...It's Who You Know

by Geron Kees

© 2016 by Geron Kees. All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction and depicts sexual activities between minors. All characters and situations are imaginary. No real people were harmed in the creation of this presentation. Please observe the laws of your jurisdiction with regards to reading this material.

If you are not 18, you shouldn't be reading this at all. Go find a boyfriend and talk stuff over with him.

The sound of his father's voice, leaping up the stairwell from the first floor, made Kevin Perry cringe. He was scarcely awake, even though the morning was getting on towards noon now, and the welcome darkness of the room being encroached upon by an insistent glow that the shades on the windows could not hold at bay. He rolled over in his bed, groaned, and sat up. If he didn't answer soon, his father would be at the door, banging away in his usual, intolerant custom.

Kevin threw off the light cover and swung his feet to the floor, rubbing at his eyes as he staggered to the bedroom door. He winced as he stepped on something laying on the carpet - a shoe - and some part of it poked into the sole of his foot. A friggin' shoe, for crying out loud. What's sharp on a shoe?

He kicked at it, sending it flying, and reached the door. Despite the fact that no one would be upstairs at this time of the day, he still kept the lower half of his naked body behind it as he unlocked it and pulled it open.

"Yeah, dad?"

He heard the man sigh at the bottom of the steps. "It's getting late. You were going to mow the lawn."

Shit. That's right. It was Saturday, and his father wanted the grass cut. Kevin sighed himself, but nodded. "Be down in a few minutes."

He heard his dad grunt, and then the sound of his footsteps as he walked away.

Get a life, Kevin thought, as he closed the door and headed back to his dresser to get dressed. All his old man ever thought about was the house, the cars, and the yard. He worked his ass off to keep that stuff nice, and he made certain that his two sons worked their asses off to help him.

Kevin rolled his eyes. Well...it was kind of fair, in all actuality; Kevin and his little brother Bobby did live there, and they should help to look out for the place. It would have been less of a problem if they had been allowed to actually live there.

But it didn't work out that way. Sometimes Kevin felt like a visitor to his own house. Like the yard, for instance. Kevin mowed it, weeded it, picked up the sticks and crap that fell in it, and fertilized and seeded it in the Spring. But he couldn't use it. Kevin's dad didn't want any baseball or football games in the yard. In fact, he didn't want any kids in the yard. It'll tear up the grass.

The house was a similar bastion of reserve. His dad also didn't want a bunch of Kevin's friends hanging out inside the house, doing terrible things like sitting and talking. It'll tear up the furniture.

The family pretty much lived in the kitchen and family room, with the house's living room, dining room, and den kept as these little, spotless shrines to expensive furniture that no one was allowed to sit upon.

That's for when we have company, his dad would say. We have to keep it nice.

Only, they never did have company. Kevin's mom belonged to a couple of reader groups, where she and her friends would get together and talk about books, and drink tea, and carry on. But the one time they had the meetings over at their house, Mrs. Ansel had spilled tea on the dining room carpet, and that put an end to that.

He could still remember his dad yelling about it, while his mom stood in the kitchen, calmly apologizing, and saying she would tell her friends they'd have to meet elsewhere. And his dad nodding, and saying Thank you for realizing I don't bust my ass so that your dumb friends can spill stuff all over the house.

All over the house? One spot, approximately seven inches across, which had cleaned up with some rug shampoo to where you couldn't even tell it had happened. Kevin's mom had shrugged the whole thing off when he had mentioned it to her, just saying, well, you know how your father is.

Yeah. He knew. "Mom, all he cares about is the house."

She'd sighed, just like she always did when they had this conversation. "Oh, Kevin, you know that's not true. Your dad loves you and your brother. He just has his ways."

When Kevin would point out that his father's ways were nutty, his mom always got a little annoyed. She would cross her arms and eye him, and tell him, well, he was seventeen now, and in a year he could move out if that's what he wanted to do. He would find out then how difficult it was to make it in the world.

And that thought did scare him. Moving out and being on his own would be a big step - one he knew he was not ready for. He had taken some time and priced apartments in their area, and had been alarmed at the rents being charged. He had yet to finish high school, and would need a job, and some savings before even thinking of moving.

It was too much to try to assemble in his head just now. So, he just made do. His father wasn't terrible or anything - the most he ever did was yell. But Kevin didn't get him, and he was sure that his dad didn't get him back. They were just so different it seemed they would never find a common ground on which they could both stand together.

His dad wasn't particularly sociable, even in the best of times. He pretty much only hung out with his own brother, and his father. When either of those two would visit, they all sat at the kitchen table and talked. If a game was on, they might sit in the family room before the big flat screen TV, but nowhere else. The rest of the house was a museum.

Kevin's room was his own, though - at least he had that. His father's odd ideas about the house seemed not to extend to his son's rooms, which, somehow, he considered to be the boy's territories, off limits without an invite. The most his father would ever do is stand in the doorway and talk to him. His mom occasionally came in and picked up dirty laundry off the carpet, even though Kevin was supposed to do his own laundry now. But in general, she gave him his privacy, too. Even Bobby had a dose of respect in him, and wouldn't come into the room unless invited.

We're a nutty family, he mused, as he found some stuff to put on. Sometimes it just felt like four people living in the same house, not like a family at all. Mostly, though, Kevin was pretty close to Bobby, and his mom. But he and his dad might as well be boss and employee, for all the mingling they did. That his dad had to so obviously struggle for a connection with his kids only put Kevin off of trying to make things better. The man just didn't get it, was all.

He hit the bathroom, took a piss, then went by his brother's room and looked in. The bedroom was empty, and excruciatingly neat. The bed was made, the carpet without even a single pair of underwear in sight. His brother had obviously gotten his dad's genes in spades. Bobby was a polar opposite from Kevin when it came to his bedroom. Kevin saw his room as a sanctuary, a place that was just his own, where the rules were also his and there was no one that needed impressing. As a result, the room had a very lived in look. When his mom mentioned - only every now and then - that it needed picking up, he would always use that as his excuse.

"Aw, come on, mom. It's lived in."

Usually she would just laugh and shake her head. Maybe roll her eyes. The last time they'd had that particular conversation, he hadn't known that his dad was sitting in the recliner behind him in the family room, until he'd heard him snort and then laugh. "It looks lived in, all right. Looks like a motorcycle gang lives in there."

Kevin's mom had given him a pointed look and tossed her head towards the front of the house. Go! While you still can!

Kevin had taken her advice, and made his escape. He'd heard his mom and dad talking after that, but not what was being said. Nothing else came of it, and the sanctity of Kevin's room was not assailed. His dad would comment, but his odd set of rules allowed for his eldest son to live in a pig sty, if that was what he wanted.

That was what Kevin wanted.

The room was never dirty. He vacuumed it regularly, and dusted, and kept it clean of actual dirt. The words clean and sloppy would seem to represent conditions that were at odds with each other; but Kevin managed to keep his room clean while at the same time allowing it to sometimes bring to mind the shifting sands of the Sahara desert.

It's my place, and that's the way I like it.

He hit the kitchen and had a quick bowl of cereal. His dad was in the garage, doing something to one of the cars. After Kevin ate he went into the garage and got the mower out, filled it with gas, and pushed it out onto the lawn. His dad never stopped what he was doing, and the two didn't speak. Kevin felt some relief at getting outside without getting pinned in his father's questioning spotlight.

Bobby was in the flowerbed in front of the house, laying pine bark mulch and arranging the stones in the border along the boundary. He looked up as Kevin went by and grinned, but didn't say anything. A small radio sitting beside him was playing Summertime Sadness, by Lana Del Rey.

That's appropriate, Kevin thought. Been a drag ass summer so far.

Kevin took the Toro to the far corner of the yard and started it, and began to go around the perimeter in the pattern his dad liked. Just a square, with each trip around the perimeter going a mower's width inside the other, ever decreasing in size, until he hit the center of the square. Then he would move over to the other side of the house, and mow that section in back and forth lines that conformed with the flow of the hill. It didn't really matter to Kevin - it was all the same motion, just in different directions depending on where he was in the yard. The grass got cut all the same.

His dad liked things done a certain way, was all. Not to go along with that was a lot harder than just doing it.

It usually took about two hours to do the acre and a little more. It was nice to be out in the sun, and the walking felt good, and it was nice to know he was cleaning the place up and making his dad happy, even if it wouldn't amount to much in the way of appreciation. His dad expected it.

You live here, Kevin. You should take pride in where you live.

Yeah, dad. I do.

The most he would get from his dad would be a squinty look about the yard, and a nod. "Looks okay." And then Kevin would be free to do his own stuff.

When that time finally came, and he had put the mower away, and had gotten the nod from his dad, he headed back around to the front of the house. Bobby was just finishing up in the flowerbeds, and Kevin smiled at him. "Looks good, punk."

Bobby, who was fourteen, had developed a good nature about being razzed by his brother. "Fuck you. It looks better than the grass does."

Kevin adopted an instant frown, and went straight up to him. "What'd you say?"

A momentary bit of doubt flickered across Bobby's face, but it didn't stick. He grinned. "I said 'fuck you'."

Kevin grinned and grabbed his brother, and gently wrestled him around for a moment. Bobby was getting pretty strong, and could give back almost as good as he got. Kevin started laughing, and pulled a little burst of strength out of somewhere and pinned his brother's arms to his side before letting him go, just to show the kid he wasn't quite there yet. "Make a man outta you someday, punkin' boy."

Bobby grinned at him. "Wish I could say the same for you, girl."

For just a second it was Kevin's turn to feel doubt. Did Bobby somehow know?

But...nah. There was no way the squirt could have gotten at Kevin's deepest secret.

He laughed. "Ooh, nice one. I'm all blushy now, hot stuff." He batted his eyebrows at Bobby, and leered at him. "Thanks for noticing, ya little cutie."

Bobby's face gently reddened. He was shy about sex talk yet, which was really out of keeping with his age. At fourteen, Kevin had already been a raging horndog.

"Okay, okay," Bobby protested, holding up a hand. "You always gotta bring out the crap."

Kevin grinned even wider, and leaned closer to his brother. "Shit. You're gonna be using that dick someday soon for more than just wankin'. You'd better get used to talking about it."

Bobby rolled his eyes, but was not upset. "I'll use it when I'm ready, and not before."

That was actually a sage statement of a sort, and Kevin let his grin slip away, and just nodded. "Good man, bro. Don't let anyone lead you different." He faked a swing at Bobby, then headed inside the house.

He'd left his cell on the desk in his room, because the shorts he'd been wearing had no pockets. He checked it, found that no one had called. Being a Saturday he was mildly disappointed, but it was not an unexpected development. Most of his friends stayed up late during the summer, too, and it was only just two o'clock yet. Probably, a few of them weren't even up yet.

Saturday night was still some hours away. Kevin was sure someone would call before dinner, wanting to do something. His best friend Ronnie was surely going to want to at least hang out.

He took a shower and got himself cleaned up, and put on clean clothing. He was hungry after all that walking, and went back downstairs to the kitchen to fix himself a sandwich. His mom was there, heating soup.

"You're eating late," he said, while getting the fixings for the sandwich out of the refrigerator.

His mom nodded. "I was fooling with a crossword puzzle and didn't notice the time."

"You love those word things, don't you?"

He felt a small poke at his back. "Are you making fun of me? You, who spends hours at a time writing science fiction stories?"

Kevin turned to look at her. He hadn't meant to make fun of her, and replayed what he had said in his mind, examining it for clues that he had. "No, mom. I like puzzles, too."

She looked at him to make sure he was on the level, and then nodded. "You inherited your ability with word puzzles from me. Your father doesn't like them much, it seems."

That was true. His father's only hobby seemed to be the pair of computers he kept in his little 'office' - the fourth, unused bedroom upstairs. At least, Kevin thought it was only two computers. His dad kept the door shut and the room was off limits to all.

"I spend a lot of time getting my software just right," he would say. "I don't want someone in there fiddling with it."

No one would risk the wrath of dad by trespassing, so Kevin only saw what was in the room on the rare occasions his dad had the door open. And he didn't care, really. He had his own laptop, a good one, with eight gigs of memory and a fast processor. He felt no need to mess with his dad's stuff.

He did agree with his mom that she had an ability with words. Three years back, when he had spent two weeks at camp, she had written him several letters, and Kevin had been impressed with her ability to put thoughts onto paper. And when she and Kevin's dad watched Wheel of Fortune, dad just sat there in silence, mostly, while mom had every puzzle solved before any of the contestants.

For just a second the thought occurred to him that maybe his dad was a little put off by stuff like that - when someone showed an ability clearly superior to his, it kind of resulted in a withdrawal from contact. It would explain some of the way his dad acted at times, anyway.

But it was too elaborate a tack for him to take in the middle of fixing a sandwich, and he just shrugged and grinned at his mom. "Like I said, all dad cares about is the house."

His mom rolled her eyes, but didn't say anything else.

Kevin finished making a roast beef and cheese sandwich, got himself a glass of milk to go with it, and carried the bounty up the steps to his room. He heard the shower in the hall between his room and Bobby's going - his brother must have finished and come inside. Briefly, Kevin smiled. His little brother was cute, no doubt about that. And probably straight as an arrow, too. Probably have himself a pretty girlfriend before he knew it. And, as often as Kevin saw his brother in his underwear, he knew that Bobby would be bringing a nice present to any relationship he did eventually happen into.

Not that Kevin was exactly a connoisseur of male projectable anatomy, but he did know a good thing when he saw it.

He used his foot to push the door of his room almost closed, and went and sat his plate and glass of milk by his laptop on the desk. As he slid into the chair he grabbed the mouse in one hand and his sandwich in the other, taking a bite of the latter as he used the former to pull up his mail.

There were two new messages, both from Ronnie. Kevin grinned. The subject of the first message was cool stuff, and the subject of the second message was where the $%#!! are you?.

Ronnie didn't like to swear, and was always making up some nonsense word to be used in place of even cool swear words like fuck and shit.

The first message was kind of cryptic: found ultra cool new site, you gotta see. The second message was easier to understand: on my way over.

Kevin was taking the second bite of his sandwich when he heard the doorbell ring. He paused, grinning and listening; and then he heard his mom's voice: "Kevin? Ronnie's here."

That was followed by the sound of footsteps charging up the carpeted stairs; and then Ronnie was pushing his way into the room. Kevin grinned at the secretive look in his best friend's eyes as Ronnie looked quickly about the room, as though expecting that Kevin would have company. When he saw the coast was clear, he quietly shut the door, locked it, and leaned his back against it.

Kevin snorted around his sandwich, unable not to laugh at the Mission: Impossible-like air of intrigue in his friend's manner. It was totally out of keeping with the slightly too-large black shorts the other boy wore, and the green tank top that said Ride the giant peeler at Bananaland! in pink letters. Beneath the lettering was a picture of a banana with the peel pulled back about halfway. You really had to look at it a little to notice that a pair of balls hung beneath the back end.

"What are you doing?" Kevin finally managed, after swallowing a mouthful.

Ronnie had light brown hair and pale blue eyes, and a sweet face marred just a little by a slightly manic look he seemed never to be able to lose. "You didn't answer your mail."

"I was mowing the lawn. It's Saturday, remember?"

Ronnie squeezed his eyes shut, and smacked himself in the side of the head melodramatically. "I forgot." He came across the room, and slid into the chair beside Kevin, giving him a gentle shove to make room.

Kevin laughed, but slid over enough so that they could both have half of the chair.

Ronnie looked at the laptop's screen and nodded. "Yeah. I see you got my mail. I gotta show you this really cool site I found."

Kevin watched as his friend fished around in a pocket of his shorts and produced a slip of paper, which he laid on the desktop. Kevin leaned forward to look at it: it had a URL on it, which Ronnie proceeded to enter into the browser's address line. He finished, and hit Enter.

"Wait until you see this place."

Kevin took another bite of his sandwich. "What is it?"

But Ronnie didn't reply, instead leaning closer and taking a bite of Kevin's sandwich from the other side. Kevin grinned and shook his head, used to the oddities of his friend but still occasionally surprised by them. "Help yourself."

"Thanks," Ronnie said, missing the sarcasm. "Okay...here it is."

Kevin leaned forward and looked at the new screen that had come up. Across the top ran a white border, into which was laid, in the upper left-hand corner, in tiny red letters: "It's not what you know...", followed underneath by much larger print, which spelled out the words. "...It's Who You know." Obviously the name of the site.

Underneath that, again in small red letters, it said, "Stories for teens about gay life."

But Kevin's eyes left the print immediately, captured by the picture beneath, of two naked guys in an embrace. They were wrapped tightly in each other's arms, and you couldn't see between them, but the picture was still sexy as hell. Both guys could easily be seventeen in a heartbeat, and both guys were as cute as could be. Kevin felt an immediate stirring in his own shorts, followed by a sudden feeling that his breath was a little short somehow.

Beside him, Ronnie snickered. "Struck me that way when I first saw it, too."

Kevin realized then that he was gaping, and closed his mouth. "How the fuck did you find this?"

He felt the other boy shrug. "Just Googled 'gay stories for teens'."

Kevin laughed, and turned to look at his friend. "And what brought that on?"

Ronnie's eyes churned with an inner turmoil. "Man, I'm just farkin sick of porn. Pictures get old after a while, Kev. They got no life, you know?"

Kevin examined his friend, not sure what crazy direction Ronnie was heading in now. "What's the matter with the videos?"

"Them, too." Ronnie shook his head. "It's all fake shat, man, just actors pumpin' each other dry." Ronnie licked his lips, obviously off on one of his little missions now. "I wanted to read something, instead. Something real, where I could use my imagination. I got to thinking that maybe people were writing stories about the kind of stuff I want to feel." He waved a hand at the laptop's screen. "They are."

Kevin nodded. "So you've already read some of this?"

Ronnie gave a little sigh. "Have I? Kev, some of this stuff will make your head spin. Makes porn look tame."

Kevin couldn't help his eyebrows going up in surprise. "Yeah? Show me."

Ronnie nodded, scrolled down a bit and came to a menu with different selections. There were informational areas about being gay, and links to other sites. A forum, where messages could be exchanged. And a story area, with, apparently, a shitload of stories.

Ronnie found one of them, and opened it. "I've already read three chapters, but I'll read along with you again."

Kevin started reading. The story opened with a guy their own age, Ray, who worked in a small-town hardware store, stocking shelves. It seemed like an okay job, if a little boring. One day, a guy comes in to get something - another guy their own age - and the two of them seem to sense a connection. Over the next several weeks, the boy keeps coming back to buy more stuff, and Ray begins to see that the guy - whose name is Ben - is coming back to see him. He begins to fantasize about the two of them, and every time Ben would come back a little of the wish-thinking that Ray is feeling escapes into the air between them.

Finally, on one of Ben's shopping visits, they get to talking about dirt bikes, and realize they share an interest there.

Wanna go riding on Saturday? Ben finally asks.

Do it! Kevin found himself thinking, as they got into chapter three.

Ray accepted the invite, and Kevin grinned. Saturday rolled around, and the two guys went off riding together in the wilds, on trails that Ben favors, but which are new to Ray. They wind over hills and through the woods, and eventually end up on a grassy hillside by a secluded stream, where the two stop to rest and eat the sandwiches they brought along.

After they eat, they stretch out next to each other in the warm sun, and they talk, and finally Ben takes the plunge. Kevin can see it coming, but that doesn't make it any less exciting:

"There's something about you," Ben said, a little nervously. "I saw it the first time I came into the store."

"Yeah." Ray nodded. "I felt it, too."

They looked at each other a moment, and Ray was mesmerized by the afternoon light in the other boy's eyes. Those eyes were green, and deep, and full of intense and hungry things. Ray thought he could get lost in them, and that that was not at all a bad thing to happen.

Ben leaned slightly forward, his eyes fastened on Ray's lips. "Do...do you think you have any room in your life for a guy like me?"

Ray felt the fire burning inside him, could not resist it. He leaned forward also, feeling the magnetic pull of Ben's lips.

Ray nodded. "Yes."

Their lips came together, and all Ray could feel was wonder. His dick was so hard now he thought it would burst through the material of his jeans. Ben seemed to sense this, and slid a hand down to soothe Ray's discomfort with a slow motion of his fingers.

Kevin took a breath and looked down, and realized his own dick was standing up tall. Man! The narrative was a little overheated, but the images it produced in Kevin's mind were anything but funny.

Ronnie looked over at him and laughed. He reached over and squirmed a hand into Kevin's shorts and began to stroke him. "You read, and I'll wank you."

Kevin nodded, stood and dropped his shorts to the floor, while grabbing a handful of tissues from the box by the laptop.

Ray felt almost in a trance as he and Ben undressed each other, exposing tanned and inviting flesh. They finally reached the payoff, and exposed each other's throbbing man muscles to the sunlight.

Kevin snickered at that, but it was no less arousing for the corny way it was written. He noticed motion to his left, and realized that Ronnie was rubbing his own dick through the material of his shorts.

"Let me do that," Kevin said, snaking a hand into his friend's shorts. Ronnie nodded without speaking, stood and pushed his own shorts to the floor, and grabbed some tissue for himself.

And then they were entwined, the warm sun playing over their naked bodies as they rolled against each other in the soft grass, rubbing, tasting, and kissing. Ray's heart was pounding fiercely, and his thoughts whirled about the inside of his head like a Kansas cyclone. He had never felt anything like this before. His skin tingled with the fascination of Ben's touch against him, sending delightful little shockwaves to his brain.

Ben smiled, seeing the reaction he was having, and began a slow slide down the length of Ray's body, tasting the flesh as he went, tantalizing Ray as he never had been before, until, finally, he arrived at the erect pole of Ray's joystick, standing tall against the summer sun. Ben smiled, his gaze coming up to capture Ray's. "I've been dreaming about this."

So had Ray. He smiled, put a hand fondly against Ben's cheek, and gave it a small caress. "It's my first time. Be gentle."

Kevin huffed. Fuck 'be gentle'! Suck the head off of that motherfucker!

He hadn't realized he'd said it aloud until Ronnie cracked up. "I knew you'd like this place."

Kevin leaned a little harder against his friend, feeling the old fondness arise again. In his own dreams he and Ronnie had been boyfriends for years. He really liked the guy...no, it was more than just like. His affection for Ronnie went deeper than that. And Kevin was drawn to the to the boy physically, too. Ronnie was cute, and he was sexy in his sweet way, and he was also as gay as a lacy silk pillow. But Ronnie didn't seem to know that he was gay.

They'd been jerking each other off for years, and sharing gay porn, and talking about the guys they knew - but that was as far as it ever went.

Once, more than a year ago, in a fit of affection, Kevin had leaned over while they were wanking and kissed Ronnie's cheek.

"What the fark, Kevin?"

Kevin had been stunned. "What?"

"You farkin kissed me. That is so gay."

Kevin had been a little wounded at his friend's tone, but had had to grin at the ridiculous nature of his objection. "Gay? Dude, we're jerkin' each other's dicks."

"Yeah? And?"

Kevin had been about to point out that not only were they jerking each other off, but that they were doing it while watching gay porn. But at the last second, he had seen something in Ronnie's eyes, something deep, and almost pleading.

Don't.

And he had realized then that his best friend had some issues with his sexuality - issues he had not addressed. Somehow, incredibly, Ronnie was able to hide from the fact of his gayness. By treating everything the two of them did matter-of-factly, as though everybody did it, he was walking a broad circle around the fact that everybody did not do it. Guys might wank together - might even wank each other - but they usually did it with chick flicks playing, or straight porn, or a magazine opened to a page full of pussy.

If they wanked each other while watching guys sucking dick, or penetrating each other, it was - at the the very least - bi. But as neither Kevin nor Ronnie had ever shown any interest in looking at or sharing girl porn, it was gay, spelled G.A.Y.

But...friendship has its more difficult moments. Because he cared more about how Ronnie felt than how he himself felt, he had simply looked apologetic and nodded. "Sorry. I got carried away."

Ronnie had looked at him a long moment, the tiny lines of his irises seeming to swirl in conflict. "Okay. Just don't let it happen again."

And Kevin hadn't. He'd taken that message to heart. He still had the same feelings for his best friend, but now the boundaries had been clearly drawn. Yeah, we're gay. Just not together.

The most Kevin did now was lay awake in his bed at night and think about Ronnie, and wish he could have him there, and hold him, and kiss him, and make love to him. Kevin had grown used to the small ache that his friend caused within him, and gone on just being Ronnie's best friend. There was a lot of satisfaction in that, and they were close, and they did wank each other a lot, and Kevin did still wish, each time he was stroking Ronnie, that he could have that dick in his mouth and taste what eventually erupted forth from it.

Well, he had tasted it, actually. Both of them had shot off unexpectedly while watching porn, and doused the other with cum shots. Usually they just laughed over it, and cleaned up. More than once Kevin had managed to keep a small droplet of his best friend's cum on a fingertip, and surreptitiously sample it when Ronnie wasn't looking. It was nothing special in the way of taste, arriving on Kevin's tongue with much the same impact as his own cum did when he felt the urge to try it. But because it was not his own cum, but Ronnie's - it had become a source of satisfaction that Kevin loved to experience on the rare occasions when his friend shot wild.

Just thinking about his friend was enough to push him to the edge. His thoughts went from imagining Ray and Ben laying naked in soft grass in the summer sunlight to Kevin and Ronnie laying naked in soft grass in the summer sunlight, and that small change brought him to orgasm.

He tensed, sat up tall on his butt muscles, and quickly brought the tissue in one hand down to catch the ejaculation. Ronnie made certain his hand was down low enough that Kevin had a clear shot at the head with the tissue; but his friend did not pull his hand off of Kevin's dick, keeping his fingers wrapped lightly around the shaft, so that he could enjoy the feel of muscles twitching in delight as Kevin had his orgasm.

This was another oddity of their relationship, another unspoken boundary thing. They could hold on to each other's dicks during orgasm, which at least shared some of the physical joy of it. Ronnie had actually started that first, and Kevin had gone with it for obvious reasons. But they didn't talk about it any more than they talked about some of the other stuff they did,

Ronnie's attitude was clear: all guys do this shat. What's to talk about?

As so often happened, one of them coming to orgasm was the trigger that prompted the other to cum within another minute or two. Kevin still had tissue wrapped around the end of his dick when he felt his friend tense. Kevin slid his hand down to the bottom of the shaft of Ronnie's dick, so that the side of it rested in the soft hair of Ronnie's pubes.

Kevin looked over then, watched as Ronnie screwed his eyes closed and a smile came to his face. The other boy's head tilted back; and then his body convulsed, and then Ronnie wrapped the head of his dick in tissue even as Kevin felt the shaft throb in his hands.

He loved these moments. Watching the joy of orgasm on Ronnie's face was always special, and feeling it in his dick about as personal as it got between them. Kevin would have loved to take Ronnie close then, to kiss him, and nuzzle him...

Shit.

It was over. Ronnie sighed and opened his eyes. "Farkin awesome."

He turned his head then, and the smile he gave to Kevin said a lot more than just thanks for the wank.

It was even painful. Kevin could see the affection that Ronnie had for him, through the bars of the cage he kept it inside. Ronnie seemed unaware even of the existence of the cage, let alone what it contained. But that in no way took away from the fact of its existence.

Kevin sighed, and just grinned back. If this was all he could get out of his friend, he would be happy with that. There was always the future, and always some small hope that things might change.

Ronnie seemed in no hurry to pull his shorts up, so Kevin wasn't, either. They went back to reading the story, and an hour later, after a lot of laughs and some really erotic reading - during which time Kevin's dick got quite hard again - they reached the end of the story as it was posted. It wasn't done. The author had reached chapter sixteen, by which point his two main characters were firmly in the grip of a loving relationship, but there it ended.

Or, rather, there it was suspended.

Kevin noted that the most recent chapter had been posted only three days before. He felt a small thrill at the idea that this story was a work-in-progress; it was alive, in the process of creation.

Wow.

"This is some really cool shit," he told Ronnie. He grinned. "I see what you mean about it being better than porn."

"Told ya." Ronnie seemed to take a special satisfaction in knowing that Kevin had enjoyed the story, and that they had shared it. One more complex brick in the foundation of their relationship.

"You've read some of the other stuff here?"

Ronnie shrugged. "Not yet. I just found it, and I wanted to get right over here and share it." That was a pretty special comment in its own right.

Kevin grinned. "Cool. Thanks."

For a moment they just smiled at each other. It lasted for all of five seconds before something incredibly shy and vulnerable appeared in Ronnie's end of it, and he dropped his eyes.

"I knew you'd like it," he said softly.

"I do," Kevin returned, trying to gloss over the difficulty his friend was having with the moment. "I can see I'm going to be reading here for a while."

Ronnie lifted his gaze then. "Oh - but we gotta make a rule on that, Kev. If either of us finds a really good story" -- he grinned -- "we gotta stop and tell the other, so we can read it together."

The sweetness of the idea made Kevin smile. "Okay. I can do that."

Ronnie looked happy. "Something else I was thinking about."

Kevin waited a moment, but his friend did not continue.

"That being? he prompted.

Ronnie looked at the laptop's screen. "You could do this," he said carefully.

Kevin looked at the screen, too, not immediately getting it. "Do what?"

Ronnie's eyes came back, fastened on Kevin's. "Write this kind of stuff. Love stories."

For a moment Kevin was so shocked he couldn't react. The words took a few seconds to sink in, and once they did they bounced down the hallway of Kevin's mind, knocking open several doors of thought at once.

Him? Write stuff like this? For publication?

And then came the second thought, that his friend viewed what they had read together, not as porn or simple erotica, but as love stories. The obvious underpinnings of that idea made Kevin smile. Ronnie was a secret romantic!

And, lastly, Kevin could see the hope in his friend's eyes - hope that the idea he had just offered would not result in a scornful response.

Perish that thought!

Kevin grinned, and offered back the shortest, most obvious response he could think of: "Me?"

Seeing the idea not immediately kicked back at him made Ronnie eager. "Yeah, you. Look, Kev, the sci-fi you write now is cool as shat. It's awesome, man." Ronnie pointed at the laptop's screen. "You could do this in a heartbeat."

Kevin looked back at the screen, at the words he had just been reading there.

They were strong words, if a little too overdone. All that stuff about man-muscles and rods of love only made Kevin laugh. A dick was a dick.

But the emotions and the ideas behind the words - that two guys could not only share sex but also love, and have a relationship that meant something - Kevin loved that idea.

And...and...he could write about some of the dreams he had himself. Dreams he had about Ronnie. Not naming him, of course, but it would be a wonderful way to explore the relationship they almost had together.

Kevin looked at the screen again. "How do you submit stuff here?"

Ronnie's eyes glowed with excitement. "There's a page that tells you. Here, I'll get it."

Kevin felt Ronnie lean a little harder against him, his shoulder now pushing against Kevin's in an accent to his excitement. Ronnie found the submissions page, and they read it together.

The rules were simple: characters must be age appropriate, and aged 13 or older. No S & M, no bestiality, no gratuitous violence. This was a site about gay teens in love. Make it acceptable, and make it honest. Submit stories in any of the listed formats, as attachments to an email. Address submissions To: thebigguy@iwyk.org.

Kevin smiled at that last. The site's owner was making it clear who was boss here.

But that was cool. The idea that someone would create a website just so that guys could share gay love stories was really awesome. The more that Kevin thought about it, the more the idea appealed.

Me. A writer of gay fiction. He smiled, and then he nodded. "Maybe. Maybe I'll give it a try."

The pressure of Ronnie's shoulder against his increased. "I knew it," the other boy breathed, the excitement there in his voice. "I knew you would."


The first story took a week. Ronnie came by every day, and they would read together what Kevin had written the night before, and Ronnie would smile and the lights in his eyes dance, and that made Kevin really happy. The story was loosely based on their friendship, but Kevin had gone to great pains not to make it obvious. Surprisingly, it had been very easy to write, and the love scenes especially so, as several years worth of aching desire for Ronnie spilled out onto the pages.

Ronnie read the finished story in silence, a small, almost breathless pause in emotion on his face. Finally, he reached the end and looked over at Kevin.

He closed his eyes and sighed. "Aw, man. Aw, Kev, it's wonderful."

Kevin had called the story The Stuff of Dreams, feeling that if the line was good enough for old Bogart then it was good enough for him. Ronnie did not share Kevin's weakness for old black and white movie mysteries, so did not seem to get the derivation. It didn't matter, though, not one bit.

Ronnie liked the story.

"Man, those two guys were sooo lucky. God, that was good."

Kevin looked at his friend, seeing now that somehow Ronnie had a full and imaginative romantic side hidden underneath his oblivious exterior. That his friend could be so complex was amazing in its own right. How the hell could Ronnie feel this kind of inner allegiance with a gay love story and outwardly shun all that it meant? That his friend was wrapped up in some very weird armor was becoming obvious to him now.

Still, he grinned. "Glad you liked it. Now lets see what The Big Guy says about it."

Kevin wrote a simple email:

He signed the email 'Kayboy', and used one of his several untraceable email accounts to send it. The submissions had also made it clear that privacy was a concern on ...It's Who You Know. Authors were encouraged to remain anonymous if that was what they wanted, and told not to share any information about themselves that they were uncomfortable with. Kevin thought that was an excellent idea. All he needed was for his folks to learn he was writing and submitting gay fiction and the shit would likely hit the fan - at least with his dad.

Hmm. Even as he had that thought, he realized that he had never once heard his dad say anything disparaging against the LGBT community. His Uncle Pete - that was another story altogether. Uncle Pete had a collection of fruitcake jokes that he liked to toss in among the racist ones, just for variety. But even his Uncle Pete was polite to everyone in public. The fact that he thought unkindly about a lot of people behind the scenes had always bothered Kevin. Two-faced.

Kevin attached the proofed copy of his story, and sent it off. Now would come the wait for an answer.


It took three days. Kevin was just starting to think maybe he wouldn't get an answer when he got up one morning and looked at his mail. There, among the junkmail and updates from his game sites, was one addressed from thebigguy@iwyk.org.

Kevin's jaw dropped, and his hand was moving towards the mouse when he had a thought: Ronnie should be here, too.

He went back to the bed and grabbed his cell off the nightstand, and called Ronnie. The phone rang a half-dozen times, and was just about to go to voicemail when there was a click. "Yeah?"

Kevin grinned, Ronnie wasn't up yet. "It's here," Kevin said in a rush. "The answer from the story site."

Ronnie perked up in a hurry. "What's it say, what's it say?"

Kevin laughed. "I haven't looked at it. I'm waiting for you."

If that surprised Ronnie, he didn't show it. "Shat! I'll be right over."

Kevin timed it, and it took Ronnie eight minutes. The other boy only lived six houses away, but that was still impressive in terms of movement.

Kevin heard the doorbell ring, and raced downstairs to answer the door.

Ronnie's eyes were filled with excitement as he came in. Kevin had halfway expected to see his friend dressed in mismatched socks or with his shirt inside-out, but even Ronnie's breath smelled toothpaste-clean. "That was quick."

"Are you farkin kiddin'?" Ronnie whispered. "This is the shat, man."

Kevin just laughed, and led the way back upstairs. They passed Bobby on the steps, who grinned at them. "Hi, ladies."

Ronnie paused just long enough to grab his crotch. "Eat this lady, buttchin."

Bobby hooted, and took off down the steps, laughing.

Kevin just grinned. "Don't encourage him."

Ronnie looked innocent. "What? Your little bro is cool. We're just sayin' 'hello'."

They went on up to Kevin's room. Ronnie closed the door behind them, and Kevin grinned as he heard the snick of the lock being set.

They each took half the chair - but then just sat there and stared at the laptop.

Finally, Ronnie cleared his throat. "Are we we gonna look?"

Kevin nodded, and reached for the mouse. He clicked on the email, and both boys leaned forward to read it.

Kevin realized he had been holding his breath, and let it out. He felt movement beside him, and for the briefest of moments, Ronnie laid his head on Kevin's shoulder and rubbed his hair against Kevin's cheek. There was such fondness in the act that it took Kevin's breath away.

But then Ronnie was on his feet, his eyes full of smiles. "I knew you could! You're a real author now, Kev!"

Kevin felt a catch in his throat at the look on his friend's face. The same fondness he had felt in the rub of Ronnie's head against him was there in the boy's expression. Ronnie's smile went deep into his eyes, and reflected something there that Kevin recognized, but was just too afraid of to put a name to.

Ronnie made a little dance in a circle, and then came back and thrust himself into the chair beside Kevin. "So, what's next?"

Kevin blinked, still lost in thought. "Huh?"

"The next story, clueless! What's going to be the next story?"

Kevin just shook his head. "Man...I haven't gotten that far. I don't have any idea."

Ronnie gave a little twist of his body that pushed it against Kevin's. "How about we read some more stuff? Maybe we can get an idea there."

Kevin nodded, caught up now in his friend's excitement.

They looked at several stories, and immediately found a historical drama about two boys serving on a sailing ship during Spain's war with Britain in 1779. What the two guys did together in the hidden recesses of the ship soon had the two readers grinning, and hard.

Kevin had only just begun to finger the head of his dick through his shorts when he heard Ronnie sigh; and then the other boy was pushing Kevin's hand away, and sliding his own down inside Kevin's shorts. Kevin grinned. He stood, and pushed his shorts down. A short minute later he had Ronnie's shorts down, and then they were going at it.

By chapter five Ronnie had a miscarriage, and the first shot of warm cum hit Kevin squarely on the cheek. Ronnie got his tissue in place after that, and didn't seem to notice that when Kevin wiped his cheek he got some of the milky fluid on his fingertips. Or that, moments later, Kevin licked the cum away, and smiled.



"Kevin, I want you to help me Saturday, okay?"

Kevin nodded at his dad, though he was only halfway paying attention. "Sure, Dad."

His father was silent a moment, and then leaning across the dinner table at him. "What did I just say?"

It was the tone of his dad's voice that got Kevin's attention. He looked up, took in the irritated look on the man's face. "Um, that you wanted me to help you on Saturday. I said I would."

"Uh huh. But help me do what?"

It was only then that Kevin realized that his dad had been talking before that, and that Kevin had been nodding, but not really paying attention. He'd been working on his current story in his head, trying to figure out a way that his two new characters, Will and David, could get away from the requirement that they occupy different tents at wilderness camp. So far, he hadn't come up with something that sounded plausible, and now he was wishing that he had placed them both in the same tent at the beginning of the story.

But that would have messed up some other stuff, and besides, the first three chapters of the story were already posted on IWYK, and he couldn't change them now.

"Um, I'm sorry, dad, I missed some of that."

For just a second, Kevin detected disappointment on his dad's face, before the irritation came back. "I realize that you don't care much for what I have to say, son, but I would appreciate it you'd listen now and then."

Kevin blinked at that one. This was the first time that his father had acknowledged that they were not on the best of terms. He licked his lips, and nodded. "I'm sorry. I was kind of lost in thought. I didn't mean to ignore you."

"Uh huh." His dad looked like he didn't believe him; but then he shrugged. "I said I was bringing the new riding mower home on Saturday, and I want you to help me to put it together."

"Oh. Okay, sure. I can do that."

"Thanks." The hint of sarcasm in his father's voice made Kevin blink.

Well, what the fuck did the guy expect? All he ever cared about was what happened next in the yard. It wasn't like he was interested in what Kevin was doing in life.

The rest of the dinner passed in silence - at least from his father. Kevin's mom and Bobby tried to make up the difference, but neither Kevin nor his dad were biting.

After dinner, Kevin headed upstairs. He was a little surprised when Bobby charged up after him, and pushed his way into Kevin's bedroom before he could close the door.

"What are you doing, punk?" Kevin asked, irritation plain in his voice. He wanted to work on his story, not play games with his brother.

Bobby closed the door. "What's wrong with you, man?"

Kevin was surprised. "Wrong with me? Nothing's wrong with me. I just have shit to do."

Bobby leaned forward, his eyes searching. "Why do you have to be such an ass with dad?"

For a second Kevin was dumbfounded. And then he was annoyed. "Me? What are you talking about? Why does dad have to be such a jerk?"

Bobby shook his head slowly. "He was being a jerk because he asked you to help with the lawnmower?"

Kevin just stared. How could his little bro get it so wrong? "Come on, Bobby. All dad ever cares about is the house and the yard. I always do what he wants me to do. But I don't have to pretend he cares about us."

Bobby shook his head. "He does care about us. I know it. Why don't you?"

Somehow, Kevin had always thought that he and his brother were on the same page when it came to their father. To suddenly learn that that was not true was a revelation.

"Seriously? All he ever asks from me is to cut the grass, or pick up branches, or clean the basement, or the garage. He doesn't ask me anything else."

Bobby nodded. "That's because you make it clear you don't want anything else to do with him."

Kevin was stunned. "I make it clear...? What the fuck? Dad wants a worker, not a son."

Bobby squinted at him. "Man, you really are fucked up, Kevin. Dad wants help. It's a lot of work to keep this place going, and he does most of it himself. The little shit he asks us to do is nothing. A few hours a week."

Kevin simply stared, unable to process this sudden rebellion from his usually sensible little brother. "The house means everything to dad."

Bobby's expression settled into one of puzzlement. "Dad worked hard to get this house. It does mean a lot to him. But it means a lot because it's where we all live. It's what he has provided for us." Bobby waved a hand around the room. "You got everything you need or want. And you can't even keep it clean."

"I clean in here all the time," Kevin said, suddenly feeling under attack. But he looked around the room then, eyes open, and was a little surprised at what he saw. It was pretty messy.

Bobby sighed. "Okay. You can't keep it neat, then."

"I'm not a neat freak like you are," Kevin said. "I want to be comfortable."

Bobby laughed. "I'm not a neat freak. I keep my room nice because it makes dad happy." He nodded. "I want him to know I appreciate this place. And him."

Kevin opened his mouth, but immediately shut it again. He looked around the room, for the first time considering the idea that his dad might view the way he kept it as contempt for the living space he had provided for his son. The idea was appalling.

Actually, Kevin loved the house where they lived. He never minded helping to care for it. It was just his dad's insistence that the house come before everything else that had put him off of having enthusiasm for doing work around the place.

Bobby nodded. "Dad sees asking us to help as doing stuff together to keep the place nice."

"He goes overboard with it, "Kevin insisted, rallying his forces. "We can't even play football in the yard."

"Like you want to play football these days," Bobby said. He shook his head. "I agree that dad is a little fanatical about the place, but that's because he knows that there are tons of other places we can go do that shit. He figures, why should we mess up the yard here, when we can go play football in the park?"

Kevin sighed. "It's about living here, Bobby. We stay here, but we don't get to live here much."

Almost, his brother had gotten him. Almost, Kevin had started to feel like he might be wrong.

But Bobby just shook his head. "I live here, Kevin. So do mom and dad. You're the one that is just visiting."

And then he turned and left, closing the door behind him. And between them.

Kevin stared at the door, not liking the feeling of new divide between himself and his brother. How could the squirt get it so wrong?

But a nagging thought had been placed in the back of his mind, one that kept jumping up and down and waving a printed sign at him in a bid for attention.

When Kevin finally looked at it, he was shocked to see what is said: What if you are the one that's wrong?



When Saturday arrived, Kevin made sure he was up early, and had eaten and was ready to go when his father was. They went out to the garage, where the big carton containing the new riding mower stood in the space between the two cars. A fairly large truck and two very big guys had been required to deliver the box and get it off the lift-gate of the truck and into the garage. His dad backed his car out so that they would have room to work, and they managed to wrestle the carton to an open stretch of floor and open it and cut it down flat to reveal the little tractor inside.

The body of the vehicle - wrapped in clear protective plastic - was all in one piece, with the engine, deck, and blades - the working parts - already mounted in place. Stuff like the wheels, the seat, the steering wheel, and the plastic rear body had still to be attached.

His dad rolled his tool chest over, got out the manual with the assembly instructions, and went to work. For the next twenty minutes they worked mostly in silence, with Kevin's dad asking for this or that tool, and having Kevin help him hold things in place.

Kevin felt no joy in what he was doing. His dad's silence, until his conversation with Bobby the other evening, had always seemed kind of blessed, as it meant his dad wasn't questioning him about this or that. Questions that might eventually lead around to things that Kevin didn't want to talk about. But today the silence seemed vast and deep, an awesome indicator of the distance between them. Kevin watched his dad as they worked, noting the practiced way he handled the tools, but also how he squinted at the instructions as though they might be a little difficult to see.

His dad was getting older.

The fact that he might not be around forever was suddenly alarming to Kevin, who had never really considered his parents as any less immortal than he was. A sudden sense that time was somehow escaping him made him take a startled breath, and his hands slipped on the body piece he was holding while his dad bolted it into place.

"Sorry, dad."

His dad grunted, and nodded, and then seemed to think better of it. He raised his eyes, and Kevin let his own meet them.

"You okay?" his dad asked.

Kevin nodded. "Yeah. Just a stray thought making itself known."

His father actually smiled. "Happens to us all."

For another minute they worked on in silence. But his dad seemed reluctant to let the small conversation die. "So...written anything interesting lately?"

For just a second Kevin was shocked. How could his dad know?

But then he realized that the man was referring to his science fiction tales, which were common knowledge with his parents.

"Um...no. I've been fooling around with some ideas, but nothing has really settled."

The silence returned for minute, until his dad turned back to the tool chest for a screwdriver. "You really should keep at it, Kevin. You're very good. You should develop that talent, not waste it."

Kevin was shocked. "Why do you say that?"

His dad paused and looked at him. "You left that story you wrote - about the secret agent posing as an alien to learn about their plans - on the kitchen table one night. I read it. I thought it was extremely imaginative, and very well thought out." He smiled. "I liked it."

Kevin gaped. Was this his dad who had said that?

"You read my story?"

His dad watched him a moment, but then nodded. "I hope it was okay. You left it on the table." He tried another smile. "Seemed like fair game."

Kevin was flooded with amazement - and a pleasure he simply didn't know he could feel in relation to his father. He laughed. "I thought the way I had him date the ambassador's daughter a little farfetched."

His dad shook his head. "Nope. Considering his military rank and his assignment to the Terran liaison, and his proximity to the ambassador's daughter, it wasn't a stretch at all."

Kevin was floored again. "Oh, yeah?" he knew he sounded silly, but couldn't help it.

His dad nodded. "Yep. You must have done some research on military rank and assignments, because it rang true to my ears."

"I did." Kevin went on to tell his dad about all the reading he had done on the subject on Wikipedia and his favorite how-it-works sites.

"Those are good references for writing," his dad agreed. "You have to be careful because some online sources are inaccurate, but if you compare a few, you're usually good."

Kevin simply could not believe he was having this discussion with his dad. "I didn't know you liked to read, dad. I never see you doing it."

His dad shrugged. "I read online. You think all I do in my office is tinker with software?"

"I don't know," Kevin said, before he really thought about it. "I've never been invited in."

His dad winced, and stopped turning the ratchet he was using to tighten a bolt. His eyes came up again. "I'm sorry. I thought you weren't interested."

"Well..." Kevin stopped, not knowing what more to say. His dad never invited him into the office, sure. But Kevin realized now that he never asked to be let in, either. In fact...Kevin was seeing now that he seldom expressed interest in anything his dad did.

Shit. Bobby was right! Aw, man.

"I'm sorry," he said automatically. "I just thought you didn't want me."

His dad watched him a moment, then nodded. "And I have been wondering why you disliked me so much."

They stared at each other, like they were seeing people they didn't know.

"I'm sorry," Kevin said again. "I didn't mean to be that way. I like you okay."

It sounded funny, and they both smiled.

Kevin's dad bit at his lip. "Well, it's true that I have some things in my office that I've worked hard on, and I don't want to see damaged. But you and your brother aren't little kids anymore, and maybe I haven't been seeing that very well."

Maybe both of them hadn't been seeing too well.

"Dad --" Kevin stopped, again not sure how to proceed.

"Yes, son?"

Kevin looked at his dad, saw him waiting patiently.

"Dad, why are you so strict about the house? And the yard? I mean, I feel sometimes like I can't live here like other guys do at their houses. You don't want us in the yard except to mow it, and we can't sit on the furniture...it makes me feel like you think the house is more important than we are."

There. It was finally out in the open.

His dad frowned. "You feel that way? Why didn't you ever say so?"

Why indeed? Somehow, the idea of just saying all the things he said to his mom to his dad instead had really never occurred to him.

"Mom never told you how I felt?"

His dad seemed to think about that. The silence between them grew to a full minute before his dad nodded. "Maybe. Maybe she did. She said you groused about not being able to play football in the yard once, and that I thought the yard was more important to keep neat than to play in." He looked at Kevin, and nodded again. "Yeah. She has said a few things over the years. But they didn't sink in, Kevin. I just thought it was a kid moaning and groaning about the same stuff I moaned and groaned about when I was young." He shook his head. "I'm sorry if you really felt that way. The house is nothing next to how important you and your brother are to us."

Kevin's world seemed to be unraveling. It had been in this little knot for a number of years now, and he had actually gotten comfortable with it, despite its tightness around his heart. But this seemed better, this loosening. Like he hadn't been able to breathe right before, and now he could.

"I'm a slob, dad," he said suddenly. "I mean, I'm clean, but I'm not real neat. But just because my room is messy doesn't mean I don't appreciate having it." He nodded. "I love this house."

His dad smiled. "I do, too." He put the ratchet down and came closer. "You've seen the house I grew up in." It was a statement, not a question.

Kevin had seen the house, many times. His grandparents still lived in it, in fact. It was a pleasant place, a little small, but very comfortable. He nodded.

"Your Uncle Pete and I shared a bedroom there until I moved out and got married. Small room, just nine by twelve, and two of us in it with all of our things." His dad shrugged. "I couldn't wait to get my own place. Your mom and I had an apartment at first, and all that space was nice. But I soon saw I was handing money to someone else for the privilege of living there, and that down the road I'd have nothing to show for it." He frowned. "It wasn't mine."

His dad looked around the garage and smiled. "Took me fifteen years to save enough to buy a place like this. It's everything I ever wanted in a place of my own. " His gaze settled back on Kevin. "One day this house will belong to you and your brother. I always wanted that to be something worth getting."

Kevin felt stupid somehow. It couldn't be this simple, could it? That simply talking to his dad could have helped so much?

"I'm sorry I didn't say anything before."

His dad nodded. "Me, too. I...I just couldn't figure out what I had done to make you dislike me so much. Maybe I should take my own advice. I should have just asked you."

In all actuality, Kevin felt no desire to sit in the living room. There was no TV in there, and nothing much to do but look out of the window. And, in truth, the few times they had had company and they'd all sat in there, he'd felt a small bit of pride at how nice everyone said the room was.

And Bobby was right. Kevin hadn't played football in years, and didn't want to now. They'd always done just done fine playing in the park anyway.

So what am I mad about?

He knew then. It wasn't the house. It wasn't that he couldn't sit in the living room, or play football on the lawn.

It was that he had been feeling like his dad didn't care. That he placed his house above his son. And now he could see, very plainly, that he didn't.

"I'm sorry, dad. I'll try to do better."

His dad laughed. "Okay. That's fair. I'll try to do better, too. Maybe if we agree to talk about stuff instead of sit on it, we'll both be happier."

They went back to putting the mower together. It wasn't all suddenly sunny now where before it had been dark. There were still things about his dad that irked Kevin, and - he was now certain - things about himself that irked his dad. All that stuff had not simply evaporated. They hadn't resolved all of their issues, and maybe they never would.

What they had both realized, and that was sudden, was that they could talk to each other. Where before there had been a closed door, now here was an open one - or at least, it was ajar.

A chance to meet, even a little, meant that they were no longer separate.

That meant more to Kevin than he could even say.



"Awesome, Kev. I really liked that one."

They were sitting on Kevin's bed - well, sprawled might be a better term. Ronnie had just put down the printout of Kevin's latest story, titled Something About Dad. In it, a guy trying to face the fact that he is gay realizes that his dad - who he has been butting heads with - has some of the same issues that he does. The story ends with the boy telling his dad that he is gay, and his dad admitting to some issues with his own sexuality.

It was a reworking of Kevin's own situation with his dad, which had gotten a lot better since their talk in the garage. Adding the sex element had simply been a matter of course. It was, after all, a gay website.

"I sent it to TBG yesterday. Just waiting to hear back on it."

"He'll love it," Ronnie assured, rolling closer, and grinning. "You the man."

Kevin had to admit that his writing gay stories had also had an impact on his relationship with Ronnie. His best friend had been delighted to have some of his mannerisms transferred to Georgie, the love interest of Raley Bishop in the story by that name, and ever since he had been an even bigger supporter of Kevin's storytelling activities.

Kevin smiled at the lights in his friend's eyes. The urge to kiss him was terribly strong, but he was used to being able to shunt that aside now. Instead he reached out a finger and poked Ronnie in his most sensitive spot - his belly button. The other boy laughed and pulled his hands to his belly...and then, to Kevin's great surprise, Ronnie came up off the mattress and piled on top of him.

They wrestled around, laughing, and Kevin took the opportunity of having Ronnie's cheek pressed against his nose to let his lips press against the other boy's cheek. Ronnie noticed almost instantly, and pulled his head back. He was wearing a formidable frown, but something in his eyes - some small twinkle or something - served to disarm its apparently irritated manner.

"You're doing it again."

Kevin - surprised at being caught, since it was a rough-and-tumble - played stupid. "Huh? What?"

Ronnie nearly smiled. "That is so gay."

Kevin threw up his hands now, feigning complete puzzlement. "Doing what?" He hated acting ignorant, and he was irritated at himself that he had done this again when he knew how Ronnie felt.

Ronnie pursed his lips a moment, watching him; then he suddenly grinned, and piled back on top of Kevin. They wrestled some more, but this time Kevin was careful to keep his mouth to himself.

Finally, they rolled apart, panting.

"I'm up for a read," Ronnie said, grinning. "Let's see if there's anything new on the site."

They went back to the desk and shared the seat, and Kevin got ...It's Who You Know up and running in the browser. They went down the new story list, and settled on something by Jeff Foxx called The Country In Him, and started reading. The story concerned a city boy named Ike, who moved with his family out to a new house in the country. It was a fish out of water tale, with Ike off to school with kids whose attitudes and experiences were completely different than his. There he met Dean, a real country boy, and the two of them bumped heads right off. There were words, and then the obligatory fist-fight, and then a talk after, and a reconciliation of sorts that led to Ike being invited to Dean's parent's farm one Saturday afternoon...

It was a novella, and long, but it only took about fifteen minutes of reading to get them both hard. Foxx was an amiable and competent writer, and his sex scenes charged with white lightning. Soon both boys had their shorts down, and were deep into a mutual wank.

"Good story," Kevin breathed, glorying in stroking his friend.

"Not as good as yours," Ronnie breathed back, panting a little.

Kevin laughed, grunted, and just managed to get his tissue to his dick in the nick of time. Ronnie grinned and held on, giving a few playful squeezes while Kevin was ejaculating, that made his toes curl in wonder. "Oh, man!"

So a few minutes later, when it was Ronnie's turn to shoot, Kevin did the same thing to his friend, gently squeezing the shaft of Ronnie's dick as he ejaculated. Ronnie gasped, tilted his head back, and grinned like mad until he was done.

Then he looked over at Kevin, and Kevin had to laugh at the grin on his friend's face. "Liked that, did'ja?"

"Farkin' right." Ronnie's grin was contagious. "Told you - you the man."


Kevin came back from the shower after dinner and looked over at his laptop. There was an email from TBG, and Kevin grinned at the prospect of having another story published. He was starting to get mail from people who liked his work, and it felt really good now to sit in front of his computer and see a message from someone out in the world who had taken the time to sit and read Kevin's thoughts.

He finished drying off and pulled his shorts on, and sat down in front of the computer and opened the mail.

But instead of the usual note accepting the story, only one line of print came up:

Kevin blinked at it, and leaned closer. Huh? How did he know...what?

The message made no sense to him at all. He went back and re-read the mail he'd sent to TBG, but nothing he had said should have prompted a response like this one.

Maybe the guy meant, how did Kevin know he would like a story like this one? Or, maybe...yeah, maybe TBG's dad had been secretly gay, or something off the wall like that.

But that seemed kind of ridiculous. Even if it were true, why even mention it? And why so cryptically?

The real question was, how should he respond?

He clicked on reply, and then just sat there. Damn. If the guy was kidding, a flip reply would be worth a laugh. But if they were talking about something serious, comedy was not called for. Kevin could just write back and ask for clarification...maybe that was the best bet.

But then...but then he might never know what TBG meant. The man obviously figured that Kevin had stumbled onto something that related to the site operator's life, and if he now figured he had been wrong, he would simply shut up. And while it really wasn't Kevin's business, he was kind of intrigued by the whole thing now.

So he let his fingers start typing:

He looked at the response, gauging how it might be received. No, maybe this wasn't the right way to do this. But even as he thought that, he used the mouse to move the cursor to send and clicked on it. The reply window vanished.

Message sent.

For a moment Kevin was just stunned, unable to believe he had just done what he had done. Shit. He winced, hoping that he had not just ended his writing career on IWYK. And lost a new friend that he had been starting to like a whole lot.

"You stupid shit," he said to himself. He closed his eyes, shook his head, and sighed.

Well, it was done. Nothing to do now but wait and see what came back.

He brought up the new story he was working on, a sequel to the popular Raley Bishop story. He had been enjoying writing it because he could once again endow the character of Georgie with Ronnie's traits, and when the love scenes came around, imagine it was him and Ronnie doing them.

But he couldn't concentrate. All he could think of was the mystery man at the other end of the Internet, and what he might be thinking just now.

Ping.

Kevin jumped. A new message had just arrived in Thunderbird. He went and looked, and saw it was a reply from TBG.

Fearing the worst, Kevin opened it:

Kevin read the message, and then read it again. And then a third time.

Dad. Kevin's eyes went back to the sender's address, and it was the one that TBG had been using all along. It couldn't be a fake.

TBG was his father.


Ten minutes later he was still sitting there. He just could not believe what had happened. It pressed the limits of everything reasonable to think that Ronnie had discovered a gay writing site, only to learn that it was run by his own dad.

It's unbelievable.

It was like to plot to some crazy story.

And now his dad was waiting to see him in the office.

The biggest thing he had to deal with now was that his dad had to know he was gay. The shock of having his secret suddenly out there with his dad was extreme. At the same time, there was the knowledge that dad had to be hiding something, too. He was running a website for teen gay fiction, for crying out loud!

Kevin simply wanted to close his eyes and go to sleep, and wake up in the morning to find it was all a dream.

But when he closed his eyes, all he saw was his dad's face, smiling at him that day in the garage.

Kevin stood and went to the door of his room. He opened it, looked up the hallway towards the den. That room's door was slightly ajar, as if waiting for him.

I have to go, he decided.

Kevin closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and started up the hallway. The carpet underneath his feet seemed to scrunch noisily as he walked, when he could not recall it ever making a sound before now. The doorway ahead of him leaked soft light through the narrow crack between the door and the jamb, and Kevin could see a soft flicker as though from a monitor within.

He reached the door, went to grasp the knob...and stopped. It was still his dad's room. So he took his knuckles and rapped softly, three times.

"Come in, son."

Kevin pushed the door open, and went inside.

His dad was sitting in the swivel office chair in front of two monitors. One monitor held line after line of some kind of code. The other held the unmistakeable landing screen of ...It's Who You Know.

"Close the door, will you, Kevin?"

Kevin nodded, and pushed the door quietly closed behind him. His dad waved at the sofa near the desk, told him to sit. Kevin did, and leaned forward, looking at his dad as if he had never met him before.

His dad smiled. "Kayboy."

Kevin blinked, and nodded slowly. "TBG." They watched each other for a moment, as thoughts swirled through the air around them both like mists fleeing the dawning sun.

"You knew who I was." Kevin wasn't asking.

His dad nodded. "Ever since Raley Bishop." He shook his head. "No way there are two people in the world like Ronnie." For a moment his dad squinted at him. "I couldn't believe it at first. It seemed just too incredible that the great stories I was getting from my talented new writer were actually coming from my own son." He licked his lips. "I'm still having trouble believing it."

"I know the feeling." Kevin couldn't help a small smile.

His dad leaned forward. "What gave me away?"

A sadness touched Kevin's heart. "Nothing. I didn't know. It was just a story, dad."

His father stared at him for the longest time, and then he suddenly smiled and started laughing. "I gave myself up. Holy crap."

Kevin wanted to laugh, too, but just couldn't. Instead he pointed at the computers behind his dad. "How long?"

His father stopped laughing. "Twenty years."

Kevin gaped. Since before he was even born.

He stared past his father at the computers. "And mom...?"

"Knows," his dad finished.

Kevin leaned as far forward as the sofa would allow. "Are you...gay, dad?"

His dad sighed. "I thought I was, once. A long time ago." He leaned forward, too. "When I was your age, Kevin, the world was a different place. If a guy found out he was gay, he kept it to himself. If he didn't want his ass beaten, that is."

Kevin winced. But he held up his hands and waved them, indicating the house around them, but meaning everything. "How...?"

"I knew I was gay when I was twelve, son. And I also knew that I had to keep it to myself. And I did, except for one very secret time, with the cousin of Harold Lowery, when the guy was visiting one summer from Indianapolis. In the old shed at the rear of old man Kimmel's place. Just the two of us."

Kevin's breath whooshed out in shock. "You got to...to do something?"

His dad nodded. "Yes. It was not a lot, but it did confirm to me that I was gay." He sighed. "It really was a wonderful experience."

Kevin shook his head. "But never again?"

"Nope. You have to realize that it wasn't easy to find a partner back then, son. Everyone was in hiding."

"But...what about mom?"

His dad shrugged. "You know the story. She and I met in college. We fell in love, and we married. You know pretty much everything that came after."

Kevin closed his eyes a moment, and reopened them. "You love her?'

"Of course I do."

"So you're bi?"

His father shook his head. "No. No, I don't think so. I think meeting your mom was a fluke. The one woman on the planet that I could fall in love with." He smiled. "And we had two wonderful sons together."

Kevin nodded. "I'm gay, dad."

"I gathered that."

Kevin had imagined coming out to his dad a hundred times or more, and never once had it gone like this. "You're okay with it?"

His dad laughed. "Are you happy with it?"

Kevin considered that. It was still hard to be gay these days, but it wasn't the horror it once was. He had read about that, and now had heard about it - from his dad.

But...Kevin loved his sexuality. He loved guys: the look of them, the way they acted, they way they moved. They appealed to his heart as well as his body. That he was largely unfulfilled in that area as yet did nothing to squelch the yearning he had to be with another guy. "Yeah. I am."

"Then so am I." His dad smiled. "You and Ronnie?"

Kevin laughed. And then he told his dad about the weird ritualistic dance that he and his best friend had been doing for the past few years.

His dad looked thoughtful." You love him?"

That idea took Kevin's breath away, and something caught at his throat and made him want to get emotional. He swallowed hard.

"Yes."

"Have you ever told him?"

Kevin brought a hand up slowly and covered his mouth, somewhat aghast at the thought. "No," he said through his fingers.

"Why not?"

Why not?

Kevin tried to describe the way he saw Ronnie, as walking around as if the things he and Kevin did were just normal teen things every other guy did. As if by ignoring that what they did together was gay, then they themselves would not be gay.

"I think he's afraid, dad."

"Maybe." His dad scratched an eyebrow. "Son, that boy has spent every free waking moment with you since seventh grade. He's here every day, all day. You just told me the kinds of things you do together. Do you really think he's afraid?"

Well...put like that it did seem a little hard to believe. "Then what is going on, dad?"

"I don't know, Kevin. But I do know this: if you never discuss this with Ronnie, if you never let him know how you feel, then the two of you may never go beyond what you have now. Is that what you want?"

Again, Kevin felt the ache, the longing he had for his best friend. He'd been thinking that what they had now was better than nothing - but was it? Was it really?

It hurt to consider. Kevin sighed, feeling pulled in too many directions at one time to make decisions. "I don't know, dad. I...I don't know."

His dad nodded, and then his dad smiled. "Well, there's time. You have time to think about it." He leaned a little closer. "And you and I have time to talk about it."

Kevin felt like laughing. Not because anything was funny, but because he was excited and pleased and amazed, all at one time.

"Just one thing," his dad continued.

Kevin nodded. "What?"

"I'd be happy if you'd keep submitting your stories to my site. You have a following, and your page reads are going up all the time."

Kevin grinned. "Um...okay. But, dad, about all this --" He pointed at the computers.

His father nodded. "Plenty of time, son. Plenty of time to talk."

And that's exactly what they did.


Summer continued onward. Kevin learned a lot about his dad, and his dad learned a lot about him. For the moment, they decided not to tell Kevin's mom what was going on. Not because they wanted to exclude her, but because they felt that if she were told, it would leave Bobby as an outsider, the only one who didn't know, and Kevin didn't want to do that to his brother. Eventually they would both be told. Just...not yet.

But it was impossible for both Kevin's mom and his brother to not notice the much improved relations between Kevin and his dad. His mom didn't question either of them about it, but she smiled a lot, and seemed happier. Kevin's dad, after listening patiently to Kevin's review of the great tea-spilled-on-the-carpet fiasco with his mom's reading group, apologized to her for what he had said. He still felt that he wanted the house kept nice...but he did agree that it was a place they lived in, and not a museum.

Kevin felt they were far from changing his dad's views on that subject, but that at least it was a start.

Bobby didn't know what had happened - what had changed. But he seemed a lot happier, too. He took to visiting Kevin in his room more often.

One day Kevin was writing. Where once he had locked his door to do that, now he left it open. If his mom or his brother showed up, he would just click on the editor's icon and send it to the tray, where it became invisible.

There was a knock at the door, and when Kevin looked up, his brother was there.

"Hey, punk. What's up?"

Kevin hid his story and motioned for his brother to come in.

"What'cha doing? Writing a story?"

"Yup. But you can't see it yet."

"Why? What's it about?"

Kevin smiled. "I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."

His brother laughed, and leaned over his shoulder to look at the laptop's screen. "I won't tell anyone." He leaned hard against Kevin's shoulder and nudged him playfully.

Kevin came up out of the chair, grabbing his brother off his feet and moving him to the bed, where they fell on it together, wrestling and laughing. Finally, Kevin relented and let Bobby pin him. "I give. You're too tough for me."

Bobby laid atop him, grinning down into his face. "You cheated. You let me win."

Kevin feigned shock. "Moi?"

Bobby continued to smile down at him a moment, and then laid his head carefully down on Kevin's chest, sighed, and hugged him gently.

Kevin was touched to the core. He lay there a moment in shock, before slowly bringing up his arms to encircle his brother, and hugged him back.

Nothing else was said. After a full minute Bobby suddenly squirmed away, and got to his feet. "Taught you a lesson, didn't I?"

Kevin was about to say something smart when he realized the truth of that statement. So instead he just nodded. "Yep. You did."

Bobby laughed and fled the room, and Kevin could hear him still giggling as he went down the steps. It made him smile, and while he wasn't sure what had just happened, he knew it also made him happy.

Thunderbird pinged. Kevin went back to the laptop and checked his mail, and there was a message from his dad, likely logged on from work:

Kevin smiled, and then he laughed. His dad was funny, sometimes. But the warmth that the message gave him went deep.

He heard the doorbell ring. A moment later he heard Bobby shriek with laughter, and then his voice drifted up the steps. "Kevin! Your girlfriend is here!"

And then the sound of someone charging up the stairs. Ronnie appeared in the doorway, looking like he was being chased by the devil himself. He looked quickly around the room, closed the door, and leaned back against it.

Kevin grinned, and came up out of the chair. He marched across the room, straight up to his best friend, pressed himself up against him, and kissed him.

He felt the shock surge through Ronnie's body, and then the boy's arms came up and he tried to push Kevin away. But there was no strength there, and after a minute, Ronnie's arms relaxed and fell to his side.

Kevin was busy with his tongue in Ronnie's mouth, letting the boy know exactly how he felt about him. And with his hands, up under Ronnie's shirt, letting him know how sexy he was, and how desirable he was.

It went on for a minute, and maybe more. Kevin wasn't counting - he couldn't even if he wanted to. He was too lost in the feel of Ronnie in his arms.

Finally, they did pull apart. Ronnie brought his eyes up, and fixed them on Kevin's. They held the little bit of annoyance they always did at these times, but they also held a lot of other things, not the least of which was a deep and patient fondness, and maybe even some desire. Ronnie huffed once, and then shook his head.

"That is so gay."

Kevin grinned, and pushed his face back close to Ronnie's, and nodded. "Yes. Yes, it is."

And then he kissed him again.

I have met one person I knew already in real life via this website, and have been able to offer them help in understading who they are. Not so far fetched after all! ~ Webmaster

Talk about this story on our forum
Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily. Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. If the email address pastes with %40 in the middle, replace that with an @ sign.]