School reopened right after Labor Day. Tad had been afraid that Marco might not be in his seventh-grade class, but as he sat at his desk, he watched Marco enter and sit in the desk right beside him. Their classmates watched, wondering if there would be more fireworks, and were surprised to see the two boys chatting happily with each other.
They were both in junior high that year, so they moved from class to class during the day. Sometimes they were together; sometimes they weren’t.
Later, during recess after lunch, they sat on a bench and talked some more. Tad noticed that Wyatt seemed to be watching them, but, though it made him curious, he never said anything.
The fall passed smoothly. Tad was now working on calculus and getting tutored once a week by a high school math teacher. Sometimes he continued to help other students when they got stuck. When Marco put up his hand one time and Tad went to help him, their classmates watched, but Marco seemed happy with Tad’s help.
One Friday, Marco rode the afternoon bus with Tad and visited at the cabin for the weekend. During the days, Tad showed him all sorts of natural things he had found. The two boys strolled around in the woods, talking about trees and plants and birds and animals. They came across some bear scat but didn’t see the bear. Tad said that his family knew there was a bear living in the woods, but they had never actually seen it.
At night they continued their adventures in bed, although they had to do it quietly because Woody was also in the loft.
On Monday, Marco rode back to school with Tad. By that time, their classmates were used to seeing the two of them together.
In the evening, as Woody and Tad were getting ready for bed, Woody asked, “What were you and Marco doing together in bed last night?”
For a moment, Tad froze, but then he wondered if he should tell Woody, in general, what they were doing and finally decided he should.
Woody was very interested, so Tad loaned him Marco’s book. When his younger brother had avidly read the book, Tad asked if he had any questions.
“Are you two queer?” Woody asked.
“Where did you hear that word?”
“At school. So, are you?”
“I don’t think so,” his brother replied. “I think we’re just good friends.” That ended the conversation for the moment, but Tad was pretty sure Woody would ask more questions sometime in the future.
During the Christmas and February vacations, Tad and Marco visited overnight at each other’s homes and continued to enjoy each other in bed, where they learned to masturbate each other simultaneously. By then, Tad was sure that Woody knew what was going on, but he never said anything.
One night in February, as Marco and Tad lay in bed, Marco, leaned over and gently placed a kiss on Tad’s lips. While the scar tissue covered the right side of his lips, Marco used more of the left side. He knew it wasn’t perfect, and he wondered if it would upset Tad.
Instead, Tad immediately responded, and soon they were kissing avidly, rolling about on the bed and moaning. Without either of them saying anything, they eventually broke the kiss and Marco moved down to Tad’s cock and began rubbing the shaft, which seemed to be even harder than usual. He fondled Tad’s balls, which had moved tightly up in Tad’s sac. Meanwhile, Tad was doing the same for Marco.
When they had both cum, they lay facing each other and kissing, until they fell asleep.
In the early morning hours, Tad awoke and saw Marco still facing him with his eyes closed. Gently, he placed a kiss on Marco’s mouth. Marco seemed to respond even before he awoke. Again, they brought each other off before falling back into a deep sleep.
One evening in late March, as Tad and his family were finishing supper, the phone rang.
“You might as well get it, Tad,” his father said. “You’re the only one who gets phone calls around here now.”
Tad answered and was surprised to hear Mrs. Bartolucci ask to speak to one of his parents.
Neil took the phone and listened for some time, nodding his head occasionally, before saying, “Thank you very much for the thought. I’ll ask and call you back in a day or two.”
Back at the table, Neil said, “Tad, Marco’s mother has to go to New York to sign some papers, so she and Marco will go during the April vacation. She said they wondered if you’d like to go with them.”
Tad was immediately excited by the thought, but then asked, “Wouldn’t that be pretty expensive?”
“She said that she would cover all the expenses. She really wants you to go so Marco won’t be alone while she’s conducting her business.”
Looking at his mother, Tad asked, “Can I go, Rachel?”
Rachel knew this would be a huge step for her older son, but she also thought it could be a wonderful experience, and she knew that it was time he grew more familiar with the world outside their little town. Smiling, she nodded her head.
“You’ll be flying from Ithaca on the Friday before vacation begins, so you’ll miss school that day, but I think it could be a great experience for you,” said Neil. And so it was decided.
The next day at school, Tad told Marco he could go while Neil called Mrs. Bartolucci to formally accept.
Tad could hardly contain himself as he prepared for the trip. He packed his bag four times, each time putting in something he had forgotten, which of course meant that he also had to take something out. The last thing to go in was a 35mm camera which Neil loaned him, as well as several rolls of film.
After taking the school bus home on the Thursday before vacation, Tad gathered his belongings and Neil drove him to the Bartollucis’ home. That night, Tad and Marco went to bed early because they had to get up at five o’clock for the drive to the Ithica airport. Neither of them slept very much. They were both excited, Tad to be seeing New York and Marco to be sharing his favorite places with Tad.
The boys slept some in the car on the way to the airport. When their flight was announced, they stood in line to board. The plane was not a large one and it wasn’t full, so the boys could each have a window seat. Marco sat right behind Tad and talked with him as the plane prepared to take off.
Flying was a new experience for Tad. He had wondered what it would be like and, as many first-time fliers do, worried that the plane might crash. The takeoff was smooth. When he heard the thump as the wheels were raised, he was afraid that something was wrong, but when nothing more happened, he sat back and enjoy looking out the window, watching the world pass by below.
He and Marco chatted as they spotted various landmarks on the way south. Part way to New York, the tiny houses grew more numerous. Tad watched and smiled as miniature cars scooted along tiny roads.
They had to circle over the city for a few minutes while the pilots waited for their turn to land at JFK Airport.
Again, Tad was nervous as the plane descended, and he couldn’t see the runway until they were right on top of it. The landing was smooth, and the plane taxied to its ramp.
In the terminal, they gathered their suitcases and went outside to get a taxi. The ride into the city was another new experience for Tad, and he gaped as the buildings seemed to grow taller and taller.
They arrived in front of the St. Moritz Hotel, which Marco said was a little old but still one of the best hotels in the city. It was right at the end of Central Park, near the Park, and the Pond, and very near Fifth Avenue. Marco said that the hotel was within walking distance of several places he wanted to share with Tad.
Tad had never been in an elevator, and when it moved, he was startled for a moment until Marco assured him that the elevator was safe and doing just what it was supposed to do. “After all,” he said, “you don’t really want to walk up twenty-seven flights of stairs, do you?”
When they arrived at the twenty-seventh floor, Mrs. Bartolucci and the boys followed the porter who was carrying their luggage to their rooms. He opened one door and Mrs. Bartolucci said it was for the boys. She would be right next door and there was an adjoining door between the two rooms.
Tad gazed around the room in awe. It was huge. There were two king sized beds, a large TV, comfortable chairs, a desk, and, as Marco pointed out, a mini bar, which contained soft drinks in addition to the little bottles of alcohol.
The first thing they did was to use the bathroom, which Tad thought was gigantic. In addition to a big tub and a toilet and two sinks, it had a large shower. Back in the room they plopped down on the bed nearer the windows. They bounced up and down some, laughing and giggling. Then Marco said they should unpack their bags and put their clothes away neatly so they wouldn’t get too wrinkled.
Mrs. Bartolucci suggested that they order lunch from room service so they could rest a bit from their trip.
Tad had no idea what room service was until there was a knock on the door and a man pushed a cart into the room with plates of food and drinks. Marco tipped him and the man thanked him and left.
“Why did you give him money? Tad asked.
“It’s a tip. My mother tipped the porter. You usually give a tip for good service, but it’s wise to always tip the hotel staff because then they’ll do whatever you need.”
After lunch, the boys were ready to explore outside. Marco told his mother where they were going, and she reminded them to always stay together and not talk to other people.
They walked out of the hotel and went to the nearest entrance to Central Park. Marco led the way to the park zoo, which was near the south end of the park. The zoo immediately sparked Tad’s interest, and he studied the animals carefully. Most of them he’d heard of but had never seen. They laughed at the monkeys and Tad was amazed at how big some of the animals were. He had no real understanding of the size of big cats until he saw them. As they walked, he took several pictures.
When they left the zoo, Marco led the way to the Pond, which was set in some woods with trails through them. They wandered the trails, Tad looking especially for plants that he didn’t know.
In the late afternoon, they walked back to the hotel and rode up to their room, informing Marco’s mother that they were back.
They lay on the bed, resting and watching TV until Mrs. Bartolucci suggested that they eat in a restaurant in the hotel. There were several, and she chose one which was not too formal and where the boys could order food that they’d heard of.
As they ate, Tad gazed around. While there was a small restaurant with a bar in his town, there were certainly none like the one he was presently in.
When they finished their meal, the three of them rode the elevator back up to their floor and went to their rooms.
Marco had brought his cribbage board and a pack of cards, so the boys played as the sun set over Manhattan.
Later, the two boys stripped and used the shower in the opulent bathroom. They showered together, and washed each other, paying particular attention to each others’ privates. Returning to the room, they climbed into the bed they had made ‘theirs’.
They were both very tired, but not too tired to satisfy each other’s needs before they dropped off to sleep.
On Sunday, since Mrs. Bartolucci had no appointments, the three of them took a taxi to The Battery at the end of Manhattan and a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. Marco’s mother had reserved two tickets for the boys to climb up into the crown of the statue. There were other people climbing, and they went rather slowly. The boys finally reached the top and could look out, seeing much of the harbor and the city, especially Lower Manhattan. Awed by the sight, Tad again took several pictures.
On Monday, Marco said he wanted to take Tad to meet his friends at a special restaurant. The two walked to the restaurant, which had a sign outside reading “Horn & Hardart.”
Inside, Tad saw that the walls were lined with little doors which had glass windows.
“What is this place?” asked Tad.
“It’s an automat,” Marco replied before telling him that when he decided what he wanted, he could put coins in the slot for the door showing his selection, open the door, and take out the food.
“I don’t have any coins,” said Tad.
“Not a problem,” answered his friend. They went to a stand in the middle of the restaurant and Marco handed the lady there some dollar bills. She returned the equivalent amount in coins.
They went first to the windows of salads. Tad selected one but Marco passed. Moving on to the hot foods, Tad took a mac and cheese, and Marco got a beef stew.
At the dessert section, Marco asked Tad if he’d ever had coconut cream pie. “I’ve never even had coconut,” Tad answered. Marco encouraged him to take one, saying that if Tad didn’t like it, he and his friends would eat it and Tad could get something else.
Tad put in his coins, opened the door, and took out the pie, which he placed on his tray.
“What are you going to get?” he asked.
“Wait a minute,” replied Marco, who stood watching the empty space where Tad’s pie had been. Almost immediately the space was filled with another piece of coconut cream pie, which Marco bought.
Tad followed Marco over to a table where three boys were already sitting. Marco introduced them as his friends from his old school ─ Douglas, Warren, and Damian.
At first the boys chatted mostly with Marco, but then Damian asked Tad, “So how do you know Marco?”
“Well, I met him when he knocked me to the ground and then sat on me, punching me in the face.”
“Yeah,” added Marco. “When I first got to my new school, I thought Tad was a show-off and trying to be better than me, so I lit into him.”
The three boys laughed before Warren said, “Damian’s glad you left.”
Surprised, Marco asked, “Why?”
“Because now he’s at the top of the class.”
Marco laughed aloud and replied, “Well, being at the top of the class was what got me in trouble. It was pretty clear that Tad was at the top of my new class. We were working on dividing fractions and he was already doing trigonometry. He was even going around the classroom helping other kids. I guess I was really jealous of him. I know that my scars put off most kids, but I had at least had the pride of being the best student. That’s the real reason I decked Tad.”
“It’s pretty clear that you’re friends now, so what happened?” asked Warren.
“I got sent to a camp for the summer,” answered Marco. “I was really angry and upset, not just about Tad, but about my dad, my burns, my winding up in a small country town, my whole life. By the end of the summer, with the help of counselors there, I realized that none of the things that upset me were my fault or responsibility. They were just life and I had to accept the life I’d been dealt.”
“When he got home from camp,” continued Tad, “he came over to my cabin and apologized. It took me a while to get over the beating he’d given me, but he was so kind and gentle then, a complete change from the boy I’d known in the spring. Now we’re best friends.”
“You mentioned a cabin,” said Damian. “Do you really live in one?”
Tad nodded, and Marco told them about the cabin, the meadow, and the woods. He went on to tell them about how smart his new friend was as Tad grew redder and redder.
At the end of the meal, the boys parted company. Tad and Marco walked to the Museum of Natural History. As they walked, Tad said, “I really liked your friends, Marco.”
“Yeah, well they were the only kids in the school who accepted me. The rest looked at me as a freak.”
Tad put his arm around Marco’s shoulder saying, “You’re not a freak, Marco.”
Marco smiled as they entered the museum.
The boys spent the rest of the week visiting various tourist sites. They rode several times on the subway, another feature of New York that awed Tad as he thought about men digging all those tunnels.
On the night before they left New York, Marco said, “I want to try something new tonight.”
When they were naked and in bed, Marco began kissing Tad, not only on the mouth the way he usually did, but then on his neck, his chest, his nipples, and his stomach. When he reached Tad’s groin and very hard penis, he took the swollen, hard shaft in his mouth.
Tad groaned and Marco looked up asking, “Is this okay?”
“Oh, yeah,” came the reply. “It’s great.”
Marco continued to lick slowly up and down the shaft as Tad felt his excitement rising and rising to the point where he could no longer control it and blasted his cum into Marco’s mouth.
After recovering, Tad offered to do the same for Marco and was immediately accepted. Taking Marco’s penis in his mouth, he marveled again at how it could be both soft and hard at the same time. As he licked and sucked up and down the shaft, Marco could feel the tension growing until he yelled and came forcefully into Tad’s mouth.
They lay back, facing each other, just gently stroking and kissing each other as they settled into a peaceful, happy sleep.