Neil And Rich

by The Eggman

Chapter 5

Yes, believe it or not, I managed to choke on frigging mashed potatoes, not the green beans or remaining roast beef on my plate. Across the table from me, Rich was obviously concerned, as were his mom and dad. Picking up a napkin, I coughed up the clog then breathed before swallowing correctly. Embarrassed and blushing, I grinned and coughed, "Sorry about that. That was close."

Mrs. Hamilton worried, "Are you alright, Neil?"

Clearing my throat, I nodded, "Breathing and swallowing at the same time isn't a great move." I turned to Mr. Hamilton to answer, "I've never been to camp once, so I can't really say too much. If they're mostly city kids, like Rich said, I can understand how he felt lonely."

Glancing between his parents, Rich wondered, "Why is camp being brought up again? It's been years since the last time."

Mr. Hamilton sighed, "Staying here, spending time mostly with Neil, I see several possibilities. What I'm most concerned about is idle minds getting into trouble."

Mrs. Hamilton suggested, "If you stayed here, would you be willing to work; perhaps mow lawns a few days a week? That way you'd have your own money to see movies." She then told her husband, "Your son seems to think he's old enough to take bus rides to the shore."

Nodding while he ate, Mr. Hamilton soon said, "That's another good reason to have a part time mowing job. Two or three days a week, being responsible for earning your own money, would prove you're responsible enough to get to the beach and back home again safely."

With pleading eyes, Rich asked me, "What do you think?"

I shrugged, "We could mow lawns easily enough. If we could make some bucks doing it too, then we're set for movies, the arcade and the beach."

Rich nodded and smiled, "That's what we'll do then."

Mrs. Hamilton nodded, "I'll speak to some of our neighbors to learn if they'd like to employ you."

"That's just a start," Mr. Hamilton interjected. "I'd like Rich and Neil to seek out their own job opportunities."

Rich asked, "How would we do that?"

"Make up fliers and post them at shops and markets around town," Mr. Hamilton instructed.

Mrs. Hamilton asked, "Is Neil spending the night?"

Shaking his head, Rich said, "Church tomorrow at ten, so we'll get together after." Noticing that I was done eating, Rich asked, "Can we be excused?" When both his parents nodded, Rich and I stood with our plates and utensils to take them to the kitchen. Rich said, "We'll start working out a flier on the computer tonight." We left the dining room then put our stuff in the sink before starting down the hall to Rich's room.

Once there, Rich softly complained, "I don't believe this. Either I go to camp for a month or I work all summer." He powered up his computer then turned to me and asked, "What was that 'idle minds getting into trouble' crap? What kind of trouble can we get into in this town? Jesus, Neil. What are we going to do?"

I shrugged, "What do you want to do; summer camp or mowing lawns? Either way, I'll be with you. You know that, right?" Rich went to turn his stereo on and settled on the FM dial. Our favorite radio station was 95.5 WPLJ, out of New York City. When he turned to me, I continued, "I mean your folks already talked to my folks, so it wouldn't be like the last time you went. We'd be out of this small town too. What was summer camp like? Would we have chances to be alone? If that's not possible then we might as well stay here and mow lawns. Maybe I could build some muscle by mowing. We have a bunch of stuff to figure out still too."

Rich grinned, "You're being really great again."

I chuckled, "Come on, man. We're finishing eighth grade. Next year we start ninth grade. We've got the whole summer to figure out all that stuff I asked about on the way here; where we do that doesn't make a difference to me."

Returning to his desk, Rich grumbled, "Summer camp is four weeks of planned activities. We'll swim at a lake, or row boats, or play softball, or volleyball, stuff like that. Every day is planned. What really sucks are rainy days, when we're stuck inside. Even when I was nine, those days were the most boring."

"But we're not nine," I reminded, and pulled out the folding chair kept in his room for me. I sat down and softly grinned, "Would we get time alone is what matters most."

"Stop that!" Rich giggled. "God! I thought I was horny."

"Answer the question," I laughed. "Here, even if we worked four mornings a week, we'd still have plenty of time."

Rich smiled, "We'd have more time here, which is a blessing and a curse."

"Now you stop," I smirked. Leaning forward, I whispered, "Yesterday we changed only one part of our friendship. I'm not seeing anything too differently. What matters to me is making this easy for you."

"You have been pretty easy," Rich sniggered. Simply to prove a point, I wrapped my right arm over the back of his chair and brushed a finger against his neck. Rich flinched and cackled, "Stop!"

I grinned, "You need to ask yourself how it's gonna be, Rich." Much more softly, I reminded, "I came here yesterday. The rulebook was ashes by the time we left for my house. That means I want to be with you. All we need to figure out is how it's gonna be."

"That's the problem," Rich smirked. "I have a dream, and then there's reality."

I wondered, "What's the dream?"

Starting Microsoft Word, Rich sighed, "Every day and night, all summer, with you."

"That would be too hard to do."

"Yeah it would. I'd be telling everyone without actually saying a word."

"So what's reality?"

Rich grunted then answered, "A night or two a week together."

"That doesn't sound bad."

Rich typed a heading on the document; Hamilton & Powell Lawn Care, and then enlarged it. Then he enlarged it again and again, softly giggling, "It's swelling! It's getting so big!"

I cracked up and wondered, "Are you sure once or twice a week is enough, Mister Hamilton?"

"Oh, hell no," Rich sniggered. "I can picture it now, warm summer days working with you. By the time we're done getting sweaty, we'll be getting sweatier all afternoon."

Leaning back, I chuckled, "Where will that be happening?" Rich turned to me and bounced his eyebrows. I incredulously roared, "Every day?" Rich rapidly nodded. Shaking my head, I softly chortled, "By our old tree-house is way more dangerous than here or my place."

Nodding, Rich smiled, "That's only part of the dream."

"Go on," I prompted.

Concentrating on the computer monitor, Rich shrugged, "Everything, Neil. I want you with me in the bathroom, like we used to pee together all the time. I want you with me in the shower. I want to bathe you and you to bathe me. I want you to dry me off and I want to dry you off too. Late summer nights in your pool, alone, skinny dipping. If I could find a way to be naked with you twenty-four hours a day, that's the dream." He turned to me and scanned my expression then softly prompted, "Please say something."

I smiled, "I didn't say no, pal."

Rich whispered, "You would… want that too… with me?"

I nodded, "Showers would have to be here in the afternoons, away from my sister and her creepy friend."

Unexpectedly, Rich flew out of the chair and went to his open bedroom door. He looked down the hall, closed and locked the door then hurried back to me and kissed me. He started to pull away, but I held his shoulders to kiss him back. Rich sighed, "You love me?"

I nodded, "I must. I came here to patch things up. A kiss given had to be returned. We're going to do things together, pal. There's nothing I can think of that I wouldn't want to do with you."

He softly smiled, "Including a summer of mowing lawns?"

"And getting each other sweaty," I teased.

That was the start of the most fantastic summer ever for us. We played it very cool most of the time; mowing and edging lawns, around his parents, at the arcade and movies, and we did make a few bus trips down the shore; once to Asbury Park, another time to Point Pleasant, and another time to Seaside Heights. Every Wednesday night, I went to my guitar lesson. For half an hour every night, Rich forced me to practice.

We worked the morning of Rich's fourteenth birthday, June twenty-ninth, but that afternoon, we tried intercourse for the first time. Even with Internet help and getting lube, our first times weren't easy. You'd think someone out there would make it easier by offering suggestions, but no, we simply went for it doggie-style. A few days later, we tried again and it got better, but we still felt like our butt-holes were on fire. Every few days, we'd try different positions, different condoms, and different lubrication. By the end of the summer of 1995, it was something we looked forward to every day. Rich grew two inches taller that summer, so there were only four inches between us. I didn't grow taller, thank goodness, but I did gain a little weight and mold some shape onto my upper body. I suddenly had shoulders and a chest. Rich had the beginning of abdominal muscles that I constantly commented on and tickled.

When school started again in September, I always went to Rich's house "to do homework". My hunky pal couldn't go a day without sex. From months of experimentation, Rich became bottom most of the time. When Rich got the flu in early December, I realized just how much I misunderstood Rich and my own desires. Ten days of spankin' it barely had any effect at all; certainly not like anything I did with Rich. The day he showed up at school, we devilishly grinned at each other during every shared class and lunch. We ran to his house in snow flurries after school. In those two hours we tried to make up for ten days apart. In shared affection and orgasms, we accomplished a hell of a lot. Only ten days later, Friday, December twenty-second, Christmas break started. After two weeks of summer like sexual madness, we were in a completely new situation; we weren't simply best friends messing around any longer; I hated being away from him and he despised being separated from me; we were in love. My school grades went up, from time spent with Rich. Spring break rolled around. The warmth between Rich and I became a blazing inferno. My fifteenth birthday passed on Wednesday, April seventeenth with a small party and Rich was allowed to spend the night. We went to a spring dance at our school with dates, but I have to admit, that was so stupid. The girls we went with we liked a lot, but they could tell Rich wouldn't have been there without me and I wouldn't have gone without him. Second dates with them never happened for that reason.

We were back at square one again. I tried to talk Rich into coming out to my folks, but he still wasn't ready. A second summer of mowing lawns got us more customers. Every Monday through Thursday we worked from eight in the morning until two or three in the afternoon, hitting three or four lawns a day and splitting between seventy-five and a hundred bucks a day. We had more money than we could spend and saved a lot. It was a good thing too, because my dad's mower bit it one day. My dad, Rich and I went to Sears for new lawn mowers; one for my dad and the other for Hamilton & Powell Lawn Care. For Rich's birthday, he asked for and got a queen size bed. At last we were off the damn floor. By the end of July, Mr. Hamilton's weed whacker and lawn edger was kaput too. Another trip to Sears was made with both our fathers. A new Hamilton family weed whacker was purchased and another for Hamilton & Powell Lawn Care. On the way back home, a conversation started that Rich and I never saw coming.

Rich's dad said, "Your little lawn care business has taken off into a full blown enterprise."

My dad smiled, "It's leaving you two little time for much else. You're only taking Friday's through Sunday's off."

"There have only been two trips to the shore this year too," Mr. Hamilton noticed.

Rich nodded, "There will be one more trip in August. We're thinking more long term. In two years we're seventeen. It would be nice if we had cars for our last year of high school."

My dad wondered, "Are there any other long term plans brewing?"

Rich shrugged, "It's too early to think of colleges. We're starting tenth grade in another month, so there's plenty of time to think about that."

I offered, "You and mom and Rich know that I'd like to get an electric guitar and amplifier too. With luck, I'll have something by the time school starts. I'd love a Les Paul, but they're way too expensive. I'll probably get a Fender Stratocaster."

My dad and Rich's dad shared a glance then my dad took an exit off Interstate 287 in the opposite direction of our homes. Without looking back from the front passenger seat, Mr. Hamilton said, "You know I'm very proud of both of you. I didn't expect mowing lawns to last all last summer. Now you're doing so much work, you're actually killing machines and have the money to replace them."

"It seems to us that Hamilton and Powell are more than two enterprising young men," my dad offered. "We see you're together all the time. Every attempt we've made to offer breaks were refused for one reason or another. We could've taken trips to New York to see the Yankees, and to Philly to see the Phillies, but without Rich, you said no to both, Neil."

"I didn't know it was that important to you, dad," I sorrowfully muttered.

Mr. Hamilton reminded, "You did the same Rich. When we went for our yearly day trip to Morristown Park you chose to stay home. So I've been trying to figure out what's going on."

"So have I," my dad admitted. "Let's take a close look at the last week. You both worked four days. Two of those four days, Rich had dinner with us. You both came in the house in clean clothes and freshly showered."

"The other two days, Neil had dinner with us," Mr. Hamilton said. "Again, two showered boys in clean clothes sat at the table. The interesting thing is your mom sees two towels in the hamper four days a week, so I should see some minor fluctuations in the water bill or electric bill, but I haven't seen that."

"We began to worry," my dad explained. "I looked around your room, expecting to find a bag of pot, rolling papers or maybe a little pipe, but I didn't. All I saw was cartoon drawings, some really fine ones too. One was of a rulebook in flames. Another drawing seemed to be of you, Neil, with Rich leaning against you like a pillar. Most surprisingly, I found a bottle of personal lubricant in your night table."

Mr. Hamilton said, "I searched your room too, Rich." Groaning, Rich's knees started bouncing nervously. In Rich's night table, under some comics and magazines, we kept condoms and lube. "Thankfully," Mr. Hamilton continued, "we don't have a drug problem to deal with. I have two questions."

"They're my questions too, Neil, so pay attention," my dad instructed.

Turning in his seat, Mr. Hamilton asked, "Why didn't you tell us?"

Sitting beside me in the back of my dad's minivan, Rich was constantly wiping tears away from his eyes. Since he was obviously too upset to answer, I softly did. "I wanted to, but Rich didn't, so it's been kept a secret."

Mr. Hamilton faced forward grunting. He then sighed, "Rich, going to church and having faith has little bearing on how I feel about my son. Our faith is supposed to give us strength for trying times. The Pope may say homosexuality is a sin, but I do not. The Jesus I've known all my life ate with sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors and lepers. That does not mean I see you as a sinner, Rich. If you and Neil had no other dealings with each other, except sexually, then yes, I would see that as a sin. Instead, I see my son with his friend of eight years together constantly. That tells me that you're in love." Mr. Hamilton glanced back at us again. Rich and I mutely nodded. When Rich's dad looked forward again, I took Rich's hand in mine before he had a nervous breakdown.

My dad wondered, "How long have you been partners?"

"Since last May, a week before Memorial Day, the nineteenth," I answered.

"You kept this a secret for more than a year," my dad slowly muttered.

"Amazing," Mr. Hamilton chortled.

My dad nodded and chuckled, "We do have one other question."

"A year and two months kind o' makes it silly," Mr. Hamilton sniggered.

"I'll ask anyway," my dad playfully offered. "The question is, do you two consider yourselves experimenting or is this as serious as it seems."

I checked with Rich. He threw his hands up, signaling me to spill as much as I wanted. I grinned, "Remember that week or so, last spring, when Rich and I weren't together?" Both our dads nodded, so I said, "It started then as experimenting. By last Christmas, it was pretty serious. I thought maybe I might like to try dating girls. That's why we went to the spring dance at school. Rich really liked Lisa and I really liked Melanie. We both tried asking them out again, but they saw more than we expected. Since I wouldn't dance with Mel if Rich wasn't dancing with Lisa, they both refused second dates. More so since then, I really don't care to even try again. We do everything together, just like always. When I try and look into the future, it sucks when it's without Rich. I don't see much of anything changing any time soon."

Mr. Hamilton sighed, "Please say something, Richard."

Rich softly sobbed, "What can I say, dad? I loved Neil about a year before I ever said a word to him about it. Even then, I didn't want to admit it to him. I completely expected him to walk right back out the door and never talk to me again. He didn't leave though. Neil's been a great friend for going on eight years." Rich sighed explosively and softly stammered, "I… uh… we see… being together… a very long time."

My dad glanced over at Rich's dad, asking "What could be done about this?"

Mr. Hamilton stated, "First and foremost, no more hiding. Do you hear me, Rich? No more balking; I want the truth from now on. I can barely get over you hiding this, successfully for a year, over the church."

Rich said, "I don't want to go any more, dad. The Monsignor and that other old fart are bigoted assholes. If I have to hear one more ranting sermon about homosexuals or birth control, I'll either walk out, or tell him to fuck off first and then walk out."

Mr. Hamilton nodded, "If you don't want to go, that's fine. Now that I have reason to, I will be filing formal complaints with the Archdiocese. Please don't give up your faith entirely because of a few misguided old men, Rich. When we can talk alone, religion and faith is what I'd like to talk to you about. The church doesn't decide for me whether or not I will continue to love my son. Don't let old men change your faith."

Rich nodded, "They won't, but there are other beliefs out there too. Like one night, Neil and I were awake late watching a movie titled 'Audrey Rose'. It was about Hindu belief in reincarnation. Anthony Hopkins was in it. His little girl died in a fire and was reincarnated. I'm just saying that I'd like to know more about other faiths and our own."

"You'll get to know all you want to know, without any hindrance from me or your mother," Mr. Hamilton assured.

My dad said, "You'll both have more opportunities for that in high school and in college. I hate to sound like an ol' fart, but we do remember growing up. As children, the world is very much black and white. The older you get, the more shades of gray are added, and then it's in Technicolor. Given what's been said tonight, both of you are moving past shades of gray and into full color."

Beginning to mellow out, Rich checked, "Is everything really okay, dad?"

"Of course it is," Mr. Hamilton loudly assured. "Think of it from our perspective for a moment. I know what kind of money you're bringing home, Rich. Neil's dad confirmed equal income. We were seriously worried that we'd find marijuana or cocaine hidden somewhere in your rooms."

"They've got a different sort of addiction," my dad softly chortled.

Knowing my dad's sense of humor, I hated to break from it, but had to ask, "What about Claire and Danny, dad?"

My dad answered, "Your sister isn't a little girl any more, Neil. She's thirteen and figured out her friend Dawn was trouble on her own. I'd recommend you tell her, but if you'd rather, your mother and I could discuss it with her. As for Dan, a six year old won't understand, so we'll deal with him when we have to."

I thought about it for a few moments then suggested, "Let's talk to Claire together. Anything I don't deal with right, at least you and mom are there."

My dad nodded, "Tomorrow night," and then pulled into a shopping center parking lot. He stopped in front of SleepCity then told Rich's dad, "Join us when you can, Paul."

Mr. Hamilton nodded, "In five or ten minutes, Jack." My dad's real first name is John, but my mom and everyone call him Jack.

Looking back, he smiled, "Let's go, son."

Getting out of the minivan, I chuckled, "What's going on, dad?"

My dad smirked, "If you'd rather camp out on your bedroom floor with your boyfriend, say so." At my completely surprised expression, my dad pulled me along, chuckling, "You're not getting it. It took all four parents to figure this out. You and Rich have somehow prevented all of us from catching on. For the first time, just moments ago, I saw you holding Rich's hand. There have been no signs, no pet names, and no displays of affection." We paused at the front of the store and my dad said, "Both Rich's parents suspected that the Catholic Church was the reason why nothing had ever been said before. Rich and his father need to clear the air; they're starting that right now. What you've done, together with Rich, shows a great deal of maturity, on both your parts. You know I'm not talking about mowing lawns."

I grinned, "It hasn't been easy. I lost count of how many times he's freaked out, thinking we were gonna be caught."

My dad nodded, "We've been waiting a while for the chance to say something. Going forward, you and Rich only have to be more considerate of each other; not four parents, a sister and a brother. I don't expect you'll take advantage of anything at either home, Neil."

We went in the store and started shopping. I couldn't believe my old man was getting me a bed to be with Rich. I couldn't believe Rich worried about his Catholic upbringing for a year for no reason. A new cartoon image of me and Rich, completely stupefied, flashed through my head. On the wall behind us, a crucifix spun like a lopsided propeller on a plane. We got a queen size bed and a platform with storage drawers underneath and it would be delivered the next day.

That warm and humid night, my dad dropped me off at the Hamilton's, where I spent the night. First we had a chat with Rich's mom and dad then we went to Rich's room. Even more ridiculous than anything that had happened in the car, Rich and I didn't know how to act alone. Fourteen months of hiding didn't simply end; it was something we had to get used to, a little at a time.

We knew exactly when we had fully accomplished the goal of being a real couple. The first incident was soon after school started. I remember it clearly because I had just gone out and spent half my summer mowing money on a Fender Stratocaster and Fender Blues Junior amplifier. We were in my room, hurrying through an after school quickie before my mom got home with my little brother. When we heard the front door open and close while we were still naked, Rich panicked. Intently reminding him that everything was cool, I wouldn't let him have his clothes either. With his clothes in a wad under my chest, I threw myself onto my bed and protected them like a running back just beyond the goal line. A tickle battle broke out. My six year old brother raced downstairs, screaming "Mommy, Neil's fightin' with Richie!" Already laughing from Rich's rib pokes and armpit tickling, I roared hysterically.

The next incident was only a week or two later, when another play fight broke loose in the Hamilton's kitchen. It started accidentally when Rich made me laugh and a spoonful of chocolate pudding dropped, sending pudding splattering around the kitchen. At the end of our chocolate pudding battle, we started cleaning up the mess, licking splotches of pudding off each other. Raging hormones ruled and we started making out in the kitchen. Man oh man; Rich had become the hottest kisser in the world. Completely wrapped up in each other, we didn't even hear Mrs. Hamilton walk into the house. She giggled at us and walked away. Rich tried to break away from me, but we heard his mother's laughter. I pushed the closet case into the same kitchen corner he had backed himself into when he told me that he was gay. By Christmas break 1996, there was no fear at either home. An added bonus, the Hamilton's got a new thirty-six inch television for the living room that Christmas, so the old twenty-seven inch Sony Trinitron went into Rich's room, with our own cable box. At midnight on New Year's, both our families took photos of us passionately kissing in 1997. Once again, Danny screamed, "EWWW!"

The morning of Martin Luther King Day, I woke face up, with Rich still sound asleep and snuggled up to me. As much as I really hated New Jersey winters, having Rich to keep me warm was the one saving grace. During the summer, we snuggled as much as we could, but it still got uncomfortably warm. An entire calendar's worth of cartoon images flashed through my mind; they were all of Rich and I, adjusting levels of closeness based solely on the weather. Attached at our mouths, our bodies were like the hands of a clock, separating more as the days warmed and returning again to twelve o'clock as the nights froze over.

I glanced at the clock and saw it was half past nine. We didn't have much planned for the day. I needed to make a trip to Michael's for drawing paper, another set of pencils, and then a trip to Guitar Center for guitar strings for both my acoustic and electric guitars. I also wanted to check into some effects boxes for my electric guitar. The only effects pedal I had was an MXR distortion that I got for Christmas. We were also out of condoms and very low on lube, so a trip into a pharmacy needed to be made. Since our mom's wanted to hit the mall for the holiday sales, we could have a ride instead of taking the bus. I rubbed my partner's back and softly called, "Rich? Wake up."

He grinned then croaked, "You kept me awake and want me to wake early."

"That's our routine," I softly chortled. "I make you tired and you get me revved in the mornings. Besides, it's not very early, and we do want to go to a few stores with our mom's today. We've got the whole day together."

"I dreamed about us," Rich smiled.

There was something about his tone of voice and smile that caused me to chuckle, "Oh no." Taking hold of my morning erection, Rich shifted over and mostly on top of me, repeatedly stealing kisses. Loving his routine, I really hated to remind, "We're out of rubbers, pal."

"I don't care anymore," Rich mumbled into my neck between kisses.

Cringing, I sniggered, "You don't, huh?"

"I want you, Neil," Rich admitted. "Our folks know, so what's the problem?" Another cartoon image flashed through my mind, of Rich, nine months pregnant, waddling in shorts and a cutoff T-shirt that showed his belly.

I cracked up and was soon sharing the image with my partner. Rich sniggered, "You're so bad. The last time I made love to you was around Christmas. I think it's your turn, Mister Powell."

"When we're alone," I giggled. "Your cock is so fat; I always get loud, whether I'm on my belly, on my knees or with my toes in the air."

"You promise?"

I nodded, "The first chance we're alone, Mister Hamilton." With that promise, Rich lubed us up and went for a morning ride. As was common, he drenched my belly and chest then lowered down for kisses and to allow me to finish. It was our first time doing it without condoms. While cuddling and deciding whether or not to buy condoms while we were out, we discovered one mess was replaced with another leaking out of his butt. We preferred intercourse without rubbers, by a long shot. Ultimately, we decided to buy more Trojans, but would use them sparingly, only when we didn't have the time to deal with the soiled sheets or take a shower.

With the holiday, we had time to shower. It was far more fantastic than usual, because I not only got to clean Rich's butt, I fingered his hole too, which he thoroughly enjoyed and did the same for me. Pressed close together, fingering, kissing and sliding caused another series of orgasms. It made our day, because we hadn't ever done anything quite like that before. Dressed and starving, we stripped the bed, started the washing machine and then raided the kitchen. We had grapefruit, toasted bagels and cereal then decided we wanted scrambled eggs too.

Rich's mom came into the house while we were still eating. My mom greeted Rich's mom and they entered the kitchen. My mom smirked, "I made my bed, Claire's and Danny's beds then put my makeup on and you're still eating?"

Around a mouthful of eggs, I mumbled, "We wanted bacon too, but didn't want to wait for it to cook."

Mrs. Hamilton giggled, "They'll want lunch at the mall too."

"And fresh, warm pretzels," Rich sniggered.

Shaking her head, my mom smiled at Rich's mom and asked, "Coffee, Barb?"

Mrs. Hamilton nodded, "A small cup, please, Rose."

While our mothers scanned the fliers for JC Penney's and Macy's, Rich and I finished eating. We loaded the dishwasher then went back to my room to get heavier shirts pulled over our T-shirts. One side of the drawers under my platform bed was Rich's clothes. He went there to get a sweater while I went to the closet to choose a flannel shirt.

Rich called, "Neil?"

"Yeah, pal," I replied.

"I want more," Rich softly sniggered.

I cracked up and leaned against my closet door, wondering, "Can you wait until after Guitar Center and the mall?"

Closing and locking my bedroom door, Rich turned and approached me, smiling "It's you I want, in my mouth."

There was never any chance of me denying him, or even slowing him down, for that matter. In the months since our parents discovered our real relationship, Rich wanted more, and seemed to go out of his way to take more chances. With our mom's downstairs planning their shopping, we were safe, but we had already told them we were only getting shirts. What might've taken only two or three minutes wound up taking more than ten. Once Rich was done with me and had pulled my boxers and jeans up, I advanced on him. Softly giggling that our mom's were waiting, Rich tried to stop me. Why he pulls this closeted shy boy crap after sucking me dry, I'll never know. Picking him up, I dumped him on my bed to get some late morning protein too.

Innocently, we went back downstairs then got our jackets on. We went to the kitchen and rounded up our mothers. Soon, we were on the road. In the back of our minivan, Rich and I were browsing a Musician's Friend catalog to get an idea what effects pedals cost. I had taken cash out of the bank Friday after school specifically for this trip and had two-hundred bucks in my wallet. I simply wasn't sure what effects pedal I wanted. It was almost an hour drive to Guitar Center, in Paramus, which was across highway 17 from the mall our mothers were going to, so I had plenty of time to talk about it with Rich.

Thankfully, I always had Rich around, with an observant pair of ears, telling me when I played something correctly. With Rich's help, I had progressed from the simple beginning lessons of the Berklee Guitar Method and into book two of more advanced lessons. I had also figured out several songs by ear, like House of the Rising Sun, Back in Black, Can't Get Enough, Teach Your Children and Smoke on the Water. There were a bunch of other pop tunes I could strum along with too. I really wanted to play Van Halen and Pink Floyd tunes, but my skill set wasn't there yet. Rich, his mom and my mom strongly disagreed with my assessment, which was very nice to hear, but I knew where I was at. My guitar teacher could play several Van Halen tunes and I couldn't come close to that sound. I thought my best bet was to stick with Pink Floyd, since one of the tunes that I could strum along with was Wish You Were Here.

When we got to Guitar Center, Rich and I agreed to meet our mom's at the mall food court in an hour and a half. We went inside, where I told the salesman what my goal was, so he set me up with a Strat and a Blues Junior, like my gear at home, and connected up a Boss digital delay. It had stereo and mono outputs too, so if I ever decided to get a second amplifier or connect to a P.A. system, I was set. I got that pedal, the extra cables I needed and the guitar strings. I was stoked, even though I was down to about seventeen dollars and some change. That was barely enough for the drawing supplies I needed. Rich would get us lube and condoms, enough for both our rooms.

At the mall, we quickly hit Michael's for the art supplies, and then went into Walgreen's for two bottles of Wet lube and two twelve packs of condoms. With the last of our combined cash, we got pretzels and sodas then went to the food court, where we waited for our mothers. Rich and I were mostly through our first pretzels when there was a bit of a ruckus from other teenagers in the mall. It wasn't any of our business until we heard the words "faggots" and "cock suckers". At first we heard them and then we saw them. Two younger guys, maybe thirteen or fourteen, were being harassed by a group of five older guys, none of whom seemed to be much older than sixteen.

Those kinds of words are relatively common in New Jersey, but these five older guys annoyed the shit out of Rich and me. Without thinking, we got up with our bags of purchases and went to the two younger guys. Greeting them like they were old friends that we hadn't seen in ages, Rich invited them to come and sit with us. With homicidal glaring eyes, Rich backed me up and pushed the two younger dudes behind him. It confused the other five, but their pack leader took offense, and hollered, "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"

The guy was no taller than Rich and thinner than Rich. For the first time in my life, I made use of my height and extra muscle, getting directly in the pack leader's face. Before I said a word, he backed up two steps. I softly growled, "Do you know what the fuck you're doing, you fuckin' cunt rag? It's four against five now." Seeing two mall security guards approaching on their walkie-talkies, I asked, "Are your chances that good to risk it with security?"

Believe me, my heart was racing and my fists were clenched, waiting for the first punch. Seeing the security officers, two of the five troublemakers softly suggested a speedy exit. Unbeknownst to me, my mom and Rich's mom heard every word I said. The security guards and our mothers converged on us. My mom was the first to calmly ask, "What's going on, Neil?"

Gesturing to the group of homophobic jack-offs, I bullshitted, "These guys were giving our friends here a load o' crap, mom."

Rich caught on and added another five tons of manure. "We met them at a party last summer. Can we take them home?"

Mrs. Hamilton sighed then told the officers, "If you gentlemen will take care of those five, we'll take these four with us."

One security guard nodded, "Yes, ma'am," while the other five were being questioned by the other officer. We rounded up our two young "friends" and started for the exit.

One of the two, closest to Rich, nervously panted, "Thank you so much."

The other, nearest to me, softly quivered, "I thought we were dead, seriously," and then began crying. The kid was maybe five-feet and four-inches tall, but I wrapped an arm around him and kept him walking with us.

Rich asked the boy by him, "What's your name?"

"Ronnie Stroh," the boy replied. Gesturing to his friend, he added, "This is Alex Linville."

My mom scowled, "I thought you said that you knew them, Neil?"

"And I could've sworn I heard a party mentioned," Mrs. Hamilton suspiciously squinted.

I grinned, "The Pope is Jewish too. We had to get them out of there." Ronnie cracked up and held onto Alex, who soon started giggling through his tears.

Rich looked over at me and sniggered, "I can't believe what you did or what you said."

"Neither can I," Our mother's chorused.

Feeling the piercing of our mom's eyes in my chest, I smiled, "As usual, security is for the stores, not the people. Those guys were calling these two every homophobic dirty word in the book."

Rich nodded, "That was strike one. Strike two was when we saw them shoving Ronnie and Alex."

I softly told Alex, "Calm down, man. You're safe now. Rich is my boyfriend."

Looking up at me, Alex gasped, "You're really… but I saw you…"

Scratching my head, I sniggered, "It worked pretty well, huh?" Rich roared laughing.

Shaking her head, my mom wondered, "Where would you be now if we hadn't shown up?"

"Waiting for you with Ronnie and Alex, at the food court," I grinned. "The one with the biggest mouth backed off from me. He wasn't quite so sure of the odds."

Pushing open a mall door, Mrs. Hamilton asked, "What if a punch was thrown?"

"I would've fought with Neil for these two," Rich sincerely answered. As we followed our mom's outside, he then asked Ronnie, "How old are you?"

"Fourteen," Ronnie answered. "We both are."

Rich nodded, "We're fifteen; Neil turns sixteen in April, my birthday's in June."

We stopped walking and gathered outside the mall. Alex softly muttered, "You don't look or act gay."

I shrugged, "Neither do you, not that we saw, anyway. They were just punks, taking advantage."

Shaking his head, Alex sighed, "We were holding hands. They saw us."

Mrs. Hamilton shrieked, "Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Is no one safe in the world anymore?"

"Not very," Ronnie sighed.

My mom asked, "Where do you boys live?"

"In Wyckoff," Ronnie answered. "You don't have to take us all the way home, Mrs. …"

"Powell," my mom finished, and then said, "Yes, I do have to, Ronnie. What happened to you today could've easily happened to Neil and Rich. Wyckoff is on our way, so it's no trouble."

We started walking across the parking lot. Mrs. Hamilton asked, "Do your parents know?"

Ronnie replied, "Mine do. Alex's don't."

Mrs. Hamilton gently told Alex, "You really need to try and tell your parents. Rich didn't tell us and we thought he was a drug addict." Alex and Ronnie giggled.

"Yeah," Rich sniggered, "but I still almost pissed my pants, mom."

"You're exaggerating," Mrs. Hamilton grinned.

Shaking his head, Rich smirked and confessed, "No I'm not. At the time, I thought I might piss my pants or puke." Ronnie cracked up and Alex went into a giggling fit.

I nodded and smiled, "Since Rich couldn't do either in the back of our van he almost had a nervous breakdown."

Rich joked, "So I needed sedation, but Neil got a brand new bed. How the hell that worked out, I still don't know." To tease his mother, Rich joked, "The next day we got and burned an ounce." Our mothers stopped and suspiciously squinted at us. Rich and I bared toothy smiles. At last, we had both Ronnie and Alex loudly laughing.

Ronnie glanced at Rich and I, asking, "So you two have been together how long?"

"Almost two years," I answered, and slowed my pace, allowing us to get some space away from our mothers.

Rich nodded, "May is two years. Last July we were discovered."

Alex asked, "How did you… ya know… not get in trouble, like we did?"

Rich smiled, "We've known each other since second grade. We don't show much of anything outside our homes. Neil knows me and I know him, so how we have to act in public doesn't matter."

Rather than bring up periodic visits to our destroyed tree house in the woods in front of our moms, I nodded, "What I did today, gettin' toe-to-toe in that guys face, I've never done before."

"They pissed us off," Rich admitted. "For us, it didn't matter whether you were gay or not. Five bigger and older than two smaller and younger wasn't fair. It was the gang thing, ya know?"

Ronnie scowled, "So what do you think we should do?"

Rich sighed, "Do you love each other?" Both blushed, nodded and grinned at each other. Rich suggested, "Then you need to talk it out. How's it going to be everywhere, other than when you're alone?"

"That's what we did," I offered. "Franklin is a really small town and word gets around fast. We kept our secret for over a year. Even now, our families know, but that's it."

Rich nodded, "We had a safe place to be. Do you two have someplace safe?"

Both nodded and Ronnie said, "My place, weekday afternoons."

I softly suggested, "When we get in the car, let's share e-mail addresses and phone numbers. You guys can talk to us whenever you want to."

Rich nodded, "Wyckoff isn't that far from Franklin; maybe thirty minutes. There's gotta be a bus running where we could see each other once in a while." He grinned, "Just save the hand holding for safe places."

Alex nodded and giggled, "That's gonna be so hard to do, man."

"We know," Rich and I chorused.

I tapped Alex. When he looked up, I told him, "Rich matters to me. Ronnie matters to you. When you can be alone, tell him what scares you and how you'd like it to be."

Rich told Ronnie, "When we're alone, we share everything, not just sex. You've gotta be willing to listen and tell Alex how you want it to be. When Neil and I started two years ago, I was the one wanting to keep it hidden. Neil made that easier for me."

"It didn't cost me anything, pal," I reminded. Slowing down even more, I softly smiled, "As a matter of fact, we both made out like bandits." Ronnie and Alex giggled.

Also speaking very softly, Rich smiled, "Neil's a closet bisexual, with an evil sense of humor. He draws cartoons and plays guitar."

"I'm not bisexual anymore, or do I need to prove that again?" I playfully reminded.

Rich sniggered, "No, I get to prove it to you."

I grinned, "This is the way it is, guys; Rich leans on me and I lean on him. Be that way and you'll last through all the other bullshit."

Arriving at our minivan, where our moms were waiting, the four of us climbed in the back seats. I closed the door and Rich asked his mom for a pen. I started tearing off pieces of the paper Guitar Center sack so we could share e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Since we couldn't talk freely, we used the remainder of the same paper bag to write short questions and answers. Alex and Ronnie had only known each other about two years, since starting junior high, and hadn't been a couple an entire year; having only started messing around after school ended the previous June. We shared a lot on that Guitar Center bag and it overflowed onto a piece of my drawing paper.

Alex wrote a question about intercourse, which they hadn't yet done, but wanted to. Rich answered it with information we wished we had known and then showed them the contents of the Walgreen's sack. They didn't even know about lube, so I wrote down some Internet site names for them to visit. In the twenty or thirty minutes it took to get to Ronnie's house, there was a lot of giggling and chuckling going on in the back seats. At least there were fewer chances of Alex and Ronnie making the sexual mistakes Rich and I had. Ronnie folded up the piece of drawing paper with our written conversation and stuffed it in his back pocket with our contact information. Both of them promised to write us e-mails that afternoon. Rich and I got hugs and sincere thanks for saving their butts at the mall, and for everything we talked and wrote about. Our moms also got thanks for driving them home and getting them safely away from their tormentors. Before we pulled away, Rich wrote down Ronnie's home street address.

Next, Rich and I had to deal with our mothers, who were somewhere between annoyed over the scene made at the mall and proud that we had intervened. They couldn't make up their minds! One minute we're being chastised and the next we're being praised. One minute we're apologizing and then we're thanking them. For thirty more minutes, all the way back home, it was like that. I was actually looking forward to the tedious job of changing guitar strings, just so Rich and I could get away from the confusion. Once we were alone, I told Rich, "You were never as confusing as our moms. My last tidbit of bisexuality was left somewhere on highway 23." Rich softly sniggered and I grinned, "Show me your fat dick and I'll prove it." Falling back on my bed, Rich covered his mouth and howled.

From upstairs in my bedroom, we could hear our dads come home and being told the whole story by our moms. Not yet seven years old, Danny knew to get out of the line of fire. He came upstairs and looked into my room, wondering "What did you guys do?"

Restringing my acoustic guitar for me while I worked on the Stratocaster, Rich shrugged, "We helped some guys that were being bothered at the mall. It's no big deal, Danny."

"Oh man," Danny gasped, "you got in a fight?"

I chuckled, "We didn't get into a fight. No one got hit or hurt."

Sadly shaking his head, Danny grinned and sang, "You're in so much trouble," then went to his room.

Rich smirked, "You should've told him what really happened."

"He's too young," I reminded.

"Not that part," Rich smiled, "that you stood up to those guys. You've never done anything like that before."

"I never had to, and didn't really enjoy doing it this time."

"Yeah, ya did," Rich teased.

"I didn't."

"Sure ya did."

I chuckled, "Maybe just a little."

Rich hummed then softly giggled, "Will you get rough with me later?"

"After you get rough with me," I promised.

"Which position?"

"That's for you to figure out. I'll be dipped if I'm taking bottom and leading the show."

Occasionally grinning at each other, we finished getting the guitars restrung. I started tuning my acoustic guitar. We heard heavy footsteps coming up the stairs. Our fathers appeared in the doorway. For the next few minutes, we told our side of the story. Both our dads were very proud of us. The only unfortunate part, as far as our dads were concerned was the place it happened and that our moms had witnessed it. Since they had to calm rattled nerves, we got cash to order pizza while they took our moms out to dinner.

I tried out my new digital delay pedal then Rich and I remade my bed. While I was trying to figure out settings on my delay pedal, my dad called upstairs to tell us that they were leaving for dinner. We heard the front door close and our clothes flew off then we made love for over an hour, until we couldn't ignore our rumbling stomachs any longer. An extra large pizza with the works was ordered and delivered half an hour later.

While we waited, we wound up making love orally in the living room, which was another first for us. I have to admit, as incredible as intercourse is, I've always enjoyed a nice leisurely sixty-nine with Rich, because I can prove repeatedly that he's the one I want to be with and make love to.

After we polished off the pizza, we gathered up my acoustic guitar, our backpacks for school, and then walked over to Rich's house. We made love twice more, each of us taking a turn on our backs with our legs in the air. Rich was right; intercourse without rubbers was the very best. I don't care what anyone says, latex irritates. Cuddled up together, we watched TV from Rich's bed until we fell asleep.

Winter passed to spring. Every week we got e-mails from Alex and Ronnie. All e-mails sent were carbon copied to the other three, so none of us felt like there were any secrets. Rich tried out for our school baseball team and made it. I tried out for the track team and made the cut too. The worst part of those few months was the time we spent apart and getting home too tired to do much of anything. The summer of 1997 was a repeat of 1996. We only allowed Hamilton & Powell Lawn Care to operate Monday through Thursday, from eight in the morning until three in the afternoon. Every afternoon, we returned to Rich's house and made love. We were starting to sprout chest hairs. Rich's treasure trail was all the way up to his pecs. Hairs were encircling my nipples.

That summer we made trips to the shore every other weekend and hit every major beach from Sea Bright down to Atlantic City. Alex and Ronnie made a trip with us to Point Pleasant. In the months since we last saw them, Ronnie grew a little taller, but Alex had sprouted up and almost matched his boyfriend's height. That was a very cool day. The whole time was like a double date. We had lunch and dinner together and spent some time at the arcade on the boardwalk before catching the last bus back home at eight o'clock.

Getting to Atlantic City by bus took three hours. We left at six in the morning, arrived about nine and the last bus back left at six, getting us back home about nine at night. The great thing was, during almost every beach trip, we met some other gay guys. Most were a little older than us, but we met some around our age. One couple was from Philadelphia, another was from New York City, but most were from somewhere in New Jersey.

By the time late August rolled around and we had to get clothes for another school year, Rich had grown to five-feet and ten inches tall. My sexy hunk had a muscular thirty-six inch chest, a thirty inch waist and a thirty-two inch inseam. I had hit six-feet and one inch, which landed in my legs. I had a thirty-six inch inseam, a thirty-one inch waist and a thirty-eight inch chest. Rich weighed in at one-hundred-sixty pounds and I was one-hundred-seventy pounds. Yeah, I was still three inches taller than Rich, but we both enjoyed each other more than we had when we started out. There was nothing off limits any more. We discovered rimming and were crazy about it. There was no better prelude to intercourse, in our opinions. I was still top way more than bottom, but when I did get my backside filled, it was even more thrilling. While we measured each other for school clothes, we got silly and measured our limp dicks and our stiff cocks. Limp, we both hung about four inches. Rich had an ultra-fine seven-inch long by five-and-a-half inch boner. Almost every time he banged my butt, I would either shoot without touching myself or shoot twice. My cock had grown to seven-and-a-quarter inches long by five inches around. I had made Rich cum without touching himself and also drove him to multiple orgasms. My maniacal lover often shot so hard, I swear I was getting used to being hit in the face. I drew Rich a cartoon of me, with a surprised expression, my mouth wide open and drops of jizz from my forehead to my chin. He roared hysterically. We had completely given up on wasting our money buying condoms and got used to sleeping on wet sheets.

Periodically over the summer, and a lot over Labor Day weekend, Rich and I talked about how we wanted to be that school year. We were starting our junior year of high school. I was one of the tallest kids in school the previous year and Rich was not short or weak, by any stretch. Should we come out of the closet, was the question. We'd been acting like big brothers for Alex and Ronnie for many months. We'd met at least a dozen cool gay guys during our shore visits. Not once did we ever have any sort of problem with homophobic remarks aimed at us or anyone we were with. At the same time, we weren't really big hand-holders either. Yeah, we had gotten caught kissing in our homes, but generally, our affection was saved for privacy. Since our decision affected our families too, we decided to talk about it Monday, during a shared family barbecue. Rich and I went to toss a football around with our dads and talked about it.

When I told my dad what Rich and I were considering, he was so surprised that he forgot to pay attention to the flying football. I saved him from getting beaned in the nick of time and cracked up.

My dad chuckled, "Ya know, you never cease to amaze me. I think it would be good for you, Rich and this town."

Making sure I had at least Rich paying attention across the field, I tossed the football and wondered, "How so?"

My dad shrugged, "People are hung up on stereotypes, Neil. Neither you nor Rich are stereotypical. That's part of what makes me and Rich's dad as proud as were are." Pausing to catch the football that I wasn't paying attention to, my dad chuckled, "You're not flamboyant, you're not effeminate; you're simply two young men in love. You take time to consider who's around, and although I know you have to be making love, none of us have ever heard a sound." My dad tossed the football back across the field, and then shared, "The only things we've consistently seen you and Rich doing is taking showers together. Your brother is in bed by nine-thirty every night, in the room next to yours, but he's never been disturbed. Given all that, I have to wonder why this is important now."

I caught the next toss and threw the pigskin, saying, "It's our junior year. The S.A.T.'s are next spring. Since everything's been so cool, we want to go to college together."

"Where?" my dad asked, and caught another toss then threw it back.

"We'd like to see more of the country," I replied. "It's too early to tell right now, but if dreams matter, and we're accepted to the same school, we'd like to go to California, for the beaches and weather mostly, but we've also talked about Yosemite and the Grand Canyon too."

"I'm glad you're telling me this now," my dad chuckled. The football didn't get tossed again. Rich and Mr. Hamilton were crossing the field. For the first time, I noticed that Rich was as tall as his father. My dad grinned, "It's going to take me two years to assure your mother that California won't fall into the Pacific."

I asked Rich, "So, do we go for it or not?"

"We go for it," Rich smiled.

My dad joked, "I wish they didn't put it in those words."

Mr. Hamilton nodded and grinned, "The whole time I thought we were talking about holding hands."

"In for a penny, in for a pound," I joked. Grabbing his belly, Rich howled laughing. Softly chortling, our dads started for the house without us.

There in the open field, Rich wrapped his arms around my waist and held me close then stole a kiss. That was our very first public display of affection, in our neighborhood, with other families out preparing their own Labor Day celebrations. Rich leered, "Mister Powell, we have about an hour before dinner."

I smiled and confirmed, "Your house, Mister Hamilton?"

Rich nodded, "Everybody is here, so that's where I'll get my pounding and give some too, if ya want?"

Taking his hand in mine, I warned, "I'm gonna eat you alive." We walked all the way to the Hamilton's house, about half a mile, hand-in-hand. During our walk, we made more plans for the school year. We also got some surprised glances and stares, but no one said a word.

I've always shown Rich how much I really loved him. That afternoon, while we were making love, I told him how I felt; that no female would ever take his place, that he had the body I loved to touch, that his hands were the ones I wanted touching me, that he had the voice I longed to hear, that he and I would grow old together. When I got on my hands and knees for Rich, the devious devil told me how much he loved my cartoons; that I was becoming as good a guitarist as I was an artist, and he loved that I was only slightly taller than him. I had to agree, three inches difference in height was much easier to deal with than the six inch difference there was when we were fourteen. At last, Rich could rest his entire head on my shoulder.

On our way back to my house, we held hands again. We were surprised how much we liked it, not only as a display of affection, but it seemed so easy and natural. For the fun of it, we swung our clasped hands and arms forward and back. Nearing my house, Rich grinned, "God help the son of a bitch that makes a scene about us holding hands. I'll probably go mental on him."

I nodded, "Save some ass for me to boot around, pal. We will be doing this at school."

"Guaranteed, every chance we get," Rich sniggered.

Walking around to our backyard hand-in-hand, we stripped our shirts off then jumped directly into the pool. Standing on the bottom of the eight-foot deep side of the pool, I cupped his package and gave his goods a gentle squeeze. Even under water, I could tell by the look in Rich's eyes that I was going to get kissed. We floated to the surface, attached at the mouth and with our arms wrapped around each other until we needed to breathe. Giggling his little butt off, Danny came running and bounded into the pool, cannon balling us. It was Danny's way of saying, "I want to be tossed around." That's exactly what Rich and I did, until my little brother was hysterical and our mom's called us out of the pool to eat.

While we toweled off, I realized that Danny was about to start second grade. Was I once that little? I was Danny's age when I met Rich. For nine years, Rich had been my constant companion, and for more than two of those years, we've been boyfriends, more inseparable than ever. I briefly wondered who Danny might be with nine years in the future. At seven-years-old, it was too early to tell; girls were still icky aliens and kissing was for mommies and daddies.

At the dinner table, we had an abundance of hot dogs, hamburgers, mild Italian sausages and barbecued brisket, as well as fresh corn-on-the cob and bowls of homemade potato and macaroni salad. Surprisingly, our dads gave us beer and our mothers didn't say a word about it. Sam Adams was our dads' beer of choice. Nearing the end of our meals and with empty beer bottles, my dad got up and got four more bottles opened then handed them out. I smirked at him, but said nothing. My dad grinned, "You're both sixteen. In Europe, many countries have sixteen as their legal age."

Mr. Hamilton added, "Besides, you're home and safe; neither of you can drive. School starts Wednesday." He lifted his bottle, as did my dad, Rich and I. We clanked the bottles together and finished our holiday meal.

Everybody helped clear the table and clean the kitchen then we went back outside, with four more bottles of beer. Halfway through the third bottle, I was sure that I was feeling a buzz. Also, I needed to piss, so I thought it was a good time to take care of that necessary evil and splash some water on my numb face. I hadn't made it all the way in through the sliding doors before I heard a steel patio chair scrape against the concrete. Turning around, I saw Rich lunging for me and heard our parents cracking up.

Rich closed the door and turned to me, giggling "I'm getting fucked up."

"Me too, pal," I sniggered, and explained my reason for coming inside.

Nodding, Rich playfully suggested, "Let's jump in the pool too, before we're too drunk to remember how to swim."

We went upstairs to the bathroom, which wasn't our most intelligent move ever. Tripping and stumbling and cackling like mad, we finally made it to the bathroom. Whipping our dicks out, we pissed a long damn time, about thirty ounces worth of processed beer each, I figured. Giggling like mad, Rich leaned against me with his fat limp meat still hanging out. The natural thing to do was to kiss him, so I did. Moments later, we were wrapped in each others' arms, trying to break the French kissing world record, panting through our noses and allowing our dicks to flop against each other through the flies in our shorts.

Dizzily breaking the kiss, I leered, "You're so friggin' hot, pal."

Rich nodded and giggled, "I want you too, but I'm forcing myself to wait for bedtime."

"Screw the sink," I chuckled, "let's head for the pool."

"Race ya!" Rich cackled and tore out of the bathroom. Hurrying after him, I took steps two and three at a time then dove for him at the landing.

Man, it was like we were fourteen again. Rich dove from the concrete deck sideways into the pool. I raced around to the diving board and attempted a jack-knife, which I could normally do, but in my buzzed state, I was still flipping, ass-over-tea-kettle, when I hit the water. It created an air pocket around me and my beer soaked brain loved the sensation. I told Rich how my fucked up dive felt and then we bounded out of the pool so I could demonstrate and he could try.

Surfacing, Rich loudly laughed, "That was incredible!" We kept doing that dive for a long while. The sun was setting and our mom's had gone inside with Danny and Claire, leaving our dads to watch us. Rich and I polished off our third beers and returned to the pool and our drunken dives. What seemed only a short while later, our dads were gone too, but there were two fresh beers sitting on the patio table for us. Leaving them to get warm would be alcohol abuse, so we decided to get the pool lounges and our beers then float around together until we finished them off.

It was a radical night for us. Floating around and drinking our beers, we held hands so our lounges never separated. Off in the distance, we saw flashes of heat lightning streak across the sky to the south and thoroughly enjoyed nature's light show. Nearing the last of our fourth beers, I slurred, "I love you, Rich. I've always loved you."

Rich giggled, "Yeah? How much do you love me?"

I hummed then grinned, "Enough to pick your sexy ass up and carry you around, like the trophy you are."

Rich giggled, "That's a nice start."

"Do you love me?"

Nodding, Rich sighed, "Neil, if love was water, I could fill ten of these pools, I love you so much."



"Whadaya want me to do for you, pal? Name it and it's yours."

Rich swallowed the last of his beer, loudly burped then giggled, "Help me out of this fuckin' chair so I can pee." I was drinking the last of my beer when he said that and cracked up, spraying beer foam all over us, laughing my ass off. Rich howled, "You used to warn me when ya were gonna cum." Hysterical, I rolled out of my lounge and into the pool. Rich rolled out of his lounge, and together we staggered against the mighty waves to climb out of the pool. Bouncing against each other, we waddled to the edge of the backyard, found a dark spot by the trees and whipped our dicks out again to irrigate the foliage.

With relief from my emptying bladder, I sighed, "Oh, Rich."

Rich giggled, "Oh, Neil."

I leered at my lover's meat and growled, "I love your soft dick."

"I love your limp dick too," Rich giggled.

"Whadaya want, pal?"

Rich hummed then giggled, "Do ya love me enough to skinny dip?"

"I love you enough to skinny dip in the ocean."

Rich giggled "Keep the crabs away from your foreskin, lover; that's mine to play with."

Nearing the dregs of my bladder, I slurred, "Ya don' think I'll do it?"

"Do it here, ya lanky fuckin' stud," Rich sniggered.

I nodded and pushed my shorts down then kicked them… somewhere in my backyard. With Rich giggling his ass off, I put my hands on top of my head and swung my hips to make my meat swing around. As I turned in my drunken dance, I realized that Rich had called me 'lover'. An intense shiver raced up and down my spine. Rich pushed his shorts off too, matching me move-for-move. I cackled, "Shake those buns, you hunky stud."

Turning around, Rich offered me a view of his bouncing ass cheeks that I would never forget.

Facing me again, Rich giggled, "Race ya!" and took off for the pool. From opposite sides of the diving board, we flew over the water then splashed down.

It was amazing to me that we had never skinny dipped before in all our years together. I surfaced and told Rich, "We should've been doing this all damn summer. We have got to do this as much as we can, before it gets cold."

Nodding, Rich pointed at the patio, giggling, "Look, the beer fairies have made another delivery." Realizing it had to have been my dad or both our dads; I absolutely lost it, grabbed my belly and roared laughing. That had to mean that one or both of our fathers either saw us pissing on the trees, or doing our drunken dick-flop dance. And Rich, referring to them as 'beer fairies', slammed my funny bone into the next galaxy.

Minutes later, when I had finished laughing myself to tears, we went to get the beers and realized that most of the lights were off in the house. I went to the kitchen window and peered inside. The clock read ten-fifty. Somehow, beer and drunken play time with Rich made time fly. I told Rich that his parents were gone and my folks had obviously gone to bed, after making the final beer delivery of the night. There was a breeze chilling our wet bodies, so we went back into the pool and stood near the edge, where we could put our beer bottles down and hold each other close. A few kisses later and I knelt down so Rich could climb onto my shoulders. I had this intense desire to shout, "Hey, Franklin, New Jersey, you sleepy fucking foothill town, look at my lover! Is he the hottest guy on the planet, or what? He's mine too!" I didn't shout it, but I did look up at Rich and tell him.

Rich giggled, "Ya know, I don't need much of an excuse to give you my ass? Keep talkin' that way, and I won't let you sleep."

"I can feel your chubby dick against my neck too," I sniggered, and knelt down again to allow Rich to slide off my shoulders. Guiding him nearer to the pool edge, I prompted him to sit there so I could give him a blowjob and his first orgasm of the night. Nodding and giggling, he warned me that if I did it, he would have to return the favor. There was nothing to prevent me from taking him, so I did. Then we finished our fifth beers of the night. He kept beer in his mouth when he took my dick too. The fizzing in my partner's mouth gave me the quickest bone of my life. Groaning, I leaned back onto concrete then sighed, "I'll love you forever, Rich."

Rich spent a long damn time licking my stiffy like an affectionate puppy. He sucked my foreskin into his mouth then clamped his lips down and pushed it off the head of my cock. The return trip, pulling foreskin back over my cockhead, was and always has been spine tingling. Once again, I reminded him that I wasn't lookin' around; that he was the best lover and best friend in the world. Rich knew me and how to make me shudder like crazy before finally making me shoot. Deliriously happy with each other, we made out in the pool for a while longer. It was half past twelve when we staggered inside. I shut off the outside lights and led my partner upstairs to bed. Too wasted to accomplish it any other way, Rich lifted his leg and gave me his ass then twisted his torso so we could hold one another and kiss. Maybe it was the beer, but I think it was simply the culmination of a great day that caused us to climax relatively quickly. I fell asleep with Rich cuddled beside me. It took us more than a year, but by skinny dipping, we had reached the point where we were living Rich's dream. Truthfully, the reality was way more fun than the dream.

Usually we'd hear our parents wake and getting ready for work. That morning, we were dead to the world until almost ten; that's really late for us. We were hung over too, which answered the question why three beers became four and then five; our parents wanted us to learn from it. We remained in bed; softly chatting about how fuzzy our brains and tongues felt, and how much fun we'd had the night before. For the first time in two years, since we'd learned to have anal sex and it felt good, we simply jacked our cocks to climax and swallowed the loads, so we wouldn't have to wash the sheets.

Carefully rolling to get out of bed, we sat up and groaned. I stumbled to my bedroom door, opened it and called, "Hello?" Claire was obviously out and so was Danny. With no one home, we staggered to the bathroom. While pissing, we decided that the first thing we had to have was aspirin. We had also seen those supposed "hang-over" remedies at 7-11, so we took multivitamins to hopefully salvage the day. Brushing our teeth, we discovered that toothpaste tasted horrible too. In the shower, we tried to figure out what we wanted for breakfast. Although we were starving, nothing really sounded all that appetizing. That was our next lesson, but we had to eat something.

We got dressed and went downstairs to the kitchen. Under a magnet on the refrigerator door was a note from my dad that simply stated, "All pleasure must be paid for with a bit of pain."

I showed Rich and he smirked, "They wanted us to get drunk."

"Probably because you called them beer fairies," I sniggered.

Rich smiled, "Ya know, that was the worst part; we could make love, but it sure wasn't the greatest sex we've ever had. I hate to admit it, but this morning was lame. We were better at fourteen."

Looking through the fridge, I shrugged, "The poolside blowjobs were great though, ya have to admit."

Rich nodded and went to the computer in the family room, saying, "It was, but I wanted intercourse at bedtime and again this morning. It's always good with you. I'm just sayin' that it might've been better, if we had stopped at three beers."

I checked, "What do you want to eat? I'm thinking Wheaties or Cheerios is about the best I could handle."

"Cheerios," Rich answered, "without sugar. I don't think I could handle anything sweet right now."

I nodded and poured two bowls, wondering, "What're ya doin'?"

"Checking our e-mail," Rich replied.

Splashing milk onto both bowls of cereal, I took both bowls to the family room and handed one to Rich. Looking over his shoulder while I ate, I saw his e-mail account load. There was an e-mail from Alex and another from Ronnie. Both their e-mails were carbon copied to me and asked if we wanted company. Rich and I had no plans for the day, so I went to the kitchen and called Ronnie's house. He answered on the second ring. He and Alex would be over within the hour and would hang with us until about four. Our plan was for an easy day out by the pool. We rinsed our breakfast bowls then went outside; where we found my shorts and Rich's, exactly where we had kicked them off to the prior night, hanging in the holly tree. Softly chortling about our skinny dipping, Rich retrieved our clothes. I started skimming the dead bugs out of the pool. Rich hooked up the pool vacuum and started doing that. While we worked, Rich reminded me to practice and play for our friends.

We wondered if we should ask Alex and Ronnie if they wanted to skinny dip. The house and pool would be ours until my mom got off work and came home with Danny around three-thirty. The only problem was, they were younger and might not want to, simply because we were all gay and erections were bound to pop up at some point.

Rich grinned, "Do you want to see them naked?"

I smiled, "I want to see you naked, Rich. I always have and always will. What they're packin' makes no difference to me at all."

Rich teased, "You're telling me that you don't think they're cute?"

"They are, but you're the reason I get wood. I showered with the track team last spring, and you showered with the baseball team, without getting boners."

Laying the pool vacuum down, Rich came close to me, softly smiling, "You're the best, Neil." Finished skimming, I nodded, laid the skimmer down, and pulled him close for one of our tight bear hugs and a passionate kiss. Looking deep into my eyes, Rich softly reminded, "I'm one hundred percent gay."

"I'm your gay lover."

"If I pop wood, don't think for a second that I'd want to with them. It's just cause and effect."

"I'm not worried, pal. We've got years on our side. We haven't known them a whole year."

"What if we want to make love? What if they want to?"

I chuckled, "Then we'll be washing the sheets this afternoon. We have to get an alarm clock and my acoustic from my room."

Grabbing another kiss, Rich stepped back and took my hand. We went inside and up to my room. Grabbing my acoustic guitar case, Rich instructed, "Play your electric for them too, Neil."

Picking up my spare alarm clock, I reminded, "We'll come inside for that. I can't play it when I'm wet without getting zapped."

Heading out of our room, Rich prompted, "Sing for them too."

Going downstairs, I sniggered, "Come on, man. I don't sing that well."

"I beg to differ," Rich smiled. "You have a great voice, Neil. You'd rather it was a higher voice, like Robert Plant or the guy from Journey, but you can sing."

I sighed, "What should I play then?"

Rich rambled, "On the acoustic, play Here Comes the Sun, Tequila Sunrise, Operator, Another Day and definitely Little Willow. On the electric, play I'm Losing You, Texarkana, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Serenade, and Stairway to Heaven."

Walking through the house, I laughed, "I can't sing Stairway!"

Rich growled, "You can sing it your way. I've heard you and it's great; it's just not Robert Plant. You've gotten really good, Neil. If we didn't live in this dinky little town, I'd tell you to join or start a band. When we get to college, I intend to push you in exactly that direction."

Shaking my head, I sniggered, "You love me too much or your tone deaf."

"I'm gonna clobber you!" Rich loudly warned. He then sighed, "Yes, I love you to death, but I am not tone deaf. Did I say this shit two years ago?"


"I started saying it last year, when you started softly singing Little Willow while you were practicing. What happened then, Neil?"

We stepped outside. I giggled, "You raped me, you bastard."

Putting my guitar case down near the side of the house, Rich laughed, "No, you were very willing. I blew you then banged your brains out, and then you banged my brains out, twice. We had five orgasms each in under an hour." I put the alarm clock down on the patio table then turned to him. Rich wrapped me in his arms and assured, "You've gotten really good. If you really want to give them a thrill, play Born to Run too. You know every part and every word. With the wah-wah pedal I got you for your birthday, it's fantastic, Neil, seriously."

I smiled, "Do you really think I'm that good?"

Rich nodded, "You don't think so because you can't play Hendrix, Van Halen or Stevie Ray yet. Soon, man, real soon, you'll make a breakthrough, and then we'll make love like we did that day last year, flip-floppin' so many times in a row that we'll be exhausted."

When he propped me up and complimented me like that, it always made me crazy. I softly told Rich that and wondered, "Why do you say shit like that?"

Rich smiled, "Because you are that good, and because it makes us both real hard. You're the artist and musician; I'm the brains; you feel and I think, probably too much. That's the way it's always been and always will be. I love you, Neil, everything you were, are and will become."

We had time, so I took my hunky partner back inside where we made love orally and fingered our butt-holes. Afterward, while we were washing our hands, there was a knock at the front door. We hurried to answer it and greeted Alex and Ronnie with warm hugs then led them out back.

Following us, Alex started giggling. Alex always was a giggler, but Rich and I turned to them, curiously grinning. Ronnie smiled, "You're holding hands?" Rich and I told them about our discussions with our dads and that we planned to come out at school. Ronnie shouted, "Oh man! What're you trying to prove?"

Rich grinned and replied, "That gays are normal guys, like the four of us."

I nodded, "We agreed, this little town needs a wake-up call. This state and country needs to realize TV and movies aren't showing gays as we really are; normal people that do normal things."

Alex and Ronnie shared an uncertain glance. Alex pleaded, "Please be safe, guys. I don't ever want to hear that you've been hurt."

Ronnie nodded, "Since day one, you two have been our only other real life gay friends. You're really important to us."

Rich smiled, "You're really important to us too; sure, a lot of our friendship has been across the Internet, in e-mails, but we did go to Point Pleasant together, and you are here now."

I reminded, "If we weren't working over the summer, more might've been able to happen, but we hope to see each other more. Once I'm driving and Rich is, you can count on more trips to the beach next summer."

Rich added, "It sure would be quicker in a car instead of a bus, and we wouldn't have to worry about when we wanted to leave." Slyly smirking, Rich asked, "Ever skinny dip?"

"No!" Ronnie and Alex loudly laughed.

I smiled, "We did, last night, for the very first time."

"Our dads got us drunk," Rich sniggered. "They did it on purpose, so we could learn a lesson." While Alex giggled and Ronnie sniggered, we told them all about the prior night and the morning repercussions. I assured them we were alone until three-thirty and pointed at the alarm clock, and then Rich and I stripped. Our two younger friends cracked up. Rich prompted, "Come on, you guys are safe. If we need alone time or you do, we've got hours." He jogged over to the diving board and repeatedly bounced, making his dick flop. After putting on a sufficient show, Rich dove into the pool.

I chuckled, "If you don't join us, it wouldn't be cool and we'll have to put our board shorts back on."

Ronnie sniggered, "You're surprising the hell out of us, Neil."

I nodded, "What's more surprising is how great it feels."

Giggling, Alex balked, "But what if we get hard?"

I shrugged and grinned, "Then I'll show you my room and tell you to hurry, so I can get some of Rich." Leaving them to discuss it, I went and jumped in the pool with Rich. When I surfaced, Rich and I noticed Alex and Ronnie glancing around our yard. There were plenty of big trees all around our yard; some maples, oaks, hollies and pines. At last, Ronnie stripped off his T-shirt, his boardies and gray boxer-briefs. Giggling and slowly following his boyfriend's lead, Alex got naked.

We were surprised with the sizable dick Alex had hanging. After they jumped in the pool and joined us paddling in the deep end of the pool, Rich smiled, "Are you excited, Alex?" He shook his head and turned red.

Ronnie smiled, "He shows, I grow."

I gasped and exclaimed, "Damn, Alex; you're as big limp as me or Rich are erect?"

Covering his face with one hand, Alex nodded, "Seven and three-quarter inches. It either hangs or points up."

Vigorously shaking his head, Rich grumbled, "I've never seen anyone that big limp. All this time, I've been talking like one bottom to another."

Lowering his hand to paddle and stay afloat, Alex nodded, "Rightfully so."

Ronnie grinned, "Once in a blue moon, I'm horny enough to want bottom. It actually works out to about once a month."

I laughed, "You were the much shorter one last January, Alex."

Ronnie nodded and smiled, "His dick hasn't really changed much either. I was just as surprised as you guys, believe me. Let's stop talking about it though, please? He's not saying it, but Alex is really self conscious about it."

Firmly gripping Alex's shoulder, Rich nodded and said, "If I had meat like yours, I'd probably be so proud and very stuck up."

Shaking his head Alex said, "I don't think so, Rich. Think about it; having other guys comment on it since the first time I showered in seventh grade? I can't tell who's gay and who isn't. Every school year, it's the same thing. I haven't ever seen anyone that hangs as long, and can't wait for the day I do. It's a mixed blessing and a curse."

"Alex wears boxers because he has to, not because he wants to," Ronnie explained.

Nodding, Alex offered, "Ronnie would love to see me in briefs or a Speedo, but I can't, as much as I'd like to make him happy."

Rich nodded, "Ya know what you need to do then, don't you?" Alex shook his head and Rich explained, "Save the Speedo for Ronnie alone, in his bedroom, where it's just you for him."

Thinking about it for a moment, Alex giggled, "That's a great idea."

Ronnie smiled, "See, this is why we hang out with you guys. You've got the age advantage and a whole different perspective."

Alex nodded, "Thanks to you guys, our first time was totally fab. I know I wrote it, but I want to say it; thank you."

I smiled, "We're really sorry if we made you uncomfortable, Alex. This town is so small; we don't even have our own high school. Rich and I go to Wallkill Valley Regional, in Hamburg, about three miles away."

Rich offered, "You might get your wish in high school, Alex. With a larger school population, you might find that bigger guy. And, since we're clearing the air, we're proud to call you guys our friends. That has nothing to do with your dick, bud; it was there before today, just not said."

Alex nodded and giggled, "I wouldn't have skinny dipped with anyone else."

Ronnie tactfully changed the subject. "So you guys got wasted last night?"

I nodded and chuckled, "That's our dads. When I got caught smoking cigarettes, my dad made me smoke until I puked. This time, his point was to make us understand its fun, but it hurts."

Alex giggled, "The decision to come out happened before or after you got drunk?"

Rich laughed, "Hours before."

I sniggered, "We'd been talking about it, on and off, here and there, most of the summer. We talked with our dads, yesterday afternoon."

Ronnie turned to Alex and shrugged, "Ya know, if anyone could do it, and get away with it, Rich and Neil could."

Nodding, Alex giggled, "They're older, bigger and built, not like us." He laughed at Rich and me, "Big body size, not dick size!" All of us cracked up.

I grinned, "You guys will have your chance, in another year or two. Alex, you grew at least two inches taller since January."

Rich asked Alex and Ronnie, "How tall are your dads?"

Alex smirked, "Five ten."

Ronnie answered, "Five nine."

I told them, "What changed me the most was our lawn care job." I prompted Rich, "Remember, before that first summer two years ago?"

Rich smiled, "You were defined then, but I have to agree, you're sexier now." Alex giggled. Ronnie nodded and sniggered, earning him a punch in the arm from Alex.

I sighed then smiled, "All you two need to do is present a challenge, like I did back in January. In that same situation, at fourteen, Rich I and would've been just like you with five against two odds. Spend some time working out, exercise a little more. And there's nothing that says you won't be taller than your fathers."

Alex asked, "How tall are you two."

"Six-one," I answered.

"Five-ten," Rich offered.

Ronnie smiled, "I'm five-seven and Alex is five-six."

"Now," Rich and I chorused.

I wondered, "Nine months ago, how tall were you?"

Ronnie answered, "I was five-six and Alex was about five-four."

Rich nodded, "We're starting eleventh grade. You guys are starting tenth. We're both sixteen now. Are you both fifteen?"

Alex nodded, "I am, since May twelfth."

Ronnie smiled, "My birthday is this Saturday, the sixth of September."

Rich and I cheered, "Happy birthday!"

I smiled, "You grew two inches in eight months, Alex. You could be as tall as Rich, this time next year."

Rich nodded, "Remember the old saying, keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. So, what are homophobes?"

"Stupid," Ronnie grinned.

I nodded and added, "Or bigots that don't want to know any better."

Rich stated, "Or people that think that the Bible gives them the moral high ground. I can tell you, as a Catholic, the verses they recite are either misinterpretations, or from three thousand years ago, when having a baby wasn't a sure thing. Since infant mortality was so high, it was a matter of preserving the species; that's not the case anymore. Gays have been coming out of the closet since the 1960s. Read about the Stonewall Riots, where the homosexual community in Greenwich Village stood up against the police and government. Here it is, almost thirty years later and we still haven't got equal rights. I want to marry Neil, and I have every intention of doing that, before we're too old and can't get it up."

"I want Rich as my husband," I told our friends. "Imagine a day when two fourteen-year-olds can hold hands in a mall, without worrying about a gang of ignorant douche bags giving them a load of shit."

Rich sighed, "Here we are, two couples, four gay guys skinny dippin' without any worries. We've all seen dozens of dicks before. Now we've seen each other, for the first time. I don't see one erection in this pool. Alex, as hung as you are, I'm not grabbing your dick and neither is Neil. I think every gay dude is like we are; more attracted to our partners than we are to the flesh hanging between our legs."

I picked up from there, saying, "I thought I was bi when I was fourteen. What changed me is Rich. Having sex became making love. Nothing thrills me more than making him happy, especially for just those minutes, and now it's all the time. If you dudes want to put on a show, like Rich did on the diving board, go for it and feel safe doing it, because I want Rich, by my side, in my arms and in my bed. Even this morning, hung over as hell, we were both on the same page."

Rich nodded, "In love, but with skull splitting headaches. So we took care of each other, just like any other day, within the limits of our hangovers."

Alex checked with Ronnie, "What do you think?"

Ronnie grinned, "I think we have more to remember this time than we did in January."

I chuckled, "It took us two years of reading and chatting to get to this point. You guys don't have to rush, just do a little homework."

Rich nodded and cackled, "Naked, like we did." Alex and Ronnie roared laughing. I grabbed hold of Rich, kissed him hard and we sank below the surface. Just as we were running out of air and were surfacing, Alex and Ronnie also descended, attached at the mouth. For our friends, Rich and I got out of the pool with chubby dicks and went to the diving board. Only after Alex and Ronnie surfaced, I did my hip swivel to make my dick flop then dove in and went under them, popping up again at the shallow end of our pool. Rich did his dick-flop dance, to loud cheering, and then dove in. Thankfully, Alex and Ronnie got the message and climbed out of the pool. Cackling like crazy and blushing more than we'd ever seen, Ronnie did his own crazy dick-flop dance then dove in. To our surprise, Alex stepped up onto the diving board. Ronnie surfaced beside me and Alex started doing an incredibly sexy dance. Ronnie cheered, I clapped and laughed, and Rich cackled, "Careful, Alex. That beast could knock your nuts into your throat."

Giggling his ass off, Alex covered his face with both hands then dove in.

That afternoon was the best in so many ways. After our pool dances, Rich had me play guitar and sing for our friends. For the first time ever, I played for more than Rich or my family. More surprisingly, my audience remained nude. At Rich's insistence, I started with Little Willow and sang.

Bend little willow. Wind's gonna blow you hard and cold tonight
Life, as it happens, nobody warns you willow, hold on tight
Nothing's gonna shake your love, take your love away
No one's out to break your heart it only seems that way... hey
Sleep, little willow. Peace gonna follow, time will heal your wounds
Grow to the heavens, now and forever, always came too soon, little willow
Nothing's gonna shake your love, take your love away
No one's out to break your heart it only seems that way... hey
Bend little willow. Wind's gonna blow you hard and cold tonight
Life, as it happens, nobody warns you willow, hold on tight
Ah, little willow, little willow

I played all the songs Rich wanted me to play on acoustic and electric guitars to an enthusiastic audience of three. For the first time, I believed what Rich had been telling me. Heading down stairs, I thanked Rich, Alex and Ronnie for their comments.

With Rich's help, I made us barbecued cheeseburgers for lunch. We played gin rummy after lunch to take time to digest a little before returning to the pool. After a while, I played a few more songs on the acoustic, including Wish You Were Here. At three o'clock, the alarm clock went off and we got dressed. My mom came home with Danny. Seeing Alex and Ronnie outside with us, she came out to say hello and do her motherly checkup. When Alex and Ronnie had to leave to catch the bus, Rich and I walked them to the bus stop, talking about school the entire walk. We gave each other hugs goodbye and hoped we could get together again soon.

Once our friends were safely on the bus, we started the trip back to our neighborhood, hand-in-hand. Rich grinned, "Which father should we deal with first tonight?"

I chuckled, "I really don't know, pal. I guess I have to wonder if it matters."

Rich nodded, "Your dad is home before mine, so we'll start there."

"I'll spend the night at your house. We'll get the other side of the picture from your dad later."

Rich asked, "Do you think we went overboard with Alex and Ronnie?"

Shaking my head, I answered, "I don't think so. Like we were, they'll figure out a bunch of things on their own. We only pointed the way. By skinny dipping, I think they learned a little bit of confidence. They stayed naked for almost four hours."

"You bringing up their mall encounter, that was sheer brilliance," Rich beamed.

"By the way," I remembered, "a dick like Alex's wouldn't make you stuck up. Dick size wouldn't have changed a damn thing, for you or for me."

Rich asked, "Have you ever heard about showing versus growing?"

"Nope, I always thought dicks grew when they got hard."

"We'll have to tell them that we learned something from them. That'll add to their confidence."

Rich hummed thoughtfully.

I wondered, "What's the matter?"

Rich shrugged, "They're both uncut. I felt like the odd man out."

Shaking my head, I sighed, "Sad, sad, sad."

Rich chuckled, "What's sad?"

"I'll have to teach you that your dick is perfectly fine," I teased.

"I only felt out of place," Rich giggled.

"It's right between your legs where it belongs," I smiled. "You know as well as I do what foreskin means."

"Extra washing," Rich gleamed.

"Which meant I was spankin' it as soon as it started getting hard," I smiled. "Man, was I surprised when I learned it could shoot." Rich cracked up. "Seriously," I sniggered, "it just kept feeling better and better and then…" I grunted. Rich roared. I pushed him along, acting like a twelve year old and raising the pitch of my voice. "What? What is this? I peed? No, it's not piss. What is that? Dad, I was washin' my weenie the other day and something really weird happened."

Rich howled, "You didn't say that, did you?"

"I sure wanted to. Instead, I kept washing it. I had the cleanest dick in the state. A few months later, my best friend played with it for me."

Nodding, Rich breathlessly giggled, "It was fun then and always has been."

"You could've told me at thirteen, pal."

"I didn't know that. I was figuring everything out, just like you. Now we know Jimmy Reardon's dick probably doesn't get any bigger."

"Alex has Jimmy beat, by at least an inch."

"Closer to two inches," Rich grinned. I suspiciously squinted at him and released his hand. Rich laughed, "What?"

"Now you've done it," I warned. "I'm gonna play with your dick and suck you to multiple orgasms, but never let you near my dick."

"So, you're just gonna whack off? I don't think so!"

I took off running and made him chase me back to my house. About a minute later, Rich came in the house, panting and squinting at me. He backed me into a corner and kissed me hard, in front of my mom, Danny and Claire, practically sucking my tongue off its roller.

That night, we learned from my dad and then Rich's dad, that they had multiple reasons for allowing us to drink and get drunk. At sixteen, our lives were about to change. We could wind up going to parties with other teenagers. They wanted us to know what it felt like to be drunk and out of control and hung over the next day, so we wouldn't make mistakes when we were out of their sight. We drank two beers the first hour and drank the other three in about two hours; the lesson was that we needed to pace ourselves or risk the consequences. My dad's message on the refrigerator was not only referring to drinking and hangovers, it was to remind us that not everyone would be pleased about us coming out at school. Rich and I already knew that. We were as prepared as we could be, mentally to talk our way out of fights, and physically, should it ever come to fighting. Our fathers reminded us that it could potentially affect our lawn care business the next summer too. Everything had pluses and minuses; pros and cons. We would know who in our town was cool and who wasn't.

Rich and I were alone in his room, before his parents went to bed, at ten o' clock. We confirmed that nothing said was big news and it didn't affect our plan. Loading our backpacks with gym clothes, notebooks, pencils and pens, we got ready for school the next day. We had different home rooms, but for the remainder of the day we had the same classes. Our school days would start at seven-fifty. English III was our first class of the day, followed by Applied Geometry, then Chemistry, then gym, then lunch, then World History, and finally Web Mastering, where we would build and maintain our school's web site. The school day was over at two twenty-four and we would be back at Rich's for our "home work" around quarter to three.

Around ten-thirty we went to bed to make love. Rich is an earlobe nibbler and I love it. I'm the neck and nipple sucker, constantly being warned to not leave hickeys, especially the night before the first day of school. Now and then we'll switch those roles too, just to be different. After making out for a while, Rich smiled, "Real slow tonight, Neil. I want to feel you inside me a long time. Move just enough to keep your dick hard." I grinned and nodded then stole a deep kiss. We'd tried it before and managed to make it last about twenty minutes. This night, we managed about thirty minutes and we both climaxed twice.

Rich's alarm was set for six-thirty, so we could shower together, make love while we were bathing then grab a bite to eat before catching the bus to Wallkill Valley Regional High School. Rich always slept on his left side, with his right arm flung over my belly. I slept on my back, with one arm wrapped around Rich and the other resting on his arm over me. We caught the weather report for the next day. It would be overcast with a chance of rain with a high temperature near eighty. We would have to bring light jackets, just in case. Rich lowered the volume and set the TV timer to turn itself off in an hour. We drifted peacefully off to sleep.

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