The Fires That Burn

by Jonathan Perkins

Two boys who have never met are thrown together by circumstances and end up going through a crisis together, their opposite but complementary personalities work in conjunction for a happy ending.

On a sunny Friday afternoon in a gated community in Mountain View, California, the Winslow family was loading up their Cadillac Escalade to head off for a weekend company retreat.

"Come on, LJ, get a hustle on. I can't be late," Hank Winslow yelled to his 17 year old son. "Your Mother and little sister are already waiting in the car."

"I'm ready, Dad," LJ answered as he ran to the door with his backpack and suitcase. "I just wanted to make sure I have everything I might need. You know how you like me to be prepared for anything."

"And you always are. As host of this event, I have to be on site before people start to arrive. It's only a half hour drive, but traffic might be heavy on a Friday."

Hank Winslow was the Vice President in charge of Human Relations at Zebcon, Inc, a major electronics manufacturer in Silicon Valley. He had organized an employee retreat at a campground for the department managers and their families in the company. He hoped it would be a team building exercise while getting to know fellow workers and their families better. He had reserved all the camping sites at Castle Rock State Park in Santa Clara County. Friday night was casual and optional. Not everyone was into camping so some were going to show up on Saturday morning.

In a less affluent neighborhood on the other side of town, Lloyd Baxter, the firm's Accounting Manager, was still arguing with his 17 year old red headed son, Patrick, as his wife finished packing they clothes for the weekend. She had a severe case of asthma and couldn't accompany them into the woods.

"Why do I have to go on this stupid camping thing?" Patrick complained.

"Because I said so. This is a family event," his father answered back.

"Mom's not going so I shouldn't have to either."

"Your Mom's asthma would likely kill her in the woods. You know that."

"I might die in the woods too. I've got a new video game I want to play. Then why don't we all stay home."

"I can't miss this. Mr. Winslow wants all the managers to attend and maybe I can make some points towards getting my next promotion."

"You always say you're going to get a promotion, but someone else always gets ahead. Just stay home or at least let me stay home."

"You'll meet some of the other manager's kids and maybe make a new friend."

"I don't need any new friends. I have enough as it is."

"Who? Who are you're friends? You don't have any. You go to school, come home and go to your room until supper is ready and then back up to your room."

"I like my life the way it is, thank you very much."

"You don't have a choice, you're coming with me and that's that!"

Lloyd is a meek individual, keeping a low profile at work and doing what is expected of him, no more, no less. His official title is Assistant Accounting Manager, doing the job of the regular manager who dropped dead at his desk last year of a massive heart attack. He was promised he would be promoted and have the full title of Manager with the accompanying pay raise. It's been a year and neither one has happened yet and he is too afraid to rock the boat and ask.

Patrick is a very introverted young man, no friends, no social life and no desire to change his situation. He has a small frame and is not what you'd call skinny but rather a slight build. He spends most of his free time in his room, especially in the summer. The sun tends to bleach his red hair, making it look almost orange. So his hair stays dark red and his skin remains milky white.

Hank backed the SUV out of the driveway and hit 'start' on the GPS, already programmed for the quickest route to the park. He and LJ were talking about the schedule of activities for the weekend as he drove.

"Remember, LJ, working part time in the mailroom makes you an employee as well as a family member. I expect you to be involved all weekend."

"Of course, Dad, I'm looking forward to meeting everyone. I don't know most of the other managers very well. I only see them to say hello when I drop mail at the offices."

"And what about me, Daddy?" LJ little sister, Paula, asked.

"I'm going to get some of the other boys together and we're going to tie you to a tree and then play pin the tail on the annoying little sister," LJ teased his sister like older brothers always do.

Paula reached over and smacked LJ on the arm.

"Daddy, make him stop," she demanded in mock anger.

"Lawrence Jerome!" his father said in a stern voice, using his full name so LJ knew he meant business. "Let's not start the weekend off on a bad note."

"Paula, you know I was kidding. You're my favorite sister."

"I'm your only sister, fart breath," she smiled.


Their mother, Jane, started one of their car games, looking for out of state license plates, to keep them from arguing. LJ made a point of looking the other way when he saw a different plate so Paula could claim it as hers. She knew it was his way of making peace with her so she just smiled and claimed victory in short order.

LJ was not only looking forward to the weekend to get to know people but he loved being in the outdoors. He played football in the fall and baseball in the spring. He was a decent player who contributed to the team but was by no means the star of either team. In the winter months, he enjoyed going to the mountains and skiing with his Dad and some friends. Summer time meant camping whenever he and his friends could arrange a camping trip, sometimes by themselves and sometimes with family. All of his outdoor activities gave him a nice year round tan. That and his deep blue eyes and wavy light brown hair made him popular with the girls. His outgoing personality and sense of humor served him well with girls and guys alike.

They arrived at the campground before anyone else had showed up.

"Great, we can get set up before anyone arrives. LJ, you start setting up the tents while I go check in with the ranger. Jane would you get the hospitality area set up?" Hank asked.

"What about me, Daddy? What can I do?" Paula asked.

"You can help me set up the tents if you'd like," LJ offered, "or you can help Mom with the hospitality area."

"I'll help you, LJ. I want to learn how to set up tents so I'll know how when I go camping with my friends."

Everyone attended to their assigned duties, looking forward to a fun weekend.

Hank had Friday night set up as a casual evening for people to get settled in. He had hired a caterer for the weekend and tonight's menu was your basic cookout fare, hamburgers, hot dogs, a green salad and potato salad, coffee and soft drinks. There was no alcohol allowed all weekend so it didn't turn into a Christmas party atmosphere.

Lloyd Baxter and his son Patrick arrived and found their campsite. Patrick was sitting in the car as his father unloaded their gear and was trying to figure out how to put up the tent. Hank went over to welcome them and offered LJ's assistance with the tent.

"Hi Lloyd, having some troubles with your tent?"

"Oh, hi Mr. Winslow. I thought I could figure this out by myself but I have no idea what I'm doing," Lloyd admitted.

"Please, call me Hank. Maybe your son could help?" Hank suggested politely.

"He wants no part of being here, that's why he sitting in the car. Besides, he'd be just as lost as I am."

"I have a feeling by the time this weekend is over he will have made some friends and be glad he came. I'll send LJ right over to help with the tent."

LJ had their tents all set by the time his father got back to their site.

"Could you go over and help Mr. Baxter. I think this is his first time camping. His son is sitting in the car and isn't being much help. He's about your age so maybe you can coax him to help you."

"Sure, Dad. What ever I can do to help," LJ said as he jogged over to the Baxter's site.

"Hi Mr. Baxter. My Dad sent me over to see if I could help with your tent," LJ greeted him.

"Hi LJ. I could really use some help. I feel like a real nerd when it comes to things like this."

LJ smiled but silently agreed with him. LJ was surprised that Mr. Baxter didn't have a pocket protector in his T-shirt pocket.

"You look hot and sweaty. Why don't you go over to the hospitality table and get a cold drink."

"Thanks, I think I will. If you need any help, my son Patrick is in the car."

LJ looked over at the car but Patrick had his head down, playing a portable video game. Nerd #2 LJ thought to himself. He went over and reached in the window to shake the boy's hand.

"Hi, I'm LJ Winslow. I'm going to help your Dad with the tent. Can you come give me a hand?"

Patrick didn't look up from his game but said in a monotone voice,

"If you're going to help put it up, why do you need my help?"

"It will go faster with two people, that's all," LJ countered.

I'm in no rush so do your thing," again in the monotone voice and not picking his head up.

Rather than try to continue any conversation with him, LJ turned and walked back to the tent. He had all the poles laid out and was spreading out the actual tent. He slid the poles through the loops on the tent and tried to raise one end but it fell over. Just then Lloyd came back.

"Patrick! Get your ass out here and help this young man!" he yelled towards the car.

Patrick looked up and then back down at his video game.

"Patrick, did you hear me?" he yelled even louder.

"It's okay, Mr. Baxter, I can manage. Could you just steady this end while I get the next pole up?"


He stormed over to the car and yanked open the door.

"Get out here and help or that video game will go in the trash!"

Mr. Baxter grabbed the video game out of Patrick's hands, threw it on the ground and smashed it with his foot.

"Now go help!"

Patrick slowly got out of the car and walked over to LJ.

"Here, hold this pole up until I can get the other pole in the other end of the tent."

LJ got the other pole in place and was about to brace the tent when Patrick let go of his pole and the tent fell in on itself. LJ gave him an exasperated look.

"You said hold it until you got the pole in."

"Pick it up and hold it until I tell you to let go this time," LJ instructed him.

LJ told Patrick to steady the tent while he went to get the tent pegs out of the car. As he was walking back he got his first good look at Patrick. He was about four inches shorter than LJ and it would be a miracle if he broke a hundred pounds. His full head of red hair on top of his slim body made him look top heavy, like a cartoon drawn out of perspective. His baggy clothes draped over his body, not doing anything to make his figure look any better. If a strong wind gust came up, LJ wasn't sure who would get blown over first, Patrick or the tent.

LJ drove two pegs in to steady the front pole then told Patrick to put two at the back pole, the same as the front. Patrick took two pegs and the hammer and went to the back of the tent. LJ could hear him gently tapping on the pegs.

"You can hit them harder, they won't break," LJ hollered back to Patrick.

LJ could hear the sound of the hammer hitting the pegs with more force. Then a scream.

"Fucking hell!" Patrick screamed.

LJ had an idea what had happened. The age old occurrence of hammer hitting flesh instead of tent peg. He snickered quietly as he walked back to check on Patrick. Patrick was rolling back and forth on the ground, holding his injured hand and cursing.

"Let me see it," LJ told him. "It's fine, you didn't even break the skin," LJ announced after examining the injury.

"Fine? What are you a masochist? I may never be able to use this hand again," Patrick declared.

Mr. Baxter came running to see what had happened. LJ explained the incident. Mr. Baxter shook his head and told Patrick to go get some ice out of the cooler in the car and hold it on his hand.

"I'm sorry, LJ, I never should have left him alone with you."

"It's okay. Everyone hits their hand putting in tent pegs. And it does hurt."

"Hurt, yes, but a life threatening injury? Only in Patrick's eyes. Here, let me give you a few bucks for helping."

"Oh, I couldn't, sir. I was happy to help."

LJ walked past the car on his way back to his site.

"Are you ok, Patrick?"

"Am I okay? Hell no! I don't know if this hand will ever heal properly. My father should take me to have it looked at but I know he won't. I just have to hope for the best."

"Keep the ice on it and you'll heal up in no time."

LJ got back to his campsite and went up to his parents.

"Mom, Dad, I want to thank you both so much."

"Thank us? For what exactly?" his Mother asked.

"For raising me the way you did. I don't know how Patrick managed to live this long and he's only a month older than me."

They both laughed.

"Thank you for being you and growing up to be such a wonderful young man," his Mother said and hugged him. He Dad stepped up for a hug as well.

"Different strokes for different folks," his Dad said philosophically.

"I don't think he knows how to stroke," LJ said quietly to his Dad with drew a hearty laugh from both of them.

About half of the participants showed up by the time the cookout was to begin, all of them experienced campers, except Mr. Baxter and Patrick. After the meal, the rest of the evening was spent talking and getting aquatinted with each other. The next morning everyone else showed up and the morning was spent doing team building activities for the managers. The afternoon was family time so all the non-employees could get to know each other.

LJ was walking towards the ball field with his Dad where everyone was to gather for the team building when he heard Mr. Baxter and Patrick yelling at each other.

"I don't want to meet any of those people. I told you that when you forced me to come along."

"I don't care what you want right now, you're not going to sit in the car all day."

"I'm going to hike up that trail to the top of the mountain and see what's on the other side. I'll be back for supper."

"You're not going alone. You'll get lost or worse."

"Then you can come with me."

"No I can't. I have to go and introduce myself to everyone. My career depends on it."

"Then I'm going alone!"

LJ didn't want to get in the middle of a family argument but his Dad gave him a nudge and nodded in their direction.

"Hi Mr Baxter, I didn't mean to eavesdrop but I heard Patrick wants to hike the mountain."

"You weren't eavesdropping, everyone here probably heard my insolent son."

"If you'd like, I could accompany Patrick on his hike. I love to hike and this is my first time in this park."

"I don't need a fucking babysitter," Patrick mumbled.

"I'm not a babysitter, just a companion, that's all," LJ said in a friendly way

"He goes or you don't, take your choice, Patrick," Mr. Baxter said forcefully.

"Fine. I'll go get my back pack and meet you at the beginning of the trail," Patrick grumbled as he walked back towards their car.

"Please look after him and don't let him get hurt," Mr. Baxter said quietly to LJ.

"Don't worry, I'll make sure he has fun and I'll bring him back in one piece," LJ assured him.

LJ went back to his tent to get his backpack and put in some food and supplies that might come in handy on a hike. He met Patrick at the edge of the camping area and started up the trail.

"Do you hike often?" LJ asked trying to make conversation.

"Nope. Don't particularly like it, too much effort."

"Then why are we hiking this uphill trail?"

"I hate it less than staying back there and being stuck with a bunch of people I don't know."

"You might like some of them. You never know until you try."

"Then I'll never know because I ain't trying."

They walked on a while in silence, Patrick zigzagging from one side of the trail to the other instead of a straight line. They had been hiking for about a half hour when LJ heard a rumble of thunder way off in the distance. Patrick heard it too.

"Sounds like a storm night be coming this way," LJ noted.

"If it does, we'll get wet but I'm not going back until I reach the top of the hill."

The wind was picking up and the sounds of thunder and lightening was getting closer.

"Patrick, The storm is headed this way and it's not going to be a small one, trust me. We should head back now while we can. We can shelter in our cars until it passes then we can come back and finish our hike."

"NO!, I'm not going back! I'm sick and tired of people telling me what to do. I'm going to the top and you can't stop me!" Patrick yelled as he began to violently cry and started to run up the path.

LJ looked back towards the campground and wanted to head back to safety and let Patrick deal with the storm on his own but he promised Mr. Baxter that he would look after his son and keep him safe. Grudgingly he started walking to catch up to Patrick.

They had hiked for about twenty minutes when they both dove to the ground at the sound of a deafening clap of thunder and a bolt off lightening that stuck almost immediately after the thunder. The lightening hit the largest tree behind them and shattered it, sending flaming chucks of the tree as far as two hundred feet away. The trunk came crashing down, blocking the trail behind them as the gusting wind fanned the flames and spread the fire towards them. They jumped up off the ground, looking behind them at the trail blocked by the burning trunk of the tree, both of them unable to move momentarily.

"We're going to die! We fucking going to die!" Patrick screamed as he started crying again.

"No we're not. I'm not going to let that happen to you. Get moving now!" LJ yelled at him. "We have to keep moving as fast as we can to keep ahead of the flames."

"We should try and go back. We can go around the fire." Patrick claimed.

"No we can't. The underbrush is too thick and the fire is spreading in all directions. Our only choice is to keep going forward and see if we can avoid the fire by getting to the other side of the top of the trail. Now get moving!" LJ screamed.

Patrick started walking quickly, stumbling and mumbling, "We're going to die, we're both going to die a fiery death."

LJ would look back frequently to see if they were getting any more distance between them and the flames. Twice when he turned back to look forward, he ran into Patrick, grabbing him so he didn't fall on his face.

"Quit pushing me, I'm going as fast as I can," Patrick yelled back to LJ.

"If you'd run in a straight line and quick zigzagging, you get further."

"I'm trying to avoid any more falling trees," Patrick rationalized.

"Just run straight and keep moving."

Another twenty minutes and Patrick stopped and fell to the ground, holding his side.

"I can't keep going, my side hurts, I can't get my breath and my legs are cramping."

"Get you ass up and suck it up!" LJ yelled, realizing he had to do something drastic.

LJ stood next to Patrick and kicked him in the ass. Patrick didn't get up so LJ kicked him harder.

"You're not going to lie here and die, not on my watch."

LJ reached down and pulled Patrick up by one arm and got him moving again. They had been staying ahead of the fire but that delay let the fire gain ground on them. LJ looked up through the smoke that was overtaking them, pushed by the increasing winds, and could make out the top of the trail. They were almost at the top of the mountain. Hopefully that could find refuge on the other side. As they closed in on their target, LJ looked back one more time to make sure the fire wasn't going to overtake them. Before he could turn back, he heard Patrick let out a blood-curdling scream. LJ whipped his head around but didn't see any sign of Patrick, just the trailhead. He took off at a dead run and stopped just as he reached what was the edge of a cliff, or more correctly, a steep drop off down to a riverbed forty feet below. Patrick was on his back at the edge of a slow moving, narrow brook.

LJ looked back at the fire and made a decision to slide down the embankment to get away from the flames and get down to Patrick and check on him. He sat on the edge of the embankment and let himself slide over. He slid down, dragging dirt with him as he went. He got to the bottom, got up and brushed himself off and ran over to Patrick. Patrick was on his back, looking up to the sky and moaning.

"Patrick, are you hurt?"

"Hurt? I'm fucking dead!"

"You can't be dead if you can hear me and you're talking to me. Let me check you out."

LJ leaned down and started at Patrick's head to see if he could see any injuries. All looked good. Then he moved his hands down to Patrick's shoulders, then his arms. He ran his hands over his chest and down to his hips, finishing up checking his legs. All seemed fine. LJ was struck by how skinny Patrick really was. It was a wonder that he didn't shatter into a million pieces from falling over the bank like a China doll falling off a shelf. LJ looked at their surroundings. He looked up the bank to see if he thought they could climb back up but it was too steep and unstable. He noticed horizontal lines in the bank, like etchings where the water level had once been. Now there was only a small stream a couple of feet wide and six inches deep, moving along at a meandering pace. The base of this ravine was about ten feet across, leaving plenty of room to walk along beside the stream.

"Come on, Patrick, we have to walk downstream to get out of here."

"Can't we just climb back up where we came from?"

"No, the bank is too unstable. Besides, look at the flames up on the top. The fire has caught up with us so our only option is to head downstream. I remember on the way here yesterday that we crossed a bridge over this stream. It seemed odd that the bridge was so high to clear this little puddle. If we can reach the bridge we can get up on the roadway and get a ride back to camp, if it's still there."

"Oh my god, did the fire burn the camp and kill everyone in it?" Patrick asked in horror.

This boy had a real fixation with death.

"No, the fire was being blown this way so I'm sure they are all safe."

"Can't we just stay here until they come rescue us?"

"They wouldn't be able to get through the fire to get to us we have to rescue ourselves. Let's go," as LJ reached out and pulled Patrick to his feet.

They hadn't been walking too long, Patrick stumbling and weaving from side to side, when LJ felt a drop in the temperature. He knew the sudden arrival of cooler air signaled the front of the storm moving their way. A light rain began to fall so Patrick began to look for some shelter along the banks to get out of the rain.

"I'm getting wet," Patrick complained.

"And you're going to get a lot wetter if we don't find some shelter soon. The storm is headed this way."

They rounded a bend in the river and LJ spotted where the water at one time had carved a small cave like opening in the rock wall. It would be just big enough for them to lay in and be out of the rain. It was carved into solid rock so there was no danger of it collapsing.

"Come on, Patrick, let's get in here so we can keep out of the rain."

"I'm not going in there, it looks dangerous."

"It's not dangerous at all. Look, I'll go in first then you come in behind me."

"I don't want to die in some cave," Patrick bemoaned.

"You're only going to die if you stay out here."

LJ got down on his hands and knees and crawled into the cutout. He lay up against the back wall, which left enough room for Patrick to get in out of the rain and lay next to him. Patrick was shivering from being wet and the cold wind blowing through the ravine. LJ pulled Patrick to him, facing each other, and wrapped his arms around him to try and warm him up.

"Thank you," Patrick said quietly, looking at LJ. "Are we going to die?"

"Not on my watch. Once this rain stops we can get out of here and keep heading down stream to get to the bridge."

That seemed to comfort Patrick. His body relaxed and his breathing became slower. LJ was glad that Patrick had relaxed but LJ was feeling a little strange. Patrick was hugging him but not in a way LJ was used to. He had hugged plenty of girls before, those hugs were romantic, usually a move to feel her tits against him or to get his hands on her ass. There were brief hugs for relatives that were a touch and go, a hug of homage if you will for an older person. And of course there were bro hugs, a strong physical hug between two athletes after a good play. But this was different. LJ was feeling some kind of connection with Patrick, like between a husband and wife at a time of crisis.. Not particularly a sexual hug but a hug that LJ was here to protect Patrick and keep him safe and Patrick's hug signaling his trust and dependence on LJ.

Patrick's head was nuzzled into LJ's neck. Patrick moved his head slightly and then softly kissed LJ just below his ears. LJ froze as a jolt went through him at the intimate actions of Patrick. Patrick moved to position his face directly in front of LJ's then moved in and tenderly kissed LJ on the lips. LJ didn't know what to make of this, both Patrick's bold move and his own response to it, or lack thereof. Patrick came back for another kiss, longer and more intense. LJ just stayed still and let it happened. Patrick took that as a signal that he could continue. He kissed LJ again, this time opening his mouth and pushing his tongue between LJ's lips. LJ wasn't sure if it was the feeling that they had survived the fall down the embankment or the safety and closeness of their shelter, but he succumbed to Patrick's advances and pressed his tongue into Patrick's mouth. The two boys were making out passionately for several minutes when LJ became aware that his cock had stiffened in his shorts. The realization of his arousal hit him by surprise. He had never harbored any interest in boys, let alone a skinny, whiney boy like Patrick. But here he was making out with vigor and enjoying it, as his boner could attest to. Hands were moving over each other while their mouths were stuck together and tongue wrestling. All of this was starting a new fire, a fire in LJ's lions. Patrick Suddenly pulled back.

"I have to move. There is a rock in my side."

LJ didn't say anything. He didn't know what to say. His head was about to explode from what had just taken place. He was so deep in thought that he didn't notice that Patrick had not only moved but had repositioned himself so his so his head was in LJ's crotch. LJ looked down and before he could protest or stop him, Patrick had pulled LJ's shorts down to release a throbbing stiff cock, leaking a drop or two of precum. Patrick wasted no time in sliding his mouth over it, taking it in deep in one dive. The sensation of Patrick's warm, wet mouth on his manhood was overwhelming for LJ. He had never felt anything like this although he had fantasized about what it would feel like to have a girl suck his cock. But this wasn't a girl, it was Patrick. Right now it really didn't matter. Patrick had started a fire in LJ that was raging stronger and stronger, making the forest fire above them seem like a campfire. LJ closed his eyes, threw his head back and began to moan as Patrick continued to pleasure him. It didn't take long for LJ to reach the point of no return. He didn't warn Patrick nor pull out of his mouth. He just let his balls empty into Patrick's mouth, something Patrick was more than willing to let happen. As LJ began to soften, Patrick put LJ's cock back in place and pulled his shorts up. He moved up to face LJ again and smiled at him.

"I just wanted to say thank you for saving me."

LJ's post climax euphoria had him conflicted. He had just gotten his first blow job and it was great. But it was from a guy. Was Patrick gay? He let Patrick suck his cock and he enjoyed it, doing nothing to stop him. Did that mean he might be gay as well? Did Patrick expect LJ to do the same to him?

LJ just looked at Patrick and smiled an uneasy smile.

Being so preoccupied, they hadn't noticed that the rain had picked up and was pouring down in torrents. The sky was filled with so much water that they couldn't see the other bank. The sound of the rain hitting the ground was so loud that they had to shout to be heard even thought there were mere inches apart. The thunder had intensified and was louder and more frequent.

After a half-hour had passed, the rain began to ease up and the thunder was diminishing as the storm moved on past them. The boys came out of their shelter and looked to the sky to see the clouds begin to break up, the more sinister looking clouds moving off to their left.

"Let's get moving down stream. That heavy rain should have put out the fire and everyone will be looking for us. We have to get to the bridge as soon as we can," LJ told him.

They were walking along in silence, Patrick trying to carefully pick his way threw the rocks that were becoming larger and more abundant. LJ was walking behind him, studying his body. How could such a frail and skinny boy fall down that embankment and be hurt. Some of the players on the teams with LJ had well developed and defined bodies. He could appreciate their naked bodies in the locker room but only from a comparison point of view. He had no sexual interest in his teammates. Thinking back to the sex they just had made LJ start to stiffen up again. It was bothering him that he would react this way, even being a horny teenager with raging hormones.

His thoughts were interrupted by a roaring sound coming from behind them.

"I hear a helicopter! They're looking for us and we're going to be rescued!" Patrick shouted.

But it wasn't he sound of a helicopter. It was different. LJ could feel a rumble in the ground beneath his feet. Suddenly it dawned on him. This quiet little babbling brook was actually a run off for the spring snow melt in the mountains. The heavy rains had soaked the mountain above them and now the run off was headed their way. A lot of water and moving fast. LJ ran up to Patrick and pulled him to the side of the river bed,

"Hold on tight. We're about to get hit with a flood of water."

They tried to climb up the wall of the embankment but it kept giving way under them. They had no choice but to face the inevitable. A look of horror came over them when they saw the water approaching them. It was moving fast, only a foot deep to begin with but rapidly rising to over five feet. It swept them down river, tossing them around like pieces of drift wood. LJ tried to hold onto Patrick but the current pulled them apart.

"Keep your head above the water and just go with the flow," LJ hollered over to Patrick.

LJ knew they would be approaching the bridge quickly at the rate they were moving. He saw a dead tree that had fallen into the river up ahead of them. Its roots were still anchored to the bank so if they could move to that side of the river, they could grab the tree and hang on until the surge had subsided. He yelled to Patrick to try and move towards him and grab the tree. Patrick managed to swim sideways and get in position. LJ got to the tree and took a hold of one of the sturdier limbs. Patrick wasn't as close and could only reach a smaller branch near the end.

"Hang on tight!" LJ screamed over the sound of the rushing water.

LJ was closer to the bank and was not getting hit as hard by the water as Patrick. Patrick was struggling to hang on but the branch broke and he was swept downstream.

"Oh shit!" LJ said, as he knew he had to let go and go after Patrick. He had promised Patrick and his father that he wouldn't let any harm come to him. Letting Patrick drown would surely break that promise.

LJ let go of his limb and swam as hard as he could to catch Patrick. He saw Patrick up ahead, his head bobbing under water and then back up again, crying out for help. LJ swam as hard as he could and grabbed Patrick as he was going under water again. He pulled his head above water and smiled at him.

"Thought you were going to leave me behind?" LJ joked.

Patrick was spitting out water and wrapped his hands around LJ so tightly he almost cut off LJ breath.

The water was slowing down slightly but not enough for them to get to the bank when the bridge came into sight. No one was on the bridge as they passed under it, not being able to stop. They continued down stream for another half mile before the current ebbed and they could get to the side. There was a large boulder on the side of the river that was partially submerged, the water washing up and over the bottom of it. The boys were able to get to the rock and let the water push them up enough to climb out of the river. They lay exhausted on the rock, dozing off for a few minutes.

The clouds had cleared and the hot California sun was high in the sky. LJ thought it best to take off their wet clothes and lay them on the rock to dry. He undressed and spread his clothes out then encouraged Patrick to do the same..

The boys were exhausted so they decided to take another short nap. Patrick stretched out face down next to LJ and was soon asleep. LJ woke up and looked over at Patrick. The hot sun and Patrick's pale complexion weren't a good match. He could see Patrick was already starting to get sunburned. Somehow through all of this, they had both managed to keep a hold of their backpacks so LJ opened his backpack and got out a bottle of suntan lotion he always carried with him. He squeezed some on his hand and began to spread in on Patrick's back.

"What are you doing?" a sleepy Patrick asked.

"Putting some lotion on you so you don't burn."

"Mmmm, your hands feel good. Thanks."

LJ started at the shoulders and worked his way down the back, taking note of how delicate and pale Patrick's whole body was, almost feminine. All except this ass. LJ sat gazing at the bubble butt, the only area on Patrick's body that had filled in. He quickly applied some lotion to both cheeks, hearing a quiet moan from Patrick. He put more lotion in his hands and started at the feet and worked up the legs. Patrick opened his legs slightly as LJ got near his crotch. LJ spread some more lotion on Patrick's ass cheeks, and hearing another moan, he got brave and slipped his fingers between the cheeks. One finger ran over the pucker.

"Your hands felt good but your finger feel awesome." Patrick purred.

Again, LJ was conflicted. The warm sun, his slippery hands on Patrick's body and Patrick's response to be touched caused him to bone up. He looked down at his stiffening cock and realized it was as white as Patrick's body. He put some more lotion in his hand and smeared it on his cock. It sent a shiver through his body at the thought that entered his mind. He kept one hand massaging his cock and returned his other hand to Patrick ass. He slid his finger back to where he found the pucker and massaged it.

"Oh fuck yeah," was Patrick's response.

LJ felt the hole loosen slightly so he pressed his finger in. Patrick raised his hips a little off the rock and spread his legs further apart. LJ pushed further into the forbidden hole, as far as he could, then began to move his finger in and out slowly.

"Please, please do it," Patrick begged.

This was not who LJ thought he was. Another guy was asking him to fuck him in the ass. That's what gay guys no, not him. But over the last six hours they had developed a bond, a bond he couldn't explain, but he felt compelled to act on. Was it because he was horny? Was it because he was feeling thankful that they had been through so much and were still in one piece? Was he just trying to satisfy his stiff cock by getting if off even if it meant using a guy's asshole to do it? He was definitely over thinking this, trying to make up his mind what to do.

"You have to do this for me, please," Patrick pleaded again. "We're all alone out here and nobody will know what we did."

"I'll know."

"And you'll know that you did what I asked of you."

LJ didn't know why Patrick was asking for this but for some reason it was important to him. LJ rolled and put on leg over him, supporting his weight on top of him with his knees and his elbows. He took one hand and lined up his cock, putting it against Patrick's hole. He applied some pressure against the resistance and tried to enter him. He felt Patrick's muscle flex in and out so he pressed harder when he felt it flex out. The tip of his cock penetrated. Patrick sucked in a breath and his ass tightened.

"Are you okay?" LJ asked.

"I hope so," he joked.

"I don't want to hurt you, I should stop."

"I don't want you to stop, please keep going.:

LJ felt the ass muscle loosen up again and he pressed in again, going in a little further.

"Oh fuck!" Patrick yelled out. "Just give me a minute, okay?"

"Sure, what ever you say."

Obviously Patrick had never done this before so why was he so insistent on doing it now?

LJ waited until Patrick nodded his head for him to continue. He slowly went deep listening to Patrick's breath huffing and puffing. He stopped again once he was all the way in. He knew Patrick was experiencing pain, but LJ's cock was pulsing at the warm and tight feeling he was enjoying. LJ had experimented with wrapping different things around his cock to simulate the feelings of fucking, such as bubble wrap, a hollowed out cucumber, and other bizarre things that he wouldn't admit to trying. But this was unique and better than he could have ever imagined.

Patrick finally raised his hips to welcome LJ's cock. Patrick's sphincter muscle had relaxed enough for the searing pain to fade away. LJ pulled back and slowly went back in, starting a steady rhythm that was pleasing to both of them. Patrick was moaning and encouraging LJ to fuck him harder and faster. LJ however, wanted this to last as long as he could and he knew if he sped up that he would climax quickly. He pulled back too far and his cock slipped out. Patrick groaned in disappointment.

"Did you cum yet?" Patrick asked.

"No, not yet," as he grabbed his cock and put it back in place to thrust in again.

"Damn, that felt awesome. Can you do that again?"

LJ made a few strokes then pulled back out, rubbed his cock up and down Patrick's ass crack and then pushed back in hard and fast. The third time he did that, Patrick shouted out and shot his load of cum all over the rock under him. The tightening of the sphincter muscle around LJ's cock pushed him over the edge and he dumped his cum up inside Patrick. He stayed motionless for a few minutes until he withdrew his cock. He was still hard but satisfied. He rolled off Patrick and lay next to him.

"That was nice," Patrick said softly to LJ.

LJ just smiled at Patrick, not knowing if he should thank him for giving up his ass or apologize for taking advantage of their situation. LJ leaned over and checked to see if their clothes were dry.

"Let's get dressed. The water level has dropped and I think we can safely walk down stream to find some help."

They dressed in silence, picked up their backpacks and checked the river before they slid off the rock and into the water. It was a little over a foot deep but navigable if there were careful. They had walked for an hour when they heard a loud noise coming from behind them.

"Fuck!" Patrick yelled, "The water is coming again. Please don't let me die, LJ"

LJ turned around to look behind them and started waving and jumping up and down.

"It's not the water, this time it is a helicopter! I told you there would find us."

The helicopter slowed and hovered over them.

"Are you okay?" the pilot asked over the loudspeaker on the belly of the helicopter.

LJ gave them a thumbs up. He looked around but there didn't seem to be a suitable place for it to land.

"Can you keep walking down stream? There is a spot a quarter mile ahead where we can land and pick you up," the loudspeaker blared.

Again LJ gave a thumbs up, knowing there was no way they could hear him. The helicopter pilot waved and slowly pulled away to go land and wait for the boys.

Patrick and LJ were overcome with joy. They jumped up and down and hugged one another.

"I told you I'd get you out of this mess in one piece." LJ boasted.

LJ gave another jump in the air but slipped when he landed and fell backwards, hitting his head on a submerged rock. He lay motionless, floating in the water with a trail of blood flowing away from him. Patrick panicked and ran over to him. He pulled his head up and saw the gash on the back of LJ's head, spurting blood. He yanked off his T-shirt and wrapped it as tightly as he could around LJ's head to stop the bleeding. He shook him to try and get him to regain consciousness but to no avail. The helicopter was downstream waiting for them and had no idea what had just happened. If Patrick couldn't get LJ down to them, LJ might die right here in the river. LJ's body was bobbing in the water, moving around in front of Patrick. Suddenly Patrick had an idea. He grabbed one of LJ's arms and began to pull him down the river like a floating log. He had to be careful to avoid any more submerged rocks so as not to cut up LJ's back as he pulled him along. It had taken them so long, LJ's father had walked up the river to meet them. They got to the helicopter and once they took off, Patrick slumped back against the bulkhead of the cabin.

"Thank you, Patrick, you saved my son's life," Mr. Winslow said.

"No sir, he saved my life, I just helped him get down river," Patrick said from his point of view.

LJ was treated at the local hospital and made a full recovery. LJ and Patrick went to different schools and didn't see one another again. But they will never forget that day on the river when two diametrically opposed personalities came together to help survive a crisis, in different but important ways, complimenting each other strengths and weaknesses. They were changed forever but were still the same boys as before, if that's possible.

When LJ's classmates asked about his summer, he smiled and replied he got his first blow jobs and lost his virginity, but didn't reveal the details. After the next team practice, LJ had a new appreciation for all the naked asses in the shower room and wondered how they would feel with a stiff cock inside them. The fire on the mountain had been extinguished long ago but the fire that Patrick ignited in LJ was still smoldering.

If you enjoyed this story, drop me a note and share your reaction. I welcome feedback from my readers, good or bad.

Jonathan Perkins


This story is part of the 2024 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Yin and Yang". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 29 August 2023 to 20 September 2023 is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the challenge home page.

The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:

2024 Inspired by a Picture Challenge - Yin and Yang

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The Fires That Burn

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