Wild Boys and Metal Horses

by Hunter Woods

Chapter 9

Something For Colton

The thirteen year old boy was sleeping contentedly, but something was slowly stirring him awake as he finally exhaled softly opening up his eyes and squinted from the soft unexpected lighting in the room. Evidently, both him and Pim had forgotten to turn off the small lamp on the table between the two beds.

It took a moment for the haziness of sleep to clear up as Carter blinked his eyes, the dull droning noise of the waking world buzzing softly in his ear. It took him a moment to realize the sound was coming from Pim as he snored softly next to him. It struck him as a bit odd because the older teen hadn't snored when he had slept over at his place or even last night. Carter's little brother didn't snore either, but every so often if the younger boy was extremely tired or exhausted from a long day of activity it would happen. It made the thirteen year old boy realize his friend was probably worn out from their last couple of days' extreme jam packed activities.

The sensation of the other teen's soft warm body draped partially over his own made him shiver sending a thrill coursing through his body. There was something sensuous about the skin to skin contact and he began to realize he had been craving that sort of human contact now for a long time. Of course he had physical contact from his parents and even his brother, but this was somehow different because it was someone other than family. He was only thirteen years old, so didn't really understand why he was having these feelings or why he needed to feel close to someone else other than family in his life as the memories of what just happened in bed with Pim abruptly flooded his memories.

Now in the aftermath of the excitement he didn't know how to feel about it. What Pim had done to him was simply amazing and he had enjoyed every moment of it, but now after it was all said and done he was confused about his feelings towards the older teen. Even now he felt his penis stirring between his legs, starting to bloat up because of his thoughts and the way it felt to have the smoothness of the older boy's nakedness snuggled up against his own unclothed body. Once more he felt himself quivering with the familiar sexual tingling sensations as he ran his left hand down the other boy's silky back and across the soft incline of his naked butt.

There was a twitching sensation along his hip and he suddenly became aware of how his soft gentle caress along Pim's smooth skin had excited the other boy while he slept. Carter was now keenly aware of the teen's thick erection pressing up against his skin. He could even feel the little tickling sensations of the older boy's soft downy pubes along his own silky smooth skin. The sandy haired boy's bloated worm felt warm and somehow it excited Carter to know he had that sort of an affect on another person as his own penis finally woke up becoming completely hard as well.

He couldn't even begin to describe what he felt for the older teen. Earlier he had thought maybe he was gay, but the incident with Mason's sister confused him now. Pim had warned him about not coming to any conclusions about his sexuality since he was just now sort of becoming aware of his own pubescent stirrings. The way he was drawn to the young teenaged girl's curvy figure and perky little breasts sent a new wave of confusing thoughts through his mind. The girl was thirteen so didn't have huge breasts or anything, but there was no mistaking she was all girl with her flowery buds beginning to develop and bloom in fine fashion forming two nice shapely mounds. Even her flowery bouquet had sent a shiver running up and down his insides stirring things up in the basement department of his shorts.

If that wasn't bad enough he was even drawn to the girl's twin brother, Mason, glancing furtively at the other boy as well, trying to discern what he might be hiding beneath his shorts. For some odd reason the other boy hadn't been in riding gear, but rather dressed more casually like Pim with baggy shorts and a sports shirt. The entire incident of how he was not only perving on the girl, but the other boy too confused him, not to mention how he was behaving and getting turned on by just about anything these days.

At thirteen years old he really didn't understand much about sex or things like sensuous or erotic, but he instinctively knew this is what those things were all about. Between his wet dream, the furtive glances and sometimes overt looks over Pim's nakedness, the incident in the shower, the way he was drawn to both Mason and his twin sister, and now his first ever real sexual experience and of all things with another boy; all of it, was now making him dizzy with confusion as he sighed shaking his head feeling the pressure of his bloated bladder.

Careful so as not to wake up the older teen he wiggled himself free and stood up feeling a bit sore from the exertion over the last couple of days. It wasn't too bad, but he realized Pim would probably feel it more when he woke up. After all the other boy didn't go out biking on the back trails as often as he did, so it was only natural the older boy would be a bit sore from the extra strain over the weekend. It didn't matter how fit a guy was, because if he wasn't used to a certain sport, he'd feel the burn of different muscles that were used in the new activity.

Padding softly to the bathroom Carter naturally cupped his hands over his stiff curved bow and blushed with embarrassment despite knowing no one was awake to see his nakedness. This was something else which he was very confused about. He's always been shy and timid about his nakedness and even afraid to let anyone see him because of how he's been bullied all of these years. Yet, for some reason he had opened himself up on this trip in a way he never knew possible. Thinking on it he supposed it was only natural since the idea of being away from home had sort of allowed him to let down some of his guard around others and the fifteen year old boy in particular.

It wasn't just things like Pim seeing him naked and stuff, but actually the other boy touching him intimately, down there, his privates, and in a way he never thought possible. Even now he felt kind of mortified by the experience, confused by how he could even let another boy get so close and personal in that sort of way. Yet, at the same time he was unable to deny his feelings of how he had actually wanted it, yearned for the intimate sexual contact and experience. If anything, the older teen hadn't disappointed, and made him feel special in more ways than one.

Settling in front of the toilet he aimed his erect penis towards the bowl, which wasn't difficult even in his current hard state since it curved and pointed naturally towards the oval shaped receptacle. A few moments later he padded softly back towards the bed and hesitated contemplating if he wanted to turn off the light. The older teen had rolled on to his back and Carter could make out the soft rounded bulge just beneath the blanket as his limp noodle once more stirred between his legs. His penis had softened up once he relieved the pressure in his bladder, but there was no denying the older sandy haired boy turned him on as he slipped under the warm covers scooting closer to the other boy.

This was their last night away from home and in a room all alone where anything was possible. He knew Pim had special feelings towards him, and Carter now felt kind of bad at how he had nodded off after the most intimate and epic moment of his life. It hadn't been fair to get his friend all amped up in a sexual way and not at least return the favor as Carter now bit his lower lip anxious about what he was contemplating. It made him nervous because he's never done anything so intimate before, with even the incident in the shower being more of an accident versus really sex or anything. At thirteen years old and on the timid shy side, he didn't understand a lot about sex, but even he knew the incident in the shower had been about adolescent curiosity and not sex, even though the older teen had succumbed to an orgasmic explosion because of the groping.

Lifting up the covers Carter gazed at the teen's nakedness enjoying what he was looking at. The older boy was a very fit kid and even in his relaxed slumbering state he could see some of the rippling muscles just beneath the surface of Pim's smooth skin. The boy's penis lay sideways nestled along his sandy colored soft downy patch of pubes. Like him the older boy's hairs weren't really dense yet with just a small fringe surrounding the base of his flaccid three and a half inch long penis. Normally, Pim's nut sack would be a nice firm rounded ball, bunched up tightly to his body, but the warmth of the bed had loosened it up some so it now sagged slightly between his legs snuggled up along the crease leading to his open butt crack.

Unable to resist the temptation anymore, Carter eased himself between the older boy's legs spreading them slightly apart getting up close and personal as he studied the teen intently. There was a very heady scent, smelling heavily of sweat, musk, and something else that he couldn't put a finger on immediately until it dawned on him how for some reason the thought of sex entered his thoughts. That's what it had to be as he reached out, tentatively wrapping his fingers around the boy's large soft truffles giving them a good feel and rolling them around in their soft protective casing. A thrilling current of excitement went coursing through his body at the naughtiness of what he was doing as he shifted his hand and began to explore the uniqueness of the boy's sheathed rapier.

From the very beginning he had been enamored by the boy's foreskin covered erection as he slowly stroked Pim's soft penis urging it to stiffen up for him. It didn't take much effort as he felt it beginning to stir about. Wanting to watch how it stiffened up he released the still soft appendage and began running his hands along Pim's stomach, pubic area, thighs, and testicles his eyes widening in amazement as the boy's spear began to bob and sway around. Ever so slowly the soft penis began to thicken, straighten out, and slowly lift up; separating itself from where it had been lying nestled up on top of the downy strands of sandy colored pubes. A short moment later Pim's penis was completely hard and unlike his own curved one, it pointed straight as an arrow, just horizontally off of his pubic mound.

It was totally amazing how it bobbed around with each one of the teen's heartbeats. Totally fascinated by it Carter breathed out heavily and giggled softly when he saw Pim's erection abruptly pulse and twitch forcing the outline of his testicles to roll upwards inside their casing. Evidently the warm air brushing softly against the older boy's sensitive skin tickled even in Pim's sleep as Carter leaned in closer and once more blew softly over the thick five inch erection and slightly hanging ball sack. The reaction was immediate with the older boy moaning softly in his sleep as his penis pulsed and his testicles contracted upwards.

Reaching out Carter wrapped his finger and thumb just below the slight bulging outline of Pim's glans and slowly pulled the boy's skin downwards gasping and swallowing hard as two thirds of the bullet shaped nodule slipped out into the open all swollen, shiny, and moist. He never got tired of seeing that happen and wished he could pull the loose skin all the way down, but Pim had warned him it was still attached and he didn't want to risk doing something that would hurt the other boy so stopped when he felt the resistance.

Another thrilling surge coursed through Carter as both shame and lustfulness warred inside his small body. He knew perving on Pim while he slept was wrong, but this was their last night together away from home and in a place they had unofficially declared a safe haven for them to explore openly. He wanted to do things for Pim the way the older boy had done for him, but this was kind of wrong. Coming to a decision, Carter decided if he wanted to really please his older friend he'd need to go about it a little differently.

Pim was sleeping comfortably despite the slight achy like feeling of tensed up muscles from the high impact strain of mountain biking over the last several days; not to mention, the throbbing soreness of blue balls due to the lack of sexual pubescent release. Even in his sleep the older teen could feel the discomfort from overexerted muscles and sexual tension as things began to shift, replaced by a new sensation which sent an electrical like thrill ripping through his veins. It started between his legs, lasting for a short while before now shifting to his upper body, almost like the soft caressing touch of a massage.

Ever so slowly I began to wake up, feeling a nice sensation along my upper body and shoulders, along with something else as I exhaled softly. "Mmmmm, that feels so nice," I whispered appreciatively my eyes remaining closed, but realizing Carter was giving me a nice sensuous massage.

It definitely helped ease some of the aches in my chest, shoulders, and arms as I felt his warm soft hands gliding over all those areas lightly, applying just enough pressure to make everything feel wonderful. Ever so slowly I opened up my eyes in a drunkenly like stupor, blinking them rapidly still in a bit of a daze. It took me a second to get my bearings as the soft light spilled over the warm features of Carter hovering over my body with the blanket draped over his bare shoulders. There was a mixture of chilliness from inside the air conditioned room which intermingled with the warmth of the bed and the boy's blanket covered body perched closely to mine.

In addition to his inviting hands running along my upper body I also felt a sensuous rubbing sensation between my legs as my eyes wandered casually downwards only to flare open in wide eyed wonderment. Carter was completely naked hunched in a kneeling position between my legs forcing my limbs outward. His own knees were angled outwards as well nestled below my thighs and alongside my butt cheeks allowing his groin to rub into mine as I watched his curved steel hard saber sliding along the length of my own straight spear while his sagging boy purse bumped up against my slightly hanging satchel, which sent an erotic like sensation coursing through my boy bits.

"Oh god," I croaked my eyes rolling back into my head as I closed them and swallowed.

My hands instinctively twitched settling along his hips feeling him grinding his groin into mine, the tingling sensations making my toes curl up and leaving me a bit breathless. This was so unlike the younger boy because he tended to be timid and reserved about these sorts of things. For whatever reason, it appeared as if getting away from the hostile environment of his small town and the oppressiveness of his normal life had emboldened him in some ways. I wasn't sure if he was doing this from a sense of obligation towards me or if it was something he wanted to do for himself.

At fifteen years old I had a sort of better understanding about puberty and sex despite my lack of experience, but it was still very confusing. It seemed like the more I began to understand about sex and relationships the more baffling and perplexing it became. I did know one thing for sure; my friendship with Carter meant more to me than a few seconds of sexual gratification.

"Unngh, oh-oh shit, C-Carter stop…it f-feels so damn g-good, b-but you've got to…aaaarph, s-stop, for real." I gasped feeling my spigot begin to leak as he pressed his hips and warm sexy hotness along my shaft before he paused, his own breathing rasping in his chest.

My eyes flicked upwards looking into his soft gaze both of us sweating now from the exuberant like excitement forcing our bodies into hyper-drive. "I-I like you a lot…you know that right?" I asked seeing him nodding and biting his lower lip nervously. "I want this…oh god…I really do, but Carter…I…I…your friendship means more…you know. It's just…," I paused closing my eyes to gather my thoughts and feeling him shifting around when suddenly my eyes flared open and my entire body lifted up from the mattress as I bucked before coming crashing back down.

"H-holy jeeeeezus ffffuuuuuck," I gasped my head lifting up while my eyes immediately flashed downwards in wide eyed astonishment watching as my soft bag of testes disappeared inside the thirteen year old boy's warm damp mouth. "Oh gawd, what the…," I gasped, my hips and testicles leaping in surprise when I felt Carter's soft fingers wrapping around my leaky faucet which was now drooling openly as if the stopper in the pipe had been unplugged.

The intense tingling sensation and feelings coursing through my body set me on fire as the other boy quickly got to work on my slack boy bits. I felt his tongue slathering around my heavy plump testes, teasing them and I didn't disappoint feeling them jolting and twitching around in his mouth forcing more of their juices up my pipeline and out the opening of my slit. He had pulled my foreskin downwards slightly exposing my shiny knob allowing the baby drool to ooze along the length of my straight shaft.

Somehow, between my gasps I managed to gaze downwards as he allowed my plump sack to slip from between his lips before mouthing the tip of my nozzle, once more making me grunt and buck because it felt like nothing I've ever experienced before. I could see him wrinkling his nose at the first taste of my youthful boy slime, the pungent taste obviously a little bit of a put off. It was a little disappointing to me that he wouldn't like how I tasted, but then he surprised me when I saw his face lighting up as if the taste of it had suddenly shifted for him.

"Mmmmm," I heard him mouthing around my nozzle his teeth slightly scrapping the sensitive crown making me wince and yelp.

"Ouch, shit, watch your teeth," I gasped feeling him flinch for a second allowing my foreskin to cover up the tip of my spear again as he now lipped my erection sliding them downwards along the length of my shaft.

"Oh-oh, ho-holeey fuuuuuuck," I squeaked, never in a million years thinking getting a blowjob could be this intensely wild and erotic feeling my legs suddenly shooting outwards along either side of Carter's body convulsing while my testicles bunched up and lurched.

The sensation of my penis twitching wildly inside the other boy's mouth warned me of an impending disaster as I tamped down the rise of my orgasmic explosion not wanting a repeat of what had happened in the shower when the other boy fisted my erection. This time I wanted to experience the sensation and provide the other teen with ample warning. At this rate though I instinctively knew it was only a matter of seconds before I climaxed as I felt the wild sensation of Carter sticking his tongue down the opening of my foreskin.

The feeling when the tip of his probe slathered around my glans just about made me jump out of my skin, but then I felt the offending proboscis retreat allowing him to once again lip fuck my fat missile silo. I was bigger than him down there, and this was his first attempt at giving someone a blow job, so he only managed to mouth me about two thirds of the way down. Still, for his first time I thought he was doing a fantastic job as if I really knew what that would be since it was my very first experience too.

Throughout it all my eyes were fixated on what he was doing to me, totally mesmerized by the sexual interaction and watching my erection sliding in and out of view as he now quickly began to bob his head up and down. With each downward dip his flushed cheeks would puff outwards before sucking inwards on the back stroke. If this wouldn't have been so intensely insane I would have busted a gut laughing my ass off. My toes curled and I was almost there when I once again felt his tongue sliding inside of my foreskin forcing itself between the skin and glans before bumping up against the area where the membrane was attached. He rimmed it with the tip of his damp fleshy probe running it around the entire circumference, the sensitivity of this virginal region becoming too much as I felt the roiling sensation of volcanic explosiveness churn inside of my testicles.

"O-oh fuck, pull off quick," I squeaked in warning, Carter ignoring my command and instead shoving my erection deeper inside of his mouth, effectively plugging up my foreskin with his tongue.

Then everything happened all at once as I felt my testicles lurching upwards bouncing against his chin while my hard over-stimulated five inch steam wand recoiled and spit out the first wad of sticky hot white frothing boy smoothie.

"Aaaaaaaaah, uuuuuuumph, uuuuumph, uuuuumph, aaaaaaaah, shiiiiiiiii, uuuumph, uuuumph, uuumph," I grunted, the orgasm slamming into my body hard, making my eyes float back into my head while the intense burning sensation coursed through my veins and five inch conduit like a burning hot poker.

The oddest thing happened next as I felt my foreskin stretching outwards because my slimy seed had nowhere to go since his tongue was blocking the entrance. I could tell some of it somehow managed to squeeze by the blockage, but most of it was stuck. The second blast came spitting out a split second later, making me wince in pain now because it threatened to tear the membrane of the foreskin from my nodule. Just when I thought it would rip apart I felt Carter unplugging my spigot the contents spilling out into his mouth as I managed to look down just in time to see his eyes lighting up as he began to swallow down the salty sweet honey flavored nectar of my youthful dense textured yogurt.

The swallowing sensation of his lips along my tuber made me go wild now as I began humping my hips upwards while grabbing the back of his head pulling it downwards forcing all of my length and girth deep into his mouth. I felt it bumping up against his tonsils forcing him to gag. I was lost in the moment though so held him down for a second or two before I came to my senses allowing him to pull off slightly. To my surprise he kept suckling on my sensitive tendril as I continued to writhe around face fucking him. Within moments my spud tanks were emptied out as my custard slinger began spitting out blanks with only a small trickling of opaque ooze drooling out which Carter immediately swallowed down greedily.

With a final heave and gasp my spent penis softened up in Carter's mouth and he slowly allowed it to slip from between his lips before climbing back up settling down next to my heaving body. We both cuddled together for several long moments while I recuperated.

"H-holy fuck, did this really happen…I mean…earlier…and just now?" I asked in the drunken euphoric stupor of the orgasmic aftermath, still not sure this was for real with the realization of many long time fantasies having truly come to fruition.

Sighing, I gazed down into Carter's soft feature seeing him smiling timidly now after the deed had been done his eyes beginning to well up. I could tell what just happened only seemed to fuel his uncertainties making me wonder why he'd even do something like this since it was obvious he wasn't ready as he shifted facing towards the wall with his back to me. I felt a little bad about it now, but not completely because I really had tried to slow things up. Sometimes we all got caught up in the moment, and I didn't want Carter to feel bad about what happened as I reached out and placed my hand gently along his shoulder and back. He didn't flinch from the contact, giving me a sense of relief that at least he didn't seem upset with me about the incident.

"I-I don't understand Carter…I mean…if you aren't sure about this why did you even do it?" I asked biting my lower lip afraid of how he would respond.

To my surprise I felt him reaching back with his hand and grabbing my wrist pulling it over the front of his body and forcing me to spoon up closer behind him. Craning his neck there were tears in his eyes, but also a timid smile. He was upset, but also looked kind of happy about things. His features seemed to reflect his emotions and I knew even though he was confused, he certainly wasn't feeling guilty about what happened this weekend as I heard him sigh and whisper softly in response to my question.

"Because…," he paused for a second. "It's our last night together…all alone…in Greensboro…our own Las Vegas." He answered unabashedly as he settled down allowing me to nuzzle up against him nodding in understanding.

This was our safe zone to do what we normally wouldn't do. Our gentle teasing of one another with the simple phrase 'what happens in Greensboro…,' had transformed into a place and moment where this one time only the two of us could do things together without any regret, remorse, or consequences. It meant he could finally allow himself to open up a little and be carefree. For me it meant I could allow my desires to play themselves out, having a little bit of someone who I cared about passionately, and in a way I lustfully desired.

It hit home for me that once we finally left Greensboro, this intimate time together would only be a part of a memory without anything more coming from it. This is how Carter wanted it and I would respect his wishes because his friendship meant more to me than anything else in my small world. He had done this one thing for me out of our friendship and it was something I would always hold dear to my heart and appreciate. It had taken a lot of courage for the thirteen year old boy to open up like this and I would cherish it always.

One moment I was nuzzled up next to Carter and the next moment I had nodded off. It didn't seem like I had slept all that long though when I suddenly woke up with the space next to me empty. I rolled over and winced in pain as my aching muscles protested and I glanced at the clock trying to rub the sleep from my eyes. It was still early, not quiet eight in the morning as I groaned while sitting up feeling my body protest. I was a young teenager though and knew most of the aches and pains would sort of tone down once I got to moving around. Padding to the bathroom I opened up the door feeling the warm dampness inside billowing outwards into my face making me realize Carter must have just finished up taking a shower.

I saw him moving around behind the glass sliding door and could tell he was drying off as I shuffled up to the toilet and let loose. I heard the shower door sliding open just as I shook off and ambled towards the sink glancing over when Carter stepped up next to me, the towel wrapped around his waist.

"Dude, you look like crap." He chuckled while I grimaced in protest, but catching my reflection in the mirror nodded in agreement.

"Yeah I'm sore all over." I admitted exhaling softly. "About the only thing that doesn't hurt are my…uh…well…you know…nuts and that's only because you helped take care of my blue balls a few hours back." I ribbed, chuckling good naturedly while he kept quiet and blushed when I brought up the sensitive subject of the little naughty we had done together last night.

Seeing his expression made me wince apologetically as I quickly changed the sensitive topic of sex back to my state of appearance. "Well, I'm sure a quick shower will help loosen up some of my sore muscles. I'll be out in a few minutes." I added taking my place in the shower stall while Carter finished up with his hair and brushing his teeth.

Through the glass door I saw his hazy outline moving around in front of the mirror so I opened it up a crack and nearly busted up because he was checking out his ass in the mirror. "Dude, like what are you doing?" I teased while he jumped in surprise blushing.

"Nothin…uh…just…you know…the other day you…um…mentioned I've got a cute butt and I…uh…well…it's just I never really noticed…you know." He explained with his cheeks having turned completely red as he wrapped the towel around his hip covering up before stepping out into the other room to get dressed and gather up his stuff.

Shaking my head and smiling I stepped back into the shower quickly getting cleaned up, dried off, and dressed gathering together my own stuff. We then joined my dad in the conference room for some breakfast with my dad noting how I was moving around a bit slower than usual. I waved it off and asked him if it would be alright for us to join him in finishing up that ramp for his buddy. He seemed happy about the additional offer of help nodding his head saying it would be deeply appreciated. Finishing breakfast we packed the car, buckled up, and headed out, a twinge of sadness settling over me for a few seconds because this weekend had been nothing short of epic with many firsts for me in the realm of pubescent adolescent sexual growth. Glancing over at Carter I could tell he seemed a little sad too, but it didn't last long as we both perked up and began chatting away.

A few moments later Carter leaned forward to get my dad's attention. "Um…Mr. Merckx, do you think it might be possible to stop by a shop I had seen online after we finish up with the ramp and before we head home?" He asked cryptically with my dad looking in the rearview mirror and shrugging his shoulders.

"Yeah, sure, but I'm not exactly sure how long this will take. When does the other shop close for the day…it's Sunday you know? I mean, is it even open today, this shop you want to go to?" He wondered, while Carter leaned back scrunching up his eyebrows.

"I'm not sure. It's a skate shop I had looked up online. I've got the address and I don't think it is too far out of the way. I-I sort of wanted to pick up a new deck for Colton. I was originally going to see if I could pick up some spare parts the shop may have laying around if I could get them cheap, but Colton's board is pretty trashed up and it's just about to fall apart. Since I got that seventy five dollar prize check I figured if I could find a decent priced board I'd buy him one. It still needs to be a good one though since he skates hard." He explained.

My dad glanced in the mirror and nodded flashing the other boy a big smile while I thought it was totally cool of Carter to spend his money like that on his little brother. "Um…well I tell you what, I'll let everyone know we got to get the rest of this thing banged out in a hurry so we can get to the shop in time." He promised, adding, "But, I'll probably have to spot you the money. There aren't any banks open on Sunday to cash the check, not that it really matters if you don't have a bank account." He chuckled.

The boy frowned. "Oh, I didn't think about that, I wouldn't want to put you out any." He added a little disappointed now because he didn't want to put my dad in a bind."

"Nah, don't worry about it kiddo. We'll get it all worked out." He promised.

There was a small group gathered and visiting amongst themselves, casually snacking on some donuts and coffee when we arrived. After my dad introduced us to everyone, including his buddy in the wheelchair along with his wife and baby, we all got to work. I was surprised to see how much they had gotten done yesterday and I knew there was only a few hours worth of work left to get it completely finished off. I could tell everyone helping out were associated with the military in one way or another. My dad dolled out responsibilities and tasks which helped to move things along. At one point another car pulled up and an elderly man stepped out walking over towards my dad who seemed to know the man.

"Hope you can use another helping hand," the man smiled warmly stopping and snapping to attention giving my dad a crisp salute with my dad immediately returning it just as sharply before reaching out to shake hands.

"General, that isn't necessary and we aren't in uniform." My dad shook his head.

"Doesn't mean a damn thing, still protocol, besides most of your career in the military was spent in civilian clothes back home here except for when you were deployed or on missions." He retorted smirking and shaking my dad's hand before pulling it back and looking what had been handed off to him. "Oh my, now isn't that a thing of beauty. This is definitely going to be the centerpiece of my collection. It's a real beauty and I love the personal touch you put on it." The man added admiring the coin which had been discretely placed in the palm of his hand taking a closer look at it.

Wiping at his eyes the man gathered his composure harrumphing and motioning to the rest of us lending a helping hand on the ramp. My dad introduced us all to the General before he gave the man a quick tour and then going inside so he could meet his buddy, wife, and baby as well.

When they disappeared Carter glanced over at me furling his eyebrows. "What was that all about?" He wondered curiously.

"Oh, my dad gave him a challenge coin." I offered up focusing on placing one of those trek boards in place so we could get it tacked properly.

My dad had decided to use those artificial outdoor decking material instead of wood since they held up better. "No, not that." He chirped back while I glanced over curiously.

"You actually know what a challenge coin is?" I wondered while he shrugged his shoulders.

"Sure I know, well sort of. I mean David collects them and seems to have most all of the ones from Ft. Bragg already. I'm sure he has one like your dad's too the way the jerk brags all the time." The thirteen year old boy shook his head in disgust while I nodded because that was the main kid bullying Carter.

"Doubt it kiddo," a young G.I. commented casually, having heard our exchange. "Not like the one Pim's father hands out. From the way you sound I take it this David kid is a real prick and Pim's dad doesn't hand his out lightly." The guy grunted lowering another small stack of trek boards for us before ambling off.

Before Carter commented on what the guy just stated I interjected. "So, what exactly do you know about challenge coins?" I diverted his attention as he shrugged.

"Well the quick and short of it is they are coins made for different units. Each unit coin is different I guess. There's also a sort of challenge that goes along with it. If someone slams down a unit coin in challenge to a group of his unit they all must present their coin in return. Anyone that doesn't have his coin has to buy the next round of drinks for everyone. If everyone in the unit presents his coin the guy who made the challenge has to buy the drinks. I guess people like David sort of likes to collect them because they have some cool designs on them. Some are harder to come by than others." Carter explained making me smile.

"And you said you never really put much thought into the military guys who serve." I grinned giving him a friendly clap on the back.

The other boy looked at me somberly and shook his head. "I really didn't you know. I mean Ft. Bragg is close by and everything, but I've never really thought about the war aspect of things. Anyway, that isn't what I was talking about. It's the whole salute thing and your dad not wearing a uniform." He interjected looking over at me while I looked at him blankly. "Dude, isn't your dad like a Sergeant and the other guy was like a General, right, and aren't military supposed to wear their uniforms, which reminds me why salute when they aren't in uniform?" He asked while I shrugged. "I thought lower ranking guys are supposed to salute guys who are officers, and a General, well, that's pretty high up there isn't it? What about the uniform, wouldn't he get in trouble on post for not wearing one?" He wondered while I smiled and nodded.

"Yeah, that's how it works, but a guy doesn't salute the man, he salutes the rank out of respect." I corrected. "As for the uniform, some elite Special Forces Units don't wear them so they don't stick out in the civilian population. It's sort of an exception to the rule." I explained with Carter digesting all of this in his mind.

"Oh, well then why did the General salute your dad?" He pressed seemingly satisfied by the uniform answer when we were interrupted by the same guy who had dropped off the boards as he settled down next to us.

"Like Pim told you, a salute is given out of respect for the rank and not the man, but with all rules there are always exceptions. Pim's dad is an exception to the rule." He replied simply, motioning for us to help out as I glanced over and smiled appreciatively at the young G.I. nodding my thanks.

The young man seemed to understand how my dad was kind of shy about this aspect of things so had sort of come to my rescue by providing a simple straightforward explanation and diversion. It wasn't a real answer, but our attention was now redirected as we got to work. To my surprise the job was completed by the time noon rolled around with us all gathering around watching my dad's buddy giving the ramp a whirl. It worked like a charm as everyone watched cooling off with some cold drinks chatting for a bit before my dad called everyone around.

"Gentlemen, I wish to thank you all for heeding the call of duty for one of our own. Not only did you pitch in with your time and efforts, but you also dug into your own pockets to help pay for the materials. For me its men like you who make me proud, and to show my gratitude I want to give you all a small token of appreciation." He smiled somberly as one by one he shook everyone's hand before handing them all a challenge coin.

As he passed them out he would look at the coin calling out the recipient's name and rank along with a number while his friend in the wheelchair recorded it for my dad. In return, each man snapped to attention and gave my dad a crisp salute as I glanced sideways at Carter seeing him scrunching up his face in thought not really knowing what to make of it all. After everyone received a coin my dad stepped up to the dark haired boy planting his hand on the teen's shoulder.

"I only had enough for the men who I knew were going to be here and gave the General a coin I always keep in my pocket, but I did manage to find one in my glove box. I always keep a couple in there just in case and to my surprise I found one that suits you perfect." My dad smiled warmly at Carter as he craned his neck towards his buddy who held up the pencil and pad.

"Number thirteen, civilian Mr. Carter Chasson," my dad called out turning his attention back to the boy and pressing a coin firmly into his palm wrapping his fingers around Carter's hand in turn forcing it to curl around the coin. "Thanks for a job well done on the behalf of a soldier in need. We here all thank the service of a civilian to help a fellow comrade of arms and personal friend. You have my deepest gratitude. Some say the number thirteen is bad luck, but I say it is a number we should remember because a young man at the tender age of thirteen years had the fortitude of purpose to hear the call of duty for a member of the armed forces in need. Thank you Carter." My dad wrapped the teen up in his arms giving the boy a firm hug before releasing him while all those present gave Carter a big round of applause making him turn about fifty shades of red.

As we all milled around for another few minutes saying our goodbyes I noticed the young G.I. who had been sort of hanging around us pulling Carter off to the side. "Listen, the challenge coin you got is a very special one, so don't lose it. Whatever you do, definitely don't give it away because that would be back luck, unless it is for a worthy cause." The guy told Carter who looked back at him and frowned.

"What makes this one so special? I mean, yeah it's real special to me because Pim's dad gave it to me so I'd never give it away that's for sure, but I don't understand what's going on because it's like everyone is keeping this big secret." Carter countered with the guy exhaling softly and smiling cordially.

"If you have to ask then you don't need to know. Just don't push it for now and accept this for what it is." The young man held up his hand forestalling Carter's questions because he definitely had plenty. "Listen, trust me on this. Pim's your friend and when he's ready he will tell you, or his dad will, but for now just accept it. There really isn't a secret to this, but sometimes it is best for these things to be revealed in their own time…cool?" The guy asked with Carter nodding his head and grinning.

"Yeah, it's cool and so is the coin. I love it even though I didn't do as much as the rest of you." He admitted, the man draping his arm around Carter's shoulder and giving him a friendly tug before ruffling his hair.

"You've done plenty and believe me, to everyone here just you showing up to help out means a lot." He pointed out before reaching out and giving Carter's hand a friendly shake before walking over to me and shaking mine as well. "Take care of your old man, he's one of a kind and we can't afford to lose someone like him." He smiled ruffling my hair as well before making his rounds and leaving.

One by one everyone said their goodbye's until it was just us. My dad chatted for another couple of minutes before we said our goodbye's as well. Before leaving, my dad promised to check up on his buddy, wife, and baby in a few weeks. With that we piled into the car while Carter gave my dad the address of the skate shop.

"I had a really cool time today and thanks again for the coin. It's really wicked and my first one." Carter admitted with my dad looking in the rearview mirror.

"I'm glad you had a good time with the rest of the guys and if the coin is your first one I suppose it is a good enough one to start out with. A guy has to begin somewhere in any collection, but these coins shouldn't simply be bought or anything, but rather collected when they are gifted to you." My dad smiled pleasantly explaining to Carter how some guys get online and simply purchase some that are available through various sources.

I could tell it made Carter wonder if that is how the asshole David got a hold of some in his collection. "That's what I've been told, I mean, that this one is a good one to have." He admitted as we all changed the subject talking about what exactly he was looking for in a deck for Colton.

On the way my dad pulled into a small hole in the wall type of burger joint that at first glance made you kind of want to shy away. Evidently, this was a place some of the guys had told him about so we stepped inside and to my amazement it had some fantastic tasting burgers and fries. We ate our fill before piling back into the car and making it to the skate shop a little before two in the afternoon. From the outside the small place looked like just the typical type of skate shop with a sign on the top part of the building with lettering spelling out "Hammer Skate Shop."

The building was painted colorfully on the outside with depictions of skateboarders doing various tricks all along the walls. It was situated in an out of the way spot without much traffic or other stores in the area. In a way it sort of felt odd for a place of business to be located in a hub without much business traffic. We weren't expecting much, but to our surprise when we stepped inside it was a pretty busy place with kids and parents alike scouting around looking at various decks, equipment, and supplies. There were about three or four different staff members in the small building helping people out as Carter and I ambled down a few aisles looking at what the place had to offer.

About fifteen minutes later my dad found us ambling over with another man in tow. Skateboarding typically was a sport for the young and this guy looked kind of old for it. Not as in old-old, just older as I sized him up thinking there was still also an air about him indicating a time when he was probably a die hard skater. He looked the part, that's for sure, with baggy shorts and shirt along with the van shoes he wore. It looked odd on him in some ways, but also appropriate as the guy walked up and shook our hands.

"So, I understand one of you two is looking to buy a deck or complete for their little brother. Is the kid any good and how old is he?" The man asked motioning for us to follow him up to the front counter while Carter gave the man a quick rundown of his brother's skills and what he was kind of looking for along with his budget.

The guy seemed impressed that both Carter and his little brother sort of worked on the skateboards tweaking them here and there. It wasn't as if there was all that much to skateboards, but there was still some skill involved depending on what was done. The man looked us over with a critical eye, but smiled pleasantly at us.

"So what have you two been up to today?" He chuckled shaking his head. "It's almost like you guys have been working on a big project of some kind. You're not like building your own skate park are you?" He laughed at our expression because we wondered how he knew we were working with some sort of material as he reached out and brushed away some dust and shavings from our clothing.

"Oh…yeah…that," Carter chuckled, brushing himself off some more. "Well, we were building a ramp." He explained with the man arching his eyebrows and Carter suddenly realizing how it had come across. "Oh…no…it's not the kind of ramp for skateboarding, but one for a guy who is in a wheelchair. He's a soldier who got hurt oversees in combat." The thirteen year old boy explained with the man nodding his head.

"Ah, I see. That's a nice thing you guys did. I take it you are a military brat?" He asked Carter who shook his head and jabbed his thumb towards me.

"Yeah, that's me." I smiled, the man nodding.

"Well, it is a decent thing for you guys to have done." He told us sincerely.

"It was pretty fun actually," Carter took up the conversation again. "And afterwards Pim's dad gave us all a real cool challenge coin. Wanna see?" He asked the man who arched his eyebrows and nodded.

"Yeah, sure, I'd love to check it out." He smiled casually, Carter reaching into his pocket and handing over the one my dad gave to him.

"Do you know what a challenge coin is?" He asked realizing the man might not even know, but the other guy nodded his head casually as he took a closer look.

"Yeah, believe it or not there was a time when I was a military brat just like Pim here, and this is a really nice one." He commented taking a close look at it. "Special Forces, very nice." He nodded his head. "Hmmm, never seen one like this before, not with numbers." He noted casually flipping it over. "Oh, I see, makes total sense now. This is a very special one indeed." He looked up smiling at Carter handing the coin back before shifting his gaze over at me. "You must be very proud of your father." He added while glanced over towards my dad who was looking around at some of the different items a few rows over having wandered off to leave us alone with the task at hand.

"Very much, thanks." I smiled back nodding my head as a deck propped up inside a case behind the man caught my attention. "What's that?" I asked, the guy turning to take a look glancing at me and smiling.

"This here complete we just got in yesterday." He informed us opening up the case and pulling it out to let us take a look at it.

"Whoa, sweet…A Danny Way Signature." Carter whistled appreciatively while I simply shrugged my shoulders. "My brother loves the guy. He's like the first guy to jump over the Great Wall of China without the use of a motorized vehicle. He did it with his skateboard. I think he broke his leg or something on one of his attempts, but still jumped the wall in the end despite it." He gave me a short lesson while I nodded duly impressed.

"The deck itself really isn't all that expensive, but since it is a complete it adds to the cost and then it is also personally hand signed by Danny Way himself so it's being sold for a hundred fifty bucks. All things considered not really a bad price." He told us.

"Whoa, no way, the store is actually selling a personally signed copy?" Carter asked a bit shocked with the man chuckling and shrugging his shoulders.

"Yeah sure, the owner was sent two of them. One he keeps for his own collection," he motioned at all the boards along the walls of the stores, "and this one he's selling."

The graphics on the deck itself was a fairly clean design done in black and gray with the Plan B logo on it and then in gold a personalized comment and signature. The phrase read "Skateboarding is not a sport; it's a way of life. When you stop Skating, You stop living ....(Danny Way)."

"Dude if your brother loves this guy you should buy it for him." I told him seriously while Carter sighed shaking his head.

"I've only got like seventy five buck and if I buy this there's no way he is going to actually skate with it. The thing is signed for Pete's sake." He pointed out.

"So, I'll split the cost with you. Your brother's cool and since he loves boarding so much he should have something like this for a keepsake. I mean, I'll help you save up and we can buy him a regular deck later. You can put it together with trucks and wheels from the spare parts you have." I insisted hearing a kid not far away whining to his dad about buying the signed Danny Way Signature board they had looked at and we were admiring.

You could tell the kid was a whiny rich kid who always got what he wanted because his dad was complaining how many skateboards the boy had and hasn't even bothered using. The dad even complained about putting together ramps and everything for the boy with it all just sitting there and not even being used. It went back and forth for a few seconds when the man stepped up looking over at the guy who was helping us, rudely insinuating himself completely dismissing us out of hand as if we didn't even matter.

"Ah, yes, well we have decided to purchase the signed Danny Way Signature board. Oh, here it is." The man stated seeing the board and pushing Carter over some as he leaned in and picked up the skateboard handing it over to the guy behind the counter.

It was obvious it really pissed off the nice guy who was helping us as he took the board and without any reservation set it back down in front of us. "I'm afraid that won't be possible. These two young men here have already decided to buy it, isn't that right?" He asked looking at us sternly.

Before Carter could say anything I nodded my head. "That's right, we told him to go ahead and ring it up for us." I nodded my head while Carter stood there numbly looking at the rich man and his son a bit nervously and obviously not wanting to get into trouble.

"Oh, so it hasn't actually been paid for then. Well good, we will simply throw in another fifty dollars and pay two hundred for it. Now chop-chop and get to it. I am a busy man." The guy insisted reaching once more for the board and handing it over to the guy behind the counter who shook his head and set it back down in front of us.

"What do you think you are doing," the rich snob demanded turning red in the face at the so called slight he felt was being directed at him. "Do you even know who I am?" He demanded with the nice man behind the counter shrugging casually which infuriated the other guy even more.

In a way this was becoming quiet silly and if it wasn't so serious I would have busted a gut, but the other man really got furious now demanding to talk to the owner of the shop or at the very least the manager in charge. The nice man behind the counter once again shrugged his shoulders informing the snob that today he was the one in charge at the store. The rich jerk then insisted on talking to the owner personally demanding he be given the number. To my surprise the man behind the counter picked up a pen and paper writing it down for the man who immediately pulled out his phone and began dialing. By this time my dad had discretely walked back giving me that 'what's up look' while I shrugged nudging my head at the guy behind the counter who smiled at my dad and reached out to shake hands.

"Ah yes, Mr., um…you know…I never did get your name. Pim and Carter tell me you are stationed over at Ft. Bragg. My dad served as well, but was killed in action many years back." He greeted my dad who immediately shook the man's hand.

"It's Command Sergeant Major Merckx, but when not in uniform most friends just call me Merck without the 'xs' inflection at the end. I'm sorry you had to go through such a loss. It's especially tough on families who are left behind, but I thank him, you, and your family for his service and the ultimate sacrifice he made for all of us." My dad sighed sadly while the other man nodded his appreciation.

"Ah yes, Command Sergeant Major over at Ft. Bragg. Doesn't surprise me at all. Young Carter here was nice enough to show me the challenge coin you gave him for helping out a fellow soldier." He informed my dad casually while there was a heated exchange going on a few feet away from the rich snob hollering into his phone. "Just a slight disagreement is all." He explained to my dad. "Anyway, your son and Carter have decided to go in on this signed Danny Way Signature Board. It's a bit pricey, but I think well worth it in the end." He assured my dad who nodded his head looking over at me.

"I see. Well if Pim wants to spend his own money I'm not one who will stop him. I'll put it on my card and the boys can pay me back when we get home. Carter's using the money he won for second place in the mountain biking competition so I suppose that leaves Pim holding the bag for the other seventy five dollars. I'll pay for the tax part of it." My dad offered up getting rocked backwards when I gave him a big hug of thanks.

Carter was stunned by my dad's simple easy going manner in regards to the money situation, but recovered quickly and gave him a big hug as well just as one of the workers stepped through the door a little off to the side from the back area looking a bit put out.

"Uh…hey dude, I mean, Mr. Hammerstein…," the guy rolled his eyes as if remembering at the last moment that while at the store he needed to be a bit more formal. "There's like this lame douche-bag on the phone getting all vocal like." He spoke up making me chuckle because so much for being more formal while at the store. "I mean it is like a big downer and all if you know what I mean. I told him you are busy, but he just about made me deaf and all yelling like that on the phone. Must be like a real dickwad or something. Anyway, I'm in the middle of these boards so like if you can just tell the guy to go 'f' himself or something and get him off my back. I mean, I don't know why you keep giving those jerk-offs my number here in the shop when they should be talking to you. I mean, you are the owner and all, not me." The young guy in his twenties complained as he tossed Mr. Hammerstein his phone before disappearing back through the door leading into the warehouse area.

I just about pooped my shorts when all of this came out, and glancing over at the other guy who had been like totally rude from the get go I could tell he was livid. "You actually let your employee talk to a paying customer like that and you aren't any better. What kind of game are you playing at? You have no idea who you are dealing with…I'll make you pay for this. I demand you fire that jerk for saying such things about me, in front of my own son." He turned completely red and for a moment I thought he'd have a stroke, but the comment from Mr. Hammerstein is what really floored me.

"Well you know how it is and all. I mean the guy is family, but that aside there's no way I could fire him. Besides me, he's one of the best custom board designers around. Not only that I'd rather face whatever you have to dish out than listen to my aunt rag me over firing my own cousin. She scares me more than you ever will." He stated casually dismissing the other guy without much thought as he took my dad's credit card and swiped it. "Done, nothing more you can say now, so if you would kindly leave my store…oh and please don't come back. It's upsetting to my other customers." Mr. Hammerstein insisted, the other guy just about having an epileptic fit taking a step towards me and Carter as if to say something, but my dad scooted over in front of us effectively blocking the man.

"I wouldn't," My dad cautioned, the guy thinking twice as he backed off motioning for his son to follow who began to whine like a real brat because for once he didn't get his way while people clapped and cheered booing the retreating rich kid and father.

"Geeze, the nerve of some people," Mr. Hammerstein sighed shaking his head. "My cousin is right, the guy really was a downer. Anyway, now back to you two." He focused his attention back to us after handing the receipt for my dad to sign. "I'm going to wrap this up and put it in a box for you boys, but first…," he grunted reaching under the counter and rummaging around before snorting triumphantly and standing back up placing a nice looking deck on the counter and gazing at us with a twinkle in his eyes.

"So, since you saved me from having to sell something special like this to a douche-bag like that who wouldn't even appreciate it, I'm going to give you one of my very own decks. It's spanking brand new and of course it's not like I'm sponsored or anything by these huge companies, but I'm sure your little brother will enjoy it a lot." He stated smiling with Carter starting to protest that this wasn't necessary.

Mr. Hammerstein held up his hands to calm us down. "Listen, this is a nice thing you two are doing, and I don't mind at all adding this in with the sale. After all you had to put up with that other nonsense." He smiled rummaging around for one of those signature types of pens as he bit on the cap end and pulled it off. "I'm going to sign this one for your brother as well, but you have to promise me he won't hang up the deck displaying it, but will actually ride it and put the thing to good use." He insisted scribbling something on the bottom of the deck and handing it over allowing us to look it over.

"This is like way cool." I admitted grinning from ear to ear. "Colton's going to love the deck with its cool colorful graphics and how you signed it." I admitted reading the comment with Carter doing the same.

The inscription read "To Colton, drop the hammer and don't hold back, yours truly, Hammerstein the Hammer."

"Way cool." Carter admitted with Mr. Hammerstein gathering up the signed Danny Way Signature complete and also the plain deck he had just signed for Colton to use so he could display the other one and made his way into the back to box it all up.

We were about thirty minutes down the road heading home when my dad pulled off at a gas station and mini mart to fill up the car. It had gotten quiet in the car and dad had disappeared inside the mart while Carter stared out the window on his side and I studied him. He had slipped into a regular tee-shirt with baggy shorts earlier this morning and looked comfortable at the moment. He was so handsome with his deep somber brown eyes, dark medium cut hair, medium build, and boyish features. He was such a shy kind of guy at times with a very serious nature about him, but also had a heart of gold opening up more to those closest to him.

My own heart went pitter patter in my chest because I had fallen in love with him as I reached out and starting at his bare knee began running my finger down the inside of his thigh ever so slowly. Gently, I eased my hand beneath the opening of his shorts making it a few inches before I saw him smirking and stirring slightly as he turned his head towards me.

He sighed giving me a gentle almost sad like smile before whispering softly. "We aren't in Greensboro anymore." He pointed out somberly while I smiled and nodded my head knowing things had once again shifted in our relationship before my grin turned a bit mischievous.

"I know," I replied removing my hand from beneath his shorts before abruptly snatching at his goods giving him a quick teasing grope. "It doesn't mean we still can't have fun like always though." I laughed the tension having been broken now.

The boy yelped in surprise at my playful grope and immediately launched a retaliatory response as we now wrestled and tussled about for several seconds before we both settled back down. Glancing at each other we kept giggling in a playful boyish manner the somber mood finally broken.

"Are we good?" I asked, the thirteen year old boy looking at me and screwing up his eyebrows questioningly. "You know, about the weekend…what happened…about me…uh…you know…being gay and all. It really doesn't bother you?" I asked worried that maybe with me being gay things might have gone too far.

The other boy stared at me intently for several seconds before he leaned closer and draped his arm over my shoulder. It caught me a bit by surprise because this was the first time he's ever initiated that kind of casual display of friendship.

"You are the best friend I will ever have…so yeah…we are good…more than good." He pursed his lips nodding his head.

"What are you talking about?" I snorted shaking my head. "You'll have plenty of friends. Geeze, look at how easily you made friends already with Mason, his sister, the guys where we built the ramp, and even that…um…interesting guy at the skate shop." I chuckled teasingly. "I even bet you'd have plenty of friends back home if it wasn't for those pricks." I told him seriously. "It'll get better…you'll see, and once it does I'll just be one of many friends you will have." I added nodding my head knowing it to be true.

The other boy blushed and smiled at me shyly, but shook his head shifting his gaze and looking me squarely in the eyes. "Maybe, but you'll still be the best friend I'll ever have." He assured me, which for some odd reason made me get all choked up as it got quiet and a little uncomfortable now with the direction of the conversation.

"Um…that was really cool of Mr. Hammerstein to add that additional deck, even signing it for us." I broke the silence trying to switch the topic because it had gotten awkward."

"Yeah, no doubt." Carter agreed as I unbuckled my seatbelt, shifted around grabbing the box Mr. Hammerstein gave us, and sliding over set it between the two of us on the seat. "Let's take a closer look." I suggested opening it up and pulling the deck out that was sitting on top of a layer of those Styrofoam popcorn packaging stuff before uncoiling the paper that was wrapped around it while Carter reached inside taking out the complete which was signed by Danny Way.

Just then my dad opened the door and climbed inside handing us a bag of snacks and a couple of soda pops which we took and thanked him for. We were back on the road heading straight home now. It would take us about another hour as I tilted the box towards me to put the deck back when something caught my attention.

"What's this?" I wondered reaching inside and rummaging around beneath the Styrofoam popcorn pulling out a large clear plastic bag with all sorts of trucks and wheels inside. "Whoa," I added with Carter reaching out and taking the items from me sifting through it.

"Holy cow, there's gotta be like hundreds of dollars worth of parts here. Those look like ceramic bearings and are probably worth a hundred bucks if not more all by themselves. Geeze, he probably didn't realize these were in here. Mr. Merckx, we might have to turn around and return these." Carter added when I noticed something else inside the box.

Reaching in, I pulled out an envelope. "Oh, looks like there's a letter in here. It's addressed to you dad." I noted seeing 'Sgt. Merckx' written on front.

"Oh, well go ahead open it up and read what it says." My dad instructed as I began reading it.

"The note says he really enjoyed having us in the store and he wants to thank you personally for serving and it was an honor to meet a real genuine hero." I cleared my throat because I thought it was nice of the man to say something like that. "Um…he also says he wants us to have some parts so Carter and Colton could put together the deck in proper working order and that when we are back in town he insists on us visiting the store again. If he's not in he says for us to give him a call and he will be right over." I told my dad also informing him there was a phone number included as I put the note back in the envelope and dropped it back into the box along with the skateboard deck. "Guess that explains the parts." I added. "That was real cool of him. We will need to be sure to snap some pictures of Colton taking the board for a spin and send it to him. I'm sure the shop has an email address." I pointed out with Carter agreeing we needed to do something to show our thanks when we got back.

It wasn't quite dinner time yet when we finally pulled up into Carter's driveway and climbed out to help him with his things. Colton must have been waiting for us because he came bursting out of his house immediately engulfing his older brother in a big hug.

"I missed you guys so much, so where is it?" He asked confusing us for a moment because neither one of us had told him about the skateboard wanting to surprise him.

"Where's the trophy…I wanna see it." He added clearing up our initial confusion. "That was so cool of Mr. Merckx signing you up for the competition and way cool you won. Did you really beat out a bunch of older kids? Pim said you almost won outright and was only a second or two behind the seventeen year old that won. That's like way cool. Does this mean you are going to compete like all the time? Mom and dad said something about you maybe going to some Mountain Biking camp, sort of like a summer camp for a couple of weeks." Colton managed to get out all in one breathe while me and his older brother chuckled.

Untangling himself from the little guy Carter smiled happily at his exuberant younger brother. "Whoa, hold your horses for a second. You haven't even said hello to Mr. Merckx or Pim." He added with the smaller boy's eyes widening apologetically for a second before he immediately ran over to my dad giving him a big hug.

"Thanks for letting Carter go with you guys. He never has any real fun." He squeaked before running over to me and giving me a bone crushing hug as well. "Thanks Pim, you are the bestest friend ever. Love you." He told me sincerely while I returned the hug with it lasting for several long seconds before he released me allowing me to ruffle his hair.

"It was fun having him along. Don't get me wrong I love my dad, but I probably would've been bored out of my mind if Carter hadn't tagged along." I snorted with my dad reaching out and ruffling my hair now as well indicating he understood.

"Here you go squirt." Carter walked around to us handing over the trophy along with the medal that he had won and wrapped around the trophy.

"Oh, way cool, that's like totally wicked. We'll have to put it up on the shelf along with the medallion." Colton squeaked excitedly admiring the trophy when we heard a couple of kids across the street snorting and pointing towards us.

We could hear the snide remark drifting over from one of the older ones, a kid I hadn't seen before. "I bet he bought it at some lame thrift store or something." He scoffed.

I could tell Colton was going to say something back, but I quickly interjected not wanting him to get mixed up in anything. "Here, why don't you take those inside and we will unload the bikes and Carter's other gear from the car. Is it alright if I stay for a few minutes?" I asked my dad. "I won't be long." I promised with my dad nodding and pulling out my bike indicating it would be alright since he knew I wanted to stick around long enough for Colton's little surprise.

"I'll see you at home?" He stated climbing into the car as we pushed our bikes into the garage closing it behind us so we wouldn't be bothered by the other kids across the street.

"Was that them?" I asked curiously. "You know, the guys bullying you…David and Peter." I wondered with Colton speaking up.

"Yeah, that's them. I guess it's been kind of quiet around here because David was on vacation or some such thing with his folks. He just got back and I heard he knows what you did to Ricky and has already been telling everyone how he was going to set things straight here soon." The younger boy stated looking slightly worried for me.

"Don't be such a worrywart…I can take care of myself. Anyway, let's head down to the basement to cool off and relax for a few minutes." I suggested with Carter nodding his agreement picking up the box in his hands while Colton glanced over noticing it and puckering up his face curiously, but not saying anything as we stepped inside the house shouting out a quick hello to his folks before making our way downstairs.

I took a seat on the sofa while Carter set the box down on the table. "What's inside the box?" Colton finally asked the curiosity getting the better of him.

"Oh, just some stuff we picked up before heading home." Carter shrugged casually leaving it at that.

"Oh…," Colton responded looking at the box while his older brother picked up the remote and flicked on the television taking a seat next to me on the sofa.

Unable to take it anymore Colton looked up from the box. "Can I take a look?" He wondered.

"Huh?" Carter asked with a blank look playing the part to the hilt now.

"The box, can I take a look inside?" Carter asked a bit frustrated his curiosity totally peaked.

"Oh, yeah sure, I suppose. I mean, it's something we picked up for you anyway." He told the younger boy who stared back his face lighting up as he got excited.

"Really…for me…you guys really brought something back for me. You're not just joshing me." He squeaked cautiously looking at his brother first and then towards me. "For real, this is for me?" He asked again just to be sure.

"Yup, just for you. Pim and I went in on it together. It's not much really, but we knew you sort of felt left out and all even though you were over at Michael's for his birthday." The older boy smiled softly watching while his little brother opened up the box excitedly and gasping as he reached inside picking up the wrapped up Danny Way board.

Removing the paper from the complete he hissed in surprise. "It's a brand spanking new Danny Way Signature. That's like totally cool." He squeaked checking it over closely.

"It's signed by him too." Carter beamed proudly seeing his brother's face lighting up.

"No friggin way. That's like way wicked, but it must have cost you guys a small fortune. There's no way I can ride it though, but it will look great displayed on the wall." He added while Carter and I nodded and I spoke up now.

"Yeah, it's why we picked up the other one too. Actually, we didn't buy it, but the shop owner was really cool. He knew Carter was looking to replace your banged up one and how you need to have one you could ride so he tossed one of his personal ones inside for you and even added the parts to put a complete together for you. He said he was no Danny Way, but signed the one he gave for you to ride anyway." I explained as the younger boy reached inside and removed the paper from the deck taking a real close look with his eyes suddenly bulging out.

"HOLY FUCKING SHIT…IS THIS FUCKING REAL!" He squawked standing up and backing away from the deck he left sitting on the table seemingly even more surprised by this one than the Danny Way he had just received.

The outright foul language spouting out of the eleven year old boy's mouth caught Carter by complete surprise as he looked back towards the steps shushing his brother. "Quiet, not so damn loud or we will both be in deep shit if mom and dad hears you cussing like that." He glanced back nervously completely taken back by his little brother's behavior. "What's the big deal?" He asked as Colton inched forward kneeling back down in front of the board and with shaking fingers picked it up holding it in his hands gingerly as if almost afraid he was going to break it or something while taking a closer look.

"You really don't know?" The eleven year old boy asked while Carter and I looked at each other shaking our heads.

"This-this is like the holy grail…I mean 'The Hammer'…this really came from 'THE' Hammer?" He asked almost in reverent awe while Carter and I once again looked at each other totally confused nodding our heads.

"Yeah, and he signed it for you too. What's the big deal with his board?" I asked knowing it was a dumb question, but I didn't know the first thing about skateboarding.

"The big deal…really…you don't know what the big deal is?" He asked incredulously before easing off a little as if realizing it wasn't such an odd thing since skateboarding wasn't mine and Carter's thing. "Um…yeah, I suppose even some die hard skateboarders wouldn't really know. It's just you don't understand. This guy is like a legend, riding when skateboarding wasn't even considered cool or even a sport yet. Even though he isn't all that famous in general, real diehard skateboarders all know he was a big factor in the sport of skateboarding. Back then he was like the Danny Way or Ryan Sheckler of today. He's called the Hammer for a reason. In skateboarding lingo 'hammer' means performing and landing gnarly tricks, and he was very aggressive in competitions lowering the hammer on his opponents forcing them to mess up because he was aggressive and always raising the bar. After all, where do you think the term 'hammer' came from?" Colton told us excitedly schooling us two novices in his world.

"Anyway, he was a great skateboarder and added a lot to the sport, but like I said that was before it was really considered cool or anything so he's not really known outside the skate world and even then it is more diehard boarders who know anything really about him. These guys in the sport today make a ton of money, but back then there wasn't much money in it. The thing is that this guy now owns a shop and makes customized boards from scratch and all by hand. They are extremely solid and everyone who is anyone wants one because each one is hand customized. Even the famous skateboarders are hard pressed to get their hands on one of his boards and they are really expensive. This here deck is probably worth a ton more than the Danny Way's board and 'The Hammer' even signed it. This is like way cool and there's no way I can ride this getting it all messed up. I mean even the quote he signed is totally so like him." Colton's eyes got really wide with excitement reading the inscription.

"Um…well actually…you have to…I mean…ride it for real." I interjected seeing the younger boy shaking his head 'no' emphatically.

"No way," he squeaked holding the deck to his chest protectively.

"You have to, Mr. Hammerstein made us promise. He even slipped in all these parts in the box without us knowing so that you'd actually ride his board. I mean, we didn't know how rare one of his boards was, but he made us promise and there is no way I'm going to break a promise I made to someone." I pointed out sternly noticing Colton's eyes softening up.

"He really made you guys promise?" He asked while I nodded.

"Yeah, he did. He even wrote my dad a note and all. He was a military brat just like me and I guess we all sort of hit it off. I mean he seemed genuinely touched that your brother would spend his winnings to buy a board for you." I pointed out with Carter piping up.

"Yeah, but I didn't have enough money so don't forget this is from you too since you split the costs with me." The thirteen year old boy pointed out with Colton glancing over at me his eyes welling up.

"Y-you really spent your own money o-on me?" He asked incredulously.

"Yeah, of course…we're buds after all." I countered with the smaller boy suddenly getting up and launching himself into me wrapping his legs and arms tightly around my body rocking me backwards.

"You really are the coolest ever." He sniffled smothering me in a tight hug his half naked body feeling wonderfully soft and warm up against my own. I could even feel his little mini-me boner poking me in the stomach, not because of sexual arousal, but rather just due to the simple excitement of the moment. "Thanks bunches." He added releasing me slightly and to my surprise giving me a sloppy wet kiss on the cheek allowing me to return one to him as well as the two of us cuddled for several moments before he looked over at his older brother.

"You spent all your money and now you have nothing to show for the hard work." The younger boy sighed while his older brother shrugged his shoulders.

"Nah, don't forget I've got plenty to show. I mean, there's still the trophy and medal." He reminded his little brother. "Oh…and this." He reached inside his pocket handing the challenge coin over to his little brother. "Pim's dad gave me this for helping out building a ramp for his friend's wheelchair." He informed his little brother proudly as the eleven year old boy took a closer look at the coin.

"Whoa, this is like way cool." He smiled, handing it back over as we all settled down taking a few minutes to remove the rest of the contents out of the box so we could sort of figure out what would work best for Colton on his new customized Hammer board.

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