The First Son - Arc One

by Zustara Orur

A story (C) 2002 by ZUSTARA ORUR. Contact address:

English is a second language to me, so please excuse any goofs present herein regarding grammar, spelling. I try to do the best I can!

Legal mumbo-jumbo BS: this story features explicit descriptions of sexual acts between consenting young boys. The story is fictional, and only took place in my mind. If this sort of thing bothers you; you are under-age (and anybody cares about it); reading this story happens to be illegal wherever you may be right now; etc, please STOP READING. I won't get in trouble, but you might, who knows. If all is hunky-dory, feel free to continue, if that is your wish.

Also note that this is a real STORY centering around love rather than sex, those mainly interested in long descriptions of copulation and such may want to look elsewhere.

SPECIAL DEDICATION: This part is intended for a great many people. All those of you who wrote, asking for more (too many to list I'm afraid - whew - but you know who you are: THANK YOU SO MUCH!). A word of thanks goes out to The Alienist, whom have helped me with a bit of proofreading throughout most of the series. And finally, to one very, VERY remarkable man; my gracious host and friend It's Only Me from Across the Sea. Without him, none of the stories that he hosts for me would ever have been written. "Robin" made me find you, and all the rest that happened since then seems to have happened almost by itself... Thank you too. For everything! No, this is not hero worship or anything like that so you need not feel uncomfortable. It's a statement of fact!

PART FOUR: Playing Games, Emotions, The White House.

Raphaél seemed amused by my sudden need to be close to him. It had most often been the other way around! "Hey... Are you okay?", he asked worriedly. First I'd started crying, and now I hung on to him like I'd never let him get away from me. "What's wrong?"

I sighed contentedly. "Nothing! Nothing's wrong. I just love you so much, that's all..." I sighed again and touched my lips against his neck for a few moments. The skin there was so soft and so warm. He smiled, then shyly looked down, his deep, deep brown eyes hidden behind that luscious hair of his. Without needing to speak more, we slowly got up from the floor and headed downstairs. I guess people could see we'd been crying recently, but nobody said anything.

Dad had made marinated, grilled chicken breasts (said he hoped we would not get tired of chicken since we'd had some for lunch too), with baked potatoes wrapped in tin foil (topped with a nice yogurt sauce spiced with herbs and garlic), along with broccoli and carrots and string beans. There was also a nice Caesar salad, which mom had fixed up (she's good at such things, but leaves most of the other cooking to dad). John bragged about having helped out by washing the vegetables and the potatoes, and the rest of us got a good laugh. Both agents had also received packages, mostly of clean clothes, and they had both changed into a new dark suit that looked exactly like the one they'd wore earlier in the day.

"We've been invited to dinner tomorrow", mom said carefully. "You children don't have to come if you don't want to."

"Uh-huh", I replied. Only time my parents let me off the hook like that was when they knew I'd be bored senseless. "Where are we going?" I usually didn't mind coming to a grown-up dinner party, sometimes it really was terribly boring, but I had my angel now so that wouldn't be a problem. Unless if he didn't want to go, in which case we'd stay at home.

Mom hesitated a little. "We're visiting Raphaél's father...", she said diplomatically.

"Oh." That was all I managed, and I quickly looked at my angel, who was sitting right next to me. He was frowning, but still in control of himself. It was just a frown, and not a scowl; no emotional outbursts this time. I put my hand on his slim thigh under the table and patted him. The frown was replaced with a wry smile. He was TRYING to look annoyed and I was ruining it for him! I cast him an inquiring glance, and he understood.

"We'll come too", he said.

Da looked at us. "Are you sure about that? There's no pressure." He had dressed quite strictly for once, not formally of course, he was still my hippie Da, but he did wear a pair of well-ironed, dark-gray pants, and a sea-blue shirt on top (properly tucked down this time). Mom always dressed well, even when at home. She managed to dress casual AND look good at the same time somehow.

My angel seemed determined. "Yes, we'll come. It's only a dinner after all." He sounded so confident it put me to rest. We all finished dinner and went on to dessert, chocolate pudding. Mom had made that one too, and I asked for apple pie next time. She laughed, and Da said they'd consider it. We were just getting ready to get outside and to the car (the agents had been entrusted with the keys) when we saw it on TV. The press conference, broadcast live.

It was a new Persian Gulf crisis. Saddam rattling his saber, the US replying in the same tone, threatening with military strikes. President Avery's press secretary (whom was an older man with graying hair, steel-rimmed rectangular glasses and a slight paunch), read a statement and then there was a brief Q&A session. First question went to a female middle-aged Washington Post reporter wearing rather large glasses.

"Is it true the President's son is no longer living in the White House?", she asked.

The press secretary's eyebrows came together. "The President doesn't comment on personal family matters, and neither do I or any other staff member", he replied. "Let's get back to the topic at hand shall we." He pointed with his hand to another reporter clear across the room to mark his dissatisfaction. "Yes, Mr. Lennox?"

Lennox, a thin man in his upper middle-aged years and slightly unwieldy dark hair didn't seem very co-operative either. "So it is not because of security concerns that the President's son has moved out?" The press secretary had set himself up for that one and Lennox struck at the bait like an adder. The press secretary was likely going to receive a workover later because of it. I didn't feel the slightest bit sorry for the man, he was part of the system that had hurt my angel.

The press conference quickly deteriorated into near chaos and mayhem. The Persian Gulf wasn't nearly as interesting as this latest development it seemed. There had been a leak somewhere inside the Secret Service or the White House administration, the Tuesday incident where Raphaél had run away from school was also brought up, and a more and more flustered press secretary Stonebridge was hard-pressed to dodge even nosier and nosier questions.

John and Matt was standing behind me and my angel, looking deeply concerned. Matt's cellphone rang, he promptly answered the call.

"Yes, Sir", he said, then paused, listening. "Affirmative." Another pause... "I understand." He put the phone back inside his jacket and turned to us. "Sorry kids", the blonde agent said. "Movie's off, I'm afraid."

"Aaawww MAN!", we both complained loudly in one voice. "That's not fair!" We all grinned at us both simultaneously speaking the exact same words.

John backed up his partner. "I agree, it's not fair, but Raphaél's safety comes first. You'll have to stay home now. The front lawn could be crawling with reporters and TV crews at any minute."

We both groaned and grumbled, disappointed. We sensed that arguing would not get us anywhere, so we excused ourselves back to my room instead. As we entered, Raphaél grabbed his own cellphone and dialed a number.

"Yes, I'd like a taxi please...", I heard him start to say. I immediately knew what he was planning and quickly snatched the phone away and shut it off.

"No!", I told him sharply. "You can't do that!"

My angel seemed both amused and a little annoyed at the same time. "Sure I can. We want to go see a movie, right? Nothing's going to stop us, we'll only be gone for three hours or so. With a little luck they'll never even know we're gone! We can lower the fire escape ladder from your balcony and use that."

I shook my head firmly. "You running away once was okay with me. But not again! They WILL know, mom or dad will come and ask if we want a snack or something and when we're not here they'll all go ballistic and you know that! If we sneak away maybe you won't be allowed to stay here anymore... Let's not risk anything, alright?" I looked at him, begging him to agree. "Pleeease? Let's just go watch some TV or something instead."

Raphaél's shoulders slumped and he laughed quietly. "Alright...", he finally said. "I guess you're right. I just wanted to have some fun, you know..." He put his arms around my neck and rested his forehead against mine. I patted him on the back and held him for a few moments before taking him downstairs again.

"We will have lots of fun, I promise", I told him softly. "But not this way, that's not right."

The TV was on in the living room. We sat together in the couch in between John and Matt. It was kind of cozy actually, and I even snuggled up to John, resting my cheek against his costumed tree-trunk of an arm. He looked at me kind of funny, and then simply let me be. Matt gave him a big grin, which was received with mixed feelings by the other agent. I did it mainly just to tease him a bit I think, to see what I'd get away with. My angel was fondling my thigh and knee, and snuggled up against me just like I'd done with John. It was quite nice, I must say. Poor Matt, he was left out! He didn't seem to mind, he just looked at the spectacle with amusement.

Larry King was taking calls about my angel on his talkshow. Actually, the topic was children of famous people and how their parents affected their situation, but that was mainly just an excuse to discuss Raphaél. We watched it for a bit, laughing at all the weirdo advice people offered, but after a while decided it wasn't really something we wanted to look at anyway. It was too close to home for my angel to really feel comfortable with (even though Larry tried to diversify by bringing in calls about children of movie/rock stars etc too). One channel was showing an animated feature; The Iron Giant. I'd never seen it before, and we only missed the first minute or so of it I think. It was actually pretty cool in my own humble opinion, a bit childish and sentimental like most animated movies but still not nearly as sugar-and-honey-coated as most Disney productions. At the end we were both teary-eyed (AGAIN! And in our defense it WAS a pretty sentimental movie!), we liked it that much. I held my angel tightly, our cheeks pressed together as we watched the end credits start to roll up the screen. If I'd been little I think I'd been scared by it, it was a pretty strong ending. Even though it ultimately was a happy one.

Suddenly, he yawned, and then I did too. I shouldn't be tired I was thinking, considering how long we'd slept that morning, but I was. Maybe it had been an eventful day and now my brain was at its limit, I'm not sure. We continued to watch the TV screen as another movie started on another channel, but both of us were nodding off every now and then, it was impossible to keep track of what was happening in it no matter how hard we tried. I'm not even sure which movie it was, I must have had my eyes shut during the main title. Soon I found myself in John's arms as he walked up the stairs to my room. Matt's broad back was in front of me, my angel in his arms. The agents actually had to help us undress, we were totally gone both of us...! All we wanted was to sleep, and that we did, in each other's arms.

It's rare I sleep a whole night without waking up at least once to go to the bathroom or to fluff up my pillow or something like that. But together with Raphaél, my rest was so sweet my body didn't want to bother my mind with such technicalities. I again woke up before my angel. I guessed the time was about eight thirty or so, and I felt really fresh, like I'd slept a whole year only dreaming good dreams. My room was full of bright sunlight filtered through a thin layer of white clouds making the air seem crisp, but a little cold outside. But beneath the covers, it was nice and warm as we both radiated heat. I had my arms around him, as my angel again had his head on my chest. I felt my dick stiffen as I woke up and became more and more aware of his naked touch against my skin, and I spread out my fingers to touch even more of him. He moved a little and muttered in his sleep, just like the previous morning. I looked at how the sunlight played in his shiny dark hair, how it seemed to flow across his smooth skin (still fairly pale as it happened). His mouth was closed; he breathed lightly through his nose, and every breath tickled the skin on my chest and excited me. My dick throbbed, it felt wonderful just pressing it against him like that. After a little while, I could feel him waking up too. He slowly crawled up to give me a good morning kiss, and as he did I felt my body shiver from the intense feelings generated by his skin brushing against mine. I just had to put my hands on his butt, and I felt that Raphaél was stiff too. We kissed, he moved again and I felt my dick slip up in between his legs. We kissed once more, I pressed upwards with my hips, and right then it felt like my mind was short-circuiting.

"Oh god!", I managed to grunt and then I came. It was almost too intense, and totally unexpected. I had no idea I had been THAT aroused! Raphaél seemed totally amused by the incident. I laid back and panted heavily, he grinned wide at me.

"Now we have to shower again", he said wickedly. "And change the bed sheets. My butt's all gooey!"

Yes, it was! I gave him a lopsided grin. "Sorry, I didn't know I was going to do that..."

Raphaél smiled back. "No problem. I really do love it when you do that! But now you have to return the favor you know...!"

I wasn't contrary to the idea of course, even though I was a bit stunned by his bluntness! Anyway, I was starting to understand quite well what my angel liked, yet I did not want our lovemaking to end too soon, so I held him back without making it too obvious I hope. We were entwined in the most delicious manner, our hands exploring our young bodies like it was the first time we touched. My angel emitted a quiet groan of pleasure and delight when I finally allowed him to come too, I felt so proud of him for some reason! Afterwards when we had calmed down, we sat up together in my bed and held on to each other as the gentle water motions of the mattress rocked us for a little while. I held his hands in mine, his fingers were warm now, as warm as mine. My angel was holding my hands, but also touching the scar on my right wrist every once in a while. I don't think he was even realizing what he was doing, his fingers just seemed to seek it out on their own.

Raphaél's dick was poking upwards still, and I put one of my hands on it, touching it lightly. It felt incredibly hot. He hissed quietly, his eyes closed, and as I gently massaged his member I felt him soften up and get even closer to me. It is special in a way, letting another guy touch your dick I think. It requires a certain amount of confidence and trust towards the other somehow. We shared such trust between us, and me touching him like that reminded my angel of that...

His hands soon went to my dick too, one of them concentrating on my balls; it was a pretty funny feeling I think. I never really noticed them being sensitive to anything other than impacts! Having his slim fingers touching my pouch like that made me shudder lightly, my skin getting all goosebumpy, and I just had to kiss him. My angel's eyes were still closed, but he seemed to know what my intentions were. Maybe he felt my breath on his face as I leaned in towards him. As our lips touched, his hands went up to my head instead and held it firmly, one hand on my cheek, the other behind my neck, buried in my hair. He stroked my cheek lightly as we kissed.

It felt good to know he liked my face more than my dick, so I did the same to him as I planted my lips on his once again.

Suddenly, he opened his eyes. "Yes, I think I'm awake now...", he said a little mysteriously.

"Is that a cue for us to go clean ourselves up?"

He smiled a little. "Well, maybe!" My angel stretched out his arms and grimaced. "Ouch, I'm a mess in more than way right now!"

I knew why. "A bit too much exercise yesterday?" He nodded. "I got a nice muscle salve you can try on..."

We quietly snuck out of my room and into the shower in the upstairs bathroom. Nobody saw us, but as the water started to flow, there was a knock at the door. That had told them we were out of bed! "You boys want some breakfast?", Matt asked. Of course we did! "We'll start making it now that we know you're up and about. Don't linger or there won't be anything left for you."

The threat was semi-real I realized. Not that they really would eat EVERYTHING, but they'd certainly help themselves to the choicest bits, I was sure of it. "We're almost done!", I yelled back just to convince him we would not forget to come down to eat. We hurried as we were cleaning ourselves, and then stepped out and began wiping each other dry. I rummaged around in the various cupboards to find the jar with the salve, and when I'd found it, I began to apply it. My angel's shoulders and arms hurt the most (I had to take a bit of care to not smear any of the salve on the golden chain; he never seemed to take it off, not even when sleeping), but his legs and chest were also a bit overworked. I started from the top and worked myself downwards over his body, rubbing the salve into his soft skin with careful circle-motions, massaging his strained muscles at the same time. Soon he told me his skin had begun to burn. That was the way it was supposed to be I told him, and cautioned him not to get the salve near his eyes; the eucalyptus oil and whatever other aromatic stuff in it would make them sting and water like crazy (yes, the package cautioned against it but of course I'd tried it anyway once just to check what would happen: not recommended!).

We went back to my room and got dressed. We hadn't had time to unpack the big trunks yet so we ripped off the stained sheets from my bed first and then took out most of the stuff from the trunks and temporarily placed it on the mattress. There was a huge amount of clothes of various degrees of casualness/strictness packed in there; underwear, shirts, socks, pants, sweaters, jackets... Almost every kind of clothing item there is I think (except, no kilts!), even eight or nine pairs of shoes! Two pairs of sneakers, one pair of boots, another pair of sandals (intended for indoors use), plus several of those fancy black leather shoes I'd seen him wear at school; all of them so meticulously cleaned and polished to a near-mirror finish that one could almost have thought them to be brand new.

My angel picked some easy-wear stuff to put on; a pair of white cotton pants and a white and green-striped T-shirt with buttons at the collar. I also dressed what I considered casual: I found, and wriggled into a pair of old washed-out jeans I'd converted into long-legged shorts with the help of a pair of scissors. The denim fabric had become rather fringed where I'd cut it: I'd worn them so much previously, but that only made them look better I think. I'd almost outgrown them too; they were incredibly tight (so tight I could hardly get my hands into the front pockets) and almost looked like they were painted onto my skin (it was pronounced by the fact I did not put on any underwear beneath them). My angel gave me many appreciative glances, and I must say I did feel pretty darn sexy in them! I selected an equally tight sleeveless black top with a basketball motif on the front to go along with the shorts, also nearly outgrown. It wasn't quite long enough to be tucked into my shorts, so a finger or two of my tanned tummy showed through the gap. If I arched my back just a little while inhaling, my navel would peek through too, which I shamelessly exploited to great success! Raphaél actually ogled me, and I started laughing. He just HAD to feel me up, and I gladly let him. It was a different experience to have his hands touch me almost all over my body while wearing those tight clothes, it was quite satisfying actually! I looked down at myself, and suddenly felt intensely attractive. I already knew he thought I was pretty of course, but dressing like this, showing myself off to him in an entirely different way than that first time in the garden, that was even better! We were supposed to get dressed quickly, but we simply had to stop and make out for a while. Raphaél's hands really were just about all over me, while I was pretty much passive (but I did have my hands on his waist to show I was into it as well). It was easy for me to tell how much my outfit turned on my beloved angel, his deep panting breaths was a clear indicator as we kissed each other.

Then, after he'd had his fill of me - which took a bit longer than I expected - we waited a few moments to cool off (my hard-on was clearly visible with those tight jeans-shorts on), while exchanging looks and smiles. Finally we could go downstairs, me holding a hand on my angel's shoulder. As we approached, all the grown-ups started to shuttle food from the kitchen to the table. We took our seats and let ourselves be served like honored restaurant guests! We both nibbled a little of this and that from the large selection of various foods (can't stay in shape if one eats too much!), and participated in the light morning discussions. Mom asked John and Matt if it was not a bother for them to be away from home and their loved ones for such an extended period of time. Turned out they were both singles, and what we put them through at our home was a picnic compared to the training an agent has to go through. In fact, they said they were a bit worried of going soft while staying, but I think it was mostly a joke. They were cautious to reveal their true feelings I'm sure. I had to remind myself they weren't Raphaél's family members even though I sometimes thought of them as such since they obviously cared so deeply for him, they were in reality people doing a job. And had been doing a full-time job since Friday morning. With no end in sight either... At times they seemed relaxed and laid-back, but it was probably all just fake to keep US more relaxed. They knew they were on the job and that my angel's safety depended on their performance, even though they often acted casual and laid-back in our presence.

"We talked to Giler earlier today", Matt said to Raphaél. "Your location hasn't leaked to the press yet, so we should be fairly safe here. Also, all media has been strongly cautioned against revealing anything even loosely connected to you, so that should make things a bit safer still even though journalists in general cannot be trusted. However, a cool head is still advantageous, so don't go and create any spectacular scenes or anything."

"Like, RUNNING AWAY...", John added with a wry grin.

"Uh-huh", my angel replied and munched down what was left of his toast (which he had covered with mushy bits of scrambled eggs). "So we can go see a movie then?"

Matt could not help himself smiling. "I see you haven't abandoned that idea! Well, not tonight, we're otherwise engaged as you probably remember."

We were just about finished with breakfast then, so Raphaél helped my parents clean off the table when we were done eating. I heard them talk outside in the kitchen, and I figured it was a good time to ask the two agents something that had been bothering me for some time now. I did not want my angel to hear.

"You remember Friday morning?", I asked. "Why didn't you guys do anything?"

They both seemed flustered, knowing full well what I was talking about. Matt blushed a bit, then looked me in the eyes. "Kid... We wanted to, but we're under orders not to intervene in such matters."

I frowned angrily. "Bullshit! How can you NOT intervene? You know how sensitive he is!"

Matt tried unsuccessfully to find some argument to back up his position but realized the futility. Yes, of course he knew, and that made it very difficult for the agent. He was caught in between his sense of duty, and his humanity. I glared back, even more angered now.

Suddenly there was a small hand on each of my shoulders, and I jumped a little out of surprise. "It's my father, Sebastian... He wants me to learn to stand up for myself. Like a real man..." His voice was calm and analytical.

I got up from the chair and took him in my arms again. "How can he DO that? It's cruel!"

My angel looked at me for a few moments, his eyes showing a bit of sadness. "He's not cruel, Sebastian. He's just... I don't know." He shrugged and looked away, sighing softly.

I was trying to think of what word it was he was thinking of as I hugged him tighter. Stone-hearted? Callous? Self-centered? Or maybe Raphaél's father just didn't know his own son very well. "It's okay now", I told him quietly. "Nobody's ever going to be mean to you again, right?!" I looked hard at the two agents. They nodded in silent agreement. "You're there to protect him, isn't that so? Then DO IT, damn you!", I added for emphasis. I felt his arms squeeze me too real tight, and suddenly I knew he felt a little more relieved; another stone that had been dragging him down had fallen from his chest.

"We're hitting the arcades today, right?", I asked my angel. "It is okay with you two." I sent each of the two agents a sharp look, telling them that no was not an option. They reluctantly agreed with a slight nod, John more reluctant than Matt for some reason (I'd actually figured him the more easily persuaded one of the two).

Raphaél looked at me, his eyes even bigger than usual. "You get to go to amusement arcades?"

"Yeah, sure." I tried not to sound like I was bragging or anything. I didn't consider it worth bragging about, I'd been going to arcades for years, wherever the operators were lax enough to let me in and waste my cash, thus making them richer (actually, there were quite a few such places, which shouldn't surprise anyone). "I've been there lots of times before I moved here, and I know a few places now too." I wasn't sure if his reaction meant he wanted to do it or not, and I must admit my motivation wasn't entirely unselfish. I was feeling full of energy right then, I wanted to go out amongst people and get noticed!

It seemed I was quite transparent, because there was a kind of a glimmer in my angel's eye, like he too knew what I was thinking. "Okay! Let's do it."

We went upstairs only long enough to brush our teeth and for me to grab some money out of my savings jar. And to make our hair look good, and to put on just a hint of a nice perfume too. Or rather, I did... When we came down, I saw Da again entrusting the agents with the car keys. They could take us around on their own just as well as him. Probably better, since they had to be pretty well-trained drivers too I guess! I was thinking, maybe I should ask them to change into some less conspicuous clothing, but for some reason decided against it. Not sure why, really. They'd blend in better that way, but maybe that wasn't what they wanted.

John drove with Matt right beside him. We sat in the back seat, and the agents made sure we had our seatbelts on tightly and everything before leaving. I gave directions and after a while we pulled up right outside a fairly large amusement arcade. John stopped for just a little while so we'd have time to get out of the car before driving off to find somewhere to park, Matt following us and making sure we didn't run off. The three of us went inside, I pulled up a wrinkled ten dollar bill and got it changed into tokens. It was too many for me to stuff into my pockets so I dumped it all on Matt, only keeping enough for a few games for me and my angel (giving half to him).

I'm not that rich, really. I don't think I get any more pocket money than other kids my age, certainly not as much as many of the other kids at my new school! But I don't spend much either, except when I go to an arcade that is. I'd been at the same place the weekend before, so I knew the games there. They had all the standard fare, the new fancy stuff which I wasn't very good at. I'd never be king of the arcades, but I had a deep enough pocket that I still could leave an impression. Me and my angel walked around, getting an initial look of the crowd. It wasn't too many there, but it was enough people to ensure most of the popular machines were taken while the more obscure ones were pretty much abandoned. I looked into a corner and was pleasantly surprised. An oldie that had been shut off the last time I was there was running again. I motioned to my angel, and we set course for it. When I inserted a token the machine bellowed a familiar "KILLER INSTINCT!" in a deep, murderous voice at us. The volume was pleasantly high-set; perfect. Just the way it should be!

"You wanna play?", I asked, urging him to join in.

He blushed a little. "Against YOU? I'll make a fool out of myself! I've never played a game like this before."

"Oh come on. I won't kill you right away, you know that! It would be no fun without a challenge. Practice on me for a bit and see if you like it! I know most of the moves in the game so I can teach you." I put my hand on his shoulder. "It's on me. Go ahead."

He still seemed a little uncertain, but he did insert a token. Matt was standing right next to the machine, not watching the screen: he kept his eyes on the crowd instead. I hit the two-player start button, and the character select screen came up.

"Who should I pick?", my angel asked, looking with big eyes at the array of bizarre players available to us.

"It doesn't really matter right now. Just take one you like." I pointed at a girl in green tights. "She's cool, she has a move where she turns into a glowing panther."

My angel grinned. "No. I like this one better!"

"FULGORE!", the machine hollered at us. Of course, trust a kid to go for the robot dude. I'd kind of wanted him for myself, but I was okay with most of the characters. I selected Riptor, the half-man, half-dinosaur.

I began to teach him how the game worked, which buttons did what, and how to chain moves together. That was over his head at that point, he'd only reached the hammer-all-buttons-like-crazy-while-giggling-madly stage. It kind of worked, but only up to a point. I still let him beat me since the timer for the round was about to run out anyway. At round two, he'd suddenly gained some basic understanding and he surprised me a couple times by executing a special move on purpose rather than mistake. I commended him, and smacked him around a bit as thanks. He complained loudly, telling me in a loud voice it wasn't fair even as he was laughing. I agreed, it wasn't! "MONSTER COMBO!", the announcer yelled as my angel's robotic incarnation fell back to the ground on the video screen.

Raphaél gave me a look. "Hey, you gotta let me hit you some now, okay?" He wasn't annoyed with me, just anxious to learn more it seemed.

I was going to cut him a break and started walking towards him so he could land a punch or two on me. Suddenly my angel uppercut me, then executed a sliding punch as I came down and fired off a triple electrobolt attack, "juggling" my poor on-screen dino alter-ego. "HYPER COMBO!", the machine growled. We were both equally surprised I think! Unfortunately, right then the time ran out, announcing me as the winner. I still cheered him however, and nearly took him in my arms and gave him a big wet kiss right on the mouth!

My angel immediately inserted another token to continue the current game. "I'd like to try the iceman guy too, but I guess I'd better learn one character properly first", he said.

I gave my angel a quick pat on his rump as a reward. "We got lots of time, my angel...", I said to him in a voice that was low enough to be drowned out by the background noise. Then the game started again, and after a while he died by my hand when the timer was about to run out like before. So we played another match, and my angel did improve, he was more deliberate in his button-pressing and joystick-wiggling. I had to start blocking more or else he'd killed me. Well, I could start fighting back too of course since I could have beaten him easily, but again, that wouldn't have been a challenge and it would not have been fun for him. Going to the arcades is supposed to be fun after all. We had a couple more games, I gave him hints and tips, and Raphaél learned. He did have problems with the timing, but that's only to be expected of a beginner. I was a bit rusty too, but I changed characters frequently and re-discovered my strategies after a bit of playing. Soon I'd showed him all the available fighters, he stuck with Fulgore and was starting to become a half-decent adversary.

"How much have we spent now?", he wondered.

I had to stop and think. "Oh, something like eight or nine bucks I think. Don't worry about the money, it's no big deal."

John was there too all of a sudden. Or maybe he'd been standing there for a while now, but I never noticed when he arrived... He kept watch at the other side of the machine, again fastening his eyes on the crowd, who was actually starting to take interest in what we were doing. I think it was the two tall Men in Black who did it; all that was missing on them was the dark sunglasses. I should have asked them to dress in civilian clothes! Or, maybe not... Attracting a crowd is always nice too in a way.

"I'm not worried about wasting all your cash, I was just thinking if we have enough to try something else when we're done here..." He grinned, knowing full well he was given a full treat and intended to mercilessly take advantage of it!

"I got plenty left..." I hauled out a few more crumpled-up notes from my pocket and showed him, which made him stare, then giggle! Then I inserted another two tokens, and we hit the start buttons. Yes, we were definitely attracting a small crowd, not only because of the two agents, but by our enthusiastic whoops and hollers as we beat each other up. I saw several kids hanging around, watching us. Some, I recognized from before. Raphaél's playing was shaping up too, and I didn't have to hold back quite as much anymore which both of us thought was good. He even beat me once all on his own; I didn't let him sucker punch me first or anything like that!

Every once in a while, I'd feel something or someone bump into my butt. One of those "accidental" touches that happen when you see a cute kid when you pass by, I'm sure. I didn't mind, in fact, I quite relished it. The crowd grew when a slightly older guy came by and placed himself right behind me. I saw his reflection in the glass screen protecting the video monitor. Fairly tall, straw-blonde. Good-looking too. I figured he was around sixteen or so. I unconsciously let my movements get more pronounced as I tugged at the joystick, and I'd feel myself brush into him almost constantly. I was almost getting a hard-on, and I had to stop my body from jerking as I felt a hand on one of my buttocks. It was there for just brief moment, probably to see if I'd protest. I don't know why, but for some reason I didn't, and the hand came back. I totally lost all concentration, and I felt my face flush red. Raphaél whipped me with a few quick attacks which I was totally unprepared for, and then he looked at me, checking what was wrong (I should not have just left myself open like that).

"Hey!", he yelled. Not at me. At the other, taller guy behind me! "What are you doing?!" The guy's face reddened too as several other pairs of eyes turned to him. He hurriedly extracted himself and disappeared amongst the arcade machines, not saying even one word. Raphaél looked at me quite sternly and started to pull me away from the machine. I followed, despite us having one more round to play that match. "Okay! Time to go grab a burger I think, you hound-dog!" Then his face changed into a grin. "You belong to me, Sebastian", he said. "ONLY me. And don't you ever forget it..." I blushed and felt rather ridiculous. "I'm not going to share you... Not with anybody", my angel continued, and I heard on his voice how serious he was.

I laid my arm across his shoulders and drew him in close. "Of course, my angel", I whispered to him as he took me out of the arcade. "I know that!"

Outside on the street he stopped. "I know a great hamburger place", he told me. "Let's go!"

It wasn't really lunch-time for us yet, but who cares? It wasn't often that Raphaél was really enthusiastic about something, so I wanted to take advantage of the situation for his sake and keep his spirits high. Also, a nice burger will always sit well with me! We walked to the car, our bodyguards following close at our heels keeping silent watch and telling us which way to go. The two towering men acted as a kind of plough through the throngs on the busy sidewalk, we'd have to swerve around people all the time if it had been just me and my angel walking along, but with them behind us everybody else got out of our way real quick. They steered us towards a parking garage with flagging white paint (which was slowly turning a dirty gray in color due to all the dust and other pollution collecting on it that traffic and industries created) and took us up to the fifth floor via the garage's lifts. They made sure we entered first, then stood facing the doors in front of us. Their eyes scanned the parking deck as they emerged, but of course they found no threats. We followed, flashing grins in between us, feeling very important and special due to their treatment of us. The garage smelled of damp cement and exhaust fumes and old engine oil, and it was poorly lit and corners were littered with cigarette butts and candy wrappers and squashed soft drink cans and all sorts of other garbage. And it was stacked almost full of cars too, which is why John had to park so high up.

"The Cattleman's?", the dark-skinned agent asked as we got into the car again.

Raphaél nodded with a smile. "Of course. Where else?!"

Matt laughed softly and turned to me as I buckled up. "At least once a week we have to go and get burgers at that place. Nothing else is good enough for that kid!"

My angel looked at me with a slightly sad smile this time. "But I never get to eat them there... They go and get them for me, and bring them back..." He stopped himself for a moment. "...To THAT place", he finally added.

I quickly took his hand in mine. "We'll eat there now, you'll get your burger while it's still hot!" My angel seemed a little more confident all of a sudden. He gave me one of his pretty smiles and squeezed my hand.

Matt drove us this time. They both had a very similar driving style. Smooth, and calm. Never any exaggerated motions, no hard turns or anything like that. It was comfortable, but almost a bit boring! Actually, they reminded me a lot about my dad's driving, he was also like that. Mom was much more assertive, I think she could have been a good racing driver had she chosen that path in her life. Sometimes, not often but SOMETIMES, she'd take me to school in her Mercedes before we moved and THAT was a real thrill! She was never irresponsible of course, but she knew the power under the hood of that car, and how to use it to make a young kid giggle madly. A five point eight liter alloy engine, specifically retro-fitted with the supercharger and tweaked electronics, and a power output of something like 450BHP, maybe more (she told me once, but I've forgotten since. It was A LOT though!). I have no idea why she thought she needed such a monster car, but it was nevertheless cool having a mom like that. She was never afraid of getting her hands dirty either, she changed tires herself in the autumn and spring and everything on her cars (she'd only had the Mercedes for a couple months though, before that it had been a turbocharged Saab convertible). If only she wouldn't work so darn much! She never had time to give me a ride these days and it saddened me. Mom could be so great when she wanted to...

The Cattleman's Bar and Grille was an inconspicuous place. Just a neon sign at a corner pointing down a flight of stairs to a basement establishment. I'd expected such a place to be a dark, smoky room full of rugged men in worker's clothes drinking beer and discussing earthly topics. I wasn't that far from the truth; it WAS a dark, smoky room, but the smoke was more like a light hazy aroma, and that and from the coals at the grill, not cigarettes. And the rugged men in worker's clothes were mostly well-dressed, well-groomed people in suits, the financial district wasn't too far away. And the earthly topics seemed to be quiet conversations on things like the current state of the stock market, and what new policies the various legislative branches were talking about implementing rather than rowdy discussions of which football team would annihilate the other, guns and such matters. It kind of surprised me I must say, but maybe it shouldn't have. After all, where does one find blue-collar workers right in the middle of a major metropolitan area? Maybe I'm a bit naive, I'm not sure. I'm just a kid after all, I can't know everything!

The room was not THAT big, maybe enough for ten or twelve tables that each took four or six people. There was a long bar along the wall, with a large alcove behind it in the wall where the grill and a large, shiny stainless-steel gas stove was located. Two cooks dressed in white clothes prepared the food, which also included steaks and other dishes, while a couple bartenders, busboys and serving girls took care of the guests. The walls were clad in age-darkened timber logs (but they were probably nowhere as old as they looked; modern paints can do wonders I suppose), decorated here and there with old signs of products that were long gone from the market, many of them totally unknown to me. A moose's skull complete with huge horns hung on the innermost wall, right opposite the exit to the stairs leading up to the street level. We sat down in a corner, at a table of our own choosing - not the agent's (they didn't seem to mind). There were wall-mounted benches for us to sit on, which was nice. Us squeezed together in the middle, the agents on either side of us. The able was meant for three on either side, but we fit just barely anyway! Soon we got the menu and I let Raphaél do the ordering, since he knew what he liked. What was good enough for him was good enough for me too I decided for myself.

The food was fairly high-priced for such a place, but the servings were enormous! Me and my angel ordered one large cheese burger with fries, and there was enough of it for us to split the meal and still eat so much our stomachs approached the point of bursting. Of course, Raphaél ordered all the standard trimmings and some extras too for our burger, standard things like salad, tomato, onion rings and pickled cucumber slices, but also bacon and hot chili. The dressing was also fairly hot and it made our mouths burn, but I understood why he wanted THOSE burgers too and nothing else, they were totally yummy! Probably the best one I'd ever eaten! The hamburger itself was hand-shaped out of the finest ground Iowa beef, then grilled to perfection on a bed of Hickory coals (or so the menu told us anyway), and at least the hand-made bit was plain to see. It was not one of those machine-pressed patties one gets at McDonald's and such places, and it really was just perfectly grilled too (we both like our meat well done), and it had a wonderful smoky flavor to it too. The fries were also excellent, the cut a bit thicker than one usually gets, which made them seem more stomach-filling and satisfying in a way, and extremely crisp and tasty. It was a truly enjoyable meal, which we wolfed down along with a tall glass of Coca-Cola. We shared everything me and my angel, even the straw, really enjoying ourselves. Conversation was sparse, we ate and drank mostly, but also exchanged some opinions on deep, important topics (for thirteen-year-olds anyway), such as whether the Fellowship of the Ring movie was any good or not. My angel was skeptical, while I swore by it and was more than eagerly awaiting the second part!

"And what's up with Frodo, really?", Raphaél complained. "He's supposed to be like forty years old when he leaves the Shire, but look at him! You could mistake him for a teenager for gosh's sakes!"

"He has the ring, he's not aging anymore. Gollum is what, five hundred years old, he's a hobbit too you know and it's all because of the ring!"

He sighed in return. "He only had it for the last ten years. He was thirty when Bilbo left, does Elijah look like he's thirty?! And Sam, he's supposed to be like fifteen years younger, yet looks a LOT older than Frodo in the movie."

I grinned at my angel. "But Sam didn't have no ring! Anyway, for someone who finds so much to nag about you sure know a lot about those musty old books!"

He smiled back, not able to stop himself. "Uh, well, I was kind of obsessed about the trilogy when I was younger... I didn't have much else to do than read." My heart twinged at the edge of sorrow in his voice. I decided I would not bring that topic up.

"Younger? You mean, like you're not young now?", I asked him instead. We giggled a little and I leaned in close to my angel and lowered my voice. "I kind of always imagined there was something special between Frodo and Sam... Didn't you?" He looked down and averted his brown eyes in an oh-so-cute manner in return, which told me everything I needed to know. I squeezed his hand, and he patted mine in return.

Then the agents asked if we wanted any dessert, but we both declined, too stuffed to even think about such things! They however each ordered a slice of cheese-cake with whipped cream and cherry jam, which they proceeded to eat with great delight.

"It was nice there", my angel confided in me, referring to the arcade when we were done eating. "But I don't know if we should go back again. I want you all for myself Sebastian, as I said before I'm no good at sharing..."

I could not avoid blushing fiercely. I think he saw it, despite the dim light. "Oh I'm so sorry! I didn't MEAN to let it happen!" I paused. "You're not jealous or anything, are you?", I asked quietly.

He shook his head firmly. "No, I'm not." A pause. "Yes... Actually. A little, I think. You're just too good-looking and everybody can see it. You draw attention to yourself like a magnet... I can't help it, but that's how I feel!"

I felt so embarrassed I could hardly look him in his eyes and I was blushing deeper than ever before in my life I think. John and Matt fidgeted, knowing we were discussing something intensely personal. "Please forgive me! I never meant to make you feel that way!", I then blurted. That was too much for John. He muttered about getting something to drink. He'd already had two bottles of sparkling mineral water along with his burger and I don't think he was thirsty anymore, but he still left us alone. Matt said he needed a toothpick. There was a small cup stacked full of them right there on the table, but I didn't remind him. They both went over to the bar, where they sat down facing us, their eyes scanning across the room taking it all in. "I dressed up like this for your sake! Yes, I can't deny I like it when people look at me, but it's YOU that I love! Nobody but you..." My face burned and I looked down, too humiliated to do anything else.

I felt his cool fingers touch my overheating cheeks. "Please, Sebastian... I know you love me." He brought my face up again so he could kiss me, just like that time when he'd showed me his big secret. Quickly, but deliberately all the same just so I'd know he cared for me. My angel was so amazing, I'd made HIM feel jealous, yet he was the one trying to make me feel better! "You're just too beautiful", he whispered. And then we kissed again, with passion instead, and it was all I could do not to let my hands go wild and start touching him everywhere. I did feel so completely right together with him. Even in public. But now it was my turn to comfort him, to do my best to show he could trust me. Now, and forever...

Suddenly we heard a voice speak to us, and we snapped back to reality. "Excuse me, can I offer you anything?", a rather good-looking, dark-haired young girl asked. She was dressed in the bar's uniform clothes, and she'd been the one serving us our food I remembered. She was probably still in her teens I think. Apparently, she must also have been curious about us (I could see it on her face), but that curiosity would not be satisfied since I saw John standing behind her. He was like a whole head taller than her I think!

"A bit of privacy would be enough, thank you", he rumbled in his deep voice. Actually, he let it get even deeper right then, to mark his dissatisfaction.

She turned around, caught unprepared. "Sorry Sir, I wasn't talking to you", she managed.

His I.D. was in his hand, and he held it up for her to se. "Secret Service, Miss", he told her firmly. "We're fine. Bring us the check while you're at it." The big man could just as well have shouted, 'Scram!' to her. Her face paled as she realized WHO it was she'd been speaking so casually to, and then she scurried off real fast!

We both grinned at the huge agent, sending our thanks even though I was thinking he had been a little hard on the poor girl! John tried to shrug it off, apparently suddenly feeling embarrassed about intervening like that while Matt laughed silently over on his bar stool, slapping a knee. If John had been white too, I bet his face would have been red as a ripe tomato, but he simply assumed his stone-faced agent look and went back to the bar. (How do they DO that, really? Do they take like stone-face classes while in agent academy or something?) Matt re-enacted the scene to the other agent, (over)acting all parts himself. He imitated us two fussing over each other (which made us smile), and he especially liked the bit where John had presented his I.D., and generally made a total nuisance of himself. John himself did not seem amused, but we sure were!

The serving girl was back after a couple of minutes, looking a bit shamefaced. She handed over the bill, and I was just going to ask who was going to pay for it all when Matt gave her a credit-card. She didn't have the nerve to ask for his I.D. to check if it really was his or not. In fact, she hardly spoke a word, she was so nervous! Poor thing, it wasn't her fault! How could she have known who my angel was? I wanted to tell her not to worry, but I wasn't sure of what to say to her so I just looked at her and smiled slightly in a friendly manner, hoping she'd understand. I'm not sure if she even saw it or not, she seemed so preoccupied.

"Lunch is on Uncle Sam", my angel joked. "No, actually I think my father gets to foot the bill, but he can afford it." He put his arms around me and let his hands sneak in under my top, squeezing me lightly. It felt so nice! I leaned in close to him, so he'd know I liked it.

We left the Cattleman's and went back to the car. The trip back home was uneventful, we were a bit tired after the big meal so when we finally got home (it was a fairly long drive as well which did not help), we said a quick hello to my mom and dad and was planning to go right up to my room to rest. My parents said they wanted to talk to me just a bit however, so I told my angel to go on ahead without me, I would be joining him soon. He agreed and went upstairs, John and Matt accompanied him. The rest of us went out into the dining room again and sat down at the table. I was at one end, my parents on either side of me, and I felt there was going to be a Big Talk of some kind. I dreaded it, because I thought they had something bad to tell me...

"Are you getting a divorce?", I asked them outright. Better to tackle the issue head-on I thought... It wouldn't be as painful that way. I was having the same look of uncertainty as Jimmy the previous day, and I wondered if I was about to start crying again or not.

They both looked at me almost in shock. Da gave a muted, "Jehoshephat!", his eyes wide.

"Sebastian!", my mother said. "What on earth made you think that?"

I felt myself grow hot from embarrassment. It really wasn't any easier taking that direct route! "I don't know...!", I began. "Nothing, really...", I then lied unconvincingly.

"You were thinking of Bill, right?", she replied. I found myself nodding back at her. She gave me a quick smile, and then her face became serious again. "No dear. Your father and I will not get a divorce. Actually, I'm quitting my job tomorrow." Dad too was surprised hearing that! Mom looked at us both for a few moments, then continued. "I realize that I've been neglecting my family, and I have to do something about that..."

Then dad spoke. "But Annie... Do you really have to resign? You just got a seat on the board and all."

She smiled a small smile at him. "You won't have to worry about our financial situation, George. I negotiated a really nice severance package when I got this promotion. Besides, your painting alone could easily keep us afloat if you didn't give away every penny you earn!"

He laughed. "I should think so! But that wasn't what I meant, and I think you know it."

She sighed. "Yes, I know. And yes, I really have to do it. You see... I've realized another thing too. I've lost touch with myself these last couple of years. I never really meant for me to end up where I am now. I wasn't an ambitious person to begin with, but one thing lead to another and then I wanted to see how far I could go. It became a kind of race, a competition with myself. And in that race, I lost myself. Or at least lost sight of the goal, I think... I was unfaithful to the only man I've ever loved, and that I don't know if I can ever forgive myself for, even though you have..." She looked at my father with sadness in her eyes. He smiled back encouragingly. I'm not sure how he did it, but he really HAD forgiven her, I knew. "I took Bill for no other reason than I could have him. Just like I could have just about anything else I wished...", she continued. "So it's time to quit, to drop out of the race before I ruin everything that matters to me. George, I want to write again..." Mom had been a freelance journalist once, many years ago, and I knew she missed it. Sometimes she'd tell me how fun it had been back in the early days when neither of them had known if there would be enough money for food at the end of the month or not. I couldn't really see the charm in that, I guess one has to experience it to understand it.

Dad looked at her, seeing how determined she was. "Well, if you've made up your mind...", he started, his voice very neutral. Then I suddenly understood he was kind of kidding, and when he realized his sham had been uncovered, he started grinning. "Oh, Annie...! It's really good to have you back!", he said and took her hands in his. "We've both missed you so much."

She smiled back at him. "I know, I'm so sorry... I feel like such a fool!" She took a hand and put it on my head, patting me affectionately to show me how much I meant to her I think. "But I'll still keep the car! I won't let go of that one!" We did not deny her that small pleasure.

"I want you to know this Annie...", Da said slowly. "I never want you to think I'm denying you your right to work. You shouldn't feel you have to be a housewife for me. That's my territory after all!"

We laughed at his little joke. "No George. I'm not quitting so you can chain me to the stove, you needn't worry I will take away your pleasures from you. I will still be working, not just as much... Besides, if we're going to have a permanent houseguest here - and Sebastian, do note I say IF! - then I suppose I'd do well to be more of a presence around here."

I nodded at her, showing I understood. We talked just a bit more and soon afterwards, my parents told me to go take care of my friend (as they politely called him). It wasn't fair of them to keep me away from him for too long Da said, so I jumped up from my chair, gave them both a quick kiss and rushed upstairs again in a hurry.

I was a bit surprised to find that all the clothes had been taken care of, and the bed re-made with clean sheets. Raphaél was outside on the balcony together with the two agents, where he was sitting down on the floor with his back against a wall. John and Matt were standing, leaning against the railing. I heard them talking in low voices, speaking of the upcoming dinner in the evening. We were supposed to be there at seven, and it was still about two or three hours until then I think. Driving there would take a while, and I'd most probably have to dress up too, but that would not take long.

I wondered what Raphaél's mom was like. I guess I was about to find out...

Sitting down at my angel's side, he gave me a look and put a hand on me. I put my hand on his and looked back at him. His eyes were still as mysterious as when I'd first met him, but they met me now, eagerly even. They did not try to escape.

"Time to go clean ourselves up", Matt said to the other agent and stood away from the railing.

"Yeah. You go first. But don't use up all the hot water, man. You always do that when we're out on assignment together."

"I do not! And you snore!"

John's expression turned into one of mock outrage. "I DO NOT SNORE!", he growled. "YOU snore!"

"Do not!"

"Do too!"

We grinned at their friendly banter as they continued to tease each other while walking out of my room and into the hallway outside. It was just me and my angel left there on the balcony. I looked at him, and saw his face was calm and relaxed; Raphaél's eyes were looking at the sky, and he was completely carefree right then. A light breeze swirled around in the hollow in the side of the building where my balcony was located. It toyed with his hair in a friendly manner.

He was starting to root himself here in my home, to become a part of it as much as I was. Soon, he could not be removed without tearing him out, and that would undoubtedly damage him I knew. I wasn't sure if I'd done the right thing, bringing him here in the first place. I hoped so, but if I'd given him false hopes, if he would not be allowed to stay after tonight, what would become of him, my angel? How would he react? ...And today, I'd been bad to him. I had apologized to him already, but I still hadn't been too concerned about it after it happened (and especially, WHY it happened to begin with). Then when I had become aware of it, I felt like I'd brushed the issue aside much too quickly so the guilt must have been left lying there under the surface, bubbling and festering, gnawing at me and now I couldn't contain it anymore.

"Raphaél... I'm sorry", I said in a quiet voice.

He turned his head and looked at me. He was still totally calm, but my face was all worried and upset and guilty. "Sorry, for what?", he asked.

I had to avert my eyes out of shame again. "For letting that guy touch me... I wasn't thinking, and I'm so sorry!"

"It's okay", he said and patted my hand, sounding as if he thought it wasn't a very big deal.

I tried to calm down, but I couldn't. It just got much worse instead and tears welled up in my eyes. "But... I love you! How could I let him do it? I even liked it, dammit!" Right then, I started crying for real. "I've betrayed you! I said I would always be good to you...", I blubbered. "And I WASN'T! I didn't even think about it, I just let him do it! I hate myself...!" I pulled up my legs to my body, making myself as small as I could and hid my face in my hands and sobbed fiercely.

I know Raphaél was there, and that he tried to calm me down, but I wouldn't let him. I really did feel like a traitor, and that I didn't deserve him or his love so I refused to listen and just hid away behind my drawn-up legs. And then after repeatedly trying to reach me he saw no other way than to grab me by the hair and literally pull my head up by it and I was just about to yell at him to go away because it really hurt and he'd be better off without me anyway, but his face darted forwards too quick for me to react and his lips were on mine so all I got out of the yell was a strangled "Nnnff!"... And he kissed me like he'd never kissed me before - hard, fiercely even - still holding my hair so firmly it felt it was going to come out by the roots and I was running out of air but it was impossible to get away from him...! So I stopped fighting him and put my arms around him instead of around my legs, and he immediately let go of my hair and moved them down to touch my face. And he was doing it really tenderly instead... And then, just when I thought I was going to pass out from lack of oxygen did he remove himself and I took a deep shuddering breath and noticed I was no longer crying! It had worked on him, and now me too...

"REALLY, Sebastian!", he told me with a warm smile on his face. "You can be worse than me sometimes." And he said it like he was admonishing me, but mostly in an affectionate way. "I love you you fool, even though you don't think sometimes... Just be more careful in the future, alright? You're simply too damn sexy, you have to know that by now you boy magnet you!" And then he kissed me again to accentuate what he'd said to me, softly this time while holding my face very lightly in his hands. I looked back at him, quite shamefaced I must say and still feeling insecure. Did he really mean it? I was so afraid of hurting my angel, I didn't know what to do or what to say in case I would cause him harm, even if it was unintentional! I sniffled, trying to clear my blocked-up nose. Raphaél saw how scared I was right then I think, because he pulled and tugged and prodded me to make me sit down in his lap, facing him. And he put his hands on my bum and drew me in close. It was nice, feeling his hands grip me tightly through my denim shorts, and then I knew my angel wanted me and lusted for me, and that we loved each other. He looked at me lovingly, silently studying my teary face.

"I wish j-just one day would pass without either of us bawling our e-eyes out!", I said unsteadily in a quiet voice, mostly intending it to be a joke I think.

"I don't!", he replied with deep emphasis like he truly meant it, and leaned forwards. I thought he was going to kiss me on a cheek, but he put his tongue against my skin and tasted the salty fluid that was still visible upon it. "I kind of like it actually... You look so pretty when you're crying, Sebastian! And then I want to make you feel good again..." He paused, and I felt my whole body tingle as his affection swept over me like a warm wave. "...Am I succeeding?"

I nodded my head slowly (my voice too shaky to be trusted), and he responded by licking my other cheek too (and doing it rather lightly and carefully), it made me smile as I felt his tongue gliding over my skin. And then he kissed both cheeks very softly when he was done. Yes, it was my turn now, I sat in his lap while he had his arms around me as I soaked up his love like he'd done earlier in the week when I had comforted him, and I really really liked it... I managed to calm down after a while, and when my angel saw that, he let his arms slither in under my top. He touched me, again very lightly, centering around my sides and back. He only used the tips of his fingers, and instead of a caress, it became more of a tickle. I started squirming a little, I couldn't stop myself. Then giggles came bubbling up out of me, and my attempts to get away became more pronounced. I could have jumped up of course, out of his grasp, but I didn't want to! Even as I couldn't stand it - him tickling me like that - I still stayed near him, I loved him so much! I was soon almost screaming with laughter, people could probably hear me halfway down the street; I had no control over it! You know what it is like to REALLY be tickled, I'm sure...!

And I loved it as much as I loved him, my angel. I laughed so hard that happy-tears came in my eyes and my chest hurt when my muscles got tired, and Raphaél was giggling madly too while he tortured me like that. And then he finally relented and I just sank down into his warm embrace (his arms were still down under my top, touching my bare skin), breathing heavily out of relief that it was all over, an occasional giggle still escaping us both.

"Oh man...", I said to him. "Don't EVER do that to me again! At least not today, alright! It would kill me I think."

He grinned mischievously at me. "I promise. Not today!"

"And... I'm really really sorry. I will not let it happen again either, I promise!"

He looked at me sharply. "Stop apologizing already! I already told you it's okay." Then he grinned. "But please sit up a little straighter, my legs are going numb!"

I nodded in agreement, telling him with a look that I wouldn't mention it again. I then re-arranged myself as I sat on him so the blood-flow to his limbs would not get cut off, and we cuddled and whispered to each other all up until my parents came and told us to get ready for dinner, my angel's hands were on my butt almost the entire time. I kissed him every now and then, on his sometimes petulant mouth, and a few times on the tip of his cute nose which made him smile at me. I could still not understand how good it made me feel, kissing that cute boy of mine, no matter how often I did it. I just had to think that I was kissing the one I loved more than anything else, and that simple thought made me get all hot and bothered... But neither of us touched each other THERE, you know? There was no better way to strengthen our emotional ties between each other than cuddling like that.

Mom picked out clothes for me to wear out of various closets, all my best stuff of course (sigh!). Da had brushed up my fanciest pair of shoes so they were as shiny as Raphaél's, almost as glossy as a mirror. I'd hoped for a more casual dinner, but maybe they wanted me to look my best, I'm not sure. I had black, strict pants on with a narrow, dark gray snakeskin belt that mom had bought together with them (and which probably cost at least $150 all on its own which I considered a terrible waste of money), white socks and a soft white shirt plus black necktie (which Raphaél tied for me; he did it quickly and skillfully), and a black dinner jacket too. I looked great, if I may say so myself. Like a small grown-up. My angel had looked at what kind of outfit I was putting on, and selected a similar setup too (except he couldn't find a tie so we skipped that bit; he had his golden necklace anyway, he hung it on top of his white shirt and that was enough). We were almost two carbon copies apart from the fact my hair was lighter in color than his, and my skin darker. I fussed a bit with my hair, and then I fussed a bit with my angel's hair too, making sure we both looked as good as we possibly could, finishing off again with a tiny dash of perfume on myself so I'd smell nice. He smiled warmly as he checked out the end result of what I'd done in the bathroom mirror, and then turned to me and gave me a really nice kiss. I'd made his hair almost as shiny and well-ordered as I'd ever seen it on him in school, I could see he was quite satisfied!

"Thanks, my love!", he said, and was so sincere my breath caught in my throat. I could say nothing in reply, but I didn't have to. My angel saw it on my face and gave me a tender caress on my cheek, which made me look down as I blushed a little.

Mom had decided to forego any distinctly female dinner clothing. I know she would have liked it on one hand (she had a red, glittery thing which Da had given her on their wedding anniversary two years ago, which she was very proud of), but somehow it seems she had started to feel like wearing a gown meant she'd dress down from how she looked at work; that a dress would make her into some kind of object instead of a person or something. I don't know, really... Again, I'm just a kid. So she put on one of her more stylish and extravagant suits instead, and Da wore his only tuxedo with his long hair collected up in an ordered ponytail that he'd wrapped up with a leather thong, letting it all hang down his back. We all almost looked like we were heading to a funeral I was thinking, all of us in black as we were! When the time to leave came, two limos pulled up in front of our house. They were preceded by one van with tinted windows, with an unknown number of occupants inside. Nobody exited, it just stood there out in front of our house. One limo was for me and Raphaél and his two bodyguards, plus another two agents sitting up front. The second limo was for my parents, and two more agents (one being the driver of course). I'd expected us to go in Da's car, John or Matt driving, my parents in mom's little toy, but I wasn't really THAT surprised. I should have been able to realize it myself, that my dad's car simply wasn't good enough to haul around the First Son in. At least not back to where his parents lived...

The four of us sat in the limo as it rolled off towards its destination. It was quiet, well-insulated from any noise from the roadway and the engine. It smelled of leather and luxury, and the seats were soft and comfortable. John and Matt sat across us, me and my angel holding hands. We didn't think about much of anything I think, just trying to relax as much as we could in order to handle the upcoming evening and whatever might happen during it.

Suddenly Matt spoke up. "Uh... I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do", he started. "Me and John, we've been discussing this, and we decided to give you something. If you don't like it, just return it. Please try not to be offended, okay?"

Raphaél seemed intrigued. "Sure! I promise I won't get mad at you."

The blonde agent reached inside his jacket and slowly withdrew a small rectangular box, white in color. "It's not much, but..." He ran out of words to say, so he simply handed the thing over instead.

My angel took off the lid, inside there was some folds of thin, pink, crinkly tissue paper which he carefully unwrapped. When the contents had finally been revealed, I saw two armbands lie there. Just like those he'd cut apart, but these were white instead of black...

My angel seemed delighted. "Oooh!", he exclaimed. "I shall put them on at once!" The rest of us smiled back at him, glad he liked the gift. He reached to unbuckle his seatbelt so he could give the two agents a hug, but they motioned to him to remain seated. My angel patted their hands instead, smiling too. Then he unbuttoned his shirt sleeves and slipped on the armbands. He looked at them, and looked at me as well, seeming quite satisfied actually as he showed me how well they fit him. Then he buttoned up the sleeves again. I reached for him and laid my hand on his shoulder (I couldn't reach his cheek even as he leaned towards me; the car was too wide and my arms too short), he stroked my outstretched hand in return.

It was dark when we arrived, and a slow rain was falling from heavy, lead-colored clouds. The White House was brightly illuminated: it shone like a small star, visible from a great distance as we approached. The cars pulled up on the curved roadway right outside the wide stairs up to the main entrance. John and Matt got out first along with the other two agents (faces I did not recognize). They all framed us as my parents approached, keeping them distant until we reached the doors to the huge structure.

You've all seen it in the movies. I don't need to describe what the entrance hall looks like, you know anyway. Suffice to say, I was actually quite impressed seeing it in person (alright, alright! More than impressed even!), but I too could sense what Raphaél felt so intensely; that place was not a home. It was more like a public building. I suppose nobody would have felt comfortable living in a city library for example, with people coming and going all day long. It must have been the same for my angel... The President was there to greet us, he was wearing a calm and serious face like a mask that at least I saw right through; he was nervous like he'd never been before in his life I'm sure. Well, like he'd never been in his life except on election night perhaps. I looked for Raphaél's mother and couldn't find her (I knew what she looked like of course). I couldn't see any women at all in fact, just a few other agents (all standing near the President) and some of the White House staff (or maybe presidential aides), I had no idea who they might have been.

"Welcome", the President told us, looking straight at my parents as we all approached the center of the large room. His eyes didn't even come near me and Raphaél, it made him seem stiff and cold, but he was probably scared I think. "I'm sorry if this may seem a little intimidating, but do please try to feel comfortable." He shook hands with my parents (showing a mechanical smile on his face like politicians do when meeting the public), and they said hello, and only then did he turn his attention towards his son. "Hello to you too Ralph", he said as he put a hand on my angel's shoulder, and sounded at least a little like a father. "I've missed you."

"Where's mom?", he asked quietly. "Why isn't she here?" The President seemed a bit uncomfortable and didn't reply straight away. "...She's still at that fucking conference, isn't she?" My angel only seemed to swear when he was being pressured in some way, when he couldn't be completely himself. I felt a little sad right then.

The President sighed. "She really wanted to be here, Ralph. But she can't fly over from Hawaii for just one evening, it's much too far. I'm sorry."

My angel's shoulders slumped. "Yeah, and if she stays and looks good on the press conferences and says Important Things and all that bullshit, her chances of getting elected to a seat on the supreme court once you're out of office is increased. I understand alright." He frowned and just stood there, stiff as a mannequin in a clothes shop as the President gave him a hug (which seemed a bit mechanical as well, like he didn't really know how to hug properly).

The President didn't make us stay for any introductory small-talk or anything like that. He had his aides accompany us to the state dining room, which upset my angel. He had assumed we were going to have dinner in the presidential apartments instead, but the President said it would be better this way in a quiet voice (which I still overheard). Raphaél complained it would just get more impersonal instead, to which the President said nothing. I thought Raphaél would be in a bad mood after that, but actually he wasn't. Instead he pointed out various objects on the way, saying things like, "That settee over there has supported lots and lots of fat important asses over the years, including the German Chancellor!", or, "I broke that vase a couple months ago just because I was angry, and nobody dared to yell at me because, well, you know..." He actually grinned as he pointed at his wrists, which were hidden by those really long shirt-sleeves of his. "They just had an exact replica quietly made and put it up there instead, so what you see now is actually a fake, even if a really well-made one!"

"You're a bit of a spoiled brat when I'm not around, aren't you!", I teased.

He smiled warmly at me and actually agreed. "Yes, I am! Well, can you blame me?" How could I? I just squeezed his hand instead, and right then we came to our destination. It was a quite large room, very pompous, and what caught my eyes from the start was this huge portrait of Abe Lincoln hanging over the fireplace. I looked at it, and my angel started speaking. "I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule this roof", he quoted in a low voice so only I would hear. "What a joke!" I looked at him, wondering where that had come from. "It's inscribed on the frame. HE didn't say it, some other president did. I can't recall who, and I only remember the words because it's SUCH a crock of shi-..." He stopped himself when John shot him a disapproving glance.

"Mind your language!", the tall agent growled.

I grinned and so did my angel. "So, what you're saying is your own father's a lying bastard, is that it, huh?" I said it with a wink to show him I was only kidding. I really didn't want to insult his dad!

However, Raphaél took it seriously, even though he must have understood it was just a joke. He nodded. "Yeah, HE IS. Just about all high-level politicians are you know, I've met the opposition leader and don't think for a second he's any better. I know enough uh, doo, about all the top donkey and elephant guys to make Nader the next president...!" John frowned again, but my angel just innocently grinned back! The agent shook his head in a disapproving manner, but could not keep it up. He gave us a quick grin too and then quickly assumed his stone-face again.

I giggled quietly at the whole thing as my dad came up and put a hand on a shoulder on both of us. "So boys, what are you talking about?" It was a rhetorical question. What he really wanted was for us two to get seated instead so we did. The rest did too. Me and Raphaél sat next to each other almost right at one end of the big table, us flanked on either side by John and Matt. I think they were present just to make my angel feel a little more comfortable. I'd learned they were amongst the youngest of the Secret Service agents currently serving, which probably was a big reason why they'd been attached to that duty. Since after that fateful day about a year ago, they had been the only agents guarding him on weekdays to make sure he had as much continuity as possible. But only I could offer that which he needed the most, so I held my hand around his under the table to reassure him. I knew it was stressful for him to return to that place, even though he did not show it, and even if it was just briefly - or so I hoped. Desperately even! My parents sat right across me and my angel. The President was at the end of the table, Matt to his left, and an empty chair on his right, then my mom, and then Da. It felt really stupid sitting there, with more than half the table stretching empty on and on beyond us with rows of empty chairs parading down its side.

An entrée course was served, during which uncomfortable nonsense talk was made. The President also asked his son if school was going well and what we'd done during the weekend and tried to be supportive. But it was kind of late for that, my angel was a bit angry and upset (which he hid quite well, all things considered). He wasn't actually impolite or anything, just rather terse in his replies, often restricting himself to single-word replies like a yes or a no, sometimes an okay or a fine or something like that. Much like when I'd first met him, in fact.

The President felt rather uncomfortable and a bit embarrassed I think, because he started talking to my parents instead as the first main course was brought in; a soup. He didn't fare much better there, I'd say.

"But surely, you must be able to appreciate our respective positions!", the President said to my Da. "We both come from similar backgrounds after all, simple, maybe even poor, and now look at us! I know you're doing quite well for yourself these days, you're not the penniless farmer's son you once were. Far from it even."

I knew of Da's childhood of course, even though his parents had died before I was born so I'd never met them. They had been very nice people though, and they had inspired and encouraged my father to become the good man that he was. I'd heard many stories about them from Da's older uncle, he'd taken over the farm and was doing sorta okay. There wasn't quite enough land for the farm to be really profitable (Da's parents had been forced to sell it off in installments so only about half remained of what had been there originally), but Da helped him out by lending him money sometimes to pay for new equipment or fixing up the barn and the fences and such, loans which he never bothered to ask to be repaid. It was a quiet understanding between the two so the farm could stay in the family instead of being auctioned off. Neither of them was resenting the deal; my uncle enjoyed his life, as did my Da.

Mom's parents were almost the total opposite: not quite filthy rich perhaps but certainly wealthy, but also extremely conservative and traditional. She'd rebelled by becoming a hippie, and only later found that she actually liked it. Then the legacy of her upbringing had caught up with her and she'd become the woman that almost destroyed her own marriage before she realized what was happening to her. My maternal grandparents were alive, and rather spry both of them even though they were both in their eighties. We visited them sometimes, but feelings were still a bit tense between them and mom; they didn't entirely approve of the one she'd taken for her husband, even after so many years.

Da shook his head in response to the President. "I don't mean to insult you, Charles", he said, deliberately avoiding the presidential title. "But it's not where you are on the social ladder that really matters. It's how you got there that actually counts. And I'm sorry to say this, but you got here by stepping on others." The President didn't actually blush (he was too well seasoned a politician for that to happen), but it wasn't very far from it. The comment had struck too close to home I think. Then my mom leaned towards Da and whispered something in his ear. He nodded in agreement. "My wife tells me I'm being rude to our host, and I agree", he said. "My apologies, I meant no offense."

The President waved it away. "None taken. Actually, what one lacks in my position is people who truly speaks what's on their mind. I often get to hear what I want to hear, not what I should hear, even though I might not want to hear it. So actually, this is almost refreshing in a way." He flashed Da a quick smile, and for once it didn't feel fake. But it only lasted for a brief moment, then the politician returned again.

I only ate very little of what was served, while the discussion continued. Me and my angel shared a look every now and then, but it did little to make me feel more comfortable. My angel was more used to it; he hated the place, but at least he knew it. He'd lived there for over a year and a half after all so he'd gotten to know the place. To me, it was all different... It felt like it wasn't a true dinner. It wasn't served at a home, or even a restaurant. It actually felt more un-homelike eating in the state dining room than in the school cafeteria. Even the food felt fake somehow. It was all prepared by chefs who likely were most accomplished, but it was all so unnatural! There was no love and attention infused in that meal, not like when my parents cooked for me... And it was all for the benefit of that one man, that huge building with all those rooms and antiques, and the people working in it and everything. It wasn't reasonable at all I thought. Many countries had leaders that cooked their own dinner and lived in their own home, they didn't need to be surrounded by all those trappings of might and power...

But then again, I'm just a kid. I suppose I simply don't know the big picture. ...Or something, sigh!

"...But let's cut right to the chase, shall we?", the President said as we finished dessert; a fruit sorbet. "Children, you don't have to stay. Ralph... Why don't you take your friend up to your room?"

"Okay. Sure!", my angel said without a hint of a complaint or anything. He half got out of his chair before noticing I remained sitting down.

"I'd like to stay", I said. I had to hear what they were going to say with my own ears, or else I would not be able to accept the outcome. I looked at my parents and the President, challenging them to try and contradict me, but nobody did.

My angel rose up and patted me on my shoulder. "I'll wait just outside, alright?"

"You can stay too if you want!"

He merely shook his head and gave me a deep, long look. He trusted me to fix it all on my own. Could I? I wasn't sure... If I failed, would he blame me? He stopped just a moment to kiss me quick on my cheek, and to quietly tell his agents to remain too before leaving the room.

The door closed behind him.

A moment of uncomfortable silence followed.

"Ahem", the President said, perhaps to try and jump-start himself. "We have discussed this, me and my wife... We're in disagreement over this issue, but we both know something has to be done."

"He's staying with me, and that's all there's to it!", I demanded. "It's not negotiable!"

The President nodded. "Yes, I concur."

I was so stunned I could have fallen on my butt had I not been sitting down. "What?", I started. I'd expected a long, drawn-out battle before emerging victorious. Actually, I wasn't certain I'd emerge victorious at all. "You really mean it?"

The President might have flashed me a quick grin, I'm not sure. Actually, I'm pretty sure he didn't now that I think of it. When I looked at him again, his face showed that solemn, almost stern expression he was so famous for. "It is not easy for a man in my position to admit his inadequacy as a father", the President said slowly and carefully. "But that is what it comes down to. My son is not..." He suddenly stopped, and touched his linen napkin to a corner of an eye. "Pardon me... My son is not happy living here. I've known it a long time, but I kept ignoring it. I cannot do that anymore, or I will lose him forever. That would be even harder than simply losing him for a while. Maybe Raphaél will forgive me, at some point in his life." The man seemed to be struggling to keep his emotions on the inside.

"We will take care of your child like he was our own son", mom said with deep emphasis. "That, we promise."

The President merely nodded his head, not daring to speak I think.

I was supporting my forehead with my arms, elbows resting on the table. I felt them sliding apart, as if I was too weak to keep my head up. Too much emotion was whirling around in my brain right then... "I wanna go home", I said weakly, and noticed tears were again leaking from my eyes. I was so relieved I couldn't help myself. I wanted to go home and be with my angel right away.

I couldn't gauge the reactions of the grownups, for starters, my eyes were full of tears so my vision was all blurry, and I wasn't even looking up: my face was still pointing down at the table. But I felt a hand on each of my shoulders, it was John and Matt I knew, and they took me out of that cold, impersonal room, guiding my steps.

My angel was sitting on the floor a little down the hallway, waiting for me. When he noticed the doors opening, he quickly got up again and came rushing over to me. "Back so soon?" Then he saw I had been crying again and his face crumbled. "No... Don't say it!", he moaned.

"You silly you!", I whispered warmly as I embraced him. "Come. Let's blow this joint..."

He shuddered in my grasp, sighing deeply out of relief. "Yes. I'd really like to go home now."


Author's Notes: This has been fun. It really has! Not just writing about Sebastian and his angel, but also hearing the reactions of you guys, those distant faces I will never see. Knowing you exist, and reading your opinions. Some of you were verbose, some of you, short-spoken. One was bordering on insulting, but that's okay man. You still said you liked the story so I forgive you! ;-) So THAT has been really fun!

This story arc is exhausted now. Will I return to The First Son? Almost without a doubt, yes. If I think I can write a good story from it, I will make a new installment (and I have some good ideas still in my head). But I have other things that requires my attention first, and again, it may be a while until the first part of arc two. Sorry about that.

Some of you have noted this in your emails, others may have been thinking it without putting it down in words. It's probably not a very realistic story. But so what? That's not the point. Just like the space fighting scenes in the Star Wars movies where spaceships bank and turn like airplanes even though they're surrounded by a vacuum: it makes it more INTERESTING that way, by not adhering 100% to realism. Or, that's my take on it anyway. A story is a STORY, the very word implies it is made-up to begin with. I expect this tale to continue in a similar vein, hope none of you mind... :-)

I've been thinking... Why do I write from a first-person perspective? All my stories so far have been, and that's entirely new for me. I only tried it once before I started writing teen gay erotica, and that attempt didn't get very far. I think, it is because it's easier to make connection to the characters that way, both as a writer and a reader. Not sure, this pet theory of mine could turn out to be entirely bogus. In any case, I kind of like it now.

Finally, I really must take the opportunity to remind you that if you'd like to see more of my creations, send me a note saying just that and whatever else you may have on your mind. There's little that brings me more joy than to hear someone liked what I wrote. So thank you. Thank you all, for reading through all this (all 54166 words of it, give or take a few). I hope you enjoyed yourself.


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