Sealing our Fate


I remember my first gay thought. It came to me during a sleepover when I was twelve years old, and I woke in the middle of the night draped over Benjamin’s backside.

Benjamin had been my best friend since fifth grade, when Alan, my best friend since kindergarten, moved to Houston. Ben was short; I was tall. He was gregarious; I was shy. We both liked sports and being outdoors. And though he was almost a year older, Ben and I were in the same grade and had the same classes. (My mom was a schoolteacher, and convinced that I was a child prodigy; she started me in school a year before I was technically old enough.)

We grew up in a small Texas town close to the border with Mexico. This was in the late seventies; in South Texas cultural backwaters. But it was a good time, and for guys like Ben and me, there was always plenty to do.

By that year, my twelfth, Ben, his little brother Kipper, and I were pretty constant companions, and life was great.

Ben and I were tight; as good as best buddies that age can be. And Kip had become the little brother I’d never had. Ben and I were in classes and school sports together, and everybody knew that we were best buds. But Kipper and I had been together a lot as well; on summer swim teams and for a while in the scouts, and Kip and I had taken to each other from the beginning.

My only true sibling was a much older sister, and we didn’t get along — my parents doted on me from birth and she resented it. So Ben was my best buddy, and Kipper was my little brother just like he was Ben’s.

Kipper was his nickname, of course; mutated from “Keeper” which his granddad called him the first time he saw Kipper in the maternity ward. “He’s a keeper,” he said, and it stuck, just like my nickname had.

I’d like to say that mine was because I was on the tall, skinny side as a kid, which I was, but that’s not how I got the nickname. While my mom was hosting a party, and completely distracted by her guests, she suddenly noticed two-year-old me chasing her overweight dachshund with a stick. “Stick, bring me that Aaron right now!” she yelled, and Stick stuck; my sister made sure of that.

Ben and Kipper were born nineteen months apart, and I was born between them… date-wise. Every year from the eleventh of November until the eighteenth of December, Ben and I were officially the same age. Every twenty-third of August through the eleventh of November, Kipper and I were officially the same age. The rest of the time we were three different ages, like when I woke up draped over Ben’s butt. I was twelve, he was thirteen and Kipper was eleven.

It wasn’t just because of our ages that I thought of Kipper as my little brother. He was a grade back from Ben and me, and though he was always taller than Ben, Kipper didn’t hit his big growth spurt until a year after I did.

Besides, Kipper acted like a little brother. Ben never got into swimming, but I did, taking part in summer swim teams when I was in elementary school. Kipper did too, and when Ben and I became best buds, Kipper started hanging with me at swimming.

By the summer after my sixth grade year, we were good enough buds that when Kipper discovered the joy of giving wedgies, I was his chief target. His very favorite thing was to give me wedgies at swimming when I was in my speedos, with or without warm-ups on.

Being a quiet sort, I wasn’t always good at getting him back, though when I did, I usually did it well. Mostly, I was just at Kipper’s mercy.

Finally, toward the end of the swim season, when chlorine and use had made our suits almost transparent, he gave me one wedgie too many; at a meet no less. The back of my suit pretty much shredded when he jerked it and I had to beat a fast, butt-flapping retreat to the showers with everyone laughing.

I would have preferred to pay him back publicly at our last meet, but the opportunity presented itself at practice less than a week later, and I took it! We had undressed before putting on speedos and warm-ups prior to workout, and Kipper was carrying on about Star Wars, which he had just seen for like the third time that summer.

The rest of us had put on our speedos, but Kipper was too busy talking. So I pulled on my warm-ups and handed Kipper his, like it was time to put them on, and he did! Still talking and not realizing he hadn’t put his swimsuit on yet, he pulled on his warm-up pants. And he missed all the quick looks us other guys exchanged.

So out at the pool, when we all pulled off warm-ups to jump in, Kipper pulled his down, froze for only a second, bare butt pointed right at Coach, and then jerked his warm-ups up so fast he gave himself his own wedgie. Kipper kicked at me as I rolled laughing on the ground, before he dashed back to the locker room.

That fall, when Ben and I were entering middle school and seventh grade, they formed a new Boy Scout troupe at the Methodist church and I wanted to join. Like my dad, I enjoyed the outdoors, and Dad had been a scout. He made it sound like it was great.

I tried to get Ben to join with me, but he wouldn’t have anything to do with it. “Ask the Kipster,” he said. “He’ll do it with you.”

And Kipper did. The weather turned cold for our very first campout and Kipper’s sleeping bag was made for warm weather. So I let him crawl into mine with me, back to back to keep each other warm. And then Kipper started a farting contest. The more I groaned, the more he farted. Before long all the guys in the tent were going at it.

I don’t remember what they had fed us, but I do remember that not only my shared sleeping bag, but also the whole damn tent smelled about as bad as six guys could make it. At least the tent seemed warmer.

We camped out three more times that year and twice Kipper shared my sleeping bag, swearing first each time that he wouldn’t do the farting thing, and then managing to get in at least one or two good ones, totally disregarding the jabs I gave to his butt, belly, or whatever was turned in my direction.

Oh and there was one other reason that I thought of Kipper as my little brother — he idolized me.

A guy can tell that sort of thing. I could tell by the way Kipper often looked at me, and by the things he said. Like the time when Ben, him, and I were playing golf, and I was teeing up, and Kipper said, right out of the blue, “I like your mouth.”

Ben and I both glanced at him.

“It’s cool,” Kipper repeated to me; then he glanced at Benjamin. “Well it is. Aaron’s got a cool mouth.” (Other than my parents, he was the only one who occasionally called me Aaron. And I occasionally called him Will.)

At the time, I didn’t think that much about it; about Kipper idolizing me. I sorta idolized him, too. I was always a little taller, a little more muscular. But Kip wasn’t short like Ben; not at all. And he always had an easy grace; a natural athleticism, even when we were little. Besides, he was a cute kid whose forehead was covered with wavy hair that almost reached down to his large eyes, and he had a smile that could make you feel all happy inside… happy, or nervous.

Kipper’s mouth was like Ben’s; it curved up at the corners. But whereas Ben’s was simply cute, Kipper’s always looked just a little mischievous. Or maybe it was just me feeling that way because Kipper’s smile always made me think he was planning something to get me, even if he wasn’t.

I had a fistfight with Ben once, though I don’t remember over what. I just remember that we were both such poor boxers that the black eye he gave me was from his elbow and he felt so bad about it that he waited on me for three days afterward.

With Kipper I never had a fistfight. The only time we even had a serious wrestle over something, it was over a garden hose that I wanted to spray him with, while at the same time, he wanted it to spray me. He wouldn’t let go and his strength surprised me. And pissed me off. I jerked hard. His eyes bore into mine and he jerked hard back.

And then the corners of his mouth turned up in a smile and I frowned wondering what he was thinking just before he shoved a wet car sponge in my mouth.

It was a great time for me, having Ben as my best bud and feeling like Kip’s big brother.

And it’s funny, but even after I woke up that time, draped over Benjamin’s butt and had my first gay thought, it didn’t cross my mind – at least then — to think of Kipper that way.

That night, Ben and I were sleeping like we always did; in only our briefs. Ben was mostly on his stomach, a leg cocked, and I was laying over him; my hard cock pressed against his firm little butt and my bare chest against his smooth back.

I’d been dreaming about Linda Parks and that we were snuggling naked. But I woke up and… it was Ben!

I didn’t realize it right away, though. I woke with my heart racing and with my chest and belly pressed to the warm, soft skin of his back. I woke to the smell of his curly brown hair and the feel of my hard cock, resting against his firm butt, — I’d never pressed my hard cock against someone before, even through briefs.

I almost pulled him closer. I almost ground my cock against his butt before I was fully awake. But then I was awake, and I quickly rolled away.

As I lay there in the darkened room, my breathing ragged, I hoped that Ben hadn’t been awake. I strained to listen. His breathing remained regular, and I slowly started to relax. I reached into my briefs to close my hand around a rock hard and demanding cock. I’d only been masturbating a few weeks; maybe that’s what had me horny that night. And I was horny. My cock had never felt so hard.

I glanced across to the other bed. In the dim light, it looked like Kip was sleeping soundly. Quietly, I got up and stole down the hall to the bathroom, hands crossed over my erection. Once I closed the door, I stripped off my briefs and leaned over the sink to jack off.

But instead of thinking about my dream and about Linda as I stroked, I found myself recalling the feel of Ben’s firm body under me. Then I did in my imagination what I had almost done earlier; I pulled Ben closer and ground my hard cock against his firm butt.

Jacking off was still new enough that I thrilled to the incredible softness of my cock’s skin and the way my thick, warm shaft filled my hand. But that night, I squeezed my eyes tightly shut as I stroked, the better to remember the feel of Ben’s body. For just a moment, I thought maybe I shouldn’t think that way because Ben wasn’t a girl, but another boy and my buddy… but yeah, he was my buddy, right? And he was just a young guy like me… it wouldn’t be that gay to get off on his butt. And then I remembered the smell of his hair, and it felt like something hard and deep in my groin tightened up really good.

Orgasms at twelve are incredible experiences. I had concentrated so hard as I stroked – first on the memory of Ben’s body and then on the overwhelming feelings of my climax as it washed over me — that I didn’t realize how loudly I was whimpering until I heard the echoes off the bathroom walls.

As the echoes quieted away and the shocks to my body faded, I could still almost feel the firmness of Ben’s butt under my cock. It took a few moments for me to catch my breath and to begin to have second thoughts about what I’d imagined.

I pondered it as I washed my almost-clear, preteen semen down the sink. I had felt guilty after jacking off before, but ironically, not that night. The truth was, I wasn’t calming down like I usually did after jacking off. Getting my rocks off in someone else’s home, in the middle of the night, and after waking up like I had… well especially after waking up like I had… I wasn’t calming down; I was remembering the thrill of Ben’s body.

I couldn’t have been more awake as I lay back down beside Ben in the dark. His back was still to me, and in the faint light I could see the covers were down below his waist. Dim light gleamed off the bare skin of his torso, and for the first time, I looked at my best friend sexually, and then rolled away, troubled by the desire I felt.

Girls were a mystery to me back then. Pattie, my sister, was four years older than me, and like I said, we weren’t close. She intimidated me some, and because she did, most girls did. And as crazy as it seems now, back then I assumed girls just wouldn’t get into sex like a guy would.

It seemed to me that it could be years before I laid a girl. I liked my new equipment and I didn’t want to wait years to use it. Maybe, I thought, in the meantime I could do stuff with Ben, or maybe some other guy who liked his new equipment too.

So I decided to think about doing things with guys… just for the time being.

Over the following nights, as I lay in bed, I imagined what that would be like… with another guy. Even though it was almost the eighties and all, I didn’t know that much about what guys could do together. At first, I only dreamed of Ben and me rubbing against each other in our underwear. I hate to admit how many nights it was before it occurred to me for us to get naked in my dreams.

During the days, I began to notice how tight Ben’s small body was; how soft and smooth his skin was; how firm his newly developing muscles were; how his gray eyes flashed when he was happy; and how the golden highlights in his thick brown hair caught the sun. At almost fourteen, his body was becoming that of a beautiful youth. I admired him. I wanted to touch him; to do things with him.

But I had no idea how to initiate anything… I mean, what if Ben didn’t want to? What if he thought it would be queer?

There were other guys to dream about and I began to consider them. Mitchell had a cute butt. He had nice muscles and long arms and legs. I imagined going camping with him and that he’d want to rub too. Or I imagined sleeping over with Tommy Lewis, who had curly red hair and a pretty face.

I turned thirteen, and it’s not like I ever made a conscious decision to be gay. It was more like countless little decisions… in the night, when I choose who to dream about; or during the day, when I choose who to look at. With each little choice, the next choice became more natural. Or maybe I never had a choice. Maybe all it took was the feel of another boy’s body to spark something that had always been there inside me.

Even though I had no more opportunities with Benjamin or any other guy than I did with Linda Parks or any other girl, before long, I quit thinking about girls entirely. I only thought about guys. In school, my eyes and imagination were drawn to their crotches — clothed in the halls, unclothed in the showers. I couldn’t take my eyes off their tight butts, and in the showers, it was hard not to stare at what, if I were to put words to it, were the most beautiful sights I had ever seen – I just never before realized how awesomely beautiful they were.

Their bodies excited me and filled me with longing.

That school year was like a fever in my memory, full of sexual delirium between bouts of sanity.

I was sane around Kipper because I never thought about him that way. It’s not like I ever thought it through and decided, Oh, I’m just not going to think about Kipper that way. No, it’s just that Kipper was always different from the others.

He was in eighth grade that year; middle school. Ben and I were in ninth; high school. But both the middle and high schools shared the gym that year because the middle school was building a new gym. All the guys in sports in both schools had last period phys ed together.

It was after phys ed, and just after football season, when Kip and I were clowning around in the gym one afternoon. I had begun my thirteenth year growth spurt. Kip was tall for a twelve-year-old, but he hadn’t started his growth spurt yet. He was showing off that he was so flexible that he could lie on his back, raise his legs, and lock his ankles behind his head.

I stood there, looking down at him, legs behind his head, butt pointed right at me, and I realized, looking at his adolescent package lying right there almost like it was on a plate being served, that he had started his growth spurt in one area. For a brief moment I stared, and then almost in self-defense and to take my mind off the sight of Kip’s package and upturned bottom, I reached down, put my hand on the side of Kip’s hip and spun him like an inverted turtle.

It became a game with us, sorta like Lucy pulling the ball away from Charlie Brown before he could kick it; Charlie Brown always knew she would do it, but would try again anyway. Kipper always knew I’d spin him, but I’d come up to him with somebody new and say to Kipper, “Show him how you can put your legs behind your head.”

Kipper would do it, I’d allow myself a momentary delight looking at his package and raised butt, and then I’d spin him.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when Kipper and three of his buddies attacked me one afternoon, just after gym class. His buddies held me down on the gym floor while Kipper pulled off my shorts and ran off waving them over his head.

The other guys let me up, and tugging my shirt down over my jock and bare butt, I ignored the girls in the gym and took off after Kip. That is, until he ran outside.

And that became a game too. They got me again before Christmas and once after.

And then in May, in the showers after track on a Thursday afternoon, Jaime Perez, a sophomore, sprung wood. After that, dicks took on a whole new fascination for me. Jaime had a long one. Beto Pena had a cock that looked as long soft as mine did hard. I would have given anything to see it hard.

I would have given anything to do anything with any other guy, especially if the guy was Benjamin. I listened carefully to locker room jokes and the things guys tell each other about sex, hoping to hear what gay guys did with gay guys.

My dad was a physician, one of the local GPs, and I browsed his books, hoping for something more than anatomical drawings, but found little there.

I wondered why blowjobs were supposed to be so cool. It struck me as being a little scary to have someone close their mouth over your cock. But I was willing to try. And I would be glad just to jack off with another guy; stroking each other’s cocks. And cornholing… when I heard about cornholing, it blew me away. I mean, guys’ butts were cool before I heard about cornholing. I had cornholing wet dreams after I heard about it.

And once, when I conned Kipper into putting his legs behind his head, I looked down at his butt and for a brief second, wondered if I just knelt at his butt… well I wondered if two guys could cornhole that way... and then I spun him.

Summer came, and for the first few weeks, I did the swim team thing; and Kipper and I both worked as assistant lifeguards. He looked great in his speedos; a hell of a lot better than any of the other guys I knew; but he was Kipper and I didn’t let myself think of him that way other than to be proud of how cool he looked.

Then in July, my family took a vacation in the Colorado mountains. We hiked and fished and camped. And the sexual fever I’d had for almost a year, broke.

Oh, I still looked at guys. I still dreamed about them at night, and thought about them as I jacked off. But I had resigned myself to the probability that it might be a long time, if ever, before I got to do anything with another guy, much less a girl. And with that resignation came a certain amount of peace.

We returned home that summer before I turned fourteen, and I hung out with Ben and Kip; it was a good summer. We swam, fished, and played golf. We lay around their house in the heat of the day. We’d read or played games, and Kipper treated me like some of the furniture; using my butt as a headrest if I was on my stomach, or my shoulder or back as a back rest if we were sitting. And I liked that.

It was a comfortable, companionable, brotherly type thing. I still never allowed myself to think of Kipper – my little brother – the same way I thought about Ben or other guys. It didn’t seem right… and I would never have been able to relax around him the way I liked to do. Of course, the truth was that I didn’t allow myself to even think about Ben and my classmates sexually as much as I used to.

It would have been easy though. Ben was growing handsome. His flashy eyes were intelligent. In the smooth planes of his cheeks and his broad brow he was changing from boy to handsome youth.

Kipper was changing too. He had begun his growth spurt and the long, leanness that would become willowy later, when his natural grace caught up with his growth, had begun to manifest itself. Ben’s hair was curly; Kipper’s was wavy. And though Kip kept his hair shorter than I kept mine, it was thick and fanned out behind his ears. His lips were deep red and his mouth turned up at the corners, looking perpetually playful. And his eyes were much prettier than Ben’s. His brown irises had golden flecks and were large, so that Kipper reminded me faintly of those drawings of kids with huge eyes.

I didn’t let myself dwell on those things. Besides Kipper being my little bro and all, deep in my heart of hearts, there was something indefinably scary about ever letting myself think about Kipper… sexually. I wasn’t sure why, but every time I started to even consider it, my stomach did like it does when I walk too close to the edge of a high cliff.

My sexuality had formed though, or was well on its way. And it betrayed me when I wrestled with Ben, or with Tommy Bentsen. I would always lose because I’d get hard and be forced to keep my belly on the ground so they wouldn’t find out, and then they’d have me and think that they won. And that was embarrassing because I was taller and stronger. Kipper and I didn’t wrestle much.

Ben went on his first date that fall, just before I turned fourteen. And it seemed to me more and more unlikely that I would ever get to do anything with Ben.

That night, I stood in front of the full-length mirror on my closet door and imagined my reflection was another guy. I liked what was happening to my body. My legs had grown long and all the muscles showed when I tensed them. My shoulders had broadened. My belly was flat and I could see a little bit of a six-pack when I tightened my abs. My cock had grown thicker and when I pulled my erection up flat to my stomach, it reached past my belly button. It seemed really long when I lay on my back and pointed it straight up to the ceiling and skinned it back. Unlike Ben and Kipper, I was uncircumcised, and I liked to wrap my hand around my cock and pull the skin back against the base of my cock… and feel long.

I looked at my body in the mirror that night, and not at my face… at least at first. I was never completely happy with my face. I did like my eyes. They were deep blue and I had long black lashes. And I liked that my thick shag of fine, black hair had a sheen to it.

I had my dad’s eye and hair color; black German, my mom called it, meaning blue eyes with black hair instead of blond. But Dad also had Cherokee blood, as well as Comanche. I’m not sure how the recessive, blue-eyed gene managed to make it through, but I never doubted his Native American heritage. Dad was a tall, quiet, raw-boned guy with a square jaw. And he had such a love for hunting and fishing that it had to be genetic.

I got Dad’s temperament and some of his height, but like Mom, I was on the slender side and had a narrower face. I also got her pale skin.

Dad said I looked like Mom, but Mom was a beautiful woman. Me? I thought that my skin was too white, my cheekbones too high and prominent, and despite what Kipper said about my mouth, I thought my red lips were too thick and always had a bit of a pucker. I thought my nose was too long and wished my jaw was square like Dad’s… I was glad that at least I didn’t have a zit problem.

I lifted my eyes to the reflection of my lips and wondered what it would be like to kiss another boy… to kiss Ben. I kissed my reflection, and it was cold.

That spring, a janitor at the high school found Jacob Kline, a senior, cornholing Segundo Ramirez, a junior, in one of the boy’s johns after school. When I heard, my first thought was an odd one; why Segundo? I mean, Jacob wasn’t exactly cute, but he had a good body. Segundo was a fat lineman. My second thought was odd as well… why a school john, of all places.

It was a small school, and it was a small town. The two of them had to live with whispers and shame for the rest of the year. And it scared me.

It scared me because by then, I knew I was a homosexual — or rather gay, because somehow “gay” sounded better in my mind. I didn’t want to be gay… but then again, I did want to be. I wished I were “normal,” but I liked guys. Even if it were possible to choose to be straight; I wasn’t sure I would. I lived for the day when I could do something with another guy.

However, other than Jacob and Segundo, I didn’t know of any other guys like me. And those two were out of the question. I mean, one was a senior and the other a junior, and I was only a freshman. And they were, well… out.

And I wasn’t going to try to hang around the couple of guys in our class who had a strong “feminine” side. I didn’t want guilt by association. And besides, the guys I would be interested in would be guys like me, into sports and athletics.

I read somewhere back then that ten percent of all guys were gay, or had gay experiences. But around our school, it seemed to me that zero percent talked like they were.

I thought about running away to Houston. I’d seen an article in the newspaper about Westheimer in Houston being a gay area of town. But I didn’t consider it very seriously. I loved my parents. My dad was in his late forties when I was born, and he was thrilled to have a son. He loved me. My mom loved me.

So I only ran away in my dreams. I’d dream that I got off the bus in Houston, on Westheimer, and right away ran into another gay kid who would take me home with him and we’d have sex until I had tried everything I’d ever heard of, and then I would come home.

Or I dreamed that it would finally happen for me when my family went on vacation, or we were just traveling somewhere on the road, when I would run into a bold stranger.

That summer when I was fourteen, we did take two vacations, and I did have hopes, but they were only dreams. One vacation was to the beach at South Padre Island with my mom’s brother’s family. All their kids were little. Dad had bought a new boat, so in the mornings, he, my uncle, and I, all went fishing. In the afternoons when we weren’t on the beach or in the pool, we water skied or took my cousins for boat rides.

There were lots of guys at the island though, and I spent what time I could on the beach or at the pool, with my shades on so that no one could tell that I was watching the guys, not the girls.

I had learned to be careful at a restaurant that spring. My mom had taken my sister Pattie and me out for supper in another town close by while dad was traveling to Dallas. Pattie sat across the table from me, but I didn’t realize she was watching me. I thought she and mom were talking, and I just watched people coming and going through the front door.

A guy my age, with long blond hair came in and I was watching him when Pattie kicked me under the table. “Aaron!” she hissed.

“What?” Mom asked. “What’s wrong?”

Pattie leaned toward her. “Aaron stared at the blond kid who just came in, the same way he stared at two girls earlier. The same way!”

My cheeks grew hot with embarrassment.

“Honey,” Mom scolded her. “It’s his age. Boys that age stare at other kids.”

My face burned and I looked away. They didn’t get another word out of me that day. And I learned to be more careful.

Our second vacation that summer was only to San Antonio. Mom wanted to take Pattie shopping before she left for college that fall; UT, University of Texas. It wasn’t my idea of a vacation, especially when dad skipped out for lunch with an old friend and I had to hit the mall with Mom and Pattie.

It wasn’t hard to slip away though. And there were a lot of guys my age to look at. Back then, I had no idea of the things that could go on at malls. I only knew that I had fun looking.

I’d always been a bit of a bookworm, and naturally drifted into a bookstore. And in the bookstore, I naturally drifted to the section on sexuality. There was a book I’d never seen; well actually, there were several books I’d never seen, and I looked through them all, trying to keep my erection filled pants turned away from traffic. But there was one book that I’ve never seen since, Show Me. The book was all about sex, supposedly for kids to learn from. And there were even pictures of kids with erections… little kids – I think they got away with a bit more there for a while in the late seventies. But what got my attention in that book were a couple of pictures of two, naked gay guys – young guys, teens. In one photo, they were in an embrace, and in another one, they were in a sixty-nine. Their faces were buried in each other’s crotches so that I couldn’t really see anything, except for the erotic beauty of their circled bodies.

I wished I could buy the book. It’d be far better than the couple of Penthouses and Playboys I’d managed to collect and hide. After all, this one had guys together. And though there were other books with drawings and photos of gay guys, some in suggestive poses, none caught my imagination like the pictures in that book.

Danny Caldwell and I became friends for a while that summer. His was the second hard cock, other than Jaime Perez’s and my own, that I ever saw. Not long after school let out, he asked me to camp out with him in his back yard, and late that night, we snuck into his neighbor’s pool.

I was worried about springing a boner when we silently stripped off to slip into the water naked. But he was hard too. I tried not to stare. But his dick looked nice, maybe just a hair longer than mine, and thick. He caught me looking.

“I’ve never skinny dipped,” I whispered.

“It feel’s great!” he whispered as we slipped in, stating the obvious as I felt the water lift my balls and flow over my cock.

“Come on,” he whispered, waving for me to follow him as he moved along the pool wall. “The filter’s on. Wait till you feel the outlet on your dick.”

He led me to one of the inlet jets and then showed me how to hold my cock where the water washed over the crown. It was the most incredible sensation ever. We each came, and then swam in the moonless night.

The night of July Fourth, around eight of us started a running bottle rocket and Roman candle fight that spread onto the golf course. Danny and I lost the others and wound up on the little league baseball field. A full moon had risen and the sea breeze felt cool in the night.

“Let’s strip,” Danny said. “Have you ever run naked?”

I shook my head.

“It feels so cool. You wanna?” he asked, scratching his crotch.

I nodded and pulled off my shirt.

We kept our shoes on and ran a circle around the field, keeping our eyes open for any of the other guys. The wind blew through our hair and over our bodies. We were both hard when we stopped in front of the home team dugout. “Hey, Stick!” he said, waving me into the dugout.

I followed him down into it.

“Wanna jack off?” he asked, standing close, our bellies heaving as we caught our breath.

“Yeah,” I said without hesitation.

We sat down beside each other on the bench, the bare flesh of our sides touching; and we started stroking, each watching the other guy. “Aaron,” he whispered. “Wanna jack each other?”

“What?” I asked, not trusting myself to have heard him right.

He paused a moment. “Oh, nothing,” he said. “Never mind.”

I wanted to kick myself. I wanted to say that yeah I wanted to jack each other and more. But maybe he had second thoughts about offering for us to do that.

Instead, we watched each other. I watched him spread his legs and fondle his balls while he jacked, and when the outside of his bare leg pressed mine, I kept my leg against his. Then he spit in his hand and rubbed it over his crown.

“Does that feel good?” I asked. “I never tried that.”

“Yeah,” he said. “Give it a shot. Get lots of spit and rub it on.”

I did and it felt great. We came, and then sat catching our breath, rubbing our balls as we relaxed. “How often do you jack off?” Danny asked.

I shrugged, embarrassed. “Sometimes everyday,” I lied; there was no sometime about it.

“Ever do it more than once a day?”

I nodded, lifting my softening cock and letting it roll on my fingers.

“What’s the most you’ve done?” he asked.

“Once,” I said, “when I got a new Penthouse from Ben who got it from Julio, “I came twice when I got it, and then again when I pulled it out to look at an hour later, and then two more times that night.” I didn’t tell him I came mainly looking at the guys or reading the stories for the guy parts.

“Wanna jack again?” he asked.

It was a breezy night with a full moon and we’d been talking about Penthouse magazines and jacking off. “Yeah, maybe.”

We stroked and fondled ourselves, still watching one another. Then we heard guys yelling from somewhere close by, so we pulled on our clothes and went looking for them.

I started dreaming about Danny, but with vacations and everything else, we didn’t do anything more that summer, and that fall he got a girlfriend.

I still hung out most with Benjamin and Kipper. We made a couple of weekend trips to the coast to fish with his dad or my dad, and the three of us stayed a week with Tom Bentsen and his family at his parents’ cabin on Walker Lake. Over the weekend, Tom’s parents went back to town and the four of us had the cabin to ourselves without any adults around.

We went skinny dipping three nights in a row, and I was grateful that I kept from getting hard because none of them did. It was funny though; when we climbed from the water the second night, Kipper asked me to carry him on my back for the walk up the slight rise to the cabin. So I carried him, holding his legs on my hips, his arms circled over my shoulders, and Ben and Tom walked alongside. We all were naked, but didn’t get hard. Kipper asked me to carry him again the third night, and I did. I thought Ben or Tom might say something but they didn’t, and in fact, Tom carried Ben up the rise.

Kipper and I started our rebellion that summer. Guys in sports always kept their hair short and the coaches sorta expected it. But I wanted to grow mine long, like down to my shoulders, and I tried talking Ben into doing it with me.

“You’re kidding, right?” he said. “The way my hair curls? It’d suck. Ask Kipper. He’ll do it with you.”

So I did, and we agreed to not cut our hair till it was down to our shoulders; the longest length they allowed guys to grow their hair at our school.

My hairline peaked in the front, and my hair was straight. I’d been parting it in the middle, combing it back behind my ears, and all I had to do was let it start growing. Kipper’s hair, however, got all moppy right away.

Kipper had grown a lot that summer and wasn’t much shorter than me. His features were still fine — you know, still a boy’s features — and when he smiled, he was cute as hell. His brown hair still hung down almost to his eyes, and his eyes were still beautiful and large. Had had an almost innocent look; a seeming innocence that was enhanced by his voice which had begun to break. I loved his voice, and I could listen to him for hours. But ironically, Kip became a little quieter when he hit puberty; quieter like me.

Kipper was becoming the cutest, sexiest guy in town as far as I was concerned. And I did think of him sexually on occasion, but not often. I had trained myself not to think of him that way. Not only was he my little brother, but, as long as I didn’t think of him sexually, he was unique among my friends. With all the others, I always felt a little sexual tension; I always had to hold back some of what I felt. But with Kip, I could be natural. Our friendship became easy, close, and comfortable; apart from the friendship I had with Ben.

Ben was still my best friend. And more. He was chief of my dream lovers.

My dreams had grown romantic. I dreamed of kissing and holding a guy, and being held. I dreamed of making love and lying naked together through a whole night. And most often, I dreamed of doing that with Ben.

Ben had a new love though; a car. He would be turning sixteen that winter and he’d be able to drive. Though it was six months away, Ben’s dad got him an old junker to work on, and that spring, Ben spent hours at it with Tom Bentsen, who was really into cars.

I wasn’t into cars. But Kipper wanted to go out for quarterback that fall, and so while Ben and Tom worked on the car, Kip and I would strip off our shirts and I’d run patterns for him to throw to. And when we got tired in the summer heat, we’d sit sweaty bare back to sweaty bare back and sip sodas while watching Ben and Tom work on the car; usually where I could surreptitiously watch Ben’s butt as he bent over the engine.

One afternoon when Kip and I were in a different mood, we shot baskets while Tom and Ben worked. “Toss me the ball,” Tom said when they took a break.

I tossed him the basketball. He held it in his open palm and placed his other hand on top. He stretched the fingers of his upper hand and closed them over the ball, then dropped his other hand from beneath; holding the ball from above. “Can you palm a basketball yet?” Tom asked.

I glanced at Ben and then Kipper. “Haven’t tried.”

“Try it,” he said, passing the ball to Kipper who was on his right.

Kipper took it.

“They say that you can tell if a guy has a big dick by how big his hand is,” Tom said with a grin as Kipper tried to palm the ball. “The bigger the hand, the bigger the dick.”

Kipper stretched his fingers over the top of the ball and closed them over it. He dropped his bottom hand and for a moment, the basketball stayed in his grip. Then it dropped.

I caught it on the bounce and tried. I could palm the ball.

Kip and I grinned at each other and I passed it to Ben.

With a gleam in his eye, Kipper held up his hand, palm to me. With an answering grin, I held mine up to his and we measured, laughing as we tried to stretch fingertips past each other.

In the meantime, Ben kept dropping the ball.

Kipper and I were laughing at each other, while Tom was getting a kick out of watching Ben. And then I realized that Kip’s palm felt good against mine about the same time his laugh faded. He smiled at me again with those big brown eyes with the golden flecks, the corners of his mouth curling up playfully, and he flattened his palm on mine. With a grin, I slapped his palm with mine. “Numbskull!” I said, and then jumped him, wrapping an arm around his neck to give him a noogie.

A few times, when Ben and Tom didn’t want to do anything but work on his car, and we didn’t, Kipper and I rode our bikes out to Delta Lake and fished. We both were into fishing, and both liked being outdoors. The land was flat and there were a lot of open fields around; however there was a wooded, more secluded end of the lake.

Twice we skinny-dipped while no one was around, and I took pleasure in Kipper’s slender form. His body was nice to look at, and I guess I took a brotherly pride in that. And though you could tell in their faces that he and Ben were brothers, I thought Kipper’s body was more like mine; his dangling cock certainly was, and that pleased me.

The first time we skinny-dipped, we horsed around and splashed each other. It was fun, and it seemed completely natural to throw my arm over his shoulder as we walked up naked from the water. It was a natural thing to do with your little bro.

When I looked his way, Kipper had a great smile; a ‘happy with the world’ smile. Our eyes met, and then his big brown and gold irises dilated and his eyes went all soft with obvious affection. And I was really, really glad that I didn’t let myself think of Kip the way I thought about Ben and others, because I almost went hard and I would have for sure if I thought of Kipper that way. Instead, I mussed his hair and dropped my arm from his shoulder. “Numbskull!” I told him.

The second time we skinny-dipped, when I didn’t throw my arm over his shoulder, he threw his over mine, and we laughed. He had a great, breaking-voice, happy laugh and I remember thinking that a guy could get hard, just hearing a laugh like that, and quickly scooted away to grab my clothes. I enjoyed watching him while he dressed because he did it gracefully, just like he did everything. He smiled at my watching and I wondered who was becoming fonder of whom. It was in that moment that I realized that Kipper and I had grown closer than Ben and I had ever been.

And yeah, after all the times I dreamed of getting it on with guys, it wasn’t always easy to not think that way about doing stuff with Kipper, or looking at him the way I looked at other guys. But I never let those thoughts stick around. I just kept batting them away. Kipper was probably like every other guy I knew; completely straight. So why mess up a good thing?

It was on one of those trips to the lake that we first talked about trying to go on a longer campout together; at the beach or at one of the state parks. We both thought we’d like hiking and talked about camping out in the Texas hill country.

We had fun together; Kip and me. He liked being with me as much as I liked being with him. It showed in all his smiles.

Odd, but I still thought of Ben as my best friend, I guess because we were in the same grade, had classes together, and sports and all. And it was Ben who I dreamed of most often at night.

* * *

They had Ben’s car up on blocks while Ben and Tom, on their backs, worked underneath. Their bare, golden legs were out toward us and I couldn’t resist sneaking glances at the pouches of their shorts while Kipper and I sat facing each other on the ground, sucking ice after drinking lemonade. Shirtless, we were cooling down from running patterns.

About the time I realized that Kipper was stealing glances at my pouch, I found out why. He pulled the waistband of my shorts out and poured in his ice.

With a delighted yell, Kip took off, but I was right behind him. I took him down onto the grass in the shade of a large elm; and while he was on his stomach, I straddled him low on his butt. Then, reaching into the front of my pants, I scooped out ice.

I pulled out the back of his shorts and couldn’t help pausing for a moment at the sight of his small, rounded butt and smooth-skinned crack. Then I shoved the ice in, and before he could squirm away, I plopped solidly on his butt and started bouncing.

He howled, but I wasn’t done yet. Kipper was ticklish. So I bent over him and dug my fingers into his ribs.

Kipper came unglued and tried bucking me off. And suddenly I realized that besides ice being rubbed between my crotch and his butt, my cock was in there. Instantly, I started to grow hard and rolled off quickly, onto my stomach beside him. I was ready to let him “get” me; let him win. There was no way I could get off my stomach because he’d see my growing hard-on

But Kipper stayed on his stomach too and simply gave my shoulder a friendly shove while he laughed. He had white, even teeth. His neck looked thick and strong with his head up and back in laughter. Sunlight gleamed off his hair and his clear eyes reflected miniatures of my smiling face. And I realized that Kip wasn’t just a kid anymore. He was awfully fine looking; much better looking than Ben.

I rocked away from his shove and then back, brushing shoulders as we both propped up on our elbows.

“Next time,” he said, “I pour the ice into the back of your shorts and give you a huge wedgie before I lock myself in the house.”

“Next time,” I said, “I’m not going to just squash ice on your butt, I’m going to shove ice cubes up it!”

He laughed and rolled up onto his back beside me, straightening his crotch as he did. He looked a little thick, and for a moment, I almost wondered if he ever grew hard when he wrestled.

“That’d be one way to cool off,” he said, laughing. “But I think my way was pretty good. I cooled you off, right?”

I twisted at the hips, keeping my crotch on the ground, and scowled down at Kipper. “Yeah right. I’ll probably never be able to have children now.”

Kipper laughed and shoved me away. “It’ll be a safer world.” He started to sit up, but I reached out an arm and pushed him back down.

“Numbskull!” I said, moving the weight of my chest over his and quickly pinning his wrists. “I oughta tickle you good.”

Kipper was smiling, but his smile faded as he looked up into my eyes.

“Kipper!” Ben called. “Bring Tom and me some lemonade.”

I mussed Kipper’s hair. “Saved by your brother,” I said with a grin, moving off him.

Kipper sat up beside me, and then gave me a vicious wedgie before jumping up to run for the lemonade.

* * *

I had grown to an inch shy of six feet. Veins had begun to show up under the smooth skin of my suddenly lean and muscled forearms. All my body fat had gone, used up for growing, and every seam of every muscle showed. I felt tall when I walked, but I was far from graceful, running into doorframes with my shoulders and tripping over things with size twelve feet that seemed to have outgrown my body.

My buddies’ bodies grew long and lean as well. And I longed for them.

On a last sleepover before football practices began, I pressed my hard cock against Ben’s butt for the second time; this time on purpose. There were six of us, sleeping over at Tom Bentsen’s house, and Ben and I were on a pallet on the floor. We were in our briefs and his back was to me.

It had been two years since I woke draped over his butt, and I had dreamed a thousand times of doing it again… of us doing it together. There, in the middle of the night, both of us in only our underwear, I thought and thought about it… and grew desperate.

The others, including Ben, fell asleep. I waited. And then I rolled toward Ben. Very carefully, very slowly, I inched my hips forward until almost imperceptibly, my cock touched Ben’s butt. I barely breathed as through our briefs, I pressed the underside of my cock and my balls against his firm bottom. I held myself there, barely breathing. And then I came; pumping cum to the side in my underwear, and I desperately hoped that the throbbing of my cock wouldn’t wake Ben.

I began to pull back and a final shudder ran through my body. It jiggled my cock and balls against Ben’s butt, and I recoiled in alarm. And yet, that final jiggling had felt so good.

I rolled to my other side, back to Ben, and listened to his breathing. It remained regular, and mine began to slow. I bit my lip, thinking how crazy I’d just been.

But in the morning, Ben acted like normal. And I was free to keep dreaming about his butt.

That year Ben and I were in the tenth grade, playing on the “B” team. Kipper was in the ninth grade and played on the freshman team. Both teams, along with the varsity, worked out on the same field.

Kipper made first string quarterback on his team. I made starting, left linebacker on ours. Ben made safety.

At the end of preseason workouts, our “B” team scrimmaged against Kipper’s freshman team.

I’d made a couple of good tackles on Kip myself when Chuy Salinas tried to blindside him. Chuy was a beefy, six-foot-tall defensive end, and he was coming at Kipper full blast. I was coming at Kipper at the same time, and without even thinking, I switched off Kip to deflect Chuy with a shoulder; to keep him from hurting Kipper, who fortunately went down with us anyway or my ass would have really been grass.

“Krueger, you clumsy mutton-head!” coach shouted at me. “You took out the wrong man! If you want to protect the freshman quarterback, we’ll put you on the freshman team!”

I was red-faced as hell beneath my helmet, but not sorry.

Chuy kicked me in the butt as we returned to our defensive huddle. “You fuck-up!” he hissed. “You jammed my shoulder pads. What are you doing anyway?”

“Kipper’s his buddy,” Tom Bentsen said, bopping my helmet. “They’re like… queer over each other.”

“You asshole!” I said, my face suddenly hot. The stupid idiot had gotten it so wrong! If only he knew! Kipper was the one guy I didn’t think that way about. I straight-armed Tom’s shoulder, hard.

“Cut it out!” Coach called out with a blast of his whistle. “Call the defense, Krueger!”

We huddled quickly. “Red mitt three by four,” I said. “And Tom Bentsen’s an asshole.”

Benjamin slapped my butt before dropping back. “If Chuy tries it again,” he said, “drop his sorry ass.”

Kipper called that night. “Hey, Sticks,” he said when I answered.

“Hey, Kips.”

“Thanks for covering my backside today.”

I would have made a smart remark about his phrasing, if it hadn’t been for Bentsen’s remark.

“I heard what Tom Bentsen said,” Kipper said quietly. “I’m sorry.”

“Why?” I asked. “Bentsen can be a creep sometimes. To tell you the truth, I think he’d like to be best friends with Ben instead of me.”

Kipper was quiet.

“Of course,” I said, “that’d be OK. You and I are like best friends now.” I said it because if we were in the same grade at school, it would be true.

“Yeah,” Kipper said. “Ben’s in love with his car anyway,” he added with a chuckle.

And then our conversation moved on to a review of the scrimmage.

After that, I didn’t spend as much time with Kipper. He hung with his freshmen classmates; I hung more with my sophomore classmates. It just sorta happened. And after Bentsen’s wisecrack, it seemed smart to not spend as much time with Kipper. After all, he didn’t deserve wisecracks like that, and concerning Kip, I didn’t either.

I didn’t spend as much time with Ben though, either. He had his car. And he had a new girlfriend, Linda Parks… the creep. But then I sorta picked up a girlfriend, too; Jennifer Fitzpatrick.

Her dad was the local bank president and a deacon in their church and all, but Jennifer was cool, and she liked me. And she liked my hair, which had finally made it to the back of my collar — a couple of weeks ahead of Kippers; probably because his had curled at the ends, which made it look thick.

Jennifer was a tall, thin girl; but I liked thin girls. Chicks with big-ass boobs never turned me on. But I did like girls to have perky breasts, and Jennifer did. She was quiet like me. And she had black hair like me. Hers was down to the middle of her back. She had brown eyes like Kippers, though hers weren’t nearly as pretty. Overall, Jennifer was a really nice-looking girl.

We went on a couple of dates and simply enjoyed being together. She was sweet. I liked her. And for the first time in a couple of years, I actually thought about going with a girl. It might be nice to take a break from being… well, from being all gay. I even wondered what it’d be like to do something with Jennifer.

There were times I didn’t want to be gay. Hell, if I thought about it, maybe most of the time. It wasn’t because I thought there would be any moral superiority to screwing girls instead of doing the things I imagined with guys. It was simply that sometimes I got really tired of hiding how I felt, of hiding the true me, or worrying what everyone would think if they knew, of not having someone like me to be with, of… of being lonely.

But not being gay was no longer a choice, if it ever had been; it was still guys who most turned me on.

A bunch of us slept over at Andre Pena’s after Thanksgiving. Ben was out of town and I wound up sleeping on a foldout bed with Eric Saldana, one of the best looking guys in our class. He had a nice butt. And in the middle of the night, I pressed myself to his butt like I had with Ben. After I came in my briefs, I rolled away, wondering how I could be so insane. But the next day, Eric acted normally and I promised myself I’d never try that again. But deep inside, and given the chance, I wondered if I would try it again. There wasn’t much hope in the near future of getting to do anything with a guy any other way.

Three of my sister Pattie’s new friends from UT came down to visit during the Christmas break. All three were from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and they had heard about South Padre and Mexico, so they came to celebrate New Year’s with us… or rather, celebrate it across the border.

One of them, Heather, was exactly the opposite of what I’d like in a girl.

Pattie introduced them all to Mom and Dad and then brought them into the den where I was watching TV. I stood for Pattie to introduce us, and Heather threw her arms around me, hugging me to her big breasts. “Pattie,” she chided as she squeezed me. “You didn’t tell us what a gorgeous stud muffin your little brother is. And look at his hair,” she said, leaning back to look at it without letting me out of her arms. “I’d kill for hair like that.”

Pattie made a face at me and I stuck out my tongue.

Heather didn’t let me out of the hug. “I may just hang on to him the whole time I’m here. That OK with you, stud?” she asked.

Most guys would think Heather was a knockout. She was pretty in a pixyish sort of way. And she was curvy; way curvy. She was tall; when she squeezed me, her breasts flattened against my chest. But I liked girls shaped more like Jennifer. And I liked them on the quieter side, again more like Jennifer.

Heather eventually let me go, but over the next couple of days, whenever they were around, she’d sit by me and tease me about how “cute” I was, and how she wished she had a little brother like me, and how all the girls must be after my body.

“Why I bet you’ve stolen every little girl’s heart at your school,” she said, patting my thigh as she sat next to me on the couch. It was the night before New Year’s Eve, after my parents went to bed.

“He’s a virgin, Heather,” Pattie said, trying to watch Johnny Carson on TV. “Give it a rest.”

I blushed as the other three girls looked at me appraisingly; I couldn’t help it.

“No,” Heather said, disbelieving. “I bet he’s not. How old are you stud?”

“Fifteen,” I said as my face grew hotter.

Just turned fifteen,” Pattie said. “Going on three.”

Heather studied me. “If he is a virgin,” she said, thoughtfully, “he won’t be for long.”

The four of them arranged to celebrate New Year’s with guys Pattie knew from high school. Mom and Dad admonished them to be careful, especially if they were going to Mexico, and I thought to myself… yeah, right!

Veronica Betancourt had a party for our group. Since I still couldn’t drive, I talked Ben into double dating. He didn’t want to because he was perpetually hopeful that he and Linda would get it on, or at least feel each other up, but I pointed out that he could always drop Jennifer and me off before taking Linda home.

At the party, I sprouted wood slow dancing with Jen, and it was all I could do to keep her from feeling it. We kissed at the end of that song, and again after a few others. I pulled her into my arms when we were alone outside the kitchen, and we kissed longer. I held her to me and thought that I might be able to make a stab at going straight for a while.

Sitting in the back seat of Ben’s car as he drove us home, Jen and I kissed, and then with her arms around my neck, I put my forehead to hers and laid my hand on her breast. I left it there and kissed her gently. She melted into me. But I never got to try dropping a hand to her leg; we got to her house first.

I kissed her at the door, and she smiled and told me that she had a “very good time.”

It was around three in the morning when I woke in the dark to the feel of hot flesh, the smell of alcohol, and a naked body crawling into bed with me.

“Hi Stud,” Heather whispered loudly, wrapping her arms around my shoulders and pressing herself to my briefs, rolling me onto my back. She kissed me, and her mouth tasted like her breath smelled; of alcohol and cigarettes.

I was numb and not fully awake. I didn’t know what to do.

Her mouth opened and her tongue plunged into my mouth. Her hand slipped into the front of my underwear and I felt her palm close over my flaccid dick and balls; feeling, demanding. “Umm,” she purred. “Still sleepy?”

She kissed down my neck and onto my chest, latching onto one of my nipples as she fondled me. My cock wasn’t responding, but what she was doing felt good. I was confused.

She kissed down my belly, pulling the front of my briefs down, and then she was kneeling between my legs and her mouth closed over my cock.

And then I understood why guys liked blowjobs.

I grew hard as she worked and the harder I grew, the better it felt. She swirled her tongue over my glans and I grabbed her hair, pulling up my knees in reflex. A whimper escaped my throat.

She lifted her head. “You liked that Stud?” she asked with a smile, her big tits hanging down from her in the dim light from my window.

She pulled my briefs down and I let her take them off. Then she slid up over me, pressing her body to mine, her mound to the underside of my erection, and then she covered my mouth with hers.

Wrapping her arms around me, she rolled to her back, pulling me over on top of her. I had no idea what to do; I wasn’t exactly thinking much.

Her tongue roamed my mouth and her fingers combed through the length of my hair as her body writhed under me and I tentatively rubbed my cock on her. “Put it in,” she whispered breathlessly in my ear.

I lifted my hips and tried, poking her everywhere down there except in the right spot.

“You really are a virgin, huh, Stud?” she said, managing to sound almost kind while her words slurred. She reached down and grabbed my cock.

I felt the lips of her labia on my crown as she worked my cock to the right place, and with a tug, started me in. I pushed, and felt myself slip into an incredible, soft warmth.

“Oh, baby,” she whispered loudly. “That feels good.”

I came, shuddering.

“Oh, baby, already?” she asked, grabbing my butt, grinding against me, driving me deeper just when I was going super sensitive. “Don’t stop,” she said. “Don’t go soft.”

I shuddered again. Her movements, as sensitive as my glans had become, drove me crazy. I whimpered again.

She bit my neck and the pain distracted me for a moment. I tried to push up and away and in the process, pushed into her deeper. I strained against her embrace and the pain of her mouth on my neck, and suddenly, I was rock hard again.

We rolled and I was on my back. She sat up atop me, straddling me with her knees, and she began to bounce on my lap; fucking herself with my cock.

I grabbed the sides of her legs and held on as my bed rocked and the springs creaked. My bedroom was right next to my parents and I was afraid they’d hear.

I was really afraid they would when Heather started saying, “Oh yeah! Oh yeah, baby!” She started with a hoarse whisper, but before long, she wasn’t whispering at all.

She smelled of booze and cigarettes and her boobs were jiggling all over the place. In the dim light, her writhing, bouncing body seemed completely detached from the incredible sensations on my cock.

“Oh…. Oh… Oh,” she started to say louder and louder. And then she went all slick inside and I felt liquid on my balls, and then I shot and shot, biting my lip to keep from making noise like she was.

And then she slowed and finally laid down on me. “Oh, baby,” she gushed, nuzzling into my neck as I slipped out from inside her. “That was great!”

I turned my face way from her breath that seemed suddenly foul. Her body and her big breasts lay on me like dead weight holding me down. While her breathing grew regular, I heard the murmur of my parent’s voices from the next room. My stomach twisted into a knot.

I rolled from under her and faced away. My mind was in turmoil. This wasn’t at all what I had ever imagined, not even with Jennifer. Hell, especially with Jennifer. With her it was going to be sweet and gentle and slow. And then I thought of Ben. He was supposed to be my first time. He was the one who would first touch me, and who I would first touch in a breathless, endless, first moment.

But now I had lost my… my innocence. And suddenly I wanted to be away from Heather; somewhere else.

She started snoring, and that did it. I climbed from bed, pulled on shorts, and slipped out to the couch in the den, where I pulled a blanket over me and fell asleep.

My mom found me there in the morning, a dark hickey on the side of my neck.


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