This story is a work of fiction. The characters and events are purely fictional, and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. While this story contains no graphic sex, it may allude to sexual situations common to all teen boys. This work of fiction is property of the author Rob Warr and should not be reproduced or reposted without his express consent. © Rob Warr 2020 All Rghts Reserved.
I welcome all comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
15 year old Doug Howell looked up at the sound of excited adolescent voices approaching and began swinging his feet against the end of the orange vinyl futon he sat on outside The Village Clothier, an upscale clothing store at the end of Main Street. Beside him sat a shopping cart holding his skate board and his father's Nikon camera, which he had borrowed without his father's permission. He wasn't worried though, even if his father found out Doug had appropriated his prized camera for his little project, assuming no harm came to it, the punishment would most likely be confined to a stern talking too.
Even those stern talks were often punctuated with humor, and the love the boy's father felt for him always shown through, and often the stern talk wound up being a happy time of sharing. Doug loved his father, and as long as he could remember it had been just him and his dad. His mom had left when Doug was four and had made no effort to gain custody of Doug, or for that matter, to even see him all those years.
Doug barely remembered her, but somewhere deep inside he still felt that hollow feeling that all kids experience at the loss of a parent. Only in Doug's case, his loss wasn't due to an untimely death, but rather to the whims of a selfish woman who admittedly never wanted a child to begin with.
This was not so however for Bill Howell, Doug's dad. Having come from a rather large family, he was one of four boys, and had two older sisters as well. Their house had always been filled with love and happiness, and that was what Bill wanted when he finally found the woman of his dreams. Only the woman of his dreams had been more of a nightmare. They'd only been married a year when she became pregnant with Doug, and she complained constantly about the inconvenience, and suggested everything short of abortion, even putting the baby up for adoption.
Bill was horrified, and suggested she was just suffering from some sort of prenatal paranoia and insisted that she see a therapist. They never really discussed what she and her therapist, Susan, talked about, but things seemed to get better for a while and Bill began to think everything would be all right after all.
When the baby finally came, new mother Linda Howell, seemed to have finally gotten over her concerns about being a mother and took to the task with an enthusiasm that surprised Bill. He immersed himself in his work as a photo journalist, but avoided assignments that took him out of town, preferring to stay close to home and his new son whom he loved from the first moment he had held the wailing red-faced baby boy.
"He's a spitting image of you," his father had told him when they finally visited his folks to show off the new baby, "he has the Howell chin too," he chuckled, "no denying this one, Billy Boy."
Indeed Doug became the pet of the entire family, but little did they know that a bitterness was brewing inside the boy's mother, who had been estranged from her own parents since she'd turned 18. Bill had tried unsuccessfully many times to find out exactly what had occurred between daughter and parents, but she steadfastly refused to discuss the matter, and Bill eventually gave up.
He noted that his wife never grew close to his family, and he wondered if that was a result of the breakup with her own family. He knew she had a sister and an older brother, but she seldom spoke of them, and when she did there was little emotion in her words.
The problems began again when Doug turned two and began to act out a little, the terrible twos, everyone called them, and Linda was not the sort of patient and understanding parent to deal with the foibles of a toddler. She spanked Doug often, but that all ended when Bill came home unexpectedly and found his son coiled up in a corner, crying as if his heart was broken.
Picking up the little boy, Bill turned to his wife, and for the first time since they'd met his words were harsh.
"If you ever lay a hand on our son again, I will toss you out of this house and file for an immediate divorce."
She was too shocked to protest, or to offer any words to support her actions, instead she went to their room and slammed the door and locked it, and did not come out the rest of that day. When it became apparent his wife wasn't coming out anytime soon, he fed and bathed his son, then placed him in his crib while he showered and got ready for bed.
He picked the little boy up and carried him to the spare bedroom and laid him down on the bed, placing pillows on the edge to make sure he didn't roll off. He laid down on the other side of the boy who soon drifted off to sleep while his daddy rubbed his little tummy. There wasn't much sleep that night for Bill though. He had finally come to the conclusion that not only did he not love his wife, but that she was a lousy mother, and he was worried for the safety of his son.
The following day he took off work and cared for his son while trying to talk to his wife. She seemed distant and cold, accusing him of caring more for his son than her, and always taking his side. There was no rationale in her speech, and Bill finally laid down an ultimatum. Get help or get out!
He paid for another six months of therapy, with a different therapist this time, and Linda seemed to be getting better, but Bill was still apprehensive. He'd hired a lady to come and help with the household chores to take some of the pressure off his wife, but his wife preferred to do the chores and leave the child for the older woman to deal with.
Things leveled out for a while, then when Doug was four, his wife of six years packed her bags and was gone when he returned home that day. Mrs. Cole was waiting for him when he returned home that day with the disturbing news that his wife had moved out and would not be returning.
Bill guessed he should've been more upset than he was, but it was hard to miss a wife that he hadn't been intimate with for the last three years. In a way it was a relief, and his only fear was that she would try to get custody of his son, and that he would not allow, even if it meant taking the boy and moving far away.
He need not have worried however, the divorce papers came by mail and she didn't even ask for alimony. He signed the papers and went about his life once more, actually happier now. He hired Mrs. Cole full time to take care of Doug, but Doug was fifteen now and fairly self sufficient, and Mrs. Cole had finally retired and moved to Florida.
"Hey Dougie," Chris Jarvis said offering a fist to bump, "you got the camera dude?"
"Yep, in the cart. I sort of borrowed the cart from Meyers Market," he said grinning.
"What's with this ugly sofa thing?" Bruce Edwards said, sitting down heavily beside Doug and leaning back into the vinyl.
"It's a futon, dufus," Marjorie Brown said rolling her eyes, "Boys! You don't know anything about furniture."
"Same thing," Bruce snorted, "you sit your butt on it, but this thing is ugly. What's it doing out here anyway?"
"Some sort of promotion I guess," Doug offered, "anyway, it's comfortable."
"Yeah, if you like orange," Chris laughed, "hey Doug, by the way, nice socks," he laughed, pointing to Doug's socks which were printed with flames that appeared to be going up his calves, and matching his orange leopard print Vans. The outfit was completed with a pair of turquoise cargo pants and a black tee with orange graphics to match his shoes and socks.
"You always dress really cool," Marjorie said grinning, "I think it's so cool that your dad gives you so much freedom."
"Yeah, but if I don't get his camera back in one piece, I may wind up in solitary confinement," Doug joked, "Come on, let's go," he said hopping up and making a farting noise as his bare hands slid across the vinyl futon.
"Gross," Chris laughed, "What you been eating Dougie?"
"It wasn't me, it was Bruce," Doug laughed.
"Hey, why's everyone always picking on the fat boys?" Bruce said, getting up slowly and causing even more noise than Doug had.
"You're not fat," Chris teased, "you're just big boned."
"Yeah, well...here's a bone for you," Bruce said flipping Chris off.
"Boys, be nice," Marjorie scolded, but she knew their bantering was all in fun and nothing serious. It was just how boys were, and she'd become accustomed to it over the two years she'd known the three boys.
They were an unlikely group, three boys and one girl, but there was absolutely no sexual tension between them despite being a mixed group. They had met two years ago in Middle School, in Mr. Perkins Biology class to be exact, and they had gelled immediately.
She'd had the good luck of being Doug's lab partner, and he had introduced her to Bruce and Chris that very day, and well, as they say, the rest was history. The fact that Marjorie was a girl, and a very pretty one at that, had never been an issue, and the boys had accepted her easily into their group.
Of course as they got older and entered puberty the boys began to notice just how cute and sexy Marjorie was, but by then their friendship was so solid and comfortable that they never considered changing it in any way. With one exception however. When Doug turned 14, Marjorie suddenly began to notice just what a handsome and sweet boy he was. She knew their friendship was much more important than some little fling, but she couldn't help how she felt.
That all changed however when Marjorie finally figured out something that she was sure no one but her ever had, that Doug liked boys. Oh, it wasn't obvious at first. He didn't stare at them or stalk them, and he talked about girls as much as boys when they were together, but there were little signs that finally led her to that conclusion.
She began observing Doug when he was unaware, and she noticed certain patterns. For instance if a girl approached, he would give her a cursory glance and usually a shy smile, but if a boy approached, he would give him his full attention, though discretely, and never make eye contact. There were other things too, for instance the fact that the walls of his neatly kept bedroom were hung with posters of male Olympic runners, swimmers, and boy bands.
Bruce had given him some shit about his choice of posters, and Doug's reaction had simply been to shrug and blush bright red. Marjorie had quickly stepped in and changed the subject and Bruce didn't dwell on it. Chris had made the comment that Bruce was just jealous because he wasn't as fit as the guys in the posters, and as usual he'd received Bruce's upturned middle finger and they'd moved on to other things.
Marjorie was finally sure she was right the night of Bruce's 14th birthday party. In addition to some of their friends from school, Bruce had invited his 16 year old cousin Leon, who was a real god of a boy, fresh from the beaches of California. He was the very definition of surfer boy, with long golden hair, an all over tan, blue eyes, and the sexiest smile Marjorie had ever seen.
She took one look at the boy and felt her knees go weak, but it was Doug's reaction to the young Adonis that finally tripped all the switches in place for Marjorie. Doug was practically drooling and he couldn't keep his eyes off the boy. When they were introduced, Doug looked as if he'd won the lottery, and when they bumped fists she could imagine Doug thinking that he wouldn't wash that hand for a week.
What was even more interesting to Marjorie was that Leon seemed to be grooving on Doug almost as much as Doug was grooving on him. His smile said he liked Doug's attention, and when he learned that Doug was a skateboarder he took him off into a corner and they talked for a long time, supposedly about boarding, but Marjorie thought there was certainly a lot of laughing and touching for that to be the only thing they talked about.
The next few days after the party all Doug could talk about was how cool Leon was, and how cool it would be to surf in the ocean, blah, blah, blah, and she worried that Chris and Bruce might trip to the same conclusion that she had, that Doug was into boys, Leon in particular.
She really didn't know how the other two would react, it was not something they'd ever really discussed. She'd never heard either of the boys do any bashing or even use the word faggot or queer, but still you never knew what teenage boys were thinking.
She finally decided it was in Doug's best interests to talk to him about things before Chris or Bruce called him on his apparent crush on Leon, so she chose one evening when it was just the two of them. Chris and Bruce had gone to the mall with Chris' older brother Jeff, but Doug had begged off, and Marjorie said she had some studying to do. However, as soon as the two were off, she asked Doug if he had a few minutes, and that she wanted to talk with him.
"Sure sis," Doug said smiling. He did think of Marjorie as a little sister, even if she was only two months younger than him. He loved her dearly, and was thankful that she'd come along when she did for so many reasons. He'd never really had much experience with girls before Marjorie, and it had been an eye opening experience to discover that girls were cool, and not at all as weird as he'd imagined. Of course his interest in girls was at best confusing, but if all girls were as cool as Marjorie, then he could certainly understand why most boys were attracted to them. However, he wasn't most boys. He'd known for some time now that he liked boys, and that girls weren't nearly as interesting and didn't excite him like boys did, but he'd yet to put a name on those feelings, preferring instead to just wait and see how things turned out.
"Not here," she said motioning for him to follow her outside, "let's take a walk."
"Oh, mysterious," Doug giggled, "dad, Marj and I are going for a walk. Be back soon unless she's abducting me," he joked.
"That's cool son. You two have fun," his dad said giving them a wink, "and if you're going to abduct him Marjorie, don't count on much ransom," he added chuckling.
"I'll bring him back in one piece," she promised, then whisked him out the door.
"What's up?" Doug finally asked, getting a little concerned since she hadn't spoken for the first half block.
"I need to talk to you Dougie, but I don't know exactly how to begin. First of all, I don't want you to think I'm upset or...condemning you in any way," she said frowning.
"What are you talking about?" he said, wondering where all this was leading.
"Okay, I'll just come out and say it, do you have the hots for Leon?" she blurted out.
Doug halted abruptly, forcing her to stop as well, and she spun on her heels to face him. He was bright red and looked ready to cry, and Marjorie felt awful.
"Is it that obvious?" Doug sighed.
"Only to someone who loves you like a big brother," Marjorie said, moving in to give him a gentle hug, "Dougie, it's okay if you like boys. I guess I've known for a long time."
"The thing is," Doug began, "I'm not sure what I like. I mean, yeah, Leon is interesting and very um...good looking, and he's really a cool person."
"And fucking hot as the fourth of July," Marjorie said, her eyes sparkling, "but I'm pretty sure Leon likes boys too."
"You, um...think so? Why do you say that?"
"Cause he was definitely into you that night at the party. I'm wondering, have you guys stayed in touch?"
Doug nodded, "We exchanged phone numbers and we've been texting."
"Just texting, not sexting?" Marjorie teased.
"NO! I'd never do that..." Doug said in horror.
"I'm kidding, I know you're a good little boy," she said kissing his cheek, "but surely you must've gotten some vibes from him about how he feels about you."
"I don't know. It's so confusing, but since I don't even know if I'm...I mean, that I like boys that way..."
"Who are you trying to convince Dougie, me or yourself? Look, I'm no expert, but I notice things. Like how your eyes light up when you see a cute boy, but that doesn't happen with girls. And that night at Bruce's party, OMG boy, you were following Leon around like a puppy."
"Oh God, what if Bruce and Chris noticed too? I don't want to lose my best friends," he said, looking ready to burst into tears.
"Hey, what about me? I'm your best friend too, and you're not gonna lose me, but seriously...that's why I wanted to talk to you. If you don't want those two to get wise to you, then you might want to cool it a little around them as far as Leon is concerned."
"I'm so stupid," Doug said, closing his eyes and pounding his head with his balled up fists, "I'm risking my friendship with you guys over a boy that I don't even know that well, someone that I've only seen in person one time."
"Dougie," Marjorie said gently hugging her friend again, "You're not stupid, you're in love, or at least in like," she chuckled, "or maybe you're just horny for him."
"I've never..." Doug said, then blushed.
"But you want to, right?"
Doug considered what to say, but couldn't bring himself to utter the words, so he nodded instead.
"We all do honey," she said smiling, "and if I was a boy I'd want to do it with you."
"Thanks, I think," Doug said smiling at last, "you're like the sweetest person I've ever known, and if I liked girls that way..."
"It would just mess things up if we let romance get in the way," Marjorie said, pretending she didn't feel the same way too, "I'd rather have a friend like you than a boyfriend."
"What should I do Marj? Should I tell Chris and Bruce and hope they won't freak, or just pretend like I've been doing?"
"I can't tell you what to do, but eventually I think they're gonna figure it out on their own, and it might be best if they heard it from you instead. This is too big a secret to keep from friends that close."
"Maybe I could like...you know? Date or something."
"Well, you could. There are lots of girls who'd love to go with a sweet boy like you who didn't expect to get in their panties," she laughed.
"Who says I wouldn't?" Doug teased.
"Well, there's that too," she said straight faced, "how you gonna know which team you're playing on if you don't try out all the positions?"
"OH, you are soooo bad," Doug laughed, "but seriously, I don't think I could, you know? With a girl..."
"You never know, heck, even I might like doing it with a girl," she joked.
"Is that for real?" Doug said, pretending to be naive.
"Oh boy, you definitely need to check out the porn on the internet," she chuckled.
"I'm kidding, I've seen plenty of porn, but of course that kind doesn't interest me much."
"Well, nice talk," Marjorie said, steering Doug back in the direction of his house, "think about what you want to do, and I'll have your back when, and if you're ready to come out to the guys."
"I'll think about it," Doug assured her, "and Marj, you're the best," he said pulling her into a hug and kissing her on the cheek."
"Yeah, I really am," she laughed, but not good enough to change a gay boy to straight, she thought.
It had been a year since that little talk, and the four had grown even closer, and yet Doug had never found the right time to reveal his secret. Leon had gone back to California at the end of that summer, and though Doug had stayed in touch via texts, the flame eventually died out.
Then shortly after school let out this year he'd received a text from Leon saying that he was returning to town and this time to stay. His dad had taken a job at a real estate company in the city and they were moving into a house not far from where Doug lived. At first Doug was confused about his feelings. Leon was 17 now and Doug had just turned 15. Two years wasn't much when you were an adult, but the difference in their ages as kids seemed substantial. Still, he supposed, they were only friends, and you could have friends of all ages. Surely Leon didn't have the same kind of feelings for him that Doug had for the sexy older teen. Surely he was just interested in friendship, maybe doing some boarding over at the skate park by the river, that sort of stuff.
But it had been Leon who initiated their first meeting since his return to the city, and Doug was surprised at how easily things had fallen back into place. They were both passionate about boarding and most sports, including swimming, which was the inspiration for that first meeting.
Leon's new house featured a nice pool, and it was there that the two were reunited. He'd told Marjorie about the meeting, but fearing the reaction of his other two friends, he'd made excuses not to join them as he usually did on the weekend. They'd questioned him at first, Chris even going so far as to ask him if he had a hot date, but Doug had played it off and had quipped that no date could ever be as hot as those two. They'd had a good laugh over that, and Chris and Bruce had let it lie after that.
Marjorie's only advice was, wear loose trunks or you'll be embarrassing yourself all afternoon, and Doug blushed bright red, but heeded her advice nonetheless. He had almost made the mistake of wearing the skimpy swimsuit that he'd worn on the swim team last year, but instead he dug out a pair of trunks that were too big for him and put them on under his cut offs.
His dad dropped him off at Leon's, but not before coming in to meet Leon's folks, and Leon of course. Doug's dad knew Doug was a good judge of character when it came to picking friends, but he was a little surprised to see that Leon was not only older, but a real hunk of a man, well, young man anyway. He'd suspected for some time that Doug might be struggling with his sexuality, and he'd made it clear that he was there if Doug ever needed any help or advice. He'd further assured him that he would keep an open mind about any subject they discussed, and nothing would ever change the fact that he loved him unconditionally. Doug had almost cried when his dad had told him that, and he was two seconds away from coming out to his dad when his three best friends interrupted their dad/son talk.
A few times since then he'd been tempted, but he still wasn't sure it he wanted to have that discussion with his dad, despite the fact that he was confident that his dad meant what he'd said about unconditional love.
When Doug's dad left, Leon showed Doug to the pool out back and began to shuck off his sweat pants, revealing a pair of white Speedos beneath. So much for not embarrassing myself with a boner, Doug thought when he saw the outline of Leon's tool tucked into the skimpy suit.
"Did you wear your suit or do you need a place to change?" Leon asked, when Doug still hadn't made a move.
"Uh, I wore it," he said turning his back to Leon and unfastening his cut offs.
"Are you shy?" Leon chuckled, "I'm half naked and you don't see me hiding."
"Uh, not...not really. Uh, just...um, sorry," Doug said, his impulse to bolt so strong he had to will himself to stand his ground.
"Dude, relax. I'm gonna jump in. You take your time and come on in when you're ready."
Doug did relax then, and somehow he managed to get undressed down to his baggy trunks which he'd girted as tight as he could to keep them from falling off. Oh God, he thought, what if they fall off when they get wet? One more thing to worry about, he thought in anguish as he dove into the pool.
Fortunately his trunks didn't come off, and he was able to regain his composure now that his body was concealed beneath the water. He'd have to try hard not to pop a boner, what with Leon showing so much skin, but he'd had lots of experience doing that ever since he'd started noticing boys in the showers back in 7th grade.
"This is a nice place," Doug said, making conversation to get his mind off Leon's body.
"Yeah, not as nice as our place on the beach, but a heck of a lot cheaper according to dad," he chuckled, "I miss the ocean, but this place is nice too, especially since I have a good friend here already."
"You do?" Doug asked frowning, who did Leon know besides him and his cousin Bruce? Had he been making friends last summer while they'd been doing nothing but texting? And was this friend just a friend, or something more?
"Yeah dude, his name is Doug. Hello in there," Leon said knocking lightly on Doug's skull with a wet fist.
"Oh, yeah," Doug said grinning, "I'm glad you're back dude. I mean, it's really cool that you like the same stuff I do and everything."
"Yeah, ditto," Leon said, smiling that million dollar smile, his blue eyes sparkling with mischief, "and maybe now that I'm here to stay we can figure out some other things we both like."
Doug blushed, was Leon talking about what he thought he was? Was he suggesting that he liked Doug the way he liked him?
"Yeah, well...we have the whole summer. I mean, unless you have plans..."
"Nope, so far you're the only cool dude I know here."
"What about Bruce?"
"Bruce is cool, but we don't really have a lot in common. Um, I was wondering. Did you tell your other friends you were coming over here today."
"Yeah, sure...of course," Doug stuttered, "well...I told Marjorie."
"Oh, but not Bruce or...what's his name, Chris, right?"
"Well, they wanted me to go to the movies with them, but I didn't feel like a movie, and I really wanted to see you and to go swimming."
"They could've come too," Leon offered.
"Oh, well...you didn't say that," Doug said, trying not to sound disappointed that Leon didn't want this to be just the two of them.
"Because I really didn't want them to come, but if it was a big deal...I could've lived with it."
"Oh, okay...well, maybe sometime all of us could get together. I think it would be cool to have all my friends together."
"Yeah, but for now let's just work on us, okay?"
Us? Doug thought, that sounds really intimate, almost romantic. It made him smile, and when he nodded Leon smiled back.
They'd spent the day swimming, had lunch on the deck, and then sunbathed on lounge chairs near the pool. Leon's folks had left shortly after lunch, and Leon said they probably wouldn't be back till dinner time. He said they sometimes went to check out properties together and then went for a drink or two.
The conversation often came close to the subjects that occupied Doug's mind, but nothing concrete was ever established, so Doug was still uncertain where he stood with Leon by the time his dad picked him up. They made plans to meet Monday at the skate park and Doug felt pretty good about things, even if he wasn't quite sure where things were headed.
They'd met that Monday, but other than some serious boarding nothing of any consequence happened. Since that day they'd met several times at the park for the same sort of activities, and twice gone swimming, but Doug had begun to think he'd misread Leon completely, and that his only interest in him was friendship.
Then two days ago, something had happened that changed everything. Leon had asked him over to swim and to spend the night. This was the first time Doug had slept over at anyone's house since he was 13, and he was a bit nervous.
He'd been nervous about asking his dad's permission, not because he thought he'd disapprove, but rather because he was still a bit unsure about how his dad felt about his hanging around with an older boy. He need not have worried however, by then his dad had pretty much figured out that Doug had a major crush on the older teen, his only fear being that the crush wasn't returned and Doug might get hurt.
"Uh, Dad," Doug began, toying with his eggs as they sat at the breakfast table, "um..is it okay if I go over to Leon's today to swim?"
"Sure, I've got a shoot today, but I should be home by 6. We can figure out what to do for dinner then."
"Uh, well...Leon was wondering if I could, you know? Sleep over. I know I haven't done that for a couple of years, but it might be cool. We could swim late and eat by the pool and stuff."
Doug's dad smiled, "You really like this boy, don't you?"
Doug blushed and felt ready to cry. Even his dad had figured him out, and even though he was pretty sure his dad would be cool with his being gay, he was still mortified at the thought of talking about it.
"Uh, sure, he's really cool, and he likes the same stuff I do, boarding, and swimming and stuff," Doug choked out.
"No, I mean you really like this boy," his dad said smiling, "maybe even more than like," he added, then went on before Doug could answer, "my only concern is: does he like you as much as you like him? I don't want you getting hurt son. It's tough enough being a teenage boy without the trauma of being rejected by someone you really like."
"What do you mean?" Doug said, trying to sound indignant.
His dad sighed, "Look Doug, I don't know why we haven't had this conversation before, but I think maybe the time has come. I had hoped you would feel comfortable enough with me to come to me and tell me about your struggles with your sexuality, but instead you've fought this battle on your own, and it's time you had some help."
"I..." Doug began, but the tears began to flow then and the words were choked back.
"Doug, son," his father said rising to kneel beside him, then taking him in his strong arms he smoothed back his hair and held him like he'd done so many times over the last 15 years, "I love you more than life itself, and whether you like girls, or boys, or both, is not going to change that. I worry that you are carrying around this burden and that you feel like you have no one to share it with, but I am telling you right now, I am here to take part of the burden off your shoulders and to help you get through this."
Doug nodded, still unable to speak as the tears came freely now. But they were tears of liberation. All that pent up anger, confusion, fear, and loathing were washed away as his father held him, and he knew without a doubt that his father not only understood, but that he had his back, no matter what.
"Do your friends know?" Doug's dad said once Doug had settled down a little and he'd returned to his seat.
"Marj does, she figured it out last summer," Doug said wiping at his eyes, "but I've been too scared to tell Chris or Bruce. I don't wanna lose them as friends."
"Aren't you being a little unfair to them by assuming they wouldn't support you no matter what? You guys have been good friends for a long time now, and I don't think they're the kind of friends that would let you down in a pinch."
"I don't know, kids are different when they hear that kind of stuff about someone," Doug explained, "there was this one kid, Mark, he got outed last year and no one would even talk to him for a long time, except the girls, the girls seemed to like him."
"That's because they feel safe around a boy who's not trying to get in their panties every minute," his dad chuckled, causing Doug to smile, "but seriously, I know it's not easy being out, but the truth is, who you like that way is your business, and no one needs to know unless you decide they need to. However, in the case of friends as close as you and your buds, keeping a secret like that is risky. It can lead to mistrust and harsh feelings. If you trust them to have your back in other things, don't you think the same would apply with this?"
"I guess, but what if they dump me, or out me at school?"
"If that happened, and I think it's very unlikely, then they really weren't very good friends, were they?"
"I guess not," Doug admitted, "Marj says she thinks they already suspect and that they're gonna be cool about it, so I guess I should probably tell them, but not yet. Not till I find out for sure how Leon feels."
Doug's dad chuckled, "Are you hoping tonight is the night to find out for sure?"
Doug blushed, "I'm not planning anything," he mumbled, "but we'll be alone for the first time, really alone, and I want to talk to him...try to find out what's really going on with him."
"I understand, and I have no problem with that, however..."
Doug blushed again. Oh no, here it comes, he thought, 'the talk'.
"I do have some concerns about the age difference, but two years is certainly legal as far as that goes. What I worry about is the difference in your maturity and sexual experience."
"Daaaad," Doug whine, "that's an easy one, I have no experience, and I'm not gonna jump into anything without knowing where I stand with him, or any other boy. I don't want sex, I want a relationship."
Doug's dad smiled, "You are everything a man could hope for in a son, bright, loving, beautiful inside and out, and wise beyond your years. I don't think there is anything I can tell you that you don't already know. I assume you've seen enough porn to know what two guys do together, but I will caution you, if it goes that far, use protection."
Doug blushed and shook his head, "Dad, I'm not gonna have sex, at least not yet. I just want to get to know him and figure out if he's into me like I'm into him. I just think tonight will be a good time for that."
"Okay, well then you have my permission to sleep over," he said grinning, "but I'll want a full report tomorrow."
"DAD!" Doug said jerking his head up.
"I'm kidding, all I want to know is that my boy is happy," he said smiling, "Now finish your breakfast and get your chores done so you can go meet your future boyfriend," he teased.
"Just wait till you meet some woman," Doug threatened.
"Who says I'm going to meet a woman?" his dad said grinning, "maybe that stuff runs in the family, maybe I started it," he said winking.
"Does that mean?" Doug began.
"I was once a horny teenage boy and I had good friends like yours," he said looking as if he were remembering happier times, "besides," he said snapping out of it, "it's not what's between a person's legs that makes us fall in love, it's what's in here," he said patting his chest over his heart, "and in here," he said touching his head.
His dad left shortly after that, leaving Doug to clean up and mull over what had just happened. He'd gone into this thing feeling scared and uncertain, and now he felt as if he'd been given the green light to pursue a relationship with Leon, even if he didn't know if that was possible. He felt truly happy though, and free, and he just had to share his happiness with someone.
As soon as he had the mess cleared and the dishwasher started, he grabbed his cell and called Marjorie.
"Hi, what's up tiger?" she said sounding really happy.
"I just had a talk with my dad," Doug began, "he knows, and he's cool with it."
"And you doubted he would be?" she chuckled, "Dougie, your dad is the coolest dad on this planet. So did you tell him about you and Leon?"
"Not much to tell, but that was the reason it came out. Leon invited me over to swim today and spend the night."
"Oh, this is it! You're finally gonna do it!" Marjorie said excitedly.
"No, I mean maybe, but what I'm really hoping is that he'll finally tell me how he feels."
"Have you told him how you feel?"
"Well, no...I've been too scared, but I'm hoping he'll make the first move. After all, he invited me over to spend the night."
"Maybe he only wants sex," Marjorie suggested, "teenage boys are known for that kind of stuff," she added giggling.
"I don't think so. I mean, maybe, but I think he's as nervous as I am. I don't think he's had much experience either."
"I can't imagine that. I bet back in Cally he had lots of girls and guys hanging around him."
"He doesn't talk about having that many friends back there. He told me he was sort of a loner, and I thought maybe he was as confused as I was, and that's why he was that way."
"Well, I hope things work out for you two."
"There was something else dad and I talked about. It's sorta what you and me have talked about. About telling Chris and Bruce that I'm, you know? Gay."
"And what did he say?"
"Same as you, that if they're really my friends they'll be cool with it."
"Thank you!" she muttered to the Heavens, "bout' time someone listened to me. So are you going to tell them?"
"Yeah, but first I want to make sure this thing with Leon is real, and what it all means."
"Okay, that works, but one way or the other you need to come clean, okay?"
"Yeah, I promise. Well, I got to do some chores then I'm off to Leon's. Wish me luck."
"Luck," she said, her smile coming through the phone, "and Dougie, I love you, and if that boy hurts you...well, he just better not," she growled.
Doug laughed, "Thanks sis, but I don't think that's gonna happen. I'll call you tomorrow and tell you how things worked out."
"You better, bye now. Love ya'."
"Love you too," Doug said, then the phone went dead and he sat looking at it for a while before jumping up to finish his chores.
Around noon Leon pulled up in his Honda Civic and beeped his horn. Doug had been waiting for him and he grabbed his gym bag and headed out the door, making sure to lock it behind him. He was grinning as he climbed in beside Leon, but his pulse was racing and he had butterflies in his stomach.
"Hi, ready for some fun?"
"Yeah, thanks for inviting me."
"Your dad give you any hassle over spending the night?"
"No reason, just wondering since I'm older and all."
"He's cool with it," Doug said, not going into any detail at the moment.
"Oh, by the way, my rents had to go into the city to look at a property and will be staying over at a hotel there, so we got the place to ourselves. We'll order some pizza later and swim all night if you want."
"Yeah, sounds good," Doug said, wondering if Leon knew all along that his parents would be gone overnight. Maybe Leon was only interested in sex and that's why he'd never expressed any feelings for him.
"What's wrong, you're cool with us being alone, right?" Leon said, noticing Doug's mood.
"What, yeah...course, just thinking about something."
"I'm not gonna molest you," Leon teased.
I almost wish he would, Doug thought, at least I'd get something out of the deal.
"Didn't say you were," Doug said grinning, "but who says I won't molest you?" he teased.
"Oh, well...can't molest the willing," Leon said grinning.
So Leon was either up for sex, or just teasing, and Doug couldn't figure out which. But damn it, he wasn't looking for sex, just a boyfriend, or at least some kind of relationship. Oh sure, he wanted sex at some point, but he really wanted to get to know the boy that he eventually lost his virginity too, and he was hoping that boy would be Leon.
They arrived then, and Doug's thoughts were put on hold. Leon suggested Doug go drop off his bag in his bedroom and Doug followed Leon up to the now familiar room with it's king sized bed and huge flat screen TV with an attached gaming system. When they weren't swimming or boarding they'd spent a lot of time here playing Tony Hawk, or other similar games on the big screen and talking about this and that.
"Where will I be sleeping?" Doug said, looking around as if this was his first visit.
"I get the side next to the wall, so that side is yours," Leon said pointing, "you cool with sleeping with me?"
"Uh, yeah...sure. You already said you weren't going to molest me," Doug joked.
"I did, didn't I?" Leon mused, "Well, I'm also a big fat liar," he laughed.
"Not fat," Doug mumbled, "just right."
"What?" Leon said spinning around.
"Nothing, let's go swim."
"Good idea. Hey," Leon said, getting a devilish look in his eyes, "since the rents aren't home and it's private out there, why don't we go skinny dipping?"
"Huh? I don't know. What if someone sees us and calls the cops?"
"Dude, it's private property and the fence around the back yard is 8 feet tall. No one is gonna see us. Heck, I swim nude all the time when the rents are gone."
"Come on! We can undress by the pool. I'll grab some towels."
Doug's real concern wasn't that a neighbor might see them naked, it was his fear that Leon would see him naked, and that he'd pop a boner and embarrass himself. He'd had enough problems keeping his erection under control while they were clothed, albeit Leon's clothing left little to the imagination, but with him naked any control would obviously be lost.
"Come on Doug," Leon said stripping off his tank top and tossing it on the deck, "last one has to kiss the other guy's butt," he teased.
Doug wasn't sure how that was a bad thing, either way, but if Leon was serious, there would be no way he'd be able to maintain control whether he was the kisser or the receiver. He quickly stripped off his usual black tee, this one with a picture of a skateboard flying through the air, and toed off his shoes before ripping off his socks.
Leon was down to his underwear now, and they were nice ones, Doug noted, blue CK's that fit him in all the right places. Taking a deep breath, Doug unbuttoned his cargo shorts, and grabbing the waistbands of both shorts and undies, he stripped them off in a flourish before Leon had his underwear off.
Doug almost tripped over the discarded garments as he ran toward the pool, then knifed into the cool blue water just as Leon finally managed to drop his boxer briefs.
"Hey, you must want your butt kissed pretty bad," Leon chuckled as he swam up beside Doug.
"Naw, I knew you were only kidding, I just wanted to get wet and...um, out of sight."
"No man, I was serious," Leon insisted, "so hike that keaster up here and let me plant my lips on it."
"Are you serious," Doug said in horror.
"Yeah, what are you afraid of? I'm the one doing the kissing."
"It's okay, you don't have to."
"What if I want to?" Leon asked grinning.
"Do it underwater then," Doug suggested, at least he wouldn't have to get out and reveal that he was totally hard now.
"Okay, I can do that," Leon said taking a deep breath before disappearing beneath the water.
Suddenly Doug felt Leon's hands on his hips, and his cock throbbed even harder as he felt Leon press his lips against his right butt cheek. Leon then released some air causing bubbles that tickled Doug's skin and caused him to shiver.
When Leon came up for air Doug turned away to hide his excitement, but Leon had already gotten quite an eyeful from below.
Leon laughed, "It's cool dude. No need to be embarrassed, you got some nice junk down there."
"Uh, thanks, you too," Doug said, blushing bright red.
"Why are you so shy?" Leon asked, sounding serious now.
"I'm not, I just...I'm not used to being naked, that's all."
"You know people make way too big a deal out of being naked? We're born naked, and it's...like natural. So why do we have laws that say it's not okay? I think it's fucked up myself."
"Are you and your folks naturists or something?" Doug wondered.
"Naw, my folks aren't that cool," Leon laughed, "only time they're naked is when they're in bed having hot nasty monkey sex," he joked.
"Ewww...I don't need to hear about that," Doug said making a face.
"Sorry dude, but everyone does it. That's how you got here, right?" Leon laughed.
"Really?" Doug said, pretending to be shocked, "My dad said they got me at the baby store."
"Hmm...well, they sure picked a good one then," Leon said grinning.
"Wanna race me to the other end?" Doug said after a few minutes, thinking swimming might take his mind off Leon's sexy body.
"Sure, that boner of yours can act as a rudder," he teased, causing Doug to look down.
"Oh shit, when did that happen?" he said before he could stop himself.
"Well, it probably happened when you saw my hot bod," Leon said, smiling mischievously.
"It just happens," Doug mumbled, "I feel like a perv or something," he said trailing off and looking miserable.
"Oh Dougie," Leon said moving closer and laying a hand on the younger boy's shoulder, "I didn't mean to embarrass you, and really...I don't mind. In fact I'm sort of flattered that you find me sexy enough to pitch wood over."
Leon sighed, "How long have we been friends now?"
"Uh, well that depends on whether you count last summer or just since you moved back," Doug said looking confused.
"Okay, let's just count this summer, two months now, is that about right?"
Doug nodded, what is he getting at? he wondered.
"And even after all that time, all the swimming, the boarding, the video games, hanging out, eating burgers and pizza, after all that, you still don't feel comfortable enough around me to pop a boner?"
Doug lowered his eyes to Leon's chest, but even that was sexy, and he quickly jerked his head up.
"I...I need to tell you something," Doug said, looking ready to cry, "and when I do you might not want to be my friend anymore."
"Dude, there is nothing you could tell me that would change how I feel about you. Relax, tell me what it is and we'll deal with it."
"I'm sorry," Doug said, "can we at least dry off and put our clothes back on first. Then if I need to go I will."
"I should keep you naked, then you wouldn't be able to run off, but okay...whatever you say. Come on, but as soon as you're done we're gonna swim some more, okay?"
Doug nodded, "If you still want to."
Doug's erection had gone away once he'd realized what he was about to do, and in fact his balls were trying to climb up inside him to hide from what was about to go down. He hadn't planned on this, but when he thought about it he was sure this was the right time and the right thing to do.
They dried off and slipped their underwear back on, and Leon suggested they go to his room to talk. Doug wanted to get completely dressed first, but Leon insisted it was a waste of time and Doug finally gave in. As he followed Leon up the stairs to his room he wasn't even tempted to sneak a peek at his backside, even though he knew it was as gorgeous as the rest. Seeing it would only make it harder to forget Leon if things went wrong.
"Sit down here beside me," Leon said, patting the bed next to him as he took a seat.
Doug nodded and sat down, making sure he kept a reasonable distance between them.
"Okay, no rush, but when you're ready..."
"Okay, well...there's no easy way to say this I guess, so I'll just say it then...I'm gay."
"Well duh!" Leon laughed, causing Doug to do a double take.
Was he making fun of him, or had he known all along?
"So am I dude," Leon said feeling the need to explain, "and I got those vibes from you that first night we met. Why do you think I drug you off in the corner and wouldn't let anyone near you?" he chuckled.
"I guess I was hoping that was why, but dude, you're so hot, so perfect. I didn't think I'd stand a chance with someone like you, even if you were into dudes."
"Dougie," Leon said, scooting closer and lifting Doug's chin with a single finger, "You are so cute it hurts, and I've seen that body of yours, and it's smokin' hot. But even if you were fat and ugly, I'd still like you that way, because of what's inside you. You're a beautiful person," he said tears stinging his eyes.
"You mean it?" Doug said, his own tears gathering for the shower that was only minutes away.
"Dude, I wanna' kiss you sooo bad, can I?"
"O...okay," Doug said shakily, "but I've never kissed a boy before."
"It's easy, want me to show you how?"
Doug nodded, tears of happiness running down his cute face as his eyes locked with Leon's.
"Okay, here goes," Leon said, tilting his head and leaning in till their lips met.
At first it was a dry and awkward kiss, but soon Doug began to warm up, and lips parted, and tongues traced those lips, and eventually sought out each other and dueled in the dance of love.
"Oh man," Doug said breathlessly as they broke the kiss.
"Nice huh?" Leon said grinning, "And now you have a good reason for that," he said, pointing at the tent in Doug's underwear.
But this time Doug wasn't embarrassed, in a way he thought it was sort of a compliment to get that excited from something as simple as a kiss.
"Yeah, well...looks like you have the same problem," Doug noted, grinning like the Cheshire cat.
"You don't know how many of these I've had just thinking about you," Leon confessed, "and how many socks I've filled up wishing it was your hand doing that to me."
"Oh God, me too," Doug admitted, "but...I've never done anything with a boy before."
"Not even when you were younger, with your buds?"
"Well, yeah, but that was just playing around, nothing serious."
"Did you mess around with Bruce?" Leon said grinning.
"Uh, well...I don't know if I should name names..."
"It's okay, you just did," Leon chuckled, "besides, I know he liked that stuff, cause we did some messing around together back when I was around 13."
"That was about the same time we..." Doug stopped himself before he went too far, "Oh, yeah...I guess that makes sense, being cousins and all."
Leon smiled, "Bruce is a sweet kid. Does he know about you?"
Doug shook his head almost violently, "No, neither does Chris, only Marj knows that I'm gay."
"And she's cool with it," Leon stated, "figures, girls are always cool with us gay boys."
"I've been waiting for just the right time to tell them, but it just never seems to work out."
"I think you're stalling. Why is that? Is it cause you're afraid you'll lose them?"
Doug nodded, "I've known them almost my whole life, they're more than just friends, they're like family."
"And I bet they feel the same way. So, all the more reason to tell them. If they're as close as you say they are, they'll be cool with it. If not, well...that's their problem."
"I know you're right, but man, I just don't want things to change between us because of this."
"Why should they?" Leon said, moving a little closer and cuddling Doug against him.
God that feels good, Doug thought, closing his eyes and reveling in the feel of Leon's warm soft skin against his.
"I don't know. I just worry too much I guess."
Leon laughed, "You think? Well, look how all that worrying about me turned out? Now we're practically boyfriends," Leon said, looking at Doug to gauge his reaction to that idea.
Doug's eyes searched Leon's handsome face for some sign of sincerity and he saw something there that surprised him. Despite being so handsome, and sexy, and self assured, he looked nervous and vulnerable as he gazed back at Doug.
"Was that a proposal?" Doug said grinning.
Leon smiled, "Sort of, but I should do it properly. Wait here," Doug watched as Leon rose, and this time he allowed his eyes to roam over the beautiful boy's backside and every part of him.
Fishing something from the top of his dresser, he returned to where Doug sat and dropped to one knee. Then taking the hand of a very surprised 15 year old boy, Leon produced his class ring and slipped it on Doug's finger.
"Will you be my boyfriend?" Leon said, his voice full of emotion.
Doug stared at the ring and the tears he'd been trying to hold back came gushing forth.
"Yes, yes, yes," he said, and then Leon leaned in and kissed him full on the mouth.
They finally made it back to the pool a few hours later, but not till they'd talked, and cuddled, and kissed, but so far nothing more had happened. Leon was fine with letting Doug take the lead and decide when they moved to the next level. Leon was sure it wouldn't be long though, if the tent in Doug's shorts was any indication of what the boy was thinking, but he was patient, and besides, Doug was worth waiting for.
They swam, called in Pizza and ate by the pool, then piled into a single lounge chair and cuddled and kissed till darkness fell. Doug was nervous about sleeping with Leon that night, but Leon had assured him that nothing would happen until Doug was ready.
But as you may have guessed, horny 15 year old boys aren't known for their patience, and though Doug wasn't ready for full blown sex, he saw no danger in some mutual masturbation and grinding together while kissing. They weren't at the oral stage yet, but that too would come with time, however it would be almost a year before they made love, giving in to each other completely.
It was while they were cuddled up, recovering from a very intense orgasm, that they came up with the plan that was now about to unfold at the skate park.
A cool breeze brushed the three friends' bodies as they traveled up the sidewalk headed toward the river and the skate park. Bruce was pushing the basket with Doug's board and the Nikon camera in it, and every now and then Doug would remind him to take it easy with the camera or they'd all be in big trouble. The camera was his dad's favorite, and a very expensive one, and just the thing for what Doug had in mind today.
He was meeting Leon there again, and this time he was bringing his three best friends. If he and Leon were going to be boyfriends, it would be important for everyone involved to get along. He already knew Marjorie was on board, and of course Bruce was Leon's cousin, and he figured Chris wouldn't be a problem since the boy pretty much liked everyone.
"Are you gonna send the pics in to some magazine?" Chris asked.
"I might, once I have them downloaded I'm gonna show them to dad and see what he thinks."
"Why not just take em' with your phone?" Chris wanted to know.
"I could, the quality is there, but not the special effects. I can really get some cool action shots with the Nikon, like when guys are in the air and stuff."
"Yeah, that would be cool. I guess you and Leon been working on some stuff, huh?" Bruce asked, "you guys been hanging out a lot," he added, sounding as if he might be a little jealous.
"Yeah, I spend time with you guys too," Doug said in defense.
"Whoa, dude," Chris said holding up a hand, "no one is dissing you for hangin' with Leon. We don't own you," he chuckled.
"Yeah, I know...sorry," Doug said hanging his head.
"What is it man, are you okay?" Bruce asked, feeling bad about his previous comment.
"No, I'm cool," Doug lied, "just thinking, that's all."
"Uh oh, he's thinking," Chris said in a high pitched excited voice, "here it comes folks, I can see the light bulb over his head starting to glow...oh, oh...here it goes...OMG it exploded," he said dissolving into giggles.
"Very funny Chris, very funny. Just cause you're in the dark all the time, oops, no light bulbs for Chris," Doug joked.
"Ahhhhhhgggg...he got me," Chris said feigning a stab wound, "right to the heart. Medic!"
"You boys," Marjorie said smiling, "why do I put up with you three?"
"Cause you love us," Bruce said sincerely, "and we love you."
"Well, there's that," Marjorie said grinning, "I could do worse."
"Yeah, you could be surrounded by a pack of man hungry girls," Chris offered, "and if that ever happens, send some my way."
"Man hungry, not boy hungry," Bruce teased.
"Shut it, I bet I'm more man than you," Chris said, posing and flexing his biceps.
"It's not that muscle that girls are interested in," Bruce said grabbing his crotch, "it's this one."
"Bruce!" Doug warned, "Not in front of Marj."
"Oh pooh Dougie," Marjorie said shaking her head, "I'm not gonna faint from hearing a boy brag about his best friend," she added giggling.
"You got that right," Bruce said grinning, "It is my best friend, and soon to be some pretty, sexy girls' best friend too."
"Oh man, I'm gonna barf," Chris said making gagging noises.
"Jealous," Bruce said, flipping Chris off, once again.
It was not quite eleven, but the skate park already had a few boarders and bikers plying the course. A red haired biker named Tony was executing a midair flip off the high ramp just as the four friends entered the gate.
"Damn, wish I'd gotten here a minute sooner, I'd have gotten a pic of that."
"Ask him to do it again." Marjorie suggested, "Or I could, he's kind of cute."
"He's dangerous, stay away from him," Chris teased, "I hear he likes to love em' and leave em'."
"That's 90% of the boys in school," Marjorie said, "so what's the big deal?"
"Just sayin'...don't come running to me when you're heart is broken and your rep is ruined."
"Which reminds me, why is it okay for a boy to loose his virginity, and everyone says what a stud he is, but if a girl loses hers she's a slut?"
"I don't know. I don't think that way, do you guys?" Doug offered.
"Naw, if Marj got her V card punched, I'd throw her a party," Bruce said grinning.
"Well...thanks, I guess," Marjorie said, rolling her eyes.
"We're like your big brothers, so we don't like to think about that stuff, but if anyone ever messes with you..." Bruce growled, "we'll neuter him."
"Oh please," Marjorie scoffed, "I can take care of myself, and I'd do the neutering."
"Way to go sis," Bruce howled.
Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of screeching wheels and a blue Mercedes pulling up in the lot on the other side of the chain link fence they were hanging on.
"It's Leon, he drove his dad's car," Doug said, stating the obvious.
"Hi guys," Leon said smiling brightly, "I got the old man's car, and afterwards I'm taking you guys out for pizza."
"Cool," Bruce said, wagging his eyebrows comically, "I knew I liked you for some reason."
"Maybe cause we're cousins?" Leon suggested.
"Oh yeah, that too," Bruce said grinning.
"So, what's the plan?" Leon asked as he threw his board on the cement deck and jumped on it.
"Why don't you warm up some, then I'll get some action shots of you and some of the other guys."
"And we need some of you too. You're damn good," Leon said smiling warmly, "show Chris or Bruce how to use the camera."
"Hey, what about me?" Marjorie sulked, "I already know how to use it."
"Yeah, she's right," Doug said nodding, "she's my backup. Bruce is all thumbs, and Chris can't even take a decent pic with his phone," Doug teased.
Doug somehow managed to get Leon aside and they talked about their plan. Doug was nervous, but was committed to follow through. With Leon by his side, supporting and reassuring him that everything would work out, he was finally ready to take some risks and stop living in fear.
"Did they notice the ring?"
"So far I've managed to keep it hidden," Doug said grinning, "I kinda wish I'd told Marj first, but this will probably be best. She might have given it away. You know how girls are?" Doug said rolling his eyes.
Leon laughed, "Yeah, they make a big deal out of everything. OH, wait...it is a big deal!" Leon said, his eyes sparkling with delight. "I can't wait to see their faces."
"Well, first let's take some pics. After all, I did borrow my dad's camera for this."
"Okay, let's do it."
Leon was amazing as usual, and after he'd warmed up a few minutes, Doug began to take pics. He followed him around the course, perching at the top of ramps, or in the valley of the half pipes, and got some really amazing action shots. He was lucky enough to get some pictures of some of the other boys there as well, including the red haired cyclist who seemed to be showing off for the camera, or maybe for Marj.
"Okay, now give the camera to Marj and get out here with me," Leon said as he rolled to a stop at Doug's feet.
"Okay, give me a sec to get my pads on."
While Doug got ready, Leon grabbed a drink and chatted with the other two boys while Marjorie took her place on the course.
"Ready," Doug said, "let's show em' some real tricks."
"Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids, ," Leon joked.
Doug laughed a little louder than the joke deserved, but he was one happy teenage boy, and he couldn't contain his enthusiasm for life.
Marjorie was just as enthusiastic when it came to scrambling around and taking shots of the boys, and she wound up with some very good pics that afternoon.
When the two boys finally rolled up to join the others, Doug grabbed the camera and pulled up the pics they'd taken so everyone could see them. Only one of the pics turned out blurry, and that was one Doug had taken and he deleted it.
"Marj, you did a great job. You really got some great pics. That one of us sailing over your head is epic."
"I like taking pictures, and you guys were amazing out there."
"Okay, okay," Bruce said at last, "I'm gonna barf if you guys don't stop talking nice to each other."
Everyone laughed, but when the laughter had died down Doug decided it was time to move on to the next order of business.
"Okay guys," Doug began, "taking pictures wasn't the only reason I wanted you all here today," he said, noting all eyes were on him now, "Leon and I have something we want to tell you guys."
He could see the look on Marjorie's face that said she had things figured out already, but he pretended not to notice and went on.
"As you know, Leon and I have become really good friends lately, and I want you guys to know that that doesn't change how I feel about you. You're like family to me, and I love you guys, but..."
"But what?" Bruce teased, "you don't like our butts?"
"Shut it Butt breath," Chris said sounding annoyed. He thought he knew what Doug was getting at, but he had to be sure.
Bruce didn't even flip Chris off this time, instead he bowed his head and waited for Doug to continue.
"I've worried about this for a long time," Doug said, "about what it would mean to tell you guys who I really am, and how I really feel, but thanks to Leon, and Marj, and my dad, I've decided that the time is right. Guys, I know this may be hard to believe, but...I'm gay."
"Well, no shit Sherlock," Bruce said laughing, "Dude, do you think we're stupid? I've known for a long time."
"Why didn't you say anything?" Doug said, feeling confused and let down.
"Cause it's your business. I have to admit I'm a little pissed that you waited this long to tell us, but I'm cool with it."
"Yeah, I pretty much thought that was what you were gonna tell us," Chris admitted, "I mean, no offense, but it's hard not to notice how you and Leon look at each other, and how you act sometimes."
Leon laughed, "So much for our big secret, but there is one more thing. Show them Doug."
Doug was beaming as he proudly held out his hand for them to see the class ring, the sparkling blue jewel surrounded by a tiger's head, the school mascot. Marj moved in first, taking Doug's hand and fawning over it.
"Oh My god, you did not get engaged," she swooned.
"No, silly, we're just boyfriends," Doug chuckled, "we're too young for that."
"Really, is this a thing?" Bruce said rolling his eyes, "giving someone your class ring?"
"Yes, but usually you give it to a girl, dufus," Chris said shaking his head.
"Oh, yeah...I knew that. Well, congratulations, I guess," Bruce said, unsure of what to say or do.
"Can I get a bro hug?" Doug said grinning.
"Sure," Bruce said smiling, and soon Chris and Marjorie moved in to join them.
"You guys are my best friends in the whole world, and I'm so happy that I can be honest about who I am now and share my life with you totally."
"Yeah, it's cool," Bruce said, "come on Leon, get in here cuz. I always thought you were a little queer," he laughed.
"Not too little," Doug said, then blushed, "and not queer, gay."
"Yeah, sorry. Guess I'm not always politically correct, but I am cool with you guys."
"So now what?" Chris asked as he pulled away, "are we still the four amigos, or are we the five amigos now?"
"I guess that's up to you guys," Leon said looking dejected, "as long as I get some time with my BF I'll be okay."
"I say he's in," Marjorie said, hugging Leon and kissing his cheek, "God you are so sexy, but if I gotta lose out to a boy, I'm glad it's my bro Dougie."
"Yeah, all for one...," Chris said holding his hand out. Soon all five hands were joined and on the count of three they threw them up and finished with, "and one for all!"
"I believe there was mention of some Pizza," Bruce said, looking sheepish, and everyone laughed.
Nothing had changed, and yet everything had. It was a new beginning for two, and a new and strengthened relationship for the four old friends.
This story is part of the 2020 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Sofa Skater". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 31 January to 21 February is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the challenge home page.
The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:
The picture is provided here under the doctrine of 'fair use' which is believed to apply. It is not the site's intent to infringe copyright. Copyright owners considering that this does not apply to their work should enter into dialogue with the webmaster by email [for their convenience they may use the submissions email address]. Items where copyright is asserted will either be taken down, or attribution made, at the copyright holder's choice.
Authors deserve your feedback. It's the only payment they get. If you go to the top of the page you will find the author's name. Click that and you can email the author easily.* Please take a few moments, if you liked the story, to say so.
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address (it goes directly to your clipboard without having the courtesy of mentioning that to you) to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. Note: If the email address pastes or arrives with %40 in the middle, replace that weird set of characters with an @ sign.]
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