On The Outside

Chapter 10

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I went to school the next morning. While Friday definitely ranks as the highest point of any high schooler's or nine-to-fiver's week...this one was definitely different. After my argument with Jermaine yesterday, after having him ask me that totally HORRIFYING question, I couldn't be sure if he had told anybody else what he must now know is true. That Drew and I are...'together'. A duet. A couple. A homosexual matching set. It's not that I didn't trust Jermaine to keep it quiet, exactly. I don't know what it was, to be honest. It was just like...I kept having to ask myself questions like...

'What if he asked somebody else if they thought I was gay before he approached me with it? Are they gonna be watching me now too?'

Or 'what if he told Billy and Joey about this? Or even worse...what if THEY were the ones that told HIM first that they suspected something was up?'

Or 'what if they were talking about it and somebody else in the cafeteria or the hallway overheard them? Does that mean everybody in the whole school is gonna know soon?'

It was a bewildering experience walking into that building on Friday morning. Wondering if everybody that made eye contact with me was secretly holding back their laughter, or their pity, or maybe even their disgust. I mean...what if Jermaine told them? What if he actually told everybody? He had no proof...not really...and I could always deny it. But the rumor alone could make it so hard for Drew and I to even walk together in the same general space that everything would fall apart between us. What kind of relationship could we possibly have, ducking out to secret locations just to talk, or pretending not to notice each other in the hallway? FUCK!!! I *HATE* this! Being exposed. Being vulnerable. Being helpless. Why does it even MATTER??? I shouldn't have to worry about stupid whispers and giggles just because my idea of true love is a bit different from the 'individuality crushing' majority. I should be PROUD to call Drew my boyfriend no matter WHO was listening. He's GORGEOUS, and he's one of the sweetest, most heartfelt boys I've ever met. They should BE so lucky to find someone this amazingly beautiful. But...the truth is...there were always people ready to line up and throw stones at what they couldn't possibly understand from their point of view. Nor do they HAVE to understand it, with so many other people on their side. They were always watching, always listening, and they were waiting for me slip up, to do or say the wrong thing so that they could jump on it like a hungry tiger on raw meat. Was I really ready for all of that? I don't know. I don't think so. Not yet. I'm just not...STRONG enough to fight the unimaginable pressure of having their judgemental fingers pointing in my direction. Defining me before I even get a chance to define myself. There would be no way for Drew and I to win. We'd be cornered and teased and beaten until neither one of us had the heart to even defend ourselves OR our feelings anymore. We'd be savagely bullied out of every loving moment we could possibly grab together, and eventually forcd apart forever. And I don't want to live that way. I don't want Drew to have to live that way either. Not anymore. I think I just liked it better when everything was a great big 'secret'. A completely discreet encounter between the only two people who even mattered in this relationship of ours. I miss having the world be ours and ours alone. It was so peaceful there.

I carefully made my way through the halls, hoping to slide by unnoticed by just about everybody. I kept my eyes to the floor as much as possible, but the fearful urge to look up at the eyes of the high schoolers walking past me kept taking over. And everytime I saw their gaze, I was left wondering if I had been outed, or if it was all in my head. How am I supposed to know? If something was wrong, I'm sure that somebody was going to say something. And soon. They won't let me make it through an entire day, or even make it to lunch for that matter...without taking advantage of the chance to embarrass me beyond belief. I shouldn't have had that big fight with Jermaine on the basketball court yesterday. I shouldn't have argued, then I wouldn't have to worry so much about him telling anybody out of pure spite. Why did I get so MAD? I could have lied. I could have laughed it off. I could have told him pretty much anything, and he'd have no choice but to believe me. Right? So....why didn't I just deny it when I had the chance? Maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I CAN'T.

My heart just won't let me deny what I know is real anymore.

The first few classes went by without much of a hitch. No glares, or mysterious laughter. No passed notes or group whispers when I was around. So maybe...maybe I'm safe. Maybe I'm ok. And that means....Jermaine didn't tell anybody. That thought, and that thought alone, made me wonder if it was possible for him to be...'ok' with the idea. It was a notion that I shook free from my thoughts almost as quickly as I had it appear, but I do believe that this was the first time that the mere concept of telling another human being about my...abnormality ever really crossed my mind. That was breaking the most important 'rule' of all. And I didn't like even considering that plan of action. I was curious and confused by it...but like I said before, I don't think I'm ready for that.

The bell rang outside, allowing me to escape my last morning class and head towards the cafeteria for lunch. Only a few choice people noticed me being unnaturally quiet that day, and that means that I was definitely all a bundle of nerves for no reason. It was like a giant cinder block had been taken off of my shoulders. Thank God...I can breathe again.

"Hey sweetie...come on 'sweetie pie'...don't you wanna kiss me? I know you wanna kiss me. You think I'm hot don't you? I'll let you 'touch it' for five bucks? You got five bucks, sweet pea?" I heard the voice coming from down the hall, and it was nearly drowned out by the surrounding laughter of the other 2 or 3 students who were standing around watching. You can't imagine the utter RAGE I fet when I saw Drew in the middle of their little circle, eyes on the tile, just trying to go emotionally numb long enough for them to get bored and leave him alone. "What's the matter? You don't got five bucks? I'll tell you what, Danny here will let you touch HIS for only two-fifty."

"Why do I only get two-fifty?" The other boy asked.

"Yours isn't as big as mine. Hehehe!" These pathetic wastes of life were actually getting a KICK out of this??? Fucking ASSHOLES! I saw Drew, his slim little shoulders hunched over a bit, as they gently pushed his frail little body back and forth. His bottom lips barely sticking out in a hidden pout. He didn't say a word. He never gave them much satisfaction in the way of tears or words or conflict. He just took it. He stood there...and he waited patiently for them to stop. Well I'm gonna make sure that it stops! I'm gonna stop it myself! RIGHT...FUCKING...NOW!!!!

I began to stomp my way towards the crowd, my fists clenched, my teeth gritted...even *I* didn't know what I was going to do when I got there. My mind was too lost in a furious tumble of angry emotions at the moment. But whatever I came up with in the next few seconds, I'd make SURE that they'd be SORRY for picking on Drew by the time I was finished! As I got closer, I dropped my backpack on the floor on the side of the hall. It would only get in the way when I started swinging. I'm gonna....Ohhh...I SWEAR...I'm gonna just....RRAAAAAARRRRR!!!!

"Hey...knock it off, Tommy." I stopped dead in my tracks. Everyone in the group looked up, even Drew, as something extremely surprising happened. Someone stepped in to 'help'. And it was....Wayne Scott??? It was ACTUALLY him...defending Drew! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

"What are you talking about, Wayne? You're usually the FIRST one to get in on the action. Hehehe!" The boy said.

"Yeah, well...not today." Wayne looked around nervously for a moment or two, and that's when he caught sight of me standing only a short distance away. His eyes widened a bit, and he lowered his gaze swiftly as he stepped in the middle of their circle to break it up. Drew gave him a look that displayed such a sense of utter confusion. The kinda look a dog gives you after you kick it...and then try to beckon him back to you by offering him a treat. Wayne made a break in the circle, and let Drew step outside of it...which he did...cautiously. I'm assuming that my last run in with him in the hallway had somewhat of an impact. I'll be damned...that dumb gorilla actually learned something afterall. "We've got better things to do. Just back off, alright? Come on." He said, trying to disperse the little squad.

"What's with you?" The boy asked confused.

"NOTHING! He's not worth it. Just....just leave him alone, ok? Come on. Let's go." Wayne had to practically 'push' them in another direction, but he eventually got them to break it up. I was completely floored. I can't believe my threat worked so well. I mean...I wanted him to leave Drew alone....but, I wasn't prepared for all of this. Not at all. As Wayne walked past me with his friends, his eyes connected with mine briefly. It wasn't a dirty look really, but it wasn't a friendly one either. Something to silently ask, 'Are you happy now?' Whatever it was, it made me smile from ear to ear. I don't really care whether he suddenly had a change of heart, or if he was only doing it because I threatened to ruin his entire high school reputation forever. As long as the job got done, I was very satisfied indeed. So...yeah. Damn right, jerk...you work for US now. Fuck you too.

As the other boys wandered away from Drew, he saw me standing there, and his face brightened up instantly. He gave me such an incredibly adorable grin, shrugging his shoulders in amazement over what had just happened. It was one of the most kissable expressions that I've ever seen on that beautiful little face of his, and if I could run into his arms right now without anyone watching, I would.

Drew hoisted his backpack up on his small shoulders, and walked up to stand next to me. "Hey...." He said, the sweetest blush highlighting his smooth cheeks.

"You know...there was no way in HELL that I could have predicted that would happen." I told him, referring to Wayne's immediate flip flop in Drew's favor.

"Me NEITHER!" He whispered excitedly. "Wayne Scott has NEVER...I mean NEVER...been nice to me! Hehehe, not ever. This was...um...'different'." Drew's soft brown collection of loose curls seemed only mildly frazzled, still maintaining the cutest look of utter chaos in motion. "How do you manage to keep surprising me with stuff like this, Ethan?"

"I'm made of magic." I grinned, and reached out a hand to brush some of the curls off of the top of his forehead and to the side. It was an irresistable urge, wanting to touch him. It itched inside of my fingertips every second that I was close enough to reach him. His hair was so shiny and soft...it would glide between your fingers when you touched it, the dreamy curls giving a gentle 'lick' to each digit as it passed through his warm light brown locks. And his eyes...his inviting brown eyes would reflect absolutely everything around him. You could see yourself in them if you looked closely enough to not be distracted by those sensuous thin pink lips of his. Now delicately spread outward into a charming smile that could melt your heart in seconds. My Drew.....he was positively one of the most stunningly gorgeous boys I had ever laid eyes on. And he wasn't even aware of how cute he really was. He was too shy to accept the compliment, even when it came from me.

"You're making me squirm inside again." He said, his light voice ringing like a pleasant chime in my ears, even at such a low volume.

"What? What did I do?"

"Nothing. You're just...being you. And it's so cute, I can't stand it." Drew said softly, trying to hold back his breathless smile.

"Do you want me to stop?" I grinned.

"No...just...um...whatever." He giggled at his sudden loss for words, and shook his head gently to get off the subject before his smile blinded us both. The motion caused those magical curls to cascade right back down to his forehead, grazing the rising curve of his eyebrows. I nearly gasped from the bashful cuteness of it all. "So...are we gonna eat lunch with your friends today?" He asked as we started walking. "I think Jermaine might actually be warming up to me a little bit. Maybe."

"What makes you say that?"

"He spoke to me in the halls today when I walked past him. I mean he never ignored me or ducked his head in the locker or anything...but he never really spoke before either..."

I stopped him before he could finish. "Wait...are you telling me he approached you in the hall today?"


"What did he SAY to you?" I got nervous all over again. Is he trying to drill DREW for the information he needed to 'out' me now? How far is he gonna go to reveal my secret?

"He didn't say anything much. Just hello. He asked me how it was going, and if we were going to eat lunch with them. That's why I figured that maybe you two were going to eat in the cafeteria today." Drew seemed comfortable enough with it, but me? I was gritting my teeth in aggrivation. "I felt kinda...invited this time. You know?"

"I can't fucking believe him." I mumbled to myself.



"So are we going?" He asked again, and I looked up towards the cafeteria ahead of us. Jermaine was going in to stand in line, with Joey and Billy in tow as always. Jermaine's eyes met mine briefly from down the hall, but I turned away from him AND his 'investigation' of what I did with my life. I didn't need this.

"Nah....let's get out of here." I said. I think Jermaine got the idea, even if he couldn't hear me from that far away. He just disconnected our eye contact, and walked in to get his lunch. Drew gave me a look, as if to ask if he was missing something here. And I had to say something to reassure him. "I'd rather be with you instead. That's all."

"Do you think the park is empty today?"

"Only one way to find out, right? C'mon." That said, Drew and I made our detour to the side door and took the long relaxing walk to the park to enjoy some time alone.

I guess I had a lot on my mind. And Drew could always tell when I had something on my mind. We both sat under the same tree and ate our sandwiches in silence for a few moments before he called me on it. "You're being quiet again."


"You always get quiet when something's wrong." He said. "Is everything ok?"

I looked at him for a moment, his beauty flooding my eyes, his concern flooding my heart, and gave him a slight grin. "I'm ok, I guess. Sorry. I'm just thinking about stuff."

"Is it 'stuff' that you can talk about?"

"I don't know yet. I don't know if I've really defined the problem enough to tell you what's wrong." I told him, and that was the truth. Now that I think about it, it might be a relief to have Jermaine know for sure. It might actually be cool to have my best friend know me for who I really am. It might be the only way for us to be...'friends' again. Because, when I really think about it, I can't go back now. Not anymore. I can't go back to hanging out with a bunch of straight boys, shooting basketballs, looking at nudie mags, and pretending to talk about girls. I can't go back to just sitting there in silence while they continue to assume that I'm just as 'normal' as they are. I can't go back to my old life or who I was before. I found Drew...and Drew helped me to find my true self. How can I expect to ever settle for less ever again? I'm trapped. Locked into a fantastic dream that I don't ever want to wake up from. And while people may try to peek in on me from time to time, I didn't want to let a single one of them into my fantasy. It was mine. It was ours. And....I'm pretty sure that it was forever.

Suddenly, without warning, Drew quickly leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. A sweet grin and a blush on his face after seeing my reaction. "Feel better?" He giggled.

"Hehehe, no. But you can certainly give it another few tries if you want to." Our eyes met, and without losing a bit of our smile, we met each other half way and kissed again. A slightly extended peck on the lips that sent a tiny electric shock through us both. We looked at each other for another momentary pause, and our thirst pulled us together for another kiss. This one was a second or two longer, and I could feel him sigh as his soft breath tickled my cheek. Another kiss, and another...soft connections between his parted lips and mine, broken repeatedly with gentle smacking sounds and a smile. Then...I put my soda down next to me, and wrapped my fingers tenderly around the back of Drew's head and neck, my thumb lightly grazing his ear, as I kissed him deeply on the lips. This time our tongues touched, and we began to suck at them as they slid across one another in an erotic dance that made us hunger for more. We were sitting out in the open, under a tree, in a public park. But this felt so right. This felt so real. I ask you...exactly what is it about something so tender and exhilirating that people hate so much?

I think Drew got to be a little self conscious before I did, and he pulled back from me a bit. He smiled, gently biting his bottom lip to keep from giggling shyly. He didn't want to let himself get that far into it while we were out here. And yet, he didn't care who knew about him. I think he did it more for my sake than anything else. Attempting to save the reputation of the boy who seemed to have everything...when all I really wanted was him.

Drew leaned against the tree again, pulled both of his knees up to his chest, and rested his cheek on his crossed arms. I was, again, amazed by how he was flexible enough to curl himself up in a ball like that and still breathe. "Sighhhh...you are so unreal, Ethan. Can I just...sit here and look at you for a while?"

"Does that mean no more kissing?"

I think I heard the tiniest whimper escape from his throat when I said that. It was adorable. "God....see? That's what I'm talking about. You're so....you're so special." He said, almost teary eyed. He looked up at the sky for a moment, and said, "Why are you even HERE with me right now? This is too much!"

I looked up at the sky as well. "Because I wanna kiss some more!" I said, giving us both a chuckle or two.

"Not now, ok? Maybe later when we have some more privacy. I'm sorry. I just don't want you to get...'caught', you know?" He said in a boyish whine, laced with a sensual tone that let me know that he wanted it as badly as I did.

"Would it be so bad if I did?" I asked.

"Yeah..." He said softly. "...Yeah, it would." His smile faded for a split second, but not completely. "I don't want you to have to ever go through the stuff that I go through sometimes."

"So you're trying to protect me now?" I smirked.

"Maybe. We've got to protect each other, right?" His look softened, and I almost thought he was going to let me kiss him again before he held himself back. "You make me so happy, Ethan. Thank you...."

"Thank you, for what?"

"For being everything I ever wished for...you know...when times were bad. You're exactly what I ordered." He said quietly, his soft eyes capturing me in an emotional moment of heartfelt expression. His chin rested on his knee again as he stared dreamily at me. "You're perfect. I can't believe how perfect you are. It makes me cry to think I could get so lucky."

There was a small lump in my throat over the idea that I was the first person to ever really offer Drew this level of comfort. The first to ever hold him, or make him smile, or tell him how beautiful he was. It was sad to think that no one had ever given this boy the chance he needed to display his heart for the wonderous and infinite source of love that it was. But it's their loss...because I found it first. And it's mine now. "I love you, Drew." I whispered, leaning in to steal another slow kiss, as a single tear slid out of Drew's right eye.

"Hehehe...'sniffle'...I love you too." I used my thumb to wipe his tear away, and he kissed the palm of my hand. We then rubbed our noses together for a second with a smile, and lightened up the mood a bit as we went back to our lunch. We didn't have much longer to spend in our private paradise anyway before returning to the 'cage' of animals waiting for us with the ring of the next bell. But just being here was enough to lift our spirits above all this...'other stuff' for now. I just wish we could stay here alone for the rest of our lives.

We enjoyed each other's company for as long as we could, but my mind kept drifting. It wouldn't stand still long enough to just appreciate the moment. All I could think about was that nasty business with Jermaine and what it meant. Or DIDN'T mean. Or....sighhh...whatever. Why is he trying to get Drew and me to eat with him now? Isn't he supposed to be mad at me? What the hell is he up to? Life shouldn't be this complicated and confusing. Not for anybody. After a few minutes, Drew let his knee fall to the side a bit and he playfully nudged me with it. He grinned and looked me in the eye, letting me know that he had caught me wandering around in my deep thoughts again. "I'm sorry. I'm trying."

"Well, try harder. You're gonna make me think you don't wanna be out here with me or something." He said.

I paused for a minute, and then asked him, "Drew? Um...tell me something?"


"Who was the first person you ever....you know....?" I said, making a gesture that I hoped he'd translate into the appropiate question. "You know...?"

"Came 'out' to, you mean?"

"Yeah. Who'd you tell first?"

He chewed a small bite of his sandwich, and said, "My mom." It came out of his mouth so simply, as though that answer shouldn't have had any impact on me.

"Really?" I said.

"Yep. She was the first. We're really close like that."

"Wow...." I said, trailing off. Okaaaay, so that was NOT gonna happen! Not where I was concerned.

"Why?" He asked.

"No reason. Just curious." I told him. But that wasn't entirely the truth, was it? "Weren't you scared?"

"I was terrified." He said, dwelling on the memory for a moment. "But....I mean, it was definitely gonna be a permanent thing. It wasn't just going to magically 'change' one day. And after a while, I stopped wanting it to. So...I told her."

"It was that easy?"

"Well, it wasn't easy. It was just....'necessary'." He told me. "It's kinda like taking out the trash. You don't really wanna do it at first, but it just keeps piling up and piling up and eventually you just wanna get rid of it to have some peace of mind again."

I waited for another minute or so, and asked him, "How did you know when it was time to tell her?"

"I dunno. I just did." Drew turned to look at me, and rested his hand on my leg. He knew that this was more than basic curiousity this time. "Ethan, there comes a time when you just realize how hard it is to constantly look over your shoulder and hold it all in. Eventually, you reach a point where you're gonna have to decide whether you want to be happy or you want to make them happy by being somebody else. And when you really think about it...you should want to be happy being you. And any 'real' friend would want the same." He said, and then went back to his sandwich.

"Thanks." I mumbled, and he smiled. I can't believe he actually thinks that I'M perfect. I don't think my 'mom' is the first place for me to start...but maybe...in some bizzare and twisted way...it wouldn't be so bad if I talked to Jermaine about it more. I mean...he knows already, right? At least...he's close enough to make a guess. And he hasn't told anybody yet. Not that I know about. Arrrgh, I can't believe that I'm even ENTERTAINING this fucking idea! No....no, I'm not doing this! Forget it. Wipe it from your mind, Ethan. Jermaine and the guys don't know anything, and that's how it's gonna stay. There's absolutely NO reason to tell them. To hell with exposing myself any further. If one person knows, then everybody will know. And I can't have that. I just...can't.

"We've gotta get going. We'll be late." Drew said, and stood up to brush himself off.

I saw him brushing some grass off of his cute little butt and said, "I'll get it." I gave it a swift brush or two before grabbing a giant handfull of his ass and squeezed it hard.

"Yowzza!" He giggled with a jump, and swatted me on the arm. "Watch it, buster! That's private property you're manhandling there!" I made another reach for it as he snickered and expertly kept his firm round cheeks pointed away from me. I kept trying to get my hands on that squeezable cushion a few more times until I was practically chasing him out of the park, both of us panting for breath from trying to run and laugh at the same time. I never get enough of that boy. He's my salvation. My one true answer to every question love tosses my way. I couldn't be more spellbound.

On the walk back to school, once we calmed down a bit and he let me rest my hands on that soft ass of his just ONE more time, Drew asked me, "So....did you think any more about...you know...maybe coming over to my mom's shop this weekend? I mean...you don't HAVE to. But....I'm going. And I just figured...we could spend some time together or something if you came with."

"Will we get a chance to be alone?" I saw Drew turn a deep shade of red, and he looked down at his feet as he grinned sheepishly to himself.

"Um...hehehe....I dunno. Maybe."


"Yeah...maybe. I mean...I can try."

"That's all I needed to hear. Consider me your faithful weekend companion." I said.

"Hehehe! Do you really wanna be alone with me that badly?" He said.

"More than you know. I miss holding you against me, Drew. I want more."

His blush darkened, but he managed to peek up and look me in the eye. "Yeah...me too." He smiled with a visible tremble that I could see in his chest, and hear in his poetically light voice. "You know...I dream about you." He said, and when I smiled, it made his blush even worse.



"WHEN?" I giggled. "Like last night? Or...like...when?"

"Hehehe, like...all the time." He said timidly, his quaking nerves getting more out of control. "I can't help it. I think I'm gonna need therapy at some point, just to stop thinking about you all day."

"Don't you dare. I LIKE having you think about me all day."

"That's because you're vain and selfish." He said, and I gave him a shove, his frail body and featherweight frame almost falling over from the gentle push of my hand. "AND cute! I meant to add cute!" He laughed. "Anyway, if we go to my mom's early on Saturday, I'm sure we'll be able to break away and find some time to be by ourselves. We can do things then. Maybe not 'all the way', but we can definitely use the time for something...um..."

"Dirty?" I loved watching Drew react to my more perverted urges. It's like he tries to pretend that he wasn't thinking the same thing, and that makes him so beautifully wicked to me.

"Yeah....dirty." He gave me a flirtatious smile, teasing my every sensibility and drivng me wild with the promise shining in his eyes.

"Ok...well, I'll call you tonight, and tomorrow we can ride our bikes over together. I can swing by your house if you want."

"Um.......actually, I'll meet you down at Benny's corner store and we can go over from there. My dad'll be home, and if he sees me riding around with another boy...you know...he gets weird."

"Oh..." I said.

"Yeah..." Drew said, his face masked with a bit of a pout. "...He's supposed to pick me up from school today to get me some new shoes. So...I have to be careful. It's just awkward, you know? He thinks I'm in love with every boy I come in contact with."

"I thought he was ok about you being gay."

"He IS, he is....well....sorta. He just....he doesn't understand. And the less we talk about it, the better." Drew said, with just a hint of sadness in his voice, even behind his smile. "He kinda pretends not to know, and I kinda pretend not to know that he doesn't know. It's complicated. But...it helps him to...uh...think better of me, I guess...when he can deny it all." That sucks. But I guess every parent can't be expected to take the news the same way.

"Ok, I get it. That's cool." I said, but Drew took a hold of my arm.

"You understand, right? I mean, it's not like I'm ashamed of you or anything. I mean, you don't think..."

"Hehehe, chill out. I understand. Seriously. K?"

"Good." He said with a slight sigh of relief. "Just wanted to make sure." And that was it. Plans had been made, a place had been chosen, and if I'm lucky...I'll get to spend some quality time with my baby again tomorrow. All alone. Just the two of us, and whatever kisses we're allowed to share away from the world. It's gonna be awesome.

Getting back to school seemed like such a short walk as Drew and I tried to prepare ourselves for a return to reality. The smiles had to fade, the touches had to stop, the giggles had to cease. We made sure to erase as many of those golden tell tale signs of flirtatious love that we could before stepping foot on that property again. I missed it almost immediately, but he knew how I felt inside, and that kept me strong until we could be alone again. However...it wasn't until we got inside that my heterosexual 'costume' was suddenly tested by the eyes of another.

Walking down the hall, a few remaining stragglers loitering around before making a last minute dash to class, Drew and I ran into Patrick as he rounded the corner. His pretty blond hair jerked forward a bit as he came to a stop, his smooth features and 'teen magazine' showboating beauty seemed to grab a hold of our attention without him even trying. I know Drew had been talking to Patrick. I knew that they were a little more than acquaintences, a little less than friends. And that was cool. But what got to me was the way he briefly looked up into my eyes as he crossed our path. It was subtle...and only lasted a second or two...but there was something else behind his eyes when he did it. I could tell. "Hey." He said.

"Patrick, hey, what's up?" Drew's face lit up with a smile. "Oh...this is Ethan. Ethan...Patrick." He said, and he gave me another look. Again...I couldn't tell if I was making this up or what, but I could've SWORN that there was just a hint of suspicion in the way his eyes met mine. It was this gentle, but noticeable moment of discomfort, that caused me to wonder what he was thinking when he saw us together.

"Hi." He said, giving me a slight handshake. "I think I've seen you around a few times."

"Yeah. Probably." I replied, and waited for him to look at me again. I just...I wanted to make sure. Drew didn't tell him who I was, did he? Even if he hadn't, I'm sure that it wouldn't be hard for him to figure out. He KNOWS that Drew has a boyfriend, he just never had a name or a face to connect with it before. Not until now.

A moment of silence passed between us before Patrick said, "Oh, by the way, I wanted to thank you for the book and your notes, Drew. They helped a lot."

"Did you pass?"

"B+...almost an A." He smiled.

"Great! I told you you'd get it." Drew grinned.

"Yep, finally." Patrick looked at me again, and then back at Drew. "So....are you guys...coming back from lunch or something?" Shit! He KNOWS, doesn't he? Drew has a boyfriend, I'm standing there with him after eating lunch alone in the park...he's GOTTA know! Everybody probably knows now!

"Um...well, I am. I just saw Ethan as I was coming in, so he was walking to class with me. That's all." Drew said. And it might have been a nice save, if Patrick hadn't caught on already. He had to realize what was going on here. Shit...this paranoia is killing me.

"Ah, cool." Patrick kept his mouth shut, bu I'm sure he saw me shaking at this point. As much as I loved Drew, as liberated as I felt while we were kissing under that tree for anyone around us to see...I suddenly felt that delightful energy inside of me turn ice cold. It felt like I was gonna be sick, and the butterflies in my stomach went wild as the thought of my entire life being on display beyond my control overwhelmed me. "Well....I've gotta get to class. But thank again, Drew. I owe ya one, man." Patrick gave me a quick flash of a smile. "It was nice meeting you, Ethan." I couldn't tell if that was a genuine smile, or a polite smile, or a mischevious 'I know what you're up to' smile. But my nerves were on end, and not even my total devotion to Drew could stop the terrifying emotion from trying to suffocate me where I stood.

"You're worried, aren't you?" Drew said after a slight pause.


"I didn't tell him, ok? Honest." He had the most subtle hint of a boyish pout in his voice, and I felt bad for what I was thinking. "I would never tell, ok?" I hadn't heard that tone emanate from his sweet lips since the first day we met. Not since he first was forced to tell me he was gay. Was I ashamed of him? Was I ashamed of myself? Who knows? I guess that this whole acceptance thing takes a bit more getting used to than I thought it would. It takes more than a cute boyfriend and a little sexual activity to suddenly be 'ok' with everything that I am. Everything that the others don't know about me. It takes....time.

"I'm being stupid, Drew. I'm sorry. K?" I told him. "It doesn't matter."

"Shhh...don't worry about it. I understand. I just...I didn't tell, ok?" I nodded, and Drew pulled his backpack up higher on his shoulder. "I've gotta go. Call me later?"

"You bet." I said. I watched as Drew walked away from me. His slightly noticeable effeminate sway reminding me that his body was just as warm, soft, and delicate, as his sensitive emotions could be. And how much damage I could do if I didn't take care of them. I'd never want to hurt him, not ever. And if that means suppressing the unspeakable horrors shown to me by useless paranoia...then maybe I should start doing it. Because no amount of pride or embarrassment will make me give up my one true source of joy. My one favorite angel. I can do that. For Drew, I could do anything. Sometimes...I think I can be stronger for him than I can be for myself.

The school day raced by at the speed of light once lunch was overwith. And while I desperately needed to see Drew's smile just ONE more time before the day was over...I didn't get the chance. His dad picked him up from school the second the bell rang. I didn't even get a chance to see what he looked like. But I guess Drew was an expert at getting out of the building before the jerks and the jocks got in the way of him leaving safely. Anything to avoid their pointless harrasment. I find it hard to believe sometimes that Drew has the courage to smile at all. Where does he get the heart, and the energy, to remain so humble and sweet through all of this misery? And how can he have the audacity to claim that I had anything to do with it? Even with the situation with his dad...I mean...he 'doesn't understand'? What the hell is up with THAT? What is there to understand? He's gay. End of story. He likes boys, so what? Then again, I'd never expect my parents to understand either. I just...I wish life could be so much better for him. I wish the world could just let that incredible spirit blossom and grow without all of the extra bullshit. Nothing would make me happier, then seeing Drew become totally free.

I went home that night, waiting helplessly impatient as minute after minute ticked slowly forward on the clock. Waiting for the moment when Drew and I would finally get our weekend together. When I called his house that night, I couldn't help but be relieved that he answered the phone instead of his dad. Talking to his dad was a bit of a nervous hassle that I just didn't want to deal with. But Drew's ever present cheerfulness could be heard through the phone as we happily made our top secret plans to meet tomorrow morning, and it only made the long wait even worse. We couldn't stop giggling, not even when we tried to be serious for a moment or two to get things straight. But I guess love does that to you sometimes. It feels too good to be contained behind the mask of typical everyday sanity. The giggles got nearly hysterical when we met face to face outside Benny's the next day. Just seeing Drew ride up on his bike made my breath catch in the back of my throat. His eyes met mine as he dragged his wheels to a halt, and he grinned at me with a mix of admiration and sheepish beauty. The sun must have been hitting him JUST the right way that morning, because he was more stunning than ever.

"You ready?" He said softly.

I took a moment to sigh as I stared at him for a quick second longer. ".....Um....yeah. Let's go." He took off first, and guided me on the long bike ride to his mom's coffee shop on the other side of town. I kept my eyes on him the entire time. I could hardly steer straight. I loved the way the wind passed through his hair, and the way his sexy little butt looked as he pushed the pedals on his bike. His dimpled buns were so tiny and cute, it drove me crazy watching them in motion ahead of me. And when he occassionally turned to smile at me....oh wow! I was so lost in love that I'd have to fight to maintain my balance. I couldn't believe it, we were leaving all those prying eyes behind, speeding towards our own paradise again. It made my heart burst to think of us getting a chance to be alone. To be lovers, unrestricted, just like it was supposed to be.

It took us almost an hour to get there, but we weren't in any big rush, and we locked up our bikes against the rack back by the dumpster. But before walking around to the front of the shop, Drew softly....suddenly...lovingly...grabbed me by both ears with a smile, and pulled me in close for a deep kiss on the lips. It was warm and wet and it felt like Drew's whole body was surging with electricity as he let a tiny whimper escape his boyish frame. I could hear him sigh deeply with relief, and after a good thirty seconds of sucking at my surprised lips, he broke the kiss with a loud smack. The look on my face made him giggle. "Hehehe...sorry, I've been waiting to do that all WEEK!" He smiled, and wrapped his hands around my waist, pulling me tightly against him for another smooch. Then, just as we began to touch tongues and really get things moving, the back door to the shop opened....and Drew's mom came out with a bag of trash. We jumped back from each other immediately, awkwardly trying to look innocent with a rosey glow in our lips and some 'hard to conceal' bulges in the front of our pants. It was hard to keep from grinning, even after the startling halt in our activities.

Drew's mom looked up to see us standing there snickering and blushing, and she screamed out with joy. It was one of those outgoing 'overjoyed' shouts that catch you off guard at first from the sheer volume of it, but it makes you feel good inside anyway once you get past the shock. "You came to visit! Why didn't you tell me you were coming? And you brought ETHAN! Oh, I'm SO happy to see you two together!" She said, and excitedly moved over to grab me in a hug, kissing the top of my head.

"Mom...." Drew whined with a shy grin, hoping not to be further embarassed by her enthusiasm.

"Well, don't just stand there. Go on in." She said, and ushered us in the back, before going out to put the trash bag in the dumpster. As soon as the coast was clear, Drew took me by the hand and leaned against the wall inside as he kissed me again. I can't tell you how wonderful it felt to have my boyfriend's lips against mine. To just feel his love expressed to me so openly, so completely...there's no better feeling in this world. Drew's hands gently caressed my back, and we got so engrossed in our passionate liplock that we barely heard his mom walking up to the back door again. "If you guys want..." She said, but then stopped in mid sentence as we jumped apart from each other again. She chuckled quietly to herself and shook her head. "...I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Just pretend like I'm not even here." She said. I, personally, had no intentions of making out in front of Drew's mom...but was shocked when Drew quickly gave me another few pecks on the cheek anyway.

"Ack! Get away!" I said, playfully trying to push him off of me as he peppered my entire face with frisky little kisses. "Hahaha! Noooooo!"

"He's sooooo CUTE! Isn't he CUTE, Mom?" Drew's face was beaming with pride and joy, "I love you SO much!" And within seconds, he was kissing me all over again.

Drew's mom giggled along with us as she squeezed past our little game. I couldn't believe how...normal this felt. Can a life like this even EXIST for boys like us? "You two take a couple of minutes to 'wind down'! Then come help me up front for a while. Ok?" She said. "You know how to make coffee, Ethan?"

"Um..." Drew snuck in another kiss on my lips with a giggle before I could finish. "...Hehehe, no. Not really."

"Well, you will before you leave today. The aprons are on the wall over there." She said, and walked back through the doors to the front of the shop.

"Okaaaay...so I take it your mom knows?" I said, finally getting Drew to calm down. It was funny, seeing him almost out of breath from kissing me so frantically.

He nodded softly, his golden brown honey colored eyes connecting to mine with a smile of their own. "We talk a lot. My mom and me. We're just...close like that, I suppose. That's alright, isn't it?" He asked.

"Yeah....yeah it's great." I whispered, and with only a short pause, I was thirsty for his kiss once again. This time, slow and sensual, with the kind of mindblowing passion that comes from holding back for so long. Our breathing was loud, and soft moans could be heard as Drew's delicate hands ran small circles on my lower back. The smacking of our lips sounded so sexy to me at that moment, and our roaming fingers got more adventurous as they slipped lower and lower on each other's bodies. We rolled our hips forward to rub our hardness into each other, and I had to grab two handfulls of his bubbled cheeks to pull him tight against me...making him produce the most adorable high pitched whine. This was so amazing. I never wanted this to end.

Then we heard a loud pounding on the wall from the front of the store. Drew's mom called out from the counter, "JUST a couple of minutes, boys! Let's not get too comfortable back there!" Drew and I smiled at one another and regretfully parted our embrace, tempted to dive back in for more.

"I guess we should save some for later, huh?" Drew said.

"Yeah. That's cool." He kissed me on the lips once more, and then went to get us a couple of aprons to wear. Then I thought about something. "Wait....you didn't tell your mom that you and I...that is...that we....?"

His eyes widened. "Oh GOD no! I didn't tell her about THAT part! Hehehe, we're close, but I'm not THAT psychotic." His gaze softened. "Besides, that's my favorie little secret." Our lips refused to stay apart for more than a few seconds at a time, and before we could stop ourselves, we were at it again. Until another loud pounding thumped against the wall. "Hehehe, shit. She's gonna come back here soon." He whispered, just as the door opened and her head peeked inside.

"Drew?" She said, adopting that motherly tone that all mom's get when they're stopping you from having too much fun.

"We're coming, Mom. Ethan's got a knot in his apron." He lied, and gave me a quick peck on the cheek before we adjusted ourselves to be presentable in the public again.

There was quite a crowd for a Saturday afternoon, and the place was alive with the sounds of Motown playing over the speakers. Mrs. H always knew just the music to fit the mood, and it created an awesome atmosphere for the pace of the day and for everyone that was in there. Her assistant, Ed, was working that day too, and was constantly tapping out the rhythms of Marvin gaye on the counter with a pencil. Drew had to teach me some of the basics so I could help out behind the counter. He showed me the different sized cups and how to work the cappuccino machine. And I even helped to take orders when they got slammed, it was great. But beyond it all...it was being so close to Drew that made it so enjoyable. If our eyes ever connected, even for just a second, our gaze would get locked up, and we'd smile at one another. Fighting the urge to start mashing our faces together again. Watching him work was so adorable. I couldn't keep my eyes off of him. And whenever he was close enough to me behind the counter, I would secretly reach out a hand to gently rub his lower back. On a few bolder occassions, I even anaged to palm the firm tightness of his sweet ass without anybody seeing. He always slapped my hand away when I did that though, giggling at the thought of being caught. God...he drove me insane with his flirtatious smile. And after the first two hours of being there at the front counter with him, we couldn't help ourselves anymore.

I looked over at Drew and gave him a hidden signal with my eyes. He didn't get it at first, but after a few head jerks and hand gestures, he caught on. "Um...Mom? I'm gonna go in the back and...grab some more napkins for the tables." He said, and walked into the back.

I waited a few seconds, and told her. "I'll be right back." I didn't have any real excuse to go in the back myself, but I was so anxious to be in Drew's arms again, that I didn't care to think one up. I walked through the door and saw Drew standing over in a corner waiting for me. I was almost breathless with excitement, and in a flash, I moved over to wrap my arms around his slim body and lock lips with him as though we had been starving for this moment for years. We kissed for as long as we could, hoping that his mom wouldn't notice us missing for too long. And then we broke it up. He started to go back to the front, but I stopped him. "Wait...yor hair is a little messed up." I said, straightening it up for him. I guess my hands had gotten a bit carried away with the locks of his hair while we were making out. He started to leave again, but I said, "Wait...don't forget the napkins."

"Oh...right." He grabbed a stack or two, and we both went back to the counter. That was the formula of the next few hours that afternoon. Drew would make an excuse to go in the back every ten to fifteen minutes, then I'd follow. Sometimes we'd switch it up to avoid suspicion. And everytime we got five seconds alone, our tongues became tangled up in a few more minutes of overwhelming relief. I swear, we just couldn't stop! Disappearing for longer periods of time with each 'escape' from the front of the store. It became a game, where Drew and I couldn't even keep a straight face while telling his mom why we would be leaving the counter again for a few minutes. Hehehe, we'd practically be snickering outloud by the time we reached the door. And soon, we were going in the back so often that Drew's mom just came clean about what was going on.

"You boys aren't fooling me, you know?" She grinned, stopping Drew by putting a hand on his chest.

"What? We're not doing anything." Drew couldn't even keep a straight face once she gave us that knowing look, and we laughed about it. But she began limiting our 'play time' a bit more after that. At least until break time.

Later on, just as the coffee shop was ready to close for the evening, Drew and I went to the back to hang our aprons up. It had been an awesome day, and I can't remember when I had more fun 'working' somewhere. As we got ready to go, he gave me a look of pure enchantment, and sighed to himself. "I'm really glad you came today, Ethan. I'm glad for every second that I get to spend with you, sweetie."

"Me too. Hehehe, it was fun. Especially back here." I told him. "So....do you think that maybe...we can still....you know...be alone somehere today? You know...just you and me?"

He blushed a bright shade of pink. "My mom is watching us pretty close."

"I know..but...I just...." I was drawn to him, my fingers lightly running across his lips and then down his soft chest while I spoke. "...I wanna be with you, Drew. I need you." I said, and he became so weak in the knees that he nearly buckled and had to lean on something to remain standing. He giggled sweetly at me, and I asked him, "Do you think that maybe we can...'go' somewhere, or something? For a little while?"

"Um...I dunno for sure. But I think I've got an idea, k?" He said.

"I've got a LOT of ideas, but we'd have to be alone before putting them into action."

"Mmmmm....does it include you being totally naked with me again?" He smiled devilishly at me, and I moved towards him as he backed away from me slowly.


"Does it include you being on top of me again?" He moaned.

I nodded. "Uh huh."

"And me wrapping my lips around you, and sucking you so good that you're ready to scream?" He said, placing his hands on my hips, and pulling me back with him. Drew almost never talked dirty, and to hear even a hint of lewd conversation come out of his mouth was priceless.

"I hope so." I answered, and we backed up until the back of his legs hit the arm of the little couch in the room, and he gently fell back to lay down with me being dragged on top of him. We laughed a bit from the sudden fall, but regained the moment quickly. The look in his eyes was too much for me to resist, and I kissed him deeply on the lips as I felt his hands run up and down my back.

But a few minutes later, the door opened and his mom walked in. "Whoah! EASY, you guys!" She said with a gasp. We hadn't planned to get wrapped up in each other like that, but time didn't exist when our lips touched.

"Sorry." I said.

"Sorry, Mom." Drew repeated, clearing his throat. Out of all of the 'games' we played that day, this time we were generally embarrassed for going a bit too far this time.

"Hey now....I can be a cool mom, but don't push it. Let's keep the smooching 'vertical' for right now, ok fellas?" She said, grabbing a wet towel to wipe the tables down with.

She was getting ready to walk back out to the front to start cleaning, and I motioned for Drew to put his 'idea' into effect. He gestured for me to be quiet and wait a moment, and then he followed her through the door. "Um...Mom? Me and Ethan were gonna go out and...maybe get something to eat or something. And then just head home. Is that ok?"

"I can drive you guys over if you wait up for about 40 minutes for me to count the register drawer and clean up a little." She said.

"NO...you don't have to do that. Well...I mean...we're 'really' hungry. Besides..we've got our bikes and all. You don't have to drive us. We just...wanna get out of here."

She looked at him closely for a moment. "What are you up to?" She asked.

"Nothing. Serious. We'll come right home afterwards. We'll...we'll probably even beat you there." He said. I watched from the doorway, my breath shallow with the hopes that she'd let us go without any more questions.

She sighed for a moment, and then told him, "You can go...but I'm coming RIGHT home, Drew. You hear me?" I think she knew damn well what we were thinking, and when she looked up to see me standing there watching I ducked back into the break room. "RIGHT home. NO funny business."

"What 'funny business'? We're just going to get something to eat." Drew smiled as she pulled him close for a hug. He looked up into her eyes from under her embrace, with the sweetest little boy smile on his face.

She gave him a kiss on the forehead. "I mean it, kiddo. Ok?" She said, ruffling his hair a bit. "OK?"

"I know. I know." He grinned.

"Don't make a monkey out of me, ya hear?"

"Would I lie to you?"

"In a heartbeat, yes." She said, and finally let him go so he could come get me. It was hard to hide our burst of joy, but we made an attempt to do it anyway. Then, before we could sprint out of the back door, she yelled out after us, "I'm coming RIGHT home, boys!"

"Ok, Mom!" He said, and he hurried me outside. We didn't have long.

The only thing funnier than seeing Drew rushing out of that back door was seeing him fumble with the chain that locked our bikes together outside. We took off as soon as our front tires were free, and Drew was peddaling so fast that I could hardly keep up. Then again, I was giggling pretty hard at his excitement. I don't know why, but it was both hilarious and arousing at the same time. Just seeing him joyfully revel in that wonderful confusion...that nexus where love, sexual desire, and frustration all collide in this big mess that, for some reason, can empower us to do almost anything. But, despite my laughter, I kept up with him anyway. I was just as anxious to get my hands on his smooth skin as he was...even if I did a better job of hiding it.

Getting to his mom's house, Drew swiftly rode his bike up around the side of the house and practically jumped off while it was still in motion. The bike went cruising into the backyard, and he didn't bother to lock it up or anything. I take it he figured it was safe enough where it was. He fumbled with his keys for a moment and got the door open, dragging me inside behind him.

"Hehehe...what's got YOU so frisky?" I grinned. But as Drew tossed his house keys up on the counter, he made it clear that he didn't want to waste any time. He took me by the hand, and pulled me a little bit to get me to follow him. He already had a well defined 'imprint' in his jeans, pointing out to the left as the fabric tried valiantly to contain his hardness. How he was able to ride a BIKE like that, I'll never know! "How much time do we have?" I asked, still giggling.

"Um...I don't know. But we should have at least fifteen minutes, I think." He said, looking around the house. "Here, we can go down into the basement."

"How will we know if your mom comes home?"

"I'll lock the top lock." He said, rushing over to do so.

"But wait, won't she be suspicious if we have the top lock on?"

"Damn...you're right." He replied. "Ah well, we'll just have to chance it. Keep your ears open, k?" Hehehe, I guess it didn't matter much to him one way or the other.

Drew took me by the hand again as he rushed me down the steps into the finished basement. "We can do stuff down here. We'll have plenty of warning before she's able to get all the way down here."

He turned on the lights, and the basement's beauty was illuminated instantly. I didn't expect the sights that I saw in front of me. There was a long counter against the wall, with barstools in front of it, and a large mirror. It grabbed my attention, and I walked over to take a closer look. Wow...there were big ice cream freezers behind the counter, and milkshake glasses and all. "Whoah...this is cool."

Drew was already kicking off his shoes and undoing his belt. "Yeah...FINALLY! I have been wanting to get your hot sexy body totally naked every single SECOND of the day since..."

"I was talking about the basement." I told him.

"Oh....hehehe..." He blushed. "Yeah. My mom, she entertains some of the neighborhood kids here every now and then. She let's them have birthday parties and stuff down here." He lowered his pants and used his feet to pull them off of him. He was lifting his shirt above his head, his delicate chest coming into view as he stood there in just his dark green boxers.

I walked around to the other end of the counter, standing right next to Drew, who was almost naked already. "That's awesome! Did you ever have your birthdays here?"

"Every year since I was 6." He said happily. "Well...I mean, until about 2 years ago, that is. Now I just kinda help out with the younger kids that come by."

I saw a framed picture near me, and took it down off of the wall. "Omigod!" I said with a huge grin. "Is this YOU....dressed up like a CLOWN???" I started to laugh, and Drew quickly snatched it out of my hand.

"NO!!! I have no idea what you're talking about." He said, unconvincingly. And after removing the picture frame from my hand, he made sure to turn it face down on the counter and slid it out of my reach as he looked up into my eyes.

I smiled. "You're beautiful, you know that?"

I gave him a sweet kiss on his lips, but he pushed me back after only a few seconds. "What are you waiting for? Hehehe, get naked already."

"How do you know I WANNA get naked?" I teased.

"C'mon Ethan, quit fooling around...she's gonna be HOME soon! And I wanna...." He stopped, the most adorable pouty look on his face.

"You wanna what?"

"I just wanna..." He sighed as he stepped closer. "...I want you. Ok? I don't want to wait any more. I wanna be with you." He whimpered, the very tip of his hardness peeking out of the fly in his boxers...it's pink crown pulsating with a hunger. "I TOLD you, I think about you all the time, Ethan. And today...today I feel like I'm gonna explode if you don't touch me again. I've been waiting sooooo long. Please? Make love to me?" His voice was pleading with me in this boyish whine, and it sent me soaring with the cuteness of it all. He kissed me softly on the lips, and I reached down to feel the peeking flesh from his underwear while he moaned into my lips.

Then, I felt him pulling my shirt up, so I had to stop kissing him. "Hehehehe! Geez! You weren't kidding!" I snickered, as he hurriedly tossed my shirt aside and reached for my pants. "Hahaha, ok, ok! I'll take them off!"

"Wait...not in here. Let's go in the room back here. We have a bed in there. We'll be more comfortable." He said. I think this is the first time I've seen Drew so sex-hungry. It was sweet. "C'mon." He said, tugging at my arm and practically leaning backwards as he tried to force me to follow. If I had let go at that moment, he would have fallen flat on his ass for sure. He gave me a few more tugs, then let go to walk around and 'push' me in the direction of the room located in the far corner of the basement. Feeling playful, I stood my ground, refusing to let him push me any further. I heard Drew grunt a bit under his breath, and he tried even harder to shove me backwards. He strained his wiry little arms as much as he could, huffing and puffing as he dug his feet into the floor and pressed his featherweight frame up against me. I started to giggle again, as did he, but he continually tried with all of his might to move me...only succeeding in making me take a step or two backwards. Finally, with a bit of a childlike groan, he gave up on trying to make himself appear stronger than me, and chuckled a bit to himself as he was running out of breath. "Arrrgh! You big bully! Screw you!" He said, his arms now swatting at my chest as we both grinned at his lack of 'power'. "Come on, Ethan! Quit it! She's probably almost done cleaning already."

Drew fell against me as he stopped struggling, and I kissed him deeply on the lips. "I love you." I told him.

"Hehehe, just fuck me for now! You can 'love' me later." He said, and with a grin, I let him finally pull me into the room. Once again...we had found our paradise.

He didn't say anything once inside, he just hurriedly unbuttoned and unzipped my pants, yanking them down along with my underwear. He squatted a bit on his haunches to pull them off of my feet one at a time, and when he saw me 'spring up' in front of his face, he couldn't WAIT to get his mouth on it. I watched as Drew eagerly took a few, slow, wet sucks of my hardness, bathing it in his warmth. The initial contact of his lips made my stomach muscles crunch up into a knot at first, before allowing me to relax and enjoy the sensation. The texture of his tongue slid underneath me, back and forth, creating the most delightful tingly sensation inside of me. He let his sweet lips slide off of the end with a mild slurp, and then looked me in my eyes as he rose to his feet again. I felt Drew's soft hand wrap around my shaft, giving it a couple of sensual strokes while he directed his tongue to lick at my right nipple. He then closed his pursed lips around the tiny nip and nursed at it tenderly, making me moan outloud as his tongue rubbed over the sensitive tip over and over again. Feeling the warmth of his lips constricting around my nipple, mixing a few gentle nibbles with that passionate suction of his...made me weak in the center of my stomach. Almost as weak as it made me when he stood up again to pull his boxers off and kick them to the side. Drew's body never ceased to amaze me. It looked almost deliciously underdeveloped, with just enough muscle for the erotic intentions he had for us in that room, and no more. The skin would glow with this subtle grace, and I was charmed by the strained effort his body put into trying to grow even the smallest patches of hair that he possessed in all the right places. Drew was, in a word, gorgeous. How is it that no one else can see how gorgeous he is?

We stood naked in front of each other, the floor littered with clothing, and he walked up to hug me close to him. His body heat joined my own as our embrace connected our flesh as closely and freely as our position would allow. I could feel the steady pulse of his manhood against me, and he just laid his head softly on my shoulder, with his lips delivering angel kisses to my smooth skin. He then turned his head the other direction to nibble lovingly at my neck for a moment before returning his lips to mine. Kissing him was a religious experience. There's nothing like it. Especially when you knew how much love was behind every second of it.

We were happy to be so intimate with one another, and probably could have kissd forever. But our bodies knew the urgency involved, and we didn't have time to really enjoy ourselves like we wanted to. Otherwise, we might have caressed each other this way for hours on end without a pause. I loved him that much.

Drew's eyes stayed connected to mine as he led me slowly to the bed, and laid me down on my back. Looking at him, he was sooooo hard. It almost looked like his 'branch would break' if I touched it. He had to hold it down with one hand for a second, gripping it tightly as it pushed back against his hand. Then he let it go to bounce freely again, stiff to the point of being painful, and I was about to join him in his arousal.

I scooted back until my shoulders were propped up slightly against the wooden headboard, and I spread my legs wide as Drew stopped halfway up the mattress. He smiled at me only briefly, and then took me in his hand again, and let his cushioned lips slip over the head of my throbbing inches...swallowing it slowly as far as he could while I fought the urge to squirm and spasm beneath him. It only took one achingly long suck...down to the base of my shaft, and back up again...for Drew's thirst to kick in. His moans were almost inaudible, but I could feel the subtle vibrations around my hardness as he sucked it in as deep as he could. His incredible lust for my body was more of a turn on than words can describe. He closed his eyes, and tossed himself into giving me the most mindblowing experience of my life. He was whimpering with every stroke, and sucking me hard enough to cause my thighs to contract beyond my control. I could feel his heavy breathing rustling through the hairs above my shaft, and his fingers gently teased the sack underneath. I had no idea how horny he was, or how much he wanted this moment to be special for us both. But I didn't want it to end, and I was already twitching and wiggling beneath him, unable to hold back the orgasm that he was sucking right out of me. My hands were moving around with a mind of their own, eventually burying themselves in the soft locks of his curly hair. That didn't help much. The silky feel of his hair and the motion of his head only made things worse, and I had to say something before I lost it entirely. I mean...I knew this was supposed to be a 'quickie' and all...but I don't wanna blow up THIS fast.

"Drew? Drew...wait....too soon. Too soon." I panted breathlessly, and he slowly dragged his lips up over the head again before letting it slip out of his mouth.

He grinned at me. "I'm sorry. You taste....sighhhh....really good. I've been dreaming about this flavor for a long time now."

I smiled back at him. "How long til your mom gets back?"

Drew looked at the clock and did a little 'equation' in his head. "Well, she's probably just finished cleaning. Probably has to count up the banks and all. I'd say about 20 minutes. Maybe 15, because she's...um...rushing. Hehehe!"

God, I wanted him. I put my hands on either side of his face and pulled him up to kiss me on the lips. I just held his face while our tongues mingled happily between us. The feel of his flesh was more seductive than you can imagine. Smooth...but still containing enough of a texture to raise goosebumps on my skin when his slim naked body slid against my own. He was still incredibly hard, and my mouth began to water for his genuine taste. So with a grip on his soft cheeks...I pulled him further up to rest his hardness against my belly. Drew didn't want to stop kissing me at first, and instead let his hips push forward to hump into my soft underbelly, his balls pressing against my navel as he let out a high pitched whine in desperation.

But I kept pulling him further up, and he soon got the idea. He broke our liplock, and began to scoot his cute little butt up my chest as he grabbed onto the headboard behind my head. He walked forward on his knees for a few steps, and I looked away from his eyes to see the rigid meat being presented to me...blushed a deep shade of pink, sticking straight out ahead of him, pointing at my lips...the slit glistening with a single drop of nectar...a gentle motion caused from the accelerated heartbeat in his chest. The few moments it took for that solid mass to reach my lips seemed like an eternity. But finally, it happened. My hot saliva splashed against his sensitive tip as it entered my mouth, and I was filled with his flavor instantly. I could feel Drew move up a bit further, his knees now behind my shoulders, and my suction began. He had a specific taste. A taste I would never forget for as long as I live. The way his skin would move back and forth with my tongue...almost like a liquid...it drove me wild. Drew held tightly to the headboard, his head tossed back in ecstacy as he very slowly moved his hips into me. He wasn't 'fucking' my face so much...it was more like a tender sliding, a gyration, a soft circular motion that gave movement a true meaning without moving much at all. I let my tongue circle around on the thick vein of his shaft, and I could feel him almost fall over from the sensation. My hands grabbed the soft cheeks of his ass, and squeezed generously. It made me insane with desire, feeling those cheeks in my hands. Those unbelievably marshmellow soft globes of smooth teen perfection, tightening up ever so slightly beneath my fingers with every thrust of his hips. I pulled him tightly against my face, until my nostrils were mashed against the soft hairs above his member. Until all my senses were consumed by Drew's warm body, and nothing else.

I loved the smell of him when we made love. It was intoxicating. How he managed to smell so clean no matter what, I'll never know. Having his soft supple thighs on either side of my face as I sucked him, being enchanted by that awesome aroma of his, feeling the heat of his hottest spot right there...pressed against my sucking lips...it was like sleeping on a freshly baked poundcake. That's what his scent reminded me of. Poundcake. Deliciously sweet poundcake.

Drew whimpered outloud with a gasp, and that made me clutch even tighter to his soft buns, pulling him as far into my face as I could. His lap rested against my cheeks, his lower belly mashing my nose slightly as I breathed in more of his fragrance. But as my finger fell into the cleft of his ass...I felt him shudder all around me. His hardness throbbed inside my mouth, the head of his mouthwatering meat flexing up to the roof of my mouth, and I was blessed with the 'extra' taste of his aroused drippings as they cascaded down onto my tongue. His leak gave his member an entirely new taste, and I hungered for it even more, now sucking him for all I was worth. Drew gripped the headoard tightly, panting and gasping and sighing, trying to hold out on this pleasurable experience for as long as he could. But when it got to be too much, he pulled his meat out of my mouth, and scooted back a bit on my chest to make this last for JUST a bit longer. I pulled him up again, taking another few sucks of that luscious treat, before he pulled it out again. This time, I pulled his cheeks up further, allowing my kisses and licks fall to hisdelicate nutsuck underneath. I could feel the wetness of my saliva against my face as his throbbing inches pulsed up by my nose. I licked, sucked, and lovingly 'chewed' at his soft balls for a few minutes. That flavor, that aroma, that incredible heat....they all existed in an even greater abundance here, and all I wanted to do was bury my face further into it's depths. My nose was now pressed tightly against the side of his sack, tickled by the few sparse hairs there, and my lips were sucking hungrily at the flesh underneath them. Oh wow....I seriously felt out of control at this point. I kept pulling him closer, tightly grasping onto his cheeks, and breathing desperately as I licked and suckled savagely at that space between his legs. I scooted down further in the bed to get better access, and Drew was shivering so badly that I could hardly keep him still. "Oh God....mmmmm...Ethan...." He whined, and began moving his hips in circles, further spreading the traces of my spit all around my face as I dove deeper into his crevice. I then let my shameless licks reach back as far as they could go, with Drew's appetizing sack resting on the tip of my nose, and I felt the heat of him on the tip of my tongue. It was a place where his 'line' stopped, and the hint of a small 'pit' existed. A tasty, amazingly hot, indentation in his body...and I knew exactly what it was. I felt his bulbous cheeks close up tightly around my tongue as he jerked and moaned outloud above me. I hadn't quite reached the treasure yet, but I was close enough to make his whole body shiver with a confusing level of pleasure that he had never known before. I felt him move forward slightly..if only in an experimental way...and when my tongue touched the rim of that spot again, he clenched himself tight again. It was as if it was involuntary. As if his body wasn't ready, even if his mind and heart were willing. It was the hottest time we had ever spent together, and I turned my head to the side to suck at his scrumptious thighs for a moment while he grinded himself into my face a bit more aggressively. I licked a single long trail up behind his balls, up to the tip of his shaft, and took him into my mouth to suck even harder than before. We were both hungry for this, and lost in the sexual excitement of knowing that we were alone. Together. Even with the impending danger of his mom on her way home...which, in some weird way, aroused me even more.

I sucked Drew for a few more minutes, until he was too close to hold out for much longer, and then he pulled back from my loving lips. I tried to get my warm mouth wrapped around him again, but he wiggled his bubbled globes out of my grip and slid back down again until he was laying on top of me...face to face. Our lips met, and we kissed so hungrily that we could hardly breathe.

We rolled around, back and forth, for a while. Kissing until our lips were sore. Our arms and legs were wrapped so tightly around one another that we doubted that we'd be able to get loose again. But I didn't want a single inch of my body to be away from him, or out of his reach. I wanted all of him, and I wanted him to have all of me. And then...while he was on top of me and our tongues were twisted up tightly between us, I let my fingers wander downward. Drew's kisses got more passionate, and I grabbed his ass to pull the tight cheeks against me. I kneaded them with both hands, opening the tight cleft and exposing his virgin hole to the air. Drew made no attempts to stop me as my finger slid closer and closer to the rim of his puckered entrance. I could still feel the cool traces of my saliva there from my first licks of his supple body there. In fact, I could feel the cool drip of his juices on my navel as I circled the small drain with my middle finger tip. Our lips were locked together in a sensual kiss, but he parted from me as my finger applied pressure to the hole. He leaned up on his elbows for a moment, and I was worried that I had gone too far.

"I'm...sorry." I said.

"No...." He whispered. "....Do it." I looked at him to make sure I had heard him right. "I want you to." He said.

He watched me closely, his glistening eyes full of a level of love and trust that overwhelmed me, and I cautiously let my finger apply a bit more pressure to his virginity...eventually slipping a half inch inside his constricted muscle. He winced a bit, and wiggled a bit on top of me to get comfortable. I could feel his legs spread out a bit further, and open himself to me completely...a slight tremble rushing through him as I let my finger slowly slide in a bit further. Just to the first knuckle...and then a bit further. Drew held his breath as my finger pressed on into his moist insides, the warm liquid muscle mass closing around my digit and sucking at it from all sides. I don't know what it was, but this was turning me on SOOOO much! It was so...forbidden. So new. So NAUGHTY! But he relaxed after a second or two, and then lowered his head to rest over my shoulder as he pushed his pouty little cheeks back at my finger, allowing it to slowly slide its way into him. I swear....it felt like the whole room was on fire. Especially when my finger slid further in, and Drew whimpered sweetly while pressing his sucking lips against the nape of my neck. I felt him hump into me softly, humming and purring with my finger inside locked tightly in his sensual grip. And then sank my finger into his love as far as it would go. Oh....my....God....it was like I could feel his entire being at once. His whole body seemed to swirly up around that one finger, and it was sucking and milking it without either one of us even moving. It was this heated spasm that traveled through his whole body, and I could feel his heart beating through the inner walls of his constricted tunnel. I can't IMAGINE what it would be like to have any 'other' parts of me in there! I'd probably pass out in the first few seconds.

Drew began to scrunch up his cute little body on top of me, and i slid a bit of my finger slide out of him..only to push it's way back into his tightness again and again. It made his boyish humps desperate and impatient, his angelic voice moaning and whining in my ear as he placed sweet kisses on my cheek. I was sooo close, and couldn't hold out anymore. I kissed him hard on the lips as my body went stiff, and the orgasm built inside of me. I whimpered out his name as we were both splashed with the warm juices bursting forth from my frustrated hardness. Drew could feel us getting wet, getting sticky, and it was enough to bring him to a clima as well. He buried his face in my neck as the pulsing force of a powerful orgasm surged through his lithe young body and joined the mess I had made on our stomachs. My finger pushed further in, and he nearly screamed in pleasure, humping me wildly as the bed creaked and bounced underneath us. That....was intense.

"Holy shit! Jesus!" Drew panted, as he fell weakly against my chest. He was breathing so hard that I had to ask him if he was ok. "Yeah....yeah...just.....wow....omigod..." I started to pull my finger out of his virgin hole, and he quaked on top of me. "Whoah!" He said, and then giggled a bit as he hugged me tight with both arms, kissing me hard on the cheek. "God, I love you!" He said.

"Hehehe, I take it that you enjoyed that, then?"

"I'll say! In fact, I can't wait until you put your...." He started, but he cut himself short as we heard a key in the door upstairs! "AHHH!!! Shit!!! GET DRESSED!!!"

Fuck! We lost track of the last ten minutes or so! Drew's mom was home! We ran out of the room and into the basement, scrambling to find all of our clothes. I got my boxers, ONE of my socks, my shoes, my shirt...."Shit! Where's my pants?!?!" I whispered loudly.

"Drew? Ethan?" His mom called out. We were dead! We were SO dead!"

"You left them in the other room! That way! Go! GO!" He whispered back, fumbling to get his pants back up himself. I ran into the other room and found my pants beside the bed. I put my boxers on and pulled my shirt down. I still had my juices and Drew's sticking to my chest, but I didn't really have a chance to wipe them off with anything. So I just put my clothes on over it, feeling the material stick to the, now cold, splash of arousal that was clinging to me. "I'm here mom!" Drew called from the basement, and that made me dress twice as fast to keep from being found out.

I ran out, and Drew and I checked each other quickly as we tried to calm down and look innocent. Just as his mom was coming down the steps. "What are you boys doing down here?"

"Kissing." Drew smiled, hoping that a 'half truth' would be better than trying to make up an instant lie. "And I was showing him the party parlor. That's all."

She gave us a look for a moment, then shrugged her shoulders and said, "Figures. Well, come upstairs. I brought home some desserts for you boys. I need you to get rid of them."

I gave Drew a quick smooch before he led me up the stairs. I watched his butt the entire way, my body still tingling with the sensations of a thunderous orgasm. And I was sad that we were so abruptly interrupted, but glad that we got a chance to be alone. To push things between us a bit further than they had been before. It was mindboggling to think that our love could get any more spectacular. But I guess there's still more things to explore for us. And I can't wait!

Paranoia set in as we sat at the table with Drew's mom. And it didn't help that Drew and I couldn't look at each other for more than a second without bursting out into a fit of giggles. Did she know? She had to know? I wonder. Geez, my clothes were so sticky and uncomfortable....but I think I played it off pretty well. Call it kinky...but I kinda liked knowing that Drew's erotic juices were still dashed across my skin. His mom didn't seem to be upset or suspicious, so our 'crime' was well hidden afterall. But next time, I'd like to not cut it so close. I don't need the early heart attack.

Drew's mom was great. She was wildly funny when she wanted to be, and had awesome stories to tell us over hot apple cider. And she played poker with us at the kitchen table for at least an hour and a half. Best of all, she didn't mind at all that Drew and I were...'together'. We could smile, and flirt, and kiss in front of her without having to worry. Not even when Drew would put his foot in my lap under the table, or when I rubbed his thigh whenshe got up to get something. I'm telling you, this was a whole different world for me. And I didn't know what to do with myself. I actually felt...'ok' with this whole gay thing. OUCH!!! Did I just think that??? Did I just mentally say the word 'gay' without cringing and spitting the bad taste out of my mouth. Wow...I think I did. I SAID it. To myself, of course, but....I don't think it's ever been this easy to think about before. I'm...I'm gay. I'm GAY! And...I have a boyfriend....and it's....*OK*! I didn't see THIS coming. Not at ALL! All of the 'rules' that I had set up for myself suddenly didn't make sense anymore. And they all went right out the window with just a dreamy twinkle of Drew's soft hazel eyes. Love really does conquer all.

Finally, the night came to an end, and Ms. H offered me a ride home, citing that I'd be welcome to drop by anytime that I wanted to. "Let me get you home. I don't want your parents to worry. Us moms have a tendency to do that from time to time." She said.

"Cool. Thanks for having me over Ms. H." I replied.

Drew walked over to hold on to my arm. "I'll ride in back with Ethan." He smiled, kissing me on the cheek.

"Ahem...YOU can go in there and wash up those dishes, young man." She said. "I'm only gonna be a couple of minutes, and I'll be back a lot faster without you two sucking face for twenty minutes extra." She kissed Drew playfully on the top of the head, and stepped aside to let him say goodnight.

"Ah well, it was worth a shot." He answered. He walked up to kiss me sweetly on the lips. No tongue, not in front of his mom...but it meant something. I could feel it. "I love you, k?" He said, his voice a bit shakey from the flood of emotion.

"I love you too." I said, and Drew melted into my arms as we pecked away at each other's lips a few more times. His mom didn't let it go too much further though.

"Ahem...Okaaaay." She said, but we kept going for a few more seconds. Just a LITTLE bit longer! PLEASE??? "AHEM!!!" She repeated, and we both giggled as we seperated from our lip lock. "My goodness, it's a surprise you boys can breathe at all. Let's go."

"Bye." I said shyly, and Drew blew me another kiss as I left. Tonight was wonderful. It was BETTER than wonderful. I was left completely speechless by it all, and when I got in the car with Ms. H....all I could do was stare out of the window and giggle to myself. I didn't even feel like I was affected by gravity at this point. I was just...floating. Drifting. And Drew's love made me happily give up all of my control, free to just go wherever the wind would take me. Because with his heart beating in sync with mine, wherever I ended up...I knew I'd be ok.

"You really ARE in love, aren't you?" His mom said after about five minutes of silence.

"Oh...hehehe...I'm sorry." I blushed.

"No, don't be sorry. I'm GLAD you're in love! I know Drew is." She beamed. "You know...you two are so cute together. Honestly, you fit perfectly together."

"Thanks." I said. Still smiling so wide that I had to look out of the window again to keep from breaking out into a fit of giggles. I still had this sticky shirt on, and it was so cool to now that she had no idea. It made me giddy inside.

"You're a good boy, Ethan. I know you'll take care of my baby's heart." She grinned.

I turned to look at her. "I will. He's awesome, you know? Hehehe, God...I can't stop thinking about him." I couldn't believe that I was saying this to his mom. But it felt so good to tell somebody how I feel that it was hard to stop babbling once I got started. The next few minutes, I explained to her how wonderful he is, and how he makes me feel, and how his smile makes my stomach quiver, and how cute he looks no matter what clothes he's wearing, and how we eat by ourselves sometimes at the park, and how kissing him is like....the most AWESOME FEELING IN THE WORLD!!! Until she was practically laughing outloud at my enthusiasm. But through that laughter, I saw a few tears stream down her cheeks, and wondered if I said something wrong. "Oh...I'm...I'm sorry. I didn't mean..."

"NO! No, baby...it's ok. They're happy tears. They really are. It's just...good to see you both so happy. This world doesn't leave a whole lot of room for boys like you to be this happy." She looked at me, rubbing my shoulder. "It's like a miracle...knowing that you found each other by chance. It's a beautiful thing."

"Well....cool." I said, left a bit speechless by her sentiment. "Hehehe, you seem AWFULLY happy that me and Drew are kissing all the time." I chuckled.

"Of COURSE I am! I think it's CUTE! I'm a MOM, I love to see my baby doing well for himself!" Then, she said..."What do your parents think about all of this? They must be overjoyed too!"


Dead silence.

I fidgeted in my seat for a second, hoping that Ms. H would start talking again and forget that she even asked me that question. Praying that it was one of those rhetorical questions that was just a natural part of her conversation, and that she'd simply keep talking without referring to it again. But she didn't. She waited. And I was forced to try to explain. "Well....parents?....You see...I mean..."

Her face changed completely. "Ohhhh...." She said softly to herself. "...They don't know...do they?"

"Um...not exactly, no." I said. "BUT...I'm GONNA tell them....one day....later...much MUCH MUCH later!"

She nodded, knowingly. "Well, I can understand. It's your own decision."

It didn't seem like she was trying to 'push' really, but beneath the surface....it felt like she was slightly disappointed in me or something. Or...maybe I was just disappointed in myself. "I haven't been...um...'ok' with this...'lifestyle' for very long. So..."

"Aw honey, it's not a 'lifestyle' or a 'choice' or a 'label' or a 'support group'....it's who you are, sweetie. And all I see is a wonderful boy with enough heart to share with someone special. That's something you can be proud of. Ok?"

I nodded quietly, and looked back out of the car window. Returning to our silence. I waited a few moments, and when she didn't say anything else, I added, "It's just....you know...if she found out about me...if my DAD found out...I don't know what I'd do. I just wanted to be something different. Something better."

"Your parents might understand a lot better than you think they would. We're not all as dumb as you teenagers think we are." She smiled.

There was another short pause between us, and I struggled to find the words to say what I wanted to say. I don't know why this was pushing so hard to get out, the need to suddenly 'talk' about this stuff with somebody after keeping it in for so long. But I wanted to do it, and there was no better shoulder to lean on than Drew's mom. Now that the closet door was swinging wide open for me, I couldn't seem to shut up. And you know what? It felt good to have someone to get some kind of 'advice' from.

"Um....can I...ask you something?" I said, timidly.

"Sure. Anything you want."

"Um...did you 'know'? I mean...before Drew told you?" She looked forward for a moment, and I almost wanted to take it back for fear that I had said too much. But then, a very small grin appeared on her lips.

She said, "A mother knows her little boy." She flashed me a quick motherly smile before continuing. "If you're asking me if I knew he was gay...then the answer is yes. Yes, I did. Did I believe it? No. But, deep down...I think I knew."

"I'm confused."

"Oh, well...a parent can tell themselves a lot of things about their own children. 'I'm making all of this up in my head.' 'Not MY little boy, he's fine.' 'He's too young to know about that kind of thing.' 'It's just a phase, he'll grow out of it.' It was so easy to look right past all the signals and the secrets, and the silence...it was like it wasn't even happening. But deep down, I knew. From the very first day he started feeling...confused, I knew. I guess he was...hmmm...about 9 or 10 years old."

"Nine or Ten? Wow...that young, huh?" I said.

"Yes, he was a munchkin. Hehehe!" I still couldn't believe that I was actually TALKING to her about this, and she was being so COOL about it all! "But...I just remember that day he came home from the park with his friends, and they all sat in the living room to watch tv. Drew sat all the way on the other side of the room, on the floor, no less, and he just didn't seem as 'happy' as he was when he left. He seemed...so outside of himself. Like he didn't understand. That day, it was like a heavy weight had been put on his shoulders. And over time, as he got closer to puberty, that weight just kept getting heavier....and heavier. Growing more and more until it looked like he almost couldn't hold it up anymore."

"Yeah, I still feel like that sometimes. It's like...everything is so simple until you start 'feeling' stuff for other boys. Then all of the sudden, it's like you don't have a set of rules anymore. Everybody else does and it's easy to know what to do, but....when you're gay, nobody tells you what how things are supposed to be. It's like being derailed off the track. And now all the straight kids get the winks and the smiles and the big parades....and we just get....picked on. Or laughed at. Or even beaten up. It's not fair."

"No. It isn't. But with strong boys like you two who are willing to make a go for what you feel...DESPITE the odds...I'd like to think that someday things will be better."

I smiled at her, and didn't want to stop talking, even though she had gotten quiet for a second to concentrate on her driving. "So...when did he tell you?" I asked.

"I think it's been about two years now, almost three, since I've known."

"Were you shocked?"

"Ha! Was I ever! Like I said, I always knew, but I didn't believe. So, when this twelve year old boy sits down next to me on the living room couch and mutes my television to tell me...'Mom, I think I'm not straight anymore'...I felt like I was having a heart attack. Hehehe, those words are going to ring in my ears forever."

"Oh..." I said, my hopes a little dashed at her initial reaction. I can't really explain why it depressed me so suddenly. Maybe I expected her answer to involve some sort of touching moment where they hug and she says she loves him and understands completely. I don't know...maybe it's harder than I thought. "So...you were hurt? Or whatever?"

"Hurt, surprised...maybe a little sad.To be honest, I don't know what I felt at that moment. But I can tell you that it only lasted for a few hours."

I looked up at her and wrinkled my brow a bit. "What did you feel after a few hours?"

"....Extremely relieved." There was another pause, and she could tell I was dying to know more.

"Relieved? Why?"

"Because, hon...you remember that gigantic weight that Drew had on his shoulders? The very second the words left his mouth...all of that massive pressure, just like magic, right in front of my eyes...just 'went away'. Poof. Gone. And at that moment, I saw my little boy again. The one I had before that big ball and chain attached itself to his ankles." She grinned.

"But...wasn't he scared?"

"About how I would take it? Oh well, sure. He was scared. But I don't think it was my 'reaction' that had anything to do with lifting that weight off of his shoulders. I don't think that was what it was all about."

So I asked. "Then...what IS 'coming out' all about?"

"I think it's about...brushing away all of that fear, and the confusion, and the shame...and loving yourself enough to gather the strength to say it outloud. I think it's about finding the beauty in who you are...and not in who you think you're supposed to be." I thought about it a bit, and felt a wave of comfort wash over me as I felt the car slow down to a stop. "I believe this is where you and I part company, kiddo."

I looked out the window and saw my house. "Yeah. Thanks Ms. H...for everything." I leaned over to give her a hug, and felt a bit choked up as I opened the car door. I almost wished that the ride had lasted a little bit longer. So many questions. So many concerns. But...at the same time, I kinda wanted to be alone. I dunno...just to think for a while. "G'night." I said.

"G'night. I'll make sure to have Drew back in school on Monday." She said. Then she added, "Oh yeah...you forgot something." And she tossed me other sock!!! The one I couldn't find when Drew and I were hurrying to get dressed. "I told you...we parents aren't as stupid as you think we are." She didn't stay long to embaras me further, just gave me a wink and drove off before I could stutter out a lame excuse for my sock being missing and tossed into some dark corner of her basement. Just as well, I guess it would have insulted her intelligence.

I walked into the house, and my mom was standing at the oven making herself some little pizza puff thingies. "Hi, Mom."

"Hello there. You made it home earlier than I thought." She said. "Did you have fun?"

"Yeah. It was..it was a good time." I stared at her for a few moments, the leftover sock in my front pocket, and I wondered...I wondered....

"These pizza puffs are almost ready if you want some." She turned around to see me looking at her. Did she know? Maybe...know...and not yet believe? How little effort would it take, to tell her? "Are you ok, Ethan?"

I waited for a moment or two, this intense feeling bubbling up in the back of my throat, a jumble of words and phrases and tearful confessions from the past few years of my life. And then...regretfully...fearfully...I pushed that feeling back down again. "Yeah, Mom...I'm fine. I'll eat some later. K?" And I gave her a small peck on the cheek before going to my room for the night.

Now isn't the time to tell her. SOMEDAY...maybe even someday SOON...but not tonight.

I laid back on my bed, finally taking that sticky shirt off of me and grabbing a clean tshirt and boxers to take a shower with. But the rest of my night was filled with thoughts of Drew...and the untouchably wonderful life I've been building for myself since he's been a part of it. Thank you Drew. Thank you for being my light in the dark. I love you. Always.