Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Love Unexpected Ch. 17

Love On The Mountain

Wednesday’s cuddling in the staff showers only seemed to inspire Dylan’s determination to find him and Jake some privacy. He didn’t want to drive up into the hills to one of the well-known teen make-out spots, but if a better place didn’t offer itself soon he would have to resort to that. Getting a hotel seemed almost as tawdry, and besides, the cost would be prohibitive due to the season and proximity to the northern county’s theme parks. Their houses were out of the question because someone was always home at either place. No, he and Jake needed a new idea and they needed it now.

He was even more certain when Jake met him for work on Thursday morning with a copy of his college health portfolio. He had been tested at the beginning of his freshman year, again in November and in late February, and all three tests were clean.

“I’ll get another one at the clinic on Friday if you want me to,” Jake said shyly.

Dylan kissed his forehead. “I don’t need it, Jake. I trust you.” What went without saying was that nobody as timid about sex as Jake was could possibly have enough experience to get an STD. He was eager to prove his own truthfulness and have done with it just in case. “That’s what love is about- trust. I’ll find mine tonight and show it to you in the morning.”

Jake snuggled into his body. “You are so good to me. How can I not love you?”

“That’s just it, you can’t. The same way you’re it for me. Face it. We’re made to be together.”

Dylan’s family had company over on Thursday night for dinner, and he was unable to spend time with Jake after day camp. The company turned out to be family so he didn’t see what the big deal was, but he kept his feelings to himself. Not only that, but the guests were his uncles, Christopher and Bruce, whom he was eager to introduce to Jake.

“How are you and Jake doing?” Uncle Chris asked as they sat on the patio watching Bruce and Mr. Moore banter over the proper way to grill chicken in a decade-long, lighthearted battle of wills. “Have you… uh, done anything about that problem you came to us about?”

“A little,” Dylan answered, popping the top on a Coke. “We’re good, mostly. It’s just…” He moved closer to Chris so nobody could overhear him. “We can’t seem to get any privacy. Jake has issues about—well, being together… you know, at home and here. Even with Mom and Dad sort of guessing and giving consent, it makes him uncomfortable.”

“Respectful,” Chris noted with a nod. “I like that. He sounds like a good kid.”

“Yeah he is, but what do we do? We love each other, and we want to be together. We’ll probably share an apartment when we return to school, but that’s over a month away.”

A sudden look of inspiration brightened Christopher’s face. “Or, you could use the cabin.”

Bruce and Christopher owned a rustic cabin for weekend getaways up near Big Bear Lake, a mountain community just under a hundred miles from Aleppo Park. In the winters it made an inviting place easily accessible to ski the nearby resorts, and during the summers they could escape the coastal crowds and haze for a quieter locale. It would be perfect for the boys.

Dylan looked incredulous. “You would really do that for us? Let us stay there over the weekend?”

“If it’s alright with your parents and Jake’s family,” Chris assured him with a hearty laugh. “We have to go to Palm Springs on Saturday, so if it isn’t too short of notice, this weekend would work out for us too. We made a shopping run last time we stayed so there’s also plenty of food.”

Dylan didn’t waste time and obtaining immediate consent from his parents presented no trouble. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for Jake. Leaving on Friday was out of the question because it was Avery’s birthday, and Jake refused to ask for it free due to how much his aunt and uncle meant to him. However, departing on Saturday was a solution if Dylan didn’t mind. Mind? Spending an entire night with his Jake? It was a dream come true.

Jake’s heart was in his throat when he went to Aunt Pat for permission later that night. Avery was in the garage, and Marcus was out on a date with Erin.

“Um… Dylan asked if we can go up to his uncles’ cabin in the mountains on Saturday and spend the night.”

Patricia looked up from the magazine she was reading, doing her best to hide a grin.

The truth was, she was surprised that Jake had to ask. At his age, she and her boyfriends were busy like bunnies any time they could find a secret place to sneak away to, including each other’s homes when the parents were gone. Of course, having George for a father probably meant he took nothing for granted in the permission department, but Jake and Dylan deserved some privacy.

“That’s fine,” Pat answered with a sly wink that told him she was in on the reason for the request, and he blushed. “How long are you staying?”

Jake shrugged. “Dylan and I have to start our last session of day camp on Monday, so we’ll probably get back mid-afternoon or early evening the day before.”

“It sounds good to me as long as Dylan can go.” She couldn’t help but tease, “Are you sure a measly twenty-four or so hours at Big Bear is worth it, Jacobaby?”

“Yes,” he gulped, feeling unusually defensive, especially because he could see she was about to give in to the giggles. Who cared if it was only one night? The boys were so horny they would’ve settled for an afternoon.

Aunt Pat laughed at his petulance. She had an aunt-like desire to make gentle fun of him, and Jake hastily beat a retreat to call Dylan and give him the good news.

Early Saturday found then on the road with their gear packed and mapped directions and the keys to the bungalow in hand. Mr. and Mrs. Moore and Aunt Pat had warned about driving safely on narrow, curvy mountain roads and taking it slow. The weather forecast was for incoming thunderstorms that evening, and Pat had muttered a reminder that nights were cooler at higher elevations.

“But you’ll have each other to keep you warm, so I guess we shouldn’t worry.”

“For the love of God, parents!” Dylan shook his head with a chuckle as they pulled away from the Walkers.

Jake leaned over the console and kissed his cheek. “Yeah, but they did say we could go, and I’m pretty sure they know what we’ll be doing this weekend. At least we have their blessing.”

Dylan threw him a swift glance smoldering with desire. “I can’t wait to get you alone up there.”

Jake put his hand on his boyfriend’s thigh and shuddered in anticipation. “Me either.”

For the uninitiated like Dylan and Jake, it was a rather convoluted map getting them off the usual north-south corridor of I-5 they were used to and directing them east on the 91 towards Redlands, but thankfully it wasn’t a work day so the trip was cut by a good hour. Once they left the freeway and began climbing the windy roads into the San Bernardino Mountains, they truly felt as if they were on an adventure. The sky was such a deep blue edged by white, towering clouds, they could smell the pine trees and even the heat felt different.

The cabin was pretty as a picture, looking like the proverbial log cabin with gingerbread trim. It was tucked into the steep terrain up a set of roads that were more like trails across the lake from the small village known as Big Bear City. Many people lived in the area full-time, and Jake and Dylan could see why. It was such a lovely place, peaceful and remote, but the uncles’ cabin was definitely better-suited for weekend trips.

Made out of chinked rough-hewn logs with the requisite wide porch and a large fireplace made of quarried gray rock, it had a bedroom and small bath on the first floor and two loft bedrooms and bath on the second. The living room was all paneled walls, early Americana furniture and two wide leather couches heaped with crocheted afghans. The glossy pinewood staircase and front porch sported carved, varnished spindles to hold up the balusters. The eat-in kitchen wasn’t sleek by any means; it looked more like something you’d find in a late-1950’s home but with newer appliances and a grainy formica table and colorful but unmatched retro vinyl chairs with padded backs. A rear door led to a walkway separating the stoop from a small refurbished garage.

There wasn’t much for Jake and Dylan to do to get the cabin ready except turn off the alarm system. The electricity was already on to keep the refrigerator cold, wood was stacked by the back door and on the hearth and it was only a matter of selecting which room they wanted to sleep in. The upstairs furniture in each bedroom consisted of a dresser, nightstand and twin beds, and the one downstairs was only a double—and Jake felt funny using it because it was Bruce and Christopher’s room. The boys decided to bring blankets into the living room and sleep in front of the fireplace. Not that they planned to light a fire because, no matter how romantic, it was summer after all. They would get sweaty enough on their own.

It was 11:30, their backpacks were still sitting by the front door and the boys looked across the way at each other, breathing shallowly with longing in their eyes. Before their departure that morning, Bruce had given them several tongue in cheek options for entertainment once they arrived. Big Bear City, across the way by a concrete bridge transecting the narrower southeast end of the lake, had an abundance of touristy shops that sold all kinds of items, or they could try to find a parking place near the rocks out near China Island to swim. The shore around the lake was a beautiful drive.

But that wasn’t why they were there. Dylan had a fire in his gut he was trying to tamp down, and Jake was pale but dogged not to mess this up. The dilemma was how to switch from the mundane to the erotic without it being awkward.

“Why don’t we make lunch,” Dylan suggested kindly, seeing how nervous Jake was, how unusually edgy he seemed to be himself. “Uncle Chris said there’s bread and mayonnaise in the fridge.” His uncles had suggested that they bring up fresh produce and sandwich fixings since those kinds of foods didn’t keep well from one week to the next.

A stack of roast beef sandwiches, Dr. Peppers and a big bag of Fritos later, the boys’ epicurean appetites were sated. They cleaned up the mess and washed dishes side by side, but the tension in the cabin was palpable. Dylan knew Jake’s anxiety was spiking again, and he was determined not to rush him.

But Jake astonished him by grabbing him by the hand after the last clean dish was set in the dish drainer to dry. He drew him into the cozy living room and stripped off his own t-shirt. Slowly he began to unbutton the placket on Dylan’s polo. The blonde boy held still, almost afraid to breathe in case he ruined the mood. Jake taking the initiative was quite a surprise.

Jake leaned into Dylan and captured his soft lips with his own. He opened, letting Jake’s tongue slip into the damp warmth of his mouth where they intertwined playfully and their panting turned harsh from lack of air. Dylan’s tongue pushed back, and he drew his arm around Jake’s shoulders to capture him firmly in place as he slid closer, skin to skin.

Dylan loved touching Jake. The lithe frame, the softness of his skin, it was an honor to run his hands over him. Jake’s flanks were especially sensitive, not ticklish, but a hot spot for him that made him shiver and goose bumps break out across his torso. Holding him gently, he would leisurely slide down the supple oblique and lateral muscles until his thumbs rested in the deep V groove at his hips. To Jake, they seemed to leave a trail of glowing embers in their wake, making his skin burn and tingle, and he couldn’t help but groan.

Jake’s call was the sweetest music in Dylan’s ears, and the kiss released with a sigh. Dylan felt himself being pressed down to the floor in front of the massive fireplace by his boyfriend whose green eyes seemed lust-lit from within. Jake knelt next to him, his eyes sweeping him from the top of his head to his knees, and Dylan’s mouth watered in excitement.

“Finally, we’re alone,” Jake whispered. “I’ve been looking forward to this.” The growing bulge in his shorts gave proof to it.

“I need you too,” Dylan replied, reaching up for Jake and taking his hand, his cock hardening in expectation.

Jake swept his hand through the long, pale bangs almost covering his eyes and crawled closer on his knees. Hip lips found Dylan’s and began smooth little pecks over them, his fingers idly tracing neck and shoulders. Dylan thrust his tongue into Jake’s mouth, exploring and sampling his sweetness. Bodies flush and hips grinding, groaning through their kiss as mouths fastened in a delirious dance. They could both feel what passion for the other was doing to them and it carried them along.

Jake’s abdomen fluttered, signaling a tightening that would eventually lead to exquisite bliss, but he didn’t want to do it this way. They had all the privacy they needed now, and he wanted deeper meaning and to make this last longer between them. He needed to touch Dylan, every inch of him, to taste him. Just as much, he hoped that by the time they left he would know what it all felt like himself.

Blindly he felt for the closure on Dylan’s shorts and opened them up. He edged around the waistband, pushing it over the silky skin of his hips until weight and momentum dropped them to the floor. Jake heard Dylan’s breath hitch as he stretched between their bodies and brushed his fingers over the velvety steel of his hardness. His cock was so warm! Lower he traveled, touching the softness of the vulnerable sac and rolling his balls under his fingers. An explosive moan erupted from Dylan’s lips, and it made Jake grin through the kiss, knowing he had the means to please and tease his man.

In this he knew exactly what to do, just follow what he enjoyed when he was alone and jacked himself off. Tenderly grasping the shaft again, Jake marveled at the give of the loose skin that moved with his fingers. A sense of power sliced through him, of wanting to feel Dylan up until he made him cum. He could feel his boyfriend’s heart beating a mile a minute through the cock in his hand, the precum trickling over the head, and he let it coat his fingers.

Grasping the foreskin he began to pump slowly, his pinky finger occasionally skimming over his balls, the thumb circling the head and dipping into the slit, liberating more of his essence until it flowed freely from Dylan’s cock. It was almost as if he was in a dream, and he felt caught up in the euphoria, feeding on the groans issuing from his lover’s mouth.

Dylan could barely believe what was happening. His shy little boyfriend had his hand on his cock, his precum-lubricated fingers stroking him. Oh, god, it felt beyond enjoyable. It was magnificent, and he couldn’t help arching his back.

“Harder,” he husked, the fluttery strokes tantalizing but not enough to get him off. He rolled his pelvis, chasing the orgasm that was just beyond his reach. Jake was surprisingly adept at handjobs.

Jake wrapped his hand more firmly around Dylan’s erection, pumping in earnest. He could hear him breathing shallowly, and it was so arousing to Jake himself. He allowed himself to look into Dylan’s face and saw flaring nostrils as he forced breath into his lungs and the blown pupils of his unfocused, dark blue eyes. His mouth was slack with arousal, and the tendons in his neck went taut. Suddenly, he seemed to curl into himself. Jake felt his cock pulse, and with a hoarse cry of his name, cum spurted through the slit to cover them in silvery streams that diminished until the last one was just an ooze.

Guiding Dylan through such a forceful release was more than turning Jake on, it was…

“Dylan, touch me,” he screamed, loosening his own shorts as he felt his climax shimmering just out of his reach. Only a few strokes, that was all it would take. Just the fabric of his briefs sliding down…

But his man was there, his hand grasping Jake hard, sliding up and down on the smooth pole, twisting his wrist at the end to flick his thumb over the tip, and Jake was gone. “Dylan, oh Dylan.” It was a gasp of surprise and ecstasy.

Somehow he found himself lying in Dylan’s arms on the blankets next to the fireplace, and Dylan was smirking at him in glee. He was covered in semen from his thighs to his chest and soaked in sweat, his legs tangled in his shorts. He was so tired.

“You’re getting good at that.” Dylan touched his nose to Jake’s and held him tightly when at first the other boy gasped in embarrassment and then began to laugh weakly. He grabbed up his t-shirt to wipe themselves. Who would have known? Gently, their afterglows rocked them to sleep.

When they awoke, their cell phones said it was just after three p.m. but outside the cabin it looked much later. Dark clouds had gathered overhead, and in the distance they could hear the roll of thunder. A building wind whipped through the high pines with a mournful sound. Jake excitedly pulled Dylan up by his hands. They slipped into their shorts, and Jake snatched up a quilt to race out to the front porch where a slightly chipped wooden swing sat swaying in the wind. Jake swept blown leaves off the seat and dragged Dylan down with him.

“We used to have a lot of thunderstorms like this in Madera,” he stated enthusiastically. “The weather and change of seasons is about the only thing I really liked living up there. You could tell when winter was coming. Sometimes it was nice.”

“Do you miss living there?” Dylan asked, a bit apprehensive of his possible answer. “I mean, if your father would leave you alone would you go back?”

“No,” Jake answered, his face suddenly illuminated by a flash of lightning. “It was never my home, just a stopping place.” He looked at Dylan, all seriousness. “If I was in Madera, I never would have met you. You’re too good to miss.”

Dylan smiled to himself and turned his head away so Jake wouldn’t see the tear that escaped from his eye. “Yeah,” he agreed softly, “I wouldn’t have wanted to miss you either.” Jake understood the rapid change of mood and rested his head on Dylan’s shoulder. Cuddled under the blanket and shielded by the deep porch roof that protected them from the elements, the boys rocked and silently watched the storm approach in all its fury and majesty.

With the drastic change of weather, the expected evening temperature dropped fifteen degrees in a matter of minutes. Dylan decided to light a fire while Jake figured out how to work the oven. Not feeling up to preparing anything more difficult for dinner, they decided on chicken nuggets and french fries. Along with a simple salad of greens, they ate in front of the fireplace and watched the storm roar around them outside. Under the deep cloud cover, it was nearly dark by 6:30.

There was no television in the cabin, and the boys set up Dylan’s iPod to play tunes while they ate. Jake was walking around looking at pictures on the walls and spied a glass-fronted cabinet with a wealth of board games in it. The settled for an hour of Yatzee and two of Clue before they tired of Professor Plum and Miss Scarlet’s penchant for murdering people in the billiard room. It wasn’t much fun with only two players anyway.

The night seemed to close in on them after that even though it wasn’t even ten o’clock yet. The fire popped next to them, throwing comforting shadows around the room, and Jake was amazed at how familiar it felt to just be with Dylan. No rushing off to work, and day camp and Coach Abel were long forgotten. The same for their friends. Jake didn’t even think about the beach once or wonder what the surf was like.

Dylan had just put another log on the fire, and Jake yawned. “Are you ready for bed, baby?”

Blushing, Jake nodded but couldn’t look at him. The trip so far had been wonderful, but it was like a curtain dropping around him that brought back his unexpected shyness. Realizing that Jake had already made some serious strides in relaxing around him, Dylan took control.

“I’m kind of tired. Let’s not worry about anything right now and just go to sleep. What do you say?”

It was all Jake could do not to shout out a relieved ‘thank you’, and he went to pee and brush his teeth while Dylan found them pillows. Jake was ready for bed first, and when he lay down, he threw off his briefs. Turning off the lights, Dylan smiled when he climbed between the blankets in the living room. Even in the dim glow of the fire he could tell Jake was naked, and he completely undressed too. They spooned together, Jake in front with Dylan’s arms around him securely, and fell asleep.


Jake was having another one of his superb sex dreams about Dylan. He was lying in the softest bed as sunlight tried to peek around shaded windows. He couldn’t feel the gentle breath on the nape of his neck that he’d been subconsciously aware of all night, nor the strong arm he’d held to his chest, their fingers clasped together. All he was tuned in to was a solid presence between his thighs and his hard shaft tenderly lodged in the vacuum of wet and warm with a snake twisting erotically round the head, teasing with languid licks that were making his hips rock.

“Feels good,” he muttered to himself, the pulling at his groin now strong enough to make his hips lift off the floor. His eyes flew open, realizing in amazement that this was no dream. He could feel damp hands on his thighs under the covers, long bangs falling coolly against his abdomen and the most intense delight of his cock being sucked.

“Oh Jesus, oh god,” he cried. Dylan certainly knew what he was doing, and Jake’s back bowed in pleasure as another bob sent him to the root of his dick. One more like that, and there would be no holding back. No, it was too late—he could feel his balls drawing upwards, preparing to send molten cum through his cock. He tried to prepare Dylan.

“I’m… I’m, oh my god!”

A choked whimper from deep down rose in pitch and volume until it became a hoarse scream, and his groin punched upwards spasmodically. Blindly he reached out towards Dylan and grabbed hold of his head in a death grip. Sweat poured off his body, and he felt the first of several emissions gush into the waiting mouth. His cock seemed to have a mind of its own, but Dylan was methodical in waiting out his climax and then cleaning him completely.

Minutes later, Dylan appeared out from under the blankets, a huge grin covering his face, his lips flecked with cum. “Good morning, baby, how did you sleep?”

Jake took him by the shoulders and brought Dylan’s beautiful mouth down in a kiss, perfectly aware that the slightly salty taste on his tongue was his own essence. “I slept good and woke up even better.”

He rolled Dylan over and trapped him beneath his own body. “And now I’m going to return the favor if you’ll let me.”

When Dylan acted like he was going to refuse, Jake began tickling him under his chin where he was most sensitive. Tickling led to running the backs of his fingers around Dylan’s ear and across his jaw. Planting small kisses followed in their wake until he reached the spot where Dylan’s neck turned into shoulder, and he sucked and nibbled at the skin until he had a rather prominent love bite.

“And now I want it to be my turn,” he insisted. His face clouded. “But I’m not sure I know how.”

Dylan fought back a smile over how cute Jake looked with his pout, not wanting to hurt his feelings. He was so turned on by his desire to please. “As long as you watch your teeth, anything is better than nothing at all.”

Jake settled himself between Dylan’s legs and stroked his cock which was only half hard but plumping up nicely in eagerness. A drop of precum bubbled up from the tip, and Jake stuck his tongue out to taste it. It had a slightly bitter tang to it but wasn’t unpleasant. He looked at the rosy head with its curved bell shape and remembered a few boys in the locker room talking about getting head from their girlfriends and the instructions they gave. He swiped his tongue against the springy head, around the back and heard Dylan moan.

Okay, more of that, since his boyfriend liked it so much. Jake put the entire head in his mouth and sucked it. “Damn, Jake, that feels good,” he heard Dylan praise him in a low voice. He felt his hips thrust slightly, as if he knew he had to hold back but couldn’t help himself.

Jake kept circling the cockhead with his tongue, then became more adventurous and licked it from top to bottom. His mouth began to leak saliva, but this was supposedly a good thing and helped made it slide better into his mouth. He finally decided to try bobbing up and down and made sure to keep his teeth tucked behind his lips. He didn’t want to hurt Dylan.

“Try taking only a few inches at first,” Dylan husked, his eyes closed in concentration. “Use your hand on the bottom.”

The first push down, Jake was a little too eager and Dylan’s dick hit the back of his throat, tickling his gag reflex. Well, it was more of a tickle. It made his eyes water, and he decided not to do that again. On the second try he took in half of his cock and it wasn’t as bad. His hand slid upwards with the foreskin, and he soon found a rhythm that worked.

Better than worked. Dylan was moaning beneath him and petting his curly hair, lightly thrusting so as not to gag him. Jake couldn’t understand one single word he was babbling except his name every so often, but it was clear he was enjoying the blowjob. Jake was enjoying it too. Giving such pleasure to the man he loved was the biggest turn-on for him. He was even starting to get hard again.

The time came when he sensed that Dylan was getting close to his release. The soft pats on his head switched to tugging on his hair, and he was panting harshly, practically gasping for breath. His skin was flushed and damp with sweat, and his head was thrashing on the pillow. A cadenced dance propelled his hips upwards into Jake’s mouth, but he was still mindful of him, and Jake loved him for it.

“Oh, fuck yeah… so good— gotta cum,” Dylan moaned, the first plain words for a long while. “Try… to… try…”

Jake felt Dylan’s cock minutely swell in his mouth, and he was enthralled by the sight of his boyfriend losing control as he thrashed on the quilt and fisted it in his hands, the muscles of his abdomen rippling beneath the skin and his lips moving silently as if in prayer. God, Dylan was so beautiful he was glowing.

Jake was quickly overwhelmed by a mouthful of warm cream with nowhere to go but down. Dylan had swallowed his, so he might as well. It wasn’t half bad, maybe a slightly acidic flavor like musky seawater. Some escaped his mouth and dribbled down the corner of his lips, but for the most part he got all of it.

Then he wanted to laugh in glee for bringing Dylan off and the accomplishment of his first blowjob with someone he cared about a great deal. Dylan kissed him hard, and they wrestled around like children but with occasional kisses and hugs, and they fell asleep for another half hour. When they woke the second time, the sun was high in the sky and the day was getting hot.

Breakfast and showers over, Jake and Dylan decided to drive into Big Bear City and look around before they began their trek home. They cleaned up after themselves and tidied the cabin, taking special care that the food was safely put away. They had used very little of their gear so repacking was easy. The driveway was a muddy slide after the storm, but Dylan managed to get them safely onto the street. Hand in hand, they strolled through the town, oblivious to the stares, some of them ugly. When they got hungry again, they shared a large pastrami sandwich that hit the spot. By 2:30 they were ready to go, and suddenly their weekend was over.

(To be continued...)

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Love Unexpected Ch. 16

The Ice-Capades and An Exit Of Sorts, Part 2

It really wasn’t so much that she missed her as it was that Kelsey was the closest to her in age and one of only three females holding their own against all that testosterone. Eleven days after the Fourth of July, and Erin had quite forgiven, and nearly forgotten, the nasty remarks Kelsey had made about Dylan being gay. And she was curious about why Kelsey didn’t go swimming like the rest of her brother’s friends.

Kelsey was happy to hear from Erin… until the girl mentioned that the crew had spent the day at the Moore’s pool without inviting her. Luckily they were communicating by text message or her roar of rage would have assaulted sensitive ears. As it was, Kelsey counted to ten while taking deep breaths before she responded to Erin’s question. At least it didn’t sound as if any one had shared with her about the whole silly, overblown escapade at the skating rink. And if they did later on? Well the idiom was true- nothing ventured, nothing gained. If fortune smiled on her, by the time anyone else knew what she was up to, Jake Nielsen’s hold on Dylan would be exposed for what it was, and they would welcome her as the intelligent one who hadn’t fallen for his antics in the first place.

“Where were U 2-day?” Erin continued her text message.

Kelsey: “With rents + h8 2 C Jake fool Dylan.”

At that point Erin got on her cell and worriedly asked, “What do you mean you hate to see Jake fool Dylan?”

Kelsey was quite skillful with the younger girl and spun a tale for her that would’ve made an excellent plot for a cheesy paperback mystery. She wove concern for both Dylan and Marcus into Jake’s ability to blindside all of their good friends with his so-far-unsubstantiated story of misfortune at the hands of his family from up north. Dylan was so enamored with him he’d swallowed it hook, line and sinker, and poor Marcus- his own cousin, how terrible for him once he learned that Jake was feeding them lies! Jake was poison to everyone they held dear, but going to either boy without proof of the subterfuge would bring nothing but trouble for the accuser.

“Unfortunately, Erin, I’m going to be busy with activities my mom and dad planned for the family that I can’t back out of. I have to stay home, so I won’t be around to hang with you all for a few weeks. If only there was some way to know for certain that what Jake says is true. You know, evidence.”

“What kind of evidence,” Erin asked doubtfully, falling right into the trap. If circumstances were as dire as Kelsey claimed, Dylan and Marcus would be no help at all.

“What we need is someone who knows Jake from after he left Aleppo Park.”

“How, Kelsey? What difference would that make?” But Erin had her answer before the words were even out of her mouth. Kelsey wanted her to spy and report back. There was some enigmatic piece to this proposition that smacked of disloyalty and deceit to her, and she didn’t mean Jake’s deceit. It felt so wrong to go behind her brother’s back sorting out fact from fiction like some kind of detective in a crime novel. Lisbeth Salander, Erin was not.

Kelsey already had a smooth answer planned for any objection. “Since I can’t be there to keep a close eye out on Jake, I need another person else who cares about Marcus and Dylan’s welfare and isn’t afraid to do the right thing. Once they learn that Jake was lying to them, of course it’s going to hurt, but nothing like being kept in the dark and toyed with. I’m hoping the only one who gets their heart broken is the conniving Jake.”

She could feel Erin weighing the pros and cons and drove in the knife. “Erin, I’m not asking you to do anything illegal or morally wrong. Just keep your eyes and ears open. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. A telephone number, even a name would be helpful. Let me make the contact and decide what’s important.”

In the end Erin agreed. She considered and rejected that Kelsey might have an ulterior motive because if Dylan was gay, he’d have no sexual interest in her. What harm could be done by watching Marcus and Dylan’s back? If Jake was telling the truth, they would soon know. If he wasn’t, it was bound to come out too. And if she helped uncover the real story, her brother and Marcus would be grateful to her. She hoped.


The previous Friday had shown Jake and Dylan how much more time they got to share by carpooling to their day camp job. On Monday Jake drove to Dylan’s and picked him up for work. He was definitely happy that they were on the downside of the day camp. Three weeks left to go, and it would be the second week of August and almost time to return to college. Jake was looking forward to it despite the still unresolved questions about his father.

Without the pressure from Coach’s bigoted witch-hunt, the boys went back to their carefree kisses of departure in the parking lot, and if Abel pointedly ignored Jake in front of the rest of the assistants, that was his problem. Jake left with the rest of them for their lunch break and waited by his truck for Dylan to go to the park for lunch. It was Dylan who was tardy this afternoon, but not for any special reason, just talking to a parent of one of his swimming students.

“What time is it?” Dylan asked when he approached.

Jake pulled out his cell phone, wanting to groan and run his hands over the slim, muscled body in his black board shorts and a thrown-on t-shirt. Maybe they could eat faster than usual and catch up on kisses.

“It’s 12:19,” he answered. “Why?”

Dylan smirked. “I was just wondering how much time we had before we had to go back to work. I thought you might be getting tired of sandwiches for lunch, so it’s more of a collection of snacks and easier to eat.”

“Giving us more time for other things,” Dylan finished with a kiss. “I like how you think.”

And so it went the rest of the week until Wednesday afternoon.

At the close of the day, Jake was picking up equipment when Coach Abel sauntered up to him. “May I see you for a moment before you leave?”

Throwing a handful of baseballs he had gathered from the outfield into the storage tub, he thought that surely this bullshit had to be done at some point. Mr. Towers had dealt with the situation, or so he’d told Dylan. Maybe his boyfriend was misinformed.

He said none of this, however, and flashed a tentative smile at the man. “Sure, Coach. Let me make sure the bases are locked in the storage shed first.” A few minutes later he was standing in the room that was getting uncomfortably familiar. Ten minutes after that he was still waiting, strolling around to read the faded, out-of-date notices pinned and taped to the scarred walls. Where was the coach?

Coach Abel bustled in acting as if keeping people waiting was of no concern to him. Jake’s face fell but he kept it hidden and watched warily, awaited his next dressing down. But instead of yelling at him Abel looked embarrassed and defeated.

“I’ve been informed that I was out of line about asking you to curtail the time you spend with your… uh, boyfriend,” he said in a somewhat contrite voice. “I was asked to apologize to you for my remarks.”

Surprised, Jake used a few seconds to take it all in, reflecting on the terminology to realize that the man wasn’t actually saying he was sorry, just that he was parroting the words. He made sure his voice was steady. “No hard feelings, Coach,” he managed, holding out his hand.

Abel looked down at it with an expression of distaste and then back up at Jake before taking it gingerly and giving it a quick shake. Yeah, he could tell just how sorry the man really was, but there was no use making a big deal out of it. Like Dylan had said, camp would end in a matter of weeks, and Coach’s bigotry wouldn’t matter.

Abel sighed and dismissed him, and Jake loped off to the pool room showers, grinding his teeth in chagrin. The unpleasant meeting had used up twenty minutes of his time, and now he would be late getting ready to leave for the evening. Under normal circumstances Jake would’ve been already showered and dressed by the time Dylan entered the staff bathroom, but not today. As he walked through the door he was well aware that Dylan would be right behind him.

Sitting down on the bench, Jake removed his cleats and shortie socks. He flipped the combination on his lock and dumped his footwear inside, making sure the sweaty socks landed in the bag for dirty clothes. He pulled his towel, grooming kit and spare set of clothes out of the locker and headed for one of the curtained stalls. He was just beginning to pull off his camp t-shirt when he heard Dylan enter the bathroom.

Dylan was surprised not to find Jake waiting for him just outside the door of the staff showers. Entering, he listened to the sound of occupation and movement coming from one of the showers near the back of the room. He made his way in that direction and, as he drew closer, recognized Jake’s furry legs and high-arched feet from below the curtain’s twelve inches separating the bottom edge from the wet cement floor.

“Jake?” he called softly from just outside the opaque partition.

All week long Jake had been indulging in bouts of self-talk. Alternately scolding himself for his oversensitive reaction to Dylan jacking him off on Friday to reminders that nerves made early ejaculation the norm for the inexperienced, he had see-sawed back and forth emotionally for five days. One thing, however, was crystal clear. He would not allow his shyness to rule him a second time and give up another chance to be with Dylan. So he overlooked the fact that he was stinky and grimy when he heard Dylan outside his cubicle, and he did what any hot-blooded gay college student would do in his situation. His hand shot out threw the curtain and grabbed him by the elbow, and he hauled him in there with him.

Dylan’s surprised regard at being dragged inside shifted into a big grin, taking in the fact that, for a change, Jake hadn’t bathed yet. “Hey, I was wondering what happened to you. You’re late.”

“I’m sorry but I had to attend another coach meeting. This time he sort of apologized without really saying much.” Jake gave him the rundown, but he was beginning to feel the relief that came with knowing he wasn’t going to face intimidation on a daily basis. By the time he was finished he was grinning happily.

Dylan was staring at his barefoot, dust-streaked boyfriend with his sweaty golden brown curls plastered to his face, thinking he was just about the cutest thing he’d ever seen. Reaching out he cupped his chin.

“So maybe this calls for a congratulatory kiss,” he teased.

“I’m going to get you all dirty.” Jake’s objection sounded weak even to his own ears.

“Then I guess I’ll have to shower and wash your dirty off me,” Dylan answered, tucking his pool-dampened body into Jake’s arms and staring into the jade eyes. He lowered his mouth and swiped a pass over his lips.

Jake relaxed against Dylan. Lifting up on his toes, he drew his mouth to his and opened to meet his tongue. Letting them play together, slick and firm, the stirrings to Jake’s cock caused an instant arousal. Maybe it was the loss of oxygen, but his head was swimming by the bombardment to his senses and he moaned.

Dylan’s heart beat frantically, listening to Jake get into the kiss, and he tangled his fingers up into the messy curls. How he loved this boy! He was likewise feeling the throb in his groin that told him his own penis was struggling for room to lengthen and thicken, and he thrust against Jake with a gasp.

Jake was melting in Dylan’s arms. His dick was like steel in his jock strap, and he needed more. His boyfriend grabbed him by the ass and pulled him closer, and their erections slid next to each other. Even between the layers of fabric, the friction was intense, leaving no doubt they were both hard for each other.

“I want you so much,” Jake whimpered, giving in to his tortuous need to rock his hips into Dylan’s.

Dylan released him with a nibble on his bottom lip. “Hold that thought.”

He raced out of the stall and headed for his locker. Quickly sorting through the contents to seize his own cleansing products and clothes he jogged back to Jake. Once inside, he made sure the curtain separating them from the rest of the bathroom adequately covered the whole opening. Jake looked at his full hands and recognized what it meant.

“Don’t you think that’s a little risky in here,” he posed breathlessly. His eyes widened in slight panic but he couldn’t help but like Dylan’s idea.

“Number one, you’re the one who pulled me in with you,” Dylan reminded him with a gentle smile. “Number two, I’ve showered in this bathroom all summer, and like I told you, nobody ever uses it, Jake. Nobody but you and me.”

“Aren’t you worried that someone might see us?” Jake half-heartedly protested.

Dylan refused to let Jake try to pull back now. “Even if they thought to look for us, what are they going to see? My Honda in the lot and one shower running. It will be alright.”

Jake gave in to Dylan pulling him back in his arms, and he relaxed against the taller boy and let himself be reassured. All he wanted to think about was Dylan’s mouth on his and the rapturous pulses that enveloped his body when they were so close to each other. His erection which had never fully subsided tented his shorts, pressing iron-like into Dylan.

Dylan clasped the hem of Jake’s camp t-shirt and lifted it over his head. Sweat beaded in the coarse hair of his armpits and popped out all over his chest. Dylan dragged his tongue through the slickness across a nipple, and it shrunk into a tight peak, leaving Jake gasping. Sucking on it provided enough of a distraction for Dylan to begin working the fly of his shorts.

Jake’s hand closed swiftly over his boyfriend’s, tugging it away from his waistband in panic. “Are you trying to get us fired?”

Dylan held up for a few seconds of silence to let him settle. “Jake, please trust me, nobody will find out,” he urged quietly in his ear. “I love you and would never let anything hurt you. You know that, right?”

Jake did, and he let go of Dylan’s hand, allowing himself to be pulled in tighter by his belt loops. “What do you want me to do?”

“Nothing, baby,” Dylan whispered persuasively. “We’re going to take a shower together.”

Jake nodded. “Please, let me take off my own clothes, okay?” Looking into Dylan’s tranquil, smiling face, he felt nothing but reassurance. Dylan let go of him and stepped into the shower to turn on the water and adjust the temperature.

I can do this, Jake thought to himself, a blush warming his cheeks as he contemplated shedding his clothes in front of Dylan. I can get naked in front of my boyfriend.

Dylan noticed his distress and lack of confidence and loosened the ties of his own board shorts. “Jake.” He caught the jade eyes in his gaze and thought how adorable his shyness was. “At the same time. Just let go. Don’t think about it.”

One. Jake was counting in his head, telling himself it would be okay. It was just clothing. Two. He undressed with naked guys from his baseball team in the locker room all the time. Why was doing this in front of Dylan so much harder? Three.

He ripped the catch from his khaki twills and yanked down the zipper. His shorts and jock strap were shoved down together, and he kicked them off, the whole time keeping his eyes on Dylan’s face. Then he felt stupid as it hit him that for once he was allowed to look. To ogle and admire. His eyes dropped to his groin, and oh man! He wasn’t practiced in acknowledging what made a body beautiful, but Dylan had a beautiful body. He licked his lips.

Dylan was lankier-looking without clothes, with a strong abdominal structure and the muscular thighs of a swimmer. The summer tan on his torso acquired from teaching and lifeguarding stopped immediately two inches below his navel where it paled many shades lighter, only to resume just above the calves. He was completely shaved, even in the pubic area, probably a requirement for swimming, Jake thought. His hard cock was tapered, uncut and a little shorter than his own, the dark pink, bell-shaped head peeking an inch over the top of its ruddy foreskin and proudly displayed above a high, tight sac of round testes.

Even as he was checking his boyfriend out, Dylan was staring back at Jake’s crotch. “Gorgeous,” he mused with a soft smile on his face. “And all mine.”

Jake blushed and dipped his head to stare at his feet.

“None of that, baby,” Dylan admonished lightly, walking forward to kiss his hot cheek. He had never thought before what he would prefer in a lover, but now that he’d seen Jake, he realized he was his ideal. In all ways, he was perfectly proportioned. He had a compact body of tight muscles and the most beautiful ass. Neatly trimmed, light brown, wiry pubes, a circumcised slightly arched dick with a thin, smooth, dusky pink shaft and an oval head, and medium-sized egg-shaped balls.

Snagging his soap and shampoo, Dylan slowly backed Jake up into the shower, warning him to watch his step on the lip. The single shower head was a cooling blast after the heat of the afternoon, the water warm enough not to chill them but clean and refreshing. It streamed over their young bodies, soothing tension away as it rinsed off dirt and perspiration. Dylan put his arms around Jake’s upper body and held him close in a long, leisurely kiss that turned on the passion between them.

“I am going to make you feel so good,” he said, pushing Jake’s streaming hair out of his face.

Dylan poured a goodly amount of his favorite almond body wash in his hands and they began to roam everywhere on Jake’s back, starting with his wide shoulders and following to the center to identify each bone of his spine. They curled down to his narrow hips and wondrous ass which filled his palms when he gripped the perfect cheeks. So smooth, so strong. He couldn’t help himself; he pulled Jake’s pelvis forward until there was no space between their hips and ground into him. He noted Jake’s sharp intake of breath, but the boy made no move to get away from him. Good.

Jake squirmed in his arms, wanting more, and he found it when his hard cock slid alongside Dylan’s equally rigid member. It had the effect of an electric current charging through him, and he moaned. He’d never understood until now the sensual pleasure of being fully skin to skin with a lover. That was suddenly what Dylan was to him, his lover. Biting his lip, he suddenly clenched Dylan’s shoulders and closed his eyes in rapture. His dick might be situated a few inches below Dylan’s because of the height difference, but they were a perfect fit.

Dylan heard the moan and knew what it signified. His boyfriend was shimmying helplessly in his embrace, so responsive to their cocks slithering together in the water. Quickly he reached between their bodies with his soapy hands and grabbed both hard tools, forming a tight tunnel with his fingers. Up and down he rubbed and squeezed, the almond scent covering them, his thumbs occasionally circling the slits where precum welled and added to the slippery sensations. His own groans joined Jake’s song.

They settled into a fast, desperate rhythm, panting raggedly over the sound of the descending water. Nerve endings woke up as their cocks slid sinuously together between their supple bodies and Dylan’s fingers, drawing them towards the abyss. Dylan’s deep blue eyes locked on Jake’s green ones. Entwined in one another’s arms, thrusting, naked and thrashing, they fumbled for completion as if they were being driven out of their minds by desire.

Despite the water sluicing over him, Jake’s body was on fire. He whimpered as his spongy head surged again and again across the crown of Dylan’s. He was determined not to lose his load early this time, but his orgasm was rushing upon him faster than he could control it.

“Omigod, Omigod,” he chanted. His head dropped back on his shoulders, eyes clamped tight. He thought he might die from sensory overload. “Nnnngg, so good.”

“Jake… baby, I’m so…” Dylan whispered. He didn’t even get a chance to finish his thought. Arching his back, he cried out, the release he sought abruptly seizing him, and his balls began to spew bursts of cum over his hands, Jake’s cock and their stomachs. He couldn’t help falling against Jake as his knees went weak and his vision wavered.

Jake felt Dylan’s cock throbbing beside his and the jets of warm sperm coating them both. It was enough to hurl him into paradise, and he whimpered as he came. Blindly reaching out to grab the wall just in time, he felt Dylan careen into him and threw a protective arm around his torso to steady him. His own legs were rubbery, but he managed to keep them on their feet as the waves of climax rolled over him.

Dylan took two steps backwards and sagged against the shower tiles, pulling the other boy with him. The cooling water beat on them, washing the evidence of their fulfillment down the drain, and Jake collapsed into his arms as his eyesight began to return and his muscles quieted. He could breathe again.

“Jesus, Dylan, that was…” Wonderful, magnificent, the best orgasm he’d ever had? But he emerged confident and unafraid, refusing to let shame take the victory. “Thank you seems kind of lame, but… I love you, Dylan.”

Dylan kissed him with a smile. “I love you back, and you’re welcome. Now we better get cleaned up and out of here.”

They shampooed each other and quickly washed. Half an hour later they left the bathroom, still hearing shouts coming from the pool of children enjoying the lazy afternoon. Just as Dylan had said, nobody seemed to know they were even there, and they rode off into the late afternoon.

(To be continued...)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Love Unexpected Ch. 15

The Ice-Capades and An Exit Of Sorts, Part 1

Jake lay in bed the next morning listening to the sounds of his aunt’s family moving around downstairs to start their weekend. He felt like shit. No, not sick, not physically. He felt terrible about the night before. How ungratefully he had treated his boyfriend after the trouble he went to setting up their private time together, and then he had fled as if Dylan’s promises meant nothing to him. While he slept he had watched the evening’s events march by like a parade through his dreams, and they had led to some deep soul-searching. Well, that and his research.

After he left Dylan’s, Jake had plugged in his laptop at home to look up online information on sexual maturity, desire and libido. Forget Freud and all that other gobbledygook on the id and ego. That wasn’t what he was hunting for. It took several hours and deep determination to ferret it out, windows open all over the place on his browser as he jumped from website to website, but he found it at last. An EU-funded medical team, made up of various doctors from Denmark, Switzerland and Britain, had conducted a psychological study on adolescents and published some interesting statistics linking their life’s experiences to, uh… timing in bed. Security in childhood equaled fewer issues with sex later on. Not to mention that what Dylan had told him about his orgasm was true. There was nothing unusual about how quickly and easily Dylan had made him cum in his hand. Hell, some virgins didn’t even need for their cocks to be touched at all to send them over the edge. He should be lucky the rest of his body wasn’t so sensitive as to cause such embarrassment.

Some boys lost their virginity all at once. Others lost it in degrees. The first time going down on another guy or having someone suck you off. Letting your lover make love to you or initially topping someone else. His only foray so far had been the night before when a hand besides his own finally stroked his cock to a release that was so amazing he was getting hard again just remembering. Dylan had been so considerate and gentle with him, easing him past his hang-ups in a way that proved how much he loved him, and all Jake did was selfishly bemoan in own inadequacies.

Well, no more! Jake was determined to let loose a little, grow a backbone, and stop whining and allowing his anxieties to dictate his life. He knew one thing; if he didn’t get this under control it was going to rip him and Dylan apart.

He got up and showered, and it wasn’t long before he heard from his boyfriend. Apparently Sage and Kelsey had put their heads together and come up with the idea of ice skating in the afternoon. Noah, pitting the downfalls of angering his girlfriend and going without sex for the next week against appearing weak and led around by the nose in front of his friends, wisely opted for Sage’s plans. The rest of the crew was a little less enthusiastic.

“I don’t know how to skate,” Jake protested. Noah had texted Dylan who messaged Jake, and he’d responded with an urgent reply of “Are you crazy?” So Dylan called him and wasn’t getting much further.

“You mean you never did any kind of inline stuff as a kid?” he asked, surprised.

“The rollerblading craze was before my time, old man,” Jake teased. “I think Marcus wanted to hold a birthday party at a roller rink once when he turned eleven but only because the girl he liked in his fifth grade class was taking figure skating lessons so she could go to the Olympics. Aunt Pat had to explain the difference between the types of skates to him.”

“Ah, come on, baby, I promise I won’t let you fall down. It will be fun. Aren’t you even getting a little tired of surfing?”

“I should wash your mouth out with soap!” Jake exclaimed. “You know the OC isn’t known for its ice skating.”

“Don’t say it,” Dylan groaned, holding the phone away from his ear because he did not want to hear his friends’ oft-repeated mantra about how extraordinary the southern California beaches were.

In the end, Jake chose to not make an issue of the activity and decided it might be fun to have Dylan teach him to skate. Sure, gliding around to music while he struggled to stay upright on an oval of ice sounded like tons of fun. Balancing on a single blade that would just as soon dump him on his ass; oh, he could already hear the laughter. The only part he liked was knowing he would be in Dylan’s arms.

They arrived early for the afternoon session at the Ice Palace in Aliso Viejo, the only rink in the south county and staked a claim on a table near the food court before the middle schoolers took over the place. The Zamboni was still out on the floor, smoothing the icy surface. Since Erin had not returned from Disneyland, Marcus was a little grumpy. He only consented to go because Dylan was forcing it on his cousin. Who, as Jake reminded him so eloquently, said the only reason he was hanging out with the gang was because Marcus had chided him on ignoring them. If skating was compulsory for Jake, then the same was doubly true of him.

Luis, Noah, the twins and Kelsey joined them, having all arrived in one vehicle. Jake couldn’t help but notice that, while most of the group was dressed in jeans and t-shirts and armed with assorted pieces of cold-weather gear to protect their heads and hands, Kelsey was dolled up in tight black leggings, a short pink and black flounced skating skirt and a hot fuchsia, midriff-baring, spangled top with long sleeves. She carried her own ice skates in a zippered bag and threw off a superior air. When no one paid her any undue attention, she pouted.

They paid their skate fees, and Dylan led him to the rental counter where Jake prayed with all his might that they didn’t have a size ten and a half skate that would fit him. Naturally they did, and Jake pulled on the heavy, ugly boots and laced them tightly over the two pair of thick socks Dylan had suggested he bring to protect his feet against blisters.

He tried to make a joke. “I hope you know that the contract I signed with the college for my baseball scholarship probably contains a proviso that makes risky sports like ice skating illegal.”

“Risky sports?” Spencer scoffed loudly, unrolling his tall frame from the bench and flashing a huge smile. He, Dylan and the girls were all balancing on their skates like pros and exuded self-confidence. “What is so risky about skating?”

“Broken ankles,” intoned Marcus. He, Noah and Luis were eyeing each other apprehensively as he ticked off injuries one by one. “Skinned knees, frostbite, concussions, did I leave anything out?”

Noah piped up, “Don’t forget dismembered body parts because some fool didn’t see you laid out flat on the ice and ran…”

“We get the point, Noah,” Spencer said hastily as several others grimaced at the mental pictures.

“It’s not like sky diving, Jake,” this from Dylan. “All you have to do is learn to keep your ankles locked.”

Knowing he couldn’t sit forever and with an assurance he didn’t feel, Jake gingerly stood up for the first time. Instantly his ankles wanted to turn inward, and he felt the ligaments stretching. He winced a little, wondering how he was ever going to navigate around the rink without falling on his face. He heard Kelsey snicker in the background.

One fortunate part was that the skates didn’t slide at all on the floor, and Dylan pointed down at the thick rubberized pads of the food court. “It keeps amateurs like you a little safer so you don’t collide with a table and hurt yourself,” he appeased. He and the Caldwells passed amused looks over their heads.

“Can you imagine it being icy in here and carrying food?” Sage teased, rolling her eyes and dramatically miming a fall backwards with hands full. She giggled at the boys’ horrified facial expressions. “Crash test dummies, ice skating version!"

Noah had some important advice. “Just be careful at the entrance of the food court. People come flying in off the ice.”

“Good to know,” said Luis, pulling on a pair of navy blue gloves.

Kelsey wasn’t looking at anyone but Dylan and the verbal help being given to salve the reticence of most of the men was lost on her. “Dylan,” she purred. “When you get tired of Jake falling on his ass every three seconds, let me know and I’ll go a couple of laps with you. We used to have a great time here two- three years ago, remember?”

“It wasn’t my ideal of the perfect way to spend a day,” Dylan retorted evenly, ignoring the invitation. “But it wasn’t bad.”

“Wasn’t bad?” Kelsey rolled her eyes dramatically. “You used to do all those throws and stuff. It was lots of fun.”

“Throws? As in that figure skating shit?” Marcus’ eyes popped open and he glanced back and forth between his friend and Kelsey, for whom he spared not an ounce of friendship. The words were on the tip of his tongue to ask again precisely when Dylan discovered he was gay, but Jake interrupted him.

“I don’t plan to spend my entire afternoon falling on my ass.”

“Probably not.” The short girl was still gazing at him with a self-satisfied sneer masked in fake pity. “But all the same, some people take to it better than others. Some never do.”

Jake stared back at her and scowled. Oh, just bring it, girl. There was no mystery in why Kelsey wanted to go skating. Her attempts to lure Dylan away from him were so obvious, and he couldn’t believe how nobody else besides Marcus noticed her superficial behavior and simpering smiles. He was not going to put up with Kelsey flirting with his man any longer.

“Come on, let’s get this over with,” he said to Dylan, grabbing his hand and wobbling towards the edge of the ice just as a man on the loudspeaker announced that free skate was commencing.

It took him a good hour and painstaking trips around the ice in the slowest lane with a near tumble or two before Jake began to even feel even somewhat comfortable on his feet. Dylan was thorough in his instructions, showing Jake the basics of skating and making it look easy. It was anything but for the boy who was used to equalizing his weight on more than just a fraction of an inch’s width of metal jutting from the bottom of his foot. Dylan demonstrated how to use the angled ridge on the front of the blade as both a wedge to push into the ice to take off in a line and as a drag to slow him down and stop. Jake was intrigued by the way the edge really was knife-like; he could only go forwards and backwards with not slip to the side unless he cut sharply or picked up his foot and turned it.

Mostly he leaned upon Dylan and clutched at him desperately in the early stages, not that either of them objected. They giggled over his helplessness. Jake gave up any semblance of pride, realizing he had to put his trust in Dylan not to let go and skim away from him, and Dylan enjoyed playing teacher. Truth be told, the older boy lost himself in Jake’s vulnerability and the manner in which he clung to him so he wouldn’t trip. Dylan also savored the small triumphant glances Jake sneaked at him once his ankles adapted to the rigors of balancing on the sharp rims and he could move under his own power without losing his footing.

“You’re getting better at this,” he encouraged his smaller boyfriend, carefully letting go of his waist to take his gloved hand as they circled the floor. “More confident. See, you just need to listen to me when I tell you it will be okay.”

Jake smiled softly, his dimple deepening, knowing this wasn’t just about the skating.

In their insular moments of skating instruction, he had already apologized profusely for acting all emo and running out of the house the night before. Until Dylan tipped his chin up and, with a gentle kiss, told him to stop obsessing over it. There was nothing to forgive; it was the past, over and done with. Dylan didn’t even seem angry.

“Look, I understand, Jake. You are shy, it was a potentially awkward experience, and you didn’t know what the hell you were doing…” Jake turned beet red and shot him a semi-reproachful look, and Dylan hastened to add, “…which is a good thing, because it means I’m there first. I love being the only one to ever touch you like that.”

Jake had allowed Dylan to escort him to one of the far corners of the ice and hold him in his arms quietly. “I just want you to believe that it will get better. Trust me.”

“I do, Dylan, and I know it will.” He looked up the man who meant everything to him, his cheeks rosy with cold, and pecked at the corner of his lips. “I know I overreacted and being so new at this takes patience.”

“I will be patient, baby. Shit, I remember the first time I was with a girlfriend. It was a disaster.”

Jake cleared his throat noisily and shuddered. “Um, Dylan, if you don’t mind, I’d rather not listen to a girl-sex story.”

“Oh sorry, I wasn’t thinking.” Dylan squinted down at him with those azure eyes and a sheepish grin. And then they went back to being instructor and student in a sport neither of them truly wanted to participate in that day.

They went a few more rounds before Dylan used a small loopy jump and his momentum to swing around in front of Jake and glide backwards. He took him by both hands.

Jake stared at him in dismayed awe. “That’s just not right,” he huffed. “Here I can barely stand up in these damned things and you can skate backwards?”

“Jealous?” Dylan joked at his pouting.

“Easily, but this is nowhere near as fun as side-by-side,” Jake was willing to admit. He lowered his eyes coyly and pretended to shiver.

Dylan shook his head in mock-exasperation. “You are such a baby.”

He switched directions again and had gone to grab Jake’s fingers when Kelsey whooshed up from behind to plant her hands at Dylan’s waist and push him ahead of her into the skate lane. Windmilling frantically, it was all Jake could do to maintain his stability and not be knocked to the ice by the sudden change in momentum. Twisting out of her grip, Dylan veered off course with a dark look in the girl’s direction and sprinted back to his side to steady him.

“What the fuck is wrong with her?” Jake spat after taking several deep breaths to calm down. He was warmly nestled in Dylan’s arms with his nose pressed into fragrant woodsy scent of his hoody. “Is she trying to get me killed?”

“No, she’s just being Kelsey.”

Dylan decided the best thing to help Jake get over his scare was a large cup of steaming mocha, and they skated to the edge of the ice and stepped into food court. Noah and Sage joined them, followed soon by Marcus. The kids sat sipping hot drinks and watching the skaters in their colorful jackets, gloves and head coverings float by. With the near-freezing temperatures inside the rink, it was hard to imagine the hot sunshine of a mid-July day outdoors.

Jake was looking through the plexiglas divider and saw a familiar figure in hot pink whirl past on the ice, matching earmuffs holding some of her butt-length brunette hair in place. In that moment Kelsey spied most of the gang inside the food court and came to an almost instant stop, causing at least three other skaters to suddenly swerve around her to avoid a collision. They exclaimed over her lack of skating etiquette before realizing she just didn’t care when she jetted away, leaving them cursing in her wake.

She crossed onto the protective rug just ahead of Spencer and Luis and a few minutes later they were huddled around the table, all talking at once about their skating experiences.

“Dylan, can you teach me how to surf?” Kelsey asked him in a short lull in the conversation.

Everyone turned to stare at her and the voices died away. Jake looked down at the table with a rebellious gleam in his eyes, gripping his empty cup so hard he crushed it. Her callous insensitivity was seriously getting on his nerves.

“No, Kelsey, I don’t think that would be a good idea.” Dylan turned his head away, embarrassed. Why couldn’t she realize that she was never going to get what she wanted from him, and at this point every gesture on her part was not only pushing him away, but the rest of their friends as well?

“I’m done here,” Noah announced, gathering his and Sage’s trash from in front of him. “Let’s go skating.”

The kids were about to flow out when the announcer came on the mike and asked the crowds to clear the floor for couple’s skate. Kelsey slowed and waited for Dylan and Jake to catch up with her.

“Hey Dylan,” she called out to the tall boy with his blonde bangs falling into his mesmerizing eyes. “You haven’t skated with me all afternoon.”

He sighed and shook his head. Walking past her, he entwined Jake’s hand firmly in his. “No, I promised Jake already.”

Kelsey bit her bottom lip in annoyance. Damn it, the whole day was being ruined by Jake. No matter what she did, Dylan would not leave his side, and she was getting tired of playing the game his way. It was time to up the ante.

She twisted a smile on her face and turned to an unwilling Spencer, pulling on his arm. “Come on Spence, let’s go.” He smiled grimly and let her direct him into the weaving mass of couples circling the rink, followed by Noah and Sage. She took off like a shot. “Skate faster,” she yelled at him.

Two laps around the oval, and they were directly behind a slowly gliding and completely unaware Jake and Dylan. Spencer, like Jake, was on the outside, and Dylan and Kelsey held the inner lane. Maybe sensing mischief, Spencer frowned at her maneuvers and tried to slow down, but Kelsey had a mind of her own. Seconds before she struck, he realized what was up and yanked on her hand, hoping to guide her away from them. Instead, it just fueled her own plans where she dropped Spencer’s hand and grabbed hold of Dylan’s free one and pulled. Spencer had no choice but to careen into Jake, and they both went down, followed by a knot of young teenagers who had been right on their tails and couldn’t avoid the boys suddenly sprawled on the ice in front of them. With a victorious smile she flew down the floor with Dylan in tow.

Angrily Dylan threw her grasp of him off and made a fast circle in the middle of the floor to quickly return to Jake. In relief he watched his head pop up. He and Spencer both looked unhurt even though they were sitting among a pile of bodies, all of them tangled up in everyone else’s feet. Jake tried to rise as the other skaters skirted the area. Sage and Noah had zoomed over to help, and Luis and Marcus, who had been watching from the sidelines, joined them.

“I’m sorry,” Spencer was wheezing an apology to Jake as Dylan reached down to give him a helping hand up. “I had no idea what she was doing until it was too late.” Jake’s face was a mask of fury, but he nodded at him to show he forgave him.

“Esa chica es una malvada bruja,” an enraged Luis was rambling at nobody in particular. “Si no mantenerla lejos de Jake y Dylan va a causar más problemas y tal vez incluso conseguir alguien herido.”

Dylan didn’t remember much of his three years of high school Spanish, but some of it translated into Kelsey being an evil witch and causing trouble. He hovered over Jake who swore he was fine although his elbow was bleeding through his hoody. Spencer appeared winded and grabbed at his shoulder in pain, but none the worse, considering what could have happened.

“English, homey, English,” Sage automatically reminded the Hispanic boy with the red-streaked hair.

Luis, still wounded over being the unintended cause of the fight on the beach, was so agitated at the short girl he was sputtering. “I said, if we don’t keep her the fuck away from Jake and Dylan, somebody is going to get hurt.”

Everyone glared at Kelsey as she slid to a stop, her doe eyes wide in false innocence. “I am so sorry,” she lied. “I thought I saw Dylan trip and tried to grab his hand so he wouldn’t fall.”

Nobody believed her. Nobody answered her. Instead, Dylan balefully announced that he, Jake and Marcus were leaving.

Jake stood at his full five foot ten inches and glared down at her, seething. Although he wasn’t showing it, the skating stunt had rattled him because it showed how desperate she was to walk all over him or anyone to get her way. It wasn’t that she was oblivious. She simply didn’t care that she was intruding where she had no right, and it seemed to include stealing Dylan from him if necessary. Well, Dylan wasn’t hers and never would be.

“I have tried to be nice, Kelsey,” he raged caustically. “I have gone out of my way to not piss you off for your sake as well as your friends’. Now, I’m telling you. Keep your fucking hands off my boyfriend.

“That won’t be a problem anymore,” Sage hissed, looking right at her. “We are so over this.” She looked at the rest of the crew. “Does everyone else want to leave too?” They nodded, and she grabbed Noah’s and Spencer’s hands and stormed past Kelsey to lead them off the ice.

“What?” Kelsey gulped, not understanding why none of them thought her little prank was cute.

“Save it, princess,” Marcus muttered and skated to the food court after them.

“Dylan?” she tried, desire and disbelief tricking her into believing she didn’t see the disgust in his eyes.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do this,” he stated, twisting to face her as he put a protective arm around his trembling boyfriend. “This is going so far it borders on obsessive. Jake and Spencer are lucky they weren’t badly hurt, and it would have been all your fault.” They turned and left her on the ice alone.

Well shit.


The next morning Dylan woke up at nine to already scorching temperatures in the mid-eighties and climbing humidity. It was guaranteed to be a triple-digit day. If the weathers pattern kept up, they’d be in for some serious thunderstorms by the end of the week. The beaches were going to be packed, and he meant what he said the day before to Jake. He was getting a little bored with surfing and needed to cut back for a week or so. What he really wanted to do was float around the pool with his boyfriend all day, but that was selfish, seeing as how the rest of the gang would be suffering just as much in the heat. So he arranged for everyone to show up at his house to swim. Everyone but Kelsey.

“Don’t worry about her,” Sage told him by cell. She had phoned him after he texted her with the invitation. “What she did yesterday was so over the top. How’s Jake?”

“He was shook up a little, but he’s mostly okay. He scraped his elbow and knee and feels a little sore.” They had eaten an early dinner with the Walkers who were very concerned when Jake told them about the pile-up. “How is Spencer?”

“He has bruises all over him from those kids falling on him. Mom and Dad freaked out when they saw him last night. They said they don’t want Kelsey hanging with us anymore. Luis is right, she doesn’t seem to know when to quit.”

Dylan had to laugh at how the usually-despised parental edicts could be useful for keeping Kelsey out of everyone’s hair. He didn’t care what it took. Kelsey’s jealousy knew no bounds. Jake had explained to him how scary it was that she was taking no responsibility for her outrageous behavior, and it was plain she hated him. Dylan had to agree and promised that he wouldn’t force him to socialize with her in the future.

There were no arguments from anyone else either. Noah brought Sage and Spencer whose shoulder, legs and upper back were blotched with purple-blue contusions. The other four boys looked at the large one between his shoulder blades and declared it was in the shape of a Tweety Bird, big feet and all. “I tawt I taw a puddy tat,” Sage joked of her brother.

So it was that the seven remaining college students had a wonderful afternoon trying to stay cool in the heat, and Dylan’s sister and parents returned from Disneyland to find a house full of guests, and nobody missed Kelsey at all.

Except for Erin.

(To be continued...)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Love Unexpected Ch. 14

See Kelsey…

The next evening the crew decided to meet at the beach for some late surfing. Dylan had called up his friends, worried because Jake was so down in the dumps after his confrontation with the coach and thinking that being around them would get him out of his funk. It wasn’t just at work; Jake was pulling back from him, and Dylan was afraid that the latest round of bigotry was going to make him start questioning everything about himself and why other people victimized him so much.

Dylan had already requested and received a copy of his assistant’s contract from the center and went over it with a fine-toothed comb. Then he showed it to his father who was just as angry when he explained what Coach was trying to do to Jake. Nowhere in the writing could they find a clause about community role models and how they were to conduct themselves outside of day camp hours. His father told him that if the behavior by one couple was going to be judged, then similar behavior by the others needed to be just as circumspect and held to the same rigid guidelines. It was all bullshit on Abel’s part because he didn’t like their relationship, and Mr. Moore declared that if the boys couldn’t fix this on their own, he was going down to the center and filing a discrimination complaint.

Back from vacation, Kelsey couldn’t wait to see Dylan. She had gone to Texas with her mother and father to visit both sets of grandparents and had the time of her life. Through it all she couldn't keep her mind off the tall blonde man back home and told her numerous cousins how he was her boyfriend, but most of them knew her well enough to see through the charade. Their skepticism made no difference to her. She’d spent hours tanning in the hot San Antonio sun until her skin was a glowing bronze and she was wearing a new bikini that showed off her curves to their best advantage. She returned home to Aleppo Park determined not to let anybody stand in her way.

Kelsey was one of the first people to arrive at the beach and pulled her vegetarian Chipotle burrito out of the bag, wondering why everyone around her was acting so strange. When Sage and Spencer picked her up they kept darting nervous glances at her as she regaled them with stories of Texas and how glad Dylan would be when he found out she was back. When she asked what was wrong Sage just shook her head and her brother smirked. Now it was Noah who was struggling not to laugh, and it didn’t appear to be over something anyone had said to him.

“What?” she asked him, but he just grinned, told her it was nothing and looked out into the water.

Across the way, Marcus Walker, whom she recognized by his build and unkempt hair, was making his way towards them with some girl she couldn’t identify from the distance. As they got closer she saw it was Dylan’s little sister, Erin. Hmm, so maybe in her absence they had begun going out together? That was okay with her. Kelsey and Erin hadn’t moved in the same circles at school where they were a year apart, but she’d been nice to the girl because of their mutual connection. In any other dimension Kelsey wouldn’t even give her the time of day, but it was definitely a friendship she needed to maintain to stay on Dylan’s good side.

Where was Marcus’ cousin, Jake? They were always together. Kelsey felt this warm happiness burst inside her, hardly believing her luck if stupid Jake Nielsen was already history and choosing not to hang with them anymore. Maybe the information she had given Dylan about Jake having a crush on him had started a fight, and the group had kicked him out. Careful, she told herself, it was only one outing, so don’t get your hopes up. But come to think of it, where was Dylan?

“Hi, Kelsey,” Erin called out, running up to her. “Everyone said you went on vacation.”

Kelsey and Erin made polite conversation for a few minutes as she revealed facts about the trip she’d taken. Luis arrived and set down his surfboard near the others, also shooting her a shrewd glance. This was getting freaky.

A few minutes later, it was as if the air around her began to throb. Her friends seemed to intuitively retreat, sort of in communal expectation, getting ready to duck out of the way. Nobody actually stopped what they were doing, but all the same, the atmosphere held its collective breath. Kelsey happened to glance towards the lot and froze.

Dylan had arrived… with Jake. His Ranger pulling into the parking space caught her attention, and she stared at them while they got out and held a brief discussion, gesturing about the boards and gear in the back. They finally decided to leave it behind and trotted towards them empty-handed but for their McDonalds food.

The two began to horse around in some kind of agility competition, tripping each other up in the sand. Jake purposely careened into Dylan who stuck out his foot, but the smaller boy was too savvy and avoided it, grabbing Dylan around the waist to fling him sideways. The blonde stumbled almost to his knees before righting himself and charging him. Back and forth they went, their movements full of mischief and playful, without a care in the world, but strangely intimate.

Dylan must have decided to end it because he whirled around to pick Jake up and tossed him over his shoulder, yelling like a madman. “Put me down,” she heard Jake demand with a laugh, and when Dylan dumped him back on his feet, he kissed him lightly on the lips.

Dylan. Kissed. Jake.

Oh no, no, no. Kelsey thought she must be dreaming… or stuck in some nightmare. But there could be no doubt of the truth when Dylan took Jake’s hand firmly in his own and intertwined their fingers to lead him the last couple of steps around the boards. They heartily greeted the group of teenagers on their towels eating dinner who waved back, one eye on the couple, one on her.

Dylan wasn’t gay, she screamed inwardly. Yeah, Jake was, but not her Dylan.

But why, then, were they holding hands. Why the kiss? Dylan was gazing at Jake the way she had always dreamed he would look at her, like the boy was his everything and nobody else mattered. It was so wrong, so conniving of Jake, and poor Dylan just fell into it because he was a nice guy and so naïve. That had to be the answer. She didn’t know how he’d done it, but in the space of the sixteen days of her absence Jake had managed to convince Dylan that he was gay too.

This was so fucked up that Kelsey wanted to throw her dinner in their faces and jump up and down in hysterics before grabbing Dylan’s hand and spiriting him off where nobody would ever find them. Or rush Jake and rip his curly hair out of his goddamned head. She wanted to sink the plastic knife that came with her food into his chest as his blood spilled all over the sand while she just stood over him watching him die.

Jake noticed Kelsey right away and his spirits fell. Damn, she had returned. He honestly hadn’t missed her one iota and secretly hoped she would do all of them a favor and stay at whatever place her parents had taken her off to for the previous two weeks. That was sadly not to be.

He stared at her, wondering what she would do for her next move. She stared back at him, her mouth open, struggling not to give in to her need to cause drama. Moreover, behind all the innocent smiles directed at his boyfriend, murder was brewing in her eyes. It made him feel only slightly better that the plans she had hoped to set in motions for her and Dylan had been shoved, screaming, out the proverbial window.

Dylan felt the hostility radiating off the small girl but decided to be polite anyway. “Hey, Kelsey, when did you get back?”

“Two days ago,” she said evenly. Her universe had been turned upside down, but she couldn't let anyone know. For now she settled on numbness and pretending that she didn’t care. She remembered that night five weeks before when she’d accused Jake of keeping her off Dylan’s yacht and Sage’s dire warning; she absolutely could not risk an outburst against Jake that would bring her expulsion from the gang. She almost literally bit her tongue and fixed a smile on her face.

Despite her nonchalance, Dylan could almost see the thoughts crashing through Kelsey’s head. Oh, this was not good. Every once in awhile she would flick him a look of quiet desperation, and he might have felt sorrier for her if she hadn’t also been glaring at Jake with so much jealousy and hatred, it marred her face. She hadn’t been around to witness the birth of their relationship, but she would have to be a fool not to see the changes, and her rapidly shifting emotions worried him. Kelsey had the ability to cause real trouble for them, and the one who would be hurt the most was Jake. Nobody, not even this girl, was going to be allowed to get that close.

It took them another fifteen minutes before everyone’s meals were squared away. Jake and Dylan had purchased chicken nuggets and french fries and were, gag, feeding them to each other with Jake perched in his lap and laying his head affectionately on his shoulder. Dylan put a fry halfway in his mouth, and Jake swooped in for a kiss, biting off a piece. They traded back and forth for a few minutes, but Jake kept throwing her confused glances. Finally he leaned in to say something in his boyfriend’s ear which Kelsey didn’t hear. The playful banter soon stopped and Jake moved off to Dylan’s side.

What Kelsey couldn’t make out was Jake’s careful warning about her. “Hey, Dylan, Kelsey looks really pissed at us, so maybe we should save the PDA for later?”

Dylan laughed. “PDA?” What’s that? It sounds like a degree.”

Jake flipped a french fry at him. “You know very well. Public display of affection, and it’s so not going over well with her.”

Dylan sighed, carefully hiding his irritation from Jake. It was bad enough that his boy no longer would kiss him before or after their sessions at day camp, but even their lunch hours had become strained. Jake was convinced that Coach Abel was spying on them and would use their picnics as an excuse to fire him. And now he wasn’t even allowed to kiss and hold Jake away from work when his body was craving him so badly that he ached. Because of the envy of some girl who didn’t even matter? This was crazy talk.

Jake took in Dylan’s silence and realized he was angry. He loved Dylan, he really did, but his whole body was on overload right now. Overwhelmed, like a throbbing nerve too close to the surface. Everywhere he turned people were hating on him for being gay and, more specifically, for his feelings for this man. His father he could escape, but the dealings with his coach made his head ache. Then, along came Kelsey back from vacation to glare daggers at him. He could see her wishing him dead with her eyes, and the intensity scared him. Why did being with Dylan have to cause so much turmoil?

He dipped in towards Dylan with another soft kiss on the cheek and begged, “Please, I don’t want to antagonize her.”

If Dylan usually had problems saying no to Jake, he really lost it when he got that sad puppy look in his green eyes. It was a matter of picking his battles, and giving in for now was better than losing outright. “Okay, for you I’ll dial it down. I don’t want trouble with her either. Now, let’s hit the water.”

Everyone but Kelsey grabbed their sticks and headed for the waves, even Erin. Kelsey had heard comments through dinner that Marcus was teaching her how to surf and recalled how Dylan had tried to talk her into learning a couple summers back. She hadn’t been interested in spending all that time in the water on some floating piece of fiberglass, looking like an idiot as her tan and hair got wrecked. She wondered if the offer was still good and anticipated the idea of getting Dylan alone and proposing he teach her now.

Marcus was sitting the lineup with the rest of them, watching in pride as Erin kicked her board off the corner of a nice barrel and maneuvered herself into a full stand for a few seconds before falling off.

“So, She-Devil returns,” he muttered to Jake as the gentle swells lapped at them.

Jake turned pain-filled eyes to his cousin. “Tell me about it. Damn, just once I’d like for something to go right, you know?” he sighed. He had already told Marcus, Pat and Avery about what was happening at the center, and they were as angry as Dylan’s father, ready to go down there and kick some ass.

“Are you and Dylan having problems? Because if you are, I’ll…” Marcus watched just inside where the sets washed into soup as Dylan congratulating his sister on her quickly-emerging skills as a surfer. There was nothing grom about her style.

“No,” Jake was hasty to say. “I think we’re good, but he doesn’t like what Coach is doing either. It’s everything. My dad’s homophobia, and him and Mom getting divorced. The threats at work, and Kelsey being so damned spiteful and resentful.”

“Ah shit, Jake, everyone has a bad day now and then,” his cousin soothed. “Yours just got bunched up all at once, but it will get better. Don’t freak out on Dylan. Even though I’m not into guys, I can see how much you mean to him. I notice him looking at you, and it’s like he’s lit up from the inside. I have never, ever seen him so gone on anyone the way he loves you, and I’ve known him for almost four years.”

“Thanks, bro, that means a lot to me,” Jake choked out, slapping fingers with Marcus. He smiled, admiring Dylan’s beautiful body and how the salt water on it dazzled in the sunset as he paddled back out towards them. He’d heard it with his own ears, even if it wasn’t from his boyfriend’s lips. Dylan was in love with him.

Marcus was right, he was lucky to have him, and whatever was going wrong could be fixed. He had to stop stressing on every little problem, trying to be so damned self-sufficient and let Dylan lend him the strength and security he needed. Kelsey would always be a bitch, and they would have to put up with her until she either changed, doubtful, or pissed Dylan off to the point where they stopped hanging with her. He hoped it was sooner rather than later.

Dylan aimed his stick over a rising swell, but it had a bit of a lip on it that hit him right in the face. On the other side, he suddenly found himself in the line next to Jake. His boy’s eyes were sparkling like freshly mown grass, and Jake reached over and grabbed him by the arm to bring him in close.

Jake needed to make up to his boyfriend for the misunderstanding earlier and nothing said ‘I’m sorry’ better than a kiss. Although it was hard to keep still on their boards, he nevertheless lifted up in front of Dylan and pressed against his mouth gently. Dylan grabbed him by the waist to secure them tighter and felt Jake’s lips part. His tongue dove into the familiar cavern and found Jake’s. He tasted salt water and a slight sweetness left over from their dinner drinks.

Jake moaned into Dylan’s mouth and wrapped his arm securely around him, not even caring if the swells pulled him off his board and into the sea. All he wanted was this man. He heard him groan back, and the kiss exploded between them as their mouths locked together in bliss and sensation. His other hand came up and cradled Dylan’s jaw, and the loving warmth that passed between them did their talking for them. They ignored the snickers around them and the good-humored admonishment from somewhere off to their distant left to ‘get a room, guys’.

Kelsey wouldn’t have known from the distance one surfer from another except for the two who were floating so close together they looked as if they sitting were on the same extra-wide board. It was disgusting. Jake and Dylan were sucking face like stupid high school crushes, like they were the only two people in the world. She was not going to stand for them. There had to be some way to break them up because she couldn’t bear to be around Dylan if Jake was there too. The new kid had to go.

The sun was just going down in a blazing ball of salmon gold when the surfers began filtering up from the shore. Marcus and Erin were the first to arrive and walked to the outdoor showers, stripping off their wetsuits. A few minutes later Erin returned alone, seeing as Marcus was fastening the surfboards on the rack attached to the top of his car so they wouldn’t get sandy again.

“So your brother is a fag?” The words impulsively popped out of Kelsey’s mouth without her permission and, once said, could not be taken back.

Erin narrowed her eyes. “Yes, Dylan is gay,” she ventured. “What’s it to you, bitch?”

“Nothing, I’m sorry,” Kelsey purred, all full of fake remorse. “Really, I shouldn’t have said that. I was being rude.”

“Rude doesn’t even begin to cover it, so don’t try that shit with me,” Erin said between clenched teeth. “You think I don’t see through you? You meant every word.”

“I’m so sorry, but I honestly didn’t.” Kelsey tried to backtrack. “I hear other people that I know use it, and it’s turned into a very bad habit. I’m just surprised, especially about him and Jake hooking up.”

Erin still wasn’t completely convinced. “You better watch out what you say about my brother, Kelsey, especially to me. And as far as he and Jake go, that’s their business. I think they’re cute.”

Kelsey snickered and Erin went on. “Anyone who goes to the lengths to make Dylan happy like Jake does is alright with me. I know you’re jealous because you wanted him for your boyfriend, but as you can see, he made his choice. You need to either get out of the way or get lost.”

Kelsey turned the biggest smile she could muster on Dylan’s sister. “For your information, I am not jealous,” she cooed, “but I have my doubts about Jake. He showed up here out of nowhere in May with some fucked up shit about pretend trouble with his dad, and we never did learn the details. The first thing he does is latch on to your brother. I may not be what Dylan wants, but I can plainly see that Jake is using him.

“And who is to say what really happened up in Madera or Merced or wherever he came from?” Kelsey widened her eyes dramatically to let anxiety for Dylan pour off of her. “Maybe he’s lying. Maybe he caused it. He might even be in trouble that’s his own fault and running from somebody he fucked with. Nobody will listen to me when I explain that Dylan could get hurt because he’s such a sweet guy and too trusting. People take advantage of boys like him, Erin. Jake is very smooth and has everyone wrapped around his finger. I’ve done my best, so if they want to hide their heads in the sand, let them.”

Erin looked troubled for the first time. She hadn’t been around Jake anywhere near as long as the rest of them, so she couldn’t answer to any of Kelsey’s challenges. Maybe what the tiny girl said was true. She had no idea if Jake was a trouble-maker hiding behind some hard-luck story. On the other hand, he was Marcus’ cousin, and the two boys were very close. She really liked Marcus, and she was afraid if she said anything negative about Jake, he might get angry at her. It was all so confusing, and she didn’t have anyone to talk to about this new dilemma. Erin would have to think carefully about what to do next before checking this out with either of them.

Kelsey noted the baffled frown on Erin’s face, giving signs of her inward battle, and smiled to herself. Mission engaged. The satisfactory end of it could wait another day.


It was Thursday and Jake was just getting ready to leave for lunch but had to help one of the players work the knots out of his cleats. He felt a shadow pass above him and looked up to find Coach Abel standing next to him.

“Jake, may I see you for a moment before you leave?”

Coach’s need to ‘see him for a moment’ was occurring with alarming frequency. After every session, morning and afternoon for the past three days, he had been summoned for the short chats over nothing other than to listen to inane observations that could have been handled just as easily with a quick question or two out on the field. Coach also stared at him all the time during drills with a scowl on his face and never had a good word to say to him anymore.

Someone, and Jake had no doubt who was behind it, had also taken it upon himself to gossip about Jake and Dylan behind their backs, and all of the day camp employees seemed to be aware that they were more than just friends. A few coaches and assistants decided to act like assholes and weren’t shy about sharing their judgments, but Jake used the skills he learned from his altercation with Tony to overlook their harassment. It all appeared to be a clever guise for intimidating him without explicitly doing so, and Jake was determined not to let the man get to him.

Keeping his head down, Jake rolled his eyes to himself so nobody else noticed. “Please give me a moment to help Maury here with his shoes.” He finished picking apart the tangled laces and gave the child a big smile and a pat on the head before walking to the baseball office. “Yes, Coach?”

“We have some problems.”

For the next thirty minutes the man talked about the players’ stats and berated him for teaching methods that had been perfectly fine up until the week before. Jake knew exactly what the coach was trying to do but let him finish.

“Sir,” Jake protested hotly when Abel finally fell silent, “these are the identical exercises I have been practicing with the boys since the start of camp, and all of us assistants do everything the exact same way. I’m not even the one who set up the drills; Manny and Evan organized them during their training in May. If there’s a problem, maybe one of them could help you understand better.”

The coach glared at Jake trying to decide if he was flouting his authority but could find nothing insolent in his demeanor. Jake stood there quietly, his back straight and gaze level, and both of them recognized the criticism for what it was. Seeing as how Jake was not going to bow to his will, Coach sighed and dismissed him.

Damn, now he was late for lunch- again, Jake thought. He scurried to the parking lot to find Dylan missing and hoped he’d gone ahead to their private spot. Sure enough, his boyfriend was there.

“I got held up by the coach again,” Jake called angrily through the bushes, kicking at a rock. “This is getting ridiculous.”

“Is it the same as all the rest? Just worthless complaints to keep you on edge?”

“No, it’s worse because now he’s questioning my teaching skills. I used to love working here, but now I can’t wait until camp is over.”

“Please don’t let it mess with you, okay?” Dylan begged, pulling on Jake’s hand, guiding him down to perch in front of him on the striped blanket. “We’re more than half-way finished with camp, only three more weeks left, and then his opinions won’t matter to anybody.”

“I know,” Jake sighed. “But I was hoping to get a good commendation from him for the future. Like, in resumes and even next year at college to help me get a spot on the team. Coach will never give me a fair chance now.”

Dylan refused to be pessimistic and wrapped his arms soothingly around his boyfriend. “His is not the only recommendation that counts. The parents fill out survey cards, and the admin guys have a say. We also get graded by the other assistants.

“I guess so.” Jake shook his head morosely, and his hair tickled Dylan’s chin.

“It’s awful he’s being such an ass, but it’s not the end of the world,” Dylan urged. “You know I have your back, baby.”

Jake held Dylan closer and smiled into his chest at the endearment, the first he’d ever used.

“I love you,” he whispered.

Jake went completely still realizing what he’d said. So many times he’d wanted to shout out those three words so Dylan and the rest of the world would know exactly where they stood, but he’d always hung back, afraid he was rushing the other boy. He just kind of blurted them unintentionally, without thought or warning. He guessed it was a good thing that they came up so naturally now and not in the heat of sex, but still, he was worried about Dylan’s reaction.

Dylan’s fingers sifting through the coarse strands of Jake’s hair went still and he felt tears well up in his eyes. He had longed to hear the man he loved declare his feelings, and now he was no longer afraid to share his own. “I love you too, Jake.”

Food forgotten, Jake attacked Dylan’s mouth and knocked him flat on his back. Tongues sucked and tangled, Dylan’s hands palmed his back and shoulders to cling to him as if he wanted to get underneath his skin. It had been nearly two weeks since they started going out as a couple. Even though he had never been in a relationship before, and he was nervous about the What Comes Next, each passing day showed Jake that being with Dylan wasn’t a mistake.

It was the most astonishing part of his life. He tried to swallow his increasing fear of showing off his body and having sex because it made him feel stupid and immature. Sometimes he even wondered what Dylan saw in him. He knew he would never force him into anything he wasn’t ready for, but it was like they had reached a plateau and either they climbed higher or fell off.

Dylan held Jake’s face in his hands and kissed him speechless. Kissing, stroking arms and faces, he wanted so much… more? Better? Deeper? It was hard to describe, but what they shared now, while sweet and powerful, wasn’t enough. He knew their relationship was still new, but he couldn’t help but ache for his beautiful boyfriend. More and more he desired to be with Jake in a bed somewhere safe and concealed from other people where they could explore their passion and love for each other. But how did two guys get solitude when you didn’t live alone and had to follow household rules? Somehow he had to find an isolated place with enough privacy to teach Jake that losing his virginity to the right person was a glorious experience and not to be feared.

Their passion made them both so hard and needy. Dylan badly wanted to touch him or at least grind together, but they were too much out in the open. After what Jake had shared about his coach, Dylan wouldn’t put it past him to follow them into the park or make something up… anything to get Jake in trouble and kicked out of the program. They were going to have to be doubly careful until the situation was dealt with. But it was so hard to resist his sweet little boyfriend whom he adored with all his heart. He loved only him and once again they had to pry themselves apart and focus on nutrition before returning to the torture of separating.

Dylan or Coach must have said something to the top bosses because half an hour after the beginning of the afternoon session Mr. Towers arrived, sitting quietly in the bleachers and watching the assistants working with the campers. At first Jake was jumpy from the scrutiny, but he soon forgot the administrator was even there. He settled down into the familiar routine of throwing, catching and base positions and how to get that extra few feet out of a batted ball that could make a difference between a run and an out. At some point Mr. Towers walked down behind the backstop to converse with Coach, and presently the assistants also were questioned… all but Jake. Whatever the outcome of the discussion, Coach Abel didn’t look happy, and Jake wasn’t asked to stay after for a change.

Dylan ran up to him in the parking lot and he had a big smile on his face. “You’re cleared, I think,” he called to Jake.

“How do you know?” he asked. He struggled to control his elation in case Dylan was wrong.

“Mr. Towers stopped by the pool on his way to the office and said not to worry about Coach. Someone got in his shit, and it all worked out for the best like I said it would.”

Jake pulled Dylan into a tight hug, grinning so hard it hurt. “Thanks. You are so awesome.”

Dylan kissed him on the tip of his ear. “I have a surprise for you.”

“What,” asked Jake, squirming a little because this all seemed too good to be true and he was still afraid Coach would leap out at him from behind a parked car; that was how unnerved this whole encounter had made him.

“Well,” Dylan drawled, unlocking the door of his Honda. “My parents are taking Erin and meeting up with friends tomorrow to go to Disneyland. I can’t go because we have day camp meetings in the morning, but I was wondering if you wanted to come over to the house afterwards and hang with me.”

Alone, Jake reflected. They would be alone. He felt his face turn red because there was no doubt what being alone with Dylan would mean. Time to spend with his love, and no outdoors, no Coach or parents, no Marcus. He tried to downplay his nervous-as-hell overreaction because this was exactly what he had been dreaming of for the past week. Except…

Dylan was continuing with his encouragement. “Finally, we’ll have a house to ourselves all evening. Maybe you can even stay the night if your aunt and uncle are, you know… okay about it.”

“I could try,” Jake said shyly. He knew they would get naked together and touch each other. They might even have sex. Oh god, was he ready for this? Dylan seemed to think he was or he wouldn’t be asking him over like this was the greatest gift in the world. He wanted so badly to please him, to throw off this last vestige of childhood and step out and be a man. When he didn’t have to focus on the details the idea turned him on. It sounded incredible. It sounded… scary.

Dylan was so lost in the fantasy of making love to Jake that he didn’t even notice how quiet he’d gotten. He proposed that Jake drive over to his house in the morning and they’d go to work together. His family was leaving early too to avoid lines. The day camp meetings ended at twelve, and the rest of their day would be free. What could Jake do but agree?

“Pack a bag tomorrow, just in case,” Dylan whispered in his ear as he gave him a hug goodbye. “I’ll text you later.”

“Okay.” Jake freed up a bright smile and looked in Dylan’s eyes. “I love you.”

Dylan nipped his earlobe. “I love you too, baby.”

Jake arrived home from camp in a better mood than he’d been in all week. He had missed all the affectionate little things between him and Dylan, but now that Mr. Towers had intervened and supposedly settled the bigotry problem all was going to be well. Even if a host of new worries was on the horizon because of Dylan’s invitation, at least one issue was resolved. He walked through the front door to a shout from Aunt Pat that his mother was on the telephone.

Jake liked talking to his mom. He never thought he would admit to missing her the way he did, and their chats every couple of days helped him feel connected to her. She didn’t have much time with this call; she wanted to let Jake know that she liked her new life away from George, and he wasn’t protesting the divorce. What peeved him the most was that he wasn’t going to be able to keep the house and would also have to find a new place to live while it was being fixed up to sell. Carolyn was busy removing her belongings, and friends had begun to volunteer to accompany her so she wouldn’t have to be alone with her husband. It was kind of interesting how many people sensed there was trouble in the marriage, and she was the last to figure it out.

Jake told her about what was going on at the rec center. “You’re a smart boy, honey,” she told him. “I know you’ll do the right thing, but don’t let that nasty old coach treat you like you’re nothing.”

“Love you, Mom,” he replied. “I can’t wait until you move here so we can see each other more often and be a family again.”

“Me either. I can’t wait to meet your Dylan.”

And to that Jake had to smile. His mother had come a long way.


The next morning Jake drove to Dylan’s and parked his truck on the street. He’d packed his board shorts, a change of clothes and his toothbrush into a small bag which he left in the cab, and he jogged to the door to meet Dylan. He found the Moore family in a flurry of activity to get out of the house and on the road, but Dylan was ready to go. The kiss he gave Jake made his toes curl and his face burn in a blush when he caught the Moores trying not to stare. Erin arched her eyebrow at them before breaking into giggles, and the boys boogied out the the door to poorly-disguised warning of, “Be good you two,” from Dylan’s father.

“What did that mean?” Jake asked in confusion as he opened the door to Dylan’s red Honda.

Dylan smirked back. “I don't think Mom and Dad are stupid. They know what we're going to do while they’re at Disneyland.”

“Oh, okay.” Jake didn’t know why that didn’t make him feel better. He’d told Aunt Pat he would be very late arriving home that night, and she had given him the same smug smile.

The meetings were boring, especially since each week seemed to cover the same topics and never varied. Coach Abel made it obvious that he was ignoring Jake while the rest of the assistants looked on in bewildered study, but on the other hand he didn’t yell at him nor try to impede his departure either. When he met Dylan in the lot, the taller boy suggested picking up a pizza for lunch, and they purchased a large combo and an order of hot wings.

Driving into his neighborhood, Dylan could tell something was wrong with Jake. He was too quiet and staring out the passenger window, his mind a thousand miles away.

“Are you okay?” he rested his hand on Jake’s arm.

“Yeah, sure, I’m just tired,” Jake hedged. “It has been a long week.”

Dylan knew it was only half the truth, but challenging Jake would definitely be the wrong move at this point. Maybe it was just shyness, but he was fairly certain he knew what was needling his boyfriend. He required patient reassurance that what he was feeling was normal. Making love for the first time and losing one’s virginity could be terribly confusing and traumatic for some guys, and if Dylan had to talk him through it, it was no big deal. What mattered were not Dylan’s own sexual needs but putting Jake at ease and getting him over his discomfort. He had never forced himself on anyone and he wasn’t about to start now.

Dylan pulled plates out of the cupboard and suggested that Jake find a movie for while they ate. There was a stack of rented films on the video console, and Jake chose the new Ghostrider DVD because he’d never seen it. Dylan offered him a beer which he declined and requested Coke instead, and they dug into the pizza and saucy wings. They watched the groan-worthy film comfortably together, making snarky comments about the plot and how bad it was compared to the original. Once the food was gone, Jake lay back against Dylan’s shoulder. Soon he was reclining fully on the couch, relaxed, his head in his lap as the older boy ran his fingers through his curls. It felt calming and, because he was already in half a food coma from their large meal, it didn’t take Jake long to fall asleep.

He wasn’t sure at first where he was, but when he opened his eyes and tried to stretch he couldn’t move. Dylan was also out like a light, curled half-upright around Jake’s shoulders, his head on his hip. Jake stayed put for a few minutes, but he’d had a lot to drink and needed to pee. The television was still on and the Ghostrider film was running in a video loop asking them to make a selection. The clock on the DVD player said 5:45, and he was shocked he’d slept so long. Gingerly he tried to unwind his body from his boyfriend’s and, finally freeing himself bit by bit, located the powder room down the hall.

Dylan had awakened and was stretching when he returned. The sight of that flat stomach and golden skin made Jake lick his lips before catching himself in the contradiction.

“Hey, Jake, there you are.” Dylan jumped off the couch and came around to throw his arm over his shoulders in a friendly way. Slowly, he told himself, don’t scare him off.

“Are you hungry again?” he asked, trying to talk about normal things and make him less nervous. “Mom says there are leftovers in the fridge, and knowing her, I’m sure there’s plenty. Or we could go grab fast food or grill something.”

“Whatever is in the refrigerator is fine,” Jake agreed quietly, not wanting to make additional work for Dylan. He wished he could kick himself for how timid he was acting. Where was his self-confidence? “I’m not all that hungry.”

Leftovers turned out to be lasagna which they reheated in the microwave, and soon their dishes were rinsed in the sink and the serving pan soaking. The silence between the boys wasn’t exactly strained but it wasn’t contented either. Dylan decided to take charge. He sat in the large armchair his father usually occupied and pulled Jake into his lap for a talk.

“You don’t need to be afraid of me, baby. I love you too much to ever make demands that you aren’t comfortable with. I know this is a big deal for you, so let’s back off a little, okay?”

Jake nodded, grateful for his understanding. He leaned back against his wide chest and played with Dylan’s fingers resting against his stomach.

“Do you want to swim?” Dylan asked. “Or we can use the spa.”

Visions of hot, bubbly jets of water pounding against his sore muscles made Jake long to choose the spa, but almost immediately the idea was ruined by another image of naked bodies frolicking in the water. Embracing, skin on skin as their fingers twisted nipples and teased fluttering, sensitive holes between their butt cheeks. Dylan pulling him in close, and their thick cocks growing rigid and erect together. Rubbing frantically, the head of Jake’s dick stroking under Dylan’s balls as the underside of his shaft was tortured by Dylan’s long pole. Both of them giving in to the mounting desire to cum…

Okay, maybe ruined wasn’t the right word.

Panting with desire, Jake fought to stay still, regulate his breathing and not writhe in Dylan’s arms. The erotic thoughts made his cock begin to fill up in spite of his apprehension, and with clarity, he realized how they could help him overcome his anxiety. But just like that, dread and frustration overtook him again, and the parading doubts in his head grabbed his heart and twisted it, telling him that he would never be strong enough to break free. He tried to latch on to the fact that Dylan would know instinctively what he was feeling and not condemn him. Jake struggled to keep from crying. Fuck, he was acting like such a baby.

“The pool sounds good,” he whispered in regret, knowing he was giving in to his fear and loathing himself for it. After all the times he and Dylan had wanted to be alone together, to at last get an empty house, and he was spoiling it for them both. He desired him but was almost afraid to and knew he was overthinking.

Dylan didn’t seem to notice, or if he did, he didn’t mind. Jake changed into his board shorts in the bathroom, and presently they were in the pool racing each other and roughhousing. Dylan explained some of the rules for water polo while demonstrating the various shots and the eggbeater kick to keep his feet off the pool bottom. Jake tried it out and found it hard to get used to without proper training and practice.

The swimming proved to be a good intervention for most of the discomfort Jake was feeling, and an hour later they were ensconced on Dylan’s family room couch still in their board shorts playing the latest Max Payne video game. It was nearly dark by the time they got bored with Max’s drama and following him and his troubles around São Paulo, Brazil. Dylan decided to leave the lights off as dimming pinks and purples washed across the walls.

While Jake had slipped to the floor to sit in front of him, Dylan was still lounging on the couch. Now he pressed his back into the upright cushion and patted the seat in front of him, bidding Jake to stretch out flat. “Just lay still,” he told him softly once the boy was in position. “Let me know if you don’t like something I’m doing and I’ll stop.”

Dylan began by leaning over and swiping Jake’s lips lightly, waiting for him to open his mouth. Once he did, he pushed his tongue inside and gave him a long, sultry kiss that took his breath away. His fingers gently trailed down his cheeks and across his jaw. The touch was very arousing, and Dylan followed his fingers with his lips, kissing from one side to the other and sucking gently at the hollow of his throat where he left a barely-visible love bite. Jake was beginning to get into the seduction and his own hands swept up into Dylan’s blonde hair and held on, causing the older boy to smile.

Carefully Dylan slid his fingers down the slim boy's neck to his shoulders and bare chest. Searching for a nipple, he rolled it beneath the pads of his fingertips, and the soft friction caused it to shrink into a hard knot. It was hard-wired to Jake’s cock, and he moaned, his hips bucking. His member blossomed in his jock strap, hard and thick, and a pearly drop of precum welled at the tip and was immediately soaked into the fabric of the jock.

Dylan’s mouth fastened on the other nipple and he used the flat of his tongue to lick across the nub in a sensual torture. Jake was wriggling against the couch cushions and pillows as the most delicious ripples sheared across his groin. For several minutes he let them wash over him, kissing anywhere he could reach on Dylan almost in rapture. He felt Dylan’s hand move down his abdomen and hover just above the waistband of his board short, fingers seeking the ties. He could not believe how turned on he was or that he wasn’t pushing Dylan away.

The laces came undone, and Dylan opened the flaps of the shorts. Jake could feel the slight breeze hit his damp skin underneath where the edges came apart, and still he made no move to stop his boyfriend. He was so hard, near bursting, and his cock needed relief. Dylan’s mouth left off his nipple and found Jake’s lips again, sucking on his bottom one to distract him. Then his hand was inside the shorts, pulling the strap aside and fluttering over his throbbing erection. He threw his top leg overtop Jake’s and began to thrust into his thigh. The squeaks and moans coming from his boy spurred him on.

For the first time in his life a hand besides his own was touching Jake’s hard penis. Dylan wrapped his fingers around his erection and let the precum coat them as he stroked. Up and down three times, and Jake’s hips rocked furiously as the pulses behind his navel rushed together, and his orgasm was suddenly filling every nerve. The shock of it whipped through Jake like a storm. With a murmured gasp of “Dylan”, his balls lifted high, his stomach went taut and his release filled the caressing palm.

Dylan shuddered and thrust violently against Jake. He was catapulted into his own climax by the vision of Jake’s green eyes going blank in ecstasy as he wheezed and gasped for him, every muscle in his torso straining. His boyfriend had no idea how sexy he looked at the virtual moment of release, but Dylan did. His muscles tightened and streams of cum spurted from his cock and coated the inside front of his board shorts. “There,” Dylan whispered as he came down and snuggled into Jake’s hair. “See how easy it is?”

Too easy. That was what Jake thought. Not that it wasn’t the most incredible thing he’d ever felt, having Dylan’s sturdy hand grasping and pumping his cock. Sweating, shaking, and three measly thrusts, and he had cum like the blushing virgin he was. He was still holding on to Dylan for dear life as the spasms subsided, and he swallowed hard and fought back tears.

Dylan only had to take one look at Jake to know all was not well. “Jake?” he asked gently. “What’s wrong?”

Jake turned his head and refused to look at him. “Three strokes? That’s all it took for me to get off, and I didn’t even touch you at all. Some boyfriend I am. You probably think all I am is a big tease.”

Dylan took Jake gently by the chin and forced him to look at him. “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’ve never done this before, so I wouldn’t expect you to be able to hold back. Just because you didn’t use your hands on me doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. Here, feel.”

He took Jake’s hand and pushed it against his shorts so he could feel the wet spot over his softening cock. “You did that to me. I've never touched anyone besides myself either, and giving you pleasure was enough to make me cum just as fast.

"You are so sexy," Dylan said sincerely, staring into his jade eyes. "Your innocence is sweet and something I hope you never lose. You are everything I want for a boyfriend. Don’t sell yourself short.” Jake nodded and tried to smile.

Dylan offered to let Jake shower to get the sweat, cum and chlorine off his body. Once in the bathroom, he pulled the sticky, sweaty jock strap away from his flaccid dick, still feeling disgust for how brief a time he had lasted. He wanted to trust in Dylan to be honest without temporizing it with excuses. Trust was hard for him, and he could imagine that Dylan was saying it only to keep from hurting his feelings. He tried so hard to have faith and put the bad thoughts away, if not forever, than at least so they wouldn’t cause problems for the rest of the evening, but…

By the time he finished getting cleaned up, Dylan had also washed up and was in the family room dressed in khaki shorts and a t-shirt. The stress in Jake’s face was back, and it broke his heart. Dylan sighed, realizing it was going to take more time to make him believe in himself. He had plenty of that, and he let Jake crumple in his arms, wrapping him into a big hug to hold him close and dear. He suddenly thought about the rest of the night and was hit by the decision Jake had already made.

“You aren’t going to stay, are you?”

Jake shook his head in misery. “I don’t think it’s a good idea. Your parents aren’t here, and even though they seem to expect this, I still don’t think they would like it. It feels wrong lying to Aunt Pat and Uncle Avery.”

They were excuses, made up justifications to avoid the real reasons he couldn’t stay overnight. Jake wanted to, damn, he longed so much for the courage to just let go and let Dylan in the whole way, but something inside him wouldn’t allow it.

Dylan hid his sigh of disappointment and kissed him just below his ear. “It’s okay, Jake,” he whispered. “I love you, and we have forever to work this out, and the time will come when you won’t be so scared. Don’t worry about it.”

Easier said than done, Jake thought. All he could do was hold on, trembling in Dylan’s arms. He hoped someday he would grow up and that Dylan would wait for him. Nobody could be that patient forever.

(To be continued...)