Discovering the Unknown

Chapter 9

By Angel Love

You know the old saying about having a spring in your step. Well that is just the way I felt on Saturday morning as I walked my bike out from the little storage shed behind our house. I was happy, I was excited, my heart was full of love for my boyfriend who I had just spoke with on my new cell, and I was also a little apprehensive about what might lay ahead with Rob today.

"Have a great day at work Dear," Mom called through the open kitchen window.

"Thanks Mom, I will." I straddled my bike, "Love you Mom."

I saw her wave as I rode away. My phone rang just as I turned onto Olive Street.

"Hello."

"Hello Buddy," it was Rob. "Just wanted to make sure you were coming by the house to keep me company on the way to work."

"Sure am, say how'd you get my number I never got a chance to talk with you yesterday?"

"O, Steve called me last night, told me about your new phone and gave me your number."

"Good old Steve might have known. Be there in a couple."

"K, bye."

"Bye."

Well now that is more like it, sounds good to hear a friendly Rob for a change. I was so curious to find out what his problem with me had been I was completely out of breath when I reached his house. He was waiting out front as I slowed to a stop; I also was treated to a friendly pat on the back.

"Morning Bud ready for a hard days work?"

"Hay you know it, you should be too after almost a weeks vacation."

"Wasn't really a vacation but I do feel better."

We rode side by side and I noticed Rob watching me out of the corner of his eye.

"What?"

"What do you mean, What?"

"Why you watching me?"

"Well to be honest I missed you this week, and besides that you're not to hard on the eye to look at."

That last statement startled me so I completely missed one peddle and bumped into Rob almost sending us into a shrub we were passing by.

"Easy boy, I said you were nice to look at but not up close right now."

I know I blushed like crazy, "Sorry I was just hoping." I tried to hid some of my embarrassment with a little humor.

"Doofus," Rob chuckled.

"That's what Steve always calls me."

"I know, and I think it fits just fine."

"You know . . . how?"

Rob looked at me, smiled, winked, and sped on ahead. I had to call all my strength into use just to keep up with him. He made his speed look so easy.

By lunch time Rob had worked me to a frazzle but it was a very enjoyable exhaustion. This weekend was so much different than last week. Rob was a joy to be with we laughed and joked all morning. Twice he had sprinkled we down with a hose and thought it was great fun.

"Let's head for Mickey Ds." Rob called.

Last week we had decided we would rather go to McDonalds for lunch than go to the problem of packing our own.

"Now there is an invitation you won't have to ask me twice about."

As we sat enjoying our burger and fries Rob had once more became noticeably quiet.

"A penny for your thoughts," I chuckled.

"O, I'm sorry. I was just trying to decide on something."

"Can I be of any help?"

"You know . . . I think you can."

He took the last bite of his burger and those marvelous eyes of his held me captive. I felt my breath catch in my chest just looking into the windows of his soul. I was feeling things again that I had not felt for him since I realized just how much I loved Steve.

"I'm sure you know about the big country music concert coming to town tonight?"

"Yeah . . . I really wanted to go but I decide I better save my money for something important though."

"O, OK, but while I was in Texas a friend's uncle gave me two tickets for it. I have no idea how he came by them way out there, but he did."

My heart skipped a little. Was he going to ask me to go? That would be so cool.

"What I need to know is how do you Southern city dudes dress for something like this? I mean back home I'd just grab a pair of really tight jeans, my Stetson, and boots and be on my way."

I think I gasp a little as the mental vision of Rob in a pair of really tight jeans.

"Well, I have only been to one down here. Most people wear the jeans and boots, not to many hats though."

"Say, how about stopping by the house after work and help me pick out an outfit to wear?"

"Yeah . . . sure, you and your Mom going?"

I hated myself for my blatant question. It was not any of my business who he was going to take.

"O no, Mom doesn't like going to concerts. I have someone else in mind though. I'll just have to call when I get home and see if I can get a date."

"O."

"Yeah, I should have asked yesterday I know, just never got around to it though."

It felt like the life was suddenly sucked out of me. I did not understand why I was feeling this way and I became a little angry at myself for it. I mean, after all there was no question in my mind, or heart, who I really loved and that was Steve. Perhaps Steve was right that he may not have all of me. I sat and watched Rob dip a fry into a small pile of ketchup and slowly slip it into his mouth. The reaction on me was unbelievable I was actually getting hard sitting here watching him eat French Fries. I forced my attention away from him and took a deep breath.

"Well . . . I guess we better be getting back to work."

There was an unmistakable falter in my voice. Rob looked up and smiled. The same smile he had used on me the first two days I had know him. His eyes captured mine again and I lost all control of my dick, I was instantly rock hard.

"Yeah, guess you're right I need to get home early to make sure I can line up a date for tonight."

The thought struck me that he was just a little conceited thinking a girl would fall all over herself to accept a last minute invitation from him. I waited until he slid from the booth and stood up. I quickly joined him just a little behind and to his right so I could conceal my bulge not only from him but from everyone else.

Rob sure did not make it easy on me the rest of the afternoon. Not only was he bright and cheerful but he stripped his shirt off as soon as we got back. Between his good mood and that fantastic six-pack I was half hard for three hours.

As we rode our bikes back from work I found myself becoming increasingly jealous of whoever he was going to call when we got back to his house. I knew it was wrong to allow myself to have these feeling, after all there was Steve now and he had to come first, 'Damn it Jamie you have Steve now! Just what the hell is your problem? You know you want Jamie more than life itself so just get your mind off Rob.' The little mental tongue lashing failed to serve its full purpose; in face it did little good at all. By the time we parked our bikes behind Rob's house I was more upset with myself than before.

"Come on in, looks like we will have the house to ourselves."

Oh great! Just what I need more temptation and me to damn weak in character to control myself. We entered through the backdoor into his kitchen; Rob went straight to the fridge and got us both a can of Coke.

"Let's go up to my room and you can see my limited wardrobe."

I followed him up the stairs, all the time refusing to let myself even glance at his butt.

"Well what do you think? See anything that would be appropriate?"

I have no idea what he called 'limited,' his closet was full of the most fantastic western shirts and pants that I had ever seen. It was evident his clothing had came from real cowboy country and not the local city dude store in West Port. Not only did he have an endless collection of the finest in western fashion, but there must have been ten pairs of boots lined up along the back wall.

Rob put his hand on my shoulder, "Go ahead pick me out something. I want to look extra hot for the person I hope to take to the concert tonight."

I wanted so badly to ask who that person was, but for once I managed to keep my mouth shut. I stepped into the closet and began thumbing through the rack of shirts. I glanced at him a couple of times comparing what I was seeing to the shirts in front of me. I chose two and then moved to the other side and began searching his pants. The next time I looked at Rob I think my heart faltered. While I had been going through the row of pants he had stripped to nothing but his briefs and I do mean briefs! There was the cutest little patch of pubic hair revealed above the low waist band that I think I had ever seen.

I tried to say something but my throat felt paralyzed. At the same time I was sure I saw just a fleeting little wicked smile turn the corners of his mouth. I handed him my selection making sure my eyes never strayed from his face.

"Here . . . here try these."

"K, you have good taste both of these are my favorites."

He modeled both sets for me while I sat cross legged on his bed to hide my raging boner. We settled on the first shirt and jeans he tried on. I loved the color of the shirt on him it made his blue eyes shine as if they were on fire. And the jeans were just snug enough to show off that fantastic bubble butt of his perfectly.

Rob looked at me and winked, "Well I guess it's about time to make that phone call."

He then stripped back down to his briefs, folded his jeans neatly and laid them at the foot of his bed, and hung his shirt back on the hanger. He winked and went to his small little study desk in the corner of his room and sat down. As he reached for the phone he turned and gave me a sheepish little smile.

"Uh . . . Jamie would you mind just stepping out into the hallway for a moment? I'd hate to have you hear if I get turned down."

"Sure . . . no problem."

I carefully slipped off the bed making sure I kept my back to him. I think that was the most disappointing moment I could remember. Deep down I think I had been hoping he would ask me at the last moment. I stepped into the hallway and closed the door, I walked to the head of the stairs and sat down. I did not want to be close enough to even catch a part of his conversation.

My cell phone rang and I flipped it open without even looking at the caller ID to see who was calling.

"Hello."

"Well, hello my little Redneck Buddy!"

It was Rob!

"Rob! What the . . . why you calling me now?"

"Well . . . it seems I came by a pair of tickets for the big concert tonight and I was hoping you would go with me."

"What . . ."

"Yeah, tonight I hope it's not too late for you to get ready?"

"Rob . . . what is this? What are you doing?"

"Well, what I thought I was doing is asking the hottest dude at West Port High out for a date."

"Ah . . . ah . . . date?"

"Yep, how about it? Can you be ready by seven-thirty?"

By now I was standing back in Rob's open bedroom door looking at the biggest smile on a guy's face I have ever seen. Even though we were only fifteen feet apart we still were using our phones.

"This . . . this is some kind of joke, right?"

"Never been more serious in my life. What say, will you go with me?"

"Ye . . . ye . . . yes, sure!"

"Great now turn your phone off and come on in."

"O . . . OK." I had completely forgotten about my cell.

Rob came over and put an arm around my shoulders and gave me a tight hug against his side.

"Hope you're not mad. Sometimes my mind works in strange ways I dreamed this little plot up within five minutes of finding out you got a cell for your birthday."

I did not know what to say. I was afraid if I said anything I would give myself away.

"I had no idea about your birthday I just knew when I got back from Texas I wanted to do something for you to make up for the total ass I had been acting like."

"You . . . you weren't that bad."

"Yes I was, probably more so. But for right now let's just enjoy tonight and let me wish you a happy birthday."

Before I knew it I was in his arms and he was hugging me so hard it hurt just a little. The side of his face was pressed against mine and I could feel his breath warm on my ear. And the last thing I needed right then was to feel his package against mine and all he had on were those extra brief briefs. My mind was reeling, 'O gosh Jamie think about something, anything, don't think about . . . about . . . NO not that!' I felt myself growing, getting bigger, and I knew Rob had to also.

"Jamie . . . thank you so much for what you have done for me since I have been in West Port."

He turned me loose and stepped back, this time there was no mistaking the tears that streamed down his face.

"I hope you know what you have with Steve not many of us will ever have a friend like you have in him."

"I know . . . believe me I am finding out more about the things he does for me with each passing day."

"You better believe it when he got through with me yesterday morning I wanted to find a hole and climb in. But enough of that you better be getting home or you are going to be late for our date."

"Yeah, I guess I better."

"I'll be by to pick you up at seven-thirty."

"K."

I think I was on cloud nine when I rode away from Rob's house. In fact I know I was someplace else besides on my bike because I rode right into the path of an oncoming car. The squeal of the tires finally brought me back to reality. The driver swerved and braked hard to miss me. From his open window he gave me a well earned cussing.

"Sorry Sir . . . I just wasn't paying attention."

"Well it was damn near the last thing you ever did."

He pulled away and I could see both his hands fly up in a sign of complete exasperation. I could still feel my insides shaking as I put my bike in our little lawn shed. However, the close brush with death had not diminished the emotional high I was on because of Rob. I almost fell over Steve before I realized he was sitting on our back steps.

"Steve . . . hi, sorry I didn't see you."

"That was obvious. I take it you and Rob must have had a good day?"

I completely missed the hint of sarcasm in his voice. I plopped down beside him and he snaked his arm around my waist.

"Ah . . . yes it was a great day! We even have a date tonight."

"A what?"

"A date, you know . . . like he is going to take me out."

"O . . . I thought he was going to share his tickets to the western concert with you?"

"He is, that's were we are going on our date."

Again I was in such a world of my own I did not even notice when Steve took his arm from around me and slid over to the very edge of the step.

"Well . . . I guess my little talk with him yesterday must have paid off?"

"Uh-huh, it sure did. Thanks Buddy."

Steve stood up and brushed off the seat of his trousers before he spoke.

"Well, I need to go, Mom and Dad will be home anytime."

"Steve . . ."

He turned and looked at me, "What?"

"Thanks."

"Yeah . . . sure . . . anytime."

He turned back quickly to leave but I still saw tears in his eyes.

"Steve . . ."

"Got to go . . . bye."

And he disappeared around the corner of our house. 'O well,' I thought, 'he's just happy things are turning out so well.' I stood and hurried into the house. Now I had to decide what Rob's hot dude was going to wear on his date tonight.

Seven-thirty, and I heard the doorbell ring. Oh great Rob was here and I was still trying to get my bangs to hang just right. I like them with just a slight part on the left side over my eye. I thought it made me look just a little sexy. I chuckled to myself when I thought about the fact I was acting just like I always heard girls did to their dates, keep them waiting at the door.

"Jamie . . .," I could hear Mom calling up the stairs. "Jamie, Rob is here are you ready?"

"Yes Mom, be right down."

I slipped on my Levi jacket and took one last look in my mirror. I smiled at what I say, 'not bad if I say so myself.' A little conceit never hurt anyone you know. I took the stairs two at a time on my way down.

"Hi Rob."

"Hi . . . let's get a move on, don't want to be late."

"Bye Mom, see you later."

"Bye boys have fun and be careful."

I waved to my Mother as I hurried down the front walk trying to keep pace with Rob's long strides.

Naturally I had assumed Rob's tickets would just get us in the coliseum, I was astonished when we were directed down front next to the stage. The small boxed in area had seats as well as a place to stand and it was all ours. I glanced around and saw another six or seven sections along the front of the stage just like ours.

"I guess I forgot to tell you . . . my friend's uncle goes first class at whatever he does."

"O! This is sooo cool. Thank you Rob for asking me."

Our eyes seemed to lock just for a second then he bumped we with his hip.

"Nothing's too good for my little Redneck."

I felt my face turn as red as the name he had called me indicated. Before I could say anything the coliseum lights went out and the stage lighting came on with a brilliant glare. The blast from the mega speakers when the intro-music hit the first crescendo almost knocked me off my feet. Rob slipped an arm around me and pulled our hips together, soon we were gyrating together in time with the music just like the guy and his girl in the box section next to us were doing. I took a quick look around, even at those standing behind us, but everyone was so enthralled with the super stars of country on stage they could care less about us. I relaxed and settled tight against Rob and just enjoyed the music and the feel of his body against mine.

Two and a half hours later we were exhausted as we made our way from the coliseum to Rob's truck. He was so easy to talk to since he had gotten over whatever had been bothering him he was like a different person. And if he did not stop reaching over and patting and squeezing my thigh I was going to rape him right on the spot.

We took our burgers and fries to the same booth we had used just that afternoon at Mickey D's. We both were a little quiet as we ate, but I noticed we had trouble keeping our eyes off each other. I tried to break what seemed to be an uneasy situation for me by starting a conversation.

"Rob I really enjoyed tonight, thanks."

He just looked at me and smiled.

"I mean I never would have gotten so close on my own. And the autograph you helped me get is unreal."

"Like I said before, nothing is to good for you. I owe you more than you know."

I gave him what I thought was my best smile and let my hand rest on top of his on the table.

"And like I said," Rob continued. "We owe most of it to Steve."

Oh my gosh! I had completely forgotten about Steve. Here I am sitting here flirting with another guy and not even thinking about the one who I have professed my undying love to. I jerked my hand back so quickly I almost overturned my Coke.

"You know," Rob was still speaking. "I had intended to ask you to go with me tonight all along. But I never realized just how much my stupid action had hurt you until Steve told me. Jamie, I just hope you can find a way to forgive me?"

"Ah Rob . . . I already have. I did that yesterday at school; I just did not know how to go about telling you I had forgiven you something I didn't even think you knew about."

Now it was Rob's turn to reach across the table and squeeze my hand.

"Jamie you are a very special guy, I hope you know that? Come on let's go someplace where we can be alone." His voice was just a whisper.

I nodded yes, but my brain began whirling . . . alone, why . . . where? I stood to my feet and followed him outside. More than once today and tonight I had noticed a few things that seemed to be a little gay about Rob, but I was having a hard time convincing myself that could be true. While these thoughts were still in my mind I felt his hand slide into mine, I looked at him and in the light of the parking lot those blue eyes and his smile seemed to be brighter than ever. He only released my hand when a car load of our schoolmates pulled in beside his truck. Susie McGuire was the first one out.

"Well, well . . . don't you think little Steve is going to be a little jealous?"

I spun to face her, "Susie I told you once to fuck off and I meant it!"

Billy Payton quickly stepped in front of her. "Listen twerp you don't speak to a lady like that!"

"I didn't know I was speaking to a lady!"

His fist was on the way before I even saw it coming. Rob's hand stopped it just as it touched the side of my face.

"Easy little man," Rob warned in a deeper than normal voice. "Don't start something you can't finish."

"OK, Big Tex just tell your little fairy you talk to ladies different than he does to his boys."

Even in the dim light of the parking lot I could see Rob's knuckles on the hand that gripped Billy's fist turn white. The expression of pain on Billy's face made me grimace. Rob increased the pressure until Billy's knees buckled and he dropped to the ground.

"Now my friend," Rob voice was just above a whisper. "Perhaps you would like to rephrase that last statement."

I reached out and put my hand over Rob's, I could actually feel the tremendous pressure he was applying to Billy's hand.

"Please Rob, Billy is a friend of mine he was just kidding. Isn't that right Billy?"

Bill only nodded his head 'yes' as he tried to hide the pain he was feeling.

"OK Jamie . . . but I have to say you are a better man than anyone else here."

He moved his hand away and I helped Billy stand to his feet. Billy sort of shoved me back a little and started to say something. I slowly shook my head 'no.' He took a deep breath and walked off, his friends turned to follow him.

"Hay guys," I called after them, they all stopped and looked back. "I just want you to know Billy is a big man in my book. It takes a real man to admit he was wrong about something, and I'm proud to call Billy my friend."

I was pleased to see Billy turn and give me a quick smile before he entered Mickey D's.

Rob put his hand on my shoulder, "That was cool Dude, real cool."

We got in Rob's truck and drove off.

"What's with Susie?"

"Oh, she has been hounding Steve and me for weeks, trying to get something started just because he and I are good friends."

Rob smiled at me then turned left onto the highway that leads to the beach. We rode in silence but I could not keep my eyes off him. Occasionally he would look at me and smile. Soon he began to hum softly; I recognized the song he hummed as a late 50s or early 60s rock and roll melody, Just Ask Your Heart. Shortly the humming turned to soft singing. I was amazed at his voice he seemed to have almost perfect pitch as he sang so soft and low.

Just ask your heart who dreams about you

Just ask your heart who is faithful and true;

Someone who cares and won't make you blue

Someone who cares and loves only you;

Then you will find your true love will be

Someone who cares for you and wants to make you happy;

Then when your heart says he loves only you,

And when it says he won't make you blue;

Then ask your heart if your love is true,

Just as his heart loves only you;

Then you will find your true love will be

Someone who cares for you and wants to make you happy;

Then when your heart says he loves only you

And when it says he won't make you blue;

Then ask your heart if your love is true,

Just as his heart loves only you;

I listened to the words, I did not know if the song said something about him that I was not a part of or if he was trying to tell me perhaps he wanted me to be a part of something that was becoming increasingly more appealing. Right then I was so filled with mixed emotions I could only hope that I may be the one he sang about.

The words to the song were still echoing in my ears as Rob chose a secluded public parking lot just a hundred yard from the beach.

"Care to join me for a midnight walk on the beach?" Rob asked.

After hearing him sing to me my brain was incapable of thought so I opened the door and stepped out. Rob came around front to meet me. Again his hand found mine and those hypnotic blue eyes captured mine. There was only one street light close by but between it and the almost full moon his smile was breathtaking. He moved close and for a moment I thought he was going to kiss me. O how I wanted that, god he was driving me crazy with his little hints, his singing, his holding hands, his dancing with me; what was he trying to do? As quickly as he moved close he moved away.

"Let's take our boots off. I've tried walking in the sand with boots and it just does not work."

By the time he finished speaking he had one boot off and was working on the other. Soon there were two pairs of boots standing in front of the truck, a sock hanging from each tall top, and two sets of bare foot prints leading away. We walked in silence to the edge of the surf before Rob spoke again.

"Hope you don't mind my holding your hand?"

"No . . . no not at all."

"Good, Jamie you know you are one great guy. I've only known one other person who can come close to your quality."

I giggled nervously but I could not think of anything to say. Still holding my hand Rob began walking slowly along the water's edge. Occasionally a small wave would break around our feet and we would kick at it playfully like two little kids.

"Let's go sit among the sand dunes."

His smile shown brightly in the moon light, Rob picked a dune with two larger dunes behind which shielded us from the cooling night breeze. He sat down and pulled me close beside him. Our eyes locked in the pale light of the moon. It seemed an eternity before he spoke and my heart was pounding in my ears. All I could think was 'Kiss me please! O god Rob please kiss me!'

Rob leaned close, "Jamie . . ."

"Yes."

"Jamie . . . may I kiss you?"

The question was what I was dying to hear but it still shot waves of electricity through me. I must have jerked a little because he seemed to freeze in place. I was afraid I had scared him.

"Yes Rob," I whispered. "O yes."

I slipped my right hand up and caressed his cheek then leaned toward him. His head tilted slightly and my dreams and desires were realized. My heart pounded at the feel of his thick full lips against mine. When I felt his lips part slightly and when the tip of his tongue touched my lips I willingly opened my mouth to let him in. I was ecstatic with excitement and pleasure. Here I was in the arms of they guy I had been looking at like some kind of god, the mastery of his kiss drove me to the very edge or was it my lust for him? Right then I could care less it was happening, I was in his arms, and I wanted everything about him.

Lost in a world of pleasure I literally pushed him back so he was lying on his back and I was half spread across him. I ground myself against his leg and moaned softly into his mouth. I was so close to orgasm I shuddered hard to control it.

Snickers and giggles caused my heart to freeze. I sat up startled and found myself looking into the grinning faces of a young boy and girl about the age of seven or eight. Rob calmly rolled onto his side and smiled at them.

"Kind of late for you two to be out isn't it?" Rob asked them. That was one of the many things I adored about him, he was just so damn cool and calm about everything.

"Nah, we live right behind the dunes." The young girl chuckled as she spoke.

"Boys don't do that!" The young boy snickered again and put his hand over his mouth.

"And why not?" Rob asked.

"Cause they just don't."

"Yeah, just boys and girls," the little girl said.

"Well sometimes boys do too when they like each other," Rob said.

"Do you like him?" The girl asked.

"Yes I do, very much."

I quickly turned my attention back to Rob and all I could see was his smiling face looking straight at me. Then a voice came floating on the night breeze.

"Bobby, Martha, it's way past your bed time come on in."

"That's our mother, we got to go."

They turned and started back over the sand dunes. Martha stopped and looked back, just for a moment she stood there looking at us then came running back.

"Can I watch you kiss again? That was cool."

Rob sat up and put his arms around his knees, "No Sugar, you have seen too much now. Now scoot on home."

"Ahh . . ."

"Martha . . . come on," her little brother called.

OK . . . bye." Then she turned and ran to catch up with Bobby.

I was struggling to recover from the shock of being caught and the things Rob had just told Martha.

"Jamie . . ."

I had not taken my eyes off him since he had told Martha he liked me very much. But when he spoke my name this time tears suddenly began streaming down his face. Acting on pure instinct I reached out and pulled him to me. I held him tight and he rested his head on my shoulder. I could feel his tear dampened face against mine.

"Jamie . . ." he whispered again. "Jamie . . . I am so sorry this went much farther than I intended."

"What . . . what went too far?"

"I just never meant to go this far with you."

"Rob . . . everything is cool you didn't offend me if that's what you are thinking."

"It's not that Jamie . . ." He sobbed softly then put his arm around me. We sat silent for a long time, something told me to just let him regain control before I said anything. After a few minutes he pushed back and looked me in the eyes.

"Jamie I guess I need to start at the beginning."

"K."

I released my grip on him and we shifted so we were sitting cross legged and facing each other. Rob reached out and took both my hands in his. His movement reminded me of the way Mother had done a few morning before and again I could tell things were about to become very serious.

"Jamie . . . this may get a little long so just let me get it out then you can ask whatever you want, K?"

"K."

"I guess you noticed I've been coming on to you a little strong all evening?"

"Uh-huh."


"Well, I had a good reason for that. At least I though I did. I will get to that in a sec. But first did you suspect I may be gay before tonight?"

"No . . . no but I was sure hoping."

He smiled so sweetly when I said that.

"I didn't think so, but I knew you were."

"How . . . when . . . I mean . . .?"

Rob chuckled softly, "Well we are the same age but I guess I have had a little more experience. I have known from the very first time I saw you."

"How . . .?"

"That first morning at school when I came in and you saw me. The expression on your face alerted me but when our eyes locked for just that brief moment there was no question you were gay. But what really surprised me was I instantly new you were the boy I could fall in love with. Those first few days were heaven just being around you that was till I came to my senses."

I could not understand what Rob was telling me. If I was so great why did he suddenly start treating me like I had some contagious disease? I squeezed his hands and started to speak, but he cut me off.

"No . . . let me finish. Jamie it was love at first sight, I mean I fell for you hard but then I discovered I was just being selfish."

"Selfish?" I interrupted. "If you knew I was gay could you not tell that I had a crush on you from the beginning, and tonight, just now that certainly had to tell you?"

"Yes, I knew but I also knew you had Steve but after a few days I realized you didn't even know you had Steve."

Steve! My god in the space of an hour and a half I had forgotten all about Steve twice. The thought of Steve caused an ache in my heart that caused me to gasp. How could I have let myself get so involved tonight if I really loved him?

"Let me cut to the chase," Rob said as he tenderly stroked the side of my face. "You see Jamie I do love you, in just a few weeks I have fell for you hard but I can't let that happen."

"Why . . . why Rob?"

"Because you have Steve, you love him, and God only knows how much he loves you. I knew he did all along but after our talk the other morning at school he had me in tears as he told about how long he had waited for you."

My head dropped and tears suddenly streamed down my face, Rob reached up and wiped some away.

"There is something else you need to know, Steve had cornered me to tell me that he was royally pissed at the way I had been treating you. You talk about an ass chewing, for over half an hour all I could do was stand there and agree with everything he was saying. That was when I finally understood just how deep his love for you really is. He was willing to give you up if that was what it took to make you happy; Jamie a love like that comes only once in a life time."

I looked up at Rob through eyes blurred with tears. Steve, how could I have forgotten so easily? How could I have wanted Rob to do what he had and to want him to do even more? Our relationship had just begun and already I had let Steve down. Then Rob scooted close and took me in his arms.

"Jamie there is another reason I must, and I also want to control my love for you."

Then a gigantic sob shook his body, one so strong and sudden it startled me. I hugged him tight and clung to him until he could speak.

"You . . . you see Jamie I am in love with someone else and I knew I would be just using you to make myself feel better and I just could not . . . can not, let that happen because I love you too much, you know about Dad and the truck wreck . . ."

"Uh-huh."

"Well there was someone else in the truck with him . . . Justin . . . Justin the boy I have loved since we were nine."

"O Rob . . . I'm so sorry . . ."


The sobs returned and I slid as close to Rob as I could get and just held him tight.

"I . . . I have to . . . to finish . . ." he whispered between gasps. "Justin isn't dead he has been in a coma since the accident. Everyone thought he would always be that way and we were just waiting for him to die."

Rob suddenly leaned back and I was surprised to see that beautiful smile again.

"But Jamie he didn't die. Jamie he woke up last week . . . well just a little anyway. That is why Mom and I went back home. Jamie he can open his eyes and he knows everyone around him!"

Rob was crying again but this time I knew it was joy and hope for the future.

"He can't move or speak but he is back . . ."

This was the first I knew of Justin but I suddenly felt like I had know him a lifetime. I placed a hand on each side of Rob's face and kissed him, and he kissed me back. I have no idea how long we sat like that just holding each other and both of us crying just a little. Rob crying for Justin, and me crying because Rob was hurting so. We both jumped when my cell began ringing.

"Hello . . ."

The word hid not even sound like 'hello,' you know how hard it is to speak after a good cry.

"Jamie is that you? Are you alright?" It was Mom.

"Hi Mom . . . yes we are just fine. Rob and I are just having a long talk."

"It's late Dear, almost two in the morning I was becoming worried."

"I'm sorry Mom, I should have called. I'll tell you all about it when I get home . . . that is if it's alright with Rob."

I glanced at him and he nodded 'yes.'

"OK Dear I don't mean to be a meddling mother with your new phone."

"Ah . . . Mom you're not."

"OK, bye Dear."

"Mom . . ."

"Yes."

"Mom I love you."

"And I love you. Just remember you guys have work tomorrow."

I put the phone back in my pocket and saw a smiling Rob looking at me.

"Your Mom knows about you and Steve doesn't she?"

"Uh-huh."

"That's great . . . she OK with it?"

"Uh-huh . . . she has been wonderful."

"So have Mom . . . and Dad." Even in the dim moonlight I could see the hurt and sorrow in his eyes when he spoke the word 'Dad.' "They said they first realized I was different when I was ten or eleven, they never condemned me because of it but we spent many hours talking and deciding together if it was right for me. Then when Justin came into my life, I mean really came into my life, he was accepted as one of the family. Because his parents kicked him out when they found out about us he needed a job and a place to stay. Dad put him to work on the farm and paid all his expenses of school. Then when we were freshmen in middle school they let us start sharing the same room . . . and we have been . . . or was together up till the time of the wreck."

I took Rob back into my arms and just let him tell me about Justin. About how happy they had been, about the commitment they had made to each other one night in their room, about the dreams they shared for the future, then about the accident. It was easy to tell just how deeply Rob had been devastated by the loss of his Father and what had appeared to be the loss of his true love. For weeks he had sat by Justin's hospital bed refusing to leave even at night. When the decision came to put Justin in a home where he would probably live what was left of his life as an unconscious vegetable Rob had suffered an almost total breakdown. Adding also to his burden was the loss of the family farm to the IRS and bank.

"I was just getting back to somewhat normal when we moved here and I met you," Rob continued. "That first day I knew it was wrong because of Steve but I was hurt, lonely, and being selfish. By the time school was out I had convinced myself I deserved you and Steve would just have to find someone else. After all I reasoned nothing bad had ever happened to him so a little set back would hardly bother him. I even felt so strong about it I talked with Mom about you. Everything was great until I mentioned Steve. When Mom found out I intended to try and take you from him she was furious. That was the first time in my life I ever saw her like that."

Rob slipped a hand behind my head and kissed me softly then he continued.

"Jamie . . . can you ever forgive me?"

"Rob you know I can."

"Mom made me understand if someone had taken Justin from me just how upset I would have been. I knew she was right but I wasn't man enough to just back off."

He stroked my hand and those blue eyes looked so sad.

"Damn it Jamie . . . I wanted you. I wanted you almost as bad as I wanted Justin, so instead of just backing away I started acting like an ass toward you. I even went so far as trying to convince myself that you didn't deserve to be as happy as your were."

He pulled back acting as though he thought I might punch him. I had to stifle a chuckle as the thought crossed my mind. Me punch him? I might be stupid by Momma did not rear a dummy.

"Jamie . . . I'm so sorry."

"I know Rob . . . and I have already forgiven you."

Then I once more pulled him close where I could kiss him softly.

"But Rob, there is something I am still puzzled about."

"About tonight, and the way I came on to you?"

"Uh-huh."

"Well I told you earlier after I called you to ask for this date tonight, my mind works in mysterious ways."

I guess the puzzled look on my face was obvious. Rob patted my cheek softly before he continued.

"When I first thought about doing what I did tonight I was sure it could never happen to you, but the last few hours have shown me we may all be weak at times. You will never know just how thankful I am that those little kids showed up when they did . . . I had completely lost it Jamie. I wanted you so bad at that moment I had just turned everything loose and was willing to enjoy the moment and worry about the consequences later."

"Rob I just don't follow what you are saying."

"Jamie it is simple, just be true and faithful to Steve! I sat out tonight to help you understand how important it is not to cheat on him. But there is more I also found out I almost failed Justin."

"I think I see . . ." I muttered.

"Look Jamie, Justin had a brief fling just a few months before the accident . . . we just made up a week before that afternoon." Suddenly his sobs were back, "I am so thankful now that we did. Jamie what we both need to learn is temptation is always going to be there that is what I wanted you to see tonight. You have something special with Steve, something very special; don't ever destroy it for a moment's lust."

"Rob I know what you are saying, but I must admit the way you went about it was a little strange tough."

"Yeah, I guess it was. But you see Justin and I had already talked about just that thing and we both thought it would never happen to us but it did. Faithfulness Jamie that is what you must see and I thought a practical demonstration would go farther than words."

"Believe me it did! Just day before yesterday I pledged my love to Steve and sealed it with a kiss. Then this afternoon I treated him like he was a leftover toy."

"What?"

"Yeah, when I got home after you asked me out . . . Steve was waiting for me and I acted like I hardly knew him . . . I was so caught up in our date I just blew him off."

"Jamie! You didn't?"

"Uh-huh . . ."

Everything was now so clear from the way Steve had put his arm around me when I sat down beside him on the steps, then the way he moved to the edge away from me, then the tears as he left. He was not happy for me . . . I had just broken his heart.

"Can't you just call him now and explain? Tell him you're sorry."

"No."

"No! Why?"

"Rob you said before you thought Steve had never had anything bad happen to him . . . well he has!"

Now it was time to tell Rob about my boyfriend, at least I hoped he still would be my boyfriend. Rob could not believe Steve could be so abused and still be the sweet loving person he is.

"You see I can't call him; if I called at this time of night there would be hell to pay for him. No I will call in the morning."

Rob chuckled, "I don't think that will be to far away."

He pointed to the Eastern sky and the first glow of a new day was spreading across the horizon. Rob stood up and brushed sand off his jeans.

"Come on little Buddy I think we better be going."

He reached down and took me by the hand as I stood to my feet.

"Rob . . ."

"Yes Jamie . . ."

"One more kiss please . . . just for old times sake."

He never hesitated. We slipped into each others arms like we were meant to be there, and our kiss was on of love and caring not one of lust. When the kiss ended we held each other and searched deep into the others eyes.

"Jamie I hope this won't be our last kiss. Really, really good friends can share an occasional kiss can't they?"

"Uh-huh."

"You have Steve now, and we are going to move Justin here just as soon as we can find a suitable re-hab for him to stay at."

"You think he is going to recover?"

"Jamie I know he will! I won't settle for anything less! It's going to take a lot of time and work, but I will be with him every step of the way."

We strolled hand in hand back to Rob's truck. As we drove back to town Rob once more sang Just Ask Your Heart to me and this time I listened to every word, and every word said 'Steve' to me. Yes Steve dreams only of me, yes he has been faithful and true; more than I could say about myself to him. And yes he would never make me blue, and I do know he loves only me. I know it is hard to believe one could still shed tears after all the tears that had streamed down my face over the last few hours but when I though of Steve and all that he meant to me the tears were just an uncontrollable reality. I had so much to make up to him, I could hardly wait to call him this morning and beg his forgiveness.

The sun was just breaking the horizon when Rob dropped me off in front of my house.

"Get two or three hours sleep then we will go to work." Rob called as he drove away.

I could see Mom through the kitchen window and I knew I owed her a full recount of my night. I just hoped I could get and hours nap before Rob came back.

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