Matt and Tim

by Small Town Guy

Chapter 7

Matt and Tim sat at the breakfast nook late that evening. They both started in on their second hot roast beef sandwich. Matt glanced up with a smile.

"Wow, these are good Gram! And this gravy!....Wow!"

She only smiled as he dug into the steaming sandwich covered with a rich, dark gravy.

Tim got to his feet between the bench seat and table. He sat opposite Matt. He began scraping his plate into Matt's.

"Oh ick!......Gram! Peas! I was eating corn!"

"Oh my stars!......Timmy!....Where are your manners?! You don't scrape your plate onto a guest's!"

"Oh, that's okay, Gram," Matt put in quickly, "I love peas!......I don't mind. Really!"

"Ohhh dear. I must have gotten your plates mixed up. I well know that Timmy doesn't eat peas......or anything else that's green!"

"Yes I do..." he replied, replacing tossed salad into his bowl.

She'd pulled up a chair at the main kitchen table. She set a fresh mug of coffee before herself. She'd often glance at the boys with a smile.

"Oh it does my heart so good to see you boys eat so! I've no idea how the both of you say so skinny!......I'm so worried about all these skinny models today. It's just not being good role models when you walk around looking like a skeleton! Young kids literally starving themselves. I worry so about all this Anna-whozits that's going around!"

"...Anorexia, Gram!......And it mostly happens to girls. And it's not really even about dieting! It's about control in their lives. I'll print out some articles for you to read..."

"Well you kids today are certainly so much better informed than the rest of us when we were your age. You're so smart Timmy! It's just you'd get in front of that computer and spend hours there!......You were always so....so alone!......That's not good! You had no friends. You'd seldom talk to anyone!...

"I'm just soooo pleased that you made friends with little Matthew here. And on the first day in a new school! I yell at your father Timmy, but he's a smart man! He knows it's just so important to be social in life. He was very shy too. Right up into his twenties! He knows how important it is!"

Minutes later both boys savored warm apple pie with cinnamon and clove.

"Wow!" Matt yelled, "Oh wow!......This is great Gramma! I've never had pie this good before!........The spices and flavor are just perfect!"

She smiled as she began clearing the table.

"...Now you boys go out into your tent! Go tell your jokes 'n' laugh 'n' have fun! You leave all this mess for me. Oh my stars!......How I enjoy this!"

She began her first trip to the sink, waving her finger in the air.

"...You boys just get out of those skimpy shorts and into something warmer! And put socks on your feet at least! It's going to be awful chilly tonight according to the weatherman! ......Lady!......Whatever!..."

"Gram," Tim began, "It's warm in there! Those sleeping bags have modern insulation in them! We won't be freezing!"

"...Well now......just because your laughing and being silly, doesn't mean you can't catch a chill out there. You may be having fun, but it won't be so funny if the two of you come down with an awful cold!"

"I promise Gram......If we get cold, we'll come inside..."

Minutes later, the boys were in the tent with the fluorescent lamp on.

"Shit!" Tim began, "I was going to recharge this lantern today. We haven't used it much, but it's been laying around for months! The batteries lose their charge..."

He began pulling on the cooler.

"Help me drag this outside. I'm scared we're gonna hit that valve at the bottom and flood this place out!"

"Yeah, why not?......We haven't really used it."

For the next few minutes, they organized their snacks and half-eaten bags of chips and popcorn. They straightened out the sleeping bag again and fluffed it up. Matt was the first to lie back with his head into the pillows. It was here the lamp began to flicker. They both looked at it just as it flashed out.

"Shit!" Tim shot out, "Well, I guess we don't really need it, huh?"

Matt heard Tim moving about in the dark.

"What are you doing?"

"You'll see..."

Matt felt Tim kneel beside him. Suddenly he felt his hips rise up as his shorts were quickly pulled down his legs and off his feet.

"What the fuck are you doin'?!"

"You'll see..."

He quickly lie beside Matt and drew him close.

"Wow! Timmy!......You're bare-assed!"

"That's right!........Gramma said we had to get out of these shorts!....hee,hee..."

"Oh wow!....Oh wow!....This is really......umm....really HOT!"

"...Well, now........Maybe we'll feel closer to each other now! I just wanna hug you so tight!"

"Timmy, you're really....hot!........Do you feel okay?"

"Never felt better......in my life!"

"...Umm......umm....Could you be a little careful with your thighs there........I think I'm very quickly going to have an....accident!......And I....really don't....I mean....I wanna....Let's just....I don't want it to be an accident!"

"...Sure......Sorry......I get carried away. We can slow down a little."

"Oh good....Good! Yeah....this is nice..."

Matt circled his chest with his arms and drew him close. Tim was sure to angle his legs away from him for the moment. He hugged his neck and kissed his cheek. Matt trembled.

"...Umm......One more thing........Could we get inside the bag here? I'm like shivering all over. I'm really excited here....but I'm a bit chilly too!"

"Well sure!..."

They struggled with the bag and its zipper for a moment in the darkness. Soon they were inside. Matt felt the cold material press to almost his entire body.

"Oh!....Oh! That just kills! Wait a few minutes. Just wait 'til it warms up in here a bit."

"Yeah. You're right. That is awful chilly. In fact, it's almost painful!"

They remaind quiet for a moment. Both tried to remain still. It was necessary to heat the material of the bag before moving too much. Matt stroked Tim's bare bottom for a moment. He then rubbed his hips and waist. Soon he was in a deep hug again, his arms around his chest.

"...Oh Timmy!........I want to say this is better than my wildest dreams, but I can't......My dreams never even went this far! I seriously never even considered this in a fantasy!....Oh! I'm bare-assed, in bed with my little......lover boy!"

"Oh wow!....Matty!....That was....sweet........That was kinda exciting!....Kinda hot!"

"Did you like that?"

"Well hell, yes!"

"...Good......Because that wasn't a slip!......I meant that!"

"Oh wow!......Now I need more kisses! I need that skinny little tongue!"

They alternated with passionate kisses, then panting rests. Both were lost for words. Both thought it was unnecessary. Soon Tim could no longer remain silent.

"...Oh Matty!......This is enough!......I can't take anymore teasing!......I'm.... sooo ready!"

"...Okay......Just be careful!....I don't want it to be too quick. Don't rub too much!"

"Oh WOW!......He's straddling my hips! This just feels like, oh wow! Never have I even dreamt of something like this! This was just so....so impossible in my wildest dreams! My sweet little lover boy is totally on top of me! I can still smell that orange shower gel! And that kinda vanilla-like shampoo! He has this....this scent that's just uniquely....Timmy! I'd be able to identify him in a blindfold test! Oh shit! I'm just sooo fuckin' hard! And Timmy too! I just don't understand why he feels so hot down there! Oh, he's moving around too much! Oh! Oh!....I gotta hold back!"

He suddenly grabbed Tim's hips and raised them a bit.

"Lay still!......Lay still! Oh Timmy! I'm almost there! Slow down. Don't move!"

"Okay, Babe....I won't. But you lay still too! Just for a minute or so."

Several minutes later, both lie in their sides in each others arms. Both continued to pant and gasp. Tim whispered into Matt's ear.

"...It's okay, Babe......Don't cry."

"No. I'm not crying......Well, maybe I am. But I'm happy! I just couldn't resist that sob, Timmy! Oh wow! That was just such........such a big one!......I just felt it all over my whole body! I....I think I sobbed on purpose......to keep from screamin'!"

"Hee, hee......Oh shit, I love you so much, you little Angel!...

"Yeah, Babe........I kept tryin' to remind myself not to yell out Darling again."

"Oh, don't be like that......I really liked that. I'm not teasing you...

"...Oh, I think I'm getting all embarrassed again."

"...Yeah, well....umm....I'm feelin' a bit shy too......But we're like.... umm....done now. We did it!......Oh Matty! We....we made love again!"

"Yeah, it was great, but I gotta be careful. Every couple seconds it feels like I'm gonna let loose!......I hate that feeling!......I want to have more control!......I wanna, umm....let go when I'm ready. I don't want it to be like a surprise!"

"Well, you did good, huh?......You kinda pushed me away when it got to be too much. You're gonna have to keep reminding me of that!"

"Hey, I'm just too embarrassed right now. Let's talk about this stuff some other time."

"No, Matty....No...

"Now here, lay back into the pillows. I'm gonna straddle your bare belly. I wanna feel your entire body against me......From your toes to that delicious neck! I wanna feel the entire length of your body against me! This is just so......oh wow! My sweet little Angel!"

"...Well just let me get my shorts back on!"

"No. Just lay back. I'm really feeling shy here. It's just good the lamp went out! I wouldn't want you seeing me! You can get dressed in a bit if you really feel uncomfortable. Let's just lay here and enjoy being close! I....I know it's not, well......exactly sexy right now. But I love to feel you against me.........And not just......down there!......I mean all over!......And our kisses when we're done......They're kinda different. They're all sweet and everything. I don't know how to explain it. Our kisses just make me all weak 'n' sleepy."

"Oh yeah!"

"You feel like that too?"

"Oh yeah......It's just awful embarrassing for me right now."

"Matty......If this was daytime, I'd be fire-engine-red right now. I've just always wondered what it would be like to just lay naked with a boy like this......Even before I admitted anything to myself! I couldn't understand why I wanted to try this......And umm....it's nice! I mean it's not all hot 'n' sexy right now.......but......Oh shit! I can't explain it!"

Matt began to rub his back with his palms as he smiled.

"...No......I think I know exactly what you're trying to say right now."

They continued to stroke and caress a cheek, a neck, a shoulder or arm. Both squirmed against each other, trying to feel closer. They both gradually grew lethargic. Their touches became longer and less frequently changing. Soon, they fell into a sudden, deep sleep. It was a sleep so profoundly deep, neither of them moved until morning. Matt was the first to wake.

"Oh wow!......Tim's still laying on top of me! Oh this just feels so good...

"The last thing I remember was waiting for Tim to get off me. I just wanted to get my shorts back on in the worst way!......I was just so embarrassed and self-conscious. After a bit, I just felt so weak 'n' tired, I guess I just sorta forgot about it......How could I forget something like that?!......There just aren't words to explain something like that. It was just that lazy, tired, I-don't-give-a-shit feeling.......How do you forget to get dressed?!......Hee,hee. It really sounds silly when you think about it. I guess you just sorta get to the point where it just isn't that important anymore. I don't know the word I'm looking for here. It was so....so natural? ......Awh! Pifft! You hear that too much. That's not the word I'm looking for...

"Oh, I wanna write about this! What a challenge that would be! I'd sure have to be careful nobody would find it. I could put it on a password protected flash!......Nah! In fact, I don't think I'd even want to use a word processor. Yeah, it's lots easier. You have spelling checked for every word you type. The thesaurus is only a click away......Yet......I really think I'd want to write that out....by hand....on paper....with a pen! Not a ballpoint!......A real pen! One of those old fashioned ones that you dip in ink!...

"Hee, hee!......ME with a old fashioned 'dip' pen?!......And a bottle of ink on my desk?! Oh, would I turn that into a fuckin' disaster!......I'd be wiping up ink off everything! It wouldn't just fall on the floor. The bottle would fall and hit a drawer handle. Then it would bounce off and land on my leg! Then it would hit the seat of the chair! Then it would fall to the handle of the bottom drawer. Then it would hit the floor! And every time it bounced it would splash ink everywhere! I'm such a doofuss, I shouldn't even be thinking about an open bottle of ink on my desk......or anywhere within a radius of six feet from me! But I wanna use a pen......Okay a ballpoint! And I'd be scribbling out lots of mistakes. But it would just feel more natural than a keyboard!...

"...Natural......okay, brain into thesaurus mode......click!......real....usual.... common.... ordinary....customary....standard?......I can't think of the word I want for natural. I'd want it to be just super special!......Natural....Okay, that's what it is but it's so much more as well! I don't wanna write about just what I think about it, but what I feel about it. Maybe I should just forget the word natural and write about how it feels natural. I won't use the word. I'll describe the word without actually using it! And I don't want to describe it as sexy! There's too much of that out there. I want to describe how I felt....after!......Oh shit! Shy and embarrassed!......Well, yeah, but I want to mention the....the closeness I felt with Timmy. His touch......And about how he mentioned our kisses were different....that 'weak 'n' sleepy' feeling we get......Yeah!......And then I'll turn it in for English! Oh shit! Why even write about it?!

"I wonder if I could just slip it under the door of the GSA! I could get there real early. I wonder if they'd put it up on the bulletin board! Wow! Would it be great to kinda umm.... ghostwrite for them. It would be great if I could get them to read my stuff......without knowing it was my stuff!........And what if it....came out....that me and Tim were......Oh shit! No! I'd better not! People would put that together! That's just too private to write about. I'll just write it out......then throw it out! It's just the challenge of putting it down on paper. I think that's why I like writing so much!"

It was here he felt Tim's damp back against his hands. His own face was damp and sweaty against Tim's.

"Oh shit, is it HOT in here!......The tent is awful bright. It must be kinda late already. Oh phew! I can't take this heat!......It's hard just to breathe in here!"

"...Tim!......Timmy!..."

"Wha....Huh?......What?..."

"Timmy, it's gotta be a hundred degrees in here! I'm sweating my ass off!"

"...Umm....oh yeah......Oh shit. I'm soaked!" he replied, getting to his elbows, "Oh, I just wanna get into the shower!....I must smell like a goat!"

Matt grabbed him behind his head and drew him back down. He kissed his lips lightly.

"Don't ever call yourself that!"

Tim got to his knees, still straddling Matt. He looked around.

"Yeah! Shit! It's late. It's gotta be ninety degrees in here!...

"Let's go in the house and take a shower......And have something to eat! Wow, am I hungry this morning!"

They entered the kitchen to find Clara at the breakfast nook. She sipped a coffee with a magazine before her. The table was obviously already set for them.

"Well, good morning, you two!" she said smiling, with a slight facetious tone.

"Oh, hi Gram. What time is it?..."

"It's eleven!......And I can see by how sweated-up you two are, you've been horse playing all morning!"

"No Gram......We were sleeping!"

It was here he was close enough for her to see his sleepy face.

"Well, it might be nearly noon, but there's still quite a chill in the air out there. You look like the both of you were running for miles!"

"No Gram......I'm telling you......That sleep.......Those sleeping bags are warm! That's the only reason we woke up! It was just too hot in there...

"We're gonna take showers, Gram."

"Well, fine......Then I'll have French toast for you in a bit."

"Gram don't cook breakf..."

"It's all made up in the 'frig! All I have to do is dip the bread!"

Matt sat opposite her at the nook.

"I can do something to help until Tim's done?....I'd use that spare shower in the laundry room but it's kinda chilly in there this morning..."

"Oh, now that won't be necessary. I just have to heat the griddle."

She made her way to the counter top and plugged in an electric griddle.

"I went out for the mail this morning. That sun is deceiving! Why it's rather chilly out there. I was about to have some hot chocolate ready for you two. It looks you don't really require it."

"Oh never......Regular milk is fine...

"No, Gram......Just stay there. I can get milk out!"

"Well, I need the French toast mix in there anyhow."

Matt reached for the plastic jug of milk and brought it to the table.

Clara made her way back to the counter with a shallow bowl.

"Well at least I feel so much better to actually see you boys so warm this morning. I worry about you two taking a chill out there."

Matt sat and took several swallows of milk from a tall glass.

"...Oh never!......It's really warm out there. I woke Timmy up when I felt....saw his sweaty face."

Minutes later, Matt came from his turn in the shower. His hair was wet and brushed from his eyes. He took a seat across from Tim at the nook.

"...Hope you don't mind I started eating........I was starving!"

"Of course not!..."

Clara turned from the griddle with another stack of toast. She placed it on the table as she glanced at Matt.

"Oh! Matthew! I can see those beautiful blue eyes this morning! You simply must trim your hair and show them off!......Such a beautiful blue!"

She went for her mug of coffee on the island and sat there on a stool.

Tim gazed at Matt's face for several seconds, his chin in his hand.

"...Yup!......You sure do have pretty eyes, Matt..."

"Well Tim, as I was telling Matty there......I feel much better this morning seeing the two of you actually warm in that tent. It's still so chilly at night."

"Awh, Gram, it feels kinda chilly when you first get into the sleeping bag......It only took us about three minutes to warm it....them, up!"

Matt gazed at Tim, pausing with a piece of toast on his fork.

"...I couldn't believe how hot you were....said you were last night."

They both ate in silence for several minutes before Tim spoke.

"So how far is this lake from here?"

"At least five miles. We'll need our bikes."

"Awh! We don't have to go that far today."

The boys had returned to the tent to remove the lantern for charging. They found the air outside to be a bit bitter. It had been the clear sky and intense sunlight which made the tent uncomfortably warm.

They decided to take their bikes to the local park again. Tim wanted to retrace their walk out to the pavilion again. Once on the trails, they found others out there, simply walking or enjoying the sunlight from a park bench. Within the dense woods, there wasn't the slightest breeze in the air. The day felt much warmer. As Matt had said, no teens were present here. It seemed as though today was entirely retired people. They understood today was cool, yet hadn't the threat of the approaching thunderstorm of their past trip.

They walked along the trail saying little as their shoulders bumped from time to time. Two elderly gentlemen sat in one bench reminiscing army stories. Farther up the trail two elderly women smiled as they looked at a small pocketbook photo album. Near the pond, Matt reached out for Tim's hand. Tim drew his arm back as he stared ahead with a somewhat open expression on his face. Farther up the trail an elderly couple walked with lively grandchildren in tow.

They finally reached the pavilion, only to find yet another elderly couple sitting on a bench inside, their canes resting against their arms. They sat at the opposite end on a bench. Matt, becoming accustomed to Tim's character, knew he wanted to say something but remained quiet.

"So what is it Timmy?......I can kinda tell when you're thinking about something..."

Tim blushed and gazed down at the floor.

"Aww....I just wanted to come out here and kind of......have it like our first trip out here."

"Yeah. That was kinda nice."

"...Oh shit, Matt........I wanted to hold hands again. And when we got out here, I wanted to be the one to hug you. Like you did with me that first time. And I wanted to sneak a few kisses..."

Matt didn't reply as he watched Tim run a fresh fallen green leaf over the floor with the toe of his shoe. For some reason, it seemed his recollections of the day caused him to be more shy today. He took several glances over toward the elderly couple.

"Awh......Come on Matty......Let's just walk the trails some more."

They made their way around the small pond on a wide dirt path. In the center of the pond was obviously an artificial island of boulders and dirt. Somewhere at the top was a hidden jet that sprayed water. The damp rocks already had a thick layer of green moss covering them. They saw squirrels and chipmunks dart around. Matt more aggressively took Tim's hand into his. Tim gave quick, cautious glances around.

"...Come here," Matt said, leading him by the hand.

They reached a break in the vegetation surrounding the pond. Another trail led down a hill. Tim noticed a crude stairway had been built. It was simply a series of short logs which held the soil back in a series of steps. The trail brought them to the very edge of the water. Here another trail ran around the pond, but it was damp and muddy. Indeed, in some places, moss grew here as well. Along this inner path were no benches. Tim noticed logs had been placed into the earth here, to serve as support and prevent erosion of the knoll they had just descended.

Matt reached a log a couple feet above the trail and sat. Tim joined him. Matt took no time in placing his arm around Tim's waist from behind. Tim hesitated but threw his arm over Matt's shoulders, drawing him close.

"...This is another favorite place of mine," Matt said, "If anyone comes by, we'll see 'em long before they see us....

"...Yeah, this is another one of my thinking spots as I call 'em. I've got one by the river and of course the flat rock at the lake."

Tim seemed to gaze down at his feet. His face was growing pink.

"...So why are you all shy and blushing?" Matt asked.

"...I guess it's just the daylight. Like I said last night, I'd rather have it dark. I was actually happy the lamp ran dead. I just don't like being looked at too much."

"...So how about a little kiss?"

"Matty! There's lots of people out here today!"

Matt leaned forward and ran his thin tongue out.

"...Matty........I like to call you my little Angel but you're a little devil at times!"

"...Come on Tim......Nobody will see us down here."

They drew their faces close and kissed lightly on the lips several times. Tim glanced up and down the trail. It was obvious he was uncomfortable out here with the park being visited by so many people.

They started their way back to the playground area. Tim hung his head. It seemed he was preoccupied with some thought. They passed over the short pedestrian bridge. It was designed as one of the old covered bridges of years ago. It was up to this point where bicycles were prohibited. Tim passed their locked bikes and continued on to the swings. They weren't exactly the toddler, closed seat swings, but were plastic for the older children. He sat down on one. Matt shyly sat on one beside him.

"...You know," Matt said, "This is very uncool!"

Tim glanced down at the ground and back up again.

"I......I really don't care..."

He pushed his feet against the ground, only to move the swing slightly back and forth.

"...Matty, the first time we came out here......I had so much to say to you......I knew what the subject was basically......I just couldn't find the words......Now everything just escapes me. I thought being back out here today would jog my memory some..."

He seemed distant in thought.

"...Are you umm....having second thoughts about us?..."

Tim's reaction quickly put Matt's worries to rest. His face seemed to suddenly drain of all color. He reached out from the plastic covered chain and grasped Matt's hand tightly.

"...Never!......In fact, it just the opposite!...

"We just met......We're so young......Last night I just had to admit to myself that I love you.......You're my first friend....ever!......And you're my first boyfriend. I don't know what it's all about. I just get so scared when I think about it......And the worst part is......I don't even know what it is I'm scared of!......I guess the future?......I wanted so bad out there on the trails to just hold your hand......without people staring. I'd love to kiss your cheek......without people staring!......I wanted to just simply hug you......without people staring. Do you think things will ever change for....umm....our kind?"

Matt nodded his head vigorously as he gave a bright smile.

"...I really think so Timmy! Haven't you seen the Net?......Well, there's still a ways to go, but people are coming around. Lot's of things are happening."

"...I umm....don't go on the Net much about that stuff. I told you I had a hard time coming out to myself! In fact I wasn't really totally out to myself until I met you. The day I saw you........I just had to admit it. I mean, it wasn't scary or anything. There was just no more denying it...

"And I kept kinda checking you out. You never pushed me away. You never said bad things to me. When I hugged you, you didn't twist away from me. It was just that I couldn't make the first move. I'm really bein' honest with you Matty........If it had been up to me....I'm sure it would have been years before I could say anything to you...

"I really think that's why I've been sleeping so sound lately. I hate to make it look like I'm.....well, bored with you....I'm not! And it's not just you 'n' me being together right now.... It's all those years of thinkin' 'bout stuff....you know? I think I'm just soooo relieved about stuff that it feels like a giant anchor has been taken off my ankle."

Matt smiled and nodded his head quickly.

"I know exactly how you feel. Remember me telling you that almost exact thing? It was in the tent after our first kiss......Wow. It was like a ton of bricks were lifted off me! I just..... awhhh! I just wanted to collapse!......All those daydreams I ever had of kissing you! It was.... better than any of them! I thought for sure I was going to make a mess of everything! I thought that even if you did....umm....like me......That I'd really make a mess of that kiss. I....I wanted it to be special for you....Both of us!......I didn't want it to remind you of one of my biggest fuck-ups ever! In fact......I think I was more scared of what you thought of my....method....my technique than me just kissing you! I thought if you didn't....like me......like that....well, maybe my great kissing techniques would help!...

"Well, I was picturing us standing......And I worried if our noses were gonna bump together......I worried if my hands were gonna be all over the place all clumsy. I was worried I was going to kiss you too hard, and hurt your braces. I worried if I was gonna trip and have us both fall! I worried you were just gonna think I'm a total klutz and wouldn't have anything to do with me after that!"

Tim was gazing at the ground. His feet still pushed slightly against it, causing the swing to move through a small arc. He gripped Matt's hand tighter, and looked up a moment.

"...You know......You worry too much!"

"...Well, yeah....I do!......And I'm usually right! If there's a way to fuck something up....I'll find it!......I'm tellin' you Timmy....I could fuck up a wet dream!"

"Hee,hee,hee......You're so cute Matty!"

They gazed at each other for a moment. It was as though they knew each others thoughts. They twisted the swings to face each other. They reached out and grabbed each others hands and pulled closer to each other. Leaning forward, they kissed lightly on the lips.

It was here they heard young women's voices and that of children. They noticed three young mothers with toddlers holding their hands. They were headed directly for the playground area. Both stood without a word and started for their parked bikes near the bridge.

An hour later the boys were back at the gas barbecue grill. They drew off two franks each and a thick burger topped with melted cheese. They sat at one of the patio tables and picked up buns.

"Watch the hot dogs, Matty. Gramma stuffs 'em with cheese and it'll be melted. It'll stick to your mouth and really burn!"

Matt gave a sly grin as he looked up.

"...Gee......I guess you'll have to kiss my boo-boo then..."

"...Hee,hee......In about two seconds!"

The late afternoon sun was low in the sky. Although the air seemed chilly through the day, the sun had been intense. They had opened the windows and flaps in the tent, hoping it would cool.

They both ate at the tiny, round table. Tim had noticed Matt was talking and joking along with him, yet he could still sense something. He felt a sudden chill fall over him. Matt seemed to have sudden, short moments of thought. He seemed distracted, if only for several seconds at a time. It left him with a strange feeling.

Soon they brought the bowls and dishes into the house. They began placing them on the counter near the sink.

"Now you boys don't start washing those dishes!......I'm on my way in there!"

"We won't, Gram......I'm just wrapping up a hamburger and hotdog here for the 'frig."

As Tim wrapped the hamburger in plastic wrap on the island, Matt joined him and wrapped the hotdog. His eyes were distant, thoughtful. He poured the remaining salad into a smaller bowl with a lid. His deep blue eyes were large and thoughtful. Tim felt another chill pass through him. As Matt was becoming familiar with Tim, so was he with Matt. He began to notice subtle changes in his expression and body language. He knew Matt was considering something removed from his immediate surroundings. Indeed, he was in deep thought over something. He couldn't shake the fear he felt creeping into himself.

"Oh my stars!......There you both stand in t-shirts and sweatpants! It's much too chilly for that. The news said it's going to be awful chilly tonight. I really think you boys need a couple extra blankets out there with you......I believe we have some old picnic blankets right here in the laundry room. I'll get them for you."

"Gram!......We don't need anymore blankets!......We haven't used the two we have out there now!"

"The both of you are going to catch a death-of-a-cold out there!"

"No we won't. The sleeping bag....bags are really warm. We end up sweatin' in it....them!"

"Ohhh Timmy. I know what your saying....You don't feel cold! But just because you're wrestling around and having fun, doesn't mean you can't catch a chill. You don't notice those things until it's too late."

"We'll be fine Gram. You know I can't take the cold. If it gets that bad, you better believe I'll be in the house in two minutes! I promise we'll pull the sleeping bags down into the basement."

"Well okay......It's just that places north of us have frost warnings tonight! In June! Why that flimsy canvas tent can't provide the least bit of heat!"

"...Gram, the tent keeps the dew off us and keeps the wind out. It's the sleeping bags that keep us warm. They've got insulation in them for almost winter use!"

"Oh dear!......That just gives me the chills something awful! Really! I get the chills all up 'n' down my arms just thinking about it!"

"...Gram......Next time I'll have Dad just set up the tent at the state park!"

She waved her hand in the air, her curved finger pointing sideways.

"He'll never do it!......Why he knows I'll slap the shit outta him!"

Both boys covered their mouths and held back giggles.

They entered the tent later that evening. Although there wasn't the slightest breeze in the air, they felt the sudden chill.

Tim switched on the battery lantern to see Matt sitting on the sleeping bag, his legs crossed and drawn up close. Again, his face and eyes reflected deep thought. Tim fell to his knees before him.

"...Matty......What is it? You've been actin' kinda weird tonight."

"Oh....ummm....I've just been thinkin' about......stuff!"

"You wanna let me in on it?"

Matt shrugged and held his palms up momentarily.

"...This is gonna sound silly......I don't really know!......It's a whole bunch of little stuff I guess you could say......Everything's been happening kinda fast, you know?"

Tim's face seemed to suddenly blanch. His black eyes seemed to enlarge due to their contrast with his pale face.

"...Oh wow!" he gasped, "Matty!......Are you like kinda having second thoughts about us?......About our....well....relationship?"

"Oh no!......It's nothing like that!......Well, I guess we're a part of it..."

Tim's expression seemed to be one of sudden, stark terror.

Matt reached out and caressed the side of Tim's face.

"Timmy....will you relax?......I'm just thinking about......stuff!...

"Come on......It's getting chilly in here. Let's get into the sleeping bag."

Matt pulled his t-shirt over his head.

"...And take off your t-shirt!......I wanna feel you, not your shirt!"

Tim slowly pulled his shirt over his head. His eyes were still large and held fear. Matt settled back, placing his head into the pillows. He held his arms out as before, inviting Tim.

Tim lie beside him, cautiously placing his head on Matt's shoulder. He held his chest, squeezing his ribs again, yet Matt felt a different touch.

"Timmy!....You're all tensed up here. I can feel it!....Will you relax? I just wanna talk about some things. You're smart. You're really good at figuring things out. Umm......Oh shit! ....Where to start?...

"Remember today we were out on the little kids swings?......Well it was kinda your idea. You passed up our bikes and went for the swings. I guess you had all kinds of things on your mind too. In fact, you had me a bit scared there for awhile. You wanted to talk to me about something?..."

"Yeah......The stuff I was thinking about the first time we were out there. I was just too shy to say anything at the time. And I wanted to go back out there to see what those things were! Matty! I totally forgot! I really did! I should just have spoken up right away. There was so much I wanted to say. I felt uncomfortable. Then you said to just take things one day at a time. You said we could talk later!......Well now it was later and nothing would come to mind! How do you forget something so important in a day?!"

Tim felt Matt's hand on his cheek. He felt his lips gently kiss his neck.

"...It'll come to you in time...

"Umm......Remember that notice that John put up in the GSA? The gay novel?"

"Yeah. I tore off the last address. I can still get to that site! I promise you I'll let you read it!"

"No, no......That's not what I'm sayin' here...

"The fact is......Well, I've been on some of those sites. I was just so starved for some cute love stories that were well....gay! Okay? Well, most of 'em are all sex! I'm not interested in that! I wanted to read about holdin' hands and sweet kisses. Okay....maybe my girlie side is coming out some here...

"I was just thinking about that last night....night before? I don't remember. Well, I specifically thought of two boys on swings....holding hands. And when you reached out for my hand on that swing....WOW!....It was great! It really was Timmy! And then we kinda moved in for that little kiss......well, until those ladies came with their kids.

"Then tonight....while were were eating......I don't even know what made me think of it. I started thinking about the science club again....And how bad I wanna get in! Then I started thinking about the GSA. I really think I'd like to be a part of that too! Yeah, it's scary. I sure don't wanna get caught!......Then I started thinking about......I'm not pushin' your buttons here Tim!......I started thinking about you tutoring next year....with me there too! I really need help with math. It would be just like three of us studying. Yeah, there would be another kid there with us, but so what?!

"Then I started thinking about us! Umm......This is all so new to us! We're all excited about it. It's just so much has happened in a few days here......I'm ....well, I'm getting a bit scared, okay."

"...We're movin' too fast?....I'm pushing you too much?..."

"...No. That's not it either...

"I read one of those gay novels online......It was a story about two boys who were just all crazy about sex!......Well, the fact is......There was quite a lot of sex in it! I just kinda skipped over lots of that stuff. Come to find out at the end......one of 'em was straight. He never really did love the other boy who was gay!......He just loved the sex! Then he finds a girlfriend, and they start havin' sex!......Then he doesn't want anything to do with the gay boy! Oh, shit! It had a really sad ending!....I cried!..."

"...Are you thinking I'm going back to that stage of denial? Do you think I'm gonna find out I'm straight?......I can assure you I'm one hundred percent..."

"No!....That's not it either!...

"We......umm....kinda did it with our clothes on the first time. The next time we were naked......Remember I asked you what do we call it?! I didn't like the term gettin' off! Yet.... well, making love just didn't seem to fit either! And I asked you about that. And you said when we do it alone it's gettin' off....but when we do it together it's makin' love. I guess that's what I kinda said too. Well, that sounded kinda profound to me. In fact, I never even thought of it as sex! Does that sound silly to you? It's not just feelin' our stiffies up against each other! As good as it feels......That's not what I want. I want to be able to hold you and kiss you....and just feel you there with me! And, hee,hee......I wanna hear you yell Darling! No joking here. Timmy, that was really....hot!"

Matt began to feel the more familiar touch from Tim. He gently squeezed his ribs and ran his hands up and down either side of his chest.

"...Matty, are you scared?......Are you scared we're gonna get outed somehow?.... Because I really worry about that!"

He felt Matt's hand on the side of his face again.

"...Yeah! I mean I don't worry about it all the time. When I think of it....yeah! I get really scared. I think what I'm gonna do this summer, is lots of research on the Net. If we do somehow get outed, I want to have some information ready. And it's like John says, we gotta get adults into the GSA. We gotta get them talking among themselves. Alex and Bob are way out there! They're good kids. They're always helping others. Their parents know all about it. I guess it was difficult for them at first but they came around. I guess they went to some PFLAG at some other school. It was kinda far. They never told 'em about it. It was just the four parents. And they talked to other parents. It's like John said, they don't feel so alone. They've kinda got their own support group! I wanna find blogs and chat rooms on the Net that are gay friendly. Maybe I could write some articles for the GSA! I'll have to find lots of parent stuff that they can use. Even if we can't get the parents to the school....maybe we can get them online at home. Maybe they'll feel....well....safer at home. They won't feel so embarrassed."

"...Matty?......Are you even listening to yourself?! Holy shit!......Science club....Tutoring ....Joining the GSA?......You're gonna leave me way behind you! I can't do it! I just can't meet people....strangers! I get all nervous and klutzy. My stomach starts rumbling. I start sweating. I'll trip over something for sure! I won't be able to talk. And if I do talk, it'll be something dumb or so silly, I'll end up making a fool of myself!....And....and..."

"Tim!......You've already been to a GSA meeting! You didn't pass out. Nobody asked any questions. You didn't have to get up in the front of the room to give a report on anything. You tutored me! We had fun! So what if we have just one more kid there with us. You're good at science! You love it!......What if we both joined the science club?! You could do research and maybe I could write the reports. I could help in that direction....And you could help in the math direction. Don't you think it'll be fun?"

"...Oh shit, Matty......I'd be really scared!"

"Remember when you told me how scared you were about your parents sending you to a shrink?......You said you wanted to do it on your own....at you own pace? Are you gonna wait until you're forty-seven years old?!...

"The day I was helpin' your dad out here......I just can't get it out of my mind what he said to me. He said if I focus on something that interests me, I can just go on and on about it. I think he's right!......I HATE getting up in English and giving a book report! Especially if it's on some book I don't like......or worse yet....don't understand!......Now if I could get up in the science lab and report on something that interests me....Wow! I'd be focused on the report itself! I could do it! I know I could!...

"And....and the GSA!......I could get all kinds of stuff to report on. Not the same old stuff they've been doing all along......Support! Well, I guess it's important around school. And we still have a couple bullies hanging out. But for the most part, the school is really gay friendly. Lots of kids have come around! It's just John is right. We gotta get parents into there. And if I could come up with a good report......Something that really interests me......I think I could actually talk to parents! Okay, I'd be scared and nervous for the first few times, but I really think I'd get over it. And....and can you just imagine if we could get some gay kid and his family back together?......Get some understanding and tolerance back?......Oh wow! Wouldn't that be great?!"

"...WE get some kid back with his family?......When did I enter the equation here?!"

"Will you quit bein' so hyper!"

"...Hyper?!......Matty, you're really scarin' the shit outta me here! All this talk about clubs 'n' tutoring 'n' talking to parents!......about gay kids!......I'd be like a nervous wreck! I'd be stuttering an' babbling......I'd be pukin' all over the floor!......Then I'd shit my pants! I'd have to run out of the room and....and just curl up and die somewhere!"

"Hee,hee,hee..."

"Matty! I'm not bein' funny here! I'm bein' very serious! I'd....I'd have some kind of breakdown er something!......I'd....I'd freak!......They'd have to put me inna mental hospital! I'd go fuckin' nuts! I just can't handle that shit!..."

As he continued on, Matt felt Tim's arms twist around his neck. He felt his chest expand as he drew in deep breaths. His body trembled and his heart pounded against his chest.

"Wow!......I think he really does have it bad. I'm startin' to think this is lots more than just bein' shy......Waaaay more! The poor little guy is just tremblin' in my arms!"

"...I....I think I'd just go into some kind of shock!......Like I wouldn't be able to see anyone or hear anyone....I'd....I'd have a heart attack! And....and....if we don't stop talkin' about this stuff......I'm gonna really start cryin'!......'Cause this shit really scares me!"

"...Timmy!....Timmy!....Will you just CHILL OUT?!......I'm just thinking about stuff here! We don't really have to do any of this! I'm just thinking!...... Don't you ever just lay around and think about stuff?"

"...Well, yeah! I think about lots of stuff!......But nothing like this!....This shit really scares me Matty!......I....I sometimes have dreams about this stuff......No nightmares!....I'm always in front of lots of people. And I have to talk or do something! And just everything goes wrong!......I wake up all sweaty with my heart poundin' an' everything!"

Matt gripped him tightly and rolled him to his back. Releasing him, he tenderly began rubbing his chest. He could feel the tenseness of his muscles. His ribs expanded and contracted as he panted. He could feel his heart pounding.

"...Timmy!....CHILL!......I'm only talking here......or maybe just thinkin' out loud. I'm not bein' all that serious about it!......It's just ideas I have..."

Tim held out his hands and grabbed Matt's arm. There was truly a fearful, tight grip that Matt felt.

"...Oh shit!....Matty, we really gotta start talkin' about something else! Let's change the subject. I'm....really, really about to start cryin' here! Oh this scares me so much!"

Matt sat up beside him and crossed his legs. He made no attempt to pull his arm from Tim's trembling hands. He continued to stroke his chest. In the light of the fluorescent lantern, Tim could see the concern on Matt's face. Matt wanted to continue. He clearly understood Tim wasn't simply shy. Looking at the fear on Tim's face, he decided to change the subject.

"...Okay......Hey, I wanted to mention I want to take you out to the river tomorrow. We'll still need our bikes but it's only like three miles out. It's not a far ride...

"It's really neat out there. There's this dam there......Well, if you wanna call it that. It's only like about twenty feet high. It's not for generating electric or anything like that. It's just for flood control......At the bottom it's really kinda shallow, but there's this little whirlpool there. Oh, it's not dangerous or anything. It's not like it's gonna suck you under. It's real gentle. I usually just sit in it. Ohhhh, it's just sooo relaxing. That's what I call another one of my thinkin' spots. You can hear the water spilling over over the dam. And the river! Wow! It's even warmer than the lake! I think you'll like it!"

He paused in his story for a moment. It appeared Tim wanted to say something.

"...Umm....Matty?......Would you just lay down here with me? Real close! I really got the chills......I hope I'm not getting sick."

Matt lie beside him and pulled the bag up to their shoulders. He put his head on his chest and held it in his hands. He didn't feel any coolness on his body, but still felt a tenseness of muscle. He could feel the shivers in his hands and through his entire head.

"Oh shit! The geek strikes again! I should never have started this. Poor Timmy is scared shitless!......Oh, I could fuck up a free lunch!"

"...This better?..."

"Oh yeah!......Lots better!..."

He released his grip on Matt's arm and threw his arms around him. His tight embrace only caused more shivers to be felt by Matt.

"...Come on Timmy. Relax! I'm just talking here. I do lots of thinking....have lots of thoughts....but I never have anybody to tell them to! I guess that's why I write so much. When I write stuff down, it kinda helps me to organize things in my head......It....well it actually helps me to think better. Does that sound silly to you?..."

"No. I understand. I've tried to do that too. It's just like I say, I have such a hard time getting my thoughts onto paper. Oh, compositions! How I hate 'em! It's so stupid too! I know exactly what I want to say....write....but the ideas just don't get to my pen! I have a hard time expressing myself!"

"I think you do when you talk. You're very smart Timmy. You know all kinds of things. All I really want to do is have you help me with my math a bit more this summer. I'm really serious about that. It just takes me a bit longer than most kids to grasp things. Once I understand something, there's no problem with me remembering it!"

"...I....umm....wanted to kinda lay here tonight and do more hugging and kissing. It just feels so good with you! I just love this!......But right now I kinda don't think I'm in the mood."

"...Timmy......That's another thing I wanted to tell you tonight. I love it too. We don't have to....umm....get it on all the time, you know. I love just laying here with you....holdin' you close. This is all so new to us! I think that's why I felt we were maybe moving too fast. Well, not exactly that either. It's like that story I read about the straight kid, and the gay kid. They didn't love each other......They loved the sex!......Well, I don't want that to happen with us! And I still don't even think of it as sex! I don't know why. I just don't want us to get all crazy about the sex part. Yeah, it's great, but I want to love you....not just something we're doing! ......And....Oh shit! I think I just fucked that all up!"

"...No Matty......I think I know what you're saying here. From what I gather, I think I'm really stuck in low gear. All I hear about is boys wankin' like five or six times a day! I couldn't do that if I wanted to! I already told you....I got hormones, but they sure aren't ragin'! No, Matty, I'm not into that either. In fact, I was trying to kinda find a way to tell you that. I didn't want you to think I didn't want to......well, do anything with you. I didn't want you to feel bad about it...

"Oh Matty!......Just layin' here and huggin' you and feeling that cheek of yours up against my lips! Wow! I can't count the times I just wanted to grab your head and press my mouth up against your cheek!......And I don't mean that in a sexy way......Well, maybe it does feel kinda sexy......but not that it's got to lead to anything more......It's that closeness I enjoy. I just love that lazy, tired feeling I get just being so content with you. I like to feel us......well, touching each other. And I don't mean just down there! I enjoy waking up during the night and just feeling your arms around my chest or around my neck. I love to feel your lips against my neck. It just....it just....well, it warms me all through."

"...Phew!......You do know what I'm trying to say......And I was worried the geek had struck again!"

"No, no Matty. I think I know exactly what you're sayin' here. This is sooo nice!"

Matt felt Tim's arms ease their tension somewhat, yet he still held tight. Matt kissed his neck and ran his lips to his ear.

"...Everything's all right Timmy," he whispered, "I was just talkin'. I didn't mean to scare the shit outta you..."

"I'll be okay......It's just all that......that socializing stuff really makes me nervous. I don't really know what it is! I mean I'm not scared of crowds....or elevators....or tiny, closed places ....or water....or flyin' in a plane....or anything! I just have trouble....well, talking to people. I don't know what it's called. It....it just scares me."

"You sure didn't look scared when you met me. You talked."

"Well, with you it was....different....I just sorta well, felt it! I wasn't really scared....I was just awful shy. I already told you I just had that....that feeling there in the hallway......And besides, hee,hee......I was too busy....umm....drooling over you!"

"Awwhh!....That's kinda nice...

"...Umm....my problem was tryin' not to pass out! I still say I felt like the evil witch melting! I really thought my knees were gonna give out!"

Matt ran his hand over Tim's cheek. Again he felt him relax a bit more. Tim placed his palms flat to his back. It seemed he was trying to draw him closer. Matt kissed his lips lightly, lingering for several seconds. He felt Tim's body totally slacken of all remaining tension.

"...Oh Matty......I just love this..." he said in a sleepy voice, rubbing his back.

Matt gave him several more tender kisses as he felt his arms slowly lose their grip on him.

"...Wow......He fell asleep!....Just like that!......No I don't think that's just a sleep. I think he just passed out!......Poor little Timmy. I really must have scared him. I'll never do that again!...

"Gee, I wonder what it is with him. It seems like one of those....oh, what are they called......panic attacks?......I don't know if that's what I'm thinking of. Well, maybe not quite that bad. The poor little guy was just trembling in my arms. I've to be really careful about this stuff....what I say. I thought that stuff would be fun. I thought he'd like it! I mean we'd be together......It's not like he'd be all alone.

"...Yeah. I really think I'd like to do lots of that stuff. Science club?......Definitely! Tutoring with Timmy?....Sure! GSA?....(gulp)......I'm really not so sure about that. Maybe they'd let me do research. That would give the president more time to do other stuff. Research takes lots of time. So does writing up reports. If I get......caught......I can just say I'm doing all the research for them. And....and Mr. Heath will be there as moderator this year. He knows how much I like to write......Yeah! And he also knows how terrified I am about getting up in front of the room for oral reports! Oh shit!......Move over Timmy!......I just know he's gonna push that with me. I know he's not being mean or anything. He pushes all of us. And he's right......The day will come when we'll have to do that stuff. I don't think I'd have trouble in the science lab. We'd all be interested in the same things. And if I trip or drop something ......well it isn't all that formal of a gathering in the lab! It's different in a....a classroom. Why? How is a classroom different than the lab?......And why should the GSA meeting room be any different?......Oh, I had to think of that again...

"I wonder if I should just come out!......To everyone!......I know I'd feel better about it, but what about everyone else?......And poor Timmy!......Wouldn't that be kinda outing him too?! Oh, I'd never do that without checking with him first!..."

He felt Tim's arms placed limply over his back. The air rushed from his nose. It was a deep, regular breathing. It indicated a deep sleep and Matt knew it was from another emotionally exhausting experience. He rubbed his lips over Tim's neck.

"I'm sorry, Timmy," he whispered.

"...Why is it, that this is sooo bad?! Me and Timmy just want to be together. We don't wanna do drugs....belong to a gang....bully others. We just want to be together. Why are there laws against this?......Why is it we can't just love each other? Why is it in some places it's actually illegal to love someone? What ....what assholes passed laws like that?!...

"That does it!......I'm joining the GSA next year! I just can't put up with all this shit! Things gotta start changing! John's right!......We gotta start getting parents into our meetings. Oh shit! How do we do that?......What if they don't want to come?......What if they do come and really go crazy?! What if we ended up with a whole bunch of nut cases in there?!......There I go thinking about the worst case scenario again! Murphy's Law!

"And why am I starting to feel so strong about all of this all of a sudden? I was so scared and embarrassed to just get caught looking into the GSA meeting room!......And now I want to do reports for them?....And get parents in there? I had to pretend I was doing a report on the GSA just in case they asked why I was in there. They didn't really ask us anything. They didn't even ask for any input from us. John never called on anyone. He waited until someone had something to say. I wonder who our next president will be. I wonder if he'll be as mature as John. Oh, John's really gonna go places! I have no idea what he's even taking up, but he'll sure be good at it! He's just got that....that confidence in himself. He's just so cool!......I gave him my e-add before school was out. I wonder if he'll contact me from college. I wonder if he'll still help us a bit. Sure! Studying all night. Going to classes. Writing reports for PFLAG! And no telling how many other clubs he'll be in! He'll have just sooo much time on his hands, he'll be bored!...

"Why am I so suddenly charged about all this?!"

Tim gave a deep breath from his mouth as he stirred slightly. His arms gave a momentary hug to Matt. He almost seemed to have a shy grin on his mouth. Matt barely touched his lips with his own. Warm air rushed from Tim's nose over Matt's mouth. He felt the warm, moist air as he continued to lightly run his lips over Tim's in what was barely a kiss.

"Yeah!......What a stupid fuckin' question to ask myself! I've got Timmy now!......That makes all the difference!......It's one thing knowing you're gay......It's something else when you've got a boyfriend! Oh, shit, shit, shit! I've got to see what Timmy thinks of me going into GSA next year. If he's against it....I won't like it....but I'll do what he wants. He's not just real shy....He's scared of something. We've got to get some professional speakers into there. We'll just have to do as John says......Kinda beg, borrow and steal! I'll beg in my knees if I have to! We've gotta get parents in there......Talking among themselves! They just aren't going to listen to a bunch of kids. We gotta get professionals in there!

"Oh! How am I ever going to get to sleep now?! I've got a hundred things going through my mind! And why is it all of a sudden I'm the one who wants to get all....all sociable? Will I back down at the last minute? Am I really going to go through with all this? I can't stop thinking what Mr. Webster said......When I focus on something I'm not so shy anymore. Could I really focus on some science project?....I sure could! Could I help Tim tutoring?......Yes. And I really think it would be fun! How about some topic for GSA?...... Well, I guess it would depend on what topic it was. We've got to focus the parents too! Safe schools, anti-bullying, tolerance, acceptance. We've got to do something about all these......these witch hunters!

"I want to use Tim's computer tomorrow. There's stuff I gotta look up. PFLAG stuff! Oh yeah! Focus! I'll just find all the information I can and concentrate on it. I'll write stuff! That always organizes my thoughts..."

It was here that Matt suddenly fell asleep in mid-thought. He woke to a slightly bright tent. He noticed the battery lamp was still on. Reaching out he switched it off. It seemed to make little difference in the light intensity. He heard birds singing and children playing.

"It's morning already?!"

He felt Tim rubbing his back. Before he even spoke, he felt a sort of apology to his touch.

"Oh Matty!....I'm so sorry about last night!"

"Fir what?!......What did you do?!"

"...Falling asleep on you......Falling asleep halfway through one of your wonderful kisses! I don't know what happened!"

"Timmy......Don't worry about that....You were kinda stressed last night. In fact, I was kinda glad you got to sleep so easy."

"I don't know what happened!......It was just so relaxing holding you and feeling your kiss. I didn't wanna....umm....do anything last night. I just planned on more kisses and hugs. I just love our close, warm cuddling. I was on cloud nine! I was just so relaxed....Wham!....I was out!"

"Tim......I think that was all my fault!......I was tellin' you all this stuff and didn't realize how nervous you were getting. You were spaced!......I promise I won't push you into anything."

"...Thanks......Like I say, I don't even know what it's all about. I just have to take this at my own pace. I don't know what it is! I don't think I have any phobias that I know of."

"Tim....Stop!....I was havin' another one of my thinking sessions like I call 'em. I never had any friends and it didn't bother me. I enjoyed just laying around thinking about stuff. I guess I was just getting all hyped over stuff. I kept saying WE all the time. I didn't want it to sound like I wasn't including you.

"And I gotta ask you a question today..."

"Sure!"

"I'm not pushing anything here. I just want to know if you'd mind if I joined GSA this fall. I promise I won't push you into anything."

"...Well....Yeah....Sure! Go for it!"

"...Timmy, this could be awful dangerous for both of us. Now if questions get asked, I can point out it's a gay, straight alliance. And I'd say I was just a reporter for them. A researcher that did papers and write-ups. Everyone knows how I like to write!.....It's just if I somehow get......well....outed....that could be bad for you too! I don't want you into any trouble because of me."

Tim gently held Matt's head in his hands. He kissed him full on his mouth.

"...(sigh) Matty....Go for it! I've been thinking about us even before we were out to each other......What happens....happens! I'm not even going to worry about it anymore. No matter how much we worry about it....how much we plan for it....what happens, happens!....We'll.... we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. But like the saying goes, we won't burn any of the bridges behind us either."

"Wow!....You're cool with it?"

"Cool!"

Minutes later the boys were washing up at the bathroom sink. As they brushed their teeth, both leaned forward to spit and knocked heads together.

"Hey!" Matt said, "Principal Emerson told you to be prudent around me!"

"Yeah. I had to look that up. I didn't know what that means. I guess it means I gotta watch my ass around you!"

Matt cupped his bottom with his hands.

"Nah!......I'll watch it for you!"

"Hey! Cut that out! Gram's note says she'll be back any minute now."

It was here they heard the key in the front door.

"We're up, Gram!" Tim shouted as the door opened.

"Well, now I certainly hope you two read my note and didn't eat anything."

"No. We just got up. We're washing up in the bathroom....We're decent!"

"Well as I told you on my note, I went to the store for some canned apple slices. Pancakes with fried apples this morning!"

"Awh, Gram! You don't have to..."

"I'm not making breakfast just for you two. I haven't eaten yet myself!"

The boys entered the kitchen and looked around.

"Oh!....You two shirtless again! I sure hope you didn't sleep like that!"

"Yes we did Gram......That sleeping bag....bags are really warm! We were real warm all night!"

"Oh!....Gee! Look at my arms all chills! I just can't imagine sleeping so!"

"We were warm all night and slept like rocks!"

"Well, by the looks of your faces, it does look like you got a decent night's rest. Perhaps you didn't engage in all your tomfoolery for a change. You two and your shenanigans! I know this all for fun for you two but you do need decent sleep as well!"

Tim eyed Matt with a smile.

"Gram, you wouldn't believe how quick I feel asleep last night!"

Matt turned toward the breakfast nook with a handful of dishes to hide his smile.

"Now Gram!......Just pull up a stool in front of that griddle! Me 'n' Matt can bring stuff to you."

"Fine!....Just open the jar of apples and get the batter from the 'frig."

Minutes later Matt forked huge helpings into his mouth. He barely finished chewing and forked in more.

"Matty!....Take some time to chew! You're gonna get yourself sick eating so fast."

"I can't help it, Gram. Awhile ago I never even heard of pancakes with fried apples! WOW! This is delicious!"

She drew up a chair to the end of the table and sat with her own plate.

"I don't know what it is. I see nothing but ribs on you two and yet your both shoveling it in! I'm just glad you two are such good friends. Why all Timmy did was sit at that computer or read books! Not that it's a bad thing to learn, but you've got to get outside as well."

"Matty's taking me out to the river today. He wants to show me one of his swimming spots."

"Oh dear!......It's still much too cold for..."

"We aren't going swimming, Gram. We're just going to look around. I'm new here. I want to see things and find my way around."

The boys parked their bikes on a grassy knoll near the river. Already Tim could hear the rush of water over the dam. Indeed, he could feel the rumbling through his feet. Matt brought him closer.

"Whoa! Neat!......I can't wait 'til it warms up more! Am I gonna love this!"

"Come here," Matt said picking up a stick, "I wanna show you the whirlpool."

They drew near the shoreline on the lower side of the dam. The small whirlpool was clearly visible. Matt tossed in the stick. It made a lazy counter clockwise motion.

"All right!......When you said whirlpool, I got a little scared."

"Awh! You can sit down in it and the water isn't even over your shoulders. The bottom around here is kinda scoured of mud. The current carries most of the mud away. That's why there's so many rocks......But in that whirlpool is a nice silty bottom. You can sit right down in it without sharp rocks pokin' your ass!"

"Hee,hee......Oh wow!......Hey! Show me the lake now!"

At the shoreline of the lake Tim could smell the peaty soil mixed with a slight touch of two-cycle motor oil. Several small aluminum boats were drifting lazily in the center. Fishermen relaxed with their poles over the side.

"Awh! This is great too!" Tim said, suddenly pointing, "And that's your rock, right!"

"Yup! That's my lounge chair! I told you it doesn't sound very comfortable but it sure is! And it gets just sooo warm in the sun."

"Hey, do you think we can jump out to it without getting wet?"

"Yeah. But even if we don't make it, all we'll get wet are our shoes! It's not very deep."

Both jumped out to it. Tim got to his knees to feel of the surface.

"I see what you mean. It is warm."

"It gets warmer in July!...

"Come on. Lay down and check it out. I'm not kiddin'. It's really comfortable."

"Oh yeah! And it's perfectly smooth. I like this little rise in the center. It sort of supports the arch of your back."

"Yup! And this is my other thinkin' spot."

Tim turned his head to face Matt.

"You know somethin'?......You do too much thinking!"

"Yeah. I know......And last night I did too much thinkin' out loud."

"Forget it Matty."

"I....I really didn't mean to get you all hyper..."

"Matty!......On my own time....At my own pace......I'll umm....get over it."

Tim continued to gaze at Matt's face.

"...Matty, no serious, sad face."

Tim rolled to his side and brushed the hair from Matt's eyes.

"When you're this serious......You do look like you got cartoon eyes!....Now smile!"

As Matt's smile grew, Tim moved in closer. Their lips met in a deep kiss. They held each other tightly. They heard the waves striking the base of the rock. They could smell the pine scented air. In the distance a bird squawked. Several squirrels chattered.

Tim drew back and stroked Matt's cheek.

"...You're right......This is a very comfortable place. And I can actually see now, how you could fall asleep out here very easy."

"Yeah......And out of all my thinkin' places....I think this is the best place to think!....I think!"

Tim chuckled as he rolled to has back again.

"Quit thinking, Matty!"

Later that afternoon the boys were on Tim's computer. Matt took notes at a rapid pace. He became excited at the thought of another report. Already he was thinking of ideas for a form letter to be sent out to local speakers, colleges and professionals.

"...Matty, you're getting awful excited here again. You get scarey when you're like this."

"Timmy......John's right. We gotta get more parents into this. Even if we don't talk to 'em, maybe they'll start talking between themselves. I've got all kinds of blogs here. Parents blogs! That....umm....Jerry kid. Remember how he said his friend kinda left little strips of paper around his house?....so his mom would find 'em?..."

Tim leaned in close to him and lowered his voice.

"...Are you fuckin' nuts?!.....I'm not gonna do that! Let's just....umm..."

"I'm not saying we should do it. I'm just looking for some of these sites that are a bit more positive!....educational!...

"Most all these coming out stories I've read....well even the more good ones. What's the first thing that parents ask their kids?....and the girls too?......Isn't it always, 'How do you know that?' Or else it's, 'You're too young yet to know!' Or it's, 'How much experience do you have at such a thing?' And then they start in on the denial routine......'Oh it's probably just one of those experimental stages!....You'll grow out of it!'...

"Look at some of these coming out stories! Most of these kids are like fourteen or fifteen. Then there's some like ten and eleven!......Look at this story here....This boy is twelve! It's a fact kids are coming out at younger ages...

"Tim......you said that you just sort of came out to yourself......Now how old were you when you knew or felt you were......different? I'm not sayin' gay. I'm sayin' different. When we were real young, we just didn't understand these things. When I sit and think about it, well it's just like I kinda always knew! I didn't know what it was called. And no I didn't hang around girls all the time....And I didn't play with dolls! And I didn't wanna wear dresses an' nail polish! I....I just knew I was different....somehow......Didn't you....umm, kinda always know?"

Tim hung his head but didn't reply right away. He took the mouse into his hand and randomly clicked links and pages.

"...How long do you think it'll be before we're......discovered?"

"I don't know......but I sure got a funny feeling about it..."

"Shit Matty!......I don't like even thinking about this stuff! It really scares me!......What if our parents try to keep us apart?......They do that you know! They think if they split up two kids that they'll start goin' straight again. And what if they send us to psychologists or doctors? They'll snoop in our computers....take our cells away...

"Matty!......If they take you away from me......I just might as well die!"

"Don't start talkin' like that! That freakin' scares me!"

Tim leaned over in the large chair they shared and kissed his cheek.

"...Oh shit, Matty......I couldn't live without you!....I wouldn't want to!"

"Timmy! Now you're scarin' me! Don't even talk like that!"

They sat silent for a moment. Tim continued to click links. The monitor changed colors and Web designs. Matt ran a pen over the spiral spring of the notebook in deep thought.

"Wait!....Wait!" Matt suddenly shouted out, "Back up!....Another site....Another site."

Their eyes fell to an anti-suicide site.

"Gimme that mouse."

Matt started clicking random topics on the site.

"...What parents should watch for....Is your child at danger?....How to talk to your kids. ........Bullying....Gay suicides...

"Wait! Wait! I'm getting some ideas here..."

He looked at Tim.

"Timmy......I'm not pushin' here......Do you wanna go to the GSA with me?"

"Well, gee......not right now, okay?"

"Fine. Now I can tell my parents I'm working in a.....well, safety club. I'll just say it's for school safety. Anti-bullying....and stuff like that. They don't have to know it's GSA."

"Oh shit Matty....I'm gettin' scared again."

Tim stood up from the chair and began to pace.

"...I just know we're gonna get outed!......Somehow we're gonna get caught!"

"Would you rather I just keep away from the GSA?......I will!"

"...No, Matty, no......It's not that. In fact I think that would be great. It might help us somehow."

"Well, I'll print up some fake notebook covers. I'll call it Get Safe America or whatever! I'll think of something. I just feel like I wanna help!...

"Timmy......Last night I was layin' there with you and....well, yeah!....I was thinkin' again! Okay?....I was thinkin' about when I first got to junior high. I was old enough then to know about the GSA. I was scared to even go up to the window on the door and look inside! And all of a sudden I want to be in there! I couldn't understand that. That was way too fast for me. Then I realized what it was......You can know you're gay. That's one thing. But now I've got you!......And that just changes the whole scenario!...

"...And quit pacin'!......You're makin' me nervous,"

"...You're nervous?!"

"Look......I wanna plan something here. If we get outed, I want to have a plan. I want to set something up. I want to do something that will scare the shit outta our parents if they try to interfere. What if we could set things up, like we will attempt suicide? Shit we could even call one of those suicide lines....or gay rights help lines, and really put on an act!"

"Oh fuckin' brilliant Matty!......And when the phone bill comes in, all those numbers will be on it!"

Matt turned in the chair with a huge smile. He pointed his finger at him.

"...Exactly!"

Tim suddenly quit pacing as a smile appeared on his mouth. His smile grew by the second. His upper and lower braces were both clearly visible.

"Timmy.....When you smile like that......you're a little doll!"

Tim quickly sat beside beside him again, rubbing his hands together.

"Well I don't feel like one......In fact I feel a little evil right now. Muhahaha! Let's get to work on something."

"Okay, just don't get near any water. I don't want you melting right now!"

Tim stepped up on the chair, then to the desk. He pointed down at Matt! He spoke in a high-pitched voice.

"I'll get youuuu, my little pretty!......And your little dog too! How 'bout a little fire scarecrow?!"

He stepped back down as they laughed.

"Just don't ask me for the ruby slippers......I'm not wearing 'em!"

"Okay......Let's get serious here now..."

An hour later they were called to supper.

"Boys!......I've got supper all set!"

They entered the large kitchen to see the breakfast nook set again. In the center was a large roast, mashed potatoes, salad and a selection of vegetables.

"Oh wow!" Matt yelled, "That smells great!"

They took their places opposite each other.

"...Now I'm going into the living room to set the TV to record the news. I'll watch it later."

She turned at the doorway, shaking her curved finger at them.

"I'll be right back! Don't either of you cut any more roast. Why, the both of you will probably cut a finger off!"

Tim studied the table setting.

"Gram forgot the forks and spoons!"

He got up to go to the counter. Matt rose as well.

"I'll go get the milk..."

Matt set the plastic container on the island as he passed it. Tim stood before an open drawer. Matt stepped up behind him and ran his hands up under his t-shirt, squeezing his chest.

"...Oh my little......my little darling!" he said, melodramatically.

"Hey! Cut it. I get embarrassed every time I just think about that!"

As Tim turned, Matt ran his hands down to his bottom, pulling him tight against his thigh. Tim's arms went around his neck, tableware still in his hands.

"...I think I need an appetizer......How about one of those big, silver kisses?!"

They kissed deeply for a moment, forgetting their surroundings.

"Well, that's set!"

Both quickly jumped away from each other. Tim pulled down his t-shirt.

"...Now I can watch the news after we eat."

They made their way to the table silently. Both rolled their eyes toward each other at the close call.

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