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The Move

Chapter 19

By Doug Smith

We got home about ninety minutes before supper. My pants were still damp and the stain on my crotch was pretty obvious. Josh thought it was funny. He gave me a hard time the entire ride home. Of course I thought it was funny too but I wasn't going to admit it. What I liked best was that he felt comfortable enough to do something like that. It showed he wasn't as worried about doing something wrong. It felt good he was starting to be more comfortable with things.

He showed the type of friend he was when we got home as well. My pants were damp and I smelled like cum, at least he said I did. I really didn't want my parents to see me before I changed. Josh smiled and patted my crotch before we got out of the jeep.

"Don't worry," he said. "You go upstairs to change and I'll intercept your parents. I want to ask your Dad if he talked to my aunt anyway."

"I had fun," I said leaning in to give him a kiss.

"Me too," he said. "Thank you for telling me about Aaron."

I pulled him towards me. "I don't want to go inside," I said. "Let's just stay here for a few minutes."

"We should go inside. Your parents probably heard us."

"I just want to hold you for a minute."

"We shouldn't be doing this in your driveway. Somebody will see us. What if someone from school sees us?"

"Mike is the only guy from school in the neighborhood. Becky lives down the street but she already saw you kiss me. How about just one more kiss?" I asked rubbing his crotch and giving him a kiss. "You can't go inside with that anyway," I said feeling his hard cock in his pants.

"Stop that. We need to go inside. It'll go down if you leave it alone. If I cum too then there won't be any way we can sneak by your parents. Besides, they're probably looking out the window wondering what we're doing."

"They wouldn't do that but Scott would. I saw him in the window."

"Shit," he said turning to look.

"Relax," I said smiling. "At least we were just kissing. What do you think he'd say if he saw my head disappear below the dashboard?"

I laughed when he opened the door to get out.

"You're not going to make me cum in my pants," he said getting out.

I got out and met him in front of the jeep putting my arm on his shoulder. Scott was standing by the door when we walked inside.

"Hey munch. What are you doing?"

"I heard you but you didn't come in. I wanted to know why."

Josh turned red when I said we were talking.

"I saw you kissing. Is Josh your boyfriend now?"

I smiled. "You're right munch, you did see us but Josh and I are just friends. We've talked about how I like boys, right? Josh does too. That doesn't mean you do. You shouldn't kiss anyone. We're older."

"I don't think I want to kiss a boy."

"That's okay Scott. You don't have to worry about stuff like that yet."

"I don't want to kiss a girl either. Girls are yucky," he said.

I laughed. "Why don't you go play. I have to go upstairs and Josh needs to find Dad."

"He's working."

"Is he here or did he go to work?"

"He's in his office."

"Josh needs to talk with him. How about we play Nintendo later?"

"Okay," he said running to the stairs.

I smiled at Josh and gave him a quick kiss.

"I'll be right back. My father should be in his study."

They were still talking when I came back downstairs. Josh didn't look too happy. Hopefully my father didn't have bad news. It turned out there wasn't any news at all. Josh's father was still being held for his arraignment and the lawyer helping my father hadn't been able to talk with Josh's aunt. She hadn't answered either her home phone or her cell. She also hadn't returned any of his calls even though he had left several messages.

"She didn't answer when I called either," said Josh.

My father tried telling him not to worry but that didn't really help. The not knowing was starting to get to him. I could see it on his face. He knew he could stay here, at least for the short-term, but I'm sure he would like to hear from his aunt. I stood next to him with my hand on his back, not thinking anything of it. I just wanted to show him I was there for him. He didn't move away but he did seem nervous until he realized my father wasn't going to say anything.

"She must have gone away for the weekend. I'm sure she'll be back tomorrow. It's a school day," he said. "You'll probably see her at school before Jon can get in touch with her. If you do then it's okay to tell her what's going on but make sure she calls Jon."

"Why can't you try calling her again?" I asked.

"Jon will keep trying. I'm letting him handle things. I felt it was better to have someone else in charge given your involvement. Don't worry, he and I are working together."

"Will I meet him?" asked Josh.

"Of course. If he can't get in touch with your aunt and you're still here then he'll probably stop by tomorrow or the next day. Otherwise, he'll want to meet with you and your aunt. He said his friend needs to do an inspection of where you're going to be living."

"What type of inspection?"

"Just to make sure you're in a safe environment. There's nothing to worry about. She just needs to make sure. I know it's hard but you should try not to worry. We'll get in touch with your aunt and in the meantime you're welcome here."

"Thanks Dad," I said.

"What did you guys do this afternoon?"

We told him about going for a hike. He was concerned when I mentioned the waterfall.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Josh didn't know how Aaron died so when he first mentioned a waterfall I kind of zoned out but it was okay. We had a long talk, now he knows everything. It actually felt good to talk about it. I feel better. Maybe you should pay him instead of Dr. Medford."

"I think your mother will say that you still need to see Dr. Medford but you do seem better the last couple of days."

"Thanks Dad. I feel better. Josh has been a big help."

"You two are becoming close."

"We're just friends," I said smiling.

I'm sure the look Josh and I gave each other made it obvious it was more than 'just friends'. My father noticed but surprised me when he only smiled. I knew he'd prefer 'just friends' meant just that.

"It's okay Dan. I'm just happy that you're doing better."

There was still an hour before dinner so Josh and I went upstairs to do homework. Scott was in his room reading a book. He wanted to play Nintendo but I convinced him to wait until after supper.

"Josh and I need to do some homework."

"Alright," he said. "You're probably just going to kiss more anyway."

I reached down to tickle him. "How about if I just kiss you," I said kissing his neck while tickling him. He squirmed trying to get away. "We'll see you later munch."

Josh and I went back to my room. He sat at my desk while I sat on my bed going through some notes. It was tough to concentrate and after a while I realized he wasn't really studying either. He hadn't turned a page in ten minutes.

"Don't worry," I said sitting up. That was a mistake. The look he gave me made me regret saying it as soon as the words were out of my mouth. His life was being turned upside down and I was telling him not to worry. I guess it's one of those automatic things people say when they don't know what else to say. Here he was not knowing what was going to happen, relying on people he didn't really know, and all I could tell him was not to worry.

"I'm sorry," I said. "I know you're worried but you have to try to be patient. You've got a lot of people on your side. Things take time. I'm sure you'll be able to stay with your aunt. She's nice and I know she cares about you."

"I hope so. I don't know what's going to happen with my father though. He won't like me living with her."

"Maybe he'll get help and things will change."

"I don't know if I want them to. He's treated me like shit for so long. I don't know if I can ever forgive him. Right now I don't care if he rots in jail. I know that sounds terrible but you don't know what things have been like. Being here, I feel like that is all behind me. Your parents have treated me better than him and they don't even know me. I really don't want to go back there."

I gave him a hug. "It is behind you. You're not going to have to live like that any more. If he gets help and you can forgive him then fine. If not then you can live with your aunt. You deserve to be happy."

"I hope so. What if he puts up a fight? He is my father."

"Things are in the open now. He'll have to prove he's changed. Plus he has other legal troubles."

"I'd just like to know what's going to happen. I hope I can stay with my aunt. Where do you think she is?"

"I don't know. I'm sure my father is right. She probably just went away for the weekend. We'll find out tomorrow at school."

"Yeah but why wouldn't she call back? We've left messages. She'd call back if she got them."

"Maybe she hasn't checked her phone. If she went away she might have turned it off not wanting to be interrupted. Maybe she's doing something where she can't have a phone or maybe her phone is just dead. It happens. We'll find out tomorrow."

"I guess. I just don't like not knowing."

I smiled and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Between you and me I kind of hope she's on vacation. I like having you here."

He smiled. "I like being here too. It's just that waiting and not knowing sucks. What's going to happen if I can't stay with her? What if she doesn't want me living with her? She doesn't have much room. Your father said I can only stay here for a week. If I can't stay with my aunt then I'll have to go to a foster home."

"Don't worry about that. I'm sure a week can be turned into something longer. It's probably just a formality." I said reaching out to hug him.

I held him for a minute but let go when I noticed my father in the doorway.

"Hi, Dad. What's up?"

"I'm sorry but I couldn't help overhearing. ...Josh, Dan is right. I should have been more clear. You don't have anything to worry about. I'm confident everything will work out with your aunt but if for some reason it doesn't then I want you to know you're welcome to stay here as long as you want. I've talked with Dan's mother and we're both in agreement. The temporary authorization was just that... temporary. It can be extended. Don't worry about that. We'll do whatever we have to."

"Yes!!" I said hugging Josh.

"Calm down Dan," my father said trying to be serious even though I could see him smiling. "That's only if things don't work out with his aunt and if he wants to stay here. I'm just saying there are options."

"Why would you do that?" asked Josh. "You don't even know me. You've only known me for two days. Why would you let me live here? I could be a drug addict for all you know."

"Are you?" my father asked smiling.

"No, of course not but you still don't know anything about me."

"You're right, we don't but we think we know enough. Plus, you need help. I don't want to say it's because you look like Aaron but that's part of it. We can't help thinking you're a good kid or that we do know you. Aaron was like a son to us. That's obviously not the only reason but to be honest, Dan's mother and I couldn't live with ourselves if we just let you get thrown into the system. We had a long talk while you were gone. We have plenty of room and you seem to get along with both my sons," he said smiling. "You're welcome here."

"Thank you Mr. Johnson. I don't know what to say."

"You don't have to say anything. I'm sure it won't even be necessary once your aunt knows what is going on. I only met her briefly but I would be very surprised if you couldn't stay with her. That would probably be best. I'm sure you'd prefer living with family and the courts generally prefer that as well. I'm just letting you know the option is there in case things don't go as planned."

"It doesn't matter that I'm gay and that Dan and I are ...ah, friends?"

My father smiled. "Dan's mother and I talked about that too. The short answer is no, it's not a problem but let's not worry about that now. We'll talk more later. We haven't even talked with your aunt. I just want you to know you don't have to worry. You have options."

"Thank you sir. I'll try not to be any trouble."

"I'm sure you won't," he smiled.

"Thank you Dad," I said giving him a hug.

He seemed a little surprised. I hadn't really hugged him much lately.

"Don't worry," I smiled. "It's not catchy."

He smiled. "I love you Dan. I hope you know that."

"I love you too Dad. Thank you for what you're doing."

"It's the right thing to do."

"Wow," said Josh after my father left. "I can't believe your parents would do that. How would you feel about it? Do you think Scott would be okay with me living here?"

"You have to ask?" I smiled. "I told you my father would help. He's a good guy. I love him a lot. I haven't been the best son lately but things are getting better. Maybe all I needed was a hobby," I smirked and playfully punched his arm.

"Oh, is that what I am?" He laughed. "A hobby?"

I smiled. "I'd say more of a work in progress."

For the next hour Josh and I did homework. We'd have more to do later but wanted to get a head start before dinner. I let Josh use my desk while I sat on my bed. It was hard to concentrate since I'd find myself watching him. He smiled the second or third time he caught me.

"You're not getting much work done."

"That's okay. I'm thinking about what I'm going to write for my philosophy paper."

"I can work somewhere else if I distract you."

I smiled but before I could answer my father called upstairs saying that dinner was ready.

"Let's go wash up. We can finish later," I said giving him a quick kiss when he stood up.

"I'm glad you're here," I smiled.

"Me too. I just wish it was under different circumstances."

I put my arm on his shoulder. "Let's go eat."

Dinner was interesting. It was the first time Josh had eaten with us as a family. Every other time we had eaten on the run or gone out for pizza. He was a little taken aback by the time we spent reflecting on our day. He obviously hadn't experienced anything like it with his father.

I just talked about how he and I went on a hike and saying what a good time I had. It was obvious I was happy and my parents were smiling. My father watched as I looked at Josh while I talked. When it was his turn he talked about watching football all afternoon. I didn't really like football but did watch it with him once in a while. He also smiled at Josh telling him to consider this his home for as long as necessary. Josh didn't really know what to say except to thank him and assure him he'd try not to be any trouble. Dad just smiled and said he was sure things would be fine.

Scott had a tough time containing himself. He kept looking at Josh and giggling. I tried to tell him to stop but had to admit it was cute. Josh took it in stride knowing what Scott was thinking. He made Scott smile when he asked if he wanted to play Nintendo after dinner.

"You just want to play someone you can beat," I laughed.

"Actually I was hoping he'd be more of a challenge than his brother," he said grinning.

The only negative part about dinner was that Josh didn't eat much. He had to be hungry. We hadn't eaten all day but he only took small portions of everything. Even Scott took more. My parents tried getting him to eat more but he kept saying he wasn't hungry. I guess he might not have been given everything that was going on but I didn't see how. I was starved.

After dinner we helped clear the table and went back upstairs to finish our homework. Josh sat on my bed and started to read but I interrupted him when I sat down next to him.

"I saw what you did."

"What? ...What did I do?"

"You didn't eat."

"I wasn't hungry."

I smiled. "Okay more than a friend less than a boyfriend, look me in the eye and say that."

"Dan... Please. It's no big deal. I just need time to believe this. Everything is happening so fast. Last week you and I weren't even talking. Now we're whatever we are and I'm living in your house. Your parents are being really good to me. I don't want to do anything to screw that up. I can't. I can't screw up with them and I can't screw up with you."

"What do you mean screw up? You're not going to screw up. You don't have anything to worry about. My father told you that."

"I know. I just don't want him to change his mind. I don't want to do anything that would give him second thoughts."

I got up and closed the door and then sat back down putting my arm around him.

"Josh, I know a lot has changed in a few days but please don't worry. He even seems okay with us being more than friends."

"You sure? Do you really think he'll like that? And what if we don't become more than friends? What if we end up not being friends at all? He won't let me stay here if you hate me."

"Where did that come from? I'm not going to hate you. That won't happen even if we don't become boyfriends."

"But if we end up fighting then that would change everything."

"Why would that happen? We didn't even hate each other the last month. The only way I can even imagine that happening is if you do something behind my back. If I caught you with some other guy when I thought we were together then I'd be pretty upset."

"I'm not going to do that."

"I know you wouldn't. I wouldn't either. I'd at least tell you I had the hots for Phil when he wiggles his fat ass at me," I smiled.

"Asshole," he smiled. "What about if things go the other way?"

"What? You mean if we become boyfriends?"

"You really think he's going to be okay with that?"

"I'm beginning to. He knows something is up. He isn't stupid. He even said it wasn't a problem. I've always thought he's disappointed I'm gay but he seems okay with things."

Josh gave me a blank look. "I wish I could believe that."

"Why don't we talk to him. I really don't think there is anything to worry about."

"That's easy for you to say. He won't kick you out."

I leaned over and kissed him. "He's not going to kick you out. Let's go down and you can have something to eat. You have to be hungry and I don't want to hear your stomach growling while we do our homework. Then we can talk to my father. You'll see it's not a problem."

He put his head on my shoulder. "I wish I could be as confident as you."

Josh really was hungry. I sat at the table with him while he ate. We talked some but he was too busy eating and I was too busy smiling. I know I shouldn't have been thinking it but it was just like watching Aaron. He had eaten at our house so many times. He'd sometimes come in and go straight for the refrigerator to see what was there. Then he'd sit at the table and have a snack. It wasn't that he was rude or anything. I was the same way at his house. That was just the way things were.

Watching Josh brought back memories. I mean, I knew it was Josh and not Aaron, I wasn't even thinking like that. I was just happy I had found someone I was so comfortable with. My life seemed like it always had been. It didn't matter that Josh looked like Aaron. I just felt good.

"Okay," I said when he was done. "Let's go talk to my father."

"I don't know. Maybe we should wait."

I put my hands on his shoulders and looked him in the eyes. "Josh... I know it's asking a lot but I'm asking you to trust me. Everything will be okay. I promise. I know my father."

Finally he nodded. "Okay," he said. "I just hope you're right."

My father was back in his study when we went to look for him. He really does work a lot. He's always doing something.

Josh was nervous. I was too even though I tried not to show it. I was sure what my father would say. I knew he'd do the right thing but what if I was wrong? What if he changed his mind about helping Josh? I was sure he wouldn't, at least I was pretty sure but I still needed to hear him say it. Maybe it was wrong of me pressuring Josh given all that's going on but he had to hear it too. He had to hear my father say he'd still help."

"Dad?" I asked as soon as we walked in. "Can we talk to you?"

"There's really no news," he said looking up from his laptop.

"This isn't about that. It's about ...Josh and me."

"You mean about how you two are becoming so close?" he asked closing his laptop and sitting back.

"Dad, we don't know what will happen. I know you're disappointed I'm gay but..."

"Is that what you think? You think I'm disappointed?"

"I don't know any more. I always thought you were but you seem okay that Josh and I are becoming close."

My father took a deep breath.

"Dan, you couldn't be more wrong. I'm not disappointed. I'm proud of you. What you've accomplished. ...The type of person you are ...I couldn't be more proud. You're my son and I love you. I don't care whether you're gay or not. I just want you to be happy. I might wish you didn't have to deal with the things you'll have to face but that's not because I'm disappointed in you. It's only because I worry about you. I know things have changed since I was your age but I still worry. I'm your father. I only want what is best for you."

'Wow,' I thought. I thought he'd accept things and would still help Josh but I hadn't expected that.

"I always thought you were disappointed."

"I guess we really do have a communication problem."

"And you don't care if Josh and I end up more than just friends?"

"I pretty much assumed you would when I first saw you together. I do think you should go slow. There's a lot going on and there are obviously special circumstances. It's asking a lot for Josh to deal with that at the same time he's dealing with what's happening with his father. Just be friends and help each other."

"Thanks Dad. We are. We really are just friends."

"I believe you Dan," he smiled giving me a cynical look. "How about we talk more later. I really need to get this work done for tomorrow."

"Okay Dad. We have homework to do too."

"Feel better?" I asked Josh when we went back upstairs.

"You must too. Your father continues to amaze me."

"Me too," I smiled. "I can't believe he feels like that. I really did think he was disappointed in me."

"It's nice to know he won't mind if I do this," he said sitting on my lap and giving me a kiss.

"Or this," I smiled pulling him back on my bed. "Maybe we should close the door."

"Why?" he asked. "You have something in mind?"

"Believe it or not, no. It's just that we don't need Scott to walk by and see us making out."

"Speaking of Scott we should do our homework. I promised to play Nintendo."

"Tease," I smiled.

This time Josh sat on my bed and I used the desk. I had to look something up on-line for my paper. Josh asked if he could use my computer when I was done since he had to look something up as well. I said sure but thought I should change my background unless he liked looking at himself. That got him off the bed to see what I meant. My background rotated through various pictures of Aaron and me.

"You are one sick puppy. You know that don't you?"

"What can I say? I'll change it for you."

"No, it's okay. It's just strange. I still can't believe how much we look alike."

"At least I won't have to take many pictures," I smiled rubbing his back as he looked at the pictures.

"Is it too weird to ask if you have any other videos of him? I can understand if you don't want to show me but I'd really like to see some. I don't know, I know I don't know him and maybe it's because of you but I feel connected to him in some way."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, just for a minute."

I pulled up a video of Aaron and me horsing around in my backyard in Illinois. My mother had taken it a few weeks before he died. We were wearing board shorts and pushing each other into the pool. Aaron had just pushed me in and started laughing.

"Oh yea," he laughed. "I win."

"I have to let you win once in a while. I know how you hate to lose. Your self-esteem gets hurt."

"I'll show you my self-esteem," he laughed and jumped into the water. I knew he was coming and took a deep breath just as he landed next to me. I grabbed him and pulled him underwater holding him until he started to struggle. I put my lips against his blowing air into his mouth but he just pushed off and swam to the surface coughing.

"Alright, you win," he yelled coughing as I help him towards the shallow end laughing. When we could stand I put my arms around him and pulled him against me. You could see my mouth as I whispered 'I love you' and held him tight with his head on my shoulder. We stood embracing until my mother said it was time for dinner.

There was a tear rolling down my cheek as I watched the video. I remembered that day like it was yesterday.

"Wow," said Josh. "I can see why you got so freaked out. That's incredible. I almost feel like I should know him. Are you sure we're going to be okay?"

"Yup," I said closing the window. "We're going to be just fine."

Josh finished his homework before me and said he was going to find Scott to play Nintendo. I had a little more to do and while I thought about rushing through it I took my time to do a good job. My grades had slipped the past year but I had really been trying to do better since I talked to Josh's aunt. I also thought it was important my parents saw me doing well.

I went downstairs and found Josh and Scott playing Wii tennis in the family room. Scott was actually pretty good but Josh had the edge because of his age. He was a good sport though. He let Scott win a couple of times and it didn't look like Scott knew. He was just having a good time. He kept looking at Josh and laughing. I stood at the bottom of the stairs watching without them knowing. It was cute. Josh was really good with him. They didn't see I was there until Scott put his arms around Josh. When Josh returned his hug he looked up and saw me.

"How long have you been standing there?"

"Long enough for me to see him beat you," I smiled.

"I've always wanted a little brother."

"He isn't always cute. Are you munch?" I smiled picking him up. "You can have him on his bad days."

I gave him a hug and put him down but not before he gave me a hug.

"Mom said it's time for you to take your bath. Tomorrow is a school day. I'll take your place and see if I can beat Josh. I don't know though, he looked pretty good."

Scott didn't like it but eventually went upstairs. The tone in my mother's voice when she called the third time probably had something to do with it. Josh and I played a couple games of Wii baseball before going back upstairs for something to drink. We took our drinks up to my room to listen to music and talk. We played a game of chess too. I don't really know how to play other than how to move the pieces. Josh was good. He didn't have much trouble beating me.

"You're really good. Where did you learn to play like that?"

"Mostly on the computer. I told you my father drove most of my friends away so I didn't have much to do except spend time on the computer or play my guitar. Chess is a little more challenging than a lot of computer games."

"You should be in the chess club," I smiled.

"Yeah, right. Maybe I should just wear a sign that says nerd too. Besides, our school doesn't have a chess club."

I laughed. "You're not a nerd," I said standing up. "I'm going to do my push-ups and take a shower. I skipped them the other day since I had to do them in Phys. Ed. You want to join me?"

"No thanks," he laughed. "I'll watch and keep count to make sure you don't cheat."

I laughed and walked to my bureau to get a pair of shorts. I thought about going into the bathroom but decided not to worry about it. I stripped down to my boxer briefs before looking in my dresser for a pair of shorts. I turned to put them on and saw Josh looking at me. He blushed when he saw I caught him looking. I just smiled and put on the shorts. I didn't bother with a shirt since I was just going to take a shower anyway. Josh didn't seem to mind.

He sat on my bed while I did push ups. I looked at the web site I was following and saw that I had to do six sets of twenty push ups each followed by a set of as many as I could do but not less than forty five. It took me about half an hour and I just barely made it through the final set. The last five were a real struggle and once I was done I collapsed on the floor for a few seconds groaning.

"Stop laughing," I said. "You better hope Mr. Kinkaid talks to your aunt tomorrow because if you stay here I'm going to make you do these too."

He just groaned.

"I'm going to take a shower. Want to join me?" I asked smiling.

That surprised him.

"Next time," I smiled leaning down to give him a kiss before walking across to the bathroom. "I'll be right back."

I came back about ten minutes later with a towel wrapped around my waist. Josh had gone to his room so I stuck my head in and told him to help himself if he wanted a shower. "Towels are in the closet." He blushed when he saw me standing in the doorway wearing nothing but a towel. "You're cute when you blush. You know that?"

He got me back when he walked by and patted my crotch. "So are you," he smiled.

After drying off and putting on shorts I went to say good night to Scott.

"Hi bud," I said as I knocked on his door. He was already in bed but he wasn't asleep.

"Hi Dan," he giggled.

"What's so funny?"


"Me? Why am I funny?"

He smiled. "Because of Josh. You like him."

I smiled. "Of course I do, don't you?"

"No, I mean you like him. I think you like him like Aaron."

I smiled. "Why do you think that? You've only known him for two days."

"Because you're like you used to be and because I saw you kissing him."

I smiled. "I can't fool you, can I? You're right. He makes me feel good." I knew it wasn't quite the same, I had known Aaron all my life, but I knew how I felt. "You can't tell him though. I haven't told him yet. He needs to decide if he likes me that way. That takes time and he shouldn't have to worry about it now."

"He will. I know it. I like him too."

"You know he isn't Aaron, right?"

"I know that," he said like an eight year old who had just been insulted. "It was hard at first but I can tell the difference. It's easy. It's like Joel and Jason."

"Who are they?"

"They're in my class. They're twins. They look alike too. The teacher has a hard time telling them apart and sometimes they try to fool her," he giggled. "I can tell the difference. It's easy."

"How do you tell the difference?"

"I don't know. I just do. Josh is the same. At first I thought he was Aaron but now I don't even think of that. He's just Josh and I like him."

"I know what you mean buddy. I like him too but it's important we give him time to decide what he wants. He has a lot going on. You know why he's staying here right? He doesn't need any other distractions. We can just be his friend and help him. I don't want you asking him if he likes me like that. Okay?"

Scott just giggled.

"I'm serious Scott. It's not funny. Promise me you won't say anything."

"I won't have to. I think he knows," he said looking towards the door.

I looked back when I saw Scott's eyes look over my shoulder. Josh was standing in the door.

"How long have you been standing there?" I asked smiling.

"Sorry," he said. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop."

"It's okay. I'm sure Scott is glad you came to say good night. I'm going downstairs to say good night to my parents. I'll be right back. We'll talk. Okay?"

He nodded and stayed to talk to Scott while I went downstairs. Mom and Dad were watching the ten o'clock news when I walked into the family room. "I'm going to bed so I can get up to go running. Thank you for what you're doing for Josh. He's a good guy."

"It's okay Dan. He needs our help. We like seeing you happy too."

I smiled. "Good night."

When I got upstairs Josh was in my room. "I'm sorry for listening to you and Scott," he said. "I really didn't mean to. I was going to say good night too."

"It's okay. How much did you hear?"

He looked towards the floor and then up at me. "Did you mean what you said?"

"Come here," I said reaching out for him. "I don't want you to think I'm rushing things. I want you to take your time. But yes, I meant what I said. I wasn't going to say anything because you have so much going on. If I told you how I feel then it would only complicate things, especially if you don't feel the same way. Two days ago we didn't even talk to each other. For me to say I love you expecting you to feel the same wouldn't be fair. I'm sorry you heard me talking to Scott."

"Dan... don't keep doing this."

"Doing what? What did I do?"

"You made a decision not to tell me something important that affects us both because you decided it was best for me. You decided I couldn't handle it or something. Don't do that. ....Please. You deciding you love me is a big deal. We need to talk about stuff like that."

Was that what I had done? I hadn't really decided anything. Well, I guess I had but I only realized it this afternoon and hadn't really put things into words in my own head. Scott kind of short circuited that when he asked about Josh.

"Josh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. We really haven't had a chance to talk. I really just admitted it to myself when Scott and I were talking. This afternoon when we were hugging and kissing? ...That was fantastic. I had feelings I haven't had in a long time, not since Aaron. It felt right. You felt right. So yeah, I admit it, I love you but I don't want to put pressure on you. I don't want you just to say you love me back unless you really mean it."

"I'm sorry Dan. I do love you and I really do mean it. Just please don't make decisions for me. I've had that all my life. I want to make my own decisions. At least as much as I can. I'm just scared. You're right, there is a lot going on."

We held each other tight. "It's okay," I said. "There's no rush. Nothing has changed. We'll just keep doing those more than friend less than boyfriend activities and get to know each other. We can hang out and talk, just learn about each other. Friends first. Friends can love each other. We can hug and kiss. We don't have to do anything else. I'm not in any hurry but you know what I want and need if we're going to have that type of relationship. We need to be sure. What happens, happens. We'll still be friends."

"This is all new to me and I still wonder why me. I have some major trust issues. Just understand it's not you. Nobody has ever wanted me that way before. Nobody has hugged me or said they loved me since before my mother died. Well, my aunt maybe but that's not the same. People who should have loved me didn't. I've learned not to rely on other people."

"We'll take it slow and easy. I still have a lot of issues too you know. I will earn your trust. I promise. I don't want you to have any doubts why we're together. I don't want you to ever have any 'why me' thoughts."

We just held each other standing in the middle of my room. After a couple minutes Josh said he should go to bed.

"How about sleeping with me tonight?"

"What??" Josh said jumping back. "You just said you didn't want to rush. I've never done anything ...I'm not ready."

"Relax," I smiled. "I said sleep. Nothing else. I just want to have you close to me. You probably won't be here tomorrow night. You'll be at your aunt's place. I promise nothing will happen. I know we're not ready for that. Trust me. I'd never pressure you to do anything you don't want to do. Your first time, when it comes, should be special. It only happens once. I don't want you to give that away on the spur of the moment. We'll just cuddle and sleep but just so you know I hope that first time is with me."

He smiled. "You sure? Just sleep?"

I smiled. "Maybe a little less than boyfriend activities but nothing we haven't already done."

"What about your parents? Won't they care? Your father said I have to have my own room."

"You do. It's right across the hall. He didn't say you had to sleep there though. They won't care ...I don't think," I smiled. "You want me to ask them?"

"NO!! ...I mean..." he said turning bright red.

I laughed. "So is that a yes?"

"Alright, but don't try anything," he smiled.

Josh went to say good night to my parents while I brushed my teeth. I wanted to take care of things because I really wanted to keep my word. I knew he wasn't ready for anything. I didn't think I was either but I was worried things might get carried away if I didn't jerk off before bed. Unfortunately I didn't have time since he knocked on the door asking to brush his teeth before I had a chance.

Josh was nervous when we got to my room. I pulled off my shorts and climbed into bed only wearing my boxer briefs. I set the alarm on my cell so that it would vibrate to wake me in time to go running. I was sure Josh didn't really want to run before school.

Josh got under the blankets but stayed close to the edge of his side of the bed. I have a queen size bed so there was a fair amount of space between us. I lay on my side and put my head in my hand smiling.

"Is that as close as you're going to get? That will make it tough to cuddle. I told you nothing will happen."

"I've never slept in the same bed with anyone else before," he said. "I don't want to screw up and embarrass myself."

"Come over here," I smiled moving to the center of the bed and reaching out to pull him towards me. I put my arm under him so that his head was against my shoulder. "You really need to relax. It's not that hard. How could you possibly screw up?"

"I'm worried the same thing that happened in the park will happen again."

"You mean like what happened to me today?" I asked smiling. "So what if it does? Was it that bad?"

"It was embarrassing."

"Why? Didn't you enjoy it? Besides, you got me back. Thank you for not letting my parents see me by the way."

"I didn't want them to see. They would have known what we did."

I put my arms around him. "Well, thank you anyway. Now what do you say? Will you sleep a little closer?"

"You sure it's okay?"

"It'll be fine. ...I think."

"I want to," he said putting his head on my shoulder."

"Your heart is really pounding."

"I'm excited... and scared."

"Excited is okay but you have nothing to be scared about."

We lay there quietly for the next few minutes. Finally I kissed the top of his head. "I do you know."

"You do what?"

"Love you. I think I have all along."

I could see him smile in the moonlight. There wasn't much light but I could see he was happy. At the same time I turned on my side pushing back against him. He got the idea and put his arm around me pulling me tighter against him.

"I love you too Dan. I've had a crush on you since that first day but now it's different. I've gotten to know you. I'm seeing what others have said about you."

"You shouldn't listen to what Phil says," I laughed.

"I meant Chris and Ryan. They've been saying you're a good guy. Now I know why. They don't know the half of it. I do love you. I just need to convince myself you really feel the same way."

I just kissed his hand. "Josh, you're a good person. Believe it."

"I'll try," he said.

He took my hand and put it on his crotch. Then he started to kiss my neck.

"Josh... what are you doing?"

"I changed my mind. I'm ready. Please Dan. I can't sleep like this."

Oh man. I couldn't believe what I was about to do. He put my hand directly on his cock which was rock hard in his boxer briefs. It would have been so easy especially since I wasn't going to be able to sleep either. The problem was I had promised him nothing would happen. I had also promised myself. I knew he really didn't want to. He was just horny.

"Josh, we can't. I'm hard too but we can't. It's not that I don't want to but I meant it when I said I want to make it special. I don't want to do something on the spur the moment. You're too important for that," I said lying beside him and putting my head on his shoulder. "Just relax."

We lay together with my head on his shoulder and my arm over his chest. I could feel his chest moving up and down as he breathed.

"Josh? Are you okay? Why are you crying?"

"I'm just happy. I never thought anyone would care about me like this. My life really has sucked you know."

"That's all in the past. Things are going to get better. I promise."

"I hope you're not just saying that."

I kissed him again. "Trust me Josh. Now let's get some sleep. Good night."

"Good night," he said giving me a kiss.

We didn't say anything else. It felt good lying against each other. It reminded me of nights with Aaron but I tried to put those thoughts out of my mind. I had to stop that. I couldn't let my thoughts of him interfere with Josh and me. I knew it was going to be hard. I was petrified I'd wake up in the middle of the night kissing Josh and moaning Aaron's name. Man, I hope that won't happen. Josh would probably understand but he'd be hurt and it would make him even more unsure. I couldn't do that.

Needless to say neither of us could sleep. I really had to fight the urge to slide my hand down and rub his crotch but I knew if I did he would never trust me. I had promised we wouldn't do anything.

"Can't you sleep?"

"I can't sleep when I feel like this."

"Me neither but we can't do anything. You know that, right?"

"But what if I want to?"

"I do too but I also told you to trust me when you said you weren't ready. If we do anything then deep down you won't trust me again. You only want more because you're horny. "

"Maybe I should just go to my room."

"No, it'll be fine. I'll tell you what. I'll go take care of my problem and you stay here and take care of yours. Then we can sleep."

"We can do it together."

"Nope. Please Josh, just go with me on this one. I may be being stupid but I don't want to do anything we'll even come close to regret. We need to work on other things first. I kissed his shoulder. "I'll be right back. Believe me, it won't take long. I'll bring you back a towel," I said smiling.

Fortunately I got across the hall without my parents walking down the hall at the same time. I was really hard and there was a damp spot on my boxer briefs. I was right too, it didn't take long. It wasn't very satisfying but I did feel good about not doing anything with Josh. If and when that time comes I really did want it to be special.

I gave him a few minutes before going back into my room.

"All set?" I asked smiling.

"Yeah, I think I was all set before you closed the bathroom door."

I laughed. "I barely made it across the hall. It definitely wasn't the best but it'll serve the purpose."

"Thanks," he said as I got back into bed.

"For what?"

"You know for what. Thank you for keeping your promise. I would have done pretty much anything you wanted earlier."

I kissed him. "Good night Josh. I really do love you."

"I'm beginning to believe that. That's a good thing because I love you too. ...Next time," he said without saying anything else.

"Okay," I smiled. "You don't know how hard it was not sliding down to suck your cock."

"Oh man, don't be talking like that or I won't get any sleep."

We didn't say anything else. I felt Josh let out a quiet moan as he snuggled against me. Eventually I heard his breathing slow into a gentle rhythm. That was the last thing I remembered until I woke up the next morning with my head on his shoulder.

It was cold and raining when I woke up snuggled next to him. So much for running I thought. Tough decision, staying in a warm bed snuggling or going out in the cold to run. Of course I opted to stay in bed and watch Josh sleep. There's always the gym after school. He woke up when I kissed his forehead.

"How long have you been awake?"

"About fifteen minutes. I've been watching you sleep. It was nice."

He smiled but moved away when I tried to kiss him.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Morning breath," he smiled.

"Yeah, you do. I don't care. You also have morning wood," I laughed. "I felt it against me."

He laughed and said he had to take a shower. I told him not to use all the hot water since I did too.

We both took quick showers and got dressed for school. I put on some jeans and a shirt I hadn't worn in a year. They still fit since I hadn't grown that much. I looked in the mirror and smiled. I had to admit I liked the way I looked. It definitely wasn't the preppy look I normally had. The jeans were tighter than what I had been wearing and definitely showed off my ass. I looked at the necklace I always wore. It was one Aaron had given me. I debated taking it off but didn't. I had worn it for so long.

Josh looked up when I knocked on his door. He smiled when he saw me but didn't say anything.

I smiled. "You look good. Ready for breakfast?"

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