On The Outside

Chapter 9

They say that you'll never find anything hornier, more 'stimulated', more sexually frustrated, than a 'teenage virgin boy'. But you wanna know something? I beg to differ. The horniest creature in the universe is the EX-'teenage virgin boy', fresh off of his first experience with sex! Now THERE'S a savage beast worth the title!

Ever since my lips had first touched those unseen parts of Drew's body...ever since that day when we shared our first explosive climax on the soft warm sheets of his bed with each other...I have been increasngly ADDICTED to his presence! Completely ADDICTED! To the point where it hurt whether I was around him or not. I seriously could NOT look at Drew anymore without picturing him naked. Without hearing him moan and whimper in the back of my mind. Without salivating for just ONE more taste of him no matter WHO was watching. My GOD, I've become irreversibly enchanted with the promise of his next kiss. I imagine that it could only get worse from here on out. I was in love beyond my ability to comprehend the emotion...and now it's become a part of a true physical expression. I am in SO much trouble now. And I like it.

It had only been three days since the big event, and we haven't really had much of a chance to talk about it yet. Not in any detail anyway. We were either in school, where we could be close, but not TOO close, or talking on the phone...which was more personal, but we never knew when an eavesdropping parent was going to stroll by and ruin everything. We haven't even gotten a chance to go back to the park on our lunch break, due to the fact that Drew had to use the extra time to study for his exam on the French Revolution. So we've been together, able to share a few smiles and all, but unable to truly 'connect' since I left his house that day. And it was literally driving me CRAZY!!!

All I wanted was more! More, and more, and more, and MORE! I'd have sex with Drew all day long, every single day, for the rest of the school year if I could find a way to do it. It was that serious. You have no idea how much your perspective of someone changes once you see them naked. Once you touch them and know that they are loving the feel of you against them. It's mindblowing. For the first few weeks, it's ALL you can see. Everytime I see his neck and the cool way it curves as it disappears under his shirt. Everytime I see the smoothed out parts of his pants when that adorable ass of his is pressed against the fabric of it. Everytime I see the gentle motion of his chest as he breathes in and out. I get sexually excited to the point of bursting all over again. It's a feeling that my imagination, masturbation, and even kissing him on the lips, just couldn't cure anymore. I wanted...no...NEEDED, the whole thing! I needed his body wrapped around mine, I needed the flavor of his soft flesh to fill my mouth, and his sweet aroma to fill my nostrils. I needed the electric touch of his tongue to my skin as I gasped in a feeble attempt to pretend that it did't have COMPLETE control over me. Just sitting next to him in class without being able to experience that level of ecstacy again was a torture that I wouldn't wish on anybody.

I never should have broken the 'rules' concerning being gay. I never should have allowed myself to fall this hard for Drew. Because I had taken the leap, and it was WAY too late to try turning back now. I'm falling.and God forbid if he weren't there to catch me.

When the bell rang to dismiss us from class that morning, I looked, almost shamelessly, over at Drew's sweet heart shaped little butt as he got up from his desk. I had to bite down on my bottom lip just to keep from sighing outloud. You almost wanted to take a bite out of it like a ripe plum. I can still think back to when I saw it for the first time as he stood up from the bed this past weekend. When his bare bottom was shown to me in all it's glory and got hard just thinking about it. I was sooooo spellbound by it. So soft, so round, sooooo tight and smooth with the cutest little dimples in the sides, covered by a thin layer of 'baby fat'. Wow...it was just as cute as the rest of him. The playful 'bounce' of it played in my head repeatedly as I fought hard to keep myself from swelling to full hardness. I swear...if he did so much as bend over to pick up a nickle I'd bury my FACE in it so deep that he'd scream!

"What are you doing?" Drew giggled, staring at me staring at him.

I quickly ripped my gaze from his ass, and looked him in the eye. "Nothing. Why?"

"Suuuure!" He said, and he playfully tossed a pen at me.

"Hey! What'd I do?"

"You KNOW what! And quit it!" He said, but it was said with such a flirtatious tone that it only made my infatuation worse.

I made sure to put my backpack in front of my bulge as I got up to leave the classroom with Drew. He was smiling. God help me, he was smiling. Seeing that beautiful glimpse of happiness on his face gave my life new purpose. I've never been so in love.

But the blissful moment was brought to a shattering halt. I looked ahead, and saw the demonically smiling visage of Wayne Scott coming our way down the hallway. He was walking with some of his friends, cackling about whatever macho bullshit they were talking about at the time, and I could instantly feel my stomach tighten up with rage. My smile faded, my fists began to clench up automatically, and my eyes focused on him like a predator would his prey. All it would take was one punch to instigate the conflict. Just ONE! And then he'd try to fight back, giving me the permission to beat him to a fucking bloody pulp right there in front of everybody! Come on 'hot shot'...just give me a reason.

As he walked closer, Drew took notice of him, and then looked at me as though he were warning me to stick to the promise I made him. I know that he didn't want me getting in trouble or even worse...being 'outed' myself for protecting him. But DAMMIT!!! This kid had it coming! And I was just ITCHING to give it to him, both barrels! "Ethan...you promised." He whispered. And I did my best to calm my anger as he walked past.

He made eye contact with us, and grinned a bit in Drew's direction. Saying, "How'd you like being back in the closet, fag boy?" Bringing about a ruckus of laughter from his narrow minded jock buddies. Naturally, Drew absorbed the insult and let it roll off of his back like it didn't matter. Once again becoming the 'martyr' for every closeted gay boy in school by pretending that he could take it. But despite a brave front, I just KNEW that it was bothering him. HURTING him! I won't let ANYBODY hurt him! NOBODY!!!!

"Fucking asshole...!" I said, ready to call him out right there and then. But Drew grabbed me by the arm to stop me.

"I'm still standing...remember?" He said, and started to drag me away a bit to keep walking to class. "It's ok, Ethan. That's the best he could come up with. Forget about it. He's a jerk, and I'm not about to let that be MY problem. So don't you let it be yours. Ok?"

I grumbled under my breath. "How you can stand this bullshit, I'll never know!" I was so furious. And yet could easily extinguish the fires of hell itself if only aided by the soothing sounds of Drew's voice spoken through a smile.

"I have somebody really 'special' on my side. That's how." He said, and I could feel myself weakening inside. "Really cute, too!" How did I become such a helpless little puppy when it came to him? Geez! Am I 'whipped' or what?

We took the long walk to his next class together, wishing that we could do it hand in hand. And my eyes were constantly pulled to his oh so delicate features, time and time again. Have you ever just felt the uncontrollable to stare at somebody? As though their beauty couldn't even be considered human? Letting my gaze melt into Drew's soft skin was just like that. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see me watching him, and he blushed. "I can't help looking at you, you know that?" I said quietly, hoping that everyone in the hall couldn't see the turbulent insanity inside of me. I was trying to hide it so well. But my hormones were creating a pull so strong that I was nearly in tears tryng to resist it.

"Shut up!" He giggled bashfully.

"It's true."

"Is NOT! And...and shut up!" He hid his shy smile from me by looking the other way. But I could tell that he was flattered beyond belief.

"It's true..." I said again.

"SHHHHH!!! Can you...please? Just stop. You're making me feel weird." He couldn't keep a straight face. How could he? When the whole world needed his smile to keep spinning.

"Weird like how?"

"Just WEIRD, ok? Now quit it before somebody hears you."

I waited for a few moments as we walked forward, and then leaned over to whisper, "It's true." And that made him break out into a boyish fit of giggles while he playfully slapped me a few times in the arm.

"Bastard..." He said, and I looked away to keep myself from kissing him in the hall. I was one small impulse away from doing it. I swear I was.

When we got to his classroom, he stopped outside the door. Far enough away where any of his classmates walking in and out couldn't hear. And he looked into my eyes with a sparkle in his gaze. I was mesmerized by it, and began to harden all over again. Just a smile was enough to bring my mind and body back to those few precious moments when the boy I loved with all of my heart gave himself to me. When we were intertwined with one another, flesh against warm flesh, and united in the most intimate and erotic way that two young boys can share. There it goes again...a flashback to the afternoon when I became complete. I can taste him now. And my mouth watered for him. "So...maybe I'll see you a bit later?" Drew asked me.

"Well...your test is today, right?"

His jaw dropped a little bit, his wide grin keeping it from hitting the floor. "Um....yeah." He said flirtatiously.


"Hehehe, well what?"

I gave him a playful look. He knew EXACTLY what I was talking about. "No more lunchtime studying, right?"

"I...I guess not..." He was getng all cute and shy again, and I had to look around to make sure nobody was spying on us. He was just too damn cute for words.

"Soooo....?" He didn't say anything, just looked at his shoes for a minute while he tried to hold back from giggling. I figured I'd just ask. "So we can go back to the park today for lunch, right?"

"I dunno....hehehe...I guess....if you want to..."

"HELL yes, I want to! So I'll meet you by the back gate, alright?"

"Ethan...I don't know...Hehehe!"

"You KNOW you want to! So quit playing hard to get and just meet me out there at lunch time. K?" I said.

"Sighhh....whatever." Drew smiled, with a cute little roll of his eyes.

"I'll take that as a 'yes'. See ya then!" I started to walk off, when he said smething that lifted my very soul.



"I uh....I can't help looking at you either." He said softly, lightly touching my arm. "I think about you all the time. Believe me."

If I hadn't been emotionally stuck like a deer in headlights, it would have been enough to make me pin him against those lockers and let my lips make love to his until high school security came along to pull us apart. Luckily for the both of us, I was too 'new' at this feeling inside to react on my impulses. Instead, I stood paralyzed with a grin.

"I miss you..." It was the first words that came to mind, but it was true. We were kinda 'distanced' from each other in public. It had only been a few days, but to be totally honest, I missed the 'Drew' that he only showed me in private. Sex included, sure...but it was more than that. There was a beauty to him that seemed to only expose itself fully when no one was looking over our shoulder. And that extra shine to his personality really proved to me the limitless depths of his character. Everything about that boy was absolute magic to me.

"You don't have to miss me much longer. K? I'll try to work something out. Soon."

"You don't think I'm being a perv or anything, do you?" I said. Afterall, I didn't really want to pressure him...MUCH!

"No..." He said, holding back another smile. "...I want you too. I really....really...REALLY...want you. Like...BAD! Hehehe!" He whispered. "I just...I need to find out when we can be..." Someone walked by, and we both clammed up almost immediately. Our 'we're just friends' act automatically kicking in and covering up any traces of infatuation until they were out of earshot. Then Drew whispered even softer, "When we can be 'alone' again. In private."

"Ok...well I'll look for someplace too. Because I'm going nuts over here."

"I can tell." He winked. "If you keep staring at my ass the way you do, you're gonna blow your cover."

"I'd blow more than that if you'd give me the chance." We smiled at each other, but someone else walked by, and then another person, then another. We figured that this was a bit risky, talking out here like this. Even in a whisper. So we decided to cool it for now until we got somewhere a bit more private.

The bell rang while I was standing next to Drew outside of his classroom. And he just gazed up at me, saying, "Go...you'll be late. We'll talk in the park, ok?"

"Ok." And I lowered my voice as low as it could go and still be heard, "I love you, Drew."

He sighed outloud, and I saw his cute little brow wrinkle up with emotion. "Awww, I love you too." He said, and I smiled as he looked like he was tearing up a bit. "I told you to warn me before you say that. You know what it does to me."

"You want me to say it again?"

"NOOO!" He giggled and pushed me towards my class. "Go away already! Now you're making ME late, and I'm already here."

"I'm gonna say it a bunch more at lunch, so be ready, k?" I said, but he just kept pushing. "OK?"

"Ok, already! Just GO! Geez!" He was doing his best to get rid of me, but I could tell that he was loving every minute of it. I could see the lovable glimmer in his eye. I know that look. I see it everytime I look at myself in the mirror.


"Goodbye already!" He said, and once I started walking he finally went into his class. The second he was out of sight, I began counting down the minutes to lunch time. I was beginning to wonder if he could even grasp the concept of how much he meant to me at this point. Love...it happens so FAST when it's returned to you. It's a roller coaster that just goes on and on, thrilling you more and more with every pitfall and scare tactic that it can throw at you. Knowing that when it's time to get off of the ride, you'll be running right to the end of the line to get on it again. It's one of the most wonderful cycles that anyone can be caught in. I hope this feeling never ends. Never.

I daydreamed my way through my next few classes. Mostly trying to discover a way for me and Drew to be alone. I mean...there's GOTTA be someplace where we can go. My house was always an option, but it was a bit too risky. His house was even more of a risk than mine. The park wasn't really private territory, as anyone could come along and catch us. Besides, I didn't like hiding out like that. Rolling around under the slide, trying to keep an ear open for cars or any neighborhood kids that might wanna stroll on by. I liked it just the way we did it last time. In a bed, with no one around, and just the sound of our breathing echoing softly off of the walls as we took our time to make each other feel good. That's what I wanted. That was the way I wanted to be with him all the time. However, as fired up as I am right now, I'll take 'quantity' over 'quality' as far as sex is concerned. Hehehe! I'd screw him in the janitor's closet while standing in a full MOP BUCKET if I had to! I just...I couldn't wait to taste him again. God...I'm so pathetic at this point.

Drew and I ran out to the back gate at pretty much the same time, him beating me only by a few steps. I didn't even 'try' to hold back the joy I felt by seeing him there. What would be the point? "So...you ready?" He asked.

"I've been ready for days now." I said, and we started walking out to our private spot. If nothing else, at least I'd get some heavy kissing out of being there. My legs were shaking in anticipation.

And then......ARRRRGHH!!!!!!!

When we got to the park we heard the sound of little kids running around and playing. Too little to e out by themselves, which meant that their parents must be there too. Sure enough, the park was...'occuppied' that afternoon. I swear, both my chest and Drew's deflated with disappointment at the same time. "Shit." I said under my breath.

"Yeah..." He had the sweetest little 'pouty' tone in his voice. It made me want to make out with him even more. Stupid kids.

We both stood there in silence for a minute, watching these people intrude on our little daytime Eden. And then I asked, "Well...do you wanna go back?"

Drew didn't really know. But he shrugged his slim shoulders and replied, "We don't have to. We can just sit here and talk for a while if you want."

"Yeah, I suppose." I mumbled. And he playfully gave me a slug in the arm. "Hehehe, WHAT?"

"Whore." He smiled.

"Oh come on, like you don't wish they were gone too?"

"Yes, I do. But what do you want me to do about it? I can't neccessarily just go chasing them away with a stick."

"Maybe if we just start kissing, they'll get offended and leave." I said with a smirk.

"Yeah, and maybe they'll come back with a priest to save our eternally damned souls."

"Even better. Priests like little boys, don't they? We can make it a threesome."

"You are 'gross', you know that?"

"You weren't saying that a couple of days ago." I winked.

"Yeah, well...I had my mouth full at the time. It wasn't appropiate for me to bring it up then." He laughed, and it was my turn to give him a slug in the arm. "OW! Quit it! I'm delicate!" Then Drew looked around the park and found a place where we could sit and talk and not be heard by our 'invaders' at the other end. "C'mon, we'll sit over here."

"Sighhh....fine..." I pouted.

"Shut up and come on." He said, taking me by the hand and leading me over to sit under a tree. The whole time with me poking my bottom lip out and pretending to give him some resistance. As though I wouldn't follow him anywhere he led me.

Once we sat down and had taken a few bites out of our sandwiches, my body began to itch and shiver with the withdrawal of his touch. I almost didn't care that we weren't alone. Our conversation started out normal enough, even though a bit awkward at first. It felt like we had to clear our minds of all that 'forbidden' material before we could actually communicate with ease. But it only took a minute or two before the sex and the kisses and the dreamy gazes faded away...and a natural and nuturing friendship came right back to the surface. The ease of our conversation slipped in and we were laughing and smiling as any other two boys would. Something tells me, that if I grow to be 100 years old and look back at this time in my life...these are the moments I'll remember most.

Drew was in the middle of a sentence when he said, "Shit, that reminds me, I've gotta get my notebook back from Patrick today before I forget."

I kinda rolled my eyes, but it was all in fun. Sorta. "Patrick, huh? I swear, doesn't that kid have any notebooks of his own?" Drew looked at me from the side for a second, leaning forward to look at my eyes. When I glanced back, he had this weird grin on his face. "Whatever...I'm just saying..." I said, looking away.

"Ethan...are you jealous?"

"No, I'm not 'jealous'. I don't care."

Drew blushed instantly and held back a slight giggle. "You ARE jealous! Omigod, that's so cute!" He said, and put his hand over his smile to hide it. "Wow..." He sighed.

"I'm NOT jealous..." I mumbled, and Drew leaned over to give me a very quick kiss on the cheek.

"You're so SWEET! God, I can't stand it. Sighhhh....you always make me feel like I'm flying, Ethan." Drew was so in love. I could see it in the way his body trembled with delight just by sitting next to me. "We just 'talk', you know? Me and Patrick."


"YES! Talk." He giggled, still overjoyed by the slight traces of envy in my voice. "He's cool. And he listens to me."

"And he's cute. Right?"

"SO? I don't care." He said. "You have nothing to worry about. He's VERY straight."

"How do YOU know?"

"He told me."

"You ASKED him???" I said, losing a bit of my calmness, and regaining it right away.

"Hehehe, NO! He just told me." He leaned over to butt me with his shoulder. "Quit worrying already. I'm already 'taken' with somebody."

"Yeah, but does he know that?"

"Yes, he knows I have a boyfriend. And BEFORE you even ask...no, he does NOT know that it's you." Drew put his hand on my leg and looked me in the eye. "But he knows that I couldn't be happier. And he knows that I couldn't be any more crazy about my sweetheart than I already am."

I turned a bright shade of pink, and tried to pout through my smile. "Yeah, well...he better."

We shared a little chuckle and spent the next few moments in silence, before Drew looked back over to me and bit his bottom lip bashfully. "Geez...all this time...and you still make me nervous."

"Yeah, you too." I repled. And we shared those few moments of quiet together while we tried to keep our emotions from bubbling out of control in public.

Drew had finished his sandwich before me, and was sitting with both of his legs drawn up to his chest. I just....I just stared at him. Those naked fantasies of mine dancing through my thoughts all over again. With even more intensity. Drew's large soft brown curls were so light that even a gentle wind could blow them almost straight. The sunlight would fall on his locks so tenderly that his hair took on the same golden radiance of its rays. I took a sip out of my soda, but kept my eyes focused on him the whole time as he seemingly stared off into space. I was always amazed by how flexible he was. His limbs were like smooth rolled columns of warm clay, bending into positions that looked uncomfortable at best. But it didn't cause him any discomfort at all. I guess it just came natural to him. His teenage bottom was curved erotically as it connected to the ground beneath him. He could easily put his chin on his knee without missing a single breath, the tops of his thighs pressed tightly up against his tender belly and smooth chest. Do you know how delicious it would be to have sex with him in that position? Do you know how hard he was making me, just sitting there, looking all sweet, and cute, and rubbery? I could just lick him all over, crush my face against his stomach, knead his tender thighs and calves...the feeling was undefineable. My eyes wandered over his entire ripe young body, and my mouth watered with thoughts of our next experience together. I wanted him so bad I could taste it.

Then he turned his head in my direction, putting his cheek down on his knees as he looked directly into my eyes. He was going to say something, but when he caught me staring, he just smiled sweetly back at me. A twinkle of speechless flattery shining in his adorable light brown eyes. "I love you." I said with a sigh. Even I didn't know where it came from, but it gave me a rush just to hear it come from my own lips. "Sorry...it slipped."

He smiled wide. "It's ok. I love you too."

There was another silence between us, with us just looking at each other and trying not to smile. Every perverse thought in my mind had softened up somehow, becoming more loving, more careful, as the reflection of my love for him came shooting back at me through his eyes. Then, with an infatuated sigh, I said, "I'm glad we came out here, Drew. This is fun."

"It'd be a lot MORE fun if those damn kids would leave!" He giggled, and I joined him in a laugh. It was good to know he wanted it as badly as I did. "You know......" he started, almost too shy to say the rest, "....the first time you kissed me...I felt like I was dyng inside."

"You did?"

"Yeah." He shifted a bit in his seat, "I guess I just didn't believe it, you know? It felt like....like....if I was kissing you, then it couldn't be real. That it was all some stupid dream, and any minute I was going to wake up and lose everything in the blink of an eye." His eyes narrowed a bit, and his voice shook gently. "I don't ever want to lose you Ethan."

"You won't. I promise." I wanted to lean over and kiss him, but the kids made some kind of playful shriek and it reminded us 'again' that we weren't alone. Grrrr! I think he got the message though.

"Good. Because...I keep seeing you stark naked in my mind, and I can't stop it. Hehehe!" He was so damn cute when he wanted to be.

We shared another laugh, but when it died down, I looked at him and said, "Wow...Drew...we had sex."

"Yeah....yeah we did, didn't we?" Maybe the realization had just hit us for the first time. Maybe we were just now understanding that 'sex' wasn't just a dirty word to be whispered between friends anymore. But whatever it was, it was now a reality for the both of us. "Omigod....hehehe...we had sex." He blushed furiously, laughing in little bursts.

"I wanna do it again, you know?"

"Yeah, me too."

"I wanna do it a LOT!"

"Hehehe...yeah....me too." He whispered, looking away from me, adjusting his sitting position to make room for a growing bulge in his pants.

"I wanna do it right NOW!" I giggled, and he pushed me away from him.

"Let's not get carried away there, cassanova." As sexually frustrating as it was, my heart was too full of love to complain. "Don't worry, Ethan. We'll find a place. I'll think of something. And then....you can have me."


"Promise." And with that said, we got back to the business of finishing our lunch, and leting our souls speak to each other silently through every dreamy glance that passed between us. I'm so complete right now.

We were running a bit late when we got back to the school after lunch period, so we didn't have much time for any meaningful goodbyes. "So I'll catch you later?" I asked.

"Sure. Give me a call tonight. Maybe we can go out to my mom's this weekend?"

"Whoah, really? That would be awesome. I like you're mom."

"Yeah...I'm kinda 'fond' of her myself. So it's a date? I'll tell her we're coming."

"Sounds like a plan." I grinned.

Then Drew, with a straight face, says, "Oh wait a minute. Does she know you're 'gay'? Because I don't know if she'll be able to handle that." The little shit! A big smile broke out on his face instantly.

"I don't know. Does she know you're ticklish?" And I reached out with both hands, causing him to howl with laughter as I tickled his sides mercilessly. He tried to back away from me, but I followed him around the corner with both hands working him over. Just then.....we bumped into someone, and straightened up immediately. It was Jermaine, Joey, and Billy, coming back from the cafeteria. Probably looking for me. And here I am...frolicking in the hallway with the 'gay boy'. It was pure instinct and habit that caused me to suddenly freeze up with fear from what I was doing. I think Drew did too. More for my sake than his.

"Um...hey guys. What's up?" I said, but they were already giving me a slightly 'less-than-normal' look.

"Hey..." Jermaine looked at me, then Drew, then back at me. Again, I could tell that his wheels were turning. "We were wondering what happened to you today." He said, looking back over at Drew, who was still breathing hard from being tickled.

"Oh...oh THAT. Yeah, well...me and Drew went out...for lunch, that is. That's all." I stumbled around it, not mentioning the park, not mentoning much of anything. Just trying to keep it as innocent and as 'heterosexual' as humanly possible.

"Uh....huh..." Billy kinda shot Joey a weird look and they sort of said goodbye as they took off for their next class. They were doing well with the whole acceptance thing of Drew being gay and all...at least on the outside. But I don't think they were prepared for us being....um...close like this.

"You know...I should be going too. I can't be late again." Drew said, and waved goodbye to both me and Jermaine as he squeezed by to go to class. "Later."

Jermaine kinda looked at me sideways for a moment, and I could feel my automatic defenses going up again. The force shield surrounding me with a wall of a billion excuses in case he started asking the 'wrong' questions. "I was..sorta looking for you, Ethan." He said.

"Well...ya found me. What's up?" Please just let him disregard what had just happened. PLEASE!

"Not here, I just wanted to talk to you. You know, just hang out for a bit." He said, and it looked as though his stare was returning to normal again. Like he was already letting the incident slip his mind. Thank God. "What are you doing after school today?"

It really had been a while since Jermaine and I had spent any kind of quality time together. It would be kinda rude to ditch him. I mean, I'm with Drew ALL the time. I suppose I can take time out to be with my best friend once in a while too. "Nothing. You wanna meet up or something. Maybe we can grab Joey and Billy and kick it somewhere."

"Sure, that'd be awesome." Jermaine mussed my hair a bit. "It'll be good to not have you acting like a stranger so much. You're becoming an actual 'ghost' to us these days."

"I'll be better about it. I've just been wrapped up with other shit lately. That's all." If only he knew. "So where do you wanna meet?"

"Go out to the basketball court, over by Becker Park. We'll shoot some hoops or something."

"Cool. See ya there." I said, and we both went our separate ways to class. My heart still belonged to Drew, but the last thing I wanted to do was alienate my friends. It's about time I learned how to balance the two.

By the end of the day, my mind had shuffled through every possible place that Drew and I could possibly be alone to have more sex. The most feasible of these ideas, was in the mall parking lot after it closed, with the two of us naked in the backseat of a car. But since neither one of us could legally drive yet, that wasn't really a 'possibility' at all. It frustrated me to think that we were so helpless when it came to getting some privacy. I just...I just wanted to feel his warm embrace again. His lips, his skin, his hair, his neck, his kiss...I missed it soooooo much! He was so close, and yet so far away from me. If I could blink everyone else out of existence for just a FEW minutes...I would.

The last bell rang, and I went to stand at the tree to wait for the bus with Drew as I always did. It was becoming a part of my daily routine. As was catching a glimpse of Wayne as he trotted his sorry ass out of school and started his walk home in a different direction. I didn't make too much of a fuss this time though. Drew was smiling at the moment, and I didn't see the need to bring him down with my enraged feelings about Mr. Asshole over there. Besides, I made a promise. And as long as he leaves Drew alone, we're cool. I suppose.

"Ethan? Can I ask you something? Honestly?" He said, looking down at the ground and peeking up into my eyes every once in a while.

"Sure, what is it?"

"Do I...." He paused for a second to think about how to phrase it. "Do I come between you and your friends? Because I....I really don't mean to."

"What are you talking about? Of course not. Me and my friends are fine." I said. "As a matter of fact, me and the guys are gonna shoot hoops in the park today."

"Sounds like fun."

"You wanna come?"

"Nope." Hehehe, he said it so quick that I had to laugh. "But you have fun, ok?" He smiled.

"Definitely will." Drew's bus arrived, and I gave him a mental kiss goodbye as he got on. "Call me later."

"I will!" And in a flash, he was gone. Wow...my boyfriend. I NEVER get tired of saying that.

When I got out to the park, Jermaine was there shooting a few hoops, but he was by himself. I thought for sure that Billy and Joey would have beaten me there. They always did. I walked down to the court, and Jermaine flashed me a grin when he saw me coming. "Sup dude?"

"It looks like your buddies left you to get beat with no witnesses." I said, and he threw me the ball.

"You WISH!" He replied, and I shot 2 points right in front of him to show that I was good to back it up.

"So is this gonna be one on one, or what?"

"It'll have to be. Billy and Joey aren't coming." He said.


"Nope. I didn't invite them." He shot a 2 pointer as well, and then passed the ball back to me again.

"You didn't 'invite' them?"

"Nah. It's just me, and you."

"Why Jermaine, I didn't know you cared." I grinned. And I shot another basket, nothing but net this time around. I then passed it back to him.

"Well of COURSE I do. We've been friends forever, right? Longer than anybody else I know." Swish, another 2 points for him. It wasn't really a 'game'. More like us taking turns tossing it up. "Besides, I don't get to see you 'nearly' enough anymore."

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that. Honestly, with school and all...I've been so busy lately." I said, bouncing the basketball at my feet.

"I know. I'm not blaming you or anything. I mean you had homework and all. And that project with Drew probably took a lot of extra time to finish too." He said, and this time, when I shot the ball, it was slightly off. Bouncing off of the rim and flying back over to Jermaine.

"Yeah...that took a while too." I said.

"Yep." He shot another basket and passed it back to me. "I bet it did."

"Well....it took a lot of studying." I said cautiously. "We both kinda needed the grade."

"Sure. You must have been working on it awfully hard." He said as I bounced another ball off of the rim. "So hard...that you ditched us on Saturday." He shot another 2 points, and my mind suddenly snapped back to this passed weekend.

"SHIT!!! Aw dude, I' sorry! I TOTALLY forgot about this weekend!"

"S'ok. To be honest...I didn't really expect you to show up." I shot the ball, and just BARELY made another basket as he continued. "It was a good time though. I wish you could've been there."

"Jermaine...I REALLY wasn't ignoring you guys on purpose. I just..." My mind went blank, and he waited a few seconds for a logical explanation. One that I couldn't give him.

Thankfully, he just said, "Don't sweat it. What's done is done. There'll be plenty of times for us to hang out." He dribbled the ball a bit, and then made another shot. "So....I'll bet you're glad that all that extra work is over with, huh?" He said.

"What do you mean?" I shot another 2 points, and passed it back.

"Well...I mean the project with Drew. It's overwith, right?"

"Yeah. So?"

"So..." He shot another basket, and it came back to me. "I thought maybe you could start eating lunch with us again and stuff. You know...like we used to. Before...everything changed." This uncomfortable tone crept into his voice, and suddenly, things got somewhat awkward.

"I haven't been gone for that long, have I? Hehehe!" I tried to laugh it off a bit, and Jermaine smiled with me for a second, but this particular conversation was being directed somewhere. I could feel it.

"It's been quite a while, actually." I tried to shoot, but my aim was off again. It bounced off of the backboard, and Jermaine had to go retrieve it before coming back. There was a pause in our 'talk' while he shot another basket, and before I took another try at it, I wanted to make sure that he wasn't doing his 'detective work' again.

"You...you think there's something wrong with me and Drew hanging out?" I asked.

"No. No, not at all. I think it's great."

"Because we're JUST friends, you know? That's all." I said abruptly, hoping that he didn't take it as a defense.

"Yeah, I know. Don't worry. I didn't say anything." He dribbled the ball in a small circle around me, "I just...think it's a bit 'different'. That's all."

"Different how?" I said quickly.

"Different like...you're not yourself these days."

"And what's THAT supposed to mean?" Calm down Ethan....don't let the hetero mask make you defensive.

Jermaine could see me getting agitated, and put a hand on my shoulder. "Nothing. K? Forget I said anything." And he did a quick lay up for another 2 points. Leaving me standing there in confusion. "Say, you remember in the 4h grade, when Tommy Dexter said he had dry humped Krista in his step mom's basement? And we made him cry by forcing him to confess that he didn't?"

I did remember. The poor boy ran out of lies once we cornered him and asked him all the right questions at once. He didn't hang out with us much after that afternoon. "Hehehe, yeah. 'True lies'...if you make a shot, you get to ask a question. If the other person misses, he has to tell the truth."

"That's right." Jermaine said with a grin. "Too bad he couldn't play basketball for shit. Otherwise he might have taken that secret to the grave." We had a little chuckle at the memory, but then he shot the ball into the hoop and asked me, "Question..."

"What? Are we playing NOW?"

"Yeah...why not?" He tossed the ball into my chest. "Question."

"Ok...go ahead." I agreed.

"When we were in boy scouts, I lost an entire killer deck of Magic: The Gathering cards and never got them back. Did you take 'em?"

With a lopsided grin, I shot the ball, and made the basket. By the rules of the game, I COULD have lied about it, but I told him the truth anyway. "Nope. It was Kenny, the kid with the super thick glasses. And I would have said something, but his dad looked like he would have skinned him alive." It was my turn. "Question."

"Go ahead."

"You and Missy...you like her, don't you?" I asked. He shot the ball straight to the center of the basket, and smiled.

"Nope." He grinned o himself, and I KNEW he was lying. ut what could I do? He made the shot. "Next question."


"That time you and I were watching 'Titanic' on video, and you had that coughing ft and had to get a drink of water?" He asked. " You were CRYING, weren't you?"

I shot the ball, and unfortunately missed the shot. "Fuck......pass."

"What do you MEAN 'pass'? There's no 'pass'! Answer the question, goofball."

"Alright....YES! It's a DRAMA! You're supposed to cry when the main guy dies."

He giggled, "Poor babby."

"Alright....question." I said, giving him back the ball. "Remember when you borrowed Joey's bike, and supposedly locked it up outside the convenience store? And then you said it got 'stolen' by some guy with some chain cutters?" He shook his head with a grin. "You didn't lock it up, did you? You just left it outside."

"Guilty as charged. And don't you EVER tell him about that! He still mentions it everytime it crosses his mind. How was I supposed to know it would get stolen that fast."

"You WEREN'T supposed to know. You were supposed to lock it up, jack ass." I giggled. Then he took the ball, made a basket, and passed the ball back to me. "Alright, what's the question?" I asked.

He paused. "Take your shot."

"You're supposed to ask the question first..."

"I know, I know. Just...take the shot first this time." I shrugged my shoulders and tried to get the ball in the net. But it bounced out. I missed.

"Shit!" He smiled wide as he got the ball and came back to stand next to me. "Go ahead...ask away..."

He looked me directly in the eye this time, and his smile faded just slightly. ".....You and Drew are more than just friends....aren't you?"

I don't think it hit me all at once. I think it slowly began to seep in like a concentrated poison into the pores of my skin. It wouldn't register right away in my mind. What the hell was he asking me? What the hell did he just SAY to me??? "Huh?"

"You and Drew. You two are always together, you play around in the halls, you start disappearing at lunchtime..."

"Drew's my FRIEND! Ok?" I said loudly.

"Ethan....c'mon dude...."


"It's ok. If you just....if you tell me, it'll be ok. Really. I don't care either way." Jermaine said, but I was outraged. I felt like I had been tricked into all of this. I felt like he had betrayed me. How DARE he sit there and ask me this point blank!!!

"I thought we were playing a game here. What are you doing?"

"This IS the game. I ask a question, you answer it."

"Well it's a STUPID question!"

"Does that mean you're not gonna answer it?" Jermaine was pushing me. He was REALLY pushing me. And every defense I had came swirling up around me like a swarm of killer bees.

"I already DID answer it!"

"No you didn't. You just got mad and avoided it completely..."

"Why did you bring me out here today? HUH? Just to start up with THIS bullshit???"

"It's JUST a question, Ethan." He said, looking deep into my eyes as though he could read the answer there if he tried. "It's just you and me here...you can be honest if you want to be."

"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about. So DROP it!"

"Ethan, I'm telling you...it's OK. You can talk to me. I'm just trying to be...."

"You know what? FUCK you!" I said, bouncing the ball hard enough to send it sailing over the hoop and off into the distance.

"What's your problem, dude?" He shouted.

"Forget it. You know, if you wanna sit here and make up stories, then be my guest. But I'm not gonna help you do it." I gave him the finger and walked off of the court, fuming out of both ears.

"Where are you going?"

"I'm going home!" I yelled back, not even looking at him. "And DON'T call me!" With that, I just walked off. I didn't look back. I had nothing to say to him. My whole body was shaking with rage. He ASKED me! He came RIGHT out and asked me if I was a FAG!!! I can't BELIEVE he would DO that to me! My BEST friend!

I was almost hyperventilating when I got home. Breathing in short aggrivated huffs and cursing at myself in my mind. I wanted to punch a wall, I wanted to trash my room...I just wanted to lash out at everything and everyone in swinging distance. I was soooo mad! Why? Why did he have to ask? Why culdn't he just leave it alone? He had to be a jerk, and SPY on me, and try to watch every little thing I do. He just couldn't let Drew and I be happy with our little secret. He HAD to make it public. Fuck....FUCK!!!! It's none of his goddamn BUSINESS if I'm gay or not! NONE!!! Everything was JUST fine, and he had to go screw it up! Now I've got to hide away and pretend none of it happened. Now I've gotta look over my shoulder everytime me and Drew share a smile. I HATE Jermaine for puttng me on the spot like that. I HATE HIM!!!

It took a long time for me to go to slep that night. I didn't even talk to Drew much that night. Instead, I told him that I had to go shortly after we began talking. He must have known something was wrong, but he didn't say anything. Instead, he gave me a bit of space and gave me a very sweet kiss over the phone to wish me pleasant dreams. And that was that. I angrily tossed and turned in my bed until I was calm enough to sleep. I can't explain why it hurt so much to have Jermaine ask me about Drew. I can't tell you how utterly destroyed I was inside just knowing that he suspected what was going on between us. It was the most devastating invasion into my privacy that I had ever witnessed, and suddenly it felt like the whole world knew. And worse, they were laughing. If he thought I was gay....if he KNEW I was gay...why didn't he just keep it to himself? Why did he have to ask? Why? Why? WHY? I wanted to kick myself for being so stupid. It brought me right back to that afternoon when I was sitting on the living room floor, watching lesbian porn and trying to be normal. It took me right back to that feeling of helpless self pity. And I would have done ANYTHING to make it stop hurting. Anything.

I was open now. Vulnerable and naked. To my best friend. And I'd have to find some way to deal with that the next time I saw him.

The next morning, going to school, I could still feel that anger swimming around in my system. And I won't lie...I avoided too much interaction with Drew. That question, that one STUPID question, forced my whole life to take an entirely different perspective. Now it was all about paranoia and caution and biting my own tongue around the boy I loved more than anything. All because of some fucked up invisible opinion from a mass of people who have never taken the time to really get to know me anyway. I wanted to scream. I just wanted them all to go away and leave me alone. Leave....me....alone.

When the bell let Drew and I out of class that morning, I was disgusted with every face in that hallway. The restrictions inside of myself tightened up, and I knew that my 'secret' was that much closer to being exposed. To everybody. The only thing I had going for me in ths confusion and emotional turmoil was the fact that I had some control over who knew what was going on. Now Jermaine had taken that away from me, and I felt like I was spiraling back down to earth from the peace and safety of cloud 9. It was Drew that snapped me out of my hateful haze momentarily. "I'm sorry..." He said.

"Sorry? Sorry for what?"

"I don't know. But you look mad." Drew mumbled softly. "Did I do something wrong?"

"Wrong? Drew....no." I felt a tear opening up in that curtain of anger, and looked into his eyes with as much sincerity as I could muster. "No...it's not you. I just...I'm thinking about things."

"Things you can talk about?" He asked.

"Yeah....maybe later though."

He wanted to know, and basically made me a silent pact that he'd ask me about it when I was ready to talk. For now, he just nodded his head. The bell rang and the halls started clearing out almost immediately. Drew knew that was his cue to go. "I'm gonna go stop by Patrick's class really quick and get my notes back before my next class. You gonna be ok?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." A hesitant microscopic smile crossed my lips. "Go see your hot blond bombshell." I said, rolling my eyes.

"You really are cute when you're jealous." He grinned, and turned to walk down a different hallway. "Don't look at my ass when I'm gone." He giggled, and it made me smile right along with him. I wonder if this was one of those things that gave me away.


As I saw Drew walk around the corner, Wayne Scott crossed his path. A full two inches bigger than him, frowning up his face as soon as he saw Drew near him. He wasn't bothering him at ALL! And yet, Wayne decided to ram his shoulder into Drew, almost knocking him over from the impact. Drew's bag fell to the ground, and he just picked it back up to hoist up on his shoulder again. Wayne waited for a reaction, but Drew just did his best to ignore it all. Then Wayne raised his fist up with a jerk to make Drew flinch before scurrying away around the corner. Wayne seemed to get a nice little chuckle out of it. And THAT'S when my blood boiled! It was like sparks of white lightning rushed to my knuckles and my fists tightened until they popped. Wayne came around the corner, no one else in the hall, and Drew had already run off to class. I had a devil on both shoulders at that moment, telling me to do it. To squash him like a bug right then and there.

But he walked past me. He walked right past me as though I wasn't even there, like what he had just done was 'no big deal'. Totally acceptable. I was grinding my teeth at that moment, but I did what I could to contain myself. I mean....Drew was right. Beating him up wasn't going to solve anything. I mean, I had made him a promise, right? No fighting. NO fighting. Just let it go. Just let him get what's coming to him the natural way. Just....just....awwww FUCK IT!!!!

"HEY WAYNE!!!" I shouted out, walking over to him as quickly as possible.

"What's up?" He replied, but could barely get the words out of his mouth before I was on him. I grabbed two tight fistfulls of his shirt, and slammed him HARD up against the lockers! The impact was hard enough to rattle every lock on that side of the hallway! The sound echoed throughout the corridor, and it definitely caught him by surprise. "What the fuck are you DOING???"

"SHUT UP!!!"

"Get OFF of me! What's your problem???" He shouted.

"You're an ASSHOLE!!! THAT'S my problem!"


"Shut up and listen!!!" I said, slamming him back against the lockers again to keep him from struggling. Even harder than last time. My anger filling my limbs with enough strength to rip him in HALF if he so much as MOVED from that spot! "Now, I sit here, day after day, watching you bully and abuse that boy for NO goddamn reason! And you know what? It's gonna STOP! Do you hear me?"

"Who? You mean the fag boy...?" But I slammed him again before he could finish.

"NO!!! NOT 'Fag Boy'!!! NOT 'Homo'!!! NOT 'Queer'!!!" I shouted into his face. "His name is DREW!!!"

"Whatever..." He tried to get away from me, but my grip on him was way too tight for him to take back any of the control that I had over him.

"Keep it up, you son of a bitch! You're ASKING for it!" I was mad enough to punch THROUGH him at this point!

"What, are you in LOVE with him or something?"

"Don't you fucking WORRY about that, asshole!!! Just know that I'm shutting this little 'game' of yours DOWN as of right now!"

"And just what are you gonna do? Huh? Beat me up? Beat up every person who tries to make a man out of that little sissy? Get a clue." He said.

"FIRST of all...that 'sissy' is more of a man than you'll EVER be! And SECOND...if I was gonna kick your sorry ass I would have done it by now!"

"Go ahead..." Wayne said, almost on a dare. "But if you do, understand this...it'll be open season on your little boyfriend. All year long. We'll beat him senseless every chance we get. You can't fight them all."

I tightened my grip until my knuckles turned white, and the collar of his shirt almost constricted to the point of choking him. "You're right, Wayne. I can't fight them all. That's exactly why you're gonna help me."

He wrinkled his brow. "HELP you? Are you out of your fucking mind?"

"At this point..." I said, "Yeah...I AM!"

"And exactly what are you gonna do to me, pint size? Give me a bloody nose?" He cackled.

"No....WORSE!" I said. "I'm going to let every single fucking student in this whole damn school know that you made a PASS at Drew! That you wanted him to go home with you, and got mad when he turned you down!" His eyes widened when I said that. "Every last person, Wayne. ALL OF THEM! I think I'll start with the football team, and work my way back to the student council. By the end of the first day, your high school life will be OVER!"

"What are you TALKING about??? I never made any kind of fucking FAGGOTY pass at Drew! That's a lie!"

"You think THEY know that??? This is high school, 'big shot'! The people here aren't going to do a whole lot of investigating before the rumors start spreading. All it takes is a few whispered words in a cafeteria." It was the first time I had seen him scared. I think he knew I meant business.

"If you do, I'll fucking rip your HEAD OFF!!!"

"That won't stop the rumor from moving throughout the entire school, now will it? Are you gonna rip THEIR heads off next? You said it yourself...'you can't fight them all'."

He swallowed hard. "They...they won't believe it..."

"Oh, I'm sure they would. Especially once they have a witness to confirm it. And I'm pretty sure that Drew would be happy to back me up on this considering all of the SHIT you put him through." He stopped struggling. I had his attention, so I loosened my grip, bu only slightly. "Now...this is how things are gonna go from now on. You're not ONLY gonna be nicer to Drew than you have ever been to anybody in your pathetic waste of a life, but as of right now I am making you his personal bodyguard!"

"His WHAT???"

"You heard me! NO MORE getting his books kicked! NO MORE getting dodgeballs thrown at him in gym! NO MORE janitor's closets! NO MORE bumping him in the hallways! NO MORE getting tripped, or ridiculed, or whistled at, or laughed at! NO MORE TROUBLE, PERIOD!!! You GOT that???" I shouted. "Not from YOU, not from THEM, not from ANYBODY! I don't care if fucking MIKE TYSON walks in here and picks a fight with him! You'd better be RIGHT there to take EVERY punch for him! You understand?" He nodded slowly, but that wasn't good enough for me. "TELL ME you understand!!!"

"I understand, already! Jesus!"

"I certainly hope you're hearing me, Wayne! Because I swear, so help me GOD, if I find out that someone has harmed ONE hair on that boy's head or has given him so much as a fucking dirty LOOK....I'm gonna make sure that you learn a hard lesson in what it's like to be the most hated boy in school! Then maybe you'll know what it FEELS like!" I slammed him back against the lockers one last time with all of my might, before letting go of his shirt and backing away from him. "If you think I'm joking, just TRY me!" I said, and stomped away before I changed my mind and started swinging on him anyway. Bastard!

I was seeing red as I walked around the corner, leaving Wayne to think about what I said as he walked off in the other direction, rubbing his chest. I guess I 'was' a bit rough with my grip, but fuck him. He deserved it. It was then that I rounded the corner and saw Drew leaning back against the lockers with a tear streaming down his face...

...and a smile.

I was busted. "Drew??? I thought you were going to class..."

He just sighed, putting his finger up to hush me...then walked over to hug me tightly around the neck. I take it he heard us talking. His tears began to stream out of control, and with a sniffle, he loosened his grip and looked me in the eyes. "Thank you..." He sobbed. "No one's ever done that for me before."

"You know...TECHNICALLY...I kept my promise. No fighting...really." But he wasn't concerned with the 'promise' anymore.

He was too busy trying not to start bawling. "Sniffle...I love you so much, Ethan. Thank you...sniffle...thank you..." He hugged me again, and began to cry openly on my shoulder. The more he tried to hold back, the more the waterworks forced their way out of him. I curled an arm around him and just let him cry. Even got teary myself. We stood there alone in that hallway, just the two of us...and I was willing to caress him in that one spot forever if I had to. It was our moment, and no one was going to take it away from us. Not today.

"Don't worry, Drew. Don't you worry. I'm gonna see to it that nobody ever puts their hands on you again." I said, and kissed the top of his head. "I swear I will." It was a promise I planned to keep.

I'd sacrifice everything for Drew's happiness. That's what love is all about. That's what WE were all about. Now and forever.