by Victor Thomas

Chapter 13

I awoke the next morning with Brian at my side. I couldn't think of a better way to awaken. His young, naked body looked so beautiful in the morning sunlight. His hair caught the light and shown like gold. He was a living work of art; his beautiful face, lithe features, and tight, muscular body could have inspired masterpieces by Michelangelo and DaVinci. The sight of him filled me with love and desire. I grinned evilly to myself, then leaned over and awakened him in a way he'd never been awakened before. His moans of pleasure told me when he'd left sleep behind. That was an alarm clock he'd never forget.

An hour later, we showered and dressed. We walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. Aunt Sandra was just setting out plates stacked high with French toast. Her timing was impeccable. She always seemed to know just when to do everything.

"Is Mark still here?" I asked.

"No, he left a couple of hours ago," she said cheerfully. "We had a nice little breakfast, then I sent him off with a bag of chocolate chip cookies."

I was sorry I'd missed him, especially since I hadn't had the chance to thank him for driving Brian out to the farm. He'd be back soon enough, though and I could do it then.

"How'd you boys sleep last night?" she asked, pulling up a chair beside me.

"Better than ever!" said Brian, grinning knowingly at me.

It was clear that his smile was about more than just sleep.

We gorged ourselves on French toast, soaking in maple syrup, with powdered sugar sprinkled on top. We ate and talked with her. She made us feel so much at home. I found myself wishing that she was my mother. Things would've been very different than, perhaps too different. Who knew. If she had been my mother, I probably never would've met Brian. My life might've been totally empty.

But there was no need to think about it. Life was filled with one 'if only' after another. I knew that I had to deal with the hand life had dealt me, not get lost in what could have been.

"Anything we can help you with today, Aunt Sandra?" I asked.

"No, no. It's a beautiful day and I want you boys to have fun. God knows you deserve it."

Her warmth and kindness touched my heart. She was truly a kind soul.

"Doesn't your barn need painted?" I asked mischievously.

"As a matter of fact, it does," she laughed. "My hired man and his helpers are coming this afternoon to work on it."

Mom really would think I'd been working hard. I just knew Aunt Sandra would tell her I painted the whole barn by myself.

"You amaze me," I said.

She just smiled.

"Scott, why don't you and Brian take Flair and Fala for a ride. They could use the exercise."

"Awesome!" I said.

I loved horses and riding, but I rarely got the chance to ride.

"Can you ride?" I asked Brian.

I was so excited; I'd already jumped out of my chair.

"Of course, I can ride, doofus!" he replied, grinning. "I can do a lot more things than just play football, you know."

He smiled for a moment, then his face darkened with the memory of everything that had happened to me. After a moment the dark cloud passed and his smile was back. There was something special about our weekend together on the farm, something that couldn't be ruined by all the pain in my life.

We headed for the barn and saddled up the horses. They were spirited, yet gentle horses. In minutes we were riding side by side through the fields beyond the barn. It was truly a fine day for early November, a bit chilly, but bright and beautiful. Aunt Sandra's farm really was a magical place. The horses were excited to get out, and cantered happily beneath us. We let them roam wherever they chose. Our destination didn't really matter. It was the journey itself that was important. Kind of like life.

Brian looked so beautiful riding beside me, his long blond hair flying in the wind. A smile played against his lips, making him more beautiful still. I wasn't exactly looking my best. I was still bandaged and bruised, looking more like an accident victim than anything else. I knew that looks didn't matter. What really counted was how we felt about each other. True, it was his handsome face and form that first attracted me, but it was his spirit and heart that kept me by his side. Maybe it was even his spirit that attracted me first. The day we'd met, his soul seemed to call out to me, beckon me. I'd felt drawn to him, and not just by his beauty.

One thing was for certain, if he hadn't been beautiful on the inside, his outward appearance wouldn't have mattered. There were plenty of good-looking guys out there, but very few possessed a beautiful soul. Ashton was the perfect example. He was an exceptionally attractive young man on the outside, but on the inside, he was spiteful, despicable, and hateful, totally repulsive in his actions. His looks might attract, but his personality was sure to repel anyone who got close enough to truly know him. Todd was another example. I'd actually had a crush on my former best friend, but now he hated me, all because I'm gay.

The two of us rode for hours, sometimes thundering across the fields at dangerous speeds, sometimes barely moving along. The horses loved it, and so did we. I guided Flair to the pond near the southern most boundary of the property, knowing they were in need of a drink. As we neared the pond, we dismounted and let them avail themselves of the cool water. They drank long and waded in for a refreshing swim. We let them wonder; I knew they wouldn't abandon us.

I shivered slightly as I watched the horses wade into the water. There was a pronounced chill in the air and I didn't even want to think about getting wet. The weather was typical for early November. In less than two weeks it'd be Thanksgiving, and then it would really get cold. I didn't mind. One way or another, I'd still have Brian to snuggle with.

He was wearing a long-sleeved blue flannel shirt. He was breathtaking. I pulled him to me and kissed him deeply. We sank down on the grassy shore and made out. I could never get enough of kissing him. His lips tasted so sweet. I loved it when our tongues entwined. It made me feel as if we were one.

He was so sweet, kind and understanding. It made my heart ache to think about what my classmates and family were putting me through. At least he could bring me happiness here and there, even if it was only for a moment. I'd have to live for that, the good times in between the rough times. Maybe someday we could be together where no one would judge us harshly. The world as a whole seemed to be growing more accepting of such things. If only my friends, family, and Chouteau Kansas could do the same.

We leaned back and gazed into each other's eyes. There was no doubt we were in love. I wished that I could share what I was feeling with all the world. I think that feeling would've stopped wars and ended all violence.

I pulled him to me, kissed him, and told him how very much I loved him. Despite the growing chill in the air, it made me feel warm inside to hear him echo my words. To love is a wonderful thing; to be loved is infinitely more precious.

We rode back to the barn and tended the horses. By the time we finished, the sky had darkened and evening had come. The two of us leaned together on a fence, watching the fireflies' glow in the distance. I remembered past visits here when I'd chased them as a little boy and gathered them in a jar, only to release them a few minutes later.

The crickets and cicadas serenaded us with their song, and somewhere in the distance, a whippoorwill began it's haunting tune. A bobwhite chanted it's name to us, and a gentle breeze wafted across the fields, carrying with it the clean, cool scent of clover and new mown hay. I wrapped my arms around him and held him close as we watched the fireflies dance, and then shifted our gaze upwards to the stars. It seemed like paradise.

"I wish we could stay here forever and ever," he said softly.

"Me too… just you, me, and Aunt Sandra. Wouldn't that be wonderful?"

My own voice had a dreamy quality.

He smiled at me, leaned over, and kissed my cheek. I held him close as we watched the darkness deepen. There was a definite chill in the air now, but he felt warm and snuggly as I held him from behind. The moon rose, illuminating the beautiful night. I was so happy with him at my side. Simply being with him, feeling his warmth, listening to his breath… that was all I really needed. I wished I could freeze time and just stand there with him forever, experiencing an eternity with him. Nothing could've been more wonderful than that.

The world seemed such a beautiful place as we stood there together. It seemed an impossibility that evil could exist in a world so wonderous. I knew well it did exist, but for the moment, it was elsewhere. The farm seemed almost magical… a safe haven where evil could never come.

After several long minutes, I pulled him to me and kissed him passionately. Every kiss was like the very first, so filled with wonder and love. We sought to draw the other closer, to become one. Before I'd met him, before I'd kissed him for the first time, I was unable to comprehend how intense, how meaningful a simple kiss could be. I'd thought of all sexual matters merely from the perspective of physical pleasure and desire. It'd never once occurred to me that there might be something more. The first time I kissed him, and again the first time we made love, I discovered that sensual pleasure was the least of the experience. All the rest, which words cannot begin to describe, was infinitely more powerful and wonderous. Anyone who hasn't loved someone, and been loved in return, can't even begin to understand. I felt truly lucky that I could comprehend.

Making love with him was an experience beyond description, but simply kissing him, touching him, being near him, filled me with bliss that I'd never thought possible. He'd opened my eyes to something wonderous, almost beyond imagination. I kissed him passionately. His lips were sweet and warm. Had I died at that moment, I would've considered mine a full life, all because of a kiss.

I held him in my arms as our lips met again and again. I wanted nothing more than to just hold him, and be with him. Why did the world hate me so for wanting that? I couldn't understand.

At last, our lips parted, then we turned and headed for the house. Aunt Sandra would be waiting. Warm lights glowed from inside the farmhouse, a friendly, inviting light. I thought to myself how wonderful it would be if Brian and I could get a house like this someday. Who knows? All I have to do is survive seven more months of high school. Anything seemed possible at that moment.

Aunt Sandra made us what she called her 'breakfast supper' of biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, and sweet cinnamon rolls. If I stayed with her much longer, I'd be as fat as the cattle. We ate and talked and ate some more. The old kitchen was so comfortable with it's ancient furnishings and kerosene lamps. She liked everything to be old fashioned, and I could understand why. There was something about the glow of an oil lamp that electric light just couldn't duplicate. Brian looked so handsome in the golden glow, but then he always did. I must have thought how handsome he was dozens of times that day, and every day.

After supper, we all went into the sitting room. it was a comfortable place with two overstuffed sofas and golden oak furniture from another age. An old pump organ stood in one corner, dark and almost ghostly. She kept the lights off that night, and illuminated the room only with candles and lamps, making me feel like I was far in the past.

Brian curled up next to me on the sofa as we chatted. It felt so good to be close to him and to be able to be close to him without a disapproving look. He snuggled up against me like a little puppy. She didn't stare with disapproval as so many would. She didn't frown, didn't glare. She smiled a warm happy smile that showed that our love for each other warmed her heart. If only the rest of the world could have understood. She did, but she seemed the only one. To her, love was love; the details didn't matter. If only everyone could understand that, the world would've been a far better place.

We talked long into the night. Brian fell asleep with his head on my chest. I absent mindedly petted him while Aunt Sandra and I spoke in quiet voices. She grew silent for a moment, and just sat there looking at us.

"Scott," she said quietly, "whatever you do, don't let anyone ruin what you have with Brian. I know your life is hard right now, but you're a very lucky boy. Most people go through their entire lives without finding what you have. It's worth more than any amount of money, it's worth more than anything."

"I know," I said, smiling as I looked down at him. "Despite everything, I wouldn't give up what I've had with him for anything. I've never felt this way before. I just wish everyone could be like you."

She sighed.

"Everyone has their own thoughts and feelings, Scott. Our lives and those around us shape us all. None of us can help but be what we are."

It was true, but it didn't make things any easier. I wondered why so many of the boys at school hated me so much. What did they fear from me? What made them think that I had harmed them or threatened them? I just couldn't comprehend, just as they couldn't understand me.

Our talk drifted on to other topics. About an hour later, Brian awakened. We bid Aunt Sandra good night and dragged our weary tails to bed. The soft comforter and goose down mattress felt so good to my tired body. I mumbled a good night to him and he muttered something back. I fell fast asleep with him snuggled up by my side.

Talk about this story on our forum

Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.

[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]

* Some browsers may require a right click instead