Boys Do It Better

by Rob Warr

Chapter 5


I thought I might wake up feeling kind of guilty, that morning after Ronnie and I had messed around, but you know what? I just felt good. Relaxed and refreshed and sort of happy. I looked over at Ronnie and watched him sleep for a little while, and you know what? He is cute, really cute. Actually, in some ways he was cuter than Beth or any girl I'd ever seen. What was it about him that made him so cute? His big dark eyes, and thick eyebrows and long eyelashes? Or his pouty lips and the little dimples at the edge of his mouth? His cute little nose with a spattering of freckles across it, or his little ears that sort of stuck out, just a bit, but not too much? I guess it was all those things put together that made Ronnie cute.

I'm not gonna bother to deny sounding a little gay anymore, I'm just gonna accept that maybe, maybe, I don't know what I am at this point. I mean, sure I liked Beth, the kissing, the one time beejay that was less than perfect, but still good. The hand holding and snuggling, but when I really, really thought about it, I liked being with Tommy more than I liked being with her. And Tommy is a boy.

And now...I liked being with Ronnie. Ronnie had given me something last night that I would never forget, he'd given me something special, something that was so personal and so amazing, that I was still tingling from it. What Ronnie had done made Beth's attempt to please me look pathetic by comparison, and you know what? Ronnie is way cuter anyway.

So, it was these feelings that greeted me when I woke up that morning, and I wondered if something hadn't changed in me forever. And if it had, was that a good thing or a bad thing. I decided not to think too much about it. I was just gonna see where it led, and hope I was doing the right thing. Heck, maybe Ronnie would be the one who felt guilty and ashamed, and never be able to look me in the eye again, and certainly not ever do what he'd done again.

That made me sad to think about, and I guess that was kinda selfish, but I swear I wasn't thinking just about the really awesome feeling he gave me. I was thinking about the closeness we'd shared, the intimacy, that thing that Tommy and I had, and that I missed so much.

Ronnie's eyes finally peeked open and he stretched and yawned softly, and then the biggest smile filled his face, and I knew things were gonna be okay.

Hey, I said softly.

Hey, he said, What time is it?

I glanced at the clock on my nightstand, 10:17, are you hungry?

Yeah, a little, but I really, really need to pee.

Yeah, me too, I laughed, Come on, we'll go together.

Now last night Ronnie would've probably blushed and tried to argue with me about doing that, but I guess giving me a beejay and getting a handjob from me really loosened him up. He threw back the covers to expose a massive case of morning wood and just gave me a little grin.

I slid out of bed and led the way, and soon we were standing there side by side trying to push our boners down long enough to get the flow started and not paint the bathroom walls with piss. Once we got the pee flowing, our boners began to go down and we were able to relieve the pressure.

We washed up side by side at the sink, and I wanted so badly to ask Ronnie about last night, just to make sure he was okay with things, but I guess I was kinda chicken and I just left it alone.

We got dressed and headed downstairs and found mom sitting at the breakfast bar sipping coffee and doing something on her laptop. When she saw us, she looked up and smiled, There you guys are. Are you hungry?

Starved, I said giving mom a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Okay, so maybe I'm a bit of a momma's boy, but I love my mom.

Pancakes and bacon sound good?

Yesss...I said, I loved my mom's pancakes, and who doesn't love bacon? Bacon bacon bacon...he he.

While we waited for mom to fix our breakfast, we went outside for a little while and enjoyed the crisp fresh air. It wasn't really cool enough for a jacket and the sun felt good on our faces and bare arms. Ronnie seemed to be thinking about something, and I wondered if he was having some of the same feelings that I was about what had happened last night. Finally I got up the nerve to ask.

Um, dude, you're okay about what happened last night, right?

Yeah, he said looking at me nervously, Are you?

I chuckled, then I said, Dude, I have never felt anything that great, and I really liked, um...helping you out too. It was fun, but I was just wondering if you were cool with it and all, cause I didn't want you to think I was just, um..taking advantage of you or something.

No, why would I feel like that? We both got what we wanted, right?

I guess so. I thought about that a second and decided when you put it like that, it made perfect sense. Yeah, I wasn't just using Ronnie, it was mutual. I got my rocks off, he got his, no harm done.

Don't worry about it or anything, he said slugging me in the arm playfully, I'm not in love with you or anything, and I'm not expecting anything from you. It was like, a one time deal, and will probably never happen again, right? he said looking at me as if he wanted me to dispute his word.

Is that what you want? I said, putting it back on him.

What? Um, what do you mean?

I mean, are you sorry we did it and you wouldn't want to do it again?

No, that's not what I meant. I just meant, I didn't think you would want to, and that's okay, cause I don't want it to mess up our friendship. I mean, if you still want to be friends.

Of course I still want to be friends, and as far as the other stuff goes, as long as we can keep it casual, you know? I wouldn't mind, um...doing it again some time. Not every day or anything, I chuckled, but you know?

Okay, how about I just leave that up to you, he said smiling, I'm always willing, so anytime you want to, something, or just have me something for you, just tell me.

I frowned, That sounds like I'm just using you if I do that. How about we just see how things go, and if the feeling hits us again, then we go for it?

Okay, that's fine, but anything you want to do is fine with me.

I threw up my hands and looked up at the sky, Uggghhh, I give up. We'll just have to see what happens I guess.

My mom hollered for us to come get our breakfast then, and we forgot about our conversation for the time being. Ronnie ate 2 pancakes and a slice of bacon, and I ate...well, the rest...he he. Hey, I'm a growing boy, and mom's pancakes are super yummy. Tommy used to eat twice as many as me and mom used to call him Pancake Boy, lol. But mom loved him, just like I loved him...sigh.

What time do you have to be home? I asked Ronnie once we'd helped mom clear the dishes.

I dunno, my mom said your mom was gonna bring me home. So I guess that's up to your mom.

MOM! I yelled, What time you takin' Ronnie home.

Oh, I don't know. His mother said he could stay till 5 or 5:30 so I thought I'd run him home about 5. Is that okay boys?

Yessss...I said high-fiving Ronnie. Wanna go to the park?

So me and Ronnie spent most of the afternoon at the park by my house, and really didn't have a chance to finish talking about the stuff from this morning. I think we were both just fine with leaving things like they were, and figuring out the rest as we went along. I mean it wasn't like we were going to be sleeping with each other all that much and have the opportunity that we did last night.

Then something really earth shattering happened. We were goofing around by the duck pond and I saw Tommy coming across the park. His house was just on the other side of the park and he used to cut through here on his way to my house, but I wondered where he was going this time.

He didn't recognize us right away, but when he did he started walking toward us really fast, almost jogging.

Oh boy, I said, look who's coming. This should be fun.

Just take it easy Josh. Try not to get upset no matter what. Show him you can be calm and rational and he'll be cool.

We'll see. I said stubbornly.

Hey, I said when he finally stopped a few feet from us.

Hey, he said looking around like he was nervous or something.

Whats up? Where ya heading?

I was going to Beth's. He said, and for some reason that sort of hurt me, just a little. I'd forgotten that Beth's house was in that direction, but it was quite a walk.

Kinda far, I said trying not to let my feelings show.

Yeah, know? You do crazy things when you're in love.

Oh shit, that was just too much.

Yeah, like knifing your best friend in the back, I said glaring at him.

He recoiled like I'd hit him. I don't think he was expecting that, and Ronnie was just shaking his head like he was expecting me to mess up.

I'm not talking to you about this, especially with HIM around, he said jerking his eyes toward Ronnie who looked like he was ready to run away.

Oh, okay...well...I'd be happy to talk to you alone, if you could spare me some time. If you weren't always with your girlfriend, doing...God only knows what.

He actually laughed, Jealous? Afraid I'm getting the loving you never got. Well, know what? You didn't act like you wanted it, so Beth found someone who did, and that's me. And yeah, we're doing just fine. Man, it's great, and I can't wait to get to her house and get me some of that sweet lovin'.

Fine, then go. Take your happy ass over to Beth's and maybe she'll give you a sloppy beejay, but don't expect her to swallow, cause she's not into that...

But I never got to finish, cause suddenly I was on the ground rubbing my eye and wondering if anyone got the license plate of the truck that hit me. I looked up to see Ronnie staring in horror at me and Tommy looked like he was in shock or something. That's twice now he's sucker punched me, and it's gettin' old.

You hit me. I said stupidly, You fucking hit me. I can't believe you hit me, I mumbled as I held my hand over my eye. It ached, and I just knew it was gonna be a real shiner this time. Not just a little bruise like last time.

I...I gotta go, but don't be talking about Beth like that, ever again, Tommy said, but his voice was shaky, and I swear he didn't look mad, just scared, and maybe worried.

I glared up at him and said, We're done. Don't talk to me again, or text me, or call me, our come by my house, cause we're done for good this time. I don't need this shit.

Ronnie offered me a hand up and I managed to get to my feet, but I was still a little shaky. Tommy gave Ronnie a mean look, then I saw something pass over his face that sort of made me feel sorry for him. I think he saw Ronnie as his replacement and that hurt him.

I know. He said sadly, and then he turned and walked away, but not in the direction of Beth's house, back the way he'd come.

I know? What the fuck does that mean? I wondered. Then I thought back to what I'd last said, and it made sense. I'd said we're done for good this time. And he said, I know, and for some reason of all the things he could have done or said, those two words hurt me more than anything.

Josh, are you okay? Ronnie asked. He was still holding onto my arm and I realized I was still kind of dazed. It all seemed like a bad dream, and that it was over, I wished I'd handled things differently. Why did I have to be such an ass? He was trying to be friendly. He came over to see me, that meant he missed me, and I had to diss his girlfriend and cause him to get mad.

I mean I knew he had a short fuse, and it didn't take much to set him off. Well, Josh you deserved that one, because you poked the bear and you knew he wasn't going to let you get away with that.

I'm fine, but I gotta start wearing a helmet or something when I'm around that guy, I joked.

Ronnie smiled a little, but I could see he was really, really upset. This is all my fault, he says as we start walking toward my house. It's like 4:30 by then and we need to get back so mom can take Ronnie home at 5.

It's not your fault, okay. If it's anyone's fault, it's mine. I shouldn't have been so mean about Beth. She didn't deserve that, and neither did he, I said tears stinging my eyes, and the one Tommy poked was really smarting. Hey, do I have a black eye? I said turning to let Ronnie see.

Dude! he said looking all worried. Your eye is like bloodshot and yeah, it's starting to bruise and stuff. It looks awful. What are you gonna tell your mom?

Um, okay...I said stopping and holding Ronnie by the shoulders, Here's what we're gonna say..okay? So I made up this story about how we were wrestling and Ronnie accidentally elbowed me in the eye. Sounds perfectly reasonable, right? At first Ronnie didn't want to go along with it, cause he said my mom might get mad at him and not want me to see him again, but I told her she'd be cool. That Tommy and I used to hurt each other accidentally all the time and our folks just expected it.

So, I finally got him to go along with it, but you know what? I sorta wish I had just told my mom the truth, cause she found out later anyway and that made me look like a real fuck up. Anyway, we took Ronnie home and I came back and played my new video game till supper was ready.

I heard the phone ring, but I didn't think much about it. All my friends called my cell, and my folks were the only ones who ever used the land line. Anyway, I was laying on my bed and trying to play that stupid game with one eye, cause the other one was sort of watering all the time, and my mom comes knocking on my door.

Josh, I need you downstairs, right away, she says looking upset.

Uh, okay, I say throwing down my controller and shutting the game down. What now? I'm thinking, and I start trying to remember if I've done all my chores and stuff, but I can't think of anything. Halfway down the stairs I hear the front door open and someone come in, I hear voices that sound familiar and I freeze. Then I heard the one voice I'd recognize above every voice on this planet, and I know I'm in trouble.

There's nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide, and when you're 14 you don't really have a lot of options anyway. You're a kid for gosh sakes, and dependent on your parents for everything, and pretty much have no say in your life, even with great rents like mine. So I put on my poker face and march down those stairs, ready to face my fate.

Hello Josh, Tommy's mom says, and she pulls me into a hug, then holds me at arm's length and looks at my eye, Oh Josh, he got you good, didn't he? Then, and this really surprises me, she gave Tommy this disgusting look and he just wilts.

Come in, come in, my mom says, Everyone sit down and we'll talk. Would anyone like something to drink?

I guess no one did, though I kinda wished they had, so we could drag the start of this thing out just a little. But no such luck.

Okay, first of all Mary, thank you for calling me, and Tommy, thank you for being honest with your mother. Unlike some other teenage boy, who I will get to later.

Me, she was talking about me. Damn, did Tommy go and shoot his mouth off and hang me out to dry?

I'm concerned about the boys, that's all, Tommy's mom says. I know we agreed to stay out of it and let the boys work this out, but it's gotten out of control. I will not allow Tommy to use physical force to prove his point, or to retaliate when he doesn't agree with someone. Josh, I am so sorry that Tommy hit you, today and in the gym that day.

Damn, he didn't hold anything back. Oops, that means she must know I tripped him first. So I decided I'd come clean and save time. Maybe I'd get points for honesty and for apologizing, but I soon discovered sometimes it's better to just keep your mouth shut.

It's okay, I said. I sort of deserved it both times, and to be fair I sort of started it that day in PE, by tripping Tommy, and I'm really sorry.

Tommy looked at me like, Dude, why did you say that? And Tommy's mom looked surprised or something, so she says, Well, I didn't know about that, but that's still no excuse for Tommy to strike you, and he is going to be punished for that.

Sounds like someone else needs a little more punishment too, My mom says, And before we go any further, is there anything else you'd like to share with us Josh?

I tried to think. How much had Tommy told his mom, how much had I told mine? Were there any little details I'd left out that could come back to haunt me? She couldn't know about the texts from Tommy or Beth, but damn it, what if she took my phone and checked it. I hadn't erased them, I never do. Damn.

So...I told them, everything I could think of, and you know what? I actually felt better getting it all out in the open. And know what else? I was crying by the time I was done, and I wasn't even ashamed. And the crazy thing was, Tommy had tears in his eyes too. Well, so did our moms, but you know how moms are?

Well, my mom said, looking a little less angry than before, but I knew her well enough to know that I was still gonna get punished, It seems like you boys know what you need to do, so maybe we should just leave you two alone and see if you can work things out. Does that sound agreeable Mary?

I think that's a great idea, but maybe we could tie them up so they can't hurt each other, she laughed, and we all kinda got a smile out of that one. And it didn't sound like a bad idea, cause I was gettin' tired of being a human punching bag.

So our moms went into the kitchen and Tommy and I went to my room. I shut the door, but I was so nervous. Why was I so nervous? This was my best friend in the whole world and I'd known him forever, we'd done things and shared things, and laughed, and cried, and this was just plain silly being mad at each other.

We both suddenly tried to speak at once and we laughed. It was like that with us, we thought too much alike.

You go first, I said finally.

You sure? Okay. Well, I'm not too good at this stuff, but you know that, right? Heck, you know me bettern' anyone else, but I really am sorry. And not just about today. About everything, but when I saw you laying on the ground today, it was like...really hard to believe that I'd done that, and I just had to get away and...and think about things. I went home and went to my room, and I laid on my bed I thought about all the good times we shared, and even about some of the bad times we went through, but even when things weren't great, we always had each other. You were the first thing I thought of in the morning, and the last thing on my mind before I fell asleep.

Dude, that sounds gay, I teased, but my eyes were misting up and stuff.

He laughed, Yeah, kinda, I guess. But tell me you didn't feel that way too. I know you did, cause I can your mind, and you can read mine. That's how it was with us. We're like twin brothers separated at birth or something, he chuckled. And, Oh man, I don't wanna lose you. When you said to me today that we were done forever, that hurt man, that really hurt.

I sniffed back a few tears and sorta gave him a weak smile. You know I didn't mean it. I was just mad, and I was wrong to say the things I did. I can totally see why you'd get mad cause of what I said. I was totally dissing her (I couldn't bring myself to say her name though), and dissing you too. I totally deserved it.

Yeah, you sorta did, he said grinning, but the point is, until all this shit between us happened, I would never have laid hands on you, no matter what. We've had our fights over the years, but they never came to blows. We'd scream and yell, then go off and pout, and an hour later we'd forget all about it and be back playing video games or just hanging out.

Yeah, but this was a little more serious than who's team is better, or who ate the last of the Skittles.

Yeah, and you know what? If things had been reversed, and it was you who stole my girlfriend away, I'd have been just as pissed as you were. I can totally see where you're coming from man, and I am so, so sorry that I didn't see it before.

Look, I said looking him right in the eye. I get that you and Beth probably have more in common than me and her did, but it just hurt so much when I saw the two of you sucking face at the mall. But if I had to be honest, I said deciding to suck it up and tell the truth for once, I wasn't jealous of you, I was jealous of her. I didn't really think, Tommy is stealing my girlfriend, I was really afraid Beth was stealing my best friend, and that hurt man, that really hurt.

OMG, I never thought of it that way. Dude, I'm so sorry, he said grabbing my arm and just holding it gently.

It just felt so good to have him near me and touching me, and I could smell that unique scent that was Tommy's and only Tommy's, and I closed my eyes and just sat there and soaked everything in.

I meant it when I said I'd stop seeing her if you asked me too. He said finally releasing his hold on my arm.

The moment he let go of my arm I missed the closeness and I wanted it back. I was tempted to wrestle him to the floor like we used to do, just to feel his warm body against me, but that would have been a bit too much, don't ya think? He he.

Nah, I wouldn't want you to miss out on having your first girlfriend just cause I'm insecure and jealous. Besides, she's not that bad. I didn't mean all those things I said about her, she's actually a sweet girl, and she deserves someone like you.

Now, you're just being all noble and shit, and I feel even worse. It was easier when I thought you hated me, cause I knew I deserved it and I wouldn't have to justify what I did or feel bad about it. I could say, well, he's being an ass, and I didn't do anything wrong. But I did. Man, I broke the bro code.

The bro code? I chuckled.

Yeah, bros, before hos," he laughed. I mean, it's not like I can't have a girlfriend, or you can't have a girlfriend, but we can't ignore what we have. We have to find time for both. Get what I mean?

Well, I don't see me gettin' a girlfriend anytime soon. I'm kinda stayin' away from girls for a while.

Yeah, I get what you mean. But it's not like I was looking, and neither were you, right? That shit just happens. If some cute girl comes along tomorrow and asks you out, you know you're gonna go, he said poking me in the ribs. And I even liked that. Hey, it was human contact, right?

I dunno, she'd have to be awfully pretty...and swallow. Oh no, it had just slipped out, and I closed my eyes and tensed up, expecting to get my other eye blacked. But suddenly I heard a noise and I opened my eyes to see Tommy laughing so hard he could barely sit up., he said between guffaws (is that a word?)

I laughed too, it was kinda funny, even if I didn't mean it. Ronnie gave better beejays, and he was guaranteed to swallow every drop. You know, there's something about laughing together that really binds two people together, and I thought me and Tommy were gonna be okay. There was just one more thing we needed to get straight and I wasn't gonna miss the opportunity to do that.

So, I kinda wanted to talk about something else, I said after the laughing died down.

Oh, okay...shoot. Tommy said, wiping tears from his eyes from all the laughing.

It's about Ronnie.

What about him? Tommy said, but I see him stiffening up, and this look comes over his face, like he'd bit into a lemon or something.

Well, I just want you to understand that Ronnie is my friend now.

Oh, Is that all?

Well, it's just that you sorta acted like, I don't know, like you didn't like him, or...

Or what? he said looking me right in the eyes.

That you might think I was trying to replace you, or hurt you by being his friend.

Why would I think that? he said, doing a miserable job of denying his feelings.

Well, I don't know, I just felt that way, and Ronnie said he thinks that...

That what? What does Ronnie think? he said sounding kind of hostile.

That you hated him.

Tommy laughed, Pffft, how can I hate him, I don't know him.

I dunno, it just seemed like when I mentioned his name you got all...upset or mad.

I mean, that was probably cause of the other stuff, but now that's all good, right?

I hope so, I said, just being honest. Who knew what might happen the next time one of us got upset? But no matter what happens with us, Ronnie is still my friend.

So, this kid...Ronnie, he's important to you now? Tommy says, not exactly upset, more like he's just trying to figure things out.

Wait, does he suspect that Ronnie and I might have been a little closer than most boys are? Nah, how could he? Well, he is my best friend and he knows me bettern' anyone. I better head this off before it gets too far out of hand.

Yeah, friends are important, all friends. So, that's all I wanted to say about that. I'm just glad we patched things up.

Wait, I want to talk about this other kid some more.

Oh shit, he's worse than a bloodhound when he gets a sniff of something juicy.

Not much to tell, we sorta talked in PE and we skipped class together that day you and I had it out, and well...we just kinda hit it off.

I didn't even know you guys talked. Wait, I remember something. Was this the kid you defended when Doug started running his mouth?

I didn't exactly defend him, I said feeling faint, I just sort of directed the attention my way cause I don't like anyone gettin' picked on, you know that.

Yeah, either. If I'd been out there I'd have shut Doug up fast. But, wait...I just thought of something. He sat there for a long time, and for a while I didn't think he was going to finish, then he says...You know he's gay, right?

Bingo! The cat is out of the bag, and I only have myself to blame for bringing Ronnie's name up to begin with. But damn it, I like Ronnie and I'm not gonna quit being his friend just because some people say he's gay, okay maybe he is gay, but I didn't think Tommy would have a problem with it. I can't ever remember his saying anything the least bit homophobic in all the years I've known him

Just rumors, I finally say, if he is, that's his business...right?

You know what kids will say if you hang around him, right? Tommy said with a sour look.

No what? I challenged.

That you might be gay too, duh.

So what? Kids talk all the time. It won't matter to anyone who knows me, and I don't care about the rest. Wait! I said, suddenly realizing what he was really thinking, are you worried about my rep, or about yours?

What? that's stupid. Everyone knows I'm straight. I have a girlfriend, he huffed.

So did I, I said, throwing it back at him, so I guess that means I got nothing to worry about, right?

Look Josh, I don't wanna fight over this. You can like whoever you want to like, I'm not tellin' you not to. I'm just tellin' you what kids will say, but I got your back no matter what.

So you think you'll have to punch out a couple of kids before they stop spreading rumors, I chuckled.

No, you know what I mean. If anyone says anything to me I'll set em straight, and if they bother you, well...then they gotta answer to me.

Thanks, but I can handle it. I guess what I was really hoping was...that you and Ronnie could become friends too, and we could all three hang out. (A three way...naughty, naughty, stop that)

We could, I guess, maybe know, when I'm not with Beth or something.

Yeah, I get it, I sighed.

No, wait. Don't get all huffy. I meant it. I'm gonna try hard to find a way to make all this stuff work. That means time with my best pal, and time with my girl, and no more hitting, I promise, he said grinning.

Okay, you big dork, I said grinning back, and then we hugged, and OMG I was in heaven. I wanted to kiss him soooo bad, but my eye still hurt, and I figured that would earn me a bloody nose and another shiner...he he.

So we sort of made a truce, and we got some things out in the open. We weren't completely back where we used to be, but maybe we never would be. Before, it was just Tommy and me, and now we'd mixed two more players into our world. Beth on his side, and Ronnie on mine. And it was a toss up as to who was getting the best beejays...he he.

Tommy and his mom stayed for dinner and I walked them to the car, and Tommy and I talked a little bit more. This time it felt like old times. There was no tension between us and we didn't mention the things that were still bugging us, we just enjoyed each other's company, and when we said goodbye we hugged again and I watched as they drove off.

So as soon as I get back inside I know it's time for my rents to lay down the law, but you know what, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I only got grounded for two days, and got a few extra chores, but all in all it turned out okay. I think my folks sort of understood about me not ratting Tommy out, after all, that was part of the bro code too, and what was a black eye between friends...nothing, right?

Tommy didn't get off quite as easy though, he got a week of grounding, and had to be in bed by 9 every night. But considering he was a big brute, and beat me up twice, he got off pretty

I slept better that night than I had since the whole thing with Beth and Tommy had started, but there were still some unanswered questions rattling around in my head. I couldn't stop thinking about Ronnie and what we'd done the other night, and I kind of wished I'd had time know, taste him...he he. Oh well, maybe next time, and then I realized that not only was I expecting a next time, but looking forward to it.

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