Not as it seems

by Benjamin J. Conner

Chapter 9

"Yesss, I knew it....I just knew you could talk" Ethan couldn't believe his ears.

"Fine, you knew, but we have to go now. Your father said ten minutes!"

"I know, but how....I mean, why are you talking now?"

"Because it is important and you need me to talk."

"And why didn't you talk earlier?"

"It wasn't necessary."

"Huh?"

"There was no need to talk and I knew that it would be best for me to remain silent. Besides, we both understood each other without words. It felt great to be with you. I enjoyed the time and it felt like....home. I haven't felt like that for some time now."

"Me too, I like to be with you and...I actually don't know why."

"I do."

"You do? Why?"

"I can't tell you."

"Why not?"

"Because, I can't, I know why, but I can't put it into words."

"Yeah, I know that feeling." Ethan stated with a charming look on his face and continued. "I like your voice."

"I like your voice too, I mean, I like everything about you." Darren said with a keen smile.

"That's what I meant. What about the secret you tried to tell me?"

"Which secret?"

"That you can sometimes make people think special things?"

"I don't know why I can do this or how. My Dad tried to explain it to me, but I didn't understand it. Sometimes it happens, other times it doesn't. Anyway, we have to go now. Listen, if we meet somebody I'll stop talking and please, you can't tell anyone. Promise!"

"Not even my Dad."

"No....I mean, yes maybe..."

"You still don't trust him?"

"I do because he helped us escape regardless of the consequences for him, but still, I don't know who to really trust."

"You can trust me!"

"I know and you know that I do, please Ethan, we have to go now!"

Ethan smiled and shook his head in disbelief. "Dunno why, but I sort of figured you'd talk like...an adult, I mean if you'd ever talk. It's crazy, but I think I like that."

Even though Ethan acted like he was calm and confident he was still confused. On the one hand he was thrilled by the sound of his buddy's angelic voice, so soft and quiet, so melodic and charming, but for some unknown reason he was intimidated by it as well. Darren had seemed so small, innocent, and vulnerable; now that he had a voice, he seemed bigger, more confident, and somehow untouchable due to the way he talked.

"Please Ethan; I have to try finding my uncle. I have a special telephone number I can use; will you help me find a phone...now?" Darren asked.

"Sure, but what about my Dad?"

"Don't worry we'll meet him in the morning."

"What?"

"He decided to stay at the house for our protection, but I know that we'll meet him soon."

"How do you know that?"

"Dunno, just do."

"But why can't we wait for my Dad and then go searching for your uncle?"

"Just because."

"That's no answer!"

"Ethan please, you've always been good to me helping like a big brother and I like you a lot, but now it's my turn. We can help each other. I know it's the right thing to do."

Peter had been right, his son would do anything for Darren, even if he was scared about leaving this place without his father.

"Okay...okay, let's go."

The two boys started to find their way through the forest in the opposite direction of where the safe house was located. Ethan for some reason didn't hold Darren's hand anymore - he backed off a bit - uncertainty had taken over control. However his younger friend wasn't afraid, and grabbed the left hand of Peter's son so they could keep contact in the darkness that surrounded them.

They walked about three hours until they reached Highway 99 or better known as Sea-to-Sky Highway. It was a tough journey and they both were tired from all the excitement. Even though they only had to walk three miles from the safe house, it felt like an endless journey through the woods because the rough terrain made it even more difficult.

Reaching the highway, a road sign showed that they only had another half a mile to walk until they would reach a public place, the "Whistler RV Park and Campground," which was close to Mount Brew. Hopefully there would be a telephone there that they could use. Thank god that Peter had given each of them long blue jeans and a sweatshirt to wear, because it had been getting colder and colder during the long night.


"I only have two quarters. We can't call both your uncle and Frank." Ethan said as they had reached the public phone.

"I don't need any money."

"Why not?"

Darren just ignored the question as he began dialing a fairly long number, waited for a dial tone, then dialed more numbers.

"Hello?" An old man's voice was heard on the other side of the line.

"Uncle Carl?"

"Darren? Is that you?"

"Yes Uncle, it's me."

"Thank you Lord!" Carl whispered to himself and continued. "Darren, I so much prayed to hear your voice again, but I'd never thought.....whatever, where are you?"

"I don't know exactly, somewhere along highway 99."

"Did you escape?"

"Yes, me and my best friend....and his father."

"Oh my god....I'm a little bit speechless now - didn't expect this...."

"Where's Dad?"

"He's....not here....listen, are you still somewhere in Vancouver?"

"I think so."

"I'm not far away. Okay, look around...are there any signs? I need to know where you are so I can get you."

"Yeah, here's a sign and it reads Whistler RV Park & Campground."

"Good, I'll search for it, wait a moment. Tell me, are you okay?"

"I am, but I feel weak and I'm afraid."

"I know my dear; you're way above the line. Okay, I got it. You stay where you are and try to hide somewhere close to the phone. I'll be there in about three hours and I promise you'll feel better soon. Oh Darren, it's so good to hear your voice."

Tears left Darren's eyes as he began to tremble full of fear and despair.

"Uncle Carl?"

"Yes?"

"Am I gonna die?"

"Noo my dear noo, of course not. You're not going to die. I won't let that happen, do you understand me?"

"Yeah."

"Everything will be fine, but you have to stay where you are, I'll re-direct my phone so you can call me anytime, okay? Can you do that?"

"Okay, I mean yes."

"See you soon, I promise, and don't forget, I love you Darren."

"I love you too Uncle Carl."

After Darren hung up the phone he turned around and faced his companion. Tears were still slowly making their way down his cheeks; now again being the small, innocent, and vulnerable boy he was before the escape.

Ethan didn't say a word to what he just heard. Instead he came closer, softly wiped away the tears with the sleeves of his sweatshirt, and put his arms around the little one. For whatever reason the call had taken a load off Darren's mind and he now felt free to let go in a way he hasn't been able to do for such a long time. It took several minutes until his weeping got weaker and weaker, and suddenly, without any prior warning, he slumped into Ethan's arms and went unconscious.

"DARREN!" Ethan shouted in shock and carefully set him down on the wet grass next to the public phone as he worriedly stroked his friend's cheeks. He wasn't sure what to do: should he wait for the unknown uncle or should he return to the safe house and get his father? Why was Darren asking his uncle if he was going to die? It was all too much for the eleven year old.

The only thing he could remember was to call Frank, and that's exactly what he did. Frank promised to hit the road immediately and be there in a few hours. He gave Ethan his cell phone number so he could call him anytime and instructed the boy to stay where they were, no matter if the mysterious uncle wanted to take them somewhere or not.


At about four o'clock in the morning a car drove by and turned right after it had passed the boys. Ethan had Darren on his lap and held him tight so he wouldn't get all wet from the grass. What he didn't expect was that the wet grass would soak his own pants and make him shiver within minutes. He now felt very cold and tired from all the exertion of the day and dampness of the weather.

The car stopped right in front of them. An old grey-haired black man with a friendly appearance got out of it and ran over to the boys.

"Darren?"

"He is unconscious. I didn't know what to do Mister." Ethan said.

"I'm Carl, his Uncle. How long has he been unconscious?"

"It happened right after he hung up with you."

"It was good that you held him like this, but you must be freezing. I'll take him and we have to get you into something dry."

Ethan was confused and once again didn't know what to do.

"No, leave him alone.....you can't take him. I have to watch out for him and we are waiting for my Dad and.....a friend....a friend of our family."

"It's okay. What's your name?"

"Ethan."

"Listen Ethan, Darren needs specialized medication and I can't give it to him here. We have to get him into a motel room or something. From there we can make a plan as to what we should do from here on out, okay?"

"But what about my Dad?"

"What's wrong with your Dad?"

"He'll look for us as soon as he.....I mean....he'll be here soon, we can't leave!"

"There's a motel only a couple of miles down the road. We'll drive there and think about what we can do, alright?"

"I don't know."

"There's nothing to be afraid of Ethan. I'm a friend and I won't harm Darren or you, I promise."

Ethan couldn't decide if they should stay where they were or follow the stranger. What if Darren died because he didn't let the stranger take him to get his medicine? What if he goes with him and misses his Dad. There were too many questions for Ethan's little heart, so he gave in and let the old man put Darren into the car. Ethan sat down next to his friend so he was able to continue looking after his mate, but before long he fell asleep from the exhausting getaway.

Carl found a quiet motel directly along highway 99 and rented a room where he could take care of the exhausted cubs. He gently carried them inside and found a place for each of the boys who were still sleeping.

Right after undressing Ethan and covering him up with a warm blanket he began to provide Darren with his needed medicine. It took about 30 minutes before he was sure that the boy was going to be well again. Darren's heartbeat and breathing became stable and his body temperature returned to normal a lot faster than one would expect it to.

Now it was time to look for Ethan's father even though he didn't think it was a good idea to leave them alone after they had just escaped. If he was to find the boy's Dad he had no choice except to leave the two alone at the moment. Carl hoped to find him and the unnamed family friend as soon as possible where he picked the little ones up.

The black man closed the curtains of the windows so that nobody could see inside, jumped into his old Ford, and drove off. He stopped on the other side of the public phone at a safe distance so he was able to take a look at anyone that might show up before being seen himself. Carl made himself comfortable, turned on the radio and put in a Roy Hargrove Jazz tape, which was one of his favorites, but he couldn't stop thinking about what Darren might have gone through.


Covered up with a woolen blanket, Ethan woke up in the motel room in front of a warm fireplace. He was lying on a couch wearing only a shirt and his boxers. Still being tired, his eyes slowly focused as they adapted to the brightness of the room. Ethan tried to determine if there was any danger and listened intently to what was going on around him, but nothing besides the crackling of the fire and sometimes a car that passed the motel could be detected.

He rose from the couch, softly whispering his friend's name.

"Darren?"

There was no answer. He looked around and what he saw didn't need an answer anyway. Darren was lying on the king-sized bed covered up to his shoulders with a blanket. An infusion bag was hanging on the wall next to the bed - the IV line lead to the younger boy's arm and reminded him about the situation at the public phone.

Ethan approached the bed and with an uncomfortable feeling watched Darren's chest rise and fall from his breathing. His eyes seemed to twist and turn under their closed lids. It looked as if he was dreaming or fighting against something.

The older boy pulled back the blanket so that Darren's chest and tummy were exposed. Once again admiring the unblemished tanned body in front of him, Ethan lay down on the cover next to his friend softly putting his arm on Darren's chest. On the one hand it was scary seeing him like this, because he didn't know how to help him, but on the other hand tempting because he lay there totally unprotected...somehow inviting.

Ethan fought with his respect for Darrren and his own desires. Finally he did the only thing he was able to do and softly began to stroke his buddy's silky skin, which seemed to comfort Darren. His eyes started to relax and the sleeping boy's breathing calmed down. Ethan was on the right track to help his friend.

"Darren? I'm here. Everything's alright now...please come back!"

Right as Ethan wanted to slip under the covers, he raised the blanket which hid Darren's lower body and with eyes wide open saw that the boy wasn't wearing anything down there. He wasn't able to breath for a moment while a hundred thoughts raced through his mind and his own lower zone reacted to what he saw. Shaking his head and trying to ignore the tenting boxers, the eleven year old closed his eyes and snuggled up to his mate silently beginning to pray that he would get better soon. It took some minutes before he realized how important this situation was for both of them, because Darren wasn't out of the woods, which gave him food for thought and left him worrying.

The possibility that Darren might never wake up again made Ethan understand how important the smaller boy had become to him. He never realized that before, but now, as he felt his own cheeks heat up and his eyes becoming watery, it was absolutely clear. The strong emotions he felt in combination with Darren's sweet scent that he was able to notice being so close to his body, was nearly overwhelming. Before Ethan tried to dispel these thoughts and to give in to his sleepiness, he did something that he never did before - Ethan gently breathed out and brought his soft red lips in touch with Darren's left cheek.

He didn't think about it or plan it. It just happened and was a wonderful and daunting nearly magic feeling. Ethan didn't know what to think because of the mix of guilt, sadness, of sympathy, caring, love and a little bit of arousal. He had never learned what those feelings were or what actually made him kiss his friend, but after all it wasn't important. He just did what he wanted to and no one had seen it.

Being only eleven years old the boy didn't understand how it felt to be in love with someone, never having discussed it being a boy. No one ever explained it to him. No one has ever shown him what love meant or what it was all about, but he knew that he liked to be with Darren and the closer he could be, the better it felt.


Several minutes passed while both boys had their eyes closed - Darren was still sleeping and Ethan tried to, but his head was spinning all around because of his feelings for Darren and what he had just seen down below the bed covers. He remembered the view from last night right in front of him only inches away, as he had washed Darren's body and didn't dare to touch his private parts. Ethan had really wanted to touch him down there like he had done with Matt and was sure that Darren would have liked it also, but for some unknown reason he didn't do it.

Slowly opening his eyes again, he looked up into Darren's face. The little boy looked so beautiful, peaceful, and full of hope and happiness. It wasn't only the looks which made Ethan feel that Darren was special, it was the entire package in front of him, his voice, his behavior, the curves and features of his face, from his forehead down to his beautiful eyes, his little nose, the plain cheeks and those impertinent lips - they just asked for a sensitive touch.

Looking at Darren was something that made Ethan all tingly inside his body - it was as if a thousand butterflies were going crazy inside his tummy, but touching him, was somewhere between being overwhelmed and close to fainting.

Without thinking about it, Ethan listened to his heart, leaned in again and very slowly brought his lips close to Darren's. He didn't know why, he didn't know if it was okay or if his friend would want it too, but he couldn't resist. Not even a simple thought could have distracted Ethan from what he was about to do, now that he had decided.

With all this excitement taking over control he came closer and closer....he felt a warm breath in his face softly brushing through his golden facial fuzz. Ethan's lips were only millimeters away when he froze in anticipation for the upcoming movement....and then it happened. Darren's lips seemed to extend and slowly came in touch with Ethan's. It was as if Darren knew what was going to happen, no matter if he was sleeping or not. The softness of his warm lips in combination with the glossy surface and an irresistible taste made this moment so special that both boys learned in seconds, what passion means. Ethan nearly drowned in the sweetness he noticed after he broke their kiss. This was one of his deepest unspoken desires and he slowly began to get an idea of what his feelings were all about - it was the first time that he was in love with someone and actually kissed that person - something he would never forget. Besides he didn't care that it was a boy.

Just as Ethan put his head back down on Darren's chest still trying to make sense of things, Darren opened his eyes and sheepishly smiled to himself. What a wonderful enjoyable moment for the little boy.

"Ethan?" Darren whispered.

"You're awake?"

"Yeah...I just woke up."

"How do you feel? Are you okay?"

"I feel good and...oh, my uncle is here." Darren said pointing to the IV line.

"Yeah, but I don't know where he is right now."

"Can you remove the butterfly?"

"Uh?"

"The needle!"

"But why? I mean it's there for a reason isn't it? Besides I don't know how."

Darren explained that the IV bag was empty and that Ethan only had to hold the butterfly-needle, remove the cello tape, pick a pad from the night stand, and with a fast motion pull it out. The older boy tried to do his best, but was uncertain about it and began to tremble as he was removing the IV access.

"Ouch."

"I'm sorry, I never did that before. Is your arm okay?"

"Yeah, it's nothing. I'm okay, thanks."

"How do you know so much about these things?"

"I've been in hospital a lot."

"Why?"

"Long story....can we talk about that later?"

Ethan laughed and pinched Darren in a friendly way for what he had just said.

"Hey...what was that for?"

"My Dad says that all the time and I usually make a list about the things we need to talk about later..."

There was a minute of silence while both boys didn't move - their grins slowly passed away. Ethan rose and sat up cross-legged in front of Darren who was still covered with the blanket. He looked at Darren and thought about the moment before his friend woke up: 'Did HE really kiss me...or did I.....but he moved his lips, or did I just imagine that? God please, make that he liked it...I mean, if he recognized me doing it.'

Ethan didn't expect to get an answer any time soon, but before he knew what happened, Darren leaned in and softly brought their lips in contact again, followed by a simple..."Yeah, I liked it!"

"How do you know what I thought?"

Darren shrugged his shoulders and smiled.

"That's not fair, stop reading my mind!" Ethan commanded.

"I'm sorry, I can't switch it on or off, it's just there."

"But it's unfair, I can't control my thoughts."

"I know and I usually don't try to read someone's mind, but when I like someone and that person likes me back, it just sort of works out that way. I can't do anything about it, sorry."

"Hmm, yeah okay, but sometimes I don't want you to know things."

"What kind of things?"

"Personal things."

"That you like me?" Darren asked with a high pitched voice.

"Yeah, things like that."

"And that you wanted to touch me down there when you washed me?" He pointed to his crotch area.

"Stop it!"

"Why, it's nothing bad."

"Of course it is and it feels weird to talk about it...I don't want that."

"But Ethan....I like you too...very much and I just showed you how much...I mean after you showed me. I never had any feeling like this before."

"Me neither."

"So what's so bad about it?"

"I don't know, it just is."

"Is it the way I talk about it or just THAT I talk about it?"

"God, I don't know....I feel silly when you say such things, even if I like it in some ways."

"So what's the deal?"

"It's.....just forget about it!"

Ethan started to grin from one ear to the other and started a monstrous tickling attack. Darren began to giggle and ended up laughing out loud while he tried to defend himself by launching a counter attack which made Ethan laugh as loud as his friend.

A minute later when both were fighting for air from all the laughter, Darren tugged on Ethan's shirt.

"Why are you wearing clothes?"

"Why aren't YOU wearing any?"

"I don't know, woke up like that."

"So did I."

"GRRRRRR...do you always answer a question with another question?" Darren became impatient and wanted a fair tickling game.

"Nope."

"It's unfair that you wear clothes and I don't."

"Oh, I didn't recon that this is my problem." Ethan said with a huge grin on his face.

Once again both boys were able to just be boys for a little while and forget all about the serious stuff and the exertion from the past couple of days. Only a few seconds passed before a shirt flew through the air and landed close to the couch after the older boy gave in from another tickling attack, but Darren, who had popped a huge boner in the meantime becoming, wanted it all.

"What about your boxers?"

"What about them?"

"Take them off!"

"I can't move my arms." Ethan said still grinning in anticipation of what Darren would do next. Secretly he wanted his friend to remove his pair of boxers for him and enjoyed the thought of what might happen next.

The little boy didn't waste any time and pulled them down after Peter's son slightly lifted his lower body. Ethan's boner made a clapping noise as it flopped back to his tummy. All this excitement made him feel somewhere between heaven and hell - his stomach tensed up because they had just started their wonderful journey together and he could only imagine where this might end.

"Can I tell you a secret?" The smaller boy asked, still grasping for air, after he looked up and down Ethan's entire body.

"Yes." Ethan answered with a trembling voice.

"What's wrong with your voice?"

"I don't know, it's exciting and....so on..."

"I know, I feel the same.....you remember when I told you that I know why you liked to be with me, but I was unable to put it into words?"

"Yeah."

"I lied."

"Why?"

"Because I was afraid that it wasn't true."

"What wasn't true?"

"That you feel the same for me as I feel for you, but I know it now."

"It's true!"

"Yes, it is."

It was a wonderful feeling for both of them to know that the one you love...loves you back, even though both weren't sure what love was all about - but that wasn't important since they had just defined what it meant for themselves - being together in laughter and harmony...and to kiss each other.

After what was just said there didn't seem to be a limit between the two of them.

Ethan starred into Darren's beautiful hazelnut brown eyes, thought about what could happen next, switched off the light and slipped down under the bed cover to Darren. The room was now filled only with the sound of crackling wood and the shimmering light from the fireplace.

Both boys lay on their sides with bent arms under their heads looking at each other, smiling. Darren, deciding to take the first step, scooted a little closer and gently touched Ethan's chest. The older boy enjoyed the careful touch from his friend and whispered as if someone could hear them.

"I like it when you touch me."

"Me too." Darren answered and continued. "You remember when I lay in your father's bed with you and you stroked my neck?"

"Yeah."

"That was really cool and I can't remember anyone doing it the way you did it."

"Did you get a boner?"

"A boner?"

"A hard-on, a stiffy....like that." Ethan grabbed for Darren's hard penis and jerked it once immediately pulling back afterwards. The ten year old didn't move an inch and just let it happen.

"Oh, a boner....yeah, I get that all the time...I mean when I'm not scared."

"Are you often scared?"

"Not when I'm with you."

"But you didn't get one in the bath room or when I cleaned you."

"Yeah, I don't know why, sometimes it happens, other times not." Darren explained.

"Did you....uhm....was it okay that I touched you down there?"

"Yeah, that was fine."

"Do you want to touch my dick?"

"Hmm, I don't know...."

Darren thought about it, put on a huge smile again and slowly let his hand wander downwards to Ethan's tummy, his navel and further down until he reached his crotch area. His fingers gently came in touch with the eleven year olds penis, and felt the silky skin which surrounded it. Darren moved in with his entire body being unable to describe how soft the skin of his friend felt down there. It felt innocent and untouched, so smooth and provoking that he couldn't stop moving his fingers around.

"That tickles." Ethan said with a short reluctant laughter.

"It feels weird....I mean, soft and hard at the same time."

"Can I feel yours?"

Darren only nodded in fascination about the experience he was feeling and became even more aroused when he felt Ethan's hand on his skin, slowly making its way down to where he was most sensitive. Both boys had a boner hard like a rock and were discovering the other with very slow motions, just like as if they could see with their fingers.

"Did you ever wank?" The older boy asked full of curiosity.

"What is that?"

"It's making yourself feel good.....like that."

Ethan tenderly began to jerk Darren's hard penis which seemed to grow under his movements and felt a little bit bigger than Matt's, even if the boy was younger than his neighbor buddy.

"That feels......really good." Darren said breathing deeper and deeper.

Before Ethan said anything, Darren began to copy his movement so that both boys were now stimulating the other in a tender way of showing love. Of course they didn't last for very long, because neither of them had experienced anything better than this before.

"Yeah, it does....don't stop....I can feel it...."

So they continued to stroke each other and moved faster and faster the closer they both came to a satisfying release. Their perceptions drowned in the wonderful mix of distributed endorphin and the feeling of doing something good for the other until they both came at the same time with loud breathing and uncontrolled shaking of their bodies. It was an indescribable inner explosion that took over control and nearly let them both faint in happiness.

A minute or two later both boys still had their hands around the other's dick and didn't want to let go of it as they looked at each other and grinned.

"Yours is all slippery now." Darren noticed.

"Yeah, that's cum...it makes babies."

"Why don't I have that?"

"It comes out of your dick, when you get older."

"When?"

"In a year or so, don't worry."

"Wow, can't wait.....That was awesome Ethan, really. I never felt anything like that."

"Yeah, it was. Was it the first time you did that?"

"Yes."

"Cool and you liked it?" Ethan asked.

"Definitely."

Without any further word, Darren came closer, shoved his left leg in between Ethan's and kissed the boy in front of him. It was as if they both were a thousand times more sensitive after what had just happened and the kiss just complemented their first act of love.

Within this fulfilling and satisfying situation the boys closed their eyes, snuggled up to each other and drifted off into dreamland.

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