Picture Me And You

Chapter 9

I never really thought about it before, but I'm starting that the mesmerizing beauty of your average sunset is dependent on who you share it with. Because I was sitting on the rocks next to Rory, with the full glory of Lake Michigan stretched out in front of us...the sun setting over the city behind us, bringing out colors of orange, yellow, purple, and even tints of green to the sky above...and I don't think that I've ever truly appreciated the stunning brilliance of it all until I took a hold of Rory's hand.

Seriously, it was a breathtaking experience, and when we turned to face one another...the emotions that bubbled up within me were like nothing that I've ever felt before. A euphoria that could never be duplicated or substituted with something that was born from a lesser motive than the blossoming of true love.

A silent message was exchanged between us. Something in the tilt of our smirk, the glistening infatuation in our eyes, the increased strain of breath as our hearts beat against our lungs with a fever that caused us to shiver and tremble from the impact. No words spoken. None needed. Just the tender touch of his hand in mine, and the gentle breeze that blew around us as we soaked in the stunning beauty of the multicolored horizon before us.

It was one of those golden moments that called out to you and let you know that this was one of those life altering milestones that you needed to remember for the rest of your days.

Rory was so beautiful. Not just in the physical sense...but in the way that you could clearly see with your eyes closed. How an intense beauty like that hadn't corrupted his gentle nature, inside and out, was a complete mystery to me. It seemed almost unfathomable to me. But I felt lucky, regardless.

"This was, like...the perfect day." Rory said, just a hint of a blush staining his flawless cheeks.

"Uh huh..." I said, breathlessly. "We should do this more often."

"I'm down if you are." he grinned. "Thanks, Kevin. Everything about being out here with you like this...it's like, a fairy tale come true. I never thought that cute boys like you would be so amazing. You know? Like...romance. It's the best feeling ever."

I nodded my head, and said, "You can have all the romance I have to give from now on, any time you want it. Promise. K?"

And Rory leaned over to kiss me on the cheek. "Sounds good to me."

We sat there together, hand in hand, for a while longer until his phone began to buzz. He answered it, and my instincts told me that our time together was quickly coming to an end. I don't know what it is, but 'parents' just have a specific feel when it comes to calling their kids on a cell phone.

"Hello?" Rory said. "Yeah. I'm just hanging out. It's not that dark. Uh huh...ok...yeah. Just give me about ten more minutes. Then I'll start on my way home." See? I told ya. Rory hung up, and he stuck out his bottom lip in the cutest way. "My mom wants me to come home for dinner."

He looked so adorable that I couldn't help but to laugh. "Hehehe! It's ok. I kind of expected things to start winding up soon for the day anyways." Then I said, "But...for what it's worth...it was awesome to share as much quiet time with you as I did today."

"Yeah. Today was fun." He sighed. "So, can I, like...call you tonight? I mean, like, later."

"Of course." I smiled.

"That doesn't seem creepy or anything, does it? I know that we spent the whole afternoon together..."

"I don't want it to end either." I said, and he let go of his slightly paranoid notion and smiled back at me.

"M'kay. I'll call you later then. Right after dinner. Or...you know...later this evening, if you want."

"Hehehe, quit being shy!" I said. "It's, like...TOO cute! I'm gonna end up making out with you or something."

"Is that going to be my punishment for being too cute?"

"Definitely. I don't think that I'll be able to control myself."

Rory's blush deepened. "I don't know if that would be such a bad thing. Like...I wouldn't mind if you..."

Before he could finish, I jerked forward and started kissing him passionately on the lips. I think it shocked him at first, and he giggled a little bit, his boyish smile spreading out, even as my lips were firmly connected to his own. And then he simply melted into it once my tongue entered his mouth. He lightly caressed the side of my face, and we blocked out the rest of the world to enjoy one timeless moment of affection. It felt sooooo good to be connected to him like this. And even though my body was super horny and secretly craving much much more...this felt good. Comfortable.

Something about this shared kiss and a light embrace felt like 'home'. And I was totally happy with that.

I mean...a feeling like this? What else is there? The physicality of sexual expression almost seemed to be a lame representation of what I really wanted from Rory in the first place. A welcome bonus to being with somebody so fucking HOT, sure...but...I don't know. I kind of like this kissing and giggling and holding hands thing. It's pretty cool.

We managed to to part ways before his mom and dad started buzzing his phone again, and before my own parents started buzzing mine too. But it wasn't easy. Rory had become my emotional 'oxygen', and that means that I was basically going to be holding my breath until I saw him again. And that was just going to make me antsy and weird until I was able to thread my fingers between his again and look upon his alluring smile and bright eyes with the kind of awe and amazement that they deserved.

Jesus...I am WAY too far in love to keep a straight face these days. He's all I think about. He's everything that I've ever wanted in a boyfriend. And when you get THIS lucky, especially when it's on your first real try at having a relationship...it almost seems to be too good to be true. It's a mental state that I'm desperately trying to break myself out of...but I guess that's where my so-called 'luck' runs out.

Rory did keep his word and called me just as I was carrying my empty dinner plate to the sink for the evening. And I ran to my room to talk to him at length over the next few hours without a single moment of awkward silence between us. Maybe a few brief pauses as we told one another, 'I love you'...which was more of a bashful reaction time to the confession than an awkward silence. But even that tiny bit of quiet clumsiness was something that I cherished and found great value in as we worked our way back into a casual conversation. I didn't make the stupid mistake of trying to be sexy or seductive like I did before. I didn't force it. I just...relaxed. And everything was awesome. No extra effort needed. Just like it was supposed to be.

I went to bed that night with a pic of Rory holding that teddy bear on my computer screen...looking so cute that I found myself grinning to myself as I rolled over to hump the mattress a few times with thoughts of Rory's kiss in my mind. DAMN...I want that boy so bad! Hahaha! But he was totally right about the sex thing. I don't know if I'd know what to do with him if he showed up in my bedroom right now, completely naked, begging me to take him right then and there!

It's always super hot to think about...but in reality, I think I'd be too nervous to really...you know...'perform' the way I'd want to perform. My Rory deserves to be thrilled. I want to drive him wild, and have him lose his MIND the first time I'm given the opportunity to make him cum. You know? Like...I want it to be like the hottest porno clips that I've ever seen online. Can I even move my hips like that? Can I coordinate stroking him and pushing into his tight hole and kissing the back of his neck at the same time? I don't even know if Rory thinks I'm all that good of a kisser yet. Oh God! What if he thinks I'm a bad kisser? Am I? He never complained before. Then again...who complains about kissing? I think he's a good kisser, but I'm totally biased in my opinion. Because I'm SO in love!

Shit, this whole situation is SO damn crazy! All I wanted was some sex...and now that the door is open, I'm scared to walk through it. I wonder if he's thinking about this right now. He says he thinks about it a lot. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? It might be a bad thing. Because if he's thinking about it all the time, then he might be expecting me to be, like...a 'maverick' at sex or something. What if I disappoint him during our first time? UGH!!! Why the fuck am I thinking about this??? My brain is so friggin' weird!

I tossed and turned all night long thinking about that stuff. It really began to worry me after a while. I don't think I really considered sex to be that big of a deal until I had to share it with someone that I really cared about. Now, it's like a hair away from being the end of my very first relationship as I know it. Maybe it was an insecurity thing...but I found myself suddenly wishing that I had the kind of experience that Kyle and Jason did with this kind of thing. At least I would have had some practice. Some 'training'.

Arrrghhh! I've got everything that I could possibly want in a boyfriend...and I'm still jealous of my friends' experience. How fucked up is that?

The next morning, I woke up with Rory on my mind. And, for no real reason at all, I just sent him a text message to say, "Hey. It's Kevin. I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you, and I hope you have a really good day. Love you. Bye." Is that corny? It doesn't feel corny. Not to me. I mean...I just wanted to connect to him in some way. Even if it was just to say hello. It made me feel good to let him know that he was on my mind. I'd do it a thousand times a day, if I could. And it would still be an exercise in restraint for me, because I'm sure that I think about him ten times as much as I'm willing to admit.

About forty minutes later, he sent me a message back to say, "Omigod! You're so CUTE! I love you too! I'm gonna have the best day ever now that I heard from you! Hope you have a good day too, Kevin! You're so beautiful! Love you!"

Awwww, he liked it! I nearly fell back in my desk chair, my brow wrinkled up as I fought back tears of joy. Oh wow...this is real. This whole thing is SO real! It's hard to believe, but I've got proof. Right here in my hand. Life doesn't get any better than this.

My need to impress Rory was growing to unrealistic proportions at this point, but I think I had learned the lessons that I needed to learn to keep from screwing things up too badly. I just...I felt like I needed a bit of an edge, you know? Don't worry, I'm not paying any attention to any more bad advice from here on out. But a few encouraging words might be helpful right now. At least that's what I was thinking at the moment.

So, later on in the afternoon, I called Kyle up on the phone. Just starting out with some small talk at first, but I think I was secretly trying to pick his brain as to how to maybe...take things to the next level with me and Rory. Not in a sexual way, just...sighhhh...I don't know. I really don't. I'm sort of stuck. I was hoping that he could help.

The funny thing is, Kyle seemed a bit disinterested in much of anything today. But when I asked to come over, he was happy to tell me that it was cool for me to come by for a visit. I could have sworn that I had heard Jason in the background when we were on the phone, but when I got there, Kyle was there by himself.

"Sup?" Kyle said. "Come on in."

We've been friends for long enough to detect when something is truly 'off' in one another's behavior, and I couldn't help but to ask Kyle if something was wrong as we headed towards his bedroom. "Nah. Everything is fine. I'm just having a bit of a weird day, I guess."

"A weird day?" I asked. "How so?"

"Just thinking about shit. Thinking about making some changes, to be honest."

"Um...okaaay..." I said. We got to his room, and I asked, "Where's Jason? I thought he'd be hanging around for sure today."

"Oh..." Kyle said blandly. "He made some kind of bullshit excuse to leave when he heard me talking to you on the phone. So..."

Should I be insulted? I mean, what the hell? "What did *I* do? I was just coming over to hang out for a bit."

"He probably thinks that you're going to brag about how awesome Rory is." Kyle said. "You didn't, like...'seal the deal' with him yesterday, did you?" I wish they could let that stupid idea go. I really do. I just shook my head, and Kyle nodded. "Yeah...I figured. That's totally not your style."

"So that's what Jason is all upset about? The fact that I didn't screw my new boyfriend on command?" I said with a frown.

"I don't think that's it." Kyle said.

"Well, then...what is it? Seriously, what is his problem with me and Rory just being boyfriends for a while without all of that sex and lust taking center stage all the time?"

Kyle shrugged and said, "I think that IS the problem, Kev. The idea that you're so happy without having to do any of that stuff. That you guys can just be cool with one another, and you're still talking and hanging out. If either one of us did that stuff with one of our ten scores online, they'd lose interest and move on to the next cute boy in their catalog without ever looking back." It sounded pretty sad to me, but I hid the emotion when Kyle looked into my eyes. "I think it just bugs him a lot. That's all."

With a scowl, I sat down on the foot of his bed and said, "Dude, that's SO not fair. If Jason had himself a hot boyfriend, he'd rub it in our faces all day, every day, and he'd never shut up about it. I don't even brag about Rory all that much. I'm just happy to be happy, you know?"

"I know, dude. It's just...I don't know..." Kyle said.

"It's just what? What did I do wrong?"

I don't think that Kyle had much of an answer, but as I looked over his shoulder at his computer, I noticed that he had the picture of a boy from online on his screen. But not one of his usual 'model boy', ten score pics. This one had braces, and a thick pair of glasses, but still really cute in his own right. When Kyle caught me taking a gander at his screen, this little smirk curled up in the corner of his lips. "Heh..." He said.

"What's this?" I asked, and Kyle blushed, shrugging his shoulders a bit. I have to admit to feeling a sense of pride when I saw his reaction. "What's his name?" I grinned.

I can't remember the last time that I've heard such a bashful giggle come out of Kyle when talking about another boy. "Hehehe...Gabriel. Well...Gabe. He likes Gabe better." He said.

"Really now?" I smiled. "And what 'rating' does he get on your foolproof scale?"

"No rating. I didn't bother." He said. "He's...really cool to talk to. You'd like him, Kevin. He's got soe really deep shit to say, you know? And he's really into poetry too. You should hear some of his stuff, it's really creative. I like it." I raised an eyebrow, surprised by Kyle's sudden change in standards when it came to finding a hottie online to hook up with. But Kyle just laughed at me. "Seriously, Gabe's really cool. We like a lot of the same things. We were thinking of maybe catching a movie some time soon. Or going to this deli that he told me about that makes the best spicy turkey sandwiches ever. Or...so he says. I have to take his word for it until I taste for myself."

He caught me giggling out loud, and he gave me a shove to shut me up. "Dude...seriously? Look at you! What is this? Hehehe!"

"Hey! I can do the 'boyf' thing too, ya know?" He said, which only made me laugh a bit harder. But, he put a hand on my leg and spoke with sincerity when he said, "Look...I know that me and Jason have been giving you a hard time, and I hope you realize that it was all done with the best of intentions, ok? We just wanted to hook you up while the best boys were available, you know?" Then...Kyle sort of looked down at his bedroom floor, and he said, "But...I've been peeking at the super satisfied smile on your face lately, and it just...it made me think."

"Think?" I asked. "Think about what? You guys get to roll around with the hottest boys that I've ever seen in my life. I've always been jealous of the fact that I couldn't do the same."

"Yeah, well...don't be." He said. "I kinda talked myself into believing that nobody wants to fuck their best friend. Nobody wants to talk about their feelings, or bang somebody who they think is going to treat them like gold and keep coming back for more once the sex is over with. It's like...the second you put one of these really cute boys on a pedestal...they feel like you're beneath them. And that's when they start to wander and find the next best thing. I mean, it just makes sense, right?"

"I don't know..." I said. "I always kind of hoped thatt here was more to it than that."

"EXACTLY!" He replied. "That's what I'm talking about. It's like...there are cute boys out there that actually...care about stuff. Boys with personality. Boys who believe in romance, and conversation, and having FUN. Boys of substance. And they may not look like they belong on a magazine cover or anything...but they really do something for your spirit, you know? They make you feel...'alive'."

Hehehe, I found myself being really surprised by Kyle's sudden epiphany, and I was speechless when it came to giving him any kind of answer or validation for his new outlook on life and love in general.

"I feel like I've done some pretty shady shit in the past to get with some of these boys." He said. "And the sex was OUTRAGEOUS! Believe me! But...looking back on it, I can't figure out if I was just using them or if they were using me. I barely remember even meeting them, and I certainly don't keep in contact with them. Not to mention that every boy I've had sex with has probably had sex with a ton of other people that he found on the same site where I found him. So there's nothing, like...'exclusive' about it. It's just...another random weekend. You know? Nobody to call you back. Nothing to call your own. Just some instant gratification, and wasted time that you could be using to find somebody truly special." He almost seemed sad about it. Which caught me off guard. Because I always saw Kyle's hook ups as being this confident and envious thing that I could only DREAM of being a part of. And yet, in this one moment, he made it seem like the loneliest thing in the world.

"Kyle...I'm sure there's somebody out there who's just right for you too." I said. "Who knows? Maybe this cutie, Gabe, is just what you're looking for."

He smiled at me. "It kinda feels like he could be. I'll keep my fingers crossed." Kyle said. "What can I say? You inspired me. Maybe there's something to this whole 'boyf' thing after all. Hehehe! You wouldn't have any tips on how to guide my heart with this sort of thing, would you?"

Wrinkling up my brow, I laughed and said, "Are you asking ME for advice?"

"Hey, you're the expert on this thing so far. Why not?"

"Believe it or not, I was hoping that you could give ME some advice today! Not the other way around.

"Why? Hehehe!" He chuckled. "Excuse me for stroking your ego without permission, but I' thinking that you've got this shit figured out better than Jason and I ever could! So teach me, Jedi master. I'm obviously not the one to come to for a super SUPER hot boyf strategy! You beat me to the pot of gold, man! So share some knowledge with me so I can get a quality boyfriend of my own, will ya?"

We laughed about it, but I couldn't help but to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Wow! I didn't expect this turn of events. Maybe I'm doing this right after all. Who knows?

I almost felt like I was operating on an even playing field as my friends again. I haven't felt that way in a long time. Maybe they're just as clueless about the hopeless romantic in me as I am about the ravenous horndogs in them. And I spent a lot of time thinking that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence...

...While they were doing the same.

Life is wild sometimes, isn't it?