Discovering Love

Written by Rick Beck

Chapter 21

Wanderer

My center had become hopelessly out of balance. My brain kept flashing on Greg's angry words. Why? He was screwing everyone and I was only screwing Doug. That didn't seem fair. I did feel bad that he caught us, but caught wasn't the right word. He came to catch us and if he hadn't caught us on that path, he'd have caught us somewhere else, sooner or later.

I was happy when I was with Doug but I had no understanding of what he expected or what he wanted. Doug's words never matched up with his actions. Now, with Greg's new vendetta, it was going to be more difficult for Doug and I to get together. I could wait for him once I got out of school and we could walk and talk, but even walking with Doug was hazardous when he made up his mind he wanted to do something.

I wanted to do something all the time but not in places that were going to get us caught. I could wait when I knew there was something at the end of the wait. That wasn't the case with Doug. Today he might want sex every hour on the hour and tomorrow he might decide he wasn't having sex this week. How could all of us be so different and yet end up wanting each other.

When I first saw Greg all those weeks ago, I never imagined the complications this would bring into my life. I was far better off knowing there were other boys who were no more or less sexual than I was but I wish I knew more about the way they thought and what made them like what they liked. We all seemed to think in similar ways about sex and relationships but there was nothing similar about how we went about meeting our needs.

I was still too new to try to assert my brand of desire onto the more experienced boys. I wanted to do what I did and do it well, and I knew that would get me where I wanted to be. I didn't want anyone doing anything they didn't want to do but I wanted a steady supply of what other boys were willing to give up. The uncertainty between wanting and getting, seemed never ending. The conflicts it aroused in each of us seemed insurmountable at times.

Each time I thought of Greg, those twinkling blue eyes, his cocky smile, and his self-assured demeanor, he looked better than a double-dip hot fudge sundae. I felt like I was having a heart attack. I wanted to cry. I wanted to go home. Now, I wanted my brain to just stop already. How could one of the best things in my life, Doug, cause such conflict with one of the other best things in my life?

As big an asshole as I knew Greg was, I couldn't shake the idea that he and I had some unfinished business. How could we ever finish it if he wouldn't see me or speak to me? How could he not speak to me? I might not have been a Herbie or Alfred, but I had become part of his harem. There was no doubt he wanted what he wanted from me. It's just that I never had any idea what the fuck he wanted or when he wanted it.

Doug was the super nice guy but in the end Doug and I weren't going to end up together. Doug had other things on his mind. I was one of his pit crew and I rotated his tires and gave him a good lube job when he thought he needed one, but when he drove away, I never saw myself in the car beside him. Doug had a plan. I don't think he knew what it was yet, but he did know that his days of dallying with the horny boys were numbered. It's not where he wanted to be and he was strong enough, and smart enough to be where ever he wanted to be when he wanted to be there.

Whenever I pictured Greg in my mind. I was there with him. I couldn't see myself with him when I was with him, but when I wasn't with him, I saw myself right beside him. How do you see yourself with someone when its impossible to see it. You can see the guy you're with and you know you are with him, but you can't see yourself with him unless someone takes a picture. No one had taken picture but the picture was in my head. I was beside Greg each time I saw him in my mind.

Perhaps it was the river water or too much sun, or maybe it was too much sex because any was more than I was used to. There was sex all around me since I arrived in the mountains. Everything and everyone gave off the promise of sex. When we took a walk we encountered it by the boathouse. When we ate we ate with it standing and leaning around the patio. When we came out the door it was chopping wood. When we walked to the river it was there. Even walking on a path or after falling down a hill, sex was waiting there for us.

For fifteen years, sex had been a word that I knew nothing about. Since I'd turned sixteen, it was everywhere and I knew even less. There was no way for me to know what was enough or too much. I had found no limits that weren't artificially applied by someone else. You stopped when you might get caught or you had to have sleep so you could keep doing it, but not much else slowed the onslaught on that hill. I could just have finished and thinking of nothing but rest, and then a word, a smell, someone's erect penis would start it all over again. I could be in a dead sleep, and one touch of someone's hand was all the invitation I needed.

It could have been something I worried about, but I saw Doug and how he handled it and that was cool. I could do what he did, swear off from time to time. Ponder my options, my feelings, and what I'd learned. It didn't bother me that Doug was probably beyond wanting to be my lover when he said he wasn't ready yet. What he meant was, it didn't feel right to him.

Doug needed to be happy as I needed to be happy, and I didn't want to be with him if my being with him made him unhappy. I could have sex with him and be in love with him and not be his lover. As long as it was okay with him I wouldn't deny myself because I'd rather have it my way. What is, is and what isn't sometimes can never be and that was okay, but then there was Greg.


Doug and I sat with our hamburgers up on the hill. Augie and Greg stood on either side of Greg's father. They joked and laughed and seemed to love life. Augie glanced our way and flashed us a knowing approving grin. Greg glared at us when Doug put his head next to mine to comment on how hot Augie's ass was.

"You okay?" Doug asked.

"Great," I said.

"You look awful pale. You want to lie down?"

"No. I'm fine."

"I'll lay with you," he giggled. "Just to keep you company. I'll be nice."

"I think we've got to be more careful. Anyone can look right into the basement."

"I'm sorry," Doug said.

"What?"

"It's my fault. That's why I think I'm crazy. Who in their right mind would decide to do it in the middle of a path?"

"Do what, dear?" Greg's mother said, as she brought out a plate of slice tomatoes, onions, and pickles.

"Nothing, mom. Just talking."

"You boys don't be doing anything dangerous. I'm responsible for Martin."

"I know, mom. Like a book you checked out of the library. Got to get it back safe and sound. Don't worry."

"That's right, dear," she said, mussing my hair as she went back into the house.

"It didn't take much persuading," I said ruefully. "I might have had some part in the decision, Doug."

"You're so easy, Martin."

"I don't want to be. I can't stop myself."

"You seen Timmy?" Doug asked.

"No."

"Augie's here. He must be up to something to be missing out."

"He was pissed off when Augie and Greg started getting together," I said.

"Yeah, that's Timmy. He gets crushes on guys easy. He's stupid about it. He's going to get his ass kicked one day."

"How so?" I asked.

"Well, all guys don't do that shit. If he likes a guy he asks them."

"At least he's honest," I said.

"That meaning I'm not?" Doug asked, sounding seriously offended by my comment.

"I didn't say that."

"Yes, you did. It was exactly what you said. I'm honest. I'm as honest as I can be. I'm just not always sure, that's all."

"I never said you weren't. God, don't you start. I'm sorry, okay."

"Just don't be saying that about me."

I didn't know what I had said, but it put Doug off. I wandered up to the gravel road and stood above the property, thinking about taking a walk. I looked back toward the patio and Greg and Augie were wrestling again, shirts off, chests rubbing, laughing as they swore at one another. It was more playful now but I didn't want to see them together. Augie had turned everyone's temperature up a few degrees. Him and Greg together stoke every appetite I had.

I started walking down toward the clubhouse. My feet felt like lead and my mind just rambling along like a ten ton truck. A car came whizzing past and I ate the gritty dust for the next five minutes. I'd felt so good about everything that morning, and now the world seemed to be closing back in on me. I was ready to go home. Life was easier at home, predictable if boring.

I'd stay out until dinner and maybe things would cool off by then. Life sure sucked sometimes. It was easier on me when I touched no one and no one touched me. Love wasn't what it was cracked out to be but I didn't even know what love was. It had to be all the feelings churning up inside of me every time I caught a glimpse of Greg or Doug. I couldn't imagine what else that could be.

As I closed in on the clubhouse I saw people all over the place. Where the camping spaces had been empty the night before, there were cars, tents, and vans all over the place. Guys were pitching horseshoes, kids were playing badminton, and some older men were tossing the football around. I looked at the table by the boathouse and there were three people sitting there. I was sure one was Timmy. I strolled up trying to look like I didn't have a care in the world, but I guess I was wearing my grief.

"What's wrong?" Timmy asked.

"Nothing," I said.

"Look like you lost your last friend," the other kid said.

"This is Beatrice Walton and Ryan Best," Timmy said. "This is my good friend, Martin."

That made me feel better for some reason. I didn't picture Timmy and I as good friends, but I'd take what I could get just then. Beatrice looked closer to my age in the daylight. She'd looked much younger in the dark. She was small. Ryan was fifteen but he looked thirteen. He wore a little boy's swimming suit and was a bit fleshy and very pink all over. He had green eyes that never left me as he rested his head on his hand with his elbow poking into the table.

"You can sit by me... if you want," Beatrice said in a voice that sounded as thought it came from an angel.

I was quickly informed I was mistaken again.

"She's a whore," Ryan said, don't pay her no mind unless you're horny.

"So, you're a fag," Beatrice shot back, sounding like anything but an angel.

"I'm Timmy, whore and fag," Timmy said, laughing as he cocked his head and looked up at me. "Who do you want to sit next to little boy?"

I sat next to Timmy, feeling safer there.

"I'm with the fags," I said in an uncharacteristic confession of truth.

"Fuck, ain't there any men left for Christ sake," Beatrice lamented.

"Yeah, there's a cute guy over there throwing the football. Man does he have a cock on him. I'll see him later," Timmy said.

Ryan laughed, Beatrice shook her head, plopping it down on her crossed arms in defeat, and I looked for the guy Timmy was talking about.

"Timmy, you should be careful," I said.

"I'm careful. I been here before. He's cool."

"He might not be cool if he knows what you want," I advised in my most cautious tone.

"Last time he told me I gave better head than any of his girlfriends," Timmy bragged.

"Jesus!" Beatrice said. "I got to get out a here before I turn dyke."

The girl limped through the grass pulling down the legs of her swimsuit as she waddled away. She wasn't unattractive but I didn't know what made a girl attractive. She looked like a girl and she seemed to have all the equipment. It simply didn't do anything for me.

"You could introduce me," Ryan said, looking at the men playing football.

"What's in it for me?" Timmy asked, sounding like Greg.

"Have you ever done it with three?"

"Four," Timmy said, looking at me. "Can't leave out my best bud."

His hand dropped across my shoulder as he looked at me and then Ryan. Timmy was okay, but right then, it made me feel good to hear someone say something nice to me. I smiled but I felt like I wanted to cry. God was I fucked up.

They talked about nothing and everyone for a few minutes while my brain did its usual circumnavigation, wandering willy-nilly from one random thought to another while there conversation drifted just beyond my reach.

"Where's Augie?" Timmy asked.

"What?" I said, knowing the question was for me.

"Augie, tall handsome guy with black hair."

"They were having lunch, when I left."

"Where's Doug?"

"Lunch," I said.

"That's a man," Ryan said.

"Augie? Maybe," Timmy said.

"You seen his dick?" Ryan asked. "Fucker gets hard."

"Felt it," Timmy said. "He'd have let me blow him but we'd only just met and all. I know he wants a crack at your sister."

"I introduced them. Told him I could make arrangements if we could be friends."

"Friends?" Timmy asked.

"It's how it works?" Ryan bragged.

"How it works?" I asked.

"I got three brothers and two sisters. Half aren't related, you know. My old man's been married three times. B's the daughter of the current lady of the house. She was screwing all my brothers within two days of moving in with us."

"Damn," Timmy said. "Works fast, huh?"

"One day, maybe a year ago, Bruce, my best friend was over the house. B said I should set her up. I told Bruce and he was all for it. After he left she says I should introduce her to my friends. I asked her what was in it for me and she said, guys'll do anything for pussy. Use your imagination."

"Did you?"

"I did. I introduced her to guys I didn't hang with but wanted to know better, like sixteen and seventeen year olds. Right up her alley."

"What was in it for you?" I asked.

"Made 'em an offer they couldn't refuse. Use your imagination."

"What was that?" Timmy asked, listening intently. "They let you...?"

"They get what they want from B and I get what I want from them."

The boys green eyes flashed as he smiled real big with a cat that ate the cannery look on his face. He was a regular entrepreneur, a commodity dealer extraordinaire.

"Guys go for that?" Timmy asked suspiciously. "High school guys?"

"Anything for pussy."

"What's this, butt buddies ice cream social," Greg said, easing up behind us.

I kept my back to him. Augie stood at the other corner of the table as Greg stood close behind me.

"Hey, Aug," Timmy said.

"Where's B?" Augie asked Ryan.

"She's around," Ryan said, and his hand immediately going onto Augie's leg an inch below his crotch.

"She going to come up to my tent?" Augie asked.

"We might could come up in a spell," Ryan said.

"You mind if I tag along," Greg said, moving to Augie's side, pulling down on the front of his jeans as he stood in front of Ryan.

"I don't care but I got to stay with my sister. That's all."

"You aren't staying with her now," Augie said.

"She's not with guys wanting to get into her pants right now."

"Yeah, whatever," Augie said. "Greg's my bud and he might hang around too."

"What a waste," Timmy said, distraught about Greg and Augie.

"You fart or something," Greg growled across the table at Timmy.

"Wouldn't you know. I'd know if somebody farted on my dick."

"This the guy that fucks you?" Ryan asked.

"You better ask him," Timmy said shyly.

Greg and Augie were walking up toward the meadows when I turned to follow them with my eyes. All three of us were doing the same thing at exactly the same time.

"Fucker's got a big dick. How do you take one like that?" Ryan asked.

"No big thing. I like it. He knows what he's doing."

"I can't do that. I'll suck one but I don't want it up my shit hole."

"What do you get out of it?" I said.

"What?" Ryan asked.

"Sucking a lot of dicks? Why not find one and stick with it?"

"What kind of stupid question is that?"

"I'm fairly new at all this. I like what I've tried. I like a couple of guys quite a bit," I explain.

"Me! Me!" Timmy said, raising his hand while lying his head on the table and looking up at me.

"Cut it out. You like Augie and Greg and everyone else," I said, unsure if he was making a joke or not.

"Augie and Greg and you," Timmy said, putting his hand on my knee. "You're nice. You don't look at me like I'm a cockroach."

"Why would I?" I asked confused. "You aren't doing anything the rest of us aren't doing."

"Because you've seen me with a lot of guys."

"That's not my business as long as it's what you want. I don't understand what you get out of it. Five, ten, twenty..., but why? I mean if I could be with one guy for the rest of my life, that's what I'd do," I reasoned.

"Do it. I wish I could. Guys aren't easy to pin down that way. They love you as long as they're hard and you're working on it for them. Once they've finished, they love beer, and baseball, and getting away from you," Timmy said.

"They aren't all like that," I said.

"Bet me. The guys that were my friends only come around when they get horny or want to see a show," Ryan said."

"Why do it with so many. That doesn't accomplish anything," I said, thinking I must be on to something.

"I don't know. Because I can. Because I like it. Because they let me. I like holding them in the palm of my hand even for just the five or ten minutes they give in to it. Those are the best minutes of my life."

"In the palm of your hand?" Timmy said.

"You ever watched a guy's face when he's about to cum?" Ryan asked.

"Sure," I said, not sure what he was getting to.

"Bliss," Timmy said. "Pure Bliss."

"They come to me so I'll do that to them. I can do anything as long as I do that. Bite it. Shove a finger up their butt. Squeeze their balls until they yell. As long as I get them there."

"What's that prove?" I asked.

"The longer I keep them there the longer I'm not alone. I guess they're company and the only way to have their company is to give 'em what they're after."

"Do you enjoy it?"

"You bet your ass I enjoy it," Ryan smiled, leaning around Timmy's head so I'd be sure to see.

"What about you, Timmy?"

"I don't know. I can't stop myself. It's like he says you aren't alone and they're giving you something only a few people are going to get from them."

"Because I can and I never could before. Because I know guys that will and I never knew them before. I want to like someone a lot. I want to stay with them and do what they like. It's just that no one seems to want to be with me for long," I said.

"See!" Ryan said. "Why worry about it."

"I think I love someone. I don't really want to be with anyone else but I can't be with him. So I want to be with everyone else. It's fucked up."

"Greg or Doug?" Timmy asked point blank, looking way into my eyes.

"I didn't say who. Not them," I lied.

"Greg," Timmy said. "You wouldn't look at him. It's Greg."

"You're in love with Greg," Ryan swooned. "I'd love to get my hands on him."

"You'll get your chance," I said.

"When?" Ryan demanded.

"When you get B up there to fuck Augie. Greg's going to distract you so they can be alone. I heard them talking."

"Cool," Ryan said. "Two for the price of one. Works for me."

"I thought you couldn't leave her alone," Timmy said.

"She's in good hands with Augie. I trust him."

"How'd you get him?" Timmy asked.

"Offered him my sister. Works every time."

"He's not gay," I said. "No way."

"Well, he ain't very straight," Ryan said. "He was hard before I touched him."

"Me too," Timmy said.

"Do you have to touch every single one?" I objected.

"Jealous?" Ryan asked.

"Yeah, I am. He's hot," I said.

"What am I, chopped liver?" Timmy asked.

"No, Timmy. You're nice too."

"Kiss of death. Nice guy. Thanks," Timmy said. "I might be good but I'm never nice."

I remembered Greg and Augie at each other all morning. I looked up the hill and wondered what was going on up in the meadows. Those two didn't seem to be able to stay clear of each other. Neither one was going to give in to the other but they were going to torment each other for as long as possible.

"Hey, where'd you go?" Timmy yelled in my ear.

"What?"

"We're goin' over to play with Van's balls. You coming?"

"Nah," I said.

"You sure? They broke up the game and Ryan wants to meet him. We won't stay long. Come with us."

"No, you two be careful," I said.

I wanted to walk up to where Greg and Augie disappeared. I knew if he caught me hanging around him, he'd go ballistic. I didn't need any more complications just then.

I wondered if Doug had cooled down. I saw him sitting with his mother near the picture window, holding the yarn for her as she rolled it into a tight ball. It was blue yarn today. The day before it had been green. I wondered why my mind had changed the color.

Greg's father would be down in the garden, finishing his work.

I was alone once again and I knew why Timmy and Ryan preferred the comings and goings of other boys. It was something.

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