Chapter 03

Paul woke early and pulled on some shorts and a t-shirt before venturing downstairs for a glass of juice. “Morning dear,” Molly said, looking up from her coffee as he son entered the room.

“Morning mom,” he said, smiling.

“Have fun last night?” she asked.

He rolled his eyes and asked, “Yeah. Did you?”

His mother frowned before answering, “As a matter of fact, your father and I did take advantage of having the house to ourselves!”

“Gross,” he said, scrunching up his face.

“Then maybe you should just answer your old mom’s questions and not get so … clever!” she laughed.

“We had a good time, mom,” Paul smiled, sitting down by her. Molly smiled and let out a breath as she looked at her son. He’d always been a small boy, though his growth spurt had finally brought him close to a reasonable, if still below average, height. As fine as his features were, giving him a masculine beauty hard to describe, it was hard not to think of him as fragile. ‘Perhaps she’d sheltered him too much?’ she wondered to herself. But as he smiled at her, brushing a little caramel hair from his face, he looked stronger, happier, more confident than he ever had before.

“So, who all joined you?” she asked.

Paul pursed his lips to repress his smile, “Some people….”

“So it was just the four of you then?” she asked, raising her eyebrows.

Blushing, he nodded. “But it wasn’t a date,” he said.

“I know, sweetie,” she said. “That doesn’t mean you can’t wish it was…. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

“Jim won’t hurt me,” Paul said, feeling sure of himself.

“But you might hurt yourself, if you lose sight of things,” she said, squeezing his shoulder.

“I won’t, mom,” he said. “I know too well how things are!”

“Help me with breakfast?” She asked. Soon they were mixing up biscuits. Then Paul fried some bacon, while his mom cooked eggs.

“Smells good,” Phil said as he slipped in for coffee and sat down at the table. “So Paul, tell us a bit more about this Jim character.”

“He’s on the football team — don’t ask me what position — and he’s a friend of Danny’s,” Paul said, explaining again how Danny had enlisted Jim to look out for him. “He came in for help on a paper one day after school. He’s really smart!” Then Paul got effusive and began to expound on how sweet Jim had been until he caught his parents casting each other looks. “So, I like him! He’s cute and sweet, and nice to me! Can you blame me?”

“No, son,” Phil said, “but….”

“I know, I know! Everyone keeps reminding me of what I already know. He’s just a nice, normal guy!” Paul exclaimed. “Can we just eat?” he asked as he put a dish of bacon on the table and took out the biscuits.

Phil looked cross and said, “Like I was GOING to say, but I hope you’ll be open with us if something does happen between you two.”

Paul blushed and shrugged, ashamed both at going off on his dad and at the secret he had kept and would be keeping from his parents. They’d approve of Jim, maybe, but never of what was on his heart.

“Dad,” he began hesitantly, “Mom…. I need to ask a favor.”

“What?” Molly asked, setting the rest of the food and jelly on the table and sitting down.

“I’d like to have a friend over tonight,” he said.

“Sure,” she said. “Who?”

Paul took a deep breath, but the doorbell rang. Phil got up and went to the door, opening it with surprise. “Morning, sir,” the boy smiled. “Sorry to bother you, but Paulie forgot his bag in my car yesterday. I was worried he might need something!”

“Come on in. Jim! We’re just sitting down to breakfast,” Phil smiled. “Can you join us? Molly and Paul always make too much!”

“It’s no trouble?” Jim asked. “I don’t want to impose!”

“Don’t be silly,” Phil said, leading the boy to the dining area. “Look who I found, Paulie,” Phil said, winking at his son.

Jim smiled and sat down next to Paul. “You left your bag in the trunk!” he said as he grabbed a plate and helped himself.

“Make yourself at home,” Paul teased.

“Don’t mind if I do,” Jim said, smiling. As they ate, Jim fielded a few questions from Phil about football, and Jim invited, “You should come to the game next week and bring Paulie!”

Phil looked at Paul and smiled, saying, “I stopped trying to drag Paul off to things he isn’t interested in a long time ago!”

“Let’s go, dad,” Paul said, popping the bacon into his mouth with a cheeky arching of his eyebrow.

“Alright then,” Phil said, shrugging and deciding not to make an issue of it.

After they finished, Jim said, “That was great! Thank you!”

“Molly and Paul make a nice breakfast on Saturday morning, most weeks, if you’re in the neighborhood,” Phil said with a smile. “So what brings you out so early this morning, anyway?”

“Well, I got home last night and saw Paulie’s bag,” the boy answered, shrugging. “I was going to go fishing this morning after I came by, so I guess I’ll get on my way.” Then he paused and looked at Paul with a strange smile.

“What?” Paul asked.

“You ever been fishing?” Jim asked with a smile.

“Uh, no!” Paul said.

“Wanna come? It’s kinda boring alone on a boat all morning!” Jim said.

“Can I steer the boat?” Paul grinned.

“It’s just a tiny aluminum thing with a motor, but if you want, sure!” Jim said.

“Cool!” Paul said. “I’ll run change!” And then the boy was gone in a flash.

Phil looked at his wife, surprised, before smiling and shrugging. “You boys be careful,” he said to Jim.

“Always,” Jim said.

Shortly, Paul returned in some everyday, cold-weather clothes, and smiled. “READY?”

“Yeah,” Jim said. “Thanks again for breakfast,” he said again to Molly before following Paul, who was already on his way to the door. Once the door closed behind them, he asked, “Excited?”

“YEAH!” Paul said. “I like to be out on the water!”

“It’s not much of a boat,” Jim said again, trying to keep Paul from being disappointed.

“I don’t care about that,” Paul said. “I just love being out there!”

“But you don’t fish?” Jim asked with a laugh.

“Nope!” Paul said.

“Well, we’ll grab my dad’s rod from the cabin so you can at least give it a try!” Jim said.

They drove about 20 minutes out of town into the wilderness, before Jim turned onto a little dirt path and drove another half a mile. He pulled up next to a small cabin, and got out. Paul followed him inside. On one wall, two small beds jutted out, while a wood-burning stove graced the opposite side of the room. A little card table was the only other furniture in the cabin, which wasn’t much more than about 10’X15’.

“Is this your place?” Paul asked.

“My grandpa built it with my dad, and left this place to him when he passed away. Dad wanted to sell it to pay for college, but I wouldn’t let him,” Jim said, smiling. “Must sound stupid?”

“No,” Paul said, “not stupid. This is a really cool place!” Looking out a window, he couldn’t see another house or cabin, though they probably dotted the lake’s coastline, and the water and the wilderness looked beautiful and unspoiled. “It’s romantic,” he added, blushing.

“This place?” Jim said, walking up beside him and looking out to see what the boy saw. “I suppose it could be, if you shared it with the right person….” After a moment’s silence, he added, “I grabbed you a rod. Let’s go!”

Down near the water, Jim opened a little shed and dragged a 12 foot aluminum boat down to the lake and pushed it partway in. Then he let Paul in and launched the boat. He paddled out a few dozen yards before lowering the propeller into the water and cranking it. Paul squeezed in next to him and Jim showed him how to operate it before directing him to the first fishing spot. They cast their lines and talked quietly for about thirty minutes. Getting no bites, they moved on.

After they dropped their lines again, Paul stretched out and put his hands behind his head, looking up at the sky. “It’s so peaceful, feeling the water move beneath you,” he said.

Jim watched him unseen and said, “Yeah.” But a few moments later, he called out, “Paulie, you got something on your line.

Paul sat up and grabbed his fishing Rob, while Jim secured his and moved in close to Paul. Paul could feel Jim’s warmth as the boy pressed against him so he could reach around and help Paul wrangle his first fish. After a few minutes, a nice-sized bass broke the surface with a splash, and Jim reached out with a net to bring it in. After freeing it from the hook, he ran a stringer through its gills, tied it to the boat and tossed it in the water.

Paul looked at him questioningly and Jim said, “That’ll keep the fish fresh until we get back and clean it!”

“We’re going to … kill it?” Paul asked, his eyes wide.

“And eat it! It’s your first fish!” Jim said, patting him on the back softly.

“I don’t know,” Paul said.

“Trust me,” Jim said with a smile Paul couldn’t say no to.

The spent another couple of hours out, Jim fishing while Paul alternated laying back and relaxing or talking. Finally, they both were ready to warm up and getting a little hungry, so Jim said, “Remember how to get back?” This time Paul cranked the engine and navigated by memory back to the cabin.

Paul helped Jim get the boat back to the shed, and the Jim grabbed Paul’s fish and two slightly smaller ones he had caught. When he took out his knife, Paul said, “Do you mind if I don’t stay for this part?”

Jim smiled gently and nodded. “Could you grab some wood from the woodpile and start a fire in the stove? There are matches in the cupboard.”

“Sure,” Paul said, thankful. He made two trips for wood and then found some paper and matches. By the time Jim got to the cabin, the room was beginning to warm perceptibly. Jim proceeded to fillet the fish inside before tossing the remaining bones and cartilage away in a composting heap over at the edge of the woods.

When he returned, Jim found that Paul had already found the frying pan and oil and the few cooking supplies available. “That smells good!” Jim exclaimed.

“I know! I was starving so I got started. Hope you don’t mind?” Paul said.

“Not a bit! So what are you doing with it, Chef Paulie?”

Paul laughed and said, “I found the Cajun seasoning, and figured we couldn’t go wrong with that!”

Paul concentrated on his cooking and didn’t notice Jim was again watching him closely. Paul had no idea how expressive his face was, as he smiled while he was lost in thought. Jim grabbed the plates when he could tell Paul was ready and the boy served the portion of the fish he had cooked for them, having already put the rest in a cooler Jim had bought. Jim sat on one bed, while Paul sat facing him, and they ate. When he finished, Jim put away his plate and lay back on the bed while Paul continued to eat.

“Ah, full and warm on a cold day,” Jim said, sighing with such pleasure that Paul laughed. He could barely look at Jim, stretched out and content and smiling at HIM, without getting that flutter.

Paul grabbed Jim’s dish and took the pan and plates down to the water to rinse them out. When he returned, Jim was asleep, so Paul stretched out on his side on ‘his’ bed to watch Jim sleep, and soon enough, Paul drifted off too.


Jim woke about an hour later and stretched, looking around. He saw Paul asleep, facing him. The boy’s face was so peaceful, so … enigmatic and beautiful. Jim reached out and the beds were nearly close enough together that he could reach. He almost leaned in the last few inches to stroke the silky skin, but drew back. Why? He wasn’t ashamed to be seen with Paul, wasn’t afraid that others would think they were on a date. Why did he pull back?

“Fuck,” he whispered to himself and sat up on the edge of the bed, leaning over so that he could even smell the boy’s subtle cologne. He gently placed his hand on Paul’s arm and rubbed, feeling the slight, but firm muscles beneath the shirt. “Paulie…. Paulie?”

“Hmmm?” the boy groaned, rolling onto his back.

“It’s time to wake up,” Jim said with a smile, which Paul looked up into as he opened his eyes.

“Do I have to?” Paul asked with a grin, before looking down at Jim’s hand, still on his arm. Jim withdrew the hand and nodded. “I’ve got a workout at five and I’ve got just enough time to drop you off….”

“Awe,” Paul whined with a big smile. Sitting up, he said, “This was SO much fun, Jim! Thanks!”

“I’ve never had so much fun out here without my dad,” Jim smiled. “Thank you!”

They packed up, Jim grabbing the cooler after putting away the fishing gear, and Jim dropped Paul off at home on his way back to school.

Paul ran inside and then it occurred to him. He’d never talked to his parents! “MOM!”

“Yeah, sweetie?” Molly asked, coming out of her bedroom putting in an earring.

“You guys going out?” he asked.

“We’re having dinner at the Stevens’s,” she said.

“Mom, I asked if I could have a friend over tonight,” Paul began.

“Sure honey,” she said. “You never did say who….”

“That’s the thing, mom,” Paul began, nervous. “Don’t get upset….”

“Paul,” she said, “just spit it out!”

“Mom, I asked Billy Cooper to come over to talk,” Paul said.

“PAUL ANDERSON! Your father will blow a gasket!” Molly said. “After all that boy’s done to you!”

“Mom, he’s hurting, and … we used to be friends. I hope we can be again,” Paul said. “Talk to dad for me?”

Molly looked at her son and nodded. “But if that boy does something to hurt you under our own roof, I’ll kill him myself,” she said pointedly.

“He’s not going to hurt me, mom,” Paul said. “Not now….”

“We’ll be home after 10:30. You just be sure he’s gone by then,” she instructed. “I’ll talk to your father tonight after we get home. Otherwise he’ll never leave you alone!”

“Thanks mom,” Paul said.

She shook her head and asked, “How was fishing?”

“I caught a big one,” he said, “and we ate it for lunch! Then we hung out at his cabin by the lake! It was awesome!”

“I’d be more comfortable if it was Jim you were having over tonight,” she said. But then she smiled wickedly and said, “Or maybe not…. I think Jim might not be as uninterested as you think!”

“Mom!” Paul said blushing. Luckily his mother had no idea why he was blushing. She assumed it was at the implication he and Jim might get frisky. In reality, he was blushing at the thought of what his mother would think if she only knew what he and Billy HAD gotten up to!


[FLASHBACK]

Billy and Paul talked until late in the night, facing each other on the couch and holding hands, smiling at each other like the little fools they were. There were no questions about how it would work, how their worlds would clash, how they had different dreams and goals. They simply looked into each other’s eyes and talked about how long they’d been dreaming about each other.

Paul was entirely mystified that the big, sexy jock would see anything in him, and he told him so. Billy laughed and scooted closer so their knees touched, and brushed some curly hair off Paul’s temple, before stroking his cheek. “To me, you’re beautiful,” he whispered. “I could stare at you all day long.”

“But,” Paul began.

“No buts,” Billy said. “I’ve got a type, and you’re it!” Paul blushed mightily and smile. “See, that makes my heart race!”

Paul scooted closer still and leaned in to kiss the boy on the cheek, making Billy smile. “It’s so … I can’t believe I can do that.”

Billy smiled and winked. “You can do whatever you want!”

“Slow down, cowboy. I’m not that kind of guy,” Paul laughed, leaning into Billy and letting the boy wrap and arm around him. Billy’s bare arm was covered with silky blond hairs and Paul began gently stroking it with his fingers.

Billy sighed as a comfortable silence settled over them which he hated to break. But it was late. “Paul,” he said, “we should go to bed….”

There was a moment of tense silence before Paul responded, “How’s that going to work?”

“However you want. I’ve got a queen bed, so sharing is no problem, but there is also a guest room,” Billy said.

“I … I don’t know if we should share,” Paul said nervously.

“If you sleep in my bed, I promise there’s no pressure, but if it makes you uncomfortable, that’s fine,” Billy said.

Paul looked up at him and said, “Okay,” with a smile.

“Okay, what?” Billy asked.

“Let’s cuddle,” Paul grinned, and Billy stood, pulling him up. Billy turned out the light and led the boy to his room, where he turned on a side lamp before turning out the lights. In the low light he began to undress unselfconsciously as Paul watched wrapped.

“This isn’t a show, perv,” Billy teased, “drop your drawers….” Paul blushed and shyly began to undress to his boxers. He had some pajama pants but Billy clearly wasn’t going to bother. Paul stood by awkwardly, feeling very self-conscious about his slight form, despite having only recently gone swimming with the boy. “Just get in the bed, sexy,” Billy instructed, laughing, and Paul did as instructed.

He was laying as close to his edge as he could when Billy turned out the light, rolled over, wrapped and arm around him and dragged him into the middle of the bed. “HEY!” Paul protested.

“I said no pressure,” Billy laughed, “but you promised me cuddling!” Paul sighed and let himself be held, reveled in the feeling of the soft hairs on the boy’s legs tickling his own smooth limbs delightfully. Paul rested his hand on the boy’s waist and let himself meld into the muscular teen. “Paul?”

“Yeah?” the boy asked tentatively.

“Can I kiss you?” Billy asked nervously.

Paul raised his hand to the boy’s shoulder and pulled him closer, a silent ‘YES!’ Then he put his hand on the back of Billy’s head and ran his hands through the silky blond locks as Billy kissed him gently at first, his tongue slipping expertly between Paul’s lips passionately.

Instinctively, Paul began to suck on his tongue and returned the kiss with passion. Soon, Paul had lost himself and felt the solid weight of the boy pressing down into him as Billy rolled onto him. The weight comforted Paul, even as the loss of mobility scared him a little. He was at Billy’s mercy now, and he could feel the boy’s cock hardening against him.

“Billy?” he gasped, drawing his mouth away from Billy’s. “We need to cool it before we do something I’m not ready for….”

Billy rolled onto his side, so that the full length of their bodies still touched and his fat cock rested against Paul’s side, and gently caressed Paul’s flat, firm belly with his right hand. “Do you at least believe me now?”

“What?” Paul asked.

“You get me hot and bothered!” Billy giggled.

“I see that,” Paul replied happily. “Me too!”

“Your skin is so soft and smooth,” Billy said, his fingers tickling Paul’s side, making the boy gasp delightedly.

Then he felt Paul’s hand on his hairy, ripply abs, as Paul replied, “It’s going to be hard to keep my hands off of you.”

“Then don’t try too hard,” Billy said, before yawning. Paul rolled over and Billy wrapped and arm around him, as they settled into their own thoughts and drifted slowly to sleep.


[PRESENT DAY]

Paul’s parents had gone, and he was sitting nervously in the living room. ‘What are you doing?’ he asked himself. ‘After all he’s done?’

But Paul’s mind kept conjuring that picture of the carefree, blond boy-god playing with him in the pool that summer day, all alone and far from the torment he would later cause. The happy face showing an expression he would come to understand reflected deep feelings of … what? Desire, certainly, but also affection.

Paul sighed and turned on the television, and then he proceeded to flip through channels aimlessly. He got up and poured himself a glass of juice, grabbing a book from his book bag on the way back. As he half-read, half-watched television, time crept to a crawl.

And yet, when the bell finally rang, he jumped. But he hurried to the door and peeked out. “You came to the front door,” Paul said.

The boy smiled, but said, “Yeah, but can I get inside?”

“Way to charm him, stud,” Paul said, opening the door wide. “Come on!”

Billy looked away as he walked in to the house, and then stood awkwardly. “Are your parents in bed?”

“No, they’re out,” Paul said. “But dad doesn’t know you’re here so mom says its best you’re gone before they get home.”

“Okay,” the boy replied docilely. “So, uhm….”

“Want to watch television?” Paul asked.

Billy looked at his feet and shook his head. “I wanted to talk … about us.”

“There is no us, Billy,” Paul said, trying not to sound too bitter. “There could have been. I would have given you everything I have!”

“I know, Paul,” Billy said, grabbing his hand. Paul thought of shaking him off, but didn’t. “I’m so stupid! You were the BEST thing that EVER happened to me, and I threw you away! But I was afraid!”

“You were afraid? Or you are afraid?” Paul demanded, and Billy again averted his eyes in shame.

“Billy,” Paul said, “I just don’t know what we’re doing here! I am who I am, and everybody knows it!”

“Thanks to me,” Billy said, dejected.

“Yeah, but that’s not where I was going,” Paul frowned. “But now we can’t even be seen together, if you are so afraid of people thinking what they’ll think.”

Billy sat down and put his hands in his head. “I just want you back,” he said.

“Billy,” Paul sighed, “I’m not going to be your secret mistress!”

“NO!” Billy said. “But what if I don’t see anybody else? Can’t we keep it between us, at least for a while?”

Paul sat down near him and fell silent as he was deep in thought. “Billy,” he said gently. “I just don’t know.”

“I know it’s asking a lot, Paul,” Billy said, looking up at Paul, and grabbed his hand softly. Paul felt the same electric charge he had that first time Billy touched him.

Paul turned his hand over and took Billy’s in his own, raising it to his lips and kissing it. Then he stood and moved next to Billy and settled into the seat next to him. “I’ve missed you,” he whispered as he laid his head on the boy’s muscular shoulder. “This you, anyway,” he added with a grin.

Billy wrapped him in a snug hug and Paul inhaled deeply, taking in Billy’s familiar scent, an intoxicating blend of subtle cologne and soap that had been so familiar and so comforting. So much between them began to evaporate in his mind as Billy filled his senses again.