Six Friends

by Rob Warr

Chapter 3

"I can't wait till Saturday," Jaden said as we sat down for lunch the next day.

"Uh, do you want me to rent some movies or games or anything?" I said, finally letting my nervousness and insecurity show a little.

"You got some games already, right? That's fine with me, and I can bring a few of mine. As far as movies go, well… you got Netflix, don't you?"

"Yeah, I guess we can watch something there, if you want."

"We don't need a lot of stuff to keep us busy. We can find stuff to do. It'll be fun just being with you," he said smiling and endearing himself to me even more.

"Yeah, I feel the same way," I said grinning, "even if you are a perv."

"A perv?" he said with mock hurt, "How dare you, I'm not a perv, I'm a sex maniac, that's all."

I cracked up laughing, and a kid a few seats down gave me a grin as if he knew what the joke was.

"Well, at least you're honest," I said, finally getting myself under control.

"Hey, is your internet blocked, or does your mom trust you not to go looking for big hooters or shaved beavers?" he joked.

"It's not blocked. Why? You like those kind of things?" I teased.

"Nah, but maybe we can find something more… interesting, something we both like," he said quietly.

"Oh, well… yeah, whatever," I said, feeling a little excited. Maybe Jaden's choice of porn would give me some insight into his sexual preferences.

Friday came and we hung out some after school, but I had to be home in time to go out to dinner with mom and Beth. We went to a place called The Texas Roadhouse, and mom had a steak the size of Texas, and I had BBQ ribs and onion rings. Beth had a small steak, and mostly ate salad, but mom finished every bite of her steak and potato. I wondered how she managed to stay so slim and trim eating like that. I just hoped I got her genes when it came to that sort of thing.

We passed on dessert, but when I got home I pulled an ice cream bar out of the freezer and took it to my room. Almost as soon as I stepped into my room, I got a text from, guess who?

Jaden: how was dinner with the family?

Greg: great, mom pigged out big time… lol

Jaden: and you didn't

Greg: tryin to keep my slim figure for you… lol

Jaden: aww… I'd love you fat or skinny💗

Greg: I wuv you too… lol💗

There was nothing for a minute or two, and I thought maybe he'd got called away or something. That minute or two gave me time to think about what Jaden had just said about loving me. Was he goofing or trying to say how he really felt? He was throwing all kinds of mixed signals at me and sometimes I didn't know what to think.

Jaden: I can't wait till tomorrow, gonna be so awesome

Greg: yeah thanks for wanting to come over and stuff

Jaden: no probs, you're my dog… lol

Greg: puppy dog

Jaden: yeah, my puppy dog, and I'm in puppy love with him… lol

There it was again, should I address it or just play it off as spoofing?

Greg: just puppy love?

Jaden: well, not sure, since you aint put out yet… lol

Greg: I told you I don't do that on a first date… lol

Jaden: hey, this will be our second date so…

Greg: 😂… well we'll see

Jaden: cant wait

Greg: just be gentle… lol

Jaden: I will… well mom is hollerin at me gotta go, see ya tomorrow

Greg: nite bro, can't wait

Jaden: me either, laterzzz

I had a warm fuzzy feeling when we'd finished texting, and as I finished off my ice cream bar I scrolled back through the conversation and reread each line trying to find some hidden meaning in his words. He kept saying he loved me, but what exactly did that mean? Did he love me as a friend, as a bro, or was there more to it?

As for my feelings for him, I was quite sure my love for him was more than that. I was quite sure the love I felt for him was the kind you read about in books, the kind that usually happens between a male and a female, but I knew real love had no boundaries. Or, at least that's what I'd read and adopted as my own personal

I thought about the love I had for my mom, for Beth, and the love I still felt for my dad, and suddenly I realized there were all kinds of love. The love for my dad hurt sometimes now that he was gone, but the love I felt for my mom was a happy kind of love, and the love I had for Beth was strongest of all. Maybe it was because we had shared so much together. She was my rock, and I knew I would miss her warm hugs and sweet smiles once she moved away to attend college.

My ice cream safely in my tummy, I decided to take another shower and see if I could relax some. I'd been tense all day, first because of the upcoming night out, and of course because of Jaden's coming over tomorrow, and then the text messages.

The shower felt good on my skin, and as I lathered up my body I fantasized about what it would be like to be naked with Jaden. I'd seen enough of him to know that he was pretty much perfect, but there was still that mystery concerning that part that made him all male.

As the fantasy progressed, I imagined myself washing his back and his fine butt, then him spinning around to let me wash his front. I was rock hard by then, and before I knew what was happening I was doing what every teenage boy does every chance he gets. As I watched the result of my self-loving swirl down the drain, I thought of Jaden once more, and wondered if he ever did what I had just done while thinking of me.

Jaden's mom brought him over around noon on Saturday and his mom and my mom chatted for awhile before she left. Later, mom said she really liked Jaden's mom and that they had made plans to go out for coffee next week. I felt as good about mom making a new friend as she did about me making one. Since dad died she'd done nothing but work and take care of me and Beth, and she deserved some leisure time.

"Hey dog," Jaden said bumping fists as I met him at his mom's SUV.

"Hey, come on, I'll show you my room and you can put your backpack away. What did you bring?"

"Some clothes, and some video games, and some dirty magazines," he said looking serious.

"What? No way," I said blushing.

"Got ya, besides, who needs mags when you got the internet? Live action. baby."

"You are a perv," I laughed, "come on before my mom hears you and sends you back with your mom."

"Hey, I like your room," he said looking around as I closed the door behind us. Hey, you have all the Harry Potter books, cool. Maybe sometime I can borrow them to read, one at a time."

"Sure, anytime," I said grinning. I was afraid he might think HP was a little lame, but I should have known our interests were so similar that even my choice in books would meet his approval.

"So… where will I be sleeping?" he said, and suddenly I realized I had given no thought to that particular part of the sleepover till now.

"Uh, well… we could blow up an air mattress, I guess, or there's the couch, but we don't really have a guest room… "

"How bout' if I just sleep with you? I promise to keep my hands to myself, unless you want me to touch you," he said grinning.

"Well, yeah… that sounds fine. It's a queen-size bed… so, yeah, that should be okay," I said with relief. At least that was settled.

He dug in his bag and pulled out a couple video games, then kept digging around for a moment.

"Dang, I forgot my pajamas," he said sounding serious, "guess I'll just have to sleep in the raw."

"You still wear PJ's?" I asked, completely missing the part of that statement that should have caught my interest.

"Nah, I was teasing. At home I really do sleep in the raw, but for you… I'll wear boxers or something," he said pulling out a pair of blue plaid boxer shorts.

Oh, my God. Were those the same boxer shorts I'd sniffed that day at his house? I felt myself starting to bone up and I sat down quickly on my bed in an attempt to hide my growing erection.

"You really… umm, sleep naked?" I asked. I'd tried it a couple of times, but I was always paranoid about it. What if the house caught on fire and I had to go out stark naked into the night? Or some such crap as that.

"Yeah, you should try it, dude. It's totally liberating. Letting your boys out to breathe, and you can toss and turn and there's no clothes to hold you back."

"Yeah, I guess. Don't you worry about your mom or dad coming into your room or something?"

"Nah, Ty has a few times, but I'm always under the covers. Besides, I usually wait till everyone else is asleep before I ditch the undies, and I keep em under my pillow, just in case," he said smiling wickedly.

"Okay, well… not tonight though," I joked, "cause I'm not sure I can trust you once you see this fabulous rear end of mine."

"Oh yeah, well… now you got me wantin' to see it for real," he laughed.

"Maybe I'll moon you later, after I shower," I teased.

"Oh man, I'm getting a boner just thinkin' about it," he groaned, grabbing his crotch and giving it a squeeze.

Of course my eyes went to his lap immediately and he followed my gaze, "Made ya look," he cackled.

I blushed bright red, but didn't deny it. Instead, I suggested that I take him on a quick tour of the house and the backyard. He agreed easily,, and the events and words of before were soon forgotten.

In the backyard, I introduced him to our dog Rover, yeah, real original name, and showed him what was left of the treehouse my dad and I had built when we'd first moved here.

The treehouse had been something very special at one time, a place for me and my buddies to hang out, but the best memories surrounding it were of my dad and me building it. It was truly a labor of love for my dad, and since he was in the construction business, it turned out to be somewhat amazing.

The main floor was about eight feet off the ground, with a second story seven feet above that with an enclosed ladder leading up to it. You could also access the roof of the second story by ladder and dad had surrounded it with railings for our safety.

There were even windows, and indoor/outdoor carpeting on the floor. Mom used to kid dad about all the work he put into the treehouse, saying that it was nicer than the house we lived in. Of course that wasn't true. Dad kept our house in perfect condition at all times.

As I gazed up at the structure, I was suddenly overcome with emotion. What had once been a place of solitude and comfort was now just a reminder of what I had lost when my dad died. The paint was peeling, one window had a crack in it, and I was sure the interior was probably littered with leaves and waterlogged.

Mom had said several times that it needed to be torn down, but both my sister and I had fought that idea, however, now I was beginning to think she might be right.

"Can we go up in it?" Jaden asked, shaking me out of my funk.

"Nah, it's probably not safe… "

"Aww… come on, I wanna see where you used to sneak off to and beat off," he teased.

The look on my face must've said it all, because Jaden laughed, "You did? Didn't you? Awww..don't be embarrassed. I would have done it too. Heck, any boy would've."

He was right, once I'd discovered masturbation, the treehouse had become my favorite destination for self pleasure. I can't even begin to count the number of orgasms that occurred there, but now the thought of doing such a thing in this hallowed place seemed disrespectful to my dad and his memory.

"Come on then," I huffed, ignoring his question, "If you're determined to die on your first visit, then so be it."

"We don't have to," he said sounding hurt, or at least cautious for a change.

"No, its okay. Sorry if I acted pissy," I said, daring to lay a hand on his shoulder, but only for a moment.

He didn't pull away, which was a good sign, and instead gave me a killer smile and patted me back.

"All right!" he cried as he started up the aluminum ladder that dad have bought for the treehouse. He said aluminum was safer and would last longer than a wooden ladder, and he was right. Other than being a little discolored and having a few bird droppings on it, it looked and felt as sturdy as the first day we'd installed it.

"Wow, we should fix this up and make it our private place," Jaden said excitedly, causing me to frown.

"My dad and I built this," I said simply, and I guess Jaden got the implied meaning.

"Dude, I'm so sorry," he said offering me a hand up as I neared the top of the ladder, "Just hit me when I say stupid stuff."

"No, it's okay. It was a very special place for me and my friends, even my sister at one time, but now… well, you see how neglected it is."

"Can we go up there?" Jaden asked pointing at the inside ladder.

I was right, there were leaves and dead twigs everywhere, a bird's nest in one corner, and the carpet was wet in places. It smelled musty and stifling, but I just nodded and followed him to the second floor.

The windows were still intact in the upper floor, and besides a few cobwebs and dust, the place looked fairly decent.

"Still sturdy," Jaden said banging on the studs that held the plywood walls in place, "You guys did a kick ass job on this."

"Yeah, it took us most of a year. We just kept adding on to it," I said smiling as I remembered how much fun it had been working with my dad.

Even Beth had helped at times, once we had the walls up and she wasn't worried about falling out of it. For a girl, she was pretty adventurous, but I think she realized the treehouse was more of a dad/son thing, and she never overstayed her welcome.

"Seriously, dude, your dad would have wanted you to keep this place up and not let it go to waste," he said, turning and placing his hands on my shoulders, his face so close to mine I could feel his warm breath.

"I don't know," I said fighting back tears, "this is the first time I've been up here, since… well, you know… "

"Think about it. Pray about it, talk to your mom and your sister about it, and if they don't agree with me I'll never mention it again. But if you decide I'm right, then I'll help you fix it up and we can hang out here, okay?"

I smiled despite myself. Maybe he was right. Maybe preserving the treehouse would be sort of like a tribute to dad and a way for me to keep him in my heart, always.

"I'll think about it. Come on, as long as we're here, might as well see the roof. We used to play war, and that was our lookout tower."

Later, as we lay in my floor playing a video game, Jaden suddenly paused the game and sat up.

"Dude, can we talk?"

"Uh, yeah… sure, I guess," I said, wondering what he was up to now.

"That first day, when we met… uh, in school… did you not like me at first or something?" he asked blushing bright red.

"No, of course not," I said honestly, "Why, did I act like it?"

"Well, you seemed to be put out when I asked you for help, and I think I saw a couple eye rolls when you found out I was in your class and that we had the same lunch," he chuckled.

How honest should I be with him? We'd come a long way since that first day and our friendship was comfortable and safe. Did I dare reveal any of my true feelings?

"I guess I just thought, what's the use?" I admitted, "My self esteem was pretty low when we met, and I was sure no one as cool as you would want to be my friend once you figured me out."

"Dude, are you serious?" he said, leaning in and bumping heads with me, causing all sorts of electric shocks to travel through my body, "I knew right away that you were awesome, and that I wanted to get to know you."

"Nah, you were just hot for my bod," I teased, unable to be serious as usual.

"Well, that too," he chuckled, "Still working on that part, but now that I have your friendship I'm getting there."

"Dude, are you gay?" I chuckled, meaning it as a joke, a put down, whatever.

"Actually… I think I might be bi," he said simply, then picking up his controller he restarted the game.

"Whoa, wait… you don't just lay a bomb like that on me and go back to gaming," I said using my controller to pause the game once more.

"What, it's no big deal… or is it? Are you one of those homophobic bashers?" he teased.

"No, dude… I'm cool with whatever you like, ummm, whoever you like that way. I just meant, I'm curious. How did you figure this out and have you, ummm… you know, had any experience?" I said, blushing three shades of red.

"Oh, I don't know, I guess I really never thought about it that much till I reached puberty. You know how that is, or have you not reached it yet?" he teased, "Seriously, I knew I liked looking at girls, but then when I got my hair and stuff, I started noticing the boys too. You know? Comparing and stuff. I guess that could just be curiosity, but there's more… "

"Okay, tell me… "

"You sure you want to hear this?"

"Duh, why do you think I asked?" I said, trying not to sound as excited as I was to hear about his sexual experience.

"Well, like I said, I started noticing other boys, and well… back at my old school I wasn't the only one doin' that. One day me and this other kid, Paul, sort of locked eyes and then our eyes went to each other's junk and we sort of had a moment, you know? So, that day after class he tagged along after me and we got to talking, and one thing led to another and we started hanging out. Nothing happened at first. I guess we both figured we had to be sure, but about a month after we started hanging out he invited me over to his house to use his pool."

"Go on, go on," I said, hoping he didn't notice the little tent I was pitching in my pants.

"Well, his folks weren't home and we were the only ones there. I didn't have a swimsuit so I asked if he had one I could borrow and he just laughed. He said, 'dude, when the rents aren't home I swim in the buff'."

"Did you?"

"Yep, and it was totally liberating and so awesome. My boys were free, and the water felt so good. Paul was a really good swimmer, and we swam laps for awhile, then we started horsing around, dunking each other and stuff, and well… we both popped boners. At first we tried to hide them, then, well… I guess we just decided, what the hell, and we were actually grabbing each other and laughing about it."

"Sounds fun, but innocent… "

"Oh, it was… at first. Then I don't know exactly why it happened, or who started it, but we were kissing. And let me tell you, that boy was a good kisser."

"So you kissed, then what?" I said nervously, adjusting myself and causing Jaden to look down at my lap.

"Then, you know? We jerked each other off and came in the pool."

"That's it?" I said indignantly.

He laughed, "Yeah, that time, but there were other times. Eventually we blew each other, but we never did anal. Neither of us was ready for that, I guess."

"So, was he like the only boy you messed with?"

"Yeah, but I kept staring at the other boys, and there were a few I'd like to have gotten with. Then I met Becky, and well… we started dating, and I sort of forgot about boys for a while."

"Did you have sex with her?"

"Nah, girls aren't as easy as boys. We kissed and did some heavy petting, but that was it. Then we broke up, and by then Paul had a boyfriend."

"He was gay?"

"Yeah, big surprise, huh?" he laughed.

"So, you really like girls, and boys? That's cool… so cool."

"What about you?" he said suddenly, "which team do you play for?"

"Well, uh… I mean, I uh, really… that's sort of personal… "

"Dude, I just told you one of my most personal secrets, and you're gonna diss me by holding back on me?"

"No, but… promise you won't get mad, or hate me, or be uncomfortable around me… "

"Dude, I won't freak. You're gay, right?" he said, not giving me a chance to answer, "I thought so," he continued, oblivious of my open mouth, which was about to spew forth an objection, "That's cool. So… am I your type, do I turn you on?"

"Dude," I protested, blushing once again, "You're embarrassing me."

"Oh, well, it's cool if you like me that way," he said meekly.

I sighed, "Want to know the real reason I was so standoffish that first day?"

"Yeah, tell me," he said gently.

"Cause I thought you were the most beautiful and sexy boy I'd ever seen, and I didn't think anyone like you would ever want to be friends with someone like me, plus… I was perving on you big time, and I knew there was no future in falling for someone as perfect as you, plus: I figured you were straight at the time."

"Dude, I don't know what to say," Jaden said looking into my eyes, "I felt the same way about you. Why do you think I practically chased you and made you my friend? I wanted to be around you even if we could only be friends. I can't believe you feel the same way about me, it's so… awesome," he added, getting more animated by the minute, "Why do you think I kept hinting about sex and stuff? I've been feeling you out, and until today I wasn't sure where you stood as far as that stuff went. I got mixed signals from you all the time."

I laughed, "You think I gave mixed signals, man… you're the one who was throwing mixed signals at me… every chance you got."

"So I guess we're just stupid," he laughed, "but its all cool now… right?"

"Uh, yeah, I guess. I mean, now that we know we're both interested… "

"Oh, well… what do we do about it then?"

"Well, how about if we take it slow at first? I'm ashamed to say that except for some show and tell and mutual jerking off, I've never had any kind of sex with a boy."

"That's cool, we can learn together," Jaden said smiling, "but there is something I've wanted to do since the first day we met."

"Uh, what's that?" I asked, hoping it was the same thing I'd wanted.

"This," he said, then leaning in, he kissed me.

At first I just let him kiss me, then I kissed back. The kiss was sweet and innocent, with just a hint of tongue, but when we broke it off to catch a breath of air, we were both hard as a rock and tingling all over.

"Wow, that was… wow, oh wow," I said staring into his beautiful eyes, "I've wanted that too, since the first day we met. I just never dreamed it would happen this soon, if ever."

"Greg," Jaden began, "Is it too soon to say, ummm… I love you?"

"Hell no," I said leaning in to kiss his sweet lips one more time, "I love you too, you big dummy."

Maybe I didn't have six friends, yet. But having one very, very good friend was something to celebrate. I'd work on the other five some other time.>

The End

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