Not Always Easy

by Kit

Chapter 5 - Friends... Or Something More?

The day after Rob and I had our long talk in the car the weather was cold and wet, which I suppose is not surprising as we were approaching a Bank Holiday weekend in England. Mike, John and myself spent the afternoon indoors playing on John's Playstation, listening to CDs and watching DVDs. After my parents had gone to bed the three of us stayed up in my room talking until the early hours of Friday morning, with Mike and I sitting propped up against the headboard on my bed and Jon sitting on the other bed. The three main topics of conversation seemed to be my sexuality, Rob, and Mike's father's girlfriend.

Mike told us he would be going by train to see his father on Friday afternoon and returning Tuesday morning. He never really enjoyed visiting his father, but he did it because he felt it was a duty, and in any case his parents left him no choice. The prospect of spending the long weekend with his father was even less appealing than usual because his father's girlfriend had moved in with him.

"So after tonight I won't get to see you two 'til Tuesday afternoon," Mike said, looking glum and almost depressed. "The weather forecast is for rain, so I'll probably be stuck indoors with Dad and his girlfriend. I'm gonna miss you guys.... and Sue."

"Well we won't be having such a great time either," John pointed out. "When we're not visiting relatives they'll be visiting us, and on Sunday this place will be crawling with old people saying 'My, haven't you grown' and trying to kiss us!"

"Speaking of kissing," Mike said, looking at me with an evil grin, "have you and Rob done much kissing yet?"

"No!" I replied, blushing so much my face felt like it was burning. "I already told John that Rob's not my boyfriend!"

"I've kissed lots of girls who weren't my girlfriends..." Mike said suggestively.

"Well Rob's just kissed me on the cheek a couple of times and on the lips once," I said defensively, "but it was just a quick peck and definitely no tongues."

"What's the matter," John asked with a teasing tone, "don't you fancy him?"

Why the question took me so much by surprise I don't know, bearing in mind that it was the sort of question I should have expected one of them to ask sooner or later.

"Well?" Mike prompted when I failed to respond to John's question.

"Erm... I dunno," I offered lamely.

"Don't know?" they chorused, just slightly out of synch.

"Maybe the situation is much simpler for you straight guys, but in this particular case I'm not sure. Rob's not really my type, and when I first saw him I didn't fancy him at all. But now I know him better he seems very sweet and gentle and... cuddly."

My blush deepened and I began to feel uncomfortably warm.

"Now I think he's attractive as a person," I continued, "but I'm not sure if I fancy him."

I looked from Mike to John and back again, hoping they would understand what I was trying to say. Mike looked as if he understood, but John seemed a little confused.

"Weird," John muttered.

"So when am I going to meet him?" asked Mike.

"Erm... I guess we can arrange something when you get back," I replied.

The weekend was every bit as bad as John had predicted, but we got through it without any lasting trauma. John, being a practical type, or perhaps slightly mercenary, regarded the effort of being nice to relatives as an investment for Christmas and birthdays. The fact that his fifteenth birthday would take place shortly after Easter probably made him even more charming than usual. On the Saturday evening Rob phoned me, thereby giving me a welcome excuse to escape to my bedroom for a few minutes.

On the Tuesday, John and I decided to drive into town and meet Mike at the railway station when he returned from visiting his dad. His mum thought it was a great idea and said it was a pity she was working that day or she would have joined us. When Mike got off his train and saw us waiting on the platform he looked ecstatic, and as soon as he got close enough to us he dropped his bag so that he could throw his arms over our shoulders. As Mike was the tallest of us, this was a relatively comfortable position for him.

"Hey guys!" he said with a huge grin, "it's really great to see you. Thanks for coming to meet me!"

"How was your weekend?" I asked as I picked up his bag.

"Hell!" he replied. "I really tried to be nice to Dad's girlfriend but she just tried to take control all the time. We had to go to the movie she wanted. We had to watch the TV programs she wanted. She also kept mentioning that my dad was paying so much child support for me. Dad spent most the time trying to avoid arguments, but there were lots of times that I nearly lost my temper."

Every time Mike said the word 'she' it was in a tone of disgust and vitriol that I'd never heard him use before, so it was very clear that he'd been extremely upset with her. With Mike's arms still over our shoulders, we began to walk toward the car park.

"Anyway," Mike continued, "I got sooooo angry, but I decided that it wasn't worth risking a fight. And to make matters worse, she always seemed to be watching me, as if she thought I might nick something. So I felt I never had any privacy and that's why I didn't phone all weekend... sorry."

"That's okay. We understand," I said.

"Ya know," Mike said, "what made things worse was that as I said goodbye to Dad, he just slipped in that they were going to get married soon. I just told him not to bother inviting me to the wedding cos I wouldn't go anyway."

After such a hectic weekend I was happy to spend that evening relaxing, reading and listening to music in my room. While I was reading, the phone rang.

"Hi, Paul, it's Rob."

"Hi, Robbie, wassup?"

"Not much..." he said, but the excitement in his voice belied the words. "I came out to my family last night."

From the note of triumph in his voice I guessed his revelation had not been received too badly.

"Bloody Hell, Rob!" I exclaimed. "Was everything okay?"

"Yeah, fine. Mum took it really well, and said she'd actually first suspected when I was seven! Dad was surprised but took it better than I expected, and my sister just told me to keep my hands off her boyfriends... Dunno why she said that cos she's not had any boyfriends yet."

"That's great. I'm really happy that things went so well. Hope my parents take it so well when I get round to telling them."

"So, erm, wotcha doing tomorrow night?" he asked.

"Nuthin, why?"

Mike was having a reunion with Sue the following night, so I didn't have any definite plans.

"Well, my parents want to meet you."

"What?" I said, startled. "Why should they want to meet me? How do they even know I exist?"

"When I told them I'm gay, I told them everything... "


"Well, about Ben throwing me out, but not about having my dick out with him," he said and laughed. "And I told them you rescued me and were my best friend."

"Weren't they annoyed at you staying out all night?"

"Oh, yeah!" he replied." They were totally pissed off at me, but they said that as I'd voluntarily told them all about it and had already suffered the consequences that they'd let me off just this once... Anyway, will you come round tomorrow night and meet my parents?"

"Have you told them I'm gay?"

I was beginning to feel a little like he'd betrayed my confidence and I wasn't sure that I wanted to meet his parents. What he'd just said had made me feel a bit paranoid, and I wondered what else he'd been saying about me.

"I didn't tell them specifically, but they prob'ly guessed. One reason I came out to them was that after you took me home last Wednesday they noticed I'd been crying and they'd kept on asking questions. They saw your car when you dropped me off and they thought that maybe you were responsible for me crying. I didn't want them to blame you for anything so I had to tell them you were my best friend and were helping me through a bad time... and that just led on to me coming out."

"Oh," I said.

That was the most coherent thing I could say because my mind was busy trying to work out the implications of yet more people knowing, or at least guessing, my sexuality.

"Well, will ya come over tomorrow night?" Rob prodded.

"Er. Okay."

Why the hell did I say that? Sometimes I could kick myself for opening my mouth before using my brain.

"Do ya want to come for dinner?"

"Er, no," I said, and hoped that refusal didn't come out too forcefully. "I need to have dinner with my family."

That was a sort-of lie, but if things became too embarrassing or uncomfortable with his parents, I wanted to be able to escape quickly, and that wouldn't be so easy to do if we were in the middle of a meal.

"Okay. How about you come here at eight thirty then?" he asked.

I agreed and when our conversation ended I was left feeling shell-shocked and not a little terrified at the thought of what the following night might bring.

The next evening I was so nervous I could hardly eat any dinner, and the meal was made even more uncomfortable by mum asking about my 'new friend', Rob. Earlier in the day I'd mentioned to John that I was going to see Rob, and all through dinner he kept giving me meaningful looks, smirks and sly grins, which I was hoping fervently that neither of my parents would notice.

At exactly the appointed time I pulled into Rob's driveway, and as soon as I rang the bell he opened the door. It occurred to me that for him to respond so quickly he must have been waiting very close to the door. With a big grin on his face he dragged me by the arm into the living room, where he introduced me to his mum, dad and sister, Marie, who appeared to be a year or two younger than her brother. They all appeared friendly but it still felt like I was entering a den of lions. The low ceilings of those converted cottages contributed to my feelings of claustrophobia.

His dad, a much bigger and more muscular version of Rob, used the remote to turn off the TV then stood up to greet me, and when we shook hands, my own hand disappeared inside his huge grip. His mum, a small, slim woman with short blond hair and pale blue eyes, gave me a warm smile and said how pleased they were to meet me. Marie, who was slim and very pretty, with long auburn hair, gave me a smile, but said nothing. Then his father returned to his armchair and I was offered a seat in the armchair opposite.

When I sat down, his mum went to the kitchen to make tea, Marie went upstairs muttering something about homework, and Rob sat on the sofa. After a long and uncomfortable silence I almost jumped out of my skin when I suddenly heard his mum's voice immediately behind me.

"Do you take milk and sugar, Paul?"

"Just a little milk, no sugar, thanks," I replied, trying to calm my thumping heart.

"Would you like some home made cake with it?" his mum asked me.

"Yes, please."

I wasn't really hungry, but I love home made cake and it would give me something to do with my hands, which at the time were wandering aimlessly between my lap and the chair's armrests.

"Paul's doing sciences in the Sixth Form, Dad, like I want to do next year," Rob said, trying to get the conversation going.

"Oh, well maybe he can help you if you get stuck with something. Don't forget it's only about a month till your GCSEs, and I've not noticed you doing much studying recently."

"Daaaad," Rob moaned, "don't nag about study all the time!"

His dad just gave him a patient and good-humoured smile. I guessed that this was not the first time his father had brought up the topic of Rob's impending exams.

When his mother returned with tea and a delicious lime-drizzle cake, we all tucked in and his parents began to quiz me about school, my family, my interests, and so on. In the midst of this inquisition they occasionally dropped tidbits of information about themselves. His dad was a foreman at a local specialised metalworks, his mum worked at a big DIY centre, and Marie, who was a year younger than Rob, was at the same school as Mike. When I showed my surprise that she wasn't going to a Catholic school like Rob, his mum told me that the reputation of the Catholic girls school, unlike our boys school, was not as good as the local State school.

This whole situation was very strange for me, and I felt like I was being interviewed by potential in-laws, even though Rob and I weren't even boyfriends. Still, the questions were relatively innocuous, and I was just beginning to relax when the discussion suddenly became scarier.

"We want to thank you so much for helping Rob when he got himself into difficulties," his mum said, emphasising the last word and casting an accusing glance at her son, "especially as I gather you've not been friends for very long."

The raised eyebrow and tone of the last phrase implied that it was partly a question, and I felt my cheeks burning while I tried unsuccessfully to think of a response.

"But he's my best friend now," Rob interjected, taking the heat off me.

"Look, we don't mind what sort of friend you are," his dad said gruffly, looking as uncomfortable as I felt. "What's important is that we love Rob and never want to see him hurt. So we're grateful that you were there to help him out and we're happy that he has a good friend like you."

On hearing this, my already-blushing face felt so hot it was almost itching. Although I was relieved that they didn't bring up the subject of sexuality, it became clear to me that they thought I was at least potentially Rob's boyfriend, so I decided that I needed to have a proper talk with Rob as soon as possible. In the silence following his dad's little speech, I looked at my watch and saw that it was almost ten o'clock.

"Well, Mr and Mrs Streeter, it's been lovely meeting you," I said and stood up, "but I should be getting home. Thanks for the tea and the great cake."

"The pleasure was ours," his dad said, also standing up.

"Yes, hope to see you again soon," his mum added.

Rob, who wasn't looking very happy, offered to show me out and actually followed me all the way to my car.

"Sorry about that," he whispered as soon as we got outside the house." I really didn't think they'd start jumping to conclusions, and I would never have expected them to talk about it even if they did."

"Yeah, well we really need to talk... and soon," I said.

I felt slightly angry at being put in such an embarrassing situation, though I'm not sure if I was more annoyed with Rob or myself. From the look on his face, I could tell that he knew how I was feeling.

"Please don't be angry. When can we meet and have a proper talk?"

"Call me tomorrow and we'll arrange something."

I knew that I needed some time to think before we talked again, but maybe my tone was colder than I'd intended because Rob suddenly looked very unhappy.

"Have I spoiled everything?" he asked, his voice trembling a little, immediately melting away whatever coldness had been in my heart.

"No, Robbie, nothing's been spoiled. We just need to talk, but we need time to think first. Anyway, at the moment I'm not sure of what's happening over the next couple of days, so it's best to arrange things tomorrow."

"Okay. We're still friends, right?"

"Of course we are. Call me tomorrow, okay?" I said as I got into the car.

"Okay. See ya!" he responded, looking a little happier.

When I got home my parents asked me about the evening, but apart from enthusiastic comments about the cake, I was non-committal in my responses, so they gave up and let me go to my room without further interrogation. As soon as he heard me come upstairs and go into my room, John came to see me and started asking yet more questions. However, with all the stress of the evening, I couldn't face yet another inquisition and I couldn't contain my irritation.

"Look, John, just piss off and leave me alone, okay?""

My words and tone immediately erased his smile, and he looked as if I'd slapped him across the face. He was obviously shocked because I almost never spoke to him like that. At first it seemed as if he might say something, but instead he just turned around, went into his bedroom and shut the door. I closed my own door and flopped into my bed, feeling very miserable and guilty. How long I lay there on my back with my right arm across my eyes, I'm not sure, but after a short time I heard my parents go to bed, saying 'good-night' through my closed door.

All sorts of thoughts whirled through my mind. Did Rob say something to make his parents think I was his boyfriend? Did either of us want to be boyfriends? Would my parents get suspicious if I spent a lot of time with this new friend who, John had informed me, was noticeably 'delicate'. I cringed at the thought of what would happen if people at school thought we were even just friends. I was beginning to regret ever going to the GLYG because in less than 6 months my life had gone from calm, safe, simple and pleasant to complicated, stressful, and possibly dangerous.

Then I heard John going to the bathroom and start getting ready for bed, and my concerns for myself were replaced by the guilt I felt at how I'd just treated him. After all, he was closer to me than anyone except Mike, and so far he'd kept my secret faithfully. His curiosity was natural and showed that he cared for me. Yet I'd just been particularly nasty to him, and he didn't deserve that. I felt as if I'd just kicked a little puppy that was only trying to be friendly. When I heard him go back to his room, I sighed, got up, left my room and knocked as quietly as possible on his door.

"Come in."

"Hi," I said sheepishly when I entered.

He was lying in bed, sitting up and watching TV, which he muted when I spoke. He just looked at me and said nothing, obviously trying to keep a neutral look on his face, but knowing him so well I could see that he was hurt and annoyed.

"I'm really, really sorry I snapped at you," I said earnestly. "I've just had a very stressful night and everyone's been asking me uncomfortable questions, and I just couldn't stand another interrogation."

He looked less annoyed, but was still obviously hurting and I knew I had to fix things between us before we went to sleep.

"Look, John, I know you were just being friendly and that your curiosity just shows you care. It was wrong of me to be nasty to you." I paused and looked down at my feet, then continued, "But just because I had a bad night is no excuse for taking it out on you. You're a great brother and you don't deserve to be treated like that, and I'm really, truly sorry."

I looked up to see his reaction and was pleased to see him smile.

"Okay. Apology accepted," he said, and then he gave me an evil grin. "Ya know, I quite like to see you grovel. And I'd still like to know what happened at Rob's place tonight."

"Tell, you what, I'm fed up of questions just now, but how about I just tell you everything that's happened and if there are any questions you can ask them later?"

"That's fine by me," he agreed, tapping the bed next to him with his hand.

I sat next to him and gave him a full report on the evening. When I'd finished he asked most of the same questions that had been going through my own mind earlier, and of course I still didn't have any of the answers. Having repaired our friendship, we said 'good-night' and I went to bed.

The next day, Thursday, Mike turned up bright and early. Well, ten thirty counted as early for me on a school holiday. He arrived just as I was finishing my first cup of tea of the day and so he managed to find me reasonably coherent and in a fairly good mood. As my parents were at work and John had gone out before I got up, we had the house to ourselves, so Mike and I stayed in the kitchen while we caught up on our news. From Mike's behaviour, which was even happier and even more energetic than usual, I guessed that he'd had a good night with Sue while I was being 'interviewed' by Rob's parents. Of course Mike refused to give any intimate details, but my guess was confirmed when he blushed and mentioned that he needed to get some more condoms.

When Mike demanded details of my visit to Rob's house, I went through the same recital that I'd given to John the previous night and included further details of my snapping at John and subsequent apology. He was just starting to ask questions about Rob and me when he glanced at the clock on the wall and jumped up. He apologised for breaking off his visit so suddenly and said he'd arranged to meet Sue for lunch in the town centre. By the time I told him that it wasn't a problem he'd gone.

Soon after Mike left, John returned and after we had lunch together we had a brief chat, during which he tried in vain to arouse my interest in speculations about Mike's sexual adventures with Sue. Then John went out to play an informal game of soccer with some friends, leaving me to consider whether to go out or stay in and read. While I pondered this awesome decision, my phone rang. It was Rob.

"Are you still, erm, annoyed about last night?" he asked as soon as we'd exchanged greetings.

"I'm not sure if 'annoyed' is the right word. Upset, maybe. I know you didn't tell them, but it's obvious your parents assume I'm gay... not that I mind that specifically, but since Christmas the number of people I'm out to has gone from zero to about six, and things are happening so fast. I just feel that I'm losing control."

"Mmm. I know how ya feel," he said. "After you left last night my dad said you were a 'nice lad' and welcome at our house anytime... and he said you could even stay overnight sometimes if we want. I could tell they thought we were boyfriends, so I told them we weren't, but later Mum said something else that made me think they didn't believe me."

"Something else? What did she actually say?" I asked, concerned.

"Oh, er, I'd rather not say. It's embarrassing."

"Aw, c'mon, Robbie!" I pleaded, even more concerned. "This is about me as well. I need to know."

"Well, erm, she said that we should be discreet around the house and be safe in the bedroom..."

"Shit!" I exclaimed. "What did you say to that?"

My feelings were very mixed and confused. Although I wasn't happy about his parents jumping to conclusions, under the circumstances it seemed that they were being very considerate and understanding.

"I told her you were my best friend and not my boyfriend and she just said that if the situation changes then I should remember what she'd just said."

"Okay, I guess there's not much else you could do," I said, with a hint of resignation.

"But you're still my best friend?"

"Yeah, of course."

"Great. So what're you doing tonight?"

"Nothing planned, why?" I replied, knowing Mike would be out with Sue.

"Wanna go to a movie and maybe get a pizza?"

"Okay. Want me to pick you up?"

"No, thanks. I'll already be in town cos I'm going shopping this afternoon. I'll meet you at the bus station at about six thirty. Is that okay?"

"Yeah, that's fine. See you then."

During the movie I was distracted by the fact that Rob started stroking my knee and thigh as soon as the lights went down. At first I was very nervous about anyone seeing what he was doing, but when I looked around there was no one near enough to spy on us. Once my initial fear had subsided, I found the touch of his hand on my leg very erotic and spent most of the movie with a stiffy trapped in my boxers. As soon as the lights came up I had to check that the dampness I could feel inside my pants had not produced a visible spot, and fortunately there was nothing to be seen apart from an embarrassing bulge. Looking up at Rob I saw he had a wicked grin and was also inspecting my lap, then I noticed that he also had a noticeable lump in the front of his tight jeans. We both giggled like naughty little boys.

Before getting up from my seat I covered my lap with the sweater I was carrying and headed as quickly as possible for the exit, looking back to see how Rob would get out of the cinema without revealing he had a stiffy. He amazed me by just getting up and following me out, apparently not caring if anyone saw his excitement. When we left the cinema, night had fallen and I was relieved that the streetlights were not bright enough to show our bulges. On our way back to the car we could hardly speak as we both kept breaking out into fits of laughter, and then we sat in the car for a few minutes before I'd calmed down enough to drive safely. Rob looked at the dashboard clock.

"It's only just after nine thirty, and no school tomorrow," he said, "so we don't have to go home yet do we?"

"No, I'm not in a hurry to get home. What d'ya want to do?"

"How about going up into the hills to that lay-by again? The view is really nice, and it's quiet so we can chat."

"Fine by me!" I said, and started the engine.

During the few minutes it took to get to our destination a conversation started, and by the time I parked the car it had become a lively and enjoyable exchange of views, information and ideas. Up until that evening our conversations had been related directly or indirectly to our sexuality, the GLYG, Ben, coming out to his parents, rumours at school, and so on. However, that night we talked about movies, school, teachers, exams, books, family, TV programs, and in fact anything and everything that came into our heads.

One topic seemed to blend into another, and all the time we talked we were holding hands, occasionally squeezing to emphasise particular points we were making. The thought suddenly occurred to me that this situation was so very different from the other occasion, just over a week ago, when we were here in this very lay-by. The previous time there was sobbing and tears, but now the only tears were caused by laughter. I felt that Rob was emotionally closer to me than anyone apart from Mike and John, and just as I was wondering if my feelings were more than just a platonic, brotherly love, I suddenly noticed that it was after eleven thirty.

"Bloody hell!" I said. "Look at the time! What time are you expected home?"

For some reason he looked very embarrassed and didn't answer, so I continued.

"My parents will probably be getting ready for bed. I'd better phone them and let them know what's happening... D'you want to use my mobile to call home?"

"Er, no, thanks. Mum and Dad will probably be in bed by now."

"Won't they be worried that something might have happened to you?"

"No," he said, a bit flustered.

He looked as if he was about to say something else, but he must have changed his mind, because he just shut his mouth again.

"Mum and Dad would go ballistic if I just stayed out late without letting them know. And from what I saw of your parents I thought they'd be the same."

"Erm, they would be the same, but I told them I might not be home tonight."

I suppose that sometimes I can be a bit naive, so at first the implications of this eluded me. When I realised what he probably meant, the surprise must have been clear on my face because he looked at me and suddenly I got a mental picture of him as a naughty little boy expecting to have his wrist slapped.

"Soooo," I said, my mind racing, "you thought you might like to stay over at my place tonight?"

"Well, I hoped it was a possibility, depending on how we got on..."

"Oh," I said.

For a moment I tried to think things out, but the situation seemed so full of possibilities and complications that I couldn't concentrate. So, true to my usual form I acted first and thought later, and I hit the speed-dial button for home.

"Hi Dad, sorry I'm so late... I just lost track of the time... Oh, I'm glad I didn't wake you up then... Yeah, I really am sorry, I just got so involved with talking to Rob that I didn't notice the time... Erm, before you go Dad, would it be okay if Rob stayed the night at our house? Yes, it's OK with his parents... I'm sorry, I would have asked you earlier, but I only just found out myself... Yes, grovelling apologies... like I said, we just got involved in the conversation and didn't realise how late it was.... Great! Thanks a lot! Yes, I promise not to wake you all up.... Okay... Thanks again... love to Mum, g'night!"

I hung up and looked at Rob, who had a big cheesy grin on his face.

"I s'pose you got the gist of that?" I asked.

"Yes. Thanks. And I won't need to borrow a toothbrush this time!"

He dug into one of his two shopping bags and waved a brand new toothbrush at me. I laughed and gently swatted his thigh.

"You cheeky, presumptuous bastard!" I teased, then became more serious, "Of course if you've changed your mind I can still take you back to your place. And if you do come back with me, nothing will happen... unless we both want it to happen."

I looked into his eyes, which were sparkling, though the dim lights obscured their true colour. We stared into one another's eyes for several seconds.

"Home, James!" Rob said suddenly, putting on a haughty voice, then he smiled and in a quieter, more normal tone and added, "Your home, please Paul."

When we got to my house John and my parents had gone to bed and the only light was from the lamp in the hallway. I offered Rob something to drink and he opted for a coke while I had apple juice. As we drank we sat on the sofa chatting quietly, and although I didn't notice either one of us moving, as time went on we got physically closer as well as emotionally closer. Eventually, we were holding hands and Rob's head was resting in my left shoulder.

I was getting tired and was considering suggesting that we go to bed, but I didn't want him to think that the suggestion would necessarily imply any sexual activity. In fact I was unsure and nervous about the prospect of sex, especially after the disaster with Ben. On the other hand my teenage sex drive was running at full throttle and the more I got to know Rob as a person, the more physically attractive I found him. Of course, apart from my own selfish considerations, I didn't want to hurt Rob, who had no sexual experience apart from his interrupted grope with Ben.

As things turned out, Rob took matters into his own hands when, a little after one o'clock, there was a lull in the conversation. He raised his head from my shoulder, looked up into my eyes, and planted a kiss on my lips, then with a shy smile he pulled back a little to observe my reaction. I returned his smile, put my left hand round his shoulder and gently pulled him back toward me so that I could return his kiss. As our lips met a second time, his tongue gently slipped into my mouth and the tips of our tongues brushed together.

We turned towards each other as far as we could while remaining seated and embraced tightly, at which point our kissing became deeper and more passionate, and I became even harder and more uncomfortable in my trousers. Rob wriggled uncomfortably and removed his arm from behind my back in order adjust himself inside his tight jeans. Feeling hot and flushed, I stopped kissing to catch my breath.

"You're a really good kisser," I said, grinning. "Had much practice?"

"Only with Ben," he replied, a little embarrassed.

"Me, too. Ben's the only other person I've tongue kissed," I said. "He may be a bastard, but it seems he's a good kissing teacher!"

We both laughed and I had to ask Rob to be careful so that we wouldn't wake my family.

"Maybe it's time we went to bed anyway," he suggested quietly.

My nervousness, which had disappeared when he kissed me, now returned.

We stood up, Rob picked up his two shopping bags and, holding his hand, I led him upstairs. While Rob was in the bathroom I got undressed, leaving my boxers on, and got into bed. As I lay there, nervously wondering what, if anything, was going to happen, he returned to my room, closed the door, stood between the two beds, and began to undress, placing his clothes on the other bed. His back was turned towards me, but I still tried not to be too obvious as I watched him. When he was wearing just his bright red briefs, he turned to face me and I could see a bulge and a wet spot in the fabric. The fine red-gold hairs between his nipples caught the light of the bedside lamp and seemed to glow against his pale skin. He looked almost as nervous as I felt.

"Would it be okay to, erm, can I, erm, sleep in your bed?" he asked.

As I could hardly speak anyway, I just nodded, smiled, and raised the corner of my duvet to invite him in. He got into bed and for a moment we lay silently on our sides facing one another. In the dim light it was even more difficult to decide if his eyes were blue-green or green-blue, but in either case I thought that they were very beautiful. All this time he was smiling gently and I tentatively stroked his torso.

"Ya know," I said in an unsteady whisper, "neither of us is experienced in, well, this sort of thing, so if you don't want to... do anything, that's okay."

"I definitely want to do something," he replied with a cheeky grin. "Let's just see what happens."

As if in response to some external cue, we simultaneously moved together, wrapped our arms round one another, and kissed passionately. Maintaining the kiss, I rolled on top of him and ground our hips together. My penis was poking through the opening in my boxers and I could feel pushing against the hardness beneath cloth of his briefs. Then I rolled off him and explored his body with my fingertips while the back of his hand stroked me in an arc from my right nipple to my belly-button.

I allowed my hand to drift across the pale skin of his taught, slightly muscled stomach until my fingertips skimmed over the top of his briefs and felt the wet spot at the tip of his erection. I pushed the duvet aside to get a better view of his lower body and lifted up the waistband of his briefs, revealing his ginger pubes and allowing his cock sprang out to freedom. With a feeling akin to reverence I reached with fingertips to touch it.

Without need for words he raised his hips and then moved his legs, enabling me to remove his briefs completely. When I grasped the shaft of his cock he let out a small gasp. Then he whimpered as I moved my hand slowly up and down. My head moved down toward his cock and I was fascinated by my close view of this beautiful male organ. After a minute or so, Rob pulled my head back up so that we could resume kissing while I continued to manipulate his penis.

He sat up and gently pushed me backwards so that I lay on my back while he explored my chest and abdominal muscles. Then, as if copying my earlier actions, he gently pulled down my boxers and began to squeeze and stroke my hardness. There was no sense of the passage of time as we were immersed in the physical sensations produced by our intimate contacts. No words were exchanged but we did communicate by touch, small sounds, and gentle movements of our bodies.

I felt a compelling urge to feel him in my mouth, so I gently moved him onto his back and started kissing my way down from his nipples to his groin. When I reached my goal, the clean but distinctive male smell that greeted me set my passions into overdrive. He moaned as I licked up and down his shaft, then when I engulfed the first inch of his cock he made a noise that was somewhere between a squeak and a squeal. I stopped what I was doing, placed my finger to my lips and hushed him. We both started giggling and he placed a hand over his mouth in a playful show of suppressing any subsequent noises.

I went back to my task, this time taking his whole length in my mouth and bobbing my head up and down, occasionally rubbing my tongue on the sensitive ridge around the head. Because I was enjoying the silky feel and delicate taste I didn't want him to orgasm too quickly, so whenever I thought he was getting close I paused for a few seconds. After about the third or fourth close call he couldn't take any more, and in a hoarse whisper he growled.

"I gotta cum NOW!"

Though I would have enjoyed carrying on my oral activities for longer, I took pity on him and the next time I felt his climax approach I didn't pause. When he shot his load the force and volume were such that I couldn't swallow it all and some of it escaped, running down onto his balls and pubes. When his orgasm finished I started licking up the overflow, and this caused Rob to wriggle and giggle uncontrollably.

"Wow, thanks Paul," he said in a dreamy voice as I finished my cleaning duty. "I can't believe that... I never even imagined those feelings were possible... I thought I was going to explode!"

I just smiled and kissed my way back up his body, ending the journey by planting my tongue deep in his mouth. Our tongues played together for a couple of minutes, then he stopped kissing and gently pushed my shoulders up. His face had the expression of a little child who had just discovered a secret entrance to a sweet factory.

"So I guess that's what cum tastes like. I never tasted it before," he said, gazing into my eyes. Then after a pause he gave me a cheeky grin and added, "I can't wait to taste yours!"

There was a glint in his eyes as he manoeuvred me onto my back. The sudden friction and warmth of his mouth nearly made me ejaculate straight away, but then he moved off and started licking my inner thighs and scrotum. The tickling sensation made me squirm and temporarily stopped my impending orgasm. Despite occasionally having to remind him to take care with his teeth, it didn't take him long to bring me to an orgasm that was like a bolt of lightning shooting through my body. He managed to swallow almost all of it and he later told me that I shouted so loudly that he was afraid I'd wake my family.

"Thanks, Robbie!" I whispered, exhausted, as he moved back up to kiss me.

We kissed and held one another for a while, and then we must have both fallen asleep, because the next thing I remembered was waking up lying on my back with Rob lying next to me on his side with his arm was draped on my chest and his leg was bent over my thighs. The bedside light was still on and the duvet was almost completely off the bed, so I gently disentangled myself from his limbs and reached over to grab the duvet and turn off the light. My movement must have disturbed him because when I turned back to him he was lying on his side facing away from me. I covered us both with the duvet and snuggled up behind him, spooning myself against his back and putting my arm over his chest.

Feeling him so close and hearing the quiet sounds of his steady breathing, I felt a warm glow deep inside my chest. This was different from the feeling I got from being around Mike, but I recognised it as the glow of love. A different type of love, but nonetheless it was definitely love. As I drifted back to sleep I wondered what Rob's feelings would be toward me when we both woke up.

It was morning when I woke again, and I was lying on my back with my mind flooded by a deluge of sensations. The most noticeable and pleasurable of these sensations were the feelings emanating from my genitalia. Normally it takes me a long time to become fully awake in the morning and the waking process usually requires at least one mug of tea, but that particular morning was an exception. The pleasurable physical stimulation bypassed the need for the chemical stimulation normally provided by my morning beverage.

As consciousness returned I realised a hand was slowly rubbing my erection, sending waves of pleasurable sensations to my awakening brain. Furthermore, I quickly realised that the hand producing these feelings was not my own. Next, I became aware that a hard tubular object was rubbing against my left thigh and that there was a weight on the lower half of my chest. Opening my eyes and looking downward I could see a head, the top of which was covered by ginger hair, resting on my chest.

"Mornin', Robbie," I mumbled.

"Mornin', sleepyhead," Robbie responded without moving his head. It seemed that he was studying my penis with great interest. I could feel his throat vibrate slightly over my stomach when he continued speaking.

"Did I mention last night that you have a gorgeous dick?"

"Don't think so. Can't remember."

"Well, I was a bit distracted last night," he said, "so I'll tell ya now. You've got a gorgeous dick."

I smiled and could feel a blush spread across my cheeks. Then he started humping against my thigh, and it felt so wet and slippery that I guessed he'd been leaking quite a lot.

"Having fun?" I asked.

"Yeah, are you?"

"Mmmm. How long have ya been molesting me?"

"Oh, just a few minutes. It was fun watching it go from soft to hard."

No more was said for a while and the only sounds were the slapping of my foreskin and the slight squeak of bedsprings produced by Rob's humping motion. Luxuriating in the sensations he was producing, I reached down and began stroking his head and running my fingers through his hair. The pace of his stroking was slow, and two or three times I approached orgasm, but didn't quite get there. He moved and I opened my eyes as he sat Indian-style, facing me. As he moved his gaze up and down my body he smiled mischievously.

"Don't stop!" I said in a hoarse whisper.

Rob returned to his task, but this time one hand stroked my cock while his other massaged my balls and stroked the skin beneath my scrotum. I shivered with pleasure and moved my legs apart slightly to give him easier access to that sensitive area. By now I was fully awake, and with my head propped on my pillow I could see what he was doing. This sight, combined with the increased speed of his stroking quickly pushed me over the edge and several eruptions left trails of semen between my chin and my pubes. I had to clamp my mouth shut in order to avoid voicing my pleasure too loudly.

As my muscles relaxed and I bathed in the afterglow of my orgasm, Rob lay on top of me and began kissing me lightly all over my face. When he licked my eyebrows it tickled so much that I couldn't suppress a giggle. Then he started humping against me, and after a while he stopped kissing my face and raised himself slightly on his arms. He looked down into my eyes, but he didn't stop grinding his erection into my abdomen.

Time seemed suspended as I lost myself in his beautiful green-blue eyes and as his movements gradually speeded up. When his orgasm began he plunged his mouth onto mine and his tongue invaded my mouth. He groaned into my mouth as his semen squirted out to mix with my own between our two bodies, then his head collapsed next to mine on the pillow and his chin nestled on my right shoulder.

We stayed like that for a few minutes with me gently stroking his back, then the stickiness between our bodies became uncomfortable for both of us and he rolled off me. I reached for the bedside tissues and proceeded to wipe us both down while Rob, with a quiet smile and sparkling eyes, lay staring at the ceiling. When I lay down on my back next to him, taking his hand in mine and squeezing it, he turned on his side to look at me, gave me a long deep kiss, then pulled back to look into my eyes.

"I'm glad you were my first," he said. "You're the kindest, gentlest person I know... and you're also very sexy!"

He gave a wicked smile and then rested his head on my chest.

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