by David Lee

Chapter 1

© 2004, 2017, 2019 Daviud Lee. All rights reserved

Zeke studied his image briefly in the long mirror on the back of the bathroom door. He was wearing only his medium blue Adidas shorts which he had just put on in preparation for mowing the lawn. Zeke was satisfied with what he saw. His blond hair needed a trim, but since school was nearly over for the year, it could wait. Clear hazel eyes, a straight nose, and a slightly crooked smile finished the picture. (There was one zit on his chin, but that was going away.) He was generally a happy kid and his face reflected it. Life hadn't dealt him the best hand by many people's standards, but Zeke was content with his lot.

The favorite Adidas with white stripes and V cuts on the legs were hand-me-downs from a cousin in California who was actually a year younger than Zeke. They were a boy's size 18 and showed off his legs nicely, being three inches shorter than the one pair of boxers he owned.

He was rather small for a kid soon to be 14, but he was beginning to grow. Zeke had not really filled out the shorts properly until this year. Now he looked fine!

Part of what Zeke loved about the blue shorts was that the support liner inside was stretched out. When he wore them, it felt like he was going around "commando." The family jewels got plenty of air, but there was enough liner left to keep his dick from hanging out when he knelt down on one knee to pull a weed or whatever. The liner could be nudged back to expose his tool if he wanted to piss near the bushes rather than go inside to use the bathroom. If he looked busy when he did it, he could get away with this in a fairly public setting – like when old man Johansson was walking his ancient dog past the house.

Usually, he liked to have his equipment snuggly supported. That is why he chose to wear briefs and used his boxers only for sleepwear. But when he was feeling tingly (his word for horny) he liked to free-ball. It felt daring and sexy. Today was one of those tingly days; they seemed to be happening with more frequency lately.

His cousin had claimed that the liner stretched out because it got caught on the washing machine agitator during the spin cycle, but Zeke didn't believe it for a minute. Because of what he had learned the past winter, he suspected that Hunter had worn out the elastic by playing with himself a lot. He supposed that other guys must do it even if it wasn't a nice thing to do. And Hunter wasn't a true Believer anyway.

The other mowing outfit that Zeke liked almost as much was a pair of black micro fiber sport-shorts that were in a men's size small. Gran said that "micro fiber" was just a fancy name for polyester (whatever that was). They were baggier than the Adidas ones, but the thin, soft fabric had advantages. Since Zeke was more of a shower that a grower, his dick hung more than 4 inches when soft, and it flopped nicely. While these shorts had pockets; they had no liner. So, when Zeke jogged along in them, his fleshy pendulum was in full swing. Anyone could tell that Zeke was not a LITTLE boy. Zeke knew he would be in pain if he ever had to run very far in them. Gran wasn't thrilled when he wore the blue ones; she was less happy if she saw him in those. They stretched her notion of modesty by a long way.

Zeke had never felt resentful about wearing the outgrown clothes of his fashionable cousin. Even a year or two old, the clothes that Hunter outgrew or considered out of date still looked okay in the Midwest. The West Coast styles took a little longer to get to Iowa anyway. Hunter's clothes were all name brands. His father made lots of money and Hunter was never denied anything he wanted. But Hunter was envious of Zeke. Zeke had qualities that Hunter felt lacking in himself. So, Hunter felt good about giving his castoffs to the "poor relation."

Zeke was looking forward to mowing. The old power mower had seen better days and it had quite a bit of vibration. A couple of summers ago, the guys at the welding shop had cut the handle down so that Zeke could operate it better. (Mowing for neighbors gave him a little spending money.) Since he had grown some since last year, the handle hit just right to give Zeke a thrill while he worked. Later he would indulge in that pleasure that left him feeling ecstatic and guilty at the same time. It usually took only a couple of strokes after the stimulation of the mower. Each time he did it, he would promise himself (and God) that he wouldn't do it again, but when the next opportunity arose, he always broke that vow.

Gran couldn't understand Zeke's willingness to keep the lawn looking so neat. Not that she minded! While Zeke was usually willing to help around the house, no task seemed to please him as much this year as doing yard work. She talked about getting him a new mower, but he insisted that the money would be better spent elsewhere. Little did she know. . .

Gran was neither his grandmother nor his mother. Actually, she was his aunt. "Gran" was what Zeke had called Grace Ann, when he was little and couldn't say both names. It had started as: "Gwan," later evolving to "Grrr-an," and finally to its current form.

Grace sometimes felt like a grandmother. She was only 35, but occasionally she felt old enough to have a grandchild Zeke's age. Supporting her nephew and herself with her low-paying job was a source of constant financial juggling. She could take on a second job, but that wouldn't give her any time to raise him. So far, he had proven to be more of a joy than a chore, but that could change when he went to high school in the fall. She prayed he would stay the good, innocent boy she knew him to be.

She also prayed that she could get a better job and improve their lot. Currently, she was taking an extension class through the community college to bring her up to junior level. If she had a computer rather than the old portable typewriter, she could work more efficiently. Since she couldn't afford that, she worked some at the public library and paid the nominal cost for printing her work. When she did, she took Zeke with her, or let him go to his friend's house. She didn't want him to be alone too much. He was already on his own when she was at work.

What the diminutive Zeke lacked in physical stature, he made up for in love and enthusiasm. He had a heart as big as the great outdoors, and he always threw himself into everything with energy and joy. His middle school wrestling coach had constantly recognized his contribution to the morale of the team. He stayed positive and focused even when he didn't win.

He was also a very bright kid. He read at a college level and devoured his studies. His teachers were quite impressed with his work and most (though not all) overlooked his tendency to be on the hyperactive side. Zeke couldn't sit still.

Zeke's openness and fun-loving nature made him well liked by his peers as well. The boys respected his athletic abilities and his usual lack of fear. The girls wanted to protect and cuddle him. He was so cute. With all this attention, it would be easy to become a snotty little brat, but that wasn't in Zeke's nature. He was genuinely nice all the way through.

Among Zeke's friends was one special one, Bryan. Bryan and Zeke were closer than brothers. Bryan wasn't much bigger than Zeke; though he was several months older. He had dark hair and blue eyes. His complexion was not as clear as Zeke's, but was improving with medication. Puberty had hit him a little earlier.

Bryan was a fairly average guy. His grades were in the upper "B" range and he did participate on the YMCA swimming team, but he was neither an academic nor athletic standout. He went out for wrestling in middle school as well; not so much for his own enjoyment, but because his best bud wanted him there. It was also good for bodybuilding and Bryan wanted to look buff.

Bryan's pleasant disposition made him easy to like, but he never enjoyed the popularity that Zeke did. He was content to bask in the reflected rays of adoration that people bestowed on his pal.

Back in third grade, it was Bryan who had invited Zeke to join cub scouts. That was the beginning of their true friendship. They had been in classes together since kindergarten, but hadn't gotten that well acquainted since they lived several blocks apart and went to different churches. Bryan's parents both worked to provide an upper middle class income. They didn't look down on people like Gran, but they just ran in different circles.

In cubs, the boys became thick as thieves. Bryan's grandmother referred to them as Frick and Frack when she came to visit. The boys didn't know exactly what that meant, but since she said it in a loving way, they decided that it must be a good thing to be called. Bryan's grandmother also referred to Zeke as a "pocket rocket" and that he was.

Grace had been hesitant about the close friendship at first, but eventually felt that it was okay. Bryan's parents were kind and loving even if they did go to that liberal Presbyterian Church. If they could only see the true light of her church, they would be perfect. Of course, since they believed differently from Pastor Parker's flock, they must be bound for eternal punishment. They even allowed women to be ordained as ministers! The very idea!!!

The rare campouts had been the highlight of cub scouts. Bryan and Zeke always shared a tent. Sometimes they zipped their sleeping bags together and cuddled like pups to keep warm. They had purchased the bags at the same time. Zeke's sleeping bag was one of the few new things he had ever owned.

Zeke cautioned Bryan not to mention their sleeping arrangement in front of Gran. Somehow, he sensed that she wouldn't think it proper. She was always cautioning him about being "modest."

Eventually, Zeke had gotten Gran's permission to sleep over at Bryan's house. He wasn't sure if it was the fact that he had brought home an excellent report card or if it was his incessant begging that had done the trick. Whatever, it worked! Grace made sure that he took his best clothes so he would not be embarrassed. Of course, Bryan's family couldn't have cared less about what he wore, but she had her pride.

Bryan had a double bed which seemed huge compared to Zeke's twin model. That first night, the two had stripped to their briefs like they did camping and crawled in together. Sometime during the night, they must have become cold and ended up wrapped around each other. Bryan's mother discovered them in that position the next morning and thought it was so cute that she had taken a picture. After Zeke's tearful pleading, she had promised not to mention it to Gran. Although it boggled her mind, she supposed that some people wouldn't like to have two young boys enjoy each other's company that much. She didn't know Zeke had let Gran think that each boy would be sleeping in his own sleeping bag on top of the bed. He had even brought his and stashed it in the closet.

Sometimes they used the sleeping bags and a small hiking tent to set up camp in the woods behind Bryan's house. It was their place of adventure and solace. Whether enjoying life, or mad at the world, the woods with its little creek was their security blanket.

Through the past five years, the two boys had become even closer; if that were possible. There were numerous sleepovers at both houses, but mostly at Bryan's. That allowed Gran time to do some things without a Zeke underfoot, and allowed the boys more freedom. At Gran's house, they HAD to sleep in separate sleeping bags. At least, that is how they were in the morning when she went to rouse them. If they were staying over on a Saturday night, each left for his own church on Sunday morning.

The boys had always wrestled. Even before they were on a team, they tried to do the moves they saw on TV. Bryan's dad wouldn't let them do the kinds of things that professional wrestlers did. He would tape the high school tournament matches on the public channel and let them emulate the older boys.

Those were orthodox moves and not likely to maim or kill either of them.

Wrestling proved to be a good thing for both guys. It was a way for them to let off some of the pent-up energy that they began to feel with the onset of puberty and it kept them physically fit. By eighth grade, both had nicely defined muscles. Their shoulders were beginning to broaden and their butts were narrow and tight. When they walked together down the hall, girls (and some of the guys) noticed. They didn't swagger, but they moved with a confidence and grace that not everyone had.

Bryan and Zeke didn't know how good they looked. Their coach was a perfect specimen of physical fitness and he was their yardstick. If only they could be that built, they would be in seventh heaven. Actually, Zeke was almost a miniature copy of Coach Newman and Bryan was developing in that direction too.

When he coached, Doug Newman wore an old muscle shirt and thin, tight shorts that revealed the leg bands of his jockstrap when he bent over. His outfit left no doubt that he was a stud. He enjoyed letting the world see that he was all man. The team was in awe of him for his package as well as his muscles. They wouldn't think of crossing him. Some could imagine other things they would like to do with him. Doug, however, was as straight as an arrow and the possibility that his body aroused some of the boys sexually never crossed his mind.

Zeke was often the kid that Coach Newman used for demonstrating a new hold. Zeke liked that role. When Newman had him in a full Nelson, Zeke wanted to just melt into the young coach. Not having a father to hug him, Zeke welcomed every opportunity to have physical contact with his hero.

Once last winter, Zeke had had to wait longer than usual one late afternoon for Gran to pick him up from practice. He had sat in the corner of the warm locker room and had done his homework. It was finished and he still had10 minutes to wait. Suddenly he was jolted out of his daydreaming by the sound of the shower running. After a few minutes, Zeke became curious to see who was there and why it was running so long. He crept around the corner and peeked in. What he saw would remain seared in his mind as if by a branding iron. Coach Newman was under the cascading water pumping his big, hard man-muscle.

Zeke had heard older kids talking about jacking off, but was so innocent that he didn't know what it referred to, and didn't associate it with what he did sometimes after mowing. He was afraid to ask his peers and risk being teased about being a baby. He would have learned about it in health class, but at Gran's insistence, he had had to sit in the library with Joey Aldrich and a couple of other boys when the subject of sex came up. Today he suddenly knew that this was what it meant to jack off. It was as if he had taken a bite of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. He was no longer a naïve child; he knew!

It wasn't long before Doug Newman's shampoo-covered tool was spewing cum all over the floor. He was moaning to the point that Zeke feared for his wellbeing. As the coach washed the evidence of his pleasure down the drain, Zeke scurried back to where he had left his backpack.

When Doug walked into the locker room stark naked and barely softening, he was startled to find Zeke there. His voice sounded a little squeaky when he said that he didn't know anyone else was around. As Newman quickly pulled his boxer brief over his impressive member, Zeke said that he had just been sitting there all the while doing homework as he waited for his ride. Doug breathed easier and asked if he could give Zeke a lift. The boy assured his coach that Gran would be there soon. Moments later, a horn sounded and Zeke gathered his things leaving a shaken, but thankful, young man to finish dressing.

Zeke had wrestled well his 8th-grade year and was bound to have an important spot on the high school team. He also wrestled with what he had seen. He wanted to share his information with Bryan, but he didn't want to get his coach in trouble. From what he had learned recently in the "growing up as a Christian boy" books that his church kept in its small library, loving yourself to the point of having sexual pleasure was WRONG! It was called: "self-abuse." He was somewhat confused as to how love and abuse could be the same thing, but he knew that his church would be praying for his lost soul if they ever suspected that he was on the road to practicing it. That night, after witnessing the jack-off session; he took another shower before he went to bed and emulated what he had seen Coach Newman doing. It felt great, but would God be angry?

Bryan wasn't growing up with the same fears. His father had had the obligatory man-to-man talk with him when he was about 11. From that point, Bryan had eagerly awaited his pubic hair and had hoped to produce a wet orgasm before he turned 13. His father had been very open and had discussed slang terms as well as clinical ones. Their talk had even covered masturbation and the old myths about hairy palms and going blind. Bryan had felt uncomfortable at first about having that conversation with Dad, but had soon found himself asking questions. Brad Stillwell was not going to have his kid go through the guilt that he had experienced at that age. He wanted Bryan to enjoy his sexuality in a healthy way. He had done the same thing for Todd a few years before. Little did he know what a precious gift he had given to his sons.

Another gift to his sons had been bequeathed at birth. Bryan, his older brother, Todd, and their father, all had their foreskins intact. It had been Brad's express wish to keep his sons "natural" and he had had to fight the doctors to fulfill it.

Zeke was also uncut, but for different reasons. In the first few days after he'd been born, he was fighting for his life and the doctors didn't want to perform even that minor surgery.

When he was well enough to undergo the procedure, it just never got done. Gran didn't see that it mattered. She was glad to have him alive and really didn't have the money to spare to pay the doctor to do it.

Both Brad and Zeke loved their skins. It was something else they had in common and separated them from most of the rest of the crowd. Few of their friends had escaped the ancient, but unnecessary ritual.

Bryan struggled with what sexual knowledge he should share with his best friend. From what he had gathered over the years, Zeke's church had a different notion of right and wrong than his did. Zeke's church supported killing criminals and suspected terrorists, but didn't want a pregnancy terminated under any circumstances. Bryan's congregation wasn't thrilled with capital punishment or abortion as a means of birth control, but felt that women should have a say over their own bodies.

There was also a lot of difference in their outlook on sexual orientation. Bryan's church had active members who were gay, while Zeke's church preached that "fags" were bound for hell. Several members had joined the Phelps group in protesting at a graduation ceremony in a nearby town where a student had been awarded a Matthew Shepard scholarship.

Given all that, Bryan felt he had to remain silent about the pleasures of self love. He had never kept anything else from Zeke, and he didn't like withholding this. But, what if he told Zeke, and Zeke thought he was a fag and wouldn't have anything more to do with him? He thought that he knew Zeke better than that, but he would die if he lost his best friend. It would be worse than death; it would be annihilation. He would have to keep his mouth shut and watch and listen to see if Zeke ever broached the subject.

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