’s the kid at the hospital. He’s worse and mom’s not happy.” Sitting in his usual spot on the loveseat, Prez groaned and thought, ‘It’s lucky we didn’t get to the beach then. I’d be sunburned, she’d lose it and I’d be grounded. Hopefully Aunt Eileen will call.’ Jim Hundser walked in the door and weakly smiled, “Where are Drew, Corey and Keith?” “Keith’s working at Black Angus; Drew and Corey are in the garage,” Prez pleasantly answered. Jim Hundser nodded and went to call Drew and Corey in from the garage. Once all the boys were gathered in the living room, Jim sighed and explained, “The sick boy at your mom’s hospital is in critical condition today. What might’ve been a longer, drawn out illness is apparently speeding up. He’s not handling the medications well at all. The important thing for us is your mother. Make her night as pleasant as possible, please. My boys know, but for the benefit of Corey and Preston, I recommend not challenging her in any way.” All four nodded and Prez softly offered, “I’ve been trying to get in touch with my aunt, but haven’t gotten through. Apparently, they’ve gone out for the night. I was thinking of going down to the beach with Corey and Drew after dinner.” Jim grinned, “You don’t have to run and hide, simply be a little extra nice.” “There’s nothing for dinner in the fridge, dad,” John smirked. “I know,” Jim nodded, “pizzas and Chinese food tonight. Put your heads together and place the orders. Remember, beef and broccoli for your mom.” Jim went to the master bedroom to change out of his suit while Prez, Drew, Corey and John started discussing what they wanted for supper. Busily clearing a table at Black Angus, Keith felt an unexpected shiver race down his spine. Since what he was doing required little thought, he concentrated on Prez. Something was going on at home; Keith simply didn’t know what it was. While John argued with Drew over pizza toppings, Prez felt his lover’s warm embrace and started chuckling. Corey smiled at Prez, believing it was the two brothers that were making Prez chuckle. Prez sent Keith a virtual hug with short messages. In the Black Angus kitchen, emptying a bucket with Randy on his left and Mike on his right, Keith envisioned home, his mom, and Prez running across the beach. Shaking his head and sniggering, he briefly drew Randy’s and Mike’s attention. Mike grinned, “What’s goin’ on, bro.” “I’m really not sure,” Keith chuckled. “Prez is home, something’s up with my mom, and he wants to run at the beach. I’ll call his cell later to get the detailed description.” “How can you know that?” Randy wondered. Rinsing his bus bucket, Mike grinned, “Take my word for it, he knows.” Keith smiled, “We’ll demonstrate tomorrow night.” It turned out that Ben and Graham didn’t have very much choice about dinner. Robert Carleton had checked with his wife during the day and made reservations for six o’clock at Brandywine, their favorite restaurant. The dress code was casual, but T-shirts weren’t allowed, so Ben and Graham had to run upstairs and put decent sport shirts on. In Graham’s walk-in closet, Graham chose a white short-sleeve shirt for Ben and very much liked how it looked. The only problem Graham saw was that Ben had buttoned almost all the way to the collar, so he unbuttoned one button and seductively licked his lips. Rolling his eyes and giggling hysterically, Ben chased Graham out of the closet, back downstairs, and out to his dad’s car. It was only a five minute drive from the house to the restaurant. Ben couldn’t believe the restaurant when he stepped inside with Graham and the Carletons. A maitre de led them to their table. There were only sixteen tables; all separated by curtains for privacy and the lighting was dim. It was very romantic and homey. There were few parties larger than two and every table was taken. In the corner sat a middle aged man playing popular ballads on a classical guitar. Taking his seat beside Graham, Ben helplessly giggled. Graham grinned, “Nice, huh?” Rapidly nodding, Ben softly shared, “I’ve never been anywhere like this before.” The maitre de thanked the boys then presented the menus and the nightly specials on a small chalk board. He offered to take their drink orders. Ben and Graham ordered Coke’s, but the Carleton adults wanted to choose their main course before choosing their wines and asked for water. The maitre de left them to fill the drink orders. Robert Carleton patted Ben’s back and softly offered, “Under the circumstances, I thought this would be the best choice.” Nodding, Faye Carleton said, “This is our way of thanking you, Ben. We don’t know all the details, but the results are apparent in Graham’s attitude.” Both boys blushed and Ben giggled. Graham reached under the table and took Ben’s hand. Putting reading glasses on and then picking up his menu, Robert smiled, “I was happy to see you boys did some online car shopping today.” Also looking at her menu, Faye added, “I was even happier to hear you’re considering a Volvo.” Hidden behind a menu, but allowing his face to be seen by Ben, Graham told both his parents and Ben; “I know where you’re at, and believe me, I’m there too. It’s scary.” Smiling widely at Graham from behind his menu, Ben nodded. Placing her menu down, Faye reached into her purse and pulled out a small envelope, explaining, “This morning, while I was having coffee before leaving for the office, I found pink rose pedals on the counter.” She had her husband’s, Graham’s and Ben’s undivided attention and continued. “I asked myself when I had last seen a pink rose in the house.” “Mother’s Day,” Graham quickly answered. He turned to Ben and smiled, “Francis cut a single bud off his mother’s rose bush and brought it over that morning.” Robert smiled at his wife, “You don’t think?” “I not only think it, I know it,” Faye giggled. “I had just been at that counter, got another cup of coffee and turned around to find them there.” She opened the envelope and took out several of the pedals, saying, “Look at these; they’re not from a fully opened rose.” Shivering, Ben smiled, “One of my friends lost his father; another lost his mother. I never believed in that sort of thing until recently. I’m being pushed into believing it more and more.” Graham asked his mom, “What are you going to do with them?” Faye answered, “They’re a very special gift from a very special boy. I think I’ll put them into our photo album, under plastic, before they deteriorate; with this envelope and a picture of Francis.” “I’ll print a photo for you,” Graham cheerfully promised. Faye asked, “You don’t believe it, do you?” “I do,” Graham quickly replied, and then explained, “All month I’ve been having nightmares about him. That’s not Francis; it’s me, horrified by what happened. The first night with Ben and it’s not a nightmare, just a weird dream with Ben and Francis both being silly. This morning, after the second night with Ben, it’s another weird dream with Ben and all of Francis’ friends. That’s Francis; being a goofy clown, like he usually was when he was with us. If you say they weren’t there and they just appeared, I believe it, because he would do that. What purpose would there be in you getting a single pink rose bud; just to bring it here and show me? That’s not you, mom. It has Beanie written all over it.” Through all Graham said, Ben carefully watched him and proudly smiled. They were silent as the maitre de emerged with their drinks, served them and stepped away again. Faye put the rose pedals back in the envelope and into her purse again. Lowering his menu slightly, Graham called, “Dad, what do you think of the Subaru Outback?” “From what you’ve shown me, it’s not bad at all,” Robert answered. “I’ll check into it more and let you know, Monday evening.” Lifting his menu again, Graham tapped Ben’s foot to get his attention. When Ben looked over, Graham rolled his eyes and silently mouthed, “That means, maybe.” Ben helplessly giggled. “What are you doing, Graham?” Faye suspiciously asked. Graham innocently smiled, “Making Ben laugh.” “Why?” Faye softly sang. Graham shrugged, “Cos it’s fun?” Quickly covering his mouth with one hand, Ben tried desperately to not crack up. Faye grinned at her son and shook her head. Raising his menu again, Graham softly chortled, “Can I help it?” Mr. and Mrs. Carleton smiled and disjointedly sang, “Obviously not.” With his hand still over his mouth, Ben lost it and laughed. Happily bouncing in his chair, Graham evilly sniggered. Since the two boys were obviously someplace other than a posh, romantic restaurant, the Carletons began softly discussing their dinner options. To take his mind off of Graham, Ben read his menu and listened to the guitarist. Ben thought the man played very well, although it wasn’t classical music he was playing. In Ben’s opinion, everything on the menu was so expensive. One meal, filet mignon and lobster tail was almost seventy bucks. Almost anywhere else, Ben knew that he, Graham and his mom could eat very well for that same cost. Now he needed to tap Graham’s foot and did so. Graham looked over and Ben silently mouthed, “Bathroom, now.” Graham nodded, lowered his menu and softly told his parents, “Excuse us.” He and Ben stood and followed the signs to the restrooms. Once inside the men’s room, Graham locked the door behind them and asked, “What’s up?” “The prices of everything in this place,” Ben excitedly answered. “I have no idea what to order when onion soup is almost twenty bucks.” Understandingly, Graham moved closer and wrapped Ben in his arms then reminded, “They’re just saying thank you, teddy bear.” Ben softly groused, “Applebee’s, Chili’s or TGIF’s would’ve been awesome. This place though, I don’t know what to order or how to begin to thank them. It’s the nicest place I’ve ever been. I mean, I’ve only seen places like this on TV, Graham.” Feeling Ben trembling slightly, Graham softly shushed him and then offered, “How about I order for both of us? Would that help?” Ben nodded, but stipulated, “Please don’t get the most expensive dinners, Graham.” “How about the pork chops? They’re really good.” “You’ve been here before?” Graham nodded and smiled, “With them and Beanie, back around the holidays; I think it was the night before New Year’s Eve.” Hiding his face on Graham’s shoulder, Ben softly groaned, “Omigod.” “What?” Graham giggled. Ben whimpered, “I didn’t know I was reminding you of Francis. Get me outta here, please, Graham. I feel like a bull in a china shop.” “Why?” Graham giggled, “You’re being awesome, as usual. Relax for me, okay?” He started rubbing Ben’s back. Ben sighed, “I’m really trying. I don’t want to insult your folks or embarrass myself.” Graham assured, “You’re not doing either of those things, I promise. You’re being really cool. Even though I tried to make you crack up, you were fantastic. Kiss me.” Ben’s head popped off Graham’s shoulder. Ben locked eyes with his boyfriend. Graham softly offered, “If it’ll help, kiss me anyway you want.” Ben gave a tender kiss and got another in return. He closed his eyes, rested his forehead against Graham’s and sighed, “I’m just gonna concentrate on the guitarist.” Graham smiled, “He’s okay, but you’re way better and so cute too, especially under very cold showers.” Knowing his silly boyfriend was referring to major shrinkage only about an hour earlier, Ben giggled then gave Graham a really passionate kiss. Graham held on tightly to Ben and began to get dizzy. When Ben broke the kiss, Graham groaned, “Dude, now I need to stay still for another minute or two.” “I love you so much, Graham,” Ben whispered. Coming to his senses, Graham smiled, “That’s why we’re here, teddy bear. We made that very obvious to them last night.” Ben giggled, “I’m ready; how about you?” “Yeah, I’m ready, to go back home and eat you alive for dinner.” Ben blushed, “A graham cracker desert sounds tasty.” Graham chuckled and mooed, and then turned to unlock the men’s room door. They went back out to their table and sat down. Faye checked, “Is everything alright?” “Just fine, mom,” Graham replied as he picked up his menu. He explained, “We had a huge lunch; eggs, bacon, steaks and English muffins. While we were in there, we were discussing what we’d like to order.” Going along with Graham’s excuse, Ben nodded and smiled, “And the live entertainment too. He’s good.” Graham devilishly grinned at Ben. Before Graham said another word, Ben giggled and rolled his eyes then hid behind his menu. Graham asked his parents, “Did I mention that Ben plays guitar; classical like this guy, but way better.” For the next few minutes, that was the topic of conversation at the table until the maitre de returned to take their appetizer and dinner orders. Graham ordered shrimp cocktails for Ben and himself as the appetizer then the pork chop dinners they had discussed. After the orders were taken, the discussion moved on to Graham and Ben sharing how they met in more detail. Almost the same things were said to the Carletons as was said to Ben’s mom the prior evening. More comfortable with his own parents, Graham took special delight in embarrassing Ben with compliment after compliment. When the appetizers were served, Ben couldn’t believe he had eight shrimp hanging off the edge of an elegant cut crystal dish that had more than enough cocktail sauce in the center. Graham raved on about Ben. Quietly eating his shrimp, Ben wondered if Graham would ever stop embarrassing him. Faye smiled at Ben and asked, “Not one growl?” Shaking his head, Ben giggled, “No ma’am, eight silent ones that will be heard later.” Quickly raising his cloth napkin to his mouth, Graham cracked up, knowing he would pay dearly later that night. To make pleasant dinner conversation, Ben asked Graham’s parents several questions; how long they had been coming to this restaurant; when they moved to the home they lived in, which was right after their first son, Robert Junior, was born, in 1974. As recommended, Ben also asked about the Carletons’ hobbies. Faye enjoyed ceramics, telling Ben that many of the figurines in their living room curio cabinet she had made over the years. Robert Senior made wooden model ships, from current sailing yachts to seventeenth century galleons. Thankfully for Ben, dinner was not only excellent; he enjoyed getting to know Graham’s parents. He was happiest when they left around eight o’ clock. Now that the ice had been broken, Ben told the Carletons that he had never been in a Mercedes S class car before. Mister Carleton told Ben about all the luxury amenities that his car had, and other options that his car didn’t have. When they arrived back at home, Ben warmly thanked them for dinner at the finest restaurant he had ever been in. In the living room, they all talked about Graham’s new car choices. If it turned out the Outback wasn’t safe enough, then they would look at the Volvo V70 and the Toyota Camry on Monday night. Since it was nearing nine o’clock by the time they finished chatting, Graham asked his dad for a ride back to Agoura Hills. Graham hurried upstairs with Ben to pack for three days away, to strip his bed, as his mom had asked, and clear off the bathroom vanity. Hurrying around his room, Graham chuckled, “You’re now my parents’ favorite person in the world.” Catching the things Graham was tossing at him and stowing them in Graham’s backpack, Ben giggled, “I did what you told me to do.” “And showed real interest,” Graham teased. “What’s not interesting about making model ships from scratch? I sure wouldn’t have the patience.” “Neither would I. It’s time consuming. He’ll spend months of spare hours working on a single boat.” “That’s why your bathroom’s wallpaper is what it is,” Ben grinned. “You’re very lucky, Graham. You have an awesome home, cool parents…” “And a cuddly teddy bear to snuggle with at night,” Graham interrupted. Squinting suspiciously, Ben recalled all that Graham had said at the restaurant, finished loading the backpack then slowly advanced on Graham. Still needing his toiletries, Graham bared a toothy smile, backed out of his room and into the bathroom. Backed against the far wall of the bathroom, Graham giggled, “Brrr?” Ben nodded, “Grrr,” and took hold of Graham then dove for a passionate kiss. Ben did what he had seen Mike doing several times; he slid both his hands into Graham’s shorts back pockets. Holding the kiss, Ben added his own special touch and firmly squeezed Graham’s muscular cheeks, earning a whimper. After almost a minute of grinding and panting through their noses, Ben broke the kiss and reached to suck a fleshy earlobe. “Omigod,” Graham panted, “you’re getting me so hard, Ben.” Ben whispered, “I’m not too far behind you. We don’t need to hurry, do we?” Indecisively humming for a few moments, Graham grinned, “Lemme suck your dickie.” “And I’ll suck yours too.” Pushing Ben backward so he could close and lock the bathroom door, Graham desperately reminded, “I’m still one ahead of you. Let me, I want some of you, real bad.” Ben giggled, “I’ll get you back right after we get to my place.” Graham nodded, closed and locked the door and then turned Ben around, slowly advancing to back Ben against the bathroom wall. Kneeling down, Graham fondled Ben while getting his shorts and boxers lowered. Watching Graham the whole time, Ben’s eyes closed when his bone was swallowed. He opened them again and saw their reflection in the mirror with his fingers running through Graham’s wavy hair. Ben thought, ‘So that’s what we look like making love. If that’s not the most amazing sight in the world, I don’t know what is.’ This was Graham’s evil intention; to allow Ben to see himself in the mirror while Graham was on his knees, working rapidly toward his boyfriend’s climax. He succeeded too; Ben had the full image seared into his brain. Graham really was his boyfriend; Graham really found him attractive; Graham really wiggled a finger into his asshole and made his knees buckle; Graham really held him upright as he forcefully came. Dizzily, Ben watched Graham carefully tongue bathe his foreskin and glans, and saw the reflection each time he giggled and threw his head back against the wall. Sniggering as he stood, pulling up Ben’s shorts and boxers, Graham gave away a salty-sweet kiss and then playfully asked, “Got the picture?” Surprised, Ben’s mouth dropped open and he laughed, “You are so in trouble now. I’m gonna have to send my mom out on some pointless errand.” Heartily laughing, Graham admitted, “I don’t care if she hears me moaning and calling your name.” He went to wash his hands. Buttoning and zipping up his shorts, Ben grinned, “You love me that much?” Graham nodded and smiled, “What will really suck is the first night we can’t sleep together. I’ll always find a way to avoid that, Ben. While I was down there, I had another idea that I know you’re going to love, but since I’ve never done it before, I’m keeping it a secret.” Finished drying his hands, Graham gathered his toiletries. Unsteadily moving away from the wall, Ben wondered, “There are things you never did before?” Graham nodded, “Beanie wasn’t ready and stopped me each time I tried. I’m hoping you won’t stop me.” Unlocking and opening the door, Ben softly smiled, “I can’t believe he ever stopped anything.” Graham led the way from the bathroom back to his room, saying, “Remember, we started together. The first time we blew each other, neither of us swallowed. We learned to do that. You, my sexy grizzly bear, just went for the gusto.” Stowing the toiletries in the backpack, Graham grinned, “When we have intercourse, without condoms, that’ll be another first, for both of us. There are things that are uniquely us, Ben. You have my permission to slide your hands into my back pockets during every kiss from now on. That was great, teddy bear.” Instead of admitting where he had learned it, Ben giggled, “I wanted to hold you in place.” Chuckling, Graham took his backpack off the bed and put it near the dresser and stereo. Ben asked, “Do you want to bring some of your CD’s with us?” Graham shrugged and smiled, “Sure, your choice. I’ll start stripping the bed.” Kneeling down on the floor, Ben perused Graham’s CD collection. He chose two for Graham; the Backstreet Boys and Hanson; and then chose two he wanted to check out; Pink Floyd’s ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ and R.E.M’s ‘Out of Time’. While putting the four CD’s in Graham’s backpack, Ben was hit on the arm with balled up bedding in a pillow case thrown across the room. Ben turned and evilly grinned. Graham cracked up. Ben giggled, “I’m here thinking, we never got to listen to your stereo, and that these disks would sound better here. You’re ready to start round seven.” Nodding, Graham crossed the room sniggering, “But we have to go, my love.” Standing with both backpacks, Ben smiled, “All set.” Graham checked, “You’ve got your toy?” Ben nodded and giggled, “Right after we cleaned it, I put it away. We can’t have mom, dad or the maid finding it.” Picking up the pillow case of bedding, Graham nodded and took Ben’s backpack then led the way downstairs. Robert and Fay were watching the nine o’ clock news from the sofa in the living room. Robert asked, “Ready?” Ben nodded and, dropping the pillow case at the landing, Graham smiled, “Yup. Wait until you see where Ben lives, dad. There’s a big park right across the street.” Standing with her husband, Faye shared, “I’m coming too. Another branch of our agency is selling the Healy’s home. That park is a huge selling point.” Ben softly smiled, “Thank you Mrs. Carleton. I know my mom’s worried the house won’t sell in time.” He then followed Graham out the front door. As they walked to the car, Faye assured, “It will sell by September first and close by the end of that month; I can almost guarantee it. I already told your mother, Ben, it only takes a few little niceties to brighten things up, a flower arrangement, accent pillows, and things like that.” Gesturing for Ben to duck into the Mercedes, Graham nodded, “Mrs. Healy keeps her home immaculate, mom.” He followed Ben into the backseat, then leaned closer to whisper, “I almost felt bad tickling you on the sofa.” “Sure ya did,” Ben softly giggled, not believing it for a second. Closing the driver’s side door and starting the engine, Robert asked, “Where am I going?” Ben said, “The 101 north to Kanan Road and turn right. Make another right on Thousand Oaks Boulevard, and then the second right onto Parkheath, number 28929, the fifth house on the right.” Backing out of the driveway, Robert muttered, “A coworker of mine lives in Thousand Oaks. I’m familiar with turning left on Thousand Oaks Boulevard, that area.” The moment the car moved forward, Graham shifted, turned slightly and lay his head down on Ben’s lap, cheekily smiling, “Hi.” Glancing back, Faye smirked at her son and sighed, “Graham, what is with you?” “What?” Graham chuckled. “I would’ve done this with Francis, but he wouldn’t let me.” He checked with Ben, “Ya want me to move, teddy bear?” Blushing, Ben giggled and shook his head. Robert restrained himself to mere chuckling. Faye turned the car stereo on to the local classical station. Graham playfully yawned and then snored. Giggling, Ben ran his fingers through Graham’s hair then softly said, “A Strauss waltz, I’m not sure which.” “Very good, Ben,” Robert nodded. Faye nodded, “Perhaps Graham might learn something?” “I have already,” Graham grinned. Robert laughed, “We can see this.” Faye confirmed, “You’ll be back next week, Ben?” Ben nodded, “That’s the plan. I’ve got to check with my mom. I know she wants to start packing and she might need help.” Faye asked, “Is there anything special I could pick up at the market?” Ben smiled, “No, thank you.” Graham said, “Get more cranberry juice, mom. Ben had some with our brunch.” Robert nodded, “Good for you, Ben. It has lots of anti-oxidants.” Widely smiling up at Ben, Graham slowly shook his head. His parents liked all his friends, but he knew Ben was quickly climbing the ladder simply by being himself. Faye wondered, “How much sleep did you get last night, Graham?” He checked with Ben, “About eight hours?” “Seven and a half, I think,” Ben confirmed, “From about one-thirty until about nine.” Glancing back, Faye asked, “And the nightmares?” “Two nights in a row with only nice dreams of Francis,” Graham grinned. What he didn’t say aloud was that he was anxiously waiting for those dreams to end. It would be sad and good at the same time. Graham’s plan was to wait for two consecutive days and nights without Francis interfering in his thoughts. When that happened, he could feel comfortable having intercourse with Ben, likely in the morning of the third day. Noticing a white 4Runner on the 101 heading in the opposite direction, Ben looked closer and saw the driver had red hair. He told Graham, “Prez just passed, on the other side of the road.” “Cool,” Graham grinned. In a few quiet minutes, the car made the final turn onto Parkheath Drive. Faye gasped, “The Park is lovely! There won’t be any problems selling the house, Ben. How many bedrooms are there?” “Three,” Ben answered, “the master bedroom is pretty big, at the end of the hall. It has a Hollywood style private bathroom. There’s another bathroom at that end of the hall too. The other two bedrooms are nearer to the entryway, living room, dining area and kitchen.” The car had stopped and Ben smiled, “Would you like to come in and see it? My mom won’t be in her robe this early.” Sitting up, Graham began sniggering. As they got out of the car, Graham pointed and showed his parents where everything he had told them about his first night happened. Becoming embarrassed again, Ben softly giggled, “Grrr!” “Brrr!” Graham chortled. While Robert smiled and shook his head, Faye prompted, “Ben, please make sure your mother is prepared for guests?” Ben nodded and led the way to the door. He and Graham stepped inside while Carletons waited just outside. Ben greeted his mother and told her that he had invited Mrs. Carleton to see the inside of the house. Mrs. Healy agreed and greeted Graham. The sun had already set, so Margaret Healy began turning on more lights. Ben invited Graham’s parents in. He and Graham put their backpacks in Ben’s room. To leave the adults alone, they decided to take a walk around the park. Ben and Graham said goodbye to the Carletons then walked back out the front door. “It’s a Strauss waltz,” Graham teased. The growls Ben had contained all night came rushing loudly out at once and he got the first rib tickles in. Brushing Ben’s hands away, Graham howled and took off running for the park, with Ben only steps behind him. Graham was laughing too hard and Ben had a purpose, to get Graham in his arms as quickly as possible. Knowing he was going to lose the race, Graham went over by the picnic tables and playground. It didn’t help much. This time, Ben climbed picnic tables and rode merry-go-rounds to get at his silly lover. Captured in the center of the jungle-gym, Graham gave up completely. It was there, while holding one another close, that Graham shared his plans for intercourse with Ben. Ben warmly smiled, “It matters and doesn’t matter, ya know? When you’re ready is perfectly fine with me. It’s been a great two days, Graham. Being with you is all I need. The sex we’ve had has been awesome.” Graham shivered, “You’re willing to wait?” “For as long as it takes.” “If it takes more than another few days, I’m gonna get pissed at myself,” Graham shared. Ben softly begged, “Please don’t worry about it, Graham.” He assured, “Everything’s really so perfect. We’ve got the toy too, so where’s the reason to hurry?” Graham grinned, “This is precisely why I want to soon, Ben. You so deserve it, and I very much want to.” Ben shrugged, “Your idea makes sense. If I were in your shoes, I’d wait longer than two days; probably a full week, if not longer.” Graham chuckled, “Once you experience it, you’ll take back those words and understand two days better.” Ben grinned, “Is it really that different from what we’ve already done?” Graham nodded and instructed, “Close your eyes, teddy bear.” When Ben’s eyes shut, Graham softly said, “Imagine our first time, like I said, I’ll be riding your dickie first then we’ll swap places and you’ll ride mine. Buttholes are as tight as the tightest fist; even loosened up, they’re still really tight. Imagine another time, with me on my hands and knees and you taking me from behind doggie-style. Reverse the positions again and I’ll take you that way. Missionary is me bent in half with you smiling down at me. Reverse again; it’s me smiling down at you. We can do it on our sides, front to back, which is an awesome way to wake up, by the way. There are so many great ways we can try and we’ll find our own favorites together. Now, open your eyes.” He wondered, “How do you feel?” “Very relaxed and very excited at the same time,” Ben giggled. Graham nodded and smiled, “That’s a big part of the feeling, my love. Right now, I can feel your erection and I’m sure you can feel mine, but it’s so peaceful. I’ve been getting this feeling since the first time we kissed. Everything else we’ve done so far is important sharing, but with intercourse, it all changes; the intensity level flies off the scale. Do you know why I don’t want to use condoms with you?” Ben smiled, “Because we want us to be permanent?” Graham nodded and added, “I want nothing, not even a few microns of latex between you and me. My first times with Beanie, we pulled out before we came. After a few accidental orgasms before we got out, we said, ‘to hell with that’. It’s those last few pushes in, and the after orgasm shaking, that feel as good as the minutes we’re connected actually doing it. With you, I want it all, teddy bear; no filled and used up rubbers to toss away.” Ben whimpered, “Graham?” Graham nodded, “Me too, Ben. We’re gonna make a mess.” Ben nodded and giggled, “If we don’t get out of here now.” Unwilling to separate, Ben and Graham looked around the deserted park and across the streets at the nearby homes. There was one open garage with a light on, but other that, they were alone. “Let’s do it,” Graham encouraged, and lowered his hands to keep Ben firmly in place. Lowering his face to Graham’s shoulder and instinctively matching thrusts, Ben helplessly giggled, “I wanted you to meet Doug and Brian, without big wet spots on our shorts.” Graham sniggered, “They’re gay adult men?” Ben giggled, “Uh huh.” Graham groaned through an amazing shudder then suggested, “We’ll let the spots dry a little.” “You’re so bad,” Ben giggled. “If you’re gonna stop, ya better make it quick,” Graham chortled. Stuffing both his hands into Graham’s back pockets, Ben replied with an insanely passionate kiss and by grinding harder. Although he had had many orgasms while standing, the dangerous public activity and Ben’s kiss made Graham’s knees buckle. He came hard and struggled to remain upright for Ben to finish. When Ben made that cute gasp, Graham felt his lover’s pulsing bone through four layers of cloth. Ben almost collapsed and Graham began evilly snickering. Quickly grabbing a jungle-gym bar before he fell onto Graham, Ben’s giggling soon turned to laughter. Graham playfully admitted, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” Ben helplessly roared. Hysterical, they climbed out of the center of the jungle gym and started walking around the park. Graham chuckled, “That was the greatest, teddy bear.” Ben giggled, “You should’ve known talking about intercourse would lead to an emergency.” “Not like that,” Graham admitted. He couldn’t help remembering Francis. Never in a million years would Francis have dared a public display of affection, never mind a desperate grind under a jungle gym in a park, no matter how cool the situation was. He didn’t say that aloud to Ben though. He figured that he had said enough where Ben could easily figure it out anyway. Feeling Ben firmly squeezing his hand, Graham threw caution to the wind by loudly hollering, “I love Ben Healy!” “Silly graham cracker,” Ben giggled. “The crickets are happy, but I’m flippin’ out.” “Tell the crickets and me,” Graham playfully prodded. “You know already, I hope,” Ben smiled. Graham nodded and chuckled, “Make sure the crickets know it.” Since Graham obviously wanted and needed a public announcement, Ben inhaled deeply and shouted, “Ben Healy loves Graham Carleton!” He looked over at Graham and giggled, “There, every night creature knows.” “You said both our names?” Graham grinned. Ben shrugged and teased, “I could’ve just yelled Brrr loves Grrr. Instead, I got specific.” Graham briefly whimpered as their soul connection swelled within him like never before. Ben nodded, “Yep, it hit me like that when you yelled.” “You have ten seconds to kiss me,” Graham warned. Abruptly stopping and dropping Graham’s hand, Ben held his arms out, shook his head and giggled. Moving in closer, Graham gave Ben a whopper of a kiss. Ben’s arms folded around Graham and he closed his eyes. Graham completely got into it, rubbing his right leg against Ben’s left leg. When they reluctantly broke the kiss to breathe, both gasped, “Omigod!” Glancing up at the stars, Ben softly prayed, “Please don’t ever let this feeling fade.” “It won’t,” Graham confidently assured, “we won’t let it.” “You don’t worry very much, do you?” “There’s nothing real to worry about. I am not leaving you, ever. I don’t even like the idea of you ever sleeping apart from me or graduating before me. We’ll just deal and spend every possible moment together.” Ben suddenly winced and mooed. “What’s wrong?” Graham fretted, “It’s not school, is it?” “No,” Ben giggled, “my dickie shifted in gunked up underwear and pulled about ten pubes out, I think.” Holding Ben even tighter, Graham cracked up. Ben laughed, “I’d do it again in a minute.” “A minute is about all it lasted,” Graham roared. “Tell me more about intercourse later,” Ben giggled. Shaking his head, Graham sniggered, “We’ve gotta try and get better than a minute, sexy teddy bear.” Ben nodded and giggled, “We have, but it really depends on a lot of things.” Graham nodded and smiled, “First times, stimulating toys, playground humping in the park where we fell in love.” Ben planted a quick kiss on Graham’s ear then softly suggested, “Let’s say hello to Doug and Brian.” Graham gave Ben a tender kiss then nodded. As soon as they separated, each stuck their left hands down into their shorts and they started sniggering at each other. Turning around, they started walking toward the street and held hands. “I’m always on your right,” Graham noticed. “Even in the car, I’m on your right.” Releasing Graham’s hand, Ben switched to Graham’s right side, took his right hand and wordlessly checked. “Nope,” Graham grinned, and hurried around to Ben’s right side to take his hand again. Ben giggled, “I can only wonder why it makes a difference.” Graham shrugged, “I’m not sure. It has nothing to do with Beanie. We never had definite sides. I just feel better here.” “My right hand man.” “I always will be.” “It makes me tingle all over when you say stuff like that.” “Don’t start tingling,” Graham teased, “we’ll have wet spots again.” Ben giggled, “You’re going to like these two dudes. They make our friends seem sane in comparison.” “You’re kidding? I thought you said they were old?” “They are, but they only have moments or minutes of seriousness. Then they go off, feeding on extremes they drive each other past.” “They’re a couple?” Ben nodded, “For almost twenty years; since 1981.” “That’s us, teddy bear.” “I really want it to be.” Graham seriously asked, “How many things that you really wanted have you gotten rid of?” Ben hummed then admitted, “Not very many; even toys I’ve outgrown, I wanted to keep. My dad tossed them away though.” Graham smiled, “In my closet, on the floor in the back, on the right side, that’s where my old toy chest is.” Ben giggled, “Really?” “Some were busted and glued back together, but they’re in there. I’ve got most of the Star Wars action figures and the Millennium Falcon, some Power Rangers; I’ve even got a Gizmo Mogwai. Maybe Giz is why I feel better on your right. I used to carry him around everywhere. I’ll try to remember to ask my folks.” Feeling the swelling in his chest, Ben smiled, “It’s happening again, Graham.” “I got a little rush too, telling you all that.” Shaking off the feeling as they approached the curb and stepped into the street, Ben explained, “Doug is our height. Brian is the taller of the two. Do not treat them like grown men; that only makes them weirder.” “Omigod!” Graham chortled, “What am I in for?” Ben giggled, “I’ve known them two years and have no idea.” Crossing the street, they could hear loud music. Graham grinned, “Pink Floyd, I think. I’ve never heard it before though.” Ben nodded, “I brought one of your Floyd disks that I’ve never listened to before; A Momentary Lapse of Reason.” Stopped at the front porch, Ben rapped on the door, hoping it could be heard over the music. Not getting a response and knowing they were home, Ben pressed the doorbell and knocked again. The door flung open and Doug’s mouth dropped. Mike and Derrick had said nothing about Ben, or Graham, but only spoke of Prez, Keith, Drew, Corey and two vacationing visitors named Brian and Pete. Yet on the porch stood Doug’s guitar student; the boy who could barely speak a month earlier, but now the murky grey and brown aura surrounding Ben was replaced with bright blues, light greens and vibrant pink. The other boy standing beside Ben had a very bright silver, lavender and pink aura. Looking back into the house, Doug yelled, “Brian, get your cute ass over here!” Facing the two giggling boys, Doug stepped aside and waved them in, saying in a thick Irish brogue, “Welcome shiny lads. Bring your weary selves into the roost.” Ben and Graham stepped inside. Hurrying from the studio, Brian excitedly asked, “What’s wrong?” and came to an abrupt halt at the entryway. Closing the door behind Ben and Graham, Doug told Brian, “You tell me if I’m seeing things.” Carefully approaching, Brian held a hand to Ben’s forehead to check for a fever. Out of the corner of his mouth, Brian murmured to his lover, “It’s physically Ben and he’s well.” Rolling his eyes, Doug waved the boys forward from the entryway, grumbling, “Jesus H. Christ! The Gibbons boy rambles on and on yet fails to mention anything important.” Ben and Graham cracked up. Brian nodded and chuckled, “He’ll be home in less than an hour. He’s restringing guitars until dawn.” Gesturing to Graham, Doug asked Ben, “And who might this be?” Ben giggled, “This is my boyfriend, Graham Carleton. Graham, this is Doug McAlister and Brian Folsom, or Tweety and Sylvester, or Bugs and Daffy.” Doug extended his hand and smiled, “Did I hear the ‘B’ word?” Shaking Doug’s hand, Graham chuckled, “Yep, for two awesome days.” He shook hands with Brian and offered, “We’ll tell you all about it.” “Follow me to the studio, please,” Brian smiled. “I haven’t shut anything off and we found some recordings that we’re clueless about.” Graham, Ben and Doug followed Brian down the hall. Bringing up the rear, Doug asked, “What’s happened, Ben?” Ben shrugged and giggled, “I did what you suggested. I visited with Mike, Derrick, Prez and Keith. The first few days you were gone, Brian and Pete were here, so I didn’t come over until the next week.” All four sat on chairs in the studio, listening to Ben explain how his four friends had freaked him out with ghost talk; how they encircled him and helped him; how he went home and told his parents everything, including his sexuality; how Ben’s father was ready to shoot him, that his mom was shot in the thigh during the ensuing struggle; how Ben had decked his old man and called the cops. Brian checked with Doug, “Transference?” Doug shrugged, “It sounds like more than that.” He prompted Ben to “go on, please”. “I was here almost every day from then on,” Ben smiled. “Did Mike or Derrick mention that Prez got a P.A. system for their band?” Brian nodded, “We’ll be checking that out tomorrow.” Ben smiled, “They asked me to listen to their band rehearse for a concert. It started here until Prez got the P.A. system. Then rehearsals moved to Mike’s house. I learned to swim in Mike’s pool. They’ve been trying to teach me to be confident. I guess enough took hold. The next week, my mom and I went looking for someplace we could afford to live. We’re moving to Woodland Hills on September first. I’ll be going to school with Graham and all of the other dudes. Wednesday night, Graham and I met.” Ben turned to Graham and asked, “Do you want to tell them what happened?” Graham nodded and took a deep breath then explained about the car accident that put his old boyfriend into a coma and took his life weeks later. After warmly receiving the usual sympathies, Graham continued, “I came here with some friends Wednesday night for a party, not expecting to stay very long. Soon after I arrived, I met Ben, but he didn’t know anything about the accident. We went out to the park and I gave him the briefest version I could then lost it. Ben was right there when I needed someone. Many times now, he’s held me through the grief. I stayed the night with him.” Both men began mooing and, while the boys were giggling, Doug went to get his supersized rubber ‘Gossip’ ears, returning with them on and causing Ben and Graham to crack up. Graham continued on, telling Doug and Brian about their parents concerns; that he and Ben had made love at dawn, and then about the amazing intense connection he and Ben had forged by the time they showered later Thursday morning. Bouncing back and forth, Ben and Graham told them everything about the prior two days, including the time spent at Graham’s house, dinner earlier that night, and why they hadn’t yet had intercourse. They briefly spoke of Graham’s concerns. Graham was assured he was taking a good approach; that individuals make the same choice he was making on their own schedules. Ben was complimented for taking the perfect stance and being very willing to wait. Lastly, Ben and Graham were congratulated. Doug took his floppy ‘gossip ears’ off and went to the computer to play Heaven’s On Fire. Ben quickly said, “Oh, that’s Drew singing lead vocals.” Stopping the playback, Doug confirmed, “Drew Hundser?” Ben nodded and smiled, “If you think that’s good, ask him to sing Against All Odds tomorrow at rehearsal. Brian nodded, “We will.” Doug played the next tune and Ben said, “I was here for that. It’s Drew on lead vocals and Pete backing him up.” Ben told them about the guitar player at Brandywine and asked Doug if he might help him switch styles. Hearing the front door open, Doug nodded and told Ben he could read any sheet music that he chose to. Mike and Derrick walked in the room as Doug offered, “I’ll show you the basics of guitar arrangement. You’ll be able to read piano sheet music and pull pieces to apply on guitar.” Smirking up at Mike, Doug groused, “Why didn’t you say anything about Ben and Graham?” Mike grinned, “We had what; thirty or forty minutes to talk before we left?” “We haven’t heard a word about your vacation either,” Derrick smiled. “Right,” Brian chuckled. Doug smirked, “We partied in the air, on boats and on land. You’ll be changing guitar strings on a Les Paul and Stratocaster, after you get out of those funky clothes, get washed up and do a few bong rips. Then you can explain this encircling thing you did to Ben.” Mike giggled, “Can we do the latter first?” Doug and Brian nodded so Derrick grinned, “You know about my pushing stuff and Mike’s love power ball. Prez suggested we all team up. He said his mom told him what to do. So we all held hands around Ben; Mike envisioned his power ball; I envisioned pushing it at and into Ben; Prez and Keith do the empathic and telepathic parts.” Roughly massaging Ben’s shoulders, Mike laughed, “Ben turned into a spaz. He jumped up and hurried home.” Ben nodded and giggled. Graham chuckled, “If you think that’s rad, they did it to me Wednesday night. Francis spoke to me through Prez. About fifteen other dudes saw and heard it. Francis confirmed everything I had been thinking about Ben all night. Most importantly, we got to say goodbye.” Doug sighed and closed his eyes. Brian took notice of his lover then faced the four boys and softly smiled, “We understand now, better than you might think. The results are positive, but please promise us you’ll be very careful doing this in the future.” Opening his eyes, Doug smirked, “You know why Prez was able to contact the deceased safely and productively, don’t you?” Derrick shook his head and chuckled, “We don’t think about it.” Mike nodded and grinned, “It’s too freaky to try and figure out.” Doug smiled, “Preston believed he was following his mother’s instruction. He was protected by her. It’s generally very unsafe to try and contact the other side, because evil entities can trick us into believing we’ve succeeded when, in fact, they're deceiving us. No demon in their right mind would challenge a mother’s spirit protecting her child.” Gesturing to Graham with an open palm, Doug said, “The productivity is right here, in Graham. It was his love and recent memories that allowed Francis to connect and speak.” Graham offered, “Four more of Francis’ closest friends were here too.” Raising his eyebrows, Doug hummed curiously and nodded. Brian warned, “Please be very careful. We’ll speak with Prez and Keith tomorrow.” Derrick and Mike nodded. Mike offered, “It’s never happened before. I’m sure none of us knew it would happen this time.” Tentatively holding up a hand, Ben softly asked, “What are you four talking about?” Rubbing his forehead, his eyes and running his hand over his jaw, Doug breathed, “Oh boy,” and then widely grinned. Brian chuckled, “How do you feel, Ben?” “Great,” Ben happily giggled. “It was good after I was encircled. It stayed good all month and got awesome when Graham asked me to be his boyfriend.” Brian nodded and smiled, “The Ben Healy we left here a month ago had a dark aura. That’s a mostly invisible energy field around every living thing that you can learn to perceive, if you want to.” He turned to Graham and said, “I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet you before tonight, so we can’t say anything about what your aura was like.” Mike interjected, “Graham and Francis were at my birthday party, but they left before you arrived.” Doug’s eyes widened and he smiled, “Ah, okay.” Brian explained, “Ben’s aura was dark and weak, barely extending three inches off his physical body.” Glancing up, Brian teased, “Very much like four other teenagers we got to know.” Derrick and Mike nodded and chortled. Doug grinned, “Before I got to the door to let you in, I felt something strong and positive. That’s why I was so surprised it was you beyond the door, Ben.” Brian nodded, “I got there and was only playing by checking your temperature. You shine now, Ben, with bright fluorescent blues, pale greens and a lot of sparkling pink. It extends about three feet all around you.” Noticing Graham grinning, Doug chuckled, “You’re not sure if you believe any of this, huh?” Graham shrugged and grinned, “Sorry, but I really don’t know if I do or not.” Mike and Derrick loudly laughed. Graham and Ben turned and smiled at them. Mike chuckled, “We’ve learned all this and were just like you two dudes.” “An experiment,” Brian playfully suggested, “if you’ll allow?” Graham nodded and Ben smiled, “Sure.” Doug faced Graham and explained, “This is a feeling experiment. It has nothing to do with what you think at all. I want you to close your eyes and feel Ben, without actually touching him. Don’t think about what you know about Ben, only feel energy from him. Don’t think of anything at all, if you can help it. You can put your hands out to feel without touching or simply stand in Ben’s space. When you’re done and we hear your feelings put into words then we’ll have Ben try feeling from you, Graham.” Graham nodded, “Cool.” He turned and smiled, “Stand up, teddy bear.” Doug softly chortled, “I love that.” Ben broke into a giggling fit as he and Graham stood. Mike and Derrick moved around to stand behind Doug and Brian. Almost toe-to-toe with Ben, Graham inhaled, closed his eyes and softly murmured, “No thoughts, no thinking, only what I feel.” “Exactly,” Brian softly assured. Doug chuckled, “Stop giggling, Ben.” “I can’t help it,” Ben giggled, “His eyes are closed and he’s close enough to grab.” Derrick and Mike smiled at each other. Mike leaned closer and whispered to Derrick, “Their energy is already mixing.” Leaning back, Derrick widely smiled and rapidly nodded. Opening his eyes, Graham smiled, “We can do this, Ben. The connection, remember?” Doug prompted, “Mike, get the book so they know.” Nodding, Mike hurried out of the room. Wearing a soft, warm smile, Ben sighed, “I’m ready.” Graham closed his eyes. In a few moments, he softly said, “Love.” A few moments later, Graham tilted his head and muttered, “Truthfulness? Learning? Growth? It’s more though.” As Mike returned with a small paperback book, Graham shook his head, “I can’t be sure if it’s a feeling or not, but I think it’s tenderness and compassion.” Opening his eyes, Graham looked over and down at Doug and Brian, smiling, “I know those last two things, but I’m almost certain that’s what I felt.” Doug looked at Mike and asked, “What do you see?” Looking closely at Ben, Mike said, “Like turquoise blue, very light, pale green, and lots of pink bubbles.” Brian grinned, “Very good; that’s what we see too. Now read the meanings, Derrick.” Mike opened the book and Derrick looked over his partner’s shoulder. Derrick chuckled, “Unbelievable; light blues mean caring, sensitivity, truthfulness and healing.” Mike flipped the pages to green and Derrick smiled, “Comfort, growth, balance and change.” Mike flipped the pages again. Derrick read, “Pink is love. Bouncing pink is new love.” Ben hugged Graham and giggled, “You did it!” Graham hugged Ben back and chuckled, “The hardest part was clearing my mind. I had to picture a blank white movie screen.” Doug prompted, “It’s your turn, Ben.” The new lovers separated and reluctantly released their hands. With his index and middle fingers of his right hand, Graham pointed at his eyes and reminded, “Right here.” Nodding, Ben closed his eyes. Trying to clear his mind, he pictured a movie screen, as Graham had. He smirked, “I’m not sure if I’m doing this right. I feel love, lots of it and just a lot; of what exactly… of everything; of imagination? Again, is it what I know or what I feel? I feel like I’m floating… like I’m asleep and dreaming.” Opening his eyes, Ben sighed, “I’m sorry.” Graham quickly hugged Ben tight. Brian asked, “Who sees silver, a little lavender and more bouncing pink splotches?” Mike and Derrick chorused, “Me.” Doug nodded, “Lavender and silver are so close; I missed it completely at first.” Brian prompted, “What do silver, lavender and pink mean, Mike?” “Pink we know is love,” Mike smiled and flipped pages to find “Lavender means imagination, visionary,” he paused and chuckled, “daydreamer.” Graham chuckled, “Yeah, that’s definitely me.” Ben nodded and gave Graham a tender kiss. From the book, Mike read, “Silver is the color of abundance, or as Ben said, ‘a lot of everything’.” He looked up and chortled, “You did it too, Ben.” Doug nodded and stood. He told Ben and Graham, “You’ve both got great gifts. If you work together, like Derrick and Mike, and like Prez and Keith, you’ll be like them in your own ways. Ben’s a guitarist and Graham’s a daydreamer; where will that lead? Ben’s sensitivity and Graham’s abundance make another interesting combination. The important thing is that Ben’s changed in very hopeful and positive ways. When and how it happened is over the last month, while we were away on vacation.” Brian stood and faced Mike and Derrick to ask, “Were you paying attention to Ben’s change?” They both shook their heads. Derrick sighed, “Sorry, we were focusing on Ben sometimes, but not at that level. Weeks ago, Ben’s change was immediate and apparent.” Mike nodded and smiled, “What we expected was a month with Keith and Prez. What we got was them plus Ben, Drew, Corey, Brian and Pete. It was a lot of fun.” Ben checked his watch and gasped, “It’s half-past midnight already?” Mike chuckled, “We walked in about ten-of-twelve.” Ben sighed, “My mom’s gonna wonder if we’ll ever talk again.” Graham smiled, “Tomorrow night.” Glancing around, Graham chuckled, “It’s time for me to make my teddy bear abundantly crazy.” Derrick and Mike began laughing. Flushing red in the face, Ben grinned, “Grrr-rrr!” Graham nodded, “Brrr!” Doug and Brian raised their eyebrows and softly sniggered, gently guiding Ben and Graham out of the studio. Doug confirmed, “We’ll see you in the morning?” Ben nodded, “We’ll be here before ten to get a ride to rehearsal and back home again.” Graham smiled, “Hopefully, I’ll have wheels again by the end of next week.” Ben asked, “That soon?” Stopped at the door, Graham nodded, “Dad doesn’t fart around. We’ll make the choice, he’ll make the deal and it’s done. Mom’s car took three days, only because he couldn’t get the deal he wanted from the first two dealerships.” Ben and Graham said goodnight to everyone and stepped outside. Hearing muffled laughter from inside the house, they got to the sidewalk and turned to start down the block when Ben looked over and wondered, “What’re ya thinking, Graham?” “I’m daydreaming,” Graham grinned. Ben giggled, “About?” “I haven’t driven in over a month. I’m just wondering how I’m going to react. I used to let Beanie drive whenever he felt like it or I didn’t feel like it. I want it to be that way with you too.” He shrugged, “Will I be handing the keys over more or less because of the accident? I don’t have a clue.” Scowling, Graham admitted, “There’s one other idea crossing my mind.” “About what Doug and Brian said regarding auras?” Shaking his head, Graham got a surprise tickle in and chuckled, “We have to get out of these crusty undies.” Ben roared and then raced across the street and into the park. Chasing after him, Graham sniggered, “Even my dickie feels funky, dude. We’ll have to wash up one mess only to make a few more messes.” “Abundant messes,” Ben giggled as he ran around in a big circle. Graham laughed, “Sincerely abundant messes,” and then followed Ben across the street again, to his front door and into the house. They went directly to the bathroom, got out of their dirty clothes and washed one another’s dickies. Ben was surprised that his sleeping mother in the next room didn’t hear him and Graham giggling or the water running in the sink. Ben silently crept into her room to check on her and saw one earplug. He had gotten used to his mom sleeping without earplugs the prior weeks since his father was out of the house. Meeting Graham out in the hall, he closed the door and said in a normal voice, “She’s got earplugs in. That’s why the clock radio was so loud the other day. It’s for us.” Following Ben down the hall, Graham grinned, “So we can do whatever we like?” Going past his room and into the kitchen, Ben nodded, “Within reason, yeah.” “Cool,” Graham chuckled, “could we listen to some tunes while rolling around on your bed?” Ben got two large glasses filled with cold water from the fridge and giggled, “Yeah, we could.” Graham playfully warned, “We’re going real slow tonight, teddy bear. All orgasms must take at least five minutes, with the dong and without it.” Ben giggled, “Easier said than done. I won’t be watching the clock, just your chest, dickie and face.” “You’re spoiling me, teddy bear. No one has ever complimented me so much.” “It’s only fair. Even if you weren’t complimenting me, I’d be saying stuff about you.” Lifting a glass of water, Graham grinned, “Like?” and then swallowed a large gulp of water. Ben giggled, “Would you like to hear about the front view or rear first?” “Rear, since I don’t get to see it for myself.” Ben took the glass from Graham, put it on the counter and asked Graham to turn around. With his arms, Ben outlined Graham’s back and then asked Graham to turn around so he could see the shape. He blushed and smiled, “This is part of why I’ve got a woody in the shower. Any time you raise your arms, I can’t stop looking.” Dropping his arms, Ben giggled, “Your tush is like no other I’ve noticed anywhere; it’s completely muscle. The hair on your legs is perfectly distributed, front and back.” Shrugging, Ben sighed, “To me, you’re perfect, from the wavy hair on your head to the little hairs sprouting on your big toes. You don’t have a gymnast’s shape or muscles, everything’s just right, ya know? None of your muscles are too big or buffed. When I first felt your hard dickie, I thought, ‘nice, he’s about average, like me’. When I saw it was more than average…” Ben leered and giggled. Chuckling, Graham picked up both glasses of water off the counter and prompted, “Come with me, my love,” then turned around and went to Ben’s bedroom. He put the glasses down and turned the light on. Ben turned off the kitchen light then went to his bedroom. Noticing Graham on his knees digging through his backpack, Ben closed and locked his bedroom door, wondering, “What’re you looking for?” Not looking up, Graham answered, “I’ve had Pink Floyd on my mind since we got to Doug’s and Brian’s place. The disk you brought, I haven’t heard in a really long time.” Ben smiled, “They’re between your shorts and boardies and the pile of shirts. The cases crack too easily, so I tried to protect them.” Pulling out all four disks, Graham smiled, “Good ones too.” “I took Hanson because Old Habits plays Weird. I heard it on the radio only a few times.” “It’s really the only song I like on that disk. Do you want to hear that first?” “No, play the disk you want. I took that because I don’t think I’ve ever heard it.” Standing and moving to Ben’s stereo, Graham said, “This is a good disk with a couple o’ good songs. The one I really like is track two, Learning To Fly.” He powered on the stereo and ejected the five disk CD changer drawer. Knowing it was full; Ben kneeled beside Graham, started pulling disks from the drawer and putting them away. Graham grinned, “You like organization too, I see.” Nodding, Ben giggled, “It was drilled into me by mom and dad. If left on my own, I’d be a slob, a pile for everything and everything in its pile.” Graham grinned, “We’re gonna be great living alone together. When the mess reaches chest deep, we’ll clean up.” Ben smiled, “You’re imagining that too?” “Were you?” Ben nodded, “As soon as you mentioned it,” and put the last disk away. Graham slid in ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’ and closed the drawer. Ben pressed play and they stood up. Graham slid in close to Ben as the disk started to play. His head resting on Graham’s shoulder, Ben whispered, “Typical Pink Floyd, a lot of sound effects.” “It sounds like a boat at dock.” “Yeah, it does, and running water.” “The next song is so cool,” Graham chuckled. In a few minutes, as Learning To Fly began, he started swaying, leading Ben and softly singing along. Into the distance, a ribbon of black Stretched to the point of no turning back A flight of fancy on a windswept field Standing alone my senses reeled A fatal attraction is holding me fast How can I escape this irresistible grasp? Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky Tongue-tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit, I Ice is forming on the tips of my wings Unheeded warnings, I thought I'd thought of everything No navigator to find my way home Unladened, empty and turned to stone A soul in tension that’s learning to fly Condition grounded but determined to try Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies Tongue-tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit, I Friction lock... Set... Mixture... Rich propellers... Fully forward flaps... Set... Ten degrees... Full gauges and suction - check Gas set to maximum percent - recheck Flight instruments... Altimeters - check both Navigation lights - on Strobes on Confirm 3-8 Echo ready for departure Hello again, this is now 129.4 129.4, its to go. You make commence your take-off, winds over 10 knots. Easy on the brakes. Take it easy, it's gonna roll this time: just hand the power gradually, and it... Above the planet on a wing and a prayer My grubby halo, a vapor trail in the empty air Across the clouds I see my shadow fly Out of the corner of my watering eye A dream unthreatened by the morning light Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night There's no sensation to compare with this Suspended animation, a state of bliss Can't keep my mind from the circling skies Tongue-tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit, I Shivering, like he had just flown to thirty-thousand feet, Ben growled, “Grrr?” “Brrr?” “That was great; just like the recording.” Graham chuckled, “I wanted to sing something for you, for complimenting me, teddy bear. That’s about my limit as far as singing goes.” “Anytime you want, I’d love to hear it again, but not now. Let’s go to bed.” At the Hundser home in Woodland Hills, the first rounds of the night’s love making were already completed. Kicked back on their bed, Keith and Prez were watching The Godfather on DVD. It had been weeks since Keith got it and this was their first chance to watch it. Soon after the flick started, Drew and Corey heard it through the wall. They went to Keith’s and Prez’s room to watch it with them. Having spent so much time together, there wasn’t much to chat about. Prez had already told Keith that he had talked with Drew and Corey in the garage. Keith and Prez fell asleep first around one-thirty in the morning. Neither Drew nor Corey noticed for many minutes, until they heard Prez softly snoring. Drew turned the DVD player and TV off then followed Corey back to Drew’s bedroom. The first alarm to go off was Drew’s at eight-thirty. He and Corey made love in the shower then went to get dressed. They passed by Keith’s and Prez’s room on the way to the kitchen and heard their clock radio alarm briefly then get turned off. Drew made Corey his usual special shake with a little vanilla ice cream. Preparing a bowl of cereal for Drew, Corey said, “I wonder where Brian and Pete are about now.” “They prefer getting up early,” Drew absently answered. Turning off the blender and pouring the shake into a glass, Drew chuckled, “At least they used to, until they spent a few days here.” He handed the glass to Corey. Corey smiled, “So they’re probably leaving San Francisco about now.” “Brian promised to call or send an e-mail after they get home tonight.” “Once I know they made the trip safe, I’ll chill out.” Jim Hundser came out of the master bedroom, shaved, showered and ready for the day. Drew asked, “How’s mom?” Drew’s dad sighed, “She had a restless night. I told her to stay in bed as long as she wants.” Beyond the kitchen wall, in Keith’s and Prez’s room, Corey, Drew and Jim heard Keith laughing. Then Prez bellowed, “Keith Hundser, you’d better give me those pictures, now!” Quickly putting his glass down on the kitchen counter, Corey cracked up. Also in the bedroom with Keith and Prez, Rush barked. Hurrying out of the room, Keith sniggered, “I’m giving one to Mike and Derrick, another goes to Ben and another gets mailed to Brian and Pete.” Rush trotted into the kitchen and Keith soon followed. Keith giggled, “G’mornin’!” and let Rush out back. Shaking his head yet widely smiling, Jim poured a cup of coffee and warned, “You’ll be sleeping on the couch tonight.” Keith grinned, “Prez knows I won’t give any away. I will, however, show them to anyone that wants to see. Then I’ll lock them away safe, so Prez doesn’t rip ‘em up and burn ‘em.” Jim went back into the master bedroom with his coffee. Giggling, Corey wondered, “Where are the pictures now?” “In my back pocket,” Keith chortled. Drew grinned, “You took pictures of him sleeping?” Keith nodded and took the four Polaroid photos out and showed them to Drew and Corey. Keith got good shots of Prez’s tanned belly, pubes and morning wood. He giggled, “I’ve been threatening to take pictures of his pubes for months.” Shaking his head, Drew grinned, “Guess you’re sleeping in Agoura Hills again tonight.” Nodding, Corey giggled, “Anywhere Prez can find you won’t be safe. I’m wondering what he’s doing now or planning to do.” “Oh shit!” Keith sniggered, and hurried out of the kitchen. Widely smiling, Drew held is spoon to his lips, signaling Corey to giggle softly. Keith called, “Prez?” “Yes?” Prez wickedly answered. “What’re ya doin’?” “Gettin’ into the shower.” “What about me?” “You can shower with the photos.” Corey lost it and howled. Also hysterical, Drew had to stop eating his bowl of cereal, put it down on the counter and then went to Corey. While they were still laughing themselves to tears, Keith returned to the kitchen. He filled Rush’s food dish, went to the back door and called the dog in for his breakfast. Over in Agoura Hills, Doug and Brian were the first to wake and get motivated. Derrick soon had Mike giggling and ready to take a shower. They playfully argued about which shower to use. There were many humorous advantages to stepping into the huge master bathroom shower with Doug and Brian, but if the two men were making love, the joke would take a very sudden unfortunate turn. Reluctantly, they went down the hall to the guest bathroom and the regular tub to shower. Three doors down Parkheath Drive, Margaret Healy was preparing breakfast for her son and his partner. Ben woke with the alarm and ground his morning wood against Graham’s butt. Already awake, Graham softly chortled, “G’mornin’ teddy bear.” Ben asked, “How long have you been awake?” “Only a couple of minutes,” Graham answered. “I was enjoying feeling you behind and holding me.” Ben placed a tender kiss on Graham’s neck then asked, “Any dreams?” “Not of Francis, just you and me,” Graham replied, and then flipped to face Ben. He grinned, “That’s one. The third morning, I’m jumpin’ your bone.” Giggling, Ben gave away many tender kisses until Graham rolled on top of him and started humping. “You know I want to,” Ben giggled. “Yeah, as bad as I do,” Graham softly moaned. “I hate to tell you, but my mom’s awake and cooking.” Pausing to sniff the air, Graham dramatically frowned then groaned. “Come on, puddin’,” Ben giggled, “we can’t sit down to breakfast smelling like we need a shower first.” Graham smiled, “What did you call me?” “Pudding,” Ben grinned. “I had a weird dream. Your hair somehow reminded me of chocolate pudding.” He giggled, “Actually, in the dream, your hair was chocolate pudding.” Graham cheered, “Brrr! That’s the one, teddy bear,” and then kissed Ben hard. Both of Ben’s hands moved up to Graham’s head, to keep the kiss going as long as possible and run his fingers through his lover’s hair. The kiss broke then they hugged tightly before dizzily rolling out of bed. Slipping into the prior night’s shorts and T-shirts, Ben turned off his clock radio, paused before the bedroom door and softly assured, “In the shower, we’ll take care of our dickies.” Graham nodded, stole a tender kiss and took Ben’s hand in his. They stepped out of the room to find the table already set. Still in the kitchen, Ben’s mom grinned, “Good morning. We have buttermilk waffles, sausage links and there’s fresh whipped cream in the fridge.” Graham smiled, “Thank you, Mrs. Healy. This is awesome.” Going into the kitchen to get bottles of juice and the bowl of whipped cream, Ben softly wondered, “What’s goin’ on, mom?” He passed the orange juice and apple juice bottles to Graham to take to the table then got the bowl of whipped cream. Mrs. Healy innocently smiled, “Nothing. Why do you ask?” Graham went to the table, put the bottles down and sat. Leaving the kitchen, Ben sighed, “Well, we didn’t even get home until after you went to bed, but you’re making us breakfast?” She smiled, “We didn’t get to talk, but the Carletons were here until about ten o’clock. Graham’s mom has three young families she’s working with and will be showing the house this week. We’re scheduling them for while you’re over in Woodland Hills, Tuesday through Thursday.” Ben sat down and his mother continued, “When they were ready to leave, I walked them out to their car. And what do we hear from way off in the darkness of the park? Someone was shouting, ‘I Love Ben Healy’.” Extremely embarrassed, Graham howled laughing and lowered his face to his crossed arms on the table. Ben giggled his ass off. Noticing her son far too happy about Graham’s condition, she dropped the next bomb. “No sooner do we get over hearing the first shout, there’s a second.” Flushing a hundred shades of red and starting to sweat, Ben also lowered his face to his crossed arms on the table. “So,” Mrs. Healy loudly giggled over the boys’ groans and laughter; “It seems I have a son-in-law and so do the Carletons. It also seems I knew of plans that they did not. You’re both average students and will be allowed to sleep wherever as long as you keep your grade point average.” Two red, smiling faces partially rose off the table and glanced at each other. Bringing two serving platters of waffles and sausages to the table, Mrs. Healy smiled, “Eat. I have errands to run. You have a rehearsal to get to. Cleanup after you’re done and I’ll see you both later today.” She leaned over and kissed each boy on the head then grabbed her purse and left the house. After reassuring Keith that everything was fine, Prez poured himself a bowl of cereal. Keith went to take his shower. With Drew and Corey watching, Prez waited until he heard the bathroom door close and he heard the shower turn on. He got up from the table and hurried down the hall, into his room and picked up his digital camera. As usual, Keith didn’t lock the bathroom door. Prez stealthily crept in, slid open the shower door and took three photographs of Keith shampooing his hair. Keith hollered, “PREZ!” “These will be on the Internet in two minutes!” Prez giggled, and hurried out of the room. To make sure Keith didn’t get the camera and break it into a million pieces, Prez hid it in John’s room. By the time Keith got out of the shower, dripping wet and holding a towel around his waist, Prez was at their computer and shutting down an Internet connection he had just started moments earlier. Keith laughed “You didn’t, or did you?” Evilly snickering, Prez nodded, “On the way to Mike and Derrick and Brian and Pete.” Glancing around the desk, Keith giggled, “Where’s the camera, baby?” Prez roared, “Hidden from the likes of you!” John walked out of his room and heard Keith with Prez. He went to the kitchen where Drew had just found a straw to help giggling and hiccuping Corey finish his morning shake. Drew widely grinned at his younger brother. Getting his breakfast together, John smirked, “I don’t want to know. Mom and dad swear I’m theirs, but there had to be a mix up at the hospital.” Blowing bubbles into his shake glass, Corey hiccuped, “You’re bro-others, I have indispu-utable proo-oof.” Sitting down at the table with his bowl of cereal, John asked, “Where are mom and dad?” “Hiding in their room,” Drew grinned. “I wonder why,” John huffed. “I’m barely awake and Prez knocks on my door. I tell him to come in and he starts going off then hides his camera under my bed.” Widely grinning, Drew offered, “We’ll be gone in a little while, bro.” Around the food in his mouth, John mumbled, “I might be there later; gotta see what Kim and Tommy want to do.” “They wanna do you,” Corey giggled, “one at a time and both at once.” Drew tried not to laugh for his brother’s sake. Shaking his head, John called Rush and went out back to eat his cereal. Over in Agoura Hills at Doug’s and Brian’s house, all four had finished their showers, were dressed and loitering around the kitchen with cups of coffee. Derrick and Mike were going into details about the P.A. system Prez had bought. Doug said, “There are two pieces of equipment you still need to get. The most important is an AC power distribution unit. That’ll help make sure you have steady power at one-hundred-twenty volts and two-hundred-eight volts. It sucks when you’re in the middle of a set and suddenly you trip a circuit.” Brian offered, “A second compressor for the bass and snare drums would be nice, to control peaks and keep the backbeat smooth.” A knock at the door interrupted the conversation. Derrick went to answer it. Ben giggled, “Thank goodness you’re dressed.” Brian, Doug and Mike began sniggering. Waving Ben and Graham inside, Derrick smirked, “Doug and Brian are back, remember?” Stepping inside, Graham joked, “My timing sucks sometimes. A month of nude parties would’ve been fun.” “You wouldn’t?” Ben giggled. Graham grinned, “Yes I would, and so would you.” Ben blushed and sniggered, “Not very likely.” Graham frowned, “Not even if I was?” Ben shrugged, “I’d want to, but with eight other dudes, I don’t know.” Brian grinned at Doug, “Not everything has changed.” Doug nodded and smiled, “Enough has.” Glancing around, Mike checked, “If everybody’s ready?” Derrick nodded, downed the last of his coffee and then put the cup in the dishwasher. Brian said, “We’ll be right behind you in the Firebird.” Wide-eyed, Graham asked, “You’ve got a Firebird?” Brian grinned and nodded, “Five-point-seven liter, LT-1 V8.” Whimpering, Graham held onto Ben’s shoulders to steady himself and groaned, “If only my dad would go for it.” Starting for the door, Derrick chuckled, “Come on, dudes. My 442 could take a Firebird off the line and in distance.” Mike cracked up and hurried to follow Ben and Graham out the door. Doug evilly grinned, “A challenge?” “We’ll give them a fair head start,” Brian sniggered. Closing the door behind him, Mike giggled, “Dee?” Derrick spun around and smiled, “No way, Lick. Four-hundred cubic inches, four barrel carburetor, four speed manual transmission and dual exhaust; means there is virtually nothing in the last twenty years that can beat it.” Climbing in the car, Derrick added, “Graham’s already had one frightening experience this summer.” “Thank you,” Ben softly smiled, “today’s the first day of no nightmares or dreams.” He climbed into the backseat. Graham followed and assured, “We will make our goal, teddy bear.” When Mike closed the passenger side door and got settled, Graham asked, “Can your band play any Pink Floyd, Mike?” Turning the seat, Mike smiled, “We can, but since we don’t have the right keyboards or tape loops, it sounds way different.” “Which songs have you tried?” Ben wondered. “Wish You Were Here, Time and Money,” Mike answered as Derrick pulled away from the curb. Graham asked, “What’s a tape loop?” “That’s how they did the cash register sounds in Money, and the clock sounds in Time,” Mike replied. Derrick nodded, “Those recording were done in the seventies, dude. Today, we would use digital samplers and loopers, if they weren’t mega bucks and we could afford ‘em.” “We’d still have to record the sounds too,” Mike offered. “Like a dozen different ticking clocks and alarms going off, or coins dropping and old fashioned cash register drawers closing.” Graham chortled, “That would be wicked cool though.” “Sing a little for them, puddin’,” Ben prompted. Graham chuckled, “Really?” Ben nodded, “Just a little bit, please?” Graham stole a kiss then closed his eyes and recalled the song he had sung for Ben. Graham’s left foot began tapping. In a few moments, while they were stopped to get on the 101 on-ramp, Graham sang; Into the distance, a ribbon of black Stretched to the point of no turning back A flight of fancy on a windswept field Standing alone my senses reeled A fatal attraction is holding me fast How can I escape this irresistible grasp? Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky Tongue-tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit, I Mike smiled, “Damn good, dude.” Accelerating onto the freeway, Derrick nodded, “Excellent! You kept the melody, the tempo and remembered every lyric.” Graham chuckled, “I love that song. Every time I hear it, I’m in a plane. That’s about the range of my voice though. That’s why I sang it for Ben last night.” Ben quickly adjusted his seating and lay down with his head resting on Graham’s lap and proudly smiling up. Graham mooed and smiled, “Hi there sexy teddy bear.” “I love you,” Ben whispered. Mike and Derrick chatted about additional cover tunes the band could handle. In the backseat, Graham’s right hand ran through Ben’s hair while his left hand meandered around Ben’s chest. From out of nowhere, in the far left lane of the 101, Brian’s Firebird flew past the 442. Derrick laughed, “Jesus!” Mike chuckled, “If we dared do that, ten cop cars would converge on us, like flies on shit.” Derrick joked, “Damned reckless geezers.” Ben, Graham and Mike cracked up. In another few minutes, Derrick stopped the car in front of Mike’s house, behind the Firebird. Doug and Brian had already gone in the house and were getting a report from Mike’s mother that they didn’t need or ask for. Arriving next was Jessy, followed by Shaun and Gil. The latter two were very happy to find Graham there and with Ben. The prior day, Shaun had received a voice-mail message at home that was left by Eddie. Lastly, due to photographic overexposure issues, Prez’s 4Runner pulled up to the curb. Ben and Graham helped Shaun get his new Carvin amplifier from the trunk of Shaun’s car. While the gear was being moved out of the garage and into position, the band members were discussing some new tunes they could try out. Drew, Corey, Ben and Gil reminded the band that they had only that weekend and two more weekends before the audition. Hearing drumming and the band tuning up, Doug and Brian came out of the house and stopped just before the line of monitors. Over the sound of the band, Doug shouted, “Gimme an ‘M’.” All six band members hummed into their microphones. Working to get the P.A. setup, Drew, Corey and Gil cracked up. Brian asked, “What are the goals for today?” “To get this band ready for the auditions,” Drew loudly answered. “We learned last week, they can sing up a storm, but ask them to speak, and everything falls apart.” Nodding, Mike told Doug and Brian, “We have twenty minutes to play four songs.” In unison, Doug and Brian asked, “Which four?” “Hold My Hand, then Give Me One Reason, followed by Sister Golden Hair and Open Arms,” Prez replied. Doug grinned, “Okay, we’re the auditioners and we’re timing you.” Brian said, “I want to hear a band introduction, song and lead singer introductions.” Slightly out of sync, all six band members chorused, “We know.” Derrick chuckled, “That was last week’s learning experience.” Keith whispered to Prez, “Shake my stand, baby.” “Don’t go there,” Prez laughed. Doug set the timer on his watch, pressed the button and said, “The clock is running. Let’s hear it.” He and Brian walked toward the mixer table. Caught completely off guard and still laughing at Keith and Prez, Derrick sniggered, “Thanks for letting us audition today. Our band is called Old Habits. The first song we’d like to play is Hold My Hand, featuring our bass player, Prez O’Brian.” He counted off the tempo and Shaun began playing his acoustic guitar introduction. Prez sang the lead vocals flawlessly. Mike’s guitar playing went from crunchy twang to thunderous perfectly. Keith made a show of shaking the tambourine and moving closer to Prez to sing background vocals. At the mixer, Doug and Brian helped Drew and Corey and listened. Both men congratulated Drew and Corey for doing an excellent job at setting the multitude of various controls on the mixer. The two men only made minor adjustments to the tom-toms’ tones and to Prez’s vocals. Ben, Gil and Graham paid attention to what was going on. While Shaun switched from acoustic guitar to his new Stratocaster electric, Keith introduced, “This next song is Give Me one Reason, featuring our keyboard player, Jessy Roberts.” Derrick counted off and the band played the song. Pulling a glass slide out of his pocket, Mike introduced Shaun and Sister Golden Hair. Lastly, Prez introduced Keith and Open Arms. Derrick finished the practice audition by restating the band’s name and thanking the auditioners for their time. Doug pressed the button on his watch and announced, “Seventeen minutes and forty-two seconds. Well done. There were two places worthy of comment; the background vocals on Hold My Hand and Sister Golden Hair, especially the latter, need to be a little tighter. Your doo-wops are occasionally sounding like d-d-d-doo-wops.” Brian suggested, “The rest of you need to follow Shaun and Keith during the background vocals on those two songs.” “What’s the plan for the rest of the day?” Doug wondered. Jessy replied, “We wanted to run through the entire set list for you.” Derrick said, “Then take a break for lunch, and afterward, try a few new tunes out.” Doug nodded, “Take a couple o’ minutes to work on only the ending refrain of Sister Golden Hair, with only acoustic guitar and snare drum accompaniment. Get the background vocals tighter, and then move on as planned.” Tapping Drew on the shoulder, Brian instructed, “While they work out the section, lower the main faders to half. That way we can hear them, but the whole neighborhood doesn’t.” “Cool,” Drew smiled, and did as he was told. Doug and Brian went to the garage and stepped over the monitors to assist the band. Gil went to Ben and grinned, “It’s shocking, isn’t it?” Tilting his head, Ben smiled and softly admitted, “I’m not sure what you mean. There are about a hundred things Graham has shocked me with.” Gil shrugged, “Big dudes like us, with slightly smaller, medium framed dudes.” Ben nodded and giggled, “Yeah, that’s true.” “It took me about two or three weeks to get past it with Shaun,” Gil smiled. “I always felt like I was crushing him.” Shaking his head and forming his hands into a ‘T’, Graham chuckled, “Time out. When Beanie first saw you with Shaun, he said, and I quote; ‘What a friggin’ wet dream Gil is’. A gay dude that’s only looking for a certain body shape or cock size is trippin’. Hot and sexy is a matter of opinion.” “Yeah!” Drew sniggered. The three older boys cracked up. Drew nudged Corey and smiled, “Pay attention.” Smirking and rolling his eyes, Corey planned to get even. “As I was saying,” Graham grinned, “If a string bean like Francis could notice, then I can and Shaun can too. Only due to circumstances, Francis and I never got to know you as well as we would’ve liked, Gil. The situation has changed. Ben had my undivided attention in the first thirty minutes. My attention and feelings for Ben have only grown in the last three days.” Drew guided Corey over near to Ben and Gil then stood beside Graham, across from Corey. Locking eyes with Drew, Graham chuckled, “You have something to add?” Drew nodded, “Corey’s fourteen. I turn fifteen the end of this month. Corey’s dad is about six-four and two-hundred plus pounds, but he played football in high school and college. Corey doesn’t want to be as huge as his dad, and I’m totally cool with that, or I would be just as cool if he was that big.” Graham knocked knuckles with Drew and smiled, “Ben had my heart in the bag in less than twelve hours; it was mostly lost in the first six hours. I seem to recall a few things Shaun said privately to me. I’ll put my own spin on it now; bigger dudes have bigger hearts in their bodies, but those hearts break just as easily as the Beanie’s of the world.” “Look at Doug and Brian,” Drew prompted. “Doug’s a big, boxy, large framed dude. Brian’s a taller medium framed dude. Switch it around, Cor. That’s you and me in twenty years. What’s inside matters most; it’s everything we’ve ever done together that makes the difference.” Gil nodded and chuckled, “I know this now. It took a few weeks of incomprehension for me to realize Shaun wasn’t bullshitting. It took weeks of noticing Jerry and Mack together and Graham with Francis. Size has very little to do with anything. Just because I’m taller, doesn’t make me the aggressive one. He’s the one taking the lead, whether his parents are home or not, ninety percent of the time. I have a thicker beard than Shaun, but that’s not why he’s on bottom more than I am. When it comes to sex, Shaun and I are on the same page. I’m not seeing a dude that’s shorter than me. I’m seeing the dude I love out of bed doing things with me in bed, whichever ways we want to do it that time.” Grinning at Gil, Corey asked, “I have a personal question, if it’s okay?” Gil shrugged then grinned, “I’ve seen you with Drew enough to know you’re there. Go ahead.” Corey giggled, “Does Shaun top for you?” Gil nodded, “Every time I make it clear that’s what I want. The first time, I was scared he wouldn’t or couldn’t, simply because I’m two-inches taller and about twenty pounds heavier. He not only shattered those worries, he was awesome and the worries evaporated. His medium frame and shorter stature makes no difference at all.” Graham smiled, “Are you hearing too, teddy bear?” Ben nodded and giggled, barely believing that he was now like Shaun, Gil, Drew, Corey and all the other couples he hoped to emulate. While Ben was coming to grips with his new place in life, Graham was sharing his plans for intercourse, causing Ben to blush harder and giggle louder growls. Again, Graham had the support of Gil, Drew and Corey. Drew went so far as to say, that if he were in Graham’s shoes, it would take someone like Ben to get him off his ass and start acting on the feelings. Only to tease Corey, Drew backed away, stipulating, “It would take a blond Ben, but…” Corey mooed a warning and the chase was on. Ben, Gil and Graham cracked up. Ben went to Graham to hide his blush. Doug and Brian walked out of the garage. Shaun wordlessly checked with Gil as to what had been happening. Gil blew a kiss. Shaun acted like he was hit with a baseball bat and staggered back a step then wobbled unsteadily. Approaching the mixer, Doug grinned and wondered, “What happened to our sound engineers?” Gil chuckled, “A misunderstanding?” Graham laughed, “No, I think Drew’s intention was completely understood by Corey.” Doug smiled, “Ah!” and then asked, “Who wants to work the board? I could, but it’s not my job.” Gil asked, “What’s the plan?” Ben gave Graham a kiss then led him to the mixer. Brian answered, “The band will be playing the entire set list for the concert.” Ben said, “Gil and I can handle it until Drew catches Corey.” Turning up the main faders, Gil grinned, “Or Corey catches Drew. There’s something exciting about the smaller dude capturing the larger.” Slightly out of sync, Ben, Brian, Graham and Doug chanted, “Yeah, I know.” Smiling widely, Gil gave the band the thumbs up gesture while Ben, Graham, Doug and Brian laughed. On his skateboard, Neil rolled up to the house and stopped at the driveway then walked to the front door. Lindsay let him inside. Mike stepped up to his microphone and giggled, “Welcome to the Agoura Hills Summer End Concert Rehearsal. We’re Old Habits, and as you know, old habits are hard to break.” Derrick counted off and the band sharply began playing Scuttle Buttin’. At the end of the song, while people in the driveway and street clapped, Derrick introduced Mike, and then counted off for The Road. Between each song, the band members introduced one another as they ran through their entire set list. Corey and Drew counted the gathered kids and adults as they approached the driveway. Many houses away and around the corner, people were outside listening and some were singing along or dancing. Seventy-two adults, teenagers and kids around the neighborhood seemed to be enjoying the rehearsal. Corey and Drew let Ben and Gil run the board, occasionally providing tips when necessary. In the meanwhile, Graham, Corey and Drew got to better know one another. Covertly listening in, Brian and Doug got to know all three. Naturally, Doug and Brian chose to see more than the bodies of Corey and Drew. In Corey’s aura, they perceived bright royal blue as the dominant color with some silver and pink. This surprised the two adult men. That meant that Corey was generous, on the right path, had a highly spiritual nature, and most shocking, Corey could be clairvoyant. Doug and Brian had to wonder how many of the other boys surrounding Graham late Wednesday night were clairvoyant. If only one other that personally knew Francis was there, it would explain a great deal. Whenever Drew spoke, the pink splotches around Corey grew larger and bounced with every giggle. Drew’s aura was interesting too; it seemed to have equal amounts of orange, silver, yellow and pink. To Doug and Brian, that meant that Drew was abundantly creative, intelligent, playful, easy going, and most significantly, was experiencing stress related to appetites or addictions. From listening, they realized that it was Corey’s anorexia that was the cause of the latter stress issue. Remarkably, auras ebbed and flowed inside and outside the garage. Not one of the teenagers was trying to control or dominate any of the others. None had any dark colors that might indicate illnesses or confusion. On this day and at this time, the only thing separating those inside the garage from those outside was distance. When all the boys and the one girl took a break for lunch, Doug and Brian watched the groups merge and their auras mix and grow. It was nothing less than phenomenal. The two men decided to make that day’s lunch excursion so they could talk alone about what they had witnessed. They could also decide whether or not to say anything to any of them. Derrick and Mike would be likely candidates, but anything those two knew would be shared with Keith and Prez, and therefore, ultimately they would all know. Doug and Brian decided to talk with Laura Gibbons first. Returning from their Burger King run for the teenagers, Doug and Brian couldn’t believe their eyes. All eleven of them were playing in the pool, but there weren’t eleven separate auras blending or occasionally touching; they had merged to one massive multi-color kaleidoscope. Something was going on here, but neither could figure out how or why. Reluctantly, they opened the gate and stepped into the backyard. Neither Doug nor Brian had to say a word; teenagers came out of the pool by the quickest method; the ladders, the stairs or simply by hoisting their bodies up along the side. The two men cracked up and wisely left the food on the table then went inside. Doug and Brian found Laura Gibbons in the living room, chaperoning her daughter and Neil, who were more concerned with the puppy and kitten than what was on the television. Brian took Laura’s place in the living room while Doug attempted to teach the mother of their young friend first how to see auras and then what they meant. From the kitchen window, Doug and Laura watched the teens eating outside. Laura started learning with Corey, since she knew him least. It took minutes of attempts and failure before she began to see colors around the youngest blond boy. It seemed that once Laura allowed herself to see one aura, she could see them all. What was surprising to Brian and Doug was overwhelming to Laura. “It’s amazing,” Laura softly shared. “I can tell when one attention wavers and hears something from someone across the yard. They’re all mixing so much, I can barely tell my own son from any of the others.” Leaning closer, Doug whispered, “That’s why I wanted you to see it for yourself. If you think this is amazing, you should’ve seen them all in the pool at once. The water and air around them shone like it was radioactive. You can use this skill, Laura, to help your kids.” Laura wondered, “How?” “Until you get to know the possible meanings of each color, just remember that light colors are good, and dark, muddy, murky colors are bad. That boy in the living room with your daughter, for instance. Look at him now.” Laura went to the living room and looked in. After a few moments she went to Doug and softly offered, “There are various shades of blue and a little pink.” “None of the blue is dark though. That means he really cares and wants to know Lindsay better. He doesn’t give a damn that Brian is in there. The pink pops up when Lindsay says or does something that he especially likes. Today, he’s a young teenage boy learning what it’s like to care for a girl. Tomorrow, it might be different. Next year, let’s say Lindsay is with a different boy, and that boy has a lot of murky red. That’s an immature and dishonest boy, not to be trusted alone with your daughter.” Laura smiled, “What about those in the yard?” Shaking his head and shrugging, Doug softly chortled, “That’s just a remarkable show. Brian and I have had lots of teenage students over the last ten years or so, but we’ve never seen anything like it before. All I might suggest, for a parent to watch, is when the colors darken. What they might not be saying could cause harm, like with any kid. With this, you can be more certain when it’s appropriate to push for answers or back off.” Mike noticed his mom at the kitchen window. A silvery-golden shaft sprung forth from her son so suddenly that Laura instinctively backed away. Doug helplessly chuckled. Laura grinned, “And the purpose of that was?” “He wasn’t attacking, Laura,” Doug sniggered, “that’s Mike saying hello and everything’s cool. The silver means abundance and is prominent back there from Mike, Derrick, Keith, Prez and Graham. The various shades of pink mean they all like one another or are in love, depending on the shade. The more you watch this way, the easier it will be to determine what shade of what color has which meanings. What’s so cool is the sharing. Even Jessy, the only straight girl, is sharing with ten gay boys. None of that back there is typical.” Laura grinned and sighed, “I never smacked Michael enough.” Doug laughed, “It’s too late now. He’d only crack up and you’d hurt your hand.” Laura warmly smiled, “Thank you.” “You’re very welcome.” “Why are you so golden?” Doug chuckled, “My tan or my aura? The tan’s from a month of vacation. The aura is from teaching you, Mike, Derrick, and to lesser extents, Keith, Prez, Jessy and Ben.” In the living room, Brian laughed, “Oops!” and Lindsay groaned. A moment later, Neil hurried into the kitchen with a leaking puppy and let it outside then closed the back door. At Neil’s very dissatisfied grimace, Doug howled laughing. Laura smiled, “Come wash up, Neil.” “He’s not housebroken yet,” Neil grumbled as he approached the kitchen sink with his arms out and up. “Not yet,” Laura giggled, and got the boy a towel. From the window, Doug noticed the puppy had finished his business, likely all over Neil’s hands and arms, but was now the center of attention in the yard. He went to the back door, opened it and yelled, “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo?” Mike hollered, “Wassup, Honky Cat?” Doug grinned, “Come inside for a minute with the Sultan of Swing.” Mike and Derrick stood, excused themselves from their friends and went inside. Doug prompted, “It’s time to come clean. Show your mom what you can do.” “You’re kidding?” Mike giggled. Shaking his head, Doug instructed, “Look at your mother closely.” Derrick and Mike did as they were told, then looked at each other. Derrick shrugged and softly said, “Remember right after I moved in, there were cracked glasses and bent silverware?” Laura nodded and smirked, “How could I forget? We never did figure that out.” “Well,” Mike droned, “yeah, we did.” Derrick went to the light switch and flipped it on and off several times without touching it. He looked down at the trail of puppy pee, reached one hand down and pushed that into a puddle. Derrick grinned, “I can push stuff. When I’m outta whack, like after the crap with my dad, I do it without thinking about it or meaning to.” With his hands close together, Mike approached his mom and prompted, “Feel what’s between my hands.” Doug carefully watched Laura reach out and feel Mike’s power-ball. Unexpectedly, Neil reached a hand over too and gasped, “What the…” Doug waited for Laura to lock eyes with him then smiled, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Everything electrical in the house turned off. Lindsay hollered, “Mom, we tripped a circuit breaker.” In the living room with Lindsay, Brian softly asked, “Are you sure?” and then everything turned on again. Lindsay grinned at the man she had only met once before, and then loudly giggled, “Never mind.” Dissipating his power-ball and dropping his hands, Mike grinned, “Why did you think we wanted to be there so badly, mom; to cook and clean? With Doug’s and Brian’s help, we learned way more than that; more than how to play and record music too.” Doug nodded and told Laura, “Mike, Derrick, Keith and Prez combined, took some initiative and very big risks to help Ben, Corey and Graham.” Derrick scowled, “How was it a risk?” “Ask me later,” Doug grinned. Lindsay came into the kitchen to find Neil and Brian followed. Turning to Doug, Mike asked, “Have you figured out Keith and Prez yet?” “Ask later,” Brian and Doug chorused. Noticing his mom’s uncertainty, Mike chuckled, “Are you okay?” Laura nodded, “I keep rethinking the same verse from the Bible; John 14:12.” Brian nodded and recited, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” With the puppy in his hands, Keith came in the back door. Mike asked, “What’s up, bro?” Handing Zeus to Lindsay, Keith smiled, “Aaron, Danny, Craig and Glen just got here.” Mike nodded, “On with the show.” Glancing at Doug and Brian, Mike grinned, “Your help with some new tunes would be awesome.” Doug nodded, “We’ll be right out, after we share a few more words with your mom.” “Cool,” Derrick and Mike chimed, and then they led Keith back outside. The four North Hollywood boys were the center of attention in the backyard. The reason they were late was that they had simply stayed awake too late and overslept. Now that the four Woodland Hills boys were together, Aaron hopefully asked, “Would you dudes do your thing for Danny, please?” Craig and Glen also pleaded for it to happen. Keith balked, “You dudes know I’m still a little freaked over Prez passing out?” “Keith?” Prez softly smiled. When Keith locked eyes with him, Prez silently assured, ‘My mom says it would be okay, babe.’ Nodding and sighing, Keith relented. Jessy, Shaun and Gil were clued in by Prez, since they hadn’t witnessed it before. Mike instructed, “All you need to do is focus your best thoughts and feelings on Danny. If praying gets you there, fine; just believe.” From the kitchen window, Brian saw Danny seated on a chair and the other fourteen taking positions to encircle him. Thrilled and also a little worried, Brian loudly interrupted Doug and Laura; “We have to go outside right now,” and started for the back door. The three adults hurried outside. Doug called, “Prez?” Prez grinned, “Join us. This isn’t a spectator sport.” Mike smiled, “Trust us, dudes. We know Danny needs it and why.” Mike repeated his instructions for his mother, Doug and Brian. Space was made for the three adults around the outer circle. Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick closed their eyes. Drew stood behind his brother; Corey took a spot behind Prez; Graham stood behind Derrick and Ben was behind Mike. Around those four were Gil, Shaun, Jessy, Aaron, Craig, Glen, Doug, Brian and Laura Gibbons. In moments, Danny felt warm tingling sensations and wiped tears from his eyes. Prez flinched and winced a few times, but never released Keith’s or Derrick’s hands. Keith, Mike and Derrick felt nauseous, but they all knew it was from Danny’s abuses. Brian and Doug watched in quiet amazement as Danny’s aura changed from browns and blacks to lighter reds and blues. Laura kept her eyes closed and recited rosary prayers from her Catholic school days many years ago. With his eyes still closed, Prez softly shared, “My mom says that you need to stand and reach your arms out, Danny.” Weeping and wiping his eyes, Danny stood and did as he was told; allowing tears to trickle down his face. More firmly than anyone expected, Prez ordered, “Let it go, Danny, right now. Stop holding it in. Aaron, you tell him.” Aaron shouted, “You don’t want this filth, Danny. It’s a cluster fuck from years of bullshit from the person you should’ve trusted most in the world. He’s gone and I want you.” At the top of his lungs, Danny wailed until he was drained and collapsed into the patio chair again. “Free yourself now, Dan,” Prez loudly commanded. “It’s your choice to keep it or let it go, once and for all. You know the difference between dirty sex and love. Toss off the bad and keep the good.” Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick stepped in closer, making all those behind them move closer too. Doug, Brian and Laura saw four auras change to sparking white and envelop Danny. Doug and Brian knew this wasn’t normal, and had to wonder how four auras of various colors changed so completely and rapidly. Inhaling deeply, Prez smiled, “Everyone needs to show Danny that he’s cared for, in whatever way he feels comfortable with.” He released his hold on Keith and Derrick then placed his hands on Danny’s shoulders, softly prompting, “Stand, bud.” Standing directly in front of Danny was Mike. Crying and still weak, Danny stood and collapsed onto Mike. Softly chuckling, Mike held Danny up for a few moments until Danny flung himself onto Keith, and then Prez, and then Derrick. While that was happening, Drew, Corey, Jessy, Laura, Shaun, Gil, Graham, Doug and Brian offered their silent support with firm shoulder squeezes, handshakes or kisses on the cheek. When Ben stepped forward, Danny laughed through his tears and willingly embraced him. Blushing and watching Graham, Ben whispered in Danny’s ear, “It’s better now, everything’s in place, dude.” Witnessing their friend, who rarely hugged them, move from one set of arms to another, Aaron, Craig and Glen were certain that Danny had indeed been changed. With his arms open wide, Danny went to his three best friends and pulled them all in close against him. While the four North Hollywood boys were still together, Brian and Doug led Jessy, Shaun, Gil, Mike, Derrick, Keith and Prez toward the front of the house and into the garage. Trailing along behind them were Ben, Graham, Drew and Corey. Laura went back into the house to be with her daughter and try to understand all she had learned and witnessed. In the garage with the band, Doug softly told Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick that he and Brian had witnessed all four of their auras change to pure white. Brian smiled, “That doesn’t happen, so I have to ask, how?” All four shrugged, but Mike, Derrick and Keith were all looking at Prez. “Stop that!” Prez laughed at his friends and lover. Shaking his head, Prez smiled, “From the first time, with Ben, I felt like my mom was telling me what to do and how to do it. All I ever expected was for Ben to feel included. When Corey needed to feel included too, we did it for him. Graham was as much a surprise to me as it was to anyone else. For Graham, who had just lost his boyfriend, and had a major argument with another friend, all I was thinking is, he’s not alone with a house full of other friends. With Ben, Corey and Danny, I felt something from them. With Graham, I experienced nothing soon after I closed my eyes. I take no responsibility for what happens to any of them. All that matters is it makes them feel better, and I’m doing what my mom told me to do. As a matter of fact, when I agreed to try it for Drew, only so he could feel it for himself, I was quickly told to stop.” Prez paused and shrugged, “It’s always been all four of us. Without any one of us, I won’t even try, because my mom said the very first time, it took the four of us combined.” Wrapping his arms around Prez, Keith smiled at Doug and Brian and confirmed, “Prez hasn’t ever had any explanation better than that. If you want my opinion, it takes all four of us because we are that close.” With that said, Derrick and Mike nodded then wrapped their arms around Keith and Prez. Over by the keyboards, Jessy and Shaun started giggling then played the wedding march. All six band members cracked up. The band ran through the Tom Petty song I Need to Know at Doug and Brian’s request. In the driveway, Brian helped Drew set the digital effects for less echo regeneration on Derrick’s lead vocals. Aaron, Danny, Craig and Glen came around front to listen during the second run through of I Need to Know. Following their set list, the band continued on from there with Forever Man, Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) and Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress, where more digital effects refinements were made. Doug, Brian, Corey and Ben prompted Drew to join the band for Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now). Rolling his eyes, Drew knew he was in trouble and moved away from the mixer toward the garage. Shaun put his guitar down and went over by Jessy, who had already reset the synthesizer. Derrick softly counted the tempo. Bass, piano and synthesizer started the tune. With his hands in his pockets, Drew sang. Taking a lesson from Keith, Drew soon held the mic stand with one hand and moved it forward and back, closer and further from his mouth. Powerfully, Derrick’s drum beats came in and Mike strummed his acoustic guitar. Jessy, Keith and Derrick provided backup vocals. Corey and Gil ran the mixer while couples paired up and slow danced in the driveway behind them. Doug and Brian were almost blinded by bright pink auras in the garage, the three couples dancing and Corey and Gil at the mixer. At the end of the song, much to Drew’s chagrin, Doug and Brian approached the garage insisting that Drew sing that song at the concert. “I run the damn P.A.,” Drew loudly laughed. Brian chuckled, “Before and afterward, yes you will.” “The presentation was phenomenal, Drew,” Doug warmly smiled. “With Keith stepping up to back you up, with Shaun and Jessy at the keyboards, what we all see is a spellbinding performance.” With his brother, boyfriend and everyone else, inside and out of the garage, prompting him to sing that one song, Drew caved and laughed, “Alright already!” Keith checked his watch then grinned, “There’s one other song we’re learning and you’re singing, bro.” Rolling his eyes, Drew giggled, “What?” “Land Of Confusion,” Keith smiled. “YES!” Corey and Ben loudly cheered. Derrick chuckled, “It’s not for this concert, but definitely, Drew, for the school dances.” Drew smirked, “Do I have a choice?” “No, you don’t!” A dozen other voices shouted. Mike laughed, “Mini-Keith morphs into mini-Phil,” and everyone cracked up, including Drew. Mike, Doug and Brian worked to get the band up to snuff. Corey lowered the main faders on the mixer. Doug worked with Prez, who soon started slapping the shit out of his Fender Jazz bass. Keith and Drew reviewed the lyrics and where backing vocals would come in. Brian worked on the keyboards parts with Jessy and Shaun. Shaun would provide synthesized rhythm to augment Derrick’s drumming. In the driveway, Danny was the center of attention and happy to be there. He shared that dancing and hugs weren’t his thing, but for the first times he was doing it and liking it. After about twenty minutes, Brian came out of the garage to help at the mixer. Doug remained in the garage to coordinate the first complete attempts to play the song. Initially, Doug led the band through only the music, without vocals. When the band members were happy, Drew was prompted to get ready. Corey turned up the main faders. Derrick counted off and started with the opening snare beats then the whole band came in sounding really strong and tight. Drew sang; “I must’ve dreamed a thousand dreams, Been haunted by a million screams, But I can hear the marching feet. Ooh, they’re moving into the street. Now did you read the news today? They say the dangers gone away, But I can see the fire’s still alight, There burning into the night. “There’s too many men, There’s too many people, Making too many problems, And there’s not much love to go round. Just tell me why this is a land of confusion. “Now this is the world we live in, And these are the hands we’re given, Use them and let’s start trying To make this a place worth living in. Oh yeah!” “Ah Superman, where are you now? Seems everything’s gone wrong somehow. The men of steel, and the men of power, Are losing control by the hour. “This is the time, this is the place, Where we look for the future, And there's not much love to go round. Just tell me why this is a land of confusion. “Well this is the world we live in, And these are the hands we’re given. Use them and let’s start trying To make this a place worth living in. Oh yeah!” Clapping his hands with the snare beats, Drew stepped back, watching everybody in the driveway dancing and listening to the band during the middle instrumental break. Neil, Lindsay and Laura came outside and joined those out in the driveway. Neil and Lindsay immediately began dancing. Drew cleared his throat then stepped up to the microphone singing; “Well I remember long ago; Yes, when the sun was shining, Ooh, when the stars were bright, Ooh, all through the night, And the sound of your laughter, As I held you tight so long ago. Oh, oh! Oh, oh! Oh, oh! Oh, oh! “I won’t be coming home tonight. ‘Cos my generation will put it right. We’re not just making promises That we know we’ll never keep. “There’s too many men, there’s too many people, Making too many problems, And there’s not much love to go round. Just tell me why this is a land of confusion. “Now this is the world we live in, And these are the hands we’re given. Use them and let’s start trying To make this a place worth living in. “Yes, this is the world we live in, And these are the names that we’re given. Stand up and let’s start showing, Ooh, just where our lives are going to. Oh yeah!” Everyone in the driveway and street burst into loud applause, cheering and whistles. Shaking his head and giggling, Drew left the garage and went back to the mixer, where he was promptly hugged by Corey and received compliments from Lindsay, Mrs. Gibbons and all the other dudes there. Derrick, Mike and Keith wanted to learn another song that day, specifically for Prez to sing; the Asia tune Without You. Once again, the faders were turned down. Brian went back into the garage to help get the song together. Brian helped Jessy and Shaun at the keyboards. Doug helped Mike and Prez with the bass and guitar parts. Sitting on an amplifier, Keith jotted down the lyrics in his notebook for Prez to read. When the lyrics were ready and Doug was finished with Prez, Keith took a few moments to work with his lover on a few important vocal tricks, so that Prez was fully prepared. As was done for Land Of Confusion, the band rehearsed the music first. Away from microphones, Keith helped Prez more with the lead vocals. It took a little longer to get everything together, but soon Prez was ready to try the whole tune. Brian stayed with Jessy and Shaun by the keyboards. Doug stayed with Mike to provide reminders. Corey turned up the faders and the song began with Jessy’s and Shaun’s keyboard parts. Mike played the first two power chords and then, reading from the notebook Keith was holding for him, Prez sang; “Gazing at our sunrise Reflected in your clear eyes Misty morning forest smoke fires “Make our way through the broken day I couldn’t stand to stay Without you “We must keep moving While the light is clearing Leaving your dark world behind you” Danny shivered and started crying. What these new friends had done for him felt so good. Aaron, Glen and Craig surrounded Danny offering reassurances while the band continued playing and Prez sang; “You have to run Life has just begun I’ll never be alone Without you “One chilling bark Come screaming through the dark I saw the yellow moon at midnight “And now you woke Glowing in the smoke I’m suddenly alone Without you” After a short yet powerful instrumental break, Derrick, Keith and Shaun sang the bridge with Prez. “Wanting things the way they used to be You don’t know what that can do to me One more day, maybe never Might as well be forever” The band played the main instrumental break and Mike played the guitar solo. Derrick tested his endurance keeping quick cymbal bell rings going while his right hand hit the tom-toms around his drum kit. Keith and Prez noticed Danny crying and surrounded by his three friends. Then Prez sang; “Outside the light, fading as I write And another night reminds me “But as I sleep, memory that I keep It’s just another day Without you “It seems so long I’ve been holding on Since I felt my arms around you “As time will go, both of us will know Never be a day Without you.” Applause and cheers didn’t stop Prez from putting his bass down and going out to the driveway, where Danny was still surrounded by his friends. Aaron chuckled, “Totally awesome, Prez.” “Thanks,” Prez smiled, “but it wasn’t our intention to upset Danny. Derrick, Mike and Keith chose the song over a week ago.” Wiping his eyes, Danny assured, “I’m fine, Prez; better than fine, in fact.” Prez nodded and softly said, “That was a pretty good first try and we need to play it again, but I’ll leave that up to you.” “Yes,” Danny excitedly laughed through his tears. “Play it again, and tell me which CD I need to buy tonight.” Prez grinned, “The first Asia disk, bud. It’s as old as we are.” Danny nodded and giggled, “Who gives a shit? It’s awesome, my favorite song now. Go play it again, for me.” Craig asked, “Are all your rehearsals like this, Prez?” Prez chuckled, “Before lunch, we played our audition set and the full concert set. We’ve got two adult pros here, so we’re taking advantage of that, since lunch.” Glen smiled and prompted, “Go play; it’s quarter to three, dude.” With a nod, Prez returned to the garage where he assured his band mates that Danny was good and wanted them to continue. Better than the first times, the band played Without You once again, and then Land Of Confusion before calling it quits for the day. There were plenty of strong arms to help return all the equipment to the garage and the job was done in mere minutes. Danny, Aaron, Craig and Glen made a point of thanking Prez, Keith, Mike and Derrick with warm hugs and kisses on their cheeks. Aaron and Danny intended to try and make the next morning’s rehearsal, but would have to leave before three. Glen was working the morning shift, so he and Craig wouldn’t be back until the next Saturday. Aaron was surprised when Danny raced around hugging Shaun, Gil, Drew, Corey, Jessy, Doug, Brian, Graham and lastly, but most warmly, Ben. Everyone went to their cars and engines were started. Ben and Graham decided to squeeze into the backseat of Brian’s Firebird for the trip to Agoura Hills. In the 4Runner and pulling away from the curb, Keith teased, “What’re you trying to do, baby?” Prez shrugged and giggled, “Help who I can where I can. It’s up to Danny now.” Corey giggled, “Like he has any other choice.” Drew nodded and recited, “Wanting things the way they used to be. You don't know what that can do to me. One more day, maybe never, might as well be forever.” Keith chuckled, “A good swift kick to the nads would’ve been more direct.” Sliding down in the passenger seat, Prez sniggered, “Much more painful though. Then we would’ve had to help Aaron too.” “No,” Keith sang while Drew and Corey rolled laughing in the backseat; “not again, for at least a week, baby.” Prez chortled, “But I’m batting seven-fifty, four times at bat and only one strike out.” “That wasn’t a strike out!” Three voices shouted. Drew giggled, “You hit a homer and then passed out!” “I did not pass out,” Prez softly chuckled. For the rest of the trip home, Prez playfully denied knowledge of having ever passed out. Corey howled while Drew and Keith raved on about the J.C. Penny’s incident and the mysterious appearance of the exact bedspread they had been searching for. Arriving at home, everyone agreed to be mellow and not mention any of these instances around mom. Jim and Jennifer Hundser had done the grocery shopping and were still in the kitchen putting things away when Corey, Drew, Keith and Prez walked in the house. When asked how rehearsal went, all four replied that it was good. Prez said that the band had learned two new songs. Corey added that Drew would be singing one of those new songs and Against All Odds at the concert. Giggling, shaking his head and leaving the kitchen, Drew swore he had never agreed to any such thing. Mooing his second warning of the day, Corey chased Drew directly to their bedroom. Keith and Prez hurried to get ready for work, trying to ignore Drew singing Phil Collins’ Hits to Corey in the next room. They said goodbye to their parents then left the house. Getting into the passenger seat of the 4Runner, Keith griped, “Rehearsal times are changing. We’re done at two tomorrow, baby. An hour to make love is what I need right now.” Starting the engine, Prez nodded, “We’re doing really good. Doug and Brian pointed out what we need to work on, so we’ll concentrate on backing vocals. I think we especially need some lovin’ now because we helped Danny.” He pulled away from the curb and started for work. Keith shrugged, “I’m honestly torn, Prez. Yeah, helping Danny, Graham, Corey and Ben felt good, but I have to admit, I’m being selfish, and on the verge of going into protect mode.” “I’m really perfectly fine, babe. You all think that I’m doing something when I’m really not. You, Derrick and Mike are part of a team that I can’t do anything without. I don’t feel tired, only horny.” Taking Prez’s hand on the stick-shift, Keith asked, “Please take a break from it?” “I will, I promise. From the first time with Ben, I’ve always heard my mom’s voice in my head telling me when it’s cool. When Drew wanted to try, I had to stop because she told me to.” Keith sighed, “You know I’d never interfere with anything between you and your mom?” “I know that,” Prez assured. “The same way we can hear each others’ thoughts, I can hear her.” Keith gushed, “That reminds me; we need to demonstrate that for Randy tonight.” Prez smirked, “This is getting monotonous.” Keith laughed, “And helping people like we have been isn’t?” “True,” Prez giggled. “Working together at Black Angus makes proving it easy. We’ll just admit when we’re hearing each other, and a quick demonstration at the dishwasher to start it off.” “I’d really like to know why suddenly we can hear and feel Derrick and Mike.” “Just like you don’t ask questions about how or why we’re helping people, I don’t ask those kinds of questions. I’m just happy it's happening and leave well enough alone. I’ve got two brothers that I never hear. It makes us unique, Prez. What Mike and Derrick do is unique too. I don’t want their gifts or to give them ours.” “I’d like to ask them how they feel about that. I don’t want them ever feeling jealous or envious.” “Do it then.” “Later, after things are slow enough to allow conversations.” Keith leered, “After work, there won’t be much talking.” Pulling into the Black Angus parking lot, Prez laughed, “You’ve got that right. Getting all worked up, singing ballads and then doing nothing about it sucks!” Prez and Keith got the windshield shade in place. As they got out of the car, Randy was pulling into a parking space. Keith and Prez went to Randy to start their demonstrations. Randy wanted to play ‘pick a card’ without a deck of cards. Keith thought of a card. Prez laughed, “Be serious, Keith!” Keith giggled and Prez roared, “The Jack of Hearts is not serious.” Derrick’s 442 pulled in near to where Randy, Prez and Keith were congregating. Randy sniggered, “Okay, back-to-back you two. No fair passing signals.” Prez moved to stand behind Keith and immediately got his ass pinched. Prez jumped and giggled, “We do not end rehearsals with ballads ever again.” “I heard that!” Mike grinned. Keith chuckled, “Rehearsals are done at two tomorrow and Monday, bro.” Derrick asked what game they were playing. Randy told him and then prompted Prez to pick a card. Shaking his head sadly, Keith giggled, “The seven of spades isn’t serious either, sex-machine.” Derrick and Mike cracked up. Randy smirked, “Why isn’t that card serious?” Keith grinned, “I’m just shy of seven inches and what does a spade look like?” Randy groaned while Derrick and Mike roared. Randy huffed and grinned, “One more chance; Keith, tell me something that can’t be twisted.” Keith chirped, “Got it,” and whispered in Randy’s ear. “The King of Diamonds,” Prez quickly said, and then grinned, “Which still wasn’t very serious.” Randy laughed, “Why not?” Prez chuckled, “How easy is it to twist a diamond?” Randy pouted, “I’m not playin’ with you dudes,” and started for the back loading dock. Following with Prez, Mike and Derrick, Keith suggested, “Just watch me and Prez tonight, Randy.” Spinning around and walking backwards, Randy asked, “That’ll help how?” Keith smiled, “Helping with tables and customers once is chance, twice or three times is coincidence, beyond that, guess what’s happening?” “Cool,” Randy grinned. Mike teased, “If Keith and Prez prove it then you’re skinny dipping in the pool tonight.” Derrick, Keith and Prez evilly snickered. Spinning around again to walk up the steps, Randy laughed, “I have not agreed nor disagreed, but if I’m sufficiently convinced, I’ll show if you don’t tell?” Derrick reminded, “We’ve already seen and haven’t told. That much you can count on, dude.” Randy nodded and chuckled, “Very cool. Explaining away child molestation charges isn’t easy.” Prez, Keith, Derrick and Mike mooed through their giggles. They clocked in and went to work. Over the hills, Doug was giving Ben a freebie guitar lesson in the living room. The first thing he showed Ben was the sheet music to the song Because by the Beatles. “The backing track resembles Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata,” Doug explained and then played it on his Taylor classical guitar. After only a few measures, Doug showed Ben exactly what he was reading from the page. Doug then added the vocal harmony and showed Ben. Graham was sitting close by and watching when Doug gave Ben the guitar. Going through his usual routine of breathing and concentrating, Ben soon began slowly playing the tune. During most of the lesson, Brian was back in the studio, listening to the tunes the boys had recorded over the last month. What he was hearing was both thrilling and frightening. On the computer’s disk Brian found Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress, Hair of the Dog, The Rover, Heaven’s on Fire and Without Her. The number of tracks recorded for Hair of the Dog was amazing; Mike and Derrick had tracked multiple drum parts, bounced them down to sets of stereo tracks and multi-tracked guitar parts too. The sound was as good as anything he had ever heard, including songs they had written and recorded on their own. Leaving the studio, Brian went to the kitchen to get something to drink. His instincts were to get the bottle of Jack Daniels out. Instead he settled for bottled spring water and listened to Ben play. Doug looked over at Brian’s twisted expression. So he wouldn’t throw Ben for a loop, Doug softly asked, “Brian, what’s wrong?” Slowly shaking his head, Brian smirked and answered, “Damned kids, double, triple and quadruple tracking shit. Don’t they know they’re not supposed to do it so well?” Graham lost it and cracked up, breaking Ben’s concentration, causing him to stop playing and giggle. Brian grinned, “Two days ago, I felt like twenty in Hawaii. Suddenly, I feel like thirty-six going on sixty-three.” Doug grinned at the hysterical boys and his aging partner. Standing, Doug suggested, “Let’s hear what the boy wonders have done.” “Do I have to?” Brian moaned. Holding a hand out for Brian to take, Doug chortled, “We’ll deal with the brats later.” Brian, Doug, Ben and Graham went back to the studio. Doug sat at the computer desk, saw what was loaded and turned up the volume on the mixer then played Hair of the Dog. Feeling his blood pressure rise to new heights during the first four bars of drum introduction, Doug explosively sighed. Mike’s guitar parts and Prez’s bass part came in, and then Keith’s vocals. Graham pulled Ben over and they started dancing. Seeing Ben dancing with his partner actually lowered Doug’s spiraling blood pressure. About four minutes later the song ended and Graham smiled, “Awesome!” Watching Brian roll his eyes, Ben giggled and turned to Doug. Looking closely at the tracks recorded on the screen, Doug groused, “Jesus Christ! They even identified where there were phase problems and pressed the switch to correct it. The effects are set perfectly. It sounds as good as the original record. I’ll bet the tempo is on the mark too.” Looking up at Brian, Doug complained, “Did we teach them to do this shit?” Brian shrugged and sighed, “Got me by the balls.” Collapsing against each other, Ben and Graham tried to mute their laughter with their shoulders. Holding his eyes in their sockets, Doug smirked, “Ben, we’re very proud of you. Graham, you’re very cool too. We can see how much you guys love each other, HOWEVER, it’s time to leave.” Ben and Graham howled. Standing and waving the boys out of the room, Doug rambled, “Go home, make love, say hello to mom, and come back around eleven, so we think twice about killing Mike and Derrick with guitars and drum sticks.” Ben and Graham never got the chance to stop giggling to say, ‘goodbye’, ‘thank you’ or ‘go shit your hat’. They were guided out of the house and the door was closed behind them. Stepping off the porch together, Graham sniggered, “At least you got a lesson and they had a really good idea.” “Let’s make love,” Ben giggled, “quietly, so mom doesn’t hear us.” Graham smiled, “We can do this, with the stereo and a lot of kissing.” “I wanted you alone so bad a couple o’ times during rehearsal.” “Me too, teddy bear. I’m already gettin’ a stiffy.” Ben groaned through more giggles, “Hi mom; bye mom, call us for dinner. I’m gonna burn in hell.” “With every other teenager,” Graham sniggered. “I hear there’s a special room.” Howling, Ben reached into his pocket for his keys, promptly dropped them and kicked them down the sidewalk, playfully wondering, “Is there a gays only room?” Cracking up, Graham assured, “It’s wall-to-wall jungle gyms.” Pausing to pickup his keys at the sidewalk in front of his house, Ben laughed, “I need to ask, if we spent the next few hours until dinner naked, alone in my room, what would you think?” “I’d love it, teddy bear,” Graham chuckled. “I want to see you, and you to see me, as often and as long as possible.” “You know I’ll be hard most of the time?” Ben giggled. Graham shrugged, “So will I. Francis and I couldn’t do that very much, maybe a few hours once a month during our sleepovers. You and I can do that whenever we want. To make up for this morning, I really need to see you.” Noticing his mother watching from the kitchen window, Ben giggled, “We’re being watched.” Without looking around, Graham smiled, “In the house, soon after we say hi to mom, I’m gonna kiss you deeply, in front of her. Return it, Ben. Show your mom where we’re really at.” Considering it, Ben smiled, “Then we’ll disappear in my room for two hours. It’ll say an awful lot.” Graham nodded and reached for Ben’s hand. They went to the door. Finding it unlocked, Ben turned the knob and stepped inside. Margaret Healy was packing a box in the dining room. Ben asked, “You got boxes already, mom?” Nodding and continuing her work, Ben’s mom said, “There are a few in your room and more in the garage. We have only another month before we move. Start packing things you won’t really need the next few weeks. I’m packing the china, because we have plenty of other plates. As we get closer to September first, more and more will be packed; stack the full boxes in the garage so the truck can get loaded quickly.” She paused and scowled, “I checked into moving companies today; they’re very expensive, even for the short trip from Agoura Hills to Woodland Hills. It would be much cheaper if I rented a truck from U-Haul for the day, but we’d need help.” Ben nodded, “I’ll check with my friends to see if any of them could lend a hand.” “And I’ll check with my friends,” Graham offered. “We could have at least eight other dudes helping us that day.” Checking the calendar on the kitchen wall, Ben said, “The first is a Tuesday. Mike, Derrick, Prez and Keith would probably be free.” Graham nodded, “I’m pretty sure that Shaun and Gil would be working. I think Matt and Eddie might be available though.” Ben’s mom smiled, “That’s six strong boys. The job would be done in only hours.” Graham grinned, “Life just keeps getting easier,” and pulled Ben into his arms, planting the kiss he had promised. Although he had been warned, Ben wasn’t ready for the kiss. By the time Graham broke the kiss; Ben was ready to return it though and did so. Hearing his mother giggling and returning to packing the china, Ben broke his kiss then he and Graham looked at Ben’s mom. Noticing the boys watching her, Mrs. Healy smirked, “Do you think I don’t expect that after last night’s declarations?” Graham softly chortled. Focusing on her son, she said, “I was hoping for something of this sort a year ago, Ben. It took longer, but it seems it was worth the wait.” Ben nodded and giggled, “Graham is more than I ever dreamed, mom.” Mooing a warning, Graham chuckled, “You’re son is my wildest dream too.” Turning redder, Ben loudly growled, “GRRR-RRR!” Graham innocently giggled, “Brrr-rrr?” Watching the boys shuffle together toward Ben’s room, Mrs. Healy giggled, “Get some packing done too.” Ben didn’t get the innuendo, but Graham did and evilly snickered. Closing his bedroom door, Ben giggled, “What’s so funny?” Leaning close, Graham whispered, “You never heard of fudge packing?” “No.” “It’s anal sex, teddy bear.” Pulling his head back from Graham’s ear, Ben laughed, “Omigod!” Graham softly chuckled, “This time, the dong is for you.” “What about you?” “You’re fingers will work fine. We’ve got another two days to get ready.” Graham took hold of the bottom of Ben’s T-shirt, started sliding it up and stepped back to pull it the rest of the way off. He wondered, “Do you wear sport shirts a lot?” Ben shrugged, “When I have to dress in layers for cooler mornings and warm afternoons.” Graham sighed, “I want to see your chest more.” Blushing, Ben grinned, “I guess I’ll have to do something about that.” “Please?” Graham softly asked, and then worked to remove Ben’s shorts. When the task was done, Graham drank in all of Ben and smiled, “My sexy teddy bear.” “Is turning into a grizzly,” Ben softly giggled, and then got Graham naked. They loaded the CD changer with four more disks, three were Graham’s and one was Ben’s. Ben hit the shuffle play button and led Graham to bed. For a few minutes, they caressed, complimented and accidentally tickled each other. Graham leaned over to get the toy and lube from the night table drawer. Propping himself up on his left arm and remaining on his side, Ben continued tracing fingers around his boyfriend’s back and buns. Flinching and lurching, Graham giggled, “I love you in grizzly mode too, ya know?” Ben smiled, “I’m thinking of what you, Gil and Drew were saying earlier. I want to believe it, but I’m not sure.” With the toy and bottle in his hand, Graham rolled onto the bed and asked, “Do you want me to prove it to you?” Ben nodded. Graham planted a tender kiss then said, “Everything I do to you, I want you to do to me, okay?” Ben nodded, “Okay.” Putting the toy and lube aside, Graham then pushed Ben flat and straddled his hips. “This will be like our first times,” Graham explained, and reached back, pulling Ben’s cock up to lay in the crack of his ass, and then fully rested all his weight onto Ben. “That’s all of me, and this is me pushing down more to get more of your bone inside me.” Instinctually, Ben’s hips thrust up. Graham giggled, “Yep, exactly like that, and I’ll start bouncing, like this.” Doing so, Graham reminded, “You have to do this exactly the same way to me, teddy bear.” “I’ll try.” “I’ll make sure you do too,” Graham assured, and then rolled off to one side. He picked up one of Ben’s legs and then the other to move into the missionary position. With Ben’s legs up on his shoulders, Graham smiled, “This is the most awesome way to make love; face-to-face, eye-to-eye and mouth-to-mouth.” Pushing down further, Graham stole a kiss and Ben grunted. Graham nodded, “It’s awesome to start or finish like this, but staying bent in half for the whole thing gets pretty uncomfortable.” “What do you mean when you say ‘gets’?” “We’re cumming fast now. It’ll take longer the more we do it. So we’ll have to move around.” Kneeling and putting Ben’s legs down, Graham prompted, “Roll onto your right side.” Doing so, Ben wondered, “Why my right side?” “Because we’re both right handed and jack-off with our right hands,” Graham answered as he lay down behind Ben. “Beating off during intercourse is awesome, too awesome most of the time. If we’re on our right side, we can’t easily do that.” He reached down to lift Ben’s left leg and shuffled closer; with his cock poking at Ben’s backdoor. Graham and Ben began giggling. Graham admitted, “Mister Dickie knows where he wants to be.” Ben cackled, “I can tell!” Graham kissed Ben’s neck and instructed, “Hold your leg up.” Ben did as he was told and Graham wrapped his left arm over Ben’s torso, saying, “This is a really good position. When we’re actually making love like this, we can still kiss and talk.” “We’ll talk too?” “A lot,” Graham promised. “I’ll be saying things about how I feel and you’ll be telling me how you feel too. As time goes on, we’ll talk about everything while making love, not just how we feel doing it, but anything else we feel needs to be said. Get on your hands and knees.” Rolling away and assuming the position, Ben asked, “Is this okay?” Graham nodded, smiled and demonstrated while explaining, “With your legs close like they are, I’ll squat and hold your hips or just lie on your back.” Moving back and kneeling down, Graham said, “Now spread your legs wide.” Ben spread his legs until he felt Graham’s cock between his cheeks, like during their crack slides. Pointing his bone at Ben’s target, Graham asked, “Can you spread a little wider and get lower?” Nodding, Ben did so until he felt Graham’s hot flesh and gasped. Pushing his cock down lower toward Ben’s scrotum, Graham held Ben’s hips and started thrusting against Ben, slowly getting more force and power going. Graham instructed, “When I push forward, you push back against me.” Getting the rhythm and doing so, Ben giggled, “Omigod! It already feels good just like this.” Before he got carried away, Graham rolled away and lay beside Ben. Smiling up at his lover, Graham shared, “Those four basic ways are how we’ll start. We’ll find some more of our own that we like. It’s your turn now.” Ben smiled, “You know how scared I am right now?” Graham nodded, “That’s why we’re playing this game. We’ll play it again tonight and tomorrow. You’ll see; I can take all you have to give. Ride me, my love.” Nodding, Ben shifted over Graham, but remained hunched over at first to place a few tender kisses. Loving it and groaning, Graham held Ben’s hips and firmly pushed down. Whimpering uncertainly, Ben went with it and pushed up off the mattress, such that his entire body was over Graham’s hips. Their eyes locked and Graham kept pushing down on Ben’s thighs. A little at a time, Ben lowered down onto Graham. “All your weight, teddy bear,” Graham gently reminded. “Tell me when it hurts.” Graham smiled, “It won’t hurt, Ben. Right now, I feel your hairy nads brushing my bone. I love it, but that’s not what I want or what you need.” Never losing eye contact, Ben lowered the rest of the way down. Graham nodded, “Now pretend you’re trying to get me in deep and push down against me.” Preparing to fly off Graham and the bed, Ben did as he was told. Graham’s smile widened and he purposefully bucked his hips up. “Yeah,” Graham chortled, and bent his legs at the knees to give Ben a really good bounce. Ben did bounce up, but controlled lowering down again. Graham grinned, “Like it’s the real thing, Ben. I push up and you slam down.” “Slam?” Graham nodded, “My dickie will be inside you. You want to keep it there as much as I want it there, right?” Ben checked, “Nothing has hurt?” “Not a bit,” Graham confirmed, and then instructed, “Play the part, like it’s real.” Ben lowered all the way down and ground his butt against Graham. Graham pushed up and Ben dropped down, grinding again. The next time was better and the time after that was even better. Soon, Ben was giggling with relief. Graham beckoned Ben to lean forward with his index finger, chuckling, “Come here.” Ben leaned down and Graham gave away a passionate kiss then raised his hips and started thrusting like mad against Ben’s ass, moving Ben’s entire body. Wrapping his arms around Ben’s back, Graham kept bucking his hips and smiled, “Now you see why I think this way first would be good?” Rapidly nodding, Ben giggled, “We can kiss and hold each other close.” “Now you take over. Put my legs on your shoulders and bend me in half.” Grabbing one more passionate kiss, Ben then did as he was told, again giving Graham more of his weight in small increments. Ben smiled, “You’re really fine?” “I’m more than fine, Ben. I love you and can barely wait for this to be real. Now pound my butt.” Ben giggled, “Fudge packing practice,” and slowly bucked his hips. Realizing his cock was sliding against Graham’s scrotum, Ben confirmed, “Your nads are fine too?” Graham nodded, “I feel your cock sliding over and around. It’s awesome.” “I could easily finish just like this,” Ben giggled. “Not this time,” Graham cackled. “Take me on our sides and then doggie-style.” Ben knelt down and kissed each of Graham’s legs before lowering them to the mattress. Graham mooed then giggled, “Stuff like that makes me shiver, you sexy grizzly bear.” Ben softly chortled, “Yeah? I’ll make sure I do it every time then.” “We’re gonna last a very long time,” Graham smiled, and then rolled onto his side. He lifted his left leg. Ben shuffled behind and pointed his cock down then shifted closer. Twisting at his waist, Graham flung his left arm over and around Ben then stole a quick kiss. Ben wondered, “Why didn’t you have me do that?” Graham smiled, “I didn’t think of it at the time. Leg kisses kind o’ led me here. I think this will be part of our good morning phases very soon.” “I’ve been thinking about whether I like holding you while we sleep, or do I like being held more. I can’t make up my mind.” “You don’t have to. Either works for me.” “Do you always sleep on your side?” “When I’m alone, I wind up waking on my belly. My dickie likes a warm place to rest and my butt likes having a dickie there too.” Ben giggled, “We’re gonna be in so much trouble when we really do start having intercourse.” Graham laughed, “I knew that the first morning. It’s gotta be a weekday, so we have plenty of time and no parents around.” “Do you really want to be bottom and top?” Graham nodded, “I’m gonna be whatever you need me to be, Ben. This is where all comparisons completely fly out the window. When it comes to sex, we aren’t going to be like any other couple. What made you ask?” Ben shrugged, “Our friends; they’ve said that they swap positions. Prez and Keith say they like to keep it pretty even. Mike likes bottom more than top. Eddie is bottom more than top.” “How we’ll be, only time will tell. It might change over weeks; where I’m bottom for you almost every time for a while, and then you’ll want to be bottom for a while. Whatever we need and want is up to us. Ya wanna know what I really think?” Ben nodded, “What?” “We’ll probably start pretty evenly; getting comfortable and discovering our favorite positions. After that, I think you’ll probably want to be bottom for a while.” Hanging his blushing face, Ben giggled, “I think you’re right.” Lifting Ben’s chin, Graham smiled, “Whatever you need, Ben. When it’s my turn to be bottom, you’ll know it, and I’ll get some real grizzly bear action. I loved feeling you on top of me. Are you ready to try doggie-style?” Ben nodded and they moved around. Graham kept his legs close together as Ben had. Hearing Ben humming, Graham looked over his shoulder and grinned. Standing up, Ben giggled, “Now I see why you had to squat. It won’t work any other way.” Graham chuckled, “Yep. If you were way taller and had longer legs, maybe you could stay on your knees. What size inseam are your jeans?” “Thirty-one inches,” Ben answered, and moved into position. Graham nodded, “I’m thirty-one and a half inches. My dad’s five-ten, so I’m probably near as tall as I’ll get.” Holding Graham’s hips and sliding around, Ben nodded, “I think I may be finished growing too. My dad’s five-nine.” “Push hard against me,” Graham prompted. “That way I’ll know what to expect from you, and can brace myself.” Doing as he was told, Ben had to stop after only five forceful thrusts and giggled, “I’m getting real close.” “I love it,” Graham chuckled, “Go for it, teddy bear.” Shaking his head and standing, Ben giggled, “We have to move. I almost came.” “Okay,” Graham giggled and spread his legs. “I got real close too. Let’s get this final bit done. Get lined up and then we’ll take a break.” Ben knelt down and kept his hands off his cock, choosing instead to massage Graham’s back and buns, looking deep into his lover’s crack. Graham groaned then whimpered, “You’re making me so crazed.” Ben giggled, “I can’t touch my dickie, so I’m touching you instead. Lower down a little more.” Looking back, Graham smiled, “Straight in or a little bit down is better than a little up.” Ben nodded and pointed his bone at Graham’s asshole then prompted, “Lower.” Spreading his legs more, Graham said, “Let me feel your dickie so I can adjust.” When Graham felt what seemed right, he looked back and confirmed, “Is that good for you?” Ben nodded and giggled, “Awesome.” Flinging himself down onto the bed and carefully rolling over, Graham patted the bed, chuckling, “Right here, my love.” As soon as Ben lay down, Graham rolled and cuddled up close. He warmly smiled, “That was so much fun. I love you, Ben.” Ben giggled, “Even though I almost lost it?” Shaking his head, Graham assured, “Because you almost lost it. I never did that with Beanie; we just went for it and learned the hard way. With you, this was so right and so great; I almost told you to take me, Ben. I loved it and you that much.” Inhaling deeply and feeling their bond swell more; Ben placed a few kisses before he started crying. Graham returned tender kisses and soon their tongues were dancing and flicking around. Ben pulled Graham over on top of him and they kissed passionately. When the kiss broke, they contentedly sighed and rested, basking in warmth and comfort for a few more minutes. Graham started licking Ben’s neck. Cringing at the unexpected activity, Ben giggled, “Silly graham cracker!” Graham’s head popped up and he devilishly grinned, “I call it a mouth and tongue massage. Prepare yourself.” Graham went to work around Ben’s neck and throat. Ben was already giggling himself purple by the time Graham moved to Ben’s chest. Taking special care to lick the chest hairs in the correct direction, Graham finished each pectoral with a gentle nipple nibble, causing Ben to cover his mouth with both hands and loudly yelp. Tongue bathing Ben’s belly, Graham giggled, “The best is yet to come.” Ben laughed, “What’re you planning?” Only letting up his tongue action long enough to answer, Graham teased, “Do you really want to know?” Ben hummed uncertainly then giggled, “Do I need to ask my mom to find my life insurance policy?” Graham sniggered, “Probably.” Writhing around, Ben cackled, “Omigod! Please tell me!” Graham grinned, “For me, the best part is licking each of these little hairs around your belly button and treasure trail. For you, the best part is me lickin’ your dickie and nads and then…” Ben breathlessly laughed, “Then what?” “Then I’m gonna get your toy, bend you in half and slowly pop each one of those itty-bitty segments into your butthole. You’re not allowed to touch your dickie. It’s mine.” Ben roared, “GRAHAM!” Softly chortling, Graham did everything he said he would and gave his special teddy bear the thrill of his first anal rim job. Only Graham’s spit was used on Ben and on the toy. Graham made certain to use the toy to loosen his lover’s sphincter in preparation for real intercourse. Ben’s brain was oatmeal well before he climaxed in Graham’s mouth. Resting mostly on top of Ben, Graham proudly watched him shiver and moan through his recovery and softly assured Ben it was nothing less than spectacular for him as well. When Ben recovered, he rolled over on top of Graham then growled loud and long. Noticing a maniacal glare in Ben’s eyes, Graham giggled, “Teddy bear? My special love? Hello?” Without saying a word, Ben quickly had Graham bent in half. Firmly holding Graham’s legs still, Ben started his payback at the toes and feet; an idea he had heard from Corey and never thought he’d actually try, but circumstances dictated it. Out in the living room and finished with her packing for the afternoon, Margaret Healy was checking her purse. She had forgotten to take meat out of the freezer and was considering what to get from the market. Over the sound of the television and her son’s stereo, she heard Graham scream “BENJAMIN! NOOOOOO!” and then her future son-in-law’s loud cackling laughter. She grinned and sighed, “They’re not getting any packing done, obviously.” Without bothering to disturb the boys, she changed shoes and went out the front door. It was just as well too. Graham only got louder from tongue tickling that went down the back of both legs. Since he had been rimmed, Ben took those first tentative licks around Graham’s backdoor. Since it wasn’t gross or revolting and Graham desperately moaned “Oh, Ben, yes,” Ben kept trying different things around the anus, occasionally nibbling a butt cheek simply to give his tongue a few seconds rest. Graham was gasping and cooing so quickly, he began feeling dizzy, like he was hyperventilating. Wetting his index finger with spit, Ben carefully and gently inserted the digit. It was a wondrous experience, watching Graham’s erection bounce in tempo with the increasing and decreasing pressure on his finger. For the first time, Ben added a second finger and probed Graham’s insides. Not realizing what he was doing, Ben was surprised when Graham whimpered, “Omigod, I’m getting so close.” Since his left arm was holding Graham’s legs in the air and his right hand was fully occupied as well, Ben softly ordered, “Gimme your dickie, puddin’.” Graham pushed his cock between his legs and Ben took it in his mouth. Grasping handfuls of blanket and sheet, Graham bounced and thrashed, completely thrilled with all Ben was doing. In those moments before he climaxed, Graham thought, ‘Beanie wouldn’t let me eat his ass, but here’s this fucking incredible virgin that allowed it, reciprocated fully and now he’s massaging my prostate, as good as any cock or toy, with his fingers. He can’t know. He must know. Does he… he know… what... he’s doing… to me?’ Graham grunted and lost it. Ben tried to swallow it all, but it was forceful and some dribbled out the corners of his mouth. He waited for the throbbing in his mouth and the contractions on his fingers to cease then released Graham’s bone and carefully removed his fingers. Lying down beside Graham, Ben was surprised that his lover rolled to face him so quickly and covered him in kisses. Between kisses, Ben giggled, “Happy now? My mom had to have heard us.” Lowering his face to Ben’s chest and holding on tight, Graham loudly giggled, “BRRR-RRR-RRR-RRR!” “Grrr?” Graham sighed and smiled, “Tell me you know what you just did.” Ben giggled, “Just payback, puddin’.” Shaking his head, Graham laughed, “No. You really don’t know, do you?” Ben only grinned and shrugged. Wrapping Ben in his arms and squeezing tight, Graham had to stop laughing and catch his breath. He looked up then hollered, “I am the luckiest dude in the whole world!” “Second luckiest,” Ben countered. Shifting completely on top of Ben, Graham smiled, “You know what the prostate is?” Ben nodded, “Sure, fluid from the prostate mixes with sperm from the testicles and makes up semen.” “That’s right, but there’s more to it, teddy bear. Part of the reason anal sex feels so great is because the prostate is being pressed over and over again. That’s what you just did for me. For the very first time, I had an orgasm that was at least ninety percent from your talented fingers. I’m the luckiest dude in the world because you’re the virgin that doesn’t act like one. You must’ve waited too long or somethin’. Your fingers are awesome, your oral and anal talents are mind shattering, you kiss like no one else, and you listen and actually pay attention. I gave you a couple o’ opportunities to slide your cock into me, but you didn’t, because you know how I feel and how I’d like it to be. You make me feel like the luckiest dude on Earth.” Ben giggled, “I wasn’t really expecting you to lose it.” “Because you did without knowing what it was you were doing.” “You’re still second luckiest, Graham,” Ben assured. “You had to go through a month of hell before we met. I’m luckier, because I just happened to be the person you wanted to share with. What I do alone with you is what I’ve always wanted to do. The thought of taking you crossed my mind as a flash and it was gone. I want intercourse with you. I want you calling my name, not Francis or Beanie. I don’t care when it happens, I’m just happy knowing it will, when you’re ready.” Graham giggled, “Remember me saying I was attached to you like a leech?” Ben nodded and giggled, “Yeah, I loved that idea.” “It’s way worse now,” Graham laughed. “With you holding my hand, and knowing that you’re my boyfriend and lover, I could walk past the sexiest naked stud and his twelve inch cock and just say, ‘nice tool, dude,’ and then keep on walking. I get to go home with you. I get surprised over and over again, every day for three days now.” “I love you, Graham, and I always will.” “I’ll always love you too, Ben. Every time your little inner voice tells you it’s not real, that it won’t last, know that it’s wrong. I’m all yours, forever.” Squeezing Graham tightly, Ben smiled, “I so want that; I don’t want to ever argue with you about anything.” Finger combing Ben’s hair, Graham assured, “Disagreements aren’t worth worrying about either. Who wanted to leave the restaurant last night?” “Me.” “Do you see it, Ben?” “Maybe… I think so, but I’m not sure.” “You always tell me the truth, teddy bear. Even when it’s uncomfortable for you, you still tell me. I know you pretty damn well because of that. You didn’t want to make a scene or upset my folks, so we talked in the men’s room. Disagreement halted, problem resolved. It could’ve been way different, but that’s not you.” “Holy crap, you’re right.” Graham nodded and sniggered, “Who growled warnings while I was on the phone with Mike and saying more than necessary?” “Me, but that wasn’t a disagreement.” “Because we didn’t let it become one. I was bein’ silly and you called me on it. I was chased, tickled and then lifted onto a counter. If that’s not good enough of an example; how about this morning, with Gil, Corey and Drew? Alone, you told me how you felt about that. What did you expect me to say or do?” Ben shrugged, “I don’t know, but not what happened, that’s for sure.” “My first arguments with Beanie were over his feelings about affection and sex at his house. I tried to make them seem less important and he put his foot down hard. I had two choices; I could bend to make him more comfortable or call it quits and walk.” “So you bent.” Graham nodded, “Like you did at the restaurant for me and my folks. Do you get it now?” Ben nodded and smiled, “Talking is better than yelling.” Graham grinned, “Most of the time.” Ben wondered, “When is yelling better?” Graham chuckled, “When there’s no other choice. Like when some insanely ravenous grizzly is muchin’ on my tootsies!” Ben giggled, “You tickled me first!” “That’s the kind of payback I want and love.” Margaret Healy decided that going to the market and cooking would mean a late meal. She didn’t want to cook and clean for the next several hours, so she decided to go to Boston Market for ala carte dinners. She returned with broiled chicken, meatloaf, whipped potatoes, macaroni-and-cheese, corn-on-the-cob and green beans. Once the table was set, she knocked on her son’s bedroom door and called, “Dinner, boys.” With Graham still draped over him, Ben loudly answered, “We’ll be right there.” He then softly gasped, “Shit! We didn’t pack anything.” Rolling off Ben and the bed, Graham softly sniggered, “Sure we did, almost, well we could’ve, but we didn’t, still we will, real soon.” Sitting up on the edge of his bed, Ben cradled his face in his open hands and cracked up. Pulling his shorts up and leaving his goods hanging out, Graham did his happy dance, making his dick flop around, and making certain Ben saw him. Ben loudly laughed, “Stop that!” He shouted at the ceiling, “You left behind a lunatic, Francis!” Graham pulled his goods into his shorts and zipped up, grinning, “He says, ‘too bad, so sad, all yours now, later’. He said that all the time.” Getting into his shorts, Ben giggled, “I’m sure he did.” Graham smiled, “It’s true. ‘Too bad, so sad’ was one of his favorite comebacks, then he’d dash away before I could tickle him.” Once again, he put Ben’s shirt on and tossed the shirt he had worn to Ben. Graham softly chuckled, “You’re blushing already?” Ben giggled, “Just warming up. I screamed your name and you screamed mine. If she says anything, I might slide under the table.” “I’ll meet ya there,” Graham sniggered. Ben slid the T-shirt over his head, tried to fix his hair in the mirror and then followed Graham out of his room. Seeing a table filled with food, Graham smiled, “Awesome! Thank you, Mrs. Healy. I’m starved.” Mrs. Healy smiled, “You’re welcome, but thank Boston Market. I wasn’t in the mood to cook a late dinner and clean until nine o’clock.” Glancing around the room, Ben sat and asked, “Only this one box, mom?” “I took three others out to the garage,” Mrs. Healy explained. “That one was too heavy for me to lift.” “We’ll get it right after dinner,” Graham promised. Soon after everyone had been served and started eating, Ben’s mom wondered, “Is there anything else on your agenda tonight?” Ben shrugged, “A late trip over to Doug’s for a little while.” Graham smiled, “Mike and Derrick made some recordings. Now, Brian and Doug feel old and inadequate.” Mrs. Healy softly chortled past her food. Ben offered, “Doug was showing me how I could play more popular songs on my guitar.” Graham nodded, “You need to practice too tonight. Then we’ll take a sunset stroll around the park. Even after you move, we’re coming back here for occasional sunset walks.” Mrs. Healy smiled, “That’s very romantic.” “I’ve always liked watching sunsets,” Graham admitted. “They’ve become more important again, thanks to Ben.” Ben grinned and thought, ‘There’s the first shot. Now how can I get him back?’ Remembering school and the move, Ben innocently told his mom, “Guess I need to start going through the clothes in my closet and dresser.” Focusing on Graham, he grinned, “I’ve got a few sport shirts that may or may not fit. You’ll help me?” Rapidly nodding, Graham giggled around a mouthful of food, as if nothing would please him more. For the rest of dinner, Mrs. Healy almost felt like a referee. Ben would sneak in a compliment for Graham. Graham turned around and complimented or teased Ben mercilessly. Ben’s mom smiled and watched the two boys trying to out-do each other; Ben played this on his guitar; Graham sang that for Mike and Derrick; Ben did this, Graham said that. She could barely take it. Even when she finished her dinner and left the table, the banter continued. She went out to the garage, to retrieve a few more boxes to fill that night, and returned to find the boys clearing the table and loading the dishwasher, but the words were replaced with hugs, squeezes, pats on the ass and endless giggling. With the housework done, and the big box moved out to the garage, Ben and Graham returned to Ben’s room. They started going through Ben’s shirts; sorting them into two piles; the ‘fits and Graham likes’ pile, and the ‘doesn’t fit or Graham don’t like it’ pile. In the kitchen making tea, Margaret Healy witnessed Graham fondling her giggling son’s chest. Over the stereo and TV, she couldn’t make out what was being said and hurried out of the kitchen with her tea before she was caught. Ben blushed and grinned, “Maybe we should’ve closed the door? My mom just rushed into the living room.” Graham smiled, “We’re not doing anything, teddy bear.” Looking down at Graham’s hands on his chest, Ben giggled, “Umm?” Leaning close to Ben, Graham whispered, “Is your dickie getting hard?” Shaking his head, Ben smiled, “Yours?” Graham sighed, “Nope; just enjoying you.” “It’s filling me up again.” Graham nodded and grinned, “This shirt’s a keeper,” and smoothly slid his hands up to Ben’s shoulders to remove the shirt. “It’s kind o’ dark, don’t you think?” Graham nodded, “I’m picturing you in shorts I’ve seen you in, khaki and olive drab, plus blue jeans.” Dropping the shirt on the ‘fits’ pile, Graham asked, “What other color shorts have you got?” Ben went to his dresser and opened his two drawers with shorts, saying ,“Navy blue shorts here, and over here, three pair of board shorts.” Graham shuffled through three pairs of tan, blue and grey boardies then saw two other pair of navy blue cotton shorts and pulled them out, asking “And these are for?” “Sleeping mostly,” Ben replied. Returning them to the drawer, Graham chuckled, “They won’t be getting much use until December, if at all.” He faced Ben and said, “What I’m imagining is contrasting shirts that go with your shorts and jeans. Khaki is light, so a dark brown or dark blue shirts works. Do you ever wear anything other than blue jeans?” “Generally not,” Ben answered, and pulled Graham to the closet. “I have this one pair of khaki cargo jeans and four pair of painter’s blue jeans.” Glancing through the closet, Graham also saw two pair of grey sweatpants and two navy blue sweatshirts. “Those are for P.E.,” Ben offered. “The last three years, I’ve had P.E. first or second period.” “Chilly mornings,” Graham nodded. “First period P.E. sucks. Who wants to function and move at eight in the morning?” Graham teased, “You didn’t know about the phases. Three days in a row, I had you fully functional right after we woke.” Blushing and giggling, Ben pulled the last two sport shirts out of his closet and held them up against his body, waiting for Graham’s opinion. Taking the brown long-sleeve shirt and tossing it to the ‘discard’ pile, Graham prompted, “Try that sky blue one on.” Pulling the shirt on, Ben smiled, “You have a lot of clothes, and a much larger closet.” Graham nodded, “I need to do this same chore with you later this week. I’ll bet half the stuff in my closet and dresser doesn’t fit any more.” He walked around Ben and scowled then pulled at the shirt shoulders and asked, “Does it feel tight?” Ben shrugged, “A little, but not too bad,” and began buttoning up. He left the collar button and the next one down undone, the way Graham liked it. Graham nodded, “Keep that one, but if your shoulders or chest grow, it’s gonna be too tight. Nobody’s gettin’ to scope out my teddy bear for free, unless I say so.” Ben giggled, “So Eddie get’s free scoping rights?” Graham nodded and chuckled, “All your friends and mine do, automatically.” “Why?” “In the pool today, I was proud as hell, Ben. It was couples and one straight girl. I did everything except come right out and say, ‘Check out my boyfriend. Is that a hunky bod, or what? Underneath is so much sensitivity and warmth.’” Taking the shirt off, Ben giggled, “So you were showing me off?” Graham nodded, “As much as I could.” Taking the shirt from Ben, Graham took it to the pile of shirts to be kept. Noticing the ‘discard’ pile was larger, he started counting the ‘keep’ pile. He hummed then smirked, “Six T-shirts and five sport shorts. That’s barely a wardrobe for a week.” Pulling Ben close, Graham smiled, “As soon as I have wheels, we’re going shopping for a few extras.” Ben sighed and smiled, “Please don’t spend your money on me, Graham.” Graham grinned, “Just a few extras, teddy bear; maybe fifty bucks, two or three Tees and a sport shirt. It’s for me as much as it is for you. You’re gonna be spending half your time at my house, so you need some clothes there.” Ben asked, “Did you buy clothes for Francis too?” “All the time,” Graham assured. “If he liked it, he got it; sometimes immediately; sometimes as presents. Later this month, we’ll go school clothes shopping with our friends, like we planned.” Beginning to hang things up and load his closest again, Ben smiled, “Do you wanna start our walk early?” “Shirtless,” Graham nodded. “It’s warmer here than in Woodland Hills.” “You know I usually keep a shirt on?” “I figured that.” “What about free scoping rights?” Taking his shirt off, Graham chuckled, “Two for the price of one.” Ben whimpered then giggled. At Black Angus, Randy was at the dishwasher emptying buckets with Mike and Derrick. Randy grumbled, “I’ve seen Prez hurry across the dining rooms three times and wind up with Keith. I’ve seen Keith hurrying four times for Prez. It’s not even eight o’clock.” Derrick nodded and grinned, “They’re making sure you know, dude.” “They don’t usually show off like this,” Mike sniggered. “Keith shows off Prez when he feels safe,” Derrick explained. “They both feel safe with you.” Mike nodded and softly reminded, “You showed last weekend and none of us expected it. I think this is how they’re trying to even the scale.” Rinsing his bucket, Derrick grinned, “Mike and I can show you way more than white butts. It’s nothing sexual, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, just the same.” When Randy moved near the sink and closer to Derrick, the water faucet seemed to turn itself off. Randy’s head lowered and he carefully spied the faucet then smiled up at Derrick and the water faucet turned itself back on. Randy softly chuckled, “How in the hell?” Derrick smiled, “I trust you too,” and took his bucket back to the dining room. Rinsing his bus bucket, Randy turned to Mike. “You’re safer with us than you know, dude,” Mike smiled. “When things are less crazed here, I’ll show you another little something.” “Jedi mind tricks?” Randy grinned, and pointed the nozzle at Mike’s bus bucket to rinse it out. “More like mind over matter,” Mike softly smiled. “We were taught to be examples. It’s up to you, and everyone else, whether to pay attention or not. Our goal is to have less drama in our lives. That’s all anyone really wants, isn’t it?” Wanting to take a dip in the pool, Drew and Corey walked across town to the Seavers’ home. Surprised to see them, Lanna asked, “Did you have a good time in Agoura Hills?” “It was awesome, mom,” Corey giggled. Drew nodded and added, “Sort of a sneak peek into the future. We had it easy, taking care of Rush while the older dudes cleaned the house.” Firmly gripping Corey’s and Drew’s shoulders, Bill asked, “Brian and Pete had a good time too?” Corey smiled, “They had a great time. We saw Saving Private Ryan and There’s Something About Mary, last weekend.” He giggled, “Knott’s Berry Farm was a blast too.” Rolling his eyes, Drew softly sniggered. Corey laughed, “I think Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday amounted to real quality time, all eight of us doing everything together. I was sad to have to say goodbye.” Drew reminded, “They’ll call my cell or send an e-mail, Cor.” “They should be home by now,” Corey scowled. “Let’s check your e-mail,” Drew suggested. Corey nodded, took Drew’s hand and started for his room. Glancing back at the Seavers, Drew smiled, “We’re staying the night too, by the way.” Entering Corey’s room, Drew called, “Cor?” Corey responded, “Yeah?” and released Drew’s hand to go to his computer. Drew closed the door and assured, “They’re fine, angel.” Corey nodded, “That’s all I need to know,” and powered up his PC. “You know it was a week ago that you woke wrapped up in mine and Brian’s arms?” Corey giggled, “Yep.” Sitting on the edge of Corey’s bed, Drew teased, “You went from barely liking Brian to missing him.” Turning in his desk chair, Corey giggled, “So? I went from liking to loving you in less time, two or three days.” Facing his computer to start the dial-up connection, Corey joked, “I’m carrying your baby.” Drew laughed, “We wish. The doc said it can’t happen, but later tonight, my legs are in the air.” Shaking his head, Corey giggled, “I think I’d rather your butt was in the air.” “You like it that way now, huh?” Checking his e-mail, Corey nodded, “Because you do, stud. Twice you got off without being touched.” He paused then giggled, “Here it is. They’re home, and took their time driving.” Drew got up to look over Corey’s shoulder. “They stopped for one last dinner alone tonight. Brian wanted barbeque. He asked Prez for some pictures of Willy’s.” Corey closed the e-mail. Among the other e-mails, Drew grinned, “See those from PAOB? That’s Prez’s e-mail.” “Omigod!” Corey giggled. He opened the first one and found several JPG attachments. Sitting down on the bed, Drew shook his head and chuckled, “I’ve seen Keith naked more than enough.” Waiting for the first photo to load, Corey giggled, “If you get a nice treasure trail like Keith’s, we’re flunking out of high school.” Drew groaned through his giggles. The picture loaded and Corey loudly said, “It’s not Keith. It’s the photos of us with Brian and Pete from Thursday night. Prez promised to burn a CD with all the pictures and give me a copy.” Corey saved all the pictures in the first e-mail then opened the second e-mail. He shouted, “YES! It’s the two songs you sang, Drew.” He started downloading the two songs then hurried to his bedroom door and called his parents to come listen. When his folks came in the room, Corey told them about the two songs Drew sang that Mike and Derrick recorded. He also said that Drew would be singing Against All Odds at the concert in Agoura Hills then played the MP3 of Without Her, explaining that Pete was backing up Drew. WinAmp loaded to play the tune. A few moments into the song, Lanna smiled, “You sing too, Drew?” “I should’ve kept my mouth shut,” Drew giggled, and fell back on Corey’s bed, covering his face with his hands for the first time in almost a month. Attempting to relieve Drew’s embarrassment, Bill chuckled, “Pete sings very well too.” “That was recorded last Wednesday,” Corey smiled, “right after they got back from Yosemite.” Soon after the first song finished playing, the second song had downloaded and Corey played it. Bill laughed, “I haven’t heard this in years.” Lanna grinned, “Because I hid the record.” “And my vocals still suck,” Drew smirked. “No, it doesn’t,” three voices disagreed. Bill smiled, “It’s a different kind of song. Actually singing it, like you did the ballad, would sound wrong.” Corey nodded and giggled, “This is what Mike wanted. Which reminds me, I know what to get Drew for his birthday, if I can wait that long.” “Corey!” Drew incredulously laughed. He sat up and giggled, “I’m going out to the pool,” and then left the room. Lanna wondered, “What is it that he wants?” “It’s what I want him to have,” Corey devilishly grinned. Bill smiled, “I’m listening.” Corey asked, “Can we get him a PC?” He quickly explained, “His is old and won’t run Windows 98. With all the writing he does for the school newspaper, he needs a better one.” Lanna nodded and asked, “Is there anything else?” Corey stood and whispered in his mom’s ear, “Calvin Klein briefs.” “You are evil,” Lanna giggled, and Corey cracked up. Entering Chumash Park with Graham, Ben softly admitted, “I have a few questions that will probably remind you of Francis, but I have to ask you about it.” Graham nodded, “Before you ask, let me tell you, I love talking about him with you, Ben. There’s stuff I’m telling you that I would never tell anyone else. I told myself to stop comparing him to you, and for the most part I’m succeeding. Don’t feel bad about it, okay?” Ben sighed, “I just feel like I’m not helping when I bring him up.” “It’s very much the opposite. What did you want to know?” “A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with Mike, Prez, Derrick and Keith,” Ben began, and then giggled, “I still can’t believe it, but they were asking me how I’d like to be, in a relationship. I told them the same thing I told you; how can I choose top or bottom when I’m totally clueless about both.” “Cool,” Graham chuckled. Ben giggled, “So, I learned that sometimes couples get carried away making love, to the point where their buttholes and dicks hurt.” Graham roared and then nodded, “With Francis, it only happened once, during the holiday break. It was a rainy day and we stayed inside.” Ben confirmed, “Because sleepovers were rare?” Graham nodded, “Don’t be scared, teddy bear. It’s not ever so bad that we’ll wish we hadn’t made love.” “That’s what they told me too; that it’s like reminders.” “I love talking about sex with you. It’s another thing that makes us way different than me and Francis. We didn’t know better and went for it without thinking a whole lot. To some extent, we’ll be like that too, but we’ve been talking and going through the motions. Do you still feel like you might crush me?” Ben smiled, “A lot less now.” “Fifteen pounds doesn’t amount to anything. Fifty pounds would be a different story. I love seeing you and touching you, Ben; you’re my cuddly teddy, and then a switch gets flipped to sex crazed grizzly. I really love both a lot.” “Are there ways that intercourse might hurt?” “Yes and no,” Graham admitted. “Remember, it was rushed a lot with Francis. We’d race home from school and go for it quickly. No matter how hot and horny we might be, ya just can’t push in and go crazy, ya know? Some foreplay seems to be required, to relax the sphincter and slow down enough so you’re not just jamming in deep all at once. Just do what I do at first. I promise you, I’ll make your first time the best I can. I know you well enough to know that you won’t be rough until I make you go into grizzly mode.” Ben giggled, “You couldn’t make yourself sound a little less thrilled, could you?” Pausing and facing Ben, Graham smiled, “I’m hard as a rock. Are you?” Blushing and nodding, Ben giggled, “Pretty much.” Graham contentedly sighed, “I love all of this, teddy bear; time to talk, time to make love, time to talk about making love; there hasn’t been a single moment that I haven’t been with you in heart, body and mind. Even when I get sad, you’re right there.” Ben shrugged, “You wanted a special friend. If I ever fail to be that for you, I think everybody will know how disappointed I’ll feel. I want to hear about all your daydreams, Graham.” “Some are silly and plain dumb,” Graham smiled. Ben softly prodded, “Like?” Starting to walk again, Graham reached for Ben’s hand and shared, “Like getting a Firebird or any sports car; it’s out of the question and I won’t even ask, but I’d like that kind of car. Like building a house, right here in this park, so I could live here with you.” Ben giggled. Graham widely smiled, “I’ve only just begun. I want three life size images of you; one with clothes and the other two without; one with you limp and the other erect.” Ben laughed, “What for?” “For when you’re not around,” Graham grinned, “The one with clothes comes everywhere I need to be where you can’t be. You must know what the two naked ones are for.” Ben cackled, “You wouldn’t!” “Yes I would,” Graham evilly snickered, “every night you’re not with me, another splotch on one of those two pictures.” Noticing Ben shaking his head, Graham laughed, “Okay, here we go again; the things I love about you are; your voice, your face, your eyes, your birth mark is right behind your left ear, mostly covered by your hair, your shoulders, your chest is simply yummy, your belly button, the awesome treasure trail leading down to your dickie, the dickie I love to see limp and erect, the dickie I love to play with and make really hard…” “Graham!” Ben howled. “Keep blushing, teddy bear. Now I’ll get to your nads; also just perfect, they hang nice, the right nut a little lower than the left, they’re hairy enough, but not too hairy; which is exactly what I’ll say about your ass; a nice hairy crack, but the cheeks are mostly smooth and hairless.” Seeing Ben still beet red, Graham giggled “Your back, buns and thighs are so strong that you can lift me without even trying. There’s more hair on the back of your thighs than the front. That’s totally rad. Your lower legs are totally yummy too. When we’re in a sixty-nine blowing each other, my hands are all over your thighs and legs. And you have some hairs sprouting on the top of your feet! I love that. I’ve seen all of you there is to see. The only part of you that’s not a hundred percent perfect are your itty-bitty little baby toes. They curl all the time. Maybe that’s because of me though, I keep making all your toes curl.” Ben giggled, “Are you done?” “For now,” Graham triumphantly grinned, “until the next time I have to prove to you that I choose you; all of you.” Ben nodded and smiled; “Now I get to embarrass you.” “You can try.” Stopping and standing before Graham, at the furthest and most private area of the park, Ben wrapped his arms around him and sucked on a tasty earlobe. Graham soon shivered and moaned. Ben whispered, “This one part of you that you don’t like, I love a lot. Everything you mentioned about me, I love about you, plus your ears.” Withering, Graham giggled, “I forgot to mention your ears.” “Yeah, ya did. Anybody that made fun of your ears got it all wrong. Look what happens when I give them a little attention.” Graham giggled, “I turn to liquid.” “Most of you turns into liquid,” Ben softly giggled. “We’re gonna make big messes in our shorts again.” “Not tonight,” Ben corrected. He placed a tender kiss on Graham’s neck then swiftly stepped back, bent in half and hoisted Graham over his shoulder then started walking. Graham roared, “BEN! WHERE ARE WE GOING?” “Back to my room, so I can play with your dickie. If it’s still hard when we get there, I’ll wait for it to get soft, and then I’ll make it hard again. We have two hours before we have to go to Doug’s place and prevent two murders. How many times do you think you’ll get hard and soft before I finish you off?” “Omigod,” Graham cackled, “I did it again!” He started pressing spots on Ben’s back and giggling, “Where is that teddy bear button?” “It’s disabled now,” Ben giggled. Hanging off Ben’s shoulder, Graham wondered, “How did I press it in the first place?” “By describing what you love about me,” Ben giggled. “I don’t see me when you do that; I see you; your smooth muscular chest; your thinner but equally awesome treasure trail; your handsome dickie. By the way, silly graham cracker, your dickie hangs real nice and is even more beautiful hard. I didn’t care if my boyfriend had a cut or uncut dickie, but I’m very happy you’re uncut.” “Why?” Cackling evilly, Ben admitted, “Now I know exactly what to do to make you crazy because you’re just like me.” Graham cracked up. Ben grinned, “To make matters worse, you insisted we go for a walk shirtless. I didn’t need to imagine anything; everything was right there for me to see, except your dickie. I’ll have that uncovered in a couple o’ minutes.” With nowhere else to put his hands, Graham stuffed them in Ben’s back pockets and rubbed the ass he loved so much. Ben giggled, “That’s not helping.” Keeping his hands in the pockets, but quitting the rubbing, Graham giggled “When will I get my teddy bear back?” Ben hummed then grinned, “After you shoot in my mouth. That could do it, but it might take two loads.” Barely believing the things Ben was saying, Graham giggled, “Put me down?” Ben flatly stated, “Nope.” Graham sniggered, “What if I promised to go directly to your room?” After thinking about it a few moments, Ben giggled, “Without me chasing you there?” Howling with laughter, Graham thought, ‘Damn! He’s knows me very well.’ Ben giggled, “I thought not.” Nearing the upside down street, Graham giggled, “What about your mom; what will you say?” “I won’t need to say a thing. She already saw us playing on the couch; she heard me screaming your name and you screaming mine.” In their kitchen and cleaning the dinner mess, Brian and Doug saw Ben carrying Graham across the park. The two men glanced at each other. Brian dried his hands, went to the pantry and knelt down to get the unopened bottle of Jack Daniels. They knew it wouldn’t help, but in a thick New Jersey accent, Doug assured, “Couldn’t hurt.” Walking into his house with Graham still hanging over his shoulder, Ben found his mom in the living room and saw her mouth drop open. As Ben carried his boyfriend toward the bedroom, Graham waved and giggled, “Hi Mrs. Healy. Bye Mrs. Healy.” Both boys cracked up before Ben closed and locked his bedroom door. Ben dropped Graham on the bed then turned the stereo on. Pushing his shorts and boxers down at once, Ben then reached for Graham’s shorts and boxer-briefs. Not fighting in the least, Graham lifted his ass off the mattress and smiled, “Hi grizzly bear.” Ben sighed, “Do you have any idea how much I love you?” and dropped Graham’s clothes. Graham nodded, “With every cell and fiber in your body, just like how much I love you too.” Crawling on the bed beside Graham, Ben wondered, “When I was carrying you, why didn’t you struggle?” “First of all, I loved it,” Graham admitted. “Secondly, I thought you’d get tired and put me down.” He stroked the shoulder that he had been flung onto and asked, “You’re alright?” Ben nodded then gave a tender ‘thank you’ kiss. He grinned, “Let’s go real slow, puddin’.” Graham smiled, “We’ll warn each other, before it’s too late,” and shifted around. With their legs spread, they began caressing one another. Graham softly sighed, “You’re gorgeous. I can barely wait for you to slide into me. I keep reminding myself, don’t rush or screw this up.” Only stroking Graham’s bone with a single finger, up and down the length and around the sides, Ben smiled, “I want to with you too. I just hope I’m ready.” Reproducing what Ben was doing to him, Graham smiled, “I’m pretty sure you are. When I used the toy on you earlier, you took a lot and loved it. My dickie won’t feel like that toy. I think you’ll like it more.” “I know I will,” Ben assured, and then let his tongue do what his fingers had been doing. Graham followed Ben’s lead. As intended and promised, Ben and Graham took their time and enjoyed each other; remarks were made about their private parts and regarding anal sex when their mouths weren’t stuffed. They warned each other to prevent orgasms. When they were ready to finish, wet fingers slid into their buttholes. Graham wanted Ben to tell him when he had found his prostate. Words escaped Ben completely; all he could do was softly moan approval. Judging by a dollop of pre-cum, Graham was certain his had found the spot and would remember it in the future. Soon, both were grunting, humming and whimpering. Ben stiffened and backed off Graham’s cock, leaving only the exposed head in his mouth. Having achieved his goal, Graham’s stopped massaging Ben’s prostate and kept swallowing. Graham’s finger slid gracefully out of Ben’s butt, and he began softly chortling while insuring Ben was cleaned up. Hearing Graham, the grizzly bear awoke and went berserk. All Graham did was giggle at his partner’s aggressiveness until the final moments. Turning around and lying beside Ben in an orgasmic stupor, Graham sighed, “You’re amazing.” Cuddling up to Graham, Ben giggled, “The grizzly got what he wanted.” Wrapping Ben in his left arm, Graham planted a kiss on Ben’s head and grinned, “I have to learn where the grizzly button is. I know all I need to do is tease and joke around, but sometimes it doesn’t take a lot.” Ben giggled, “Do you want a clue or to figure it out on your own?” Graham prompted, “Only a clue.” “Think about it, in your kitchen versus out in the park.” Graham muttered, “Private and public; naked and dressed.” Ben giggled, “Very good. Compare what happens when we’re alone and naked versus in public and dressed.” Seeing the light, Graham chuckled, “Now I get it.” “There’s no hiding how aroused I’m getting alone and naked. Breathing on the button is enough. Dressed and in public, it takes a few button presses.” “This is gonna be fun!” Ben giggled, “After making messes last night, I didn’t want to repeat crusty underwear and sludged up dickies.” “So you picked my ass up and carried me back to your lair.” Ben nodded, “Walking in with wet shorts would be strike one. Going into the bathroom to wash our dickies is strike two. Stepping out of my room in different clothes is strike three. Mom could’ve said anything at any point.” “You’re good, in bed and out.” Ben giggled, “Are you looking for more?” Shaking his head, Graham squeezed Ben tight and assured, “I’ve got all I need.” Over at the Seavers’ home, Corey returned to his room and Drew. “What did your folks want?” Drew innocently asked. Climbing onto the bed, beside where Drew was kicked back and lounging, Corey placed a dozen kisses around his hubby’s belly and chest before landing a deep one on the mouth. Drew smiled, “That was real nice, angel.” Corey giggled, “I’m buttering you up, can ya tell?” “Uh oh,” Drew smirked. “Spill it.” Flopping down and resting his head on Drew’s chest, Corey contentedly sighed, “I love you, Drew.” “I love you too, Cor. That won’t change, no matter what; even after you eventually tell me your parents’ wanted.” Looking up into Drew’s eyes, Corey smiled, “It’s because I love you and they love you too.” Drew chuckled, “You are so bad. In ten seconds I start tickling it out of you.” Corey giggled, “It’s a secret, so forget counting and tickling. I’ll lie like a rug.” “Ten.” “No.” “Nine.” “Hell no.” “Eight.” “Forget it, stud.” “You want to tell me.” “I do, but I’d like you to be surprised.” Drew gasped, “Corey Seaver, you didn’t.” “I did and they’re very ready. They were looking for something special anyway.” Drew softly grumbled, “I don’t want a reminder of those days, Cor.” Corey seriously said, “Don’t think of it that way. I told them already how you didn’t want a reminder. The fact is, those days made big differences. To us, they’ve past and things are awesome now, right?” Drew sighed, “Right.” “When you get it on your birthday, don’t think of those days; think of everyday since. Think of it as a present from your in-laws. My present to you is exactly what I said it would be. Your butt doesn’t belong in boxers. It belongs to me, in C.K. briefs.” Through his giggles, Drew groaned, “You’re killin’ me, Cor.” Corey giggled, “Contractions, already?” Drew laughed, “The decision’s already made?” Corey shrugged, “Exactly which brand hasn’t been decided; I was helping them with the brand. You need it; you definitely deserve it, so forget about early July.” He giggled, “Think of our babies instead.” Rolling over onto Corey and tickling his ribs, Drew sniggered, “That’s what I’m getting you for your birthday; a crib, a stroller, a few pacifiers, mostly for you, a changing table and a baby girl doll that cries and wets.” Turning red, Corey laughed, “I’ll need a really big pacifier with a girl doll!” “Back to North Hollywood we go. They’ve got boy dolls with huge pacifiers.” “Don’t forget the handcuffs and whip!” At eleven o’clock, Ben and Graham went to Doug’s and Brian’s house. Having done two shots of J.D. and had two beers each, Doug and Brian weren’t drunk, but were obviously feeling little pain. Waving Ben and Graham inside, Brian chuckled, “Ben Healy, this year’s WWF champion, carrying his boyfriend across Chumash Park.” In an instant, Ben flushed bright pink and started giggling. Facing Ben and pulling him close to hide his blushing face, Graham laughed, “I was being bad and Ben called me on my shit.” Doug sniggered, “How were you bad, Graham?” Graham smiled, “Remember what I said last night; we’re waiting for intercourse?” When Brian and Doug nodded, Graham grinned, “Ben has questions about intercourse. I’m answering each as they’re shared, the best I can. We’re both anxious to make love that way, but my teddy bear keeps dropping these subtle hints, that he’s not attractive enough. I told him again why he’s wrong. What I hadn’t realized was that I was repeatedly poking the grizzly bear button. Believe me; I was surprised that he carried my heavy ass all the way across the park. I loved it though.” Looking up slightly, Ben glanced at both men and asked, “Can I ask a stupid personal question?” Doug nodded and Brian smiled, “Go right ahead.” Ben admitted, “This is just me being a dumb virgin, okay? I’m still nervous lying on Graham. I’d much rather he laid on me, because I’m heavier than he is.” Holding a hand up, Doug signaled a pause and offered, “I see where this is leading already.” “We were talking about this with Gil, Drew and Corey at rehearsal today,” Graham smiled. “The two of you were mentioned in that chat.” Brian nodded, “For obvious reasons; I’m six-feet and two-inches tall, a hundred-eighty pounds. Doug is five-nine and a hundred-seventy pounds.” “Try and picture us, as we were fifteen years ago,” Doug prompted, and went to the living room. Kneeling down at the end table, he said, “We’re both only a little heavier now than we were then.” Leading the boys into the living room, Brian asked, “Of the two of us, who do you think is most aggressive in the bedroom?” Taking a seat on the sofa with Graham, Ben giggled, “Doug, it has to be.” Both men shook their heads. Almost simultaneously, Ben and Graham giggled, “Really?” Brian nodded and grinned, “At least four of five times, it’s me.” Standing with two photo albums, Doug smiled, “This is one of those things that has nothing to do with society; it’s us, gay men, deciding how and where we want to be.” He placed the photo albums down on the coffee table then instructed, “The first big barrier is breaking through gender roles. Get used to it right now, those roles are pointless. Brian starts me up, but then takes bottom four out of five times, sometimes for weeks or months at a time.” Ben opened the top photo album. Graham nodded, “That’s like how Francis and I were. I was top for a while, and then he was. He was about fifteen or twenty pounds lighter and an inch or so shorter than me.” Doug sat next to Ben and patted his thigh, grinning, “You’re body type is just like mine. You can be whatever you want for Graham. Brian’s height difference doesn’t affect me, as a matter of fact; it’s one of the things that first attracted me to him.” Sitting beside Graham, Brian opened the photo album and shared, “Those pictures were taken around 1982. We’d been a couple one year at that point and were still in the Air Force. Most of those other dudes in the photos had no idea we were a couple.” Graham flipped a page then grinned at both older men. They hadn’t changed much; the clothing styles had, but the two men were virtually the same. Another page was flipped. Ben and Graham started giggling. Doug had a beard and Brian had a Fu Man Chu mustache. Doug smiled, “New Year’s Eve, 1983. We were out of the Air Force, letting our hair grow and putting a band together.” “I was hardly a musician back then,” Brian fondly recalled. “I had Doug teaching me guitar and keyboards.” Ben looked over and smiled, “Now you’re the one teaching keyboards.” “Brian got better at keyboards faster than guitar,” Doug shared. Another page of the photo album was flipped. Ben and Graham howled laughing. In a thick Irish brogue, Doug smiled, “Saint Valentine’s Day, 1984.” Graham looked over at Brian, chuckling “Nice devil outfit, dude.” Covering his eyes, Ben squealed, “There’s no front at all!” Graham evilly grinned, “A little excited there, it seems?” Pointing at Doug, Brian chortled, “There was a cherub in a diaper taking the picture.” Doug shared, “That’s Brian in his normal flaccid state. He shows, six inches to about seven and a half, when erect.” “Sorry,” Ben giggled, “and the point of the pictures is?” Doug prodded, “What do you see, in our past and in the present.” “Two dudes,” Graham smiled. “That’s not easy to miss,” Ben giggled. Brian smiled, “That’s precisely the point. At first, I felt bad being bottom most of the time. It’s what I wanted and what Doug wanted, but the lurking self-accusation was that I was more effeminate.” He turned to Doug and prompted, “Tell them what happened.” Doug smirked, “I had to start a fight with Brian. Not a simple argument either; I purposefully pushed him to use his fists. I made it clear that I didn’t see him as effeminate at all. Three years together was about to explode in fury the summer of 1984. I wanted a man and had one that I fiercely loved. Several bruises later and for the next few weeks, I was almost constantly on bottom, because I don’t see him or any gay couple, as one more butch and one more effeminate. When I’m bottom, I’m still making love with the man I love.” Brian instructed, “Do not go there; which of you winds up being bottom more is completely irrelevant everywhere except in private. I wanted a man too, not a woman pleasuring me with a dildo, but a man, one that knew me as well or better than I knew myself.” Slowly flipping more pages, Graham wondered, “Nothing from 1986?” “That was the year we lived apart,” Doug explained. “Drugs were the root cause. The band broke up because of drugs. We needed to be apart to clean up our personal acts, but still spent a lot of time together.” Brian sighed, “It was important, but such a waste of time and money. When our leases were up, we moved back together again. What we’re trying to say, and show you both, is exactly what we already shared with Mike and Derrick; being together takes choices, determination and perseverance. Petty differences can be worked out, if you’re willing to make the effort.” Doug patted Ben’s back and smiled, “Try not to worry about anal sex, it seems important now, but you’ll soon find out how little it matters in the grand scheme of things. You can play any role you want, and we’ve witnessed it already.” Graham nodded and grinned at Ben, “Here sits my teddy bear. The grizzly bear picked my ass up and carried me to his lair.” “It’s that simple?” Ben confirmed. Brian and Doug nodded. “When you’re in mellow teddy bear mode, I’ll willing lead and take top,” Graham promised. “When you’re in grizzly mode, I’ll be on bottom, just as quickly.” Ben sighed then asked Graham, “What if I wind up being top more than you?” Graham assured, “It doesn’t matter, Ben. What matters most to me is keeping you with me. A lot of dreams and hopes were destroyed one night while I slept in a car. That’s my biggest fear; losing you and all my dreams permanently. I was very lucky to find you. Luck like that probably doesn’t happen twice in a lifetime.” Outside Black Angus, five busboys gathered in the parking lot. Randy grinned, “I lost and I will pay up.” Prez smiled, “Keep yer drawers on, bud.” Keith nodded, “Knowing you would pay up is all that matters.” “You and I have worked well together a long time,” Derrick reminded Randy. “It took all four of us to get this tight with you.” Mike grinned, “We’re attracted to you, even though we know there’s little chance of you switching sides. Since you didn’t show for the party Wednesday, I guess Teresa had better plans?” Randy chuckled, “Better is subject to interpretation, I guess. I was where I wanted to be, with her, but I’ll be honest, I really wanted to go to the party. If I had known one gay dude, in high school, like any of you four, things might be different.” Prez scowled and prodded, “What are you saying, Randy?” Randy shrugged, “I’m just as attracted to all four of you. Like I said, maybe things would’ve worked out differently, if I had met a gay dude like any of you. It’s taken most of the summer for me to acknowledge it, but I would spend a night skinny dippin’ with you dudes.” Keith softly asked, “And what about Teresa?” “We’re very close and talking about future possibilities,” Randy shared. “We went to see a movie Wednesday; What Dreams May Come, with Robin Williams. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but T.C. loved it.” He scowled and sighed, “Maybe it’s just me, sowin’ wild oats, to make sure I’m where I want to be in the long run.” He evilly grinned, “I’m not fantasizing about any one of you, but time spent with all four of you makes me horny as hell.” All five cracked up. Mike laughed, “We have that effect on people. It’s not intentional, but Brian and Pete went back home, changed forever.” Prez nodded and chuckled, “Now they’re keeping their eyes open for friends they might be able to get close to.” Derrick suggested, “Take the rest of the summer. If you decide you want to risk it, let us know and we’ll setup a private skinny dipping party. That’ll leave us free to be couples and you free to choose what you want.” “There’s one problem,” Randy sniggered, and quickly added, “You’re all already spoken for. Regardless of doing anything with either couple or all four at once, by showing up I’ve already decided something that I would ultimately have to act on.” Keith wondered, “Of all the dudes at our rehearsals, which one are you most attracted to?” “There’s not one,” Randy quickly admitted. “If given a chance, I would wander off alone with any of the dudes that’ve been there. Include Jessy in that too. For the first time I’m seeing beyond skin color. She’s sweet.” “You’re bisexual dude,” Keith grinned. Prez smiled, “Instead of thinking about switching sides, maybe it’s time to talk with Teresa about it?” Mike nodded, “If it’s already really good, then she’ll be willing to do what you need her to do.” Derrick added, “If she’s not willing, then she’s not as right for you as you think.” Firmly gripping Randy’s shoulder, Keith suggested, “Think about it and talk with Teresa. If you’d like to see and talk about how gay couples are, then we’ll set it up.” Keith checked with Prez, Derrick and Mike, suggesting, “Maybe time with couples and all four of us at once?” Mike, Derrick and Prez agreed. Nodding, Randy smiled, “Thanks dudes.” Starting for his car, Randy soon spun around and chuckled, “You did it again, dammit!” He tugged at the front of his black slacks and all five roared laughing. Randy hurried to his car and soon backed out. He waved and started out of the parking lot. Prez checked with Keith, Derrick and Mike; “I’m getting no gaydar pings at all, are you?” Keith rapidly shook his head and so did Derrick. Mike shook his head and smirked, “Just wishful thinking; he’s a hell of a great dude.” He checked with Derrick, “If he wanted to, with us?” Derrick shrugged, “I’d have to be in the right mood. Dildos and blow jobs is as far as it could go.” Keith told Prez, “Let’s give Randy the address for the store in North Hollyweird.” Nodding, Prez scowled, “I think I still have the receipt in my backpack.” Derrick and Mike gave Keith and Prez hugs then said goodnight. The two couples split into their vehicles and were soon pulling out to start the trip home. In the passenger seat, Derrick admitted, “I like Randy a lot, but he’s not Keith or Prez. I feel bad.” “I feel weird to,” Mike shared. “With Randy, it would be more for him than it would be for us. It was equal and shared with Keith and Prez. With Randy, it would be different.” “I wonder what it is about us that people see,” Derrick softly muttered. Mike offered, “When I look at Aaron, Danny, Craig and Glen, I see four dudes like us, four very close friends; any one of which would give their left nut for the other three. They all slept on the studio floor together.” Derrick nodded, “Danny’s not ready for sex with anyone other than Aaron, but that doesn’t matter; I could see in their eyes what I see in Keith’s and Prez’s. They completely love and trust each other.” In North Hollywood, Aaron, Danny, Craig and Glen were settling down for the night. Danny had run out and bought the Asia CD that afternoon. In Danny’s bedroom, it was playing for the tenth and final time that day. For the first time ever, Danny had given shoulder and back massages to Craig and Glen; something Aaron often received and raved about. It wasn’t planned, but Danny’s actions and recovery led the four of them beyond making out. By the dim light of the stereo, two couples made love on the blankets, pillows and sheets spread out on the floor of Danny’s room. All giggling and oral action came to a halt when Danny whispered, “Take me, Aaron.” Rolling himself and Danny over, Aaron lay on his back and prompted, “I’m for you to take, Dan. This way you have control.” “I want you to have control,” Danny shared. Aaron pledged, “If it’s good, and you want, I promise to take control in the morning.” Hovering over Glen, Craig smiled, “It’s a good first step, Danny. As awesome as today’s been, give away control a little at a time.” Danny giggled, “That’s how fantastic I’ve felt all day; I could give it all away now.” Craig lubed his butt and Glen’s erection then passed the bottle to Danny, saying “We’ll do it together, bro.” Taking the bottle and making the preparations, Danny playfully warned Aaron, “Guaranteed, my legs or my ass is in the air at sunrise; maybe both.” All four helplessly cracked up. Without waiting for the laughter to dwindle, Danny lowered down onto Aaron. Stiffening at the unexpected sensation, so he didn’t slam up into Danny, Aaron groaned, “Omigod Dan!” “What? Did I hurt you?” Shaking his head, Aaron smiled, “You took me all at once. You’re not giving me a chance.” Craig and Glen chuckled. Danny giggled, “You’ve been my boyfriend and willing bottom for eight months. It’s my turn. Maybe eight months from now, I’ll try topping for you again.” Enthusiastically, Danny rode Aaron. Immediately, Aaron was growling and Danny was chanting. It was a completely different experience than what his father had made him expect. Intercourse with desire and love was not the same as when it was forced. Only a few feet away and barely a minute later, Craig and Glen loudly shushed their friends. Barely controlling the sound of his voice, Glen laughed, “Your mom, Danny.” “I have a mother?” Danny giggled. All four busted up laughing. Patting Danny’s shoulder, Craig giggled, “Lean down to Aaron so you can keep each other quiet.” He demonstrated and leaned down to kiss Glen. This variation of the position allowed Glen and Aaron to take over, however it didn’t keep Aaron or Danny much quieter. Soon they were chanting again, promising undying love and lifelong partnerships. The CD ended, and thankfully Danny soon climaxed then Aaron did too. At least they were breathlessly recovering and allowing Craig and Glen to finish. With their grimy white work shirts already off and in their hands, Mike and Derrick walked into Doug’s and Brian’s home about quarter-of-midnight. Strangely, the house was completely dark and the master bedroom door was closed. Following Mike into the guest bedroom, Derrick whispered, “Jet lag?” Mike shrugged and softly offered, “Maybe they finally made use of the bong. Aaron and Danny added to what we had and there’s plenty.” They began to undress and Derrick sighed, “I was hoping to use the big shower tonight too; bummer.” Hunching over, they took off their grimy black work pants. Stealthily, Brian, Doug, Ben and Graham crept out of the master bedroom. Jumping into the room, Brian beaned Derrick with a glow-in-the-dark foam rubber light saber and Doug started repeatedly crowning Mike with his squeaky rubber mallet. Out in the hall, on opposite sides of the guest bedroom doorway, Ben and Graham played the ending stanzas of the 1812 Overture on kazoos. “What?” Mike loudly laughed. “What did we do?” Crowning Derrick a few times with his rubber mallet, Doug playfully growled, “How many fucking drum tracks on Hair of the Dog?” “Two pairs in stereo,” Derrick giggled, covering his head with his arms and trying to duck away. Repeatedly stabbing Mike with the light saber, Brian groused, “And how many goddamned guitar tracks?” “Two lead and six rhythm guitars,” Mike roared. Doug commanded, “Get out, into the studio, right now,” and crowned Mike and Derrick again, shoving them toward the open bedroom doorway, where Ben and Graham were standing, playing their kazoos and crookedly saluting with their left hands. Wearing only their boxers and passing their two friends in the hall, Mike and Derrick smirked, never expecting them to be in on such a devious plan. Ben broke into a giggling fit and Graham cracked up. “Now you get to do it again, smarty pants,” Brian ordered.
  7. TheEggman

    Chapter 26

    In the studio of Doug’s and Brian’s home in Agoura Hills, Glen’s watch alarm began beeping at eight in the morning. He woke his boyfriend, Craig, the usual way, by rubbing his butt and whispering his name. Craig groaned, “It’s morning already?” “Yep, I’m afraid so,” Glen grinned. Always a light sleeper, Aaron heard his friends and softly asked, “You dudes are takin’ off?” Glen smiled, “I have to work at nine. You’re relieving me at three. Are you staying?” Aaron hummed then grinned, “Yeah, we didn’t get to sleep until about three.” Rolling his head, Danny muttered past the pillow, “Another few hours rest, please?” Craig sleepily muttered, “There were noises last night. What did we miss?” Aaron smiled, “Graham’s sneezing fit.” Standing up to get dressed, Glen wondered, “Do you dudes believe that thing with Graham last night?” Leaning over, he started separating the pile of Craig’s and his own clothes. Aaron grinned, “My Grandma does something similar; she calls it ‘overlooks’, where she stands behind someone, pulls the bad vibes out and tosses ‘em away. Only this was the four of them and all the rest of us surrounding Graham.” Danny giggled, “I’m tellin’ the doc about this shit. Either I’m already takin’ too many meds or not enough.” Aaron nodded, “It was awesome and freaky at the same time. I’ll verify it really happened.” Danny smiled, “Aaron asked if they could do their thing for me too. I hope they will and it’s soon too.” Aaron assured, “We’ll be spending lots more time with these dudes, Danny. They’re a great band and lots cooler than we figured. According to Derrick and Mike, it’s like a healing thing they do. It worked for Ben, Corey and now Graham too. It’ll work for you.” Sliding his polo shirt over his head, Glen grinned, “Minus the dead dude speaking.” Pulling up his shorts and forcing his morning wood down, Craig smiled, “Saturday’s are good. We can make their rehearsals.” “We can’t do Sundays or Mondays too easily,” Aaron agreed. “We’d have to leave early or get there late.” “Oh dudes,” Danny excitedly cackled, “you should’ve seen Ben with Graham, during and after the sneezing fit.” “It’s so great; they’re completely lost in each other,” Aaron chuckled. “You can see it in their eyes.” Danny sighed, “In one night, Ben’s changed so much. I feel like he’s caught up with me.” Aaron shook his head and smirked, “Nope, don’t think so, not yet. We’ve been together way longer, first of all. With the dildo, we’re making great strides, don’t you think? They can’t be there already, could they; in one night? Besides, we have a longer history together.” Danny smiled, “You know that you can’t go to work until I get some more, right?” Pulling shirts over their heads, Craig and Glen evilly snickered. More to tease Craig and Glen, Aaron joked, “You might even get some here and now.” Danny whimpered. Craig giggled, “Give us two minutes to leave.” Rolling his eyes, Aaron sighed, “Who just exposed themselves to get dressed? We’ve seen each other naked at least a hundred times, not including P.E.” Glen nodded, “Keith, Prez, Derrick and Mike are in a place we’ve only dreamed of. When Danny’s ready, we can try having sex in front of each other.” Danny assured, “Soon, dudes. The facts are in my head, just not in my heart or dick yet.” Wrapping an arm around Danny, Aaron gently smiled, “I was teasing them, Dan. No one is rushing anything.” Fully dressed, Craig and Glen knelt down beside Danny. Craig whispered, “Who loves you?” Danny blushed, “Aaron and you two dudes.” Glen asked, “And what happens to pedophiles in the clink?” “Used, abused and tossed away, like the trash they are,” Danny recited. Aaron assured, “We’ve got your back, Dan.” “No one will ever mess with our best bud again,” Glen firmly stated. “If they survive Aaron, they’ve still gotta deal with me and Craig.” Inhaling deeply, Danny exhaled, nodded and smiled, “I love you dudes. I just want it in the past, ya know?” Three confirming affirmations were chanted and Danny was embraced and kissed by his lover and best friends. After a few peaceful moments, Craig checked with Glen, “All set?” Glen nodded, “Keys, wallet and you.” Standing, Craig smiled, “We’ll see you dudes later tonight. Locking eyes with Aaron and pointing at Danny, Glen grinned, “Therapy time.” “Oh, you know it,” Aaron smiled. Glen nodded and stood, saying, “Later.” “Lock the door, please?” Aaron instructed. Craig smiled, “No sweat,” and waited for Glen to step out of the room. He locked the door and closed it behind him. As they went down the hall, he whispered, “Let’s leave Derrick and Mike a note.” Pulling Danny down, Aaron began his therapy. Having met and spoke with Danny’s psychiatrist, Aaron had memorized pages of instructions over the prior months. He spoke with Danny as his lover and boyfriend; softly, reassuringly and intimately. Danny’s father had made Danny vulnerable and kept him that way; he had betrayed all parental trust that Danny should have had. Aaron’s biggest job was to correct that self image issue and make Danny understand that he was independent, strong and safe all the time. Weekly sessions with a professional, and daily sessions with Aaron, had Danny on the brink of full recovery. He simply could not be in a position of weakness. Aaron always kept Danny in control of everything sexual and then had to reassure him that he had never felt forced or out of control. The equal Aaron knew was there in Danny showed himself more and more in little ways. They fell asleep after oral sex, with Danny resting his head and most of his body on Aaron. They woke again about ten, dressed and then visited the bathroom. Brian, Pete, Corey and Drew were already awake, having bowls of cereal at the kitchen counter. Aaron and Danny took the sheets and pillow cases out to the dining area, left them on a chair, hugged all four and asked that their thanks for the party be passed along to Mike, Derrick, Keith and Prez. Aaron said they would definitely make Saturday rehearsals too. With assurances their messages would be passed, Aaron and Danny left for home. A few doors down the street, Graham was dreaming of Francis again. It was a different dream this time; not a nightmare of the accident, or a bandaged comatose partner, or of a casket and a grave. Graham felt a tickle on his neck. He spun around and there was Francis, appearing healthy, dressed normally, about ten yards away and laughing. “What’re you doin’, Beanie?” Graham chuckled. Francis shrugged and laughed, “Wasn’t me!” “Right,” Graham grinned. “It wasn’t,” Francis assured, and then pointed to Graham’s left. Only a few feet away stood Ben, blushing, giggling and rapidly shaking his head. Graham sniggered, “Did you tickle me, silly teddy bear?” Before Ben could answer, Graham felt a poke at his ribs. Spinning around again, Graham playfully told Francis, “Stop tickling me, Beanie!” Francis howled laughing, “I’m not tickling you, Honey Graham,” and he pointed at Ben again. Graham squinted, “Brrr-rrr?” Shrugging innocently, Ben giggled, “Grrr-rrr?” Suddenly goosed by something way bigger than a finger, Graham lurched and laughed, “Francis, you’re being an asshole!” Grabbing his belly with both arms, Francis nodded and roared, “It is not me, Graham! I’m gone, remember?” Graham giggled, “What’s going on, Beanie?” Francis smirked, “You’re going on, Graham.” Graham huffed, “Come on, dude; a little less cryptic. How’re ya doin’?” Francis giggled, “Omigod, you’re dumb sometimes. The more important question is how you’re doing.” Totally into playing the game, Graham chased after Francis, but never could close the distance between them. All Graham wanted was a simple answer to a simple question, but Francis was obviously in a playful mood. Francis was quick, but Graham had never had such a difficult time catching his boyfriend before. Graham stopped running and so did Francis. Leaning over slightly, with his hands on his knees, Francis panted, “You always were the best, Graham. Now that I’ve got your heart racing, think.” Graham chortled, “I’m thinking, Beanie, of spanking your ass.” Shaking his head and grunting negatively, Francis pointed at Ben. He asked, “Where are we, Graham?” “At a park,” Graham huffed. Francis mooed and teased, “You’re getting warm, Honey Graham. Which park?” “How the hell should I know?” Francis groaned and then giggled, “So much for getting warmer.” Graham playfully warned, “I’m gonna get ya for this, Beanie.” “I wish ya could, Honey Graham,” Francis smiled. He then held up an index finger and grinned, “This is Chumash Park in Agoura Hills. Okay, so you wandered around it all night in the dark. This is what it looks like in the daylight.” Francis then pointed at Ben and reminded, “He’s yours now. While I get to watch and make sure things go alright, you get to be with him. He’d try to bend steel railroad tracks for you, Graham. And ya know what?” “What?” “You’d do anything for him too, wouldn’t you?” Graham nodded and smiled, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I would.” Francis held up a second finger, saying, “Good. Now, remember where you are?” “With Ben?” “Yup. He’s breathing on your neck. It wasn’t me that tickled you, it was him. He flinched in his sleep and brushed your side, he didn’t mean to. Again, it was Ben, not me. And now for the grand finale, the goosing was Ben too, snuggling close with that fat bone of his. My cock sure ain’t that thick, you realize that too. Your cock was a little longer and a little thicker than mine. You never complained about my dick or anything else. I sure as hell had no reason to complain, and if my sources are correct, Ben thinks just as highly of your rod as I did.” Graham howled laughing, “Francis! You’re watching us sleep, ya perv?” Francis nodded, “It’s so cute too.” Holding up a third finger, Francis smiled, “I’ll be here when you need or want me, Honey Graham. You’re different, I’m different and Ben’s different too. You’re going on with Ben now. I’ll kick back and enjoy the show.” “So, what’s the point of this, Beanie?” Francis displayed the three fingers again with each word he spoke. “Ben is yours. You are Ben’s. I am gone. Get over it.” Dropping his hand, Francis smiled, “Get it?” Graham nodded, “Got it.” “What’re you gonna do now?” “What you told me to do.” Francis shrugged, “You want to anyway. I told you that it’s okay. Guilt sucks; it kept me in that damn hospital bed too fucking long; guilty about the accident, about leaving you, about leaving my family and this world. Thanks to you, I got to experience a lot in sixteen years, and especially the last year. Don’t ever feel guilty, Graham; about the accident, about my parents and definitely not about a boyfriend like Ben. It’s not easy for me to admit it, even now, but if there’s anyone on Earth more worthy of you than me, it’s Ben. I wish we didn’t have to hide so much, Graham. It wasn’t only my parents, it was me too; a lot of worries preventing me from doing so many simple things. It’ll be better soon, with Ben there’ll be a lot less hiding.” Appearing directly before Graham in an instant, Francis shoved his old boyfriend against Ben and giggled, “So make it okay, now!” Waking with a start, Graham hummed and thought, ‘He always was a goof.’ Ben whispered, “Are you alright?” Carefully rolling to face Ben, Graham grinned, “Weird dreams. At least it wasn’t a bad one.” “Wanna tell me about it?” Graham smiled, “You and Francis were playing with me, at the park. It seemed that he was tickling, poking and goosing me. He said it was you and I didn’t believe it. It really was you though.” Ben grinned, “You’re right, that is weird.” Graham glanced at the clock on Ben’s dresser. Seeing that it was only ten-fifteen, he smiled and asked, “Ya know what time it is?” Ben started to answer, “Ten…” and was promptly tickled. Flinching and brushing away Graham’s hands, Ben giggled. “It’s playtime, teddy bear,” Graham warned, and then bounced up and onto Ben, straddling his hips. With his hands flying from Ben’s neck to his belly, Graham chuckled, “It’s another thing boyfriends do; drive each other crazy, from morning until night.” Frantically trying to block Graham’s hands, Ben cringed and cackled, “Noooo!” “Oh, yes!” Graham sniggered, “I have to teach my teddy bear many lessons. This is the good morning lesson, which has at least three phases. Then there’s the bathroom lesson and another three or four phases. Even getting dressed has phases. You’ll love ‘em, I promise.” Ben loudly laughed, “Omigod! Phases? Graham? Stop! Oh God, please stop!” Graham did stop and lay down on Ben, wildly smiling, “That was the good morning tickle phase. Next is the good morning kiss phase.” He dove down for a passionate kiss before Ben had a chance to catch his breath or say a word about morning breath. It was a nice, long kiss that euphorically woke them both. Feeling Ben’s hands caressing his back, Graham broke the kiss and sighed, “Real nice.” “I used to wonder why boyfriends always seemed so happy,” Ben breathlessly huffed. “Now I know. There’s no choice.” “This is only the beginning. The next phase preps us for the bathroom phases.” “And that might be?” Graham began an exploratory mouthing of Ben’s neck and shoulder, intermittently mumbling, “This is the after-good-morning-kiss make-out phase.” Giggling through his whimpers, Ben repeated what he was feeling on Graham’s neck and shoulder. Ben quickly discovered getting into Graham’s neck while his own was being licked and nibbled wasn’t easy. The pattern was to move to Graham’s shoulder until he couldn’t bear to have his neck munched another second. That’s when they both giggled during the neck battles. After minutes of foreplay, Ben playfully wondered, “This is leading to which phase?” Without looking up, Graham replied, “We make love. Where’s your new toy?” and then got in a surprise nibble. Unable to hide the surprise in his voice, Ben sniggered, “You want to use it on me?” Shaking his head, Graham grinned, “You’re gonna use it on me. That way, we’ll both learn something.” Ben balked, “I’m not very, you know, experienced.” “I’m not sure how to use it either, Ben. So, we’ll take it slow and easy, like good morning sex should be. Cool?” “Cool. It’s in the bottom night table drawer, to my left; in a shoebox under some magazines.” Graham bounced off Ben and the bed, landing on his feet and then squatting down. He checked, “You’ve got lube too?” Rolling onto his side to watch, Ben hummed affirmatively then said, “In the same shoebox.” While Graham opened the drawer and removed the various old magazines, Ben cautiously called, “Graham?” “Yeah, teddy bear.” “You seem really happy.” “I am, with you.” Ben blushed and giggled, “You don’t know how glad I am to hear that.” Graham paused and turned to Ben, smiling, “Last night was awesome, Ben. I don’t say things like ‘I love you’ without thinking about it. I’m following my instincts as well. You want to go to lunch with your friends, right?” Ben nodded, “Right. “We have time to make love, shower, get dressed and do that. I’ll get to know them, which I haven’t really had the chance to do.” “You’re surprising me,” Ben gushed. “I didn’t expect you to want to make love last night. Now you want to do it again.” More gently, Ben prompted, “Tell me it’s what you want and not because… you think I want to or because you were hurt so badly.” Ignoring the quest for the moment, Graham knelt beside the bed and grabbed a quick kiss. He softly smiled, “You really don’t know how incredible you are or how awesome you just made me feel, do you?” Ben shook his head. While finger combing Ben’s hair, Graham grinned, “I’m playing with you because I want to and because you so deserve it. In one night you flipped my world from negative to positive. I always used to wait for Francis to take my hand. Already, you’ve taken my hand more than I’ve taken yours. I promise to switch that around too. I’m down here looking for your toy for a few reasons; first of all, butt play is new to you. That’s why you got the thing in the first place. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure that out. Secondly, it’s been a while for me too. Since I’ve never used a toy, I want to, with you. Finally, it’s a good way for both of us to work toward real intercourse. When I’m ready to make love to you that way, I want you ready. The same goes for me too. When I want you, it’s gonna be all you; with no thoughts of Francis lingering. We don’t have to use the toy now, if you’d rather not. I mean, it’s not going anywhere. We can make love any way we want.” Giggling happily, Ben reached for a tender kiss then explained, “For me, it’s all new. Waking with you was awesome enough. Ya know, I’ve never slept on top of the covers before? I did though, for the very first time. I was warm beside you. I woke to your soft chuckling, from your dream. It’s already a special day. I’ve never woke up this happy; laughing this hard, this fast. Usually, I just roam around, grab breakfast, go to the bathroom, take a shower and then get dressed, without the thrill of a boyfriend tickling me to tears first. Of course, I want to make love with you too. I’ll be a little nervous either way, whether I’m playing with you or you’re playing with me, because it’s all brand new to me.” Graham nodded and smiled, “I have an even better idea than the toy now.” He took the bottle of lube out of the shoebox then started putting the magazines back and teased, “What’re you doin’ with Better Homes?” “It was in the recycle bin,” Ben sniggered. “I had to hide the box and toy from my mom.” “You’re so cute!” Graham gushed. “You should’ve been at Sav-On the first time I bought myself lube,” Ben giggled. “In the store, outta the store, in the store, outta the store; the third trip in, I finally got what I went to get.” Picturing it in his mind, Graham cracked up. He closed the night table drawer then climbed back onto the bed and lay down on top of Ben again. Finger combing Ben’s hair, Graham gently said, “I’m sorry for rushing. It seemed like a good idea at the time.” “What’s your better idea?” “Lube and fingers. We’ll get to know each other even better. Do you know what sixty-nine means?” Ben nodded and giggled. Graham whispered, “I’ll play with your butt and you’ll play with mine. We’ll suck our dickies too. Does that sound like fun to you?” Humming affirmatively, Ben giggled, “Teach me how.” “First you get the hole lubed and rub the outside. In a little while, it’s obvious it’s relaxed. Then you can start inserting only a finger tip. Little by little, you can get more of the finger in. Once a whole finger is in, then we can try for a second finger, assuming we haven’t already cum. Judging by last night and your very talented fingers, I can only hope we get to two fingers. Ready?” “Ready.” Graham smiled, “You’re really awesome,” and then planted a tender kiss. He swung around and lay on his side next to Ben. Rolling to his side and shuffling down, Ben watched Graham also adjust his position, lying diagonally across the mattress. Soon, they were good, with their top legs bent and allowing access. Graham signaled, “Brrr.” “Grrr,” Ben giggled. With his lube, Ben wet the index and middle fingers of his right hand and quickly moved that hand into Graham’s crack. Graham took the bottle and did the same thing, careful to not spill any lube in the process. Ben checked, “Just rub the outside?” Humming affirmatively, Graham nodded, “It’s a muscle we learned to use as babies, during potty training. Rubbing relaxes it.” To see better, Graham stuck his head between Ben’s spread legs. Ben saw and felt Graham’s head resting on his thigh, so he did the same thing. Their left hands weren’t of any use, making the simple process awkward though. “Graham?” “Yeah, teddy bear?” “This would be easier with two hands,” Ben giggled. “Yeah, it is,” Graham chuckled. He suggested, “Sixty-nine, with me on bottom and you on top.” Ben pulled his head off Graham’s thigh and moved back, allowing Graham to lie on his back and pull his legs into the air. Ben whimpered then giggled; “Now that’s a view.” Graham laughed, “Crawl over me, so I can get at your dickie and a view of my own.” Watching his legs and knees near Graham’s head, Ben quickly realized he had to have Graham’s legs locked behind his arms. Being the same height, they now had perfect visual and tactile access. Beginning to gently rub Graham’s orifice, Ben thought his boyfriend had the most perfect butt on the planet; a moderately hairy crack and smooth white muscular buns. He kissed each cheek and then rested the top of his head on the mattress. Beyond a fair amount of wet brown hair, Ben watched Graham’s pink asshole tighten and relax. Nothing about Ben’s butt shocked Graham; it was simply larger than Beanie’s. Considering how smooth Francis was above the waist, he had a very hairy crotch. The main difference between Ben and Francis was the hair color; Beanie’s was dark red versus Ben’s brown. Graham was pleasantly surprised with the kisses on his butt cheeks. He took a moment to pull Ben’s erection back and into his mouth. Ben briefly gasped. He tried to pull Graham’s stiffy back, but it slipped through his lubed fingers twice and slapped against his boyfriend’s tummy. Graham softly chortled around the bone in his mouth. Ben smirked at his silly boyfriend then giggled, “Funny, huh?” Graham chuckled louder. Ben’s fingertip invaded Graham’s ass for the first time. He was surprised how tightly the sphincter clamped on his fingertip, but didn’t move it. Eventually, the pressure around Ben’s fingertip wasn’t quite so intense. Since Graham was still slightly bouncing with laughter, Ben spied two testicles and gently sucked one into his mouth, rolled his tongue around it and then went for its twin. Graham whimpered and writhed around. Releasing the testicle with a wet pop, Ben giggled, “Is it still funny?” Letting Ben’s erection slip from his mouth, Graham giggled, “Omigod, Ben! You’re wonderful! I love it!” “More?” “Yes, please. I’ll suck your dickie?” Ben giggled, “I love that you call it a dickie.” Graham laughed and inserted a fingertip into Ben. The remaining time the two lovers pleasured each other, their minds raced. Ben shifted slightly so Graham’s cock could comfortably make it into his mouth. Ben was, in many ways, the mirror opposite of Francis. Francis was thinner and shorter than Graham. Ben was as tall as Graham and only a little heavier. Francis had no hair on his chest, but Ben had some. They had so much fun that their orgasms were one after the other and only single fingers were used. While cuddling in post-orgasmic bliss, Ben shared, “Ya know, you’re tighter down there than I thought you’d be.” Graham grinned and reminded, “It’s been five weeks, dude.” Ben sighed, “I’m so sorry, Graham. I didn’t mean it that way.” Squeezing Ben tightly, Graham prompted, “Look at me closely.” When Ben did so, Graham softly smiled, “I played with Francis and you in my dream. He was well, perfectly fine, looking exactly like he might’ve any day. It’s the first time I didn’t see him wrecked in a dream. It’s the first time it wasn’t a nightmarish vision. We played and teased each other just like always. He reminded me that guilt sucks then pushed me to you, dude. He said, ‘Go make it okay, now,’ like it was imperative. That’s why I woke in such a good mood. It’s why I was so silly and ready to grab your toy. Yeah, my butt’s tight again; it’s for you to loosen up. Now let me tell you something else, okay?” “Okay.” “You’re trippin’ me out, majorly. Last night, I expected way different than what you gave me. I expected my sweet, shy boyfriend to be a least a little scared of having a bone in his mouth.” Hiding his blushing face against Graham’s chest, Ben giggled, “I was.” “You sure didn’t show it. You took it like a pro. You swallowed. I did not expect any of what you did at all.” “It was good?” “You are incredible!” Graham gushed. “You’re hand was friggin’ awesome, and so was your mouth, and this time, you kissed my butt checks, sucked my nads, nibbled the inside of my thighs and swallowed another load. You can try to get better, but I don’t know if it’s possible. You’re a dream come true, a dream I never had, but here you are. I love talking with you, sleeping with you and the sex is already more than I expected.” Turning ten shades of red through all Graham said, Ben dropped his face onto Graham’s chest again and giggled. “Do me a favor, my special teddy bear.” Ben smiled, “Anything for you.” “Hold your head up as proudly as you can. I told my friends and yours last night, I was caught, hook, line and sinker. It’s true, Ben, no bullshit or wishful thinking. That was from our time talking. I expected a virgin acting like a virgin, like I acted and Francis acted, and was perfectly willing to deal with that. “As friends, I’d spend three or four days of every seven with Francis. As boyfriends, we were together almost every day, but we could only spend occasional nights together at my house. More than once a month and his parents would’ve gotten suspicious. Our sex was hurried afternoon sex a lot of the time. Believe me, I am not ever going anywhere far from you. You’re gonna have to commit armed robbery or kill someone to get away from me. You’re my boyfriend, partner and one hell of a lover too.” With happy tears overflowing and running down his cheeks, Ben cheered, “At last! Omigod, I love you too, Graham, so much!” Laughing ecstatically, yet still shedding tears, Ben shifted over on top of Graham, buried his face in the crook of his boyfriend’s neck and held on tightly. “I was so scared,” Ben confessed, “believing you might change your mind.” Gently rubbing Ben’s back, Graham softly chuckled, “I have changed my mind; from the one wallowing in sadness to the happier one I usually use. Do you see us now; do you see my visions of the next weeks, before school starts?” With his face still buried, Ben giggled, “Yes, like a movie on a big screen.” “That’s just the start too, Ben. Prez is starting a Gay Straight Alliance at school. We’re there for every meeting, if you want.” “I don’t know what it is, but yes!” Laughing his ass off, Graham rolled over so he was on top of Ben. He caught the time on the clock and smiled down, saying, “Guess what we’re gonna do now?” “Anything ya want, yes!” Ben giggled. Throwing his head back, Graham roared laughing. Ben squeezed Graham’s butt cheeks and they both became hysterical. All Graham wanted to say was, “Let’s get in the shower,” but couldn’t stop laughing. With playful fire in his eyes, Ben started tickling Graham. Scurrying to get away from Ben’s tickling, Graham howled, “Wait! Shower! Lunch!” Only slowing his tickling slightly, Ben followed Graham off the bed. He got more tickles in while Graham tried to unlock the bedroom door. With each tickle, Graham bounced and so did his muscular ass, much to Ben’s continued delight. Once the door was opened, Ben chased Graham down the hall to the bathroom. Another first for Ben was roaming the house naked. Even if he was home alone, Ben always had some clothing on, until this day. Backed against the far bathroom wall and prepared to block more tickling, Graham giggled, “Be good and I’ll hold your dickie while you pee?” Ben leered, “I just wanna hold your dickie. I’ll hold it while you pee, and in the shower, and I’ll have to restrain myself from holding it everywhere we go. If it gets hard, I’ll have to make it shoot.” “Omigod!” Graham laughed, “Is my special teddy bear happy?” Nodding, Ben held Graham’s arms and gave away tender kisses. Graham’s laughter subsided with each kiss. The intensity in Ben’s eyes faded. Graham deeply kissed Ben back. Ben returned a passionate kiss. Their arms flew wide open and they tightly embraced for a long lip lock with plenty of tongue grazing. Contentedly and peacefully they released their kiss and embrace, slowly lowering their arms to their sides, but never stepped away. As close as they were, they could only see one another’s eyes. Graham whispered, “I’m every bit as happy with you as you are with me.” Ben nodded, “I can’t get over how I feel. You’re giving me so much.” “I feel it too, Ben, honestly I do; like I can accomplish anything with you close by.” “The heartache is gone. The confusion is gone. There’s only joy, from you.” “The sorrow is gone. It seems weird after so many tears. There’s only my trust in you.” “Did we cross some line; some barrier?” “I don’t know. The love that I thought I knew changed, it fluctuated all the time.” “This fills me up, Graham.” “Yeah, it does. Don’t ask why it is; just know that it is because I feel it too.” “What should we do? What could we do?” “What we planned to do and keep it with us.” “Yeah, definitely keep it with us.” “Bathe me, Ben. A few minutes ago I so wanted to bathe you, to touch you.” “I was feeling the exact same way, Graham, focused entirely on bathing you. Now I feel like I’ll wilt if you don’t touch me.” Never losing eye contact, Graham reached to his left and slid open the shower door. Ben smiled, “Would you believe I’m afraid to look away from you?” Graham grinned, “Yeah, like this feeling might disappear.” “We can’t let that happen.” “I trust it won’t. Let’s test it. On the count of three, we’ll close our eyes for three more seconds.” “Ready?” “Ready.” Together, they slowly and deliberately chanted, “One… two… three,” and closed their eyes. Again they counted off together and opened their eyes. Ben giggled, “It’s still here.” Graham chuckled, “That’s a relief, huh?” Ben nodded and giggled, “I thought we might be stuck.” “I know!” Graham laughed, “I almost saw your mom coming home from work and finding us still here, still naked, still dirty.” “Come on, silly Graham cracker,” Ben giggled, “let’s get wet.” Mooing and then guiding Ben backward into the tub, Graham teased, “There’s nothin’ better than a squishy wet teddy bear.” Cracking up, all Ben could think was how his friendship with Graham compared to Prez, Mike, Derrick and Keith. As close as he was to the latter four, Graham had flown well above and beyond them. He playfully wondered, “How is it that you’re everything my closest friends are and more in less than a day?” Turning the water on, Graham grinned, “It’s my ears, isn’t it?” Ben giggled, “Maybe, but I don’t think so.” Bending over to test if the water was warm, Graham wiggled his ass and teased, “Is it my butt?” Rubbing the fine white globes that contrasted with Graham’s light tan, Ben sighed, “Closer maybe, but that’s still not it either.” Flipping the shower on then facing Ben again, Graham pretended to search his mind and offered, “It’s gotta be my big feet then.” Picking up the bar of soap and starting to create lather, Ben looked down and then back at Graham, smiling, “Your feet aren’t that big, so they can’t be the whole reason.” As if it were revealed from a higher power, Graham shouted, “It’s my titties!” Ben uncertainly hummed then passed Graham the soap and smiled, “They are a very nice set, nice and strong and the perfect size, but no.” Working up lather in his hands, Graham tilted his head and suspiciously asked, “It couldn’t be my dickie, could it?” Beginning to wash Graham’s neck and shoulders with his bare hands, Ben giggled, “Your dickie is awesome limp and erect, and I especially love that you call it a dickie, but that’s not the only reason, I think.” Graham joked, “Then it’s my charismatic personality,” and rolled his eyes. Ben shook his head and pulled Graham closer, saying, “It’s all those bits and pieces, Graham. You’re my idea of perfection. You were last night while we walked around the park and the feeling keeps getting stronger.” “You must really love me, huh?” “I do, completely.” Stealing a quick kiss, Graham smiled, “That makes us even. There is no single part of you I would dare change. I love you, Ben.” He picked up the soap again and washed Ben’s back; since they were too close to manage washing the front. As he worked his way down, Graham softly warned Ben before sliding his soapy hands into his crack. Feeling an unexpected poke on his hip, Graham grinned, “Believe me, I love doing it too, Ben. I will every day from now on. I want to touch you all over as much as I want to be touched by you.” Ben softly moaned, “Oh, Graham. Tell me what intercourse is like, please?” “It’s beautiful, Ben. Even the first times we try, we’ll talk and make it the best it can be. We’re almost there too, teddy bear.” “Yeah?” Graham nodded, “The connection we made outside the tub proved it. Orgasms from masturbation are okay. Orgasms from someone else are very good, because you don’t have control over when. Intercourse is the pinnacle, a feeling that races all over your body and around your brain. Now, all we’ve gotta do is get each other physically ready. I’m thinkin’ tonight we’ll play with your toy and in another few days, we can try, okay?” “Okay. It’s another thing I’m anxious and nervous about, ya know? Yesterday morning, intercourse was a fantasy. The reality of soon is making butterflies flap.” “I know. Relax teddy bear. I can almost promise you, we’ll probably go for rides; you’ll sit on my dickie and I’ll sit on yours. That way, we can see each other and it’s almost guaranteed awesome. It gets really fantastic, Ben, each time we do it. There are so many great ways it can be done and each is a unique sensation, physically and emotionally.” Feeling Graham’s stiffy against his hip; Ben rapidly nodded and giggled, “Talking about it got you hard.” Graham nodded then leaned in closer for the ‘medium’ kiss. Since they were both hard, Graham took the initiative and started stroking Ben. He passed the soap, and in moments, Ben was returning the favor. Graham asked, “Do you want to use condoms, teddy bear?” Shrugging, Ben scowled, “I know we should, but I won’t stray from you, Graham. What do you think?” “I always did, but never liked them. I sure am happy with you, Ben. If we aren’t sleeping around and can be committed then we wouldn’t have to use them.” “That’s what I want us to be,” Ben smiled, “committed and permanent.” Shivering with delight, Graham whimpered, “Oh yeah, me too, I want that so much, with only you.” Sealing their promise with kisses, their hips started bucking wildly and they held on tightly to each other, taking steps closer to the brink, slowing down for kisses or to simply hang off each other, then speeding up. When Graham started chanting affirmations, Ben watched semen burst forth to his elbow in quiet amazement. He milked every drop from Graham and giggled along with his lover’s every shudder. Graham hung off Ben for a short while to recover. Suddenly, his head popped up of Ben’s shoulder. With his eyes flashing mischievously, Graham pulled Ben close and concentrated his efforts. Ben had never had an orgasm standing before and his knees occasionally buckled, but Graham had his teddy bear secure. Graham also watched the magical orgasm overtake Ben. Coming to his senses, Ben breathed, “Thank you.” Graham wondered, “For what?” “For everything; last night, when we woke and just now,” Ben replied. Stepping back for the bar of soap, Graham began bathing Ben’s neck and shoulders, gently explaining, “My dickie is still pretty hard, pointing at you. We’re gay lovers now, teddy bear. That means I enjoy getting you off every bit as much as when you get me off. At least two-thirds of the time, it’ll be like last night and today; both of us wanting and needing it at the same time. The rest of the time, one of us will be caught off guard, dealing with an exceptionally randy partner.” He playfully teased, “It’s so horrible too; chasing or being chased to get what we want.” Easily imagining it, Ben giggled and nodded. Ben’s chest and belly were clean, so Graham raised his boyfriend’s arms to wash his underarms and sides, smiling, “I wish those chasing times happened more often, but I know it’s not realistic. Be prepared, teddy bear, I like sex a lot. Now, with both our homes being cool, we’re gonna make love often. When I’m randy, you’ll know it. I want you to make sure that I know what you need or want.” Smiling widely, Ben’s eyebrows bounced, obviously liking the idea. Graham giggled, “Even when school starts, it gonna be very cool and very hot at the same time. We’ll have a whole month of history to build on. Imagine us having lunch together; I say something that sets your heart pounding in your chest.” Ben giggled, “You’d have to run, preferably to your bedroom or to mine.” “Exactly,” Graham sniggered. “There’s no reason for a ‘thank you’ or other niceties for any sex, Ben. We want it, we go for it, it’s that simple. As for all the talking we’ve done, there’s even less reason to be polite. I could thank you for holding me while I cried and listening to me for hours.” Ready to wash Ben’s dickie, but seeing it still hard, Graham displayed the soap and grinned, “Just to wash down there, teddy bear.” Ben nodded yet still bounced slightly as two soapy hands slid around his cock and scrotum. Ben was more than adequately cleansed, but Graham knew to keep it enjoyable and mellow. Completing the task, Graham stole a tender kiss then stepped aside to allow Ben to rinse off. When Ben turned around and held his hand out, Graham passed the bar of soap. Ben didn’t say a word while he created lather, partially because Graham had already raised his arms and rested his hands on top of his head. The vision was almost more than Ben could bear. Starting to wash his boyfriend, Ben softly smiled, “My friends will be able to tell we’ve made love.” “Good.” “They’ll say something, probably Mike, but it could be any of them.” “Even better,” Graham softly sniggered. “Would your friends say something?” Nodding, Graham chortled, “Most likely.” “What should we do or say?” “Play the game, teddy bear. It’s not like they don’t know all that we could’ve done, they just don’t know exactly what we’ve done.” Ready to wash Graham’s crotch, Ben checked, “Ready?” Bracing himself for the contact, Graham nodded, “Ready.” While Ben performed the task, Graham sighed, “Omigod, Ben, you have the most awesome hands in the world. It has to be from playing guitar.” “Maybe,” Ben giggled, “I’m just doin’ for you what I used to do for myself.” “I love it too,” Graham smiled. Ben took careful notice that Graham did not say ‘thank you’, but what little he had said meant so much. Reaching for a tender kiss, Ben stepped aside to allow Graham to rinse off. Unable to help himself, with the knowledge of having a completely fantastic boyfriend standing naked and wet only a few feet before him, Ben giggled. Without turning around, Graham chortled a warning; “You’re being bad and we’ll miss lunch entirely.” “I can’t help it,” Ben sighed. “What’s more amazing; a boyfriend; one that I can actually talk to; or one that loves me back that looks like you? You’re a dream come true. I’m thrilled.” Turning around and rinsing his backside, Graham made a point of scanning Ben from head to toe. He leered, “I’m so there too, Ben; honestly I am. You’re so hunky, completely edible; it’s making me hungry and horny at the same time.” Fiercely blushing, Ben giggled, “We’d better get out of here or we’ll miss lunch and dinner.” Graham cracked up; “Two pruned dickies!” then turned the water off. Following Ben out of the tub, Graham sniggered, “Ya know, Francis and I could towel off with one towel. We had to at his house and started doing it at mine.” Handing Graham a bath towel, Ben smiled, “Show me.” Taking the towel, Graham went to Ben, draped the towel around both their heads, and started stealing kisses. While Ben giggled his ass off, Graham chuckled insanely. Somewhere out there, he could imagine Francis, being the closeted pervert he really always was, and watching Graham share with Ben one of the more necessary and ridiculous parts of their relationship. The best part was the contact and how much Ben was enjoying it. Having held their bladders way too long, the toilet screamed loudly for attention. Graham held Ben’s mostly erect dick and pointed it down at the bowl. Having been there many times before, Graham soothed Ben with soft words, assuring Ben that he intended on becoming a very permanent and present fixture in his life; that this was only the first of many days to come; that Ben would come home with him that night and nothing they had already planned had much chance of changing. When their positions at the bowl swapped, Ben was thrilled to share his thoughts and dreams with Graham. “I want us to tell each other about every fear and worry, every success and triumph. That’s gonna be another new thing for me; telling you what I used to keep bottled up inside. I promise to try very hard, Graham. If you think I might be holding something back, press me for it,” Ben softly told Graham. Brushing their hair with the same brush was equally fantastic, as was sharing Ben’s Right Guard stick deodorant. Returning to Ben’s bedroom, Graham chose a pair of Ben’s boxer shorts, which fit perfectly. Ben wore waist size thirty-to-thirty-two boxers and had a thirty-one-and-a-half inch waist. Graham’s waist size was thirty, so he had to wear his shorts from the previous day or risk sagging way too much. They went to the closet and chose T-shirts. Ben was so happy he could at least share some of his clothes with Graham. Choosing a light blue T-shirt, Ben rambled about the trip to the mall, where his friends had recommended he wear more light colored clothes. Ben told Graham, “They want me to go school clothes shopping with them. I want you there too.” Nodding his head once, Graham smiled, “Done. My parents will let me take a credit card and cash to get a haircut and the shopping done.” Realizing that he had only a few dollars for lunch, Ben took his wallet out and groaned, “That toy about cleaned me out.” Sitting on the corner of the bed, putting his sneakers on, Graham sputtered then helplessly cracked up and fell back, completely hysterical. Scowling, Ben wondered for a few seconds what was so funny and then realized the implication of what he had said. Giggling his ass off, he went to Graham and tickled him. “You are very bad,” Ben giggled. Quickly capturing Ben’s hands, Graham pulled his boyfriend down and chuckled, “I love you so much, Ben.” “I’m still down to seven bucks though,” Ben giggled. “Don’t sweat it,” Graham smiled. “I’ve got the same thirty-something dollars in my wallet that I had a month ago.” Ben softly sighed, “I wish I had met him.” “He would’ve loved you too, teddy bear. I can say with certainty, he would’ve been talking about us seducing you. We wouldn’t have gone through with it, but we talked about our fantasies. You and I will too. I can’t wait to hear your fantasies.” Ben giggled, “Just look at Prez and let your mind wander.” Graham evilly sniggered and Ben recalled, “I swear, that first time I met him, all he did was hold his hand out and greet me. His deep voice and Texas accent are as sexy as his body. In seconds, I had hopes.” Ben sighed, “Then Keith came in, wrapped Prez in his arms and poof, back to reality. Thank goodness Keith’s really nice; they all are. Now, we get to go over there; I get to go there with you.” Graham nodded, “Let’s go.” They got up off the bed and started for the door. Noticing a pad of paper on the table, Ben said, “Mom left me a note.” He went over with Graham and they read; Ben, I’m so happy and proud of you! Please invite Graham to stay and have dinner with us. I’d very much like to talk with both of you, wearing something more than a robe. I’ll see you tonight, between five-thirty and six, as usual. Love, Mom Graham chuckled, “That takes care of tonight’s dinner plans.” Leading the way to the door, Ben nodded, “We’ll have her drive us to your house afterward.” They stepped outside and Ben locked the door, excitedly gushing, “Omigod! I’m really spending the night at my boyfriend’s house.” Automatically taking Graham’s hand in his, they started walking up the block. “Yes, you are,” Graham smiled. “I’m gonna show you off to my folks.” Whimpering, Ben giggled, “Please don’t.” “Oh yes, I will,” Graham teased, “the practice session starts with your friends. ‘Course, I can say lots more to them than I can to my parents.” Already blushing, Ben groaned, “I can only wonder.” “Don’t wonder,” Graham chuckled, “I’ll start with the way you kiss, which is way hotter than I can deal with. Then I can rant about what a hunky beefcake I discovered at bed time.” Bright red and covering his eyes with his free hand, Ben giggled, “I will get you back, somehow.” Graham nodded, “I want you to, teddy bear, with them and alone tonight.” Dropping his hand and walking to the front door of Doug’s and Brian’s house, Ben blushed, “Here we go, maximum embarrassment time. I wonder who’ll open the door naked today.” While Ben knocked at the door, Graham sniggered, “Are they really that bad?” “Tuesday night, while they were jamming, Mike and Derrick were naked. Keith and Prez weren’t. It’s a fifty-fifty shot, so I never know what to expect.” This day, Pete was closest to the door and opened it, widely beaming, “How’s it goin’ guys?” Thankful that someone with a shred of decency opened the door, Ben smiled, “We’re great, Pete, couldn’t be better.” Graham grinned, “Well it could be better, but not easily, that’s for sure,” already getting the first of many compliments in, and causing Ben to flush even redder. Stepping aside, Pete chuckled, “Come on in. The foursome just got out of the shower, so we’re almost ready to leave…” “For Willy’s,” Brian, Drew and Corey loudly said as Ben and Graham walked inside. Pete closed the door, wondering how in the world he might calm Brian down before they got home that weekend. Beyond the entryway, Graham held a greeting hand up and smiled, “What’s Willy’s, besides the obvious, which isn’t a filling lunch.” Giggling his ass off, Ben’s head sagged and he started to sweat. Mysteriously shifting his eyes, Brian answered, “It’s a barbecue restaurant, just down the road. Unless Prez is driving then it’s an hour away.” From the master bedroom, Prez hollered, “I heard that, you sexy madman!” “It was your giant redwood that made me this way,” Brian playfully countered. Everyone in the front rooms of the house heard various moos and laughter erupt from the master bedroom. Sitting at the table, near Brian and with Corey on his lap, Drew grinned, “Don’t distract them or we’ll never have lunch.” He pleaded, “Please say you’re hungry too. We’ve been awake for two hours and only had cereal.” “Hey!” Keith yelled, “You kept me from lunch a few weeks ago.” “That was your fault, for taking tangents,” Drew loudly answered. Mike laughed, “Beware tangents on the wing! There goes another, zippin’ on by.” Glancing at Ben and Graham and noticing them still holding hands, Corey giggled, “You two dudes got even closer over night, huh?” Ben nodded and smiled, “Graham’s been great. We talked all night.” “Then had passionate and wild sex at dawn,” Graham playfully added. Blushing and giggling, Ben’s head sagged again. Graham gently lifted Ben’s chin and softly smiled, “Mine, remember?” Recalling that Graham had told him to be proud, Ben still had a little trouble with that. Understandingly, Graham wrapped Ben tightly in his arms. Graham thought of it as hug therapy for himself and for Ben. Keith, Prez, Mike and Derrick walked out of the bedroom. “My special teddy bear,” Graham contentedly sighed then said hello to the four passing by from the bedroom; “Hey, dudes. How’s it goin’?” Prez nodded and smiled, “Perfect now, Graham.” “I couldn’t have come up with that pet name for Ben,” Keith added. Derrick grinned, “It really fits too.” Graham agreed, “The first time I said it, it stuck like a magnet.” “Munchies,” Mike softly growled, “Munchies now.” Prez nodded, “Let me get the hound inside,” and crossed the rooms to get Rush from the backyard. Keith went d