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What We Are

Richie's Story

by Richie Ryan

Chapter 5: The Swim Meet

The school parking lot was almost empty as was the norm for most Swim Meets during the regular season. Outside of the families and close friends of the participants, there would be few, if any, spectators there. Although there were many available parking spaces near the students entrance, Kyle chose one at the very end of the second row with no other cars nearby. No one questioned his choice since they all knew that if you drove a nice car like Kyle's, you didn't want some clown parking next to you and slamming their door into it.

Once they were all out of the car, Kevin and Kyle paired up to follow the two younger boys as they walked across the parking lot.

"So, Jake, you ever been to a Swim Meet before?" asked Kevin.

"No. Have you?"

"Yeah. Me and Stephanie wandered into one while we waited for her sister at tumbling once. We saw Rich dive, too."

"Really?" asked Kyle, trying not to show too much enthusiasm in his voice. "How did he look? Is he good?"

"I thought he looked good. But it's hard for me to say since I don't know how the scoring works. Course, I didn't even know it was him at the time."

"He seems like a really nice guy. I mean, he's pretty cool for a freshman," said Kyle as they reached the entrance that Richie and Lindy had passed through.

Kevin smiled at his friend as he held the door open for him, and Kyle thought he detected something unspoken in his eyes, and behind his smile. For some reason he decided not to call him on it, though, continuing into the building instead.

The entrance they had chosen opened onto a long hallway that stretched all the way from the back of the school to an identical door at the front. The right side of the hall was lined with lockers, with two joining hallways located one third and two thirds of the way down, that led into the interior or the school. The left side, devoid of any lockers, held the entrances to the Gym, the boys locker room, and the swimming pool. When Richie and Lindy reached the locker room door, they waited for their friends to catch up before going inside.

"Coach Davies should still be in his office," said Richie to the other three. "Let's go talk to him and get that over with right away."

They all filed into the locker room, heading straight for the coaching office located about twenty yards into the room and to their right. Large glass windows filled two adjacent sides of the small office. They could see Coach Davies inside, going over his roster for the meet. As they moved through to their destination, they passed several rows of lockers. In front of these were benches filled with about 25 to 30 boys in various stages of undress. Upon recognizing Richie and Lindy, some of the boys hooted, and called out their names. Richie couldn't help but wonder what they would be saying after they heard about his injury.

When they reached the third row of lockers, Lindy split off to get changed, 'high-fiving' a couple of his teammates as he passed them. Richie led the other two boys to the office where he gently knocked on the door before opening it to step inside. Due to the cramped condition of the office, which was always filled with equipment scattered around, Kevin and Kyle waited outside by the door. As they stood there, Kyle began to scope out all the nice athletic bodies on display before him.

As soon as Richie opened the door, his Coach looked up and smiled his recognition.

"Andrews," he said, "Nice of you to join us today."

"Hey, Coach," answered Richie, "I'm sorry about missing practice last night. I had sort of an accident on the way over here."

Looking through the glass, Kevin could see, although not hear, Richie explaining his plight. After a few minutes, Coach Davies stood up, smiled then put his hand on Richie's shoulder as they walked toward the door. When they stepped into the main locker room, Kevin overheard the tail end of what the coach was saying.

"No problem, Rich. You take it easy and do what the doctor said. I'll make the necessary roster changes for today." Then, looking at Kevin and Kyle he asked, "So, which one of these boys took out my number one diver?"

Looking at the coaches face, and not seeing any malice in his expression, Kevin drew in a breath as he walked up to him.

"It was me, coach. I'm sorry, but it was really an accident, and not Rich's fault at all. If you want to blame somebody, I guess I'm your man."

After letting Kevin's words sink in, the coach grinned broadly.

"You're Kevin Hatcher, aren't you? Well, don't worry about it, Kevin. Stuff happens, I guess. We'll manage without him today, and we'll have him back by the time we go up against North High." Looking at Richie again, he said, "Now you do like I said and take it easy, OK?" then he turned on his heels and headed into the pool area.

"Wow, Rich, he knows my name. It's like he recognized me or something."

"Well, duh! Course he knows your name. From what he told me in the office, I think Lindy and me are the only ones in school that didn't know who you are. It's kind of embarrassing, really... not knowing who the 'Great Kevin Hatcher' is."

"Yeah, right, Rich," blushed Kevin.

"Come on, you two," said Richie, "I'll introduce you to some of the guys."

With that, Richie led them through the maze of swimmers to where Lindy stood, now clad in his black team Speedo, talking to one of his teammates.

"I didn't know our school colors were 'black and blue', Andrews," said the boy who was talking to Lindy as they approached.

About a half dozen of the other boys began to laugh when they overheard the remark.

"Hey, Hatcher, you must be one hell of a shot to be able to hit the tiny target Andrews carries," said one of the other boys.

The laughter became louder now, and Richie knew he would endure many such comments in the following days as word got around. Even Kyle was smiling at the last one.

"Yeah, right, Parker. You only wish you had half of what I've got here," said Richie as he grabbed his crotch to emphasize his point.

This remark, and gesture caused another round of laughter, this time directed at the blushing Parker. It also caused a flash of pain to radiate from Richie's groin which he managed to hide from the others for the sake of his bravado. Before anything else could be said, Coach Davies hollered for everyone to get into the pool for their warm-up laps.

The locker room emptied quickly. As soon as everyone was gone, Richie sat down heavily on the bench and groaned.

"You OK, Rich?" asked Kevin.

"No, but I will be in a minute. I gotta remember not to do that kinda shit, ya know?"

Kevin and Kyle smiled at each other as they waited for Richie to recover.

"Whoa, that one hurt," said Richie after a few minutes. Then, taking a deep breath he said, "Come on, guys, let's go watch this meet."

"Are you sure you want to do this, Rich?" asked Kevin, "Maybe we should just take you home instead."

"No, man, I'll be OK. I just have to remember not to abuse myself like that again."

The three boys then headed through the now empty shower room into the pool, sidestepping the puddles on the floor as they walked.

Richie joined his teammates at pool-side, while Kyle and Kevin sat in the front row of the bleachers at the center of the pool. They figured these seats would give them a close, unobstructed view of the activities. After watching the warm-ups for a while, Kevin began to become antsy, glancing around the room from time to time. Finally, he turned to Kyle.

"I'm going out to look for Stephanie, she should be here by now."

With that, he went back into the locker room the way they had come, leaving Kyle alone with his thoughts.

As he watched all of the lithe swimmers' bodies pass by in front of him, Kyle wished for a moment that he had taken up swimming instead of hockey. He felt like a kid in a candy store as he drank in all the beauty that paraded before him. He checked out every swimmer in the place, paying special attention to their Speedo covered packages. His dick began to grow hard as he thought about the show he would get in the locker room after the meet. 'Too bad Rich isn't swimming today,' he thought, 'I'd really like to get a peek at what he's got in his pants.' Then his thoughts took him back to the time when he first knew he was gay.

Although Kyle didn't know what the terms 'gay' and 'straight' meant until he was 14, during his first year of high school, he knew he was attracted to boys sometime after he'd turned 12. This attraction was very confusing for him. He knew he was different from the guys he hung out with because they always talked about girls - like what Sandy Miller would look like naked, or how it would feel to actually fuck a girl - and these topics just didn't interest him. He joined in on the discussions with feigned interest, however, just to make sure everyone thought he was normal.

After almost a year of wrestling with his feelings, he decided he would ask Kevin, his best friend and confidant. He chose his thirteenth birthday to broach the subject since Kevin was going to stay overnight at his house to celebrate. They were in his room, getting ready for bed, when he decided the time was right. Just as he was about to bring the subject up, Kevin pulled a Playboy out of his backpack.

"Hey, Jake, look what I got."

Noticing the excited look on his friends face as he thumbed through the magazine, Kyle put his questions on the back burner.

"Cool, Hatch. That's the latest issue."

"Yeah, I already shit-canned last months. I figured we pretty much wore it out anyway, right? You wanna jack off while we check it out?"

He and Kevin had jacked off together on several occasions while checking out a Playboy magazine. Even though the pictures never did anything for Kyle, he knew they were very exciting for Kevin, so he shrugged his shoulders and agreed.

"Sure, let's."

At that point he decided he would probably never bring up his feelings for boys with Kevin. Instead, he would continue do as he always did, fake interest in the pictures while getting off by sneaking looks at Kevin as he masturbated. Kyle continued to live his secret life after that night, and when he entered high school, he had an awakening of sorts.

As a natural born leader, with the looks of a teenage model, he was one of the most popular kids in the ninth grade. His teammates looked up to him, and the girls drooled over him. So when his friends and classmates talked about girls, he would protect his image by acting as if he was as excited as they were. He would even go so far as to initiate the conversations by commenting on the size of someone's tits, or the shape of her ass. Then, at night, as he lay in bed, he would jack off to thoughts of one of his teammates, naked in the shower.

He finally learned what 'gay' was while working on a Computer Class project during the first semester of his freshman year. Although the project itself didn't have anything to do with sexuality, it did teach him about the vast resources available on the Internet. Ultimately, these resources provided Kyle with the answers about himself that he had sought for so long. Now he knew what his feelings, his attraction to boys, meant for him. He knew he was gay, and he knew he would have to accept that fact and, in turn, learn to deal with it.

He learned other things about being gay as well. He learned that it was not generally acceptable behavior in today's society, a society filled with homophobic attitudes and prejudices. He learned about the frequent occurrences of 'gay bashing', and he became appalled and frightened when he read the accounts of the torture and killing of Matthew Shepherd, just because he was gay. But he was also encouraged when he learned how society was making progress in becoming more tolerant of the gay lifestyle, thanks to the courageous efforts of Gay Rights activists around the world. He hoped that someday, society could move from 'tolerant' to 'accepting'. He also learned that some high schools had Gay/Straight Alliance clubs that helped both gay and straight students understand what being gay really meant. This information made him wonder when, and if, his school would ever have such a club.

After many hours of research, Kyle felt better about himself than he had for a long time. He made some decisions about himself as well. Although he greatly admired every gay person who came out, especially the high school kids, for their courage and conviction, he wasn't a hero, or a crusader. He had a leadership role, an image to protect, and friends he didn't want to lose. He was in the closet now, and he intended to remain there. If the consequences of his decision meant that he would never have sex, then so be it, for he was about to embark on a 24/7 acting career that could well last his entire life. There were, of course, fringe benefits that came from his Internet research. He found a seemingly endless supply of jack-off material ranging from gay pornography to gay erotic stories. All in all, it was a very informative class project.

"Hey, Kyle, what up?"

Turning his head toward the voice that brought him back to the real world, Kyle recognized Stephanie approaching with Kevin in tow.

"Hey, Stephanie. Why don't you lose that guy and sit down here with a real man," he joked.

Smiling halfheartedly, she sat next to him as Kevin sat down next to her. Fully expecting to get a rise out of Kevin from his comment, Kyle looked at his friend and saw indifference written on his face. 'Uh, oh,' he thought to himself, 'Not all is well in the land of love here.'

"So, Kyle, who're you taking to the Snow Ball Friday night?" asked Stephanie.

'Oh shit,' he thought, 'I forgot about the fucking dance coming up.'

The dance in question was the annual pre Christmas holiday dance. It marked the end of the week-long, school-wide, 'Snow Days' celebration that would begin on Monday. It also marked the beginning of Christmas vacation. By tradition, the dance was organized and hosted by the ninth and tenth grade classes, with the tenth graders directing the ninth graders, or 'grunts' as they were called for this event, to do most of the actual work.

There were many other school activities planned for that last week as well, including a huge campaign for Snow King and Snow Queen candidates. Five couples would be selected by the seniors from their class as finalists on Wednesday, and the winners would be chosen by the entire student body on Friday, with the coronation to take place at the dance. Everybody that was anybody would be at the dance, and Kyle was no exception. The problem for him was that he hadn't asked anybody yet, and with only one week left, it was getting pretty late. Just as he was about to tell Stephanie, the starting gun went off for the first event, making all three of them jump.

As they watched the first race, the 100 meter free-style, Kyle tried to think of who might still be available for his date. There were several girls he knew that would love to go with him, but he was afraid that most, if not all of them, would already have dates by now. As he pondered his dilemma, Kevin leaned across Stephanie's lap as he pointed at the pool.

"Look, Jake, that's Lindy, and he's hauling ass."

A few minutes later, the four length event was over, and Lindy was victorious. Although he didn't set any new records, he did swim a personal best in the event, which called for 'high-five's' all around after he pulled himself from the pool.

"So, Kyle. You gonna tell me or not?" she asked again.

"Oh, um, sorry. I haven't asked anyone yet."

"Really? It's getting kinda late, ya know."

"Yeah, I know. It just slipped my mind, is all."

"Well, don't worry about it, I know just the girl for you."

Kyle noticed Kevin roll his eyes at this, and he knew why, too. Stephanie was the class matchmaker, always trying to fix him up with one of her girlfriends. Not that Kyle complained about it, though. She had fixed him up several times in the past, and the girls were always foxes, which helped him to maintain his image.

"Really? Who?" he asked

"Cindy Chambers."

Before answering, Kyle thought for a minute, trying to remember who this Cindy Chambers was, and what she looked like. Then it dawned on him. She was in a couple of his classes, a real good looker.

"I thought she was going out with Randy Souther."

"She is, but Randy came home drunk last weekend, and his dad caught him. Now he's grounded till after vacation. Why don't you ask her? It's not as if they're going steady or anything."

"Thanks, Stephanie, I think I will."

In a way, he hoped it would piss Randy off. Randy Souther was a jerk, and Kyle would love it if he would get in his face over dating Cindy. A good reason to kick his ass, he thought.

Just then, the gun went off again to signal the start of the 400 meter medley relay. Lindy was in this event as well, anchoring the four man team as the free-styler. As the race progressed, it wasn't looking good for Radison. They started off pretty good, but lost some ground in the Butterfly leg. When it was time for Lindy to go, he was already behind by almost a full meter, and the relative positions didn't change much until the final length.

That was when, with encouraging shouts from his teammates, Lindy really turned it on. He had beaten his leading opponent in the 100 meter free-style earlier, and he was determined to do so again. His turn was perfect at the deep end, getting a powerful push-off, pumping his legs hard as he broke the surface. Not taking a breath the entire length, Lindy drew on all his strength and determination to close the distance between him and boy next to him. It was just enough as his hand slapped the wall less than one second before his opponent's did. Again, the cheers and high-fives abounded.

The rest of the swimming events went smoothly, with Radison winning most of them. Unfortunately, the diving competition didn't go as well. Without Richie participating, they lost by several points. In the end it didn't matter much though, since the meet had already been decided during the swimming competition, and Radison won by a good margin. Even though they didn't win the diving competition, Kyle enjoyed the hell out of watching it. So much so in fact, that he had to be careful to conceal his hard-on.

When the meet was over, and most everyone had left the pool, Riche joined his friends in the bleachers.

"Rich," said Kevin, "this is Stephanie. Stephanie, Rich."

"Hey, Stephanie,"

"Hey, Rich. Kevin told me what he did to you," she said, as she grimaced at the thought.

"Well, it's not his fault. It was just a freak accident, is all."

Wanting to quickly change the subject, Richie asked, "So, what did ya think of the meet. Lindy sure kicked some ass, didn't he?" A proud grin was spread across his face.

"Sure as hell did," said Kevin.

Then, looking at Kyle, Richie asked, "We got time to talk to Lindy before we head to the Hockey game?"

"Sure thing, man," said Kyle as he looked at the clock on the wall. "We got two hours before I have to be there. We can even give him a ride home if you want."

"Cool," said Richie.

"Me and Stephanie are going to get something to eat, so we'll catch up with you dudes at CMIA," said Kevin as they all stood to leave.

"Don't eat too much, Hatch. You don't want to blow lunch all over the ice today."

Kevin just smiled before heading for the exit with Stephanie close behind.

"Come on, Kyle. Let's go out the same way... unless you want to run the gauntlet through the showers, that is."

"No, I think I'll pass on the shower route this time."

Richie and Kyle waved goodbye to Kevin and Stephanie, then went into boys locker room through the hall entrance. Kyle was in heaven as he eyed all of the naked swimmers standing around engaged in numerous conversations with their teammates.

When they arrived at Lindy's locker, Kyle sat down immediately in order to hide the growing erection within his Levi's. From where he sat he had a clear view of the shower room, which was still half filled with naked teenage bodies. He made sure to keep his gaze shifting constantly around the room to avoid suspicion should it linger on any one body too long. He also kept his ears tuned in to what Richie and Lindy were saying to give the impression that he was interested. Kyle had a lot of practice in this sort deception, and he was very good at it.

He checked out Lindy's body thoroughly as he toweled himself off, and was impressed with what he saw. 'So close, yet so far away,' were his thoughts as he scanned the area, his dick now rock hard and straining for relief. He wondered why this sight turned him on so much more than seeing his hockey teammates in the nude. He decided that it must be because this sight was new to him since he was used to seeing his teammates bodies on a daily basis during the winter. Then he realized there was more to it than that. These swimmers' bodies were smoother, not as muscular as a hockey player's, and that fact was a newly discovered turn-on for him.

When Kyle felt an orgasm begin to build in his balls, he realized that if he didn't get his mind off this tasty sight, he was going to shoot a wad into his underwear right where he sat. He had done it before without touching his dick, and it soaked through, leaving a telltale wet spot on the front of his jeans. Realizing that he couldn't take the chance that it would happen here, he took a deep breath, blinked his eyes a couple of times, then focused all of his attention on what Richie was saying.

"You really kicked that fucker's ass today, bro... twice!"

"Yeah, I did, didn't I. He was pissed, too. I could see it in his face when we got out of the pool. I think he's gonna want a piece of me next time we meet."

"So what? You'll just kick his ass all over again."

"Thanks, man, you're the best," said Lindy, which was followed by their slap-tap handshake.

"Hey, Rich, why don't you stop patting him on the back so he can get dressed and we can get outa here," said Kyle with a grin.

"Oh yeah, right. Hurry up, Lindy, me and Kyle are gonna give you a ride home."

"Cool. Thanks, Kyle. I'll be ready in a sec."

Nothing else was said as Lindy quickly finished dressing. When he had his speedo and towel stuffed in his bag, he pulled on his jacket, looked around one last time to make sure he hadn't forgotten anything, then grinned and said "Let's go."

The three boys bounded out to the parking lot and headed for Kyle's car. The temperature had risen somewhat while they were inside, but the sky was overcast, with a light northerly wind that caused them to shiver as they made their way.

Once inside the car, Kyle wasted no time in starting it and adjusting the heater to maximum. Before putting the car in gear, he flipped through his radio presets, finally choosing one of the Classic Rock stations. It just so happened that the radio station was in a news break, and the weather forecast was being read. It called for a slight chance of snow flurries beginning this evening, but with little accumulation before morning. Although this news was of no interest to the three teens as they waited for the car to warm up, it caused Richie to groan as he remembered the sidewalk at home, still unshoveled from the last snowfall.

As he put his car in gear to back out of the parking space, Kyle looked over his shoulder at Lindy and asked, "Where do you live, Lindy?"

"Two houses down from Rich." he answered.

Not much else was said as they drove to Lindy's house. Kyle and Lindy were content to listen to some old Stones song that was playing, but Richie soon began to shift around in his seat. His balls were beginning to ache a little, and he couldn't seem to get comfortable. Five minutes later, Lindy was getting out of the car at his driveway. After telling Richie he would call him later that night, he thanked Kyle, grabbed his bag, and ran into the house.

When Kyle started to pull out of the driveway, Richie turned to him. "Can we stop at my house for a minute, Kyle?"

"Sure, Rich, what up?"

"Aw, my balls are beginning to hurt a little. I thought I might take one of the pills the doctor gave me last night."

"No prob, dude, we got plenty of time," answered Kyle as he drove the short distance back to Richie's house.

As Richie stepped out of the car, he stopped in his tracks, surprised at what he saw. The sidewalk and driveway were shoveled completely clean. Realizing that it must have been Carl who had done this for him, Richie wondered why. Like most brothers who were four years apart in age, Richie and Carl shared no common interests, outside of sports, and seldom got along with each other. Seeing this act of kindness, coupled with the genuine concern Carl had shown last night, Richie began to think that maybe his brother wasn't such a total jerk after all. He made up his mind to be sure to thank him as he began to lead Kyle toward the back door.

Carl had graduated from Radison last spring, was still living at home while he worked full time for Lindy's dad at his shop. He had thought about going to college, or maybe joining the Army, but those options didn't hold much interest for him. Then, one day out of the blue, Frank Lindstrom suggested that maybe trade school would be a good way to go. Since he had a genuine flair for auto mechanics, and was already employed at an auto repair shop, Carl decided to give it a shot by enrolling in the fall.

As they entered the house, Richie noticed his brother sitting at the kitchen table. He was munching on a ham sandwich as he leafed through the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. Toeing off his sneakers in the hallway, Richie looked in his direction.

"Hey, Carl. Thanks for shoveling, bro. I don't think I could've done it the way I feel. I owe ya one, big time."

"No problem, Sport," he said, not looking up from his magazine, "The next time I get my balls bashed, you can return the favor."

"It's a deal, man."

Seeing the sandwich in Carl's hand, Richie turned to Kyle and asked, "You hungry, dude. Want a sandwich or somethin?"

"No, man, but thanks anyway. I never eat anything before a game. Safer that way, ya know?"

"Yeah, I hear ya. Let's go up to my room and get those pills."

This last comment caused Carl to look up from his reading.

"You gonna take some of those pills, Richie?"

"Yeah, I think I'll try taking one of 'em. My balls are aching a little. Why?"

"I don't know. I read the label last night and noticed they have codeine in them. That's some powerful shit, Richie, so be careful, OK?"

"I will, Carl, thanks. Oh, by the way, Carl, this is Kyle Jacobson. Kyle, meet my big brother, Carl."

Now in his stocking feet, Kyle moved toward the table and offered his hand out to Carl who stood up and shook it firmly.

"You the same Kyle Jacobson who plays hockey for Radison?"

"Yeah, I am. Do you follow high school hockey?"

Interrupting the conversation, Richie said, "If there was any sport that Carl didn't follow, I would be like totally surprised. He's into everything, national or local, it doesn't matter. He's a complete sports nut. I've been trying to get him into therapy for it, but he won't listen to me."

"Don't pay any attention to him, Kyle. I only follow hockey and football on a regular basis. You play pretty good 'D' as I recall."

"Thanks. I try, I guess."

"I hate to break this up, but we gotta get movin, Kyle," said Richie.

The two boys then went up to Richie's room where Richie picked up the bottle of pills from his night stand and read the label.

"Here," said Kyle, "Let me see those."

Taking the bottle from Richie, Kyle read the label, then smiled.

"Yeah, Rich, these are some good shit. You don't have to worry though, as long as you don't take more than one every four hours."

Then, grinning as if remembering something, he handed them back.

"What?" asked Richie as he noticed the grin.

"Aw, nothin. I was just remembering when I took the same stuff for a broken finger. I took a pill before a party one night, then added a few brews and a little weed to the mix. Man, was I wasted. For sure had a good time that night."

"Whoa," said Richie, "You were at a party where you could drink and smoke dope?"

"Oh yeah, but it was my party. You gotta come to my next one. I guarantee you'll have a good time."

"Sounds cool, but I've never even had a beer, much less smoked any weed. I guess I'm afraid it will mess with my diving or something."

"Never hurt me any, but it's always your choice."

Richie was then reminded of why they were in his room when the ache in his balls sent him a message. He grimaced slightly as he opened the bottle to retrieve one of the pills.

"Say, Rich?" asked Kyle when he saw his expression.


"I don't mean to sound weird or anything, but do you wear boxers?"

"Yeah. So what?" chuckled Richie.

"I suggest you put on some briefs, if you've got any. They'll hold your balls up so they don't bang around so much."

Then seeing a doubting look on Richie's face, he added, "Seriously, Rich. They hold them up sorta like a jock. I know because that's what my doctor told me to do when I got pasted in the nuts once. It really helps."

"Well, makes sense I guess. Sure can't hurt to try it."

With that, he fished a pair of seldom worn briefs from the bottom of his dresser drawer, and threw them on the bed. Then, without hesitation, he unfastened his blue jeans, pulled them down along with his boxers, and stepped out of them.

Kyle was stunned as he watched Richie strip out of his Levi's. He had been wanting to check Richie out ever since he first met him at Kevin's. What he saw when Richie stepped out of his pants, though, made him gasp loudly, causing Richie to look at him with a puzzled expression. Pulling his eyes from Richie's balls, Kyle saw the look on his face.

"Sorry, man. I didn't mean to stare, but you have got one nasty bruise there, dude."

Looking down at himself, Richie pulled his penis out of the way so he could get a better view.

"Actually, it's not as bad as it was last night, and it's supposed to clear up in a couple a days."

Staring at Richie's package as if in a trance, Kyle said in a voice just above a whisper, "I sure hope so."

Not sure that he heard him right, Richie looked up from his groin to Kyle and asked, "Say what?"

"Oh, um, nothin Rich. I just can't believe how bad it looks, is all."

"Oh, yeah," said Richie, though he was sure that Kyle had said something else.

Deciding his comment wasn't worth dwelling on, Richie pulled on his briefs, quickly followed by his jeans. As soon as he was dressed once again, he stretched, adjusted his clothes until he was satisfied he looked good, then gave his crotch a gentle squeeze in order to adjust his package for maximum comfort.

"I think you're right, Kyle, these do feel better," he said as he checked himself out in the mirror.

"Good," said Kyle, "Now if I you can pull yourself away from that mirror, stud, we should get movin."

'Why would he call me stud?' Richie asked himself. 'Nothing wrong with it, I guess, he was probably just making a joke. Nobody ever called me that before, though... and didn't he just invite me to his next party?'

Whatever the reason behind the remark, it made him feel good that this 16 year old hunk would call him a stud. He also wondered if his fairly new, but very strong attraction to other boys, was making him see and hear things that weren't really there. Aside from Kyle's hot body, Richie was getting to like him as a friend more and more. He was pretty sure Kyle liked him as well, so he decided he would exercise caution, and watch for the signs of anything else he might feel. Striking a final pose in the mirror, he smiled as he wondered just how closely Kyle had checked him out when he changed his underwear.

Rather than swallow the pill he had taken from the bottle earlier, he shoved it into his pocket. "I think I'll pass on this for now. I can always take it later if I need it." Then, checking to make sure he had his wallet, he added, "Alright, let's go."

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