Team Kaiser

by Bensiamin

Chapter 3

David was cooking in the kitchen when the boys went in to feed Kaiser. Since it was the first day of school and no homework, Roger's Mom had let him stay for dinner. David was into team cooking, and he asked them to prepare a salad so Jackson wouldn't have to do it when he got home. "I'll steam some broccoli and put the rice on when he gets here."

Over dinner they talked about the classes they were taking. "It's cool we've got two classes together. English Lit should be fun since it's the advanced Lit class," Jerrod said, looking at Roger. "I don't know about Russian History. Why did you sign up for that?"

"Well, I've had a history class each year so far, but they've all been general history. This is the first kind of specialized history class I could take. I mean, I'm not into Russia, but I like history. How 'bout you?"

"Kind of the same, but first, it's an advanced placement class. Have you taken many?"

"Only one per year. This is the first history one. You?"

"Pretty much the same. 'Russian History' is kind of exotic and sounded interesting. It'll be even more interesting taking it with you! Especially now that I know I've got a smart boyfriend on my hands. You didn't tell me you've been taking AP classes."

Roger grinned. "Surprise, surprise!"

"Now I want to know what your GPA is."

Roger blushed. "You know, there's some things you don't go around talking about. It's not a competition."

"Okay, but we're all like good friends here, right?"

"Yeah, that's true." The paused, then said, "I've got a 3.85. How about you."

It was now Jerrod's turn to pause. David and Jackson had been following the conversation and David said, "Since I saw your transcript yesterday, I happen to know what it is. Pretty impressive also."

"It's a little lower than yours. It was over a 3.9 cause I've only gotten one B in high school till Spring quarter, then I got another and that kind of made the parents go tilt. Remember, I told you they were all over me all the time about a 4.0 GPA to be able to apply to law or medical school."

Roger nodded, and David quipped, "Perfection is hard to pull off, what with the distractions of life and all."

Jackson asked about the ski team, and Jerrod said he'd signed up and that they'd be meeting each Wednesday till winter got closer.

"No training?"

"I'm betting there'll be strength training, maybe more till snow starts falling. We can keep playing tennis till the weather turns, that'll help keep us fit." He turned to Roger and said, "You should go out for the tennis team. You're getting better, you know."

"I've never been that big on doing team sports. Isn't it a little late to start as a senior?"

"Some people might say that, but I'll bet at least half the people on the team aren't as good as you. Your volleying and serving really improved this summer. Anyway, one thing about team sports is that you don't have to be the best. Just good enough to help the team succeed. Come on. Promise me you'll go out for tennis in the spring."

Roger was wavering, and David added, "If it helps, we've got indoor tennis courts on campus, and maybe I can arrange something now that I'm your guardian."

Jerrod broke into a wide smile. "That'd be far out. We'd get an early start and be way better tuned up to play than most of the other dudes on the team." He looked at Roger. "Deal?"

Roger smiled back. "For you, okay. I'll do it."

Jackson changed the subject with the comment, "Okay, let's clear the dishes and wash up and then I'll run Roger home. Have you gotten any reading done in the book yet?"

They acknowledged they had, but no discussion time, and what they needed was some private time to discuss the main points. "We've both read the first chapter where he talks about the history of homosexuality. I guess I was surprised how much I didn't know. I mean about it always being around and part of society in Athens and stuff."

"And I'd read about quite a bit of that in history," Roger added, "but what got me was the discussion about how much the relationships have changed over time. Remember, he was talking about pederasty back in Athenian times, to idealized relationships in the Renaissance, to the dandyism and effeminism of the 19th century in Europe."

"Isn't that the section where he dropped that description that totally blew my mind back then," Jackson asked, "when he contrasted the older Athenian man fucking the seventeen year old student he's instructing, knowing the young man will eventually marry. And, in contrast, he says today the model is a lawyer and a doctor in New York in love with each other and taking turns fucking each other while in a long-term relationship?"

Jerrod was nodding his head, and Roger added, "I really liked how he summed it up by saying that all those structures and conventions are kind of gone…or at least going away…and today the modern homosexual is free to become the man he wants to be, in a long term loving relationship." He reached for Jerrod's hand. "That's what I want."

"That's what we want. Like you two have," Jerrod added, grinning at Jackson. "We also need a little lab time, you know. Where we can try out what's being discussed."

"Like the lube experiment yesterday, that I heard about? Sorry, buddy. You'll have to save that for Saturday night. I'm betting starting tomorrow night you'll both have reading assignments, and the agreement with Roger's parents was that school comes first, before the romance! You should probably both read the introduction to all your textbooks tonight just to get a head start."

After class Wednesday, Jerrod headed for the first ski team meeting and Roger headed for GSA where he'd meet Eric and Kim. They agreed to talk in the evening, and when he got to the gym, the ski coach turned out to have been one of the race camp instructors during the summer and was surprised but happy to see him. Jerrod explained that due to some family issues he was finishing school here in Portland. "Do you think I'm good enough for the team?"

Coach grinned at him. "I happen to know you are. Growing up skiing and racing back east where you learn to carve and turn on ice makes for good racers. You're more than competent and you'll be a great addition, and maybe even give us the edge we need."

The rest of the meeting was mainly introductions, and Jerrod recognized a couple of the other guys from summer race camp, and the Coach explained how Jerrod had transferred in for his senior year. The plan was to meet weekly to work on stretching exercises for flexibility, then light weight-training and some running for endurance. They'd increase the difficulty over the coming weeks and months as they got closer to the season. "We'll start the workouts next Wednesday, so bring your workout gear. I know it'll be like two PE classes that day, and I don't want to hear about it. If we're lucky this year, we'll have decent snow for Thanksgiving and then we'll be on our way."

Jerrod called Sean's Mom that evening and they arranged to meet at the park about 4:00 pm the next day, which would give them time to get home from school and get to the park and give Kaiser a work out and then they could have some fun with Sean. He then called Roger and clued him in about the time with Sean and they chatted about their day. Both had reading assignments but planned on reading more in The Joy of Gay Sex, too. "Do your parents know you have it," Jerrod asked?

"Yeah, it was kind of embarrassing, but they didn't make a big deal about the gay sex talk last weekend, but then Monday night Mom asked how it went with David and Jackson."

"Really? My Mom didn't ask any questions when I called home, but she was happy that we're back together and staying busy. But I did tell her."

"Does she know how busy? Meaning the way we're staying busy?"

"I'm betting she's not thinking that way. So, what did you tell your Mom?"

"That David and Jackson have done this tons of times with gay kids, that they're knowledgeable pros, and that the focus was on health and cleanliness. They seemed to think that was pretty good. Then I told them about the book. I didn't want to not say anything and act like I was trying to hide it or something and then have her find it one day, you know?"

"Oh, yeah! You also want to be able to read it at home and not worry about being caught or anything. I pretty much told my Mom it was about health and cleanliness too. Being a nurse, she was good with that."

"So, we're good for now," Roger said. "It'll be a different kind of talk if she decides to thumb through it one day! I can imagine the kinds of questions she'll be asking then!"

They both fell into laughter over the image of what that would be like! When they hung up, Jerrod went to join Jackson and David in the living room. They were listening to Peter Gabriel's So album again, and this time a song really got his attention, and he asked if he could borrow it to do some serious listening to it in his room.

The next afternoon, Kaiser and the boys had run the trail along the river, and then come back down across the open fields where they would meet Sean and his Mom. They'd been back a little over five minutes, giving Kaiser time to catch his breath, when they saw Sean walk off the street and into the park with his Mom. Kaiser immediately sat up, his eyes on Sean, who in turn saw Kaiser and immediately got excited. As they drew nearer, Kaiser's tail started whipping up a storm, and finally Jerrod released him so he could run to meet him. They ended up in a heap of licking and giggling, and when Jerrod and Roger joined them, along with Sean's Mom, everyone had a smile on their face.

When things settled down, Jerrod and Roger alternated working Kaiser in tandem with Sean, and Kaiser performed his drills well, and Sean managed to do his part without getting too excited and confusing the dog. At one point, Sean's Mom caught Jerrod's eye and motioned for him to come over and join her a few feet away.

After a quick question about how his trip back east had gone, and thanks for meeting with Sean so soon after school had started, his Mom said, "You and Roger are sure doing a good job with Kaiser. He seems to love you both equally."

"We're lucky, he's not one of those 'one-man dogs' you hear about. He also loves Uncle David and Jackson. Roger told me it went well when he met you guys last week while I was back in Philly."

"It did. Sean had his usual great time, and Roger was wonderful with him."

"Has he told you about his cousin?"

"He has, and that explains a lot about his sensitivity toward Sean. You have a wonderful best friend there, and I truly hope you understand that."

Jerrod paused, momentarily concerned, but appreciating the compliment she had paid his boyfriend. "I do. Roger's become my best friend, and he passed the big test. Kaiser said he was okay!" He grinned at Sean's Mom, who beamed back.

"I wanted to speak to you because Sean has regular visits at Doernbecher Children's Hospital for his cerebral palsy, and when we were there last Friday, there was a notice on one of the public bulletin boards concerning recruiting additional therapy dogs to visit the patients. I don't know if you'd be interested, but based on how well Kaiser has interacted with Sean he sure seems like a great candidate to me."

Jerrod hadn't anticipated something like this and was at a loss. "I don't know, I mean, he's a great dog, but what would that mean? I don't even think I know what a therapy dog does?"

"In theory," Sean's Mom answered," it's a well behaved and trained dog that visits patients at the hospital with its owner. They're a team. The goal is to give the patients an emotional uplift. Many of these kids are in the hospital for a long time, and these are the kind of visits that improve their lives by giving them joy and hope. The dogs must be well behaved and good around people, and Kaiser is. They must have dedicated and capable owners, and you and Roger sure are. And the result of those visits is that it makes the patients feel better. It may be hard to understand if you haven't been in a hospital for a long stay, but this kind of contact with what you and I take for granted as normal life. It's a big part of what they miss. You'd be amazed how important to lots of those kids just being able to pet a dog and have the dog lick their hand or face can be. Anyhow, Jerrod, I'm not trying to twist your arm, but I brought this flyer for you. Will you think about it?"

She was smiling at him with her most persuasive smile, and Jerrod had to smile back. "Sure, I'll think about it, and I'll talk to Uncle David about it, too. But, you know, I just started school here, and I'm the new kid and I've got to get organized and settled in and all that."

"I know, dear. That's why I said I'm not twisting your arm. I'm just pointing out to you that there's a need and you and Kaiser…in fact you and Roger and Kaiser, make a great team. And that's the key part of successful therapy dog work. Thanks for listening. I'll let you get back to Kaiser and the boys. Let me know when you have your new school schedule sorted out, and what afternoon works best for us to meet, will you?"

Jerrod grinned and told her he would, and went to join Sean and Roger, who were putting Kaiser through his retrieving paces.

"We should probably stop soon, even if Sean hates it. Kaiser looks like he's getting tired."

Roger nodded and said, "I know, I can see it, too." He grinned. "I'll let you be the bad guy!"

Five minutes later they wound down for the afternoon and Jerrod explained that in the next day or two he'd have his new school schedule and they'd plan a regular afternoon each week to meet with Kaiser. Sean didn't like the uncertainty, but his Mom soothed over his concerns, and shortly after they all headed home.

After a few minutes, Jerrod took Roger's hand and said, "Now that we're in our neighborhood, that's much better." Roger grinned back and squeezed his hand. "I missed that at school."

"Well, we're working out our program. So, listen, what do you know about therapy dogs?"

"Not much except you see them at hospitals and they wear cute vests and, I guess, go see patients. Why?"

"Because Sean's Mom just gave me this flyer about the Children's Hospital recruiting more therapy dogs and she thinks we'd, meaning the three of us, be good at it. What do you think? I don't know anything about it."

Roger was quietly looking over the flyer. Finally, he said, "Well, clearly, it's got to be the right kind of dog, and I would have said Kaiser qualified, but I'm biased. If Sean's Mom thinks so, that's different. I mean good different. I guess the next question is what the requirements or qualifications are, what it costs, how much time, all that kind of stuff."

"Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too. I guess I'll ask David about it at dinner. Are you staying?"

"No, I can't. Mom wants me home tonight to make sure I get an early start on homework. I've got to call her when we get back to your house and she'll come pick me up."

"Will we have a little time to make up for not seeing much of each other at school today?"

"Well, yeah, if we work it right!"

"It's cool we've got two classes together and get together with Eric and Kim for lunch. English Lit should be fun. We'll have to see how Russian History goes."

They walked into the back yard and got Kaiser some fresh water, then all went inside where Jerrod said. "Look, it's only 4:45. Why don't we spend some time together for ten or fifteen minutes, and then you call your Mom?"

Roger's eyes gleamed. "You mean, like spend some time together on your bed? Is that the idea?"

"For sure, as in some hanky-panky with the lube before you get whisked off home!"

Over dinner Jerrod told David and Jackson what Sean's Mom had suggested and handed them the brochure about therapy dogs. David looked up and said, "I'm no dog expert, but my read is that she's right, at least in terms of temperament. If you're at all interested, you know what you should do? After dinner call Angela and talk to her about it. I bet she has some experience there, certainly more than us."

Jackson had laid the brochure down and said, "Of course there's the question of how much training, what's the cost, and then if he qualifies, what's the time commitment. My guess, if they're recruiting for more therapy dogs, is that they're short and that means they've got open slots they need to fill, and that means commitment. That could be hard with school. Maybe manageable now, but what happens in the winter with ski racing? Just things to think about."

Jerrod had a pleasant conversation with Angela and came back to relate that she certainly felt Kaiser had the temperament, and that he already had the basics down. The two key questions in her mind were if he could learn to be restrained and not be demanding with the patients, and then, if he'd like it.

"What do you mean 'if he likes it?' He can't tell us?"

"Well, yeah he can. Angela said I'd know if he likes it, if he's into it and happy doing it, being with new people and stuff. If not, he'll start withdrawing and have to be pulled around to do it, instead of wanting to do it. What do you think?"

David grinned. "I'll bet it's not a lot of money, mainly time and commitment. Helping patients in a Children's Hospital can't be anything but a good thing all around. I think we all agree he's got the basic raw talent. I think you should call the number on the brochure tomorrow and find out what you can and then let's talk about it some more."

Jerrod did just that after school on Friday. What he found out was that the program was run by a local part of the American Kennel Club, and they provided training for qualified dogs with a discount for owners that came through the hospital. Certain breeds, including Golden and Labrador Retrievers had the highest success rates, though no breed was excluded, and dogs didn't have to be papered in order to qualify. Jerrod breathed a sigh of relief, knowing they had no papers on Kaiser in as much as they'd found him. When he thought about that, he found himself wanting to do this, which came as something of a surprise. He listened to the lady describe the differences between therapy dogs and service dogs, outline the training which ran one three-hour session per week over two months, and the different levels of certifications that therapy dogs could achieve.

When the call ended, he was feeling even more positive and told the lady he had to talk to his dog and his uncle about it and then he'd decide and call back. She chuckled and said, "If you need to go discuss this with your dog, then I can tell you that you've already passed the first test, and so has your dog!"

When he hung up the phone, Jerrod called Kaiser and took him for a walk through the neighborhood. They stopped at a little park not too far away and he sat on a bench and called Kaiser to him. The dog sat between his knees, his head between Jerrod's legs and his eyes meeting the boy's, full of excitement and anticipation.

"What do ya think, big guy? Are you up for this? I've gotta think so since you like being with Sean so much? Ya think you can handle being in a hospital, visiting new kids, sick new kids?"

He paused, stroking his fingers behind Kaiser's amazingly soft ears and it clicked. What he'd just asked Kaiser about is exactly what the dog had done with Sean the first time he met him. Sure, he'd been excited and a little assertive and started licking Sean's face and then inadvertently leaned against him and Sean tipped over, giggling and having a fun time, but the point was that he immediately liked Sean, and wanted to get to know Sean. He also believed he wanted to help Sean.

Jerrod related it all to David and Jackson over dinner and they were supportive, but said the decision had to be his, and encouraged him to be really practical about the time commitment. He nodded, trying to be serious, but already knowing what he wanted to do, and hoping Roger was on the same page.

When he called Roger, he told him everything, including about his talk with Kaiser in the afternoon. Roger kind of giggled and said, "Did he answer your question?"

"Well, yeah, kind of. He was all happy and stuff, like he wanted to do it."

"You know you're being anthropomorphic, don't you?"

"What? What's that?"

"That's when humans project onto animals purely human emotions or desires. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying."

"Does that mean you don't want to do this?"

"No, no. Not at all. I'm just trying to clarify what's happening. I know you've decided you want to do this. You made space to talk to Kaiser about it, which is cool even though you know he couldn't give you an answer. Point being you are concerned about Kaiser's desire. Just like you are mine. Remember what I told you once about being happy if you treated me the way you treat him."

Now it was Jerrod's turn to giggle. "I hope you think by now that I'm treating you even better than him because you're my boyfriend and there are certain emotions and feelings and other stuff, we can share that we can't with dogs."

"I'm with you, man. For a lot of reasons. One of them is that I've thought a lot about what you said to me the other night about not being into team sports and getting me to promise to go out for tennis in the spring. I think in a bunch of ways that means I've been a loner as well as being timid. That's probably not a good thing, and even if it wasn't part of your plan, you're changing that."

"Is that a good thing?"

"I think so. I'll be nervous, but I'll have you there with me, so it'll be cool."

"Can I say something to you?"

"Yeah, of course."

"I love what you just said 'cause it's about recognizing something in yourself and changing. I've had to do a bunch of that over the last few months. The thing is, don't make the changes 'cause you think you have to, 'cause you have to conform to something. That's what I was doing last year. Joining that tough ass fraternity with the macho guys so I'd seem more of a man, or something, and could avoid being honest with myself about being gay."

"Why are you saying that?"

"Just so you don't get caught up in the deal about joining teams and doing sports and stuff to be cool. or more of a man, or whatever. I think you're pretty much a stud just the way you are, you know. You don't have to change a thing for me."

"I'm talking about doing this to be more of an outgoing person. Not to conform to someone else's standard. But I hear what you're saying. It's also 'cause I'm with you and you may think I make you a better person, but guess what? That plays both ways."

"I love you, you know. I don't think I've told you that today, have I?"

"No. We sat together at lunch and you didn't tell me, but I haven't told you today either. Are you going to be ready for me to show you how much I love you tomorrow night?"

"For sure! What's the plan?"

"Mom's cooking dinner, then we'll watch a DVD. What do you want to see? Then we can bail out and go to my room, I mean our room. I've already cleared with Mom and Dad that you're sleeping with me in my bed."

"And they're cool with that?"

"It'll be a first, but they say so. They'll be chill, and it'll get better with time. You know, practice makes perfect. What movie do you want to see?"

"Well, I bet Event Horizon isn't out on DVD yet. See if Air Force One is out. That's a thriller with Harrison Ford. I hear it's good. Maybe your parents will even like it."

"Okay, will do. I wish you were here tonight."

"Me, too, but everyone's being so cool and so tolerant so far, we don't want to push our luck. I'm really missing holding you in my arms and kissing those wonderful lips. And then there's that wonderful cock I haven't seen for a few days. I just wish I could put my tongue…"

"Jerrod, cut it out. I'm going to get hard and I'm in the hall. The parents are just around the corner."

"Can you wait till tomorrow night? I don't know if I can. I'll probably start thinking about your lips and body when I get in bed and have to rub one out just to be able to go to sleep."

"Me, too. Okay, gotta go. I'm getting the high sign from my Dad. Love you, see you tomorrow afternoon. We'll both mow in the morning, then like we set up at lunch today, we'll meet Eric and Kim at the tennis courts after we eat. Why don't you come over here with Kaiser and your stuff, and Mom'll fix lunch for us?"

Jackson let Jerrod drive the Durango, and he and Kaiser drove to Roger's where his Mom had lunch prepared. It was a short walk to the tennis courts, and they played a good doubles match with Kaiser observing from the shady side of the court. Then after Eric and Kim left to do their chores, they played a few intense singles games and then took Kaiser for a walk in the adjoining park.

On the drive home to drop off Kaiser, Jerrod said, "See, I told you that your game has gotten a lot better. You won almost half of the games and gave me a real run for my money."

"You're right. Point taken."

"Maybe the weather will stay good for a few months and we can still keep playing outside."

"If that happens it'll screw up the skiing, right? As in a late start for the season."

"Yeah, and I really like ski racing, but you know what? Even if you're on the mountain the same day, even if you're there skiing with David and Jackson, we're not doing it together. We're doing this together. That's what I'm digging!"

"I hear you. Don't forget, though, that we do lots of stuff together… like what we'll be doing later tonight."

"Are you turning into a sex fiend?"

"I suppose. Just like you. You opened the door, or opened the lid on… what's it called? Someone's box?"

"Pandora's Box. You're blaming me. All I did was help get you in touch with your own sexuality, to use David's term. Course, you helped me get in touch with mine, too, so we're even. So, your parents are really cool with this, tonight?"

"Yeah. Trust me. Dad's playing golf, but he'll be home in a while. You'll see, Mom is cool.

They walked into the house, said hi to David and Jackson, fed Kaiser, and Jackson drove them over to Roger's house reminding him about the tentative plans for the next day.

Roger's Mom was in the kitchen, and they told her they had a great match, were going to shower and clean up, and would be back down in a while. She smiled and asked about Kaiser.

"He'd rather have had a sleepover, too, but he'll do fine with David and Jackson. Did Roger tell you about the therapy dog stuff?"

"He did, and I think it's wonderful. You'll have to tell us about this opportunity over dinner."

As they headed upstairs to shower, Roger said, "See! I told you. She's cool"

"Then maybe we should go down after we clean up, and offer to help her with dinner. You know chop onions or lettuce or whatever. At our place we all help cook."

"Good idea. Who's showering first?"


Roger grinned. "I'm cool with that, but remember the shower is in the tub, so it'll be kinda tight."

"Tight's okay by me. I've got plans."

It turned out that Jerrod had ideas about kissing and hugging in the shower, showing affection under the running warm water. What he hadn't planned on was how excited he'd become as they washed and stroked each other, rubbed against each other in the slippery wet environment, and that he would be so stimulated he'd drop to his knees and take all of Roger's cock in his mouth while he cupped his boyfriends ass and savored every drop of cum when he came. Roger, of course, reciprocated, and by the time they were done the water was starting to run cool. They dried quickly and lay down on Roger's bed, his head on Jerrod's shoulder, appreciating the moment.

After a couple of minutes, Roger started softly giggling, then it got stronger.


"Oh, just that now we're really ready for later tonight!"

When they'd dressed and went downstairs, Roger's Mom looked surprised to see them. "Dinner's quite a ways off, boys. Your Dad should be home from golf anytime. Are you hungry? Do you want something to tide you over?"

"That'd be great, Mom, but we came down to see if we could help you. At David and Jackson's everyone helps cook, so Jerrod's learning how to cook and he suggested we come see what we could do."

"Well, that's a lovely thing to offer." She looked at Jerrod and said, "You should have been part of his life two or three years ago. You know, teaching him to help in the kitchen. I never got anywhere."

Roger rolled his eyes, and Jerrod said, "It's not that big a deal, Mrs. Astren. I mean I only started this summer, and I've learned how to chop onions and make salad, and help do stuff with vegetables. That's all. But if we can help you, that'd be great."

"Do you boys want to make the salad? We're having a roast that's in the oven, and mashed potatoes that are easy. The green beans will be right at the end. How about you make the salad?"

They nodded agreement, and Roger's Mom said, "Cheese in the door of the refrigerator, and crackers right there in the bread box. Roger you know where the drinks are. After you help yourself, why don't you boys sit down and tell me about your week and your tennis game."

They gave her a quick summary of the first week of school, the classes they shared together, and detail of the tennis match, with Jerrod telling her how much Roger's game had improved over the summer. Then with a delicious smirk on his face he asked, "Did Roger tell you he's going out for the tennis team in the spring?"

"No! Roger, is that so?"

"Yeah, I got set up by my boyfriend, and now I'm kind of committed. David says he thinks he can get us in to use the indoor courts at Lewis & Clark during the winter."

Roger's Dad had come into the hallway from the garage as they were talking. "Did I hear Roger's going out for a sport?" He walked up behind both boys and draped an arm across their shoulders. "In other words, doing something other than reading and studying? What a revolutionary turn of events."

Roger turned to his Dad and said "That's not fair. I play tennis and take lessons. I just didn't join the team, that's all. I tried golf, but it's not my thing. That's what's changed is all."

Roger's Dad pulled them both in for a hug and said softly, "I know, and I think it's wonderful. I'm just teasing you a little. I'm thrilled for you. By the way, are there any more crackers to go with that cheese?" He looked at his wife, "And I'm hoping there's beer in the refrigerator?"

Jerrod decided not to try and make his own salad dressing and settled for a jar of Green Goddess that was in the refrigerator. They washed and cut the lettuce, finely chopped some green onions, thinly diced some carrots, slivered some red peppers and tossed it all together to make a salad that was a great accompaniment to dinner. Most of the conversation was about therapy dogs, the requirements and the training. Roger's Mom thought it was a wonderful thing for young men to be considering, while his Dad was concerned about the time commitment.

Roger's Mom insisted on cleaning up and shooed the men into the family room, where they talked golf and tennis and skiing until she joined them. To their surprise they all enjoyed the Harrison Ford movie, about the hijacking of Air Force One when it was flying back to the US from Russian and the attempt by the President, a former Vietnam vet and Medal of Honor recipient, to retake the plane and save everyone.

It wasn't long after the thrilling ending that the boys took their leave and escaped to Roger's room. They settled on the bed, chatting about the film, the close call, the Russian agents that took over the plane, and on and on. After a while they fell silent, and after a minute Jerrod leaned over and pulled Roger towards him and their lips met. He sighed deeply, "Ahh, just where we left off in the shower."

Roger giggled but kissed him back passionately. After a few minutes of passionate exchange Jerrod leaned up on an elbow and said, "Roger, before we get too far down the line here, I'd like to do something for you?"

Roger was still in a bubbly mood and said, "A striptease maybe? I've thought about that."

Jerrod grinned at him. "That's a good idea. It's not what I want to do right now, though, maybe later. I want to do something else for you."

The grin left Roger's face, recognizing the seriousness, and his eyes widened, their blueness quietly shining and putting out that look of innocence framed by his blonde hair. He smiled softly. "Anything you want to do."

Jerrod got up and walked to his duffle bag, pulled out a CD and said, "A couple of times during the summer David and Jackson were telling me about how when they first got together they had trouble sharing how they really felt about each other, you know, expressing their real emotions for each other. What David did was play a song for Jackson that summed it up, that conveyed how he felt but wasn't able to put into words."

"Wait. This is the David I know, who couldn't express how he felt?"

"That's what he says, at least way back then. He says he was kind of emotionally constipated, and it took being with Jackson to open him up, to open his heart and soul and be honest about his feelings. I relate. I'm kind of that way, too. Remember, you're not the only timid one. So, anyway, I've listened to the Peter Gabriel album a lot this week, especially one song that blew my mind a few nights ago when I really listened to it, because it expresses how I feel about you. I want to play it for you?"

Roger smiled, blushed slightly and pointed to the portable CD player on his dresser. "Bring it over here, closer, so we can hear it better."

Jerrod did, and sat it on the bed between them as they sat side by side against the headboard. He stroked Roger's cheek and said, "Some of it talks about how I felt before, and the rest how I feel after I met you." Then he advanced to the track he wanted and pushed play to start In Your Eyes.

Love I get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are

All my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes

I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat I see in your eyes

Love, I don't like to see so much pain
So much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive
And all my instincts, they return

And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside
In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat

In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light,
The heat I see in your eyes

In your eyes, in your eyes
In your eyes, in your eyes
In your eyes, in your eyes

Listen to the YouTube video of Peter Gabriel performing In Your Eyes

Roger was quiet when the song ended, and watched Jerrod punch the stop button.

Jerrod looked at him and said, "I know I don't have a car to drive away in, and even though my family's well off, there was a long time I felt that emptiness and I've felt some pain and lived with a facade till it all came crumbling down. Then I got really lucky, one day, I met this guy with these amazing blue eyes, and I looked in them and, and… I felt the light and the heat, and…" The emotion swelled up and he fell silent as his eyes filled with tears.

Roger pulled him over in an embrace, so Jerrod's head was laying on his chest. The rise and fall of Roger's chest was comforting, and he felt the fingers of one of Roger's hands moving up into his hair and down his back as the other hand pulled him close.

"You don't need to explain it. That's what the song did. I heard the words. Now I've got to listen to it more, but no one has even said anything so beautiful and so emotional to me. Ever. I'm just happy that I was there when you needed someone, and that I could be there for you."

"It was more than just being there. It was you being you. I saw the same thing that first day at the tennis court that I see when we wake up together in the morning. Love and peace and innocence framed with blonde hair, and then when your eyes open and I see the blue, I'm gone. Deep inside kind of gone."

"Oh, man," Roger said as he stroked Jerrod's hair, "Don't make me out to be some kind of miracle worker. We're just two gay boys who were made for each other. That's all. And that's totally ALL! Nothing gets better than that. Isn't that what Silverstein talks about in the gay sex book, about finding your soul mate?"

Jerrod was slow answering, but eventually said, "Yeah, it is. That's the best. That's what I've found. I'm so happy you feel that way too. I feel like we're getting closer and closer, and I don't know where it goes from here, but I want to be there."

"You will. We will, I promise!"

Roger shifted position and made Jerrod sit up, and then he turned his face to him. "We will, I promise."

The tears had dried, and Jerrod's face broke into a soft and joyous smile. "I love you. I love you so much I don't know what to do about it."

"Just be you and love me. That's all you've got to do. What we've got is stellar. You don't need to make it more complicated. Just do that Baba Ram Dass thing."

"What's that? Who's he?"

"He was a yoga guru back in the day. My parents were into him when they were in college. The Baba Ram Dass thing is simple It's a mantra: Be Here Now. That's all. And it's also everything, namely be in the moment. At least that's what my parents say."

"I like the sound of that. Is that our pledge? That we'll be here now for each other, all the time? Like forever?"

"Sounds like it to me. Although forever is a long time. Let's not get into time. Let's just agree we'll always be here now for each other."

They were quiet for a couple of minutes, processing what had passed between them, and finally Jerrod said, "I really thought doing a strip tease for you would be cool. But somehow it doesn't seem to fit into where we are right now."

"I know. This is a beautiful moment. Not that your body isn't beautiful. Don't get me wrong. But this is different."

"It is. It's almost transcendent. That's a word I learned in philosophy last year. So, I'm thinking in terms of being transcendent, that I should focus on making you feel as sexually transcendent as possible. And to do that, I'm going to focus on your cock and your prostate. How does that sound?"

Roger giggled. "It sounds wicked."

"I think it's more than wicked," Jerrod said back to him. "I can see your cock getting hard, and the head starting to come out from that lovely cover he has." With that he reached down and pulled Roger's foreskin softly down and took it in his mouth.

"Oh my god, Jerrod. Whoa!"

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