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After We Danced

by Mark Peters

Chapter 2

So what happened next, you ask?

Well, you will be pleased to know that later that same afternoon, after we had left the gang at the Centre Café and returned to Matt's place, we finally did it.

It was wonderful and exciting and it was everything that I had ever hoped it would be.

It was quite late in the afternoon when we reached his parents' house and before we went down the back to his flat we checked to see if anyone was home up at the main house. Thankfully there was no one there, so we both went straight down to his flat.

When I followed Matt inside I was instantly hit by the familiar sweet and musty fragrance that always seemed to pervade his room. I inhaled deeply, drawing into my lungs as much of his manly scent as I could.

Like a puppy, I followed Matt through his living area and into his bedroom. As we walked I had my eyes down, watching his gorgeous butt moving along in front of me, thinking of just how I would love to get my hands on those delicious looking globes.

It had been a week since I had been in here and the memory of that night was still fresh in my mind, and as we both sat down on his bed the images of what had happened between us in the wee hours of last Saturday morning kept tumbling over and over in my mind.

Matt put his hand on my knee and started rubbing up and down my leg, with the tips of his fingers gently teasing the inside of my thigh. It sent an enormous shudder through my entire body.

'I want to thank you,' he said, while still moving his hand up and down my thigh.

'What for?' I asked.

'Just… everything,' he said.

I started to say to him, 'You don't have to,' but I couldn't get it finished, as he leaned over and placed his lips on mine.

We kissed for what seemed an eternity, our mouths working feverishly together for ages, until finally we both needed to come up for air.

'You're welcome,' I said to him, giggling like the love-struck teenager that I was.

He kissed me again, and again, moving from my lips to my ear, to my neck. It felt wonderful and I didn't want him to stop. We both fell back onto his bed, with neither of us wanting to let get go of the other.

We were lying there on our sides and were gazing directly into each other's eyes. 'Did you really mean what you were saying when you said we the other day?' he asked me.

'Do you really need to ask me that?' I replied.

'No, I don't think so… but I would like to hear you say it again. It made me feel good.'

I leaned forward and kissed him.

'On Monday morning when we were talking at school, you know, before everything blew up, you referred to me as your boyfriend . I could have cried when you said that. It made me feel so good to be wanted like that. Then after seeing the pain that you were going through at school that day, all I wanted to do was take you up in my arms and hold you there and tell you that everything was going to be all right.'

He kissed me back, and then I continued.

'I told you then that you would have to make up your own mind about what it was that you wanted to do. I knew that you still had strong feelings for Julie, but after that first night when we were together it was obvious that you had feelings for me as well, feelings that I could only wish that I had known about earlier.'

I leaned over once again and kissed him.

'I knew then that I wanted to be around you for a long, long time. For the first time in my life I knew, absolutely and without any reservations, that I was in love. And despite everything that was going on around us, I think it was the happiest that I have ever been.'

I looked into his eyes and what I saw surprised me. There was a tear forming in the corner of one eye, and as I watched, it trickled silently down his cheek.

'I… I… don't know what to say,' he finally stammered.

'Then don't say anything, silly,' I answered. 'Just kiss me.'

So he did.

We were both still wearing our school uniforms, but it didn't take all that long for us to start removing them.

We sat up on the bed, and knelt facing each other, as we started to undo the buttons on each other's white school shirts. They were quickly removed and then Matt started to undo my belt and trousers.

'Lie back,' he said to me, and I obliged.

Gently, he undid my shoes and pulled them off my feet. My socks soon followed and then he started tugging at the bottom of my trouser legs. I arched my back up and my trousers and jocks were soon removed, before then being dropped onto the floor with our shirts, leaving me lying naked on the bed.

Quickly, Matt undid his own trousers and slipped them off, along with his shoes, socks and jocks, all of which was then added to the growing pile of clothes on his bedroom floor.

I don't know what made me think of it, but for some reason, after seeing our clothes intermingled like that on the floor, all I could see was our future together. And as odd as it may seem, it looked right.

Matt lay down beside me, propping himself up on one elbow. He looked me up and down and smiled at me. I looked him up and down and smiled back at him. It was obvious that we both liked what we saw, because we were both standing to attention, our dicks almost rubbing together.

'Until last Friday night I had only ever dreamed about this,' I said to him.

'Me too,' he answered. 'I know I've wanted it, wanted you, but never in a million years would I have thought you'd have the same feelings.'

I put my hand up to his face and gently caressed his cheek, then let my hand slide down along his body until it reached his hip. His cock was just begging to be played with, so I ran my fingers over it, letting my fingers run along its length, around his balls and through his dark pubic hair.

I watched his face as I did so. His eyes were closed and the expression he wore was one of pure pleasure. Last Friday night he had pleasured me in a way that I had never before experienced, so I thought that now it was my turn.

Slowly, I edged myself down the bed until my face was level with his dick, then, just as he had done for me the previous week, I gently licked the tip of his beautiful member.

I had never done this before, so I didn't quite know what to expect, especially in as far as what it would taste like, but it was sweet and tasted like… like Matt.

Slowly, I worked down its length, and as I did so I felt his body squirm. He was enjoying this, and to tell you the truth, so was I.

I licked his balls a few times then worked my way back up to the top of his cock, then opened my mouth and took him inside my mouth.

I worked my mouth backwards and forwards along him, and as I did so I heard him softly moaning.

'That feels soooo, good,' he whispered. 'Let me do it for you too.'

For a moment I took my mouth off him and looked up. 'Just wait a minute,' I said to him.

'No,' he said back to me. 'I'll turn around and we'll sixty-nine.'

As soon as he said this he was already moving. He got up on to his knees and then lay down in the opposite direction, with his head adjacent to my groin and with his cock once again pointing at my mouth.

'Let's try that,' he said as we settled back down onto the bed, and within seconds we were both sucking away at each other like a pair of old pros.

This was a totally amazing experience and made me harder than I could ever remember being before. We must have been doing something right, however, because it was only a few minutes later that I could feel the familiar tension building up inside me, like a volcano getting ready to erupt.

I took my mouth off Matt's cock for a moment and said, 'I'm gonna cum,' but just as I did this I felt the dam burst and the precious, creamy-white liquid spewed forth into Matt's mouth.

This obviously had the correct effect on Matt as well, because before I could even put my mouth back over the end of his cock he erupted as well, with wads of delicious cum flying out of the slit on the end of it and all over my face.

I started giggling like a little kid.

'What's wrong with you?' he asked, wiping some of my cum from his mouth with the back of his hand.

'Oh, this is just too much,' I said to him.

'Wait,' he said. 'You're gonna love this,' and with that he jumped around onto the bed so that his face was near mine. I thought he was going to lean over and kiss me again, but instead he started to lick my face, cleaning up his own cum.

My first reaction was that it was kind of kinky, but the feel of his rough tongue on my face, licking up his own sweet juice felt kind of nice. After he had licked up a bit, he then put his mouth to mine and we both opened them, letting his cum dribble into my mouth.

The taste of it was salty, but pleasant, and despite my initial reaction I was actually enjoying this.

'Next time,' he said, 'I'll let you taste your own.'

Just the thought of this sent a tingle through my body as my cock started to get hard again. Absentmindedly I started rubbing it, which instantly brought a huge smile to Matt's face.

'Ready to go again?' he asked.

'Why not?' I answered. 'I'm starting to enjoy this.'

He laughed, then leant over me, reaching towards the set of drawers that were beside the bed. He was lying across the top of me, with our flat stomachs rubbing together when he opened the top drawer, from which he pulled out a small toiletries bag, the type you would put your toothpaste and shampoo and deodorant into when you went away anywhere overnight.

'What's that?' I asked, with my curiosity, and a few other parts of me, aroused.

'My supplies,' he said. 'Take a look,' then in one motion he opened the bag and tipped its contents out across my flat stomach, revealing an assortment of condoms, in all shapes, sizes and colours, plus a couple of small tubes of KY gel.

'Before I met you, were you ever a boy scout?' I asked him as I picked my way through the various items.

'No,' he answered. 'Why do you ask?'

'Well, you know what they say… be prepared!'

He just smiled at that and reached across and picked up one of the small tubes of KY. It had already been opened, but was still about half full.

'Hey, how come that's half empty?' I asked him. 'Who else have you had in here?'

'No one,' he answered. 'I just use it wank off with sometimes. It just makes the whole experience so much more pleasurable. Now, which one of these do you want to use?' he asked me as he picked up a couple of the condoms.

'I don't know,' I answered. I wasn't sure exactly where this was going, but I had some idea. So too did my throbbing cock.

'Okay, then I'll pick one for you,' he said, and after a moments hesitation he picked out a black condom and tore its packet open. 'I don't think I've ever had a big black cock up my arse before.'

This shocked me a little bit, as I was starting to find out things about my best friend that I hadn't ever imagined, but it also excited me in a way that I had never been excited before.

I watched as Matt placed the condom over the end of my cock and began rolling it along its length. It was hard and throbbing, in anticipation of what it knew was going to happen.

'You up for this?' Matt asked, half jokingly.

'Ha ha,' I answered. 'What do you think?'

Next, he opened the tube of KY and squeezed out a generous amount onto his hand. 'You are going to love this,' he said as he smeared it over my cock, rubbing it all around and up and down its length.

He was right, I did love it, at least this part.

'What do I have to do?' I asked him.

'Nothing much,' he answered. 'You just lie back and enjoy. But first you need to give me your hand.'

I stretched my hand out to him and he picked up the tube of KY again, squeezing a healthy sized dollop out onto the tips of my fingers.

'Spread it around my butt hole,' he said to me, as he straddled himself across me.

I reached between his legs and did as he asked, smearing the clear liquid all around him. I felt his puckered little hole twitch as my fingers passed around it, so I played there for a moment, running my fingers around and around and around the rim.

Matt seemed to be enjoying it, so I started gently pushing at his entrance which, now being quite well lubricated, offered little resistance. My index finger slipped inside him, and he moaned as I thrust inwards and then brought my finger out a few times.

'You sure you've never done this before?' he asked me.

'No, I haven't,' I answered truthfully. 'But I'm a quick learner, if you hadn't noticed already.'

'Try adding another finger.'

'Are you sure?'

'Just trust me.'

I did as he requested, pushing two fingers inside him, to which he responded with a loud moan. He was obviously enjoying this.

'Okay, I'm about ready now,' he then said to me, so I removed my hand from between his legs.

Carefully he positioned himself over me, with a knee either side of my body, before then lowering himself toward my rock-hard penis, the end of which was soon nestled neatly into the small crater. Using my own hand I wriggled it around a little before we went any further, then once it seemed to be seated in just the right position he began lowering himself down, letting my cock press hard against his hole.

For a moment there was strong resistance, and he winced, then the KY did its job and his entrance opened, allowing me to easily enter him for the very first time.

'Oh, yes,' he moaned.

He felt warm and tight, and the further he sank down onto me, impaling himself, the more I wanted to thrust deeper into him. I started to arch my back, rising to meet him, our bodies merged into one, at least for the moment.

I thrust upwards, then relaxed, then thrust upwards again. Over and over again. This was like nothing else that I had ever experienced. Jerking off in the shower was certainly never this good.

Within a few minutes I was soon feeling that familiar rising pressure and was ready to cum again, then moments later I exploded, my juices filling the black condom that was inside him.

When it was over and I had come down off the immediate high, we both relaxed, but I still stayed inside him. Matt was basically still sitting on top of me. He was hard, his penis begging for attention, so I reached forward and started massaging his big dick for him, and it didn't take very long before he too blew his load, all over my chest.

We separated, with my cock slipping out of his butt and making a loud slurp noise, at which we both giggled. After that we collapsed in an exhausted heap on the bed, with Matt half lying on top of me, across my body.

'How come we haven't done this before?' he whispered to me as he ran his fingers through his own cum on my chest.

'I've been asking myself that for a week.'

Then he kissed me.

I don't know how long we continued to lie there for, but when we finally emerged from Matt's flat, after having a quick shower together, it was already dark outside.

I had told my folks that I would be heading over to Matt's after school and we would probably be going out to the movies or somewhere, so they weren't really expecting me back home that night. We thought that we might grab something to eat at Macca's, before heading to the cinema, so once again I borrowed some clothes off him and we were soon set for a big night out.

When we got outside, we noticed that the lights were on up at his parents' house, so we walked up the driveway to the house, where we found them all just getting ready for dinner.

'Hello boys,' Matt's mum said to us as we walked through the door. 'What have you boys been up to?'

'Hi, mum,' Matt answered. 'Nothing much.'

'Hi, Mr and Mrs P,' I offered as we entered.

'So, how was your last official day of school?'

'Boring,' Matt answered. 'We couldn't wait to get out of there. Nothing but speeches and presentations. Made us all feel like a bunch of goons.'

Matt looked at his father, who just nodded to us as we came in the door, but didn't say a word. The look that he gave Matt wasn't all that friendly, so I guessed there was still some tension there. Maybe there was still some doubt in his father's mind as to what Matt had told him, who knows?

'Are you boys staying for dinner,' his mum asked us.

'We thought we'd go to a movie and grab a bite on the way. Is that okay?'

Matt's father just glared at him, but his mother simply said, 'That's fine, dear. You boys have a nice time now.'

'Thanks, we will,' he said to her and with that he started bustling me out the back door.

'Bye,' I said to them as I was pushed back through the doorway.

As we headed out the door, I heard Matt's father start to say something to his wife, but we were down the stairs and heading for the car before I could hear what might be said.

'Sorry about that,' Matt said to me as we reached his car. 'I could tell that the old man was in one of those moods again, so I thought we'd best split.'

When we were inside the car I asked him, 'Has he said much to you this week?'

Matt shook his head. 'No, he's just been real moody and keeps giving me those sort of funny looks, like the one he gave me just then.'

'Do you think he believed what you told him last week?'

'I honestly don't know.'

I could hear the emotion in his voice, threatening to break out, so as he went to put the car into gear I put my hand over his and said, 'It's going to be all right you know.'

'I wish I was as confident about that as you are.'

'Well, I've had a week to think about it, and I reckon that once our exams are over and done with and we've finished school, there's not much that we are going to have to worry about.'

He looked at me for a long minute, quite thoughtfully, then asked, 'Sooner or later everyone is going to find out aren't they?'

I nodded.

'I'd rather it was later. Much, much later.'

'So would I,' I added. 'I'm still scared shitless about people finding out, and I intend doing everything I can to keep them from finding out for as long as I can… but like you said, sooner or later it'll be out there.'

'So, what do we do?'

'Just keep going as best we can. Do our best to keep what we have between us a secret. And try not to make any slip ups.'

'And if we do slip up.'

'We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.'

He nodded. 'I suppose that's all we can do, for now. But what if my old man keeps at me all the time?'

'Can't you keep out of his way? I mean, he's working all the time, and you have your own flat and a part–time job. At any given time one of you or the other isn't likely to even be here.'

He thought about this for a while then said, 'I guess you're right. As always.' He picked my hand up off his then brought it up to his mouth and kissed it.

'Come on, let's go Casanova. We'll be late for the movies,' I said to him.

Anyhow, despite all our fears we went out and had a great night out, with all the worries of the entire week the furthest things from our minds as we sat through the latest blockbuster Julia Roberts comedy.

Afterwards, we had a drink and a snack at the cinema cafeteria, where we bumped into some of our classmates, receiving a few funny looks for our trouble, before eventually heading back to Matt's place. The thought crossed my mind that this would be a very easy habit to fall into, going back to his place every night, and if we weren't careful it would be quite easy to make a 'slip up,' like we had spoken about earlier.

When we pulled up outside the flat, I said to Matt, 'Are you okay with me staying the night?'

'Do you mean am I worried about Dad snooping around and finding out about us?'

'Yeah, I guess that's what I mean.'

'Well, I did think about it, but I've come up with an idea. I've still got the spare mattress in there, plus the blankets and all that. We'll just set it up on the floor and make it look like that's where you're sleeping – just in case anyone queries us. We can lock the door, so if anyone comes knocking, you can dive for the mattress, and everything will be sweet.'

'That's brilliant,' I said to him. 'Do you think he might suspect something if I come over too often though?'

'Probably, but he's not to know just how often you come over, is he?'

'How do you mean?'

'Well, you just come over any time you like, but you sneak in through the back way, from the vacant lot. And if we make a few slight modifications to the flat you will be able to come straight inside without even being noticed.'

'Do you think it will work,' I asked.

'It's got to,' he answered. 'Otherwise we'll just have to move away somewhere.'

'And when did you come up with that brilliant idea?'

'Tonight, while we were driving home.'

'You fucking amaze me sometimes,' I said as I gave him a friendly punch in the arm.

'I even amazed myself with that idea. Wouldn't you love to live on a beach or something, as far away as we can get from everyone we know? Or how about in a cabin beside a lake, way up in the mountains somewhere? Come on, let's get inside before the old man comes snooping.'

Thankfully, the next few days went by relatively incident free, as things finally seemed to be settling back down, and with Matt seeming to return to his old self.

His father seemed to have settled down too, especially after he came down to the flat the next morning, on the pretence of asking Matt to mow the lawn that day and found Matt sipping coffee at his little kitchen table and me sleeping on a mattress on the floor … or was that pretending to sleep after hearing the sound of someone outside.

It was all we could do not to burst out laughing as we listened to him walk back up to the house – actually whistling to himself. Our little deception seemed to do the trick; but the question was, how long would we be able to keep that up?

I got back home by lunchtime on the Saturday and no one seemed to have missed me.

'Did you have a nice time dear?' my mother asked me as I entered our kitchen.

'Great,' I said to her as I kissed her on the cheek. 'I'm going to do some studying,' I added and kept on going, straight on through to my room.

On my way home I had stopped by the shopping mall to make a couple of purchases. I couldn't wait to see Matt again, as one of them was for him.

I spent the afternoon studying, as I thought that I still had a fair bit to brush up on before the exams in two weeks time, but to tell you the truth I was having a fair bit of trouble trying to concentrate, which was hardly surprising really. As much as I hated to say it, this was basically all that I would be doing for the next two weeks.

Mum checked in on me from time to time, and also made sure that my kid sister, Katie, stayed well clear, so all in all I didn't end up having a bad day, except for the fact that math and chemistry were driving me crazy.

At around dinnertime I heard the phone ring, then mum called out to say that it was Matt calling, which was perfect timing as I was about ready to quit anyway.

'Hi,' I said.

'Hey gorgeous, what's happening?'

It was the first time that I had ever heard him talk like that and it took me by surprise.

'H-hey, yourself,' I stuttered.

'Aren't you going to say you love me and you want to rip my clothes off again and make mad, passionate love to me?' he teased.

'Ummm, I'd really like to, but… '

He laughed.

'It's okay. Your mum must still be within listening distance, is she? You can tell me you love me later.'

'Yep,' I said, 'and it's a deal.'

'How did your studying go?'

'The pits. Yours?'

'Ditto. All I could think about was you.'

'I'm touched,' I said to him.

'You will be next time I see you.'

'Very funny. Are you on your mobile?'

'Yup, and nobody else can listen in.'


'Feel like some help studying tomorrow?' he asked.


'Your place, if you like. We'd better not have you spending all day every day over here at my place. Someone might get suspicious. We could lock your door, couldn't we? Just think of how exciting it would be doing it while your parents were in the next room.'

I could feel myself blushing at the thought.

'Hang on,' I said, and I called out to mum and asked her if it was okay.

Now you can stop jumping to conclusions! I meant was it okay for him to come over to study, not to screw me senseless while they were in the next room!

'That's fine,' she answered, so I relayed the message to Matt.

'Great,' he answered. 'Well, I'd better go and wash all this sweat off after mowing the lawn. I stink.'

'You got it done then?'

'Yeah, this afternoon, like I had any choice in the matter. Anyway, sweet dreams gorgeous. I'll see you tomorrow.'

'Yeah, you too. See you.'

We disconnected and I walked into the kitchen, almost in a daze.

'You okay?' mum asked me. 'You look like you're burning up. You're not getting the flu or anything are you?'

'No mum, I'm fine.'

'That's good, dear.'

She was getting dinner ready so I started to set the table for her, while thinking about lots of things other than where knives and forks should be placed on the table. After a few little stuff-ups I finally managed to get it right, before I went into the lounge room and watched the news on television.

When dad arrived home mum called out to Katie, who had been in her bedroom, then we all sat down for our evening meal. It was one of our house rules. Everyone had to sit down together for breakfast and dinner.

'Heard something interesting today,' he said about halfway through the meal. I didn't like the way he was looking at me when he said it.

'What's that, Tom?' mum asked.

'Young Matt… apparently he was spotted hanging around the toilets at the park the other night.'

I nearly choked on my sausages when he said that.

'What do you mean, dear?'

'Oh, I dunno, it was just something that Dick Bower mentioned while we were playing golf. Know anything about that Luke?'

I just shook my head. I could feel my face burning up again though. Mum noticed and placed her hand on my forehead, shaking her head as she did so.

Dad just shrugged his shoulders. 'Seems an odd place to be hanging around, that's all. Suppose it's his business though and none of ours.'

Nothing more was said, and as soon as I was able to I excused myself and headed for my room.

Unbelievable, I thought. Every time when things were starting to look up someone else seems to come along and fuck it all up. What was I going to tell Matt now?

Well, no use in panicking just yet. Maybe that's where it would end anyway and nothing more will be said.

Luckily, when Matt arrived the next morning there was no one else home. Dad had gone off somewhere, I'm not sure where to, while Mum and Katie were at church.

I told Matt that we were alone, for now. It was on the tip of my tongue to tell him what dad had said last night, but I just couldn't. I figured that I knew how he would react and didn't want to be the one to bring him crashing back down to earth again, especially when he seemed to be getting back on top of things. It could wait. For now at least.

Once we were inside he greeted me with a long kiss, his hands groping me all over and his tongue searching deep inside my mouth.

'Wow,' I said when we finally parted. 'What was that for?'

'For being there when I needed you.'

'If that's the thanks I get, I'll be there anytime you want me. You better put my number on speed dial.'

He grabbed me by the hand and led me into my bedroom.

'We really are going to have to do some studying today, you know,' I tried telling him.

'Yeah, but if there is no one home now why waste the opportunity?'

I couldn't argue with that so I started stripping. I stopped however, shortly after slipping off my t–shirt, as I heard my father's car drive straight past my bedroom window.

'Fuck! He's back already,' I yelled.

Matt pulled his trousers back up and did up his fly, just as I managed to put my t–shirt back on.

I could just imagine my father as he pulled up at the back door after noticing Matt's car outside. He would have looked it up and down, turned and looked towards the house, and then walked up the back steps shaking his head and wondering. He wouldn't have been able to help that.

Maybe that was just me being paranoid, but I could just imagine what he would have been thinking: 'What was Matt doing at the park? Is he a drug dealer? Is he gay? Does Luke go there with him? Is Luke into any of that stuff?'

By the time my father came through the back door we had at least pulled out our books to make it look like we were studying.

I heard the back door close just as I managed to sit down at my desk and open my history textbook. As Matt sat down on my unmade bed and opened up his notebooks, we heard dad coming along the hallway, before he stopped outside my door and looked in.

'Morning, Mr Solomon,' Matt said to him cheerfully.

'Good morning, Matt,' he answered, a little too coldly for my liking. Then he moved on.

He was carrying the Sunday newspapers under his arm so would spend the next few hours on the front verandah reading those, I thought.

'What's up his ass?' Matt whispered to me after he had left.

'Same thing as always,' I answered.

Anyway, between then and lunchtime we did manage to get some studying done at least, brushing up on some history, although it was fairly safe to say that we probably spent more time thinking about creating a bit of history of our own. When the lunchtime cravings finally hit us we decided to head down to Macca's, which was a relief to me as the alternative of staying and having lunch with my family was something I would rather avoid.

As we drove out of the yard, giving Dad a wave on the front verandah as we went by, we noticed him put his newspaper down on his lap and watch us leave. I turned my head and watched him as we drove up the street, and for that whole time he just stared at Matt's car until we disappeared from view.

Downtown it was a fairly quiet Sunday for a change, so there weren't too many people about. After ordering our meals we headed for the quietest corner where I was hoping we wouldn't be disturbed.

I had Matt's present in my pocket and had been waiting for just the right time to give it to him, which finally came once we had finished our burgers.

Rather shyly, I fished the small packet out of my pocket and pushed it across the table towards him.

'What's this?' he asked as he picked it up.

'Nothin' much.'

He eyed me rather suspiciously as he opened it, but his eyes really lit up when the beaded chain, the latest craze, dropped out into his hand.

'Oh, wow! Thank you. It's great,' he said, then in one quick motion jumped forward and gave me a quick kiss on the lips.

'Are you crazy?' I hissed, nervously looking around to see if anyone may have spotted us. Thankfully, no one appeared to have.

'Yeah, I'm crazy about you. Thanks, I love it.'

'I'm glad you like it. Look, I got one for me too,' I said as I pulled the collar of my t–shirt down to expose my own new chain.

'Won't people notice?' he asked.

'I don't think so. They're the latest craze. They'll just think that we both liked them, won't they?'

'It doesn't matter to me what they think. I just love it anyway. And I just love you.'

'Shhh,' I said. 'People might hear you.'

Matt just laughed.

A few days later, after Matt and I had finished a serious study session – really, we did – and were making ourselves a sandwich in our kitchen, he dug into his pocket and brought his hand out, holding it out towards me.

I looked at his hand and asked, 'What's this?'

'Just hold out your hand,' he said.

I did as I was told and into it he dropped a key, on a length of leather lacing.

'What's this?' I asked again.

'It's my key,' he answered. 'The key to my flat. I had one cut specially for you.'

I just looked at him, not really knowing what to say, so I kissed him. The real significance of the gesture escaped me at the time, however it did dawn on me later that night as I lay awake in bed, swinging it backwards and forwards in front of me, watching its silhouette swing backwards and forwards in front of the light coming through my bedroom window. Every now and then the new brass key would sparkle, reflecting some light from outside my room.

I stopped it swinging and just let the small metal object hang there in front of me, then after a few moments I smiled to myself in the darkness and quickly put it around my neck to let it hang next to my beaded chain. I don't think I let go of that key all night.

The rest of that week and the one that followed went by far too quickly. I got to spend some quiet time with Matt although still not enough for my liking, and we also got to knock around with Hoss and DJ and a few other friends from school who had finally decided that Matt was okay after all. I even crept out of the house one night at about two o'clock in the morning and rode my bike over to Matt's place to try out my key. I had to get into the yard the back way, but Matt knew I was coming and made me very welcome when I got there.

I got home just before dawn and we never saw each other for the rest of that day, but when we compared notes later neither lot of parents could figure out how come we were both so tired the next day.

In spite of my hectic social life, I knew that I still had to spend quite a bit of time hitting the books in preparation for my final exams, which were still quite important to me as I needed good marks to get into the university course I was interested in. It felt like my brain was going to explode with the amount of stuff I was trying to remember, but I knew that it wouldn't be long now so I just kept plugging away.

When the first day of exams rolled around I felt that I was as ready as I was ever going to be, and despite a few nerves I think I managed all right with the first two exams, which were Maths and English.

As Matt and I did basically the same subjects, our exam schedule was nearly identical. The only exception was that he had taken a minor science course while I had taken chemistry. We were both happy with our first day's efforts and afterwards we headed down to the Centre Café, which was jumping with Year Twelve students from several different schools who all had the same idea. We had a fairly good time that afternoon.

Now it wouldn't be right to talk about Year Twelve exams and not talk about Schoolies afterwards, you know, that endless booze up that most year twelve students go on at the Gold Coast after their exams are all over. Naturally the subject came up over milkshakes and burgers and it was obvious that everyone we knew would be going, at least for a few days.

It also wouldn't be right for us not to go, especially as we lived in a small country town and the opportunities for trips away with friends like this were rather limited. Matt and I had discussed it with our friends earlier in the year, and we had all been trying to save madly for it so we could all go away and really enjoy ourselves, but with what had been going on in recent weeks, Matt and I hadn't given it that much extra thought.

Matt had his part time job at the auto parts store – which was why he was always so bloody fussy about his car – and I had mine at the local supermarket, and both of us had saved a bit for the holiday we had always intended to take after school was out. We had also both taken some time off from our jobs for the few weeks off leading up to the exams, and despite everything we were all still keen to go.

Most of our classmates had already booked their units in preparation for a couple of weeks of sun and sin, but as I said it wasn't something that had been on my mind lately, and especially not Matt's.

While everyone was talking about where they would be going, where they would be staying and what they would be doing, Matt and I could only listen. I had a few ideas that I thought I would share with him later, however, although I could also see his mind ticking over and knew that he would be coming up with a plan as well.

By late in the afternoon the party was starting to wind down and everyone started to drift away. Matt dropped me at home just before dark, but not before we had managed a bit of a kiss and cuddle back at his place.

'So, what do you think about Schoolies?' he asked as we lay on his bed, my head resting on his shoulder, our legs intertwined and our toes rubbing together.

'I don't really know,' I answered, looking up into his beautiful brown eyes.

'We have to go…' he said, '… after all our folks said ages ago that it would be all right. And we've been saving like crazy for it.'

'You don't have to convince me, but where will we stay? I mean we'd have no chance of getting into a unit now, we've left it too late for that.'

'I talked to Hoss and DJ. They've got themselves a unit and we could probably crash on the floor there.'

'Okay,' I said. 'That sounds all right, but we won't exactly have much privacy there will we?'

After a moment's thought he said, 'Oh.'

'What would you say to staying there for a couple of days, just to put in an appearance, then heading somewhere else? Maybe going camping? Some place quiet… some place where there won't be anyone from our school who knows us. It would save us an absolute fortune and we would still be together.'

He reached down and kissed my forehead. 'Now we're talking,' he said.

'Where can we get some camping gear?' I asked him.

'We've got some, but not much. I can ask Phil if we could borrow some from him; he's got this great tent that sleeps about six people. It's huge,' he said.


'There's also something else to consider,' he said.

'What's that?'

'You will be having your eighteenth birthday while we are away.'

'You remembered,' I said.

'Couldn't forget that now, could I? That's when you finally become all legal.'

One by one we marked off our exams on the calendar and counted down the days to our first big trip away together.

On the Friday of the week after our first exam, we finally finished our last exam, and as we all walked, rode or drove out of the school gates that afternoon after twelve long years of torture, we were finally free.

The first of our end of school parties had been organised weeks ago by our class captains, Chris Smithers and Donna Booth, and had originally been planned as just a barbeque out at the woolshed on Chris' family farm, which was about twenty minutes out of town.

As most of our class were now eighteen however, there were also plans for plenty of booze to be there so that everyone would to be able to really let their hair down. Even the last few of us who hadn't yet reached that particular milestone were really looking forward to it… as long as nobody ratted to the cops about it!

The only problem with this plan was that with the barbeque being held so far out of town there were concerns about drunken kids travelling home that night, so what started out as being a simple barbeque ended up being a sleepover on a grand scale, much to the delight of our classmates and the horror of some parents.

It proved to be a great night, however, and everyone really enjoyed themselves. We had Chris' father and Donna's parents there helping out and keeping an eye on us, making sure that we didn't totally wreck the joint, which mostly kept us on the straight and narrow. We still had fun though, and plenty of it.

A massive bonfire out in the middle of the paddock was lit, which had flames leaping high up into the sky for hours. Afterwards, once the blaze had died down, we all sat around the fire just enjoying each other's company, getting a few beers into us and telling jokes.

Some of us even got to wander off into the darkness for some privacy, but alas, for Matt and me that wasn't to be – at least not until we finally crawled off to our beds in the tent we had borrowed from Phil; as a trial run for the Gold Coast trip.

It was a bit unfortunate that some kids weren't allowed to come out to the party, which I suppose was understandable in some ways, but the irony was that those same kids who couldn't make it to the barbeque would still be making the round trip of more than one thousand kilometres for the Schoolies party the following week, where there would be absolutely no supervision. Now you work that one out!

Anyhow, those of us who were there had a blast but you should have seen the place the following morning.

Shortly after daylight I got dressed and stepped out of our tent to go and take a leak, and it looked more like an Indian village than a farm.

There were tents everywhere. There were teenagers asleep on the ground, having apparently just fallen over and staying wherever it was that they had passed out. And there was more rubbish strewn about than I could remember seeing from the night before.

There was also something beautiful about the morning, however, that really made me feel alive and looking forward to the day that lay ahead. The magpies were coming alive in the trees, warbling away for anyone who cared to listen. A rooster crowed somewhere close to Chris' house. It was fresh and clear and cool, with the promise of a beautiful day to come, and there was the scent of burning wood still drifting around from the smoldering remains of the bonfire we had lit the previous night.

The worries of our exams were finally behind us, and so too, it seemed, were Matt's worries about being exposed. Ever since that day at school when Matt had cried in my arms, there had been very little else said at school and for that we were both grateful. It seemed that either the novelty of hassling the poofter had worn off or, quite simply, nobody believed it anyway. Things were finally back to normal.

When I got back to the tent Matt was still sound asleep and so I just lay down on the mattress beside him. For countless minutes I watched his smooth, uncovered chest rise and fall with each breath he took, studied the way that his hair fell across his forehead, marveled at the way that the corners of his mouth were turned up slightly in a smile, and the way that his eyelids were making the slightest quivering movements.

'You are just so beautiful,' I whispered to him as I gently brushed his hair back into place and then lent across and kissed his forehead.

It was just then that I heard some movement outside and looked out through the mesh screen of the tent, to see Smithy's father standing there with two steaming mugs in his hand.

'Saw that you were up and about,' he said as I stepped outside to meet him. 'Thought you might want one of these,' and passed a cup of coffee to me. I looked at him and looked back at the sleeping figure of Matt, then back at Mr Smith again. I tried to read the expression on his face but there was nothing there.

'Th-thanks,' I blurted out as I accepted the cup from him, but all I could think of was whether or not he had seen me kiss Matt? Did he hear what I said to him? What would he do?

He started walking back towards where the fire was, still offering warmth after burning all night long, and after a brief hesitation I followed him. In spite of my obvious terror at the thought of his having seen me kiss Matt on the forehead, part of me was curious as to why he had come over to see me at all. I had met him quite often through the various school activities over the years, but with his being a parent I had never really spoken to him that often.

'Good party,' he said as we backed up to the smoldering logs to warm ourselves. 'All you kids seemed to have a good time.'

'Yeah, it was great,' I replied, taking a sip of the burning liquid. 'Thanks so much for letting us have it here.'

He just nodded. 'Glad you've finally finished school?'


'Looking forward to the Schoolies break?'

'Sure am.'

'You and Matt going off together?'

I nodded, feeling my cheeks burning as I did so.

There was a lengthy silence as we both mulled things over in our minds. He took a sip of his coffee, then said, 'You don't have to worry you know. Your secret is safe with me.'

I just looked at him. My face must have gone white as the blood drained from my head and my eyes must have been just about popping out of my skull. This was the moment I had dreaded for years. Someone finally knew the truth about me, not to mention now also knowing it about Matt, and I was sure that it was bound to be splashed all across the news by nightfall. My heart was racing, as if I'd just done the one hundred metre sprint, and I was having trouble holding on to my cup of coffee.

'You can relax, Luke. I was a teenager once too, you know,' he said, then paused, took a sip of his coffee and added, 'only we didn't have the choices or support that you kids have nowadays.'

He looked straight at me and my mouth just dropped open.

'Chris told me about what had happened a few weeks ago,' he continued. 'He was laughing about it at the time, but all I could think of was how your friend must have been feeling. He's lucky. He has someone who cares about him. Not all of us did. I wasn't going to say anything, just in case I was wrong, but when I saw the way you were looking at him last night, I kind of figured it out. Then when I came over to your tent this morning… well, I knew I was right. I also knew that I wanted to offer a few words of encouragement, to let you know that there are others out there just like you. I figured it might just make things that little bit easier for you.'

He was still looking at me and I just didn't know what to do or say. In the end I just looked into the murky liquid in the cup I was holding.

After a while he said, 'Something similar happened to me, so I wouldn't like to see anyone go through the same treatment. I just wanted you to know that you aren't alone,' and I nodded, finally understanding where he was coming from.

The silence stretched on for a few minutes more, and I thought about Chris and his father. I knew that Chris' mother had left them years ago. Was that the reason for it?

'You won't say anything to Chris, will you?' I finally asked.

He shook his head. 'No, that's yours and Matt's business as far as I am concerned, and no one else's. Especially not my son's.'

'Thank you.'

After that there was more silence. I wanted to ask him so many questions, but it was just then, just as I thought I might be able to, that we were approached by a group of other kids who had stirred and were up and about, including Chris.

'If you ever want to talk…' he said, then turned towards the others.

I was numb. I was shocked. And for ages I simply couldn't move.

Eventually however, I made it back to our tent and just slumped down beside Matt.

He was still asleep, still smiling, with his eyelids quivering. I hoped he was enjoying his dream because if he woke and I told him what had happened, I felt certain that he would be thinking he was living in a nightmare once more.

Two days later we were finally on the road and heading for Queensland's Gold Coast for our promised session of a bit of sun and a lot of sin.

Our plans may have only been finalised late, and in a rush, but we had been looking forward to this for months and now we were finally off on our first big adventure together. No more parents, no more rules, no more hiding our feelings – at least for the next two weeks anyway.

We had been waved off by our families that morning, with Matt's car loaded up with all our gear. You would have thought that we were going for a year with the amount of stuff that we had packed. Anyway, when we hit the road there was no looking back, only the promise of a great time ahead.

Hoss and DJ had booked themselves an apartment overlooking the beach and we had arranged to crash with them for the first few days, after which we decided that we would just hit the road and see where it took us, staying wherever we liked. The sense of freedom that this adventure was giving us, even having just started it, was exhilarating.

After we had been on the road for a couple of hours, and had been talking openly about a lot of things, such as school, what the future was going to hold, the meaning of life, you know the things that kids talk about all the time, I finally told Matt about my conversation with Chris' father, even though I still wasn't quite sure at the time how he would handle it.

He thought for a moment, but then he really surprised me with his response.

'I don't think I care who knows any more,' he had answered, which once again left me dumbstruck.

'Are you kiddin' me? Why the sudden change of heart?' I asked him.

He just shook his head.

'I've had a lot of time to think about it and, quite honestly, I'm not prepared to hide anymore. You said it yourself not long ago, once school was over, we could tell everyone to just fuck off. Well, that's what I plan to do.'

I just stared at him with my mouth open. He was right of course. I had said that.

'What?' he asked me, as he looked over at me and noticed me staring. 'Don't worry, I'm not going to stand up on my soapbox and shout it to the world that I'm gay. Hell, I haven't even told my folks yet, and I'm not likely to in a hurry either, but it's just that I've decided that I'm not going to run and hide any more, like I did a few weeks ago. If anyone finds out about me, or even just thinks that they know about me, then I don't care. School is out. I have my whole life to live. They can just think what they like as far as I am concerned.'

My mind drifted back to that day when I held him, shaking and crying and trembling like a scared little boy. I knew that he wouldn't be able to go through life feeling that same way and so I supposed that at some time he would have to come to terms with himself and say to hell with everyone else.

But right now? I just didn't think it would be so soon.

'And what about me?' I asked him.

'How do you mean?'

'Well, if people know, or even just think that you're gay, then they'll most likely just assume I am too, won't they? I mean, after all, it's like we've been joined at the hip for years. I just don't think I'm ready to admit that to anyone else just yet. I simply couldn't.'

'Then you don't have to,' he answered. 'I did some reading up. They say that we all need to come to terms with it in our own way, in our own time, and not be dictated to by anyone. I certainly wouldn't ever tell anyone about you. I promise you that. It's your choice man. Your time.'

I said nothing more and we drove on in silence. Matt kept looking across at me, I guess he was wondering what I was thinking, but to tell you the truth I didn't even know myself what I was thinking right at that point.

As the miles flew by we passed through quite a few small towns, with each one giving us a sense of our getting closer to our destination. We watched the scenery change as we went on our way, from the rich farmland that surrounded our own hometown, to rugged mountains, to lush rain forests.

I studied the countryside and the further we went the less I thought about our conversation.

We were growing more and more excited with every mile, having left the mountains and rain forests behind us and dropping down closer to sea level. Here the country once again opened out into rich farmland, where wide, deep rivers snaked their way through lush valleys on their way to the sea.

We pulled up and gave ourselves a break from driving every few hours, usually for fuel or food. Matt kept teasing me by ogling at every good-looking, young guy he saw, saying how he'd like to get his hands on this one or that one. Mind you, I wouldn't have minded getting my hands on a couple of them either. Maybe we were turning into nothing but a pair of tarts.

Several times on our journey Matt reached across and took my hand as we drove along, letting go only when we came to a stretch of road where he needed to use both hands on the steering wheel. I guess he sensed the fact that I needed to know he was there for me, and each time he did this it sent a shiver down my spine, making me feel just that much more loved.

We drove like that for miles, talking more about us, about the future, about our dreams and our fears. In all the time that we had spent together over the past few years we had never opened up to each other like this, and the more I listened to him the more I was certain that I loved him.

The only thing that kept playing on my mind, however, was the fact that he had now accepted and embraced his sexuality, and I knew that it in spite of what he had told me earlier, it wouldn't be long before he openly said to the world, 'I am gay.'

I also knew that for Matt this would be one of the defining moments in his life, the moment when he says 'hello world, this is me, take me as I am,' after which he would be his own man, and as much as I loved him and needed him in my life, I still wasn't quite sure that I would be able to do the same.

At least not just yet, anyway.

We pulled into the parking lot of the appropriately named Beachside Apartments late in the afternoon, having had surprising little trouble finding it, and pulling up right beside the familiar, old, green Ford that belonged to DJ's mother. He and Hoss had planned to leave home the previous day and by the looks of it they had arrived in one piece.

'What unit did they say they were in?' I asked Matt as we got out of the car and stretched our legs.


When we started looking for the right unit the first thing we did notice was the number of people around that were our age, which was only natural considering that school was out and the Gold Coast was the mecca for Schoolies. It didn't appear as if we were going to be disappointed with the number of partygoers at least.

We found unit sixteen without any problems, up on the second floor and about halfway along the balcony which looked directly out towards a shimmering beach, where hundreds of people could be seen enjoying themselves. When we knocked on the door it was answered just seconds later by a half-naked DJ, wearing only his Speedos and with a towel draped over his shoulder.

Matt and I just managed to look at each other with raised eyebrows before being dragged into the room by DJ.

'Hey, you two! You finally made it!' he exclaimed, while giving us both hugs and slaps on the back.

I don't know what Matt was thinking, but he was looking DJ up and down as if he had never seen him before. Personally, though, I thought DJ had always looked pretty cute in those Speedos anyway, but then again, I had probably been looking at him in that particular way since we were about fourteen so I guess I was a little more familiar with our friend's skin.

We received the guided tour and found that the unit wasn't large, comprising a living area and kitchen, just one bedroom, which was occupied by a double and a single bed – both decidedly unmade, so they apparently weren't sharing – plus a small shower with a toilet. Hoss was nowhere to be found, DJ explaining that he had already gone off down to the beach with some of our classmates, which was only just across the road anyway,.

'I'm heading down there now myself,' DJ told us as he showed us through the unit. 'Want to come down?'

I looked at Matt and we both shook our head at the same time.

'No thanks,' Matt said, answering for both of us. 'We're stuffed. We might just bring our gear inside.'

'Suit yourselves,' DJ said. 'There're some drinks and food in the fridge anyway, and here are the keys so you can lock up if you go anywhere,' he added as he threw them to me.

'Thanks,' I said to him.

'See ya,' he said, and with that he was out the door.

We watched him as he ran down the stairs and across the road to the waiting sands that teemed with half-naked sun lovers. He ran across to a group of people and pointed back in our direction. They all waved madly at us, so we waved back.

'C'mon, let's get our gear from the car,' Matt said to me after they turned and headed off.

'And after that?' I enquired.

'Who knows?' he answered with a sheepish grin on his face.

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