Chapter 08

Chapter 08

 

Phil answered the door and found himself face-to-face with a tall redheaded teen wearing a white button-up shirt and a brown leather jacket. The boy smiled at him and held out his hand and said, "Hi! I'm Seamus O'Connor! I'm here to see Paul."

Phil smiled despite himself and shook the boy's hand. "Phil Anderson. Come on in!" He ushered the boy inside and called upstairs, "Paul, Remus is here," before whispering, "I know your name!"

"DAD!" Paul came rushing out. Seeing Seamus there grinning, he complained, "You're mean, dad!"

Paul came down and Seamus looked him over, smiled and said, "You look great!" Paul was wearing a nice pair of blue jeans, a dark pink shirt and a burgundy sweater.

Paul blushed and said, "Thanks, you too!" Molly bustled in from the kitchen and Paul said, "Seamus, this is my mom!"

She extended her hand and said, "Molly! So nice to meet you!"

"Likewise, ma'am," he said, being the perfect gentlemen.

Phil asked, "So where are you boys going today?"

Seamus smiled at Paul and said, "My plan was to take Paul ice-skating!"

"REALLY?" Paul asked. "I've never done that!"

Seamus smiled and said, "And then I figured dinner and a movie...."

"So we can expect you home by?" Phil asked, rather than imposing a curfew.

Seamus smiled and said, "Definitely before 1, sir!"

Phil looked at his watch and Paul tensed up. Paul knew he'd be expected by twelve, so he was shocked when his father said, "Not a minute later, or it’s your ass, son!"

"Yes, sir!" Seamus grinned.

"You boys run along then," Phil said. "You've only got eight-and-a-half hours left!"

Molly chuckled and shook her head, as they saw the boy's out. "Oh, wait," she called before they got off the porch. "Let me get my camera!"

Paul blushed, making Seamus laugh again, but when his mother returned, he let the big boy put an arm around him to pose for a picture. "Need another pose, mom?" he asked.

"Not that you mention it, why don't you sit on the swing together," she said, indicating the big porch swing. The boys dutifully sat, and Seamus again hugged Paul close.

Once they made it to the car, Paul apologized. "Sorry about that! I've never been out on a REAL date before though," he said.

"That's a shame, but lucky for me! You've got nothing to compare me to!" Seamus said.

Paul laughed. "I'm sure you'd compare just fine!"

"Well, since you and Jim have to keep your thing secret, I guess he can't compete with me on this front!"

Paul's eyes widened as he looked at the boy. "Seamus, Jim is NOT my secret ... friend!"

Seamus opened his mouth and fell silent for a moment. "I ... I'm sorry. I just assumed, because of the way he and you.... Shit, I'm sticking everything in my mouth today!"

"Not everything," Paul winked, diverting with humor. "But anyway.... This'll go a lot smoother if you just forget about him! Whoever he is!"

"You're giving ME date advice," Seamus teased.

"Well, since you're on a date with me, it might be wise to take it," Paul laughed and squeezed the boy's forearm.

As they watched Seamus's blue Volkswagen Jetta pull out of the driveway, Molly said, "You going soft, old man?"

"Hmmm?" he asked.

"1 o'clock?" she elaborated.

"Paul deserves to have a little fun," the man said. "And I'll show you gone soft," he said, giving the woman a passionate kiss.

***

"This is way harder than it looks," Paul laughed as he walked on his skates toward the rink.

"Wait until you hit the ice," Seamus laughed, grabbing his hand to support him as he stepped down onto the slippery surface. "Right, now wait for me!" Seamus stepped down beside him and gave him a few last minute pointers. Slowly Paul began to move, and made it about 10 feet before his feet started to move, each in its own direction. Seamus laughed as he extended the boy a hand and helped him up.

"You shouldn't laugh," Paul grinned. This time he held on to Seamus and they began to make the circuit slowly. The next time Paul fell, he dragged the big boy down with him. "Now you have some incentive to keep me on my feet!"

Seamus looked at him and cheekily retorted, "Maybe I prefer you on your back?"

"You wish," Paul said, laughing. "Now help me up!"

Seamus laughed and got to his feet before setting Paul on his. After a few goes around the rink, Paul was able to stay on his feet, if not gracefully, and they glided across the ice holding hands and talking. Paul was entirely unaware of the occasional looks they garnered; he felt free as the wind blew through his hair. He squeezed Seamus's hand and smiled up at the boy, who gave him a quick wink before turning and lifting Paul off his feet and spinning.

"Oh my God!" Paul exclaimed with excitement as Seamus sat him down gently near the rail. "What was that?"

"I've been doing this for a long time," Seamus grinned as Paul threw his arms around his neck. "I played hockey until we moved here. I still play in a club, but ... whatever. I did some couple's figure skating, but it was kinda gay," he added with a wink.

Paul giggled and said, "Well, I'm impressed!" They skated around for a while longer, but at last Seamus announced that they needed to leave to make their reservation.

"Where are we going?" Paul asked. But before Seamus could answer, Paul tried to step up off the rink and caught the tip of his skate on the gate and fell face first toward the concrete. He extended his arms and bent his knees, barely managing to keep his face from crashing into the ground.

"Oh God!" Seamus exclaimed, kneeling beside him. "Are you alright?"

"Ouch," Paul said, straightening up and looking at his hands. His palms were scraped and oozing. Seamus helped him up and then he noticed the knees of his jeans were scuffed and his right knee was darkening.

"Shit you skinned your knee! Sit here for a minute!" Seamus took off his skates and found the attendant who told him where he could find a restroom and a first aid kit. He returned to Paul and slipped his arm beneath Paul's and supported him as they led him off to the bathroom. "Take your pants off," he said. Seeing Paul's face, he laughed and said, "We need to get that knee wrapped!" Seeing Paul still hesitate, he asked, "Are you commando or something?"

"NO," Paul blushed. "But when you helped me in here, being that close to you made me ... feel good."

"Oh," Seamus said, blushing a little too. "Good," he winked. "I'll give you a minute, but get your pants off before they're ruined!"

Paul took his pants off and hung them over the door of the stall and gradually his erection subsided. Seamus grabbed them and then Paul heard him washing the blood out in the sink. Then Seamus returned with the first aid supplies, and asked, "All better?"

"Yeah," Paul said, and Seamus entered the stall. He knelt down and rubbed an alcohol wipe on the skinned knee and then began wrapping it with gauze. He was so gentle, and seeing him kneeling there, Paul got embarrassed.

Seamus looked up and noticed why Paul was squirming, as Paul stretched his tight blue briefs. "Good for you," he winked and returned to his work. When he finished, he patted Paul on his smooth, lean thigh. "All done, big boy!" Then he left Paul to put his pants back on.

When Paul emerged, still blushing, Seamus dragged him to the sink and washed his hands with soap and water. "I could do this myself," Paul said softly.

Seamus handed him some paper towels to dry his hands, then rubbed antiseptic on the cuts and bandaged him up. "I want to do it," he replied with a smile. "I'm so sorry about this! I wanted you to have a good time!"

Paul grabbed his hands and said, "It's still the best date I ever had," with a wink.

Seamus laughed and nodded. "THANKS! THAT helps!"

"I'm kidding, Seamus. It was awesome! And this ... you didn't have to do this for me," Paul whispered.

"If I hadn't I might not have gotten to see you in your underwear until our second date!" Seamus grinned. "Now, if you're okay, I think we can still make our reservation!"

"Okay," Paul grinned. "But I think, to be polite, you ought to drop your pants and let me see your undies too!" His jaw fell in shock as the boy unsnapped his pants and dropped them without batting an eye. "Jocks," he said, shaking his head. "I was KIDDING!" But even as he said it, his eyes were glued to the tight red boxer briefs that hugged the boy’s waist and thighs, accentuating every curve of muscle and his prominent package.

"I got nothing to be ashamed of," Seamus said with pride.

"I see that," Paul said. "Now pull up your pants and let's go. I'm hungry!"

"I guess I can understand that after a show like this," Seamus teased as he pulled up his pants and buttoned them. Then he gave Paul his arm for support and they hurried out to the car.

"So where are we going?" Paul asked again.

"Do you like Italian?" Seamus asked.

"Love it," Paul grinned.

"Then we're going to Maggiano's," Seamus said. "You ever been there?"

"Once," Paul said. "It's good!"

"It's okay, but it's a first date," Seamus smiled, winking. "I didn't want to go overboard!"

Paul laughed and put his hand on Seamus's, which was resting on the gear-shift.

As luck would have it, their names were just being called when they arrived, so they were taken straight to their table. After they were seated, a young, college-aged waiter named Sean approached and took their drink order. "Would you like any appetizers with that?" the young man asked.

Seamus put his hand on Paul's and smiled at the waiter, "I've got all I need right here!"

Sean blushed and nodded, asking Paul, "And you?"

"I'll take an order of cheese sticks," Paul said, allowing Sean to flee. "As if there wasn't enough CHEESE in the immediate area," he added privately, but squeezed Seamus's hand. "THIS is nice."

Seamus smiled a knowing grin that might have appeared cocky if you didn't know him. "I know." Seeing the look on Paul's face, he hurriedly added, "I mean, I know what it’s like to feel like it's okay to be yourself." Paul smiled wider and just held his hand.

Shortly, Sean returned with their drinks and some bread and asked, "What can I get you for dinner?" plainly uncomfortable.

Paul smiled at him meekly and said, "If you'd like someone else to help us, it won't hurt my feelings."

The young man blushed and shook his head. "No! Please, I don't mean for you to.... I'm so sorry!" Seamus just stared at him as he shifted on his feet. "One of my best friends just came out and it's been on my mind a lot lately, guys."

"You never knew?" Paul asked.

"Not a clue! He was the big dog growing up," Sean answered with a weak smile. "But seriously, we don't have a problem, if you don't mind me waiting on you?"

Paul smiled and nodded, and then they ordered. "I would have given him a harder time," Seamus said with a smile.

"No you wouldn't have," Paul said, rolling his eyes.

"Maybe not," Seamus replied.

They laughed and talked through dinner and decided which movie they were going to go see. Before they could leave, though, Sean brought them a free desert.

"You didn't have to do that," Paul said.

"But thanks," Seamus quickly added with a smile.

After they paid, Paul excused himself to the restroom and said, "I'll meet you in the car!"

But after the restroom, Paul found Sean and asked, "Is everything alright?"

"Yeah," the young man said unconvincingly. "It's been a hard semester."

Paul frowned and said, handing him a piece of paper, "If you ever want to talk, that's my email address. I know something about hard semesters!"

Sean smiled and said, "I bet!" As Paul was walking away, Sean called, "THANKS!"

***

"So was it what you expected?" Seamus asked as they pulled up to Paul's house later that night.

"What do you mean?" Paul asked.

"Your first date!" Seamus exclaimed, turning in his seat to face Paul.

"No," Paul said with a smile. "I expected to be more nervous, to spend a lot of time wondering what people were thinking!"

"What were you thinking about?" Seamus smiled.

Paul grinned and blushed. "Just you...." He put a hand on the boy's strong arm and added, "It was awesome, really! It's been a long time since I had that much fine. I've never been given first aid by such a hottie either," he added with a wink.

Seamus leaned in quietly, dangerously close before raising his hand to Paul's face and closing the distance. Paul felt Seamus suck on his bottom lip for a second before turning his head and kissing him passionately.

"Mmmm God," Paul groaned when they broke their kiss. "When can I see you again?"

"I'm busy tomorrow," Seamus smiled. "What about after practice on Tuesday? Can I come by and hang out?"

"Absolutely," Paul said, kissing him again. When Seamus kissed him, he felt something he didn't feel when he kissed Billy. Seamus was completely into it, and now that Paul had something to compare it to, he could tell a part of Billy was always holding back.

"You're so beautiful," Seamus whispered to him before he let him go. Then he got out of the car to walk Paul to his door.

After a last, and more chaste kiss, Paul asked him, "Want to come inside? It's almost an hour before curfew."

"I'd better not," Seamus said. "I don't know if I could control myself!"

Paul kissed him one last time and said, "Me either," breathlessly. "See you Tuesday then!"

***

On Sunday afternoon, Christina dropped by Paul's house. Phil answered the door and said, "Hi, Christina. Paul's upstairs reading."

"Thanks, Mr. A," she said, heading for the stairs. She knocked on the door and said, "Hey, Paul?"

"Come on in," he said. "What are you doing here? It's your last full day with Danny until next weekend!"

"Actually until winter break. Don't forget football practice and games and all that!" she answered.

"SO?" he laughed.

"Danny's off with Jim," she said, rolling her eyes. "They've been hanging out a lot the last couple of days. Jim's got something on his mind."

Paul nodded, thinking he might have a clue as to what had Jim so worked up, though for the wrong reasons. He knew the boy was worried about him as a friend. "So you're looking for someone to entertain you in the meantime...."

"NO! Well, yes," she said. "BUT I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR DATE!"

"God!" Paul said getting a distant look. "He's fantastic!"

"You DID IT on your first date? SLUT!" she said with a grin.

He just shook his head. "I'm not your twin," he laughed, and told her about the evening from beginning to end, including the kiss.

"He's hot and romantic," she said. "You did good for your first boyfriend," she winked.

‘Second,’ he thought, but his first real boyfriend to be sure. "If he'd come inside, I would have been fair game," Paul admitted with a blush.

"Are you sure you aren't my twin?" Christina teased.

"I know, right?" he laughed. "But...."

"But WHAT?" she asked.

"There's just something else," he said.

"Well, no matter what I said, don't let the thought that Jim might one day grow a pair make you take a pass on this slice of Irish boy-god!" she demanded.

Paul blushed and said, "It's not that, exactly."

"Well?" she demanded.

"Close enough, though," he admitted. Paul had written off Jim as not sharing his feelings but there was Billy. The boy cared for him and they had history. Not just history – they had a present. And that was bothering him. The fact that each knew of the other's existence, if not identity, did not assuage his guilty conscience.

Changing the subject slightly, Christina said, "So WHAT did he look like without his pants on?"

Paul blushed fiercely, though he was unable to keep his smile from spreading across his face.

***

Danny strained under the weight as he tried to lift the heavy load a tenth time. Jim slid his fingers under the bar, just in case, but after a long struggle Danny lifted the bar back to its rest. Danny sat up, breathing heavy, and stretched his chest muscles.

"Christina's going to talk to him about his date," Danny said.

"I'm sure he had a good time," Jim said. "Seamus is a good guy, and he treats his boyfriends very well. Parents never check the balances on his credit cards; they just pay the bills."

"Sorry, dude," Danny said.

"NO! Maybe it'll put an end to this Billy shit!" Jim said.

"You SURE that's how you want it to go down? You can still throw your hat into the ring. I think you'd come out the winner," Danny said. "From what Christina said, Paul's nursing a flame for you too!"

Jim shook his head. "It'd hurt him, making him choose...."

"Christ! You're too good for your own good," Danny said. "Snatch him up and make it up to him later!"

"Like you did Christina?" Jim smirked. Danny had pined over the girl for years as she went from boy to boy.

"Learn from my mistake," Danny said, shaking his head. "If I knew what I know now, I'd have done things differently."

"Maybe you're right. Maybe I am just a pussy," Jim said darkly. "I just can't."

"You worried about kids at school?" Danny worried.

"Fuck them!" Jim said. "I didn't care if they saw us together before and I sure as shit don't care now. But my dad...."

Danny frowned but nodded. He didn't think the man would turn his back on Jim, or judge him, but how could you know how people would react? Jim's dad was old-school macho, no doubt; in his line of work you had to be to get respect. "You'd know better than me, man, but the clock is ticking and the game's playing without you."

Jim nodded. He knew that.

***

Monday at lunch, Paul saw Billy eating with Robert and the boy barely looked at him, while Jim ate with his teammates again. "I'm not feeling the love today," Paul said.

"You and Jim have a fight?" she asked, teasing.

But Paul's face fell, and she looked concerned. "Not exactly. But he's not exactly my biggest fan right now!"

"Oh, sweetie," she said, misdirected appropriately, "he's just jealous. He'll get over it."

"We'll see!" Paul said darkly. Once he caught Jim's eye, but the boy quickly looked away.

***

Paul sat in his room Monday night and did his homework, but he was sulking inwardly. He'd gotten used to the boys in his life and none was to be found. But Tuesday, he knew, would bring Seamus back, and that helped.

He logged onto his email and scanned through the few new messages he'd received, but nothing from either Jim or Billy. "So much for friendship," he muttered.

***

Tuesday, Paul didn't even look for Jim or Billy, and neither of them surprised him. He had his lunch with Christina and went to his classes. He passed both boys in the hall and avoided them, avoided looking at them or dealing with them.

After school, he went to the library to sit at his table and tutor any students who showed up. At the bitter end of the semester, with cold setting in, he was one of the only tutors there.

So he tensed up when his nemesis swaggered into the library and looked around. Robert saw him and sneered before walking up to him and tossing a paper down in front of him. "Hey, Paulie," he said meanly.

"I'm not working with you," Paul said. "You can wait for Samantha!"

"But you're prettier than Samantha," Robert glared.

"Beat it, Roberta! I have an appointment," Danny said, walking past him and sitting down next to Paul. Danny casually brushed Robert's paper into the floor and said, "You hard of hearing?"

Robert frowned and picked up his scattered pages. "One day, Danny," he said.

"Yeah," Danny said. "I apologize in advance for the beat down you’re gonna take, asshole." Robert glowered with false contempt before storming off. Danny smiled at Paul and said, "Guess he didn't want to wait!"

"Thanks Danny," Paul said.

"You want a ride home? In case he's hanging around?" Danny asked.

"You don't mind?" Paul asked.

"I insist," Danny said. They walked out to his car and saw that Robert's car WAS still in the lot. Inside the car, Danny said, "Jim just needs some time, Paul."

Paul looked at him and said, "I don't know what you mean."

Danny said, equally obscurely, "Whatever happened between you guys, it's hard for him to get his mind around. But you ARE important to him."

"He has a funny way of showing it," Paul said. "It was so nice, and then ... well I'm sure you don't want to hear me whine."

"Paul, take my word for it, he just doesn't know how to show you how he feels," Danny said, dangerously skirting betraying a confidence. A few minutes later, Danny dropped him at his house and waved as he drove off.

An hour or so later, Paul answered the door and welcomed Seamus inside. "Mom, Seamus and I are gonna go upstairs!"

Molly poked her head out and asked, "Can you stay for dinner, dear?"

"Yeah," he said. "Thanks. I'll call my mom!"

"Good boy," she said with a smile. "You boys run along!"

Paul grabbed Seamus's hand and dragged him upstairs and into his room. When the door was closed, Paul pressed himself into Seamus, who was "pinned" against the door, and pulled the boy down into a kiss.

"What's gotten in to you?" Seamus laughed when they separated.

"I missed you," Paul said with a sweet blush, prompting Seamus to grab him for another kiss.

"What is it about you?" Seamus whispered in his ear, thrilled to feel the smaller boy shiver beneath his hands. Paul yielded to his every touch, as Seamus's hands slipped around his waist and beneath his shirt.

"Seamus," Paul whispered as he felt the boy's strong hand's caressing the soft skin of his back.

"Yeah? Too fast?" Seamus asked with a smile.

Paul shook his head no as he wrapped his arms around the big boy's neck and half-hopped into his arms. Paul felt Seamus's hands grasp his tight ass as Paul wrapped his legs around Seamus's waist. The big red-head spun around and kissed Paul deeply as he pressed him into the door. They made out that way for a few minutes before Paul whispered, "Bed!"

"Your parents," Seamus said as he carried the boy across the room and dropped him unceremoniously onto the bed.

"Shut up and take your shirt off," Paul said. He gawked as the big boy did as he was told, revealing a developed chest and an abdomen of rolling muscle. Seamus laughed and Paul patted the bed next to him.

Seamus sat down and said, "Courtesy dictates that you take yours off too!" Paul blushed but lifted his shirt over his head. He gasped as he felt Seamus rub his nipple before he got his shirt off. "You like that?" Seamus grinned.

"Yeah," Paul said softly. He laid his head on Seamus's shoulder and traced the boy's tight abs with a soft hand, tickling the soft hairs on the boy's belly. Then he whispered, really quietly, "I'd really like it if you ... took charge."

Seamus smiled and turned on his side before crawling on top of Paul, letting his weight restrain the boy beneath him. "You like it like this?" Seamus asked with a whisper and a grin.

Paul nodded with a smile to encourage him. He felt Seamus's hands wrap around his wrists and that smile widened. Seamus kissed him forcefully, before kissing his way down the boy's jaw and nipping at his ear.

Paul threw back his head and bared his neck, and felt Seamus chuckle before the boy's warm moist lips closed on the soft skin. Seamus kissed up and down the boy's neck, tickling him so he writhed beneath Seamus like a sack of snakes.

Paul pressed up into Seamus's mouth intently until the boy realized what Paul wanted but didn't want to ask. To avoid leaving a mark, Seamus kissed down to the boy's shoulder and gently nipped at it. Paul groaned and wriggled in pleasure, and Seamus repeated the gesture. This time Paul couldn't restrain himself and whispered, “Harder.”

Seamus grinned and obliged, biting with a little more force. Then he felt Paul's hand wriggle free and fly to his neck, encouraging Seamus on. "HARDER," he insisted.

"I'll leave a mark," the boy cautioned.

"Please!" Paul begged. "Leave a mark, just do it!"

Seamus didn't have to be asked twice and Paul could tell he was into it as well, because he could feel the boy hardening against his thigh. "Yes!" Paul said as Seamus truly bit him, just short of breaking the skin. Breathlessly, he added, "Again!"

Seamus obliged with vigor, and Paul whipped his head around, revealing his other shoulder to the boy's attentions. Paul's other hand broke free and he reached around to grab Seamus's firm ass and squeeze.

"Oh," Seamus exclaimed in pleasure.

Paul's eyes widened and he laughed as he said, "Hush!"

Just then Molly called upstairs, "Boys!" making Seamus jump off of him. "DINNER!"

Paul calmly grabbed his shirt and pulled it over his head and said, "Get dressed!"

"Give me a minute to catch my breath!" Seamus grabbed his shirt and turned away to put it on. With his back to Paul, he said, "I've had a few boyfriends, but I've never been around someone like you."

"Like me?" Paul asked, putting a hand on his shoulder.

"The things you do to me," Seamus said, shaking his head before turning to smile down at the boy.

Paul blushed and said, "That's nothing," with an impish smile, "compared to the things I want you to do to me. Eventually," he added with a wink.

"God," Seamus shivered and shook his head. He followed Paul down to dinner and had a nice conversation with the family, but he was clearly distracted. HIs mind was elsewhere and he hoped to goodness that no one besides Paul knew where.

Phil and Molly might have guessed even without the stolen glances at Paul while he wasn't looking, the longing gaze. Seamus was smitten, and it was written all over him.

When they finished eating, Phil excused Paul from dish duty so they could retreat upstairs. "He's a nice boy," Molly said when they heard the door shut.

"I like Jim," Phil said.

Molly arched her eyebrows and said, "Be that as it may, THIS boy likes our son!"

"So does that dumbass," Phil said grumpily.

"We know that," Molly said, leaving the sentence hanging.

Upstairs, Seamus and Paul put on a movie and cuddled up on the bed. Paul put his head on Seamus's chest and slipped his hand beneath the boy's shirt, absentmindedly stroking the boy's tummy. A few minute into the movie, Seamus warned, "You're making me ... uncomfortable."

Paul looked up at him and Seamus indicated his problem with his eyes. Paul followed his gaze to a prominent bulge in his pants. Paul removed his hand from beneath the boy's shirt and with an impish look slid in beneath the waistband of the boy's shorts. Soon, his slim fingers wrapped around a hot, throbbing shaft and he was surprised. It was even bigger than he thought, long and thick. "Wow," Paul whispered, earning a proud smile from the big boy. "We ARE going to have fun."

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