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On Earth Peace, Good will toward men, except Evan

by Toby Johnston

Chapter 2

Rejoice, Rejoice, for unto Vil a boyfriend comes!

I hit mom up the next morning as she drove me to Choir practice. I had to explain the whole Home Dating concept, but she latched on pretty quick. She suggested dinner and a movie—a solid high school date option. She would help me make a dinner just for us (I do have my Cooking Badge, so I have some skills!); and then we could watch a movie up in my room. Then of course she had to be funny mom, and started making comments about leaving my door open, when I had to have Evan 'back' from the date, and curfew. She quieted down when I brought up her and dad on the couch when I dragged Evan home!

After I got back from my afternoon ski practice and showered, I convinced Evan to go back over to the school to meet with Mr. Ableburn while I prepped for our Home Date. I hauled a card table up to my room and covered it with a nice cloth to dress it up. Then snagged some candles from our outdoor supplies and some extra Christmas lights for atmosphere. Movie choice was obvious—Die Hard, a classic Christmas tale!

Mom and I thawed a couple of venison steaks to cook up on the grill; then she helped me make a tasty peppercorn sauce to go with. Baked potatoes and peas completed the approved high school boy menu! Mom even let me take a half bottle of red wine to serve—admonishing me not to drink and drive (she's so funny!). I timed it all to coincide with Evan's anticipated return and was off my only a few minutes. I met him at the door—wearing grey flannels, a button-down, and loafers (having checked his closet to make sure he had similar!)—and directed him to his room to get ready.

I was on pins and needles in my room, waiting for Evan's knock from the bathroom door. Food on the table and covered. Candles and Christmas lights alight. Extra pillows already propped on my bed for the movie. I kept looking around the room to see if I needed to put anything else away. I was beginning to wonder if he'd gotten lost on his way through the bathroom, but finally Evan knocked on my door.

Grinning from ear to ear, I swung open the door and ushered him into my abode. He'd taken off his bandage early, and his eyes grew wide and his smile wider as he scanned the room. I couldn't have asked for a better compliment, and he hadn't even said anything yet!

Finally, he gasped, "Vil, this is amazing—the lights, the candles, the table, you."

I felt my knees kind of trembling and was thankful when he reached out, set his hands on my non-existent hips, and pulled me in close. In his familiar way (which was quickly becoming one of my favorites), he slid his hands all the way up my sides to my cheeks, tilted my head up and started giving me soft kisses. I just melted into his solid body, sigh.

I could have been totally lost in those kisses, but being the cook, I knew we had to sit down to dinner before it got too cool, so I pulled back and ushered Evan to his seat. With a proud flourish, I swept away the cloches to reveal my venison steak smothered in peppercorn sauce.

Evan's interest was piqued. He leaned in and drew a deep breath, "Smells incredible. What have you made?"

"Venison steaks with a cracked peppercorn sauce! And we even have a little wine to go with it."

Evan shook his head, "I've never had either—this is going to be a treat!"

In short order, we dug in and made short work of our feast—after all, we're teenagers, it's not like we dwell over it. Evan was effusive in his praise—venison was a definite add to his future menu choices; he thought the peppercorn sauce was amazing; and who doesn't love a baked potato! In between stuffing our faces, we actually had a really nice discussion about his artwork. He gave me a full rundown of Mr. Ableburn's thoughts about his work, confirming that he wanted Evan to take his course in the spring. A good number of the pictures from the backyard were salvageable, and Mr. Ableburn had even showed Evan techniques he could use to cover some damaged areas.

More interesting for me, Evan really opened up about his early interest in art, encouraged by his mom. How they used to go out to the countryside and pick out interesting landscapes. How she taught him to work with charcoals and pastels. He'd continued it after she died, but had to kind of do it in secret to keep it from his dad. He guessed his dad finally discovered his art stash the same time he found the porn. I got really excited when he shared that he was thinking of studying art in college—maybe being a teacher or artist, or both. I was starting to learn more about my true boyfriend! (I also got real worried thinking about his eye, what if the blurred visions didn't heal. How could he still draw?)

We cleared the table down to the kitchen—successfully staying clear of the 'rents to preserve our Home Date sanctity and then went back to my room for the movie. Evan suggested we change into 'something more comfortable' for the movie which was definitely a good idea.

In sweats and t-shirts, we snuggled into my bed and started the movie. If you haven't seen Die Hard, you should, it's an oldie but a goodie—we actually watched the movie, or at least most of it. Don't worry, there was a lot of kissing and caressing going on even when we were watching—we were definitely in 'the back row' of the theater! We spent most of the movie with our hands up inside each other's t-shirt, gently playing with our chests and abs—God I loved every second of that!

It was our first official date though, so Evan was insistent we be 'good boys' and not go further 'arrgh!'. He did allow that it was completely acceptable, and indeed expected, that we both would jerk off when we went to bed, reliving the fun of the date—'right? All boys do that!'

When it was time to go to bed, we playfully made a pass by mom and dad's room to say good night and check in for curfew. I thought we were in the clear until dad, without even looking up from his book, offered up, "Safety tip Vil, when delivering one's date home to the parents, it was best if one didn't appear in a different set of clothes than what one wore on the outset of the date." (his words not mine!).

We laughed all the way back to Evan's room. There we did say good night. I was hoping he'd ask me to spend the night—you know, just in case he had another nightmare—but he said he wanted to try it on his own. Okay, I wasn't happy about that, but I completely understood it. I gave him and extra tight hug to tide him over for the night, not letting go until he peeled me off. He did agree that I could come running if he called out; I didn't tell him, but I was sleeping naked that night just in case!

In the end, I slept peacefully that night; more importantly, so did Evan. No nightmares. No six years of psycho dad. No Prick trying to kill him instead of supporting him. I went to bed with a huge smile on my face—mostly from the success of my first Home Date; partly from the awesome orgasm I'd had, reliving Evan's toying with my nipples and tracing the grooves of my abs (have I mentioned that I love being touched—everywhere)!

I did sneak into his room in the morning and slid in under the covers (with my sweatpants on) to spoon him. At first, he kind of murmured 'good morning', grabbed my arm and pulled it tightly around him. But he quickly shifted, rolling over to face me—our noses just touching, our legs intertwined. He gave me the most heart melting smile as his fingers traced across my jawline.

"That was the best date of my entire life," he murmured, "It couldn't have been more magical."

My smile actually got bigger, if that were possible, "Ditto. But it was also my first date ever, so I guess by definition it's the best…and the worst."

He laughed, "If all our worst dates are that awesome, I'll be a very happy boy!"

I leaned in close for a kiss, but he pulled back, putting his hand over his mouth, "Morning breath!"

I pushed his hand away and pressed ahead, "I don't care. I love everything about you, even your morning breath!"

We made out and snuggled for a little while before I had to drag myself out of bed to get ready for my last pre-Christmas choir practice. Evan laughed and gave my tented sweats a nice squeeze as I rolled out of the bed—a move which came very close to convincing me to roll right back in. I did have to take care of things in the shower, or I'd never make it through the day!

Quickly dressing, I dragged Evan out of bed so I could strip the sheets while he showered. Oliver and Maria would be flying in today, so we had to return Evan's room to Oliver for the duration. Not that Evan or I were complaining, as that meant Evan was officially sleeping in my room (yea!). Now I have a really good reason to want my brother home for Christmas (just kidding, he's pretty cool as oldest brother's go)! We remade the bed with a fresh set of sheets, shifted a bunch of Evan's stuff over to my room, and tromped downstairs for breakfast.

After I finished up with Choir practice, I met dad and Evan out front of St Stephan's and we headed north to the Burlington airport to pick up the siblings. They were both in college in New York City—Oliver a senior and Maria a sophomore. Mom or dad had briefed them up on the whole Evan-situation, so there were no awkward questions when they met him, okay, maybe a few 'arrrgh pirate jokes'! Turns out Maria had been a senior when Evan started his freshman year, and actually knew who he was given his sports phenom status—so that was cool.

Mom had lunch all laid out when we rolled in, and we all sat around the kitchen table catching up on the end of Oliver's and Maria's fall semester. My sibs were really good about pulling Evan into the conversation without bringing up the circumstances of his staying with us. I have to admit, I was secretly proud that they were so adept; and equally proud that Evan was fully engaged (man, I could never have done that if I had been in his shoes!). He did seem to be a bit overwhelmed at times with the rapid flow of the family discussion. I figured it was good 'training' for Christmas day when the extended Järvinen family would descend on our home!

As we broke up, I jumped in and helped Olly (my pet name for him, I'd had trouble with 'Oliver' when I was little) carry his gear up to his room. Hidden agenda, I wanted to try to head off his getting upset that he'd kind of been displaced. I was worried for no reason; he was totally cool about the situation.

He did take the opportunity to focus on other issues, "I seriously can't believe that mom and dad are letting you shack up with your boyfriend. I never would have gotten away with that when I was in high school!"

I tried to mount a defense, "We're not shacking up! We both have separate rooms!"

I got 'the look', "Yeah right. Separate rooms with a shared bathroom, so you can visit, without scrutiny! Have you slept in the same bed? Have you 'snuggled', made out, fooled around during the day?"

I blushed furiously, "Well, yes to all of that, but…"

He triumphantly held up his hand, "I've heard enough—guilty as charged. Remember little bro, when you're explaining you're losing! Better not keep me up all night while you're doing it! Are you at least quiet; or are you moaners and screamers?!"

I bushed furiously, not believing that I was having this discussion with Olly, "What no! Wait, I didn't mean no 'we're not quiet'; I meant no we're not 'doing it'!"

He looked at me funny for a minute, "Oh wait, you're serious? You're not doing it? I thought gay guys did it all the time! You know, horny guys?!"

"It's not like that Olly. I mean yeah, we do stuff, but we're not just jumping right into sex. We're getting to know each other. You know, like a relationship thing."

His eyes got really big all of a sudden, "Oh my God! You're in love with him!"

I jumped across the space between us, slapping my hand over his mouth, hissing, "Shut-up! Don't say that out loud. It's too soon! You'll fuck everything up!"

"Umkwhdnhivtmeh". Olly tried to talk, but I wouldn't take my hand away; until he licked it!

"Ugh gross, you licked my hand!"

"Oh, get over it, Vil. You and your boyfriend are swapping way more spit than that!"

I smirked, "Yeah, but he's my boyfriend, you're my brother!"

Olly went and sat on the edge of the bed, patting next to him, "Com'ere, Vil. Sit."

He slid his arm around my shoulder when I settled in next to him; just like he'd always done when we were little. Like I said, as big brother's go, I'd lucked out with Olly. He'd always been my hero. Six years older than me, I'd grown up with him looking out for me as much as my parents did (probably not, but it seemed that way).

"Do you really think you're in love with him, Vil?" he asked gently.

I nodded, my eyes tearing up with emotion, "Not think, Olly, I know. I've been in love with him since the 7th grade; but now, as real boyfriends, it's just like exploded inside me. I think about him all the time. I miss him horribly if we're not together; like part of me is missing. I'm the happiest guy when we're together—I feel safe, loved, whole. I'm able to tell him things about me I couldn't ever share with anyone else."

Olly, gave a little chuckle, "Sounds like you got it bad little bro, I'm jealous. He must be a very special guy. Are you sure he feels the same way about you? Because you know Maria says he has a bit of a reputation."

I nodded with absolute conviction, "He does, maybe more if that's possible. That rep is BS. It's 'cause of his dad. He's really the sweetest, most sensitive guy. He's an artist, you should see his pictures!"

He gave my shoulder a big squeeze, "We'll have to see if this guy can pass big brother's approval! Are his intentions honorable and all that?'

"Olly, my intentions aren't honorable. I sure as hell hope his aren't! Be nice to him please?!"

"Don't worry Vil. I'll be nice. But you know I have to look out for you; it's in my big bro job description. I love you."

"Love you too Olly. I gotta go though, rescue my boyfriend from the ladies."

I found Evan still in the kitchen with mom and Maria. He gave me a plaintive look as I appeared in the kitchen doorway, so I figured I was just in time! "Ok, inquisition over. I'm here to rescue Evan. We're going to head out and take a walk in to woods. Work off lunch."

I led Evan to a walking trail into the woods, roughly paralleled my ski route, that would give us about an hour outside of the house. "I'm sorry. They can be a little overwhelming sometimes. They mean well."

Evan smiled, "It's all good. It can be a little overwhelming, but it's really nice actually. I like your family. This sounds stupid, but you've really got a family."

I pulled off a glove and offered him my hand, Evan gave me a wry smile and did the same. We stood face to face (me looking up at him of course), "It doesn't sound stupid at all, Evan. I completely understand what you mean. It's not like you've had a family ever since your mom passed away. But that's in the past. Now you do. You're part of our family now!"

A pensive look drifted across his face, "Is that because I'm a foster, or because we're dating?"

I pursed my lips. I hadn't thought about that. My mind quickly began rifling through the range of responses to that question—the safe answer, the vague answer, the answer I really wanted to give! Finally, I just blurted out the right answer for me, "Both. For now, it might be more of the former; but I want it to be the latter!"

His face broke into that beautiful smile that just melts my heart, "I like that answer too!" Then he pulled me up on my tiptoes for a kiss. I don't know how he does, what he does, with his tongue in my mouth, but it is truly magical! Finally, we pulled apart, a thin strand of spit clinging to our connection until finally it broke and fell back against my chin. Not sure who's it was, but I wiped it off with my finger and licked it.

Evan smiled, "I'll get used to it, it's only six for a little while, then we'll be back to us and your mom and dad."

I laughed, "Well, first we have to get through the onslaught of Christmas Day, then it'll relax."

"The onslaught?"

"Oops, did I not tell you how many Järvinen's will be here Christmas Day?"

"Ummm, no. I think I would have remembered if you had mentioned an onslaught! So, how many Järvinen's is an onslaught?"

I grimaced, "Umm, 30 to 40; maybe more"

"You're shitting me! Those can't all be Järvinen's."

"Yeah, there's a ton of us here. Great Grandpa Vil had six children include my grandpa, Tomo. Grandpa's brothers were all farmers, eventually taking over great grandpa's farm—they all had kids, so lots of cousins to my dad and his siblings. You've got six of us plus grandpa and grandma, that's eight. Then you have four more aunts and uncles, plus spouses—that's another eight, so you're at sixteen. Throw in sixteen cousins and you're at thirty-two Järvinen's. Any of dad's cousins show up and you bust that number!"

"All in your house? Where do you eat?!"

"Spread out all over. It's very casual. The fire pit will be going outside, some in the living room, family room, the kitchen is always a place to congregate. Don't worry, I'll be glued to your side!"

"Vil, you don't need to babysit me."

"Nothing about babysitting; I'll be showing you off!"

Evan grinned, "I'll be happy to be your trophy boyfriend then!"

My trophy and I walked on through the winter wonderland, lightly dusted with a layer of fresh snow from last night. Out of habit, my eyes scanned the terrain as we walked, noting the small clues that nature leaves behind to tell the story of the vibrant activity in the woods that goes on when we're not there. I really wanted to share 'my woods' with Evan, and soon enough, the opportunity presented.


"What? Deer? Where?"

"Well, not deer. Deer prints. Right there. See the hoof prints, they came out of the woods here, crossed here, and went down into that draw over there. It's probably a doe and two fawns from the size of the prints. The fawns would have been born in the late spring; they'll stay with mom through the winter."

Evan just shook his head, "You can tell all that from a few impressions in the snow?"

I grinned, "Well, the impressions and a lot of knowledge about deer. They're probably hunkered down right past this little rise. There's a thicket there that they always like to use. Follow me, be really quiet!"

Evan followed, but my God he was nowhere near quiet! I'm pretty sure he found every dry stick and branch between us and the rise. It's not like it's hard to see them under the thin layer of snow! (okay, maybe in his defense he did only have one good eye right now!) When we peeked up over the rise, the doe was looking right at us—probably shaking her head and wondering how two such noisy boys could survive in the woods! The two fawns were tucked in close, sharing their body warmth against the winter cold.

We watched silently for a while, and then I motioned to Evan for us to retreat back to the trail. We didn't speak until we got a little ways down the path. When we finally did, we spoke in whispers—it just seemed right. Evan was so excited, he'd never been that close to a deer, let alone two fawns! He'd snapped a pic on his phone before we pulled back, and was going to try to recreate the scene in pastels.

Evan was beyond giddy with excitement. It reminded me of the first time Olly had taken me up to the rise to spy on the deer when we were little. We were way quieter; the deer didn't even spy us until we'd been there a while! Later, on that same expedition, Olly had shown me how to arc my pee to get more range out into the snow. We wrote our names—I think it was way easier to write 'Vil' than 'Olly'. That had been a banner day!

As we walked, I continued to point out all the tracks crisscrossing our path—rabbits, squirrels, coyotes and bobcats. Evan just shook his head, "I still can't believe how you just pick all that detail out as you walk along. I can barely see it once you point it out!"

That made me curious, I mean he's not blind—only half and that's temporary. He's obviously got great eyesight—catching passes, skating to where the puck's going to be, scoring goals against that tiny lax net. So, I asked, "What is it you see when we're walking then, if you're not seeing what I'm seeing?"

I meant it as a simple, innocent question, but I guess it wasn't. The answer became the first time I got a glimpse of the world through my boyfriend's eyes—a truly complex and awe-inspiring view! Evan paused for a minute, and then said, "Let's walk for a bit. I'll show you."

It was probably another 5 or 10 minutes before he stopped, appearing kind of lost and staring off into the woods. Then he moved behind me, pressing his chest up against my back, putting his arms around me and turning my whole body in the direction he'd been looking. He held his hands up, kind of framing a box in front of my face, "This is what I see when I look at the woods."

At first, I totally did not get it. I looked. I saw the same kinds of details I saw everywhere else: some tracks off to the left; a fallen tree with a hollow that clearly some animal was using as shelter; some plant growth that was a good sign of a water source.

Then Evan painted me a picture, with words, "You see the sunlight coming through the trees over there? How it glitters as it hits the ice on the trees. How it sparkles when it reaches all those little branches on those low-level bushes. That whole area lights up; almost like the nave of a church; and it's framed by the shade and those darker trees."

As I absorbed his words, as I relooked at the scene before me, it started to make sense. I started to see Evan's world. I think that was the very first time in my life that I realized that people see different things, and interpret things differently—I guess because they're wired differently. Now I was getting giddy. Seriously, I felt such a massive surge of happiness, I wasn't sure my body could contain it (it sort of didn't, as I sprung a serious hardon! Surge trying to get out I guess!).

Hand in hand, we continued on our walk. Mostly not talking; just enjoying being together. We kept giving each other little glances, little smiles, and little air kisses. I think we both were immersed in our own thoughts about us—I know I was! Hopefully Evan wasn't stressing too much about the pending onslaught!

We got back to the house just in time to help with dinner—the whole family of now six around the table. Evan was definitely more engaged than he had been at lunch, so I think he was settling in—good sign for Christmas Day!

That night, we shared the bathroom getting ready, then headed into the same room for the first time. Our first real night sleeping together from the start. We settled into my queen-size bed, immediately snuggling in close; Evan on his back, and me tucked in on my side. My head resting on his solid shoulder and his arm wrapped around me.

"I really enjoyed our walk today, Vil. You opened my eyes in a way I'd never thought of before. I think I've been walking through the world completely oblivious to all the little signs of the rest of the world around me."

I laughed, "I've been thinking the same thing all afternoon Evan. Well, kind of the same thing. The other side of the coin, I guess. I've been seeing all the details; and missing the bigger, more special picture. Kind of a 'missing the forest for the trees' thing."

"The two of us sort of put it all together, don't we?"

"I think we do Evan. I think we do," I gave him a gentle kiss right on the mound of his solid pec. "Hey Evan, do you think you get your view of the world from your mom?"

He took a deep breath, then slowly let it out, "I know I do. I definitely think like my mom; as opposed to the Prick. Even back when she was alive, and we were a 'normal' family; she understood me, and I understood her. It shattered my world when she died. I cried so hard; I felt so alone."

"My grandpa Tomo says 'how much it hurts when someone dies, shows how strong your love was between you when they were alive'. He also says you're never really alone. They're still with you." I pressed my hand against his chest, "Your mom is here inside you. Just like my namesake great-grandpa Vilho Balzar Järvinen is inside me—not just because of blood, but because he raised grandpa, who raised dad, and they both raised me."

I felt Evan's chest kind of bouncing up and down. At first, I thought it was because he was crying over his mom and my profound words. Then I realized he was trying not to laugh. I lifted up and looked at him.

He grinned, "Vilho Balzar?! I didn't know your full first name was Vilho, let alone that your middle name is Balzar? Where did that come from?"

"Vilho means 'determined protector'. Balzar is Scandinavian for 'Balthasar', one of the three wisemen who followed the star to Bethlehem. You know, 'we three kings of Orient are…' and all that."

"I think I might have to call you Balzar instead of Vil. Or Balz. Or Zar. So many possibilities!"

"I'm trying to have a serious discussion about your mom, and you want to play word games with my middle name?"

"Okay. Sorry, I got distracted. We can go back to my mom; but I'm not letting the middle name thing go, Balzar!" he giggled.

"So, I really want to hear about your mom. I want to hear all your stories about her."

We went through a lot of Kleenex that night (no, not because we were doing that you perv's!). There were a lot of tears—Evan's and mine (I wasn't lying when I said I cry for coffee ads!). Evan told the most beautiful stories about he and his mom: some happy; some sad; some funny; some just kind of mom-like. She had been the one to inspire his love of art, frequently taking him up into the mountains to draw and paint.

In between the stories, there was a lot of kissing and touching—but we were still good boys (arrgh!). We kept our boxer-briefs on (as much as I wanted to tear his off!). Evan had said he wanted to build our relationship first, and I wanted that more than anything else, so I wasn't going to be the one to push! Lame right? Not that I'm complaining about kissing and touching with Evan!

Christmas Eve day was the proverbial calm before the storm that would be Christmas Day itself. We actually got the day off of choir practice—rest up; no unauthorized singing or yelling; stay warm, blah, blah. I decided to take the day off from Nordic ski practice as well, so I could focus on family and Evan.

We did have Evan's first, post-hospital visit to the ophthalmologist. Mom had been taking care of the daily bandage changes, and thought his eye looked pretty good—no signs of infection. For the brief period during the change though, Evan said his vision was totally blurry in that eye. His response to my 'how many fingers am I holding up' was 'what fingers'!

I was a bit put off that mom and I had to hang out in the waiting room while Evan went in for his examination (but I guess they didn't need all of us getting in the way). Finally, a nurse came out and asked mom to come back to meet with the eye doc. I was on pins and needles, waiting for Evan and mom to come out. I could have sworn the clock on the wall was ticking backwards—and I have good eyes! Finally, they came out, smiling and chit chatting—that's a good sign, right?

It wasn't until we got in the car that Evan gave me a full rundown on his prognosis, with mom wading in on the medical specifics. Bottom line I guess was that it was still very early—and the injury was going to take a while to heal. The eye injury alone would keep him off the ice rink for the duration of the season. It was still very early, so the doctor was not surprised at the level of swelling. The blurred vision could last a long time—several weeks. I found it very disconcerting. I guess I expected him to heal a lot faster, but of course I kept my mouth shut.

From there, it was a run to the grocery store to do all of mom's last-minute shopping for tomorrow. The place was ridiculously packed with people doing the same thing we were, but my mom was a pro at this. She handled the cart, while Evan and I were tasked down specific aisles to get what she needed. It took no time for that to turn into a competition between the two of us for items garnered, shoppers dodged, and speed. Complete with enthusiastic color commentary! We got 'frowned' at a lot by the bah humbugs! Evan argued he should get an adjusted score due to his eye. I love him, but was unswayed. I waved my hand dismissively, ruling that his eye problem simply offset his height advantage!

We spent the afternoon helping mom in the kitchen (Olly and Maria had dodged the duty by disappearing to their friend's houses). We were doing all the 'advance cooking'—all the sides and things that mom wanted to cook early and put in the fridge or outside under cover until tomorrow. Evan made a couple of comments about helping his mom in the kitchen when he was little. I got the impression he really enjoyed a 'normal family activity' as well as just hanging out with mom and me. We didn't even cook any dinner—it was pizza delivery; mom was saving her energy for tomorrow!

With Christmas Eve upon us, Evan and I headed up for an early night—which as everyone knows means that Santa comes more quickly! Fully clothed, we lay in bed, channel surfing the Christmas shows. Evan was being very touchy and tender, leading to lots of kissing—meaning we really weren't paying too much attention to the Christmas shows! Pretty soon it got to be too warm, and our plaid flannel shirts sailed across the room onto the floor.

That's when Evan started in with the tickle fingers! As his fingers began to slide, ever so lightly, ever so delicately in under my t-shirt, I saw a glint of lust in his eyes that I hadn't seen before! He started in on my sides where I'm the most ticklish, leaving me gasping for breath. Then he'd give me a reprieve by shifting to my less vulnerable abs and chest—but only for a little while before he'd crank it back up again. It was like edging only with tickles (I wondered if it were possible to cum from tickling—a ticklegasm!). Interspersed with the tickles, there continued to be a lot of kisses—light, tender kisses and deep, lusty kisses. Oh, and I definitely felt one very hard Evan pressing against my hip!

Finally, I held up my hand to pause the game, triggering a look of concern on Evan's face, "Too much for you? Are you using our safe word?"

"We have a safe word?"

"We do," he grinned, "It's Balzar!"

I rolled my eyes, "You know, you might have been right when you said back in the hospital that we might discover the other is really annoying!" He just looked very self-satisfied.

But I wasn't using the safe word, 'Balzar' or otherwise. Instead, I lifted my torso and peeled off my t-shirt. Then I lay back down in just my jeans, tucked my hands behind my head (oh yeah, I knew full well that exposed my ticklish armpits with their delicate tuffs of light brown hair), and closed my eyes—waiting for the fun to resume.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I started to get nervous. My stomach twisted. Fuck, I'd pushed too far! Evan wasn't ready. Fearing what I would see, I cracked open an eye. Evan was still there (thank God!). His eyes (or I guess his one eye really, even though his patch was off) were sweeping up and down my torso.

"Do you want me to put my shirt back on?" I asked quietly.

"Wha? Oh no! Definitely no, Vil!" He smiled, "I'm just absorbing the sight of the most beautiful body I've ever seen!" Okay, that made me blush—all of my, not just my cheeks. I could feel the heat move across my chest and the back of my neck. He leaned forward and gave me a light peck on the forehead, "Close your eyes again."

I did, my whole body tensing in eager anticipation—where would Evan strike? I was so close to giggling, and he hadn't even started! I felt him shifting in the bed. Then a touch. The top of my head—probably my most totally not ticklish spot. I felt his fingers moving through my hair. Then down to my face—it wasn't a tickle, but it wasn't a massage either. His fingers glided over every feature of my face—sometimes lightly, a dusting, other times more firmly, and repeatedly.

It wasn't until he gotten past my folded arms and down to the start of my chest that I figured it out. My eyes snapped open, "You're drawing me!"

Evan beamed, "I am. My fingers are my pastels!"

I watched as he continued, now understanding that the light touches were highlights, the firmer ones the shadows. Now it was a whole other level of anticipation as I could see what was coming! He used both hands as he traced the shadow of the little valley in between my pecs, then skipped lightly over to the dark circles around my nipples.

I gasped and arched my whole body as he circled my hard little nubs. I could feel my confined cock throbbing and pressing up against my jeans. And then he pulled away, looking very concerned.

"What's wrong?"

"I screwed up this part. The shading's all wrong."

I looked down, confused. My nipples were my nipples after all; he wasn't really drawing them.

"I'm going to have to erase and redo them."

I giggled, wondering what erasing meant. I found out.

Evan leaned in and licked. And licked. And sucked. And nibbled. Holy Shit!!! I felt my cock lurch and knew I'd let loose a lot of precum (I leak a lot!). He went back and forth, back and forth, from nipple to nipple as I gasped for breath and tried, really tried, to be quiet!

Finally, he pulled back up, both of us locking eyes, panting, "I think I'm ready to retry." I just nodded; I couldn't find my tongue.

From my saliva slick nipples, he worked his way down to my abs—dusting the lobes, deeply pressing on the grooves. Me, I just writhed underneath his touch; and leaked, a ton. Then he paused. I could tell he was contemplating my obliques. I have really prominent obliques—not sure if they're sexy; or weird—but they definitely stand out. It's like the stork forgot them, realized at the last minute, and slapped them on both sides.

They wrap around from the sides, and then plunge down to my groin. With almost no body fat, then means I kind of have this void in the middle that spans between my obliques. That's where Evan was focused, that dark space between my jeans and my body. I watched, knowing that dark meant shading, barely breathing as his fingers reached out.

He started soft at first, tracing right along the edge of my jeans. Then his fingers started sliding deeper inside, pressing harder as he 'shaded' the space. My abs started spasming, flexing involuntarily at his touch, and sucking in tight.

He touched me! My dick I mean. His fingertips finally reached the head of my straining cock. His eyes flicked back up to mine, and he grinned as he swirled around my precum slick head. I held his eyes as I flexed, trying to push my cock up into his fingers as best I could.

He wasn't done teasing and edging though. He pulled his precum coated fingers back out, rubbing them together, contemplating the slickness. I shuddered as I watched him open his mouth, stick out his tongue, and slowly lick his fingers clean. Evan was tasting me!

Again, his hand delved into the void and caressed my head, cum slick fingers coming back out. This time, I opened my mouth wide and slid my tongue out. I have that gene that lets me roll my tongue up on the sides, and I did, giving Evan a groove into which he could slide his finger—and he did, slowly pumping it in and out of my tongue.

Either that pushed him over the edge, or he finally took pity on edging me—or both! He grabbed the edge of his t-shirt, struggling a bit to get it off—I eagerly sat up and helped him. He gave me a quick kiss, pushed me back down, and ripped open my 501's! I helped him pull them off me—my boxer-briefs going with—and lay back, fully exposed to my boy!

This time, my eyes were wide open, so I wasn't worried when Evan kind of sat back between my spread legs and just looked at me. For four years, I'd dreamt of this; and now it was happening! For the umpteenth time, my cock lurched in anticipation, a thick blob detaching and dropping a string to my abs.

I watched, barely daring to breath as Evan reached out towards my cock. He paused, "May I?"

I grinned, "Second rule of boyfriends. You don't ever have to ask to touch my cock!" I reached back under my pillow and hauled out my ready bottle of Astroglide (thank God for self-checkout!). Evan wrapped his hand around me and drizzled the lube where they met. I think my eyes actually rolled back into my head and he started stroking me. I did what boys do; thrusting up when he stroked down!

The whole scene was just so erotic—me totally naked; a half-naked Evan kneeling between my legs; his muscles flexing as he stroked me. Bruises or not, he was so beautiful. I'd love to say I lasted a long time, but I didn't. I was so horned up from being 'drawn', not to mention four years of wanting. My first shot passed over my head and smacked against the headboard—really, I actually heard it hit! The rest impacted randomly across my torso.

My last rope had barely landed when Evan was shoving his 501's to his knees and furiously stroking his own cock over me. Once again, I wished I had three sets of eyes so I could simultaneously watch his face, his flexing torso, and his throbbing cock. But I didn't, so I had to do with flicking my eyes up and down like I was watching a vertical tennis match. If I took mental images of Evan as an 8th grader, I was a photographer on crack and pixie sticks now!

He was just close enough between my legs for me to be able to touch his pelvic bone with my fingertips—giving us a physical connection to go with the visual. I don't think he lasted too much longer than I had, but it was long enough for me to note that he did this interesting kind of twisting motion every time his hand came back up to his head—like he was massaging it before pumping back down. I made a note to try that on him when I got the chance to! I flicked my eyes back up to his just as he started to cum, locking eyes as I felt splatter after splatter join mine across my body.

I know it was just jerking off, but it felt like we had really had sex—mind boggling, sharing each other, heart bonding sex. Evan was still panting above me, his chest heaving, as the last drops oozed out and fell on my cock. He started to lean back, but I reached up quickly and motioned for him to come to my arms. He looked like he was considering the pro's and con's, but then shrugged and leaned forward, lowering himself onto my body.

"Ummph!", I uttered as his weight forced some air out of my lungs.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to squish you," he whispered as he tried to raise back up.

I pulled him tighter against me though and wouldn't let him go, "S'ok. I was just surprised at first. I like feeling you on top of me. It feels nice, warm, safe."

"And squishy!" he chuckled.

"Ink blot. It's the only art I could do well, other than stick figures," I murmured in his ear.

I guess he found the idea of a 'boyfriend-cum ink blot' pretty funny as he started giggling; which set me off giggling; which made our still hard cocks start rubbing against each other. We both moaned simultaneously. Evan gave a solid thrust to his hips, grinding us together. I lifted my legs up and wrapped them around him, as we went for round two. There was no penetration obviously, but we were definitely making love to each other! This time when we came, we were locked in an equally passionate kiss—our tongues dueling just like our cocks.

We had just enough energy left to clean up before snuggling in under the down comforter. Evan spooned me, wrapping me up in his warm, muscled embrace—no place in the world I'd rather be!

"Best early Christmas present ever!" I whispered.

"Seriously," he agreed, "Would have been sooner, but you know, you kept holding me off."

I snorted, "Yeah right. I'm the prude! Feel free to wake me up any time and we can go again!"

He didn't; nor did I. We both slept through the night; not budging from our positions. My phone's alarm woke us early in the morning. Evan groaned and threatened to throw it out the window.

"I gotta get up," I murmured, "I have to be at St Stephen's early."

Evan pulled me in tighter, "Blow it off. Tell Mr. Atlee you have to take care of your injured boyfriend."

I giggled pressing my butt back against him, "My naked, injured boyfriend who's prodding me with his morning wood?"

"Not sure who's prodding whom, but yes, exactly!"

I rolled over so I could give him a little kiss (the fact that the move rubbed our cocks together was just an added benefit!), "Last night was amazing," I smiled shyly, "I wish I could stay in bed with you forever."

"Somehow I think we're going to have plenty of opportunities to do that in the future."

"Promise me that?"

He gave my nose a lick, "Promise!"

Reluctantly I rose up, the comforter falling back off my shoulders and exposing the two of us. In the soft morning light, I took the opportunity to get a good look at our cocks side by side. "We're almost twins," I grinned, "We both kind of curve up and out. You're bigger, but no surprise, you've got at least four inches on me."

Evan smirked, "Don't sell yourself short. I don't think I'm really four inches longer than you!"

"I meant height, Mr. Humbleness!" as I rolled over him and slid out of bed.

"Whatever," he mumbled as he pulled the comforter back over him and burrowed in.

I quickly showered and dressed, giving a still sleeping Evan a kiss on the top of his head before heading down to inhale breakfast and head to church.

The scene when I arrived at St Stephan's was controlled chaos—which I loved! It just added to the excitement of the day. I knew we were going to put on a beautiful service. I might not have Evan's drawing skills; but I could sing! Mr. Atlee was bustling about with last minute preparations. Those of us in the choir were getting dressed and trying to talk over one another. The organist was in the midst of his prep—starting and stopping a series of hymns, that added to the noise-level. As with every Christmas service at St Stephan's though, everyone and everything was calmed down and in place before the parishioners began to arrive. Mr. Atlee liked his dramatic entrances, so all the members of the choir were gathered out of sight on either side of the altar.

We could hear everyone coming in and trying to quietly take their seats. The wooden pews sometimes creaking in protest. The occasional cough. The baby that decided that now was the time to protest. I knew that somewhere out there in the Nave were Grandpa and Grandma, aunts and uncles, cousins, and of course my family along with Evan. Finally, it was time. Mr. Atlee gave us the head nod to take our initial places on and around the altar. As the opening treble solo, I was right up front in the middle—only my love of singing overwhelming my fear of being in the spotlight!

The first pews were a fair distance from where we were gathered, but I easily found my family—especially Evan. My jaw dropped when I spied him. Even from the distance, I could tell that he was decked out in a new grey suit, white button down, and a stunning gold tie. He looked amazing—even his bruising looked subdued.

A poke in my side brought me back to reality, and Mr. Atlee's stern gaze (oops!). The organ began to play—every so softly at first. Mr. Atlee held my gaze. Then with the slightest flick of his head and his baton, I began to sing. I sang for the church; but really, I sang for Evan—in my mind, this performance for him and only him.

We began with 'Once in Royal David's City'—not one of the more well-known Christmas hymns, but one of the most beautiful. I sang the first verse solo; was joined by the rest of the choir for the second; and on the third, we began the Processional down the center aisle and then U-turned into our choir pews that ran perpendicular to the parishioner's pews.

Watch the YouTube video of Once In Royal David's City performed by King's College Choir

Father John gave his opening welcome and then we immediately flowed right into our next hymn, 'Oh Holy Night'. I think Father John was happy to let Mr. Atlee make this a hymn heavy service—who doesn't love hymns and Christmas carols! The reading was from Luke 2 8-20, one of my favorites—though I still think Linus does a better job of it in Charlie Brown's Christmas than Father John does (no offense Father)! I was struck when he got to the phrase "on earth peace, good will toward men"—my mind went to Evan of course. I didn't think there had been much goodwill coming toward Evan for the last six years, especially not this month.

Watch the YouTube video of Oh Holy Night performed by King's College Choir

As the Christmas service unfolded, the dramatic contradiction between the themes of the service and Evan's life had me on the verge of tears. We sang 'Silent Night', one of the world's most gentle hymns, and I kept having flashes of the Prick swinging his bat at Evan's head—maybe the Prick thought 'sleep in heavenly peace' meant knocking out his son. I think this service, and the hymns we were singing, was affecting me more than any before in my entire life! Every hymn, every phrase, every note seemed to clash with the cold harsh reality of what Evan's dad had been doing to him.

Watch the YouTube video of Silent Night performed by King's College Choir

Another jab on my side (thank you Kyle!), made me take a deep breath and refocus for the remainder of the service. I couldn't go back and fix the last six years; but I vowed to do all within my power to make up for them. My parents named me Vilho for a reason, and it wasn't just because it was great grandpa's name, I would be Evan's 'determined protector'! I poured my heart into the last two hymns, Little Town of Bethlehem and The First Noel. The service ended with Father John's usual—'May the lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."

Watch the YouTube videos of Oh Little Town of Bethlehem and First Nowell performed by King's College Choir


Hark the Herald Angles Sing) was our Recessional hymn, Father John and the Acolytes preceding the choir through the Nave and out onto the lawn in front of the church. Evan caught my eye as I passed, smiling and giving me a little 'air kiss' (which I pretended to catch and then blow him one back!). Behind us, the rest of the church spilled out onto the snow-covered lawn, breaking up into little social groups.

Watch the YouTube videos of Hark the Herald Angels Sing performed by King's College Choir

Evan came over with the 'rents and the sibs. He was beyond effusive about the service; I was beyond effusive about how awesome he looked in his new suit! He and mom were all smiles—seems they'd been conspiring throughout the week. Mom had taken him shopping while I'd been out skiing; then she and Maria had worked wonders with some make-up that morning.

A lot of Evan's team-mates were there and of course had heard some of what had happened. They all wanted to say hi and see how he was doing. Pretty soon a big crowd (of big guys) had clustered around him, and I found myself pushed out on the periphery. Which I was totally fine with. I mean these guys are his friends. Besides, I wasn't sure what the protocol was on buddies versus boyfriend.

Then I heard Evan, "Vil. Where'd you go?"

I waved a hand as high over my head as I could, "Back here."

Evan started giving orders, and the crowd parted—parting the seas as it were, until there was a channel between them to the two of us. He waved me in and then totally embarrassed me (in a nice way), "Guys, this is Vil. He saved my life. Found me almost frozen. Did the whole Boy Scout thing, built a sled and hauled me to safety."

The guys all introduced themselves—about 20 names in 30 seconds—I'll remember about two of them. Then Evan put his arm around my shoulder and gave what sounded like a pronouncement, "Vil's not only my savior. He's now my foster brother, my roommate. He's very, very special to me."

Most of the guy's just kind of smiled and nodded in response, but I noticed a couple of guys really 'looking' at me and hiding little smiles. We hung out for a little while longer, but then we had to bolt. Time for the second big event of the day—serving Christmas dinner at the community center downtown. A lot of groups got together to feed the homeless, families in need, and really anyone that wanted to attend. The Boy Scouts were sponsors, so Mr. Burgess, Kyle and the rest of our Troop would be there.

We swung by home so we could change—me into my Scout uniform (gotta represent!) and Evan into casual clothes—and then headed to the center. When we got there, Evan and I were put on venison duty—serving up venison steaks, stew, burgers, and sausages. He kept 'looking' at me in my uniform and smirking. I was about to call him on perving on me, when I saw a little boy and girl sidle up to our station. They both were looking at the trays of hot venison—all of which smelled and looked nothing short of awesome.

I gave them a cheery, "What can I serve you guys? We have steaks, burgers, stew and sausages!"

The two of them just looked at us wide eyed, "We're trying to decide which one to pick. They all smell so good!"

"Well, the good news is that you don't have to pick. You can have some of everything! What are your names?"

The two of them got wide-eyed at the realization. The little boy pointed to himself, "I'm Pete and this is my little sister Emily. Our parents are over there." We looked across the room to the tables to see a man and woman with a little baby, just sitting down.

"Hi Pete. Hi Emily. I'm Vil and my friend here is Evan."

"You're a Boy Scout?"

"I am. Are you in Scouts?"

He shook his head. "We just moved here. I'm hoping my dad will let me become a Cub Scout." Then he looked worried, "But first he needs to find a job."

"What does your dad do?"

"He works on cars! He's a mech…something."

Evan perked up at that, "Your dad's a mechanic?"

He grinned, "Yep, that's the word!"

Evan grinned, "How about I help you load up those trays, and get you over to your parents?"

Just like that, I was abandoned, not really. It wasn't that busy, so I was fine serving on my own. Evan got the two kids through the line and then I saw him sitting down with their parents. They talked for a while and then I saw Evan writing something down and handing it to the dad. There were hugs all around when Evan got up to leave which caught my attention—I mean I know he's awesome, but…

Evan tried to give me the 'what I'm innocent' look when he got back, but I wasn't buying it. I just leaned back on the counter and stared at him, waiting for him to come clean.

"Okay. The dad, Martin, is a mechanic. They moved back here to help take care of her mom, and he's looking for work. I just gave him Alan, the manager's name and number down at dad's place—told him to give him a call and use my name."

"You think the Prick will hire him?!"

"I think the Prick is going to be an absent owner for long time. Alan's a cool guy. He's always looked out for me. If he can use him, he'll hire him."

As my dad would say, I looked like a 'stunned mullet'! To say I was blown away would be an understatement. "That's, that's so amazing Evan. I can't believe with all the shit that's happened to you, you just turn around and find some way to help those people."

"Well, maybe it's because of all the shit. Kind of makes you feel good to be able to help; a little of the healing process for me at the same time. It wasn't but a few days ago that I thought I was going to be homeless, until you came along."

I smiled, "Me and my secret gay agenda?"

He chuckled, "You and your blatant gay agenda maybe!" I guess he was right about that!

I was thankful we only had a two-hour stint at the community center and then were back home. It had been a long day and we hadn't even opened presents yet; or had the first Järvinen arrive for Christmas dinner! Evan had to drag me upstairs for my third clothing change of the day. Before he'd let me get out of my Scout uniform though, he begged me to put on a pair of the shorts. Of course, I was more than willing to put on a show for my boy! I not only put on a pair of shorts; I dug out an older pair that were nice and snug!

Evan got the biggest grin on his face when I popped out of the bathroom and spun around, bending over to palm the floor. I heard a guttural 'oh fuck', and watched between my legs as he moved up behind me, grabbed my hips, and pulled me back against him. Then it was my turn for a hoarse 'oh fuck' as I felt him grind into my butt.

Evan then slid his hands under my chest and pulled me upright, pressing my whole body back up against his. I twisted my head back, opening my mouth so we could kiss. Whimpering into his mouth as his hands roamed all up and down my front. And then Olly opened the door! We froze as we saw him framed in the doorway—lips locked, one Evan hand on my chest, the other Evan hand…well, where would you think?!

His look of surprise quickly changed to a huge, 'big brother I caught you little bro" smirk! "Oh, am I interrupting anything? Does the Boy Scout need help with his uniform?"

I turned thirty shades of red and prayed for the ground to open up and just swallow me whole! But Evan, my hero, came to my rescue! Completely nonplussed, he deadpanned back at Olly, "I'm just helping the Boy Scout out of his uniform. You're welcome to stay and watch if you want; but you'll have to step in and close the door!"

That knocked Olly back on his heels for one of the first times I've ever seen! It was his turn to get all red and flustered, he quickly backed up, "No, no, I'm good. Ahh, I'll just close the door. This door…here…"

We both started laughing, but still in the same position—hands and all! Then here was a soft knock at the door, "Ummm, It's Olly. I meant to tell you; Mom says presents in 15."

Evan sighed, "Okay, I guess we really do have to get you changed. But I so get a rain check on you in this uniform. That's okay right, there aren't any Boy Scout rules against that are there?"

I smirked, "No rules I'm aware of, as long as we don't publish any pictures! And I'm as excited for that rain check as you are! Oh, and a lax uniform rain check too!"

Evan really did help me undress, button by button, zipper tooth by zipper tooth! Then he picked out my jeans, t-shirt, and flannel for dinner (thank God my family is casual for Christmas!). We had five minutes before we had to be downstairs (and I needed some 'calm down'/deflation time), so I pulled out my 'secret' Christmas present for Evan (as opposed to the ones under the tree for all to see).

He got the cutest look on his face when the package emerged from its hiding place—like a little kid enthralled with Christmas. It wasn't my best wrapping job; the soft nature of the gift made it difficult. But Evan didn't even seem to notice. He ran his fingers lightly over it, like he didn't even want to open it as that would spoil the magic.

"It's nothing major," I started to say, but he put his finger up to quiet me.

"It's from you. I already love it," he whispered. And then he unwrapped it, ran his fingers across it, and held it up, "You got me my own Nordic Racing suit?"

"I want to teach you to ski, so you'll need to look the part. Plus, you like me in mine so much, and thought it was sexy. I thought it'd be fun to get you one too, so we could…" I kind of trailed off as I began to think it was a stupid idea.

Evan gave me that heartwarming smile that made his eyes sparkle and my heart surge, "I definitely want to learn to ski, once I'm healed up of course. I want to share the woods with you like we did the other day. And in the meantime, in here, just the two of us, me in mine and you in yours—damn, that's hot!"

I grinned, "Really? You like it? I thought the dark blue would look awesome on you and the red kind of highlights your auburn hair."

Evan pulled me in close for a hug, "Do you feel how much I like it?" I definitely did—but that wasn't helping my need for 'calm down' and deflation! As we got in one last cuddle before going downstairs, he whispered in my ear, "I've got you a present too, but it's downstairs. It's more 'family acceptable' than yours!

At this stage in our family dynamic, we've moved past the 'present feeding frenzy' from when we were little. No longer is the size of one's pile the ultimate goal (as long as mine is bigger than Olly's of course!). There did seem to be a lot more presents under the tree than last year; and it didn't take me too long to figure out that my parents had been very thoughtful in their gift selection. There were a lot of things for Evan—stuff all of us already had, but he did not: a new, not smashed, laptop; an iPhone; some other, 'nicer' clothes to go along with the new suit (an early present); and a bunch of smaller things that any teenager just needed.

I could be wrong, but I was pretty sure that my parents had tried 'not to make it obvious' that they were giving Evan a lot of stuff he needed by giving us more than usual. Not that I was complaining! My big present was a new triathlon watch—apparently the closest thing to a Nordic ski watch (guess the market isn't too big for those!). It would gather and report all kinds of data on your workout—plus it looked awesome.

With Mrs. Elliot's and Mr. Ableburn's help, I had assembled a new art package for Evan: sketch pads with specially textured paper; pastel and charcoal sets; and a dizzying assortment of accessories I never knew existed. I think I hit it out of the park—Evan was all smiles when he unwrapped the bizarrely shaped package. He even knew what all those weird accessories were. Any time I can make him happy and smile it just makes me so squishy inside, I love it (and him…shhhh)!

But if I hit it out of the park, Evan hit a grand slam. He pulled a flat, rectangular package out from under the tree and hand it to me. He looked really, really nervous as I opened it. For the second time today, I put on my stunned mullet face! Evan had given me a pastel drawing. It was the exact scene we had shared out in the woods when he showed me 'how he viewed' the forest—the sunlight, beaming down like the angels; the glittering ice jewels on the trees and bushes; the shadows that framed it all.

I was almost able to keep the tears from flowing; until I saw the little detail along the bottom edge. He had added in very subtle strings of different animal footprints in the snow. In one picture, he had merged together a Vil and Evan view of the forest. In one picture, he had captured the essence of 'us'! Without even looking up, I felt him smile as I ran my finger lightly along the footprints. I took a deep breath and lifted my head, knowing I was going to cry when we locked eyes. I was able to mouth 'So beautiful, I love it' before the tears really started.

Like I said earlier, I'd won the lottery with Olly as a big brother (bedroom intrusions aside). I saw him watching me out of the corner of my eye, and he got that frown he gets when he's concerned. All of a sudden, he dove in under the tree—pulling out a whole series of presents he had brought from New York. He pitched them around the room to the rest of the family; making everyone jump, reach, and otherwise be majorly distracted unless they wanted to take on in the head! Thank you, Olly! He gave me the time to regroup, wipe away my tears, and give Evan a quick, sneaky, kiss!

Embarrassing crisis averted, we finished up on the gift giving and turned to on the final preparations for the arrival of the extended Järvinen family! I put Evan's picture front and center on the mantel so everyone could see it (I wondered if anyone would catch the tiny little footprints). Mom was giving orders right and left; and we were close to ready when the first relatives started arriving. I'd been prepping Evan for the last few days on names and relationships, so he wasn't totally lost. He held his own for a while until there got to be too many, too fast.

As I predicted, we ended up with just north of 30 people. Grandpa and Grandma held court in the living room in front of the fire. Other groups formed and reformed throughout the house and around the fire pit outside. There's always a ton of catching up to do as the cousins get older—the aunts and uncles all want to get their 'updates'. And then there are 'the littles', the youngest of the cousins. I think they just sprint throughout the house all afternoon—mostly in search of candy and sweets!

Evan and I hung together pretty much the whole time. We were right upfront about being boyfriends, and everyone seemed cool about it. That's one of the nice things about Vermont; most people are cool with everyone doing their own thing (aside from The Prick). You've got the old school Vermonters—hunters, trappers and farmers—they don't want anyone interfering with their 'business' and they'll stay out of yours; and you've got the hippie Vermonters—the 'Turn on, tune in, drop out' crowd who just want to be chill.

It was dark out when the uncles and aunt started gathering 'the littles' and getting them into their pajamas. All of a sudden, the littles were all focused in on Remember When's!

Evan looked at me curiously, "Remember When's?"

"Family lore! The tales, tall tales, history. Some funny, some heroic, some touching, some sad. It's been a main part of our Christmas forever—probably even before Balzar came over from Finland! It starts with Grandpa and Grandma; then everyone kind of joins in. You'll get no better introduction to the Järvinen family!"

"Are there Remember When's about everyone?"

"Just about, but it has to be a significant event—you don't get a 'participation' Remember When! Very rarely does a 'little' have one, so for them this is more of a learn about your family event. It's a proud Christmas when you get your first remember when!"

"When did you get your first?"

I laughed, "I was three."

"Thought you said little's didn't get Remember When's."

"I said it was rare; I was a precocious child!"

"What did you do to get one so young?"

"You'll have to be patient young Evan, along with the rest of the little's!"

He leaned on close, whispering in my ear (which basically meant he was blowing warm air in my ear while he flicked his tongue against it!), "Do you want me to change into my jammies?"

The 'whisper' made me shudder, "I think you might get your first Remember When if you show up naked to the event!"

"Maybe I should save that for upstairs then, we can make our first Remember When."

Now it was my turn to whisper in Evan's ear, and I made the most of it, no light tickle of my tongue, I went for depth! "Evan, we're way past our first Remember When, and I'm looking forward to a lot more!"

We probably would have continued ratcheting up the teasing, but we heard the thunder of little feet, and we got swept up in the horde heading towards the living room. Evan and I took up station at one end of the love seat, with a host of little's perched around us. Grandma and Grandpa were ensconced in the wing chairs on either side of the fireplace (to keep 'em warm!).

Grandpa started it off—telling stories from the 1940's of his dad, he and his brothers. The little's were encouraged to ask lots of questions, and they did! By now, most of the crowd had heard the stories before, so there was lots of color commentary from the crowd. Eventually, the stories shifted to dad and his generation—that's when the sibling rivalries started coming out, much to the delight of the cousins!

But of course, the spotlight eventually shifted to the sixteen cousins, including yours truly! Little Johannes, sitting on the arm of the sofa next to me, flung his hand in the air and asked to hear 'Vil's Bear' story. Evan looked at me sideways, and I just pointed at the bearskin rug in front of the fireplace. This was a brand-new story, as it had only happened last year, when I was 14. I think Johannes was particularly excited that he got to tee up a brand new Remember When.

So, Grandpa launched into the tale. It was after Christmas last year, well out of season for bear. Grandpa had been brought in by the Vermont Fish and Game wardens to deal with a Black bear, that had been breaking into cabins, dumpster diving in neighborhoods, and prowling close to schools. The final straw came when it attacked a pair of hikers, severely injuring both of them. In the bear's defense, Uncle Mike opined, the hikers were from New York!

The bear had proved particularly wily, and the game wardens had been unable to close on it. Enter Grandpa, tracker extraordinaire—trained by one of the best, my namesake and Great Grandpa, Vilho Balzar Järvinen. Grandpa took both dad and I on the mission. We had been in the forest for three days—tracking by day and camping by night. We were hot on the bear's trail, but it definitely was pulling out all the tricks to throw us off.

Now dad jumped in, moving in front of the fireplace, and lowering his voice, "On the fourth morning, Grandpa had us fan out to try and thwart the bear that had been circling back behind us. We were strung out in a line, probably 50 yards apart, and moving through some very thick woods."

Dad was very good at setting the stage and goosing up the level of excitement, he circled the room as if recreating our movements through the woods. The little's were giddy with excitement (and maybe a little scared)! "I was on the far left, Grandpa in the center, and Vil off on the right."

His voice got really low as he bent over, mimicking tracking through the thick brush, "Then…ROAR…BLAM…ROAR…BLAM!!!" Everyone, including Evan jumped! Johannes fell off the arm of the sofa and into my lap, burrowing in for safety!

"The shots had come from my right, so I turned and ran, as best one can in snowshoes. I quickly came upon Grandpa's prints, heading in the same direction—so I knew it was Vil that had fired the shots!" (A couple of the little's looked back and me, checking to make sure I was still there and okay).

Grandpa stole the story back, "Jake caught up to me just as we came into the clearing. And there was Vil, cool as a cucumber, sitting on the head of that bear! Cradling his Great Grandpa's rifle." Then Grandpa looked over at me, "Since he was the only one there, Vil should tell this part."

Channeling my inner Grandpa and dad, I jumped off of the sofa, leaving Evan to protect Johannes, and crouching, I 'tracked' my way through the crowd, "Grandpa had let me carry Great Grandpa's Czech Mountain Carbine on the hunt. Cradling my rifle, I was moving through the brush, which had gotten really thick. All of a sudden, THERE HE WAS! The bear appeared right in front of me! Stomping the ground with its front paws; and making all kinds of noise, and then it charged towards me!"

"I had only a second to react. I didn't even have time to aim. I just lifted my rifle and fired 'BLAM'—no sighting. It was so close, I couldn't miss; I hit it right in the chest. But the shot was poorly placed, and it was still alive. I knew I needed to hit it behind the shoulder, so quick as I could, I moved to the side and fired again— 'BLAM!' That shot dropped him dead!"

"Once the shock of it all was over, I was kind of shook up and my legs felt a little wobbly. That's why I sat down on the head. And then Grandpa and dad came running into the clearing, all excited!"

Now dad took back over the story, "Grandpa gets on his radio, calling for the game wardens so they can hustle up a snowmobile to come and drag the bear out of the woods. Then I notice Vil quietly trying to wave me to come over to him." (Dad had 'pre-cleared' this part of the story with me; I'd told him the story was the story, so we shouldn't leave it out).

"I get over to Vil, and he spreads his knees apart, and whispers 'Dad, I peed myself!' And there it was, a spreading wet spot! Poor Vil was getting all upset, knowing the game wardens were on their way, so I hollered to Grandpa that we need to get him fixed up."

Grandpa, barely able to keep a straight face, "So we took off his boots, his pants, and his drawers. There he sat, buck naked from the waist down, that little Vil bottom perched right up on that bear! He had spare clothes in his backpack, so in no time we had him redressed and the offending pants tucked away—disaster averted!"

Now I jumped back in, "Grandpa and dad then just had to take care of my fragile, teenage ego; explaining to me that pee or not, I had bravely faced down a charging bear and done exactly what I was supposed to do. Dad even found the spent cartridge in the snow and showed me how close the bear had gotten before I fired."

Johannes gave me a solemn pat on the arm and leaned up to my ear, shielding his mouth with his little hand, and whispered, "Sometimes I pee in my pants too—when I forget to go, or if I get too excited."

Evan chimed in, nodding to Johannes, and whispering "Me too". I think Johannes was very happy knowing he wasn't the only one with pee issues!"

Grandpa brought the story to a close, explaining how we gotten the bear to the butcher, who'd skinned and tanned the hide, then taken it to a taxidermist to turn it into the rug that was now before us on the floor. We had kept some of the bear meat and turned the meat over to the shelter just like the deer meat.

As it was the very first 'official' telling of this Remember When, it generated a whole lot of chatter and discussion amongst the family. All the little's had to reach in to touch the bearskin rug—to make sure it was real, I guess. But you know how you're at a party, and everyone's talking—then all of a sudden, everyone stops at once and there's dead silence?

Well, that's what happened, just as Olly leaned over to one of his peer-cousins and not so subtly whispered, "And there I thought I was the first one to have my bare ass on that rug!" Then he realized the quiet. Then the snickering started. Then the laughing. Then the hoots and hollers calling to hear his story! But Olly being Olly—he is nothing but agile, deft, ever the Artful Dodger—not missing a beat, called out for the 'Vil Puppy' Remember When.

Evan got the cutest look on his face, "You and puppies? I gotta hear this"

Johannes snorted, "Yeah, 'Puppies'!" Then slapped his hands over his mouth, realizing he might have given the story away.

I gave Evan a wry smile, "This is my age 3 story."

Now over a decade old in the telling, this one was a crowd pleaser and mom had honed her delivery. Olly's successfully dodged as the crowd demanded the puppy story by acclamation. This one was mom's to tell, and she could be even more colorful than dad in weaving a tale.

First, she lulls the audience with the opening setting, "We had gone over Lake Champlain for the weekend and were camping out in a little beach area right on the water. Jake was supposed to be watching the kids as they played in the water's edge. I was cooking up lunch on the open campfire—because, as a Järvinen you can't have a stove or anything—it wouldn't be proper."

That line always sets off the Järvinen spouses (I'm pretty sure they formed a support group or something when they married in); as they have all enjoyed the same 'education' on family traditions!

"Now we all know how much Vil loves his wildlife, all of a sudden, I hear a squeal of delight and laughter from off in the brush, and I realized Vil wasn't down on the beach with dad and the others!" Dad uttered something about blinking, and they're gone.

"I looked up to see Vil pushing out through the bushes. He's so excited and he yells out, 'Look mommy, I found puppies!" (Johannes at this point has ants in his pajamas, he's squirming like crazy 'cause he knows what's coming.)

"Only they weren't puppies. I looked in horror and realized he was holding two baby skunks!"

Evan howled, "Skunks?! You thought skunks were puppies?"

"I was three!" I mumbled in my defense.

"Now baby skunks not so bad, they can't spray yet. But mama skunks—they don't like it when you take their babies. And that mama skunk was plowing through the bushes right behind Vil!"

"I'd just started to run to him when I saw her; I never back peddled so fast in my life!"

Evan laughed, "You didn't go rescue your baby?"

"Oh, hell no! You ever been sprayed by a skunk? Vil was already a goner; he just didn't know it yet! But he learned really fast, I saw that mama turn and raise her tail; a second later you saw the look on Vil's face as he smelled what had just hit his back! Of course, he had to turn around to see where that came from; she got to hit him again right in the chest."

By now, everyone's laughing as mom described how I let go of the baby skunks and ran towards her, while the mommy skunk and her brood headed back into the brush, "Vil's running towards me, coughing, gagging and bawling of course; and I'm running away from him 'cause I sure don't want to get the smell on me!"

This is where dad picked up the tail, "Once I could stop laughing from watching Vil try to chase down his elusive, loving mom, I swoped in an intercepted him. Holding him out at arm's length, I ran him down to the water, stripped him naked, and started dunking him in the water."

Evan leaned in, "Your Remember When's all seem to end up with you naked!"

Johannes giggled at that and nodded, "I like being naked too!" Boys will be boys.

"Mom threw the bottle of dish soap at me, and I dumped that all over Vil. But it didn't do much good—he still stunk to high heaven. That's when Olly Googled skunk remedy and came up with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap."

Olly gave a 'you're welcome' wave, "Backbone of the family!"

"So, mom gathered Maria and Olly, and ran down to the General Store while Vil and I sat in the water and suffered."

"By the time we got back, Vil had gotten used the smell, and was having a good old time splashing around in the lake; Jake he just looked miserable. We filled a washtub with water and the other ingredients and dropped Vil in. That worked, got rid of the smell—and turned Vil into a blond for half the summer!"

Thankfully, the spotlight moved on to other cousins for the rest of the evening. As the stories progressed, the little's started dropping off one by one. Finally, it was time to wrap things up as Grandma and Grandpa were getting tired.

We helped transport little's to their cars, while Uncle Mike took care of getting the grandparents home. The cold air kind of revived me a bit which was good as I was seriously dragging. Thankfully, the aunts and uncles had all chipped in earlier in the evening to clean up, so we got to head right up to bed. I wasn't quite sure how this night would go, as we hadn't had the opportunity to talk about last night, so after the bathroom, I started to undress myself.

That's when Evan stopped me, "Let me do it." It looked like last night was the watershed moment I thought it was—which couldn't have made me a happier boy! He very slowly, sensuously I suppose, stripped me naked: sliding my flannel shirt off my shoulders; easing my t-shirt up over my upstretched arms, lightly grazing my sides as he did so—making me shiver; then popped the buttons on my 501's and sliding them down along with my boxer-briefs—my rock-hard cock snapping upright as it was freed.

Then I had the honors, mimicking his moves, to strip him naked—God he looked so beautiful, so tall, so muscular, so Evan. He edged closer to me, our tips just kissing—sending shudders surging through my body. Hands on my non-existent hips, he slowly backed up until his butt hit the bed. Then leaning back onto the bed, he pulled me over on top of him, twisting us so we were lying full on the bed.

Our naked bodies in full contact, our hands roaming ever where, our tongues dueling—I might not have the balls to tell him outright that I loved him, but I was sure trying to show it in everyway I could! I don't know if he had a plan, but I sure did! I wanted to 'paint' Evan just as he had done with me last night—I might not have his 'skill', but I had two good hands instead of one casted to make up for that.

I followed his same path, starting by running my fingers through his wavey auburn hair. He closed his eyes and just purred as I gently stroked him. After a bit, I moved down to 'draw' his prominent cheekbones and jawline—bruising aside, his face just exuded strength. We'd obviously been doing a ton of touching, kissing and hugging these past days; but this was the first time I really had the opportunity to kind of sit back, to touch, and to intimately appreciate my boyfriend.

Beauty's in the eye of the beholder right, and I couldn't imagine a more beautiful boy. Like I've said, Evan is much more muscular than I; but it's a lean muscle, not thick or bulky. I loved how his solid deltoids rounded the tops of his shoulders and then flowed in the sexiest 'V' down into his biceps and triceps. I spent a lot of time 'drawing' those arm muscles—snickering as I remembered to 'erase' his right bicep and redraw it. We both have very distinctive abs, but where mine are fairly flat and asymmetrical; Evan's are deeply grooved and matching—I could slide my finger down into his grooves, and did!

Evan was clearly enjoying being 'painted'—as his purring, soft moans, flexing body, and yeah, the pool gathering under his pulsing cock would indicate. I was driven to pleasure him even more than he had me last night. I had watched very closely when he had jerked himself off over me, and I mimicked his method as best I could, including the little twisting thing around his head that he'd done on each upstroke. Every moan, every upward thrust of his hips, triggered a surge of pride deep inside me!

He definitely lasted longer than I had, but eventually he tipped over the edge and had the most spectacular climax. Then it was my turn to put on a show for my boy; and I did! I tried to look through Evan's stunning green eyes as I worked my body in front of him. I also remembered to show all my favorite moves—thrusting; two hands; thumb circling—so he could learn what I liked. Soon enough, our eyes locked and arching my back, my essence joined his.

I was going to clean us up then, but he reached out and pulled me down, whispering 'ink blot' as we merged. And yes, we did the deed just like we had before—collapsing afterwards with our heaving chests glued together. My ear resting just above his pounding heart. After we cleaned up, Evan enveloped me in his arms, tucking me back in against him in the warmest embrace. Life was good.

If Christmas Day had been crazy insane from the early wake-up through our drowsy snuggle, Boxing Day was the opposite. Olly and Maria were off with friends all day, leaving Evan and I to relax at home with mom and dad. Evan couldn't stop taking about all the Järvinen relatives and especially the Remember When's. I think it was a kind of warm, family dynamic that was completely foreign to him; but which he clearly really liked. I didn't expect it, but it made me feel really good inside that I was able to share all of that with him.

The only major activity of the day was preparation for the next day's biathlon event hosted by the Ethan Allen Club in Jericho, just east of Burlington. I needed to strip and rewax my skis, so I dragged Evan out to the workroom. Evan had never Nordic skied, so he was very intrigued by the whole waxing process, the dizzying array of wax choices that lined the racks above the workbench, the iron to melt and smooth the layers. I tried to not be too complicated in my explanation (I tend to get too scientific, too fast!).

After lunch, dad took us out to the Rod and Gun Club so I could get in some practice with my Anschütz. We had our own version of the five-target array that I would see at the four shooting components of the race. The day after Christmas, the range was deserted which was perfect since you have to 'train how you fight', which meant I was shooting either standing or prone with my skis on. I practiced skiing in, unslinging my rifle, taking up position, and completing the course of fire.

Not to brag, but I am lightning fast and ridiculously accurate—aim, fire, toggle, repeat. I always pick up time on the shooting portion of the biathlon. Evan was definitely impressed; even more so once I let him take a crack at it! He missed a lot and was slow; he kept accusing me of moving his targets further away!

We had awesome leftovers for dinner, mom made kind of a Shepard's Pie out of turkey, wild rice stuffing, vegetable, mashed potatoes—and her insane gravy! Evan and I just chilled for the rest of the evening and then turned in early so I would be well rested for the race. There was a lot of kissing and caressing as we dozed off, but that was it. I was moving into my pre-race 'focused' mode!

Evan was growing increasingly attuned to my moods and needs—and I think I to his! Who knew just having someone that 'understands' you could feel so nice? This whole boyfriend thing is truly wonderful!

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