Love From Beyond

by Zustara Orur

A story (C) 2002 by ZUSTARA ORUR. Contact address: 1.1 Not intended for redistribution, commercial use prohibited!

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 male youths. 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.

Special disclaimer: this story brushes, perhaps more than in passing, with the concept of religion. Do note that it is not a story ABOUT religion, and despite whatever aspects of that religion I let my characters act out, please do not see that as an attack on your personal faith - whatever and whichever it may be. I mean no offence towards you. Try to keep an open mind and you will do fine, alright? After all, it's just a story.

It is written using Anglian names and such, but isn't intended to take place anywhere in particular. Please use your own imagination here. Also note that this is a real STORY centring around love rather than sex, those mainly interested in long descriptions of copulation and such may want to look elsewhere.

This story is kind of an experiment for me. I haven't written anything like it before, I hope - but can't be certain - that you'll like the way it ends.


I was in the school chapel, listening to the boy choir performing. It was mandatory, since I was attending a Catholic school. I wasn't a Catholic myself (or so I believed at the time, I wasn't quite certain. 'Maybe there is a God, maybe there isn't', I thought). My parents however were religious nuts in my own opinion, so there I was. Not that I complained, the school was fairly OK I guess.

We had an excellent choir, and I actually enjoyed it, listening to their fair voices rising higher and higher until you'd almost feel tears in your eyes. Well, crying would be The Wrong Thing to Do, since I was seventeen years old, and on my second-last year as well. Almost a grown man, yay!

At the back of the choir was the object of my attention, Christopher Sumner. He was as tall as me, maybe a centimetre or two taller even (I stand about 176 cm tall in the morning, I'm not that well-grown), and he was very thinly built. Chris was what you'd call an extremely late bloomer, he was seventeen like me, but he hadn't hit puberty yet, and his voice was completely unbroken and as smooth and sweet as the pre-teens he was singing together with. He was as pretty as a daisy, and every mother's dream (and quite a few boys' dream too I'm sure even though nobody dared to admit it; I know I certainly had had a HUUGE crush on him about a year back). Actually, listening to him, and even looking at him, you'd think he was a castrate singer. He had shortly cropped thick, rich golden-blonde hair with a wispy quality to it that made it flow at the slightest of breezes, the deepest blue eyes you could imagine, a milky smooth complexion, and looked so boyishly cute that if it wasn't for his height, you'd almost think he wasn't a day over fourteen. Maybe thirteen even!

Chris had that look of regality you'd want to think of a young prince when he was singing, wise despite his youth, and benevolent too. A head held proudly on a tall neck, high arching eyebrows above those impossibly blue eyes of his. There was a definite feline quality in those eyes, he had round pupils like everybody else of course, but looking at them always made me think of a pure-blooded Siamese for some reason. His lashes were long and thick and dark and perfectly curved, like he used mascara on them, but of course he didn't. There was a sense of mystery about those eyes somehow, like they only reflected as much of Chris himself as he allowed. His boyish mouth with its glossy, cherry-red lips that contrasted so greatly from his pale milky-white skin, had small crescent-shaped wrinkles at each corner that only showed those scant few instances when he smiled. Yes, Chris was easily the most beautiful kid in the whole school, and we did have some incredible lookers, so there was no lack of competition either. In everyday school life however, he sort of shrank away. You didn't notice him much (even the girls didn't swarm around him like they did with other pretty boys), despite his incredible beauty. Chris was quite shy, and generally thought of as being a bit of a strange guy.

Me on the other hand, am quite different. Being the son of Italian immigrants, I basically am an Italian too even though I was born in this country. I have chocolate skin and wavy dark brown, almost black hair, and am a bit more robust in my build. I'm not athletic by any means, and since I don't practice any sport or anything, I am a bit cuddly you could say. Not too much, but a bit more than I'd wish I was, and I don't think I'm actually that good looking either. Maybe a little, but nowhere near Chris's level, that's for certain. My name's Leo by the way. Leonardo La Furia.

Chris and me, we were in the same class in school, and he was quite athletic you could say. He wasn't muscular at all, but rather very lean, so he came across looking great overall. Too bad he was so bloody shy though, I hardly ever got a good look of his body! Whenever we've had gymnastics in school or been swimming or something, he'd simply hang back until the rest of us had showered and were busy dressing ourselves again. It must have been because he still hadn't started, you know...down there.

I'd seen him completely naked only once during all those years we'd been in the same class. He was like TINY and completely hairless, and once he saw me, he quickly turned away. Not that I minded seeing his back side, he had the most wonderful bum you could ever hope to lay your eyes on. His shoulders, sides and back was all sinewy, stringy muscles and prominently displayed ribs, but his butt... Ooh. Must have been all that running and mountain biking he did, because each full, dimpled cheek was like One Hundred Percent pure muscle covered by taughtly stretched creamy skin. They were each well more than a handful, and boy, did I want to grab them! I wanted it so bad, but I was totally certain he wouldn't appreciate something like that though, so I simply picked a shower a bit down the row and cleaned myself off, sneaking a peek at him whenever I could. I didn't want it to look too obvious, but I didn't have to worry. I could have been staring at him with my eyes wide open without him noticing; Chris was just standing there with his head hanging down, looking at his feet and trying to hide himself as much as he could.

As I passed him again, he shifted his stance so I wouldn't see his little willy, and as he did, my hand brushed past one of those magnificent buttocks. It was so soft, and so firm at the same time! That was what set me off that time about a year ago, and I kept imagining stuff for months afterwards, even dreaming about him. It was all in vain though, I was certain Chris was straight as an arrow. Not that I ever saw him with a girl though, he hardly spoke to them even. Actually, Chris hardly spoke to anyone.

It wasn't that nobody wanted to talk to him, or let him be with them; he simply was such a private person. I don't think it was like he'd behave in a shower, with that embarrassed shyness of his; more like he just didn't want much company. Sometimes he'd hang around when some of us were discussing something, but very seldom he'd offer his own opinion. Most of the time during a break, he'd simply disappear and come back just before the next class was about to start. I sometimes wondered what he was up to, but never thought much of it. Certainly not enough to try to spy on him, and now I'm glad I didn't. Maybe if I had, none of what happened later would have happened... Am I sounding mysterious? That's my intention.

Anyway, what set it all off one Monday was a simple push in a locker room. We had practiced track and field sports that day on the school's ancient outdoor sports arena with its oval 400m track, long jump pit and other torture devices conjured up by people that had a wholly different physique than me. I soon stood back and watched the others go at it. Chris, well he was simply unbeatable, he could outrun ANYONE, and he made it look easy too. I tried to impress him by timing him on the 100 meters race together with another of my classmates; Philip, the only other guy that came even close to Chris's level. I had my new watch that could do lots of neato stuff like remembering several lap times, etc. Unfortunately, I hadn't read the manual properly, and thus I screwed up.

Chris won the race of course, but as Philip crossed the finish, I accidentally overwrote Chris's result with his!

"Dammit Leo, you never get anything right!", Chris complained when I explained what had happened. He walked off in a huff, breathing heavily from his exertion.

I felt sad, I'd only been trying to help and then I get my head bitten off for an honest mistake! That stung, especially since it came from him. Chris almost never got angry or upset for any reason, he must have been very disappointed. I could tell he would have made a really good result, he was almost a second faster than Philip (who is bloody quick on his feet to begin with). But I couldn't give him an estimate either, Chris's results mattered to him. He wouldn't have been satisfied with just a guess.

"Yeah, good work, Leo!", Philip said with a laugh, then puffed a couple deep breaths as he rested his hands on his knees, his head all red like a lobster. I simply glared at him.

Back in the locker room, we were fooling around as usual after showering. Chris was getting ready to enter too, he had a towel wrapped around his narrow waist and was busy extracting his shorts from under there. Suddenly I was pushed rather hard by Will, making me crash into Chris's back side. The back of one of my hands pressed deep into one of those superior buttcheeks, but I was too surprised to actually get to enjoy it. It wasn't as if either he or I wanted us to make contact in that manner, and I regained my balance and withdrew as quickly as I could.

Everybody laughed and Chris spun around on me, looking as if I'd done it on purpose.

"I'm sorry", I said. "...I didn't mean-"

Chris sniffed at me, frowning, as if he didn't believe me. Then he turned his back on me again, grabbed his shampoo bottle and stalked out of there and into the showers. I shot Will a dark look, he just leered back at me. I never did like that guy much. He was shorter than me, and smaller, and even weaker than I was, but he was always quick to take the opportunity to get some enjoyment from someone else's misery. Dunno how the hell he got away with it, nobody seemed to get angry enough at him to beat him up. Maybe it was because he had such a superior, cocky attitude. Even though he was physically weak, you just didn't dare confront him.

Not that I was bullied in school, no. I wasn't. I just didn't have very many friends, that's all. I dunno why, if it was because I was the son of immigrants, or if my personal chemistry didn't go along with the rest of my class. I had a couple guys I hung around with, but we weren't really CLOSE friends. They sort of accepted my presence, but not much more than that.

It was a bit lonely, but I coped. I mean, it could have been worse!


A couple days passed. I didn't speak to Chris, I didn't dare to. He was as distant as always, didn't treat me any different than usual (which didn't say much, since we hardly ever spoke anyway). One day that changed all of a sudden.

I had just entered the Main Building that morning. It was old, built sometime in the later part of the nineteenth century I think, and was constructed out of stone masonry and bricks, resting on a tall socket of huge granite blocks. It also had really thick walls, close to a meter down at the base of the building I'd say, with even thicker pillars integrated to support the floors above. The main entrance consisted of a wide granite stone arch, several meters wide and just as tall, with a wooden framework inserted into it. The frame held four ancient and battered wooden doors with brass plate bracings, mounted in pairs, which allowed a steady stream of pupils to enter and exit. Wide stairs made of well-worn curving stone slabs with wrought-iron railings led up to the arch, and inside there was a huge hall with corridors branching out in three directions; left, right and straight ahead. The walls inside the building were clad with yellow and red glazed bricks, the ceiling arched high above and was set with an intricate mosaic pattern. The floors were equally worn square tiles of grey slate, many of them with white fossils of strange sea creatures encased in them. At either side of the main hall was a wooden staircase leading to the upper floors, and ahead in the forward corridor, classrooms branched out on both sides. The left and right corridor ran along the front of the building, with tall arched windows looking out at the schoolyard outside, with classrooms towards the inner wall. The corridors turned around a corner and ran the same way around the sides and back of the building too, creating two small inner gardens on either side of the main hallway. In all, the school was a massive seven storeys tall, and since it was an old building each floor was very high, so there was a lot of stairs-climbing in one day as we moved from classroom to classroom (elevators were off-limits to us normal pupils; only open for teachers and those with a handicap).

I had moved up to the third floor where our lockers were, and was just about to insert my key when someone shouted, "BOOOOO!" and gave me a push from behind. I nearly fainted of fright and turned around, an arm raised to protect myself from an attack!

I saw Chris standing there, grinning at me in a friendly manner, which was just so very strange. I'd never seen him do it before. Smiling quickly, yes, but not like that! Oh God, he was so beautiful... "Did I spook you?", he wanted to know. Like it wasn't plain as day he had!

I got hold of myself again, my heart still fluttering and flapping about like a panicky bird in a cage. "Christ! You could have KILLED me!", I managed.

"It's what we're good at, they say...", Chris replied strangely. I had no idea then what he meant by that. He was still grinning at me though, as if he was kind of proud of what he'd done.

I forced myself to take a couple deep, regular breaths to calm myself down. "Yeah, I guess", I replied, not really knowing what I was saying. "I... Uh, I didn't mean to bump into you like that the other day", I then said. "It was Will who pushed me."

Chris's grin faded, it was replaced by a more sombre expression on his much too boyish face. "Yeah. I knew. It is I who should apologise, I was really rude to you, not only then but also when you timed me. I was mad because of something, and I took it out on you... I shouldn't have, sorry." His voice was so smooth and sweet, even when he sounded guilty like he did then.

"It's okay. Just as long as you know what really happened..."

Chris shook his head to clear away some of the more annoying strands of hair out of his face, his shapely deep-blue cat's eyes blinking. My heart leapt at the sight, I still wasn't quite over him I think. We didn't speak much after that, we got our books out of our lockers and walked up to the fifth floor for the first lesson of the day, history. Sigh, not my most favourite of subjects, dead people and countries that didn't exist anymore...

After that, we kind of got into the habit of trying to sneak up on each other when we first got to school and give the other a little push before saying hello. Most of the time, Chris got the upper hand. I dunno, he was so quiet on his feet, I never got any warning when he was there, and I'd just feel a gentle nudge on a shoulder announcing his presence. He never scared me again like that first time.

We were starting to become friends I think, after so many years in school together. We'd been in the same class almost since the start of seventh grade (Chris joining a few weeks into the term), and yet I hardly even knew him! Of course, back then we'd been in the Auxiliary, the smaller school building across the yard that housed grades seven eight and nine. It was just as old as the Main Building, but more intimate. I missed it sometimes, not the classes, and certainly not the teachers. But the place itself, it was quieter, more peaceful. The Main Building was always full of people and noise. I still didn't know much about Chris himself though, he never spoke of himself, or his parents, or even his own interests. It might have seemed strange to someone looking in from the outside, but I was so used to it by then I just didn't react anymore. He had always been like that, so it was normal to me.

At lunchtime, he'd always disappear off somewhere. I didn't know where, he never ate with the rest of us in the school's dining hall. I asked him why, but he said he never got hungry during the day, or something like that. He didn't even want to come just to keep me company. I'd look at his almost too lean a body and silently wonder if he was anorectic or something, but I didn't say anything to him. It was his business, if he wanted it that way, who was I to argue?

We'd separate each day after school, he lived in almost the opposite direction from me, and he never asked me to come with him. I guessed he wanted to be alone, so I didn't ask him either to come to my place. Not then, at least.

After a couple weeks, on another Monday as it happened after PE training, we had kind of started to become comfortable with each other's presence, and I mentioned to him I was thinking of taking up running. We were sitting on a bench in the south-east corner of the seventh floor, a kind of lonely and out-of-the-way place. Next to us was the door to the "chamber of horrors", the biology lab storage room. The place was filled with cupboards loaded with glass bottles full of dead things pickled in formalin, like shark spawn, brains, bear paws and whatever other strange stuff you'd find in such a place. Those jars were never shown, not that I know at least, they just stood in there collecting dust. Don't know what they were good for, but they were sacred relics all the same.

"I gotta get rid of these love handles", I told him and pinched some fat from off my stomach.

Chris's sweet mouth widened in a boyish grin. "You don't have love handles! You're just a bit soft, that's all." Suddenly his hand zipped out, and he poked a thinly boned finger in my stomach. "See?", he laughed. "Soft!"

I felt a little silly. Yes, I was soft, compared to him at least, there wasn't a wasted ounce on his entire body. In fact, he was kind of TOO lean. I was almost scared sometimes seeing him with his shirt off in the dressing room. He looked like a porcelain doll with that pale skin of his, like the slightest shock would fracture him to pieces.

"Well anyway, I was wondering if we could meet up some day. I will never get off my butt without some help...", I said to cover my embarrassment.

Chris nodded, making his floppy hair flow. "How about tomorrow?"

I agreed, and then we sat in silence until the break was over. I didn't see him much for the rest of the day (like usual) except in class where we couldn't talk of course, and neither during the next either. I hoped he still remembered what he had said though.


I got the upper hand on him for once in the morning, but instead of giving him a push like usual, I snuck up on him as he was reaching into his locker for something and laid my hand on his shoulder.

"Hi Leo", he said without turning around.

"Good morning!", I told him brightly. I kept my hand on his shoulder a little too long, hoping for some kind of reaction that never came. Reluctantly, I withdrew it again.

Finally he turned to look at me. His face was completely neutral. "Why, you seem to be in a good mood today", he commented almost absently.

Well, yeah. I HAD BEEN... I tried to keep up my cheerfulness all the same, but couldn't. I reverted back to the same inert face as Chris. It had been a foolish, ridiculous wish, that he'd fallen for me yesterday just because he'd invited me for a run together with him! He was much too pretty, what would he see in a guy like me anyway? And I was a GUY, not even a girl. That just made it even harder for me. I'd always known I wasn't interested in girls, but Chris... He was. Don't ask me why I thought that way, I just did.

I really should get over him, I was thinking. He held no attraction for me, I was sure of it more than ever before. I was being silly, childish, clinging on to a ridiculous notion. The day passed slowly with all the usual subjects. Chris was good in school. I suspected he even held back a little, giving the wrong answers on purpose at times as not to look like he was too much of a show-off. I merely did okay, especially in math and such. Not sure if I really liked any subject actually. I had no idea what I wanted to study after mandatory school was over, or if I should get myself a job instead or something. I couldn't ask my parents, I was more than certain they'd insist on university to make an academic out of me like them, but I wasn't sure that was what I wanted. In short, just like I said, I really didn't have a clue.

Chris had been absent while present so to speak for most of the day. He still remembered, though. At the end of the day, he approached me as we both were leaving.

"You know of Sanctuary Valley, right?", he wanted to know. Yeah, of course I knew. It wasn't the true name for the place, but many called it that anyway. The last truly unspoiled piece of land for many, many kilometres around. Heavily forested slopes, with a long, narrow lake in the middle of it all. There was a lot of wildlife there, and the only inroads Humanity had made in the place was by laying down a couple dozen kilometres of narrow walking and running trails. "Meet me at five at the start of the blue track, okay?"

I nodded. The blue track wasn't too bad, only three kilometres in length. It felt like a suitable first target to tackle.

I was there way early, parking my bike on the gravel parking lot just outside where the exercise area began. It was surrounded by trees, but there were buildings and roads not too far off all the same. I looked around for Chris, but could not see him. His bike was there though, a tough aluminium MTB thing that was a shiny green in colour (not spray painted, it was a transparent kind of surface treatment, I dunno what it was called) with worn tires, the whole thing a bit scratched and muddy here and there.

I tried to warm up as best I could, but I was so lost when it came to physical workout I didn't know at all what I was doing. I stood there, swinging my arms and running on the spot, hoping to see Chris any minute. I saw some other joggers, alone, in pairs, with a dog, etc. I saw people walking or riding their bikes (even though it wasn't allowed), no Chris.

I stopped moving, feeling myself start to get tired (!), I then started getting tired of waiting for him. After almost half an hour, ten minutes past five, I saw him coming running around a bend, along the black track. Running at a good clip too.

The black track was twelve kilometres long...

He saw me standing there and raised an arm to wave at me. His face was a reddish-pink in colour, and he was drenched in sweat. Slowing down to a jog, he came up to me and reached out his arms, stopping himself against my body.

"Ooowwwwff!", he huffed. "Sorry about being late, I'm not entirely in shape it seems." He was wearing a pair of shorts, and a sleeveless synthetic jersey with a soccer team motif printed on it. I had my white-and-blue-striped long-sleeved training overall.

I grinned, darned impressed as I was. "Hey, you look totally pooped. You can't run off with me now, can you?" I was a bit worried I had come all for nothing.

"Just let me catch my breath a little", Chris said and almost staggered over to his bike. Leaning down, he rummaged around under a bush and pulled out a plastic water bottle. He pulled the stopper and tilted it vertical, sending a stream of water into his mouth and all over his sweaty face and hair (which had turned a couple shades darker due to the moisture coming from his body).

Chris stretched his legs by standing with his feet wide apart and leaning in various directions, sometimes touching the ground with the palms of his hands. The guy was really supple in his body, and it made me totally envious. But I did get a good look at his legs though, they were really nice too, almost as sexy as his rump. Chris's legs were shapely and tapering, fairly thick and muscled at the middle, but nowhere as chunky near the knee as you'd see on professional bicyclists or ball players and such. His calves were also well developed, but like the rest of his legs, not excessive. They were rounded and lean, and very hard when he tensed them up... In all, his legs just seemed very attractive, quite simply!

As he stretched and regained strength, I slowly walked a full circle around him. We did not speak, and I didn't know if Chris understood I was studying his body so closely, but he didn't seem to mind even if he had noticed anyway.

Suddenly Chris righted himself. "Alright, I'm ready", he announced. "Let's take it slow to begin with, okay? For your sake." He said it in a friendly manner, smiling faintly at me to show he didn't mean to be insulting.

"Hey, don't hold back on my account!", I told him in mock outrage. I got my wish, Chris suddenly dashed off taking the blue track, and I yelped as I struggled to catch up with him. I barely managed to keep his speed for the first few hundred meters, and wondered how I was going to last the full three kilometres! Fortunately for me, he intuitively slowed down to a more reasonable (for me) level, and I started to get in stride. I was a bit stiff to begin with, and at the two kilometre mark my legs were burning. I thought I was going to collapse, but then I got my second wind, and it started to get easier again somehow. Dunno what happened, I felt new strength flow into me, and I started to enjoy it.

We came back to the starting point, having made good time. Chris immediately jogged off down the green path, the 1.5 kilometre track, without stopping and I followed eagerly. I felt like I could run forever right then. Our speed increased a little, but as we came up on the halfway point I started sagging again. It seemed I had hit my untrained limit, and even though Chris actually pushed on my back, shouting encouragement like, "Come on! You can do it! Just a little more, just a little more!", at me, I was just about completely wasted. Ahead, I saw a huge pile of wood flakes like they used to sprinkle on the tracks and I pointed.

"Race... There. Okay?", I panted.

Chris acknowledged, and we pushed our tortured limbs even further. I felt myself running, but I was kinda detached from myself at the same time. As if I was merely pulling strings to make my legs move. I struggled harder and harder, but ran slower and slower. Chris was as tired as me, we were just about alongside each other. Then he stumbled a little, I dunno, maybe he stepped on a pebble or a pine cone or something, and lost a little speed. He didn't fall, he merely allowed me to slip ahead even if it was unintentional. I raised my arms in the air and steered towards that big inviting pile of softness, fully intending to throw myself into it.

"Woo-hooo!", I shouted. "Leo la Furia, he is the winner!"

Then there was a push from behind, and I began to tilt forward. I tried to regain my balance, but it was impossible. With my arms waving wildly, I tumbled down into the big pile, sinking down in the dry wood flakes. Chris followed immediately afterwards, and we sort of got all jumbled up as we rolled around in the kinda spongy material, and when I righted myself, I found myself lying down on my back in the pile with my head resting on Chris's heaving chest, my neck arcing over his left arm.

The pile smelled faintly of pine resin, and it was so very soft and comfortable.


I thought - for a fraction of a second - that he'd get annoyed again with me touching him like that once more, but I was so bloody tired I hardly could move at all so I decided I just wouldn't care. I simply laid there and felt dizzy as blood and oxygen rushed up into my brain. I felt Chris's heart hammer away beneath his sternum, a rapid do-dumm do-dumm do-dumm. I stretched out my arms wide, and the fingers on my right hand brushed against his left leg. I pretended as if I didn't notice the contact, or if I did, that I didn't care. The thigh twitched a little in a muscle spasm, I felt his soft skin touch mine just barely...

We laid there and caught our breath, neither of us speaking. Chris recovered way faster than me, his pulse was almost down to normal levels even as I averaged over a hundred beats a minute it felt like. Suddenly he began humming in a very low voice, I almost felt it through his breastbone more than heard it. Words came later, Latin, I think but I don't know for certain. I do speak Italian fluently of course, and the languages are related, but I couldn't tell anyway. It sounded like it, but not, at the same time.

Chris sang for me, very softly, but very distinctly too. That's how you know a truly great singer, when you find someone that can sing in not just a powerful, mighty voice, but in a low and gentle one as well and still get every note, every word, to carry its own weight. I had no idea what the words meant, I just relaxed and listened, feeling comforted in a way I don't think I ever had up until then. I felt myself getting goose bumps. He wasn't just GOOD, he was AWESOME. He did things with his voice then and there I'd never heard him do in the chapel, even when he sang a solo. That was his performance, and it was meant just for me, nobody else. My eyes began to burn, and I felt a tear leave the corner of an eye, striking me smack on my ear.

For how long he sang, I don't know, but when he stopped I wished he hadn't. I wanted it to continue and continue...

"That was so beautiful...", I said, my voice husky. "What was it?"

Chris didn't reply at once, but after a short while he quietly said, "Some day, I will tell you..." He could be like that sometimes. So secretive.

We sat up together, and sensing a weakness in his normal defensive armour right then I moved an arm behind his back and lightly rested it on his bony hip. He turned towards me, his sapphire, sea-blue eyes all glazed and shiny like he'd been close to crying too, and I thought we were going to kiss. I even puckered my lips in anticipation, eyes squinting, but his face swept past mine, and he simply rested his head against my neck and shoulder. I was kind of lost there for a second or two, but then I brought up my other hand and smoothed out his thick blonde hair, combing small wood flakes out of it with my fingers.

We touched for just the briefest of moments, then he smoothly rose up, and the magic was gone.

"Thanks for coming", he said plainly. "It was fun running with you."

His voice didn't say anything about the time we spent after running. It was as if it had never happened to him. Then he started walking off. I got up too, but as I had extended myself fully, Chris was already off at a run. He wasn't fleeing away from me, it was as if I just didn't exist to him anymore and I watched him disappear. I could have tried to chase after him, but my legs were like boiled spaghetti and I couldn't have run another step even if my life depended on it.

I considered calling out for him to stop, to wait up for me. But I knew he wouldn't have done it anyway.

When I finally managed to get back to my bike he was already long gone. I could see the tracks his bicycle tires had made in the gravel as he pedalled away; he'd scattered quite a lot of dirt and I wondered how that spidery body of his could contain so much power...

I barely managed to bike home to my place, using the lowest gears. I was like jelly all below my waist, and I just barely made it in time for dinner. Instead of food, I got immediately sent off to take a shower, and when I got back everything was cold and unappetising. My mum and dad, well they weren't perhaps the most affectionate of parents, but they treated me okay I think. Being an only child made it a bit lonely though, but they didn't want any more kids. I guess I knew why. They had been young and passionately in love eighteen years ago and they had eloped, conceived me, and afterwards became very guilty over what they'd done. They immediately married before they were ready for it for religious reasons, and had been living a life pretty much devoid of emotions since then. They hardly ever fought with each other, but neither did they kiss or hug either. They concentrated on their respective careers instead. I didn't really know what I was missing in the way of parental love. I guess I knew there was something of a hole inside me where something should have been, but I didn't know what should fit into there...

We ate, they asked the standard questions (in Italian of course, that was the language we spoke at home), about how my day had been and such, and sometimes it felt like they'd just nod and say 'mm-hmm' even if I told them I got so bored in class that day I had flown out a window and taken a nap on a cloud. The only time they really seemed interested in my schoolwork was when I brought home bad grades, and then they'd both become livid.

I went to my room and laid down on my bed, humming softly to myself, trying to remember the melody Chris had sung to me. It was impossible, so at nine I turned off all lights and went to sleep. It wasn't hard, I was so totally exhausted, and my body craved rest just as much as my mind.

The next day I was in total pain. I could hardly move, and making it to the breakfast table became a major undertaking, and breakfast was always a sombre ceremony in our household. (Okay, enough of the morbidity for now...) Not to mention what it was like getting to school, even if I got better after moving a bit. I made sure I had plenty of time, because I absolutely could not hurry. My legs refused to work anywhere near their normal efficiency level (taking the bike was out of the question, I had to walk), and I did not savoir the thought of all those stairs in school either.

I did make it to my locker however, and as soon as I'd reached it and inserted my key, there was a nudge on my shoulder.

Chris was there. He acknowledged me, and then curtly turned to his locker, getting out the stuff he'd need for next class. I didn't know what to think, with the day before and all that, was he toying with me or what? I was fairly uncertain, you could say, and Chris didn't exactly help either by not speaking to me. Well, I was used to him behaving oddly, so I just tried to shrug it off - which wasn't easy!

I tried to catch hold of him several times during the day, but he would only offer up some excuse to get away. He was polite, mind you, but not very talkative. It was so frustrating trying to speak to him when he behaved like that, I almost gave up. But then I just had to look at his much too cute face to remember why I struggled so hard...

"Why do you keep running after him like that?", Robert wanted to know as he caught up to me in a hallway, us both watching Chris's rapidly retreating back. "He's a kook! A loon! A total nutcase."

We were kind of friendly-ish, me and Robert. He was a bit like the brother I never had in some respects, a big teddy-bear of a guy that never said a really bad word about anyone (even the remarks he made about Chris were said in a friendly, joking manner), and someone you could trust to not abandon you in a pinch. I wished I knew him better, but even though we were classmates, we didn't share the same friends, so like with so many others, we were only on friendly terms, but not much more. He wasn't very imaginative however, that I wanted to be friendly with Chris must have seemed very alien to him.

I just shrugged in reply to his question. I was going to say something, but I didn't know what. Then Robert did something I'd never expect of him. "You know...", he said slowly. "He may have a pretty face, and I can understand if you fancy him, but don't go there alright? That guy... He totally creeps me out." I looked at him strangely. How the hell could HE of all people have said something like that? "...Not that I'm saying you do fancy him", Robert added quickly. He was always careful not to offend people.

I shook my head, not knowing what the hell to believe really.

"Sometimes I think Chris doesn't exist at all", Robert said, his voice sort of distant. "It's as if he's merely a shadow in my mind, a wisp of smoke drifting through..." Then he blinked, as if he'd suddenly snapped back to reality and didn't understand what he'd just said. "You take care, okay?", he simply added and hurried off as well, maybe worried about speaking so strangely to me.

At the end of the day, I finally managed to grab hold of Chris. He couldn't escape so easily that time, I was standing in front of his locker and would not budge. He gave me a look of frustration: he knew he'd have to get violent to get me out of the way, but he wasn't like that at all. Besides, he was so thin I doubt he really could have budged me from the spot even had he wanted to try.

"What do you want?", he asked me, looking tired and resigned as he held his books close to his body, as if to shield himself from something.

I crossed my arms across my chest, showing I wasn't about to simply go away. "Just talk, that's all", I said. "Can we talk without you running off?"

His shoulders slumped. "Yeah. Okay."

"Look, do you mind?!", Lisa asked me in a semi-nasty voice. She had the locker below Chris's, and I was standing in front of hers as well. I moved aside and put a firm hand on Chris's shoulder, guiding him over to a tall window. I felt like grabbing hold of his sweater just in case he decided to try to bail out on me, but I didn't. We sat on the wide ledge, letting our legs dangle down.

"Why do you keep avoiding me?"

Chris squirmed uncomfortably, refusing to look at my face. "I don't know... It's... It's difficult. I can't say." He looked like the archetype of a moping teenager when he was staring down at his shoes like that, his blonde hair hanging down over those amazing eyes of his.

I lowered my voice. "Was it because of what happened yesterday?" People were talking and shouting all around us, walking and running past, books rattled around in lockers, metal doors opened and slammed shut, but I didn't want anyone to listen in on our conversation all the same.

Chris shook his head. "I-... I just don't want to talk about it, that's all."

I leaned in towards him, and he shied away a little. "Well, you're just going to have to talk, because I'm not going away, and I think I lo-"

"NO! Don't say it!", Chris shouted and gave me a push so I almost fell off the ledge and down on the floor. Our books went flying, and he simply took off down the hall like the wind. All activity stopped, everyone looking straight at me. I shrugged back at them, feeling my face grow hot. Lucky me I'm so dark-skinned it wouldn't show.

"What are you gawking at?", I asked the others angrily, then without waiting for an answer I knew wasn't forthcoming I started picking up mine and Chris's books and stuffed them into my locker. Slowly, people resumed their previous activities, some looked at me in a funny manner. I had no idea what they were thinking.


I slowly walked home, still stiff and in pain from my exercise the day before. As I walked, I was thinking of Chris. I knew I was attracted to him, what had made me say that which set him off like that? I didn't know. What was Chris feeling? That was even more difficult to say. He didn't HATE me, that I knew. Not even when he'd stormed off like that.

I felt a strange kind of warmth building inside me, much like what happens when you exercise, but it seemed deeper, more intense somehow. My aches simply started to fade, pushed away by the warmth. I thought all that walking must be doing me a world of good.

Suddenly I got the impression someone was walking along behind me. Not stalking me, there was no fear involved. It was more like friendly company I think. But of course, as soon as I was fully aware of it I just had to turn around to check.

The street was empty, completely deserted. A small parade of parked cars along the pavement, that was all, and rows of houses on either side. There was nobody behind me, I had been imagining the whole thing. I turned back again and started walking faster, feeling angry at myself for being silly. That warmth must also have been my imagination. It was gone, but I still didn't hurt as much as before so I guess the walk did do me some good after all. I made time pass until it was time to go to bed, and then had a fitful night's sleep. I kept dreaming about Chris. I can't remember what happened in any of them, but I think we were naked together in one dream, because I woke up with a start and had gooed up my underwear. Disgusted, I stripped off my briefs and went to the bathroom to clean myself. It was a little past four in the morning, and I had trouble going back to sleep again.

The next school day, Wednesday, was uneventful. TOO uneventful even; Chris didn't show up at all, which was very unlike him. I couldn't remember the last time he'd skipped a day in school (don't think he ever had). Was he sick, or had I scared him off? I worried, not able to decide which alternative was the more likely. Robert and I exchanged a few quick glances during the day. It seemed he was aware what I was thinking, because every time our eyes met, he'd shake his head slightly but firmly, as if warning me to continue down my chosen path.

Physically, I was almost back to my old self, just a little sore in my calves and hamstrings, other than that I felt pretty good. In the afternoon I thought I'd better try another shot at doing some running, so I got into my training gear and parked the bike at the same spot on the gravelled parking lot as two days before, somehow hoping to see Chris's bike there too. Those hopes were in vain, of course, he wasn't there. Or, at least his bike wasn't.

I shook my limbs to loosen them up after the bike ride, then slowly started jogging along the blue track. I passed the one kilometre mark, breathing heavily. At fifteen hundred meters, I was breathing laboriously. At two kilometres, I could hardly take another step, and I still had a third of the track left! I couldn't understand how I'd managed about four and a half kilometres just two days earlier! Maybe I hadn't recovered as much as I thought... I had to stop and walk the last seven hundred meters of the way, feeling dead tired and panting like a dog.

What an utter disaster that had been, and I was moody and uncommunicative for the rest of the evening, not that my parents noticed much anyway.

Next day, in the morning, I felt a very light touch on my shoulder as I stood in front of my locker. Chris was back, and he seemed quite embarrassed actually.

"I'm sorry", he said very quietly to me. "I was rude to you again."

I felt like hugging him right then and there, but I couldn't. I was sure that would have scared the guy stiff all over again, and besides, there were too many people around. Guys hugging in a Catholic school...unthinkable. I merely smiled slightly at him. "It's OK", I said. "I was a bit worried about you yesterday, when you didn't show up."

He blushed just a little, his skin was so pale it turned a faint shade of reddish pink, but he didn't say anything. To cover the silence, I got out his books that I'd kept for him and gave them to him. He nodded, silently thanking me and started putting them back into his locker at the spot each book belonged. He had them sorted in strict alphabetical order, something that always amused me.

Without pushing him to say anything else, I got my stuff and left with him for the first class of the day. School just seemed a little more bearable now that Chris was around...

At lunch I didn't go to the dining hall to eat. I caught on to Chris instead, not really determined to find out where he was going every day, I just wanted to spend more time with him. He seemed a bit awkward about having me following him, but didn't say anything as we walked down the winding and slightly creaking stairs to the ground floor.

"I tried running a bit again yesterday", I started.

He looked at me for the first time since leaving the lockers at the start of the lunch break. "Aha?", he said. Not, 'so how did it go?', he didn't have to. I kind of knew that was what he'd meant.

I grinned at him. "It was a catastrophe..."

"Well, you shouldn't expect too much in the beginning", he replied solemnly. As we reached the boys' room he stopped next to the door. "Sorry, I'll just be a minute, okay?"

"Sure. Take your time."

He went inside, and I leaned back against a wall, waiting for him to return. After a while I was starting to think that it had been an awfully long minute. I checked my new watch, and found I'd been standing there for eight, maybe even ten minutes! I sighed. Maybe he had been sick yesterday and was still suffering the effects of it. After another five minutes had dragged themselves by in a painfully slow manner, I went inside to check what was going on. All the booths were empty, there was nobody there! I looked at the tall, narrow windows with their white, opaque glass screens. One was slightly ajar... I pushed it open and looked out. The drop from the window to ground level was maybe not quite three meters or so, pretty safe for a light, agile guy. Of course, Chris was nowhere in sight.

I sighed. Dammit, I shouldn't have pushed myself on him like that I realised even as I felt hurt by him just dumping me there like that. Why couldn't he just have TOLD me he wanted to be alone?

Afterwards he was very apologetic. I just said to him to forget it, I didn't want his apologies. So, he felt the need to act all weird and stuff, OKAY, I could understand that in a way! But why couldn't he have warned me first? Chris seemed as hurt by my rejection as I was by his, but I refused to acknowledge it. My chest burned with pain at seeing him like that, but I was so angry. He had let me down AGAIN!

Chris was still dejected at the end of the day. I hadn't spoken to him at all since after lunch, even though he had tried to (for the first time ever I think, he had actually tried to initiate conversation). When I was about to leave, he grabbed my arm and pulled me to a stop. I angrily looked at him, my eyes telling him in no uncertain terms to let go of me. He would not.

"...Leo? Please. Can't we..." His fair voice gave out on him. Christ! Was he going to start crying in the school hallway? Then he seemed to grab hold of himself again. "Can't we be friends again? I'm sorry, but I-... I need to be alone sometimes, I can't say why. You wouldn't understand."

I forcefully shook myself free from his grasp. "Well, maybe if you tried to explain, maybe I actually WOULD", I told him harshly. "But you don't! You just act strange all the time, how can I be friends with someone who doesn't trust me?!"

I actually thought he was going to start crying. He wiped the corner of an eye, his face twitching like he was about to lose it. Jesus, seeing him like that made me understand I really did love him! I just wanted to put my arms around him and comfort him and let him cry with his head leaning against my chest... At the same time, he was such a strange person I wasn't certain how he'd react if I tried to. He might panic, I thought. Actually, he probably WOULD panic.

Chris hid his face in his hands and walked off to a wall, then stood there facing it, hiding, with his head bent down. People passed us constantly, from both directions. Nobody noticed, nobody cared.


I stood just behind Chris. I'm sure he was crying, but I heard no noise from him, and there was no movement. He just stood there. I raised up a hand to put on his shoulder, to show that at least I cared. But I couldn't make myself take that final step, and with my hand hovering a scant few centimetres from him I turned away and walked off. I felt like a real jerk, while at the same time I was still angry at him for not telling me what it was all about. I hurried down to the ground floor and fled outside, trying to leave my thoughts of Chris behind. I could not. I unlocked and got on my bike, riding home as fast as I could in an attempt to outrun my worries. I could not do that either.

I had barely got the door open when I heard the phone ringing. I ran inside with my shoes still on, since I had no idea how many signals had already gone through. When I lifted the handle and put it to my ear I heard a very loud background hiss, and some kind of crackling noise, like I had the worst connection ever.

"Hello?", I said. "Leo La Furia speaking." Still that hissing/crackling noise. "Hello?! Anybody there?" I was starting to think it was a prank call or something, and was just about to hang up when I heard his voice.

"It's me. Chris." It was so faint, it barely reached over the noise floor.

"What? Chris, is that really you?" I could hardly hear what he was saying! "Where the heck are you calling from, Bosnia?"

Chris was quiet for a few seconds. "...Uh, no. I'm, ah, at home...sort of. We're having problems with our phone line", he finally said, not very convincingly. I silently wondered what was going on. "Look... I'm sorry. I really am, I shouldn't have run off like that at lunch, but I really can't tell you why. It's just the way things are..." Again a moment of silence, interrupted only by more of those strange crackles. "Accept my apologies and please, please forgive me!"

For a second I felt like saying no to him and hanging up the phone, just to punish him. I'd hurt myself just as bad, because I knew if I did, he would never speak to me again or even look at me. I was sure of it. But I still almost did it. Almost. And if I had, my life would have turned out very differently. Not necessarily for the better or worse, I don't know, but definitely quite differently.

"Yeah, well... Okay then", I said instead.

There was no sigh of relief or anything from the other end, none that I could hear anyway through the noise. I still thought his mood had changed somewhat though. "So, do you want to get down to the valley again and run some?", he asked.

I was a bit ambivalent. On one hand I very much wanted to (mainly because it was a reason to be alone with Chris again), and on the other I felt that maybe he was asking just for my sake, and that he'd rather be alone like usual.

"Well", I started. "I'm not sure, I don't seem to be very good at running..."

Chris seemed to brighten up all of a sudden. "Oh come on!", he said. "You wanted to get in shape didn't you?"

"Okay then. If you're sure."

We decided to meet up down at the valley parking lot, and said our goodbyes. I was giddy with excitement for no reason it felt like, after all we were just going to run a bit in a forest. Nothing like the dream I had the other night...

I changed clothes, I put on my sweatpants and a T-shirt, but not the jacket. It became too hot last time so I skipped it, and then biked down there as fast as I could. Chris was already there of course when I arrived, I think the distance was about equal for us two (I didn't know exactly where he lived then), but even if he'd had twice the distance compared to me I still think he'd won. I saw him standing next to his bike, dressed in the same outfit as last time, a soccer jersey and shorts and running shoes of course. I felt so happy I cheered and waved my hands as I saw him. He smiled at me, oh God, he was so freakin hot! My pulse quickened just by seeing him.

I got off my bike and literally ran up to him, and he was still smiling. I'd never seen him so relaxed and carefree I think, and it made me glad. How long would it last? Forever, I hoped, but that was just a dream. If it lasted for the next half-hour, I'd been satisfied!

We started off slow, again the blue track, and soon I found myself liking it. Running was much easier than the day before, I could keep up with Chris quite well if he didn't go too fast, and if I remembered to breathe properly, deeply. I passed the point where I'd had to stop the day before, and while I was feeling tired, it was a GOOD kind of tiredness somehow. I felt it in my legs, but they didn't become clumsy and leaden. We switched over to the green track, and our pace increased a couple notches. Chris did not intend for me to be able to reach the end, I was sure. As we got closer to the wood flake pile, we kept going faster and faster, me getting more tired, but there was still strength in me all the same! I didn't know where it came from, we just kept pushing each other on and on. We started to shout and whoop wildly to each other even as we panted for more air, and as we came in sight of our goal we were both at a full sprint!

I had finally hit my physical limit, Chris pulled ahead of me easily, and I barely managed to catch hold of his jersey with one hand. He had to slow down or else he'd ripped the material, but he still raised his thin arms high like I had done and yelled, "And Sumner crosses the finishing line, he is the unthreatened champion! La Furia is disqualified for cheating, yaay!" It was so unlike him I started laughing even as I was dying for oxygen, I couldn't help it.

I was going to push him like he had done to me that last time, but my legs gave out on me and I would have fallen if Chris for some reason hadn't spun around and caught hold of me. He tried to drag me up on my feet again, but I was too much off-balance so when I clung on to him we both tumbled down into that big, soft pile in an uncontrolled manner. I feared I would land heavily on top of him and hurt him, but there was nothing I could do about it. I had turned around in the fall, and was lying on my back, Chris had landed nearly on top of me as it turned out, almost bruising me even though he wasn't particularly heavy. His left leg laid over my left leg, my left arm, that had been holding on to his shirt, went under his arm and across his back as he laid down on top of my stomach and chest. I tried out of concern of him to move away, but he just flopped down and completely anchored me in place, so after a few seconds I just stopped struggling and relaxed as well.

I WANTED him there, darn it! Right where he was!

Chris' head rested against my chest, his fluffy hair tickling me on my chin. I felt his hot breath against the arm that I had draped across him. The pile of chipped wood still smelled faintly of pine, and it was really warm in there; it was a good insulator for my body heat. His body was both soft and hard and knobbly at the same time. And so very, very warm, he was like an oven, radiating heat.

We both seemed equally tired somehow, too tired actually to even talk, me simply enjoying the feel of him pressing down on me. I wished I had dressed in shorts just like him, but it was too late to do anything about it... My hand felt his heaving side, easily identifying each of those well-outlined, almost gaunt ribs of his through his thin jersey, and I was doing all I could to NOT get the most powerful erection I'd ever had.

Chris didn't make it any easier for me when he moved his left leg in between mine, kinda straddling my left leg, and then adjusted himself so he laid almost straight on top of my body. I realised I would have felt his tiny willy pressing against me had we been naked, and that made my heart beat faster again. I was thinking thoughts involving huge glaciers, polar ice-caps and icy baths to cool down my raging hormones, and I got myself under control again. I raised up my leg just a tiny amount in between his to see if I somehow could feel him, but there was still no impression of his genitals. If only I hadn't been wearing those long pants!

Christ, I wanted him! I wanted him so bad...!

Despite our seemingly intimate contact, Chris himself didn't seem as much sexually aroused as simply plain tired. He didn't actively touch me or anything, he just laid there. I imagined he was inviting me to make first advances, but what if I was wrong? I could end up scaring him away again!

Suddenly he moved just a little, kind of snuggling up against me. "You ARE soft, Leo...", he said quietly, contentedly, probably with a little smile on his lips. I almost lost it right then, my heart skipped a couple beats I think and then made a double beat to make up for it; it was an almost painful experience. I thought, now or never. Double or nothing.

Letting the hand I had on his back wander down, I slowly reached one of those superior buttocks. I did it really carefully so he'd have ample time to stop me if he wanted to. I let my fingers creep like a crab over the rising mound until they were resting on top, then I gently spread them out to feel as much of him as possible with my entire hand, gently squeezing that perfect dimpled hemisphere. It was ALL made of firm, hot muscle beneath his shorts, but completely relaxed at the same time, so his flesh was almost moulding itself after my fingers as I touched him... It was so incredible, it was what I had been wanting, wishing, for a year or more.

Chris sighed very softly and seemed to relax even more (if possible), and I could not possibly keep myself in control anymore. Blood started to rush into my own willy like a spring torrent, I was going to give myself away to him, but there was no stopping it anymore!

Then he immediately jumped up, I was surprised and for a painful second thought I'd scared him again, but he reached down and heaved me up on my feet as well and started brushing off wood flakes from himself. Just seconds later, a whole group of people jogged past. I just stood there, sort of hiding behind Chris, holding a hand over my crotch to mask my budding erection, both from the group of strangers and from him.


Chris turned to me when they had passed, his face slightly flushed. "Oops!", he then said. "Close call...!"

I started laughing, and as I did, my body had time to cool itself off. Chris smiled slightly, still looking more relaxed than usual.

"Okay", he said. "We'd better start moving again or I will cramp up... I need a stretch."

I acknowledged with a nod, and we began jogging back to our bikes at a slow pace. I barely managed that much, my muscles having burnt off almost all of their energy reserves. When we got there, Chris started to teach me how to stretch properly, and I was awfully stiff, but after following his instructions I felt myself loosen up at least a bit. When we got on our bikes I thought he'd simply dash straight back home, but I didn't want that.

"Why don't you come over to my place?", I asked, trying to keep my voice level as my heart pounded with hope and anticipation. Chris seemed ambivalent. On one hand I could tell he wanted to, on the other there was a strange kind of fear, like he was concerned he might be enjoying himself too much. Don't ask me how I knew that, I just did. Now it was my turn to push him along... "Come on, you said you wanted us to be friends! What do friends do together? They go visit each other, that's what!"

"Hmm. Uh... Okay then", he replied, kind of reluctantly, almost sullenly.

"We can watch some TV in my room or something, just for a while, okay?"

Chris shrugged, like he didn't care much either way. I simply decided to take it as a sign of acceptance of my proposal anyway. We'd have an hour, maybe one and a half to ourselves before my parents came home. Not much, but it would have to do. Not that I expected much anyway, Chris again seemed quite distant. Not as bad as before we started talking, but nowhere near that carefree mood he'd been in earlier either.

We biked home to my parents' flat, not going very fast because I was still pretty exhausted. I'm sure Chris could have made really good time, had he known the way. We didn't compete however, we simply rode in silence, me looking whenever I could at the way his hair flowed in the wind, how the muscles in his arms and legs flexed and relaxed as he pedalled. He kept his eyes on the road, staring straight ahead. Seemingly unaware I was studying him, dreaming about him...

Our flat wasn't very impressive. It was fairly small, and kind of overcrowded with things from our old home country. Even though my parents both brought in decent money, they never seemed to spend it on anything, certainly not on new furniture. I quickly guided him through the flat - which was ripe with a lingering smell of spicy Italian cooking - to my room, to avoid him looking too much at our old-style furnishings. I had a smallish room, barely room for my bed along one wall, my desk along the opposite, a low bench between them beneath the windows with my alarm clock and a swivel-base on which my TV was placed (so I could watch it while in vertical position on my bed too). And my pride and joy, a large armchair, which I had received as a gift a few years back on my birthday. It was one of the few instances where my parents had acted on their own volition to give me something I desired. I had seen the chair a few weeks before and literally fallen in love with it. It was huge, with a tall back and a wide seat. It could even be tilted backwards by means of an adjustable spring. I had no idea what it cost, but it probably was quite expensive, and I was very thankful on that birthday as my dad brought in the huge package through the front door (it barely fit, even with the chair disassembled inside).

When I got Chris inside my room, I pulled off my soaked sweater and tossed it on the floor. After a bit of hesitation, Chris followed my example, and I got a good view of his lean, almost scrawny body. I jumped into the chair, all the way back, and sat with my legs spread wide, patting the seat in front of me to show where I wanted him to be. Chris seemed reluctant, but I reached out with a hand and caught his wrist, pulling him in.

He slowly sat down at the very front of the armchair, as shy as always.

"Aaww, come ON! You can't sit there, you'll block my view!"

I put my arms around his stomach and interlaced my fingers, and thus dragged him closer. His stomach was quite firm (and the skin so very soft), there was no fat on it at all, but still not very much muscle either, just like the rest of him. I could feel it quiver at my touch, and from his sharp intake of breath. Then he sort of relaxed a bit and let me pull him closer. I kept at it, and soon he was sitting right in front of me, almost in my lap. Then he surprised me by wiggling a bit with his narrow hips, working himself in even tighter against me. I pushed a bit on his chest, and he automatically leaned backwards until our naked skin made contact. Aaahhh... Such utter pleasure! Chris was so warm and firm and velvety all at the same time, and just a little sweaty still, which made us stick together. His pale bony back simply melted into my...uh...cuddly-ish brown-skinned body. It was too fantastic to be true, I thought.

He let his head fall back a little so our cheeks touched. Oh my God, how soft he was...

My willy was again my main focus, it had become trapped, wedged, inside my pants between my thigh and the side of Chris's lovely bum, and I had to struggle to avoid it getting hard. It was a battle I was slowly losing, and the more ground I lost, the more I felt my mental grip slip away.

It was like a runaway nuclear process, each split nucleus would result in at least two more split nuclei, which...

I felt myself growing, starting to press against Chris, harder and harder. He must have understood what was happening to me, but instead of pulling away, he leaned in even more against me, taking hold of my hands and placing them firmly on his own stomach, holding them there so I couldn't move them away. I quickly became fully erect, more than fully even, my organ aching from the strain put on it as Chris' full, muscled butt pressed on it on one side and my thigh on the other. I pinched my legs together to accentuate my hardness, to really show it off to him. I thought, since he hadn't reacted badly so far, he must have liked it.

I'm rather pleased with my willy. I have a good fifteen centimetres when erect, maybe a little more even. That part of me at least is fairly well developed, and I wanted to impress him I guess. I tensed up my groin muscles to momentarily raise the pressure and stiffen it up even harder, experiencing an erotic feeling that far surpassed anything up until then, making me gasp out loud. Chris simply rested against me for a while, relaxed, as I flexed my 'genital muscle'. Then he began to stroke the top of my hands with his, slowly moving up my arms and then down again. Shivers coursed over me, I was feeling both cold and hot at the same time out of sexual excitement, it felt like every hair on my body was standing on end.

None of us cared the TV was still turned off, we were too busy pleasing each other...

As he caressed my arms, I felt his stomach with my hands. My eyes were closed, and I could easily distinguish each muscle by touch, all the way up to the sharp edge where his ribs and sternum began. Lower down, he had the most cute "outie" belly-button I thought, and I found myself preoccupied with exploring its shape and feel for a few moments. I had an "innie", which I thought wasn't very special, but touching his was a most erotic moment for me. Even lower waited something I had been wanting for a long time, but I wasn't sure it was time for that yet. I let one of my hands gently rub his flat stomach in small circles, each time a little lower until my fingers reached down below the elastic top of his shorts. He tensed up, not out of nervousness or revulsion I think, but rather inexperience and anticipation. I decided I'd better stop right there, just a scant few centimetres from that holy grail. Had he been as well-grown as me, I would have touched him long ago. Had he had any hairs, I would have felt it already. But there was only smooth young skin under my fingers, with a layer of tense muscle right underneath. I let my hand rest there, and with my other hand I released the catch that kept the chair upright. I pushed off a little with my feet, and we started leaning backwards.

Chris pressed against me even harder now, in every possible meaning of the word. I pushed my hips forward to bury my sex as deep into his firm flesh as I could, and for the first time Chris seemed to be responding, a low moan slipping out from deep inside of him. He turned himself slightly towards me, and I felt his breath on my face, felt his lips and tip of his nose brush past my cheek. I turned my head towards him (still with my eyes closed), and as I did, Chris was upon me, planting a swift kiss on my mouth. The seconds afterwards, I hardly reacted at what had happened, it had been too quick and unexpected. Then, when Chris did it again, more slowly, I finally understood, it really HAD happened, it wasn't a dream! I felt his slightly parted boy-like lips press themselves against mine, his tongue following right after. I touched his with mine, feeling its strength, its texture, and was totally amazed. Chris was such a wonderful kisser. Gentle, yet firm in the right way, passionate even, and he made it feel like my heart would burst in my chest.

I had fooled around a bit with a few girls, just trying to find out what it was like. They had probably been drawn to my brown, Italian puppy-dog eyes or something, but they'd soon leave me for some more attractive male. I never got past the kissing stage, and even that had been fumbling and awkward due to inexperience and nervousness, but Chris made me feel completely different. For once, he was the one guiding, leading the way, and the way lead straight towards total ecstasy. He didn't use his hands at all, just his lips and tongue, that was all he needed to bring me to heaven. His hands he held in his lap, while I felt all over his lean body. Those masterful thighs of his, his slim arms, the chest with those small but taut muscles (nipples lovingly hard, I noticed, softening as I touched them), that graceful throat and neck with its clearly outlined windpipe and diminutive larynx... All mine now.


Suddenly he leaned forward, which made the chair flip upright with a thud, I had no idea why! The next second the door to my room opened and I heard my father's voice. "Leonardo, have you seen my-", he started in Italian, but halted as both I and Chris peeked back at him from either side of the chair's wide back. He was so stunned he didn't say anything else.

Chris swiped up his shirt and quickly pulled it over his head, muttering that it was time for him to get back home. I reached for my shirt too, but held it bunched up over my groin as I got out of the chair, my penis still in very much an excited state. "Eh, this is Chris Sumner from school...", I started.

"Hullo", Chris said in a faint voice. That was not at all how I wanted him to meet my parents! I felt totally ashamed for his sake, and more than a bit apprehensive for my own. My parents were very religious as I have mentioned...

My father didn't know quite what to reply I think, then he got a sharp look on his face. "Well, you better get going so you don't miss dinner", he said to Chris. He spoke with a clear Italian accent which usually was quite melodious, but now only sounded harsh and grating.

Chris snuck past him without saying another word, hunched down like he was trying to hide away, and I soon heard the front door open and shut. He was gone.

My father looked at me with steely eyes. "WHAT were you two DOING?!", he demanded, not quite angrily, but certainly more than upset.

I braced myself, one part of me wanting to break down and cry, the other to challenge him and tell him to piss off. I'd never get away with it though (he'd smack me silly for giving him lip like that), so I chose the middle ground: a lie. "Nothing, I swear! We were just watching some TV after running down in the valley, that's all!"

He seemed to calm down a couple degrees, thinking that maybe he'd made a snap judgement that turned out to be incorrect. "Alright then", he said sourly. "But get that shirt back on, you can't run around half-naked indoors!"

I quickly obeyed, it was safe now. My hard-on had subsided just about completely and would not be visible even with those loose pants on. My father shot me another suspicious look, and then moved his eyes to a point just beside me for a quick moment, I couldn't tell what he was looking at. Maybe he'd seen something outside the window or something. He then withdrew himself again, never completing the sentence he was going to ask me.

I sighed out of relief.

The rest of the day, and the next morning proceeded without further incident, but I imagined my father shot me odd glances at times. I decided I would ignore it and pretend as if everything was OK. It's not as if I really had to struggle. We don't speak much during breakfast, both of my parents absorbed by their respective morning papers. I hurried off to school, wanting to explain to Chris, apologising to him for forgetting the time like that. I found him at the lockers, wearing a new pair of tight, bright blue jeans and a red-and-white-chequered shirt. Usually he'd dress in really muted colours, but not that Friday... I felt like pinching his bum, but instead settled for the standard nudge.

Chris brightened up immediately as he saw me, he gave me a quick smile which showed off his insanely cute crescent wrinkles at the corners of his mouth, and made me relax. I had been fearing he was going to be difficult again after an episode like the day before, but my fears seemed to have been for naught fortunately. I quickly looked him over. Those jeans fit him incredibly well, they would have been more than one size too small for me, but on him they were amazing. They almost made him look like a girl, the front of his crotch didn't show any sign at all of a bulge, there was just a small fold of fabric there that on a more average guy would have been filled with dangly bits.

"Good morning", he said in a muted voice, back at his usual neutral face, but I still remembered that smile... He had been so pretty right then, and I hadn't seen him like that very often at all. Through the years, how many times had I seen Chris smile at me? I could probably have counted them on my fingers and toes, and now, each time it happened I just got goosebumps all over.

"Morning", I replied. Chris was still turned towards me, usually he'd just concentrate on his locker after we'd said our hellos. I wondered what that change in him meant. "Uh, about yesterday... I should have remembered my father was due back right then..."

Chris seemed fairly relaxed about it. "It's cool", he simply said, and I felt as if he actually meant it. "I hope you didn't get in trouble?"

I wasn't sure if I had or not. "No, I don't think so", I replied. "Anyway, I don't really care!" I added and gave him a grin.

He smiled just a tiny bit and just plain LOOKED at me with those unreal eyes of his. I definitely got goosebumps from that!

After the first class of the day we had a ten minute break. Chris grabbed hold of me as we came out the door and dragged me through the corridor until we got to the boys' room. We went inside and locked ourselves in a booth, not saying a word. My blood boiled, fuelled by a relentless fire deep inside of me. I took his tall, thin body in my arms, and we began to kiss. Chris didn't do anything, except to further stir up my fire with those wonderful kisses of his. His arms remained firmly at his sides, while I felt his incredible buttocks through those tight jeans of his with both my hands. Once, the door opened and someone entered. We didn't even register when it happened, we just continued our sharing of love and lust. It felt strange in a way kissing him standing up with him being just a little bit taller than me, but good too at the same time.

Suddenly someone pounded on the wall of the booth from the other side, and a voice demanded, "What's going on in there?!" It was Albert Cunningsworth, I think. We both stopped - almost to the point of not even breathing - then we began laughing! It must have unsettled poor Albert, because we heard him stomp out of there muttering to himself. There were no further interruptions, he had no idea it had been us. Judging from our voices, he probably guessed someone had snuck a girl into there, Chris's voice could be so feminine at times it was hard to judge he actually was male.

At the end of the break, my willy was in such a state I could not possibly leave the booth without attracting the worst kind of attention to myself. I had to cool down, and asked Chris to leave first. It might have looked suspicious if we both exited at the same time, I was thinking. Also, at that stage even being alone in his mere presence was giving me a stiffie; I just never expected to get so intimate with the kid of my dreams! He smiled quickly at me again, his eyes filled with such warmth and affection I could have died right there on the spot and still been happy. He rested his lovely forehead against mine, and gave me a pat on a cheek to reassure me.

Chris was well aware of the motive behind the actions I asked him to take, and agreed without a fuss. A few minutes later, a little after our next class had already started, I left too. Our sour grape of a physics teacher got upset of course since I arrived right in the middle of him demonstrating refraction, but there was little he could do other than write me up. I begged, and got left off the hook that time since it wasn't a habit of mine to be late.

The next few breaks were incredible. We'd sneak off together and hide in the boys' room on the seventh floor (that one was the least trafficked), locking ourselves in a booth and simply kiss and touch and grope and feel each other. Whenever anyone entered, we'd fall dead silent, only to resume our romantic exploits when the intruder had left.

I would push both of my hands down into his pants and cup his lovely buttocks (he wasn't wearing any underwear), feeling them with fingers spread wide, my thumbs sliding down into the narrow valley between them, squeezing, massaging them...

Other times, I'd simply caress his flawless skin beneath his shirt, or hold his head and neck as our mouths were joined. I never touched him between the legs though, but Chris seemed to take great satisfaction in feeling on, and around the outline of my rock-hard erection, his supple fingers coaxing pleasure out of me like I wouldn't have believed possible just a week earlier. First time he did it, obviously feeling curious and impressed by its size and stiffness, I nearly came in my trousers. I had to catch hold of his hands to bring myself under control again, which he found rather amusing I think.

I thought of unzipping my fly and showing it to him, but maybe he wasn't ready for that so I waited. I was more than elated just as it was, by simply getting to touch him like that. A school day had never passed quicker than that day I'm sure. Even the most boring lessons were endurable when it was such a short period of time until the next break and I'd have Chris in my arms again. I kind of dreaded lunch though, I knew it would mean us two separating.


I was fully prepared for the possibility, but when the moment came, Chris again started dragging me off. ...To the school nurse's office of all places! He explained to the nurse he was feeling a headache, and needed to lie down for a bit. I was just there to keep him company, he said.

The nurse asked if he'd rather not go home for the day, but satisfied herself with Chris's assurance he'd be much better if he could just rest a bit (at which point I pinched him in a sensitive place, for which I was rewarded with a warm smile). She gave him two headache pills and a plastic mug of water and showed us to the examination room with its narrow bunk. The door closed, and Chris gave me a lewd grin.

I turned out the lights, and we laid down on the bunk, Chris on top of me. I got hard in a second it felt like with him straddling me like he was, and then, as Chris attacked my face with his lips, I thought I was about to explode out of sheer ecstasy. I would just lie back and receive his hot love, the only interruptions being a low, muted sigh of pleasure from either of us.

The lunch hour passed very quickly, much too quickly in fact. As we left, Chris thanked the nurse and told her he now felt much better. I certainly did, even though I had gotten no food at all into me...

The best day of my life? Well, the first part certainly had been. As we prepared to leave for the day, we decided to go running again during the weekend. We'd meet at noon down in the valley, and simply have a good time together.

Dinner at home, now that was an altogether different experience. It began in relative silence. Fridays often meant soup, and that day was no exception. Mushroom soup. Mushrooms are living things that feed on other organic things. Once you see the mushroom sprouting, it is too late. It has already spread throughout the organism, burrowing on the inside, sometimes eating it alive...

"I spoke to your mother about what happened the other day", my father began. "This is serious, Leonardo, what do you have to say for yourself?"

My spoon lowered itself back into the soup. I was starting to feel sick, I had no idea he'd still been suspicious. "I... I, ah, we just watched some TV... I already told you-"

My father interrupted. "Son, do I look stupid or what? The TV was NOT TURNED ON! How can you have been watching TV, if the bloody thing was not running?! You will tell us the truth, Leonardo!"

My lower lip started to quiver, my head dragged down by the weight of my guilt. "I meant we had been watching... We were just talking...!" I started to cry, my tears slowly dripping down into my soup.

"Look at me, Leonardo!" I could not bear it to face him. I knew exactly how his face would look, filled with anger. "You give me nothing but more of your lies! You're only making it worse for yourself like this, God hates liars, son!"

My mother spoke. "We will not sit idly by and watch our only child grow up into a filthy sinner. You are not to see that boy...young man...again. You will not even speak to him."

"After school, you will come straight home every day", my father commanded. "Now go to your room and pray for absolution of your sins!"

I ran off and slammed the door to my room shut, then laid down on my bed, crying my eyes out.

When the night came, I found sleep was next to impossible. I tossed and turned, full of worries and gnawing thoughts. What was I to do? I could not be without Chris, that was unthinkable. I'd been desiring him for so long, and when he finally had become mine, disaster struck! Should I run away with him? Now that was a silly proposition, I had virtually no money, nowhere to go.

I made up a small plan in my mind, it wasn't much, but it should be sufficient to carry me through the weekend at least, I thought. I probably got a few hours of sleep in total, I was really tired when I woke up though, so it couldn't have been much. In the morning, I put on a pair of shorts underneath my normal trousers, carefully smoothing them out so they wouldn't show, plus an extra T-shirt under my shirt. I wanted to be prepared for later in the day.

Breakfast - which we ate early even on weekends - was not enjoyable. Everyone was in a sullen mood, none of us speaking a single word. I ate little and hurriedly excused myself. Steeling myself, I asked if I was allowed to go outside for a bit, just to go downtown and look around in some shops or something. I had kind of prepared myself for a big discussion, but my parents agreed a bit too quickly I thought. They said I'd do well to remember what they'd told me yesterday or there would be hell to pay.

I agreed, gleefully grinning at them on the inside since they'd have no idea what I would actually be up to.

To make time pass until time came to meet up with Chris, I window-shopped and flipped through CDs at a record store, filling up my mental wish-list with all the titles I could not afford. Time did pass, but annoyingly slowly. I proceeded from window-shopping to a café, where I made one cup of cappuccino last for over half an hour. FINALLY! I was free!

I hurried down to the valley, and when I got there, Chris was already waiting for me. The ground had been sprinkled with a light rain during the night, it smelled of earth and wood. It was quite refreshing actually.

"Where have you been?", he wanted to know, dressed in his usual shorts and soccer jersey.

"We said noon, didn't we? It's 12:05, certainly you didn't have to wait for me THAT long, right?"

Chris seemed a bit downstruck. "No, only for forty minutes or so, I expected you to be early."

"Crikes... Sorry, I didn't know. If I had, I wouldn't have wasted away so much time down in the city." I extended the footrest on my bike and walked over to him. He let me hug him, which I did gladly, even publicly as it was.

"It's OK, don't worry. Let's get going, okay?"

I nodded, and undressed down to my training gear. Chris gave my exposed deep-brown legs an appreciative glance, which both made my face grow hot and made me smile... I folded up my clothes and hid them under the same bush where Chris had stashed his water bottle.

We went off together. Chris selected the orange track, a moderately hefty five kilometres, and I was uncertain how well I'd fare - still so new at it. I shouldn't have worried. Soon, the ground was flying past beneath my feet, my body feeling as strong as a marathon runner's. Even the upslope hills were fairly easy: we tackled them together, the only sounds around us the muted thuds of our feet hitting the trail and our heavy breathing.

Raw energy coursed through my veins, driving away the fatigue. Our speed slowly increased, from a light jog to a decent run, to an exhilarating mad dash. It was impossible. I should have been half-dead, but I wasn't. My feet wanted to go faster and faster, and my brain let them. We came back to the start, running like I'd never run before in my life I think. I was literally bathing in sweat, but still feeling filled with so much life and strength. We immediately continued down the green track towards our - by now - usual resting place.

As we closed in on our goal, we again started laughing. It felt as I was going to faint from lack of oxygen, but it just came bubbling out of me as my feet carried me forward with the speed of the wind. It was irrational of course, but it just felt so good I had to do it.

We both dove down into the huge pile at literally the same time, side by side. It too was also a bit wet from the rain, but it was a welcome change, it cooled down our tortured bodies even if just a little. I started to realise exactly how tired I actually was, how impossible our run had been. Where did that awesome strength come from? I did not know.

No matter where it had come, it was completely gone right then however. I was tired like I'd never been before in my life, every muscle in my body screaming for rest. It was an awesome feeling. We laid back in the wood flake pile, breathing, feeling the musty smell of wet wood and fresh pine resin. Living, breathing. After a few moments, Chris grabbed my hand around my wrist, me feeling a tingling sensation as his touch gave me new strength, strength enough to rise up on my feet and move to the hidden back side of the pile. There we again collapsed, but in each other's arms instead.

The boy of my dreams was on top of me, almost naked.


My hard willy pressed itself into Chris's groin, my hands on his lovely rump beneath those thin shorts of his. I still could find no trace of his genitals despite my quite forceful probing. His impossibly smooth skin was a little clammy from sweating so much, but quickly warmed up to my touch. As I touched his buttocks, his skin prickled with goosebumps; oh so incredibly sexy! Reaching every part of that most private place of his was so much easier now that he was no longer wearing those tight trousers...

Chris was overwhelming my face with one wet kiss after the other, giving me strength with his supple hands as he caressed my cheeks and forehead, sometimes stopping to play with my ears or stroke my neck... Nothing I had experienced before compared in the slightest, and after keeping myself under control for what felt like ages, ever since that first time we'd begun touching actually, I allowed myself to come in my jogging shorts. I pumped and pumped, my pelvis jerking with involuntary spasms until I was all dried up on the inside, my eyes foggy with pleasure. Chris saw my predicament and gave me another affectionate smile, first kissing me on the mouth, and then on the tip of my nose, my forehead and on both my eyes as well.

"Leo... You can say it now if you want to", he told me softly.

And I did. "Chris, I love you", and found I meant it with all my heart. Nothing I'd said before in my entire life had been more true... I noticed I was crying of happiness. So was Chris. We held each other close, crying softly together for a little while. He was so nice to hold, so sweet to the touch. His smell was... I don't know. Even though he had sweated profusely, there wasn't any odour associated with it, he actually smelled clean. Pure. I wasn't sure if it was because of his physical immaturity or not.

Afterwards, I felt totally spent. Physically, emotionally... Yes, in every conceivable way actually. Tired and happy. I thought I would go all stiff after straining so hard, but my time with Chris must have made me relax, my body was completely loose all over. Never had I experienced such a thing, such total and utter unrestricted pleasure, it must have completely countered the ill effects of our mad run, I could not understand why or how, but that was how I felt it right then.

We walked back to our bikes, holding hands. People passed us, shooting us a quick glance and then looking away out of politeness. I guess our love must have been shining like an aura around us or something, because there were no prying eyes, people looked away out of respect. I felt so comfortable in his presence, comfortable and at home. That was where I belonged, I knew. Near him.

We stretched out at the bikes, me feeling a bit more supple than last time I thought. Chris was just godly, seeing him stand with his feet together and with straight legs putting his palms flat on the ground made me shiver.

"I'm sorry", Chris said when we were done, "But I have to get home now..."

I was quick to respond. "No problem, I'll just come with you, if that's ok?"

Chris seemed so sad. "I wish you could. I really do... But it's not possible."

I suppose I felt a bit disappointed right then. I should have expected it. "Okay..." I said. "But I'll see you tomorrow at least?"

Chris gave me a bright smile. "Yeah, sure! Don't be late, okay?"

I grinned at him as he biked off, dirt spraying from the rear wheel as he pumped his strong legs.

I feared going back home again as I got dressed in my normal clothes. I had been gone quite a while, and I had no idea what to expect when I got back. As it turned out, my father was out somewhere, and when I passed my mother on my way to my room, she grabbed my arm.

"Phew! You stink!", she said and wrinkled her nose. "What on Earth have you been up to?"

I had to lie something up real quick. "I...watched a movie. The air conditioning was broken, it was so hot in there."

She looked at me for a second, then seemed to accept my story. "Get in the shower, young man", she told me sharply. I obeyed quickly, and as I showered my father came home too. He'd been out doing some shopping, mainly food, and in order to not get drafted into the cooking detail I hid in my room. I heard them talking out there, but I didn't care what it was about. Chris was first and foremost in my mind...

In the evening at the dinner table, my parents seemed a bit more lively. They didn't rag on me or anything, for which I was forever thankful.

"Your mother and I will go visit Maora tomorrow, so you'll have to fix something to eat yourself", my father said. They knew I didn't care much for my aunt, she was all wrinkled-up and always wanted to kiss me on the lips and seemed to think I still was just a little boy, so I didn't have to come with them unless it was some kind of special occasion.

"There's leftovers in the fridge", my mother suggested. "We'll probably be gone all day, so you be good, you hear?"

I promised I would.

I hid in my room for the rest of the evening, watching a bit of TV, reading up on my homework and such. It was the slowest evening ever, time didn't seem to pass at all. I looked at my watch every once in a while, and maybe five minutes would have passed since last time. I could not wait until I'd be alone with Chris again. At just after eleven I went to bed, and spent an agonising hour or so trying to go to sleep. I tossed and turned, sometimes feeling too hot which made me kick off my covers, then I'd become too cold instead. Finally, rest came to me, and luckily I did sleep well even though I awoke at six thirty sharp. I wasn't tired when I awoke, but sad. I still had a fleeting image in my mind of holding a naked Chris in my arms, along with a sense of such serenity and peace of mind I don't think I'd ever experienced before. Despite my relatively short sleep, I did feel rested. I didn't like it, I wanted to get back into the dream.

An hour or so later - which I had spent reading on my bed - my parents began to stir. They fixed breakfast, which we all hurriedly ate. It was almost a two hour drive to aunt Maora's place, so they wanted to get underway early. I was eager to get away from home too, but for completely different reasons.

At nine, just after my parents had left, I could not wait any longer. I put on my jogging shorts, my jeans on top and hopped on my bike. Pedalling like a madman, I reached the valley parking lot in record time. Chris was there already, sitting on the saddle of his bike as he leaned up against a nearby tree. I felt as if I was submerged in a bath of pure power as I saw him, swimming in warmth and love, and I grinned happily at him. He answered me back, jumping off his bike which caused it to fall over. He didn't care, he came running over and I hit the brakes hard, my bike sliding a little in the rough gravel.

Chris caught me with those thin, willowy arms of his and actually lifted me off my bike. For a second I thought I would get tangled up in the frame as it started leaning, but I pulled up my legs and did not fall. Feeling Chris's thin muscles strain to lift me, it was crazy, but I felt aroused like never before. As he put me down on the ground again, we embraced. I was on fire, mad with desire. I was getting erect at a frightening speed, which would make it impossible to run. While my jeans hid it well, my shorts would not... Chris smiled knowingly, and quickly kissed me smack on the mouth. It was like someone had tossed a bucket of ice-cold water on me. Don't ask me how it was so, but that was the effect it had on me, it chilled me right off. Not in an unpleasant manner, it just made me regain my sanity again, made me able to think clearly. I felt myself starting to go flaccid, feeling a little sticky from the pre-cum that had been on its way out. I grinned sheepishly back at Chris, wordlessly thanking him.


"Okay... Time to get started!", he declared. "Five clicks like last time, alright?"

"Yeah, let's go!"

Off we went. Chris set a hard pace, I was sure I'd crack apart after less than two kilometres, but I found myself able to continue. We really were going fast, the ground was flying along. Our strides were timed exactly, our feet hitting the ground at the same instant. Left, right, left, right... Soft thuds on the soft running track. We passed other runners, smiling at each other. No, we didn't pass them, we blew right past them, like a storm. Back at the start, I was feeling quite tired, but there was still much more left in me. It was again a positive kind of tired. I didn't have to tell Chris I hadn't had enough, he wordlessly switched to the blue three kilometre track and slowed down just a hair so I could continue to keep up with him. I was concentrating on keeping my legs moving, my arms swinging, breathing deep and regularly. Once in a while I had to wipe away salty sweat that threatened to blind me. Again, my strength was being sapped away from me fast, but we were almost back at the start so I fought harder. Chris came up even closer to me and put his right hand on my left shoulder. Adrenaline or something must have surged through my muscles, because I started to feel stronger again. Chris kept his hand on my shoulder as we kept running. I took a quick peek of him, and his face was a little flushed and very sweaty, but he still seemed quite fresh. As we came back to the start, I was beginning to struggle. It was becoming harder and harder to keep up. Chris stepped down the speed a little again, and tensed up his hand on my shoulder, squeezing it hard. It made things easier as we headed towards our usual resting place.

There was no strength left in me for one last mad dash like we used to. I was glad I even managed to hobble towards that big pile of wood flakes - now even bigger than last time, they had added a substantial amount to it since then. Not able to quite run, or even jog, I clumsily moved up to that big, inviting mass of softness and threw myself into it on the hidden back side of the pile. Wood flakes flew into the air and slowly tumbled back down towards Earth, some landing on top of me. Then Chris came after. Carefully, he placed himself semi-on top of me again, resting his head on my chest. Almost immediately as he touched me, my racing heart seemed to calm down. In fact, all of me calmed down. I relaxed, not feeling nearly as tense as before, and let myself simply sink down into that fragrant wooden bed.

One of my hands went in under Chris's shorts to feel the slick, sweaty skin of one of his buttocks. Heaven...! It was heaven.

A light steamy mist of sweat was rising from our overheated bodies, mine faintly musky, Chris's... Completely pure. His scent was so faint I almost couldn't catch it at all, and what little there was, was undefinable in character. It wasn't soap or perfume or anything like that, it was just a very neutral, natural scent. I put my arms around his chest and pulled him up higher. I wanted to look him in the eyes, kiss his lovely face. His body was like melting butter in my hands, he didn't flex a muscle as I tugged and pulled and adjusted him so he was placed right where I wanted him. His legs straddled one of mine again, I pushed my thigh up tight into his groin, but like always, I felt nothing there. It was intensely sexy somehow, and my already stiff willy twitched. I let Chris sink down onto my hardness, and took his face in my hands. I could see the trust and the love he felt for me, complete trust, he knew I'd never hurt him, and I never would!

Seeing him look at me like that, I could do nothing but hold him close to me as tight as I could. Not touch him anywhere, just put my arms around him and hug him close...

We were sitting on my bed. Don't ask me how we got there, because quite frankly, I'm not sure. I was sitting cross-legged and already naked, Chris was not, only missing socks and shoes from his normal jogging gear. My full erection was slapping against my stomach whenever I moved, Chris looking at it with intense fascination, but he didn't touch it. Just having him gaze upon it made my willy twitch madly.

"Let's get you out of those clothes", I said softly.

Chris flushed deeply, covering himself with his arms. "But... I'm not...big like you...", he started, obviously highly embarrassed.

I smiled at him. "I don't care. I love you just the way you are! Besides, I think I got enough for both of us!" He grinned back at me, still hesitant, but slightly relieved too. "Chris, I mean it! Don't be ashamed of yourself! I'd give anything to have your body!"

He blushed even more fiercely if possible, and cast down his eyes. I moved in close to him and put a hand on his smooth forehead, forcing his head up again. 'Don't be afraid', my eyes told him. 'I love you, don't be afraid'. I kissed him slowly and sensually, trying to do it just like he did, to be as good at it as only he could be. I felt him loosen up, and then I began to carefully pull up his soccer jersey out of his running shorts. Slowly I'd remove it, first one arm, and then the other. I'd gotten that far and he hadn't stopped me... Quickly I withdrew my lips from his and zipped the jersey over his head. Half way gone, half way to go.

Chris smiled at me, still a little uncertain, but I could see pride there too, that he had dared to show himself to me like that, and pride that I liked what I saw. And I did. Chris was so impossibly fit anyone would have been jealous of him, his torso perfect symmetry. Even each muscled line on each side of his stomach a perfect mirror image of the other.

Chris was sitting with his feet tucked in under his rump, and as I put my hands on his hips, thumbs sneaking in under his running shorts, he lifted himself up just a little so I could begin to lower them. He looked at me with an anxious, almost frightened expression, as if begging me not to laugh at his smallness.

"Never hurt you, Chris", I told him quietly, solemnly. "Never!" I kissed him again and as I did, I began to slowly remove his shorts. When they had gone down to his knees, Chris himself took over and slipped them off the rest of the way. Only when he had finished wriggling out of them completely (still sitting down as he was) did I remove my lips from his and lean back to take a look of him proper.

Yes, Chris had a magnificent body. It was like a work of art in its perfection, not a detail that was out of place, it felt unreal to look on him. Especially since he was all covered by that velvet-soft, almost marble-white skin of his. Really, white people actually are pink-ish in colour, but Chris... He really WAS white, or almost anyway. Off-white maybe, a tiny HINT of cream colour, but no more. I noticed, probably for the first time, that he had no moles on his body. No little spots of darkness anywhere, no blemishes, no flaws. Yes, it was unreal, nobody was that perfect. ...Except, he was! The only spots on him that differed, were his nipples. Two light-brown circles adorning his chest, perfect in their roundness, perfect in their symmetry. I lusted for them.

And he was still small, just like that time I'd seen him about a year ago in the shower. Still just as small, no longer and only marginally wider than my little finger perhaps, and a very small and tight nutbag hanging below. And my hands aren't very big either, which should tell you something. He had no body hair anywhere either, apart from his head of course. Chris was not erect, he sat still with that look of almost-fright on his face, his eyes literally begging me for approval of what I was seeing. How could I not love him? My poor little lovely Christopher...

"You are...god-like", I told him. "More than that. Adonis himself would have envied you..." A large tear dislodged itself from his left eye, and he again looked down. Ashamed? I wasn't sure. "Oh please Chris, don't cry! Please don't cry..."

I took him in my arms again, feeling him for the first time completely naked. I was both enormously sexually aroused and deeply concerned. I wanted him, wanted him so badly, but he had to be safe first! Safe and happy above all! He seemed so small and lost sitting like that, even though he actually was taller than me.

Chris detached himself a little. "...Even Adonis?", he asked with an unsteady voice. He was fighting to hold it back, I could tell.

I smiled a big smile at him. "Yes, even Adonis. He'd be green of envy. You're the most magnificent creation ever, I promise. Cross my heart!"

Chris smiled at me just a little even as a second tear rolled from his other eye. "And hope to die?", he asked so quiet I almost couldn't hear him.

"Yes. And hope to die", I replied solemnly. "You are perfect."


Suddenly Chris sniffled heavily and threw himself around my neck. I almost fell backwards from the force of the impact. "Touch me!", he demanded. To accentuate it, he grabbed one of my hands and put it in that holiest of holy places of his, right between his legs. For an instant, I tried to pull my hand back. He couldn't mean it, I thought. He was so shy and private, he couldn't possibly mean it! Chris held my hand fast though, pushing it towards himself, squeezing his firm legs together, trapping it there. So I stopped. He looked at me again, wishing for approval I suppose. I smiled comfortingly at him and stroked him lovingly on a cheek that was as soft as purest silk. As I did, I felt him change beneath my hand. Something growing, hardening inside there... Chris still seemed unable to reconcile himself with the situation, his lower lip started to quiver. I put my free arm around his shoulder and drew him in close.

"Shhh...", I said. "It's okay. I love you! I love you..."

"NO!", Chris said angrily and pushed me away. "I don't want to be pitied or comforted! I know you think I'm fragile, but I'm NOT! I want you to TOUCH ME!" He thumped me hard smack in my chest with a clenched fist, and then stopped himself all of a sudden. I'd never seen him angry like that before, not anywhere near it, and I think he was a little ashamed of his outburst, maybe even scared. Then his demeanour softened. "Leo... Please. I really NEED you to touch me."

I understood, or I thought I did. So I squeezed my hand that he'd kept trapped all that time against his tiny hardness and started to truly FEEL him. It was totally amazing. His tight skin, layered right on top of muscle and bone... I could almost feel every muscle fibre tense as his nerves fired impulses into them. Even though Chris was small, he was really, really stiff. Stiff to the point I clearly felt his heartbeats in his small organ. I massaged him lightly, cupping my palm over his privates, letting my fingers reach deep in between his muscular legs. As I did, a moaning sigh slipped out of him, and he started to move his hips against my hand, slow at first, but then harder, faster. I helped him as best I could, but Chris seemed to have become oblivious to everything around him. His eyes were closed, his upper body waving slightly from side to side like a tree in a brisk wind, his face clearly lost in ecstasy. It was as if he was finally experiencing something he'd been dreaming about for ages.

I didn't want to disturb him, my hand was all that touched him. Only when he reached his climax, actually groaning out loud, did I move in to support him. After his magnificent experience had passed, my hand was still completely clean. Immature as he was - physically anyway - I still expected him to have ejaculated something at least, but there was nothing. I was all dry. Chris was smiling tiredly, dreamily at me, his hair all ruffled up and falling across his eyes. I held him with both arms, and he allowed it. He hadn't gone limp either, he was still as stiff as ever.

"Leo... I've never..." He sighed heavily, pausing for a few seconds. "NEVER felt anything like that before. ...Thank you."

I was kind of surprised. "Huh? Surely you must have wanked a bit in your life, right?"

His blush said more than any words of his ever could have. Apparently, he hadn't. I wouldn't have believed it of anyone else, seventeen and never had a wank? But Chris wouldn't lie to me, I knew he wouldn't. If he said so, that's the way it was, I just accepted it as truth. Maybe his parents were even stricter with him than mine, or something, how could I know?

I just edged Chris closer and closer to my own hot sex, it was still standing proudly in attention, even aching for stimulation. He took it in his hands, lightly, feeling it just with the tips of his fingers, and it made me shudder to the very core of my being. I had my arms around him, his head rested on my right shoulder. He was all warm and soft and hard and bony and soft...

"I want you to love me", Chris said softly, gripping my penis firmer with his agile hands. "I want to feel you...inside me. Please?"

"Uh... But-", I started, but never got any farther.

Chris simply came in even closer to me. "No 'buts', Leo! I'm not an alabaster idol, some object for you to put high on a sacred altar to worship and protect. I'm not fragile, and I need to feel your love, I need to! I have to!" I knew he meant it. "Take me now Leo, or leave me forever." Not a hollow threat. He meant it alright. And it wasn't as if I didn't WANT it...

I could have backed out then. Backed out, and lived a normal life like everybody else. But I didn't want to.

Chris offered himself up to me, it felt primitive in a way, animalistic. But also intensely exciting at the same time. It was also more than that... He was not just offering himself. He was GIVING himself to me (there's a difference!), he was putting his trust in my hand. I could not possibly refuse, it would have devastated my poor Chris. And I wanted it. But I was unsure how to proceed, on a technical level I knew what had to be done, but how I'd actually accomplish it was a different matter...

I think you're supposed to grease yourself up before attempting something like we were, but it was not the time or place to start searching for something suitable. Chris seemed to take the lead, maybe seeing I was uncertain. He moved up real close to me, put his hands around my neck and raising himself above my erect penis, he slowly lowered himself down on it. I felt the tip touch him, sending jolts of pleasure through my body. He was all hardness, muscle and bone, except for a certain soft spot, a spot that slowly dilated, opening up around me. Chris hissed slowly out of pain or pleasure or both, I worried about hurting him. He shook his head firmly, telling me not to as he was slowly sinking lower and lower. I was almost completely enveloped by a moist warmth that was unlike anything I'd ever felt before, or even imagined. I feared I'd rip him open, I'd heard stories of what could happen if things went too fast or one didn't take the proper steps and precautions...

"Don't worry, I'm not fragile...", Chris assured me softly. Then, to accentuate his own words, he grabbed me, kissed me like only he could and took all of me inside of him, and I thought I was going to explode. I instinctively began to thrust deep inside his body, silently guided along by his assurances. He was still kissing me, filling me with the most wonderful of feelings, raging heat and serene calmness and relaxation at once. My pace increased, long forceful strokes. He urged me on still, he was not fragile at all. Strong, so strong, more powerful than life itself... Lovely, beyond description.

Chris had stopped kissing me, neither of us could have continued. We were so far gone out into the sea of total pleasure, all we could do was moan out loud together in concert. It was as if we were melting together, our bodies and thoughts mingling down to the very deepest levels of our minds. I felt him inside of me as I penetrated inside him, I felt his love. I felt his soul, touched it with my hands as I touched him. I was seeing things I couldn't understand, as if I was delirious. Was I even sitting on my bed, anymore? I wasn't certain, it felt as if I was floating through the ether of the universe or somewhere beyond, supported by nothing but a mild breeze. I wasn't seeing Chris in front of me anymore, I was holding a shining being of pure light and warmth and beauty in my arms. I blinked in confusion and right then it happened. Molten magma coursed through me, muscles spasmed and I called out in pain and ecstasy as the orgasm hit me with the force of a tornado, so hard I thought I'd never survive it. My eyes closed, and a deep sigh was released from inside of me...

I slowly returned to the physical world again. I was able to open my eyes. The first I saw was Chris's totally, completely blue sparkling gem-eyes. Those magic, feline eyes. They were shining with love and pride and thankfulness. Love for me. Pride of me. Thankfulness for what I'd given him. His hair glittered golden-blonde, his skin just a little bit sweaty and flushed. His heart and mine both racing, but calming down.

I was slipping out of him as all excitement quickly bled out of my body. I simply put my arms around him, as much supporting him as supporting myself. He was smiling at me, content, satisfied. Even as we had...uncoupled...sort of, I knew we were still joined. Now and forever. Always... A bond sealed between us that could never be broken. We were soul mates, I knew it.

"It didn't hurt, Leo...", he whispered. "I told you I wasn't fragile, it didn't hurt at all." His voice was filled with such love and care.

I couldn't stop myself, it was the intensity of it all I think. That, and knowing I was complete now, that I'd found something to fill up the hole in my chest, that hole I'd always known about but not really thought much about. I felt the tears well up in my eyes, happy tears. I was so relieved! All I could say was a silly, "Oh, you're so fantastic...", and then I had to swallow down a sob. I squeezed my beloved Chris close to me, and felt his physical presence, his knobbly, bony frame pressing into me. His heart beating in his chest. He was warm, and alive in my arms. I didn't really cry, I just shed some tears and then managed to get a grip on myself again. But it felt good all the same, knowing I could cry with Chris and feel no shame over it. We simply went down under the covers and cuddled. I was a little worried I' know...soiled my body, being inside him like that. But I was amazed. My willy was sort of covered in a thin layer of slick slime, and that was it. I actually felt very clean, and was much relieved. I and simply relaxed after that and let myself enjoy my lover to the fullest. It wasn't difficult; Chris was so incredibly sexy, even despite (or maybe because of?) his smallness.

I'm not sure how much time passed, but after what felt like an eternity of simple pleasure of light touches and exploration and kissing, I couldn't see that the sun had moved at all. Every shadow in my room seemed to have stayed fixed in place like time itself had stopped.


"I'm parched", I told him softly. "I need something to drink..."

"Don't get up! I'll go get some water for you." Chris, who had been on top of me slipped out from beneath the covers and made his way towards the closed door to my room. His buttocks jiggled just a little as he walked, like two firm puddings. Truly sexy.

He reached the door and put a hand on the handle.

"Oh NO...!", he groaned. "OH NO!"

Turning around, I saw a look of sheer horror on his lovely face. Fear, like he faced the most awful creature imaginable. Sadness replaced the fear. "Forgive me!", he whispered. "Please forgive me! I never meant this to happen!"

He came rushing back towards me, fleeing it seemed, tears already streaking his face. "Forgive me!", he whimpered over and over as he dove down beneath the covers. I was wondering what the heck was with him, then I also detected what he must have heard.

Heavy footsteps coming towards the door of my room. Two sets of them. Shoe-heels clicking against the floor.

My parents were home.

Like in a bad dream, I saw the door open in slow motion. I held up the covers to shield myself, only my eyes and the top of my head sticking up. It was them alright. I saw such anger on their faces, such hate shining out of their eyes.

"Leonardo!" It was my mother. Shock and outrage was plain on her face, but something was wrong. Like, she'd EXPECTED to find us like that... Had I been set up? I simply sighed.

They didn't need to say anything more. Chris kind of slithered out from under the covers and grabbed his clothes which had fallen down on the floor, and still mostly covered up began to put them on.

"Do you mind?", I actually found myself saying to my parents. "Could we have some privacy here?!"

I don't know if they were taken aback or not, but my father cast me a menacing look. "Make it bloody quick!", he said and closed the door with a bang.

"I'm so sorry, it's all my fault!"

"No Chris, it's not your fault", I sighed. "It's my fault, or neither's... But not yours."

We got dressed in silence. I opened the door, Chris hiding behind me. They were still there, still angry.

"Let Chris go, and we'll talk." They let him. He fled out of there looking much like a kicked dog.

I followed them to the kitchen table and sat down. We didn't speak.

"You spied on me." It was a simple statement.

"It was for your own good", my mother said calmly, "If you wanted to keep your dirty secrets, you should have plucked those golden hairs from your training clothes before tossing them in the hamper."

I almost laughed. Of course... So stupid of me to believe I had them fooled. They didn't trust me...

Then it began. The yelling. The screaming.





They battered at my mental defences, I cringed and felt them buckling under the onslaught.

But deep inside of me, there was a tiny ember, it was glowing with a fierce yellow-white light. Burning, raging hot. It was not mine, it was Chris'. It was the love he felt for me, it was the bond between us, and it was not of this world. It was...holy. They could not touch it, and the warmth gave me strength. I reached inside myself, deep down, and touched its fiery surface.

"NO!", I shouted back at them. "I love him!"

There was murder in my father's eyes. "It's not love!", he screamed. "That is the Devil talking!" He made a grab for my ear, like he'd do ever since I was little whenever I'd been naughty. But not this time. I wasn't a little boy anymore, I was seventeen years old. Almost a man in his own right.

My father was fairly short, much like me, but he was strong. He was an avid Squash player and there was a lot of power in him that you would not expect of such a small man. He sometimes looked at me and my undefined body shape like I disgusted him. This time however I managed to dodge aside, and he got even angrier. I knew he would really beat me up if he managed to catch me. A forgotten fork laid on the table, I grabbed it and held it like a small spear in my raised fist. My father could see some of that ember glow in my eyes I think, because he suddenly stopped himself short.

"You'll put that down right now!", he hissed at me. "You hear me?!" His voice carried such authority over me I would have obeyed in an instant had it not been for the ember. My hand never wavered, it held fast. I could not feel Chris, the presence of him. But I felt his love, and it was enough.

"Don't come any closer!", I warned. "I mean it!" I made a small mock attack with the fork, and he jumped back a little.

He shook a warning finger at me. "I'm warning you... I'll count to three, and then you'll regret-"

"Me, regret? Hah! You wish mother could have had an abortion! I know you do." They both paled for a few seconds, definitely taken aback this time. Then their anger returned.

"Leonardo...", my mother tried. She pretended to try to comfort me, but I knew better.

"You never loved me! Neither of you did!"

Their faces were filled with shame for a few seconds, and I knew it was true. It was all true. And even as the truth was revealed, they denied it to themselves. The anger came back, more than ever. It was an attempt to cover the truth, but it was too late now. It was out, plain for all to see.

"Get out!", my father growled. "Get out of my house! You are no son of mine, you... You...!" He could not complete the sentence.

There was shame still there on him, but he denied it, and the anger had won.

I retreated out into the hallway, still holding the fork aimed at them. I picked up my backpack which I carried to school every day, stuck my feet in my shoes but did not dare to lean down to tie the laces. They followed me slowly at a distance, driving me backwards, driving me out.

Out of their lives.

I reached the door by bumping into it. I fumbled for the handle and got the door open. "Thanks for nothing!", I yelled at them and flung the fork away from me. Maybe I intended to hit them, maybe not. I didn't; the fork struck the tall mirror hanging opposite the door at the other end of the hallway, and it shattered with a loud crash. I panicked ran down the stairs and out onto the street, expecting my father right on my heels, about to catch me. I threw myself onto my bike and started pedalling away as fast as I could. Less than half a block up the street I had to stop, my shoelaces of the right foot had snared themselves around the pedal and that almost made me fall. I thought I was about to have it, but when I turned around the street was empty. Nobody had followed me.

Infinite relief...


Next, I had no idea what to do. I'd just been kicked out of my home, and I had nowhere to go. School would start the next day, and I had nowhere to sleep. As it turned out, I ended up at the train station. It was sometimes a home for vagrants spending the nights there, but they'd recently hired a security company that made sure that didn't happen anymore (there had been trouble with begging, stealing and some violence). I drew attention to myself by spending hour after hour in the same seat, but I assured them I had a connection to catch in the early morning and they let me stay in peace after that.

It was a dream. I saw Chris standing on a tall wall, lightly balancing on top of it. It was dark all around him, but a light was shining right on him, I could not say where it came from. He was dressed in his thin running clothes, his feet bare as they touched the top of that leaden-grey wall.

The perspective changed. I was now looking at the wall from above, and it was only a few centimetres wide. Chris easily balanced on that thin wall. But I realised, it wasn't Chris at all who was standing there, it was ME. And I had no sense of balance at all... There was no ground on either side of the wall anymore, just deep, black chasms. I staggered, I fell.

I woke up. Maybe I cried out as I did, I'm not sure, but I saw a few others staring at me strangely, people who really did have trains to catch in the morning when service resumed.

I hardly got any sleep at all that night, even the few short hours I did manage to rest were filled with constant interruptions. My neck and back got stiff from sitting in an uncomfortable chair, people walked by, air rustled past, pigeons flapped around inside the huge waiting hall. Not to mention my worries about getting kicked out, and about Chris too, of course... All of it conspired to give me a truly rotten night.

School next day. I was thinking, maybe my parents, one or both, would be there to try to make me go back, but that was not the case. Chris was missing again. I kept hoping he'd be there at the lockers to touch me on a shoulder but that did not happen. I even waited there with my back turned for the first few breaks, just in case he'd turn up, but nothing... I felt nothing.

At lunch, I felt lonely and upset. I avoided all my classmates and sat down at an otherwise empty table as far away from them as I could. Suddenly, Robert came over with his tray and sat down right across from me.

He acknowledged me with a small gesture, and began eating in silence. I was wondering why he'd selected my table, his girlfriend was sitting across the room, they always ate together.

"You're slipping away from us", Robert told me after a while. I had no real idea what he meant. "You may think you're drawing him out of himself, but you're not. Wherever it is Chris goes, when he goes... He's taking you with him! And we're losing you."

I started to feel flustered. Robert was never that emotional. "So what?!", I asked. "I'm practically invisible around here anyway", I said in a dour voice.

Robert seemed scared by my words. "Please! Don't say things like that! Never ever believe it. It isn't true!"

"Yes it is!", I said angrily. "Nobody here cares either one way or another about me! Who're you to judge me like that anyway? It's not as if you've ever spent even an afternoon after school with me!"

He seemed ashamed of himself. "Yes, I know. It's easy for me to say what you should or shouldn't do, I know we haven't been very close friends... But I am still your friend, Leo. Remember that."

"What's with your sudden interest in me anyway?", I asked, feeling a bit suspicious for no good reason. "You never gave me a second thought until just recently!"

He shook his head slowly, looking down at his now cooling plate of food. "I don't know. Dammit, I don't know! I have no idea why I'm feeling the way I do, I just know he's leading you towards disaster!" His voice was filled with such pain and genuine fear that under normal circumstances I would have believed him. However, I would not allow myself to believe him.

"You're jealous. You're JEALOUS, and you want to steal him from me!", I said accusingly, in a quiet voice. I was fuming and I wanted to shout the words at him, but I couldn't with all those people around me.

Robert seemed truly upset by my words "No, please... I don't-"

I wouldn't let him finish. "You bastard! You'll never have him!", I snarled. "He's mine, only mine! He loves me, not you!"

"I don't mean it like THAT, you know I don't!"

Maybe I did and maybe I didn't, I was too upset right then to understand. "You're wrong, you know", I told him. "I'm not being lead anywhere. Wherever he takes me, I follow willingly! You hear that?" Now I really was shouting. "Willingly!"

Robert actually cowered under my smouldering gaze, and it unsettled me. It was as if my anger somehow hurt him physically, and I almost got scared by his reaction! What was with him, why was he behaving so strangely? And what about me? I'd always been as meek as a mouse, but this flaring anger... To disguise my discomfort, I simply told him I wasn't hungry anymore and took my tray and left the table, discarding all the food. Leaving him, and a lot of confused pupils behind.

It was true, I wasn't hungry anymore, I was upset, bewildered, more than a little bit frightened even. I had never behaved like that before in my entire life, where had it all come from? Where in me did I hold such rage?

Was it even my own feelings? I just didn't know, and I noticed an ever growing lump in my throat as I hurried away. Tears began pouring down my cheeks at the moment I left the dining hall and I had to look away from all people I was meeting so they wouldn't notice.

Locking myself in one of the restroom booths, I just collapsed into shuddering sobs, too distraught to be able to stop myself. It felt as if everything was collapsing down around me, and I was helpless to stop it. Everyone was my enemy, I was thinking.

Everyone except one person, and he seemed so far away from me, so very far away. I missed the next class on purpose, I sat in a window sill on the seventh floor, looking out across the yard below and felt sad and lonely and cold. Heat drained out of my bum, into the highly polished black marble shelf I was sitting on. What was the point of going to school anyway, without Chris?

"I'm SORRY", Robert said to me later. "I was only trying to help."

"I don't NEED your help", I replied sullenly. "Just leave me alone."

Robert seemed helpless and distraught. "I should have been a better friend to you. I really am sorry." Then he turned away, and there was some finality to it, like I had passed some invisible point of no return. I felt a little scared, all of a sudden.

After school, I was thinking of where I should sleep. I couldn't spend another night at the train station, they'd recognise me and kick me out. Sleeping outdoors didn't appeal to me at all, and asking any of my classmates if I could impose on them plain felt wrong. I'd have to answer all sorts of questions that way, so that was the almost the least appealing option to me. The only thing less appealing was to come crawling back to my parents on my hands and knees, I'd decided I would not do it. I checked my meagre funds, and maybe I could get myself a room somewhere, if just for a little while until I could think of something more permanent. I started going around, asking prices.


It was my last chance. Everything else I'd found was either full, or too expensive. I entered the run-down building and walked up to the night clerk who sat behind the counter watching some old soap opera on a small, failing TV set. Colours were fading, and the picture was broken up by three horizontal bars that slowly scrolled down the screen, appearing at the top again just as they left the bottom. As I approached, the man reacted. He was a scrawny fellow with thin, slicked-back dark-blonde hair and some beard stubble on his slightly furrowed face. He seemed to be in his early to mid forties, and was wearing a red shirt with the logo displayed outside printed on it. He got up from his chair, and I noticed he was quite tall.

"What can I do you for, eh?", he asked. "Want a room?" His voice was a bit nasal, but not unpleasant. Quite polite actually, I thought. I nodded, not saying anything. He turned around and grabbed a key from an array of hooks on the wall. There was a whole lot of free rooms, I could tell. "New in town, eh? Luggage still outside in the car?"

It seemed the guy was dying for some conversation, it must have been extremely boring for him, sitting like that hour after hour. I decided to humour him.

"No, my parents kicked me out."

His eyebrows went up. "Bugger me! Pardon the French, but that's rough!" He scratched his stubbled chin, his nails making a rasping sound. "So, what did you do then, drinking, brawling, eh?" He paused when I saw I hesitated. "You don't have to say anything..." He paused, then added confidentially, "It's personal, eh?"

I smiled ruefully, not able to stop myself. The thought of me brawling... I'd get hammered in three seconds flat. "No, not anything like that..." Then, why not? I might just tell him. No point not to, really... "They found me in bed with someone."

The man's eyebrows seemed to rise even higher. "They kicked you out for bonkin' a girlie? You must have some pretty strict parents."

"No, it was my boyfriend. We're classmates." I didn't even feel ashamed saying it to a stranger like that. I was actually rather relieved, proud even in fact.

"Christ almighty!" His face conveyed such utter shock I could have laughed had it been under different circumstances. He twiddled the key in his hand, maybe arguing with himself what to do. Leave me alone, or continue probing. Then his mouth seemed to have won the battle, because it spoke. "Yeah, that is kind of rough. I, had I been your dad, I wouldn't have kicked you out, I'd settled for giving you a good beating." The man said it with a grin to show he was half joking. But only half.

"But we didn't do anything WRONG! We love each other!" I was almost crying, and he must have seen it, because a quick flash of sympathy passed across his face.

"Well, kid... There are a lot of things that aren't exactly wrong, but still not supposed to be", he said in a sombre voice. "You know what I'm saying?"

I was fighting to hold back my tears. "No!", I said stubbornly, morosely.

The man actually seemed a bit ashamed of himself. He knew he'd pushed me too hard. "Well... You know best what you want to do with your life I guess. Don't listen to me, me girlfriend walked out on me...heh. But if you got kicked out, I guess you don't have too much money, eh? I know you don't, or you wouldn't have come here."

I nodded again, unable to speak as a tear slowly rolled down my left cheek.

"Uh, look... I'll give you a rebate, okay? I can't give you a room for free because my boss would kill me, but you got it for half-price. Kids below 16 stay for half-price, if you don't tell me your age I'll look the other way and plead ignorance. Can you manage that?"

"Yeah... A-a couple of d-days I guess."

The man leaned forward and patted me on a shoulder. "Good. Don't worry, eh? Everything's going to be okay." He handed me the key and a tissue from a box below the counter. "Ordinarily, you'd pay first day up-front, but if you come down and do it when I'm back tomorrow evening, we'll settle it then."

"No, it's OK", I said with a slightly unsteady voice, trying to clear my nose. "I can pay now."

"Thanks. It would make things easier for me."

I filled in my name in the ledger, gave him his money and took the key. As I went up the stairs to the third floor, the man waved at me, trying to cheer me up a bit.

The room was as unspectacular as one could have expected. The place wasn't exactly filthy, but there was something unwholesome about the place all the same. The wall paper was peeling off in places, the bed was sagging, and a one of the light bulbs in the ceiling fixture was broken. Colours were definitely from the seventies, the place hadn't been renovated since then and it showed. I locked the door, took off my shoes and collapsed on the bed still fully dressed in my clothes, falling asleep almost immediately out of mental fatigue.

Awakening in the morning was equally bad. I felt tired on the inside, behind my eyes. I splashed some water on my face and then left my room, passing the day clerk, a fat guy who looked 100% disinterested in his work and didn't award me with even a second glance as I went out the front door. I dragged myself to school, wondering why I bothered. I knew Chris would not be there even before I was anywhere near the place. I looked a fright, my clothes all rumpled from sleeping in them, my hair standing on end and matted from not having cleaned it for several days, dark rings adorning my eyes.

Robert cast me a few apologetic glances during the day, but he did not approach me. After the school day had ended, I walked the city. Maybe I was looking for Chris, I don't know. I did not find him... My mind full of thoughts, I was a prisoner in my own mind, and to free myself, I thought maybe I should go for a run. My training clothes were still back at my parents' apartment, but I decided I wouldn't bother. I took my bike down to the valley and hid my jacket and sweater under the same bush me and Chris had been using before. I felt pretty warmed-up already from my bike ride, so I decided to try the five kilometre trail again. It had worked so well before after all.

I could not understand it. Maybe it was because I'd been eating poorly for three days now, only school lunch since leaving home and nothing else, but my body was not working properly at all. I gasped for air like I was in outer space, my feet huge chunks of cement, clumsy and heavy. My heart beat furiously in my chest, it felt ready to burst into bloody pieces. I totally collapsed into a writhing heap after three and a half kilometres. It was totally, completely disgraceful.

I wasted away time until it was evening again, and then returned to the motel. It was the same night clerk again as last time. He waved a hello to me, but didn't speak. Maybe he didn't want to bother me. I went straight up to my room and took a shower, using the tiny free soap you get at such places to wash out my hair and clean my body. It became cleaner, but no conditioning agents would mean it would become stringy and tangled when I slept. The water was barely lukewarm at best, turning towards icy at the end. I cleaned my underwear, socks and T-shirt in the washbasin, using more of the soap. I hoped I'd get a new one, because the one I got would soon run out. I hung up my clothes to dry as best I could on the horizontal rod holding the shower curtain in place and then went to sleep naked. It was not as easy as the day before. I felt disconnected, completely alone in the whole world.

My shirt and underwear was still a bit moist in the morning, I had closed the bathroom door the previous evening, and the ventilation was not anywhere near ideal in there so all the moisture from my shower the previous day hung in the air like a thick Amazonian fog. I got dressed anyway and biked to school. I did not see Chris in class for the first few lessons, I hadn't expected to either. Lunch came and went. Afternoon classes followed one after the other, I paid scant attention and drew my teachers wrath upon me by deliberately giving stupid, sometimes even insulting answers to simple questions. I simply didn't care at that point, all I wanted was to be with Chris.


Even Robert avoided me completely that day. Like he said, I was withdrawing from the world. It wasn't painful, emotionally I mean. I actually didn't care at all at that point.

Last item on the schedule was attendance in the chapel. That day was choir day, so I went anyway without much thought. And there he was... All the way up at the front, behind the other boys. Dressed in his white choir outfit, looking very pale with that so incredibly blonde hair of his, and very thin too. Like he'd lost some of his already scant weight.

He was so beautiful. His hair was radiant in the bright light coming through the front windows.

Chris didn't see me as we all filed in, or he gave no sign that he had anyway. Not that he was likely to, the chapel ingested hundreds of people at every such occasion. I felt like standing up and waving my arms, but for some reason I didn't. Maybe I didn't want to disturb him as he was preparing to perform. I started to feel a warm feeling inside of me, wanting him so badly.

The choir started their performance, singing in low voices, slowly forming the words. It was magnificent... As they progressed, strength and speed increased, and one particular voice rose up above all others. Yes, Chris sang. His clear, fair voice carried through the rest of the choir, supported by the other singers but clearly outmatching them all the same, just like he outmatched everyone on the race track. It seemed to me, he put his entire soul into the performance. It wasn't personal, like the time he sang just to me, but the power and intensity was there. It seemed he held the entire room spellbound with the magic of his voice, and looking around at the pupils around me, I saw many a glistening eye too.

My tears were flowing freely. I did not attempt to stop them, nor hide them.

Eventually, it had to end. It saddened me, but I also felt such pride. Pride for "my" Chris, and that gave me strength. I knew I had to talk to him. Trying to fight against the flow of people leaving, I slowly made my way towards the front where I could see the choir filing out through a side door. Chris was amongst the first to exit, but he'd be there somewhere on the other side of the door where I'd never been, changing out of his white dress. I pushed my way through the throng, annoying people and occasionally stepping someone on a toe.

When I reached the door the school Cantor, Mr. Dewitt, towered above me, blocking my path. He was a tall, grey-haired man with a stern angled face, dressed in black robes for the occasion. "La Furia", he acknowledged me (the man seemed to know the name of every pupil somehow, past or present). "What are you doing here?"

"Please, Sir. I have to talk to Christopher!"

"You can talk to him later, or tomorrow." The Cantor glared at me with his harsh, steel-blue eyes. He could see I'd been crying and was probably wondering why.

I was at a loss. "But Sir... Chris hasn't been in school all week until now, I must speak to him now!" I actually tried to slip around the tall man, and he put a large, strong hand on my shoulder. "PLEASE! Let me pass!" It was more a demand than a request, and the Cantor did not react well to it at all.

"I think you should leave", he said coolly.

So I did. I felt ashamed I'd been rebuffed so easily, but what could I do? Mr. Dewitt was so much bigger than me, so much more powerful.

I ran out of the chapel and around to the other side, hoping to catch Chris as he exited. Just then I saw him leaving the school premises through the main gate, still wearing white. The sun glistened in his hair as a light breeze toyed with it. He turned right where I used to go left every day to get home, and walked at a brisk pace along the pavement outside the cast iron fence surrounding the school. Soon, the big Main Building hid him from view, and I started running to catch up.

As I passed the gates, I saw a brief flash of white cloth fluttering in the wind around a corner up ahead the street. I turned and started running again. As I reached the corner, I stopped and saw Chris quite far up ahead the street. He was still walking, so I really should have gained more on him I thought. I quickened my pace, not quite breaking into a run though. I'm not sure why, I simply followed him at a distance. Whenever Chris turned at a street corner, I started running to make sure I didn't lose sight of him, and invariably, he'd still be about as far ahead of me as just before passing around the corner.

After a while, we entered a residential neighbourhood with terraced houses on some streets and villas on others. As we progressed, him up ahead of me, seemingly unaware I was following him, houses seemed to grow older. Gardens were full of mature trees with mossy trunks, huge blooming bushes and shrubberies and flower beds. Chris rounded yet another corner, this time into a dead-end street; West Willow Lane. That was it. That was where he lived, it had to be! My heart pounded furiously.

I quickly followed, and turned the corner as well. The street ahead was empty.

I became a little confused at first, but then told myself he must have gone into one of the houses lining both sides. I started reading on the mailboxes, checking the first few rows. Every house was dark, no lights burning inside. I continued down the street, starting to feel edgy. I had already passed the point where one could reasonably expected Chris to have reached before I rounded the corner as well. Continuing down even further, I came to the last house on the left, at the very end of the street. Number 25. Only that house, and the one on the right remained... I saw a fading sticker on the rusty mailbox.


I looked up. That was impossible! Nobody could live there!

The garden was completely overgrown, the grass almost as long as my arm and lying every which way in thick bunches. The hedge around the garden, which on other houses was neat and trim, was completely out of control. Paint on the old, blue two-storey villa with its round towers at the front corners was peeling, every window a black, un-curtained dead eye looking out towards the street. One was actually broken, as if someone had thrown a rock at it. Nobody seemed to have set foot inside the front gate in years.

Acting on a whim, I opened the mailbox. It was packed almost full.

I reached for the thick bundle and started to leaf it through. Letters, some of them bills it seemed, junk mail, all sorts of other stuff. Then I heard the front door slam shut across the street behind my back. I turned, and saw a little old lady come shuffling towards me, fast too.

She must have been at least eighty years old, or that's how she certainly seemed to me anyway. Her back all bent and hunched up, her hair thin and silver white, her face wrinkly like a dried apple. She was wearing a grey scruffy-looking knitted cardigan and a dark skirt, and seemed quite angry.

Her old, gnarled hands closed over mine as I was holding the mail bundle, much stronger than one would have expected of such an old woman. "What are you doing!", she yelled at me in a creaky voice. "Give me that, you thief!" I let go, and she snatched everything away from me, holding the mail protectively up to her chest. She glared at me suspiciously. "What are you doing, looking through other people's belongings? Don't you have any respect, any manners?"

"Sorry! I didn't mean to steal anything", I tried. She still looked at me strangely, as if she didn't believe what I said. "I was just... Is the Sumner family on vacation or something...?"

"Pah! Vacation!", she sneered at me. "I forward the mail once a month, that's all I'll tell you. Now go away!"

I was desperate. "Please, I have to know!"

"None o' your business! Go away!"

"But I'm a friend of Christopher's, I just want to talk to him!"

She took a step back in shock. "A friend of Christopher are you...?" Her voice was angry and scornful. I must have said something to upset her, but I didn't know what. "People have suffered enough without you going around spreading vicious LIES!", the woman then said, her voice shaky. "Don't ever come back again, you hear? Don't ever let me see you here." Her eyes shone with anger, making me back away instead, and she seemed on the verge of breaking out in tears. What HAD I said to upset her like that?

I fled the field in confusion, routed by a little angry old woman. Nothing made any sense anymore. Chris lived there, right? He must! I'd followed him just about to the front door for chrissakes! That woman, she had to be crazy I decided. Senile. I panted heavily, tired from my uncontrolled run.


An idea slowly formed in my mind as I made my way to my former home. My parents would both still be out working, they'd never know I'd been there. I was thinking maybe they'd actually gone so far as changing the lock on the front door, but no. They hadn't.

I made my way through the now strange and unfamiliar apartment (broken mirror still hanging there even though the shards of glass had been cleaned away), and quickly reached the caller ID device. Pressing the 'Back' button repeatedly, I flipped through the numbers to find the record left by Chris when he contacted me the previous week. If I couldn't visit him, at least I could call him.

I reached the correct date, and there was nothing registered there. Darn it, someone must have reset the stupid thing!

Yes, our caller ID device was incredibly stupid. It had memory for thirty numbers, but once the thirty-first call came in, it did not expire the first record, it simply overwrote the last one, again and again. My parents had the habit of resetting it to clear out all old numbers every once in a while, and that must have been what had happened... I pressed the 'Back' button once again to confirm my theory. ...No. It was not reset. There was still a call from the day before, several even. Forward one day...nothing. Not even a "protected" record like it would show if the caller had a secret phone number.

There was nothing registered that day at all. I remembered, Chris had been the only caller that day. So, how did that add up? It didn't, I couldn't understand it at all.

I left the apartment in utter confusion. What should I do? I went back to the school to get my bike, and on the way I got another idea.

The city library. Dunno what made me think of it, but somehow I knew that it was going to give me the answers I needed. I had about two hours worth before they closed, so I worked as fast as I could. If I didn't find what I was looking for, I'd come back the next day I told myself. I'd skip school and go straight there. But I did find it...

...And the answer froze my heart to a solid chunk of ice.

It was a news paper clipping, an article from about six years previous. It told me everything I wanted to know, and more. Far more than I wanted to know, actually. I did not believe it. How could I?

I got the article photocopied, and folding the paper up, I pressed it to my chest like the little old woman had done with all those letters, then stuck it inside my T-shirt. I wanted it close to me, I NEEDED it close to me. Because even though the words were impossible to believe, they were true. I rushed outside, into the cool evening air, my eyes burning with tears. I started running, running towards West Willow Lane, the place where Chris lived.

Where he'd lived his whole life.

I don't know from where I got the strength. I ran and I ran, clear across the city centre, and out into the residential neighbourhood. It got dark quick, thick clouds had moved in during the afternoon and blocked out what little sunlight remained. Then it started raining.

I finally reached Chris's street, my blood raging in my veins, my body near total collapse. I forced it onwards down the street, I was so close now, so close... I stopped in front of the gate, resting against it. I could hear my own heart beating furiously in my chest, my breathing quick and ragged. I was hardly able to remain standing, yet I still found the strength to push the rusty gate handle and go inside.

The place was filled with a feeling of such total abandonment. There was nothing human remaining there anymore, just wild, untamed nature. Rain pelted down around me, I was absolutely sopping wet. I got out the photocopy and carefully folded it open so it would not get torn, damaged.

I sat down on the long, unruly grass by bending my knees and folding my legs in under me, and read the article again as my tears mingled with the rain.

"Oh Jesus, Chris! Who are you?"

There was a faint blue light shining up behind me, a pale shimmer that was there for just a few instants, maybe a little longer. I felt something move across my skin, like static electricity, and I knew I was no longer alone. Chris was with me once again. I felt a light touch, his hand on one of my shoulders. There...and not there. Both, at the same time.

I read the headline again.

'Mother's attempted suicide fatally wounds only son', it said in big bold letters.

"Yes, Leo. You know what I am."

I cried like I'd never done before, my whole body shaking like it was trying to tear itself apart. Snot ran freely from my nose, washed away by the heavy rain. "Noo...", I moaned. "It can't be true, it can't be!"

"Leo...", Chris's voice told me. "Look at me." I refused. I sat there in the grass, sobbing and hoping futilely that if I just didn't do it, if I didn't look, maybe it wouldn't be true. I kept my head down, my eyes shut as he walked around to face me instead. I felt a light hand under my chin, its supple fingers forcing my head up. Its touch was neither warm nor cold.

I saw him, and he looked more real to me than ever, but also faint, somehow. His hair flowed in the erratic winds of the rainstorm, but it was not wet. Chris's body was completely naked, his pale skin and much too blue eyes shining with an inner light of sorts.

"Do you remember back in the Auxiliary?", Chris asked as he crouched down in front of me. "There was a kid there. He didn't attend any regular classes, he had a special teacher that took care of him all day. He was as small as a five-year-old, even though he was eleven. He sat in a wheelchair, and was too weak to even lift a mug of water to his lips..."

Yes, I remembered.

"That kid, he had a rare genetic disorder. Maybe he'd live until he was fifteen... Then his tired body would just give out on him, and give him the freedom he longed for so much. One day, when he would have started his sixth grade, he had fallen out of his wheelchair. His teacher was not around to help him, but there was another young boy there who heard him weep, a boy with beautiful brown skin and pretty, sad brown eyes. That boy picked him up and helped him back into the wheelchair with his strong arms... And the little kid, he fell in love with that boy that day."

I remembered that too. I sat silent, still crying and not able to stop.

"The kid's mother... She was not strong. Not able to deal with her son's illness. She and her husband both carried the faulty genes. They could not have healthy children even though they themselves were unaffected, and the knowledge broke her. She thought she was helping him when she put him in the car and parked it across the train tracks. She wanted to end his sufferings, and her own. The train impacted on the passenger side, the collision did not kill her. But just before the kid was to leave this world for another, he remembered the boy he loved... He could not go." Chris gripped my hands in his. "But now that the secret has been revealed, he has to. There is no other way. I have stayed much too long as it is..."

"So, you're... You're a-" I could not complete the sentence.

"I am as I saw myself, as I wanted to be. As I wanted you to see me...", he replied cryptically.

"But... In school... You've been there all this time, I know you were."

He gave me a sad smile. "People only see as much of me as they let themselves... Grownups, their minds are more rigid, they notice less, want to notice less. Many kids react that way too. I walk amongst them, they see me, but they do not remember me... I can grow, but I cannot age. Therefore, I must leave you." Chris rose up on his feet again, my eyes following him, watching his perfect but thin human form moving. He let go of my hands, and it was pain like knives stabbing into my chest.

I was completely heartbroken. I felt our bond tug at me, withering, loosening. Dissolving. "You can't leave me here", I sniffled. "I have no-one else but you!"

Chris took my head lovingly in his arms and laid my cheek against that taut stomach of his, soothing me. The touch was immaterial, like fluffy cotton, but firm at the same time, and warm this time. "My dear boy. I should have left a long time ago... I feared this would happen even as I dreamed of it..."

While he held me like that, the rain no longer touched me. "You were always so distant", I said, barely managing to shape the words. My voice wanted to fail at every syllable, but I forced it to obey me.

"I knew what would happen if I didn't keep away from you... And still it happened."

"Robert said you were stealing me away from everyone else. But I think it was I who followed you into your hiding place instead..."

Chris must have grinned, all of a sudden. I could feel it, a sudden wave of heat reaching me. "Did he? Robert, far more perceptive than anyone gives him credit for... But all this is only delaying the inevitable." He took his hands off me, and the rain returned, the pain returned.

I looked at Chris, he seemed more distant physically than before, even as he was closer mentally and emotionally to me than ever. He motioned with an arm as if pushing open a door and stabbing bright light filled my eyes. I squinted and saw him outlined against that glorious whiteness, a dark shape with fuzzy edges, exquisite in its form.

"...What is it?", I breathed.

Chris sighed. "The end of the road, my friend. Elysium. Tir Na Nog. Heaven... Call it what you will. This is where you and I must part our ways." He turned his back on me and started walking into the brightness. Our bond was getting ripped out by its roots, the pain excruciating in its intensity. It didn't hurt my body, it hurt my soul. A far worse feeling...

My hand flew out and grabbed his arm. My fingers sank into him, it actually burned, hurt me. But I would not let go. "NO! You mustn't leave me!", I yelled. Chris stopped and I let go of my grip, relieved even as I feared he would simply resume his course. "Please! Take me with you... You can do that, right?" I was standing on my knees, begging him. I could see him more properly now, the shining light that surrounded him wasn't murder to my eyes anymore. His body was becoming transparent around the edges, his hair a platinum-blonde flame.

"Even if I could, what makes you think I would? It would be selfish of me. You have your whole life ahead of you to live!"

"A life of what?", I replied bitterly. "It would be a life without you."

Chris seemed to struggle to find an argument to counter mine. "You... You could find another! Surely you could, a life is such a long time!"

Yes. Such a long time. Being without Chris for a whole life, I could not imagine it. "I... I'll DO it!", I threatened. "One way or another, I'll do it...!" I was crying at full strength again. "I can't be without you...! I don't want to be without you!"

Chris seemed as upset as me. "That's not the right way, Leo. You know it isn't!"

"Then take me with you, damn you!" It came out as an anguished scream.

Chris seemed both unhappy and relieved at the same time. Mostly relieved I think. He clasped his spectral hands around mine. "There's no convincing you otherwise, is there?", he asked. I shook my head. "Very well then...", he sighed. "Please understand this - once you do this, there's no way back. Ever." I nodded, still sniffling, as he directed me to a standing position.

"Will it hurt?" I felt a deep fear all of a sudden.

Chris looked at me, his deep-blue eyes shining with love and affection. "No Leo, it does not hurt... Believe me, there is no pain at all."

I cleared my throat, trying to sound confident. "Then I'm ready", I told him meekly, not really knowing what to expect.

Chris's hand sank into me, gripped me on the inside, solidifying, gaining strength somehow. I felt him tug lightly at me, and I started to separate from myself... My arm came out of myself as I stood there. Shoulders, head, torso. There was a faint ripping sensation, like when pulling apart two strips of velcro, but without the sound.

I stepped out of myself. I was there. In both places. I was naked, transparent. Solid, fully clothed. I looked back at myself, my eyes were closed, my face calm as I stood there in the rain. Suddenly, there was a burst of tiny sparks emanating from my solid self, from my head and the centre of my chest. They surrounded me, penetrated me and gave me new strength. Solidity. I could feel Chris's hands on my arms as he stood behind me.

The flow of sparks continued for just a short moment.

"That is you...", he told me. "Your mind, and your soul. The soul is always the last to leave."

I felt complete. I felt like me, no longer a duplicate of myself.

My other face, the one that no longer was mine, was clear of all traces of worry, its eyes closed. Those hidden lines and wrinkles you never even see were gone. So calm and relaxed, so smooth, free of doubt, free of anxiety. I saw a faint smile on my lips, a look of ecstatic pleasure. I was beautiful. For the first time in my life, I noticed it. Beautiful...

Then, I saw myself kind of stagger, losing balance. I'd just have to take a small step forward to regain it, but I didn't. My knees buckled, they hit the wet grass and the shock of the impact travelled up my still straight spine all the way to my head. It snapped forwards, then back, and I fell face first, still smiling down onto the overgrown lawn...

Seeing myself like that, it was a shock. My hands went up to my face in anguish and I threw myself down on my knees next to my body. I tried to shake myself, but my hands passed right through me. I heard someone shouting my name, but I was too distraught for a few moments to realise it.

Chris shook me, almost violently. "Leo! You can't. You CAN'T go back! I told you, don't say you changed your mind already?"

I leaned back on my heels. "No... I'm OK. It was just... I just got scared there for a second, I'm alright now." Hearing my own voice, it calmed me. I was still there. I existed. I stood up again. Chris was looking at me worriedly, and I embraced him. He was so soft, and so warm, and it made me feel better. Our bond was there still, stronger and deeper than ever. "I'll never leave you", I told him, my heart aching for him.

"You won't have to, ever." His eyes were shimmering jewels as he looked at me. "I love you... I'm so happy you're with me."

I was so glad I almost cried. "But you waited so long to tell me, so many years!"

"Leo, don't worry. For me, it has always been the same day. All just one day."

And with that, we walked together into the light.

* F * I * N *

Author's Notes:

Is there a common theme in my work here? If you read my first effort, you might ask yourself that question.

My honest answer would be, "I don't know. Maybe." I just write what I feel at the moment, let the plot take its own meandering path through my mind. Of course, what I create is in part a mirror image of myself in some way, like quite a few authors I would think. We write what we feel. This story has more of me in it than any of my previous works (most of which has not been read by anyone else but me I might mention, and probably never will either). It's not necessarily anything easily recognisable though, those who know me a little may think a certain part might be influenced by who I am, but that is not always the case. Sometimes I am there merely as a mirror image: hardly disguised. ...And sometimes as a total opposite, but still just as much me in any case. And often, not at all. My intention never was to write about myself, so I didn't.

Above all, even though I started this story on a day where my life seemed lacklustre, this story is NOT about loss! Quite the opposite. Maybe not a happy story. At least, not entirely so. But it's not a tragic story either! At least, not entirely so... The important thing to remember is, that for Leo, what he did was a way for him to LIVE.

The disclaimer at the top isn't ENTIRELY truthful this time. The story actually began out of an old daydream I have had for a long time now. It centred around a young man that went to school in the same class as me, and just like Chris, was quite late in development and shy in the shower, but had the most incredible butt all the same. There is no resemblance between them other than that however (apart from two separate events mentioned herein that did actually take part in reality, and which that person could possibly recognise, if he ever was to read this, and his memory was good enough), but I never had any sort of relationship with him, which is the reason I had that daydream...

Yes, this story does indeed feature a ghost as one of the major characters. Was it believable, or did it put you off reading it? Please share your views and comments with me, personally, I think this was an interesting experiment. My email address is listed at the top.


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