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by J J Janicki

Chapter 7

Jedidiah didn't spend much time thinking things over Thursday morning, he just decided he wouldn't bother putting on his underwear because A: they were both boys, B: they'd already seen each other naked anyway, and C: it was going to be another hot one. And then there was that chafing problem. It hadn't happened yet, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? So he pulled his jeans up over his soccer shorts, did some quick dusting with a clean pair of undies, balled them up and then stretched them out a bit - all to make it look like they'd been worn - and that took care of that.

So as far as Lucas was concerned, this was a wonderful thing. Or at least most of the time, it was. A little after ten Jedidiah said, "Man! I'm about to sweat to death! I don't know about you, but I'm getting out of these jeans! ... And I'm getting rid of this shirt, too", and with that, he sat down on the floor, removed his shoes, unfastened his jeans and... oh my goodness. So yeah, that was quite a rush and in spite of an obvious erection, Lucas didn't chicken out on getting more comfortable himself.

He managed, "I guess it's not used to being almost out in the open like this. It just likes to show off, I think."

"Yeah" said Jedidiah, "I guess mine does too." Almost as soon as he noticed Lucas had popped one, he started getting stiff himself.

But nothing came of it, they just returned to painting the living room as though nothing was out of the ordinary. Lucas kept trying to get his nerve up to suggest something else, but he couldn't. Besides, he wasn't sure what to suggest anyway. "Hey, you want to jerk off again?" No, he was pretty sure he couldn't suggest that without sounding weird, so he hoped Jedidiah would bring up the subject himself.

Only Jedidiah was hoping Lucas would bring it up. Or at least, in a way he was, because if Lucas were to mention it first, then there would be no need for him feeling guilty about it.

Wanting to suggest something but being afraid to is not a good thing at all. It's almost like hell, so after awhile they both tried not to think about it so much.

At least Lucas introduced Jedidiah to real barbecue that day. And once back at the house, they got back to being near naked again. "Maybe," thought Lucas, "it's best if he gets used to it," and it seemed they both were, because this time there were no erections. But Lucas was often at least slightly stiff, because now he was wanting more. He didn't know why he'd ever bothered lying to himself in the first place, but even so all he could bring himself to suggest that day was skinny dipping in the lake.

So they did, and that was good, because for the first time there was physical contact. Almost too much of it, in fact. A water fight led to trying to dunk each other under and Jedidiah seemed completely unabashed. But when he jumped on Lucas' back, for several seconds Lucas thought he was on the verge of being drowned.

It was nice recalling it later on that night, though.

Friday Lucas "forgot" to wear anything at all under his jeans: he just jumped out of bed, thought about it briefly, and pulled his jeans on. So at about quarter till ten they were getting hot and sticky and Jedidiah said, "Well, I'm getting hot, so..." At the time, they'd almost finished painting the living room.

So Lucas shrugged, unfastened his jeans and then paused. "Uh oh. I forgot."

Jedidiah looked up as he finished pulling his jeans off. "What?"

"I... um... didn't wear anything else today." It seemed as though he was undecided. And in fact, he was, but after a pregnant pause, he managed a shrug that looked fairly nonchalant and finished, "Well, I'll go naked if you will."

Jedidiah managed to shrug almost as nonchalantly and yanked his soccer shorts off. "Guess it's okay as long as we don't paint ourselves." Only, it started going up again.

"Yeah," replied Lucas with a slight tremor, "that wouldn't be good. ... Especially in one place. ... But at least that part of me seems to like the idea. It's stupid, you know that?" His was going up again, too.

Bashfully Jedidiah admitted as how his was stupid as well, so Lucas almost suggested that they punish them or something, but again he couldn't get up his nerve.

So before much longer things were pretty much at ease again.

To Lucas, it was both heaven and hell. He knew how much better it could be, but he also knew how things had worked out afterwards. It didn't always have to be that way, he knew that, but he wasn't sure when it was going to any different for him. But still, couldn't he at least suggest jerking off again? I mean, they'd done it before and Jedidiah certainly seemed to enjoy doing it - who wouldn't?- But...

He just couldn't get up the nerve. He even had to think about it before getting naked again after they got back from lunch. He had to, because truthfully there wasn't much point in starting anything else that day.

Jedidiah remarked, "Maybe we ought to start wearing loin-cloths or something."

It was an interesting sight. Jedidiah sat facing him with his legs crossed and it was pointed up at the ceiling again. Well, actually it was sort of curving back towards his abdomen.

"I don't think they would help too much," Lucas observed as his started rising again. It rose up very quickly, in fact. He sat down facing Jedidiah, and if not for their lack of loin-cloths and their erections, an outside observer might have thought they were playing Indians. Just having a pow wow.

And in a way, they were, because until somebody could get his nerve up, they'd discuss work. Lucas observed, "You know, there's really not much point in us starting anything else this afternoon."

"Probably not," Jedidiah agreed, "So do you want to do anything else?"

"I don't know. I guess... Well, you know... when we work outside, I don't guess we can be like naked. That might not be a good idea." You just can't ever tell when a missionary is going to show up. So he was still trying to sneak up on it, and he was taking a very circuitous route. But really, was this such a big deal? He'd already done it with him once, so why not just say it?

And that's pretty much what Jedidiah was thinking, so he took a deep breath and asked, "So... you want to... jerk off again?"

Lucas heaved a sigh of relief. "I thought you'd never ask." But he was also a bit astounded. And still wondering...

"I mean, it's feels good, doesn't it?"

It almost seemed like Jedidiah was still trying to talk him into it. So if he wanted to put it that way... "Well, yeah, but I know a way to make it feel about ten times better. ... Or at least a lot. Better, I mean."

"How?" asked Jedidiah hopefully.

"Well, um, it wouldn't mean we're like gay or anything, I mean my cousin in St. Louis showed me how..." Lucas was lying through his teeth, but it sounded better - "See, it feels a lot better if I like... do you ... and you do me." He rushed on, "It just feels different, that's all. Because it's like... well, you'll see. It just feels different, is all. ... So you want to try that?"

"Yeah, I guess," replied Jedidiah.

Well okay, then. Lucas approached it as an instructor would. His heart trip hammering away, he scooted up close to Jedidiah and ... "See, the thing is, you got all sorts of erogenous zones. Places that can feel good, I mean. Like for instance, your upper thighs", and with that, he slowly started sliding his hands upwards. So soft. So warm. Oh boy. So long since the last time. Well, it had been at least two weeks, anyway."Feels good, huh?"

Jedidiah nodded his head yes, and his legs opened wider.

"And your balls are very sensitive," and with that, Lucas began to gently knead them. Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Actually, that summed up the way both were feeling right about then because Jedidiah was thinking, "Yes! Yes!"

"But in way, behind and underneath your balls, you're even more sensitive," and Lucas began to demonstrate by tracing a finger down along that little ridge of flesh between his legs. Jedidiah jumped slightly, but he was opening his legs wider and scooting up a bit, so no, he wasn't flinching away.

But not yet. Lucas had been fucked enough times to know that, physically speaking, it generally was a good thing, but he'd never poked a finger or anything else up another person's bottom, so he was still operating on the assumption that most boys around his age didn't think it was a good thing at all.

"But still, I guess your... is it okay if I call it your dick?" and with that, Lucas started pulling up on it.

It jerked slightly and Jedidiah managed, "Right now... you can call it just any...thing you want... to."

"Yeah, that's a real sensitive place all right." Lucas started to add a quick funny - "So now you know where the root of all evil really is" - but under the circumstances - "Maybe I shouldn't mention that."

Back in the trailer that night, Lucas could have almost gotten off just recalling all the heavy breathing. That's always a good thing. Sharp intakes of breath. Soft whimpering is always good. And then there's "Oh... oh man.. oh boy... I'm about to... ah oh boy... shi-sss!!!", then after he Jedidiah caught his breath, "Oh wow. ... So you want me to do you?" And that was a very nice thing to remember as well, because Jedidiah decided to take the scenic route.

He needed to catch his breath anyway. "So," he began speculatively, "we got all kinds of erog- erogenous zones, huh? How about your feet? Do they count?" and with that, he started tickling. And the soles of Lucas' feet were particularly ticklish.

"They...can...will you cut... that... out?"

"Oh, sorry," Jedidiah snickered. So he didn't sound sorry at all, but still, he moved up on to Lucas' calves. "Is this a good place?"

"... It can be. Just touching anywhere, really, but it depends on if you're gonna keep moving up."

"Yeah, I'm thinking about it. But you say this feels kind of good?"

Trying to sound noncommittal Lucas answered, "It's okay I guess. Yeah, it feels... not too bad. "

"Looks like you're about to get a little hair here. You sure you're sixteen?"

"I started late. ... A little over a year ago."

"Well, it must have bummed you out, but in a way, I'm glad."

"So that makes two of us, then."

Jedidiah slowly moved his hands on up to Lucas' thighs. Very soft and warm. With Joey, it seemed like most of the time they were in a hurry to get it over with and although there had often been a considerable amount of body-to-body contact - if you're on top of someone, it's hard to avoid - it was almost as though it was something that had no purpose other than to get off. But with Lucas he sensed he could take as much time as he wanted, and it felt nice. Really nice. "Even more sensitive, huh?"

"Yeah, you're getting closer."

"And inside your thighs, it's even better?"

... " You're getting... warmer."

"How long you think you can hold out?"

"Right... now... probably not a whole... and that's a really good... place." (Jedidiah was investigating his balls.)

"Nice," thought Jedidiah.

"But between your legs, that's really sensitive, right?" He was slowly tracing his finger down along Lucas' perineum... but at the last instant decided to detour over to the bottom of his left ass cheek, right where it met his thigh. "You know what? After we've been working, I bet a rub down would feel good. You know, like all over."

"Yeah... it probably would," Lucas managed.

"So maybe next week we will, then. But you're getting close, huh?"

"Think... so."

"Well, okay then," and with that... well, it took roughly ten slow strokes. I mean, nobody was keeping count, but before Jedidiah could even pick the tempo up, Lucas went, "I'm about to... oh shit."

He'd usually lasted longer with Steve and with Tal, but that was before he could manage anything more than a dry orgasm. The truth was, since Steve he hadn't had it done to him by someone he really and truly liked at all. So it was almost like he had a chance to start over again.

There shouldn't have been any doubts preying at the edge of his mind that night, but there still were some. Just believing it could happen again. Believing that this time, nothing would go wrong. Believing in himself. Believing in Jedidiah. He wanted to and he almost did, but...

Self-defeating or not, entertaining doubts was something Lucas had become very adept at and before the weekend was over, they were only going to multiply.

In a way, it happened because good Jed was trying to gain control of things again. He was supposed to be talking to Lucas about learning more about the Mormons, and he hadn't even come close to doing that. But then his aunt and uncle said he shouldn't worry about it so much, because maybe just being a good example was enough and sooner or later, the opportunity would be there. Yeah, well, a fine example he was!

Only, Bad Jed wasn't about to give up.

So fine. Let's compromise, then. Lucas likes music and so do I. Well, there's a place we can record right here in town. In fact, we can even have our own band! Only four of us are Mormons. 'Course only Sister Jeddry has been baptized, but she always brings Kelly, Katon and Kyle to church with her, so at least they go, so maybe...

Sister Jeddry had been a member for about four months. Her husband - Ken - didn't seem to be interested, but even so, he thought it might be good for the boys. Only Kyle, Kelly and Katon (ages fifteen, thirteen and twelve) didn't think too much of that idea. If they had to go every Sunday, no way! They had long services! First, some kind of Priesthood/Relief Society meeting. Then, Sunday School and after that, Sacrament Meeting. From eleven until two. And since before eleven she was running around trying to get them ready, that meant most of the day was already shot. Not that it was always boring, but seriously!

They were Cajuns from southwestern Louisiana. Ken Jeddry had for a while made a decent living as a studio musician in Nashville, but eventually decided becoming a producer had more promise. So a friend of his mentioned another friend who had a nice old farm place for sale up in the mountains, and that's how they ended up inMayville.

But Kyle, Kelly and Katon also had musical talent. All of them were playing the blues and zydeco and blue grass almost from the time they could walk, because that was another dream of Ken Jeddry's, that one day he and his boys would perform together and make tons of money. Although he always said what he most wanted was to simply pass on his love of music to them, and in that respect he was successful. But blues obviously can lead to B.B. King and the like which can lead on to the Stones which can lead on to... well, just rock in general.

Between them, the Jeddry brothers were fairly proficient on guitar, banjo, mandolin, slide guitar, harmonica, accordion and several other keyboard instruments. Plus, Kelly and Katon loved to sing, just loved to! (Kyle once had as well, but his voice was changing, so the results were at best unpredictable.)

And then Lucas entered the picture. So as far as Jedidiah was concerned, it was perfect.

But first he had to convince the Jeddrys. So he borrowed Lucas' "demo" tape and once the Jeddry brothers heard it, they were convinced.

Then, Friday afternoon, Jedidiah had to convince Lucas. "Accordion? You mean like... Lawrence Welk? ... I don't think so. And I ain't into blue grass either. And I don't think... banjo? Well, maybe, but still..."

It wasn't like Lawrence Welk at all, Jedidiah explained, it was zydeco.

"Oh," said Lucas, "Well, maybe."

"And they really liked your tape, too."


"They were like totally blown away. ... And their father has a studio. That's where we'd practice."

"Well, maybe. ... A studio? ... Well... as long as there ain't gonna be no tubas mixed into this."

"Don't think so, but they got a Mellotron, so you can't ever tell."

Lucas was nervous: he always was when meeting someone new, and here he was talking about three brothers who were probably smart asses, but a Mellotron? Hmm.

... Only they all went to the Mormon church, so the Jeddrys were probably as goody-goody as The Osmonds... but a Mellotron?

So Lucas allowed himself to be talked into it. He still had a few misgivings, but he tried not to let on.

Around three Saturday afternoon he went by Jedidiah's with both his standard violin and his electric in the back... and one electric guitar... and the tape that had Runrig's "News From Heaven" on it. Jedidiah really liked it, but then that was hardly a surprise because of its driving beat. From Lucas' viewpoint, though, there was no way to adequately cover it instrumentally, because no matter how much mixing they did it still wasn't going to sound anywhere near as good as the original. It was like trying to cover the Moody Blues without the vocal part. That's what made "News From Heaven" special, the vocal harmonies.

But Katon and Kelly had a ball with it and they even managed to sound almost Scottish in the process. Not a bad trick, really. And since "News From Heaven" also used a lot of keyboards... it came out very well, but Lucas sort of felt like a third wheel.

Although he always did get a kick out of having people blown away by something they'd never heard of before. That was one of the biggest reasons he'd spent so much time at used record shops in St. Louis, just looking for stuff. Something by some group almost no one else had ever heard of. And the Jeddry brothers did seem to be properly impressed. So that was good.

But what wasn't so good was the fact that they seemed to be most impressed by stuff that used lots of keyboards. Like for instance Kult's "Czarne Soca". No surprise that they'd never heard of the group - I mean, after all, it's a Polish group, for God's sake and "Czarne Soca" was sung in Polish so nobody had a clue what the song was all about, but it did sound sinister. You can almost imagine bats flying behind the carriage as it draws ever nearer to Count Dracula's castle. Or at least something like that. But Lucas had no earthly idea how well that number could be covered with accordions and keyboards. I said accordions. And as for the Polish lyrics? Hey, no problem, they'd just sing gibberish. But wasn't that what it was going to sound like? Gibberish?

Yeah, well, it sounded like gibberish in Polish too, but at least they were singing the same made-up words - it was a mixture of Klingon and French, actually -and also, their voices could be distorted, and in the process of being distorted, their voices could be lowered until they'd almost sound like the guy on the original.

Actually, before long it was sounding good - he couldn't deny that - but the problem was, he didn't get a chance to show off. Mostly because they only practiced a couple of hours, and they spent a lot of time on Runrig and Kult. They obviously couldn't practice everything that afternoon, but still, Lucas was a bit put off.

And then another problem was Kelly suggesting that they should name "their" band JKLM. It made sense, but the thing was, Lucas had been thinking about how it was fate that had thrown him and Jedidiah together because of how their initials lined up - right in order - and now the Jeddrys were butting into that. And adding them to the equation, well, even if their initials fell within range, it made things unsymmetrical.

And then there was an even bigger problem. It was much bigger, because Jedidiah had been invited to spend the night at the Jeddrys'. So what was the big deal about that? They were about the same age and they went to the same church. But it seemed that somehow Jedidiah acted different around the Jeddrys. What Lucas was seeing the same Jedidiah he'd seen when he was around his aunt and uncle: he was seeing good Jed, that's all, but Lucas left that afternoon feeling...

Jealous. Rejected. Betrayed. Pissed off. Pretty close to crushed, if you want the truth about it.

He was feeling very sorry for himself and unfortunately, that was something he was good at.

If asked, Lucas would have insisted that he lay awake most of Saturday night trying to convince himself that he was being stupid, that he was overreacting - again - but he kept running the lyrics of "News From Heaven" through his mind and almost felt like crying because it just wasn't going to happen for him. Or at least not this part:

But now you're here
I feel no fear
I can't believe
The news from heaven
You close your eyes
On a world inside
A spark of life
On a wire from heaven
In the state of a miracle
State of a miracle.
I watch this miracle unfold
In the state of a miracle
State of a miracle

But it wasn't going to happen for him, maybe not ever, and definitely not this time. It had been such a happy song, but from now on it was only going to remind him of the way things had ended.

So it should be obvious that he wasn't spending much time trying to give Jedidiah the benefit of the doubt. He was blowing everything way out of proportion, and it was hardly the first time that had happened, but somehow he just couldn't stop himself.

He convinced himself that Jedidiah and the Jeddry boys were laughing at him behind his back, when in fact Jedidiah was only telling them how cool Lucas was. And not only that, the Jeddrys seemed to be in complete agreement.

Lucas could almost imagine Jedidiah and the Jeddrys having themselves an orgy that night, but in reality, aside from some of the usual late-at-night dirty jokes and sniggers, nothing happened. Jedidiah almost gloried in his secret life, and he wasn't about to say anything about it to them. As far as he was concerned, Kelly and Katon were clueless when it came to playing sex games and stuff like that and nothing happened that night to change his mind.

But Sunday morning, Lucas could just imagine Jedidiah and either Kelly or Katon taking a shower together. Maybe all four of them were in the shower together, right then!

Jedidiah did see both Kelly and Katon naked - briefly - but while both were cute, neither one of them even had any hair yet. So okay, he was mildly interested, but it was more like normal curiosity. He noted that Kelly was probably getting close to starting because his was decently large, and he also noticed they were uncircumcised - it's hard not to notice something like that - but really, Lucas had nothing to worry about.

Only Lucas worried himself sick about it. He wasn't quite so out of touch with reality as to imagine them merrily skinny-dipping in the Bapistry, but he did imagine a lot.

(It's surprising that he didn't though, because once him and Steve had gone into the Baptismal Pool naked, even if it wasn't during a church service.) (It was a dare.)

But no, mostly Lucas imagined that, at best, Jedidiah was feeling guilt and remorse over his behavior and as a result there would be no more strip poker games and he'd wear his underwear from then on out. That was his best case scenario, but since by then he was wasted, it serves no purpose to get into some of his other scenarios, except to mention that being high wasn't too conducive to his suddenly becoming rational about the situation.

Actually, by around 1:30, the Jeddry boys and Jedidiah were thinking that day's service might not ever end. Mormons don't have paid clergy, and what that sometimes amounts to is amateur hour. Except the person up front talking... and talking... doesn't see it that way at all. - "And I would like to make a few additional points before moving on." It's possible by then that even the Bishop was groaning inside. "Exactly how many more points is he going to make?" The Jeddry brothers would occasionally stir hopefully when a new speaker - What? Another? - would start off with something to the effect that there was no possible way he could add anything to Brother So-and-So's remarks, but Jedidiah knew better. The only question was: just how long would he take to prove his point, that there really wasn't anything he could add?

Some services seem longer than others. On that day, it seemed almost an eternity.

Lucas had endured his share of long services as Baptists aren't renowned for brevity either, but never once did he take any of that into consideration. And even if he had, he probably would have imagined Jedidiah being tortured or something. (And at times, Jedidiah could imagine it as well.) But no, as Lucas sat around that day listening to cheerful things like R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts", Springsteen's "The River" or even Brahms' "Requiem" - I mean, we are talking turrible turrible here - he decided he'd take drastic action. Things surely were almost fucked to the max as it was, so he'd just take it beyond that. It was going to be all or nothing. First thing Monday morning - or at least before the day was over - or maybe sometime Tuesday - but definitely soon, he was going to tell Jedidiah everything. "Hey, I gotta tell you something, okay? I don't know how you're going to take this, but I'm gay, all right? I mean, you might as well know, so I'm spelling it out, so it's all up to you. Think you can handle it?

"Yeah, well, if you put it that way, then he probably can't, you dumb ass." What Lucas really wanted was sympathy.

Well, what he really wanted was to hear Jedidiah say he was afflicted with the same thing. Although he'd settle for maybe he might have the same feelings. But how could he draw that admission out of him? Well, how about: "Look. I'm sorry, but I'm not so pure. I mean, I just try to get by, but sometimes..." (Deep breath)... "This guy picked me up in Charlotte. Probably had a wife, kids, the whole works. Nice car, too. So I didn't know shit, but I knew better than to get into a car with a stranger, I wasn't that dumb, but I don't know, I just got in. I guess just to see what would happen. So he started feeling me off, you know? And it felt pretty good. So what the hell, when he asked me if I wanted to make some easy money, I was like, sure, why not? Guy wants to give me a blow job and pay me for it, well, why not? Only it turned out he was expecting more than that." (Trail off into silence.)... "I didn't know anything. I didn't even know a boy could get fucked. And I didn't know fighting it just made it hurt worse. He didn't tell me that until after he'd done it."

"Um, no, I don't think you want to tell him that, either. ... You know what? If you really want to figure something out, maybe you ought to stop getting bombed out of your skull before you start."

His first time came shortly after it was pretty much over with Steve. He wouldn't say that he was feeling suicidal, but maybe it was more like he didn't care, so at the very least it was self-destructive. But he really didn't know much. He learned, though. He didn't try peddling his ass again until after moving in with his mom and even then he didn't do it that often, but sometimes he needed some extra money. And at other times, it was more like he wanted to punish himself. And he got paid for it, so... well, you know, two birds with one stone. And while he almost never was in control of anything, at least he knew enough to insist on whoever it was using a rubber.

Some were creepy and some were fat and ugly. Then some were probably decent enough except maybe for one flaw, but they used him and in return, he used them, it was that that simple.

Except of course it was never that simple at all, so as much as was possible, he just tried to forget about it once it was over.

He'd turned his most recent trick in Nashville. He didn't have much choice, because after he got through paying for a transmission, he was almost broke. So you got to eat, right? And gas ain't for free and he didn't know anybody in Nashville, so how many choices did he have?

But he finally decided he wasn't going to mention any of that, either. It was too much to explain. He couldn't even explain it to himself.

If you thought about it, though, at times it was almost funny, because sometimes he did it just to pay for his music lessons. His mom was short that week, well, no problem.

So if nothing else, he was dedicated to something. You can't get much more dedicated than that. And once he made it big, that little tidbit sure would make for an interesting autobiographical footnote.

He almost wished it was all behind him. Fucked up or not, whether he was overreacting or not, eventually he had to tell Jedidiah the truth. I mean, he did realize that he'd overreacted in the past. But if he'd told Jedidiah right away, before he'd gotten emotionally attached, wouldn't that have simplified everything?

He'd told Nick straight out - once circumstances almost made it necessary - and if it didn't work out the way he'd hoped, for a while it wasn't all that bad. But if you're practically moving in with him and you're in love with him, then there's no way you can keep something like that a secret anyway.

To briefly explain, with his mom, first there was Roger. To be honest, he wasn't a total loser, but Lucas couldn't accept him when he was eleven and he could only tolerate him when he was twelve. But it wasn't so much Roger's fault as it was his mom's. Whether she had the right to mess up her life or not, Lucas could never accept it.

Harold was all right, though. You might say he was actually a good role model and among other things, that's how Lucas earned enough money to buy his Datsun. (And at first, it ran pretty good.)

But eventually... well, things just didn't work out, so one day Harold left and never came back.

And then about a month after Lucas' sixteenth birthday, Johnny entered the picture. Lucas came in late one night and this guy - who he'd never set eyes on before - started laying down the law. "Boy, I got news for you. Your mom and I been talking it over, and from now on there's gonna be some rules around this house. If you don't like it, you can just get your ass out, but as long as you're under my roof..." and Lucas was just standing there like, "Who in the fuck are you ? ... My roof?"

But oh well, there'd been a few others since Harold - some stayed the night, some close to a week, but then they were gone - so he really wasn't concerned about Johnny. Until about a week later when Johnny decided to take a belt to him, and that took care of that.

There were similarities between Nick and Jedidiah. One's already been mentioned, both were good drummers. A second, almost eerie similarity was that Nick had approached Lucas first with the news that he was a good drummer. Only Nick took a step further, as he already had a couple of his friends lined up for a band.

He was almost the same age as Jedidiah. Jedidiah had light brown hair, Nick's was a little darker. They were both cute, but in different ways. Jedidiah had a very fair complexion while Nick had some little brown freckles around his nose. But oh, those eyes! Nick had big brown soulful puppy dog eyes and sometimes that's what he acted like, a playful puppy. A puppy who could occasionally lose his temper, but it almost always was over in a hurry and then it was like nothing had ever happened. He'd been pissed off to the max when all his other band members decided they had some better things to do - "Like learning to play worth a shit... But oh well, we can do it ourselves 'cause I know a guy who can do some mixing, so that's what we'll do. Who needs 'em, right? Just you and me, all right?"

Lucas was already in love with him, but "you and me" pretty well clinched it.

And then came the blow up with Johnny, so Lucas was out on the street and wondering if he could park his car out back of Nick's.

"But where you going to stay?" Nick wondered. "You got any place? ... Hey, I got an idea! You can just stay with me for awhile! It won't be no problem, my step-dad don't know what the fuck's going on half the time anyway. And if him or my mom says anything, I'll just say you're an exchange student, only the people you were staying with had a family emergency or something... so you wanna?"

Sharing Nick's room was both heaven and hell. Heaven because Nick was in no way modest, and he had his own bath, complete with a shower. But he also had double beds. He slept either in short boxers - occasionally very short - or in his tighty whities, but some of his BVDs or whatever weren't tight at all, and there was one pair... Oh my god. Raggedy things. Just about everything might be hanging out. And here Lucas was in a bed on the other side of the room and he couldn't even jerk off. It was hell. I mean, he could only take so many quick showers, you know?

And then there were those morning boners. Probably not even five inches and skinny, but... well, you know, like wow!

So about a week later Lucas just told him straight out. "I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I'm gay, all right? So look. I haven't put any moves on you so far, right? But I am tempted man, I really am."

And actually, Nick took the news well. "You're gay? ... Well, shit. It don't bother me none. I mean, I'm not, but... I just kind of wonder. Just what are you tempted to do, anyway?"

"Oh, I can show you one thing if you want me to."

Of course it could have been better, Nick could've returned the favor, he could've at least fondled him or something, but still, that first time was something else.

Nick threw his covers off and sat on the edge of his bed with a very obvious erection tenting up the front of his boxers. So Lucas shrugged, got out of bed, crawled up to him on his knees, pulled his shorts down and, "Nice one, Nick!" When he took it in his hand, it quivered a little, and right away he caught that smell of sex. It was fantastic. He almost drove Nick out of his mind before he was finished.

So no, Nick didn't mind Lucas being gay at all. Just as long as he knew his place and could accept that nothing was ever going to be reciprocated.

But then on the other hand, now they could take showers together, and often they did. Now Lucas could jerk himself off without worrying about being caught at it.

Now sometimes Lucas could sleep in the same bed with him, occasionally all night long! And now, more often than not, Nick just slept naked.

Then, sometimes Lucas would wake up in his bed to discover that Nick had crawled in beside him. That was almost always a nice way to wake up, even if it was the middle of the night. It could be especially nice if Nick just wanted him close by. Nick never said why, even if it was pretty much assumed that sooner or later Lucas was going to blow him, but snuggling - or just feeling him close beside him, with Nick's breath on his cheek, that was always nice.

Being woke up with Nick straddling his face was occasionally a bit disconcerting, but then, it was all a game, right?

So even if it wasn't the ideal situation, it was more than okay, because most of the time, Nick was really cool. Even if he was a goddamn Kentucky fan. If there was one college program Lucas detested, it was UK basketball. Carolina kicked their royal blue butts just about every time they played them, so he didn't want to hear about no fucking Kentucky, but the problem was Kentucky was really good that year. They ended up 30-4 and made it to the Final Four. But then on the other hand, Carolina was even better. Not that you could ever get a Kentucky fan to admit that, but Carolina went 33-4 and also made it to the Final Four, and they won it all! So there.

But anyway, for some time Nick had been trying to talk Lucas into allowing himself to be fucked. Only at first Lucas didn't want to get into that, because it was too close to home, he'd just as soon pretend he didn't know much about it at all.

The first time Nick got to stick it in was late on the night of January 27th, 1993. Carolina played a good Florida St team that night and while Carolina was supposed to be better - and they were playing at home too - for most of that game it was really bad. Florida St could do no wrong and Carolina could do very little right and midway through the second half Lucas's Heels were down 21. It was awful! And as you might expect, Nick wasn't making things any better. But then Carolina finally hit a three. But even so, with only nine and a half minutes left, they were down by twenty. But then Carolina started hitting threes left and right, FSU was turning the ball over and Dickie V was bellowing on TV, "This game might not be over, folks!"

And Lucas did feel a glimmer of hope, so he took a deep breath and said, "Okay, I'll tell you what. If Carolina pulls this one out, you can have my ass. How's that sound?"

Nick yelled, "Go Heels!"

Thing was, Lucas definitely wanted it, but as I've mentioned before, he didn't want to act like he knew all that much about it.

Well, Carolina pulled it out that night. It was a remarkable comeback to treasure for years on end, and both Lucas and Nick enjoyed the post-game celebration. But Lucas almost thought it was funny, how Nick was instructing him on exactly what to do - "You just push back like you're trying to get a big one out, and it goes in easier that way, all right?"

It was all Lucas could do not to mention that if he really wanted to feel much of Nick's, he was going to have to tighten things up, not the other way, but oh, what the heck.

He loved having Nick inside him. It was only later that Lucas started wondering exactly how he knew about pushing back to make it easier. Pushing back isn't exactly a reflex action, not the first time, it isn't... but if there was a secret in Nick's past, it remained that way.

But of course having done it once, there was little reason not to do it again. Many, many times, although they made it into a game. If Kentucky won, Lucas got fucked. Kentucky won a lot of games that year. And if Carolina won, Lucas got fucked. Well!

He never wanted any of Nick's friends in on the fun, though, even though he had some very attractive ones.

But then again, you could make it like a game. So when Carolina failed to win the ACC Tournament, losing to Georgia Tech, it was time for piggy in the middle. Well, Tyler was a cutie at that. Very blond. And with an above average organ, too. It was surprising, because the boy was just barely five feet tall. But it was fun. Shit, it was wonderful, but because Lucas didn't want word getting around school, he hoped too many others didn't get involved.

But when Kentucky made it to the Final Four by ripping Florida St, they happened to be watching the game over at Wesley's house. Wesley, Nick, Tyler and Lucas. Damn.

Yeah, well, it did call for a celebration, now didn't it? Wesley was cute too. Even if he hadn't started yet. Three inches max. But very soft and cuddly. And it really was a fun game, the three of them stripping him naked and then making him do things to them.

Although it took awhile. "Say Kentucky's the best" said Nick. Everybody was naked. Yes! And he'd already blown all of them. But since nobody was getting dressed, apparently there was going to be even more!

"Kentucky sucks out the ass!" retorted Lucas.

"Oh really? ... Well, speaking of ass, you have a nice one, you know that?"

"Why, thank you" Lucas replied smugly, "I'm glad you finally noticed."

"Yeah, I noticed it all right, and now we're gonna fuck your brains out. ... So what do you think about that?"

"Yeah, well, I'd just like to see you try", and with that, Lucas wiggled his ass seductively.

Wesley gasped, "Are you guys serious?"

"Well, he's already sucked us off, so why not? ... But we got to keep it to ourselves okay?" At times, Nick was decently cool. And the sex was awesome.

Carolina won it all, beating Michigan on Monday night, April 5th and that's when two of Wesley's friends got involved. So okay, he didn't keep it a secret after all.

It was definitely getting out of hand, at rate things were going, Lucas guessed pretty soon they'd be raffling his tail off at school or something, so it had been fun, but... he'd had enough.

Only the situation hadn't improved any back at his mom's because Johnny was still there.

So sometimes he would be at his mom's, sometimes at Nick's, sometimes at Tyler's and sometimes he was out on the street. The sex was great. Physically it was, but emotionally, if left a lot to be desired. He wanted to love someone who could love him in return. Nick wouldn't allow himself to do that, if anything, it seemed he was trying to push him away. It was like Nick was afraid of it.

And Tyler was only interested in one thing, his ass. So it wasn't much better than when he was just doing it for money.

So once school let out, he hit the road. He didn't know where he was going, but Florida was looking sort of nice, only he didn't get too far. It probably wasn't a good idea anyway, so after his car broke down in Nashville, all he wanted was just a place to stay for awhile and as it turned out, he found it at his uncle's.

But at any rate, after reviewing how things had gone after he'd come out to Nick, he had to admit to himself that he might not want to go through that again. So he'd put it off for at least awhile. Coming out, I mean.

Monday wasn't a good day for anyone. Not that anything bad happened, there weren't any scenes or anything like that, but all day Lucas seemed a bit preoccupied. He was friendly, but guardedly so. He kept his clothes on - they were working on the outside that day - and he made no suggestions.

But at least when Jedidiah wondered if he wanted to practice some more at the Jeddry's that afternoon, he bit his tongue and didn't say what he almost did. He almost said, "Maybe you guys ought to just name your band something like "Jedidiah and the Jeddry Boys". The implication would have been clear enough, but he couldn't quite make himself do that. He did however, beg off, making up an excuse about needing to go to Knoxville. It hurt. He felt like he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. He was almost sure he'd overreacted over the weekend, because Jedidiah seemed as friendly as ever, but... well, damn it, he was going to have to tell him something. So maybe tomorrow he would.

So this is where it starts getting weird, because that night Jedidiah was thinking maybe he should say something. He was asking himself exactly why it mattered so much what Lucas thought. Why did it matter when somehow Lucas seemed distant? What had he done? Why was he even asking himself that question? For the first time, he allowed himself to think that he might be gay. Might be. And he might grow out of it, maybe it was just being the age he was, I mean, wasn't that what his father said? Pretty much, he had, so maybe if he just told Lucas straight out... if he could think of a way to do it...

Maybe something would come up.

Or maybe he'd just wait.

So Lucas was thinking maybe he would and maybe he wouldn't and Jedidiah was also thinking maybe he would and maybe he wouldn't. This could get complicated. Especially if they both start at the same time. Or not start. Or something.

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