When Shadows Pass

by Sean English

Chapter 29

When the Tides of Life Turn (Part III)

Jason burst out laughing, shaking his head. When he didn't stop, Elliot responded with a devilish grin. "What?"

"Dirty and wicked! Right up your ally, right? You couldn't help but jump at that one, could you?" Jason teased.

Elliot blushed, but then just laughed it off. "Yeah, yeah! Okay, you got me." He turned to Ron. "So, you gonna tell us or what?"

Ron observed him with his own sly grin. "Well, you guys told me, like, you sometimes sleep naked and stuff, right? I've been thinking about it, and well, you know... I kind of wondered..."

When he didn't finish, Jason smirked. "You wondered if we might do it tonight, is that it? With you?"

Ron blushed but nodded. "Kind of, yeah…"

Jason relaxed, finding their friend's stomach rather warm and inviting beneath him. "Is that all? You know, if you want to see me, just say so. I'll show," he spoke, his voice low and quiet. "I'm not afraid of you, and heck, we've showered a couple of times already, right?"

Ron avoided looking at either of them for a moment. "Yeah, but…" Hesitating, he visibly struggled to express what he was feeling. "It's not just that, though. I mean, school is different and all, you know? Even the showers are different. There, we kind of have to, you know, because it's expected and everything. But here, it's not the same guys. I'm just … I don't know, I'm just still curious and all, I guess. Like we said the other day and everything." He finally peered at Jason, searching the expression that met him. "I think I was kind of hoping you'd still be curious, too." He turned to Elliot. "Not just him, though. You know that, right? I was hoping you might be, too."

Elliot smiled. "You don't have to explain, I understand. And yeah, I'm always curious and everything. Even about you," he whispered.

Ron sighed, but smiled. "We don't have to, guys. I mean-"

"Stop. Honest, just … stop," Jason whispered. When their eyes met, he continued. "It's okay. And you're right about school. It IS different and everything. But here, we can be us, just the three of us. Right?"

Ron nodded, lost in thought briefly before he spoke again. "I really was sweating and nervous about everything today, in gym and all, and after we played it just got worse."

Jason furrowed his eyebrows. "Really? What was your nervous about, though?"

"About tonight, mostly. Maybe not so much nervous, but… well…. Excited and, and…" When Ron didn't finish the sentence, Elliot smiled and draped his free arm next to their friend.

"I thought we'd been through this before. You don't need to be nervous, not around us. Remember?" Elliot offered, quietly, before scoffing. "Listen to you. You're the one always so sure-sounding and everything. You're the one always telling Jason to not worry about stuff and all, and now you're nervous about – us?"

Ron grinned. "I know, Elliot. Look, I'm making bit of a mess about this, just… it's hard to explain, okay? I've been looking for you guys to coming over for a while, and… and… Anyway, that was the real reason I wanted to rinse off today. It wasn't to get you guys naked or anything again, I just… I just, didn't want to go in there by myself so much. I really was, you know, kind of hot and sweaty and everything. Sorry, especially if it seemed too obvious and all, but..."

Jason shrugged. "Nothing wrong with that as far as I know." He studied their friend. "Still, why were you nervous though, about us?"

Ron stared at him for a moment, before he whispered. "I don't know, I just was I guess. I mean, look at us now. I'll be honest, I kind of hoped for something like this, you know? I just, I like you guys, and … and, I trust you and all. I couldn't do anything like this with Roden, he was always, like, you know – screwed up and everything." He dropped his eyes, and added, "I know, it sounds stupid and all."

"No, it doesn't sound stupid at all. We know you, Ron, and we understand. We really do," Elliot offered up in a hushed voice.

Jason regarded their host for a moment. "Can I ask you something? I mean, really ask you something, heart-to-heart?"

"Of course, you can," Ron whispered. "Fire away."

"Well, are you really kind of like I was and everything? I mean, until I got over here, I was never around locker room showers or anything, especially for anyone my age. But I admit it, Elliot kind of-"

"Hey, wait a minute - don't bring me into that!" quipped the other teen good-naturedly. As he settled back, however, they could see he was obviously kidding. "Okay, okay… go on…" he added, sheepishly.

Jason rolled his eyes, but then continued. "Listen, Ron. I had some bad stuff happen to me. Stuff he didn't even know about, really. But he kept telling me about how things were different over here, and my first day in school and everything, I started seeing it. Like, how peeps went to the bathrooms here and, you know, used it and stuff, without caring who was beside them, or around them or anything. He was right, it was way different."

"Really? How so?" Ron asked.

"Well, in America everyone wants their privacy, see. There are dividers hanging everywhere, you know, so that no one can look down and see your dick or anything. It kind of separates guys from one another, even at the urinals where you stand up and all. It's always been that way, so I never, you know, I never even thought anything about it. Then I got over here, and it was like, whoa. See, here you guys don't do that, everything is just ... open. That's why, you know, I was kind of shy and everything at first. First couple of times I couldn't even, like, do it. Understand?"

"Yeah, if you're not used to it, it can make you pee shy and everything, especially if you know someone can see you. I get it, honest," Ron agreed.

Jason nodded. "But see, he broke me of it. I mean, Elliot drew me out of being such a prude like that, and he slowly got me to learn about trust and everything, too. So, as I started noticing other guys and stuff, I don't know, it was just different. Then…" He hesitated, but then smiled. "He and his brother explained to me what it meant to just be curious. Around other guys, I mean, and that it was okay. I never thought of it that way before, but then it started to sink in. And I admit it – I think it explains why I'm way more curious about some stuff like that, because it was always hidden from me before. Especially about you guys and your sausages." He blushed. "I think that's why you caught me staring at you so much that day, our first time together and everything."

"What? Huh?" Ron laughed, while Elliot rolled back and muffled his own laughter. Ron had to raise his head again, at least until his prop rolled back into place. Ron studied his friend, thinking about what he had just revealed. "I keep telling you to let that go, you know. You seeing me, it didn't bother me at all."

"I know. Believe me, I know," Jason replied. "I'm not really worried about it anymore, honest. I'm just trying to explain, though, why I think I'm so … curious and everything."

"Yeah, I know. I'm just telling you, you don't have to. I really do understand, I promise," Ron conceded. Thinking for a second, he glanced at Elliot. "Our … sausages?"

Elliot nodded. "He means our willies. When we're uncut, you know, uncircumcised. He thinks they look a lot like our breakfast sausages over here."

Ron grinned. "I can see that, yeah. In a way, I guess they do." He laughed, before moving his hand and covering his groin. "Does that mean I should, like, protect my willie in the morning, then? You wouldn't try to eat me for breakfast, would you? You know, bite me off?" he teased.

Jason blushed again but did not shy away. "No, I wouldn't do that to you, I promise." He smiled at Ron. Something was still growing there, something he could feel, drawing the three of them even closer. "So? Is that kind of how you feel and all, too? Or is it, like, something else?"

Ron brought his hand back up to Jason's shoulder and just lay it there, touching him ever so lightly. "Being curious, like that? Yeah, Jase, it is. That's the way it was for me at first, and yeah, it still is, too. Really, I think it's that way for a lot of guys, a lot more than you think."

"Really?" Jason asked, visibly relaxing.

"Yeah, honest. You're not all that different, Jason. I mean, you might be a little older, because I hit this same stuff when I was around 11 or 12, I think. That doesn't make it that different and all though, trust me." He sighed and looked at Elliot. "Same for you, wasn't it? Or close?"

Elliot nodded. "Yeah, pretty much. Only difference was, um…" For once, Elliot seemed to squirm before he sighed. "For me, it was me and Derek for a while."

"Yeah, I kind of figured that, to be honest," Ron whispered. Seeing Elliot's look of curiosity, he shrugged. "Like I've said before, you and Derek had to be close. I've seen you two with each other lots of times, and I saw how much he cared about you. It even made me jealous, somewhat."

Elliot scoffed. "No way! Why?"

"Because you two had each other, and I, well, all I had was Roden, and you know how that turned out." Ron admitted. He turned to Jason. "Look, I really am okay with us, you and me. You've got nothing to be embarrassed about or anything. I kind of like it even, you know, knowing you're interested and everything. It makes me feel like I don't have to be shy, or hide, or worry any about being interested in you guys."

Jason blushed again, shaking his head before giggling. "I don't think you ever hide anything, honestly. You've always been so open about everything. Kind of like Elliot said, you always surprise me, but in a good way, you know?" Jason sighed. "Guys, I wish sometimes… I wish I could tell you how much better that makes me feel and all."

"You don't have to though, because I know it. I can feel what you and Elliot have with each other, trust me," Ron whispered. Glancing again at Elliot, the two raised their fists and bumped lightly in mid-air. "We see it in you, Jase. We feel it, too."

Jason watched them, then relaxed. "Thanks, both of you." He sighed deeply. "You know, we're close and all, especially if we can sleep naked and cuddle up and everything. We just, I guess as weird as it might sound, we just share everything we have. He helps me a lot, making me feel safe and good and… and liked…"

"Loved," Elliot whispered. It was a certainty he had no fear of using the word in Ron's presence. Jason glanced at him and smiled.

"Yeah, loved and wanted. Between us though, Ron, physically we're just not afraid of each other. Even the nakedness and everything. Elliot taught me that. And now, I'm..." Jason paused, thinking. "I'm kind of catching up on stuff that I missed out on, I guess. You know, stuff I might have learned if I had been around other guys, maybe had some friends like you, and him. You know, guy stuff, sex stuff, all that."

"So? Nothing wrong with that, is there?" Ron asked. "You don't see me teasing you, or making fun or anything about that stuff, do you?"

"I think that was the thing for him, though," Elliot chimed in, taking over. "Jase had some problems, Ron. Like, learning to trust people again. Don't get me wrong, he had a good reason for it, but I'm just saying. He came to us, not exactly a prude, but you know, kind of just not knowing stuff." Wrinkling his nose, he added, "It's a part of why we're so close, too. I admit it, I'm like you both are, too, still curious about sex stuff and all. Me and Derek, we did some things, but he was kind of in his own world. You know, hanging out with his mates and all. I was kind of getting lonesome for a while, but see, then Jase came to stay with us. Everything changed then, for the better. For us, it's sort of how we started out and all, you know? I needed him, and he needed me, and… and… it wasn't the sex stuff that did it, but it kind of, you know…"

"It sort of helped you two find each other and everything. Hey, I get it, I really do," Ron finished for them, speaking softly. "You want to know what I think, guys? I think that's fucking awesome, I really do." He turned to Jason again. "It's how I've felt, too, ever since having to deal with Roden. He was, well, you already know. But the three of us and all? I mean, you guys found each other, and I found you. And… I like to think, you know, we have a kind of connection or something, too."

Jason smiled. "Are you kidding? We do, Ron. Trust me, I feel it, too. Elliot and I both like you, and we know you like us."

Ron smiled. "Yeah. You know I trust you, too, right? And you trust me?"

"You bet," Elliot answered softly.

"Oh yeah," Jason added.

Ron sighed happily. "Honest guys, I think if I died right now, I couldn't be happier."

Jason stared at their friend briefly, before rising and twisting himself around. He pulled Ron up into the biggest, warmest hug yet, holding their friend close. Glancing at Elliot and seeing the smile that met him, he reached out and pulled his cousin up into their embrace as well. All three held each other close, and no one made any attempt to break away for quite some time. Jason whispered between them. "You can feel it, too. Right guys?" Ron answered by hugging even tighter, and Elliot turned to wrap his legs around the two, before rejoining them.

After a few minutes, Elliot finally grunted. "Okay you two, if we don't stop, you're going to squeeze the stuffing out of me!"

Ron pulled back grinning. "Oh? That wouldn't be so bad, would it? I mean, we'd get to push everything back in, right?"

Jason snorted and then began laughing, breaking away and falling to the bed. When he didn't stop, he quickly grabbed one of Ron's pillows to his face to muffle the sound. The two watched him in surprise, sporting grins of their own. Turning to Elliot, Ron asked, "What, was it something I said?"

Jason invariably pulled the pillow away and tried to explain. "Push … everything back in… as… as in…" He started giggling again, but finally took a deep breath. "You'd be stuffing his willy back in, and … and …" He lost it again, and pulled the pillow back to muffle a new round of laughter.

Ron and Elliot looked at each other, then Ron shrugged. "So? I'm not afraid of him that way… And I know you two aren't afraid, so…"

Jason finally sat up. "Okay, okay, maybe it isn't as funny as it hit me, sorry. I just thought, the image of that and everything, like… yeah…"

Elliot grinned, but shook his head. "It's okay, Jase. You're allowed some Americanized humor, every once in a while at least!"

Jason backhanded his cousin on the arm. "Just you wait…" They all three laughed at that one. Jason finally looked at Ron. "Well?"

"Well… What?" Ron asked, surprised.

Jason smirked. "You still want to do it? After everything we've just confessed and all?"

At first Ron was perplexed, but then he realized where this was going. "It doesn't matter guys, we don't have to do it, honest."

"Yeah, but you want to, and you know what?" Jason looked around. "It's true, right? We won't be bothered tonight, right?"

Ron nodded. "My parents never come in here when my door is closed. And my sister, even if she were home... well, she learned her lesson."

Elliot raised an eyebrow. "Why, what happened?"

Ron snickered and then considered. "I usually don't care telling you stuff about me, but when it comes to someone else..."

Jason understood. "You mean, it's kind of private for them, right?"

Ron nodded. "Yeah, but still, I'm the one who found them, so it's probably not THAT private. I don't think she even knows I saw them." He snickered again, before lowering his voice. "I found them home, her and her boyfriend, the night Pops and I came back from London. Mum was out somewhere, I don't remember where, really. So, it was just the two of them home, see, alone. And… and they were in her room, and the door was open a little and all..."

Elliot laughed. "What, they were snogging or something?"

"Well... not exactly..." Seeing Elliot's curiosity, he lowered his voice. "They were both in there, naked, and she was on the edge of the bed with her feet up and everything, spread-eagled and all.

"Whoa!" Jason hissed. Elliot, too, was surprised.

"Yeah, and he was between her legs, with his mouth buried in her and everything, giving her a run for her quid," Ron explained.

This time, it was Elliot's turn to laugh out loud. Jason, however, only smiled with uncertainty. "But, if they weren't snogging or - wait a minute." He turned and looked at Elliot for a second. "You mean, he was, like, eating her out or..."

"Exactly," Ron replied, both snickering and fighting to keep his voice controlled. "He had his face between her legs, licking her and everything, down there. Going at it hard, too, from the looks of things."

"Oh, shit!" Jason exclaimed softly, sitting back up.

"See? I told ya," Elliot pipped up.

"Yeah, I know... it's just.... wow," Jason responded, amazed.

Ron observed him curiously. "Wait, is that something new to you? The idea of it, I mean, being eaten out and all? You know, oral sex?"

Jason blushed, but then shook his head. "Not exactly. I mean, maybe it was at first. Elliot and I talked about it one night, I think. It just, it's…" He laughed. "Well, it's not anything newer than, you know, more than..." he stopped and grinned at Elliot, but then shook his head.

Elliot, however, answered for him. "Not any more than guys getting blow jobs, from girls or other guys, and getting creamed in their mouths and all."

Ron's eyes widened as he laughed. "Whoa, I didn't expect that one! But you're right, I think!"

Jason laughed, but then blushed. "Yeah, I know, weird stuff..."

Ron shrugged. "I guess not, if it tickles your pickle." He thought for a minute, then whispered aloud. "My turn, can I ask you guys something, like, heart to heart?" Seeing them nod, he dropped his voice again. "Have either of you, like, ever done it?"

"You mean sucked anyone, or each other?" Elliot hesitated, and Jason held his breath, looking to follow his cousin's lead. "Would it matter to you?" Elliot asked cautiously.

"Hell no! I mean, honest, shagging might be one thing, I guess. I honestly don't know how I would react to that one, but... blow jobs? Fuck no!" He looked between them. "So, you guys have, like, sucked each other, haven't you?"

Jason let his breath out slowly before he spoke. "We have," he admitted quietly.

Ron grinned wickedly, then pulled his knees up and rested his chin there. "Wow," he said at first, and for a moment Jason was nervous. "Wow," Ron repeated, thinking about it. "Is it like, gross or anything?" he whispered.

Elliot scoffed. "No," he replied simply. "It really isn't."

"You... you're not going to think any worse of us, right? You're not going to kick us out, make us go home or anything... right?" Jason asked.

Ron could hear the uncertainty in the query. "Are you kidding?" he answered. It was his turn to be surprised. Shaking his head, he added, "Hell no! Look guys, I promise, I'm okay with it, honest. If anything, I think it's awesome."

"You do? How so?" Elliot asked, incredulous.

Ron looked at first one, then the other. "Because I see how close you are, and how much you have each other's back. It shows you trust each other, and maybe more than anything, it shows how much you care." He let that sink in, and then continued. "Listen, I'm not stupid – I know you just gave something up for me, a BIG something. I know that costs, too. You know what, though? I'll pay the price, because it makes me… it makes me…" He paused, then sighed. "It makes me trust you all that much more, you know? I wish sometimes, you know, I had someone like that here with me."

In one of his rare moments, Jason noted, Elliot turned and leaned closer to their friend. "You do, Ron. You have us," he whispered. "And we'll have your back, too. We're not like Roden or his brother."

Ron smiled. "I know, honest, and that means a lot." The teen sighed. "It's weird being a lone guy in this house, you know? And not having someone to grow up with and be able to ask stuff, or talk to or anything. Not like you and your brother, anyway."

Elliot nodded. "Yeah, Derek and me, we were close."

"That's what I'm talking about. And you," he paused again, indicating Jason. "Just like we talked about before, you and me, we're not all that different. You sort of feel the way I do, too. You couldn't be luckier, I think, to find a family to come over here to, and be with guys like them."

"Yeah, I know," Jason replied. "When I first came over, I was scared - really scared. But these guys, they took me in and helped me learn how much they cared." He hesitated, glancing at Elliot first, and then went on. "Elliot's Dad even told me at Christmas, that they were ready to adopt me. I mean, really adopt me."

"Honest? That is so awesome! Congrats man!" Ron exclaimed, springing from his position and embracing Jason tightly again. "That is so fucking awesome!" he hissed into Jason's ear, truly happy for him. When Ron finally pulled back, he blushed after seeing their grins meet him. "Okay, sorry. I guess that was a little unexpected, huh? It's just, you know my story, and what I think of it and all. Now, you, getting adopted? It's like… it's like… shit!"

Elliot giggled. "Do you always swear this much?"

Ron grinned at him. "No, hardly any. Just mostly around you guys, I think." He blushed. "I know I wanted to talk and stuff, but this, tonight, it's… it's… so awesome!" He blushed again, even deeper. "Like I said, sorry guys. I can be a little, uh, enthusiastic sometimes, I guess."

"Quit saying you're sorry so much, okay? It's just us, anyway!" Jason intoned. "Besides, I don't mind."

Ron held onto Jason from the side, resting his chin on his friend's shoulder. "You're right, it is just us - all three of us, right?" There was a question in his voice, one which Elliot immediately put to rest.

"Yep, all three of us. As long as you'll have us, anyway," Elliot replied.

That made Ron giggle before falling back onto Elliot's lap. "Thanks, both of you. For everything tonight."

"What? You sound like you think we're done…" Jason responded with a smile. "So, out with it. What else do you want to talk about, or know about? From us, anyway?"

Ron looked deep into Jason's eyes. "Um, well, you've kind of hinted that something bad happened to you. Can I ask about that?"

Jason looked at Elliot, who answered him quietly. "It's your story, bro. You have to decide that one, not me."

Jason smiled at them both, but then dropped his head and let out a long sigh. Instead of answering, however, he asked another question instead. "Is it safe for me to go to the bathroom, like, in my skivies?"

Ron was confused. "Your skivies? Oh, you mean your underwear? Yeah, Mum and Pops have their own bathroom, no one will see you or anything."

With that, Jason started to get up. "Okay, then it's my turn. Be right back though, okay?" With that he crossed the floor and opened the door before disappearing, closing it behind him.

While he was gone, Ron asked Elliot. "Did I do something wrong? I mean, was that something I shouldn't have asked about, or...?"

Elliot shook his head. "No, it's okay. It's just ... there's a lot of hurt, a lot of scars from it, you know? On the inside, I mean. Just - if he tells you, be patient, that's all."

Ron studied the door for a moment, obviously concerned. "I don't want to pry too much, you know? You guys, you mean a lot to me right now. I don't want to make anyone hurt."

Elliot grunted. "I honestly doubt there is anything, anything at all, he wouldn't tell you, Ron. Me either, for that matter. But still, it's his story. He has to be the one to decide, okay? It'll be fine though, I promise." Wrinkling his nose, he started to rise from the bed, too. "In fact, maybe I ought to go and wiz, too, while we're kind of stopped for the moment."

Ron nodded, but not without meeting the raised fist and bumping it with his own. Elliot, however, held their touch briefly and whispered, "It'll be fine. I promise."

As Elliot was leaving the room, Jason was coming back in. "Now it's my turn," he announced to his cousin with a smirk, which made Jason smack him on the arm as they passed.

Before climbing back onto the bed, however, Jason paused and waited until he had Ron's attention. "I told you," he announced quietly. "I trust you, completely. And, I know you want to see me, so..." With that, he hooked his thumbs inside the waistband of his briefs, before carefully dropping them to the floor. It was a new feeling for him, strange in a sense, as he had never taken the lead in doing something like this outside of Elliot's presence. Once naked, however, he stood for a few seconds, obviously blushing but watching Ron's expression. He then slowly climbed back on the bed and resumed his previous position close to Ron.

Ron grinned at him. "You're awesome, you know that?" their host whispered, before rising from the bed and walking over to a nearby vent. Once there, he shut off the heat to the room. "It'll be a while, but the room will be cooler by the time we want to go to sleep," he explained. Returning to the bedside, he then shed his own boxers and tossed them into the corner with his other clothes. Half jumping, half flipping, he collapsed into the bed next to Jason, stretching out and wrapping his legs around the teen. Pulling himself up, he hugged the American and whispered into his ear, "Ditto!"

Jason smiled, closing his eyes and feeling the level of freeness between them. "I think this is the closest we've really been to each other, you know? I know we've hugged some, but not like this, not this close, I mean," he whispered.

Ron glanced between them, then nodded. "Yeah, I know. Before tonight, I wasn't even sure we ever would be, but… I kind of like it, you know?" He looked deeply into Jason eyes. "Like I told you, I'm not afraid either, and I hope this proves it."

Jason nodded. "Are you kidding? You don't have to prove anything to me, Ron. I love it! I love feeling how much you trust me and everything. And I love how you're so, you know, open and everything, too."

"I always have been, since we first met, Jason. You've always been honest with me, you know? And that means something to me, on the inside," Ron replied.

They lay there quietly, staring at the other uninhibited until Elliot returned. As he entered, he spoke while closing the door. "Sorry, I kind of had to stink the room up a little." However, turning around and observing their change of state, he grinned at them. "What's this? You started this party without me?" he hissed quietly. Shaking his head, he then quickly dropped his own briefs to the floor before joining the two on the bed. Shifting around, he tackled the other two, which made them each giggle.

For a few minutes, they flipped and grabbed at one another, shifting around on the bed until all three finally set themselves in a triangle of sorts, each settling their head on the stomach of another. Though awkward at first, it became more comfortable as they established themselves. Ron, his head upon Elliot, looked down at Jason, greeting the calm expression that met his own. "You know, we can talk about something else if you'd rather. Honest, I- I don't want to pry too much, or be too nosy."

Jason glanced about for a bit, obviously in deep thought before he finally spoke again. "Are you sure you want to know this stuff? I warn you, it's not easy, Ron. Some of it is pretty bad."

Ron observed him without expression. "You don't have to tell me anything. I mean, I'll understand if you don't want to, I swear."

Jason shook his head, though. "It's not that, Ron, honest. I don't mind telling, but… well, okay, it'll take a while. And… it's not… it gets pretty ugly, especially toward the end. Even Elliot will tell you that."

Their host glanced at Elliot, who nodded solemnly in agreement. Relaxing even more, Ron lay back. "Jase, we've got all night as far as I'm concerned. But, yeah, I'd really like to know."

Jason hesitated, but then smiled. "Well..." He began, and for the next hour or so, Jason spilled his tale for the fourth time since he had arrived in the UK. It was a little easier this time around, though, quicker because parts of it didn't seem to upset him as much as it had before. Perhaps more so, however, was the fact that in the back of Jason's mind, he started to realize something about what his Uncle Simon said. These things that happened to him, really were just like shadows in his past. At one point, he paused, smiling because he looked about them, in this room. He was with Elliot, and with a friend whom he and Elliot were counting as someone much more. He was in a far better place and position now than he had ever been before. Those events didn't control his life anymore, and somehow that realization made him less afraid.

Ron listened quietly, swearing a few times under his breath, especially when Jason got to the parts about being raped and left in the park. Like Derek, he was mesmerized as he listened, not fully realizing the price that had been paid, or the extent to which the abuse and neglect had been inflicted. Elliot had, once again, supported Jason by rubbing his cousin's arms or side. Holding his hand at one point, he didn't hide their bond from Ron, knowing Jason still drew encouragement and strength from those simple gestures. He helped fill in varying details from time to time, hoping to spare some of the ordeal from his cousin, but even he saw a resilience this time. Jason's level of comfort was dramatically different now, and his voice much surer and stronger than ever before. Perhaps, just maybe, Jason had finally come to terms with it now, and if he had, Elliot knew he would be ecstatic. It was when he Jason turned and smiled at him, squeezing the hand in his grasp, Elliot felt it – that connection that was theirs and theirs alone. Together, they pushed forward, until Ron was left in total astonishment.

For several minutes, Ron quietly observed his friend. With moistened eyes, he finally spoke, but not without a thickness in his voice that betrayed the emotion he was feeling. "I... I mean, I don't..." He paused, and then took a deep breath. "I- I don't know what to say. I honestly, I… I mean, ffuuuccckkkk! I.. I…"

Jason shrugged. "There isn't anything to say, really. Just... promise me something, okay? Tell me you're okay, because that's all that matters to me."

"Why wouldn't I be?" Ron asked, incredulous.

Jason stared up at the ceiling for a moment before answering. "I dunno... I mean, for one thing, all that kind of makes me, like, used meat, I guess... and…"

"Whoa, wait one fucking minute!" Ron interrupted, hissing at them unintentionally. He closed his eyes to gather himself before he continued. "First off, why would that matter to me? And second, it's not the same. You were raped, Jason, and - okay, maybe physically you were, what, violated? But - rape isn't the same thing! It's way different in the end than say, when you are making love to someone. Like a girl or ... or I guess a guy, too, but... but..."

"That's what I kept telling him," Elliot interjected softly. Ron turned in his direction in astonishment.

"Then keep telling him that, until he fucking believes it!" Elliot was surprised at the ferocity charging forth from their friend, but even more surprised at seeing tears beginning to escape, too. Ron stopped, searching and failing to find the words he wanted. Failing to do so, he suddenly scrambled to sit up instead, and turned until he lay next to the American. With his nose only inches short of Jason's, he took a deep breath to steady himself. "It's true, Jason. Please, you have to understand, okay? Believe it, and feel it, on the inside. Fucking and getting raped is not the same thing! As smart as you are, I would think you'd understand that!" He didn't express the last in a mean way, but his determination that Jason should get the message was sincere. Ron also reached out and gently put his hand upon Jason's chest. "No, it would not matter to me if you got screwed up by pervs like that. It couldn't matter to me, Jason, and to tell the truth, it shouldn't matter to you, either." He paused, and when he did, more tears escaped. "It shouldn't matter to you, because that was them, and this is us. Bollocks! Those two were uncaring, filthy bastards, you know? Me and Elliot though, we're not them. We're nothing like those two, and you know it!"

Ron paused, looking deeply into Jason's eyes. "Think about it this way: they didn't steal anything from you. There is nothing they could get to reaching your heart Jason, don't you see? They may have gotten to you on the outside, but not your soul. I know it, Elliot knows it, Derek, the rest of your family, Scott - all of us know it! What those arseholes did couldn't take that away, see? What's within you is what really defines who you are as a person. And from everything I can tell and see? It's a good person inside, one of the best I know." He laughed quietly. "You have, like, this innocent thing about you, and it's one I know you aren't play-acting out, or using to con anyone. You've always been that way, you know? Some guys I know are like the opposite, but not you. I know it's partially because you're an American, and Elliot and I know you guys see some things differently over there to what we do here. That's okay, honest. But, it's more than that with you, and… that innocence thing, it appeals to some of us more than others, I think. And now? Having heard why everything happened, like you just told me? Now, I understand. I really get it, Jason. It explains so much, now."

As Ron paused, Elliot took up the reins. "Jase, he's right, and you know it. They got to you on the outside bro, but they didn't strip anything away from inside. Like Dad said, you shouldn't let those creeps keep that kind of power over you, otherwise you'll miss out on a lot of fun stuff while we're growing up together."

Jason sat in stunned silence, pondering what his friend and cousin were trying to say. "I'm sorry, I- I didn't mean to upset you, it's just-"

"I know you didn't, but don't you see?" Ron interrupted. "There is a part of you that seems to be so submissive and everything, and I'm trying to tell you, don't let it. Okay, it happened to you, you were raped. I know, I get it!" He paused, then lowered his voice. "Don't you see though? It's all past and gone now, and in the end, it meant nothing. Those two creeps got their fucking rocks off, okay. I know it had to hurt, and yeah, they need their fucking pricks cut off and shoved down their own throats and all. But don't you see? Jase, you have to live beyond all that now, and quit thinking of yourself like a victim anymore. You have people who love and care about you now, who couldn't give a fuck about any of that! Don't you see? You're not used meat. Not to me, or any of us, honest." He hesitated, lowering his voice to almost a pleading state. "Don't you know who and what you are? You're Jason. You're Elliot's brother, and … you're my friend, and a whole lot more, too. Don't you understand?"

When Jason didn't respond right away, Ron shifted his position again, his eyes lowering between the three of them. "Okay, okay, I'll get off my high box, I promise. I don't mean to cut into you like that. It just feels like… I don't know, I feel like you still need convincing sometimes, that's all. And after hearing you say that, it got to me." He grunted. "You know something else? We'll always have your back. Always. No matter how long it takes, we'll be there with you. It's a promise I'll never break. Elliot will never, too. Hell, you probably already know that, but… anyway, you have it from me, too." He finally smiled weakly." Please tell me you understand! Please?"

Jason grasped Ron's hand and held it over his heart. "You'll never know how much," he replied clogged with emotion.

All three sat and stared at one another for a moment, before Ron sighed. "You know, maybe I'm just being envious, or a little selfish, but… I'm glad. I mean, if all that stuff hadn't happened back then, well ... you wouldn't be here, would you? Neither of you would be here, with me, right now. And… and… I really would be screwed then, you know?" Ron immediately blushed, then lowered his eyes. "Uh, not the best word to use, sorry…"

Elliot grunted. "It's okay, we know what you meant."

"That's kind of what I was thinking about once," Jason finally spoke. "Not the screwed part, but yeah, I might not have ever made it to England." He took his hand and raised Ron's chin until he could hold his gaze deeply. "I- I admit, I never thought of it quite that way. I guess, I just saw myself as being used up and everything. I couldn't get past the idea of why anyone would even care about me and all."

Elliot cleared his throat. "That's what Ron was saying though, Jase. We care. Don't we count for something?"

"Of course, you do!" Jason replied. "I know, because I can feel it." He reached out and squeezed Elliot's hand, which earned him a smile.

"And me? You know I care, too. Right?" Ron whispered.

In reply, Jason pulled Ron over on top of him, completely, and embraced him warmly. "You have to know it, Ron," Jason whispered. "Why would I be here, naked, and hold you like this if I didn't feel it, inside?" He pulled back briefly. "I'm not joking, you know. Just like you and Elliot have been teaching me, there's a thing between us, right now, in this room. When I'm holding you, I'm baring everything I have, hoping you can feel it, too. Because it's not sex or anything, it's… it's…"

"Trust," Ron finished for him, to which Jason nodded in agreement. Ron relaxed in Jason's arms and returned the embrace, holding tightly. Elliot, not to be left alone, squeezed his own hug around them both. It was an emotional moment, and it reached farther into their relationship than ever before. Elliot saw Ron's sincerity, and he began to see why the teen was so much like themselves.

Once again, minutes passed before Ron finally rolled back off and wiped at his eyes, smiling. "Kind of hard to top this, you know?" He looked at Elliot, then pulled him into the fold with them, letting him rest his head on Ron's stomach. "You know, the more I think about it, I'm amazed you got through all of that, Jason. I don't know if I could have done it," Ron remarked.

"Sure, you could," Jason replied.

"I'm not so sure. Seriously, I've gotten low before, too. And unlike you, I don't know. I might have just checked out," Ron concluded.

Raising his head, he studied their friend. "Checked out?" he asked, curiously.

"He means ended it all. Like, suicide or something," Elliot explained quietly.

Jason closed his eyes momentarily, before answering. "I don't know, Ron. I mean, I came close a few times, now that I think back on it. I was probably closer than I'd like to have been, but... it's just not me, not really. Not until the end, anyway. That night, I was really ... bad..."

Ron nodded. "I understand that, honest. I just hope you never have to feel that way again."

Jason smiled at him. "So, are you okay? I mean, really okay?"

Ron smiled at them both. "I'm better than okay, guys. I'm fantastic, really. I mean, I've got my two best mates here, we're sharing stuff, we're hanging out, we're-"

"Naked," Elliot whispered, to which Jason rolled his eyes and scoffed.

"Listen to that! Can you imagine where all this sex stuff comes from now, for me?" Jason joked, turning to their host. Elliot, however, reached out and pinched Jason on his hip. "Oww! What was that for?" Jason cried out.

"Payback," Elliot whispered again, then reached out and rubbed the affected area for him. "But in a good way," he added.

"It had better be in a good way, sheesh!" Jason retorted, good-naturedly.

Ron laughed at the exchange. "You two... It's so cool though. And yeah, naked, but not boned up. Wonder how we've kept that up through all this? Or rather, kept everything down?"

"Um, because maybe my story wasn't exactly porn material?" Jason offered sheepishly.

Ron immediately realized what he had said, and looked apologetic. "I'm sorry. I'm a doofus. I didn't really think about that, mate. Kind of let my mouth shoot off too quick."

Elliot scoffed instead. "I agree with him, though. You really need to quit apologizing so much. It's just us, right? Remember? You can tell us anything, we're not going to chop your head off." He raised his head to quickly look in the direction of Ron's groin. "Or your willy!"

Ron laughed. "Thanks, I think!" He turned his head to see Jason, and then for the first time, purposefully stared at the American's groin. "You know, it does look... interesting, even soft like that. Up close, I mean." He started to reach out, but hesitated before withdrawing.

Jason observed the movement bemusedly, but before he could react, Elliot reached out. "You're not afraid to touch him, are you?" he asked, and then purposefully cupped Jason's dick, positioning it so that it pointed toward them.

Ron blushed deeply at that. "I- uh... well..."

Jason finally giggled. "It's okay, you know. I don't care."

Ron looked up before extending a shaky hand, this time reaching out and taking hold. He gently raised the penis into the palm of his hand until it cleared the bed of pubic hair underneath. "Wow," was all he could say, holding it a few seconds before laying it back down.

Elliot also looked on bemusedly. "You've never done that before, have you?"

"What? Holds somebody else's dick? Fuck no!" Ron replied, shaking his head. "Hell, I've never even been this close, or... or... to touch, or..."

"I get it, it's okay," Elliot answered. "Most guys wouldn't, I know, but meh…"

"If anything, I'm the one who should be careful here," Jason chimed in, and when Ron turned to him curiously, he explained. "I mean, you said it yourself. No one has ever gotten this close to your junk, right? Maybe you might not want me, or us, to be the first... you know?" he teased.

A wicked grin crossed Ron's face before he reached out and grasped Jason's hand. Pulling it down, he shaped it so that it rested directly onto his gradually rising boner. "Okay, now you're the first," Ron smirked, holding the hand in place as all three giggled. In like manner, with his other hand, he grasped hold of Elliot, and brought it to cusp his scrotum. "Now, you're the second," he smirked. All three laughed quietly before he returned his glance back to Jason and added, "You know, you actually did sort of touch me the other day, not just my boxers."

Elliot finally spoke up. "What's all this about? You mentioned this before, but no one has explained yet. Did I miss out on something, again?"

Jason grinned, but it was Ron who answered. "The other day, when I twisted my ankle that Friday, remember? Coach had Jason help me back to the lockers?"

"Yeah, I remember," Elliot replied, thinking back.

"Well, Jason helped me get into my jeans, too. He helped me with everything, like getting buckled up and stuff. Turns out, he had to also, like, tuck my boxers in to help me out. He probably didn't know it, but he hit around my junk and all down there, while he was doing it."

Elliot looked amused. "You sure he didn't do it on purpose?"

Ron blushed. "Actually, I'm the one who sort of had him do it. On purpose, I mean." He shook his head. "I could have probably done it all, but uh, it was helpful. You know, easier standing up than if I had been sitting down or anything."

Both Elliot and Jason burst out laughing at that. "So, you did sucker me into it, then!" Jason exclaimed softly, causing Ron to grin. "I wondered about that."

"Kind of. Well, not really, but yeah..."

Jason rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well... you're wrong." With an amused expression, he quietly added, "I did feel it, and yes, I knew what I was touching when I did it. At first, I was like, shocked I guess. Then it was everything I could do to keep from giving you a squeeze."

Ron looked up in surprise. "Really? Hell, why didn't you, then?"

Jason shrugged. "I didn't… well, I knew we were getting closer, but I just didn't know how close. You know? I didn't know if I should, or even could and all…" Ron nodded at him in understanding. Jason grunted. "Also, it was about everything I could do to not pop a boner, too. When I changed my own clothes, I mean." Ron laughed at that.

Elliot shook his head. "Damn! And to think it could have been me!" The other two giggled at him.

Ron got quiet for a moment, noting that Jason hadn't moved his hand away yet. Instead, his friend was slowly massaging his growing stiffness. "You know guys, I think I'm kind of like you, Jason. I don't really care, either. We all said we wanted to, you know, check each other out more. I can't think of a better time than, like, now… you know?"

"Really?" Elliot asked. At that he suddenly sat up. "Well, if you don't care, then let me in here a minute," he quipped. Pushing Jason's hand aside, Elliot cupped the crotch briefly, pulling back on the skin until Ron's glans, originally hidden, decidedly peeked out. He repeated the process a couple of times, much to Jason's amusement, before whistling. "You really do have a lot more skin than I do! Maybe even more than Derek!" He grinned as he looked up. "That's fucking awesome!"

"Still looks like a breakfast sausage to me, though," Jason whispered. Ron blushed, but did not turn away from watching them. The concentrated attention left a profound effect on him, as he finished hardening. Elliot noticed, especially as the member started pulsing. He repeated his initial practice, effectively stroking their friend slowly.

"Damn!" Ron hissed, closing his eyes. "That feels... different."

"I know what you mean," Elliot whispered. It did not take but a few strokes before Ron began to ooze small, copious amounts of a familiar, clear liquid. "Uh, Jase? Look," Elliot whispered.

Jason rolled around until he was within inches of Ron's groin. He pushed Elliot's hand away briefly to get an unobstructed view. "That's so awesome!" he declared, and traded a high-five with his cousin. "Wow, I haven't seen you boned up before, Ron. It's pretty cool!" he whispered. Ron suddenly had a feeling of pride, seeing and feeling the attention that he was getting from them both.

Elliot returned his hand and slowly stroked their friend. After a moment, he and Jason exchanged glances. As if reading his mind, Elliot slowly nodded and smiled. "If you want to, go for it," he whispered. "It's okay."

Jason hesitated though. "I don't know, though. Should I? He might, uh, not like us doing it…"

Elliot turned his attention toward Ron. "Ron, can you promise us something?"

"Yeah, if I can. What?" Ron replied in a whisper.

"Like you've been saying all night and everything, just promise us that this is still just us, the three of us. No one else, okay?" Elliot whispered.

"Always," Ron answered, then immediately was taken aback as Jason dived in toward his crotch. Elliot let go, and within seconds Ron felt something warm and wet suddenly engulf him. His eyes widened in amazement before closing, his hands clinging the covers around him tightly. "Oh shit!" he whispered. Elliot sat back, but instead of pulling away, he moved his hand to the youth's testicles and cupped them, gently massaging them in his grip. With his other hand, he slowly floated his fingers over Ron's stomach and upper chest.

Although briefly nervous, Ron began to relax as a tidal wave of feelings started to flow through him. He thought about his own discreet play performed at times, but realized instantly how much better this felt. From the point it started, as it progressed, so did the ecstasy that rooted itself inside him. Jason had skillfully begun working from the outside, but after thoroughly lapping his way all around the skin, he began to use his tongue and poke inside the fold. Reaching down, his tongue found its way onto the boys' glans quickly, finding the sweet nectar of precum that still oozed there. Ron moaned softly, clearly in another world already. He was already squirming as he felt the sensitive areas come under attack by Jason's tongue, but at the same time he had no desire for it to stop. He shut his eyes tightly, trying to absorb everything at once, which was no easy task.

When Jason finally came up, he pulled off a bit so he could grip their friend from the outside with his fingers. He then plunged back down, but this time in the process, he skillfully pulled the skin back completely, exposing that slick, inner head to his bidding. There he lapped and began moving methodically up and down on the shaft, while simultaneously stroking from underneath. Eventually, he glanced up to Elliot, an obvious question poised as he started to move off and come up again. Elliot, however, shook his head and stopped him, instead leaning in close. "Go ahead, bro, he's all yours if you want. I promise you, it's okay," Elliot whispered.

Elliot meant it, too. Not because he didn't want to be a part in this like they had done once before, but because he saw Jason really giving himself into making Ron happy. Right at that moment, that was what Elliot wanted to do, too. He also started thinking about how mixed up it had been when they did this before for Scott. Looking down, Elliot knew Ron would get the most out of it if just one of them was involved.

Somewhere in the mix of everything, Elliot gasped. Ron had somehow reached out and found Elliot's erection and grasped onto it, holding it hard. The teen never opened his eyes, instead just tilting his head back with his lips parted, as if in a daze. Elliot saw their friend's breathing become ragged as he squirmed even more, and at times he thrust his mid-section up hard into Jason's hand and mouth.

To say that Ron reached a crescendo that could only end in an overload would be an understatement. "G-G-Guys.. I'm going to... Oh s-s-shit... I'm g-going to c-cum... I'm going to CUM!" he hissed. He let go of Elliot and quickly grabbed a nearby pillow, pulling it over his face to muffle the gasps he was now beginning to heave. As Jason felt the shaft stretch to a new level of hardness, he slowed down and moved out to the tip again. Letting his tongue do its final laps of luxury, the frenzy of feeling it sent through Ron finally put him over the top. Jason and Elliot both could feel the intensity, as Ron stretch his toes forward and hard. His entire body became rigid, as his neck jutted backward ever so slightly. When Ron let loose, wave after wave erupted like he had never had before. Elliot grinned as he watched Ron's belly rise and fall rapidly, and then watched with pleasure as Jason sucked all of Ron's essence inside, swallowing, but yet keeping his tongue playfully floating on the glans. The breaths were short and shallow, and all the while in between, he would exclaim a single, muffled word repeatedly, which the other two could plainly hear coming from beneath the pillow: "Fuck!"

When he was expended, Ron finally dropped back into the bed completely, exhausted as his body finally released the tension. He pulled the pillow away, and it was several seconds before he finally surrendered to the idea it was over. That was the signal Jason had waited for. Pulling away, he laid his head on Ron's lower abdomen, facing and watching the expressions change upon his face. Exhausted and spent, Ron had just lived through one of the most intense orgasms he had ever had, thus far, in his all-too-short, young adult life. When he opened his eyes, he finally focused on the other two, staring in wonder at them.

It was Jason who saw him, and was briefly reminded of somebody else who had looked at them in the same way. Smiling, reached out and placed his hand over Ron's heart. "You sort of asked, right? What was it like? I mean, if it was gross or anything. So, there, you were on that end. Fess up: what did you think? Was that okay?"

Ron did not respond at first, his breathing still ragged, but steadily improving toward normal. His expression was one of pure bliss however, when he finally replied. "Are you kidding me?" he whispered. "Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me?" he repeated, grasping and squeezing Jason's hand.

Elliot giggled. "First time for everything, right?"

Ron slowly shook his head. "I never... I didn't… fuck, I … wow!" He gazed deeply at Jason. "I wouldn't have ever thought going that far, if you, you know, if you hadn't, like..."

"If we hadn't done it to you?" Jason asked, finishing the sentence for him. When their friend nodded, Jason relaxed. "I did it because I wanted to, just for you. Well, that and because Elliot told me it was okay." He teased, glancing at his cousin. Elliot grinned back but said nothing. He stroked Jason's back, however, making his cousin sigh. Jason mouthed three words in silence, so that only Elliot could see just then, "I love you." It made his heart skip a beat, but he stilled himself, content in the moment.

Jason paused before he turned back to Ron. "It was kind of that way for me, too ... my first time, I mean. And not that long ago, either."

Ron stared at them both. "I.. I don't know what to say, honest," he repeated.

Surprisingly, it was Elliot who got serious. "Just promise us you're okay, that this was okay," he replied. "Like Jase said, we wanted to. We wouldn't have done it if we didn't want to, but you… you have to be okay with it, understand?"

Ron turned to him and grinned. "Wait till I get a turn, then you'll know…"

Elliot heaved a sigh of relief before he then smirked. "Besides, we've never seen you really boned up before, you know? Not like that, anyway! It was... interesting."

Ron grinned. "Really?" He returned his gaze to Jason. "I'm okay, I promise. Cross my heart. I- I owe you, both of you."

"I'm glad," Jason whispered. "So, I'm guessing I gave you, you know, your first blow job, right?" Ron giggled and then blushed. Seeing a curious expression, Jason inquired, "What?"

"Well, um, what's it like? To do that, I mean? And... and... did you, like, just suck up all of my cum, too?" he asked.

Jason nodded. "Every last drop of it, I think."

Ron blushed again, but admired him. "That is so wicked!" he said, once again in a whisper.

Jason shifted until he was now sitting up on his elbows. With Elliot now cuddled up to his side, he reflected. "It's weird, but at the same time it's kind of like, no different than sucking your thumb I guess. It's like, you have a smell and a taste that's just you. At least, I think so. I've only done this with Elliot and one other person. They each kind of had a unique thing with them, too."

"You've gone down on Elliot?" Ron asked timidly, then rapidly glanced up. "No, you don't have to tell me stuff like that, because I know it's being nosy." He grunted. "Besides, you sort of already told me, I think."

Elliot nodded. "Yeah, he has. I did it to him first, though, and we sometimes, well… we've done it a few times now." Elliot wrinkled his nose. "He's right, though. Me and- well, I've done it with Derek, and someone else. So far, I think everyone is a little different." He grinned. "When you're up for another round, maybe I can find out if you're different, too."

Ron blushed deeply then. "Holy fuck, you'd do it again? Hey, I'm the one that owes the both of you, you know!" He giggled. "MMaaannnnn….!"

Elliot laughed. "Of course, I would! Why wouldn't I?" He looked thoughtful. "Ron? This … it's just curiosity stuff, right?"

In a sudden move, Ron put a finger on Elliot's lips. "I swear to you, both of you, right now. Don't worry about that stuff, okay? I mean, fuck, I never imagined anyone would go down on me, ever! Maybe jerk me off or something, but never, like, suck on me, or give me a blow job! But now? All I can say is, holy fuck and wow, you know?" He relaxed and brought his hands behind his head again. "You guys do realize something else, right? All the time I knew Roden, I never trusted him like this. And now, oh man, I'm really glad I didn't. You two, it's like, the exact opposite. You understand, right?"

Jason warmed up to that thought. "I know," he whispered, and Elliot, his arm around his cousin, squeezed him in agreement.

Ron reached out and touched them each on their nose before he addressed Jason again. "So, now it's your turn to fess up. How do I look, all boned up and everything, compared to him?" he asked, indicating Elliot.

Jason grinned and looked at Elliot. Before answering, he turned his head back for another look at Ron's groin up close. "You're totally cool, to me anyway. You're a lot like Elliot - yours looks like a big breakfast sausage, a tasty one, too!" He giggled, the continued. "You definitely have more skin on the end, though. That's the part I find the most interesting. Well, that and – you just turned 15, right?"

Ron nodded. "Yeah, why?"

Jason hesitated. "Well, I was just thinking. You don't have as much pubic hair as me and Elliot do, you know? They're still really soft and silky and all, but just not as much, not as thick."

Ron smiled, nodding. "Yeah, I was one of the late bloomers, I think. I didn't start to get any pubes until, umm, I don't know, maybe half-way through last year. I mean, I had a few hairs and stuff, but they only started kind of bushing up over the last few months. Not like others I saw in the showers were getting, you know, down there." He blushed again, but seeing Jason grin at him, he relented. "So, you really find our skins that interesting? On the end, I mean?" Ron asked.

"Hell, yeah!" Jason replied, giving into his own rare use of swearing. "I think it's fucking awesome, really! Sometimes, I kind of wish I was that way, too. Like I said, I think that's the part of all this that makes me so curious about you guys, and others, too."

Ron nodded. "I can understand that, I think. I mean, your being circumcised and all, I think it's kind of what makes me interested in you. Just, your being different and everything." He glanced at Elliot. "And Elliot? It goes for you, too. I'm not trying to leave you out of this. I've never been as up close like this, not like I am now, honest. Oh, and sorry if I grabbed you, like, too hard. I, uh, … well…"

Elliot smiled. "You're starting to sound like Jase. You two worry too much, sometimes. I'm not jealous or anything, I promise. Don't forget Ron, you and me, we've been around this stuff all our life. Jason is just kind of now catching up, that's all. And besides, you're right. I find his willy to be almost as cool as he finds ours to be, for the same reason."

Ron giggled, but nodded. "So, do you guys think I'm … short? I mean, small? I've seen some of the others in the showers, and they, like, get pretty long when they bone up and everything."

"Heck no," Elliot replied. "Perfect, to be honest. And even if you were short, or bigger - what does it matter? It's you, right?"

Ron stared at him. "Yeah, I guess. Wow..."

"What?" Jason asked.

"I mean, wow..." Ron replied. Then he glanced up again. "Hey, can I ask you something else?" Seeing Jason nod, he paused to find the words he wanted. "You said you tasted and swallowed and everything. What about... you know, my jizz? You...?"

Jason grinned, then blushed, hiding his face. "Yeah, I swallowed it."

Both Elliot and Ron giggled, but Elliot hugged him again, snuggling with his cousin. Jason glanced at him then, before returning his attention back to Ron. "You want to know what it's like, right? Is that it?" Again, Ron nodded. "It was, um, okay. I'm kind of just getting used to that one, though. I mean, I'm not sure I would do that with just anyone, not much anyway, but meh." He hesitated as he turned thoughtful. "As to what it's like, though? You and Elliot both have got a kind of bland, nutty taste, I think. But you're both different, too. Kind of, um, creamy I guess, in a way." He blushed again. "I know, it sounds gross, and in a way maybe it is, but... there's something about it, too, that's just kind of interesting. Something different in the way of just doing it, I guess."

"Really? How do you mean?" Ron asked.

Jason took a minute to think that one through. Elliot also remained silent, giving his cousin some time, as he found his own curiosity aroused. When Jason spoke again, it was with a very solemn voice. "Honest? I kind of like the idea that you gave me something to keep inside. Not something that can be washed away or anything. And it's unique, you know? It's from you, and because I did something so off the wall, it made it special." He grunted before rolling over and looking up to the ceiling. "Well, to me anyway. Kind of dumb, I guess. It's the only way I can think to describe it, though. I can't tell you how the taste is different, it's just that it is. Kind of gross sounding, I know."

"It's not dumb at all, Jase," Elliot whispered.

"I agree, too. Besides, think about what my sister's boyfriend was doing. He didn't find it gross at all, either." Ron wrinkled his nose before continuing. "I admit, when I've thought about it before, I think the whole idea was kind of gross to start with. But then, you did it to me, and it makes me wonder now, you know? " Ron thought about it. "You know, when guys and girls make babies, it isn't that much different. The guy gives up a part of himself to the girl, and she keeps it inside of her until they make a baby. And, yeah, that is pretty special between them." He looked up. "I guess it can be the same for guys, in a funny sort of way. At least, if they're willing to do what you just did. For me."

"Damn straight it can," Elliot intoned.

Ron sighed. "I can't believe how all that felt and everything. It was so, so... fucking awesome!" He sighed again. "Maybe there is something to this stuff, after all. You know, doing this guy stuff."

Elliot smiled as he leaned over onto the back of Jason's shoulders. "Don't go there. I know what you're thinking, okay? Just ... don't. It's like you said, this stuff doesn't mean any of us are gay. It's just... curiosity, right? It is as far as I'm concerned, anyway. So, let's not get morbid worries and shit going down that road. The things I do with Jase are because I want to. And the things you let us do with you, Ron? It's the same. We do things because we want to, for you. Okay?"

"Fuck yeah!" Ron answered with a grin as he arched himself slightly to settle into a more comfortable position. "But look at you two. You're not even boned up! And I want to, well, you know…"

"Maybe later," Jason replied shrugging, but again smiling. "I mean, you or Elliot might get to me later. Who knows, right?"

"Damn straight," Elliot replied again, making all three of them giggle again.

"Don't worry, Elliot. I won't forget you," Jason smirked, turning to his cousin, but also slipping an arm around his waist and returning the squeeze he felt. Elliot blushed, but remained silent. Jason turned back to Ron. "I'd like to think there's at least one more part to this, too."

"What's that?" Ron asked.

A soft expression met the other two. "You know I trust you, and that Elliot trusts you. I felt like you trusted me, too. I mean, right now, between us? That meant everything to me. You both mean everything to me. I couldn't have done that if it wasn't something I could feel on the inside. I think that's more important than anything else. Does that make sense?"

A peaceful expression also crossed Ron's face. "Oh, yeah, perfectly. I wouldn't have let you do it either, Jase, if I didn't feel the same way. I mean, I would have backed away before we even got naked tonight, especially if I wasn't okay with all this. You're right, you know? We have this kind of magic. It's between the three of us, right now, on the inside. You feel it too, right? I sure hope so, because if it isn't, I don't know what this feeling is." Ron lowered his voice. "It's a feeling I could never have with Roden. It's why, when he was into his sex crap, I always felt weird and uncomfortable, and he's the closest mate I had for a while. What I feel with you guys, compared to him, isn't even funny. There was nothing between us like this. Does that make sense? What I feel inside, it's … it's just awesome."

"Yeah," Jason replied, and Elliot brought his fist up for the proverbial bump with the teenager. "I have it inside, too. And I know Elliot does."

Ron smiled when saw Jason's expression change. "And you're worried about it being alright, with me? Sheesh, what about you? You're the one getting all weighty again! Are you sure you're okay?"

Jason expression changed again. "I'm fucking super!" he exclaimed in a quiet voice with a wide smile.

Both boys giggled at him, while Ron shook his head. "Somehow, hearing you swear Mathews, it just doesn't seem to suit you, you know?" he mumbled, but rubbed his foot alongside his friend. Again, Jason thought, it was the little things like that which made him feel exceptionally free, and close.

Ron crawled out from between them, before swinging around and wrapping both of the other guys up with his arms and legs. He hugged and pulled them both up close, as they threaded their own arms around the teen, too. The scene was awkward, all three angling for dominance in one form or another. Before long, it turned into a wrestling match, as Elliot started poking and tickling their friend. In the process, there was a lot of grabbing, pinching, pulling, prodding and more between them.

At one point, Jason felt the other two converge onto his groin. Someone's lips closed on his own half erect state, but with both Elliot and Ron reversed in the general direction, and his own head hanging half off the bed, Jason couldn't be sure which one it was. He paused, however, until he felt being let go and heard a deep sigh follow from Ron. "You're right, that wasn't so bad at all!" was a whisper that came out of nowhere. Elliot then took Ron's place and worked on his cousin intermittently for the next few minutes, taking turns as now Ron followed through to share the experience. At first Jason laughed and squirmed, but then he succumbed as the other two began paying him more ardent attention. His dick fully stretched now, he wasn't holding back. Within minutes, he erupted too, joining Ron in the evening's ending ecstasy. He heard Ron giggle, and then laugh hysterically as Jason pumped and emptied himself up to his friends, but he was conscious enough to note that just as he was finishing, Ron went down on him and started lapping his end with what few spurges remained. Jason was in another world just then, as they finished him off.

The night went on for several more hours, with plenty of chatting and horseplay. Elliot did indeed get serviced, as did Ron, again. Whether being sucked or jacked off, it didn't matter to them, because it was just them being who they were, kidding and playing around with each other. The serious moments now long past, each felt free in more ways than otherwise common. In the middle hours of the morning, they finally tired and decided they were getting sleepy enough to succumb to the darkness that now engulfed them. Ron pulled both of his friends under the covers with him. There they each cuddled up with one another, drawing on their body heat and the sheer comfort of the intimacy they shared.

Before they fell asleep though, Ron had one last thing he wanted to say. "Guys?"

"Hmm?" Jason replied.

"This has been awesome. Better than even my birthday, and that night was really hard to beat. Thanks, both of you. I mean it. If I could ever have had brothers, it would be you two."

Jason woke up enough to turn to the youth and embrace him. In the act, as he had done with Elliot so many times before, he wrapped a leg around the youth and pulled him close. At first Ron started to giggle, but Jason shushed him. "Yeah, I know, our dicks are making out again, but I don't care. You know we love you, right? In a good way?"

Elliot wrapped them both up from the other side when he heard the exchange, effectively sandwiching Ron between them. "And no, I'm not poking my willy up your bum. Just... let me hug you, too, okay?"

Ron relaxed. "I don't care guys, and yeah, I love you, too." He closed his eyes. "In a very, very good way."

Elliot whispered into the void. "You know, we can always be your brothers, Ron. We already have each other's back, right?"

Jason agreed. "This is what Elliot and I already have, you know? There's no reason you can't be a part of it, too. As long as you want, anyway."

Ron grunted. "That might be a long time, you know?"

Elliot pulled up just far enough he could stare down into Ron's eyes. "Just… no drugs, okay? Oh, and no gangs." He said it with a smile, one which the other two could easily make out in the darkness.

Ron giggled. "Never, ever." He sighed. "G'nite you two. Thanks for everything," he whispered sleepily.

"Nuh uh," Jason whispered. "After everything you've already given us? Given me? It's my turn to say thanks."

Jason and Elliot arrived home late the next day, having spent the entire day with Ron. They had slept late, but made it to Gunwharf by midday, where they ate and went to various sites yet again. Jason never tired of Spinnaker tower and its observation port, or of the nearby shipyards, which they explored in earnest until late in the afternoon.

As they were riding the train back up the line, they pulled into Ron's station. Ron rose and met their knuckles mid-air, before giving each a brief one-armed embrace. "I can't tell you enough, guys, what this meant to me. Get home safe, okay?" he spoke, before getting off. He had turned quickly, not waiting for a reply, and as he rounded the corner, Jason saw a tear fall from Ron's cheek. It was the sincerity of the moment, and both he and Elliot felt it.

As they continued to the next stop in silence, they sat together, Elliot with his arm encircling his cousin. "I love you, you know that, right?" he whispered. Jason smiled at him, then glanced quickly, noting no one else was in their compartment. Leaning in, he gave Elliot a soft, heartfelt kiss. Elliot sighed, content. "Thank you," he whispered.

Jason leaned in close and whispered. "We still have us, El. Always did before, and always will."

Elliot looked at him and smiled. "I'm glad. Even when we were doing stuff, I knew it was alright. It just felt, you know, it felt right." He glanced up, grinning. "You know what? I'm really glad." He paused, his eyes watering up. "I'm really, fucking glad." He squeezed Jason tighter, feeling happy. "Tonight, though, it's going to be just you and me, bro. You know? Just us."

Jason grinned. "Oh yeah." He hugged his cousin back, then they both rose as the train stopped.

They both slowly exited the transport, and then began heading toward home. Both were feeling lighthearted and happy, having spent an extraordinary day out and about with their friend. Walking casually, they turned a corner and Elliot bumped Jason's shoulder along the way. He grinned and, giggling, his cousin returned the gesture.

"You know? Getting out to Gunwharf like we did with Ron today was cool," Elliot finally voiced.

Jason nodded in agreement. "You were, too." Glancing over to see the surprise, he explained. "Don't give me that look, you know what I'm, talking about."

Elliot, however, stopped in surprise. "I haven't got a clue!"

Jason turned. "You, Elliot. You were awesome, especially after everything we did together last night."

Elliot shrugged before he started walking again. "I told you I wouldn't be jealous, Jase, and I'm not. You were just as cool about everything, too. It's like you said, I think all three of us have this thing between us now, you know?"

"Yeah, we do," Jason replied. It wasn't long before the two reached their street and turned down toward home. As they arrived at their front door, Jason stopped and pulled Elliot up close. "Wait up, before we go in, can I tell you something really quick?"

"Sure. What's up?" Elliot asked.

Jason smiled at him. "I just want to tell you thanks. Because when we walk through that door, we're back in our own world again, and before that happens, I want you to know something. For everything, yesterday, last night and today, too. I- I went overboard, I think, and I'm sorry, but Elliot, I-"

Elliot smiled at him. "Jase, I told you, bro. I'm not jealous, honest. And besides, you think you went overboard? You only went down on him once. Creepers, if anyone went overboard, it's got to be me-"

Jason placed a finger on Elliot lips, shushing him. "Not the sex stuff, Elliot," Jason whispered. "It's not that, honest. I think you and me, we kind of understand that part okay. Besides, for that, we always have each other when we get home, anyway." He saw understanding in Elliot's expression, so he hesitated to find the right words. "It's just… Last night and today, you let me be me, and you let yourself be you. I mean, Ron saw us for what we were, and he saw me on the inside. That couldn't have happened if you hadn't been there, so he could see you, too. Does that make sense? That's why I want to thank you, because, if you hadn't been there with me, if we hadn't been there together, it would have never happened."

"I know, bro. It meant a lot to you, and it meant a lot to me, too. I know, we're just crazy kids and all, but … we're us. I'm glad we're kind of getting to grow up together, you know? And Ron, he's someone who will grow up with us, too. That's awesome to me, inside and out."

Jason nodded. "I'm glad you understand then. It just… it means a lot."

Elliot gave his cousin a brief embrace, before letting go and seeing his expression. "Hey, you okay?"

"I'm super, Elliot!" Jason whispered. "I feel like I'm on this wild ride now. And you know something? It's because of you." He looked about, then gave Elliot another bump on the shoulder, falling into him. "Come on, I know, we should get inside. I can't give you a kiss out here, anyway."

They started to head back to the door, but Elliot stopped. "Hey, Jase?" When the teen turned to look back, Elliot quickly sneaked in and kissed him on the nose. "I'm glad. I haven't seen you this happy in a while, bro. Not since Christmas Eve, I think." Jason giggled and nodded, then they both turned again to enter home.

However, once they stepped through the doorway, they found a surprise waiting for them. Simon was home, and from the looks of it the man had been there for quite some time. He was sitting at the dining room table, having a serious-looking conversation with Natalie and Ella. Looking up as they arrived, he broke into a big smile. "Well, hallo there! Finally, back from trekking all over Gunwharf?"

Elliot hurriedly crossed the floor and gave his father a hug. "Yeah, it was pretty cool," he replied, out of breath.

"Sounds like you're exhausted, though! Long day?" the man asked, pulling a bag of whoppers across the table and giving them to his son. Elliot squealed, taking the bag quickly, making the others laugh.

"Yeah, kind of," Jason answered. He, too, gave the man a brief embrace after hanging his coat up.

"Where's Derek?" Elliot asked.

Natalie spoke up. "He's out with friends. He should be back in a couple of hours, though."

An unusual silence fell over them just then, and both boys noted the adults were constantly observing one another. It was eerie at first, so once again Elliot finally spoke up. "Okay guys, what's going on? Are we missing something?"

Natalie quietly laughed. "No, not really, but... your father has something to tell you."

Simon cleared his throat, but before he spoke, a bemused expression crossed his features. "So, boys I have a question for you. Your break from school, when is it?"

"Um, I think last week of March, isn't it? About 5 or 6 weeks out, right?" Elliot replied, glancing at Jason. His cousin, however, just shrugged.

"That's what I thought, too. Your Mum and I are going to verify that next week, but if so..." Simon paused and glanced at the other two women before eyeing both boys directly. "If so, how would you like to take a trip, the five of us. You three, plus your mother and I?"

Elliot perked up at that. "That sounds cool!"

Jason nodded. "Sure. Where to, Uncle Simon? If I can ask?"

Simon exchange glances with his wife, and then pulled his glasses off and slowly started to clean them with a handkerchief. "Well, of course you can ask!" When silence followed, and the man did not answer immediately, Elliot rolled his eyes.

"Are you toying with us, Dad? Come on... where to?"

Simon finally looked up and grinned at them both.

"How about to the United States of America?"

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