The Road of Dreams

by Geron Kees

Chapter 9

The next morning - Monday - Brian drove over to Jeff's and helped him put the new starter in his Camaro. Working together, they had it done in twenty minutes, and the car started right up the first time that Jeff turned the key. Jeff was all grins. "Shit, did we get lucky? Got it shimmed just right."

Brian smiled and nodded, deciding not to point out that in a Dodge, one did not need shims at all.

They went out for a drive in the Camaro, down to the gas station for gas, and then cruised by the little Italian place on Route 5 and got a pizza. On the way back to Jeff's house, a Firebird got a little pushy with them, and Jeff put the guy in his place so badly it wasn't funny.

"All show and no go," Jeff said sadly, after they had left the Pontiac in the dust. "Too many cars like that on the road these days. What's the use of a hood scoop and big tires if all you have under the hood is some straight six?"

Brian grinned. The Camaro was a strong runner, and riding in it as a passenger was a thrill. He'd already discovered the amazing difference between driving a very quick car and riding in one. As a driver, you were in control, and the car never seemed that quick or fast to you. As a rider, though, you could feel every change in motion, from blast off to re-entry, and a sense of helplessness to change any of it went along for the ride with you.

They were stopped at a traffic light when a white Corvette pulled up beside them on the passenger side. Brian glanced over at it - and then looked again. The driver was a very cute blonde chick, and she was smiling at them.

"Shit," Brian breathed. "There's that Vette that ran Jim Van Pelt."

Jeff leaned forward to look, then glanced up at the light. "Should I try her? We have a couple of miles until the next light."

Brian grinned at him. "Damn right, man! We're both stopped. Let's show her what some real muscle can do."

Jeff relaxed, a playful smile on his face, to watch the traffic light. Brian looked over at the girl in the Vette again - her eyes were also on the light.

It turned green. Jeff stepped into the gas and virtually dumped the clutch, and the Camaro stood on her tiptoes and leaped forward to the sounds of tires grinding pavement. The Vette also jumped forward, and because it had better traction it stayed with the Camaro for the first hundred feet. But after that it was simply over. Jeff hit second gear, the tires screamed bloody murder, and the Camaro surged ahead. Brian turned his head to watch the Vette fall back, and as Jeff hit third gear their lead increased. Brian leaned back in the seat as the speed became excessive, and as Jeff hit fourth gear he was wondering if this had been such a good idea after all.

The Camaro was a smaller car than the Bee, and a little lighter, and it had a frightening tendency to float at speed. It could have been illusory to some extent; Jeff seemed unconcerned. It was the difference between driving, and being a passenger.

"That's it, I'm topped out," Jeff suddenly said, looking into the rear view mirror. "And here she comes."

Brian turned his head as the Vette came up beside them. The girl driver grinned at them, flipped them the bird, and went on by, still accelerating.

"She's nuts!" Jeff exclaimed, letting off the gas. The Camaro immediately began to slow, the engine taching down quickly. In the distance they could see the next traffic light - it was red, and cars were crossing the road in front of them. "She won't be able to stop!" Jeff added, sounding concerned.

But the Vette's brake lights lit, and the car seemed to magically slow, coming to a stop ahead of them at the light.

Jeff shook his head, looking amazed. "Shit, I'll bet that car has four-wheel disc brakes. No wonder it can stop like that."

Brian looked over at him. "I didn't know older cars like that had disc brakes all the way around."

Jeff grinned at him. "You could get them on the '68 Corvette, and that's a sixty-eight."

They were coming up behind the Vette now; but the light suddenly turned green. They heard a squeal of tires, and the Corvette leaped away from them.

"I'm not going again," Jeff said. "I smoked that bitch in the quarter, and that makes me happy enough."

Briefly, before the Corvette drew too far ahead, Brian could see the writing on the top of the tail - black script, beautifully done: 'If you can beat me, you can eat me.' He grinned. "Jim was sure right about the writing on the back."

Jeff grinned. "Yeah. Crazy bitch. You see the way she flipped us off as she went by? She wanted me to keep after her."

The Corvette got smaller, and then vanished around a bend in the road. By the time they went around that bend to a new stretch of straight road, the other car was nowhere to be seen.

Brian shook his head in wonder. "JohnyG said this girl was out of her territory. She seems to be out here lot lately. Wonder if she moved or something?"

Jeff shrugged. "Don't know. I haven't seen that car in town. She doesn't seem to want to stop anyplace. She must be anti-social, or something."

That was a point to consider. Most people with nice cars wanted to show them off a little. They cruised the hotspots, and they stopped to talk about their cars. Not this girl. She seemed to have a mania for Route 5, definitely. With its many long stretches of straight road, and the current lack of police presence, it was an ideal place to run a hot car at speed. Trouble was, no one hereabouts ran for top-end. Brian didn't know anyone, at least personally, who wasn't a strict quarter-miler. The girl in the Vette just didn't seem to get the difference.

"I wonder," Brian mused, "if she thinks she's winning all these races? If all she understands is fast, she isn't paying that much attention to quick." He looked over at his boyfriend. "She may think she just wasted you."

Jeff laughed. "I don't care what she thinks. I just trashed her in the quarter, and you and I both know it. That's enough for me."

"Yeah. True, that."

When they got back to the Winnie they sat and ate their pizza, and then cuddled together for a while on the couch. They kissed, and undressed each other and kissed some more, and enjoyed the feel of their bodies together. Somehow, with all the talking and the kissing and cuddling and playing, they never seriously got down to sex. By the time Brian felt like he should be going, he was feeling relaxed, and only mildly disappointed they hadn't gotten a little further. "Guess I should get. I didn't get any of my lawn customers today - I'll need to do double duty tomorrow."

"Me, too," Jeff pointed out. "I guess if I see you tomorrow, it won't be until evening."

Brian crawled off the couch and reached for his clothing - but Jeff put out a hand and stopped him. "Aw - wait a second. You have to go right now? This minute?" Jeff looked wistful, as if he'd been planning for more, but just hadn't been watching the time.

Brian looked at the clock by the TV. It was not quite four - he still had some time. He smiled. "I can hang a little longer. What do you have in mind?"

Jeff got up off the couch, pushing Brian away from his clothing. "Come on."

Jeff went to the door of the Winnie and pushed it open. Brian immediately gaped. "You're not going outside without clothes, are you?"

"Yes, and you are, too." Jeff laughed. "Brian, think about it. My grandparents aren't due home for two more weeks. The neighbors are way off, the road is way off - and this part of the driveway can't be seen from the street, anyway." He shrugged. "And, I do this all the time. So - trust me, okay?"

Brian laughed, feeling a small anticipatory thrill come over him. "Okay. I hope you know what you're doing."

"I do. Come on."

The exited the Winnebago, and as Brian's bare feet touched the surface of the driveway, he immediately looked around, and dropped one hand to try to cover his jewels. Jeff laughed at him, apparently not so concerned about his own anatomy. "There's no one to see, Brian."

"Uh huh. So where are we going?"

Jeff smiled, waved a hand. "Follow me and see."

He started off across the driveway and stepped onto a flagstone walk that led around behind the house. Brian followed, watching how Jeff's firm butt cheeks were going up and down as he walked, the blob of the backside of his nutsack nestled in between underneath. Brian grinned and moved closer, his head offering up bad jokes about tail-gating,

Brian had never been around to the back of the house. The backyard appeared to be enclosed inside a tall wooden fence composed of alternating vertical slats, with those on the backside being opposite the spaces between the slats on the front side, allowing air to pass through, but not vision. A privacy fence, every bit of seven feet in height, and painted a soft brown that blended with the woods all around them.

Jeff paused at a gate set into the fence allowing passage of the flagstone walk. He grabbed the handle and threw the latch, pushed the gate inward, and motioned for Brian to step through. Brian gave a little shake of his head at all the mystery, but squeezed past his boyfriend into the backyard.

He was immediately presented with a flagstone-decked patio hugging the back of the house, at the outer extremity of which was a sizable in-ground swimming pool. Expensive upholstered wooden furniture sprawled around the deck, loosely centered on a table with a large umbrella over it, and a brick and stone barbecue grille at the rear. The pool sparkled in the afternoon sun, the waters blue and inviting. On the other side of the pool, a small cabana stood, with a wooden awning above the front and several more deck chairs clustered beneath.

Brian stared about in wonder - this was a little fancier than he was used to at home.

He heard Jeff close the gate, and then his boyfriend was behind him, wrapping Brian in his arms. Jeff laid his chin on Brian's shoulder, kissed him just beneath the ear, and sighed. "Little swim with the guy that loves you?"

Brian smiled, placing his hands on top of his boyfriend's, and giving them a fond squeeze. "Put that way, what can I say?"

He started to turn within Jeff's arms, and Jeff relaxed and let him. In a moment they were face-to-face, and looking into each other's eyes. Jeff gave him a sweet, small kiss, and then cocked his head to one side. "I like Annie, and I don't mind sharing. But I also want some time to myself with you, okay?"

Brian looked into Jeff's eyes, and nodded. "Jeff - I'm not in conflict about this. I have a sweet spot for Annie - I love her. But I love her as a friend more than as a lover." He kissed Jeff, pulled him closer. "I love you as a lover, and then as a friend. You see the difference?"

Jeff grinned, and nodded. "Yeah. I love hearing that, too."

Brian smiled. "I know this hasn't been fair to either of you. Annie deserves a full-time guy, just like you do. I can't hurt either of you, and I am kind of stuck in the middle."

Jeff laid his forehead against Brian's. "I know that. You're not the kind that hurts people, Brian." He let the lower half of his face come in, and kissed Brian again. "I haven't felt left out, believe me. And I haven't felt at all that Annie is resentful of me."

"I don't think she is. I can tell she likes you, and that she's just happy to be with both of us." Brian laughed, lowered his voice. "Hey, she said you could be in the front next time."

Jeff looked surprised. "Yeah - how about that? Brian, I never would have imagined me with a girl. I've liked guys since I was twelve. But Annie is something special, somehow." He made an almost embarrassed face. "I think I'd like to fuck her - just to see what it's like, I mean."

Brian couldn't sit on a grin. "It actually feels great. And it's cool as shit to get your dick in there and be face-to-face at the same time."

Jeff rolled his eyes. "Hmm. Yeah, but there's ways we can do that, too."

"Well - just consider it a change of pace for once."

"Okay - I will. And it would be cool. I can't imagine doing it all the time, though." He shrugged. "I like dick too much." He kissed Brian. "Especially yours."

"That's good, because my dick loves you, too."

Jeff pulled at him playfully, leading him to the side of the pool. "Wanna show me how much?" He gave Brian a gentle push to indicate that he was to sit on the edge of the pool, with his legs in the water, and then Jeff jumped into the pool. Brian sat, and smiled as Jeff surfaced between his legs.

"Ooh - what a nice view!" Jeff's eyes widened, and he smiled. "And getting bigger!"

Brian scratched his head. "Haven't figured out why it does that just yet."

Jeff's eyes were bright. "Maybe it's who you're with."

"Uh huh. Might be something to that." Brian leaned forward, reached for Jeff, drew him closer. For a moment they gazed at each other, just smiling.

"You're wet," Brian said softly. "And beautiful."

For a second Jeff's face compressed. "I love you, Brian."

Brian pulled his boyfriend upwards, letting the buoyancy of the water carry most of his weight, and wrapped him in his arms and kissed him. The sun warmed their skin, but it was something else that warmed Brian's heart. For a brief moment all he wanted was to hold Jeff, to feel the touch of his lips, his skin; to feel the strength of the other boy's affection. And to give his in return. "I love you back," he whispered into the kiss.

Finally, the kissing wore down to mutual smiles, and they looked into each other's eyes a bit before Brian released Jeff and let him slide slowly back into the water. Jeff stood in front of him, his arms laying atop Brian's thigh's. He leaned a little closer and eyed Brian's dick, which was pretty hard now; and Brian grinned at his look of interest. "What'cha thinkin' about?'

Jeff grinned up at him. "That love's a wonderful thing." He winked. "But that so is lust." He leaned forward, running his hands slowly up Brian's thighs to his waist, and rubbed small circles there with his splayed fingers.

Brian was immediately all the way hard, which seemed to make Jeff even happier. He came closer, pushed Brian back, until Brian had to put his hands behind him on the flagstone deck to keep from falling over.

Jeff dropped his head, kissed Brian on one thigh, and then took Brian's dick into his mouth and went to work with his tongue. Brian shivered at the sudden joy of it as his body adjusted to this new input, and he tilted his head back and closed his eyes against the afternoon sun, and just enjoyed what was happening.

It didn't go for long. Being outside at the pool, naked in the sunshine and warm air, his legs dangling in the water - was sensual in the extreme. His skin tingled in the warm breeze, and added to what Jeff was doing, and in no time, it seemed, Brian was coming up on his butt muscles and delivering his cum in great spurts that had him gasping.

Brian sagged down onto his elbows, and smiled at his boyfriend after he was done. "I can't get over how good you got at that, so quickly."

Jeff laughed, put his hands on the side of the pool, and propelled himself out of the water, turning to sit next to Brian. "I learned from the best," he said, putting an arm around Brian's shoulders and pulling him upright again. He closed his eyes, pressed his face to Brian's cheek, and nuzzled him softly.

Brian closed his own eyes and enjoyed the feel of it - the physical feel of it, as well as the emotional aura radiating from his boyfriend. He moved his head slowly in time with Jeff's rubbing, and then turned his face towards the other boy's when Jeff began kissing him. They pressed their lips together, traded small tastes of tongue-tip, and then Brian sighed and drew back, opening his eyes.

"Okay, okay," he said, in mock resignation. He sighed. "I know when I'm being buttered up. I guess you want me to return the favor?"

Jeff was not fooled, but played along as Brian slipped into the water and turned into the space between Jeff's legs. "I know it's asking a lot --" Jeff began, his eyes merry.

"Shut up," Brian said, leaning forward and sliding his elbows over Jeff's thighs. "You're breaking my concentration." He inspected Jeff closely. "Hmm. What have we here? It looks like a popsicle."

Jeff laughed. "It's not cold, I can guarantee it."

Brian grinned. "You let me be the judge of that." He made a show out of inspecting Jeff's dick. "Mmm. Look's tasty. I think there's only one way to solve this little problem."

Jeff leaned forward, smiled into Brian's eyes. "And what might that be?"

Brian raised himself, kissed Jeff, and then dropped back, grinning. "Sample the wares."

Jeff smiled. "Did I ever tell you you say the nicest things?"

Brian nodded. "Yes, you did. Now stop talking and let me go to work."

Jeff tilted his face back into the sunshine, closed his eyes, and sighed.

Brian was pleasantly tired by the time he got home. His parents both looked at him oddly as he sat down to eat dinner, and he realized that they were seeing his still swollen lip. Nobody notices shit like your folks do, Brian thought, sighing inwardly. But his dad just raised one eyebrow, and his mom just frowned. Brian was surprised that neither commented.

He acted normally throughout the meal, smiling and bantering with them, and by the end of dinner he could tell they had decided it wasn't something to worry about. They both knew that he could take care of himself, so if he didn't mention the lip, they weren't going to, either.

Just yet.

After they finished eating, his dad went to the bathroom for a moment, and Brian helped his mom carry plates to the kitchen. Once there, she smiled at him. "Banged your lip, I see."

Brian nodded, putting plates in the sink. "Yeah. It's nothing."

"Are your teeth okay?"

Brian grinned at her. "It's nothing, mom, all right?"

She nodded, gave him a quick hug. "Okay. Just asking."

Brian smiled, gave her a little kiss on the cheek. "Well, thanks for that. But it's nothing."

He could hear the toilet flush in the little half-bath at the front of the house, and then his dad coming back.

"How's the car running?" he asked, coming into the kitchen. "Back tires worn out yet?"

Brian laughed. "No, they still have a lot of tread on them. I never do burnouts just to do burnouts, like some of these guys do. And then they moan and groan when their tires have cord showing through."

His dad nodded. "Good man. A little show is necessary sometimes, but if you abuse your stuff it will break on you someday, one way or another."

Since with cars his dad knew exactly what he was talking about, Brian always respected his opinion. "I want my stuff to last, dad."

"Any good runs lately?"

Brian grinned. "Not to speak of. Ran a seventy Olds 4-4-2, but he wasn't up to taking me down."

His dad paused and looked at him. "Three-fifty, or four-fifty-five?"

"It was a four-fifty-five. Mostly stock, though."

His dad smiled, and looked at the ceiling a moment, remembering. "Fourteen flat off the showroom floor. Man, those were nice cars. I even thought about getting one, once."

Brian smiled, used to these little moments. "It was gold, and it was pretty."

His dad sighed, lowered his gaze and looked at Brian's mom. "Honey, wouldn't you love to have a nice, fast car in the garage?"

She turned and smiled at him, and looked at Brian. "A fast one in the driveway is enough for me."

Brian's dad nodded sadly. "I was afraid you'd say that."

Brian laughed, gave his dad a sympathetic look, and excused himself.

He paused after he left the kitchen, heard his mom say, "He said he's okay, that it's nothing."

"Then that's what it is," his dad replied. "Any chocolate ice cream left in the freezer?"

Brian grinned, and went up to his room and flopped on his bed, called Jeff, and they talked for nearly an hour.

"I was thinking," Jeff said at one point. "You should stay over one night with me here. Would your folks let you?"

"Sure. Until school starts again, every night is Saturday night."

Jeff made a noise on the phone. "Only a few weeks until it does start." He laughed. "It's going to be weird being a senior. "

Brian had to agree with that. It seemed just like yesterday he'd been starting out as a freshman. "I do kinda wish we went to the same school, especially for our last year."

"Yeah." Jeff was silent a moment. Then - ", what are you doing after school? I mean, you're going to college, right?"

"Yeah. And you're going to law school." Brian frowned. "Right? Is that what you want?"

He heard Jeff sigh. "It's what my dad and I planned for all these years."

"Yeah, but - is it what you want?"

Brian could almost see his boyfriend considering the question.

"I think it is, Brian. When my dad first said he wanted me to become a lawyer and take over his firm one day, I kinda bucked about it. I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I didn't think it was that. I tried to tell him, but he's so hard to talk to, and acted like he just didn't want to hear any ideas that I had." Jeff paused a second before continuing. "But - I dunno. I mean - I kind of like the idea of being a lawyer now. I've been hearing about legal cases my whole life. It sounds like a game, almost - like it might be fun, even. And if I'm just half as good as my dad is at it, I'll live a comfortable life - be able to afford the things I want."

Brian laughed. "Like hot rod Camaros?"

Jeff mirrored his laugh. "Maybe. Why not? I don't think I'll ever outgrow wanting to go fast."

"Uh huh." It was Brian's turn to think a moment. "We're going to be apart for a while, you know. Different schools, probably in different states."

Jeff didn't answer, and Brian thought for a moment they'd been disconnected. "You there?"

"Yes. Brian - let's not talk about that right now, okay? I mean, that's more than a year away. Right now we are together. That's what I want to think about."

"Okay." Brian understood that one easily enough. The prospect of being separated from Jeff was...not pleasant. Shit - it sucked. There was no better word for it.

Jeff sighed. "I want you to sleep over with me one night. Wednesday - or Thursday night would be better. After we catch up with our lawns."

"Okay. It's a plan."

"Wish you were here now," Jeff added. "I could use one of your massages."

Brian grinned. "Massages? Me?"

"Yes. You."

Brian smiled at the idea. "There's always tomorrow. I do want to see you some time tomorrow. Okay?"

"Might not be until evening. Can you do that?"

"Yup." Brian sighed. "Well, I'd better call Ed. He's probably smoked three joints by now, wondering why I haven't called."

Jeff laughed, obviously able to imagine that. "Okay. I know when to share. I'll call you tomorrow. Probably be just before dinner."

"I'll be here."

"G'night, Brian. Love you."

"Yeah, man. Love you, too. Always will."

The week went quickly enough. Tuesday and Wednesday Brian and Jeff both worked all day to get their lawn customers caught up. Brian had some extra stuff to do, and had to take Thursday morning to finish up. It went quickly, though, because Jeff came along and helped him.

The evenings were late-August nice: warm, a little sticky, beginning with rose-colored skies as the sun sank into the west, followed by starlit nights with a moon now waning, and only moderately cooler temperatures. Brian hung out Tuesday and Wednesday evenings with Ed and Missy and Annabelle - and of course Jeff met them at the shopping center, along with an assortment of the car crowd, and even a few other visitors from Kennedy.

Brian and Jeff enjoyed those evenings - but Thursday night was to be their own. Brian let Annabelle and Ed know he would not be around that evening, and neither asked him why.

"You're staying over at Jeff's tonight?" his dad asked, when Brian told him about it early on Thursday evening. His dad had just come in from the garage after getting home from work, and Brian caught him in the kitchen talking to his mom.

"Why are you doing that?" his mom asked, only halfway paying attention. She had something in the oven she was looking at.

Brian shrugged like it was no big deal. "Aw, his family is all in Europe, and he's at the house alone. He just said he'd like some company one night."

His dad looked at him a moment, but then shrugged. "I don't have a problem with it. Just leave us a number where you can be reached." He frowned then. "Or - didn't you say Jeff lived in a motor home in the driveway? How will we reach you if we need you?"

"You can call," Brian said, writing down Jeff's number on the memo pad on the kitchen table. "The Winnie is connected to the house phone. House electricity and water, too. All kinds of connectors on that bus for stuff."

His dad nodded. "You eating with us?"

Brian smiled. "I can. Would you like me to?"

His mom turned to look at him then. "I made enough for you - but you can go on, if you want. It's roast, and it'll keep in the fridge for later."

Brian grinned. "Great. See you guys in the morning."

"Have a good time," his dad said, turning back to Brian's mom.

Brian ran upstairs and dialed the Winnie. Jeff answered on the third ring.

"On my way," Brian said. "I'll be hungry when I get there. Wanna go and eat?"

Jeff didn't try to hide the delight in his voice. "Yeah, I'm up for that. What do you think?"

"I dunno. Let's both think about where we wanna go, and we'll compare notes when I get there."

Jeff laughed. "Sounds like a plan. I can't wait."

"Me either. See you in about fifteen. Bye."


Somehow they settled on pizza again. They went back to the little Italian place on Route 5, but elected to sit in a booth and eat this time. They got a large supreme pizza and drinks, and settled back to enjoy the food. The restaurant was scarcely half-filled, the dinner crowd still being at least an hour away, and no one was seated close to their booth. Soft music was playing from somewhere, but it was so low that Brian wasn't sure what he was hearing.

It didn't matter. They weren't there for the music.

"Love this stuff," Brian said, around a mouthful. "I'd eat pizza every night if I could."

"Nah. You'd get tired of it," Jeff returned. He bent forward and lowered his voice. "Just like you'd get tired of sex if we had it every night."

Brian paused in chewing, and grinned at his boyfriend. "Yeah - I don't think so."

"The pizza, or the sex?"

"Take a guess."

Jeff sat back, his face lit in a beautiful smile, and Brian couldn't help giving a little sigh at that. It wasn't just the pizza that was great here - the company was damn good, too.

"Any more problems with the car?" Brian asked. They'd come in the Bee, simply because it was parked behind the Camaro, and easier to get out of the driveway.

"Nope. Not a click since we replaced the starter."

"Gonna rebuild the other one?"

Jeff nodded. "When I get time. I already see how much it pays to have a spare."

Brian grinned at him. "If you drove a Mopar, you wouldn't have these little problems."

"Yeah. Wouldn't have the prettiest car in the driveway, either."

Brian looked into his boyfriend's eyes. Speaking of pretty --

Jeff noticed the study. "What?"

Brian shrugged. "Nothing. Just thinking."

Jeff was about to say something when his eyes moved to a spot over Brian's shoulder, and widened just a bit. "Whoa."

"What?" Brian asked, defeating the instant impulse to turn and stare.

Jeff leaned closer again. "You should see these two guys that just came in. They're - wait."

Brian heard footsteps on the tile floor, and let his eyes move sideways as three people passed them - two guys, and the girl from the cash register by the door.

Jeff's eyes raised a little as they went by, and obviously made contact with someone else's. He smiled.

Brian watched as the girl seated the two guys at a booth across from their own and two down. Brian only caught a glimpse of the face of the blond guy, who seated himself with his back to them; but he got an eyeful of the cute, curly brown-haired guy that sat facing him.

Curly-hair was about their own size, and looked about their own age. His face was tanned, and bright green eyes looked out from amidst some really striking features, all fine lines and pleasant curves, and dimples in all the right places. For a second he was just smiling, and talking to his companion; but then he must have felt Brian's stare, and suddenly looked over.

Their eyes met, and Brian couldn't look away. For just a second they studied each other - and then the other boy smiled. It was a radiant thing, that crinkled his eyes and flashed white teeth, and Brian was simply unable to sit on the smile that came to his own lips.

This guy was gorgeous.

And then he became aware of Jeff looking at him, and let his eyes go back to his boyfriend's. Jeff grinned at him. "See what I mean?"

Brian laughed. "Do I?" He leaned closer. "Not enough to make me want to turn in what I have, though. I mean, curly hair is cute, and all, but --"

Jeff blinked, and suddenly leaned closer. "Not that one! The blond!"

Brian just stared a moment; and then he was laughing. Jeff squinted at him, not sure why he was doing that. Brian gave it a second, and then leaned closer. "I couldn't see the blond. His back is to me. But the other one is drop-dead, man. You saying the blond is even better?"

Jeff suddenly tossed his head back and laughed. It was so cute that Brian just sat there and grinned at him, the slice of pizza in his hand forgotten.

Jeff's eyes came back to meet Brian's, and Brian smiled at the twinkle in them. For just a second he loved Jeff so much it almost hurt. And he realized then that there were probably a million cute guys within a hundred miles around them - but only one was really special. Only one had his heart.

Brian took a bite of his pizza to cover what he was feeling, but Jeff was so in tune with him that he noticed something anyway. He smiled and leaned closer. "That was sweet."

Brian pretended not to understand. "I don't know what you mean."

"I saw it in your eyes. You can't fool me, Brian. You were thinking you wouldn't trade what we have for both of those guys over there."

Brian gaped a little at having his mind read that way. But - it was true. "No. I wouldn't." Brian let his eyes drift back to the other guys at the far table, noted the way they smiled at each other, and the looks in the curly-haired boy's eyes when they did it. It took a surprisingly short time for him to understand. Brian knew about that now - knew what it was he was seeing.

Gay. And in love. There was obviously more of that around than Brian had ever considered. Even though he and Chris had explored that realm two years before, it had never occurred to Brian at the time what their friendship looked like - how they appeared to others when they were together. And now he knew. Just as he had seen that special quality of togetherness between JohnyG and Gary - and they had seen what existed between Brian and Jeff.

Love wears a face all its own. It cannot be mistaken for anything else.

He watched the other two guys for a moment longer, seeking any wrongness in the way they were together. He could find none. If gay was unnatural, it was only so to selective eyes. The two guys looked happy together, was all Brian could see. The blond boy had his hands laying on the tabletop, and he leaned forward and said something to his curly-haired friend. That boy looked delighted, and for just a small second of time, he laid a hand atop the blond-haired boy's and flexed his fingers in a caress.

And then he looked up and saw Brian watching, and immediately snatched his hand back. A look of unease came into his eyes, and he quickly whispered something to his companion.

Something heavy settled onto Brian's heart.

He laid his half-eaten slice of pizza on his plate, and looked at Jeff. "Give me your hand."

"What?" Surprise rained across his boyfriend's face.

"Quick!" Brian said softly.

Jeff obeyed immediately, extending his hand. Brian took it in his own, looked up, and saw the curly-haired boy watching. The blond boy had also turned and was looking over his shoulder.

Brian pulled Jeff's hand closer, closed his eyes, and laid Jeff's fingers against his cheek. He held them there a moment, then turned his head and kissed them.

He opened his eyes. Jeff was staring at him. "Are you nuts?" he whispered. He gave a small tug of his arm, and Brian gave him back his hand, and looked back at the two guys in the other booth.

They were staring. Brian smiled.

Curly-hair blinked, and then a beautiful smile came onto his face. He bent forward, whispered something to the blond guy; and then he was taking the other boy's hand in his, and bringing it to his face. He closed his eyes, rubbed the other boy's fingers against his cheek, and then gave them a quick kiss.

And then he opened his eyes and looked at Brian.

They both smiled.

The sun, when it goes down, seldom appears to go peacefully. Especially when it sinks to a resting place among the trees, and the sky responds by strewing a wisp of clouds along the western horizon. The fires of the sun and the water vapor in the air make strange companions. The resulting colors - blue and gold and red and orange - look like a fierce conflagration at the edge of the world. And yet, the peacefulness it exudes belies the violence apparent, and the final definition can only be described as one of beauty.

Brian and Jeff dragged a couple of chaise lounge chairs from the patio deck behind the house and set them side-by-side in the driveway outside the Winnie's door, out under the clear patch of blue velvet sky already speckled with early stars. They turned up the stereo inside the motor home, each got a cold beer, and settled back together to watch the incredible burn of color in the trees behind the house.

Twisted Sister's, We're Not Gonna Take It drifted out from the Winnie's interior, combined somehow with the soft rustle of the trees in the warm evening breeze, and reached their ears a mellower tune.

"I love this time of the evening," Brian said, looking from the flaming colors among the trees to the deepening darkness directly overhead. "It's the prettiest time of the whole day."

Jeff nodded. "You got that right. It's also the best time of the day to be with someone."

Brian smiled, reached over and took Jeff's free hand. "Well, you're not by yourself this time. And you won't be by yourself for the rest of the night."

Jeff nodded, and leaned back in his chair, looking off into the trees.

The crickets had started their evening chant, and, deeper into the woods, the frogs had come out to gossip. Even more distant, a pair of owls called back and forth, the normally lonesome sounds somehow holding notes of wonder that each had received an answering call. The woods by night were a far more lively place than the daylight woods of sunshine and shadows, at least in the area of sound.

Brian sighed, seeing lightning bugs flashing on and off in the yard. "It's beautiful here."

Jeff nodded. "I've always loved it. Even better than my dad's house." He looked around the driveway. "This is more home for me than anywhere else."

"How long have you been staying in the Winnie?"

Jeff shrugged. "Really only seriously since I started driving. But I always stayed in it when I visited my grandparents growing up. They're cool with it - they kind of like me being here now. They travel a lot, and they don't like the house always being left empty."

"What do your parents think of it?"

"Well - my mom wishes I'd be home more. But she understands that my dad and I bump heads a lot, and this kind of keeps the peace. My dad seems not to mind me being here for the same reason as my grandparents - someone to watch the house." Jeff's expression was unreadable in the growing dark. "I guess he feels like I'm being of some use by being here, at least."

Brian squeezed the other boy's hand. "There isn't anywhere I'd rather be tonight."

Jeff looked over at him, and Brian could see the smile he wore. "I'm glad you're here."

Brian nodded. "I'd spend all of my time with you if we could get away with it." He smiled then. "This is a pretty good sized chair. I'll bet you could squeeze in here with me - if you wanted."

Jeff laughed; but then he was getting up, beer in one hand, and Brian was pushing himself against the armrest of his chair to make room for him. He wound up turning slightly to one side and raising one arm to make enough room for Jeff to climb into the chaise with him - but the final result was nice. They faced each other now, and Brian had an arm around Jeff underneath his neck, and their faces were separated by just inches. Enough space to still turn their heads, to still enjoy the coming night; but close enough, too for intimacy.

Brian took advantage of the latter, and kissed his boyfriend, while giving him a gentle squeeze with the encircling arm. Jeff's response was eager but gentle, as if he knew the night was just starting, and that there was no hurry at all.

"This is so good," Jeff said, as they lay their heads together. "It reminds me somehow of that first evening you were over." Brian felt Jeff smile. "I had no idea what I was doing, and I was scared to death."

Brian returned the smile. "And yet, here we are."

Jeff pulled back and looked at him. "You were so sweet that night. Oh, Brian - I knew I was going to fall in love with you."

Brian pulled back, too, and looked at Jeff. "I thought it would take longer for us to get this close. I thought, love doesn't happen that fast. It didn't for me and Chris. And I think, kind of down deep, I thought nothing could ever be as good as what I had with Chris." He gave Jeff another squeeze. "I was wrong."

Jeff watched him a moment before nodding. "I can understand that - more than you know. That's kind of where I am now. I can't believe anything will ever be as good as this."

Brian allowed his forehead to settle back against Jeff's. "I told you once, that you were always gonna be loved by someone, because you were just too special not to be. I meant that. I don't know how long we'll be together, what with college and stuff coming. That's gonna happen, and we both know it." He kissed Jeff again. "But I will always be with you. Okay?"

Jeff nodded. "Yeah. I already know that, Brian. I'm always going to be with you, too." He closed his eyes and pushed his face back against Brian's.

This wasn't really where Brian wanted to go just now. It felt sad, somehow, like they were soon to be parting, and that wasn't true at all. This was supposed to be a fun night - a special night for them, not a somber one. College - the future - was more than a year off. A year. Brian had been around for less than seventeen of them. A year was a long time.

He forced a grin. "Man. We have a lot of time to be together, Jeff. I don't want to be worrying about shit that's a whole year off. Let's have fun with what he have, huh?" He squeezed the other boy to him and gave him a furious kiss, until he felt Jeff start to laugh into it. Brian pulled back, grinning at the smile on Jeff's face. "I was thinking about tomorrow night."

Jeff's eyes widened at the sudden change of topic, but he grinned. "As in?"

"Little party. Just a small one. You and me, Ed, the girls, the car crowd - maybe Tim and Dee Dee, if they wanna come."

Jeff suddenly squinted, his smile moderating. "I hope you don't mean here. I can't really do that, Brian."

Brian shook his head. "No, I don't mean here." He waggled his eyebrows. "I was thinking about up at the haunted house in Komus. Should be empty by now."

Jeff blinked, and his grin returned full strength. "Hey, that sounds pretty cool." He laughed. "Maybe we can finally look in the basement and see what kind of car stuff is there."

"Maybe." Brian took a finger and rubbed it gently against Jeff's breastbone. "Whatever we do, we'll be together."

Jeff took a swig off his beer and nodded. "I'm always up for that."

The sun finally immersed itself in the horizon, and the last glow receded from the sky. The stars came out in numbers overhead, and they leaned back in the chaise and looked at them while they finished their beers. A quarter moon began to rise in the east, it's mute glow a far cry from the shine that had painted the night of the party hardly a week before. The yellow-white light crept in among the trees, and seemed to drift in the very air about them, coating the world in a mist that danced and swirled about, and played games with the eyes.

"Ever go swimming at night?" Jeff said then.

Brian laughed. "Nope. But I'm up for it, no question."

They untangled themselves and got out of the chaise, went into the Winnie and quickly shucked their clothing. They each got a fresh beer, and then they were heading back around to the back of the house. Jeff led Brian again through the gate in the fence, and pushed it shut.

The backyard was dark, the only light being the moonlight that struggled through the trees, and a few errant rays of soft yellow from a small lamp turned on in one of the back rooms of the house. The water in the pool had a faint shine to it - almost a glow - as misty moonlight crawled upon its surface.

There was a splendid eeriness to the setting that made Brian grin, and prompted him to look carefully where he put his feet. "Wow. Better be careful back here, or we'll be kissing some flagstones."

Jeff turned eyes full of moonglow at him, and Brian could just make out the flash of the other boy's teeth. "Got that covered."

Jeff felt his way to the back of the house, and Brian heard a metallic sound, and then the squeak of small hinges, followed a series of small clicks.

The pool lit, as lights in the walls beneath the surface came on. The glow spread upwards and illuminated the backyard around the pool - just enough to see comfortably, but not enough to make Brian feel like they were naked in front of the whole world. He grinned, just at the wonder of it all. The pool glowed invitingly, sitting under a small bubble of soft light that seemed to rise into the air and meld with the cooler glow of the moon.

"Excellent," Brian breathed, as Jeff came back to stand beside him.

Jeff grinned. "Cool, huh? There's pole lights around the patio and lights under the awning by the cabana, but we don't want all that stuff on. Just the pool lights are enough to see by."

Brian nodded, and walked over to the table and set his beer on it. Jeff took a hit off his bottle, and set his next to Brian's.

Brian grinned. "Last one in's a rotten egg?"

They both whooped, and ran for the pool, and launched themselves off the side into the water. Brian hit with a tremendous splash, went under, and propelled himself upwards. He broke the surface just as Jeff did, and they grinned at each other.

The water still held some small heat from the afternoon sun, but was cool and refreshing overall. They swam around in a circle, and then chased each other a bit, laughing.

"Can you dive?" Jeff asked, at a pause in the action. He waved at the diving board at the end of the pool.

"I can try," Brian returned, turning and swimming for the far wall. He reached it, pulled himself out, and went over to the board. It had one step up, and he mounted it and stepped onto the board.

"Let's see what you got," Jeff called, a smile plastered across his face.

"Greg Louganis I ain't," Brian returned.

But he was a competent diver. He sized up the board, then went for the end. His take-off was timed just right, and he took his bounce, grabbed some height, went into a tuck, spun a single time, came out of it inverted, and sliced cleanly into the water.

He surfaced, and made for Jeff, who watched him come with a smile.

"How was that?"

Jeff shook his head. "Oh, god, Brian, that was awesome."

Brian almost blushed at his boyfriend's enthusiasm. "I'm only an average diver," he protested.

Jeff came closer, put his arms around Brian and pulled him closer. "The dive was okay," he said. "You looked awesome. Your body. I could see all your muscles in the pool light, could see them move, could see your skin move." He grinned. "Could see your dick flapping in the wind." He pulled Brian into shallower water where they could stand, and then wrapped him in an embrace. "God, you were beautiful. And so fuckin' sexy I could hardly stand it."

He kissed Brian, and Brian could feel the desire in it. It was a little bit stunning.

He pulled back, looked at Jeff. "Can you dive? If it looked so great, I want to see it, too."

Jeff grinned at him. "Are you kidding? I grew up in this pool."

"Then I want to see," Brian said, getting caught up in the excitement. "Show me."

Jeff grinned, then released him and headed for the end of the pool. Brian followed him back to where he could just stand, and fixed his eyes on Jeff as the other boy climbed out of the water and mounted the board. "I'll do the same one-roll you did," Jeff called.

Brian nodded, watching intently as Jeff took a breath and relaxed.

And then he was moving, striding quickly forward, taking his bounce, launching into the air. Jeff's arms were stretched above his head, and for one stop-motion moment, Brian could see the definition in Jeff's arms and shoulders, the beautiful forms of muscles in his chest and abdomen, the taut spring of muscles in his thighs. And his boyfriend's dick, standing straight out in the wind.

Jeff tucked and went into his roll, his backside came around, a beautiful blur of butt and back; and then he broke, inverted, straightened, and presented a backside laced with human artwork - muscles and tendons in all their glory.

Jeff went into the water; but for a moment Brian was replaying in his mind what he had just seen. His boyfriend in oh so wonderful form, a magnificent snapshot of human beauty worthy of DaVinci in his finest hour.

Jeff popped up, and swam toward Brian, grinning. Brian simply opened his arms and accepted Jeff into them, pulled him close and kissed him. Jeff responded hungrily, wrapping a leg around the back of Brian's thighs, and Brian could feel the fast-stiffening presence of Jeff's dick poking into his crotch. In good company, as his own dick was standing tall to meet it.

Brian held Jeff against him, feeling now every beautiful line and curve of Jeff's body against his own, and seeing in his mind's eye again that brief but beautiful moment of flight in the moonlight.

They held onto each other, finally pushing their cheeks together. "I want to sleep with you, Brian," Jeff whispered.

Brian just nodded, began moving them towards the wall of the pool in the shallows. They reached it, and climbed out.

"Wait a second." Jeff squeezed Brian's arm, and then he was heading for the cabana. He went inside, and returned a moment later with two large towels, and handed one to Brian.

They returned to the back wall of the house, and Jeff opened the little breaker box there and turned off the pool lights. Then he was leading Brian back along the flagstone path, through the gate, and back to the Winnie. They went inside, and closed the door.

Sometime in the night, Brian cranked one eye open at the movement of the bed. Jeff was squirming closer under the summer sheet, but was not awake. He seemed to find a position his sleeping body liked, and then he was still again.

The little bedroom of the Winnie was dark, with just a small glow of moonlight filtering in through the sheer white curtains in the little windows by the bed. It was cooler, the night air now feeling almost chilled. Brian closed the eye again, not at all awake himself, but still sensing each and every place where Jeff touched against him. His boyfriend had one arm over Brian, with his head atop Brian's arm, and one leg pressed against the gap between Brian's legs. One of Jeff's feet lay atop one of Brian's, and Brian could dimly feel the other boy's toes flexing gently as he dreamed. Brian could feel the warmth from Jeff's body, the touch of Jeff's skin, the slow transmitted motion of him breathing.

Almost reflexively, Brian pushed his face a little closer to Jeff's, until he could just feel the warmth of his boyfriend's exhalations. He smiled sleepily, snuggled even closer, putting his face against Jeff's, and kissed him. Then Brian sighed, and the small spark of awareness drifted away into the dark.

Outside the Winnie, the world moved blissfully onward. The crickets sang in the soft moonlight, and the distant stars gazed downward.

It was a night for life, and love, and lust; and, certainly - one for dreaming.

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