Over the next couple of weeks I began to get my bearings in the community.
I spent Saturdays and Sundays working for my Uncle Carl on his boats. I guess it’s in my blood because I took to running them like a fish to water. By my fourth week out I already knew how to pilot them in and out of the harbor and guide them into their slips with barely a bump. Even working the sonar and navigating to the best fishing grounds wasn’t too difficult.
I liked the Sorsha Lynn best; she responded easier, and the other three men employed as crew members when we took out fishing charters were young and easy to get along with. They all had connections to some good-quality weed and sometimes bought it for me behind Carl’s back. For a man who used enough herb himself, he took exception to me getting high, maybe because he was afraid I’d I’d be careless or do something that would reflect badly on his business. I like to think it was because he cared about me.
Outside of the work that was giving me a taste of the real world and earning me some pocket change, there was school where I was holding my own. It was my grounding point where I could see Jesse every day.
He had met me at the front entrance of the high school the morning following our first movie date. Lifting to reach my mouth, he tried to kiss me and I backed up, startled. The chill that swept over his face pierced me, and he said in a low voice, “What’s wrong?”
I felt ashamed of myself but this wasn’t something I could do in front of the student bodies, even if there were only seven hundred of them. I had always been a very cautious guy, and still with the care I’d taken to keep my bisexual side hidden look what had happened in Rancho Martinez. I wanted to trust Jesse, but this was such a new and different situation I was all kinds of afraid.
“I like you, Jesse,” I said slowly, gazing around carefully to make sure nobody else was listening in. “But I can’t do shit like kiss you in public.”
He hitched up an eyebrow. “Seriously, Shane?”
“Please don’t judge me,” I begged. “It is very hard for me to trust people.”
“Last night you were acting a lot like you wanted to be with me,” Jesse did a half-turn and crossed his arms in disdain. “Was that playing me?”
“No,” I exclaimed in a rush before he lost all belief in me. “No, it wasn’t. But my last… my last boyfriend, um… it ended in a bad way. Lots of drama that was too out there to handle.”
The harsh set of his face told me that he needed more convincing. “I’m not embarrassed about being with you. I think I just need time, okay? Please give me time.”
He studied me for interminable seconds while I bit my lip. “I really do care about you,” I whispered, fiercely hoping to convince him. “I want to try to build something between us because the spark is already here.”
I put my hand over my heart and the edges of his mouth curved upwards, like he was fighting a smile. “You are such a sap,” he muttered with a leer. Finally he came to a decision. “Alright, we’ll do it your way for now. Friends at school, boyfriends or whatever you call it everywhere else.”
“Outside Calberia,” I amended, and he rolled his eyes. This was such a small town that gossip would travel from one end to the other with the force of a tornado.
“Fine,” Jesse grumbled, and we walked through the front gate like the best of friends.
I thought I had a fairly good self-image… well, apart from how my parents made me feel. Now I was beginning to doubt myself. My discomfort in talking about them carried over into those early days, and I found myself doing the same thing with Jesse that I had with my friend, Gordie. I ran circles around the real reason I was living with my father and tried to make light of it. But I had to tell him something because we were saw each other every day; whereas, Gordie was just a long-distance friend… well, something like that.
“Moving to Calberia is more like me coming home,” I explained. We were back in the library working out the newest details on our English term paper a couple days after our first date. “My mom and dad both grew up in town, and I was born here.”
“Hmm, I wonder if they know my family,” Jesse excitedly mused.
“I doubt it,” I answered scornfully. “Mom wouldn’t admit to being from Calberia in a million years, and my father doesn’t spend enough time with his head out of his ass to know anyone local except his girlfriend, my uncle and a couple poker pals.”
“Who is your uncle?”
“You know Carl Weatherby, the guy who rents out his big boats to take people out on the ocean to fish and dive?” Jesse nodded, placing his binder in his backpack, and my eyes snapped in pride. “He’s my mom’s brother. I work for him on the weekends.”
“So how did you end up moving away?”
I shrugged. “My parents split up when I was really little. Most of what I remember of my early life was them constantly bickering with each other. Not having enough money and stuff. Anyway, one day when I was three and a half my mom just put me in the car and we left. We ended up in Rancho Martinez and moved in with Whit, my step-dad. Mom must have been having an affair with him for a long time before she ever left Dad.”
“Where’s Rancho Martinez?”
“Orange County, northeast of Disneyland.”
Jesse got a huge smile on his face. “Disneyland, huh? My mom and sister took me there three years ago. We stayed for two days and had so much fun.”
“Yeah, well try going nine times in one year.” I rolled my eyes. “Whit bought us all annual passes when I was thirteen, and every time relatives came out to visit we went to Disneyland. It got old after awhile.”
“So what happened with you and your mom?” Getting back to my story.
I laughed ruefully. “She was already pregnant with my twin sisters when we left Calberia. Whit’s their bio dad. Of course that’s the real reason Mom left my father. She and Whit got married after her divorce was final. Plus, he’s some trust fund baby so he could give Mom a lot more than my dad could financially.”
“Oh, I see now.” Jesse’s eyes lit up in understanding while his brows flew into his hairline. And he probably figured he did, based on what I’d told him about my constant squabbling with Roxie and Suzie.
When I started seeing Jesse, what consciously began to run through my head was how lucky I was to be his choice for a boyfriend. I was knowingly falling in love with him and it was a scary confession for me to make. I didn’t think I’d ever been in love before. Crushes yes, but not love. Certainly not with Owen and the other boys I’d fucked in Rancho Martinez, and not even with any of my former girlfriends.
I wished there was a way I could be be with Jesse all the time, and there was even a part of me that realized how much easier my life would have been if he was a girl. I hastily stomped on that thought and focused on how amazing he made me feel when we were together and how I wanted to be a better person for him.
His was perfection I never got tired of looking at. Five-foot-ten and built like a beanpole, but there was nothing weak or slack about him. Dancing made him graceful, and he seemed to be all leg. His nose had just the barest of hooks on the end that gave his face character, and with his olive coloring his cheeks shone more peach than pink when he blushed. Huge golden eyes edged in the thick blackness of his lashes and those soft, full lips. Jesse was made to be loved.
He was a big part of helping me through the rough spots in the coming days as he introduced me to students he knew and they decided to befriend me for his sake. Most of them were in the drama or music department; they weren’t the most popular students at Calberia High, but they were nice enough. I truly appreciated Jesse trying to integrate me into some sort of social set. I told myself it was only for three months anyway.
We completed the Brontë sisters English project and got an A on it which surprised him a lot. He’s very smart, but he had an undiagnosed dyslexia problem as a child that kept him from understanding the material he read and it wasn’t discovered until he was in seventh grade. In school, it’s all about comprehension, and he’s been struggling ever since to catch up. Getting such an exceptional grade was like a ‘10’ on the Richter scale for him.
He lived with his mother, his grandfather, an older sister named Jenna and her three-year-old son close to the freeway on the other side of town. Sandra Capps, his mom, had given birth to her older child while still in her teens and never had the advantage of a college education. She worked two, sometimes three jobs to pay the bills, mostly because his grandpa was a retired Vet who had been severely wounded in Vietnam. His injuries did not require nursing care, but he couldn’t work and it made him peevish to feel useless.
Jesse’s sister was trying to balance a job and her sophomore year at UC Santa Barbara with motherhood. They were native to the area and he had a large extended family, including a cousin named Chad who was in his early twenties and his best friend too. Chad was the only one of his relatives who knew he was gay.
As Jesse described it, he wasn’t afraid of making his mother angry; he simply didn’t want to disappoint her. She had never stinted in her love for him and lived for her two children. His grandfather, however, was another story. A career Marine, he had an old-fashioned view of what made a man a man and gay was definitely not okay. He would never do anything to hurt Jesse physically, but he had a temper and a sharp tongue, and his caustic remarks would be difficult to live with.
Jesse and I were totally simpatico. Like there were so many things we shared in common it was rather scary. We loved The Offspring, the native Californian punk rock band that has been around for almost thirty years. I had to admit that my zeal wasn’t as fanatical as Jesse’s, but I admired his style. He had t-shirts from all the major tours, some vintage. He knew the lyrics to all the songs by heart. He owned every studio and greatest hit CD and DVD they had ever put out as well as vinyls of both Smash and Ignition. Neither of us could afford tickets for their Days Go By tour, but we both had the CD and agreed that Americana was a far better album.
Of course, we both wanted the current marriage laws to reflect that love didn’t depend on gender so we were both registered Democrats. Money wasn’t important—okay, we didn’t want to be destitute, but being happy and feeling that we were making a difference in this world counted more than being rich. Honesty, even blunt honesty, won out every time over lies spoken in false sympathy. What we liked to wear, favorite sports teams, what we construed as humor… we should have been twins.
Let’s see. We both hated chocolate icecream. Our favorite soft drink was Dr. Pepper, and we tried to stay away from processed foods. Neither of us could have pets because I was allergic to dogs and his face swelled up around cats. Our favorite color was blue. We had lived all of our lives without grandmothers; Mom’s parents resided in Florida and refused to budge, and my dad’s mother died when I was a baby. Jesse had no idea who his father was which nixed the grandmother role, and Sandra’s mother was also long gone.
We started meeting up at the far end of the cracked asphalt lot after the school day where we took to parking our cars next to each other so we could talk intimately without being overheard. After noticing that no one was really paying attention to us, I stopped minding him standing so close that our bodies touched.
“Can you come over tonight?” I asked quietly a couple days after our first date. “My dad goes directly from work to see his girlfriend in the evenings so I’m alone at home.”
His eyes darkened dramatically, like he was contemplating the two of us in the house without supervision, and he nodded. “Let me go home, do my homework and get something to eat.”
“I’ll cook dinner for you,” I offered. I was tired of thrown-together food out of boxes and having nobody to talk to. It also meant Jesse would arrive sooner.
His eyes sparkled with the promise. “I’ll get permission from my mom and text you.”
Getting excited at the prospect of showing off for him, I asked, “What do you like to eat?” My dad had a freezer in the garage that was stuffed with all sorts of meat and delicious fixings I rarely indulged in because it wasn’t worth the trouble to do for myself.
He shrugged. “I like everything.”
Taking a chance I reached over and brushed my fingers over his hand. “Okay, text me and let me know.”
An hour later found me rushing around the kitchen, my hair sticking up in damp clumps as I timed pots of food on the stove with a small chicken roasting in the oven. By the time Jesse arrived at 5:30 I had mashed garlic into the fluffy potatoes, prepared the nearly lumpless gravy to go on top, baked a pan of cornbread and steamed some frozen broccoli.
“Cool,” he pronounced in appreciation when I led him into the house fragrant with the smell of my cooking. “I’m starving.”
We fell upon the food ravenously and wolfed down almost all of it in no time. “You’re a good cook,” he told me later after the dishes were stacked in the dishwasher and the kitchen cleaned up. “You’ll make someone a fine wife some day.” I threw the sponge at him.
We sat down to watch Red on DVD, which he had never seen, and ended up cuddling on the couch. He had his head in my lap and I watching him in profile, running my fingers through his wavy black hair and feeling the way the soft ends tickled my hand. He would get this little scrunched-up line between his eyebrows when the action in the movie turned intense but my hand on his head seemed to relax him. It was kind of nice just being with him here like this, quiet and not saying anything but comfortable.
The film ended and Jesse sort of roused himself, so maybe he’d begun to doze off. He rolled off the couch to land on his feet. When I tried to get up my legs had fallen asleep and I stumbled. Jesse grabbed me to save me from a fall against the glass-edged coffee table, and there I was, in his arms again.
I took advantage and kissed his forehead, then that squiggling wrinkle between his eyes, the tip of his nose until I reached his mouth. Brushing just the corner, I gave him small pecks until I could take his bottom lip between my teeth and nibble on it. By that time we were staring deeply into each other’s eyes, and I saw want burning there. The fire that flitted across his face warmed my trembling body.
He cupped my head in his hand and began to kiss me over and over. I grabbed him hard by the shoulders, pressing my lips into his firmly. Starting out with us just fitting our mouths together, it was setting off sparks of excitement inside. He opened his lips and let my tongue in, and we moaned, licking, tasting and pushing back and forth. A whole new flood of emotions began to overwhelm me as his insistence surged into my mouth. Holy shit, this boy really knew how to kiss!
At last he drew back, a strange mixture of delight and bewilderment warring with determination. His jeans were bulging at the crotch like mine were, and he blew a rapid puff of air out that lifted his bangs off his forehead. I saw a bead of sweat trickle down the side of his neck.
“I don’t know what it is about you, Shane, but you make my emotions go crazy,” he laughed ruefully, running his fingernails softly down my cheek.
I shivered and tried to joke back. “I can’t even think straight when we’re together.” I captured his hand in mine and kissed his chin. “You make me want to get naked with you and take you to bed so we can be alone. I would make you feel so good.”
Jesse’s eyes went dark and his cheeks turned a beautiful shade of apricot, but all of a sudden he frowned. “I want the same thing, but we shouldn’t rush this. I… I, um… don’t do that kind of thing… not unless I know… for sure, you know. We would have to be, um… together- together. I’m not into casual hook-ups.”
That brought me up short because all of my hook-ups had been exactly that, casual. This was a switch in my plans I wasn’t sure I was ready for. Commit to one person and be loyal to him. Me- faithful? Never had tried that, and never had wanted to either.
But with Jesse? He would be so worth it. The trouble was, there were emotional risks to consider before I could make up my mind and doing so would require far more time than I had at present standing here holding Jesse’s hand.
When I didn’t speak Jesse lowered his latte-shaded eyes which was a shame because they were too gorgeous to hide. I could tell he was slightly hurt I didn’t offer instantaneous vows of devotion, and once again I found myself having to placate him and squelch a misunderstanding in the making. I stepped up and tipped his chin up with my finger. I lay one gentle kiss on his lips.
“Give me a chance to think,” I pleaded. “This means too much already and I don’t want to mess with you. I think I know where it’s going, but I need time to decide on the together- together so I don’t hurt you, okay?”
He smiled slowly. In my defense I wasn’t trying to lead him on or make false promises I had no intention of keeping, and I hoped he recognized that I was attempting to be worthy of his trust. Being exclusively with a person, especially another guy, was a whole new animal to me. Fucking it up would not only ruin this growing bond between us, it would damage Jesse too. For the first time in my life, I was actually putting someone else first and not just thinking of myself.
Jesse kissed me goodnight and went home a little while later. I sighed, preparing for another night of jacking off in my lonely bed but knowing I was doing the right thing.
Over the next couple of weeks Jesse got two new notes from his stalker, but I didn’t find out about the first one right away. He tried to keep it from me which made me aware that he was more somber about the being threatened than he was willing to own up to. I just happened to see it peeking out from under his textbooks in his locker and when I asked he shrugged and said it had been pushed through the vent around the end of February. He handed it to me: ‘I h8 little fairies.’ Then he tried to pretend it didn’t bother him.
Walking into the parking lot after class one afternoon a few days later I spied the newest threat taped to his driver’s-side window. I didn’t even let him get to it first; I ripped it from the glass before he had a chance to touch it. “It’s EZ 2 h8 queers like U,” I read out loud, exploding in anger. “Damn it, Jesse.”
“What do you want me to do?” he asked defensively, scuffing the toe of his boots on the tarmac. “You act like this is my fault.”
I tried to calm down because it wasn’t fair to take this out on him. “It isn’t that. I’m just worried. This has gone on long enough. You need to talk to an adult.”
“Nobody is really threatening me,” he pointed out. “It’s just ugly words. Probably someone like Mark trying to scare me.”
“So far,” I scowled. “What if it isn’t just some bully?”
“Come on, Shane,” Jesse cried soothingly. “It has to be a student. All the notes have been in my locker or on the car. Who else could it be? I don’t know anyone, including Mark, who hates me enough to hurt me.”
I let myself be convinced because I didn’t want to look like the overly-panicked baby who was jumping at shadows. So I didn’t point out to him that the school operated like small-town middle-America and had an open-door policy where anyone could get on campus to stick something in a locker without being caught. The parking lot wasn’t fenced either. Jesse’s stalker didn’t have to necessarily be a student, but he was unwavering in his assumption that we shouldn’t worry.
Those early days of March did bring about one positive result. I didn’t have any choice but to admit that I had fallen completely in love with Jesse. I mean, the daydreaming into oblivion, walking on air, birds tweeting musically in the trees type falling in love. The part where I was ready to decide that I was off the market and commit to him and try to make our relationship work. For fuck’s sake, I had been celibate for the past two months, the longest I’d gone without sex since I was fourteen, and I didn’t want anyone but Jesse.
He was the best thing that had ever happened to me. A light in the dark tunnel of my Calberia existence, he made school bearable. He gave me something to look forward to, and I no longer felt the exile from my mother’s house as keenly or even wished to return to Rancho Martinez. As long as I could spend time with him every day at school and kiss and hold on to him for a few hours in between I was happy. It was a bad pun, but he was like my drug. Like water for fish or the thermals under a bird’s wing, he was the one I depended on.
Every school morning we arrived at nearly the same time, meeting in the parking lot. After making sure not to be observed, I’d give him a quick kiss, just a brief pass and nothing with tongue. Off we’d go on our separate ways to get together during nutrition break and eating at the same table in the quad along with the drama crowd for lunch. Next to each other or across the three foot span of ugly plastic, we pretended to be platonic friends and we worked hard not to give ourselves away. I think if anyone had bothered to look directly into our faces, they would have realized. Our love for each other felt so transparent, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him.
Fifth period meant English with Mrs. Coates and we still sat across the room from each other despite my attempts to get her to move me. We couldn’t even pass notes to each other, but sometimes he’d flash the sign for ‘I love you’ in American Sign Language when nobody was looking. An open hand like the number five and bending the two middle fingers into his palm. What else would we do for the class to witness anyway? Then I was off to economics and he danced sixth period away before our afternoon ended and we came back together to make plans for the evening if he could get it free.
Not to his house to kiss and cuddle because of his own closet, but I was luckier since Dad hated spending any time with me that wasn’t absolutely necessary. Yes, he would have been furious if he’d known I was sitting in the dark of our living room and making out with my boyfriend, but it was kind of like a game. I don’t know, maybe there was a part of me that wanted to get caught just to make him notice me. I probably took chances here and there when I wasn’t thinking about the consequences of being kicked out or forbidden to hang out with Jesse. But I had grown proficient at tricking him into divulging his evening plans so we were safe.
Jesse was the sweetest, most gentle person in the world. He went out of his way to be friendly, even to bullies like Mark and the general snobs around school. He had this charismatic optimism and he rarely got angry or upset. He brought out the best in everyone else, including me, with his infectious sparkle. Perhaps he wasn’t the most popular guy in our class, but very few had anything negative to say about him either. The rants of Mark Butler and his band of gay-bashing cronies aside, it was hard to find anything to dislike about him.
To tell the truth, I was scared shitless to get into a relationship with Jesse. He hadn’t said it, but I was fairly sure he loved me. Admitting that I was hopelessly in love with anyone was hard enough, but embracing my gay side to care like this for a man felt as if I was teetering on the edge of a cliff in rollerblades. I already knew what my parents would say, but what about others in my life? Uncle Carl, my new friends at school, even total strangers now who would cross paths with me later in life. But all I had to do was think of the next seventy years without him, and I wanted to shrivel away and become dust.
The rest wasn’t even about him. There was the whole Letter of Intent process with my football scholarship that I had let slip by, partly my fault but also because Mom never informed the colleges that were scouting me that I had moved. I swear, it almost seemed like she was trying to sabotage my future. It was mid-March before any of the paperwork caught up with me, and I was in a bind because it was supposed to be taken care of in early February. My life was in flux and I didn’t know what to do about it. I had never felt so directionless.
I evaded the issue because I didn’t want to face how a career in college football might mean leaving Jesse.
When I applied to the various universities the previous fall there was absolutely no reason for me to think that I wouldn’t graduate from Sacred Heart High. My school guidance counselor and head football coach suggested schools for me and assured me that I’d have my pick of where to attend. Notre Dame, Alabama, Louisiana State and the University of Oregon were just among the few trying to recruit me. There were also smaller institutions that might be a better fit—read, I would actually have a chance to play instead of sitting on the sidelines— and had rich football traditions where I could create my own niche. Then I transferred to Calberia, and my wonderful counselor mucked up the paperwork, and the precious windows began to close.
The nearest university to Calberia was UC-Santa Barbara just twenty minutes down the highway. In comparison to the all the other schools I had wanted to attend it was small potatoes, so guess what! I didn’t even consider it, and now it was too late to apply. And then here I am in this podunk town falling in love with this wonderful gay boy who probably won’t be attending any university after high school, and I’m stuck. Yeah, I could go off to UCLA or USC in Los Angeles, but that’s still two long hours away from here.
The problem was, I didn’t want to leave Jesse.
Because his dyslexia left him so far behind his classmates and he had to struggle just to get a C-average, Jesse wasn’t university material. He wasn’t ashamed to acknowledge it either, and if he went to any college it would be a local community school where he’d learn some blue-collar trade. He’s been taking acting and dance classes at Calberia High since he was a freshman, but he’s a level-headed guy who knew how tough it was to make it professionally in Hollywood or New York. He was under no delusions that he wouldn’t be one of thousands with stars in his eyes and a hole in his wallet. No, he’d get a day job to pay the bills and be happy with roles in the Santa Barbara community theaters.
I wanted to support him. Hell, I wanted to live with him. Strangely enough, football didn’t mean that much to me when I held it up to staying with Jesse. He was my long-term future, not running some pigskin up and down a grass field. I didn’t see myself becoming NFL material any more than Jesse would automatically become a famous actor. My plans had always been to use the sport to get me through college and at some point decide on a major that interested me.
But now? I was afraid to leave Jesse because I knew if I did I’d be making the biggest mistake of my life.
Should I go to some school across the country and walk away from the best thing that ever happened to me? Or should I toss out a scholarship worth thousands of dollars to attend a community college with the hopes of relocating to a university later? Maybe I’d get lucky enough in my junior year to get into a sports program somewhere I could take Jesse with me, but there were no guarantees of subsidized education or an invitation to join a football squad. The time for making up my mind, at least with the Letter of Intent, was running out, and I couldn’t decide. My heart had no trouble telling me what to do, but I wasn’t sure whether to trust it. I didn’t want to address what was best course of action was.
However, I knew I could never leave Jesse.
The night I told him I was positive I wanted to be his alone, we were at my house. I had invited him over to play a video game on my Xbox. My dad’s an accountant and it was tax season so he was working late and then going to Jillian’s. I ordered a large combo pizza and planned it all out carefully, knowing I would be most persuasive if we weren’t in the middle of making out when I told him how I felt. Duh! Most people know that promises made in the heat of passion probably don’t mean squat.
Jesse and I both like jalapeños so I asked for Pizza Hut to send them on the side. So what if Valentine’s Day was almost a month ago. I used the spicy peppers to spell out Be Mine on top of the pizza, and let him open the box. Dyslexic or not he got it right away, and his look of incredulity was priceless.
“Really?” he asked, and I nodded eagerly. He practically threw himself in my arms, and I found myself backed into the dining room wall.
Lust made his eyes go huge and dusky, and we met each other’s mouths in a hungry kiss, dinner forgotten. It began slowly, deepening as our desire grew. Melting into his embrace, I brushed my tongue against his closed lips and he grabbed my face in his hands and started thrusting his into my mouth. I kissed him back fervently, moaning as my cock thickened inside my jeans, and I cupped his ass and pulled him tightly into me. His hard dick bumped back, and my brain was getting foggy.
I pulled his shirt off and nearly stopped breathing over what was revealed. Anyone who says that dancers don’t have toned bodies is lying. He might not have the beefcake muscle composition like those who played sports, but his long torso was gorgeous, all lean and slender with not an ounce of fat on him. His shoulders showed off a delicate bone structure overlaid with firm deltoids and led to a flat chest that was almost hairless except for a few whirls of black around his large brown nipples. The hair picked up again just below his navel before diving into his jeans in a half-inch-wide track.
I wanted to follow that trail south but there were other treats to enjoy first, and I probably sounded like I was purring when I put my hands on his chest. Swiping my fingers across his nipples, I watched them turn into hard little points and I had to taste them. They felt rough under my tongue but I was cautious when biting them so I wouldn't hurt Jesse. He just closed his eyes and moaned.
I only got to play with him for a little while. “Take off your shirt, Blondie,” he commanded hoarsely, reaching for the hem.
“’Blondie’ huh?” I smirked, helping him by yanking it off and tossing it aside.
“Yeah, ‘Blondie’,” he rejoined. “My Blondie.”
He captured my right hand in his and held it over my head, fingers entwined, as he stood me straight up against the wall. The lust was back in full play. Giving me a big smile, he tilted in to meet my lips again.
Beginning at my shoulder, his free hand groped downwards, skimming fingers over my pecs to flick my nips hard, and I gasped over how it fueled my desire for him. Sliding lower, he traced the ridges and planes of my stomach but didn’t stop there. He fingered my belly button, then stilled at the waistband of my jeans. Working the button through the fabric and slowly pulling down the zipper, he loosened the denim around my hips so the sides fell open. My hard-on sprung out—I was commando— and my breath caught at the sudden drift of cool air flowing across it.
Kissing him was a good diversion as our tongues wrestled together but not good enough. I felt his long, nimble fingers searching for my already hard and leaking cock as they meandered over the length, trailing from tip to testicles before getting down to business. He wrapped his hand firmly around the shaft and began to stoke me from the bottom up, and like any knowledgeable guy who jacked himself regularly he knew what felt good. I was simply fighting to stay upright when all I wanted to do was curl around that marvelous paw.
“God yes, Jesse,” I moaned. “Feels so good.”
His mouth left mine and settled on the crook of my neck where it met my shoulder, and he sucked and bit at me, pulling the blood to the surface to make a hickey. I’m surprised he found enough blood anywhere but in my dick to leave a bruise, but it didn’t hurt. I was entirely focused on the perfect way his palm was gliding over the wet head of my cock and gathering up precum to lubricate the trip down where his fingertips massaged my balls and rose back to the top to repeat again and again. He had a little flick of the wrist he employed that touched all my most sensitive spots, and lights started flashing behind my eyes.
“Ohh damn,” I wheezed, rocking my hips harder into Jesse’s grip. My balls ached in that way that told me my orgasm was imminent, and suddenly I reached the threshold where they drew up tightly into my body. This was going to be intense and I felt myself shattering into a million pieces of pleasure.
“Oh fuck,” I moaned, clamping my eyes tightly shut. “Feels… feels so good… can’t stop it… cumming now.”
I was like a fountain going off, my jetting sperm catching us at chest level and my legs immediately turned to jelly. Clawing his back with my free hand, I buried my teeth in his shoulder but kept my wits about me so that I didn’t bite hard enough to break the skin. The smell of my arousal was all around us, combined with musk and sweat. I twisted and moaned in Jesse’s embrace until it was over, then collapsed against him trying to calm my ragged breathing.
“Shit, that was amazing,” I praised minutes later. “So much better than getting myself off.”
Jesse was giggling like a maniac and holding on to me just as hard. “Liked that, huh?”
“Oh yes.” I reached for a dishtowel off the kitchen counter and wiped us down with it. Giving him a big grin, I pretended to be thinking hard. “Let’s see, what do you prefer? Honey? Baby?”
I snapped my fingers. “I know, I’ll call you Cubby.”
He laughed and touched his nearly-bare chest. “Don’t you dare. I’m hardly a bear, you know.”
“No, but you’re cute.”
He grabbed the towel and began snapping me with it. “Cute, huh? Cute? Ditch the ‘Cubby’, Blondie.”
In answer I wrenched it away and dove for his lips, trying to suck his tongue into my mouth as my fingers fumbled at the zip and button of his jeans and pulled them down over his ass. Snaking into his barely-there bikini briefs I fished out his rigid penis and began manipulating its velvet warmth in my curled palm. From touch alone, he seemed to be about the same length as me—six and a half inches—but where I was uniformly thick from stem to the knobbed head, Jesse was broad at the base and narrow through the shaft. The flange was very pronounced below a bell shaped head, and his trimmed pubic bush was wiry.
His cock fit nicely into my hand and I lost no time in setting up a rhythm to bring him swiftly into the ultimate ecstasy. I was a connoisseur of handjobs and eager to share my expertise. His nuts were the perfect size and even though his sac suspended them loosely and I was gentle in their handling, it wouldn’t take long to fill them with semen and get them churning. I loved the way Jesse responded to my touches, groaning “Mmm” into my ear nonstop and his whole body jerking like he was connected to a live wire.
“You like that, Baby?” I whispered.
“Mmm-hmm.” He was moving so much it was like we were slow-dancing together.
Jesse was on a hair-trigger after getting me off, and soon he was puffing like a steam engine and damp with sweat. I slicked up the index finger of my other hand with some of his precum and reached behind him to gently grope between his cheeks. Circling his hole I carefully inserted my digit up to the first knuckle, and he bucked and screamed.
“I'm going to… oh Shane, I'm gonna…”
His body tensed, corded sinew popping out from his neck and head thrown back, and I knew he was done. His body contorted and he spurting globs of white all over the both of us. I held him as he trembled and sighed into his release, all glassy-eyed and spent. It was the sexiest thing I’d seen in a long time.
“I love you.”
The words seemed to be pulled out of me almost involuntarily. I hoped he could tell that I meant them sincerely and that they weren’t just a thank you for my fifteen minutes of bliss.
His eyes had this way of turning several shades darker when he got emotional, and they looked nearly black in the dim light of the dining room. “I love you too, Shane.”
I dampened the towel to clean us up with and we settled down to eat our cold pizza. We tried to concentrate on the video game but it was nearly impossible and we spent most of the evening kissing and cuddling. The addition of sex into our relationship signaled a new frontier that we had breached, and there was no going back.
More and more I was beginning to feel guilty over the way I hadn’t been entirely truthful with Jesse about why I was in Calberia. I’d said that my mother had finally blown a gasket over the way I refused to get along with my half-sisters but very little else about my former life in Rancho Martinez. It was time to tell him.
The totally random day it all came out in the wash was March 14, our first month anniversary. I don’t know if that played into the significance but maybe in the long run honesty was more important. My biggest worry was how Jesse would take the news that I wasn’t completely gay.
Being a school night, both of us had homework to finish before we met up. It was late when I drove to Jesse’s, and we were going out to dinner to eat Thai food in Santa Barbara and celebrate being together for a whole month. I was pretty broke and wanted to stop by my uncle’s house beforehand because he had the paychecks for the first half of the month’s earnings ready. I was going to get paid around three hundred fifty dollars after taxes which isn't bad for a weekend job.
Jesse agreed to accompany me to my uncle’s and then to the bank. Carl can be quite a talker at times, and I didn’t want to leave my boy sitting out in my Chevy waiting for me as we shot the breeze, so I invited him in and told Carl that he was my best friend.
For all that Carl is high a lot of his waking life, he’s a shrewd, observant man. He shook Jesse’s hand with a gleam in his eye, and I realized in that instant that one of my parents must have spoken to him about my sexual… uh, indiscretions, probably in light of why I no longer lived with his sister. And Carl knew, whether from a clue in our body language or the pride in which I’d introduced Jesse, exactly how important this slender teen was to me.
I watched him put on his familial ‘I’ll kick your ass if you hurt my nephew‘ look. Nothing too personal but he asked pertinent questions about school and our upcoming graduation. Apparently my uncle isn’t as bigoted as Mom because he was civil and treated Jesse with respect. I felt no condemnation on his part and I relaxed.
An hour later we were at the Thai Royale restaurant in northern Santa Barbara where I was chowing down on honey duck and coconut rice. Jesse was demonstrating more restraint with his beef phat si lo which is a rice noodle, vegetable and sauce dish. He was quiet throughout the meal, making some small talk but mostly toying with his spoon. By the time we were headed home I knew something was wrong.
We parked in front of his house, a tiny redwood-varnished Cape Cod that was at least sixty years old with a newer, attached porch running the full width of the front. To tell the truth, I couldn’t actually see the house from here because it was really dark and the porch light was broken, but I’d picked Jesse up a time or two. His home was set back from the road flanked by large oak trees, and an ancient Dodge pickup truck belonging to his grandfather was up on blocks at the far end of the single lane dirt driveway. The front yard consisted of a few straggling flowers that had survived the rainy winter and clumps of yellowing grass.
“Your uncle seems nice,” Jesse said at last, keeping his eyes on his lap. “Is he part of the Calberia that isn’t supposed to know you’re gay?”
I laughed humorlessly. “Yes and no. I certainly haven’t discussed my preferences with him, but it looks like one of my parents did. It wasn't exactly a secret so I’m glad he isn’t all weirded out about it.”
Jesse couldn’t help but notice the bitterness in my voice and glanced at me sharply. “What do you mean?”
Sighing, I thought about how to answer the question, knowing I could fib without him ever finding out. Yet, at that moment anything less than total honest was not an option. Lying is always harder on the psyche than telling the truth is, and he was my boyfriend, the one person I should be candid with. I knew Jesse was a good person who wouldn’t stop loving me because I had been afraid. At least, I hoped not.
“It’s the whole fucking reason I’m in Calberia.”
Of course, being the intuitive guy he is, Jesse knew right away how monumental this was for me and sat back to listen attentively. I backtracked and repeated what I’d told him about my mom, step-dad and sisters at an earlier date, and he didn’t ask any questions.
“So we were all good up until the middle of January,” I finished.
He bit his lip. So sexy. “What happened in January?”
My face started to feel a bit warm. “Uh, my mom found out I was bi in one of the worst possible ways…”
“Bi?” Jesse gasped, shooting me a startled look. “I thought you were gay.”
I shook my head and groaned, fairly sure of what was going through Jesse’s head.
Bisexual guys can’t be faithful. A lot of gay men felt that way. That the bi man they were in love with was just waiting for the right woman to show up. That he had to have it both ways all the time. That once he found Ms Perfect he would jet off to enjoy his fake-straight lifestyle and deny the side of him that loved men.
“No, I’m bi, Jesse,” I said, unwilling to lie about it. “But that doesn’t mean I’m playing you or shit.”
I wasn’t like that. Even when I fooled around with Owen I had never lied to him about fucking girls. But that was before I moved to Calberia and met Jesse, and I had no desire for pussy. My attraction to him had been immediate and absolute, and Jesse was it for me.
“Meaning?” he asked warily.
“Meaning I am in love with you, baby boy.” I stared straight into his eyes beseeching him to trust me, and I took his hand and raised it to my lips to kiss his fingers. “Head over heels with you and you only.
“I'll admit some of the girls at school have tried to tempt me to get into their pants, Jesse, but I don’t want them. Any of them, not even Carilynn Wade.” Carilynn was probably the cutest, sexiest girl in school, the one with a lighthearted way about her but something of a slut. She let the guys know she was up for anything.
Jesse snickered, but I could tell he believed the conviction in my voice because his eyes were shining with love just as sure as mine were. “So, uh… when did you know for sure that you were, uh… not straight?” he faltered.
His hesitation was cute, and I grinned. “I was twelve. A set of twins moved in across the street from us. Seth and Sarah Raymond; I had crushes on both of them.” I nudged him with my elbow. “What about you?”
“I was thirteen,” he answered calmly. “My mother won free tickets to the Granada Theater to see Wicked, the musical based on the bad witches from The Wizard of Oz. My sister got sick so she took me. That’s when I decided I wanted to act. Mom gave me dance lessons for my birthday, and I fell in love with my dance teacher. He was a hottie.”
“Ooh, kinky,” I joked. “Did anything come of it?”
“No, of course not,” Jesse huffed, but his eyes were twinkling merrily. “You are so totally inappropriate, you know that, Shane? He was twenty-six, and I was half his age. He had a girlfriend.”
I laughed, pleased with myself for winding him up. But Jesse was ready for me to continue my story.
“Okay, so what happened? You got caught by your mom?”
“Sort of.” I told him about my high school and Danae, my Sacred Heart girlfriend, assuring him once again that she meant nothing to me anymore. In fact, I hadn’t even thought about her in close to a month. But because I dated girls in Rancho Martinez I was able to fool a lot of people; nobody knew about my bisexual side except for the boys I’d slept with.
“I knew this guy. Owen. We played football together last year but he was older than me.” I considered the old memory that wasn’t nearly as painful as it had been in January when I was begging my mother to let me come home. “He was gay but I was, like, the only one of our friends who knew. Gaydar, I guess. So we’d get together every once in awhile. He was home from college and we were, you know, fooling around. Just having fun.”
I blushed cherry red. “Owen’s mother caught us in bed.”
“So that’s what you meant when you said there was lots of drama that ended badly?” He was trying not to laugh and I guess from his perspective I could see the humor in it.
“Yeah. The next thing I knew my sisters were telling my mom and she was screaming about me being a freak and a degenerate and cussing up a storm. Anyway, she kicked me out.”
Jesse’s mouth dropped open in shock. “Duuuuude! Your mom kicked you out of the house for being gay?”
“Bi,” I corrected automatically, but my voice went blank. My head was getting lost in the old emotions of her pitiless denunciation and ridiculous excuses that were all about maintaining her perfect façade and hiding the fact that she had a son who liked sex with men. “She chose to live her pretend life where I’m not there to remind her of how much she fucked up when she married Dad. She has her precious daughters with Whit and I don’t exist.” I blinked back tears.
“So your mom forced you to come here and live?” Jesse probed the wound curiously, inadvertently hurting me with his persistence in getting the facts straight. I knew he wasn’t doing it on purpose. He couldn’t see my face in the dark so maybe he didn’t notice my distress.
“Yeah, to my dad’s,” I whispered miserably. “My dad, who never visited me after I turned thirteen, never remembered my birthday or Christmas and now treats me like some stranger renting a room from him. He’s either at work or with his girlfriend. I haven’t seen him for more than…”
And suddenly I was crying my heart out, my throat a painful, hard lump I couldn’t swallow around and my eyes burning with tears that wouldn’t stop falling. I put my head against the steering wheel, bawling out my mom’s shitty rejection and my father’s neglect, and Jesse leaned over and pulled me close so I could sob into his shirt.
“It’s okay,” he soothed me, stroking my hair. “Your parents must be complete assholes not to realize how lucky they are to have you for a son. You could be out getting into so much shit but you don’t. Instead, you go to school and work as if they were checking up on you every day. You always prop me up when I need it when you’re the one falling apart inside. I’m sorry for what they did to you, Shane. Really, truly sorry.”
I couldn’t do anything except weep for a few minutes and try to get control of myself but being in Jesse’s comforting arms and listening to his calming sympathy helped. It felt so good to just be held, something I had missed without realizing it. Soon I was quieting, and when I looked up, there was my beautiful boyfriend with tears in his eyes too. One thing led to another, and soon the edges of the arm rest were digging into our sides as we frantically reached for each other and tried to kiss and breathe at the same time.
“Come on,” he said, pulling away and letting himself out of the car. He shut the passenger door quietly. I followed, and he grabbed my hand, leading me through the inky blackness around the house to a closed window without a screen. There were no lights on anywhere and the crickets chirped loudly in the silence.
Jesse put his hands on the movable half of the window and pushed inward, noiselessly sliding it sideways until there was an opening large enough to crawl through. “Come on,” he whispered again, and he hefted himself over the sill, then assisted me inside. We were in a bedroom, one I assumed was his.
“Are you sure we should do this?” I was a little panicky at getting caught, feeling a definite sense of déjà vu from my afternoon with Owen.
“The family is all sound asleep,” he murmured, squeezing my hand. “A burglar could clean them out completely and they wouldn’t know until it was too late. Not even my three-year-old nephew will wake up until morning.”
“If you say so,” I agreed doubtfully.
“I say so, Blondie.” He put a reassuring hand on my arm, and the smile on his face was both inviting and possessive. “As long as we keep the moaning down.”
I was all set to answer, but he cut off my words with a flurry of small grazes to my lips. Fluttering in my stomach, I held still under each mesmerizing pass until it wasn’t enough, and I kissed him hard. He drew me deeper into his embrace but I didn’t feel smothered, just very loved and wanted. He plunged his tongue into my mouth and I responded with stolen breath, feeling the empty space in the front of my jeans tightening.
“I know how to make you feel better.” Jesse lifted my shirt and I just stood there silently with my arms around him when he nuzzled into my neck. He lost no time, beginning to touch me everywhere and his mouth danced across the bare skin of my shoulders and torso, licking and chewing on my nipples while I tried to hold my groans back. It didn’t take long before I was hard and aching for him.
He unfastened the button on my tight jeans and slid the zipper down. There was a growing wet spot on the fabric behind it where the precum had soaked through. Dropping to his knees in front of me, he pulled them down my thighs; my stiff cock caught and bounced as it got free of the denim and slapped me in the stomach.
“Splendid,” he breathed in awe, staring at my dick before looking up at me quizzically. “You’re a natural.”
“Natural what?” I husked, wanting to beg him to take me into his mouth.
“Blonde,” he smiled. “Carpet matches the drapes.”
I giggled through a groan when he ran his fingers over the slippery head, making me shiver, and then popped them into his mouth to taste my precum. “Mmm,” he moaned back.
He leaned towards me as I shifted my feet closer, and he sucked my cockhead into his mouth. I felt warm and wet surround it as his tongue slipped out to lick down the shaft to my balls and back up, waking up each nerve along its path. Steadying himself by grabbing my hips he re-positioned his jaw and began to slurp on it, going deeper with every dip. Then he innocently flipped his latte-colored eyes up at me, and the sight of him with his pink lips locked around my hard penis nearly made me cum right there. All I could do was whimper to show how much I liked it because words were beyond me.
I grabbed his head for balance, and he began working on me in earnest. I felt the tip hit the back of his mouth, and he gagged for a second before withdrawing to try again. It didn’t matter, his sliding hand at the base was almost as good as his mouth, especially when his fingers surrounded my sac and bobbled the balls inside. My hips wanted to thrust and he let me take control of my drives. All the stimulation was getting to me and I knew it wouldn't take much to make me fly apart.
My balls started to rumble, and I scarcely had time to groan out a “Jesse, I’m cum…” when my orgasm crashed into me. I felt cum racing through my dick to eject forcefully into Jesse’s waiting mouth, and I barely was able to contain my scream before stifling it with my hand. Looking down through blurry eyes I watched him swallow like he enjoyed the taste of my semen, moaning in delight. The sight made my knees weak to the point where I would have fallen over if Jesse hadn’t been holding on.
He let me regain some sanity and strength before he let go, and I pulled him up into an open kiss. He shared the last of me on his tongue, and then I was pawing at his clothing to get him out of his shirt and jeans. We collapsed on to Jesse’s double bed and I licked and nibbled my way down his long, narrow body to find his pretty cock jutting from his own trimmed groin of black curls.
I spread his knees and moved down between them. “Carpet matches your drapes too,” I teased him before lowering my head and wrapping my tongue around his scrotum to draw his nuts carefully into my mouth, first one and then the other and sucking on them gently.
“Oh damn, Shane,” he moaned softly, his hips lifting off the bed involuntarily. He filled his hands with my long hair to guide me.
I stroked his cock into full hardness and opened to let the mushroom head of his member slip inside and lay heavily on my tongue. Sucking at the tip, I closed my lips around it and tasted his slightly salty precum. It was Jesse’s so that made it good. Drawing his cock further into my mouth, I bobbed up and down, feeling the satiny skin stretch. He groaned again and knowing I was giving him such pleasure made me feel like a king.
I was able to get most of him into my mouth and began concentrating on my breathing so I wouldn’t gag. One hand gripping his shaft kept time with my mouth, and the other fondled his balls. I pressed my pinky finger into the taut skin between them and his twitching hole, eliciting another ragged moan from him. His hips were on autopilot now, his hands sweaty in my hair, and when I glanced up at him he was nearly glowing. That spurred me on, and I swallowed him on the next down-stroke.
Everything happened at once. Jesse quietly moaned, “Fuuuck, I'm cumming!” and his cock thickened. No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the first splash of cum hit the back of my throat and I hastily swallowed. He was mindlessly cupping my head to try and hold me still while his whole body was thrashing on the bed. I continued to bob over him, pulling his release from his pulsing cock and drinking each emission down until he finally went limp.
After cleaning him completely, I crawled up the bed and lay down next to him. “Are you okay?”
He smiled tiredly and reached out for me, and I rolled into a soft kiss. “Yeah,” he whispered, running his fingers down my jaw. “For a bi boy, you’re pretty good at blowjobs.”
“I aim to please,” I giggled back.
We snuggled up together and must have fallen asleep. All I know is that what seemed like only minutes later Jesse was shaking me awake and I didn’t want to open my eyes. We were still naked on top of his bed, and the air felt chilly.
“Shane, it’s four a.m. Shouldn’t you go home?”
“Don’t want to,” I grumbled, burying my head in his neck like a child. “Nobody’s there anyway.”
“Well, my mom will be getting up for work in an hour, and she can’t find you here.”
I sighed, remembering that he wasn’t out to his family yet. He was right; I had to get up even if I hated leaving him because the last thing either of us needed was to get caught. It was stupid how parents, with their mixed up values, held all the power.
I gave him a quick kiss and began searching for my clothes. I kissed him again as I scooted through the window and thought about him all the way home. That is, until I pulled on to my street and noticed my father’s car in the driveway.
Fuck! What was he doing here? He was supposed to be spending the night at Jillian’s.
I let myself into the house in near silence, thanking the sex gods for a front door that didn’t squeak and my ability to keep my keys from jangling. I had to pee so badly, but I was afraid that it would wake Dad and bring him out of his bedroom to ask where I’d been. Practically hopping up and down, I made myself undress and throw some briefs on over my naked ass, and then I climbed into bed and back out so it looked like I’d been asleep. However, there was no need for the subterfuge because Dad never woke up.
I didn’t think I was going to be able to fall back asleep but I had no trouble. My alarm clock went off at six, and I dragged myself up and into the shower. By the time I appeared in the kitchen my father was there.
“What time did you get home last night?” he asked, giving me a severe look.
I cautiously took a big breath and considered my options. Not that while I was in bed I hadn’t planned some damage control beforehand, but I wondered how much I could get away with and realized it all depended on how long my father had waited up for me… if he had.
“Midnight.” I picked a time I hoped wouldn’t be too far-fetched, given that my father wasn’t much of a night owl in any situation and most likely wouldn’t care enough to worry over my absence.
He didn’t react negatively and I relaxed a little. “That’s late for a school night,” he stated. “Where were you?”
“I picked up my paycheck from Uncle Carl, and then some friends and I went into Santa Barbara for dinner,” I half-lied. “One thing led to another and time got by us.”
“What does that mean?” Now he was glaring.
“Nothing,” I retorted, trying not to sound defensive. “Just hanging out and doing shit. I wasn’t getting into trouble if that’s what you’re worried about.”
He nodded, staring at me oddly. It was making me nervous. “I talked to Carl.”
Oh fuck! If Carl said anything about Jesse, I was dead. I felt a line of sweat trickling down my back, and I held my breath, hoping my uncle had kept my secret.
“He just wanted you to know that he planned to give you a raise with this paycheck and forgot to compute it into your hours. He said he’ll give you a separate check the next time he sees you.”
I willed myself to relax and forced a smile. “Oh, okay. Well, I better get to school.”
I was halfway to the door when my father stopped me. “Shane, I know you’re eighteen and we’ve never discussed what time you’re to be home, but from now on, curfew is 10:30 on weeknights and 11:30 on Friday and Saturday. Understand?”
“Sure, Dad,” I answered, thinking that nine nights out of ten he wouldn’t be around to know what time I came home. This was just his way of justifying what a fucked up job he was doing of parenting me. I guess I had no reason to complain, seeing as how it allowed me to spend so much time with my boyfriend.
(To be continued...)