Mason in the Center, Part 1

by Joe L

Chapter 2

I lick my lips and make a fish-face as I lean over to Tyler.

"Fuck!" He pushes me away as hard as he can, and I flop onto the floor, laughing. "Fucking wipe that spit off first!"

"Okay, okay!" I wipe my mouth with my shirt and try to straighten up. "Ty, we just have to barely make contact for the first one to count."

"Okay," he sighs and takes another deep breath. We slowly and reluctantly edge our mouths together. The sight of Tyler's face as it gets closer causes me to erupt with laughter. He's really trying to concentrate, and he looks like he's attempting to defuse a bomb. "He's out! He fuckin' LAUGHED!"

"No way!" I try to protest, but I can't stop laughing.

"No, Tyler. The rules are that if you break the kiss by laughing too early, you're out. You guys just have to land one to keep going."

"Fuck you!" he gnarls to Carson before turning back to me with that same look of concentration. I try to stifle the laugh and slowly move in again. The closer we get, the slower we go, so we can keep the first one as short as possible. Finally, we barely touch the tips of our lips together and we simultaneously recoil. Tyler makes a face like he just ate something disgusting as he wipes his lips.

"If it was that bad, you might as well just forfeit right now," I say, smugly.

"Fuck you. I'm winning this," he says with a glare.

"Okay, boner check!" Carson stands up and grabs our crotches, one in each hand. "Anyone grow a boner? That kiss was pretty fuckin' hot!" We punch and kick our way out of his grasp, as Parker howls with laughter. "Okay I think we're safe. Tyler, you're up." We hear my mom walking around in the kitchen upstairs. If she knows the four of us were in the basement alone, she'd immediately come down to break up whatever it is we're doing. Carson shushes us and we all straighten up.

Tyler spins the bottle, and as it slows down, I can tell it's going to be me. I make a kissy face at Tyler so that it's the first thing he sees when he looks up at me.

"God DAMMIT!" he shouts.

"SHH!" We all say in unison.

"Okay, the first one was one second…. So this one has to be two or more seconds," Carson states, looking at his watch.

"One second, my ass!" Tyler argues. "The first one was just barely a peck! We just have to go a little longer than that."

"I just have this watch with a second hand. I can't measure it in milliseconds! The first one counts for one second, and now you have to beat that. Anyway, just doing tiny pecks over and over will just prolong this. A better strategy would be to make them as long as possible so that your partner will have a better chance to lose the next time."

"Okay, here!" Tyler forcefully plants his lips on mine and we kiss for a solid two seconds. He quickly breaks it and pushes me away.

"So ro-MAN-tic!" I say in my best southern belle accent as I fan myself.

"Now, we're gettin' somewhere. Parker, you're up." Carson hands the bottle to Parker, and he gives it a spin, landing on Tyler. They exchange the same peck that we had on round one, and the bottle gets passed back to me.

"C'monnnnnnnn… TYLER!" I say as I give the bottle a big spin and make kissy noises as it slows down. Sure enough, it lands on Tyler again.

"Fucking unbelievable!" he says, moving closer to me.

"Ty is going to fucking earn that ticket!" Carson laughs.

"You wanna go for longer than three seconds?" I twitch my eyebrows at him.

"Just shut up and do it," he says. He leans in towards me and closes his eyes and waits. I guess he wants me to make the contact this time. I get on my hands and knees to steady myself as I lean in. I gently press my lips on his and start counting the seconds in my head. This is the closest one so far to a real kiss. He must be actually puckering his lips a little to make it softer, and it's a lot more pleasant than the last two. I'm sure we're past three seconds, but I'm not backing off if he isn't. Suddenly, I feel a jolt inside my body and I break free. I feel my heart pounding, and I try to compose myself as quickly as possible.

"How long was that?" I ask, nonchalantly.

"Six seconds! Nice job, guys!" Carson nods, looking at his watch.

"It's harder than it seems… to st-stay steady… a-and not to break it," I say, stuttering a little. I hand the bottle to Tyler, hoping that it won't land on me this time. I could use a little break to collect myself. However, the bottle finds me again, focusing everyone's attention back on us.

"Okay, I kissed you last time. This time, you have to kiss me." I copy Tyler's move, leaning in and closing my eyes. Before I can even take a breath, Tyler's lips are on mine. I pucker my lips, as he does the same. The jolt hits me again, and I can feel my heart pounding up in my ears. As the seconds tick by, I feel him leaning in a little more, pressing our lips together slightly harder. It feels perfect. Now, I'm holding the kiss not because I want to win the game… I'm holding it because I'm kissing a hot guy and I love it. I'm holding it because it feels amazing.

"Fifteen seconds!" I hear Carson whisper to Parker.

With that, I break the kiss, almost having forgotten that we are being watched and that we are playing a game. I look at Tyler as we part, and for a split second, I swear I could see a little smile and a twinkle in his eye. My heart feels like it's climbed up to my throat, and I'm having a hard time breathing. The flash of Tyler's face repeats itself over and over in my mind, and I wonder if I really did see what I think I saw. There's only one way to find out. I just have to survive a three-second kiss with Parker, and it will be my spin again. I get through it and grab the bottle.

I hold my breath as the bottle begins to slow down, really hoping this time that I can kiss Tyler again. My heart sinks as it lands on Parker, and we engage in a slightly longer kiss. I thought kissing Parker would be like kissing my grandma. It's actually more like kissing a dead, wet fish. We both survive it, but Tyler's spin lands on Parker again. Shit! I'm going to be so fucking pissed if Tyler or I get eliminated before we get to our next kiss.

Am I sick? Why do I want to kiss my brother so bad? Why does it feel so good when we kiss? Fuck it. I want to win, and I want to kiss him again.

On Parker's next turn, the bottle lands on me.

"Kiss me like Tyler does," I instruct him. "Just pucker your lips a little bit, and don't get so fucking slobbery!"

"If you don't like it, you can always break it!" Parker says, licking his lips and making them even slimier.

"You little shit," I say and then endure another kiss with Parker. I spin; it lands on Parker. Tyler spins; it lands on Parker. It's unbelievable. The probability that this keeps happening is so small. The bottle comes around to me again, and it lands on Parker… again. I start to exchange quick glances with Tyler every time the bottle points to Parker. I hope it's disappointment and not relief that I'm seeing, but he quickly looks away every time we make eye contact.

Two more rounds come and go, and it's all still Parker, Parker, Parker. I'm sure that Tyler is just as frustrated as I am… maybe it's just that he's tired of kissing Parker and not that he wants to kiss me, though. Each of our kisses with Parker have to be longer than thirty seconds at this point, so we're definitely in that danger zone that one of us could lose. I snatch the bottle for my next turn… Parker.

"Fuck!" I groan. "I'll kiss Tyler just for somethin' different."

"Mace, you can kiss Tyler anytime you want," Carson says with a knowing smile. "You don't have to wait for the bottle to tell you who to kiss."

"Fuck you! Let's just do this." I don't even look at Tyler. I grab Parker by the shirt and kiss him for the required time. Tyler grabs the bottle, and it lands predictably on Parker again. I watch intently this time, allowing myself to long for Tyler's lips. Suddenly, I see Tyler's hand move towards Parker's ribs, and he gives him a quick tickle. Parker is the most ticklish person in the world, and he crumples off to the side.

"Ohhhhhh!" Carson makes a dramatic play-by-play call. "It looks like we have our first elimination!"

"He's a cheater! He cheated!" Parker squeals, pointing his finger, while Tyler tries to look innocent.

"I never said anything about 'no tickling'. Ty just found a loophole. Plus, this game is taking way too fucking long and I'm getting bored. It's time for the FINAL ROUND! Winner take all!"

"Man!" Parker pouts, but he's always pouting. He has a right to pout this time, but there was no way in hell that Carson was taking him to the fight, even if he had won. It would be an evening of "I have to pee!" and "I want a hot dog!" and "I have to pee again!" and then he'd just inexplicably break down in tears and then he'd start singing SpongeBob SquarePants. It's the same thing every time we're out with Parker in public.

My heart starts to pound again as I sit down in front of Tyler. I can't help but smile, and Tyler is biting his bottom lip to try to keep his smile from showing. I hope it's because we're about to kiss again and not because he thinks he's about to win the ticket. We both sit Indian-style, facing each other with our knees touching.

"The tickling thing won't work on me," I say in a low voice. "If you try it, I'll push you over and tickle you until YOU break the kiss." He knows that I would win a tickle fight between us, but it doesn't look like he was planning on it in the first place.

"Okay, no tickling. We just go until one of us wins," he says, looking me straight in the eyes as he takes a deep breath.

"You guys might as well get some tongue action goin' in there. I mean, you're kissing anyway, and there's nuthin' better to do," Carson says with a smirk.

"Shut the fuck up!" Tyler and I say in unison.

"You ready?" I ask.

"Yeah…. You're going down," he says. This time, we both lean in a little too quickly and we mash our lips up against each other slightly off center. I let my pressure up slightly and get my lips back to their proper position. He adjusts his lips, too, and we're back to the point where our last kiss broke. I wish we could just both open our mouths and make out, as suggested, but I know that's never going to happen. My heart continues to beat louder and faster, and I begin to feel a tingle in my dick. Oh shit. Without warning, Tyler lightly places his hand on my shoulder to steady himself. I'm unprepared for the feeling of his hand on my body, and I feel my dick quickly straighten in my shorts. I've got to get out now, or I'm in big trouble. I start to giggle, and break away.

"YES! I fucking WON!" Tyler jumps up, and I use the distraction of his celebration to adjust my dick in my shorts. I also realize my eyes were watering, so I quickly wipe away some tears, too. I need to get out of here fast before there's another boner check. Tyler turns his attention back to me and pushes me over in his jubilation. I fall back down to the ground and almost hit my head against an old table. "Take THAT, motherfucker!" It looks like the old Tyler is back.

"Congratulations, Tyler! You are the world champion little-boy-kisser! I think I got some good shots," he says, dangling a cell phone in front of us with a close-up pic of Tyler and me kissing. Tyler and I both lunge at him, but he easily dodges us and runs towards the basement door.

"Since when did mom and dad get you a fucking PHONE?" I call out to him. I don't know if I'm angrier about him taking a pic of us kissing or that he has a goddamn cell phone!

"Uhh… they didn't. I sorta borrowed it from this guy at school. Bye!" Carson disappears up the stairs, and I suddenly remember my previous mission. Whenever I have a boner that I want to disappear, I go find my mom. She's the antidote.

I run to the kitchen to find her making dinner. This is one of her days off from the pharmacy.

"Hi, mom," I say, innocently.

"Hi," she says, as if something else is on her mind.

"Need any help?" I ask.

"Why… what have you been up to?" she eyes me suspiciously.

"Nothing! Jeez!" I act offended and storm off to my room. Mission accomplished… my dick is back to normal again.

Parker, Tyler and I share one bedroom. We have three single beds, and little room to do anything else. I need some privacy, and going back to the bedroom never seems to work. Nothing new this time, I see Parker playing with some toys, completely unaware and unaffected by everything that's just happened. I head to the bathroom and lock the door. I do some of my best thinking while I'm sitting on the floor of the bathroom.

What the fuck just happened? My life could be ruined. My life could be… very interesting. Could Tyler have actually faked everything just to set me up for failure at the end? Does he know I'm gay and that all I'd need was a little smile from him and I'd crumble? I didn't even know I had those feelings for him until we kissed. How am I ever going to face him? I hear him throwing a tennis ball against the back of the house. He always does this when he's the most upset. Maybe I can smooth something out and then we can pretend like nothing happened. It's what this family does best.

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