Jay & Miles

by ColumbusGuy

Chapter 27

Rocky Road

POV: Jay, Denny

Once we saw Greg and Denny out, Mikey and I went back to my room. With the neat piano recital by Denny, it was later than we'd normally finish, so I had only about an hour before I had to take my cute boyfriend home. It was a long day, what with the 'names' thing at school today, the mix-up out in the parking lot, and finally, almost being discovered by our friends in the middle of some serious making out. The excitement from our little 'scene' in the bath room during lunch had gotten both of us worked up, and I was eager to get my 'reward' even if I still had no idea what it was going to be. I was really sure that I was going to have the happiest part of my day before the other guys showed up…but now that they were on their way home, I wasn't going to be denied any longer. It was time for my reward.

Mikey preceded me into my room, and was standing near the other side of the bed, looking unsure of what he should be doing, so he was looking out at the barn with his back to me. With everybody home, and Linda right across the hall, I closed my door softly and turned the skeleton key in the lock as quietly as I could. Even so, the faint click of the mechanism sounded like thunder to me, and I wondered if Mikey heard it too? Since he didn't move, I assumed not. As my socks made almost no noise on the wooden floor, I was able to detour around the end of the bed to get nearly all the way to my boyfriend without attracting his attention. I was reaching out with both hands to wrap them around his waist when he said, "What are you up to, Jay Beckel?" He turned his head and I saw his wicked half-smile. "You may think you're being sneaky, but next time you should try holding your breath."

I ran my hands up under the back of his orange tee-shirt since it was already out of his pants, and my fingers crawled up his spine, one hand stopping between his shoulder blades, and the other sliding around to rub his right pec and nipple. I closed the gap between us by taking one more step, and planted a kiss between those exposed shoulders. With the aid of the hand on his back, his shirt went over his head with my lips following up his neck until it was held on only by his arms in front. "I don't think you need this right now," I whispered as I used both hands to pull it off his arms to let it fall onto the floor. The faint scent of his apple shampoo still lingered, and I inhaled deeply as my lips moved to his left ear. I nibbled on the lobe and breathed gently across it, and he giggled. "So that's what you're up to? We already did this sort of thing twice today, wasn't that enough?" I hated it when he teased me, but I loved it too.

"We didn't get to the really good part, kæreste…you know, the one where we get to my reward." My lips were nuzzling his ear and his jaw, while my hands were roaming over his smooth chest with a feather-light touch. He was torn between pressing back into me, or forward to increase the feelings to his erogenous zones in front. His breathing had increased its tempo slightly as I worked on his upper body, but I'd only just started my fun. "What makes you think you haven't gotten your reward already?" In my shock, I tightened my grip, which happened to be on his nipples just at that moment, and he yelped. I spun him around to face me as I looked the short distance up into his hazel-brown eyes. I relaxed a bit when I saw the evil gleam coming from those pools into his soul, and my hands went down to his waist to grab his butt and pull our crotches even closer together. For a million bucks, I couldn't have decided which one of us was stiffer at this point. It was time for the 'puppy-dog' eyes.

"What if I share my reward with you…?" I kissed Mikey's lips softly, tilting my head slightly for maximum contact. I licked his lips for a moment before he let me in, and we melted into one another in a dance of love rather than a duel for dominance. I could feel the very faint stubble on his cheeks and chin—he'd have to shave tomorrow unlike me—I could still miss another day or two without much notice. My right hand moved up his bare back to rest in his dark brown locks, and when I had to come up for air, I pulled his glasses off and laid them on the nightstand beside us. I made a little 'mmm' of satisfaction, and backed him toward my bed until the backs of his knees gave and we tumbled onto the mattress side-by-side. I worked my way down his neck with pecks, little nibbles, then circled his nipples with my lips, and licked each one until it was standing up sharp and pointy. From there I headed toward his navel.

My left hand reached for his belt buckle, while my right reached down to caress his socked ankle. My lips settled on the bulge in his jeans, biting at the black denim-covered mound beneath. I didn't know if this was the reward Mikey had in mind, but it was the one I wanted at this moment. Using my arm at his feet, I pulled him all the way up onto the mattress so that my left knee was resting between his legs, then I used both hands to undo his jeans; I raised my head just enough from his crotch to allow my fingers to trace his organ as they eased his zipper down. My eyes followed it as more of his bright-yellow briefs came into view, and I let my breath moisten the straining cloth where his dick was trying to escape. Pointing up toward his left hip, the head was trying to work its way to freedom, and had it been aimed at his belly-button, I'd have had my first glimpse of it today. I eased his jeans down to just below his balls, and began to stroke them with one hand, while the other rubbed at his chest.

Mikey's breathing was a bit ragged, sometimes panting, sometimes caught in suspense, so I knew he was enjoying my attentions. I slipped a finger into the waistband of his briefs and eased them down over his dick until it sprang free, at which point I closed my lips around his head. He let out a soft moan and I began to lick around the tip and the ridge of the shaft, giving a little extra attention to the underside. As I did that, I tightened my lips and moved them down a bit onto his shaft, and my left had moved from the outside of his shorts-covered balls to the inside for direct contact, and my index finger began to tickle just behind them. I tried angling my head at different times trying to find the best fit, to give him the best sensations I could manage. We'd only done this a couple times over the weekend, and I did my best to please my boyfriend—he had more than an inch of length and a thicker shaft than my seven inches, so I tried to repeat what had worked so well on Sunday.

As I licked and sucked on his head, I let my index finger begin to rub closer to his ass, over the smooth hard gap between. His moans increased at that, and I wondered if that was near the spot where his prostate was—something was certainly making him harder and more excited. I felt the same way myself, with my still-jeans-covered cock humping his leg, but this was Mikey's time, not mine…and I was determined to get him off in the short time before we had to leave. With my fingers caressing and tickling his sack, I took a deep breath and lowered my head further down his dick until I couldn't take any more. Mikey was moaning even more, and his head was rolling from side to side, but all his hands did was to stroke my hair and massage my neck. With my saliva as added lubrication, I gained another half inch of him into my mouth, then I remembered what he'd said helped him take me those last fractions to victory. Breathe through your nose—and swallow.

When that last inch was in my mouth, I hummed in satisfaction, and I could feel Mikey's entire body go rigid…then relax. "Shit, Jay…don't do that! You almost made me cum, and I want it to last…." I decided to be what he sometimes called me—a dick—and I did the humming again, this time with a deep vibrating growl I focused on the base of his shaft. Mikey's body tensed and relaxed in turns, and he tried not to thrust into my mouth, but I had him so close with my tongue's action on his shaft and my index finger near his entrance…it wouldn't take much more to get my reward. He was whimpering and my right hand could feel some sweat forming on his heaving chest, so I decided it was time: my hand tweaked his nipples gently while the index finger down below rubbed the ring of his ass, feeling it quiver. In one coördinated move, I slid my mouth up his shaft nipping it gently with my teeth, and furiously lapped at his slit while my index finger slipped into his ass. That was it—my mouth began to fill with Mikey's salty-sweet nectar.

"Oh..fu…J..Jeepers!" The flavor was a lot more intense than his pre-cum had been, but I didn't find it as strange as it had been Sunday…I tried not to swallow it all, but still get his softening dick as clean as I could before I scooted up beside him so we were facing each other. I leaned into him so my face was just above his, and brought our lips together. He opened his lips, and when I stuck my tongue between them, he gently sucked his load into his mouth, and then we swapped it back and forth until we broke our shared connection.

Our breathing closer to normal again, Mikey gave me a shy smile, and placed his lips on mine, then he licked my lips and the skin around them. "You had some left…didn't want it to go to waste." He chuckled quietly for a minute and just stared into my eyes. "That wasn't the reward I had planned for you—I was gonna go down on you." I felt his hand slide between us, where he could rub my fully hard dick through my jeans. "Let me take care of that, elskede…"

I shook my head and smiled at his frown. "I only have twenty minutes to get you home, and that's why I wanted the reward I picked—with limited time, nothing would have been better than seeing you happy—that's the best present I could ever have." I got up off the bed, took his hand to pull him up after me, and quietly led him to the bathroom. With a soapy washcloth, I went over his upper body, and then gently laved his crotch and impressive tool kit. I took the towel hanging on the hook on the back of the door and dried him gently, stealing a few kisses along the way, then I pulled his briefs back up and fastened his jeans. We rinsed our mouths and brushed our teeth so no one would tell what we'd been doing, then went back to my room to retrieve his books and tee-shirt.

We found mor and far in the kitchen having a cup of tea over a plate of cookies. I snagged two, one for me and one for Mikey. "I'm running him home…be back in a few minutes." I handed my boyfriend his cookie and we started to put on our shoes. Just as we were at the back door, my dad said, "Drive carefully, Jeepers," and started to laugh. In the light coming onto the porch, I could see Mikey was beet red, and I must have been the same because he wasted no time pulling me out the screen door and over to my truck. When we got to the end of my driveway, looking left I thought I saw a car down at the turn leading to Route 40, but wasn't sure, so I took off to the right to get Mikey home.

By the light of the dash's gauges and the glow from the headlights, I could catch a faint smile on Mikey's face as we drove, and I reached over with my right hand to grasp his left. I placed both of them on the gear-shift, and let them rest there so he could run through the gears when I gave him a squeeze; he was getting better at figuring out when to do it himself, but I loved the contact of our hands under any circumstances. "Okay, enough with the mystery—why do you holler Jeepers when you cum?"

"What!" his voice was agitated, as if he just realized something. "Tell me I don't do that…please."

He turned his head away to look out the window when I snickered and nodded in return. "Almost every single time, kæreste."

"Shit…I was hoping it was all in my head…" He turned to face me and I could tell he was embarrassed. "It's just stupid, Jay….Just before, you know, our first time, I learned that Jay wasn't your real name. It didn't feel as natural to call you that anymore if your real name was Jens—so I had that running through my head, trying to fix Jens Per Beckel to the boy I had known from the start as Jay…and, when we, did it, something just clicked inside, and I must have babbled it out loud: Jens…Jay…Per—Jay Per—Jeepers." I had to stop the truck for a minute I was laughing so hard, and I felt bad when I saw his head sink down and he looked away from me. I turned to face him, and pulled him into my arms and stroked his back and hair, murmuring softly in his ear that it was okay, that I liked it…and he could call me whatever he wanted because I knew he loved me.

In front of his garage, I gave him a kiss before he climbed out, and held onto his hand until he had to shut the door. As he crossed in front of my truck's hood, I rolled down my window. "Mikey?" When he came up to the driver's window to see what I wanted, I took his hand again and kissed his fingers. "I just needed one last memory to dream about…." I watched him enter his garage and saw his shadow through the kitchen window as he headed toward his bedroom. I sat there as his silhouette moved behind his curtains, and I could picture him undressing for bed. When his light went out, I smiled and pulled out onto the road to go home.

Sitting with Greg on the blanket from my trunk, the results of my confession hadn't yet sunk in, at least much past my ears and eyes. All afternoon I had been trying to make some connection with him, as I had with Jay the day before; sometimes I felt like it was working, others it was as if he was still a complete stranger. The bond with Jay had been forged out of necessity and through my terror at having the torment from my old school starting here too. Jay's defense of me in gym had shown me he could be trusted, so I had taken a chance and opened up to him…and had gained not one, but two friends in the process. At lunch today, I knew something was going on, but didn't know what it was until Mikey told me Greg could help me find a boyfriend. Though I'd only spent a few minutes with him yesterday, I had liked his sense of humor and quiet manner right away, and hoped to build on that today…so I was glad when Jay asked him to study with us.

Waiting for my two new friends in the parking lot had given Greg and I time to talk a bit, and I made a complete fool of myself by asking if he played guitar in the marching band—his sense of humor came to the rescue and he made me laugh rather than feel stupid. What did I do then, I started talking like an encyclopedia about the history of his fucking accent. Yeah, Dennis 'Idiot' Watson, you're off to a great start. And then, he does it again—saves me from being a complete jackass by giving me a deadpan 'No shit', which broke the tension once more. I was developing a liking for Greg, and way back in my head, I hoped that he would be my boyfriend, impossible as I thought that could be. What queer boy hasn't looked around at others his own age and wished that just one of them would be like him? Sadly enough for me, I remembered Mikey saying that Greg was observant and saw a lot of people, and that was how he'd help us…I had to content myself with his friendship, and just hope that my boyfriend-to-be had some of the qualities I liked in Greg thus far.

It almost made me burst into tears from frustration when he sang to me. My father told me growing up that my great-great-grandfather came from Wales way back, almost a century and a half ago in 1845, searching for better opportunities with his physician's training. He added that music and singing were a big part of Welsh culture, and had been for thousands of years. Almost everyone in our family could play some sort of instrument or sing—or both—but Owain Watson had to resign himself to the fact that his son could only play the piano, harp and flute. I'd had some voice lessons as a kid, but even the teacher had to admit that I seemed to be slightly tone-deaf, though that wouldn't interfere with learning an instrument. I could hear and appreciate good singing, but somewhere along the chain from my brain to my mouth, I couldn't grasp the subtleties needed to reproduce the notes.

The roughest part of our afternoon was at the store, when Greg tried to pay for half our snacks; since most of the things we had were my idea, I felt it right that he help pay only for the items he'd suggested, and that nearly caused an argument. I was an only child, had a good allowance and not much to spend it on, so I didn't think anything about paying the whole amount, while he insisted on half since there were two of us—in the end I convinced him to pay just for part of the milk and pretzels, but he made me promise on halves in future. It struck me again how different he was from the guys at my old school—all he wanted to do was what was fair for both of us, rather than have all the advantages.

Being so close beside Greg at the piano felt right, and even though I figured he was straight, I enjoyed it when my foot would touch his, or our thighs meet on the narrow piano bench. I was even more confused when, once he knew for certain that Jay and Miles were a couple, he showed no sign of distaste, and hardly any surprise. The former I put down to his innate good manners, and the latter to his being a keen observer as Mikey had said. I began to think that Greg could help me find a boyfriend, but all the things I wanted in one, I was coming to realize that he possessed in abundance. And the more we talked, the more I was starting to fall for him. As we were getting ready to leave Jay's house, I knew that, for the sake of our friendship, I had to tell him about my past—I'd rather know now if he was still going to be my friend, or be hurt more later if he found out and deserted me for keeping the truth from him. It was only at the turn on the one-lane gravel road heading toward his house, out amongst the fields, that I made up my mind and told him to pull over.

Oh, it was hard, telling him about my ex-roommate and then the blow jobs in the theater restroom while sitting with him on that blanket in the moonlight…and more than once I was sorely tempted to stop. When he suddenly jumped up and began to pace back and forth angrily, I nearly did, and when he rammed a fist into one of the trees, I came very close to wetting myself; all I could think was how could I have misjudged him so badly? I was convinced that he was going to turn on me and start beating me up for being not just a fag, but a whore as well, though none of the things I'd done were of my own free will. I wanted to run, and if I hadn't been paralyzed with fear, I might have gotten away, but I just sat there huddling into myself and shaking. Please God, don't let it hurt too long, was the only thing running through my head. Then there was silence, and I tried bracing myself for the first punch. I tried being brave—isn't that what a guy was supposed to do—but I could still feel tears starting to roll down my cheeks, soaking my knees.

Why wasn't Greg hitting me? None of the boys up in Maine would have hesitated for a moment unless it was to make sure no teachers or proctors were nearby. I flinched when his hand landed on my shoulder—here it comes—and I told myself I wouldn't beg for mercy. Then I felt his arms circle around my body and pull me against him…and he started to whisper into my ear, so close that I could feel his lips brush the skin. I was waiting for the trick to end, and he'd start hitting me, but he pulled me into his chest and cradled my head into his shoulder instead. All he did was stroke my back and hair in an attempt to calm me down…and I just let go, allowing all my pent-up pain and frustration to pour out with my tears. The shock, when it came, was one of surprise—Greg began to kiss my ear! When I blurted out my question about what he was doing, he kissed my ear again, and asked me if I really wanted him to find me a boyfriend. When I said yes, I panicked when he told me he didn't need to—because the job had already been filled by him! To emphasize that statement, he lowered his lips, brushed them against mine, and a jolt of electricity shot through me, and down into the deepest part of my soul. I was thoroughly confused, and hesitated, not sure what I ought to do. Greg Newton was kissing meand wanting to be my boyfriend? I had been so sure he was straight, and yet…his lips rested on mine again, and this time, I felt his tongue poke at them seeking entry.

I wanted to return his kiss so badly, but there wasn't any way my luck could be this good—I found a boyfriend, and he was the one Jay and Mikey had picked to help me? Life wasn't a fairy tale—things like this just didn't happen to real people—did they? I had decided it must be a dream, when he made a stupid remark about having to teach me about being a boyfriend, and that if he was Doctor Walker, then I had to be Daniel Boone to keep him company. That taunt, that stupid, childish running gag he'd done all day, told me more than anything else could that this was still Gregand that this was, indeed, reality. Without any further thought, I threw my arms around him and practically tackled him against that tree-trunk. Before I pressed my lips to his, I said, "Shut up and kiss me, smart-ass. You talk too much."

Yeah, not one of the world's most romantic moments, and certainly not the most lovingly whispered of endearments—but this was Greg, my Southern Sweetheart, and I was the Yankee whom he had just conquered with a kiss. I opened my lips to allow his tongue full rein against my teeth, and gently sucked on it as I moaned into him. I could tell he was being careful not to rush things, and my heart melted when it hit me that he was being so considerate over what had happened to me at my old school, not wanting to bring up bad memories for me. I pulled him tighter to me, and let one of my hands curl into his tawny locks so he'd know I was eager for his attentions. I think it worked, because his tongue became more playful and his hands were freer on my back, even cupping my butt a little to pull me into him. This little grove in the middle of a nowhere Ohio field was my Appomattox, and I was more than happy to surrender myself to my randy Rebel charmer.

I'm not sure how long it was before we pulled apart, but it was time to get him home…so we piled into my car and he started her up when I told him it was still his job to get us there. I helped him shift the gears, though I didn't need to, really, but his hand felt good in mine, and I was staring more at his dimly-lit profile than out the window to see where we were headed. I saw a sign on Route 40 pointing south to I-70, and then we were in a small town when he turned in that direction. I could see a large grassy village green to our left, surrounded by houses, and to our right, the bulk of the tiny town lined several cross streets. We soon pulled up in front of a two-story white house with a porch across the front, and a small yard. The living room window was lit, as was the porch light. I got out and ran over to Greg's door to let him out, and he handed me my car keys. "Thanks for letting me drive—she's a really cool car."

When he started to head toward his front door, I followed him—and when he turned to look at me, I just smiled and gave him a little wave. He was almost up the steps when he turned again, and I was right behind him. "What are you doing? Go home." From inside, I could hear the TV playing Marcus Welby, M.D., so I knew we weren't too late getting him home. I just smiled again, and then said softly "I want to walk you to your door, if that's okay?" He gaped at me, and the look on his face was so cute I wanted to kiss him right there on the steps. I raised one hand to caress his cheek, and whispered "Please? I'd also like to apologize to your parents for getting you in trouble."

Confusion and manners were fighting for control of his expression—he didn't know why I wanted to see his parents—maybe he thought I'd let something of our activities slip out, but in the end he took my hand in his, and nodded. I gave it a squeeze as I waited for him to get to his door—it was unlocked, as most were out in the country—so when he turned the knob, I pushed him inside and followed, closing the door behind me. He was slow to move, so my action caused my dick to rub into his butt for a moment before he jumped forward from the foyer into the living room. A man and woman, in their early forties, turned to see what the commotion was, and I extended my hand as I approached his father, who was rising from his recliner. "Sir, my name is Dennis Watson, and I thought I should introduce myself, seeing as I was the one who drove Greg to the study group this afternoon. I'm sorry if we've caused you any distress."

I turned to his mother, seated on the end of the couch closest to her husband, and smiled. "Mrs. Newton, I'm sorry, we were all so happy for Greg to join us, that it slipped our minds to call; please don't blame Greg…we were at fault too for not reminding him." My mother's occasional dinner parties for dad's clients, and other social events had long ago drilled proper etiquette into me, and I was anxious to reassure my new boyfriend's parents that they need have no fear about him with his new friends. "If you have any questions for me, I'd be happy to answer them?"

My mother would be so proud of me if she was here to see this…but I really did want to make a good impression on these people. Mr. Newton looked like he might have played sports in school, but hadn't had much time for it lately, though he was still in pretty good shape, and the frown he rose with changed to a more welcoming smile as he motioned me to a seat. Mrs. Newton rose also, and took my hand in turn, then asked if I would like some tea or soda. I declined politely, saying just a glass of water would be fine, and she left to get it. Both his parents were tall, with differing shades of red hair, and their voices had a stronger Southern accent than Greg's. "Watson—are you related to Rhys Watson?"

That took me by surprise—how did he know my uncle? He was the man who gave me my car—Henry's father—last summer. "Yes, sir. He's my father's younger brother. He lives in Columbus; how do you know him?" Rhys Watson was something of a free-spirit, refusing to follow the more hide-bound family traditions—he'd even avoided going to the private school in Maine. For that reason alone, he was my favorite relative, along with Cousin Henry, who had always treated me nicely when I came home for holidays.

Mr. Newton's face had a warm smile on it as he explained. Mrs. Newton came back with my ice water, and sat back on the couch. During this short time, Greg had been hovering, unsure what to do until his mom pulled him down to join her on the couch. Greg was fidgeting with his book bag, fumbling with the straps and zipper until his mom took it from him and set it on the oval coffee table. "Rhys has an account at the bank, so I see him a few times each month when he comes in, but we've been friends since high-school. Our basketball teams were rivals, and one night, we collided on the court, and both of us got injured. We shared the ride to the hospital's emergency room, and had nothing to do but talk as we waited for the doctor to get to us. We've been friends ever since."

"Rhys was James' best man at our wedding," Mrs. Newton added with a fond smile. "I thought your family sent all their boys up to some private school in Maine?" That was the question I dreaded most—what do I say when it comes up? A lie would have to be remembered, and those could get complicated fast—but even a part of the truth would hit too close to home for me—so far, I'd managed to keep the truth from my parents. Greg saved me.

"He was there the last four years, but he transferred back home for personal reasons." I could have cheered when his parents nodded and let the subject drop. Good manners were firm on the subject of invading a person's privacy—it just wasn't done. If you were meant to know, then you would be told at the right time.

"Which Watson is your father?" When I told him it was Owain, his face changed slightly, and I assumed it was from trying to place him in his memory. I was so grateful for what Greg had done that I missed his mother's raised eyebrow. "So, boys, did the studying go well? I'm allowing it if you are serious about it, Greg, and hope you will apply yourself." Greg opened his bag and handed over his homework to his father. "It's all finished, sir…even Trig."

As his parents looked over his assignments, I put in, "With finals coming up, three of us decided to pool our resources, and it seems to be working very well. Jay—whose house we were at—is a genius at math, I'm fairly decent at history and Miles is almost another Noah Webster when it comes to English." I couldn't resist looking at Greg and giving him a smirk—let's see if he knows who Webster was! His slow smile came as he moved his head to indicate a desk in the corner, and I saw a brown leather tome nearly a foot thick resting there—only one thing could be that big—a dictionary. When I looked back, he mouthed, "Yankee smart-ass."

"Mom, could I show Denny my room? I won't be up past my bedtime." The rustling of papers stopped as his parents thought about it, but his mother shook her head. "Not tonight, dear; your brothers and sisters just went up, so they need to settle in. The next time Denny comes to visit, you can show him then." They went back to the homework, and I gave Greg a huge grin. I get to visit again! Life was so good. Just then, we heard the local news come on, and Mr. Newton looked up. "This all looks good, Greg. Bedtime after the news, so Denny should plan on heading out soon." He extended his hand to me, and then they went up the stairs in the foyer, leaving us alone with the news anchorman. Greg patted the sofa cushion next to him, and I was there so fast it made my head spin.

As I settled onto the sofa, I put one leg under me so that I could turn slightly to face him, and I took his hand in mine—I wanted to do more, but with his parents just going to bed, I knew we'd have to be quiet—and we had less than half an hour left tonight. We smiled at one another, taking in every feature by the light of the television and the lamp on the newel post at the foot of the stairs—sure, we'd seen each other a good part of the day today—but now we were boyfriends—and that made all the difference in the world to us. I put my left arm across his shoulders and leaned in slightly to kiss him, and I could feel his lips smiling against mine as he closed the distance between us. I felt his hand on the back of my head, twisting in my curls. Greg's hair was longer than mine, and I moved my hand from his shoulders to run my fingers through it—he was so lucky to have fairly straight hair—my fingers could move freely without worrying about tangling and pulling it by accident.

As I started to feel dizzy from a lack of oxygen, I opened my eyes and pulled back a bit, and found myself looking into his pale-blue eyes. I thought you had to close your eyes to kiss—it was a rule or something, wasn't it? I was going to say something about that, but Greg beat me to it. "At least I don't have to teach you about kissing," he whispered. His eyes were twinkling with humor at the joke we'd been using all day, but those words were somehow different this time. I had been about to lean back in for another kiss, but I stopped dead, staring into his eyes; I knew it was just a joke—that he'd never hurt my feelings—but he had. It struck me then: what did I really know about Greg?

"Denny…." His voice was a whisper, full of concern, and he moved his hand down from my hair to touch my cheek in a soft and tender caress. I shifted on the couch, preparing to stand, and I put the hand I'd been holding all this time back in his lap before rising to my feet. He got up too, and reached for my hand, but I eased back and started for the door. "Denny?" his voice was still soft, but growing more alarmed. The only thought I had at the moment was to leave—I needed to think about things—about us. If there could even still be an us. I couldn't bear it if he looked down on me for what those bastards made me do last year.

No, Greg, you won't have to teach me about blow jobs either.

Outside, on his porch, he touched my arm. "Denny…I'm sorry—I didn't mean anything by it…it was just more joking like we'd done all afternoonI swear, I'd never do anything to hurt you!" His voice had risen slightly as he followed me to my car. At the door, I stood with my hand on the handle. He'd stopped on the opposite side, facing me across the vinyl top, and the moonlight turned the tears on his cheeks to silver rivulets. He reached a hand across the fawn top, and let it lay on the cool flexible material. "Please…let me explain things tomorrow…there are things you need to know about me too."

I stared at his hand for a few seconds, not sure what he could say, but he'd been nothing but supportive as I bared my soul just an hour ago, so could I turn down his request? I needed time to think, and waiting until tomorrow would give me that time. I didn't have any idea what he could say, but his friend Benny, the big wrestler, had told Jay's sister that Greg would never hurt anyone on purpose—I didn't know him, but Jay's sister took his word as gospel truth, and if anyone struck me as being immune to deception, it was her. I put my hand on top of his, but didn't squeeze it, just touched it for a moment before opening my door.

"When, tomorrow?" I tried to keep my tone soft—we hadn't broken up yet. "I'd suggest before school or during lunch…I'd like to settle this before studying at Jay's tomorrow."

"I could do either one, but you'd have to pick me up in the morning…or at lunch, but we'd miss part of 6th period if we did it then…I'll do whatever you want, since I'm the one who fucked things up." His last words came out among some stifled sobs, and I saw he was trying hard not to cry again. "Where's your bus stop, and what time does it run?"

"Go down to the next street and turn left—it's one block to the green, across the road that leads down to the freeway. If you get there about 6:20, I'll be there. That gives us about half an hour to talk—we can go to the grove…" I thought he was going to add something else as I got into my car, but he didn't. As I pulled away, I saw him standing there at the curb staring after me, his shoulders slumped. He was still there when I turned the corner, and I almost went back to tell him I loved him—but it didn't feel right, not just yet, but it felt even worse that I didn't.

My drive home felt like it would never end, and I flopped down on my bed after setting my alarm, not even bothering to undress. It was a long time before sleep came. If I could have seen into Greg's room, I'd have seen him stare out his attic window, to the light shining in the attic of the house diagonally across the street from his. I'd see him pick up the phone next to his bed, and dial with tears in his eyes…and I'd hear his whispered cry through the wire.

"Benny—I found my boyfriend—and I fucked it up really bad…."

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