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What We Are

Richie's Story

by Richie Ryan

Chapter 17: It's Gotta Be Love

It was nearly ten o'clock the next morning before either of the boys began to stir. It was Richie who woke up first, with his dick hard, and his bladder full. As he blinked the sleep from his eyes, he noticed that he and Kyle were spooned together on their left sides, with Kyle snuggled closely in behind him, his arm draped over his chest. Not wanting to disturb either his friend, or the moment, he gently pulled Kyle's arm in closer to his body as he pushed back tighter against him. He smiled when he realized that Kyle's rock hard member was lying along the crack of his ass. Mischievous and horny, he began to wriggle his butt slowly against Kyle's dick, causing it to slide up and down along the top of the crevice between his cheeks.

While enjoying this erotic contact, he remembered the incredible feeling he had experienced the night before, when Kyle had slipped his finger into him to massage his prostate. And now, as he moved his ass against Kyle's dick, he couldn't help wondering what it would feel like to have his magic button massaged by Kyle's hot six incher instead of his finger.

A moment later, the discomfort of his full bladder spoiled his growing fantasy. Without disturbing his sleeping friend, he quietly slipped from under his arm and out of bed. As he made his way to the bathroom, he continued to think about what it would be like to have Kyle's dick buried deep inside him. He'd read about anal sex on the Internet, although he didn't remember any mention of the prostate, but it wasn't until now that he seriously considered doing it. While he relieved himself, he quickly decided that because he cared so much for Kyle, if Kyle wanted him, he would be more than willing to give himself over to him completely. He would gladly and willingly give up his virginity to him as a token of the love that he felt for him.

When Richie returned to the bedroom, he noticed that the warmth of the morning sun that bathed Kyle's body through the window, had caused him to stir in his sleep, kicking off the covers in the process. He was lying on his back now, his legs slightly spread, his rigid member pointing toward his navel. While Richie gazed down on his beautiful body and raging hard-on, he wondered if it was love that he felt for him.

'Is this what love is?' he asked himself, 'Is this how people feel when they're in love with someone.'

He didn't know for sure. His youth, and the lack of wisdom that went with it, prevented it. What he did know, is that what he felt was wonderful - that it was much more than friendship, or lust, or anything else he'd ever felt before. If that's what love was, then he was in love with Kyle.

Climbing quietly onto the bed so as not to disturb the sleeping form that lay before him, he gently put his hand on Kyle's stomach, then moved it down until his fingers brushed through his soft pubic hair. Feeling mischievously horny, when Kyle began to stir in his sleep, Richie decided to give him a special wake-up call. Ever so gently, so as not to wake him too quickly, Richie took Kyle's member in his hand while he leaned his head in to suck it into his mouth. Almost immediately, Kyle began to groan as he slowly moved around on the bed.

When Richie began to bathe his glans with his tongue, he heard Kyle speak.

"Man, you sure know how to wake a guy up in the morning."

Letting Kyle's penis fall from his mouth, Richie smiled up at him. "You ain't seen nothin, yet, bro. I'm just gettin started."

"Then scoot your ass around here so I can return the favor."

With Kyle's help, Richie repositioned himself so he was on top of him in the sixty-nine position, with his knees bent, straddling his chest, his ankles under Kyle's shoulders. As Richie returned to sucking on Kyle's glans while he rolled his balls around in their soft sac, Kyle engulfed his penis until his nose reached his pubic hair.

After a few minutes, wanting to get even more of Kyle into his mouth, Richie relaxed the muscles in his throat. Fighting off the impulse to gag he slowly lowered his head. To his amazement, Richie soon had all of Kyle's hard six inches encased, the tip of his glans now brushing the back of his throat. After a few slow practice strokes, he quickly found he could suck Kyle's entire length in and out without gagging.

This newly developed technique wasn't lost on Kyle, either, as he moaned louder, sucking even harder on Richie's cock. Not to be outdone in providing new sensations, Kyle let Richie's dick slip from his mouth, then sucked one of his low hanging balls in to fill the void. After bathing it with his tongue to coat it with his saliva, he repeated the process on the other one. A minute later, he opened his mouth wide, sucking both of Richie's testicles into his mouth at the same time. This new feeling drove Richie wild, pushing him close to orgasm. Not wanting to come before his friend, Richie stepped up his pace, bobbing up and down furiously on Kyle's member.

At this time, any third party observer would surely have thought that these two boys were in a race to see who could make the other come first.

Getting very close himself, now, Kyle let Richie's balls slip from his mouth, then inched his head up higher on the pillow. Spreading Richie's ass cheeks apart with his hands, he raised his head and began to bathe his anus with his tongue. When it was thoroughly coated with saliva, he spread his cheeks a little farther, then pressed the tip of his tongue against the center of his rose bud until it poked through its restrictive ring.

This proved to be too much for Richie and he was forced over the edge. As he buried Kyle's cock deep in his throat, he began to spew his sperm onto his chest. Surge after surge wracked Richie's body, as blast after blast of boy cum streamed from his dick, puddling onto Kyle's chest and stomach. When the muscles of Richie's body tightened during his orgasm, his sphincter clamped firmly around Kyle's tongue. At the same time, his throat contracted around Kyle's glans sending him into his own climax. Richie didn't even have to swallow, as glob after glob of Kyle's love juice erupted from his piss slit, and shot directly down his throat.

When they finally came down from Planet Ecstasy, Richie rolled off of Kyle onto his back beside him. As he lay there regaining his strength, he licked his lips, and searched the inside of his cheeks with his tongue for any remaining traces of Kyle's juices. There was very little there as it had all gone down his throat.

When he finally found his voice, Richie asked, "Where the hell did you learn that from, Kyle?"

"I've never done that before, Rich, I only read about it on the Internet. But when you deep throated me like you did, I just knew I had to try it. Was it good?"

Before he answered, Richie turned over to lie down on top of Kyle, their dicks now side by side, their stomachs and chests slimed together with Richie's cum.

"Good? No, man, it was fucking awesome."

Then, looking into Kyle's eyes, their lips just an inch apart he said, "I may be too young to know for sure, but as God as my witness, I truly believe I'm in love with you, Kyle."

Kyle's eyes became moist, and as a single tear made its way across his cheek to the pillow below, he said, "I'm so glad to hear you say that, Rich, because that's exactly how I feel about you."

Reaching up to wipe a second tear from Kyle's cheek before it could escape to the pillow, Richie covered his mouth with his lips. It was a long, heartfelt kiss, one that was filled with all the love and respect they both felt for each other.

When finally they broke their kiss, Kyle ruffled Richie's hair as he smiled. "C'mon, you horny little guppy, you, let's grab a shower. We got a ton a shit waitin for us to do today."

The shower stall was too small to accommodate more than one person at a time, but that didn't bother these two as they squeezed into it. The constant body to body contact was exciting to both of them, and it was all they could do to concentrate on cleaning themselves before they ran out of hot water.

Showered and dressed in clean clothes, they headed for the kitchen where Kyle began to prepare them a late breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast. After verifying that the regular phone lines were still down, Richie got on the cell phone to call his parents and tell them they would be staying an extra day. Since he knew that neither one of them would be home at this time of the day, he called his mother at the store where she worked.

It took him a few minutes to convince her that they were both fine, and had survived the storm without incident, but she finally relented, giving him permission to stay. He felt a little guilty about lying to her, but he knew that if he had told her what really happened the night before, she would most certainly have told him to come home.

The boys listened for the latest weather reports on the portable radio while they ate. They learned that even though the storm had dumped anywhere from six to twelve inches of snow across the northern half of the state, the damage it caused was relatively small. There were a few of the more remote areas yet without power, but repairs were expected to be made within the next eight hours.

"So, Rich," said Kyle as he shoveled the last of his eggs into his mouth, "you ready to check out the sleds this morning?"

"Hell yes! I can hardly wait! Just make sure you don't fly off and leave me stuck in the woods somewhere."

"Never happen, dude. I'll stay right with ya all the way."

As they cleaned up their mess, Kyle filled Richie in on his thoughts of what they would do, and where they would go over the next few hours.

"First thing we do is check the fuel in the generator. I know we're OK there, but it never hurts to check. Then we'll buzz by Harry's for the latest news of the storm and the power situation, pick up a few more supplies, then we're off. You're gonna love riding the trails around here. Course, they won't be groomed or anything yet, but all this fresh snow's gonna be a blast."

The sky was clear, the wind all but nonexistent, with the temperature hovering around twenty degrees as the boys stepped onto the back porch. Amazed at how drastically Mother Nature could change her mood in such a short period of time, the two boys made their way to the generator shed. It was slow going as they trudged through the drifts, often sinking in past their knees, but they finally made it to their destination where they quickly found that everything was operating normally. A quick check of the fuel level in the tank told them there would be more than enough to last through the night if necessary. Satisfied that all was in order, they made their way to the garage. Once they were inside, Kyle handed Richie one of the two snowmobile suites and helmets that were hanging on the wall.

"You're not too much smaller than me, Rich, so this oughta fit you OK."

"Yeah? About an inch shorter if I remember right," answered Richie with a smile as he pulled off his jacket.

"Don't worry about that, guppy," laughed Kyle, "You've still got some growth years left in ya. Besides, I kinda like ya the way you are."

With Kyle's help, Richie quickly figured out all the Velcro straps and zippers that held the two-piece suit in place. After a minor helmet adjustment, both boys were comfortably dressed and ready to go. As soon as he had the sleds fired up, Kyle raised the door, then eased them onto the snow covered apron to let them warm up. While they waited, he explained all of the safety issues, as well as the basic operational aspects of riding. When he was finished with his instructions, he gave Richie a brief summary.

"Just remember, Rich, take it slow and easy until you get used to the feel of the sled. Stay close to me, and do as I do, and you'll be fine. Just remember, it's a powerful machine, and it'll surprise you if you're not careful. Don't let the small amount of throttle travel fool you, either. All you need to do is press it gently with your thumb and you'll start moving. Whatever you do, don't punch it, or you'll find yourself airborne quicker than you can blink an eye. Got it?"

"I guess," said Richie, "If you say so."

"Trust me, bro, you'll do great. We'll take the road to Harry's. That way, you'll have plenty of room on the curves to get used to making turns. Shit, bro, by the time we get back here with the supplies, you'll be more than ready for the trails."

That said, the boys donned their helmets, set their visors in place, then climbed onto the machines. Kyle moved first in order to get out ahead of Richie, then stopped to look back over his shoulder at him. When he did this, Richie took a deep breath before gently pushing on the throttle with his thumb. Just as Kyle had said it would do, the sled immediately lurched forward. This quick movement caused Richie's heart to jump in his chest, and his hand to clamp down on the brake.

Quickly realizing he had overreacted when he was surprised by the sled's sudden movement, Richie released the brake as he pressed on the gas again. This time the sled didn't lurch nearly as much, and Richie was better prepared for it when it started to move. Before he knew it, he was quite comfortable with this new experience. He soon found that if he feathered the throttle, he could maintain a speed of 20 to 25 miles per hour, whether he was climbing the hills, or negotiating some of the wider curves. Although they weren't tearing up the countryside with their speed, by the time they were half way to Harry's, Richie was completely relaxed and enjoying himself.

When they were about two hundred yards from Hwy. 18, they spotted a heavy duty truck, outfitted with a plow blade, followed by a large front-end loader, working their way in the boys' direction. Still in the lead, Kyle slowed to a stop next to he front-end loader, while Richie eased in behind him.

"Robert!" yelled Kyle to the operator. "How the hell are ya?"

"Doin just fine," said Robert. "How you boys doin this mornin?"

"Real good, man. Say, you got any idea when they'll have our power back up?"

"No I don't, Kyle. Why don't ya check with Uncle Harry, he'll know what's goin on."

"Thanks, Robert, we will. Say, do me a favor, will ya? When you get to my dad's place, would ya mind digging the drift out from behind the Suburban? It's a pretty big one, but you should be able to get it all with a couple of scoops from this baby."

"Happy to oblige, Kyle. How's the road look? Any trees down on it?"

"Nope," said Kyle. "Clear sailin all the way. Ya probably won't even need the scoop until you get to the Suburban."

"Good. Well, you boys have fun now, and if ya take to the trails today, keep a look out for deadfalls. That wind was blowin pretty hard last night."

"Thanks, Robert, we will."

With that, Robert tipped his hat, then left to catch up with the plow truck.

"Seems like a really nice guy," said Richie.

"Yeah, he is. Most of the folks that live around here are pretty friendly. C'mon, let's get on down to Harry's"

A few minutes later, they parked their sleds next to Harry's store and shut off the engines. When they both had their helmets off, they tucked them under their arms as they headed for the front door.

"So, what d'ya think, Rich?"

"Fuckin awesome, man!"

"Just wait till we get on the trails, bro. You're gonna love it," said Kyle as they reached the front door to Harry's.

"I just can't believe how much power that fucker has. Can we take them on the lake later? I wanna see what it feels like to open that puppy up and see what it'll do."

Though Kyle was happy to see Richie excited, he became concerned that he was perhaps a little too excited for his first time out. These snowmobiles were powerful machines, and one lapse in concentration, especially by a novice, could have disastrous results. These concerns caused Kyle to stop at the front door as he turned to face his friend. So caught up in his excitement was Richie, that he didn't even notice that Kyle had stopped walking. Charging ahead as he talked, he almost knocked Kyle over when he ran into him.

"Whoa, dude," said Kyle as he fought to regain his balance.

"Sorry, man," said Richie as he caught Kyle by the arm, "I guess I wasn't watching where I was going."

Looking into Richie's face while he regained his balance, Kyle saw the very thing that gave him so much concern. His eyes were wide and bright, and he wore a grin that stretched from ear to ear. He looked like a little kid who had just unwrapped his first ever bicycle on Christmas morning. When Kyle made no move to enter Harry's, Richie looked up at him to see his concerned expression.

"What?" he asked.

"You gotta turn it down a notch, Rich. I mean, I'm glad to see that you're excited and all, but overconfidence on a snowmobile is real dangerous. What I'm sayin here, is you gotta keep your excitement under control, bro. If ya don't, before ya know it you're going into a turn too fast, and the next thing you know is you're wrapping yourself around a tree or something. I don't mean to bring ya down or anything, but I don't want to be scraping you off a tree trunk today, either. It's just too easy to get carried away when you're as inexperienced as you are."

"I'll be alright, Kyle," said Richie, his excitement still unchecked. "I'm not stupid, ya know."

"It's not about being stupid, Rich. It's about respect, or the lack of it. Respect for the power these sleds have, and how they can kill you in a heartbeat if you forget it."

Richie felt hurt, as well as a little irritated that Kyle, of all people, would lecture him like this. Like a parent, or some other adult, always telling you 'don't do this' or 'don't do that' because you're just a kid, and you have to have everything spelled out for you.

"OK, Dad, I'll be careful," he said in a voice designed to show his irritation as he tried to push past Kyle into the store.

Grabbing Richie roughly by the arm, Kyle pulled him back out to face him.

"C'mon, Rich, don't do this, man. I'm not trying to pick on you. I just found you, and I don't want to lose you, alright?"

Kyle's words, and the look on his face, made Richie feel so ashamed of himself he could no longer look him in the eye. Instead, he looked down at his feet as his mind groped for right thing to say.

"I'm sorry, Kyle. I was acting like a jerk, and I should never have said that. It's just that, for a minute there, you sounded just like my dad. It seems that whenever I'm high on something like this, he finds some way to shoot me down. Everything's gloom and doom with him, ya know? Whenever I really like something, he always finds something wrong with it."

Then, looking up at Kyle again, he said, "Anyway, you're right. I'll be careful with the sled, and I'll never say anything like that to you again, I promise."

The boys stared at each other for just a moment before Kyle smiled as he ruffled Richie's hair, "C'mon, let's get what we need here and hit the trails."

When they entered the store, they saw Harry where he always is, perched on his stool behind the counter.

"Hey, Harry," called Kyle as they entered the shop.

"Well If it ain't my two favorite city boys, come to pick on old Harry again. How you boys doin today? Everything go OK for you during the storm last night?"

"We're just fine, Harry, and the storm didn't bother us a bit. How you doin?"

"Couldn't be better, Kyle, couldn't be better. What can I do for you today?"

"We decided to stay over until tomorrow, so we need to pick up a few more things from you. I was also wondering what you've heard about the power lines that are still down."

"Fact is," said Harry, "I talked to one of the crew from the power company not ten minutes ago. He said things weren't too bad, and they expect to have everything fixed by four or five o'clock this afternoon."

"Good," said Kyle, "then we won't need any more diesel hauled in today. Why don't you make a note to have the fuel guy top off our tank the next time he makes his regular run... If ya don't mind that is."

"Don't mind at all, son. I reckon it'll be Thursday or Friday sometime."

"Oh, one other thing, Harry, how's the ice on Gull lake?"

"Well, as of this morning, the DNR said it ranged from 12 to 18 inches shore to shore. So, as far as your sleds go, there ain't nothin to worry about, you got plenty of ice under ya."

"Great. Thanks, Harry."

After picking out the few items of food that they would need for the extra day, Kyle settled up with Harry and the boys were soon on their way back to the cabin. They still didn't set any land speed records as they followed the road, but with Richie's confidence on the rise, they rode most of the way side by side. As Richie's comfort level grew, they even raced with each other on some of the straighter sections of the road. There were times when Richie wanted to push his sled faster, but Kyle's words of caution echoed loud and clear in his mind, keeping his excitement in check. Much to Kyle's relief, Richie let him set the pace, never once passing him or doing anything foolish.

The higher speeds and general fooling around got them back to the cabin in half the time it took them to get to Harry's. When they passed Robert this time, Kyle was pleasantly surprised to see that he was almost three quarters of the way down the road.

After they stored away the food at the cabin, they took a walk down by the lake where the trail they would ride came close to shore. There, Kyle briefly explained his plan.

"I thought we'd take this trail north until we get to the end of the lake, then cut over on another trail that winds around and takes us into Benson. From there, we'll change trails again. That'll take us back to the lake, almost straight across from here. Then we can ride across the lake for the last leg of the trip. That way, you'll get to see what trail riding's like, and have a chance to open up your sled some coming across the lake. What d'ya think?"

"Sounds like a plan, bro, let's do it."

With that, they returned to the sleds and headed out. The trail followed the shoreline for about a quarter of a mile before it began to snake its way into the woods. Since Richie had never before been out of the city, taking in the beauty of the dense woods that passed by on both sides of them was a breathtaking experience. For now, anyway, he had lost his desire to go fast. He was quite content to cruise at a leisurely pace, working their way around curve after curve, climbing over hill after hill.

As they made their way toward Benson, Kyle would stop them from time to time to point out some of the signs of the wildlife that thrived in this part of the country. He showed Richie where some White Tail bucks had been rubbing their antlers against a tree trunk, and where a family of deer had curled up on the ground to sleep during the night. He also pointed out, and identified, many different wild animal tracks that crisscrossed the trail leading to some unknown destination deep within the woods.

Richie was amazed to see how knowledgeable Kyle was when it came to the wildlife in the area, and of nature in general. He smiled when he realized he was seeing another piece of the complex puzzle that was Kyle Jacobson, the boy he loved, but knew so little about.

When at last they arrived at Benson, a town that was only slightly bigger than Gull Lake, Kyle led them down Main Street. Not only was the street called Main Street, it was the 'main street', and the only street. When they got to the other end of town, they pulled into the drive of a small two-pump gas station, and shut off the sleds. Thirsty from their journey, they dropped some money into the pop machine by the front door and bought themselves each a Pepsi. While they drank their pop, Kyle gave Richie some pointers for their two and a half mile trip across the lake.

"First of all, when we get to the lake, don't be fooled by what you see. The lake is going to look like it's as flat as Kansas, but trust me, it isn't. With all the wind and snow last night, there's gonna to be tons of drifts out there, some pretty good sized ones, too. They're hard to spot, so try to follow my lead as much as possible. Just remember, with your weight, that machine between your legs can hit 85 miles per hour, easy."

"85?" asked Richie, his eyes wide and unbelieving, "Are you shittin me?"

"No, I'm not. Now I'm pretty sure we'll find some wide stretches of clear ice where its much safer, but you'll still have to keep your eyes open for smaller drifts. Just take it easy until you feel comfortable. It's about two and a half miles across, but there's no rush. It's not as if we have to get off the lake as soon as we get to the other side, or anything. We can buzz around for as long as you want, so let's do this right, and do it safe."

Richie didn't at all feel as if he was being lectured this time since he knew that Kyle was only interested in his safety and well-being. Because of this, he listened intently to what Kyle was saying. He thought briefly about giving him the 'OK Dad' line again, just as a joke, but decided against it thinking Kyle might not find it funny so soon after their confrontation at Harry's.

When they were finished with their pop, they mounted the sleds again, taking the trail that headed east, and back to the lake. When they got to the shore, they stopped again to take in the sight before them. Kyle was right. From where they stood, it did look as though it was smooth, with nothing to pose a threat to high speed travel.

"Ready, bro?" asked Kyle.

When Richie nodded his head, Kyle gunned his machine, and was off like a shot. Such was the power of the sled, that the skis were lifted from the ground at least three inches, while the track kicked up so much snow that it sprayed Richie as he waited behind him.

'Holy shit!' thought Richie as he watched Kyle tear onto the ice.

Knowing that he had no where near the experience, or skill, that Kyle had, Richie started out much slower, gradually increasing his speed until he was doing about 50. This was much faster than he had gone before, and sitting so close to the ice, it seemed much faster than the speedometer indicated. Following Kyle's tracks, Richie noticed that even though the surface was relatively smooth, there were many small bumps that he went over. He could feel them through the sled, much like one would feel a dirt road while riding in a car. He also noticed some of the drifts that Kyle was talking about. Like he'd said, even through the tinted visor, they were hard to spot in the bright sunlight, and Richie marveled at how Kyle could spot them in time to avoid them as he led the way. A few minutes later, Kyle pulled to a stop to let Richie catch up with him.

"So, what d'ya think, Rich? How fast were ya goin?"

"Fucking unreal, man! But I, um, was only doing about fifty," said Richie a little sheepishly, thinking that his big mouth and bravado earlier should have had him going much faster.

"Fifty?!" said Kyle as his face lit up, "Whoa, dude, that's pretty gutsy for a guppy out of water."

"Really?" asked Richie, his face brightening.

"Hell yeah," said Kyle, "I was only doin 60, and that's plenty fast for me. C'mon, I wanna show ya something."

With that, Kyle goosed his sled and took off again, with Richie close on his heels. About 50 yards later, they stopped again where Kyle pointed to a snow drift a few feet away. It had a gradual slope on one side, then dropped off sharply from its crest of about three and a half to four feet above the ice.

"Wanna catch some air, dude?" asked Kyle.

"Catch some what?" asked Richie, having no clue what Kyle was talking about.

"You know. Catch some air... as in airborne. Off the jump over there."

"Oh," said Richie as Kyle's meaning finally got through to him. "Whoa, I don't know, man. Is it safe?" he asked as he eyed the jump and the area around it.

"Not as safe as playing pinochle, but it's one hell of a rush. I'll go first while you wait here and watch. Then, if you wanna try it, fine. If not, that's cool, too."

That said, Kyle sped off, retracing their tracks until he was about 50 or 60 yards away. Once there, he made a 180 so that he was now facing Richie and the snowdrift. A heartbeat later, as Richie watched with excitement and anxiety, he saw Kyle's skis lift off the ice. A half a beat after that, he heard the ear shattering roar of the engine as Kyle and machine lurched out of the hole on their way to the jump.

Eyes wide, mouth agape, Richie watched as his friend hit the snowdrift and was launched into the air. He must have peaked at about six feet, then soared for at least twelve more feet, before hitting the ice again with a resounding whump. When Kyle returned to where Richie waited, he pulled off his helmet to reveal a wide grin and excitement filled eyes.

"Whoa, that felt awesome. How'd it look, Rich?"

"Whoa, man, that was like so cool!" exclaimed Richie. "Just like in the commercials."

"Go ahead, dude, try it. I was doin somewhere between 35 and 40 when I hit the drift."

Richie was feeling a little unsure of himself. He knew that Kyle wasn't challenging him, or trying to egg him into it, so he knew he could bail if he wanted to, but he felt he just had to at least give it a try. Sort of a right of passage for a 14 year old boy. Gathering up his courage, he pulled on his helmet, gave Kyle a nod, then drove his sled to where Kyle had started from. Being as unsure of himself as he was, Richie was a little slower getting out of the hole than Kyle, but he still managed to reach 35 when he hit the jump. The crunch of the sled against Richie's butt as he hit the snowdrift was jarring and unexpected, but he managed to maintain control as he was launched into the air. He was better prepared for the landing, however, as he hit the ice perfectly, just short of where Kyle had landed. Quickly returning to where Kyle was waiting, he displayed the same signs of excitement that his friend had, as the adrenaline rush coursed through his veins.

"That was so cool!" he said. "But isn't it kinda hard on the sled? I know it was a little rough on my ass."

After Kyle stopped laughing he said, "Next time, cushion yourself with your legs. You know, bend your knees and raise your ass off the seat a little, then use your legs like shock absorbers."

The boys took turns jumping for a while, Richie doing better, and going farther as he gained confidence. When finally they tired of it, the sun beginning to sink below the horizon, they continued their journey across the lake to the cabin. In their absence, not only had Robert finished plowing the road, but the power and phone lines had been restored as well.

After their afternoon of riding, both boys were famished. While Kyle rebuilt the fire, Richie quickly prepared their dinner of Beef stew and boiled potatoes, which they devoured in record time. Sitting next to Kyle in front of the fire after dinner, Richie reflected back on the past two days with him. He was somewhat saddened that it would all come to an end tomorrow.

"Thanks, Kyle."

"For what, Rich?"

"For the last two days... for everything. I've never had so much fun before."

"Oh, no problem... and hey, It's gonna be a long winter, so I don't see why we can't come up on a weekend sometime and do it again."

This statement made Richie think about Lindy and Kevin, and how much fun the four of them could have up here together.

"Maybe we could do it again when Kevin and Lindy could come. What d'ya think?"

"Uh, sure, I don't see why not. We'll start figuring something out when we get back," said Kyle with little enthusiasm.

Detecting this in his voice, Richie wondered if maybe Kyle really didn't want to bring anybody else up here. Could it be that he wanted to keep this as their private getaway, where the two of them could be alone. As much as the idea appealed to Richie, how could they not invite their friends to a cool place like this? Besides, this cabin wasn't exactly a secret. It wasn't a place they could sneak off to without their friends becoming suspicious, not to mention being hurt by not being invited along. Rather than ask Kyle directly about his concerns, Richie decided to fish for more information, as well as tell Kyle about some of his own recent decisions.


"Yeah, Rich?"

"How bout a beamer?"

"Sure thing, bro... you fly and I'll buy."

Smiling over at him as he stood, Richie ruffled his hand through Kyle's hair as he left for the kitchen to mix the drinks. When he returned, he noticed a distant, and somewhat worried look on his face when he handed him his drink.

"What ya thinkin about, man?" he asked.

"Ah, nothin."

"C'mon, man, ya gotta tell me, ya know."

"Um, nah, its nothin, Rich, really."

Knowing this wasn't true, but deciding not to push him, Richie sat down to sip on his drink as he gazed into the fire.

A few minutes later he said, "Kyle, some things you said to me yesterday got me thinking, and I've decided to come out to Lindy."

"Yeah? Well, that's cool, I guess," he said as he shrugged his shoulders without changing the expression on his face.

"That's it? That's all you got to say about it? That's cool?"

"What d'ya want me to say, Rich? Lindy's your friend, it's your life, your decision, what more do you want me to say?"

"I want you to talk to me, man. You expect me to believe that my coming out to Lindy doesn't mean anything to you? That you're not worried about me telling him about us? Cause if you are... if you don't want me to, I won't. Problem is that Lindy ain't exactly stupid, and he's for sure gonna to figure it out whether I tell him or not."

"OK, Rich... yeah it bothers me... it bothers me a lot. I've worked hard all my life to hide the fact that I'm... well that I'm... "

"Gay," said Richie. "I think the word you're looking for is Gay."

"OK, smart ass," said Kyle, visibly irritated now as he looked at Richie.

"That I'm gay, alright? You know the reputation I have, my friends, my dad. I can't come out now and tell everyone I've been living a lie all these years. I'm sorry, but I just can't do that right now."

There were tears beginning to well up Kyle's eyes. Embarrassed by this, he turned away from Richie to look into the fire.

"Hey, take it easy, man," said Richie as he gently squeezed Kyle's knee in an effort to calm him. "Nobody's asking you to do that... especially me. I 'm not ready to come out to the world yet, either. I'm way far from wanting to do that. I just want to come out to Lindy, and he sure as hell isn't going to tell anyone else."

Obviously still unconvinced, Kyle said nothing as he continued to stare at the fire. After a moment of silence, Richie reached over, cupped Kyle's chin in the palm of his hand and gently turned his head to face him again.

"This morning I told you that I loved you. That hasn't changed, it never will, and I would never do anything to hurt you. All I ask is that you trust me. Trust me as much as I trust you, and believe me when I tell you that Lindy won't say anything."

His own tears beginning to well up, Richie released Kyle's chin and gazed at the floor between his feet. Several minutes went by before anyone spoke. Without looking up from the floor, it was Richie who finally broke the silence.

"If you won't believe me, then there's only one other thing I can think of to do. I won't tell Lindy about us... and if he asks about us, I'll lie to him, and deny it. The problem with that is, lying to him about us is going to hard enough, but I sure as hell won't be able to keep the lie going. I guess what I'm trying to say here is, that if I tell him that there's nothing between us, then there can't be anything between us. We can never do this again... or even be friends anymore, for that matter, cause I couldn't stand to be around you and never be able to touch you again."

His tears flowing freely now, Richie leaned forward. Covering his face with his hands, a pain like he'd never felt before threatened to rip his heart into pieces.

"I love you, Kyle... more than anything in the world... but I would rather give you up than betray you, or hurt you in any way."

Kyle knew the ball was in is court now, and it didn't take him long to respond. With tears spilling across his cheeks, he put both of his arms around Richie, pulling him close to his chest - holding him tight as he rested his cheek on the top of his head.

"Oh, Rich, I'm so sorry. I do trust you, and I do believe you. I know that I'm a little slow sometimes, but when I thought just now that I might actually lose you, I realized that there's nothing you could possibly say to me that I wouldn't believe, and I'm so sorry that I ever doubted you."

Richie's tears began to dry up, and the pain began to leave his heart as Kyle held him close. A moment later, Kyle cupped his hand under Richie's chin, raising his face up to where he could look into his eyes.

"I want you to tell Lindy. I want you to tell him about you, about me... I want you to tell him about last night, this morning, everything. I, honest to God, wouldn't want it any other way. Just say you forgive me for being such a jerk about it."

"Are you sure, Kyle?"

"Oh yeah, I'm sure alright."

"Oh, Kyle, you just made me the happiest guy in the whole world"

With that, Kyle leaned his head down until their lips met, and they kissed a kiss of true love and total devotion. When finally they broke the kiss, they continued to hold each other tight as they looked into the fire, their hearts now warmer than the flames that danced before their eyes.

After several minutes, Richie broke the silence when he said, "Ya know, I don't think I have to tell him everything."

Then, with a huge grin on his face, he turned to look up at Kyle again, "I mean, I don't think he needs to know everything about what we did last night and this morning."

Kyle couldn't help laughing at this as he ruffled Richie's hair and gave him a big hug.

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