by Cynus

Chapter 4

Learning Together

Tutoring began slowly but went better than expected. I'd thought Clint would resist my attempts to get him to study, but it didn't take much to get him into his books. This surprised me, but every once in a while, I'd glance up from explaining something and catch him looking at me instead of the book we had open. He'd blush and ask a question about what we were studying, and I'd answer as well as I could before pausing to consider what his glances meant.

And then we started working on math and everything fell apart from there. As soon as I reached for his math book he groaned, and looked at me like I was torturing him. "Clint, I told you we were going to look at everything today and find out where you're struggling. Everything means everything."

"Yeah, but does it have to mean 'math'?" Clint asked, pouting.

I chuckled and said, "Math runs the universe. You can't have anything without math."

"Fine," Clint said. "Let's get this over with."

"I take it this is your worst subject?"

Clint shrugged and replied, "It's not like I'm ever going to use it."

I frowned at this and set the book down more heavily than I meant to. The sound of it thudding against the top of the table was enough to make us both jump. A surprised Clint turned toward me and I shrugged helplessly. "Sorry, didn't mean to startle you, but I am a bit worried about what you just said."

"What do you mean?"

"You said before that you don't know what you want to do with your life, right?"

"Yeah, so?"

"How do you know you won't need math for that?"

Clint squirmed in his seat for a moment, and his smile fell. "That's easy for you to say, since you're studying something which uses it."

I wanted to respond in anger, but I took a second to collect my thoughts first and tried a different approach. "That's true, but I could always change my mind."

As soon as the words left my mouth, I wondered where they'd come from. I'd been about to say something about how you never know what might happen in the future. Maybe I was having doubts about my chosen profession after all. Greg's words from our morning walk rang loudly in my head. Did I really want to study astrophysics? I knew it wasn't my top choice, but my top choice was impossible, and I'd always thought it a good runner-up.

Clint wasn't going to give me much time to consider my thoughts, however, as he said, "You seemed pretty set on it before." I blinked to clear away the cobwebs of thoughts I still had in my mind and studied his face. His features had softened again, and his eyes were filled with concern. "Are you all right, Zane? You seem a little off."

I shook my head and forced a smile. "No, I'm good. Just a little stressed. I want to see you succeed, and I really hope you'll give me a chance to help you."

"I'll try," Clint said, nodding slowly. "I just really hate math, more than anything. I may not know what I want to do with my life, but I do know I want to stay as far away from it as possible."

"Is it because it's boring or because it's difficult?" I asked.

"Both, I guess," Clint replied, shrugging. "I don't really understand it, or why it's even required; I mean, other than basic addition and subtraction, and maybe multiplication and division."

I smiled and reached out to touch his hand, squeezing it before letting go. "I'll help you through it, don't worry. I'll explain it to the best of my ability, and I'll try and give you some real life examples. Would that help?"

He shrugged, but his smile was back. "If you're going to be there, I think I can handle it."

"Good. Then let's get started," I replied, "I promise you're going to feel better about it once we're done."

"Don't make promises you can't keep," Clint mumbled.


"Nothing. Okay, so, tell me about the wonders of algebra . . ."

I nearly snapped at his sarcasm but my mother walked into the room and said, "Hey, boys, it's time to clear off the table. Dinner will be ready in just a few minutes. I assume you're staying, Clint?"

"Yes ma'am," Clint replied enthusiastically, "if you'll have me."

"Of course," she said. "Zane's friends are always welcome. Zane, wipe that look off your face. You look like you're going to bite someone's head off."

I hadn't realized my displeasure was showing so prominently, and I glanced at Clint nervously, wondering if he'd noticed the same thing. "Sorry, Mom," I mumbled, before I began cleaning up the books in front of me.

"Are you all right, Zane?" Clint asked, laying a hand on my arm. I looked up at him and saw his anxiety plainly displayed in his eyes. "I didn't annoy you, did I?"

"No," I lied. It wasn't his fault I was so stressed out, and he didn't know I hated wasting time helping people with serious matters they weren't taking seriously. I hoped he'd change his outlook, but I had no right to coerce him through anger. "I'm just tired and hungry, okay? Dinner should make me feel a bit better."

"Okay," Clint said, nodding in acceptance. "What're we having, anyway?"

I smiled genuinely at the question and then sniffed the air. "Smells like my mother's pork chops to me. You're in for a real treat."

"I can hardly wait."

My mother, despite being the only one of my parents who still worked regularly, also did the cooking in the house. My sisters helped when they were home, and I would have too, if I weren't completely useless in the kitchen. I didn't have the knack for it like the women in my family seemed to. That was one thing I'd inherited from my father, much to my dismay.

The spread of delicious food had me salivating, and the variety of dishes surprised me. On top of the pork chops I'd promised Clint, we had sides of homemade mac-and-cheese, two completely different vegetable salads, green beans with bits of bacon, and fresh lemonade and iced tea to drink. Our meals were usually not this extravagant, but my mother had outdone herself this evening, probably because I'd warned her I was inviting Clint over. She liked to entertain guests, though she often didn't have the opportunity.

Still, for only five people, I thought it way too much food. Perhaps if my two older sisters had been there I wouldn't have felt so overwhelmed by it, but for my parents, my sister Kaitlyn, Clint, and myself . . . I could've done without such a display. I worried that Clint would think this our norm, and I hated the potential conclusions he'd draw from that. Would he think my family wasteful? Or perhaps gluttonous?

As per his usual, he showed no sign of judgment whatsoever as he looked at my mother and said, "Thank you for having me over. This all looks delicious." He smiled wide and licked his lips as he stared at the pork chops, the delight in his eyes increasing as he surveyed each dish in turn.

"You're welcome, Clint," My mother said as she passed him the dish of macaroni and cheese. Clint took it and mouthed a quick 'thank you' as she continued. "I'm glad you could join us. Isn't that right, Stan?" She turned her attention to my father, who'd brought a book to the table, his nose buried in it as he absentmindedly moved his green beans around with his fork.

He seemed startled to be addressed at all, and he stared at her with a blank expression for several long seconds before realizing she'd asked a question. I hadn't expected anything from him other than awkward silence, but he surprised me. He regarded Clint for a moment, frowned, grunted, and returned to his book. At least he acknowledged Clint's existence, though I certainly did not consider it a positive reaction.

"Mom, are Julie and Chelsea going to be here tonight?" I asked, reaching for the spinach salad in front of me. If my father wasn't going to show any interest in Clint, I wasn't going to dwell on the subject.

Setting her glass of iced tea down, my mother wiped her lips with a napkin before answering. "No. Julie has softball practice and Chelsea is hanging out with friends. Why do you ask?"

I shrugged and replied, "I'd have liked to introduce Clint to them is all." Reaching for the plate of pork chops, I nudged Clint lightly with my elbow. He glanced at me in question and I nodded toward the plate in my hands. Clint nodded enthusiastically and I slid the largest pork chop onto his plate before selecting one for myself.

Kaitlyn, never one to miss an opportunity to draw attention to herself, piped up, "You have me!"

"Yes I do," I said patiently, "but Clint's now already met you."

"It's true, and I like her," Clint said, smiling at her and wiggling his eyebrows. She giggled at his sudden attention and squealed with delight as he asked, "What do you like to do, Kaitlyn?"

Her excitement nearly overwhelmed her as she began listing all the things she enjoyed "I like softball, and dancing, and jumping, and climbing on things . . ."

"Really?" Clint jumped in enthusiastically. "I like climbing things, too. Have you ever been rock climbing before?"

Kaitlyn thought about it for a moment then shook her head. "No. Is it hard?"

Clint nodded but remained smiling as he explained, "At first, but with practice it can be a lot of fun, too."

Kaitlyn's eyes lit up with excitement as she replied, "Cool! I want to try it!"

Clint opened his mouth to reply, but a surprise question was thrown at him from across the table. "What does your father do for a living, Clint?" My dad asked. I turned to regard this alien creature who'd suddenly replaced my dad and taken interest in my life. It took me a second to realize my mouth was open and I was staring, but I didn't know what to make of this strange occurrence.

Thankfully, I wasn't the one expected to answer this question, and Clint didn't know enough to find the situation unusual. He met my dad's blank expression with his standard glowing smile and replied, "He's a contractor. Currently he's helping build that new apartment complex on the east side of town."

"So, you're father's a laborer?" My dad asked, frowning slightly.

"Um . . . yeah," Clint said. I could tell by his expression he was confused, but I was beginning to catch on to where my dad was going with this, and I felt a pit forming in my stomach. "I suppose you could call him that . . ." Clint added, scratching his head.

My dad nodded once, then stood. He slid his book under one arm and picked up his plate with the other. Glancing at my mother briefly he said, "I'm going to eat in the study."

"Stan?" my mother asked, watching him carefully, "Are you sure?"

He waved the notion away with his open hand and began walking away. "Yes. Please, carry on without me."

What a prick , I thought to myself as I watched my father go. He's always been a bit of an elitist, but now he thinks he can judge Clint's father without having met him, simply because of his occupation? I wanted to chase after my father and kick his ass, but I stayed seated, silently fuming. My hand wrapped around the head of my cane in a white-knuckled grip as rage boiled inside of me. He had no right to behave this way, especially toward me.

My mother seemed almost as put off as I was by my father's behavior. She smiled at Clint in a way that didn't reach her eyes and said, "You'll have to excuse him. He's . . ." she hesitated far too long for Clint not to pick up on it, and I feared what went through his mind in that moment. "he's easily distracted," my mother finished at last, and I breathed a quiet sigh of relief.

"I don't mind," Clint said, shrugging as if it didn't matter. "I don't often see my dad at dinner, either. He works late a lot of nights, but when he does make it home we always talk for a while." He turned to me and grinned, "I'm sure I'll get a chance to meet your dad again."

"Yeah . . ." I said awkwardly, giving my cane one final squeeze as I desperately sought for a way to change the subject. I stuck my fork into the macaroni and said, "Mom, this macaroni is amazing!"

My mother had her attention focused down the hall at the closed door to my father's study, and answered my remark distractedly. "I didn't do anything different than usual."

"Well, either way, I love it."

"I agree, Mrs. Thompson," Clint said, raising a forkful of the macaroni toward his mouth. Before taking the bite, he continued, "this and the pork chops are both awesome. Hell, everything is awesome! I haven't eaten this well in a long time!"

Returning her attention back to us, my mother smiled warmly and replied, "Thank you, Clint. Zane," she continued, shifting her focus to me. "I think you picked a good one here." I blushed as she added, "Any guy who compliments my cooking is a keeper."

"Thanks, Mom . . ." I said, shifting awkwardly as Clint wiggled his eyebrows at me suggestively.

The moment was spoiled slightly as a simple melody began playing from the opposite side of the table. My mother fished her phone from her pocket and stared at the screen, her eyes lighting up with sudden ecstasy. "Oh, I have to take this call. Sorry to interrupt dinner, boys. Frank thinks he might have figured out the significance of the petroglyphs we found last week!"

"Sure, Mom, not a problem," I said. She nodded and answered the call, then stood and walked from the room toward the kitchen, her animated conversation quickly fading once she moved beyond the swinging door which separated the two rooms.

Clint hadn't forgotten my blush from earlier, and he leaned in close to me and said, "Ooh . . . you're cute when you blush."

"T-thanks," I stammered, turning toward him slightly. Our lips were only inches apart, and it would be so easy to lean in and kiss him. I started to incline my head, closing my eyes as I went in.

"Are you guys going to kiss?" Kaitlyn asked, suddenly reminding me that we weren't alone. I pulled back, startled, and blinked at her in surprise. Her nose was scrunched up and her tongue was hanging out. "Eww . . ." she said, shuddering.

Clint regarded her with curiosity and the moment was officially completely ruined. I returned my attention to the food in front of me and explained, "She's at that age where anyone kissing is gross. She says that whenever my parents kiss, too."

"Ah, I see," Clint said. He then smiled at me and added, "Well, she has good ideas about what we can do, I'll give her that."

I felt heat in my cheeks again and decided to change the subject. "Let's hurry and finish up, then I can give you a tour of the house after dinner."

His smile remained as strong as ever as he replied, "That sounds great."

My offer of a tour proved to be quite the incentive for Clint to finish his food quickly. I still managed to finish my meal first, however, and set about putting a few of the food items away for my mother as Clint was finishing up. After locking the door open between the kitchen and dining room for easier access to the dishes and food, I scrubbed my dishes and added them to the dishwasher when Clint showed up beside me at the sink.

Clint followed my example, doing everything I'd just done to my dishes, looking completely relaxed as he did them. "You don't have to do your dishes," I said quietly. "You're our guest."

"I prefer to not be a burden if I can help it," Clint replied, shrugging. "Plus, if I do this, maybe your mom will be more inclined to keep feeding me."

I laughed and then said, "Don't worry. All you have to do for that is keep showing up."

"That's definitely something I can do," he said, grinning.

He added his dishes to the dishwasher under my direction, and then offered to help put the rest of dinner away. I'd been planning on leaving the bulk of it for later, but that was only because I wanted to spend my time with Clint and not on chores. His offer gave me the opportunity to do both at once, and though I felt guilty about him helping out, there was another selfish reason which made it easy to accept his assistance.

Working side by side with him was an aphrodisiac. There's something about being domestic with someone for the first time, where they're in your home doing mundane things, which really makes it feel like a relationship. Time and time again as we crossed paths in the dining room, I wanted to engage him in playful antics, but there was work to be done. It didn't stop me from fantasizing, however, and by the time we were done my body told the story of my attraction quite plainly.

If Clint had noticed my arousal, he didn't say anything, though my eyes traveled south several times when he wasn't looking. I was rewarded with a reflection of my own physical predicament, and it started to drive me crazy. When we finally put the last dish in the dishwasher, I leaned in for a kiss but then saw Kaitlyn staring at us, watching our every move. This just wouldn't do.

I took Clint's hand in mine and began pulling him down the hallway. "Let's start the tour with my bedroom. It's right down this way."

"So, you live on the ground floor?" Clint asked as we maneuvered around the stairs to the upper levels and down an intersecting hallway.

"Yep. Because of my leg," I said, pausing to rap my cane lightly against the side of my leg, clanking it against the brace. "Stairs aren't the easiest thing in the world. They're manageable, but it takes me longer than I'd like."

"I see. Makes sense."

I smiled as we stopped in front of the plain wooden door of my room and I turned the knob. "So, this is my room," I said, pushing the door open wide and letting him get his first view into my private sanctuary.

Bookshelves lined most of my walls, nearly all of which were completely full, even the ones built above my desk and on the ledge above my bed. I almost had as many books in here as my father had in his study, and I knew it made my room feel like a library to everyone else. The floor was spotless dark hardwood, which matched the color of the wood belonging to both my bedposts and my desk. The only evidence of clutter at all was on top the desk itself, where my computer sat with all its associated hardware. I had a printer, speakers, and a wide monitor all attached together, and the wires were a jumbled mess at the back of the machine. The keyboard sat temporarily out of place, and where it usually rested my journal sat open, displaying a fresh entry from the night before.

I wondered for a moment if I should close it, considering the nature of the journal entry, but I realized I didn't mind if Clint knew what I'd said about him. If he found out how much I'd loved his lips against mine, I could live with that.

"Wow, it's very clean," Clint said, surprising me by not mentioning the books at all. "Are you sure you live here?"

"Yeah," I chuckled. "I'm sure. I try to keep my floor clean so I don't have any issues tripping over stuff."

He stepped further into the room and surveyed the room slowly. I loved the way his gaze traveled up and down each bookcase until he reached my desk. "You have a nice computer. It looks brand new."

"It is," I replied with a simple nod and a smile.

He raised an eyebrow and said, "No video games, though?"

"Not in here. We have a game room elsewhere."

He took a few steps toward the desk to check out the computer, then stopped as his eyes traveled down to the open journal. He only read it for a second, then looked up, blushing. I didn't press the matter and neither did he, though he did ask me a related question.

"Do you write a lot?"

I smiled and joined him at the desk, hooking my cane on the edge of my desk chair as I reached for the journal. Holding it up, I closed it gently as he watched. I then slid it back into place on the shelf above my desk, along with several similar volumes. "I write in my journal most days, though usually they're pretty short entries. Sometimes, when something really important happens, I write a bit more."

"Something important?" Clint asked.

I grinned and reached up to his face, gently brushing the hair away from his face. The gesture felt so natural, and reminded me of our mundane time spent in the kitchen together. I nearly kissed him then, but he'd asked a question and I wanted to answer this one properly.

"Like being kissed by the most wonderful guy I've ever met," I replied, wiggling my eyebrows. Clint blushed and laughed, then looked away from me, but he kept watching me out of the corner of his eye until he glanced upward. His full attention became fixed on the row of unnamed volumes standing next to my journal.

"How many journals have you filled!?" He exclaimed in surprise.

I laughed and said, "They aren't all journals. I've written stories in there, too."

Clint's eyes lit up instantly. "Really? You're a writer? I love to read! Can I read something?"

"How about I print you something you can—" I began, then thought about it for a second. I didn't usually like letting my original, hand-written copies of any of my stories out of my sight, but this was Clint we were talking about, and he was special to me. He deserved special treatment. I reached up and let my hand slide along the spines of the books until one felt right. Removing the book, I handed it to Clint and said, "I know you'll treat it with respect, so I'm not worried about letting you take it home with you."

"What's this one about?" Clint asked, taking the book in his hands and eyeing it with reverence. This particular book was a dark charcoal gray with white, Celtic knots decorating the cover. It was sold as a journal, but I'd noticed it at the bookstore when I'd had a particular story idea in my mind a couple of years earlier and the design fit perfectly.

"It's a collection of Halloween stories, actually. Perfect for this time of year, I think," I said, pantomiming that he should open it. He did so and turned to the first page, where a simple illustration of a young man with a bird wing on one side and a bat wing on the other greeted him. I'd never make a claim to being a great illustrator, but the picture accomplished what it needed to. "The first story in there is titled The Drawbacks of Being a Monster , and hopefully it'll be your cup of tea."

Clint nodded enthusiastically and moved away from me, sitting down on the edge of my bed as he flipped to the first page and read the first paragraph. "This looks amazing, thanks!" He said, glancing up at me and grinning wide. "By the way, your hand-writing is phenomenal."

I sat down next to him, resting my cane between my legs as I looked over at the page he'd been reading. As much as I prided myself on my penmanship, I'd grown considerably better since writing the story he was holding. "Thanks, though you should see some of my later work."

"I intend to," he said, smiling at me before returning his attention to the book. I watched him read for several minutes, leaning back on my elbows as I studied him. There was so much about him I hadn't noticed before, that I had full view of now, like the way his mouth scrunched to one side as he read. He also had a habit of murmuring as he read, as if he were reading it out loud, but only to the audience in his own head. His eyes carefully scanned each page, and the widening smile as he continued to enjoy what he was reading filled me with pride, and admittedly a bit of lust as well.

I continued to watch him in silence until he finished the story, and set the book aside, then turned back to look at me. "That was awesome, Zane," he said with a wide grin. "I loved the twist with Kyle, and that line about the uterus was hilarious!"

"Thanks," I said, leaning forward at last and stretching out my arms. They'd nearly fallen asleep after how long I'd remained in that position. Clint kept his eyes on my face at first, but then he glanced down at his hands awkwardly. I watched him until he turned his head toward me and opened his mouth, though his gaze remained lowered and he didn't say anything. "What's wrong, Clint?"

"Zane, can I ask you something?" Clint asked. I followed his gaze to my lap, and wondered what sort of thoughts he had on his mind. Was he going to press for more in our new but already promising relationship? Or did he have something else he wanted to know?

My pulse raced at the possibilities, and I felt my body respond as a dozen fantasies began playing in my head, but I needed to get ahead of them all. "Of course, Clint. You can ask me anything. What's on your mind?"

He reached out with his open hand, and my breath caught in my throat. And then his hand gently touched the shaft, stroking the head, and I released the breath in a great exhale. Taking the cane in his hand, he slid it out of my lap and looked it over, then rested it back between my legs again. "I was wondering why you walk with a cane."

"Oh," I replied, trying to keep the disappointment out of my voice. "Yeah, I can answer that."

Clint leaned back in alarm then asked, "Sorry, did I make you uncomfortable?"

"No, I was just . . ." my erection slowly started to deflate as I said the words, "I was expecting something else."


"I don't have a problem explaining it," I replied. "Don't worry." I smiled at him and he nodded for me to continue. "It's a birth defect. I can't put any weight on my knee or it collapses, so I have to walk with a leg brace in order to keep from falling over all the time. I can walk without the cane and just shuffle around on the leg brace, but the cane makes me look a lot more distinguished, wouldn't you agree?"

"Yeah, but it's not like I would like you any less if you didn't have it," Clint replied.

I grinned at that then said, "Maybe so, but I like having something other people don't. I get to be known as the kid with the cane instead of the kid who can't walk straight."

"I just know you as Zane. Do people really call you that?"

"I don't know, but I still like it."

"As long as you like it, it doesn't matter," Clint said, squeezing my hand. "You should always follow what feels right for you."

"Oh?" I asked, then leaned in and kissed him. He giggled and pulled away, then kissed me back. We continued this pattern of giving and receiving kisses until we were both panting and finally stopped for air.

"I've wanted to do that again since you kissed me last night," I said.

"I have, too."

I brushed my hand against the side of his face again and said, "I really like you, Clint."

"You're amazing, Zane," Clint said quietly, purring into my hand. "I really like you, and your cane."

"Is that a euphemism?"

"Heh, maybe," Clint said, snickering. "But I do really like the bird head, too. I think it has a lot of character. I've always liked birds of prey. One of the times my dad took us rock climbing in the Uintah's we saw a whole family of red-tailed hawks. We found their nest in one of the trees when we reached the top, and watched them for like a half an hour."

His entire face lit up as he told the story, his eyes especially. I could lose myself for hours in those eyes and never grow bored. His energy was infectious, and made me want to do more naughty things to him than I'd ever considered before. It also made me want to wrestle him, to tickle him, to touch him in whatever way I could justify. Then I remembered I was holding his hand, and I was grounded to him as he was to me. I already had a piece of that energy, and he'd given it to me willingly.

He'd also given me a story, a piece of his past which he'd wanted me to know, and I felt a desire to give him something in exchange. Since he'd displayed interest in my cane, it seemed natural to give him the story of how I'd acquired it.

I lifted the cane in my hand and studied it, working through the complex emotions I had regarding it. There was history here, and not history I always enjoyed reliving. "You know, there was a time I hated this cane, and what it stood for."

"Really?" Clint asked, surprised. "You've always seemed comfortable with it."

"Oh, don't get me wrong, it's not that using it really bothers me, it's who gave it to me," I said, shaking my head and sighing. "My grandfather gave this to me on my twelfth birthday. It belonged to him, and he'd used it for many years prior to his death. He died in the hospital a few weeks before my birthday, and he told my dad he wanted me to have it."

"Wow, so you carry a piece of him with you everywhere, huh?" Clint asked. "That's really cool."

"Yeah, except my Dad didn't tell me any of that," I replied sullenly. "I didn't even know my grandfather very well, and I didn't even realize this was one of his canes. He had a few he used. My dad gave this to me as if he'd gotten it for me himself."

Clint nodded as if he understood, though I knew he didn't quite yet, and so I hastened to continue with the story. "In my memory, my Dad has never given me a birthday present in my life, except for this cane. When I found out from my older sister exactly what had happened, I wanted nothing to do with any of it. I refused to use the cane for at least a month."

"Wow, your Dad . . . never?" Clint asked. I shook my head. "That's fucked up."

"Yeah . . ." I said, setting the cane to the side. I glanced back at him, seeing the pity in his eyes. For the first time ever, I hated seeing something in Clint's eyes, and I wanted desperately to get rid of it. "I know you want to take things slowly," I said deliberately, "but all I really want right now is to keep kissing you."

Before I knew it, his lips were on mine, and his hand was against the side of my cheek, drawing me closer. I invited him in, opening my mouth and feasting on his tongue as he pressed forward, guiding me down toward the bed.

I pulled him with me as I fell backward, keeping my hungry mouth locked on his as my hands began to explore his back. My right hand slid upward, pulling his shirt with it as I traced along the smooth, tensed muscles of his back. Despite his scrawny appearance, I could feel dense muscle in his upper back, and kneaded my fingers into it as I explored. My other hand slid downward until it met the waistline of his jeans, and there it rested, my fingers tracing small circles at the base of his spine as I resisted the urge to reach deeper.

One of Clint's hands continued to rest on my face, assisting him in keeping his lips on mine, while the other rested against my chest, sliding closer and closer toward the row of buttons which kept my chest separated from his. He adjusted his position so his knees straddled my hips, and the treacherous layers of cloth between us became my worst enemy. I could feel his erection prodding into my stomach as mine occasionally brushed against his bobbing ass, and I desperately wanted to feel it without his jeans in the way.

His hand found my buttons at last, and he clumsily began to undo them, and slowly my shirt was spread wide. As his fingers brushed my chest, my right hand slid higher, exploring every curve and crevice of his upper back and shoulders, pushing his shirt up higher. I stole a brief glance when he lifted up for air and moaned at the sight of his perked nipples. I wanted them in my mouth, I wanted to know every taste Clint's body had to offer.

I forgot about his nipples for a moment as Clint's mouth returned to mine, then moved lower, kissing first at the edge of my jaw, then down my neck, sucking lightly on my flesh. I moaned and slid my right hand down to join my left, both hands now venturing beyond the first inch beneath the waistline of his jeans.

Clint pulled his hand away from my face and it joined the other, and together they made quick work of the remaining buttons. His hands spread my shirt open in tandem, working as perfect mirror images, sliding back up my ribs and caressed the side of my pectorals, leading up toward my shoulders.

As soon as his calloused hands cupped my shoulders, I'd had enough of waiting, and my hands darted as far as they could go into Clint's pants. They fought the waistline of his boxers for an instant, then triumphantly seized the soft flesh waiting underneath. I gripped his ass hard, driving him and his erection into my now exposed stomach, moaning at the little bit of moisture I felt from where his jeans met my flesh.

He gasped at the sudden force, and reflexively snapped his hand back toward my arm, but in the process it collided with the cane I'd left on the bed. The momentum from his surprised flailing sent the cane flying off the bed to clatter loudly against my floor.

Clint rolled off of me, startled by the noise, and I sat up straight, dazed at what had just happened. We peered over the side of the bed together, watching the cane as it vibrated for a brief instant from its fall before coming to a complete rest.

We looked at each other, both a tad sheepishly before the laughter began. When our snickering had finally subsided I remembered Clint's movement which had ended our little romp, and I felt guilty for pushing in. "I'm sorry, I . . . I'm sorry if I went too far."

"It's okay, not sure I'd have stopped you if it wasn't for the cane. . ." Clint said, giving me one more nervous chuckle, "It was just, sudden, is all."

"Now I'm all sorts of nervous," I said, looking down at my exposed chest and quickly deflating erection.

Clint nodded. "Heh. Me, too."

"Do you want to . . . take a break?" I asked, unsure of what to do at this moment. I did want to finish what we started, but I wasn't sure either of us would be up to it after being startled like that. I knew there would be other times, but I definitely wanted to explore Clint further.

"How about we finish the tour?" Clint offered.

I nodded, and the movement gave me a sense of how messed up my hair was. "Let's freshen up in the bathroom, first," I suggested. "If my Mom sees my hair like this, I'll never hear the end of it."

Clint grinned, but the expression faded and he began fishing in his pocket for something. He pulled out his phone and turned it on. He frowned and said, "Hey, sorry to cut this short, but my dad just texted me. He says I need to head home."

"Well, how about one more kiss for the road, huh?" I asked, hiding my disappointment.

Fourteen kisses later, I was freshening up in the bathroom as Clint gathered his school supplies from downstairs. We rendezvoused on my front porch, where I readied myself for one more brief make out session before I had to say goodbye.

Clint surprised me with words instead of a kiss. "Hey, Zane?"


"When is your birthday?" He asked, smiling as he shifted the straps of his backpack to make them more comfortable. "You mentioned it earlier tonight, but I'd like to know when it is."

"This weekend," I replied, shrugging. "Why?"

"Got any plans for Friday?" Clint asked, grinning wider now.

His grin was infectious and I nearly laughed aloud at the delight in his eyes as I asked, "No, why?"

"Don't make any," Clint said, wiggling his eyebrows. "This Friday, you're mine, birthday boy."

"I can hardly wait," I said enthusiastically. "Now, give me a kiss before you head home."

Five minutes later, Clint left, and I had to fix my hair again.

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