by Nick Brady
The wet weather passed quickly and I got permission to ride over to see Joseph after school on Thursday and go with him to choir practice. We were sitting on the sofa in his bedroom and he was very excited about his recital the next Saturday evening.
"We will do the Piano Quintet number 2 by Dvorak, and the other is the Quintet by Cesar Frank. They are both very beautiful and the rehearsals have been going very well I must say. We sound quite professional. There will be an intermission between them and at the close I am to do a solo piece by Chopin, his Nocturne number 9 which is really lovely. I am a little nervous about it as his music is quite challenging."
The excitement in his voice made me think of how I felt before a baseball game. "We will all be there, Mom, Dad, Kevin and me. Jack will be there too."
"That's the whole family," he smiled. "My father told me that he and Mother will be there. He rarely attends, so that will be nice."
"The whole family," I said with a grin. "Will Alice come?"
"Oh no, she doesn't attend these things, but we have practiced at my home several times so she has heard us there," he explained. "She seemed to enjoy it."
"So you are nervous about the recital? I asked.
"Yes, a little. I think I am prepared but it is always a bit intimidating to play in public. There aren't any 'do overs' if we make a big mistake," he chuckled.
"Do you think somebody will make a mistake?"
"Oh of course. There are always mistakes, even when professionals play something complicated. But when the music is fast and complicated it is not always noticeable unless the listener is very familiar with the piece. What you are afraid of is that one of the players will get lost and make a wrong turn. When there are five musicians all playing different things which need to be in perfect sync there is the danger that one of us will get off somehow. Then there is nothing to do but stop and start off again from some point. That would be embarrassing."
"Have you ever done that?"
"Oh yes, in rehearsal. That tells us what we need to work on and be careful about but we hope that doesn't happen in the recital. It is like when you drop the ball in a baseball game."
"I understand that," I nodded and thought for a minute. "Well uh, do you need to be comforted?"
Joseph's expression told me that he instantly understood what I meant. "It surely couldn't hurt," he said and smiled.
I turned away from him, leaned back in his lap and put my arms around him, pressing my face to his chest. He leaned over and kissed me tenderly.
"You are a great comfort to me Nicky."
"I love you Joseph. I think we need each other," he slid over so that we were leaning against the arm of the sofa cuddled in each others arms. The mood was that of contentment rather than passion.
We smooched a little and held each other. I told him, "I love staying here with you. I wish I could ask you to stay at my house but there is no room and you wouldn't be comfortable in our little apartment."
"Nicky, I have told you that I admire your family, there is so much love there. If I were invited I would love to stay for a night. I could sleep on the floor."
I laughed. "When was the last time you slept on the floor anywhere? Have you ever?"
He hesitated a moment. "I'm sure I could. I'm not all that delicate."
"Let me think about it. Are you sure you would like to stay over?"
"Yes, very much. Will you ask your parents?"
"OK. How about after your recital Saturday night? You might be ready to do something different to unwind. It will be hard to 'mess around' in such close quarters though."
He laughed loudly. "Knowing you there will be a way Nicky. If not I think we will survive. I hope this works out. Thank you for asking."
Alice called us for dinner and we trooped downstairs. I thought about having invited Joseph over for the night. He had practically invited himself. That told me he really wanted to come. It also struck me that the shy reserved boy I met at his last recital would never have thought of doing something like that. I reckoned that we were good for each other and was reassured that Joseph loved me as much as I loved him.
Dinner was nice. To my surprise Dr. Anderson was there as well as Joseph's mother. She seemed very different than when I ate with her last. She was relaxed and pleasant, made me welcome and made conversation with all of us. Joseph's father was kind of stuffy but cordial. I gathered that was just the way he was. Of course the food was good, a pasta dish with shrimp and a white cheesy sauce, steamed asparagus and a nice salad. We all had iced tea to drink, no wine was served which seemed like a good thing to me. Quite a change from the last time. Joseph seemed very pleased and smiled a lot. It was good.
Alice took us to choir practice with my bicycle in the back seat then came back and took me home afterwards. Joseph helped me put my bike in the shed then hugged me tight.
"Your mom was really nice tonight," I whispered in his ear.
"Maybe our prayers are working," he said quietly. "I love you Nicky."
He hopped in the big Lincoln and they drove away as I watched them disappear. I ran inside to find Kevin and Dad on the sofa. The TV was going but they were both reading.
"Hey!" Kevin said and my father looked up, smiled and nodded. I sat with them until a commercial interrupted the program. I caught Kevin's eye and went into our bedroom. In a few minutes he joined me.
"How was your practice?" he asked.
"It was OK," I said. I told him about how different Mrs. Anderson seemed to be.
"Maybe she was sober." He guessed.
"Maybe I never saw her that way before." I chuckled. "Hey, Joseph would like to come over to spend the night after his recital Saturday night. How could we work that?"
"I could sleep on the sofa so he could have my bed," he offered quickly.
"You wouldn't mind?" I was a little surprised.
"No, of course not. I kind of live on the sofa anyway. Where else would he sleep?"
"Well, he offered to sleep on the floor," I told him.
Kevin just laughed. "Ask Dad. He's in a good mood tonight."
I went into the living room and sat down next to my father.
"How was dinner with the Andersons and choir practice?" he asked, looking at me.
"Good, we had some shrimp pasta. Alice is a really good cook."
"That's good," he nodded as if wondering what was next.
"Are we going to Joseph's recital Saturday night?" I asked.
"Yes, that's the plan. Kevin is anxious to go."
"Well sir, uh, I wondered if after the recital maybe I could ask Joseph to come over and spend the night with us."
Dad looked at me as if wondering if I was serious. "Our apartment would be quite a come down for Joseph. We don't really even have a place for him to sleep."
"I asked Kevin about that and he offered to sleep on the sofa so Joseph could have his bed. Please Dad, I have stayed over there lots of times and it seems like it should be my turn to have him over. He said he really likes our family and would like to visit."
Dad put down his magazine and looked thoughtful. "Well, that's true isn't it? Joseph is certainly a fine young man. If you don't think he would be uncomfortable here. I need to ask your mother about it. You know how women are. Or maybe you don't but I need to ask her. She is out visiting someone. Can it wait until morning?"
"Sure Dad, whatever you guys say. You know, Joseph came by here one time when we were riding bikes and he thought you guys were really neat. I know he would enjoy it."
Dad smiled and nodded. "I will ask your mother," he picked up his magazine indicating that the conversation was over. I had a good feeling.
In the morning Mom didn't look real happy. "I don't know about your friend Joseph spending the night here. They have a big fancy house with a maid and I'm sure everything is neat and tidy there. This place is cramped and cluttered and he will think I am a terrible housekeeper."
I shook my head. "No Mom, it isn't like that. He is not real close with his parents and he said he thought I was lucky to have such a nice family. He really likes you guys and wants to come here. Its hard to explain but he wants to come. It was almost his idea and besides, I have stayed at his place and it is kind of my turn. And, well, can he come, please?"
Mom looked at me and shook her head. "Nicky, I swear, you can talk me into anything. I guess so. I just hope Joseph doesn't think he landed on skid row. And you need to thank your brother for giving up his bed."
I looked at Kevin and said. "I do appreciate it. Thanks Kevin. I owe you one."
Kevin said nothing, but smiled and shrugged.
So at school Friday I told Joseph that we were good for after the recital. He looked very happy and said he would ask on his end but was sure it would be OK. We both agreed this would be fun.
We were all looking forward to Joseph's recital on Saturday night. Mom, Dad and Kevin were going to Trinity in Dad's old Buick. I had invited Jack and would ride over with him. Joseph had told me on Friday that he had permission to stay over so all systems were go. I was in Jack's apartment waiting for him to get ready. I was wearing my best pair of khakis and a navy blue sweater and was watching as Jack changed into his dark suit.
"What time does this start?" Jack asked.
"It starts at 7:00 but Dad said we should get there early to get a good seat," I told him. "Trinity Episcopal is a big church, do you really think it will be full?"
"Probably not but it would be nice to sit up front so we can hear better," Jack answered. "But remember how many were there the last time. There will be more this time because of that article in the Tulsa World."
"I didn't see that. Was it in the paper?" I wondered.
Jack glanced at me as he worked on his necktie. "Yes, there was a nice write up in the Entertainment section. That piano quintet is making a name for itself. The paper said 'they rival some professional groups'."
"Really? That's cool."
"They are good," Jack slipped on his suit jacket. "You ready?"
I stood up and spread my arms for inspection. "What do you think?"
Jack looked at me for the first time since I walked in. "Yeah, you look pretty good for a kid," then he smiled. "You look nice Nicky."
We trooped down the 2 flights of stairs to my apartment. The family was waiting and Dad looked at his watch. "We should get there in time to get a good seat," he said.
"We are ready," Jack said.
We got to the church a little after 6:30 and were surprised to see quite a few people already there. We found half a pew about five rows back from the front and sat down together. A few minutes later Dr. and Mrs. Anderson came in and sat just behind us.
Mom turned around and smiled. "You must be proud of Joseph," She said.
Joseph's mom smiled back. "They have been working very hard on this. They chose some very difficult music for a youth ensemble." Dr. Anderson smiled and nodded.
About 5 minutes before 7:00 the musicians came in and adjusted their chairs, tuned up their instruments and got themselves ready. There were 3 girls playing 2 violins and a viola, and a boy who played the cello. They all looked a little older than Joseph. The girls were wearing long black dresses and Joseph and the other boy were wearing tuxedos. I thought Joseph looked very elegant.
Right at 7:00 a tall older man came to the center and said a few complementary things, and introduced each one. Then he said. "I am pleased to present the Tulsa Youth Quintet. The first piece will be Dvorak's Piano Quintet Number 5." He stepped away and the music began.
I recognized some of the music from hearing Joseph practice his piano part at home. But the sound of his piano together with the string instruments was amazing. They were all playing something different but it all fit together, the parts weaving around each other so fast and complicated. There were three movements but the audience held their applause between each one. I started to clap but Jack put his hand on my knee to stop me. I gathered that we were supposed to wait until they played the whole thing. At the end they stopped and everyone applauded very enthusiastically. There were some whistles and some people shouted 'Bravo!'.
They stood and bowed in recognition of the applause then walk out for a break.
I told Jack, "I need to go to the bathroom."
I walked to the door at the side which led into the hall and the toilets. I scooted up to a urinal and saw that Joseph had already relieved himself and was washing his hands.
"You guys sounded terrific!" I enthused.
"Oh thank you," he smiled at me. "I thought it went well," then he hurried out leaving me to shake myself and wash my hands. He was clearly preoccupied with no time to chat.
I went back to my seat and joined the conversation. Dad was talking to Kevin. "They are really good," he said with surprise. Kevin was nodding vigorously.
My mother looked sort of stunned. "They were better than good. I can't believe those are high school students."
I gave her my best 'I told you so' smile. "Joseph wants to be a professional musician," I said.
"No doubt he will be," She still had a surprised look on her face.
In a few minutes they returned and took their seats as the buzz in the room quickly died away. The announcer came back to the center and announced the next piece was a Quintet by Cesar Franck. There was a quick tuning check and they raised their instruments and began. he music swirled around the sanctuary and carried me away. I didn't understand what I was listening to but I knew I liked it. I kept watching Joseph and his long arms and strong hands pulled amazing sounds out of the long black piano. It was as he would say, wonderful.
There was more applause, even more enthusiastic. First a few people stood, then everyone rose to give a standing ovation. The musicians stood, bowed, bowed again as the applause continued. Finally the announcer returned to the center and raised his hands for quiet.
"To conclude our program we will enjoy our excellent pianist Joseph Anderson as he plays Chopin's Nocturne Number 9."
At this point the string players walked away and left Joseph alone at the piano. He sat up very straight and seemed to stretch his shoulders, then placed his hands over the keyboard and began to play. It was very beautiful, not fast and violent but melodic, yet with a lot of movement. It was as if there were two people playing, one playing a complicated background of sound and another pulling out a lovely melody. I looked at my Mom and Dad, and brother Kevin. They were all transfixed by the sound pouring out of the grand piano.
All I could think of was that this was Joseph, my Joseph. The same boy who rode bikes with me and sat sweating with a cold root beer. The same boy who lay naked with me as we made love to each other, who agonized over his alcoholic mother, who suffered the taunts of a school bully. Now here he was in his own special world, drawing incredible music from a grand piano, enchanting a crowd of people who listened intently.
All too soon the piece concluded and the crowd exploded in applause. Cries went up for 'more, more'. Joseph stood and bowed, smiled and bowed again. He attempted to leave and was brought back by louder applause. Finally he raised his hands and asked for quiet.
"You are most kind, thank you very much," he spoke humbly, sincerely. "I will play one more piece for you. It is a favorite of mine because it is the favorite of a dear friend. I will play George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue" transcribed for solo piano."
Then he looked at me and smiled, sat down at the piano and began to play. He played with great energy, the syncopation contrasting with the stricter rhythms of the classical piece he had just played.
I did love this music but I could not see him play because my eyes were too full of tears. My brother Kevin was sitting next to me and could see my face, the others could not. But Kevin knew, he understood. He watched Joseph as he sat at the piano but quietly took my hand and squeezed it gently. When the piece was finished the crowd stood as one person and applauded. I pulled a handkerchief from my pocket and quickly wiped my face and blew my nose, then I stood and applauded with the rest.
"Allergies," I said to anyone who could hear.
We found Joseph in the parish hall with the other young musicians. People lined up to congratulate them. Joseph introduced them to those who passed by, deflecting the praise from himself to those in the quintet. From the chatter it became clear that the other students were all seniors, Joseph being a sophomore and the youngest. As soon as it was possible he gave me a nod, disengaged himself from the receiving line and we ducked out. Jack saw us slip out of the room and joined us.
"Are you ready to go?" He asked.
"Yes, I am really very tired," Joseph replied.
Jack started his truck and we slid in next to him. "You outdid yourself tonight Joseph. The quintet was terrific but your solo pieces were on another level. The crowd loved you."
"Thank you," Joseph said humbly. "We all worked very hard on those pieces. It really wasn't fair to put the spotlight on me."
Jack nodded but didn't respond. I took Joseph's hand and leaned my head on his shoulder. "You played my favorite thing."
Joseph pressed my hand. "Yes Nicky, that was for you."
"Mom and Dad, Kevin, you blew them all away," I told him. "That's the first time they have heard you play by yourself. And the quintet too, you were all great tonight."
"Where am I going?" Jack asked. "Am I taking Joseph home?"
"No, he is staying over with me," I answered.
"That's great," Jack smiled broadly. "So, it is back to the apartment."
Jack parked in his spot in the back and we started to walk in. Just then Dad pulled up with Kevin and my mother. Mom waved at us.
Dad said to Joseph, "We didn't get to speak to you after the performance. That was terrific!" He shook Joseph's hand enthusiastically.
"Yes, you were all wonderful," Mom said. "And your solo pieces were just amazing. Nicky has told us how talented you were but I was unprepared for just how talented."
"Oh, thank you very much," Joseph seemed very pleased. "It means a lot to me that you truly enjoyed it."
"We did, we all did," Kevin chimed in.
As we went into the back door of the apartment Mom added. "I have a cake that was for dinner tomorrow but I think we need to celebrate tonight. Will you all have a piece of cake? You too Jack."
"Would anybody like coffee?" Dad asked.
Jack said he would and so did Joseph so my father started a pot while Mom served up the cake, chocolate no less.
"Can I have a cup?" I asked.
"I suppose so," Mom responded. "I didn't know you drank coffee."
"Jack knows how I like it," I grinned.
So we had a regular party with Mom's cake and a pot of Dad's coffee. Kevin asked Jack to fix him some too. We all sat around the living room and talked mostly about the evening's music. Joseph was the center of the conversation and told us about the music, the composers, some interesting things about trying to keep 5 musicians together. I learned a lot and Mom was in heaven. She was the family music lover.
Before we knew it midnight rolled around and Dad started to yawn. "You people can talk all night if you like but I am falling asleep. I'll see you in the morning."
With that we all decided it was bedtime. Kevin grabbed a pillow and blanket from the hall closet and tossed them on the sofa. Mom and Dad went into their bedroom and Joseph assured Kevin he felt bad about taking his bed and would be happy to sleep on the sofa, or on the floor. Kevin just laughed and pretended to shoo Joseph into our bedroom.
"Do you want a shower? I imagine you got sweaty playing like you did tonight," I asked him.
I got a towel for him and showed him where the bathroom was. He had brought a gym bag with him and he disappeared into the bath. In about 10 minutes he reappeared with wet hair and wearing a pair of pajamas with his Tux on a hanger. When I saw them I grinned and he shrugged.
I shut the door and pointed to Kevin's bed. "He sleeps there," I explained.
"Yes, of course." Joseph sat down on the bed and bounced a little.
I chuckled, "That must seem small to you."
"Oh, it's fine, really."
"It's a little cramped for two," I said with what was intended to be a sad face.
"Hmmm," Joseph crossed his long legs.
I came over and sat next to him. "That was nice to play my favorite song," I said, putting my arm around his shoulder.
"You're sweet," he said and kissed me on the cheek.
I pulled his face to mine and kissed him on the lips. "You were terrific tonight."
He responded by kissing me rather passionately, running his hand over my chest. I pulled him down on the bed and pushed myself against him. Just then there was a loud knock on the door. I jumped up and was diving into my bed when the door opened and Kevin's laughing face appeared in the doorway.
"Did I interrupt something?" he guffawed, then closed the door.
"What was that?" Joseph said with surprise.
"Payback," I answered. "Don't worry about it."
I grabbed some clean underwear and went to brush my teeth. As I stepped into the hall I looked towards the living room to see Kevin doubled up with laughter. I shot him the finger and went into the bathroom.
When I came back I closed the door and asked, "Now where were we?" and stretched out next to Joseph.
"Is this safe?" he wondered. I ran my hand down the front of his pajamas for an answer. Within minutes we were both naked and groping each other on Kevin's bed.
Taking pains to be quiet, we moved from rubbing ourselves together to doing a crowded 69. "Oh, this is evil," Joseph whispered. Having sex on my brother's bed with my parents in the next room was a terrific turn on for me.
"To be honest, I really need this," Joseph murmured. "I have had a very stressful day. Could you do me please?"
"Oh yeah, I think I could do that," I said and produced a small jar of Vaseline. "Front or back?"
He turned over on his stomach and tilted his butt in the air. "Will this work?"
I pushed my face into his butt crack which had a nice clean soapy smell. Pushing my tongue in his hole I licked him up and down which made him moan. Since he seemed to like that, I worked him over good, licking and slobbering him until he was very wet. I put a dab of Vaseline on my finger I slid it up his ass and rotated my finger around and in and out, causing him to moan even louder, until I had to shush him.
"I'm ready Nicky," he whispered.
I slicked up my very hard dick, stretched my foreskin back and pushed it up tight against his hole. He began to squirm and push back against me until I slipped inside. I pushed in a little way then back out, in again a little deeper and kept that up until I was as deep as I could go. He sighed heavily.
In and out, with him pushing back against me in time to my thrusts, we fell into a steady rhythm, increasing in speed until my crotch was slapping against his butt cheeks on the down strokes. He was making soft mewling sounds until he froze and gasped.
"Oh, I'm cumming Nicky -- oh, oh!" and he emptied his balls on Kevin's bed. That was all it took and I spooged into his bowel, falling against him, my hips against his ass, fitting perfectly together like a pair of spoons. We lay still for several minutes until his breathing became steady. He had fallen asleep with me still inside him.
I pulled out and wiped us both dry with the towel from his shower. As best as I could I wiped his cum from Kevin's sheets. He never stirred. I covered him up and fell into my bed exhausted. It had been a busy day.
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