The Courtship of Levi Moore

by Nicholas Hall

Chapter 10

"Give me a kiss to build a dream on
And my imagination will thrive upon that kiss.
Sweet heart, I ask no more than this,
A kiss to build a dream on."

(Bert Kalmer, Harry Ruby, Oscar Hannerstein II- from the song "A Kiss to Build a Dream on.")

I didn't follow the boys to bed, choosing instead to pour myself another glass of wine and return to the solitude of the porch and allow the deepening night to embrace me and my thoughts. Retelling the first incident I'd witnessed of Mattie's nightmare, watching David comfort and love him, hearing David's soothing voice, giving words of ease and well-being, promising safety to his tormented "son," as Mattie settled down, allowing David to "thwart the bad guys" and drive them from his dreams, almost overwhelmed me then and even now! He was a man who loved deeply and completely, expecting nothing more than simple love in return. A man who gave himself in his entirety, selfless to a fault to those he loved.

I knew I'd fallen in love with David, but I was cautious in expressing it both physically and openly. I'd been burned before and I was hesitant allowing myself to succumb to a second roasting and disappointment even in light of witnessing David's affection and concern for Mattie. I felt, somewhat prudently and hesitantly, he felt the same way toward me, but I really desired convincing on his part. I really wanted to be wooed, properly, not hunted, conquered, fucked, and tossed to the side like yesterday's trash as Alan did. Been there, done that! No, if David loved me as I loved him, he'd demonstrate it as a life-partner would do, prior to making the commitment and I intended to woo him as well.

I remembered, while I sat on the chair observing David with Mattie, asking, "Does he have these nightmares very often?"

"Not as many as he used to. The longer he's with me, knowing he's safe and loved, drives those horrible men and their abuse of him farther and farther away. If something happens during the day to really upset him and he can't resolve it, I can almost count on a long night. Although I can say, as he matures he's dealing with the anger and upsets he encounters during the day much better. I hope someday, I can get him to talk with me about those upsets so we can resolve them together rather than going through what we're going through right now. It'll give him more tools to work with when I'm not around. What those guys did to him is unforgiveable. If I ever run into the guy who fucked him, pimped him out, and collected the high fees for it, I'll kill the son-of-a-bitch myself!"

David paused, looking down at Mattie, bent his head so he could place a kiss on Mattie's' forehead. "He has another, less frequent dream, especially when he's sleepwalking, wandering around in his bedroom or mine looking for something or someone."

One night while dreaming and walking in his sleep, Mattie crawled in bed with David, waking him instantly. Mattie knelt on the bed, beside David, facing him, and asked, "Do you know where he is?"

David asked softly, "Who?" and Mattie replied, "I can't find him" and began crying softly and quietly. David pulled him down so Mattie rested on his chest and body, wrapped his arms around the boy, and reassured Mattie he'd do his best to find him, although David had no idea who it might be Mattie was looking for. Seemingly satisfied, Mattie settled down and fell back asleep.

"Funny thing," David remarked, "when he has that particular dream, he always sleeps, cuddled up to next me, in a prenatal position with his thumb in his mouth. To me, he appears to be reenacting his presence in the womb before birth. In the morning he has no recollection of the dream or sleepwalking into my room. I finally quit asking and just cuddle him, letting him sleep with me the rest of the night."

Looking down at the sleeping lad, David announced quietly, "He's out until morning."

He stood, turned and put Mattie on the bed and covered him while I moved my chair back to the desk.

We stepped to the hall and, standing very, very close to me; close enough so David, moving very little toward me, was touching part of me with a very large part of his lower anatomy, and not his legs. One of his hands moved up to my chin and slowly, gently pushed it up as he leaned his head toward me, his pink, delightfully shaped lips, within a hair's breadth from mine. The thought of those lips meeting mine brought a jolt to my erect cock, causing it to bump into something equally as hard but much bigger now beginning to press against my lower abdomen.

David's lips brushed mine, lightly, delicately with a feathery, warm erotic touch, raising me up slightly on my toes, bringing his hardness to slide down in a slippery trail along my own stiffness, granting him the permission he sought silently and by his actions, to continue his exploration. His lips were warm, moist, velvety smooth, and full of the vibrancy and strength of his desire and masculinity. There was little I could do but succumb to the siren call my mind and my body desired. I felt as helpless to deny how I felt and what I wanted as I was in willing my weeping cock to stop oozing clear, sticky precursor, mixing with his, of what was not far in coming.

He accepted the invitation and, instead of mashing his lips hard against mine as I imagined he might, pressed only enough to insure full and complete contact before opening his lips just enough to extend the tip of his tongue and begin a light, plumose, tantalizing, and teasing tickle of my lips, urging me to open and admit him. Reaching up, I placed a hand behind his head, committing him and me to engage in one of the most erotically stimulating kisses I could ever imagine!

It had to be in my imagination since I'd never kissed a man before, especially in this way, or for that matter, ever kissed anyone like this. This was my very first kiss, other than a peck on the cheek by some relative who I often thought they decided it was the "right thing to do," and I couldn't believe the feeling of euphoria it engendered in me.

Slowly parting my own lips and opening my mouth, I gave him permission to accept my invitation to taste, stimulate, and express his desire for me and me for him. His hands gently secured my head, keeping us close, while his tongue, darting about in my mouth, touching and engaging my tongue, sweeping my teeth, and massaging the inside of my cheeks did little to suppress the continued leaking of fluid from my erect manhood from slipping down my shaft and smearing on his erection as well.

I felt him push up slightly with his hips as he held me, sliding his firmness up my abdomen and back down as he flexed his hips back down. God, he was huge!

Retracting his tongue, to my temporary disappointment, he began nibbling and sucking gently on first my upper lip and then my lower, eliciting a soft, guttural, sexually charged groan from me, reciprocating an equally charged response from him. I felt David's hands move from my head, across my shoulders, and continue lightly touching my naked back, sending goose bumps popping up all over me, to settle with a hand on each of my butt cheeks, where their warmth and teasing fingers began to titillate and massage each one in a most sexually stimulating manner.

David kissed toward the side of my face and my neck, while slowly carefully, lovingly fondling my butt, working an errant finger up and down the crevice.

"So soft, pert, nicely mounded, firm, and a perfect size for a perfect man," he whispered in my ear, clearly impressed and taken by that part of my body and, evidently, with me. I knew what he wanted, but I wanted something more.

"David," I responded in a soft voice laced with desire, my neck bared as he nuzzled his nose and lips against it, "I want what you want, but I desire something else first."

He pulled his head back slightly, his hands stilled, forehead furled in question, trying to determine what I wanted. At the time I think he thought I was going to announce I wanted him to take me to his bed, put me on my back, let me wrap my legs around him, while he ravished me with his formidable manhood. Now I know that would've been a surprise to him and placed him in a difficult, although reluctantly willing, position.

"What, Levi?" he asked hesitantly.

"I want to be courted."


"Yes; you know of my disastrous experience in high school where I was duped, taken, and used as a whore. I don't want that again since I just couldn't take it."

We stood there, in the darkened hallway outside of Mattie's bedroom, bodies pressed tightly together, arms wrapped about each other, cocks rubbing on our bodies, so there was no mistaking our desire for each other. I wanted a man to love me, love me for what I was, not simply for the sexual pleasures and release my body would provide for him. It didn't mean I didn't want David, since my hard cock was certainly evidence of that, but it did mean I needed my ego stroked, convincing me it was the relationship we both really desired. Sort of like fixing a breakfast; the chicken makes a donation while the pig makes a commitment. Dating, being together, getting to know and love each other would be important in guiding our future lives together, if that's what we both desired.

It meant Mattie, his son of record, would become a precious part of my life as he was David's and should be included or at least a witness to us being a couple. If Mattie objected, became jealous, or really didn't want to share me with his Poppa, our relationship would become difficult if not outright impossible.

"I know it sounds childish, David, perhaps even selfish, but I want to know I'm loved. I want to feel love and I want to return it to the one who truly loves me. Most of my life, I never felt love except from my cousin, Claire and it was fine, but it wasn't the love lovers share. Without her, I'd never made it. I was rejected by my parents and scorned by my brothers and sister and never, ever experienced what I'd call love. Is it too much to ask, David?"

David ran a finger gently across my lips before giving me loving kiss; hugged me, kissed me deeply again before releasing me, announcing, "It'd be my pleasure. Let the courtship begin."

The fragrant aroma of brewing coffee hastened my morning oblations. Ray, already dressed for a morning of fishing, was hustling around filling our insulated, soft-sided cooler with bottles of water, soda, and juice. The container of ice was already in the cooler along with several breakfast bars. I made a note, looking into the cooler, to go shopping, soon, to replenish my supplies for not only breakfast but on several other items. Hungry, growing, teenager boys eat a lot!

Coffee made, Ray chuckled, saying, "I didn't fill your thermos since I wasn't certain how much you'd drink before we left. Carl's down at the boat house getting extra poles and PFD's into the boat, so," he added with a wink and a nod toward the stairs, "when my brother and Elgee finish their, uh, discussion, decide to leave the bed and join us, we can leave. I think they're discussing poles, fishing poles that is," and broke out in a loud belly-laugh! He thought it was hilarious.

Carl popped in the kitchen door, announcing all was in readiness at the boat house.

"How long have you guys been up?" I inquired wondering why I hadn't heard them puttering around.

"Ever since Elgee groaned, 'deeper' and Rick grunted, 'god, you're so tight!" giggled Ray.

I decided discretion was the better part of valor and asked no more questions. It really wasn't necessary for me to know why I hadn't heard Carl and Ray; not with the noises they'd indicated were emanating from one of the upstairs bedrooms. I was also saved by Rick interrupting the banter in the kitchen.

"You guys talking about us, again?"

"Not really," Carl replied with a mischievous smile on his face. "Just discussing the pole you have to use."

"Yeah," interjected Ray, "figuring it might be a tight fit with all of us in the boat, especially if you're pushing hard trying to reel in the big one."

Both Ray and Carl snorted, trying to hold back their mirth. I wondered where the hell these two came up with all of this shit?

"Smart asses," grumbled Rick, as he turned when Elgee came into the kitchen, all dressed and jacket in his hand.

We gathered up the lunch bag and started toward the boat house. Elgee sidled up next to me, confessing as we walked, "Uncle Levi, I've only been fishing a couple of times with Rick and we really didn't fish that much."

"Not to worry," I assured him, trying to ease his embarrassment, "if you know how to handle a pole, I can teach you in short order."

I nodded my understanding. "David and I used to do the same. There's an island out here in the lake with the nicest sand beach. We'd stop there on a warm day, strip, and swim a while before having our lunch. Once we finished, we'd motor over to 'Spooner's' and get something to eat."

"Oh, my god!" Elgee wheezed, clearly embarrassed imagining his uncle and his lover either sixty-nining on the beach or fucking their brains out.

Ray and Carl sat in the front seats and Rick and Elgee sat near me. I opened the throttle and headed the boat toward the Narrows and the South Arm. Elgee, by the expression on his face, absolutely loved traveling on the lake by boat. As we passed the island I'd mentioned, I tapped him on the shoulder, gave a point with my finger and waggled my eyebrows. His smile told me no spoken words were needed. It was pleasing to me to see the great-nephew I never knew until now, enjoying the great-uncle he knew he had, but never met.

We stopped at the bait shop this side of "The Narrows," as the entrance under the bridge was called locally, into South Arm. Carl and Ray had a bait container in the front and Rick and Elgee one in the back eliminating the need to pass one back and forth.

It didn't take long for Elgee, with Rick's patience instruction and demonstrations, to learn to use a spinning rod and reel, bait a hook, and cast it to the edge of the weed bed. The fishing wasn't as good as it was the day I took Ray and Carl here, but very acceptable. We saved a sizeable quantity of big bluegills in the live well by the time we reached the far end of South Arm. I must admit, the boys were more selective today then we'd been previously, keeping only the largest and fattest fish.

At the south end, I turned the boat, the boys switched poles, baited their spinner baits with Fathead minnows, and we began a slow troll toward The Narrows. The first strike went to Elgee and he just about crapped his pants, surprised and then excited. Amidst shouts of "keep the rod tip up," "don't horse him," "wear him out," and finally, "get the net," and an eight pound Northern Pike was in the boat! Elgee could hardly sit still he was so excited and proud. No one could have been prouder than Rick, other than me, giving Elgee a big hug and kiss (accompanied by "Yuckie" from Ray), and asking him to hold it up for a picture. Smart phone came out and several pictures were taken. Unbeknownst to Elgee, Rick also had been recording parts of the battle, especially when the fish was boated. The experience hooked Elgee on the lake and Spirit View Farm.

We continued on toward the bridge, saving three more nice big Northern Pike, one more credited to Elgee. I slowed as we came close to the bridge and, cutting the motor, picked up a rod with a Beatle Spin lure on it, and gave it a toss toward the rocky embankments placed when the bridge was constructed. I hoped there just might be a Crappie there and I was right! Three more poles were quickly converted from the spinner baits we used for Pike to Beatle Spins. We netted a couple of dozen slab Crappies before I called it quits.

"I'm hungry! Let's head for 'Spooner's'"

The boys headed toward the restroom to clean up and pee while I headed toward the bar to let Tom know we'd be on the deck. A familiar voice greeted me from one of the tables.

"Hi yah, Doc."

Chad Cooper and Bruce Porter were sitting at table waiting to order.

"I've got company," I answered back, "join us on the deck," spotted Ray coming from the restroom, asked him to introduce himself and find a table for seven on the deck ,and continued toward the bar.

"Looks like a crowd today, Doc," Tom remarked with a smile.

"Yep," I replied. "Put Bruce and Chad's bill on mine."

My real purpose, other than consolidating the bills, was to pass a couple of hundred dollar bills to Tom to use for tap beer on the Fourth for the regular locals who patronized the bar and restaurant. David and I started this practice soon after we moved here and helped Tom and Mike start their business. The locals really looked forward to having a beer or two on us. Tom would limit each to two draws (two beer glasses full of beer) to each patron. If there was money left over at the end of the day, Tom would send it to one of the charities in the area. He knew I preferred St. Vincent de Paul's so that's generally where it went. David and I were financially successful and both of us believed we should pay back the community in some way. This was only one of the ways. After all, you can't take it with you. Although now, it would appear someone from my side of the family, Elgee, would benefit from my estate, along with David's side.

Looking out toward the deck, I could see Ray hustling around helping the waiter take the orders.

"Busy little guy, isn't he?" Tom laughed.

"Yeah, he is! The four of them sure are fun to have around!" I meant every word of it.

The boys were chattering like they'd known each other all their lives by the time I reached the table. Chad and Bruce were surprised Elgee and Rick were an openly gay high school couple planning on marrying right after high school graduation. Voices low to avoid any other patrons in the bar from overhearing, they both admitted they were well-closeted, except for a few people like myself who knew, confessing they were reluctant to come out at school. From the way they talked and the confidences they shared, I thought they really needed to visit more with Elgee and Rick.

"You guys have to work the day after the Fourth?"

"Barring any storms, Doc, no," answered Bruce. "Mom and Dad are down in the Cities visiting my sister and won't be home until the sixth. Why?"

"Come on over to my place about mid-morning and do some water skiing, swimming, whatever, and join us for lunch. We'll grill burgers, hot dogs, and bratwurst. I know my gang would really like to have you come over. If you oversleep and you wake up first, Chad, just give Bruce a jab in the ribs or grab something and wake him. I'm willing to bet you boys aren't sleeping alone while Bruce's folks are gone."

"You guessed that right," snickered Chad.

As much as I hated to bring our brunch gathering to a close, I announced we had fish to clean and shopping to do this afternoon, paid my bill, and we loaded up in the boat. The wind had kicked up so the trip across wasn't the smoothest. As we hit each wave, the spray coming across the bow would sluice across the boat, misting like a fine lace on my passengers. Sitting part way back in the cockpit where I was protected by a windshield protected me from most of the wetness. It didn't seem to bother the boys however.

I used my electric fillet knife to take the fillets from the fish and, much like the other day when we cleaned fish, Ray and Carl slipped the skin off with the sharp flexible fillet knives I kept in the boat house. Rick decided to work on the other side of the table and manually remove the fillets from fish. He then showed Elgee how to remove the skin from the thick, meaty fillets. Elgee was a quick learner and soon was keeping up with Rick. I do think Rick did slow his pace somewhat so Elgee could. In no time it seemed, we were in the house freezing the fillets. We cleaned up and I announced I was going to Brainerd to do some grocery shopping, but stopping for a Maid Rite® before going to the store.

"Anyone want to go along?" They all did.

Brainerd has the only Maid Rite® shop in the area I'm aware of. A Maid Rite® is a sandwich similar to a Sloppy Joe, except without the sloppy and a mixture of meat. They are delicious and a treat I often enjoyed in Iowa. I was surprised and pleased to discover the one in Brainerd and stopped there anytime I was in the city.

Two Maid Rites® apiece for the boys and we were on our way to the store.

Hot dogs, bratwursts, ground beef, buns, baked beans, chips, and some side salads would make up our lunch the day Bruce and Chad came over. I also picked up more pop, juice, and milk along with a small ham and a ten pound pack of chicken quarters for later in the week. The boys were planning on heading back on Wednesday or Thursday so I'd have enough not only to feed them while here but maybe send a lunch home with them.

It was after six when we returned home. After we put everything away, the boys decided to go for a swim. They raced to the lake, discarded their clothing, and jumped in. I sat on the porch, nursing a Brandy Old-Fashioned and listened to the shouts and laugher coming from them. It was a most pleasant and comforting sound. Not since Claire and her family and some of David's family came to the lake with their families had I been entertained like this.

Rick decided, once they finished swimming, after spotting my air popcorn popper, he'd make a batch of popcorn, since breakfast was late and lunch much later, instead of supper. Ray thought a couple of pizza's would complement the popcorn.

The way my crew gathered in front of me on the porch, as I sipped my drink, gave every indication to me they intended I should continue my story; more of a continuing saga I was becoming to think, rather than a simple story of David and me getting together. Evidently, my narration kept them interested enough the television stayed off and they even turned their smart phones off while I spoke. I thought it was extremely courteous of them or they were fearful of missing some particularly juicy, highly salacious detail, concerning rampant, unbridled sex- or in the vernacular- just plain fucking until both participants were drained of energy and joy juice!

I fiddled around, sipped my drink, mentioned how fun the day was for me, until Elgee finally, impatient and somewhat exasperated by my delay, sputtered, "Please, Uncle Levi, why was Mattie all out of sorts?"

"Oh," I responded, feigning ignorance of their desires, "I wasn't certain if you'd want to know."

"Does shit stink?" muttered Ray, ever masking his true feelings, making it difficult to know where he stood on any issue.

Mattie never uttered a word all weekend concerning what brought about his nightmare and disturbed our sleep. He did, however, offer his thanks and apology to us, giving his Poppa a big hug and me, a hug, but without the intensity of the one he gave David. Understandable and acceptable, I thought.

During breakfast, David, between bites of his pancake, casually asked Mattie if he'd be upset if he and I began dating, "you know, like boyfriends?"

Mattie let out a whoop, responding, "I wondered how long it'd take you. All you talked about since we finished this summer was Levi this and Levi that. I think it's great," and scooted out from his place at the table, walked over to me and planted a warm and sticky, from the pancake syrup sticking to his lips, kiss on my face, proclaiming, "Now, I'll be able to call you Uncle Levi."

Evidently, the idea suited him just fine!

I helped David with the dishes and the housework while Mattie busied himself making his bed and cleaning his room. Mission complete, he asked if he could go for a bike ride.

David gave him the okay, but cautioned him, "Watch for traffic, there's a home game, and campus will be overflowing with people. Oh, and stay away from the frat houses, they can get a little rowdy on home game days."

David admitted Mattie was fairly street wise due to his previous life and could avoid or dodge trouble in most cases, but it didn't hurt to remind him occasionally.

"The little bugger has a lot of survival tricks up his sleeves he learned on the streets."

Mattie was gone only about an hour, zipped into his room, puttered around for a few minutes, and bounded down the stairs to join us.

"How about after lunch," proposed David, "we go up to the game? I have three tickets,"

The afternoon was one of those "Goldilocks" days; sunny, cool, "not too hot, not too cold, just right." The stadium was full, the crowd lively, and an exciting day for me. Attending a college game was a first for me! In fact, this'd be the first time I watched any football game, high school or college, from the grandstand rather than from the concession stand where I usually worked. The exuberance of the crowd, mixed student, alumni, faculty, and other fans stirred my own enthusiasm and enjoyment, feeling for the first time the university experience outside the classroom and the rigors of study, which I found quite fulfilling and loved very much as well.

Half-time, Mattie gave a wave to someone down in front of the grandstand and asked permission to join a friend of his.

"And who might this friend be?" David asked.

"Jacob Tucker; he's in my classes, my age, and his dad in a professor on campus."

With a nod of permission, with instructions to join us at game's end and not go home alone, Mattie scrambled down the steps to meet his friend.

"I suppose I worry more than I should, but considering the life he was forced to lead before he came to me, I just want to protect him, I guess!"

I could understand his concern. Watching Mattie worm his way through the crowd either heading to the restrooms or the concession stands, I lost sight of him in the midst of all the people. At the start of the third quarter, as fans returned to their seats, I spotted him with another boy whom I assumed to be Jacob Tucker, walking together between the bleachers and the restraining fence, headed toward seating in the faculty section.

The boy looked about Mattie's height, perhaps a few pounds lighter but not much, slight build, dark hair tucked under a baseball cap, white, and black-rimmed glasses. I'm ashamed to say, he was nerdy looking, much like me only with glasses. Who am I to judge; he's Mattie's friend and that's that! They were each sipping a large drink through straws, laughing, chattering away to each other. The atmosphere changed, becoming most sober and wary, when three older and bigger boys approached them. Mattie slipped between Jacob and the three boys. Evidently the three were no strangers to Mattie and Jacob and Mattie was intent on protecting his friend, as best as he could, from them.

Evidently, there was an exchange of words and the three boys laughed, while Jacob sort of hung his head. Not Mattie, I watched as he said something back and got the finger as a response.

What happened next I wouldn't believe if I hadn't witnessed it! Mattie bent over, acted as though he was picking something up, put the something in his mouth, whipped the straw from his drink, and put it in his mouth. The leader of the group, some twenty feet away amidst the dwindling crown, turned his face to acknowledge and wave to someone up in the bleachers, suddenly grabbed at his face, grimaced, a look of pain shooting across his face. I looked quickly toward Mattie, noting the straw was back in the drink container, and he and Jacob were walking away as if nothing happened, quickly disappearing into the crowd and up to the faculty area. The leader of the little band of thugs now had his handkerchief mashed up against his cheek, as it to stop bleeding. I continued to watch as they scanned the crowd for whoever did this, walking toward one of the exits. They never even thought of Mattie and his friend. After all, why would two shrimpy freshmen be capable of inflicting any harm?

Mattie never mentioned the incident at supper and I never brought it up. He did respond to my comments I thought his friend looked like fine young man, from what I could observe.

"Yeah, he's great," acknowledged Mattie, smiling in satisfaction. "Jacob's really smart and wants to be a doctor someday."

Nothing else was said and there were no nightmares that night. Sunday, Mattie seemed particularly busy in his room off and on all day.

Monday, David and I were both home for lunch. I would soon learn, after he made a copy of my class schedule, it was part of his strategy for courting me, spending as much time he could with me without interfering with my academic schedule or studies. Thus, he'd rescheduled his own work hours so he could bring his plan to fruition.

The phone rang, David answered it, listened quietly but intently, and finally said, "We'll be there right after school is dismissed."

Returning to the table, he informed me it was the high school principal's office requesting a conference after school.

"Apparently, Mattie was involved in some sort of altercation or 'unpleasantness' as the secretary described it, and Dr. Sanderson thought it'd been resolved. Evidently not, since Mattie will be waiting for us in the office after school."

Mattie was waiting for us in the high school outer office. The secretary escorted us into the principal's office post haste. We had no opportunity to question Mattie concerning what the "altercation" consisted of which in was involved in.

The principal, seated behind his desk, raised his eyebrows in questioning my presence as we entered the room. David squelched any questions or objections by announcing quite curtly and adamantly, "He's with me!" ending any further conversations concerning the matter.

Seated in the room were, as we were introduced, Dr. and Mrs. Tucker and Jacob (accompanied by a small smile and wave of his hand at Mattie who returned the gestures) and Mr. and Mrs. Williams and their son Kenneth. The first thing I noticed concerning Kenneth, other than him being a rather big, brutish lad, was the adhesive bandage applied to his cheek. It confirmed my recognition of him as being the apparent leader of the three bullies Mattie and Jacob encountered on Saturday at the football game. Kenneth looked at me, I smiled knowingly in return, and watched his face turn red realizing I knew what he and his companions did at the ballgame and wasn't a friend.

The principal leaned back in his chair and began describing the situation we were involved in.

"Last Friday, Matthew accused Kenneth of holding Jacob's head in a toilet in the boy's restroom and gave him what the younger set calls a 'swirly,' you know, holding his head in the toilet while flushing it, drenching the victim's face and shirt. Kenneth denied it, producing two witnesses claiming he was with them elsewhere and in turn, accused Matthew and Jacob of doing it themselves to get him in trouble. Kenneth is new to our school and complained they were resentful of his popularity."

Mattie just snorted at the term "popularity" but said nothing more.

"The supervisor at the time only had one person's word against another and the stories were in opposition to each other so he scolded them and told them to return to the lunch room."

"Back in the cafeteria, evidently the dispute continued. Kenneth ended up with a rather messy, sloppy tray of spaghetti and soupy tomato sauce dumped over his head and body. Matthew claimed it was an accident, tripping over someone's foot as he walked by Kenneth's table. He claimed he immediately apologized, confirmed by a supervisor standing not far away, noting the apology was rather loud and heard by many. Matthew then grabbed some napkins to help clean the sauce from Kenneth's clothes and, according to Kenneth, made some threat about 'leaving Jacob and me alone' or he'd, quoting what Kenneth understood him to say, 'fuck him up.' Matthew denied saying it and no one could collaborate Kenneth's claim. Needless to say, Kenneth was quite shaken up by the threat and concerned for his welfare."

"Excuse me, Dr. Sanderson," Mattie interrupted. "Again, I will swear I did not say what Kenneth accuses me of. But, I do have a few comments."

I gave David a nudge indicating this might be the time to intercede, but he just lay his hand on my leg, gave it a squeeze, assuring me all was well, and Mattie could handle the situation, so far.

Mattie changed from the boy I knew from home, transforming himself into a very articulate, extremely bright, well-seasoned by experience, mature for his age, defender of his rights and position young man. It was plain to me, Mattie had been interrogated in the past by individuals much more sophisticated and experienced than Dr. Sanderson.

"You mean to tell me, Dr. Sanderson, pointing directly at Kenneth, " he who holds smaller and weaker boy's heads in toilets, who knocks books from Jacob's and others arms while walking down the hall, pours chocolate milk down Jacob and my back along with other underclassmen, who reaches into Jacob's and other boy's jeans to yank up their underwear so it lodges in their butt cracks, commonly called a 'wedgie' if you're unaware, or does it for the opportunity to feel another boy's ass for whatever sexual gratification he desires, flips beans from his tray at us and others during lunch, who taunts Jacob on a regular basis with 'Little Jacob Tucker has a little tiny pucker, bends his ass over shouting who'll be my fucker,' and now claims I threatened him or he's concerned for his welfare?"

"Look at him; he's older, bigger, outweighs me by seventy-five to a hundred pounds, runs with two other Neanderthals of like disposition and intelligence, and he's afraid of me? I'd rather walk barefoot through a cattle yard or dog pound before I'd believe that. What a bunch of nonsense!"

During Mattie's discourse with Dr. Sanderson concerning the aberrant behavior Kenneth exhibited, I shifted my visual attention, but not my hearing, from Mattie to Kenneth's parents to Jacob parents. Kenneth's father's face changed from disbelief to concern to outright anger; not at Mattie or Jacob, but toward Kenneth. Mr. Williams leaned over and said something I was unable to discern, to Kenneth. Whatever it was caused Kenneth to blanch, all color leaving his face, his legs began bouncing up and down exhibiting extreme nervousness or angst, evidently fearful of what his father told him.

Dr. Tucker, on the other hand, reached one arm around Jacob's back and pulled him close in a tight, reassuring, loving hug. Mrs. Tucker made no comments as tears streamed down her face as she listened to Mattie repeat the taunting rhyme Kenneth hurled at Jacob day after day. I'm certain they'd been aware something was going on, but not the extent of the gravity of the situation. I was saddened for them, hearing what their son was going through, bearing it on his own, unable to speak of the horrors he faced day by day. I wonder if Mattie hadn't been his friend what might have happened!

Dr. Sanderson seemed to be oblivious to the angst in the silent drama occurring in his office as he seemed quite determined to concentrate in his efforts to bring Mattie, an African-American teen male, to task for terrorizing Kenneth, rather than remonstrate Kenneth for bullying.

"Perhaps Kenneth had a reason to be fearful and threatened," he said, determination and smugness in his voice and demeanor, reaching into a desk drawer. On his desk he placed a saucer and on the saucer was a replica of a human circumcised penis modeled from very light grey modeling clay. It was astonishingly anatomically correct, although oversized for the normal human penis, and quite detailed down to the main blood vessel running the length of the penis, the large tubular urethra on the underside, the meatus (opening) in the quite smooth and shiny glans (head) to the frenulum, left mostly intact during the circumcision, and the slight circumcision scar on the shaft of the penis. It wasn't quite perfect since, jabbed down through the middle, piercing the penis from the top down through the urethra, was a dinner fork!

It was like a lightning bolt striking David and me at the same time, revealing like a bright flash of light what Mattie meant when he escaped from his pimp. He didn't say he "fucked him up" but he "forked him," literally! It's exactly the same threat he made to Kenneth as well; not "I'll fuck you up," but "I'll fork you," and presented him with a reminder and visual demonstration of what Kenneth's cock would look like!

I sort of squirmed, feeling uncomfortable imagining a fork stuck through my cock, shifting in my chair at the thought of the pain and damage such an act might do to my most prized possession. I couldn't help but notice Dr. Tucker, Mr. Williams, and David also wiggled on their chairs, evidently visually and mentally feeling the pain as well.

Sliding the saucered, forked, penis model across the desk toward Mattie, Dr. Sanderson asked, assured in his own mind the answer he was seeking would soon be forthcoming from Mattie, "Do you recognize this, Matthew?" and smiled. After all, what freshman wasn't absolutely petrified to be summoned to the principal's office and suffer intense interrogation and accusation? I felt Dr. Sanderson was prejudiced, based on Mattie's race, since racism was still virulent in our society.

He underestimated his young foe who leaned over, focused his attention on the object, and carefully scrutinized the object under discussion as one might evaluate a fresh cucumber in the market, used car on a lot, or a work of art hanging on a wall or sitting on a pedestal in a gallery. Several moments passed by as Mattie perused the replica, the silence in the room almost deafening, as he pondered his response.

"Yes," Mattie began thoughtfully, carefully choosing his words, "I believe I do! It's a replica of a human penis, not attached at the pubis, but definitely a human penis."

Mattie carefully, meticulously began describing each curve, each vein, the crown, the meatus, circumcision scar, the exaggeration of size (having seen David's I thought the replica was rather undersized), and expressed an admiration for the skills of the sculptor.

"The only concern I have, Dr. Sanderson," he said to the now very concerned and exasperated principal, "is the mutilation of the replica by the fork. Can you imagine the terror and fear it might instill in someone worrying if, during the night, someone might creep quietly into your bedroom and ram a fork through your penis, pinning it to the mattress or to your leg?"

"In fact," he continued cutting off any effort Sanderson may try to make to halt his dissertation, "this morning, after I showered, I stood in front of the mirror and saw reflected a young, human penis, smaller, uncircumcised, and still attached to the human body, nestled in a sparse growth of black, soft pubic hair."

I didn't dare look at David for fear of bursting out laughing, so I switched my gaze to Dr. Sanderson who was trying his damnedest to control his outrage at being upstaged by a teen boy. His face was growing redder and redder, the veins in his neck predominant, and knuckles of his hand white from clenching, as he spouted, rather loudly I thought considering the size of his office,

"No! I meant, does this belong to you?"

Wrong thing to ask Mattie!

"Oh no, Sir," yelped Mattie, springing to his feet, "I still have mine, but it's smaller than that," pointing at the faux penis. "I'll show you," and began unzipping his jeans.

"Sit down!" bellowed Sanderson, clearly nearing the end of his tether, ready to lash out in anger and frustration.

Mattie dropped to his chair like rock from a water tower. During the silence which followed, while Sanderson seemed to struggle with retaining his calm demeanor in the presence of parents, Mattie, never passing up the opportunity to continue pressing his case, asked,

"May I ask, Sir, where you got that?" pointing at the clay dick.

"Kenneth said he found it in his hall locker this morning."

"Did he have his locker locked?"

The metal school hall lockers were metal with combination locks to secure them. In case, however, a student should forget his or her combination, a custodian or someone from the office could open it with the use of a master key which, when inserted in the tumbler knob on the lock, bypass the combination and open the locker.

"Yes!" Sanderson replied rather brusquely.

"Then how would anyone, other than the custodian or someone from your office open it, unless they had a key?"

"Only the custodian or the office has a key," snorted Sanderson, wanting to verify the security of the lockers.

"Then," concluded Mattie, "perhaps Kenneth is trying to shift the blame on someone else, just to make trouble. I once heard someone say," with a sly, knowing smile, "a dog smells his own hole first."

David entered the conversation at that moment, addressing Sanderson in a steady, steely, determined voice; "It's apparent, Dr. Sanderson, you've allowed a culture of bullying and racism to exist in the school. Be forewarned, if my son is the object of it again, I will bring suit against you, the school, and any parent whose child is the perpetrator."

Before Sanderson could respond, Mr. Williams stood and addressed the Tucker's and us. "I offer my apologies to you, Jacob and Matthew, and to your parents for the actions of my son. I assure you, Kenneth will not cause you any problems in the future. As soon as we can make the arrangements, he'll be transferring to a military academy in Minnesota."

David and I stepped forward, as did the Tucker's, and thanked Mr. and Mrs. Williams. We said nothing to Dr. Sanderson who sat behind his desk, mouth open, wondering just what the fuck happened (you got bested by a high school freshman, you dork, I felt like saying, but didn't)!

The Tucker's walked out with us and, before we departed for home, Mrs. Tucker said, "Thank you for Matthew's friendship with Jacob. He's been Jacob's defender and friend ever since he came to school here and we are so thankful for it."

I looked over toward Jacob and Mattie, standing chatting, laughing, reaching out to touch each other as if to make certain they were still connected, and thought, "both were equally bright, both good looking young men, and, if I was mistaken, neither would love a female the way they seemed to love each other."

Dr. Tucker, evidently not impressed with Dr. Sanderson's performance in the office or as his role as a principal, informed David, "I think there's going to be a change in the administration of the high school in the not too distant future."

We climbed into David's truck for the short ride home and as we did, David held his hand out over the seat toward Mattie sitting behind us. "Give me the key," he instructed quietly.

Mattie shrugged and without objection, handed him a master key to the hall lockers.

"Thank you."

Walking into house, after parking the truck in the garage, David held out his hand again. "Give the key back to me please, Mattie."

Mattie shrugged again, but his time he grinned like the Cheshire Cat in "Through the Looking Glass," and handed David the key.

I was dumbfounded! "How did he …..?"I started to ask.

My question was cut off by David. "I told you I caught him trying to pick my pocket, didn't I?"


"I just didn't tell you how damned good he is, did I?"

"Correct, but how in the hell did you……?"

"Catch him?"

I nodded, fearing he'd interrupt me again and I was too damned curious to find the answer, so I said nothing.

"Pure accident! He happened to dip into my pants pocket that had a large hole in it. He didn't encounter any money but happened to touch a rather important and sensitive part of my anatomy. He knew damn well it wasn't a roll of quarters, but couldn't help risking a quick feel. I had him by the arm before he could pull his hand from my pocket."

Little else was said the rest of the evening. Mattie finished his homework, spent some time on the phone visiting with Jacob, finally bidding his goodnight, a wide grin of a happy boy on his face. Mattie's day went just fine as far as he was concerned.

I couldn't help but wonder what all he had to do to survive prior to coming to live with David, then I decided I really didn't want to know. He had skills and abilities, learned on the street and in concert with other waifs like him, others only read about or imagined.

"That's it for tonight, guys," I announced. "Tomorrow's a busy day with the parade, carnival, and fireworks, so get some rest."

"Where's the parade?" Rick asked.


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