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What We Are

Richie's Story

by Richie Ryan

Chapter 6: The Hockey Game

Once they were back on the road and headed for the ice arena, Richie began asking Kyle some basic questions in order to learn more about him.

"So, Kyle, how long have you known Kevin?"

"Forever. Actually, we've been buds since we were seven... that's when we started to play hockey. He's good people, and the best friend a guy could have."

"Well, me and Lindy got ya beat there. I mean, we've known each other since we were four."

"You guys are pretty tight then?" asked Kyle.

"Yeah, like brothers."

There was a short pause before Richie continued.

"Kevin's girlfriend is pretty hot looking. Have they been dating long?"

"They've been dating for two years, but they've been friends for much longer. She lives next door to him, and they kinda grew up as buds I guess." After thinking for a few seconds, Kyle went on, "I don't think all is rosy with them lately, though. I mean, like Kevin hasn't said anything to me yet, but I think they're having problems."

"How about you?" asked Richie, "You got a girlfriend?"

"Nah, nobody steady, anyway. I've dated quite a few, but none of them lasted very long." Then looking at Richie, he smiled and said, "Still looking for the right one, ya know?"

Smiling back, Richie said, "Well, with your looks and personality, I guess you could have any girl you wanted."

Blushing slightly, Kyle just shrugged his shoulders as he looked straight ahead.

"Well, have ya, Kyle?"

"Have I what? Had any girl I wanted?" Then looking at Richie with a blank expression added, "Do you mean have I fucked any girl I wanted?"

"Well, yeah," said Richie, slightly embarrassed, "But forget it, OK? It's none of my business, and it was really rude of me to ask." Then grinning, he added, "I was just wondering how much pussy the hottest looking dude in the eleventh grade was getting."

"I guess I don't mind you asking, Rich. It's like I have a feeling I can trust you, ya know? That you're not the type to spread rumors around school. Although I didn't exactly ask for it, I do have reputation of sorts, a kind of image to uphold, ya know?"

"Hey, I understand, man. Just forget it, OK?"

"No, no, it's not that. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to tell you. I mean, I haven't even talked to Hatch much about my sex life. I'd kinda like to know someone that I can trust as much as I trust him, and I think you could be the one."

After a long silence, Kyle looked over at Richie and blushed.

"You think I'm weird, huh? I mean, here I am telling you all this shit, and we haven't even known each other for whole day yet."

Chuckling at the thought, and breaking the awkward moment, Richie gently punched Kyle in the arm.

"Hey, bro, it's not the quantity, but the quality of time that counts."

Grinning at Richie's comment, Kyle looked out through the windshield while he gathered his thoughts.

"Like I said, I've dated lots of chicks from school. They seem to be lined up waiting to get a shot at... and a piece of... Kyle Jacobson. But to answer your question, no, I haven't ever fucked anybody. I've never told anybody that I did, either. I just let everybody think what they want, and if that means they think I'm getting fucked regularly, then so be it. The image thing, ya know? I've played with a lot of tits of course, and even finger fucked Sharon Mallory once, but she was so drunk that I don't know if she even remembers it." After another pause he said, "That's it. That's the entire boring sex life of one Kyle Jacobson."

Richie was stunned. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Here is this sixteen year old athlete, with looks to kill for, chicks falling all over him, and he's never fucked any. Looking over at Kyle, his amazement was written all over his face.

"You're bull-shittin me, right?"

"Nope," came the reply.

"I can't believe you, man. You've got what every guy dreams of, and you've never gotten laid?"


"How can that be, man? I mean, how can you do that? How could you NOT get laid? Even if your mind were to tell you not to, how can your dick not take over when it would be so easy? I know mine would."

"Well, that's it right there, Rich. What you said. It would be easy, too easy. Now don't get me wrong here. I've been so close so many times, it's scary. As a matter of fact, if Sharon Mallory hadn't been the first, I might've been well fucked by now. But like I said, she was pretty drunk, and so was I... and I was definitely going to fuck the hell out of her that night, too. But just as I was gonna to put it in, I looked down at her laying there, passed out, with drool running out of her mouth, and my dick went as soft as a wet noodle. I mean, it was a real turn-off, ya know. I thought, 'now what could I possibly get from her right now that I couldn't get from my hand', right? So, I jacked off that night instead... more than once I might add. Don't think I didn't kick myself in the ass the next day for passing it up, either, but at the time, she just didn't do anything for me."

After a long silence, Kyle continued.

"Well, before the next opportunity came along, I had a lot of time to think about it. At least a week, I think. These chicks aren't interested in having sex really... and they sure as hell don't want to make love. They just want to be able to tell their friends they fucked Kyle Jacobson. Well, I decided that I wasn't going to be their slut just to boost their egos. When I do fuck someone, I want it to be for the two of us. Something we can share and feel special about. I mean, it could happen any time I guess, all it would take is the right chick. But until that time, I'll just keep my dick in my hand instead of their pussy."

Richie's mind was running wild as he absorbed what Kyle was telling him. He wondered how any guy could control himself that way. Wasn't getting fucked what every teenage guy lived for? Then, remembering what Kyle said about sharing the experience, he thought about Lindy, and their experience a week ago. They had shared their sex, and it did make it special. Even though his first sexual experience hadn't been with a girl, the principle of what Kyle said certainly held merit. He also felt that Kyle's abstention wasn't based so much on his respect for the girl, but on respect for himself - he wasn't going to be their slut. Now, for the first time in his life, Richie didn't know how he would react, when or if he found himself faced with the opportunity to get laid. He was kind of saddened by the thought as well.

Hearing nothing from Richie for a while, Kyle turned to him, noticing how he seemed to be in deep thought.

"So, how about you, Rich? Even as a freshman, a good looking dude like yourself has got to be getting something."

Blushing slightly as he was snapped back from his thoughts, Richie looked at Kyle.

"Who, me? Hell no! I mean, I felt a girl up once, but that's it. I think the Pope's been laid more than I have."

Both boys cracked up at the joke as they pulled into the CMIA parking lot. As usual, Kyle chose an isolated spot far away from the other cars, and turned off the ignition. Once they were out of the car, he locked the doors, set the alarm, then popped the trunk with his keyless remote.

"Here, Rich, carry these in for me will ya?" asked Kyle as he handed Richie four hockey sticks, all taped and ready for action.

"Jeez, Kyle, why so many sticks? You sellin 'em or somethin?"

"No, they're just spares," laughed Kyle, "I've been known to break one or two of 'em during a game. It never hurts to have a few extras on hand."

Grabbing his over sized hockey bag, Kyle gently closed the trunk before they started for the arena.

"You should have taken up swimming," said Richie, as he wrestled with the sticks under his arm, "then all you'd have to haul around is a Speedo."

"Just be glad I don't play goal-tender, man. Those guys have a ton a shit to carry."

Entering the building, Richie was glad to be carrying Kyle's hockey sticks. Now he had a good excuse to get into the dressing room, and his dick stirred in his briefs at the thought.

When Kyle and Richie passed through the door, they immediately saw Stephanie standing alone by the steps that led up to the bleachers. A look of relief spread across her face when she saw them walk in.

"Where have you guys been? Kevin's been out here twice looking for you."

"Chill, Stephanie," said Kyle as he glanced at the clock on the wall. "It's not as if we're late or anything."

Actually, they were late, but he wasn't about to admit it to Stephanie. They're coach insisted that his players arrive at least 35 minutes, and the goal-tenders at least 50 minutes before each game. This gave them each enough time to get suited up and skate warm-ups before the puck was dropped. Knowing he was going to get his ass chewed, Kyle motioned for Richie to follow him as he headed for the dressing room.

Richie was surprised and disappointed at the same time as they entered. He was surprised to see the place in such a disarray, with pads, skates, helmets, and sticks spread everywhere. He wondered how anybody could tell which was his equipment, and which was not. His disappointment came at the realization that nobody was naked. Shrugging it off, he decided he would just have to come back in here after the game to check these guys out as they came out of the showers.

Following Kyle to where Kevin sat, he leaned the sticks against the lockers as he began to take in the unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. The smell that assaulted his nose was different from what he was used to. Missing was the familiar aroma of chlorine and hot, humid air. What he found in here was all boy smell. The smell of sweaty teenage bodies mixed with the smell of sweat stained jerseys, leggings, and jockstraps. Although he had always liked the clean smells associated with swimming, he was somewhat turned on by the different odors he found in here.

"Hey, guys," said Kevin. Then looking at Kyle he added, "You're late, bro. Coach is looking for you, and he's pissed."

"Fuck 'em," said Kyle, "He'll get over it."

"What did you say, Jacobson?"

It was his coach, standing at the end of the locker row, less than two feet away.

"Um, nothin, Coach."

"Well you're late, and you're lucky I don't bench you for it. Now quit jackin your jaw and get dressed."

"Yes sir," said Kyle, slightly embarrassed by his reprimand.

With that, the coach headed off as he yelled at everybody in general.

"Alright, hustle up, ladies! We've got a game to play! Let's move it!"

Once he was gone, Richie leaned over to Kyle and said, "Jesus, Kyle, I'm sorry I made ya late. He's pretty pissed."

"Nah, don't worry about it. He's always getting on my case about something."

"Maybe it's because you're always antagonizing him, Jake," said Kevin.

"Ya think?" replied Kyle as he smiled at his friend.

Grinning and shaking his head at Kyle's attitude, Kevin stood up, fully dressed and ready to go.

"I'll take these out for you," he said, picking up Kyle's spare sticks before joining the others as they made their way onto the ice.

Before long, the dressing room was empty except for Richie and Kyle, with Kyle frantically stripping off his street clothes and throwing them into his locker. Once he was down to his boxers and T shirt, he started to tear through the contents of his bag. Wanting to help, Richie asked if there was something he could do. Pulling on his shoulder pads, Kyle smiled at him.

"Yeah, you could dig my cup out of there for me."

Richie's head snapped around to stare at Kyle, completely surprised at the strange request. After all, how many guys would ask you to dig out their sweaty old cup for them. Then he noticed the shit eating grin on Kyle's face and knew he was messing with his mind.

'Well,' thought Richie, 'let's see how he reacts when I actually do it.'

Then, after looking around to make sure he wouldn't be seen by anybody, he reached into Kyle's hockey bag to dig for his cup.

Kyle's mouth dropped open as he wondered if Richie was really doing what he thought he was. Seconds later, Richie produced the article from the bottom of the bag and held it out for him, a wide grin across his face.

"Didn't think I'd do it, did ya, bro?"

"No, I didn't, man," laughed Kyle, "but thanks."

Without another word, Kyle slid his boxers to his ankles and stepped out of them. Bending over, he scooped them up in his hand, then tossed them into his locker, giving Richie ample time to check out his equipment. Richie did just that, too. He stared directly at Kyle's crotch, so excited by what he saw that he lost all control over his defense against getting caught.

Kyle had a beautiful cut dick that hung flaccid at about 5 inches, with a perfectly shaped helmet head. His large, hairless balls, hung about a quarter of an inch below the tip of his penis. The base of his dick was surrounded by an ample, but not excessive, patch of light brown pubic hair that looked to be as soft as silk with a faint trail leading up toward his navel. His powerful, muscular legs, were sparsely covered with the same soft downy fur.

Almost immediately, Richie felt an ache in his groin that signaled his growing erection. In an attempt curtail his straining hard-on, and hopefully save his reputation, Richie groaned and shifted on the bench. The pain worked well to deflate his cock, and he was soon able to stand up and stretch. Looking back to Kyle for any indication that he might have caught him staring, he noticed him nonchalantly pulling on a clean pair of briefs, so he was reasonably sure that he was safe. As soon as Kyle had put on his cup, hockey pants, and jersey, he sat down to lace up his skates.

"Go out there and kick some ass, Kyle, I'm goin up to find Stephanie."

"Cool, then why don't you come back here after the game and help me pack up," answered Kyle as he smiled broadly, showing off his perfect white teeth, and a twinkle in his eye.

"No prob, man, but don't expect me to touch that sweaty cup again."

This got another chuckle out of Kyle as Richie turned to leave.

Retracing his steps back into the hallway, he took the same set of stairs to the bleachers that he had seen Stephanie standing by when they came in. Finding her was easy since there were very few other people in attendance.

"Hey, Stephanie," he said as he took a seat next to her.

"Oh, hey, Rich. Where the hell is Kyle?"

"Right there," he said, pointing toward the access gate as Kyle made his entrance.

"Oh, good. God, he's always late. It drives Kevin crazy when he does that."

The tone of her voice told Richie that it wasn't Kevin who had a problem with Kyle, but Stephanie herself. This puzzled Richie since Kevin and Kyle were such good friends, and had been for so long. Deciding that maybe Kyle had done something recently to piss her off, he turned his attention to the ice to watch the warm-ups.

Having already missed the organized warm-ups, Kyle did his leg and arm stretches, then took a few laps around the ice. All too soon the whistle blew, signaling it was time to start. Collectively, both teams returned to their respective benches for a last word from their coach. The Radison team remained by their bench a little longer than the Polk team did. Just before the first line took up their positions on the ice, the entire team raised their sticks in the air and yelled "KICK ASS" in unison. Following that, Radison's center joined his opposite at the face-off circle to a disparaging look from the referee. Smiling, he shrugged his shoulders before positioning himself for the drop of the puck.

Richie watched in fascination as the game progressed. He admired the precision positioning and passing skills of all of these strong, well toned athletes, but found himself focusing on Kevin and Kyle whenever they were on the ice.

With 0:29 left in the second period, the score was 2 to 1 in Radison's favor, with Polk on a power play due to a high-sticking call. Both teams had their box set in front of Radison's goal, with Polk passing the puck around for position. Seeing his chance, the Polk defenseman took a slap shot from the point. Unfortunately for him, and his team, his shot was not screened as well as he thought, and the Radison goal-tender deflected it easily with his blocker.

The rebound came right out to Kevin who was high on the right side of center ice. In one fluid motion, he flipped the puck at the boards behind the defenseman, shot past him on the inside, then caught his own pass just before he crossed the red line. With three powerful pumps of his legs to widen the gap between him and the helpless defenders, he headed toward Polk's end of the ice. A rush of adrenaline shot through his body as he continued on a break-away with nothing between him and the crease but air. When he got closer to the goal, he could see the goal-tender's terrified eyes behind his mask as he tried to figure out which side Kevin was going for. As he approached the crease, Kevin shifted to his right to give the appearance he was going for a forehand shot. The goaltender bit, and shifted slightly to his left, while coming out of the net to cut down the angle.

'Yes!' thought Kevin as he immediately dragged the puck across in front of him, dug in his skates, leaned to the left, and put a perfectly placed back hand shot into the upper left corner of the net.

Richie and Stephanie jumped up at the same time to cheer as Kevin let his momentum carry him around behind the net. As he came out on the other side, he raised his left leg and pistoned his right arm back and forth twice. Then, following the boards back toward his bench, he slapped the outstretched hands of his teammates as he passed. Kevin had just scored his first ever shorthanded goal, and he was in heaven. The clock had run down to 0:02, which allowed for one drop of the puck before the period ending buzzer sounded. The scoreboard now showed Radison 3, Polk 1.

The third period started out much as the first two, except that Radison went into its defensive style of play to protect their lead. This game plan gave Kyle a lot of ice-time and he performed flawlessly.

Just two minutes into the third period with the score still 3 to 1, frustration began to take its toll on Polk's team, and things began to get a little chippy. When Kyle saw his man take a pass from behind the Radison net, he checked him hard into the boards, sending him to the ice. In retaliation, the Polk forward swung his stick at Kyle's feet as he turned away from him, and the blade of the stick caught Kyle's skate, tripping him, and sending him crashing into the net.

Leaving his stick on the ice, Kyle jumped to his feet, his face twisted in anger, his eyes blazing. He charged at the offender, his fists clenched tightly in his gloves, his body coursing with adrenaline. Watching wide-eyed as Kyle charged him, the Polk player dropped his stick and raised his fists in preparation for the inevitable. The smaller boy was no match for his attacker, however, and Kyle easily landed a solid punch to his head. The effect was dramatic as the boy flew into the boards and slumped motionless to the ice.

You could almost hear a pin drop in the silent arena as everyone was on their feet, their mouths agape at what they had just seen. Kyle was not done yet, though, as he started to move in for another shot. His second charge was ended before it got started, however, as one of his teammates wrapped his arms tightly around his chest from behind and he pulled him toward center ice.

The whistle blew as the referee and the Polk High coach went to the fallen player. Kyle was still seething as he tried to wrestle free from the restraining arms, but then relaxed a little when the six-foot, five-inch linesman skated up and grabbed his arm. His anger subsiding, Kyle knew he was in big trouble as he looked over to the player he had just laid out.

When the kid got slowly to his feet and was assisted back to his bench, Kyle knew he would be all right. Although he had hit him pretty hard, he knew that all the padding he wore, along with his helmet, had prevented any injury. Still, all the padding in the world wasn't going to change what happened next.

Once he was sure the Polk player was OK, the referee went to center ice, looked over at Kyle, then gave the signal for unsportsman-like conduct. In most cases, this would incur a two minute minor penalty. Unfortunately for Kyle, and for the rest of his team, the referee took exception to Kyle's violent retaliation and announced a five minute major. As if that wasn't bad enough, the referee then looked at Kyle while he hooked his thumb up over his shoulder toward the dressing room. Kyle had just been kicked out of the game.

He felt bad for what he'd done when he saw the cold stares from his coach and teammates. It's not that his ejection would hurt them so much, but the five minute major was potentially devastating. A five minute major meant that Polk would have a five minute power play that would continue regardless of whether or not they scored a goal. In other words, it would be a five on four for the next five grueling minutes. Even though Radison was the better team, this penalty could cost them the lead, and in the end, the game. Feeling the linesman tug on his arm, Kyle lowered his head as he headed off the ice for the dressing room.

Richie was in total shock as he watched Kyle leave the ice. Although he hadn't known Kyle long, he was surprised to see his display of anger and violence. Still standing, he felt a tug on his pants leg as Stephanie, now seated again, looked up at him.

"Hey, Rich, you can sit down now... it's all over."

"Does he do that very often?" he asked, as he sat.

"Oh, every once in a while he'll go off like that. I've never seen him start anything, though... he just likes to finish it. A five minute major is bad, though. The team is pissed, and they are going to let him hear about it, too."

Trying to concentrate when the game resumed, Richie couldn't help but think about Kyle, and how he must feel sitting alone in the dressing room. When he realized he could no longer focus on the game, he stood up.

"I'm going down to see if he's all right. You gonna be OK here by yourself?"

"Sure, Rich, go ahead. I'll see you after the game."

Quickly making his way back into the dressing room, Richie found Kyle, sitting alone at his locker, frantically ripping frayed tape from his stick. He approached him slowly, trying to read his state of mind when Kyle looked up at him.

"So, Rich, did you rush down here to be the first to get in my face for what I did out there?"

"No, man, not at all. I was just worried about you is all. Thought maybe you could use a friend right about now."

Kyle didn't answer. He just looked down at the floor between his feet.

"Look, man, I'll leave if ya want me to."

After another silence, Kyle spoke softly without looking up.

"I don't know why I do that shit, Rich. The dude tripped me, and I just lost it."

After another pause he added, "I may have just cost us the game... and even if we don't lose, the guys are gonna kill me."

Richie sat down on the bench across from Kyle. He knew his new friend was pretty upset right now, so he waited in silence for him to calm down. As Richie watched, Kyle nervously shifted in his seat. Suddenly he stood up, threw his stick against the wall, paced back and forth a couple of times, then sat back down again to loosen his skates. Pulling the first one off, he threw it on the floor, then sat motionless with his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. After about thirty seconds, he drew in a deep breath, then sat up, leaning back against the lockers. Richie could see tears in his eyes when he began to speak.

"I think I'm gonna hang it up, Rich. Give up Hockey, ya know? Quit the team."

"What's with you, man? Are you possessed or somethin? Am I going to see your head do a 360 on your shoulders now? This ain't you talkin, Kyle."

"Really, Rich?! And just what the hell do you know about it?! You and I met just yesterday, and already you think you know me?"

Although he felt hurt by Kyle's remarks, he saw the truth in what he said. He had just met him, and he really didn't know him at all - certainly not well enough to say what he did. Just the same, even though their relationship has been a short one, he liked Kyle, and felt a sort of connection with him that he couldn't explain. Finding that he couldn't argue with either Kyle's logic, or his present mood, Richie stood up to leave.

"You're right, Kyle. I'm sorry. I'll leave you to do... whatever."

As he turned toward the door, Kyle reached out and grabbed his arm.

"No, Rich. Stay... please."

Then, after looking at the clock, he glanced around the room before adding, "Look, the game's almost over, and I'd rather not be here when the guys come in. Give me two minutes to change, and we'll leave, OK?"

Seeing the look on Kyle's face, and hearing the pleading tone in his voice, Richie smiled his understanding, "Sure thing, man. No problem."

Kyle quickly changed into his street clothes, and both boys left the building, headed for the car. Just before the double doors to the arena closed behind them, they heard the horn sound from within, telling them the game was over.

Before they'd gotten ten feet into the parking lot, Kyle stopped dead in his tracks. In fact, he stopped so abruptly that Richie almost knocked him over when he walked into him - he had to grab his arm to keep from losing his balance.

"Whoa, man, what's up? Did you forget something?"

"Yeah, I did. Is it all right if I just run you home real quick? I gotta come back here."

"Yeah, sure, but I thought you didn't want to face the rest of the team right now."

"I don't, but I gotta come back anyway, for Kevin's sake."

Seeing that Richie was confused, he continued.

"Did you see the goal he scored at the end of the second period?"

"Course I did. It was awesome, man."

"Exactly. It was awesome. It was also the first time in his life he's ever scored a short-handed, unassisted, goal. You have no idea how huge that is for him."

"Ya mean, kinda like when Lindy beat the same dude twice, and set a personal best time this morning?" he asked, with an understanding smile on his face.

"Yeah, right. So you do understand... why I have to come back, I mean. Even if they kill me, I have to be here for him. We've always been around for each other at times like this, so I can't hardly leave now just because I fucked up and I don't want to face the rest of the team."

"Hey, no problem, Kyle, really."

Then, after looking around the nearly empty parking lot, as if searching for someone, Richie turned back to his friend.

"Matter of fact, why don't you go back in now... I'll find a way home."

After his own quick glance around the lot, Kyle looked at Richie, shaking his head.

"No way, man. There's hardly anybody left here, and for sure nobody you know to catch a ride with."

Just then, a voice from behind them caught their attention.

"Maybe I can offer a suggestion."

They both turned to the voice and saw Stephanie approaching them from the arena.

"Why don't you go back in, Kyle, and I'll take Rich home."

Both boys started to speak at the same time, then both stopped to wait for the other. Kyle finally won the stand off .

"Are you sure, Stephanie? I'd owe ya big time if you would."

"Wait a sec, Kyle," said Richie, "Don't you think that maybe Stephanie would like to wait for Kevin, too?"

"Don't worry about it, Rich," said Stephanie, "I'll see Kevin later tonight, and we'll celebrate then, just the two of us."

Noticing the way she looked at Kyle when she said 'just the two of us', Richie decided he understood where the friction between them was coming from. In order to sidestep a potentially awkward moment, he quickly stepped up to Stephanie and smiled.

"Sounds like a plan then. Go on back, Kyle. I'll just take a ride with this hot babe here."

They all laughed at the joke, then Kyle turned to Stephanie and kissed her on the cheek.

"Thanks, Stephanie, you're the best." Then looking at Richie he said, "I'll see ya later, dude."

As they watched Kyle disappear through the doors, Richie suddenly realized that he still had his arm around Stephanie. Blushing a little, he dropped it back to his side.

"That was a nice thing you did... offering to take me home, I mean. A lot of girls would be too possessive to let their boyfriends hang out with the guys like that."

"Well, I'm kinda used to it with those two."

As they headed for Stephanie's car, she continued to talk.

"They've been so close for so long that it's almost as if they were married or something. I know it's stupid, but sometimes I get jealous of Kyle for taking up so much of Kevin's time."

"I kinda thought so. It shows, ya know."

"That bad, huh?"


Nothing else was said until they were in the car, buckled up, and on their way out of the parking lot. That's when Stephanie continued where she left off.

"Sometimes it seems as if he wants to spend more time with Kyle and his other friends than he does with me. I try to accept it, but sometimes I feel left out, ya know? And if I say anything about it, all of a sudden I'm a bitch."

'Whoa,' thought Richie, 'This sounds like something that I don't want o get in the middle of.' Not wanting to be rude, but definitely wanting to bail out of this conversation, he tried to think of a way out.

"Look, Stephanie, I just met him last night, and you this morning, so I don't know what kind of thing you guys have going. But I think you both care a lot for each other, so you need to talk to him about this, not me."

"You're right, Rich... it's our problem, not yours. I'm sorry I bugged you about it."

"Hey, that's OK, I just don't see how I can help you, is all."

After a long silence, Stephanie decided to change the subject.

"So, Rich, you got a girlfriend?"

"Who, me? Are you kidding? No girl would want to put up with me for very long."

"Bullshit. You're what every girl in the world is looking for. You're sweet, good looking, and wise beyond your years. What girl wouldn't jump at a chance to be going out with you?"

Slightly embarrassed, Richie turned his head to look out the side window.

"So, are you going to the dance stag then?"

"Yeah, I guess so. Me and Lindy pretty much figured that we'd be too busy to spend time with a date even if we had one. Man, I can't believe how much work it takes to put on a dance like this. We looked at the sign-up sheet in Home room Friday, and it just goes on and on with different jobs that need to be done."

"You're right about that. I still remember when we were grunts. Nothing's changed there I guess. They do have two back to back dances toward the end for freshman only, though. Kind of a like a reward for all the work you put in."

"Really? I didn't know that."

"Yup, one fast and one slow if I remember right."

After giving Stephanie the last of the directions to his house, Richie started to squirm in his seat, his balls beginning to bother him again. Noticing this, and understanding what the problem was, Stephanie looked him in the eyes with concern.

"Are you in pain, Rich? Is there something I can do for you?"

At least a dozen one-liners flashed through Richie's mind at that moment, all of which were funny, but all of which were also a little too crude and guy-like to say in present company. After a moment, he decided on a more acceptable reply.

"I'm only bruised Stephanie, not broken. I'll be fine once I get home and take a pain pill."

"Well, on behalf of all the girls out there, I'm glad to hear you're not broken."

They both started laughing at this, and continued to laugh until they reached Richie's house.

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* Some browsers may require a right click instead