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What We Are

Richie's Story

by Richie Ryan

Chapter 14: The Party

Seeing no one in the kitchen as he wriggled out his jacket, Richie kicked off his shoes and headed straight for Lindy's bedroom. When he reached his closed door, he knocked softly as he pushed it open.

"Yo, Lindy, you in here?"

"Yeah, Rich," said Lindy as he emerged from his closet with clothes draped all over his arms and shoulders. "I can't believe I've got so many clothes that don't go together."

"You're just not looking at the right ones, bro. Here, get outa the way and let me try."

After just a few minutes of searching, Richie spoke as he came out of the closet with a pair of tan Docker's and a brown plaid Pendleton shirt in his hands.

"Ah, here we are, now find that dark brown turtle-neck you have and you're all set."

When Lindy fished the garment from his dresser, he spread it out on the bed with the other two pieces.

"Whoa, you are amazing, bro. I probably never would've thought of these myself. I think it just might work."

"Told ya," said Richie.

While Lindy put his clothes back in his closet, Richie sat on his bed where he began making idle conversation.

"My Mom said your dad's like really busy at the shop because of the cold weather."

"Yeah, he is. He was sure glad your brother agreed to work today, too. He gets real anxious when he gets backed up too much down there."

Once his clothes were back in order, Lindy joined Richie on his bed, glanced at his chosen clothes for the party, and sighed with relief. "Man, am I glad that problem's solved. Now all we need is a ride."

Jealous that Lindy had his own phone, Richie picked it up from his night stand, then pulled Kyle's map from his wallet. As he dialed in Kevin's number he said, "Man, if I don't get a phone for Christmas this year, I'm gonna be like so disappointed."

After two rings, Kevin's voice was on the other end of the line.


"Hey, Kevin, what up?"

"Hey, Rich, I was just gonna call you. I talked to Stephanie, and like I figured, she doesn't wanna go tonight. So how bout I pick you guys up at your house around 7:30."

"Sounds good, bro, we'll be ready."

"Good, see ya."

"See ya," said Richie.

As he returned the phone to it's home, Richie smiled. Even though the conversation was short and to the point, it felt good to hear Kevin's voice again.

"So what did he say?" asked Lindy, breaking up Richie's thoughts.

"He said he'd pick us up at my house at 7:30."

"Perfect," said Lindy as he flopped back on his bed, glad that all the arrangements were now complete.

After a few moments, Richie asked, "So, Lindy, who all do ya think'll be there tonight?"

"Don't know, man, but I bet that most of the chicks bailed."

"You're probably right. Do ya think there'll be any booze there?"

"Probably, some anyway. What do you think? I mean, it's Kyle's party, and you know him better than I do."

"Well, I don't know about that, but I guess you're right, there'll probably be some booze there. I mean, there usually is when there's mostly older kids at a party, right?"

At this remark, Lindy looked up a Richie with concern on his face.

"Do you think we'll be the youngest?"

"I don't know," said Richie, "Would it bother you if we were?"

"No, I don't think so. Actually, it'd be kinda cool, ya know? Being the only two freshman cool enough to be invited."

"Well, don't let your head get too big, bro," said Richie as he playfully slapped Lindy's forehead.

After a minute of further thought, Richie spoke again. "Ya think there'll be any weed there?"

This caused Lindy to sit up straight and look seriously at Richie before he answered.

"Whoa, ya know I never even thought about that, man. But I guess, for sure it's possible."

"So, would you try any? If ya had the chance, I mean?" asked Richie.

"Nah, I don't think so. I mean, I might try a little beer if it was offered to me. I've always wanted to see what it's like to put a little buzz on, but I don't know about doin drugs. What about you?"

"I don't know, I might. Depends on who offered it to me, ya know? Like who I would be doing it with. For sure I wouldn't do any if the girls were still going."

"Oh, me neither," said Lindy. "Wouldn't be too smart to get all fucked up on my first date with Nancy."

"That's for sure," said Richie. After another short silence, Richie spoke again. "Would you do me a big favor tonight, man? Since you won't be doing any weed, if I decide to try it, would you keep an eye on me so I don't make a total ass of myself?"

"Sure, Rich, you know I will. Just make sure and tell me before you do it."

Both boys sat in silence for a few more minutes before Lindy spoke again. "You don't think there'd any chance that you might go postal again tonight, do ya?"

"No! Hell no! No chance of that happening."

"You sure? What if Parker were to show up?" asked Lindy.

"Jesus, Lindy, you don't think he'll be there, do you?"

"No, I seriously doubt it, I'm just tryin to cover all the bases, ya know. So what d'ya think, could you keep it together?"

"Sure. I mean, I sure as hell hope he isn't there, but if he does show up, I'll be cool."

"That's good, man, cause I sure as hell don't wanna have to take him to the Emergency Room, or worse."

Both boys smiled at this, but both knew it was a very real possibility if Richie lost control of himself and went after him.

"Besides," said Richie, "I got my best bud, plus Kevin and Kyle to keep me from doing anything stupid, right?"

"Yeah. But it sure would mess up a good party."

There was a silence again as the two tried to imagine just what this party was going to be like for them. Finally, Lindy broke up their thoughts.

"Whatever happens, I'm pumped and ready. How bout you?"

"Me too, bro. Me too," said Richie. This, of course, was followed by their slap-tap handshake.

The boys chatted for a while longer about the party, school, and what they were hoping to get for Christmas this year. Then after reminding Lindy to be at his house at 7:30, Richie headed home.

Since his dad was using the office, Richie couldn't continue his research, so he went into the family room to watch some college football to kill the rest of the afternoon. By seven O'clock, he was showered, dressed, and waiting for his ride.

Twenty minutes later, Lindy arrived. The two boys sat in the kitchen making idle conversation while they nervously waited for Kevin.

"So, Rich, what d'ya think?" asked Lindy, as he spun himself around so Richie could check out his appearance.

"Not too bad for a dorky looking dude," joked Richie.

"Yeah? Well you oughta know, dick-head." Just then the doorbell rang, making both of them jump.

As Kevin stepped into the back hall, both Richie and Lindy were relieved to see that he was dressed much the same as they were - nice but casual. Five minutes later, they were in the car and heading for Kyle's.

It was a twenty minute drive to North Oaks where Kyle lived, an upscale neighborhood to say the least. The first thing that Richie noticed as they passed through the wrought iron gates to the secure community, was the guard house to the left of the entrance. Beyond that was a forest of oak and birch trees that concealed the fact that any of the land had been developed at all. When the guard approached the car, Kevin gave him his name, which was quickly checked, along with his license plate, against the list he had on his clip board. Once he was satisfied, he tipped his hat as he waved them through.

Both Richie and Lindy were awestruck as they drove down the winding road that led deep into the surrounding woods. After about five minutes, they passed the first residence visible since they had entered North Oaks. The house was huge. It was set back several hundred feet from the road, with a driveway that split into a loop around a snow covered fountain, understandably inactive during the winter months. The house itself was wrapped in so many colored Christmas lights that it would make any three houses on Richie's block look dim in comparison.

After about five more minutes of driving, and a half-dozen more houses, Kevin slowed the car down as he pulled off to the side of the road.

"Here we are," he said as he glanced passed Richie to gaze out the passenger side window, "I hope ya don't mind the walk. I like to park out here on the road instead of in the driveway. That way I can't get blocked in by any of the other cars."

Richie understood what he meant as he climbed out and saw ten or twelve other cars, squeezed haphazardly in front of the four car garage, some spilling into the driveway itself.

"Must be nice," said Lindy as they made their way to he end of the driveway.

"What's that, Lindy?" asked Kevin.

"Money... I think he means it must be nice to have lots of money," said Richie as they walked up the drive toward the sprawling Rambler that lay ahead of them.

When finally they had weaved their way through the cars and onto the portico, Richie said, "Seems like a lot of people here already. Are we late?"

"Nah," said Kevin, "These are just the early arrivals... and not as many of them as usual, either."

Then, after opening the door for them, Kevin stepped aside as the other two slipped past him into the foyer. Closing the door behind him, he then joined his friends as they stood staring at the interior of the house.

"You guys can wander around and check out the house later if you want. For now, let's put out coats in the den and go downstairs to join the party."

They heard the sounds of music and laughter coming from the lower level as Kevin led them past the stairs to their right and into the den. After pulling their jackets off, they dropped them on top of one of the many piles of clothes scattered around, then retraced their steps to head downstairs.

When they turned the corner before descending the final flight, Richie was awed by what he saw. The center of the expansive lower level consisted of a huge recreation room. Among other things, it contained a full sized pool table, a foosball table, an air hockey table, and two dart boards. On the far wall was a large fireplace with a well stocked wet bar to the right and a projection TV on the left.

"C'mon," said Kevin, "There's Jake behind the bar."

Although neither Richie nor Lindy recognized anybody, Kevin did, and nodded to some of them as they made their way to the bar.

"What'll it be, gents?" asked Kyle with a smile, as he recognized his latest arrivals.

"Hey, Jake," said Kevin. "You trying to get your guests all liquored-up already?"

"Nah, just want everybody to be loose. You know, in a good mood." Then, looking from Richie to Lindy, he asked, "How bout you guys. Maybe a cold beer to start with?"

Richie and Lindy looked at each other, both wanting to say yes, but neither one wanting to take the first step. It was Kevin who got them to accept.

"Go ahead, you two... give it a try. If ya don't like it, throw it out and have a Pepsi or somethin, instead."

"OK," said Richie, "set us all up, Kyle."

With that, Kyle pulled some frosted mugs from the freezer, filled three of them with fresh beer from the tap, then drew a fourth for himself.

Sitting at the bar, sipping his beer, Richie couldn't believe he was actually here. This was a party that had all the components of an adult one, except there were no adults. It also appeared that he and Lindy were the youngest and, as far as he could tell, the only two their age.

As the three sat there, they all scanned the room for familiar faces while Kyle busied himself behind the bar, occasionally greeting the new arrivals as they trickled in. There were about fifteen or twenty people milling about, engaged in various conversations, and at first neither Richie nor Lindy recognized anyone. After a few minutes, their silent observation was interrupted by a voice coming from behind them.

"Hey, Lindstrom. What up, man?"

All four boys turned their heads toward the voice, Lindy smiling his recognition.

"Terry, I didn't know you were gonna be here, man. What up?"

"Came with my brother, Tom, he's on Kyle's Hockey team." he said as he nodded in Kyle's direction. "Wanna shoot some pool? You and me against your friends here?"

"Sure, I guess. By the way, Terry, this is Rich, and Kevin. Terry's in a couple of my classes at school" said Lindy, as hands were shook all around. Then, for Terry's benefit, he added, "Kevin's on Kyle's team, too."

"Oh yeah, Kevin Hatcher, right? I've heard about you. Well, what d'ya say, up for a little eight ball?"

"Sure, why not." answered Kevin. "What do ya say, Rich? Shall we open a can of whoop-ass on these guys?"

"I don't know about that," said Richie. "You any good? I haven't played very much before."

"Don't worry about that, Rich," said Kyle, "Your partner is the biggest hustler at Radison. You'll be learning from the best."

"Really?" asked Richie as he smiled at Kevin, "OK then, let's do it."

The four boys shuffled off with their beers in their hands to play pool, while Kyle came out from behind the bar to mingle with his guests.

With Kevin's experience, and Richie's ability to learn quickly, they were soon winning every game. After about an hour, and two more beers, Lindy and Terry decided to take a break and wandered off together to check out some of the other activities around them. Richie's game continued to improve. Soon, he and Kevin pretty much ruled the table, beating every challenger they took on.

During a game against Kyle and one of his teammates, Richie found himself in a tight spot, not having a very clear shot from any angle. As he walked around the table, sipping on his fourth beer, and looking for his best opportunity, he heard Kyle welcome some newcomers as they descended the stairs.

"Hey, Randy, how ya doin, man?"

Interrupted briefly from his concentration, Richie looked up to see who Kyle was greeting. His chin almost hit the floor as he watched the two new arrivals approach. They were much older than Richie, and the one named Randy went directly up to Kyle, giving him a hug as he shook his hand.

"Hey, Kyle, long time no see," said Randy, "I heard you were having a party, so we just had to check it out."

"Glad ya did, man," said Kyle. Then, looking over to Richie, he said, "Randy, this is Rich. Rich, this is my cousin, Randy and his roommate... I'm sorry, I forgot your name."

"Phil... Phil Peterson, right?" said Richie, as he approached with his hand out.

This time it was everybody else who was surprised.

"Rich Andrews," said Richie as he shook Phil's hand, "We're neighbors. You graduated from Radison with my brother, Carl."

"Yeah, right," said Phil, "I thought you looked familiar."

"Man, I guess it is a small world," said Kyle. Then to Richie he said, "Randy and Phil are freshman at UW in River Falls." Then to Randy he said, "So how long you guys in town for?"

"Just for the holidays," said Randy. "We're staying with Phil's parents."

As Kyle and Randy continued to chat, Richie went back to his pool game, finding it difficult to concentrate as he thought about this chance meeting with Phil and Randy. He couldn't help but wonder, since Phil came out in High School, if he was he out at college, too - and if he was, was his roommate gay as well. His thoughts were finally interrupted by Kyle's impatient pool partner, urging him to take his shot.

The shot he took not only did him and Kevin no good, but it spread the balls out in a way that gave their challengers several easy shots of their own. As he leaned on his stick, waiting for his next turn, Phil came up to him and began to chat.

"So, what's your brother been up to, Rich?"

"He's working at an Auto Repair shop until fall, then he's going to go to trade school for auto mechanics."

Before either one could say anymore, a slightly inebriated Lindy came bounding down the stairs behind them. Noticing Richie by the pool table, but not recognizing Phil because his back was to him, he called out.

"Hey, Rich, you are not going to believe who I just saw a minute ago."

When Richie and Phil both turned toward Lindy, Lindy recognized Phil. He stopped dead in his tracks, his mouth hanging open, his face beginning to turn bright red.

Guessing it was Phil that Lindy was so excited about seeing, Richie wanted to save him from an embarrassing moment.

"Lindy, you know who Phil Peterson is, right? Phil, this is Kenny Lindstrom, or Lindy as I call 'em. He's a neighbor, too... lives two houses down from me."

"Um, yeah, sure," stammered Lindy, "I, um, thought you looked familiar. Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you, too, Lindy," said Phil with a smile.

"I'm, um, on my way to get another beer," said Lindy, feeling awkward and embarrassed at his social blunder, "Can I get you guys anything?"

"Nah, we're fine," said Richie, "You better go easy on that stuff, too, bro," he added to Lindy's back as he quickly made his way to the bar.

Although Lindy wasn't out of control, he was getting a little carried away with his drinking, so Richie decided to pace himself a little in order to keep an eye on his friend. 'What the hell,' thought Richie, 'Lindy's having fun, so let him go. I'll watch out for him for a change.'

Turning back to Phil, he said, "You'll have to excuse Lindy, this is his first experience with the 'evils' of alcohol."

"He seems to be having a good time, alright. So, Rich, where do you know Kyle from?"

"It's kind of a long story, but I met him through Kevin Hatcher, my pool partner here, about a week ago. I take it you know him through Randy... and you guys are roommates at UW?"

"Yeah. Randy and I met through the Gay/Straight Alliance there last fall."

Richie's most pressing questions were answered. Although he had a few more in the back of his mind, he didn't want to seem as though he was getting too personal, so he decided not to press it.

Refocusing his attention on the pool table, he watched as Kyle sank the eight ball to win the game, ending the dynamic duo's reign. Looking at his empty cup, the frosted mugs used up long ago, he remembered that Phil hadn't yet been to the bar.

"So, can I buy you a beer or somethin, Phil?" he asked after returning his stick to the rack. "You look sort of outa place without a cup in your hand."

"Yeah, I could use a beer, I guess."

While they waited for Kyle's volunteer relief bartender to fill their cups, Richie recounted his chance meeting with Kevin and Kyle. Feeling a slight buzz from the beer, Richie was prompted to find out more about Phil and, more specifically, his gay college life.

"This Gay/Straight Alliance you mentioned, is that a club, or Fraternity or something?"

"Yeah," said Phil, "It's like a club for both gay and straight students. Basically, it helps straight people to understand what being gay is all about. Like the fact that we aren't predators, lurking in dark alleys, looking for some straight guy to hit on or rape. And it helps us to understand the straights, too. That most of them really aren't homophobes wanting to hunt us down and lynch us. I was amazed at some of the perceptions that people grow up with, on both sides."

"You sound like you're pretty involved... like an activist or something."

"Me? No, not really. Now Randy, on the other hand, is a different story. I mean, I get involved and all, but he is more of a leader in it than I am. Unlike Radison, his High School has a similar club that he joined when he came out as a sophomore... which made his life there much easier that mine was here.

He was already pretty comfortable with himself when he came to UW, whereas I was scared shitless. Since I was outed by rumors in my junior year, going to school every morning was not something I looked forward to. Then, after I graduated, going to a strange school in a strange town was a real tough thing for me to do."

"So you're more comfortable with yourself since joining this club?" asked Richie.

"Oh yeah. I mean, I'm real comfortable with who I am... and I don't feel nearly as paranoid about the straight community as I used to. All it takes is an understanding of each other, ya know?"

Richie was impressed, as well as encouraged by what Phil was telling him. He was also ashamed of his school for remaining in the social dark ages. A few minutes later, Phil excused himself to rejoin Randy who was just finishing his conversation with Kyle.

As the evening went on, and the guests came and went, the total number never got to be more than 25 or 30 at any one time. Richie and Lindy had a great time, occasionally teaming up for a game of foosball, or competing against each other at air hockey. For the most part, though, they wandered around separately, meeting new people and doing their own thing - with Lindy making numerous trips to the bar under Richie's watchful eye.

The party began to wind down around midnight or so, when all but a few diehards had left. Thinking it was time to check on Lindy again, Richie quickly spotted him. He was by himself, throwing darts in the direction of the dart board, most of them bouncing off the wall around it. As he smiled at Lindy, and at the thought of the hangover he would have in the morning, Kyle wandered over to him.

"Looks like Lindy's having fun," he said.

"Yeah he is. I'll bet he won't be likin it so much come morning, though. I just hope I can get him into his house without his parents finding out."

"Why don't you leave him here? Matter of fact, you can both stay if ya want. There's a couple of spare bedrooms just waiting for you right down that hall past the bathroom. "

"Really?" asked Richie, "You sure it's alright? What'll your dad say? I don't want us overstaying our welcome, or anything."

"No prob, man. My dad's out of town until Wednesday, anyway, so I don't think he'll mind."

"OK," said Richie, "We'll do it then, thanks. I'll tell Kevin, then call our parents to let them know. After that, I'll show Lindy where to crash, then have another beer. What d'ya say, wanna join me?"

"Sounds like a plan, bro. You make the calls, I'll get the beers, then we'll both see if Lindy's ready to go down yet... you can use the phone behind the bar."

That said, Richie made the calls and cleared everything with both sets of parents while Kyle drew two fresh beers. Then, together they approached Lindy, who was quickly running out of gas and sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace.

"How ya doin, bro?" asked Richie as he stood over his friend.

"Hey, Rich, is that you?" asked Lindy as he looked up through half closed eyes.

"You know it, man. How ya feelin?"

"A little drunk," he said with a slurred voice.

"You're not gonna be sick or nothin are ya, bro?"

"Fuck no! I'm just not talkin or movin so good, is all. Are we leaving soon?"

"Nope, not tonight, bro. We're gonna stay here tonight. C'mon, we'll show ya where to crash."

"Oh good, cause I think I'm goin down," said Lindy as the two boys helped him to his feet.

Lindy continued to talk as they ushered him toward the bedroom.

"You guys are the best, ya know that? Yup, the best for sure... and you throw a great party, too, Kyle. Best party I ever been to."

Richie could hardly keep from laughing as they practically had to carry Lindy into one of the spare rooms. As wasted as he was, though, Richie couldn't remember when he looked happier. As soon as they had him on the bed and had his shoes off, he was out like a light.

When they returned to the rec-room, they found Kevin with his jacket on, ready to go.

"How's Lindy," he asked

"Oh, he's fine," said Richie. "Until morning, anyway, when his head wants to explode."

Kevin laughed at the thought, then thanked Kyle, said his good-byes, and was gone.

The house felt strangely quiet to Richie, now that all the guests had left. The only sounds that remained were the soft music coming from the stereo, and the crackle of the dying fire in the fireplace. With Kyle gone to use the bathroom, Richie wandered over by the fireplace. For the first time that night, he noticed an enlarged aerial photograph of a lake in the middle of a huge forest, hanging over the mantel. As he looked at it, Kyle stepped up behind him.

"What d'ya think, Rich. Pretty nice lake, huh?"

"Yeah, it is. What lake is it?"

"Gull Lake. It's about a three hour drive north of here. See that little spot of brown between the trees?" he asked, as he stepped closer and pointed to a spot along the shoreline.

"Yeah," said Richie, "just barely."

"Well, it's a bad angle in this picture, because of the trees and all, but that's my dad's cabin."

"No shit? A cabin? It looks so isolated in the woods like that. I don't even see a road anywhere."

"Oh, there's a road alright, ya just can't see it in this picture. Anyway, that's the cabin and we keep the place open year round."

"Really?" asked Richie, "You go up there in the winter?"

"Oh, yeah... at least we used to, a lot... but my dad's kinda lost interest in it over the last couple a years."

Richie detected a sadness in Kyle's voice when he said this. He could see it on his face as well when he fell into a thoughtful silence. Suddenly, as if he'd been shocked by a jolt of electricity, Kyle brightened up as turned to Richie with a smile on his face.

"You wanna run up there with me on Monday? My dad and I were just talkin about it before he left for his trip. He thought maybe I should get up there over vacation to make sure the place is still standing. You know, make sure the heat is still on and shit, and that nobody's broken in or anything. What d'ya say? It'll be fun, man."

"Oh, I don't know," said Richie. He really wanted to say yes, but he didn't want to sound as excited at the idea as he felt.

"C'mon, man. If we leave early Monday morning, we'll be back before midnight. What d'ya say? It's a long drive, and I could sure use the company."

"Since you put it that way, sure, why not."

"Great!" said Kyle with a huge grin, "Dress warm and I'll pick you up around seven."

Finishing the last of his beer, Richie gazed into the slowly dying fire while Kyle walked around the room to turn off all of the lights.

Returning to where Richie stood he asked, "Well, Rich, what d'ya think? Did ya have a good time?"

"You shittin me? It was great, man, thanks for asking us. Best party I've ever been to."

"Glad to hear it." Then, stretching with a yawn, he added, "Well I'm gonna call it a night. Your room is right across from Lindy's whenever you're ready, and I'll see you in the morning."

"Great, man, and thanks again."

With that, Kyle was gone, leaving Richie alone with his thoughts as he stared into the glowing embers of the fire. Picking up the poker from the stand next to the fireplace, he pulled the unburned logs together, quickly igniting them again, bathing the room in a soft yellow glow. Looking up at the photo of the lake, he smiled at the thought of spending the day with Kyle on the trip up there. He didn't think about it in a sexual way, since he had long ago decided that Kyle wasn't gay. He thought of it in the way of a true friendship - a way in which being around him, and having fun with him, was all that was necessary - much like the way he thought of his relationship with Lindy.

Suddenly feeling very tired, he decided to check on Lindy before going to bed. As he quietly opened his door, he saw his friend on the edge of the bed, struggling to stand up.

"Hey, bro, you alright?" he asked.

"Rich?" asked Lindy, as he squinted in the darkness, "Um, yeah, I just gotta take a piss."

"C'mon, I'll help ya up and point you in the right direction."

Pulling Lindy to his feet, he put his arm around his waist and guided him into the bathroom, flipping on the light as they entered. Leading him to the toilet, he stood behind him, holding him steady while he relieved himself.

"Thanks, man," slurred Lindy, "I guess I got a little too fucked up tonight, huh?"

"No ya didn't, you just had a good time, is all."

Once they were back in Lindy's room, Richie turned on the light, then stopped them by the bed, turning his friend around to face him.

"C'mon, bro, let's get some of those clothes off before ya lie down again. Ya don't want to ruin that shirt by sleeping in it."

Lindy didn't say a word since he was practically asleep on his feet, barely able to hold his head up. With a bit of a struggle, Richie managed to pull Lindy's Pendleton off, followed by his turtleneck, before his friend fell backwards onto the bed. Pretty high himself, but not nearly as bad as Lindy, Richie grinned as he unbuttoned his friend's pants and pulled down the zipper. Bending over, he lifted his feet off the floor by the cuffs of his pants, grasping them tightly in his fingers. Then, with one strong jerk, he pulled his pants completely off. Because the pants came off much easier than Richie expected, he lost his balance, falling into the wall behind him with a crash. Leaning against the wall, Richie began to giggle at the thought of how silly the two of them must have looked. Two drunk friends, one passed out, and the other, stumbling around trying to help the first. What a pair they were.

Weaving his way back to the bed, he laughed again when he noticed Lindy's boxers around his knees, pulled there when his pants were stripped off. Regaining control of himself, he lifted Lindy's legs onto the bed, slipping his socks off his feet in the process. That done, he sat on the edge of the bed to catch his breath. He smiled again at how funny his best friend looked, lying there, passed out, with his boxers around his knees. 'Whoa, this is a Kodak moment for sure,' he thought, wishing he had a camera.

A moment later, Richie's mood began to change to one of lust as he looked at Lindy's exposed package. He wondered what it would be like to suck on his dick like he sucked on Kevin's the night before. Staring at it, as it rested soft above his balls, Richie's dick quickly grew hard within his pants. Giving in to temptation, he gently grasped Lindy's flaccid member in his hand, then cupped and massaged his balls. Driven by alcohol induced lust and desire, he wanted desperately to lean in and suck his soft dick into his mouth. He knew that Lindy was out cold, that he would never know it if he did, but these same thoughts caused Richie to change his mind. Looking into his friend's face, he knew that it was only drunken lust that motivated him, and that he would regret it afterwards.

Bending over the sleeping form, he gave Lindy a quick kiss on the lips and whispered, "Sleep well my friend, sleep well."

After pulling Lindy's boxers back to his waist, Richie turned out the light as he stepped into the hall. Closing the door behind him, he caught a glimpse of a shape that was back-lit by the glow of the dying fire. It was Kyle, dressed in boxers and a T-shirt, standing in the hallway next to the bathroom door. Nearly jumping out of his skin, Richie gasped.

"Jesus, Kyle, you scared the shit outa me, man. How long you been standing there?"

"I, um, just got here. I was getting into bed when I heard a crash. Thought maybe one of you fell over somethin, so I came down to check on ya. You OK?"

"Oh, yeah," said Richie. "That was me you heard. I was helping Lindy get his clothes off and in my typical drunken coolness, I kinda lost my balance and fell into the wall. Sorry about that."

"Oh, no problem, dude, as long as you're alright, I'll see you in the morning."

"Night, Kyle,"

With that, Kyle headed back upstairs while Richie went into his room.

'You dumb shit, Andrews,' he thought as he stripped down to his boxers, 'How could you have been so stupid not to think that all that noise wouldn't have brought him down here.'

As he crawled into bed, he wondered if Kyle had been standing there long enough to have seen any of his lust driven indiscretions. If he'd been there long enough, he surely would have seen him. But then, if he had seen anything, wouldn't he have said something... or at least acted surprised or something? Since he had done neither of these, Richie decided he was lucky, that his secret attraction was still a secret. Soon, he was fast asleep.

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