For Everything You Are

by Westcliff Writer

Chapter 11

Your Words Are Strong, My Fortress Weak

"That one you get for free, Jake" Jenny said sternly.

"I'm sorry. I just… I mean, how, why? Oh my God, I mean… o h my God." Jake went over and flung his arms around Cody, the sudden excitement taking over his functions, but pulled away quickly as the question of what he was doing there took over. Jake studied Cody's face for a moment, unable to form any words. Cody just said what he knew Jake was getting round to ask.

"It's a long story," he sighed, smiling. Jenny walked over and put her hand on both boys' shoulders.

"Guess you have some things to work out. I'll be in the garden if you need anything." With that, she left them to it.

"Can we go to your room?" Cody asked, almost a whisper.

"Uh, yeah, sure, follow me." Jake led Cody up the long staircase and along the narrow hallway to his bedroom, closing the door behind them. Jake gestured Cody to a two seat sofa his parents had recently purchased for him and asked him to sit down, while Jake nervously sat down on his bed. "So… what happened, how are you even here… in my room? It's… it's like, oh my God!"

"Well, Jake, in a nut shell, my mum found a couple of screwed up letters I had written out to you, established that I'm into guys, and went, like, ape shit. I couldn't deny it; in fact, I didn't even try. Anyway, she kinda threw me out on the street and told me not to contact family. I thought about doing it, anyway, but I knew they would be just as disappointed. I think I'm the only one out of all of us who's not wrapped up in all this church mumbo jumbo, so…" Cody trailed off, shaking his head.

"So, how did you get here, of all places?"

"Well, I stayed with Kit for a couple of days, and then I was kinda on my own for a bit. Kit gave me some money to tide me over until I got somewhere, but I knew I was history. I was just scrolling through my phone, trying to find someone to call, someone who might put me up, but there was no one in my contacts I could think of asking, and…" Cody sighed.

"And?" Jake said, quickly willing him to continue.

"And, well, I called your mum; at first, I didn't know why. I think I just really wanted to talk to you, but then I found myself telling her I was in big trouble, and the next thing I remember clearly is, I'm sitting on this plane to America. Before that and after is pretty much a blur. It's like I just shut down or something; I can't really explain it.

"So what happens now?" Jake asked quietly.

"Well, your mum and dad said they will handle everything, and they just keep telling me not to worry about anything. I don't know what's gonna happen, but I was really worried about how you would react when you saw me. In fact, I think that scared me the most out of this whole fucked up thing," Cody replied, chuckling slightly.

Jake sat silent for a moment, his feelings mixed up. Had Ethen not been in the picture, then things probably would have felt better for him. Maybe he could work things out with Cody, maybe even carry on where they left off. . He still had strong feelings for Cody, but Ethen, What about Ethen?

"You ok?" Cody asked, lowering his head to meet Jake's sunken expression of deep thought. "You look like you just zoned out on me."

"What? Oh, just thinking, that's all."

"So how have you been? Your mum tells me you have been on some trip with your school," Cody asked, changing the subject.

"Yeah, it was good; I had a nice time."

"Good, you look well, man, really well. So what about the other people here? Made any friends?"

"Yeah, sort of, uh, do you wanna drink or something?" Jake said, wanting to escape the new subject.

"No, I'm good; you have one if you want."

"No, I'm good too, just thought… hey, I see my clothes fit you OK."

Cody looked down at himself and laughed. "Oh yeah, sorry, I really didn't have anything to wear when I got here. I am getting some of my own stuff soon, apparently. I do have some money left."

"I'm sure my dad will help you out with that, and no problem with my stuff, as long as…"

"Jake… I've really missed you," Cody cut him off.

"Well… I've missed you too, Cody," Jake replied in a friendly manner.

"Listen, I don't know how this is all gonna work out, but I want you to know I'm sorry if I acted like a jerk back home. I told Kit, by the way."

"Told him what?"

"About me, you and me, well, everything really. I just needed to explain to someone how I felt."

"Not that it matters now, but I knew you would blab to him in the end," said Jake, in typical 'I told you so' fashion.

"He asked me, actually. He's not as dim as you think. I denied it at first, but then, when I saw he was gonna be OK with it, I just kinda admitted it. I'm sorry, but I had no one else to talk to, not like you, you have a great mum and dad who you could confide in.

"Cody, I've been living with this for over 2 years; you forget that."

"Yeah, I know. I'm sorry. Look, I just wanna say I'm sorry for everything back home, and if I do end up staying here, I want us to try and fix what happened."

"There's nothing to fix, Cody. It was just a sequence of events that fucked both our heads up. No one is to blame, and if there is, it's on both of us. Anyway, look, I really could use a shower."

"Yeah, cool, I'll go see if your mum needs anything doing," Cody said, getting up.

"OK," Jake replied, heading for the bathroom.

Cody went into the garden and joined Jenny, who was trimming back some bushes.

"Is that all yours?" he said, pointing to the dense forest beyond the fence surrounding the back of their home.

"Hmm, I don't actually think so. Alan says we have loads of land at the front of the house. We haven't really looked into the deeds properly, but he said it's pretty much everything left of the hay shed until you come to a dirt track further up our track," Jenny said, trying to picture the layout.

"So much space," Cody said, thinking aloud.

"Yeah, and so much work, but we're lucky. There's a boy called Ethen who helps us out in exchange for a few meals."

"Ethen?" Cody replied, looking like a dog hearing its name called.

"Yeah. Jake not mention him?"

"Nope, but I guess he will. I've been talking about me, mostly."

"Yeah, I bet. Well, Ethen's a nice lad; him and Jake have really hit it off. I'm sure you'll meet him soon; he's really easy to get along with."

"Yeah, I guess I will," Cody said, a suspicious tone in his voice.

"Cody Dukes, tell me I don't hear a hint of jealously in your voice."

"No way - why, is the guy gay?" he asked quickly.

"I'm not saying another word, Cody. You'll have to ask Jake; looks like I've said enough already." She grinned. "Here, help me take these piles of twigs to the forest. If you climb over, I'll pass them to you; just dump them up against a tree out of sight." Cody did as he was told and hopped over the fence and waited as Jenny collected a pile up and passed it to him. "So, looks like we need to get you into school at some point," Jenny said, passing another pile to him.

"Yeah, will it be the same as Jake's?"

"That would be beneficial, unless you wanna drive eighty miles to the next nearest?"

"Jake's will be fine."

"I thought so. Alan and I will make the arrangements. Alan may need to call his old boss back in the UK to see what they did for Jake, but I'm sure it will be fine. He's had to travel up to the base, but I'll speak to him when he gets home. But you may have to spend a week at home with me, which you'll be happy to know, I'm sure."

"Honestly, I don't mind. I'd love to help you, you know, after what you and Alan have done for me. I just still worry she's gonna call you and be horrible or something.

"Your mum?"

"Who else, she must know I'm here."

"Why do you think that?

"Well, for a start, my phone contract is in her name, so she can look up the calls I've made online, and see the last one was overseas, and second, I think she knew my options would be limited if I weren't allowed to contact family."

"Well if she does, she does. I'll deal with that when I can give her the time of day, and right now, that is not happening. You know, your mum and I have been good friends for what, oh….ten or so years, but what she did, in my opinion, was unforgivable and outright cruel." Jenny took hold of Cody's arm and gently walked him over to a swinging chair near the house. They both sat, gently swinging.

"I kinda wonder what my dad thinks about all this," Cody remarked. "I never saw him before I left, well, to talk to, anyway, or his reaction, 'cause apparently, she told him on the phone. But I do wonder if he would be angry at her for what she did, or maybe he thinks I should rot too," he added. Jenny looked at him for a moment before responding.

"Cody, whatever happens, we will never see you out on the street, and you need to remember that. Use it as your safety net when you feel insecure, sweetheart, OK? You will always have us, no matter what." Jenny put her arm round him and he leaned in to her, relaxing somewhat.

"Thanks, Jenny, and hey…."

"Yeah?"

"I thought the desert was supposed to be hot?"

"Yeah… so did I, Cody."

"Man, I'm beat," said Ethen to Ed, as they both slumped on Ed's sofa in his bedroom. Ethen had just gotten back from the base. Luke was out with Kim and Holly, and Jake was occupied with what Ethen described to Ed as a 'family adjustment,' without elaborating more.

"So, you were saying, I was your last resort?"

"Hey, I didn't say that… but yeah, that's true, actually," Ethen said, bursting out laughing.

"So, you wanna go out or something? But if you do, I need to shower first. I'm all sweaty and shit."

"Up to you, man. You're the one who's been working on a Sunday , so if you'd rather stay here and chill with me until lover boy calls you, you're welcome."

"I won't be seeing him until after school tomorrow. In fact, I wanna get the lowdown on this Cody guy before I have to meet him, so I might see if Jake wants me to pick him up from school tomorrow. Am I sad?"

"Well, it is a bit Stalkerish, but hey, whatever you want."

"I'm not worried, really; It's just his mom said they have 'history' and that kinda got me thinking. Ed, what if they…."

"Stalker to paranoid!" Ed said, interrupting him.

"I am sad, aren't I? I just want this to really go right for once, like really work, Ed."

"I know, pal, but like you said to Jake when you met up with him, you gotta trust each other, and if he and this Cody kid think something might still be there, then you gotta trust that Jake will be honest and tell you before it goes anywhere. On the other hand, you're a good looking guy with the added bonus of a personality, so I'll say you'll be fine, if Jake has any sense." Ethen actually blushed.

"Yeah, thanks…. I think."

"Look, if you want my advice, and I know you do, go pick him up from school tomorrow and just be casual about the whole thing. Don't go charging in with questions about the new guy at his house. In my experience with the ladies, and of course I have lots, the most unattractive expression on a man is the look of desperation. Just casually bring the topic up, and if he wants to talk, then fine, and if he don't….well, that's where the trust part of it comes in, and you'll just have to let it go."

"You sound like a fucking marriage counsellor," said Ethen, shaking his head at Ed's sudden thoughtful advice. "But," he sighed, "You're right. I'll call him tomorrow while he's at school and offer to pick him up, and play it cool as ice with the Cody topic."

"Attaboy," Ed said, slapping him on the leg. "Hey, you wanna watch a movie tonight? I have to study for like an hour, but then I'm free. Luke ditched me to go into town with Holly and Kim, so I'm kinda alone here, and I don't care for hanging with the folks."

"Sure, but I really need to get back and shower first. Why don't you do your homework, and I'll come back in an hour or so and we can go rent something. I'm in the mood for horror; what about you?"

"Meh, you know I never turn those down, but just don't get one where five kids go to a cabin and get hacked up by some guy with a big knife from Walmart. I've seen too many of those and no one can act." Ethen giggled as he heaved up from the sofa and went to Ed's door.

"Even better idea… make it horror and you can pick." Ethen said, turning to face Ed again.

"Yeah, now that is a good idea, your best all week," Ed replied, satisfied.

Craig was driving his truck down the motorway when he decided to try Cody's phone again. Hazel had told him she was going to cancel the phone contract, but Craig had persuaded her to leave it running in case Cody was in real trouble, not that she really seemed to care, but she relented anyway. He listened as the dial tone whirred in his ear.

From the long tones the call was making, Craig knew exactly where Cody had gone, but had not told Hazel. He just wanted Cody to pick up so they could talk. Whatever happened from that moment on, he would think about later.

The call once again went through to voice mail, leaving Craig frustrated. But as long as the phone kept ringing, it meant it was still being charged up somewhere, and that Cody was probably OK.

Not being able to take the not knowing anymore, he pulled his truck into the next rest stop and pulled out a screwed up piece of paper from his pocket. It was Alan's mobile number he had copied from the fridge at their home. He had to know.

He switched the engine off and moved his seat back, getting comfortable before dialling the number. Three rings later, a voice came on the line.

"Alan Stevens, can I help?"

"Uh, yeah, hi Alan, its um….it's Craig. Listen, don't hang up."

"Who says I was about to?" replied Alan.

"I don't know; I thought maybe since…."

"You turfed your sixteen year old son out onto the street with no food, clothes, or anywhere to go in winter, perhaps?"

"Look, Alan, Hazel, she told me what happened. I swear, I have been trying to put this right, but she's adamant she done the right thing. Look, I know deep down, there is no way of putting a good spin on this. I don't agree with my son's lifestyle, but I would have never let her do this, is what I am trying to say."

"What do you want me to say to you, Craig?" Alan said, getting frustrated, angry that Craig was almost trying to justify the whole thing.

"Just tell me he's OK." Craig softly pleaded.

"Who says he's with us?"

"I think that's obvious, Alan, because his phone is ringing from a different country."

"OK, yeah, he's with us, and he's still upset. Jenny had him crying on the phone, saying he literally had nowhere to go. I mean, for God's sake, man, what were you two thinking?"

"Alan, he was already gone before I got home and I tried calling him, but…."

"Craig, you tried calling him over 2 hours after he left. Cody told us."

"Yeah, because… look, I want to make this right. Can I speak with him?"

"I rather think that's up to Cody. Since you or Hazel have no legal hold over him, neither do I."

"Well, I have tried calling his phone several times, but he doesn't pick up," Alan sighed down the phone.

"Craig, is it any wonder? What do you think he feels about you right now, both of you? Not long ago, he had loving parents that looked after him, and if you think about it, he still thinks he's the same person he's always been. So, how do you think he feels, to be betrayed by the two people that he thought, no matter what, would always be there for him?"

"Yeah, I can imagine, pretty bad." Craig said, defeated.

"Try crushed, Craig, broken."

"Listen, if he won't speak to me, then there is nothing I can do, but could you at least tell him I hope he's OK, and I really didn't know what Hazel had done until I got home. I know you and Jenny owe me no favours, but can you at least get that message to him?"

"I will, Craig, because I think it would be good for Cody to hear that. What about Hazel?"

"Well, she, um…she doesn't think…."

"Well, tell that bitch wife of yours that I hope she rots in her own hell for what she's committed to. What in the fucking hell religion do you folks follow? You both need to wake up, especially her. Goodbye, Craig." The line went dead, and Craig slowly pulled the phone away from his ear, his mouth open.

Alan threw his mobile across the office, the impact causing it to smash apart into several bits, Fucking people. "FUCK!" he shouted , the noise causing Colin to walk away from the photocopier in the corridor and appear in his office.

"Coffee, or shall I order you a new phone?" he said, smiling. Alan returned the smile.

"Coffee, of course, and I'll handle the phone. It's probably just the battery and cover."

"And the screen, from where I'm standing. Don't worry, we'll put it down to accidental damage; no one needs to know more than that."

"Thanks, Colin. Oh, hey, I pulled that file on Lin Chen you wanted. He's actually the CEO of Henken Electronics, and guess what they make amongst their catalogue of goodies?"

"Vacuum cleaners?" Colin replied light-heartedly.

"How about tank wheels and tracks?"

"Export details?"

"None yet, I'm still waiting for a call on that."

"Good work, Alan. I'm nearly finished with these recon photos. I'll come join you when I'm done. Now, about that coffee, let me fix that first."

Cody knocked on Jake's bedroom door, stepping back slightly when he saw the knob being turned.

"Hey," Jake said, looking at a rather sheepish Cody.

"Hey, mind if I come in?"

"Nope, I was just sketching."

"Can I see….what are you drawing?"

"See that big cactus out there?" Jake said, pointing out the window.

"Oh, yeah," Cody replied.

"Well, that, pretty boring really, anyway, what's up?"

"Nothing, I just thought I would come and say hi, you know, see how you're doing."

"Yeah, I'm fine, just chilling."

"That's….that's good, so um, what do you normally do around here, you know, like, for fun?" Cody said, trying to break the now awkward atmosphere developing in the room.

"Not a lot, sometimes I go to town, sometimes I draw, sometimes I see a couple of friends. I dunno, I never really have a schedule, Cody." Jake chuckled. "So, are you gonna tell why you're really here, because I know that look, even if I haven't seen you for a while."

"Real reason, haha, no, I'm just…."

"Codddy!"

"OK, who is… Ethen?"

"I knew it, I fucking knew it."

"Knew what?"

"That my mother could not keep her big mouth shut."

"Huh? She just said he's a guy that lives at the next house along, and he helps out, and that you two have become chums, is all."

"What, so…? Never mind."

"Never mind what, Jake?"

"Like I said, never mind."

"Jake, who is Ethen?" Cody asked again, more forcefully.

"Ethen, Cody, is, well….Ethen."

"Say it!"

"Well….Ethen."

"Just say it!"

"Ethen is my boyfriend; there I said it. Happy now? No, of course you're not. I wanted to tell you in my own time, but you forced my hand, so don't blame me."

"I pretty much worked it out, anyway, Jake. Just various things I picked up from your mum. I just wanted to hear you say it, or maybe I didn't, because now I feel shit. I'll leave you to it, see you later, Jake."

"Hey, no, you don't. You can't just do a hit and run on me. I wanna talk about this."

"What's there to talk about? You're boning another guy."

"Actually, we haven't had…."

"I really don't want to know. I just wish things were different, that's all."

"So did I, Cody, for longer than I can remember, but we had our chance, or maybe we never got it, who knows, but as far as I was aware, my life had moved on, and so had yours. What did you expect me to do, wait until we eventually returned to the UK and see you married with three kids or something?"

"Hey, who said things would have turned out like that? I like guys, OK, I accept that now."

"Do you like guys because you like guys , or because one happened to kiss you?"

"Ouch, Jake, not fair."

"It's a good question, I think, so c'mon, lets hear it. Do you like cock?"

"Jake!"

"Would you like a cock inside you, would you like a guy to cum in your mouth, do you want a guy to suck your dick? C'mon, Cody, tell me what really turns you on."

"You do," Cody blurted out in frustration.

"Yeah, well, I'm taken, so who's your next choice?"

"There has never been another choice."

"So, how do you know you're actually gay, then? Perhaps I'm just a, what do they call it, a….an infatuation you have?"

"No, I thought about that. I do like guys; I just never met anyone like you, you know, actually gay, before. I looked these guys up on the net and I enjoyed it - the videos, I mean."

"Well, Luke's gay; try your luck with him," Jake said.

"Who's Luke, and what the fuck, like, three gay people in this tiny place?"

"Don't even get me started; perhaps they breed them here in some underground lab, and it's four, Cody."

"Four what?... Oh, I see what you mean. So, Luke?"

"What, over me already?"

"Don't be like that; I'm just curious. I would like to meet more people, that's all. Hell, I even wanna meet Ethen, your mum bangs on about him so much."

"You will. I just thought you might want more time to adjust, you know - your mum and dad, jetlag, new home."

"Yeah, thanks, but I just wanna feel normal again. The house is great, my parents are assholes, and I've slept enough, so when do I meet the man of the hour?"

"You can meet him on one condition."

"Name it."

"You don't bring up our past until I'm ready to tell him, and you don't embarrass me."

"Deal," said Cody, spitting on his hand and holding it out."

"Gross," replied Jake.

"But Jake, I just wanna tell you. I still want you, and I'm not sorry for that. I might joke around about it, but it still hurts, so yeah, I wanna meet him, but don't, kinda…you know, rub it in my face."

"I'm not that insensitive, Cody. I've been wracking my brains on how to play this out ever since you got here."

"Yeah, look, I don't want you not to be yourself; hell, I'm only here by chance, and you shouldn't have to change anything for me. But…."

"Yeah, I get it, Cody; I can't win either way, now." It was a harsh comment, but Jake said it with a smile. "You'll always be my first love, Cody." Jake got up, stepped towards Cody, and gave him a hug. Cody gladly accepted, gripping him tight, half emotional and half turned on, he took in his scent. He missed it, he wanted it. He broke the hug and gently pressed his lips against Jake's. Jake, for a split second, responded, but quickly pulled away. "Please don't; I can't do that to him."

"Yeah, that was my bad, I'm sorry." Cody said regretfully. "You're hard," Cody added, noting the bulge in Jake's jeans. "Tell me you don't feel anything for me."

"Fuck off, Cody, you know I do, but I'm with someone and I think a lot of him, and I wanna be with him . " I just need to see him to prove it. I need to see his face. I want him; I'm sure I do, Jake thought, cringing inside at his thoughts about Cody.

"Yeah, I'm sorry I asked. You want me to leave?"

"How can I? You live here now."

"I mean your room, idiot!" Cody said, laughing.

"Yeah, if you don't mind, I wanna nap before dinner."

"OK, then, I'll see you at dinner." Cody left the room, leaving Jake to catch his breath, his cock still pulsating in his jeans, straining to get through. He cursed himself for almost pulling Cody onto the bed and having his way with him. He wanted it to work with Ethen. But, there was no denying that Cody living under the same roof was going to be a mighty distraction.

"Take your shoes off and make yourself comfortable," said Ed, as he and Ethen entered his bedroom. Ed went over to the TV, turned it on, and put in the disc. "As you'll see, I made a good choice," grinned Ed, coming back over, falling into the sofa next to Ethen.

"This had better be good or next time you don't get to pick," Ethen grinned back at him. "Hey, before we start, haven't you forgotten something?"

"Uh…"

"The bag of junk we bought to eat," smirked Ethen. "Here's my keys; you can go, as I'm your guest."

"Right, ok, I'll go, don't worry; you take it easy," grunted Ed, as he snatched the keys from Ethen and left the room. Ethen kicked back, putting his hands behind his head, looking relaxed.

Ed stepped out of the house and approached Ethen's car, noticing a boy out the corner of his eye, kicking a ball around across the dirt track, the floodlights of Jake's house clearly showing the boy's blond spikey hair. Must be the Cody kid , Ed mused, as he unlocked the car and pulled out a bag from the back seat. He shut the door, causing the boy to look up; he put up his hand towards Ed and gave a small wave. Ed slowly waved back before going back in.

"Hey, that boy you were talking about, Jake's friend Cody?" said Ed, walking back into the room.

"What about him?"

"Well, I think I just saw him; I mean, I'm sure it was him, unless another lost friend has arrived to stay."

"What was he doing, was he alone?"

"Yeah, just kicking a football around outside. Looks kinda hot, actually."

"Yeah, like you're an expert, Mr Hetero."

"Well, I can still appreciate good looks on a guy; besides, sharing a computer with Luke, you get to see all kinds of stuff," winced Ed.

"More like you're trying to make me jealous, and well done, it worked. Now, are we gonna watch this movie?"

Ed looked at his friend and creased his forehead. "Funny, I never had you down as the insecure type. I think he's gotten to you."

"Whoa, what are you talking about?" replied Ethen.

"Jake, all the others, you never gave a shit about. What is it about this one, Eeth?" Ethen shrugged.

"I ask myself that every day; he's just… well, let's say, uh, Ed, have you ever had in your mind a picture of what your perfect girl would look like, you know, when you're daydreaming and you conjure up this beautiful creature, but…but you know that the person in your head is not ever gonna exist, because she's, like, in your head, and not a real living person?

"I think I follow."

"Well, the guy I have in my head is Jake. He looks just like that person I have always fantasised about. I know it sounds stupid, right?"

"Well, yeah, but I get what you mean."

"Anyway, movie, you have school tomorrow and I have to go to the base. My dad wants me planting trees or something." Ed laughed and pressed play on the remote, filling the room with spooky music as the movie started playing.

"Wanna hold my hand, pussy?" Ed asked, elbowing Ethen's ribs.

"Shh," hissed Ethen, pointing at the TV.

"Sorry," whispered Ed.

"Cody, you wanna come in? Dinner's on the table," called Jenny from the front door.

"OK, Jenny, coming." Cody picked up the ball, setting it down by the front door before walking in and through to the kitchen, where Jake and Alan were already seated. "Hi Jake, Alan."

"Hello Cody, are you OK?" asked Alan, as Cody took his seat.

"Yeah, I'm fine, just out kicking a ball around. "So, what's for dinner?"

"Nut roast," replied Jenny, over by the oven. "But please help yourself to vegetables while I get this out." The others took turns spooning out their portions as Jenny placed the nut roast in the middle. "Just let me slice this, and then take what you want."

"Uh, now that we're all here, I have something I want to say," remarked Alan. The others all looked at him expectantly. Alan turned his gaze to Cody. "Today, I had a call from your father, Cody,"

"Yeah? He's been trying to call me, but I just hang up. I got nothing to say to him."

"Well, yeah, that's what he kinda said was happening. But look, he asked me to pass on a message to you. He wanted me to tell you that he never knew your mother kicked you out until after he got home. He said he has been trying to reach you to explain, but you won't answer him."

"What does he want me to say? He's just the same as her," snorted Cody.

"Cody, from what I got from him, yeah, he may have the same general view towards your sexuality that your mother does, but I think he deeply regrets your mother's actions. Look, it's up to you what you do with this information, but I said I would pass that on to you."

"So, what else did he want?" Cody asked expectantly.

"Not a lot, your mother's views have not changed, as far as I got from him, and that's her loss. Like Jenny and I said, you have a home here for as long as you want it. But if you want to hear what your father has to say, you will need to call him, or at least answer his calls."

"Alan's right, Cody, you never knew what your dad thought; it might not be the same vile view as your mum's," Jenny added.

"I just wanna forget all this for a while; perhaps I might speak with him one day, but they need to think about what they have done to me," Cody said, eyes wide. "I don't wanna be scared anymore."

"Well, then, let's not talk of it anymore," finished Alan, as he looked down and started eating.

"So, uh, what are you doing when I'm at school tomorrow, slacker?" joked Jake, lightening the atmosphere.

"Well, I haven't really thought about it."

"If you want to make yourself useful, in the hayshed, I saw some fence stain. Perhaps you can paint the fence out the back, if you want to earn some pocket money." Jenny said, grinning.

"Will I be paid by the hour?" teased Cody. Jenny looked at Alan.

"Twenty five dollars for the whole fence and not a dime more; how quickly you want to get it done is up to you."

"Hey and what about me?" cried Jake.

"Find a job that needs doing and you get paid, too, but I'm not paying you just to go to school," Alan said, folding his arms.

Cody and Jake stayed in the kitchen to clean up while Alan and Jenny went to the lounge with a glass of wine to watch TV.

"Hey, you wanna play on the Playstation or watch a movie when we finish?" asked Cody, as he loaded the dishwasher.

"I might just head to bed, Cody. Sorry, but I'm pretty tired."

"No worries, Jake, I know you gotta be up early."

"But if you wanna take my TV and system into your room, that's OK. I know you haven't got a lot you can do at the moment, so if you're bored, feel free."

"Yeah, OK, I might take you up on that offer," smiled Cody.

The thunder and lightning outside had Cody lying there awake; he was freezing, the house cold. The spare bedroom had not been made up with bedding for everyday use, especially in winter. After laying there for a few minutes, his teeth chattering, he found himself opening Jake's door, walking in, and closing it. He stood at the foot of Jake's bed with only a high moon for light.

He could hear Jake's rhythmic breathing, every now and again a light snoring coming from his mouth. He was over by the wall side on his back, his arm draped over his face, wearing a white sleeveless vest.

Cody slowly made his way over in just his boxers and white T shirt and the thin duvet, and edged himself into Jake's bed, immediately feeling relief at the warmth coming from Jake's body.

It was actually a little awkward for Cody at first. The bed, although a sort of double, was not really big, and when Cody was comfortably in, he felt his hip gently scrape Jake's.

Jake was in a nice dream that slowly brought him to a conscious state, the way one would when they briefly wake and go back to sleep, but the feeling of skin on skin prevented that as he slowly became aware he was not alone.

Moving his eyes only he looked to his left and froze, seeing a sleeping Cody there.

"Cody?" he whispered, gently shaking his arm. "Cody? Wake up."

"What…uh, yeah, oh, hi Jake, sorry."

"I'm not overly bothered just yet, but, um, what exactly are you doing in my bed?"

"I woke to the sound of thunder and lightning pounding and I was shivering; this duvet is not enough to keep warm in. I have never been so cold. I couldn't find any of your sweat pants in my room. I was going to just put up with it and try to get some sleep, but then I thought you wouldn't mind if I…so I…."

"Oh, OK, no worries, are you warm now?

"Yes, very, look, I even put my duvet over yours to make sure, but if you want me to go, I can. I'm sorry you woke up and just found me here; I was just freezing my nuts off in there."

"Cody, it's fine. Snuggle in. What time is it?"

"Around two. Sorry, I know you have school."

"It's OK; you didn't wake me up; in fact, I actually woke you, so I'm sorry." Cody smiled.

Jake relaxed down onto the bed and fluffed his pillows up before tensing, as Cody did something unexpected.

"What are you doing?" Jake demanded, as Cody pressed up against his back, and Jake felt a hard object pressing against the bottom of his spine.

"Body heat," explained Cody.

Jake looked at Cody in disbelief, but when he saw the goofy grin on his face, he cracked up laughing. Cody joined him, but kept his laughter dull as he shushed Jake, clasping a hand over his mouth and pulling Jake down and the sheets up over them.

"We're going to wake everyone up," Cody hissed.

"That's if the thunder and lightning didn't," Jake shot back, as he tried to settle in. "I really don't have a problem with you crawling into my bed if you have to Cody; I mean, it was my fantasy at one point, even. Only, it made me nervous as hell."

"Why?" Cody whispered.

"Well, Ethen, for a start. I mean, this really wouldn't look good if he actually walked in here now."

"Relax," Cody half whispered, half chuckled, "I'm not going to take advantage of you; I just came in to get warm."

"I would believe you, but when your boner is sticking in my back like you're the gunman and I'm the hostage, it kinda makes me wonder," Jake said. Cody bit his tongue to keep from telling him Jake could take advantage of him all he wanted. Jake begun to get uncomfortable as Ethen began plaguing his mind once again.

"Okay, okay, wait!" Jake whispered, placing a hand on Cody's arm. "I don't know if this is such a good idea. I mean, I know you were cold and all."

"What's wrong?" asked Cody, very still.

"I mean, how would you feel if we were together and you found me and some other guy sharing my bed? It's just… a bit strange. Wouldn't you think it was strange?"

"No," Cody retorted, "Because we are… were… best friends. I'm sharing a bed with my best friend, is all."

"With a boner? Seriously?"

"Hey, I'm horny; lying in bed with anyone right now would probably be the same."

Jake just grunted something and tutted. "Just try and get some sleep, OK, I need to sleep at some point, too, although I'm wide awake, thanks to you."

"That's because I'm irresistible," teased Cody, in a suggestive tone.

"Stop doing that, OK, you're not being fair, and you're fucking nuts," Jake hissed. And your fucking hands are cold."

Jake felt like he was going to cream his pants, lying next to the only person he thought he ever wanted to be with. The smell, the voice, the touch, it was all the same, and brought back so many fond memories, but there was also something else there, something stopping it all from going to the next step - Ethen.

His mind was torn; he could easily go ahead and do stuff with Cody and nobody would most likely ever find out, but as Jake was developing as a young man, so was something else… a conscience. He had been betrayed and knew the pain.

Just go to fucking sleep!

"Jake?" Cody whispered.

"Yeah?" came a husky reply.

"You're shaking," he pointed out.

"No shit," he hissed.

"Still cold?"

"No, that was you; I was warm."

"Then what's up?" Cody asked, feeling Jake turn over so they were facing each other.

"Can I be honest with you?"

"Sure, always." Jake closed his eyes and let out a long sigh.

"The truth is that I still feel a lot for you, and even now you have the ability to fuck my head up. I would love to have sex with you right now, and I'm sure your little trip to my bed had you thinking the same thing, but we can't, OK?" Jake let out a breath. "You're fucking hot, Cody, and you know it, so why do this to me when you know I'm with someone?"

Cody shrugged and put on his best puppy dog face. "Dunno, maybe I just thought this was like kinda… I dunno, fate or something." He tried to rationalise. Jake didn't respond for a moment, the sudden thought of fate playing a part in all this. Fate was something that happened to religious people, he always thought, but never really understood what it really meant until Cody's comment.

"If it was fate, why did I find Ethen?"

"Maybe to punish me?" Cody said softly.

"You really believe that?" Jake said, moving his head back away from Cody's.

"Shit, this is deep. Fuck knows, Jake; all I do know is, I know what I want and it hurts that I can't have it."

"Yeah, I know how that feels, believe me."

"Ouch."

"Yeah, well, you asked for that."

"You want me to go?"

"Yes."

"OK," Cody began to lift off the covers.

"No," he blurted, "I mean, yes, I want you to go so bad, just so I can feel normal, but no, I don't want you to go."

"Okeeey, let me just have a moment to try and work out what you're actually asking me to do, in fact, I'll wake you when I work it out, because that's how much sense it-"

Cody was cut off mid-sentence, unable to talk, as Jake's lips pressed hard against his. Caught off guard at first, he opened his eyes wide before closing them, allowing himself to enjoy the moment. Jake had his hand on Cody's chest and Cody was trying to work out whether he was trying to push away. Not taking the chance, he pulled Jake in and deepened the kiss, entering his tongue into Jake's mouth and exploring. Their tongues touched and Cody felt Jake's breath hitch.

As their embrace continued, Jake felt Cody's thumb running along the hem of his boxers, making his dick twitch and balls tighten.

"Wha….what are you doing?" he said, slightly out of breath. Cody stayed silent. Instead, he pressed his thumb down inside Jake's underwear, feeling the coarse hair beneath it. He came to the base of Jake's cock and it was solid as a brick.

"All you have to do is say stop; I'd rather you didn't, but I don't wanna be responsible for hurting you any more than I have already," Cody said, pulling away from the kiss. Jake just stared at him, his gorgeous blue eyes somehow producing light from the high moon outside.

"Just shut up and kiss me again," Jake whispered, pulling Cody's head back into him. "Oh my God!" he squealed, as Cody did something unexpected and plunged his hand into Jake's boxers and tightly gripped his shaft. He felt confused, but what he was feeling on his cock was clear.

Cody began to stroke up and down expertly. Jake clenched his teeth shut, trying to stifle the moaning sounds leaking from his mouth; his cock was soaked in pre-cum and he had begun to sweat profusely, beads running down the side of his cheeks. His stomach arched up and down and the pending wave of pleasure inched forward. His hand grabbed Cody's head and he pulled him into another deep kiss, messy, uncoordinated, even possessive. "Oh God, I'm gonna come," he panted.

He clenched his other fist as his whole body tensed. His hips arched and he threw the covers off the bed, watching as ropes of jizz started spurting, sp lashing over his face and neck, drenching him, the rest saturating Cody's wrist and fingers, his body falling, relaxed, back onto the bed with a small bounce. "Fucking hell, that was intense," Jake squeaked, causing Cody to smile, satisfied with his work.

Not wasting any time, Jake pulled Cody's boxers off, with Cody lifting his hips to make the job easier. He gripped the shaft in his hand, the end glistening in the dim light, but to Cody's surprise, Jake's hand was soon being replaced by a tongue.

"Uh…what…what are you doing?" Cody asked, shocked, pushing Jake's head away.

"Getting you off, what do you think, don't you watch porn?"

"Oh, right, well, only if you want to, I mean, was I supposed to do that, because I don't really know how…uh, I mean, well, I didn't know if you would want me to."

"Just lay back and shut up, you're distracting me." Jake grinned, pushing Cody's head back down on the pillow. Jake began licking the pre-come from Cody's dick, causing long strings, connected at each end. "Man, you leak." Cody's head jolted up, and then he just frowned and lay back down.

Jake slowly put his lips round Cody's cock and went down, taking it in inch by inch, gagging at first, but after a few gagged attempts he almost had the whole 7 inches, feeling Cody's pubic hair tickle his nose. Cody was quietly whimpering, fidgeting, and enjoying this new experience. Jake began picking up speed, bobbing up and down. He knew Cody was getting close, as his balls made their travels towards his stomach. Wanting to maximise Cody's pleasure, he gripped the shaft as he continued on, faster and tighter.

"Oh….ooooohhh fuck." Cody lurched, his whole body quivering, as Jake felt a huge pressurised load hit the back of his throat, making him gag, but he kept going until Cody pushed him off.

He lay there panting, staring, wondering what the hell Jake had just made him feel. He ran his hands down his face and let out a long breath. "Fucking hell, what did you just do to me?"

"I'll take that as a compliment."

"I mean… that was just, it was awesome, I came so hard."

"It was just a blow job," Jake giggled.

"Jesus, no wonder guys like them so much. Where did you learn to do that?"

"On you….tonight, oh, and watching about a thousand porn films," Jake said, matter of fact.

"Ethen's gonna be a really lucky guy," Cody said, his face becoming sad. Jake suddenly filled with guilt at the mention of his boyfriend's name.

"He can't know about what happened, Cody, please," he pleaded.

"Hey, we're cool; I wouldn't do such a thing. What do you take me for?" Cody replied.

"Sorry, I just worried for a moment; I didn't mean it to come out like that."

"Well, don't worry; what happened tonight stays between us."

"Yeah, and Cody, I don't think should happen again."

"Yeah, whatever, I'm just glad it did. It was like unfinished business," he said, trying to hide his sorrow.

So, uh, I really need to sleep; you wanna stay here or…?"

"Can I stay?"

"Sure, just as long as you don't snore."

"How long have you known me? Do I ever snore?"

"How would you know if you did?"

"Good night, Jake!" declared Cody, pulling the covers back over them.

Jake closed his eyes and could see nothing but Ethen's face behind his eyelids. He had enjoyed tonight with Cody, but was wracked with guilt, worried how he was going to look his boyfriend in the eye. He had met the guy of his dreams and had an affair within days of going out with him.

I'm such a fucking asshole , he thought, before drifting off from exhaustion.

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